Posts Tagged narrow gauge

The Brecon Mountain Railway

The second part of our Bellringer’s coach outing was to the Brecon Mountain Railway which is a narrow gauge steam railway that goes from Pant to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons.

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The Brecon Mountain Railway was conceived over 40 years ago when a search started to find a suitable site to build and  operate a steam railway using locomotives collected from around the world.

Merthyr Tydfil seemed ideally located at the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park with its beautiful mountain, lake and forest scenery. At one time Merthyr Tydfil was the greatest iron making town in the world, most of the very early railways used rails rolled in Merthyr Mills. Merthyr witnessed, in 1804, the trial run of the worlds first steam railway locomotive built by Cornishman Richard Trevithick.

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The section of line chosen for the Brecon Mountain Railway was part of the abandoned Brecon and Merthyr Railway, originally built in 1859 it finally closed in 1964. This Railway fought its way through the Brecon Beacons using steep gradients to the summit at Torpantau 1313-ft above sea level.

Pant Station is at 1134 Feet (346m) above sea level and the first 600 yards (500m) of the route are built on a new alignment some of which was cut through solid rock. The original station site at Pant was not available when the trackbed was purchased.

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Upon leaving the platform at Pant Station the line curves right then left on a climbing gradient before joining the original trackbed of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway.

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We travelled in loco number 2 called Baldwin, which originally ran in South Africa.

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On the journey back we stopped at Pontsticill station, where as it was a hot day, most people purchased an ice cream from the little café there.

The return journey was 1 hour and 30 minutes with a 25 minute stop at Pontsticill.

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