Taff Vale Railway

Quakers Yard

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An inclined plane near Quakers Yard, opened in 1845.

Dowlais Works

NGR SO090080

By the Dowlais Railway Act of 28 July 1849, the Iron Company were granted 5 years in which to complete the line, being required to provide a passenger station near the lower entrance gates of the Dowlais Iron Works, and not more than 100 yards from the main Merthyr-Abergavenny road. Beyond this station the line went on to serve the ironworks and thence ran to the limestone quarries. The section of the Dowlais Railway between the ‘Dowlais junction’ with the T.V.R. south of Merthyr and Dowlais station was 1mile 68chains long, and, owing to the difference of nearly 350 foot in level, was worked in its lower part as an inclined plane from its opening on 21 August 1851 until it finally passed out of use about the end of 1930.* A connection, 31chains in length, from the bottom of the inclined plane into the Merthyr station yard of the Vale of Neath Railway was authorised under a further Dowlais Railway Act of 3 July 1854 and was brought into use in 1858.

Pwllyrhebog Branch

NGR SS980920

The Pwllyrhebog Branch incline was also cable operated. Among the numerous projects which were at one time or another contemplated for major extensions of the T.V.R. was one for an ambitious connection from the head of the Rhondda Fawr to join the Vale of Neath Railway at Hirwain. This was incorporated on 12 August 1867 as the Rhondda Valley & Hirwain junction Railway, opened in June 1878 for mineral traffic only from Blaenrhondda Branch junction, 55chains beyond Treherbert, to Blaenrhondda Colliery, with a spur of 16chains to Blaencwm Colliery. Neither the original extension to Hirwain, nor a later one (authorised on 13 May 1872) from Hirwain to join the Aberdare Railway at Mill Street, Aberdare, was ever made. By its Act of 17 June 1878, the Company was authorised to lease its 1˝miles of finished track to the Taff Vale and abandon the remainder; finally on 26 August 1889 the T.V.R. absorbed the independent company. Two other short mineral lines in the Rhondda are those from Aerw Branch junction near Trehafod to various colliery sidings (73chains of T.V.R. line, opened 1854), and from Pwllyrhebog Branch junction up the famous incline to Pwllyrhebog (1863) and thence to Clydach Vale Colliery (1889), the total length being 2miles 5chains. The Clydach Colliery extension was built privately but was acquired by the Taff Vale in 1896. Of the Rhondda lines, the Ferndale-Maerdy section and the Aerw and Blaenrhondda branches are all single.