South Wales is the region of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, mid Wales to the north, west Wales to the west. With an estimated population of around 2.2 million, three-quarters of the whole of Wales, Cardiff has 400,000, Swansea has 250,000 and Newport has 150,000. The region is loosely defined, but it is considered to include the historic counties of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, extending westwards to include Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. In the western extent, from Swansea westwards, local people would recognise that they lived in both south Wales and west Wales; the Brecon Beacons national park covers about a third of South Wales, containing Pen y Fan, the highest British mountain south of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia. Between the Statute of Rhuddlan of 1284 and the Laws in Wales Act 1535, crown land in Wales formed the Principality of Wales; this was divided into a Principality of North Wales. The southern principality was made up of the counties of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, areas, part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth.
The legal responsibility for this area lay in the hands of the Justiciar of South Wales based at Carmarthen. Other parts of southern Wales were in the hands of various Marcher Lords; the Laws in Wales Acts 1542 created the Court of Great Sessions in Wales based on four legal circuits. The Brecon circuit served the counties of Brecknockshire and Glamorgan while the Carmarthen circuit served Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire. Monmouthshire was attached to the Oxford circuit for judicial purposes; these seven southern counties were thus differentiated from the six counties of north Wales. The Court of the Great Sessions came to an end in 1830, but the counties survived until the Local Government Act 1972 which came into operation in 1974; the creation of the county of Powys merged one northern county with two southern ones. There are thus different concepts of south Wales. Glamorgan and Monmouthshire are accepted by all as being in south Wales, but the status of Breconshire or Carmarthenshire, for instance, is more debatable.
In the western extent, from Swansea westwards, local people might feel that they live in both south Wales and west Wales. Areas to the north of the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains are considered to be in Mid Wales. A further point of uncertainty is whether the first element of the name should be capitalized:'south Wales' or'South Wales'; as the name is a geographical expression rather than a specific area with well-defined borders, style guides such as those of the BBC and The Guardian use the form'south Wales'. The South Wales Valleys and upland mountain ridges were once a rural area noted for its river valleys and ancient forests and lauded by romantic poets such as William Wordsworth as well as poets in the Welsh language, although the interests of the latter lay more in society and culture than in the evocation of natural scenery; this natural environment changed to a considerable extent during the early Industrial Revolution when the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire valley areas were exploited for coal and iron.
By the 1830s, hundreds of tons of coal were being transported by barge to ports in Cardiff and Newport. In the 1870s, coal was transported by rail transport networks to Newport Docks, at the time the largest coal exporting docks in the world, by the 1880s coal was being exported from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan; the Marquess of Bute, who owned much of the land north of Cardiff, built a steam railway system on his land that stretched from Cardiff into many of the South Wales Valleys where the coal was being found. Lord Bute charged fees per ton of coal, transported out using his railways. With coal mining and iron smelting being the main trades of south Wales, many thousands of immigrants from the Midlands, Ireland and Italy came and set up homes and put down roots in the region. Many came from other coal mining areas such as Somerset, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and the tin mines of Cornwall such as Geevor Tin Mine, as a large but experienced and willing workforce was required. Whilst some of the migrants left, many settled and established in the South Wales Valleys between Swansea and Abergavenny as English-speaking communities with a unique identity.
Industrial workers were housed in cottages and terraced houses close to the mines and foundries in which they worked. The large influx over the years caused overcrowding which led to outbreaks of Cholera, on the social and cultural side, the near-loss of the Welsh language in the area; the 1930s inter-war Great Depression in the United Kingdom saw the loss of half of the coal pits in the South Wales Coalfield, their number declined further in the years following World War II. This number is now low, following the UK miners' strike, the last'traditional' deep-shaft mine, Tower Colliery, closed in January 2008. Despite the intense industrialisation of the coal mining valleys, many parts of the landscape of South Wales such as the upper Neath valley, the Vale of Glamorgan and the valleys of the River Usk and River Wye remain distinctly beautiful and unspoilt and have been designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In addition, many once industrialised sites have reverted to wilderness, some provided with a series of cycle tracks and other outdoor amenities.
Large areas of forestry and open moorland contribute to the amenity of the landscape. Merthyr Tydfil grew around the Dowlais Ironworks, founded to exploit the locally abundant seams of ir
Railway Clearing House
The British Railway Clearing House was an organisation set up to manage the allocation of revenue collected by pre-grouping railway companies of fares and charges paid for passengers and goods travelling over the lines of other companies. When passengers travelled between two stations on the same railway, using trains provided by the same company, that company was entitled to the whole of the fare; when goods were consigned between two stations on the same railway, using wagons provided by the same company, that company was entitled to the whole of the fee. However, when coaches or wagons owned by a different company were used, that company would be entitled to a proportion of the fare or fee. If the commencement and terminus of the journey were on different railways, a more complicated situation arose: if the two companies involved did not provide through ticketing, the passenger or goods needed to be re-booked at a junction station; the Railway Clearing House was founded as a means by which these receipts could be apportioned fairly.
The Railway Clearing House commenced operations on 2 January 1842 in small offices at 111 Drummond Street opposite Euston Station, London. These premises were owned by the London and Birmingham Railway, which provided the initial costs of setting up the organisation; the founding members, whose first meeting was on 26 April 1842, were: the London and Birmingham Railway. This first meeting agreed the principles by which the ongoing activities of the RCH were to be funded; this involved a fixed payment per station served plus an apportionment of the balance of costs according to the total share of receipts of each participating company. The first manager was auditor of the London and Birmingham Railway. By the end of December 1845, more companies had joined: Gloucester Railway; the Grand Junction Railway refused, because of the £300 pa. cost of using Edmondson tickets, the Liverpool and Manchester saw no need to join, being isolated from the rest of the railway system. Owing to expansion, the RCH moved to larger purpose-built premises in Seymour Street in early 1849, which remained its headquarters for the rest of its existence.
By the end of 1850 a further 21 companies had joined, including several of the leading Scottish companies, bringing the total of British railway mileage in the scheme to 55.8%. However it still lacked the companies South of London. In January 1863 a pneumatic tube, one third of a mile long, was installed between the RCH and the NW Postal District Office so that "parcels or persons are blown from one end to the other in a little over a minute", it was soon realised that the RCH provided a neutral meeting point where different railways could discuss points of disagreement and make suggestions which could benefit other railways. Besides meeting rooms, the RCH provided secretarial facilities for these discussions. Conferences between railway managers were arranged, as were conferences between the different railways' departmental heads. In this way, railways moved without the need for legislation; the system had a weakness, in that a unanimous vote was required for a recommendation to become compulsory.
Another function of the Railway Clearing House was to deal with lost property found in railway carriages. In due course, the RCH was given legal status by a private Act of Parliament, the Railway Clearing Act of 25 June 1850. Although initiated by the members' companies themselves, the Bill, in fact, reduced the scope of the RCH, while making it easier to enforce debt collection among members. A attempt, in 1859, via Parliament, to re-extend the powers and potential membership of the RCH, foundered on conflicting interests. A separate organisation, the United Railway Companies' Committee, was formed in 1858, but folded in 1861, it was re-established in June 1867 and became the Railway Companies' Association in 1869. There was a certain degree of overlap between the RCA and the RCH, it was agreed that the RCA should represent the railways in Parliament, whilst the RCH concentrated on organising the business of railway traffic. In 1897, the RCH was established as a body corporate. During both World Wars, the railways were placed under government control, the receipts were pooled and apportioned in fixed proportions according to pre-war receipts.
During these periods, the duties of the RCH were much reduced, but they continued to provide their secretarial functions. As railway companies amalgamated, so the number of members reduced; as part of the Transport Act 1947, the Acts of Incorporation were repealed. Most of the remaining powers, property and liabilities were transferred to the BTC on 24 May 1954, the RCH was dissolved as a corporate body on 8 April 1955; the BTC continued the remaining functions of the RCH, still under the name Railwa
South Wales Main Line
The South Wales Main Line known as the London and South Wales Direct Railway or as the Bristol and South Wales Direct Railway, is a branch of the Great Western Main Line in Great Britain. It diverges from the core London-Bristol line at Royal Wootton Bassett near Swindon, first calling at Bristol Parkway, after which the line continues through the Severn Tunnel into South Wales. Great Western Railway operates High Speed Trains between London and South Wales and services between Cardiff and South West England. CrossCountry provides services from Cardiff to Nottingham via Severn Tunnel Junction and thence the Gloucester to Newport Line via Gloucester and Birmingham. Transport for Wales operates services between South Wales, North Wales and the Midlands on the line, it is planned to electrify the line using the AC overhead system, with completion by 2018. The original route of the Great Western Railway between London and South Wales, after the opening of Brunel's Chepstow Railway Bridge in 1852, left the Bristol-bound Great Western Main Line at Swindon, proceeding via Stroud and Chepstow before rejoining the line as we know it today at Severn Tunnel Junction.
This gave rise to the nickname'Great Way Round'. In 1886, the opening of the Severn Tunnel brought the opportunity of a more direct route to South Wales, trains from Swindon to Newport and beyond were routed via Bristol and the Severn Tunnel; this route leaves the one we know today at Royal Wootton Bassett near Swindon rejoining it close to Patchway station. The route used today was established in 1903 with the building of what is known as the Badminton Line; this involved the construction of about 33 miles of new track including two tunnels at Alderton and Sodbury between Royal Wootton Bassett and Patchway. Not only did this provide a more direct route for traffic to and from South Wales, the gradient was easier for coal trains to negotiate, it was thought that the line would be a boost to what was, at the time of building, the expanding port of Fishguard; this was the GWR's connection with trans-Atlantic ocean liner departures. There are four tracks from Severn Tunnel Junction through Newport to Cardiff Central, with two tracks on the remaining sections.
Multiple-aspect signals are controlled from several power signal boxes including Swindon and two in Cardiff. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend 2016 control of the signals between Westerleigh Junction and Pilning was switched over to the Thames Valley Signalling Centre; these signals now carry the prefix'BL'. The maximum line speed from London to Coalpit Heath is 125 mph. A diversionary route exists; this takes trains from Severn Tunnel Junction to Gloucester, from where they can rejoin the main line either by the Golden Valley Line to Swindon, or the Cross-Country Route and reverse at Bristol Parkway. If the line is closed between Cardiff Central and Bridgend, an alternative route exists along the Vale of Glamorgan Line. Half of peak High Speed Trains and most off peak trains continue from Cardiff Central to Swansea, with a few continuing to Carmarthen or in summer, Pembroke Dock; the local service between Swansea and Cardiff is branded Swanline. The urban network within and surrounding Cardiff, including the Maesteg Line, is referred to as Valley Lines.
Traffic levels on the Great Western Main Line are rising faster than the national average, with continued increases predicted. The now defunct Strategic Rail Authority produced a Route Utilisation Strategy for the Great Western Main Line in 2005 to propose ways of meeting this demand, Network Rail plan to implement a new study in 2008. In the meantime, their 2007 Business Plan includes the provision of extra platform capacity at Cardiff Central and Bristol Parkway resignalling and line speed improvements in South Wales, most of which would be delivered in 2010–2014. Reading railway station is undergoing a major redevelopment and there is a proposed future link to Heathrow Airport directly from Reading under the Heathrow Airtrack scheme; the South Wales Main Line is one of the last of the major inter-city routes in Great Britain to remain un-electrified. The government announced in 2012 a scheme to electrify the South Wales Main Line as part of a wider scheme of electrification on the Great Western Main Line.
Due to be completed in late 2019, the line from London to Cardiff will be electrified. The new Hitachi Super Express trains planned for the Great Western inter-city services will now be predominantly electric units instead of the planned diesel units. However, a proportion of the fleet will be using dual power source electro-diesel bi-mode trains, which will enable services to operate before line electrification is complete; the bi-mode trains will allow inter-city services to operate from London all the way to Carmarthen in the future. The new Super Express trains will bring about an estimated 15% increased capacity during the morning peak hours. Electrification will cut journey times between Swansea and London by an estimated 20 minutes, although electrification will not extend west of Cardiff to Swansea, Carmarthen or Pembroke Dock, services on the line to Brighton, Portsmouth Harbour and Taunton will continue to be operated by diesel trains, as the Bristol to Exeter Line and the Wessex Main Line will not be electrified.
On 7 March 2015, Battle of Britain-class locomotive 34067 Tangmere was hauling a charter train that overran a signal
British Railways, which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the state-owned company that operated most of the overground rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages between 1994 and 1997. A trading brand of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission, it became an independent statutory corporation in 1962 designated as the British Railways Board; the period of nationalisation saw sweeping changes in the national railway network. A process of dieselisation and electrification took place, by 1968 steam locomotion had been replaced by diesel and electric traction, except for the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Passengers replaced freight as the main source of business, one third of the network was closed by the Beeching Axe of the 1960s in an effort to reduce rail subsidies. On privatisation, responsibility for track and stations was transferred to Railtrack and that for trains to the train operating companies.
The British Rail "double arrow" logo is formed of two interlocked arrows showing the direction of travel on a double track railway and was nicknamed "the arrow of indecision". It is now employed as a generic symbol on street signs in Great Britain denoting railway stations, as part of the Rail Delivery Group's jointly-managed National Rail brand is still printed on railway tickets; the rail transport system in Great Britain developed during the 19th century. After the grouping of 1923 under the Railways Act 1921, there were four large railway companies, each dominating its own geographic area: the Great Western Railway, the London and Scottish Railway, the London and North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway. During World War I the railways were under state control, which continued until 1921. Complete nationalisation had been considered, the Railways Act 1921 is sometimes considered as a precursor to that, but the concept was rejected. Nationalisation was subsequently carried out after World War II, under the Transport Act 1947.
This Act made provision for the nationalisation of the network, as part of a policy of nationalising public services by Clement Attlee's Labour Government. British Railways came into existence as the business name of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission on 1 January 1948 when it took over the assets of the Big Four. There were joint railways between the Big Four and a few light railways to consider. Excluded from nationalisation were industrial lines like the Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway; the London Underground – publicly owned since 1933 – was nationalised, becoming the London Transport Executive of the British Transport Commission. The Bicester Military Railway was run by the government; the electric Liverpool Overhead Railway was excluded from nationalisation. The Railway Executive was conscious that some lines on the network were unprofitable and hard to justify and a programme of closures began immediately after nationalisation. However, the general financial position of BR became poorer, until an operating loss was recorded in 1955.
The Executive itself had been abolished in 1953 by the Conservative government, control of BR transferred to the parent Commission. Other changes to the British Transport Commission at the same time included the return of road haulage to the private sector. British Railways was divided into regions which were based on the areas the former Big Four operated in. Notably, these included the former Great Central lines from the Eastern Region to the London Midland Region, the West of England Main Line from the Southern Region to Western Region Southern Region: former Southern Railway lines. Western Region: former Great Western Railway lines. London Midland Region: former London Midland and Scottish Railway lines in England and Wales. Eastern Region: former London and North Eastern Railway lines south of York. North Eastern Region: former London and North Eastern Railway lines in England north of York. Scottish Region: all lines, regardless of original company, in Scotland; the North Eastern Region was merged with the Eastern Region in 1967.
In 1982, the regions were abolished and replaced by "business sectors", a process known as sectorisation. The Anglia Region was created in late 1987, its first General Manager being John Edmonds, who began his appointment on 19 October 1987. Full separation from the Eastern Region – apart from engineering design needs – occurred on 29 April 1988, it handled the services from Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street, its western boundary being Hertford East and Whittlesea. The report, latterly known as the "Modernisation Plan", was published in January 1955, it was intended to bring the railway system into the 20th century. A government White Paper produced in 1956 stated that modernisation would help eliminate BR's financial deficit by 1962, but the figures in both this and the original plan were produced for political reasons and not based on detailed analysis; the aim was to increase speed, reliability and line capacity through a series of measures that would make services more attractive to passengers and freight operators, thus recovering traffic lost to the roads.
Important areas included: Electrification of principal main lines, in the Eastern Region, Birmingham to Liverpool/Manchester and Central Scotland Large-scale dieselisation to replace steam locomotives New passenger and freight rolling stock R
Transport for Wales Rail Services
Keolis Amey Operations, trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services, or TfW Rail, is a Welsh train operating company operated by Keolis Amey Wales Cymru Limited, which commenced operating the Wales & Borders franchise on 14 October 2018. Alongside CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Chiltern Railways, TfW is one of the few franchised train operating companies not to operate any electric powered trains. In October 2016 Abellio, the incumbent operator Arriva, a Keolis/Amey joint venture and MTR Corporation were shortlisted to bid for the next Wales & Borders franchise. In October 2017, Arriva withdrew from the bidding process, followed in February 2018 by Abellio, after the collapse of its partner Carillion. In May 2018, the franchise was awarded to Keolis Amey Wales Cymru, it runs for 15 years. Unlike the previous franchise, awarded by the Department for Transport, the new franchise was awarded by Transport for Wales, on behalf of the Welsh Government. Typical TfW weekday off-peak service is as follows: There are plans to improve services between 2018 and 2033 as part of the new franchise:North Wales and North West England Introduction of a new hourly Liverpool Lime Street to Chester service from May 2019, with limited services extended to Wrexham General Introduce Class 230 D-Trains on services on the Borderlands, Conwy Valley and Crewe-Chester lines during 2019 Twelve refurbished Mark 4 carriages for the Holyhead to Cardiff Central Premier Service by the end of 2019, to replace the Mark 3 carriages Increase Wrexham Central to Bidston services to 2tph by December 2021, as part of the North Wales Metro Introduction of a new hourly Liverpool to Llandudno and Shrewsbury service, a new two-hourly Liverpool to Cardiff Central service from December 2022 Introduction of a direct Manchester Airport to Bangor service from December 2022 Introduce the new fleet of Civity diesel multiple units to the North Wales Coast line and other North Wales routes during 2022 Invest in Shotton and Wrexham General stations from April 2024, in Chester station by 2028 Invest to co-fund new station buildings at Blaenau Ffestiniog Introduce new Community Rail Partnerships on the North Wales Coast Line and the Crewe to Hereford lineSouth West and Mid Wales and the Borders Open a new station at Bow Street in March 2020 An additional service every day on the Heart of Wales line from December 2022 A consistent 1 tph on the Cambrian line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth from December 2022 New Civity DMUs on the Cambrian line during 2022, to replace the Class 158 Express Sprinters Refurbished Class 170 Turbostar two-car DMUs on services to West Wales, Ebbw Vale and Maesteg from 2019, the Heart of Wales line from 2022, to replace Class 153 Super Sprinters Introduce new two and three-car new diesel multiple units for the Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly service by 2023, to replace the Class 175 Coradias Additional summer Sunday services from May 2023 between Tywyn and Pwllheli – including a new 1 tph express service between major centres by 2025 Invest in Carmarthen and Machynlleth stations in 2021, Llanelli station in 2025 A first-class service between Swansea and Manchester from December 2024 Introduce a new Community Rail Partnership for the West Wales lineSouth East Wales Provide ticket machines at all South Wales Metro stations by April 2019 Introduce Class 769 Flex bi-mode multiple units to the Valley Lines during 2019 Replace all Class 142 and 143 Pacers by the end of 2019 4tph between Cardiff Central and Bridgend from December 2019 Introduce pay-as-you-go for users of smartcards by April 2020 Increasing capacity of trains on early morning services to Cardiff Central from 2-car services to 4-car services A new 1 train per hour Ebbw Vale Town to Newport service from May 2021 4tph between Treherbert, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff from December 2022, operated by Citylink tram-trains 6tph between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay from December 2022 Hourly Cheltenham Spa to Cardiff Central services from December 2022 Introduce new FLIRT diesel-electric multiple units on the Ebbw Vale and Maesteg lines during 2022 Introduce new FLIRT tri-mode multiple units between Penarth and Bridgend to Rhymney and Coryton during 2023 2tph between Cardiff and Bridgend via the Vale of Glamorgan Line from December 2023 4tph throughout on the Rhymney line from December 2023 Introduce Citylink tram-trains to the City Line during 2023 Eliminate diesel use on the Central Metro lines by 2024 Open new stations at Cardiff Parkway in February 2020, Crwys Road, Loudoun Square and Cardiff Bay by December 2023, Treforest Estate by December 2025, Gabalfa by 2028 Invest in Merthyr Tydfil from April 2020, Abergavenny from April 2023, Cardiff Central and Chepstow from April 2025 Develop a fleet maintenance depot at Taffs Well and a dedicated Infrastructure Management depot in the Valleys Build a Major Events Stabling Line and a new station in Llanwern TfW Rail inherited a fleet of Class 142, 143, 150, 153, 158 and 175 diesel multiple units and Mark 3 carriages from Arriva Trains Wales.
In April 2019 it added 5 153s acquired from Great Western Railway to the 8 it had. As of April 2019, all of TfW Rail's Class 142 & 143 Pacer railbus DMUs, which will be withdrawn and replaced by 2020, have had advertising vinyls applied, with the messages "The Start of a New Journey", "The Journey is Almost Over for Old Trains", "These Trains will Terminate Soon", stating rolling stock and service improvements; the Mark 3 carriages for the locomotive-hauled trains have had Transport for Wales logos applied to the ex-Arriva Trains Wales livery, as t
Swansea, is a coastal city and county known as the City and County of Swansea in Wales. Swansea lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan and the ancient Welsh commote of Gŵyr on the southwest coast; the county area includes the Gower Peninsula. Swansea is the twenty-fifth largest city in the United Kingdom. According to its local council, the City and County of Swansea had a population of 241,300 in 2014; the last official census stated that the city and urban areas combined concluded to be a total of 462,000 in 2011. During the 19th-century industrial heyday, Swansea was the key centre of the copper-smelting industry, earning the nickname Copperopolis. Archaeological finds in the Swansea area come from the Gower Peninsula, include items from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age; the Romans occupied the area. The two largest rivers in the region are the Tawe which passes through the city centre and the Loughor which marks the northern border with Carmarthenshire; the Welsh name, translates to Mouth of the Tawe.
It first appears c.1150 as Aper Tyui. Swansea is thought to have developed as a Viking trading post, its English name may derive from Sveinn's island – Old Norse: Sveinsey – the reference to an island may refer either to a bank at the mouth of the River Tawe or to an area of raised ground in marshes. An alternative explanation derives the place name from the Norse personal name Sweyn and ey, which can mean "inlet"; this explanation supports the tradition. The name is pronounced Swans-y /ˈswɒnzi/), not Swan-sea; the earliest known form of the modern name, appears in the first charter, granted sometime between 1158 and 1184 by William de Newburgh, 3rd Earl of Warwick. The charter gave Swansea the status of a borough, granting the townsmen certain rights to develop the area. In 1215 King John granted a second charter. A town seal, believed to date from this period names the town as Sweyse. Following the Norman conquest, a marcher lordship was established under the title of Gower, it included land around Swansea Bay as far as the River Tawe, the manor of Kilvey beyond the Tawe, the peninsula itself.
Swansea was designated chief town of the lordship and received a borough charter at some point between 1158 and 1184. From the early 1700s to the late 1800s, Swansea was the world's leading copper-smelting area. Numerous smelters along the River Tawe received copper and other metal ores shipped from Cornwall and Devon, as well as from North and South America and Australia; the industry declined in the late 1800s, none of the smelters are now active. The port of Swansea traded in wine, wool, cloth and in coal. After the invention of the reverbatory furnace in the late 1600s, copper smelting was able to use coal rather than more-expensive charcoal. At the same time, the mines of Cornwall were increasing copper production. Swansea became the ideal place to smelt the Cornish copper ores, being close to the coalfields of South Wales and having an excellent port to receive ships carrying Cornish copper ore; because each ton of copper ore smelted used about three tons of coal, it was more economical to ship the copper ore to Wales rather than send the coal to Cornwall.
The first copper smelter at Swansea was established followed by many more. Once smelting was established, the smelters began receiving high-grade ore and ore concentrates from around the world. More coal mines opened to meet demand from northeast Gower to Llangyfelach. In the 1850s Swansea had more than 600 furnaces, a fleet of 500 oceangoing ships carrying out Welsh coal and bringing back metal ore from around the world. At that time most of the copper matte produced in the United States was sent to Swansea for refining.. Smelters processed arsenic, zinc and other metals. Nearby factories produced pottery; the Swansea smelters became so adept at recovering gold and silver from complex ores that in the 1800s they received ore concentrates from the United States, for example from Arizona in the 1850s, Colorado in the 1860s. The city expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries, was termed "Copperopolis". From the late 17th century to 1801, Swansea's population grew by 500%—the first official census indicated that, with 6,099 inhabitants, Swansea had become larger than Glamorgan's county town and was the second most populous town in Wales behind Merthyr Tydfil.
However, the census understated Swansea's true size, as much of the built-up area lay outside the contemporary boundaries of the borough. Swansea's population was overtaken by Merthyr in 1821 and by Cardiff in 1881, although in the latter year Swansea once again surpassed Merthyr. Much of Swansea's growth was due to migration from within and beyond Wales—in 1881 more than a third of the borough's population had been born outside Swansea and Glamorgan, just under a quarter outside Wales. Copper smelting at Swansea declined in the late 1800s for a number of reasons. Copper mining in Cornwall declined; the price of copper dropped from £112 in 1860 to £35 in the 1890s. In the early 1900s, mining shifted to lower-grade copper deposits in North and South America, the lower-grade ore could not support transportation to Swansea; the Swansea and Mumbles Railway was built in 1804 to move limestone from
Llantrisant and Taff Vale Junction Railway
The Llantrisant and Taff Vale Junction Railway was a railway company that constructed a standard gauge line in South Wales, connecting Llantrisant and the Taff Vale Railway near Treforest. It ran through thinly populated country, linked to a number of iron mines and other mineral sites, it opened in stages in 1863 and 1864. In 1865 through passenger trains from the Cowbridge Railway ran over the line, to Pontypridd, although for some time there were no passenger stations on its own network. At the Llantrisant end, it was reliant on broad gauge railway companies which were not always friendly to it; the company leased its line to the Taff Vale Railway in 1870. In 1866 it seemed that coal from the Ogmore Valley would be conveyed on a new line across the L&TVJR area, powers were obtained to build the line, but the opportunity passed and when the line was built, in 1886, but its potential traffic had vanished; the Treferig Railway opened its line in 1883 branching off the L&TVJR to serve mineral sites in Nant Mychydd.
Short of money, it leased its line to the Taff Vale Railway in 1884. In 1952 the passenger traffic on the line was discontinued, as the mineral activity in the area declined, so did the use of the line, it closed in 1987. The iron industries of Dowlais and Merthyr needed transport systems to take their products to market, to bring raw materials to them. At first the raw materials were found locally, brought in on the backs of animals, by primitive mineral tramroads; the conveyance of their output away involved getting it to Cardiff for coastal shipping, at first this was done by animal power too. The Glamorganshire Canal was opened in stages between 1792 and 1794, its authorising Act of Parliament included a general permission to build tramroads as feeders from mines within four miles of the canal: the so-called "four-mile clause", which did much to foster mineral working in the area. There was workable coal south of Treforest and by 1810 a tramroad had been made from the canal at Pont Maesmawr to Maesbach.
From Pont Maesmawr it ran east crossing the River Taff by a floating bridge, that is, a ferry, at the ford just below Upper Boat. The pit had mixed fortunes but by 1842 it had enlarged employing 157 persons. In time the Canal became overwhelmed by the volume of traffic, encouraged by the successful opening of railways with more advanced technology than the horse tramways of previous years, the Taff Vale Railway was promoted, it was authorised by Parliament in 1836 and it opened between Merthyr and Cardiff docks in 1841. The line did not make a connection. Thomas Powell had extensive colliery interests in Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire, he needed to get a transport link to pits he owned at Llantwit Fardre. Failing to generate interest elsewhere, he determined to build a railway himself to the Glamorganshire Canal at Maesmawr from Llantwit Fardre; this was known as the Llantwit Fardre Railway. It was completed by 28 December 1843 and a connection to the Taff Vale Railway was opened on 25 April 1844, when a train of Powell's coal was taken to Cardiff.
His line climbed out of Maesmawr on a 297-yard self-acting incline at a gradient of 1 in 6.6. The line was extended to Ystradbarwig colliery. A trunk railway came to the area when the South Wales Railway opened between Chepstow and Swansea on 18 June 1850; the town of Cowbridge, on the route of a mail coach for many years, felt the disadvantage of being by-passed keenly, there was much discussion of how a branch line railway might be built. On the north side of the South Wales Railway route matters were more successful, for in 1857 the Ely Valley Railway was incorporated by Act of Parliament; this railway was intended to reach the mineral districts close to Llantrisant, with branches to Glanmychydd, Gellyrhaidd, near Hendreforgan. In 1858 further authority was obtained to build a branch to Broviskin; these were broad gauge lines, allied to the South Wales Railway, but this proved to be a considerable disadvantage, frustrating easy access to Cardiff Docks and the ironworks of Merthyr and Dowlais.
The Ely Tidal Harbour and Railway had been incorporated in 1856, the following year it changed its name to the Penarth Harbour Dock and Railway, on getting authority to construct a dock at Penarth. It was constructing a railway from the Taff Vale Railway at Radyr; the railway part of this was complete on 18 July 1859, although the dock construction took longer. In January 1859 the Penarth company, seeing a commercial opportunity, approached the Ely Valley Railway proposing a physical connection between their lines, enabling Ely Valley production to be shipped at Penarth. Under this scheme, the Ely Valley Company would convert its gauge to narrow gauge; the Ely Valley company found favour in the proposals. The talks seemed to be progressing well, but were abandoned by the Ely Valley company abruptly, shortly afterwards the Great Western Railway leased the Ely Valley line, in order to secure access to its locomotive coal colliery at Gyfeillon. Daniel Gooch wrote, "Our object in