Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company
The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company was a canal and railway company that operated a canal and a network of railways in the Western Valley and Eastern Valley of Newport, Monmouthshire. It started as the Monmouthshire Canal Navigation and opened canals from Newport to Pontypool and to Crumlin from 1796. Numerous tramroads connected nearby ironworks with the canal. After 1802 the company built a tramway from Nine Mile Point, west of Risca, to Newport, an associated company, the Sirhowy Tramroad, connected from Tredegar. Steam locomotives were used from 1829. By 1850 pressure was mounting to modernise the line, in 1848 an Act of Parliament authorised conversion to a modern railway, construction of a new railway from Newport to Pontypool, a change of name for the Company to the Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company; the high volume of mineral activity in the area kept the Company in good financial health for many years, but it failed to keep abreast of competing developments, faced with unforeseen major loss of business it sold the rights to operate its network to the Great Western Railway in 1875.
The GWR developed the network, until in the period after 1918 road competition abstracted passenger and non-mineral goods traffic. Passenger operation ceased in 1962; the Eastern Valley Line closed south of Cwmbran Junction in 1963, but the Western Valley Line was sustained by the continued operation of British Steel's works at Ebbw Vale. A passenger service from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff was resumed on 6 February 2008. For centuries the mineral wealth of Monmouthshire had been exploited in the manufacture of iron; this availability encouraged technical innovation, this in turn led to considerable progress in the industry. The iron production took place some distance from the coast, transport away to a point of use was exceedingly difficult and expensive. Industrialists in the area combined to finance the construction of a canal from Pontnewynydd, a little north-west of Pontypool, to Newport, a second arm from near Crumlin, through Rogerstone to join the first arm of the canal at Crindau, close to Newport.
Each arm of the canal was 11 miles in length. The canal was authorised by Act of Parliament in 1792, the Act included permission to build connecting tramways or plateways to pits within seven miles of the canal, to raise £120,000; the estimated cost was £106,000, such was the enthusiasm for the scheme that the capital was all subscribed before the Act was passed. There was a considerable fall from the top of the canal to Newport: the Pontnewynydd arm descended 447 feet, using 42 locks; the Crumlin arm descended 358 feet to Crindau, required 31 locks. Reservoirs had to be created at the heads of the canal to ensure a reliable water supply; the main arm of the canal opened in 1796, by this time tramroads had been constructed in readiness connecting the furnaces of Trosnant and Blaenavon to the line of the canal. When the Crumlin arm was ready, corresponding tramroad connections led to it from Beaufort, Sorwy and Aberbeeg. In fact, the numerous short tramroad connections exceeded in aggregate length the extent of the canal to which they led.
Priestley described the route of the canal: This canal and its branches and railroads commence in the Usk River, not a great distance below the town of Newport, close to the termination of the Rumney and Sirhowey Railroads: passing on in a direction nearly full north and leaving Newport to the east, the canal extends by Pontypool to Pontnewynydd, a distance of more than seventeen miles and three-quarters. Near this place it connects with the Brecknock Canal. In its course it passes Malpas opposite. At Court-y-Bella Farm at Risca and at Pillgwenlly it joins the Sirhowey Tramroad. From the Crumlin Bridge branch, there is a railroad to Beaufort ironworks. Near Pontypool is a railway branch to another to Blaen-Din works. From the Usk to Pontnewynydd in a distance of twelve miles and a half, there is a rise of 447 feet by the canal. From Crindau Farm to Crumlin Bridge the canal rises 358 feet in eleven miles; the gauge of the tramroads was 3 ft 4in, it was constructed of edge rails of a plain cross-section 2 inches wide at the head and 2 1⁄2 inches wide at the base, three inches deep.
The wagon wheels were double flanged. Cast iron sleepers maintained the gauge, these were supported on square wooden blocks laid on stone chippings. There were no passing places on the single line tramroads: empty wagons were manhandled off the track to allow loaded wagons to pass them. A supplementary Act of Parliament was secured on 30 May 1798 to allow for loading facilities at the ship berths in Newport. In April 1799 the whole project was said to be complete, nearly 44,000 tons of material were conveyed in 1798 alone; the project was hugely successful, there was immediate demand for connecting other mineral sites, in particular at Tredegar and in the Sirhowy Valley. Extension of the canal was a possibility, although difficulties had been experienced with shortage of water, with ice blockage of the canal in winter; the engineer Benjamin Outram was called in to advise. He proposed a new line of plateway from Tredegar to Risca Church, joining the existing
The Corris Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway based in Corris on the border between Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire in Mid-Wales. The line opened in 1859 as a horse tramway, running from quays on the Afon Dyfi at Morben and Derwenlas, skirting the town of Machynlleth and following the Dulas Valley north to Corris and on to Aberllefenni. Branches served the slate quarries at Corris Uchaf, the isolated quarries around Ratgoed and quarries along the length of the Dulas Valley; the railway closed in 1948, but a preservation society was formed in 1966 opening a museum. The railway now operates as a tourist attraction. A new steam locomotive was built for the railway, delivered in 2005; the two surviving locomotives, plus some of the original rolling stock, are preserved on the nearby Talyllyn Railway. The gauge of the railway is 2 ft 3 in, unusual, was shared by only three other public railways in the United Kingdom: the Talyllyn Railway, the short-lived Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway and the Campbeltown and Machrihanish Light Railway.
The first proposal to construct a railway to connect the slate quarries in the district around Corris, Corris Uchaf and Aberllefenni with wharves on the estuary of the Afon Dyfi west of Machynlleth was made in November 1850 with Arthur Causton as engineer. At this time slate from the quarries was hauled by horse-drawn carts and sledges to transport their output to the river; the proposed Corris, Machynlleth & River Dovey Railway or Tramroad would have run down the Dulas Valley and along the north shore of the Dyfi past Pennal to Pant Eidal, near the main-line Gogarth Halt. The bill was withdrawn resubmitted in December 1851; the bill specified the tramroad's gauge as 2 ft 2.5 in. This 1851 scheme was not constructed, was followed by two further proposals in the early 1850s. Following the plans for a 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge railway along the Dyfi valley, these early proposals were shelved. In December 1857, a fourth bill was set before Parliament to create the Corris Machynlleth & River Dovey Tramroad.
This was similar to the 1851 scheme, proposing a tramway from the "machine house" at Aberllefenni, down to the wharf at "Cae Goch on the River Dovey" with a short onward branch to Morben. The gauge specified for the tramroad was increased to 2 ft 3 in, the same restriction forbidding locomotives was imposed; this bill was passed on 12th. July 1858. After more than eight years of proposals, the 1859 scheme was the one, built. Construction proceeded and by April 1859 the tramroad opened between Corris and Machynlleth; the line through to Aberllefenni was built as was the southern line to Derwenlas. It is thought that the tramroad never reached Morben. On 3 January 1863 the standard gauge Newtown and Machynlleth Railway had opened, followed on 1 July of the same year by the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway's line from Machynlleth to Borth; these two lines became part of the Cambrian Railways by August 1865. The opening of the standard gauge line to Borth made the section of the CM&RDT from Machynlleth to Derwenlas obsolete.
It was much easier to transship slates to the main line at Machynlleth, so the lower section of the tramway was abandoned. In 1862, a new Bill was deposited, seeking to extend the Upper Corris Tramway to iron ore mines at Tir Stent, near Cross Foxes; the bill sought powers to raise further capital for the tramroad and allow the use of locomotives. But the directors of the Aberystwyth & Welsh Coast Railway objected and the Bill failed. Another similar Bill was deposited in December 1863, again the A&WCR opposed it; this time, they withdrew their objection. The second Bill passed on 25 July 1864, it took until the 1870s for work to begin to upgrade the Corris Railway to a standard where locomotives could be used. The original tramroad was laid with light bridge rail suitable for waggons to traverse as they were pulled by horses; these rails would not support the weight of much heavier steam locomotives. In 1878 control of the railway passed to the Imperial Tramways Company of London; the new owners saw the potential for passenger traffic on the Corris Railway and ordered the first passenger carriages for the railway though the Act of 1864 did not permit passengers to be carried.
They appointed Joseph R. Dix, son of the main-line stationmaster at Machynlleth, as Manager in successor to David Owen. In 1880 and 1883, two new Acts were obtained which adjusted the tolls on the railway and permitted the carriage of passengers; the second of these Acts was necessary because the owners of the quarries served by the railway objected that passenger trains would interfere with their mineral traffic. The railway ran a test passenger service on the local roads, it was the first instance of a long history of the Corris Railway operating passenger road services in the area. In December 1878 the first steam locomotive purchased from the H
The'Llancaiach Branch railway line was a mineral branch line in Glamorganshire, South Wales. It was authorised in 1836 as part of the Taff Vale Railway, its purpose was to connect collieries at Llancaiach and bring their output to Cardiff for onward shipment, it was built on the standard gauge. It opened in 1841 from a junction with the Merthyr line south of Abercynon, it was intended to be horse worked, included a self-acting rope-worked inclined plane near the junction. The collieries were slow to use the line, preferring their customary use of a tramroad and the Glamorganshire Canal, the value of the line was diminished when the Taff Vale Extension line, an east-west connecting line belonging to the Newport and Hereford Railway, intersected it and cut off the colliery connections, the line became dormant. In 1878 the Taff Vale Railway tried to reinvigorate the line by building a line by-passing the inclined plane, with the intention of connecting with new collieries at the north end, but access over the Taff Vale Extension line was refused.
In 1884 a new connection from Pont Shon Norton north of Pontypridd, to Albion Colliery on the east side of the River Taff was opened, in 1900 this line was extended north to join the Llancaiach line. A passenger train service operated through from Pontypridd to Nelson station, just short of the Taff Vale Extension line, but access to that line was still problematic; the passenger service was popular at first, but it was discontinued in 1932, as the coal industry declined, the branch was successively cut back closing in 1970. Colliery working near Llancaiach had been in operation since the end of the eighteenth century; the work was hampered by the difficulty of getting the output of the mines to market, as the roads in the district were primitive and unsatisfactory. This was eased a little when the Glamorganshire Canal opened in 1794, its authorising Act of Parliament included a "four mile clause" which permitted any mine operator within four miles of the canal to construct a mineral tramroad from their mine to the canal, across the land of third parties if necessary, without further legal formality.
The proprietor of Llanfabon Colliery, near Nelson, constructed such a tramroad to the canal at Navigation House. It was known as Sir Christopher Smith's tramroad; the Taff Vale Railway was authorised by Act of Parliament in 1836. Its main purpose was the conveyance of the products of the iron-making industry in Merthyr and Dowlais, to the docks at Cardiff for onward transport by sea. In addition, several connections to collieries were planned, including pits at Llancaiach, passenger transport was authorised; the line was engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The first main line of the Taff Vale Railway, between Merthyr and Cardiff, was opened on 9 October 1840, by that time the emphasis there had been a significant change of emphasis; the potential of the district for coal extraction had become clear: iron was still important, but the main traffic was now seen as the movement of coal from existing and new collieries, to Cardiff and to the ironworks. The first main line included a rope-worked incline near Quaker's Yard: to overcome a large and sudden ascent there, a length of double track was installed together with a stationary steam engine, passing trains were hauled up and let down on a rope.
The times of the trains were arranged so as to pass up and down at the same time, to some extent balancing the load. The authorised Llancaiach branch was being constructed at the same time; the branch was to leave the main line by a junction, "Llancaiach Branch Junction", between Pontypridd and Abercynon, to climb by an inclined plane to reach high ground. The gradient was 1 in 8 and the length was 600 yards; as the dominant business was to be the bringing down of coal, the inclined plane was on the balanced system, whereby loaded coal wagons were to descend by gravity, hauling lighter empty wagons up in the process, without the application of a separate power supply. The line was engineered so that the remainder of the branch was level, enabling horse traction to handle the loads. From the head of the inclined plane it followed a similar course to that of the earlier tramroad. On 22 October 1841 the Taff Vale Railway board decided, it gave notice to the Board of Trade, which inspected new lines prior to opening for passenger operation, but the BoT informed the TVR that as passenger operation was not contemplated on the Llancaiach branch, no inspection was necessary.
The line opened in November 1841. The new line attracted no business at first; the mine owners near Llancaiach continued to send their coal to Cardiff over Smith's tramroad and the canal, although that required physical transshipment at the canal wharf. Duncan & Co.'s colliery at Llancaiach started to use the line from 30 June 1842 and in 1843 more traffic was sent by the railway. The Newport and Hereford Railway was authorised in 1846 to build a line between those places, in 1847 it obtained authority to build a westward line from Pontypool to reach the Taff Vale Railway at Quaker's Yard; this line, belonging to the NA&HR, was called the Taff Vale Extension Railway. It crossed several of the South Wales Valleys in the course of its route making a connection with the railways in many of the valleys; the Taff Vale Extension opened through to Quaker's Yard on 5 January 1858. Running east to west on the high ground at Llancaiach, intersected the northern extremit
Ely Valley Railway
The Ely Valley Railway was a broad gauge railway company in South Wales, which opened a mineral line between Llantrisant station on the South Wales Railway main line and pits at Mwyndy and Penrhiwfer in 1860. It was unsuccessful financially, was leased to the Great Western Railway in 1861; the network suffered from being on the broad gauge when many pits and rival railways used the narrow gauge, but the GWR extended the network into Cwm Clydach and the line became used. The Ely Valley Extension Railway and the Ely and Clydach Valleys Railway were nominally independent additions to the network controlled by the GWR. A limited passenger service was started in 1901; the use of the network declined in the 1920s but the passenger service continued until 1958. The general mineral traffic collapsed in the 1960s but final closure only occurred when Cwm Colliery closed on 2 March 1987; the mineral resources of the upper end of the valley of the River Taff encouraged the development of iron smelting industries at Merthyr and Dowlais, these were dominant by the first decades of the nineteenth century.
Transport of the products to market was always a problem, the Glamorganshire Canal of 1794 and primitive tramroads connecting to it were an early response. The Taff Vale Railway was opened in 1840 and 1841 throughout from Merthyr to Cardiff Docks, was successful, it was a narrow gauge line. Mineral extraction at Dihewyd, near Llantwit Fardre, attracted interest, a private railway was built from pits there to the Glamorganshire Canal at Maesbach; the pits and the railway were owned by Thomas Powell. The line had a rope-worked incline to descend into the Taff valley, it was known as the Llantwit Fardre Railway. Promoters associated with the Great Western Railway obtained authorisation for a trunk line from near Gloucester to Milford Haven, connecting South Wales to the GWR network and London, the first section of their line between Chepstow and Swansea opened on 18 June 1850. Both lines were engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but the South Wales Railway was built on the broad gauge, it had a station called Llantrisant.
As a trunk railway, the South Wales Railway made few connections to collieries and iron mines, the development of these industries in the area close to the main line was as yet limited. In 1840 there was mineral activity in the Rhondda but at this stage it was limited to the area around Dinas, served by tramroads with which an 1841 branch of the Taff Vale Railway connected. In 1845 a Rhondda and Ely Valley Railway was proposed. On 16 September 1845 the promoters published their intention to obtain an Act of Parliament authorising their line. In October 1856 it was announced that the Ely and Rhondda Valleys Railway was being promoted, although at first it would only build eight miles of line, from Llantrisant to Dinas. In November the statutory Parliamentary notice was published, it was a mineral railway, passengers would not be carried. The Bill went to Parliament and encountered only limited opposition, it received the Royal Assent on 13 July 1857, with capital of £70,000. At the first formal board meeting it was decided to seek powers to build a branch to the productive Mwyndy iron ore mine, on to Brofiscin.
This was achieved in the 1857 session, with an additional £13,000 of capital authorised. Construction work was soon under way, the directors decided that it was a high priority to open to the Mwyndy mine so as to bring some money in. Temporary track and horse traction was used to manage this, an informal opening took place before 22 February 1859; the Ely Tidal Harbour and Railway Company had been incorporated by Act of 21 July 1856 to build a harbour at the mouth of the River Ely, to the west of Cardiff, to build a narrow gauge railway to meet the Taff Vale Railway at the place, now Radyr. The primary purpose of this was to relieve the congestion at the Bute docks on the east side of Cardiff, on the approach lines of the TVR; the following year, on 27 July 1857 the Company changed its name to the Penarth Harbour and Railway, the scope was increased to add the dock. The harbour was quickly made ready, opening for business on 18 July 1859, but the dock took longer, in fact until 1865; as well as carrying the traffic of the TVR to its new harbour, the Penarth company was interested in the traffic that might come from the Ely company, located as it was on the west side of Cardiff.
A meeting took place between the two companies on 15 December 1858, at which the Penarth company suggested a narrow gauge link between them. When the Ely Valley Railway was planned, the only other railway in the vicinity was the broad gauge South Wales Railway, it seemed obvious at the time to make the EVR line on the same gauge. On reflection, this posed some serious disadvantages. Moreove
Newtown and Machynlleth Railway
The Newtown and Machynlleth Railway was a short railway created to allow the Oswestry and Newtown Railway and the Mid-Wales Railway access to the Mid-Wales market town of Machynlleth, from their communal station at Newtown, Powys. Crossing the River Severn and the Cambrian Mountains, it was completed in 1863 and became part of the Cambrian Railways system in 1864; the railways of Wales were built by a series of ad hoc companies backed by a network of local and national investors, engineered by a group of communal civil engineers. The difficulty with the construction of the N&MR, was geographic over any other obstacle. Firstly, exiting Newtown, all routes had to cross the River Severn. Secondly heading due west, the railway had to make an economic and accessible to railway locomotives crossing of the Cambrian Mountains; this made the shortest but direct route both difficult to construct, resultantly expensive and unworkable. This was much like the dilemma which resulted in the economic termination of the strategic route, the Llangurig branch of the Manchester and Milford Railway.
Vested by an Act of Parliament on 27 July 1857, by the start of construction in 1860, the Llanidloes and Newtown Railway had bridged the River Severn south of Newtown, leaving the N&MR to only need to construct the twin spans of Penstrowed bridge to head west. After a junction with the Van Railway at Caersws, the line followed the natural line of the rising ground up towards the village of Talerddig, where Talerddig cutting enabled the railway to cross the Cambrian Mountains. Now heading down hill along the course of River Twymyn towards the coast at Cardigan Bay, via a junction with the Mawddwy Railway at the Anglicanised-named Cemmes Road, the line terminated at Machynlleth. Though it was single track, economic control of all costs created a meandering path, but low cost of construction of the line. A significant civil engineering achievement on the line is the Talerddig cutting through solid rock. With a depth of 120 feet, it was the deepest cutting in the world at the time of its completion in 1862.
For safety reasons, the original near-vertical sides have since been trimmed back. The first railway in Machynlleth was the narrow gauge Corris and River Dovey Tramroad, which opened in 1859 and ran past the site of the future N&M station at Machynlleth en route to the riverside wharves at Derwenlas and Morben. After the arrival of the standard gauge it built what became its station building on the north side of the main-line goods yard; when passenger services commenced on the Corris this building was made accessible from the mainline station by a flight of steps from the standard gauge platform. The N&MR arrived in Machynlleth in 1863, a year before the formation of the Cambrian Railways; as allowed by its Act of Parliament, the N&MR was instructed to build a station capable of connecting to the towns of Cardigan Bay via the 1861 authorised Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway. This it did the following year. In 1867 the A&WCR was extended from Barmouth to Pwllheli via Porthmadog. In July 1864 the line was absorbed into the Cambrian Railways.
Cambrian Railways were absorbed by the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922 as a result of the Railways Act 1921, became part of British Railways in 1948. There was an accident in the Talerddig cutting on 18 January 1921, of which several pictures survive. Hence since the first track rationalisation of the line during the 1970s, there remains to this day a passing loop on this single track line at the site of Talerddig station, retained in the need to "pin down" the brakes on freight trains over the summit, now a critical operational node for passing passenger trains. Many of the former Cambrian Railways lines were closed by the Beeching Axe, but the entire length of the N&MR remains open as part of Network Rail's Cambrian Line. In 2018, this line is operated by Transport for Wales using Class 158 DMUs. Newtown and Machynlleth Railway @ RailBrit.co.uk 1921 rail crash at Talerddig cutting: Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3
Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway
The Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway was a standard gauge railway built in 1863 connecting major towns around Cardigan Bay in Wales. The Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway was authorised by a Private Act of Parliament in 1861; the Act permitted the construction of a railway around Cardigan Bay between the towns of Aberystwyth, Barmouth and Pwllheli. Its northern terminus was to be Porthdinllaen near Nefyn on the north coast of the Lleyn Peninsula; the plan included a link with the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway by means of a line from Machynlleth to Ynyslas on the southern shore of the Dyfi estuary opposite Aberdyfi, the Dyfi itself to be bridged at this point. Work began at Machynlleth, the line was opened through to Aberystwyth in 1864. However, the planned Dyfi bridge at Ynyslas proved impracticable, requiring the divergence between the Aberystwyth and Coast lines to be moved 6 miles east to Dyfi Junction; this added 12 miles to the journey north from Aberystwyth, but the twisting line – just a few feet above high tide level - between Dyfi Junction and Aberdyfi remains one of the most scenic sections of railway in Britain.
For a time before completion, southbound passengers detrained at Aberdyfi and were carried over to Ynyslas by ferry, for which a short temporary branch was built for use at low tide. Soon after construction began, the proposed terminus at Porthdinllaen was abandoned; the 5-mile surveyed route across the Lleyn Peninsula was never built. The company decided. Major works on the line included the bridge south of the cliff top line at Friog; this latter location was the site of two identical accidents, in 1883 and 1933, in which the locomotive plunged to the foot of the cliff leaving the bulk of the train remaining on the track. The locomotive crews were killed in both instances; the topography at this point is demanding, as the existing coast road at a higher level had to be accommodated, as well as a working mine. The line was extended from Barmouth to Pwllheli via Porthmadog in 1867, the year after it was absorbed into the Cambrian Railways; the company's correct name - as in the five Private Acts of Parliament it obtained during its life - was spelled "Aberystwith": widespread erroneous use of the modern "Aberystwyth" spelling stems from mis-transcription in official records, now online.
The newer spelling started to come into use in the mid-19th century: Bradshaw's railway timetable commenced using it from c. 1868 but the Cambrian Railways did not adopt the new spelling until April 1892. The majority of the line is open, except for the line between Morfa Mawddach and Dolgellau, which closed on 18 January 1965. A ten-mile section between Barmouth Junction and Dolgellau is used as the Llwybr Mawddach, a cycle route and bridleway. Conversion of the trackbed to a path was incidentally assisted in 1976 when heavy floods washed away most of the remaining ballast; this section of the line featured in the BBC's Railway Walks series with Julia Bradbury. Carnarvonshire Railway at Afon Wen Bala and Dolgelly Railway at Dolgelly Newtown and Machynlleth Railway at Machynlleth Manchester and Milford Railway at Aberystwyth Awdry, Christopher. Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0049-7. OCLC 19514063. CN 8983. Jowett, Alan. Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland: From Pre-Grouping to the Present Day.
Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-086-0. OCLC 22311137. RAILSCOT on Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway
Clarbeston Road and Letterston Railway
The Clarbeston Road and Letterston Railway was a small railway company formed to give the Great Western Railway a more direct route to the port at Fishguard Harbour. The Great Western Railway obtained access to Ireland over the South Wales Railway, which ran via Clunderwen, Clarbeston Road and Haverfordwest to Neyland, where a small port was built as part of the railway facilities; the original proposal of 1844 had been for the western terminus to be at Fishguard, with Haverfordwest on a branch, by August 1847 work was in progress within 7 miles of Fishguard. In 1848, the effects of the Great Irish Famine made Ireland a less attractive proposition, work on the western end of the line stopped as a result. In 1851, work restarted, but it was decided that the western terminus should be on the Milford Haven Waterway, Neyland was selected. In 1878, the Rosebush and Fishguard Railway was formed, to extend the Narberth Road and Maenclochog Railway, which had opened in 1876, to Fishguard; the NP&FR was acquired by the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Co. in 1894.
In 1899, the F&RR&H sold its railways in Wales to the GWR, which completed the extension of the NP&FR line to Fishguard and Goodwick on 1 July 1899. A new double-track line was proposed by the GWR to shorten the distance to Fishguard. Prior to this, Letterston Junction was 283 miles 30 chains from Paddington via Rosebush. There is one tunnel, Spittal Tunnel, 243 yards long. There were no intermediate stations at first, but three were opened later: Wolf's Castle Halt on 1 October 1913, Welsh Hook Halt on 5 May 1924, Mathry Road on 1 August 1923; the intermediate stations were closed on 6 April 1964, but the line remains open for services to Fishguard & Goodwick and Fishguard Harbour stations. Falling traffic on the line caused it to be reduced to single-track on 16 May 1971 with a passing loop at Letterston Junction. Butt, R. V. J.. The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. MacDermot, E. T.. History of the Great Western Railway, vol. I: 1833-1863. Paddington: Great Western Railway.
MacDermot, E. T.. History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863-1921. Paddington: Great Western Railway. Yonge, John. Jacobs, Gerald, ed. Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western. Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. ISBN 0-9549866-1-X