John Speller's Web Pages Swansea Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

Swansea Branch
Although Swansea is generally thought of as being on the South Wales main line, the city is in fact situated just south of the main line on a branch line that runs from Landore to the city center. Most through trains call at Swansea and then reverse to continue their journey on the main line. When the Swansea Branch initially opened, the main line only extended as far as Landore, and in order to access the branch it was necessary to complete a major engineering work, the Landore Viaduct, 616 yards long, just east of Landore on the main line, which was originally designed in wood by Brunel but has subsequently been rebuilt in stone and iron. The viaduct was commenced on 2 August 1847, and the first train ran through to Swansea on 18 June 1850. Nowadays most Paddington to South Wales trains terminate at Swansea, and trains to points west are run as local services. The station was formerly known as Swansea High Street to distinguish it from other stations in Swansea, but nowadays has simply reverted to its original name of just Swansea.
GWR Chief Engineer's map of lines around Swansea
Landore Viaduct
Opening day at Swansea, 18 June 1850. Illustration from The Illustrated London News
"Castle" Class 4-6-0 No. 5056 "Ogmore Castle" waiting to leave Swansea High Street with the up "Capitals Express" 13 April 1962. Image copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
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