Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Mountain Ash is a town in the Cynon Valley, within the County Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. At the 2001 census, Mountain Ash had a population of 7,039 increasing to 7,374 at the 2011 Census; the Mountain Ash geographical area incorporates and includes the districts and villages of Cefnpennar, Caegarw, Fernhill and Newtown. Mountain Ash lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan; the town lies about 4.5 miles south of the town of Aberdare and 19 miles northwest of Cardiff. The village and community of Penrhiwceiber lies around a mile south of Mountain Ash. From an administrative point of view, Mountain Ash is split into two electoral wards: Mountain Ash West takes into account the town centre, together with the districts of Miskin, Darranlas and Glenboi. Unlike other villages in the South Wales Valleys, it remained quiet, being only disturbed in 1818 by the construction of the Aberdare Canal, which became disused in the early 20th century, was filled in to form the New Cardiff Road in 1933.
The population of the village was 1,614 in 1841, rising to 11,463 in 1871 with the opening of local collieries. The 1851 census shows the construction of Navigation Street. By 1859 there were 12 public houses, some of the earliest being the Bruce Arms, the Junction Inn and the New Inn. By 1920, Kelly's Directory lists over 200 businesses within the village; the coal industry had started to decline after the First World War, but after the Second World War factory industries were introduced to offset the serious fall in local mining employment. By the end of the 20th century the last coal mines had closed, many of the town’s factories had ceased operation as well. New light industries and service activities only mitigated the resulting economic hardship. Mountain Ash along with the rest of the Cynon Valley and all the other South Wales Valleys was predominantly a Welsh speaking valley up until the 19th century. On 1 December 2016, following The Rhondda Cynon Taf Order 2016, the community of Mountain Ash was split into two new communities, Mountain Ash East and Mountain Ash West, which are coterminous with the electoral wards of the same names.
There were numerous nonconformist chapels at Mountain Ash. Of the Welsh language chapels only Bethania remains open today. Bethlehem has closed. There was another Independent chapel at Miskin. Like other communities in the Cynon Valley, Mountain Ash was affected by the Religious Revival of 1904-05. One of the most striking events took place on a Friday evening in late January when a procession paraded through the main streets of the town before a revivalist meeting was held at Bethania Chapel addressed by the Rev Penar Griffiths; the town is served by Mountain Ash railway station on the Aberdare branch of the Merthyr Line of the Transport for Wales rail network. Further to Mountain Ash railway station, the village of Fernhill and Penrhiwceiber is served by the Aberdare line. Bus services are operated by Stagecoach in South Wales. An early British railway line had developed from the industrial development within the South Wales Valleys, which with its core centred around Mountain Ash became known as the Mountain Ash Railway.
Having developed from an early tramway, it became in the 1970s the last core of steam locomotive operations in the UK. Developed by Powell Duffryn as it consolidated various industrial assets, the railway started across from Afon Cynon at the Penrikyber Colliery, heading north past a coal stocking area at Pontcynon past the Mountain Ash interchange yard and through the former Nixon's Navigation colliery - home of the railway's central workshops, locomotive sheds and weighbridge - and on north past Duffryn Colliery, terminating at the Abercwmboi Phurnacite plant; the railway's main access to the UK rail network was via the Vale of Neath Railway's station at Mountain Ash railway station, although it had access to the competing and dominant Taff Vale Railway. Early locomotives were drawn from all of the major UK industrial locomotive makers, but like many industrial railways post-World War II the operational fleet were based around a core of group of Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0STs. In 1959 the National Coal Board acquired ex-GWR Pannier Tank No.7754.
Although rather too heavy to work on the light-rail of the MAR -, poorly maintained, which resulted in regular spreading of the rails - after a refit in the late 1960s, it became a favourite with MAR crews. It became the last British mainline-built operating steam locomotive in the UK, until it ceased operations in 1975 following a cylinder valve crack; the NCB were persuaded to donate the locomotive to National Museum Wales, who have since loaned it indefinitely to the Llangollen Railway. The MAR closed after the miners' strike. Mountain Ash is served by Mountain Ash Comprehensive School for pupils aged 11–18; the comprehensive school is situated on the site of the former estate of Lord Aberdare. The main house, Dyffryn House, was still used by the school until its demolition in the 1990s. Opposite the site of the secondary school is the hospital Ysbyty Cwm Cynon which opened in 2012 replacing the old Mountain Ash General Hospital. Local primary schools include Our Lady's R. C Primary School, Caegarw Primary School, Glenboi Primary School, Darranlas Primary School, Miskin Primary School, Penguelan Primary School and Penrhiwceiber Primary School (Ysgol Gynr
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
Penarth railway station
Penarth railway station is the railway station serving the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It is the terminus of Network Rail's Penarth branch running from Cogan Junction to Penarth station, 1 mile 12 chains from the junction and 2 miles 67 chains south of Cardiff Central station; the Penarth branch ran from Cogan Junction to Biglis Junction, a rail mileage of 5 miles 65 chains and was closed beyond Penarth after the last passenger train ran on Saturday 4 May 1968. Penarth Station was built for the Cardiff and Barry Junction Railway, opened in 1878 as part of that company's new line to Lavernock; this was a continuation of the Taff Vale Railway's Penarth Extension Railway, completed in February 1878 and gave the town its first rail link to Cardiff. The Taff Vale took over the CP&BJR in 1889 and had the line completed from Lavernock to Biglis Junction on the Barry Railway in 1890; the extension attracted holiday and weekend traffic from Penarth to the beach at Lavernock or Barry Island Pleasure Park for the day, with steam trains running every 30 minutes from 7.15 am until 11.45 pm in both directions.
There was a sizeable amount of commuter traffic from the station eastwards into Cardiff. As first constructed the station had two side platforms & tracks, a signal box and a goods yard at the Lavernock end of the station. After The Reshaping of British Railways report, British Rail withdrew the passenger service west of Penarth on 6 May 1968. General goods traffic over the route had ended on & from 7 October 1963, leaving only the cement trains from the factory at Cosmeston and so the line beyond there closed to all traffic; the remaining section to Penarth followed suit in November 1969 when the Snowcem works closed, leaving the station as a dead-end terminus. The line has been single track between Cogan Junction and Penarth since February 1967. Parts of the disused trackbed through Lower Penarth and towards Sully have been blocked and built on. Other parts have been turned into a rural railway walk and cycle path from north of Alberta Place to Brockhill Rise road overbridge one half-mile north-east of the former Lavernock station.
Until 1968 Penarth station had two platforms, one on each side of the tracks for down and up traffic, with a gated foot crossing. After the branch was singled and the line on towards Sully and Biglis Junction closed, the platform buildings on the Plymouth Road side were sold and used as a garden centre until they were demolished in the 1980s and a new Government Jobcentre plus and private offices were built in their place; the loss of the down platform and its station building effectively closed the station's main car parking area in the specially widened eastern end of Plymouth Road. Closure of the coastal rail line removed the direct link between Penarth and Barry, Barry Island, Rhoose or Llantwit Major. Completion of the journey from Penarth by rail today entails first travelling north as far as Grangetown, before catching a connecting train in the reverse direction to Barry or any of the stations mentioned above, thus doubling the journey time and distance travelled. BR had most of the original 19th-century station buildings demolished and replaced with modern ones in a major remodelling in 1984.
Since 1971 the station's original ticket office building, built in 1887, has been let as a fast food outlet. The original Railway Hotel is still a public house; the station has a small "pick up only" car park in Station Approach. The current ticket office in the station building is open early morning to mid-afternoon six days per week. A self-service ticket machine is provided for use outside these times and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Train running information is offered via digital CIS displays and timetable poster boards. Step-free access is available from the entrance to the ticket platform. All services on this line are operated by Transport for Wales as part of the Valley Lines system of the National Rail network; the usual service pattern is four trains per hour to Bargoed from Mondays to Saturdays during the day, of which one continues to Rhymney. In the evenings, services terminate at either Ystrad Mynach or Caerphilly and the frequency pattern decreases to two trains per hour. There are several evening services to Treherbert, one combined with a Rhymney departure and a second with one to Caerphilly.
On Sundays there is only one train every two hours, totalling six trains all day, there is no late evening service, trains run only as far as Cardiff Central. There are plans to increase this service to an hourly service. Services are operated with Class 142, Class 143 Pacer units — run in pairs to provide a four-car train, Class 150 Sprinter units — run singly as a two-car train. Since 1968 Penarth has had no direct rail link to Barry Island, although travel between the two towns remains popular. Rail passengers for Barry must travel in the opposite direction and change at Grangetown, before heading back to Barry. Alternatively, passengers may walk about 20 minutes from Penarth to Cogan railway station. Penarth Dock railway station Body, G. PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Western Region, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 0-85059-546-0 Page, J. Forgotten Railways: Volume 8 - South Wales, David & Charles Publishers, Newton Abbott, ISBN 0-946537-44-5 Branch line map and photos of current greenway Historical photos o
Pontypridd railway station
Pontypridd railway station serves the town of Pontypridd in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. It is located at the junction of the Merthyr line and the Rhondda line and has for many years been the only station serving the town; until the 1930s, Pontypridd had two other stations. One, just behind the present station, was known as Pontypridd Graig, it closed in 1930. The other, Pontypridd Tram Road, serving the former Pontypridd to Newport line, closed in 1922, it was located near. The station was built by the Taff Vale Railway and opened on 9 October 1840, it was known as Newbridge Junction until March 1866. It was progressively remodelled during the 19th century, but its present appearance derives from reconstruction carried out between 1907 and 1914. Reflecting both the narrow steep sided topography of the valley, the need to accommodate many converging passenger routes and passing coal trains, it is designed as two back-to-back termini; this gave it the longest island platform in the world, around which were arranged seven platforms.
The west side of the island platform has two, stepped platform faces each capable of accommodating a full-length train. The east side of the island platform has three stepped platform faces arranged as a north bay platform, a through platform and a south bay platform; the north end of the island platform accommodated two bay platforms, now filled in. The north end bay platforms were used for services to Aberdare and Ynysybwl, the south bay platform for services to Llantrisant and Cowbridge; the modernisation of 2014/2015 brought former through platform 6 back into use as a bay platform, now numbered platform 1, for southbound services to Cardiff. Architecturally, the 1912 station still includes all the original red brick and terracotta buildings on the island platform, some of which remain in public use, e.g. as ticket office and waiting room. The elaborate 1912 main station façade in the same art nouveau style was destroyed during modernisation in the mid 1970s and replaced by a featureless red brick wall.
The station subsequently achieved Listed Building status in 1990 for architectural interest as a fine Edwardian railway station retaining original character. The 1970s façade was itself replaced by a blue brick wall in the 1990s, temporarily exposing the damaged Edwardian façade; the Pontypridd and Newport Railway was opened for goods on 25 July 1884, providing a route to Newport Docks for Rhondda coal. Passenger services, which used the TVR's station at Pontypridd, began on 28 December 1887, were operated by the Alexandra Docks and Railway, which absorbed the PC&NR in 1897. Between April 1904 and July 1922, passenger services from Caerphilly terminating at Pontypridd used the ADR's own station at Pontypridd Tram Road. Known as the Hopkinstown rail disaster, this accident occurred on 23 January 1911 when a passenger train collided with a coal train at Hopkinstown, outside Pontypridd, resulting in the loss of eleven lives; the TVR and ADR amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922, as did the Barry Railway, which had a station in Pontypridd.
To avoid confusion, the two stations were both renamed in 1924, the former TVR station becoming Pontypridd Central, with the ex-Barry Railway station becoming Pontypridd Graig. On 10 July 1930, Pontypridd Graig was closed, with its services being diverted to Pontypridd Central, which reverted to its former name of Pontypridd; the former PC&NR route was closed to passengers from 17 September 1956. and in 1965, whilst the service to Llantrisant ended on 31 March 1952 and the former Barry Railway services to Cadoxton and to Cardiff Central via St Fagans on 10 September 1962. With the Beeching Plan reducing passenger traffic, falling coal production, track simplification was carried out by British Rail in 1974, resulting in the removal of all track from the eastern side of the island platform. From 1974 onwards, the station functioned as a single-platform station. However, with the subsequent re-opening of Aberdare and the growth of passenger traffic, British Rail added a new northbound platform in 1990-1991.
This platform was built alongside the former freight lines west of the main island platform, did not form part of the original station. Two platforms were in use, only one of, located in the historic part of the large island platform station dating from 1912. Platform 1 was the southern one of two former platform faces on the west side of the long island platform. Accessible via a subway, it was used, is still used, by Cardiff-bound services; the east side of the island platform once had three platform faces. This side of the station had lain out of use since the lifting of track in 1974. A booking office, a waiting room and toilets are located in original Edwardian brick and terracotta buildings on the main island platform, near Platform 1. Platform 2 was a new platform for valleys-bound services built in 1990-1 alongside the former freight lines west of the main island platform, it was not part of the 1912 station. The platform shelter was built in brickwork laid in Flemish Bond, providing at least an attenuated echo of the station buildings on the m
Penrhiwceiber railway station
Penrhiwceiber railway station serves the village of Penrhiwceiber, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. It is located on the Aberdare branch of the Merthyr Line between the town of Mountain Ash and the village of Abercynon. Passenger services are provided by Transport for Wales. A station at this location was first opened by the Taff Vale Railway on 1 June 1883, was named Penrhiwceiber, it was closed by the Western Region of British Railways in October 1964 and a new station, named Penrhiwceiber, provided for reopening of the branch to passengers on 3 October 1988. The station has a basic half-hourly service in each direction, northbound to Aberdare and southbound to Pontypridd, Cardiff Central and Barry Island. In the evenings the service drops to hourly. On Sundays there is a general 2-hourly service to Barry Island with an hourly service in the morning and in the late afternoon; this is due to a campaign by the local Assembly Member and a successful trial in December 2017. The extra services began in April 2018.
Train times and station information for Penrhiwceiber railway station from National Rail
Barry railway station
Barry railway station is one of three stations serving the town of Barry, Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales. It is located on the Barry Branch which runs from Cardiff Central to a fourth station at Barry Island, the terminus. Barry is the junction at the start of the Vale of Glamorgan Line which serves Rhoose and Llantwit Major and terminates at Bridgend. Passenger services are operated by Transport For Wales as part of the Valley Lines network. Although Barry station was the terminus of the original Barry Railway, it was not among the first stations to open; the first passenger services ran between Cogan and Barry Docks starting on 20 December 1888 along the line known as the Cogan branch. The extension of services to Barry did not happen until 8 February 1889, it remained a terminus for Cardiff services until the Barry Railway became a constituent member of the Great Western Railway in 1922. However the line was extended to Barry Island on 3 August 1896 and a good proportion of the passenger trains terminated there.
Barry was the terminus of the Vale of Glamorgan Railway which opened on 1 December 1897 though was operated by the Barry Railway. Trains ran from Bridgend where the Barry Railway had its own platform and passengers wishing to travel to Cardiff had to change trains at Barry; the Vale of Glamorgan branch was closed to passengers on 15th June 1964 but after much demand, was re-opened on 10th June 2005 with Rhoose station providing a bus link to Cardiff International Airport. Both Rhoose and Llantwit Major station platforms were re-established in a different form with staggered platforms at Rhoose and opposite each other at Llantwit Major and with a pedestrian footbridge linking them; the station has a staffed ticket office, open six days per week from early morning until mid-afternoon. A ticket machine is available for collecting pre-paid tickets. A waiting room is available in the main building when the station is staffed, with a shelter on the island platform. Other amenities include a cafe and toilets.
Train running information is offered via CIS displays, automated announcements, a help point on platform 1 and timetable posters. Step-free access is limited to platform 1, as the only route to platforms 2 and 3 is via a stepped footbridge - disabled passengers are advised to travel via Barry Island if arriving from Cardiff or Bridgend; the station has a basic four trains per hour service to Cardiff Central eastbound and three per hour to Barry Island and one per hour to Bridgend westbound. Eastbound trains continue beyond Cardiff Central to either Merthyr Tydfil or Aberdare. On Sundays there are either 2 or 3 trains per hour to Cardiff Central, half hourly trains to Barry Island and one every two hours to Bridgend. Services are operated by Class 150 Sprinter units, as well as Class 142 Pacer units and Class 143 Pacer units, which operate in pairs to form a 4-car service; as part of a £200m regeneration scheme to boost train capacity in Cardiff and the surrounding areas, Barry now has a third platform, now only used by down or sometimes up trains to & from Barry Island.
Up trains can and still do use the Barry station up platform but as the new platform line is now bi-directional and signalled as such, it is sometimes used for up passenger trains which can start from here if a'catch-up' in the timetable is required, thereby cutting out a reversal at Barry Island. The laying of the bi-directional platform line had to be performed while essential signal wires and point rodding lying 1.75m from the platform wall, was still in place. The'new' platform support blockwork was thus constructed so that its finished edge now lies 2.75m from the former obsolete platform edge. During the months of construction, Barry signal box was taken out of use making the signal pull-wires and point rodding redundant and by week ending 28 March 2014, the ’box was demolished. Having removed the latter components, the void between old and new platform edges was backfilled, tarmacked over and new coping platform stones laid. Prior to 1964, this platform was that of platform, 4, platform 1 being the Bay platform where trains to Pontypridd via Wenvoe or sometimes Cardiff started.
That area is now a Ride facility. Platform 1 serves all beyond from either Barry Island or Bridgend. Platform 2 now serves only trains to Bridgend as the line to Barry Island from the junction south of platform 2 was curtailed during the remodelling project and acts as a safety overrun with a buffer stop 100m from the down facing points. Train times and station information for Barry railway station from National Rail
Cardiff City Line
The City Line is a commuter railway line in Cardiff that runs between Radyr and Cardiff Central via Fairwater. The line was opened by the Taff Vale Railway in 1859, as part of its route from Radyr to the docks at Penarth. Subsequent construction by the TVR added links to Cardiff Central and to the Penarth Extension Railway by 1878; the line was freight-only, but over the years saw regular use for empty passenger trains thanks to its links with the depot at Cardiff Canton TMD and for football specials to Ninian Park stadium and periodic engineering diversions. The first regular passenger service was introduced to the line on 5 October 1987, when three new stations were opened at Waun-gron Park and Danescourt, regular service was introduced to the existing Ninian Park station; the new service was introduced by British Rail in co-operation with the Mid Glamorgan and South Glamorgan County Councils. There are trains every half hour which drop to every hour in the evenings on Mondays-Saturdays. There is no Sunday service on the line.
The line serves these stations: Radyr Danescourt Fairwater Waun-Gron Park Ninian Park Cardiff Central Cardiff Queen StreetServices continue to Coryton via the Coryton Line. Transport for Wales operates the line as part of the former Valley Lines network. TfW succeeded the previous franchisee Arriva Trains Wales in October 2018; some freight services use the line. The line is used as a diversionary route for trains serving Merthyr Tydfil and Treherbert when the line between Cardiff Queen Street and Radyr is closed for engineering work. In the past there were shuttle trains on the line to serve Pontypridd and beyond with one stop at Ninian Park. ATW operates the line with diesel multiple units of Pacer classes 142 and 143 and Sprinter classes 150 and 153; the Pacers do not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and so will have to be withdrawn by 2019. On 16 July 2012 plans the Department for Transport announced plans to electrify the line; this will require new electric multiple unit trains and should reduce journey times, operating costs and maintenance costs.
The DfT intends the work to start between 2014 and 2019. The announcement was made as an extension of the electrification of the South Wales Main Line from Cardiff Central to Swansea and the electrification of the south Wales Valley Lines at a total cost of £350 million; this in turn is part of a £ 9.4 billion investment in railways in Wales. List of railway stations in Cardiff