The Llangurig branch was a part of a proposed scheme by the Manchester and Milford Railway to connect industrialised Northwest England with the West Wales deep water port of Milford Haven. After various financial and construction difficulties, the 1.5 miles of the Llangurig branch is noted in trivia as being the shortest lived working branch line in the United Kingdom, receiving one train. The M&MR was an ambitious proposal to connect Manchester, the Northwest and the Midlands with the deep water docks at Milford Haven. Not going anywhere near either location's name in its title, it was a marketed connecting scheme using London and North Western Railway and Midland Railway metals as its feeder. Using the southern end of Oswestry and Newtown Railway, which connected to the LNWR for North Wales and Manchester, the M&MR would connect Llanidloes to a junction at Devil's Bridge, onwards to connect with the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway at Pencader. Trains would have run on the C&CR to Carmarthen, before connecting to the Pembroke and Tenby Railway for termination at Milford Haven.
The business plan was that, combined with industrial traffic from South Wales, Milford Haven could "provide the Lancashire cotton industry with alternative port to Liverpool." Predicted return traffic included American cotton for the mills of the Northwest. During the Victorian era, the Welsh rail network was built piecemeal by many small companies. Parliament resultantly mistakenly granted two Acts of Parliament for two separate lines through the same piece of terrain, linking Llanidloes to Aberystwyth: one for the M&MR; the MWR had Parliamentary authorised running rights from Newtown to Brecon via Builth Wells, hence onwards to Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff or Neath. The MWR was authorised to build its line by an Act of Parliament passed in 1859; the M&MR was authorised in 1860. The MWR and M&MR both knew that their approaches to Llanidloes covered the same ground; this caused the M&MR to prioritise work on this section. Resultantly, by 1861 the surveyors and navvies of the two competing workforces were physically clashing.
With the help of a local third party, an 1862 Act of Parliament authorised the creation of the joint-owned Llanidloes and Newtown Railway, which would extend southwards of Llanidloes with 1.5 miles of double track to Penpontbren Junction, where the MWR and M&MR would diverge. The M&MR and MWR were to pay 5 % "per annum" on maintenance; the three companies were to pay equal shares of interest and running costs for the new Llanidloes railway station. These charges were to prove crippling for the M&MR. Having moved its junction station for the branchline to Aberystwyth on cost grounds, from Devil's Bridge to Ystrad Meurig, the M&MR had let the contract for construction of the western 27 miles mainline to a combined team of David Davies of Llandinam and Fredrick Beeston, but it had excluded the route onwards to Llanidloes, as it required additional surveying to overcome engineering and resultant cost difficulties. The proposal was for the line to head west from Llanidloes by way of: Penpontbren Junction.
The same contractors began cutting the route in 1865 and completed the construction of 0.5 miles of trackbed west of Llangurig station. After crossing to the south side of the A44 at Pont Aberbidno, crop markings visible on Google Earth showing the route was marked out south of the A44 at least as far as Pant Mawr with initial clearance works. In addition there is a significant civil engineering cutting leading up to the Cambrian Mountains tunnel under Cefn Myherin; the location is about 800 m south west of Cae Gaer Roman Fort on the south side of the junction of Pistyll Fawr and Nant Ceiliogyn streams between the 370 and 380m contours. It is marked as'Old Quarry' on the National Library of Scotland searchable maps for 1900; the south west end of the 2km summit tunnel is at the end of a forest track past Blaen Myherin farmhouse again shown as'Old Quarry' on early maps. It is again at the 370-380m contour, making the summit tunnel level, just south of the confluence of the Nant Chwarelmelyn stream and an unnamed stream from Llynnoedd Ieuan lakes.
There is no evidence of construction in the Myherin valley north-east of Devil's Bridge other than the forestry track along the north side of the valley which may have been a construction road to give access to the portal. The Myherin Tunnel was one of the highest proposed or built in the UK, only just surpassed by the Torpantau Tunnel on the Brecon & Merthyr Railway at 400m in South Wales. Working the line would have been difficult with occasional blockages due to snow drifts in winter. However, after the initial section of the Llangurig branch was built east of Llangurig station 52°24′23.62″N 3°36′15.24″W, a single MWR goods train hired by the L&NR ran along its entire length. This entitled the L&NR to invoice the M&MR for its share of the cost of the joint station at Llanidloes, which it promptly did; the branch service was terminated by the M&MR, being wholly unprofitable without through traffic. The M&MR continued to pay for the cost of the joint station at Llanidloes, that it could not rea
In rail transport, track gauge or track gage is the spacing of the rails on a railway track and is measured between the inner faces of the load-bearing rails. All vehicles on a rail network must have running gear, compatible with the track gauge, in the earliest days of railways the selection of a proposed railway's gauge was a key issue; as the dominant parameter determining interoperability, it is still used as a descriptor of a route or network. In some places there is a distinction between the nominal gauge and the actual gauge, due to divergence of track components from the nominal. Railway engineers use a device, like a caliper, to measure the actual gauge, this device is referred to as a track gauge; the terms structure gauge and loading gauge, both used, have little connection with track gauge. Both refer to two-dimensional cross-section profiles, surrounding the track and vehicles running on it; the structure gauge specifies the outline into which altered structures must not encroach.
The loading gauge is the corresponding envelope within which rail vehicles and their loads must be contained. If an exceptional load or a new type of vehicle is being assessed to run, it is required to conform to the route's loading gauge. Conformance ensures. In the earliest days of railways, single wagons were manhandled on timber rails always in connection with mineral extraction, within a mine or quarry leading from it. Guidance was not at first provided except by human muscle power, but a number of methods of guiding the wagons were employed; the spacing between the rails had to be compatible with that of the wagon wheels. The timber rails wore rapidly. In some localities, the plates were made L-shaped, with the vertical part of the L guiding the wheels; as the guidance of the wagons was improved, short strings of wagons could be connected and pulled by horses, the track could be extended from the immediate vicinity of the mine or quarry to a navigable waterway. The wagons were built to a consistent pattern and the track would be made to suit the wagons: the gauge was more critical.
The Penydarren Tramroad of 1802 in South Wales, a plateway, spaced these at 4 ft 4 in over the outside of the upstands. The Penydarren Tramroad carried the first journey by a locomotive, in 1804, it was successful for the locomotive, but unsuccessful for the track: the plates were not strong enough to carry its weight. A considerable progressive step was made. Edge rails required a close match between rail spacing and the configuration of the wheelsets, the importance of the gauge was reinforced. Railways were still seen as local concerns: there was no appreciation of a future connection to other lines, selection of the track gauge was still a pragmatic decision based on local requirements and prejudices, determined by existing local designs of vehicles. Thus, the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway in the West of Scotland used 4 ft 6 in; the Arbroath and Forfar Railway opened in 1838 with a gauge of 5 ft 6 in, the Ulster Railway of 1839 used 6 ft 2 in Locomotives were being developed in the first decades of the 19th century.
His designs were so successful that they became the standard, when the Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened in 1825, it used his locomotives, with the same gauge as the Killingworth line, 4 ft 8 in. The Stockton and Darlington line was immensely successful, when the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the first intercity line, was built, it used the same gauge, it was hugely successful, the gauge, became the automatic choice: "standard gauge". The Liverpool and Manchester was followed by other trunk railways, with the Grand Junction Railway and the London and Birmingham Railway forming a huge critical mass of standard gauge; when Bristol promoters planned a line from London, they employed the innovative engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He decided on a wider gauge, to give greater stability, the Great Western Railway adopted a gauge of 7 ft eased to 7 ft 1⁄4 in; this became known as broad gauge. The Great Western Railway was successful and was expanded and through friendly associated companies, widening the scope of broad gauge.
At the same time, other parts of Britain built railways to standard gauge, British technology was exported to European countries and parts of North America using standard gauge. Britain polarised into two areas: those that used standard gauge. In this context, standard gauge was referred to as "narrow gauge" to indicate the contrast; some smaller concerns selected other non-standard gauges: the Eastern Counties Railway adopted 5 ft. Most of them converted to standard gauge at an early date, but the GWR's broad gauge continued to grow; the larger railway companies wished to expand geographically, large areas were considered to be under their control. When a new
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England, the Midlands, most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament on 31 August 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838, it was engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who chose a broad gauge of 7 ft —later widened to 7 ft 1⁄4 in —but, from 1854, a series of amalgamations saw it operate 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard-gauge trains. The GWR was the only company to keep its identity through the Railways Act 1921, which amalgamated it with the remaining independent railways within its territory, it was merged at the end of 1947 when it was nationalised and became the Western Region of British Railways; the GWR was called by some "God's Wonderful Railway" and by others the "Great Way Round" but it was famed as the "Holiday Line", taking many people to English and Bristol Channel resorts in the West Country as well as the far south-west of England such as Torquay in Devon, Minehead in Somerset, Newquay and St Ives in Cornwall.
The company's locomotives, many of which were built in the company's workshops at Swindon, were painted a Brunswick green colour while, for most of its existence, it used a two-tone "chocolate and cream" livery for its passenger coaches. Goods wagons were painted red but this was changed to mid-grey. Great Western trains included long-distance express services such as the Flying Dutchman, the Cornish Riviera Express and the Cheltenham Spa Express, it operated many suburban and rural services, some operated by steam railmotors or autotrains. The company pioneered the use of more economic goods wagons than were usual in Britain, it operated a network of road motor routes, was a part of the Railway Air Services, owned ships and hotels. The Great Western Railway originated from the desire of Bristol merchants to maintain their city as the second port of the country and the chief one for American trade; the increase in the size of ships and the gradual silting of the River Avon had made Liverpool an attractive port, with a Liverpool to London rail line under construction in the 1830s Bristol's status was threatened.
The answer for Bristol was, with the co-operation of London interests. The company was founded at a public meeting in Bristol in 1833 and was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835. Isambard Kingdom Brunel aged twenty-nine, was appointed engineer; this was by far Brunel's largest contract to date. He made two controversial decisions. Firstly, he chose to use a broad gauge of 7 ft to allow for the possibility of large wheels outside the bodies of the rolling stock which could give smoother running at high speeds. Secondly, he selected a route, north of the Marlborough Downs, which had no significant towns but which offered potential connections to Oxford and Gloucester; this meant. From Reading heading west, the line would curve in a northerly sweep back to Bath. Brunel surveyed the entire length of the route between London and Bristol himself, with the help of many, including his solicitor Jeremiah Osborne of Bristol law firm Osborne Clarke who on one occasion rowed Brunel down the River Avon himself to survey the bank of the river for the route.
George Thomas Clark played an important role as an engineer on the project, reputedly taking the management of two divisions of the route including bridges over the River Thames at Lower Basildon and Moulsford and of Paddington Station. Involvement in major earth-moving works seems to have fed Clark's interest in geology and archaeology and he, authored two guidebooks on the railway: one illustrated with lithographs by John Cooke Bourne; the first 22 1⁄2 miles of line, from Paddington station in London to Maidenhead Bridge station, opened on 4 June 1838. When Maidenhead Railway Bridge was ready the line was extended to Twyford on 1 July 1839 and through the deep Sonning Cutting to Reading on 30 March 1840; the cutting was the scene of a railway disaster two years when a goods train ran into a landslip. This accident prompted Parliament to pass the 1844 Railway Regulation Act requiring railway companies to provide better carriages for passengers; the next section, from Reading to Steventon crossed the Thames twice and opened for traffic on 1 June 1840.
A 7 1⁄4-mile extension took the line to Faringdon Road on 20 July 1840. Meanwhile, work had started at the Bristol end of the line, where the 11 1⁄2-mile section to Bath opened on 31 August 1840. On 17 December 1840, the line from London reached a temporary terminus at Wootton Bassett Road west of Swindon and 80.25 miles from Paddington. The section from Wootton Bassett Road to Chippenham was opened on 31 May 1841, as was Swindon Junction station where the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway to Cirencester connected; that was an independent line worked by the GWR, as was the Bristol and Exeter Railway, the first section of which from Bristol to Bridgwater was opened on 14 June 1841. The GWR main line remained incomplete during the construction of the 1-mile-1,452-yard Box Tunnel, ready for trains on 30 June 1841, after which trains ran the 152 miles from Paddington through to Bridgwater. In 1851, the GWR purchased the Kennet and Avon Canal, a competing carrier between London, Reading and Bristol.
A diesel locomotive is a type of railway locomotive in which the prime mover is a diesel engine. Several types of diesel locomotive have been developed, differing in the means by which mechanical power is conveyed to the driving wheels. Early internal combusition locomotives and railcars used gasoline as their fuel. Dr. Rudolf Diesel patented his first compression ignition engine in 1898, steady improvements in the design of diesel engines reduced their physical size and improved their power-to-weight ratio to a point where one could be mounted in a locomotive. Internal combustion engines only operate efficiently within a limited torque range, while low power gasoline engines can be coupled to a mechanical transmission, the more powerful diesel engines required the development of new forms of transmission; the first successful diesel engines used diesel–electric transmissions, by 1925 a small number of diesel locomotives of 600 hp were in service in the United States. In 1930, Armstrong Whitworth of the United Kingdom delivered two 1,200 hp locomotives using Sulzer-designed engines to Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway of Argentina.
In 1933, diesel-electric technology developed by Maybach was used propel the DRG Class SVT 877, a high speed intercity two-car set, went into series production with other streamlined car sets in Germany starting in 1935. In the USA, diesel-electric propulsion was brought to high speed mainline passenger service in late 1934 through the research and development efforts of General Motors from 1930–34 and advances in lightweight carbody design by the Budd Company; the economic recovery from the Second World War saw the widespread adoption of diesel locomotives in many countries. They offered greater flexibility and performance than steam locomotives, as well as lower operating and maintenance costs. Diesel–hydraulic transmissions were introduced in the 1950s, but from the 1970s onwards diesel–electric transmission has dominated; the earliest recorded example of the use of an internal combustion engine in a railway locomotive is the prototype designed by William Dent Priestman, examined by Sir William Thomson in 1888 who described it as a " mounted upon a truck, worked on a temporary line of rails to show the adaptation of a petroleum engine for locomotive purposes.".
In 1894, a 20 hp two axle machine built by Priestman Brothers. In 1896 an oil-engined railway locomotive was built for the Royal Arsenal, England, in 1896, using an engine designed by Herbert Akroyd Stuart, it was not a diesel because it used a hot bulb engine but it was the precursor of the diesel. Following the expiration of Dr. Rudolf Diesel's patent in 1912, his engine design was applied to marine propulsion and stationary applications. However, the massiveness and poor power-to-weight ratio of these early engines made them unsuitable for propelling land-based vehicles. Therefore, the engine's potential as a railroad prime mover was not recognized; this changed as development reduced the weight of the engine. In 1906, Rudolf Diesel, Adolf Klose and the steam and diesel engine manufacturer Gebrüder Sulzer founded Diesel-Sulzer-Klose GmbH to manufacture diesel-powered locomotives. Sulzer had been manufacturing Diesel engines since 1898; the Prussian State Railways ordered a diesel locomotive from the company in 1909, after test runs between Winterthur and Romanshorn the diesel–mechanical locomotive was delivered in Berlin in September 1912.
The world's first diesel-powered locomotive was operated in the summer of 1912 on the Winterthur–Romanshorn railroad in Switzerland, but was not a commercial success. During further test runs in 1913 several problems were found. After the First World War broke out in 1914, all further trials were stopped; the locomotive weight was 95 tonnes and the power was 883 kW with a maximum speed of 100 km/h. Small numbers of prototype diesel locomotives were produced in a number of countries through the mid-1920s. Adolphus Busch purchased the American manufacturing rights for the diesel engine in 1898 but never applied this new form of power to transportation, he founded the Busch-Sulzer company in 1911. Only limited success was achieved in the early twentieth century with internal combustion engined railcars, due, in part, to difficulties with mechanical drive systems. General Electric entered the railcar market in the early twentieth century, as Thomas Edison possessed a patent on the electric locomotive, his design being a type of electrically propelled railcar.
GE built its first electric locomotive prototype in 1895. However, high electrification costs caused GE to turn its attention to internal combustion power to provide electricity for electric railcars. Problems related to co-coordinating the prime mover and electric motor were encountered due to limitations of the Ward Leonard current control system, chosen. A significant breakthrough occurred in 1914, when Hermann Lemp, a GE electrical engineer and patented a reliable direct current electrical control system. Lemp's design used a single lever to control both engine and generator in a coordinated fashion, was the prototype for all internal combustion–electric drive control systems. In 1917–18, GE produced three experimental diesel–electric locomotives using Lemp's control design, the first known to be built in the United States. Following this development, the 1923 Kaufman Act banned steam locomotives from New York City because of severe pollution problems; the response to this law was to electrify high-traffic rail lines.
However, electrification was u
Newport Docks is the collective name for a group of docks in the city of Newport, south-east Wales. By the eighteenth century there were a number of wharves on the west shore of the River Usk; the considerable tidal range and muddy banks made the wharves inconvenient, as trade grew, the Town Dock was opened in 1842. It was extended to the north in 1858, trade increased further; the Alexandra Dock Company was established and a large dock of the same name was opened in 1875, followed by the South Dock in 1893, extended in 1907 and 1914. Newport Docks were said to have the largest extent of water in any dock in the world; the Town Dock has been filled in, but the Alexandra Dock system is still in use, although the vast mineral export traffic has long since ended. The area at the head of the Newport Valleys, from Tredegar to Pontypool, was rich in minerals: coal and iron, limestone; the development of iron smelting processes in the eighteenth century led to a massive upsurge in industrial output, the products of the industry needed to be transported to market.
The roads and other communication systems in the eighteenth century were poor, the minerals were conveyed to a watercourse on the backs of pack animals, at considerable expense. The watercourse closest at hand for the purpose was the River Usk at Newport, it was to that point that the journey was made. Onward transport by ship from there was easy; the difficulty and expense of the overland part of the journey resulted in the promotion of the Monmouthshire Canal Navigation. This was authorised by Act of Parliament in 1792 and it was opened in stages from 1796, it extent was from Pontnewynydd, north-west of Pontypool, to Newport, from Crumlin to Newport. Both arms of the canal were eleven miles long; the canal did not connect into the Usk at Newport, at Crindau, north of the town, to a basin near Llanarth Street. The Canal Company or the coalowners and ironmasters using it were authorised to make tramroads from any pit within seven or eight miles of the canal, to bring their output to the canalside.
The Monmouthshire Canal Navigation was successful, it obtained an Amendment Act in 1802, allowing it to make additional wharves on the banks of the River Usk to enable cargoes to be transferred to ships for export. The canal was to be extended a mile and a quarter down the river from Llanarth Street, the original termination, to Pillgwenlly. Work was begun in 1806; the Canal and the associated tramroads were successful, the industries they supported grew rapidly. The Bristol Channel and its tributary watercourses have a large tidal range, the wharves on the River Usk were subject to this inconvenience. Promoters in the town put forward a scheme to construct a floating dock, this was authorised by Parliament by Act of July 1835, with capital of £35,000. After considerable delay, a massive cost increase, the Town Dock opened on 10 October 1842, having cost £195,000 to build, it covered 4 acres. Trade continued to grow and an extension was planned. Authorised under the Newport Dock Company Act of 1854, it was opened on 2 March 1858.
The original dock became known as the Outer Basin, the new dock, referred to as the Inner Basin, covered 7 1⁄2 acres. Although at first the loading of the ships with general cargoes was dealt with by the ships' crews themselves, in due course, the Town Dock was equipped with a wide variety of hydraulic handling equipment, a hydraulic generating power station was provided. By 1914 the Town Dock was equipped with four coal hoists, three of them being capable of lifting loaded coal wagons of 23 tons gross; the Town Dock known as the Old Dock, was superseded by better equipped facilities, it was closed in October 1930. It was filled in, at the present day a shopping complex and bus terminal occupies the site; the Town Dock was successful, this success led to a rapid increase in the volume of trade. This required a considerable expansion of the facilities, it was determined to build new, larger docks at a location nearer the mouth of the Usk; this was known as the Alexandra Dock. During the excavation, the remains of a Viking longship were discovered at a depth of twelve feet below the surface.
The dock opened on 10 April 1875. As soon as the opening ceremony was completed, a telegram was despatched top the Prince of Wales, shortly a reply was received: "The Prince of Wales, Sandringhmam, to the Mayor of Newport, Mon. I thank you much for your telegram, I congratulate most heartily the inhabitants of Wales on the success of the undertaking." Until 1882 there were two dock companies in Newport: the Newport Dock Company, which operated the Town Dock, the Alexandra Dock Company, which operated the Alexandra Dock. By Act of Parliament of 1882, they were amalgamated to form the Alexandra Docks and Railway Company; the Newport Dock Company received £150,000 as the purchase price. The Town Dock was now used for smaller vessels, in time chiefly for the import trade in timber. Larger cargoes were handled at the Alexandra Dock. Under an Act of Parliament of 1882, the South Dock was authorised, it opened on 6 June 1893, covered an area of nearly 20 acres. While the South Dock was being constructed, the tonnage using the North Dock increased by 750,000 tons.
There was a South Lock which enabled larger vessels to enter direct from that end, nearer the Bristol Channel. The South Dock opened on 6 June 1893, it was obvious that continued growth
Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway
The Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway was a 7 ft 1⁄4 in broad gauge railway line in south-west Wales, intended to connect Carmarthen on the South Wales Railway with Cardigan. In fact, it was unable to raise the necessary capital and was loss-making from the time of opening the first short section of its line in 1860, it was in receivership for much of its life, it reached Llandyssil in 1864, but was not extended further during its independent existence. Its station at Carmarthen became the focus of several independent cross-country railways which made junctions with it, for a time the toll charges for the short distances used by their trains was useful income, but the line never became solvent and it sold its concern to the Great Western Railway in 1882; the GWR extended from Llandyssil to Newcastle Emlyn, which improved use of the line somewhat. Meanwhile, another railway was built to Cardigan from Whitland, the C&CR line was never extended beyond Newcastle Emlyn. Passenger trains ceased operating on the Newcastle Emlyn branch in 1952 and on the rest of the line in 1965 apart from access to the creamery north of Pencader until 1973.
The exception is the short stub into Carmarthen town that diverges from the through-line from Swansea and is used by all passenger trains serving Carmarthen. The Great Western Railway opened its line between London and Bristol in 1841; the South Wales Railway obtained the Royal Assent on 4 August 1845. It opened its line progressively: from Swansea to Carmarthen on 11 October 1852, on 2 January 1854 onwards to Haverfordwest and Neyland; because of the radically changed economic conditions, the idea of reaching Fishguard was in abeyance for the time being. The position of the town of Carmarthen on the River Towy and the hills west of the town made the design of a through railway difficult, the decision was taken to pass south of Carmarthen; the SWR built a station adjacent to the Pensarn to Cwmffryd road. In common with the Great Western Railway, the South Wales Railway was a broad gauge line; the South Wales Railway merged with the Great Western Railway and "became for all practical purposes part of the Great Western on the 1st January 1862".
Connection to a railway hugely improved the economic prosperity of a town, enabling goods to be brought in and out cheaply. The terrain north and west of Carmarthen was in need of a railway connection and the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway was planned; the first promoters of the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway planned to build a line from Carmarthen to Cardigan, to build a new deep water port there, opening up shipping routes from west Wales. In 1853 this scheme was widened to include a line to Kidwelly and Cross Hands, connecting the mining and quarrying on Mynydd Mawr. Late in that year it became plain that these ambitions were beyond the expected financial resources of the company, a more modest scheme, to build from Carmarthen to Newcastle Emlyn, was formulated. Accordingly a Bill for the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway went to Parliament, but proposing a line only as far as Newcastle Emlyn, a distance of 26 miles, at this stage; the Bill obtained the Royal Assent on 1 July 1854, with share capital of £300,000.
The company was to build its own "Carmarthen" station closer to the town than the SWR station, a bridge was needed to cross the River Towy. It was intended to extend the line to Cardigan, to make a deep-water port there; the line was to be to the broad gauge, consistent with the gauge of the South Wales Railway. The authorising Act permitted the raising of capital, but securing commitment to invest proved difficult; the engineer was Joseph Cubitt. In 1859, the Company considered altering its track gauge from broad gauge to standard gauge, to reduce costs; this was opposed by the South Wales Railway, which feared that it would encourage a connection with rival, standard gauge lines. A Bill authorising this was passed in the House of Commons but the C&CR withdrew the proposal on receiving certain working undertakings from the SWR, continued construction in the authorised broad gauge; the short distance from the junction with the SWR to the C&CR Carmarthen station was opened on 1 March 1860. It had been intended to open on 1 November 1859 but the mode of junction was objected to by the SWR engineer.
This was followed by opening of the line as far as Conwil on 3 September 1860. The C&CR relied on the SWR to work its line, friction developed when the C&CR claimed that the charges for this were excessive. Whatever the truth of that, the C&CR was not earning enough to pay the working expenses and the service was suspended after only four months' operation, on 31 December 1860. There were outstanding debts to the SWR which the C&CR was unable to pay, the SWR seized £1,343 worth of rails and sold them; the C&CR now determined to work the line itself, hired two 4-4-0 tank engines. Construction further northwards was difficult. Work had started in the Spring of 1857, but in the Autumn of 1861 the contractor abandoned the workings, a substitute contractor had to be found; the Company obtained Parliamentary authorisation for a re
2 ft and 600 mm gauge railways
Two foot and 600 mm gauge railways are narrow gauge railways with track gauges of 2 ft and 600 mm, respectively. Railways with similar, less common track gauges, such as 1 ft 11 3⁄4 in and 1 ft 11 1⁄2 in, are grouped with 2 ft and 600 mm gauge railways. Most of these lines are tourist lines, which are heritage railways or industrial lines, such as the Festiniog Railway in Wales and the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado. World War I trench railways produced the greatest concentration of 600 mm gauge railways to date. In preparation for World War II, the French Maginot Line and Alpine Line used 600 mm gauge railways for supply routes to the fixed border defenses. Australia has over 4,000 kilometres of 2 ft gauge sugar cane railway networks in the coastal areas of Queensland, which carry more than 30 million tonnes of sugarcane a year. Many 2 ft gauge and 600 mm gauge railways are used in amusement parks and theme parks worldwide; the interchange of rolling stock between these similar track gauges occurred.
The Otavi Mining and Railway Company in South-West Africa were transferred to the 2 ft gauge railways in South Africa and some surviving locomotives reside in Wales on the 1 ft 11 1⁄2 in gauge Welsh Highland Railway and the 1 ft 11 3⁄4 in gauge Brecon Mountain Railway. Decauville Heritage railway List of track gauges