John Speller's Web Pages South Wales Mineral Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

South Wales Mineral Railway
Incorporated by act of 15 August, 1853, for a line from Briton Ferry Station on the South Wales Railway to Glyncorrwg, Glamorganshire, with a branch from Raglan to Mitchel stone-super-Avon and Forcedwn Colliery. Length, 13 miles. Capital, £85,000 in £10 shares and £28,000 on loan. The Engineer was I. K. Brunel and the line was built to the Great Western broad gauge. The line was not built until after Brunel’s death. After many delays the section from Briton Ferry to Tonmawr opened in June 1861 and the remainder of the line to Glyncorrwg in March 1863. It was converted to narrow gauge in May 1872. It included a cable-worked incline between Briton Ferry and Incline Top. The line went into receivership in 1880 and was then leased to the Glyncorrwg Coal Company who depended on it to ship out their coal. This action cost the Glyncorrwg Coal Company dearly, and they had to increase their share capital from £70,000 to £200,000 in order to accomplish it. It was absorbed by the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1908 and was then worked by the Port Talbot Docks and Railway Company, which itself had been absorbed by the GWR in 1907. Both the South Wales Mineral Railway and Port Talbot company were worked directly by the GWR after 1 January 1922. The section between Briton Ferry and Tonmawr Junction closed on 31 May 1910, after which traffic beyond Tonmawr ran on to the Port Talbot Railway, thereby eliminating the incline. There was never any passenger service.

At least three Broad Gauge locomotives are known to have worked on the South Wales Mineral Railway.

“Princess” was a small 0-4-0ST tank engine built by Manning Wardle and Company in 1863. It was converted to standard gauge as an 0-6-0ST.

“Glyncorrwg” and another of unknown name were a pair of Manning, Wardle 0-4-2ST locomotives with 4’ 0” coupled wheels. Glyncorrwg was built in 1864. In 1872 it was sold to Brotherhood who resold it to the Bristol and Exeter Railway. It became B&ER No. 110, and was assigned GWR No. 2058 in 1876. It withdrawn in January 1881. The second 0-4-2ST was built in 1866 but in 1869 went to work on the Newquay and Cornwall Junction Railway where it was named Newquay. In 1874 the line passed to the Cornwall Minerals Railway, being withdrawn by them in 1877
Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram of 1904 showing connections at Briton Ferry
Narrow gauge Manning, Wardle 0-4-0ST exhibited at the Kensington Exhibition of 1862. The SWMR 0-4-0ST may have been a broad gauge version of something similar
Map of the South Wales Mineral Railway
Manning, Wardle & Co. built numerous examples of the "H" Class 0-4-0ST over several decades. The SWMR 0-4-0ST "Princess" might have been a broad gauge version similar to this design
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