|THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD
© DECEMBER 1965
After reading Dean Forester‘s ‘Mr Keeling buys a Locomotive’ in RECORD 3 and looking at the South Wales Tramroads map on page 60, I observed the Llanfihangel tramroad leading out of the top right hand corner to Pontrilas. Knowing Pontrilas, I wondered why anyone would want to run a tramroad there, so I set out to discover why.
It appears that the tramroad ran right through to Hereford, and that it was built to carry coal. The Llanvihangel tramroad was opened from Abergavenny to Blaengavenny on 12th March 1814 and extended a short distance in 1818 to Llanvihangel Crucorney. Here it joined the Grosmont tramroad which was opened through to Monmouth Cap (about a mile south of Pontrilas) in 1819. An Act was obtained in 1826 for the purpose of making a tramroad, or railway, from the end of the Grosmont Railway at Monmouth Cap in the parish of Llangua to the Wye Bridge within the Liberties of the City of Hereford. A plate railway about 11¾ miles in length, it was opened on 21st September 1829 and the traffic worked by horses. All three tramroads were purchased by the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford Railway under its Act of Incorporation in 1846, and the route followed by the new railway was largely that of the original tramroads.
Traces of the old way can be seen on both sides of the former G.W.R. line between Hereford and Abergavenny, and also near Govilon and Clydach on the Abergavenny Junction to Merthyr line.
(The traces Mr Jeynes has noted near Govilon and Clydach are probably of Bailey‘s tramroad which connected with the Llanvihangel at Abergavenny. Full details of these and many other tramroads in South Wales are to be found in Charles Hadfield‘s ‘The Canals of South Wales and The Border‘ which can be most heartily recommended. I regret that my sketch, from which Mike Swift drew the map on page 60, gave the impression that the tramroad ended at Pontrilas, when in fact it continued to Hereford. - K.P.P.)
WALTHAM CROSS GRAVEL PITS
Since Mr Down’s article appeared in RECORD 3 the locomotives have been renumbered in the LO xx series in the stock of Hall & Han River Ltd., and a further second-hand 4−wheel diesel (Ruston & Hornsby 277273) has arrived. The old pit has been closed and a new one - with dragline excavator and tracked hopper - opened just to the west of it. The narrow gauge line emerges from the alley between the factories and contractors‘ yards, and now crosses one road only. Diverging from the truncated remains of the line to the old pit, it bridges a small stream and continues on a ledge cut into the bank. After about 100 yards the stream disappears underground and the line descends a short gradient into the pit.
A FREE RAILWAY IN SPAIN
Congratulations on RECORD 7 and for the admirable spread of the subject matter. I look forward immensely to future issues. Since the early 1950’s my main interest has been in industrial locomotives on the Continent, so I am pleased to see a generous amount of space given to affairs on the other side of the Channel.
I particularly liked Ron Fraser’s article on "A Free Railway in Spain" and, never having heard of a maker in Brussells called Decker, I have done a little research in my works lists. The 1674mm gauge RIOSA is in fact Haine St. Pierre 1432, which is given as built in 1923 (not 1924), being 28 tonnes in weight, and delivered new to the order of G. de Decker & Cie., Bruxelles. The 75cm gauge LOREDO No.2 turns out to be Cockerill 3066, built about 1923-1924, with 310mm by 400mm cylinders, and delivered new to G. de Decker & Cie., Bruxelles.
Incidentally, for readers venturing abroad, I can recommend examination of the back of the firebox. Even when works plates are carried a scrutiny of the firebox will sometimes reveal other plates giving valuable clues to identity. The two locomotives which I have been discussing may well be cases in point.
The reference on page 21 in RECORD 2 to the Portmadoc, Beddgelert & South Snowdon Railway not having constructed any part of its line is strictly in correct as, even excluding the existing Croesor line from Portmadoc out to Croesor Junction, the PB & SSR built bits and pieces of completed trackbed amounting to some three or four miles. Allowing for the fact that this included the hardest section of the lot, through Aberglaslyn, it is reasonable to say that about half of its earthworks were constructed. Some were used by the Welsh Highland Railway, but lengths above Beddgelert were ignored and deviations laid on a 1 in 40 grade instead of the intended 1 in 28. As the latter grade was intended For electric operation it is interesting to note that RUSSELL was ordered by the PB & SSR.
A SOLO FROM PECKETT
I notice that the dimensions quoted in RECORD 5/6 for the Peckett fireless loco are 12in by 18in, yet a caption to an official photograph in a Peckett calendar gives 12in by 14in. Which is correct?