Mynydd Mawr Railway Visit 6th August 2017
Members of Llanelli Community Heritage who were willing to brave the downpours of Sunday afternoon, 6th August, on the heights of Cynheidre, were rewarded with a very interesting tour.
Des Thomas (Chairman) made an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who, along with a small band of fellow enthusiasts, has preserved this relic of Wales’ industrial history. Little now remains of past glory, but a few hundred yards of track and a sturdy looking platform give an idea of what it used to be, along with a collection of old railway carriages and locos including a buffet car, a “bubble car” unit, a diesel shunter and pre-1900 coaches.
The Mynydd Mawr Railway began life as the Carmarthenshire Tramway and was given approval by Act of Parliament in 1802 – one of the first in Britain. It opened in 1803, horse-drawn wagons carrying coal to the sea at Sandy. Closed in 1844 it re-opened in 1883 with an extension of the line to Cross Hands, and a change of name to the Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway. It was absorbed by the Great Western Railway in 1922 and became part of the nationalised railway in 1947. It continued to transport coal from the Gwendraeth Valley until the closure of Cynheidre in 1989.
As always, funding is in short supply, but one “Peter J. Griffiths” has been honoured for his generous contributions (see the picture of the diesel shunter). Although far away in the USA, he heard of the Mynydd Mawr enterprise and determined to help. He has visited Llanelli a number of times and continues to support its expansion.