Carmarthen railway station
Carmarthen railway station is on the edge of the town of Carmarthen, south of the River Towy. It is on the West Wales Line; the station and most of the passenger trains serving. Great Western Railway run a limited service between Carmarthen and London Paddington one train each way daily with additional services on Sunday; the station is staffed, with the ticket office on platform 1 manned all week. A self-service ticket machine is provided for use outside these times and for collecting pre-paid tickets. A buffet and newsagents shop are available here, along with toilets and a waiting room on platform 1. Train running information is provided by digital CIS displays, timetable posters and automated announcements. Step-free access is available to both platforms, though platform 2 requires the use of a foot crossing - wheelchair users are advised not to use this without assistance. To the east, Transport for Wales operate regular services to Swansea, Cardiff Central and Manchester Piccadilly. Great Western Railway operate one service per day between this station and London Paddington.
The majority of local train services west of Carmarthen are timed to connect with the London Paddington services at either Swansea or Cardiff Central. To the west, Transport for Wales operate services to Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven and Fishguard Harbour. Carmarthen is the eastern terminus for a few of these services; the British Transport Police maintain a presence at Carmarthen. Some of Transport for Wales' boat trains to and from Fishguard Harbour serve the station; these connect with the Stena Line ferry to/from Rosslare Europort in Ireland with a daily morning and evening service in both directions. This route has been in existence since 1906; the present station is the third to serve the town and dates from 1902, although the South Wales Railway's main line from Swansea to Neyland reached Carmarthen some fifty years earlier. This original station had been built with westward expansion in mind and was situated at the base of the triangular junction, half a mile south of the present station and poorly sited for the town.
A second station was opened by the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway in 1860 on its route northwards towards Cynwyl Elfed and Pencader, much better sited for the town and this remained in use until its replacement by the current station shortly after the turn of the century. The Town station did however remain in use for goods traffic thereafter beyond the closure of the final portion of the line Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway in September 1973, until the goods yard closed around 1981 - the single track girder bridge over the River Tywi was subsequently removed during 1983; the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway, in spite of its name, never reached Cardigan, as it was constructed only as far as Newcastle Emlyn. Cardigan was served instead by the winding Whitland and Cardigan Branch Line from Whitland, the primary junction in Pembrokeshire; the C&CR did however link up with the ill-fated Manchester and Milford Railway at Pencader, putting the town on a through route to Aberystwyth by 1867. Another outlet to the north came courtesy of the Llanelly Railway's branch from Llandeilo, which reached Abergwili Junction in 1864 and whose trains reached the Town station by means of running powers following its takeover by the LNWR in 1873.
The final link in the chain of lines to the north was added in 1911, when a branch line from Lampeter to Aberaeron was opened by the Lampeter and New Quay Light Railway. This was worked by the Great Western Railway from the outset, as the company had by this time absorbed the other lines mentioned. Today, none of the lines to the north survive, the first round of closures having begun as early as May 1951 when the Aberaeron line lost its passenger trains; the Newcastle Emlyn line followed suit in September 1952, whilst the Llandeilo branch went in September 1963 and the'main line' to Aberystwyth in February 1965, although milk trains continued to operate as far as Pont Llanio on the Aberystwyth main line until 1970 and to Newcastle Emlyn and to Felinfach on the Aberaeron branch until September 1973. This left only the original South Wales Railway main line to serve the station and left it as a terminus at the end of short spur from the main line at which all trains have to reverse before continuing their journeys.
This was not so much of a problem with DMUs but led to the need for a run-round of locomotive-hauled trains which were used until the mid-1980s. Only two of the five original platforms here are now used, with the majority of trains using the former down main platform where the main facilities are located; the other active platform is used when two trains are scheduled to call at the same time - it is linked to platform one by a barrow crossing that spans the shunting neck, used for locos to run around their trains. This is the sole remnant of the former route north; the line to Aberystwyth and Llandeilo continued beyond the station across the River Towy past the site of the goods yard and through a cutting to as far as the former Abergwili Junction. The Aberystwyth line turned north out to Bronwydd Arms. From Abergwili Junction northwards, the rail
Llangadog railway station
Llangadog railway station serves the village of Llangadog near Llandeilo, West Wales. The station is on the Heart of Wales Line 36½ miles north east of Swansea; the station is located at street level at Station Road beside the River Bran. The Garn Goch Iron Age hill fort is about three miles away from this station. All trains serving the station are operated by Transport for Wales. Like several others on the line, it has an automated half barrier level crossing at one end; the barrier sequence for northbound trains has to be initiated by the train crew, so the booked stop here for these is a mandatory one. Southbound trains trigger the crossing using a treadle on approach, so only have to stop here on request; the station was opened by the Vale of Towy Railway in 1858 and once had a siding accessing the Co-op Wholesale Society creamery, allowing milk trains to access the site. After rail access ceased in the late 1970s, the creamery continued to operate until 2005, when it closed with the loss of 200 jobs.
The site is now occupied by a pet food factory. There was a passing loop and second platform here until the mid-1960s, with a substantial main building on the northbound platform but these have been demolished and removed; the station has only a single active platform, provided with a brick and timber waiting shelter, timetable poster board, CIS display and customer help point. The station is fitted with a payphone. Level access is available from main entrance to the platform. There are four trains a day to Shrewsbury northbound from Monday to Saturday and five southbound to Llanelli and Swansea. Organ, John. Mitchell, Vic, ed. Craven Arms to Llandeilo. West Sussex: Middleton Press. Figs. 114-115. ISBN 9781906008352. OCLC 648080889. Train times and station information for Llangadog railway station from National Rail
Gower or the Gower Peninsula is in South Wales. It projects westwards into the Bristol Channel and is the most westerly part of the historic county of Glamorgan. In 1956, Gower became the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Gower was administered as a Rural District of Glamorgan. In 1974 it was merged with the county borough of Swansea. Since 1996, Gower has been administered as part of the unitary authority of City and County of Swansea council; the Gower constituency elected only Labour members of Parliament from 1906, the longest run of any UK constituency. This run ended in 2015 with the Conservatives taking the seat; the constituency area covers the peninsula and the outer Gower areas—Clydach, Gorseinon, Garnswllt—and encompasses the area of the Lordship of Gower, less the city of Swansea. About 70 square miles in area, Gower is known for its coastline, popular with walkers and outdoor enthusiasts surfers. Gower has many caves, including Minchin Hole Cave.
The peninsula is bounded by the Loughor Estuary to Swansea Bay to the east. Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers 188 km², including most of the peninsula west of Crofty, Three Crosses, Upper Killay and Bishopston; the highest point of Gower is The Beacon at Rhossili Down at 193 metres overlooking Rhossili Bay. Pwll Du and the Bishopton Valley form a statutory Local Nature Reserve; the southern coast consists of a series of small, rocky or sandy bays, such as Langland and Three Cliffs, larger beaches such as Port Eynon and Oxwich Bay. The north of the peninsula has fewer beaches, is home to the cockle-beds of Penclawdd; the interior is farmland and common land. The population resides in small villages and communities with some suburban development in eastern Gower. Wales is known to have been inhabited since at least the Upper Paleolithic period, the Gower Peninsula has been the scene of several important archaeological discoveries. In 1823, archaeologists discovered a complete Upper Paleolithic human male skeleton in Paviland Cave.
They named their find the Red Lady of Paviland because the skeleton is dyed in red ochre, though investigators determined it was a male. This was the first human fossil to have been found anywhere in the world, is still the oldest ceremonial burial anywhere in Western Europe; the most recent re-calibrated radiocarbon dating in 2009 indicates that the skeleton can be dated to around 33,000 Before Present. In 1937 the Parc Cwm long cairn was identified as a Severn-Cotswold type of chambered long barrow. Known as Parc le Breos burial chamber, it is a restored Neolithic chambered tomb; the megalithic burial chamber, or "cromlech", was built around 6,000 BP. In the 1950s, members of Cambridge University excavating in a cave on the peninsula found 300–400 pieces of flint related to toolmaking, dated it to between 14,000–12,000 BC. In 2010, an instructor from Bristol University exploring Cathole Cave discovered a rock drawing of a red deer from the same period; this may be the oldest cave art found in Great Britain.
Gower is home to menhirs or standing stones from the Bronze Age. Of the nine stones, eight remain today. One of the most notable of the stones is Arthur's stone near Cefn Bryn, its 25-ton capstone was most a glacial erratic: the builders dug under it and supported it with upright stones to create a burial chamber. The remains of Sweyne Howes on Rhossili Down, Penmaen Burrows Tomb and Nicholaston Long Cairn are three other well-known Neolithic chambered tombs. During the Bronze Age, people continued to use local caves for burying their dead. Bronze Age evidence, such as funeral urns and human remains, has been found in Tooth Cave at Llethryd, Culver Hole and Cathole Cave. With the transition into the Iron Age, hill forts and earthworks began to appear; the largest example of this type of Iron Age settlement in the Gower Peninsula is Cilifor Top near Llanrhidian. Roman occupation brought new settlement; the Romans built Leucarum, a rectangular or trapezoidal fort at the mouth of the River Loughor, in the late 1st century AD to house a regiment of Roman auxiliary troops.
Its remains are located beneath the town of Loughor. Stone defences were added to the earthen ditch and rampart by AD 110 and the fort was occupied until the middle or end of that century. However, it was abandoned for a time and in the early 3rd century the ditch silted up, it appears to have been brought back into use during the reign of Carausius, worried about Irish raids, but was abandoned again before the 4th century. A Norman castle was built on the site. Following the Norman invasion of Wales the commote of Gŵyr passed into the hands of English-speaking barons, its southern part soon became Anglicised. In 1203 King John granted the Lordship of Gower to William III de Braose for the service of one knight's fee, it remained with the Braose family until the death of William de Braose, 2nd Baron Braose in 1326, when it passed from the family to the husband of one of his two daughters and co-heiresses and Joan. In 1215 a local lord, Rhys Gryg of Deheubarth, claimed control of the peninsula, but in 1220 he ceded control to the Anglo-Norman lords on the orders of his overlord, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth.
In 1535, the Act of Union resulted in the Lordship of Gower becoming part of the
Carmarthenshire is a unitary authority in southwest Wales, one of the historic counties of Wales. The three largest towns are Llanelli and Ammanford. Carmarthen is administrative centre. Carmarthenshire has been inhabited since prehistoric times; the county town was founded by the Romans, the region was part of the Principality of Deheubarth in the High Middle Ages. After invasion by the Normans in the 12th and 13th centuries it was subjugated, along with other parts of Wales, by Edward I of England. There was further unrest in the early 15th century, when the Welsh rebelled under Owain Glyndŵr, during the English Civil War. Carmarthenshire is an agricultural county, apart from the southeastern part which at one time was industrialised with coal mining, steel-making and tin-plating. In the north of the county the woollen industry was important in the 18th century; the economy depends on agriculture, forestry and tourism. With the decline in its industrial base, the low profitability of the livestock sector, West Wales was identified in 2014 as the worst-performing region in the United Kingdom along with the South Wales Valleys.
Carmarthenshire, as a tourist destination, offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Much of the coast is flat. Further west are the sandy beaches at Llansteffan and Pendine, Dylan Thomas' boathouse at Laugharne. There are a number of medieval castles and standing stones in the county. Stone tools found in Coygan Cave, near Laugharne indicate the presence of hominins neanderthals, at least 40,000 years ago, though, as in the rest of the British Isles, continuous habitation by modern humans is not known before the end of the Younger Dryas, around 11,500 years BP. Before the Romans arrived in Britain, the land now forming the county of Carmarthenshire was part of the kingdom of the Demetae who gave their name to the county of Dyfed; the Romans established two forts in South Wales, one at Caerwent to control the southeast of the country, one at Carmarthen to control the southwest. The fort at Carmarthen dates from around 75 AD, there is a Roman amphitheatre nearby, so this makes Carmarthen the oldest continually occupied town in Wales.
Carmarthenshire has its early roots in the region known as Ystrad Tywi and part of the Kingdom of Deheubarth during the High Middle Ages, with the court at Dinefwr. After the Normans had subjugated England they tried to subdue Wales. Carmarthenshire was disputed between the Normans and the Welsh lords and many of the castles built around this time, first of wood and stone, changed hands several times. Following the Conquest of Wales by Edward I, the region was reorganized by the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 into Carmarthenshire. Edward I made Carmarthen the capital of this new county, establishing his courts of chancery and his exchequer there, holding the Court of Great Sessions in Wales in the town; the Normans transformed Carmarthen into an international trading port, the only staple port in Wales. Merchants imported food and French wines and exported wool, leather and tin. In the late medieval period the county's fortunes varied, as good and bad harvests occurred, increased taxes were levied by England, there were episodes of plague, recruitment for wars removed the young men.
Carmarthen was susceptible to plague as it was brought in by flea-infested rats on board ships from southern France. In 1405, Owain Glyndŵr captured Carmarthen Castle and several other strongholds in the neighbourhood. However, when his support dwindled, the principal men of the county returned their allegiance to King Henry V. During the English Civil War, Parliamentary forces under Colonel Roland Laugharne besieged and captured Carmarthen Castle but abandoned the cause, joined the Royalists. In 1648, Carmarthen Castle was recaptured by the Parliamentarians, Oliver Cromwell ordered it to be slighted; the first industrial canal in Wales was built in 1768 to convey coal from the Gwendraeth Valley to the coast, the following year, the earliest tramroad bridge was on the tramroad built alongside the canal. During the Napoleonic Wars there was increased demand for coal and agricultural goods, the county prospered; the landscape changed as much woodland was cleared to make way for more food production, mills, power stations and factories sprang up between Llanelli and Pembrey.
Carmarthenshire was at the centre of the Rebecca Riots around 1840, when local farmers and agricultural workers dressed as women and rebelled against higher taxes and tolls. On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Carmarthenshire joined Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire in the new county of Dyfed. Twenty-two years this amalgamation was reversed when, under the Local Government Act 1994, the original county boundaries were reinstated; the county is bounded to the north by Ceredigion, to the east by Powys, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea, to the south by the Bristol Channel and to the west by Pembrokeshire. The surface is upland and mountainous. Fforest Fawr and the Black Mountain range extend into the east of the county and the Cambrian Mountains into the north; the south coast contains sandy beaches. The highest point is Fan Brycheiniog, 2,631 feet (although
The Llanelly Railway and Dock Company was an early Welsh railway system. It opened its first short line and a wet dock at Llanelly in 1834, soon went on to build a longer line from Llanelly to serve pits in the Amman Valley, on to Llandilo, reached in 1857; the Llanelly company leased and worked the Vale of Towy Railway on to Llandovery, from 1858. Responding to competitive pressure the Company obtained authorisation to connect its network to Swansea and Carmarthen, but the failure of a contractor put the Company into financial difficulty, a financial reconstruction led to the Swansea and Carmarthen lines passing to the London and North Western Railway, while the original core system was taken over by the Great Western Railway; the line from Swansea to Llandovery became part of the Central Wales Line connecting to Shrewsbury and the north-west, but after the 1960s only the Llanelli to Llandovery line and short colliery connections in the Amman Valley remained in use. Before 1971 many place names had Anglicised spelling.
The railway system was slow to convert the names of railway locations. For consistency, this article uses contemporary spellings. In the eighteenth century minerals had been extracted in the area around Llanelly, smelting of metals was taking place locally well before the end of that century. Conveyance of heavy minerals over the primitive roads of the day was an expensive and difficult business. Alexander Raby purchased mineral-bearing lands about 1795 and constructed tramways to bring the minerals to a smelting plant he owned at Furnace, near Llanelly; the tramways were wooden waggonways, they extended to a harbour at Llanelly for onward transport of the finished product by coastal shipping. There were extensive mineral deposits further inland at Cross Hands, exploitation of the minerals needed a longer railway; the Tramroad was the first railway in Wales to obtain an authorising Act of Parliament, which it did in June 1802. Charles Nevill came to Llanelly and in 1804 established a copper works with an associated harbour facility.
There were extensive deposits of anthracite coal at Llangennech on the River Loughor estuary east of Llanelly, about this time an expansion of the mining there took place, with associated construction of short tramroads. The Llangennech Coal Company was formed, concentrated on shipping from Spitty on the Loughor; however the available quays were suitable only for small vessels, the main trade was lighterage to Llanelly Harbour for transhipment, incurring additional expense. When it was decided to develop the St Davids pit above Dafen, the opportunity to improve transport to the sea showed itself; the proprietors of the Llangennech Coal Company promoted a Bill in Parliament, to make a wet dock for vessels up to 300 tons at Machynis with wharves and warehouses, build the railway to St Davids. The Act was passed on 19 June 1828, authorising the Llanelly Railroad and Dock Company, with share capital of £14,000. Only horse traction could be used. At the time of the Committee hearings 83% of the capital had been subscribed.
The upper terminal was described as Gelly Gille Farm. Priestley reported on the Act: This work was projected for the purpose of conveying the minerals and other productions of the country near its line to the sea, the dock was for the readier shipment and landing of the exports and imports to be conveyed thereon... the proprietors are incorporated under the style of "The Llanelly Railroad and Dock Company.”... The dock to be so constructed as to be large enough for ships of three hundred tons burthen, with slips, beacons and mooring buoys and capstans, the company are to build wharfs and other works necessary for the purposes of the act; the length of the railway is two miles and three hundred yards, in which distance there is a rise of 68 feet above high water-mark. Mr. F. Foster estimated the whole at £ 3s. 4d. Including £8,074, 10s; the cost of the dock and other conveniences. The engineer’s estimate was subscribed for in equal portions by Messrs. D. T. Shears, J. H. Shears, T. Margrave and W. Ellwood, Jun.
The Act stipulated that the railway and the dock could only be opened together, not independently, that had to be within five years. In fact the seam at the St Davids pit proved more elusive than expected, was found in June 1832 at a depth of 660 feet, the deepest in Wales at the time; the delay meant that the works could not be completed within the authorised time, a second Act was obtained allowed a time extension. The dock at Machynis, now called the New Dock, was completed in 1834, although the dock and railway appear to have been first used on 16 July 1833, it was stated to be the first public wet dock in Wales. The existence of the railway and the dock led to considerable business in the foreign export of coal. Not only the Llangennech Coal Company but numerous other pits came to use the dock; the Company paid a 3% dividend in 1837 and 1838 and paid a remarkable 12% in 1839. Horse traction was used on the line for sever
Ffairfach railway station
Ffairfach railway station serves the village of Ffairfach, near Llandeilo, Wales. The station is on the Heart of Wales Line 30 miles north east of Swansea; the railway station is located next to the main road Heol Cennen, which crosses the line at its south end. This is the nearest railway station to Carreg Cennen Castle; the former station signal box has been preserved on the Gwili Railway as a working museum exhibit after being made redundant here when the level crossing was automated. All trains serving the station are operated by Transport for Wales; the station is unstaffed and has a basic range of amenities for passengers, including a small wooden waiting shelter, digital CIS display, timetable poster board and a customer help point. Tickets must be bought on the train or prior to travel; the route from the entrance to the platform has no steps, but is via a narrow gate and steep ramp - as such it is not recommended for use by disabled passengers without assistance. All trains serving the station are operated by Transport for Wales.
There are four trains a day to Shrewsbury northbound from Monday to Saturday and five southbound to Llanelli & Swansea. This is a request stop for northbound trains, whereby passengers have to give a hand signal to the approaching train driver to board or notify the guard when they board that they wish to alight from the train there. Southbound trains are required to stop at the station for the traincrew to operate the level crossing controls. Train times and station information for Ffairfach railway station from National Rail
National Rail in the United Kingdom is the trading name licensed for use by the Rail Delivery Group, an unincorporated association whose membership consists of the passenger train operating companies of England and Wales. The TOCs run the passenger services provided by the British Railways Board, from 1965 using the brand name British Rail. Northern Ireland, bordered by the Republic of Ireland, has a different system. National Rail services share a ticketing structure and inter-availability that do not extend to services which were not part of British Rail; the name and the accompanying double arrow symbol are trademarks of the Secretary of State for Transport. National Rail should not be confused with Network Rail. National Rail is a brand used to promote passenger railway services, providing some harmonisation for passengers in ticketing, while Network Rail is the organisation which owns and manages most of the fixed assets of the railway network, including tracks and signals; the two coincide where passenger services are run.
Most major Network Rail lines carry freight traffic and some lines are freight only. There are some scheduled passenger services on managed, non-Network Rail lines, for example Heathrow Express, which runs on Network Rail track; the London Underground overlaps with Network Rail in places. Twenty eight owned train operating companies, each franchised for a defined term by government, operate passenger trains on the main rail network in Great Britain; the Rail Delivery Group is the trade association representing the TOCs and provides core services, including the provision of the National Rail Enquiries service. It runs Rail Settlement Plan, which allocates ticket revenue to the various TOCs, Rail Staff Travel, which manages travel facilities for railway staff, it does not compile the national timetable, the joint responsibility of the Office of Rail Regulation and Network Rail. Since the privatisation of British Rail there is no longer a single approach to design on railways in Great Britain; the look and feel of signage and marketing material is the preserve of the individual TOCs.
However, National Rail continues to use BR's famous double-arrow symbol, designed by Gerald Burney of the Design Research Unit. It has been incorporated in the National Rail logotype and is displayed on tickets, the National Rail website and other publicity; the trademark rights to the double arrow symbol remain state-owned, being vested in the Secretary of State for Transport. The double arrow symbol is used to indicate a railway station on British traffic signs; the National Rail logo was introduced by ATOC in 1999, was used on the Great Britain public timetable for the first time in the edition valid from 26 September in that year. Rules for its use are set out in the Corporate Identity Style Guidelines published by the Rail Delivery Group, available on its website. "In 1964 the Design Research Unit—Britain’s first multi-disciplinary design agency founded in 1943 by Misha Black, Milner Gray and Herbert Read—was commissioned to breathe new life into the nation’s neglected railway industry".
The NR title is sometimes described as a "brand". As it was used by British Rail, the single operator before franchising, its use maintains continuity and public familiarity; the lettering used in the National Rail logotype is a modified form of the typeface Sassoon Bold. Some train operating companies continue to use the former British Rail Rail Alphabet lettering to varying degrees in station signage, although its use is no longer universal; the British Rail typefaces of choice from 1965 were Helvetica and Univers, with others coming into use during the sectorisation period after 1983. TOCs may use what they like: examples include Futura, Frutiger, a modified version of Precious by London Midland. Although TOCs compete against each other for franchises, for passengers on routes where more than one TOC operates, the strapline used with the National Rail logo is'Britain's train companies working together'. Several conurbations have their own metro or tram systems, most of which are not part of National Rail.
These include the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Tramlink, Blackpool Tramway, Glasgow Subway, Tyne & Wear Metro, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram, Midland Metro and Nottingham Express Transit. On the other hand, the self-contained Merseyrail system is part of the National Rail network, urban rail networks around Birmingham, Cardiff and West Yorkshire consist of National Rail services. London Overground is a hybrid: its services are operated via a concession awarded by Transport for London, are branded accordingly, but until 2010 all its routes used infrastructure owned by Network Rail. LO now possesses some infrastructure in its own right, following the reopening of the former London Underground East London line as the East London Railway. Since all the previous LO routes were operated by National Rail franchise Silverlink until November 2007, they have continued to be shown in the National Rail timetable and are still considered to be a part of National Rail.
Heathrow Express and Eurostar are not part of the National Rail network despite sharing of stations. Northern Ireland Railways were