John Speller's Web Pages St. David's Branch
John Speller's Web Pages
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A Great Western branch that came near to being constructed several times, but was never built, was the St. David's Branch in Pembrokeshire. Britain's smallest city, the City of St. David's, was 16 miles from Haverfordwest on the South Wales main line to Milford Haven and as early as 6 July 1880 the Haverfordwest & St. David's Railway was incorporated to build a branch line between the main line and St. David's, to be worked by the GWR. With the building of the line to Fishguard at the end of the nineteenth century, the city of St. David's found itself a mere 10 miles from Mathry Road station on the Fishguard line. An Act was accordingly obtained for the St. David's Railway to run from Mathry Road, Jordanston, to St. David's, again to be run by the GWR, following the valley of the River Alun. There would have been intermediate stations at Mathry and Llanhowell. The Act passed unanimously and received the Royal Assent on 2 August 1898. The Chairman of the St. David's Railway and chief promoter of the line was J. W. Lowden. Again, however, the branch was not proceeded with. In the early 1900s, however, the GWR introduced motorbus services between both Mathry Road and Haverfordwest and St. David's. As late as 1923 the GWR was open to completing this line if the Government was prepared to give them a grant-in-aid toward the work. The total cost was estimated at the time as 350,000. The grant was not, however, forthcoming and the St. David's Branch has never been built.
Map showing the proposed St. David's Railway from Mathry Road to St. David's
An early view of Chudleigh station on the Teign Valley Branch showing a very smartly turned out "517" Class 0-4-2T and a rake of five four-wheelers. The scene of the St. David's Branch might have looked similar
Mathry Road station closed in 1965 and all that remains is the old lamp hut which can be seen in this photograph. Image Copyright ceridwen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Great Western motorbus at The Lizard in around 1910. GWR motorbuses also ran between Haverfordwest and Mathry Road and St. David's
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