Burry Port & Gwendreath Valley Railway and its Antecedent Canals Vol Two
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Throughout this fascinating railway’s history the Burry Port & Gwendreath Valley Railway has had a long tradition of doing things a little differently. The railway was originally built as a canal (covered in Volume One). This second volume picks up the story with the conversion to a railway. A network of lines ran alongside the Great Western for much of the way between Llanelli and Kidwelly, with the BP&GV &lsquomain line’ running from Kidwelly Junction along the Gwendraeth Valley to Cwmmawr. The line served the many collieries in the area as well as handling iron, steel, copper, silver, lead, tinplate, bricks, stone and even explosives at various stages in its history. Authorised passenger trains were introduced in 1909 and it was at this time when Colonel Holman F. Stephens became involved with the BP&GV. Passenger services survived until 1953.
The railway had an interesting locomotive history: it used double-Fairlie locomotives in its early days, and after the Grouping locomotives such as Kidwelly travelled to other parts of the GWR sytem. In later steam days a variety of GWR pannier tanks were used. Even in the diesel era the line retained its individuality � the tight clearances meant that triple-headed class ‘03’ shunters with cut-down cabs were the regular motive power. Later ‘08’ shunters were to receive cut-down cabs to enable them to work the line. Final closure of the system came in 1998 � although that may not be the end of the story!
Raymon Bowen’s untimely death occurred when Volume One was nearing completion. Bob Miller’s interpretations of events may be somewhat different from that originally envisaged by Ray, but it is hoped that this book is a worthy monument to Ray’s lifetime interest in this extraordinary railway.
A5 format, 344 pages, more than 250 photographs, etc.
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