Welcome to the Garw Valley Railway
WEBSITE CHANGES

This site is no longer active and has been replaced by our new site at www.garwvalleyrailway.co.uk  Please accept the management's apologies for the lack of current news while the new site is in construction.

 
Welcome

The Garw Valley Railway is based on the former Pontycymer to Tondu branch to the north of Bridgend which was curtailed to Pontycymer after 1997. Most of the track remains “in situ”, with two short lengths having been lifted. The line is single track, with potential station sites at Pontycymer, Pontyrhyl, Llangeinor and Brynmenyn. The closest national rail station is Tondu on the Maesteg Branch. Pontycymer is a 15 minute drive from the M4 at junction 36.

 

The Company hopes to restore passenger train services between Pontycymer and Tondu within the next 10 years and possibly into Brynmenyn Industrial Estate where a National Railway Centre could be developed.

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Autumn 2013 Update

There is a large hole alongside the Train Shed where excavation of the land has taken place to lower the levels. This is to facilitate the insertion of foundations for a platform and ensure the track level is at the required height. Operations have temporarily stopped due to the wet weather. Operating the digger and dumpers would only churn up the ground and render it impossible to work sensibly. The several hundred tonnes of spoil removed has been used to consolidate the embankments beside the river.

Meanwhile work has been taking place to dig out stream beds and culvert runs to try and improve the drainage just south of the Shed.

Inside the Shed, the new stores block has been plastered upstairs and the second fix electrics are due to be completed as soon as the plaster is sufficiently dry. Downstairs, the internal walls and ceiling have been painted; the work units put in place; the sink and relevant drainage installed and the mains water pipe brought within the block for ease of access.

Work has commenced on the steel access stairs to the first floor - following a generous donation of the steel by a member. Because of the dimensions of the available space, the stairway has had to be designed with two 90 degree returns - top and bottom. This has required considerable effort in cutting and welding shaped steps. It is expected that this stairway will be completed before Xmas, and the associated mezzanine landing platform to access the upper storey will then be installed.

Planet locomotive 4006 has had almost all of the projected, and planned, modifications completed and has been tested comprehensively. The Shark Brake Van will be a winter project to replace the roof covering and start on the side panelling.

Both dumpers have been overhauled with new wheel bearings, seals and brake rods replaced. The elderly Loading Shovel has been sold. Workshop machines are being overhauled and rewired where necessary. A huge selection of old tools - mainly drills - have been refurbished and better storage of these items is underway.

Further internal tasks are to fix rain guards on the tops and bottoms of the main doors to reduce the ingress of moisture at the south end of the Shed. A new Alarm system is being installed to comply with Building and Fire Regulations.

Much has been achieved this year and the progress is very encouraging.

 

 
We have started !

Following a major service and overhaul of our newly aquired excavator, we ran a Driver training course on the Bank Holiiday weekend, and have now commenced lowering the land levels adjacent to the Train Shed in preparation for the new platform foundations.

 
WInter Progress

The main achievement since last October has been the completion of the construction of the two storey Stores block within the Train Shed. The upper storey is now fully insulated and lined; the windows and door are fitted and it is planned to apply a skim coat to the internal walls once the weather dries up and the temperature rises.

Volunteers worked hard to finish the building in cold conditions and their efforts are appreciated. We are grateful to the Awards for All Funding grant for the materials and to Promac Windows of Rugby for their sponsorship of the windows.

The next priorities are to finish installing the electrical power and lighting; fit the lower floor doors, line and insulate the ground floor ceiling and put the sink in. Yes, we do know the soffit board has yet to be fitted !

As can be seen from the picture below, the 5m x 5m building is spacious and will provide excellent storage facilities for archive materials, tools and working gear in a dry and secure area. Access to the upper storey will be by a steel staircase for which regulatory approval has been received.       

 

Two_Storey_Block_External_2 In other directions, the work on Planet 4006 has continued and the electrical wiring renewal is now complete. The control panel has been fitted with additional switching to minimise the potential for accidental starting of the engine. The fuel system has been drained prior to steam cleaning the fuel tank, and work is in hand to renew the fuel lift pump. Cab doors have new locks, and the cab window liners have been replaced.

A trial has been undertaken to utilise a small digger to lift concrete sleepers from the lines adjacent to the Train Shed as a precursor to lifting all the rails and sleepers. This will make way for the start of the land engineering to prepare the levels for the new platform, platform track and run round loop.

Further work has continued to 'winter-proof' the water supply pipework and generally tidy up the various waste building materials. The effects of the recent very wet spell have been to cause river bank damage further down the line as well as blockage of streams due to fallen trees. These have been removed where it was possible, but a significant land slip due to the scouring effect of raised river levels following a large tree fall has undermined the Community Path near Llangeinor and could affect the railway. The relevant authorities are aware of the situation and, hopefully, will be able to make repairs as soon as possble.

The Xmas Raffle raised over £1000 and distribution of the various prizes is almost complete.

 
Why not join us?

As you have visited our website, and are hopefully interested in what we are trying to achieve in the Garw Valley, then why not join us? Members of the railway, near and far can help out on 'work party weekends', be involved in topical discussion forums and have access to the latest news and updates from the website, So if you fancy getting your hands dirty, or just being 'In the know' then please consider signing up to be a member of the railway. Membership is currently just £10 for adults.

 
Rheilffordd Cwm Garw Gwefan - Yn awr ar gael yn Gymraeg

The Garw Valley Railway website - Now available in Welsh .. and most other languages as well Smile

To change the language you view the website in, select the language from the Translate Website box to the right hand side. You can choose the language by clicking on the quick-link flags, or by selecting the language from the drop down menu.

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