If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

The Gwili Railway thread

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

  1. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    Seems like a long time ago now, but when we did the test run for L92 at the end of February we headed north from Bronwydd and against the gradient and then around the corner where the line breaks out into a very wide valley. The exhaust echoes around the valley and from the cab you can see along the hills with the centuries old farmhouses perched on top as small specs in the distance. Great to hear the sound of a Great Western engine in the Carmarthenshire hills again ,at that moment you could easily be back in the 1930’s. Fantastic.

    Hopefully it won’t be too long before we hear it again...,

    regards

    Matt
     
  2. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Honiton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Was there ever track and a diesel at Conwil as I think I’ve seen photos of preserved diesel shunterthere but now all track is gone but they still own it?
     
  3. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    yes, some track was laid from Conwil working south in the 1980’s, as we recovered some of the track made redundant by BR from the singling of the West Wales Line between Haverfordwest and Claberston Road. Sadly the track was subsequently lifted although relaid south of Bronwydd. The only track now left is the main station turnout which was recovered from Swansea Docks.

    the diesel based at Conwil for a time was 0-6-0DM “Trecatty” which left the railway in 2008 for P & B.

    regards

    Matt
     
  4. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    52
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Honiton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    That’s interesting do you know why they lift track and move to a different place then?
     
  5. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    priority shifted from a northern extension to a southern one basically, as the three bridges between the present end of line and Conwil all required work to a greater or lesser degree. By contrast the section to Abergwili posed no major engineering challenges.

    It still took 17 years to get there mind!

    regards

    Matt
     
  6. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    Hi all

    the appeal has reached £10,000 which is great but we are aiming to get to at least £15,000 so if you are able to spare any amount no matter how big or small that would be fantastic.

    https://gwili-railway.co.uk/emergency-fund/

    Stay safe all

    regards

    Matt
     
  7. MartinBall

    MartinBall Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    305
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Today Barrie Hughes's Isengard WHR site hosts a story suggesting Network Rail have been to see the Gwili to discuss the possible re-instatement of the Caerfyrddin - Aberystwyth line, and the move of the Gwili Railway to the Pencader to Castell Newydd Emlyn line.
    Any truth in this report?
     
  8. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,851
    Likes Received:
    2,645
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    If true, where would that leave the Teifi Valley Railway?

    Keith
     
  9. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales

    I thought April 1st had passed?

    regards

    Matt
     
  10. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    Found the link now

    http://www.isengard.co.uk/

    Basically Network Rail kindly visited us in February on a pro bono basis to have a look at our bridges. This was with repairing the bridges for our own use in mind. Carmarthen to Aberystwyth was not the reason for the visit and nor was it mentioned. I should know as I was part of the party on the day....

    someone had put two and two together to get 5. Let’s be honest the situation with COVID-19 has more than likely binned the scheme for the foreseeable future.

    regards

    Matt
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  11. MartinBall

    MartinBall Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    305
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Has anyone looked at an alternative rail route from Caerfyrddin to, say, Pencader, just in case? If so, what route has been considered?
     
  12. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    This is one of the unfortunate aspects of the “broad brush” report completed for the reinstatement of the line. It seems to casually assume that a) the Gwili are happy to set up elsewhere and b) that there will be no local opposition to picking the Gwili up like a giant train set and plonking it in AN Other location as if this is the easiest thing in the world to do.

    As I said above though very likely to be academic in the current climate.

    regards

    Matt
     
  13. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    a straight “tunnel” of 3 miles bypassing the Gwili was suggested in the scoping report but dismissed as being too expensive by the feasibility study.
     
  14. MartinBall

    MartinBall Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    305
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Would this route by feasible (in terms of terrain, assuming powers to acquire and demolish any properties en route):
    Caerfyrddin to Abergwili, then heading north-east to Pontarsais via Peniel and Rhydargaeau, then on by Alltwalis to Pencader?
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    5,526
    Likes Received:
    5,597
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Substantial tunnelling at the south end has indeed been mentioned, relocating the connection to the S.Wales network a valley or two east of Carmarthen. Given the most optimistic passenger projections, for the most straightforward reinstatement, any imperative to spend that much would have to be purely socio-political.

    Frankly, given the nature of the scheme, I'm amazed no Machynlleth avoiding Dyfi viaduct seems to feature in any of the proposals I'm aware of. For the life of me, I can't get the numbers in the business case to come remotely close to adding up. Were it up to me to restore an 'internal' route , I'd at least be looking to get Brecon back on the railway map .... and the chance to return the marvelously titled 'Three Cocks Junction' to the network just too irresistible to pass up! More seriously, the old line up to Moat Lane would make a more useful freight route, though I note that the existing Heart of Wales route scarcely seems overburdened in that regard.

    Should the Afon Wen-Bangor section get reinstated, I can't see likely traffic levels proving an insurmountable hurdle to 'gauntleting' the currently open section between Dinas and Caernarfon (i.e. dual gauge). That way, at least a section of the route would see some reasonable passenger numbers!
     
  16. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,316
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    I think it would in terms of terrain, the finances is of course another question.
     
  17. weltrol

    weltrol Member Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,438
    Likes Received:
    441
    30854 said: 'Should the Afon Wen-Bangor section get reinstated, I can't see likely traffic levels proving an insurmountable hurdle to 'gauntleting' the currently open section between Dinas and Caernarfon (i.e. dual gauge). That way, at least a section of the route would see some reasonable passenger numbers!'....

    Hmm.. If that was to happen, would the ORR really allow gauntletted track of two gauges? Also the 'English' standard gauge trains would be running at a higher line speed. In consequence, the 'Welsh' standard gauge (which is currently limited to 25mph ) would be a bottleneck speed, unless authority gave permission for the WHR trains to run a lot faster. An NGG16 at 50 mph anybody?
     
  18. sycamore

    sycamore New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Guard & Signalman (E&BAR) / Driver (HVMR)
    Location:
    Embsay or Bolton Abbey, sometimes in between...
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think it would be either / or. Can't see both services running to Caernarfon. Network Rail would trump preservation!
     
  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    5,526
    Likes Received:
    5,597
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    "English" standard gauge trains? Ye gods man, you'll get yourself chased back over the dyke on the points of pitchforks! :Woot:

    It wasn't that long ago that street running in Porthmadog, or reinstating the crossing at Cae Pawb would've been laughed out of court as sheer fantasy.

    The NGG16's regularly operated, quite comfortably, at 40mph on the SAR and I doubt in that scenario, older locos would be permitted north of Dinas. The 25mph speed is actually predicated on infrastructure (fencing, crossings, signalling etc.), which obviousy would have to be to NR standards on any shared formation. Carriage door locking would prove the more likely stumbling block.

    Anyone thinking of more than a train, each way, every two hours between Bangor and Afon Wen obviously isn't unduly familiar with service patterns round those parts ..... or must be one of those seeking to justify the eyewatering cost of a project unlikely to recoup operating costs of the route, never mind repaying the tab for reinstating it!

    For the record, construction of an entirely new parallel route between Dinas and Caernarfon has been suggested, which really ought to help those cost-benefit calculations!

    I remain to be convinced we're in too much danger of needing to worry about any of the finer points of catering for trains of different gauges any time soon.
     
  20. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Out there somewhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Just as a quick refresh for peoples memories. The Carmarthen - Aber feasibility study came up with the following estimated figures:-

    Cost of reinstating line between Carmarthen & Aber (Not including relocation Gwili etc) :- £750 million...
    Value of benefit to the community (new jobs, ease of access, shorter commute delays etc) :- £475 million...

    So there would have to be some really big political will to justify the extra spend that the benefit it brings doesn't cover...

    So what do you think are the chances of it happening? Small to minute to microscopic I'd say.
     

Share This Page