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The Gwili Railway thread

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Matt78, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Member

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    Money, or lack of, is the answer to the puzzle. However, I believe things are stirring behind the scenes on this front.

    Anyway, this sheme has been bubbling away for a few years now and is still at the kite-flying stage. However, it all depends upon whether it will be built for social purposes (or to protect political interests), as cold economics will probably preclude any thought of reinstatement. Furthermore, the Gwili is on a dog-leg between Pencader and Carmarthen, so it would probably be better to construct a brand-new section.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  2. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    A North - South Wales link can only be a political wish, and emotionally it would be great to reopen from Merthyr up to Talyllyn Jct (need to make peace with Brecon Mountain Railway), with a branch to Brecon, then up the Wye Valley to Builth Wells and Moat Lane Jct to join the Cambrian, then from Afon Wen up to Caernarfon (need to placate the Welsh Highland Rly and the bike trail users) and Bangor. The idea of going by rail from North to South without going through England would, however be, in economic terms, wildly impractical. The Mid Wales lines were closed even before the Beeching Report, and Carmarthen to Aberystwyth must have been in the sights of a Western Region that was keen on closing lines without needing any encouragement from the Doctor. But we can all dream.

    Is money all that matters?

    John
     
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  3. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Member

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    Even on a social basis, I'd say reinstatement would be impractical, as it would only really benefit the three towns and environs involved- ie. Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Carmarthen. Without opening a whole raft of request stops, the local communities on the route would still have to drive to these towns, which still clogs up the roads. The alternative of opening request stops and stations (say Pencader, Lampeter and Tregaron) would defeat the object of an efficient intra-Wales north-south link, and risks extending journey times beyond acceptable limits. Furthermore, if you wanted to go from Cardiff to north Wales, it would more than likely be quicker to go along the North and West as current, rather than head to Carmarthen. Swansea to Aberystwyth might open-up some prospects of economic growth, but I'd say Aberystwyth is about the limit to which such growth will get- I doubt places like Pwllheli would benefit from the reconstruction of this link.

    Its all supposition on both sides of the equation, and the solution of this problem rests with the fact that had it not been closed in the first place, it would still have been there for development. However, it was closed partially on the basis of the argument set out above.
     
  4. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    Hi Matt -
    what's the distance between Llanpumsaint and Pencader? Is it known who owns the trackbed and if it's still unobstructed. As a very long term aim, that could really put the Gwili into league 1?
     
  5. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's about 2-3 miles and the stretch includes the tunnel by Atwallis which would be a feature in itself!

    However Pencader is a very uninspiring destination and if we were going that far then Llandysul (onto the former Newcastle Emlyn branch) would be a better bet. However the station site here has recently been flattened to incorporate the new by-pass.

    I think an 8 mile Gwili would be a decent operation bearing in mind the curved nature of most of the route would feel longer than it actually was! Whether that is "big league" is hypothetical really but with an 8 mile stretch I fancy a large prairie or Manor in the fleet somewhere....the bark of a GWR loco on the gradient approach to Llanpumsaint would wake the whole village up....one day I hope!

    Regards

    Matt
     
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  6. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Of course the line enjoyed the use as a through route from Swansea to Pwllhelli re the Butlins Express in the 50's but it is a sign of the times and a reflection of what has been said so far in that South Walians are more likely to go to Butlins in Minehead now (or indeed a cheap Med package deal from Bristol Airport!)
     
  7. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    Yes, a Manor would be nice. I well remember sitting on top of the unclad boiler of Dinmore Manor at Bronwydd in the early 1980s, painting it a shade of poison green ....!
     
  8. Phil_Guard

    Phil_Guard New Member

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    For those that missed it, the Gwili recently featured on Michael Portillo's "Great British Railway Journeys". Click the link below to watch...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...journeys-series-6-16-pembroke-dock-to-swansea (from 14:25 onwards).

    Also, the St Ddynwen's Day Special received a plug on BBC Radio Wales last Friday - including an interview with volunteer Dorian Elias. Click the link to have a listen...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04yfn5v (from 33:55 onwards).

    Don't forget that we will be running in February - DMU on selected days, with steam over half term. Further details available on the website.

    Cheers,

    Phil.
     
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  9. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    So how about Carmarthen to Llandysul interchange and then narrow gauge to Newcastle Emlyn on the Teifi then???
     
  10. D1004

    D1004 New Member

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    A question - will trains be running to Abergwili Junction on February 20th or not please?

    D1004
     
  11. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately not. We are still working through the snag list with a view to opening ASAP this year, no date yet.

    Matt
     
  12. JamesR92

    JamesR92 New Member

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    Hopefully be open for the gala which in itself is shaping up to be a cracking event which includes at least 1 visiting engine! hopefully have a 2nd one too providing I can make it work financially!
     
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  13. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    Hey Matt,

    Any news on the railway? Is the old Carmarthen station building still there? Do you think that may come the railways way at some point? I think it could be very fitting for Abergwili Junction.

    Tom
     
  14. Phil_Guard

    Phil_Guard New Member

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    To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Closure on February 20th, there will be a heated marquee at Llwyfan Cerrig (containing a 'pop-up' exhibition of 1960s memorabilia, talks about the line, railway films, 60s vehicles etc). The widow and son of Geler Davies (the driver of the last train in 1965) will be in attendance. A special hourly timetable will be in operation between Bronwydd Arms and Danycoed, with departures from BA as follows:

    1100 - Steam + Mk1s
    1200 - DMU
    1300 - Steam + Mk1s
    1400 - DMU
    1500 - Steam + Mk1s.

    BBC Radio Wales featured the event yesterday morning: you can listen again here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b052qd1j (09:50 onwards). The same programme also features an interview with Adrian Kendon from Traws Link Cymru, discussing the potential reopening of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line (14:51 onwards).

    Don't forget the steam hauled services this Mon-Thurs as well... departures from Bronwydd Arms at 1100, 1200, 1315 and 1415 (note new timetable). "Haulwen" is the booked locomotive. Thursday (19th Feb) is also a Welsh Cream Tea Special.

    The DMU will be rounding off off half term by running services on Sun 22nd Feb (times as above).

    Cheers,

    Phil.
     
  15. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tom

    Not a lot to report at present although we had a successful first day of half term operating today with Haulwen doing the honours. It's a bit of an experiment as we are normally shut until Easter.

    Plans are being formulated for the construction of the loop at Abergwili and the snag list is ongoing.

    The old station building at Carmarthen (that is the old Carmarthrn and Cardigan Railway building) is still there. It might be a good first building at Abergwili but probably a bit small for our future needs.

    Regards

    Matt
     
  16. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    Why not just leave it where it is. The railways has a corridor of land protect for it along side the bypass and back in to town.

    One for the future !
     
  17. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Isn't there a replacement bridge needed? Tad expensive.... :)
     
  18. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    Getting past the bridge over the dual carriageway. I think would be the difficulty but would be nice for it to make it to Carmarthen.

    Tom
     
  19. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    New Transport and Works Order needed (probably involving public enquiry) plus the earthworks and bridge over Towy (if a mainline connection is desired) so a fairly blank cheque is needed.......I'd bank on us getting to Llampumsaint before Carmarthen town TBH

    Of course we could always establish a main line connection at the north end once Traws Link Cymru opens...☺
     
  20. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    Whilst Matt is right we should focus on finishing what we have started first. There is nothing on the extension in to Carmarthen that has not been done before in preservation. Whilst not common place there are certainly a few of examples of new bridges being built for preserved railways - NYMR, RVR, GCR, WHR to name but a few.
    Also if you take the GCR as bench mark its a million quid for a new bridge. Another millions for earth works and track work plus a contingency. So somewhere in the region of 2-3 millions, by no means small change but certainly considerably less than some of the big project from the last decade or two.

    Anyway one for the future perhaps....
     
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