Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Anthony Coulls, Nov 5, 2008.
Thanks everyone for the positive comments!
It's an amazing change, last year I was reading about how the Barry guys were looking over the Swansea Vale deciding what items and artifacts they might like to take to Barry and now they're in pretty much the same situation.
Any news on the Swansea Vale? Not much seems to have changed at Six Pit, the weeds have grown a little higher, a few more arson attacks, but nothing seems to have moved, no annoucements on a new home(s) and in the current climate no huge rush to redevelop the land either.
What a shame the Barry Railway has to end this way. Any news on what is happening with Pamela?
I'll try and answer both points! The VGR is not in quite the same position as the Swansea Vale as the physical railway is still in existence, albeit under a new operator. I'm not sure what is happening at Swansea but the Llanelli and District RPS have recently acquired a DMU from the NVR to use at the Gwili.
As for Pamela, she left Barry on Monday bound for the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway where she is on hire for a while.
The 14, Hunslet 6688 and a van left for the DFR over the last weekend.
More news when it happens!
I'm critical of the government, but I don't expect anyone is going to offer me the keys to no.10 so I can do a better job. That doesn't stop me from the right to comment. Criticism often leads to improvement; though in the case of new Labour this is unlikely!
However, it was a rather negative comment that I made and if it upset anyone, I apologise.
Probably arguing over context but as a group you are in the same situation, stabbed in the back by your local councils, the council handing over control of the site to other persons, in their situation it was for property development (a few months before a property crash exhibiting the usual forward thinking and comic timing of Swansea City Council), and yours a different operator. The result in both cases were homeless preservation societies. It also appears that squabbles over land and sites is becoming a recurring theme lately.
Yes you are correct Nick, a DMU is earmarked for the Gwili which has been purchased by the Llanelli and District RS. There is a complicated background to this ; originally they were going to bring their 3 car DMU located at the Swansea Vale to the Gwili ; however the local vandals got to them first.
As for the Swansea Vale itself, there is again an agreement in place for the move of the principal assets to the Gwili. The main hold up is the ongoing negotiations with Swansea Council about vacation of the site. As has been hinted above, the lull in the Property market has affected the value of the SVR land so it's a case of being patient at the moment I'm afraid.
Anyway, hope it all goes well for you at the Garw Valley. I assume you are looking forward to taking up residence in the nice warm shed at Pontycymmer!
Well the Garw situation is still under discussion and is still to receive formal agreement from their membership. The line is really nice though as you probably know - and that shed is very cosy!
I'm pleased a DMU will run at the Gwili, It will allow people to see how nice the valley is. I've got nice memories of sitting with my feet in the river at Llwyfan Cerrig back in 1988(?), with the sun setting, trout rising and a pannier rolling over the bridge. Great!!
Knowing that area of Llansamlet, the cynic in me says the council are dragging their feet because they know the longer they leave it the less things there will be to move.
Are the Llanelli RS linked to the redevelopment of the old BP&GV line, I seem to recall they were only stationed at Swansea until a move to there was viable?
With so many groups in South Wales they do take a bit of sorting out! but here it is
The Llanelli and District Railway Society are a group of DMU owners who are based at the Swansea Vale Railway, now moving a DMU to the Gwili
The Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway are the group corrently setting up a Steam Centre at Cynheidre. They also own a DMU and Desmond, under restoration at Llangollen
The Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway harbour aspirations of re-openning this line- they are based at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway and own a Class 03 Diesel formerley at the Swansea Vale Railway and 'Pontyberen' the old BP and GV loco recentley aquired from Didcot
The Amman Valley Railway are another group which hope to open the old Amman Valley Railway, the are based in the old signalbox at Glanamman and own one half of a DMU set which is on a private site in Swansea
There is also a Rhondda Valley Society which previously mooted a scheme in the valleys but has now transferred it's support to the Garw Valley Railway (formerley known as the Bridgend Valley). They do not own any stock.
and now it seems that the BIR are also moving to the Garw Valley, with the Swansea Vale moving to the Gwili, all change in South Wales!
This could end up with some strong consolidation between the south wales lines then, which is a good thing surely?
Do Cambrian Traction have any stock to operate the VofG with?
Well, one of their members owns a 47 and some gatex stock:
http://www.valeofglamorganrailway.co.uk ... /stock.htm
yes, it is. Far better to have 2/3 developed lines that a load of mooted schemes
It also perhaps illustrates how difficult it can be to set up a railway these days, some of the groups mentionned above have expereince in running a railway, some do not. If the BIR does move to the the Garw Valley, they will not only being with them stock but the expereince of operations which is inavluable for the scheme.
I have found up to date information on the Garw Valley scheme difficult to come by in the past, it has been on the cards for about 10-15 years but no trains have run to date. One would assume they would have a much better chance of setting up an operation with the BIR support.
In the meantime both the P and B and Gwili are forging ahead with expansion plans too, so hopefully the next few years will see a stronger future for the movement generally in South Wales.
The 47 and Gatex stock seem to have different owners.
Couldn't agree more. South Wales preservation scene does seem a tad fragmented so let's hope the admittedly sad loss of Swansea and Barry schemes makes the movement stronger in the end.
Should all be very interesting, two established lines, in the form of the Gwili and the Ponty-Bleanavon, and a smattering of 2nd gen lines.
(Drifting off topic)
What stock is the Gwili inherting from the SwanVR? Mond Nickle, the austerity (though I thought SCC actually own it), how about Kings Dock Box? Could look very impressive at Carmarthen north (half working signal box, half musuem/demonstration/viewing platform), assuming of course it isn't torched this weekend and it can be moved.
The movement of stock is very much dependent on finance, but the majority looks like it will be heading to the Gwili.
The Austerity is actually owned by the Swansea Vale itself, it was aquired in the mid-1990's from the Old British Coal Corporation.
I know this because at the time a lot of ex NCB locos which had been loaned to preservation societies in Wales were purchased by the said railways. The list included Welsh Guardsman (now Gwili), Haulwen (formerley Caerphilly RS, now Gwili), Pannier 7754 (Llangollen), Mountain Ash No.1 (ex Gwili), Sir John (Vale of Neath Society, now at Gwili) Austerity at P and B and the Swansea Vale Austerity. At the time Pamela which was based at the BIR until this week was at the Gwili but was then moved in the mid 90's to the BIR. IIRC there were one or 2 other locos owned by BCC at the time including 1 at a playground in Nottingham. I heard one story that the reason for disposal of all locos was that a child injured himself playing on it and BCC as the owners were responsible. Interesting to speculate that the locos mentionned above could have been part of a strategic reserve held by BCC until disposal.
Kings Dock is still around, the vandals don't seem that interested in it, thankfully.
Without starting a new topic, can anyone confirm the identity of what looked like a GWR 2-8-0T at the Swansea Vale? I saw it in some photos the other day, but have lost the link to same. What future for said loco?
4270, now at GWSR
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