A History of Britain’s Railways

Dowlais Railway

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Dowlais Railway

This railway was built by the Dowlais ironworks to connect its works to the Taff Vale Railway at Merthyr Tydfil. The line had a steep incline.


Clickable map of the Dowlais Railway Crawshay's Private RailwayTaff Bargoed Joint LineVale of Neath Railway
Clickable Schematic of route [Key]

Local area


The area around Dowlais had a number of Ironworks including the Dowlais Iron Works, Pen-y-darren Iron Works and the Cyfarthfa Iron Works. A number of lines were promoted to the area to carry coal, iron products and slag.



The Pen-y-darren Tramway was the first tramway or railway to reache the area although the a canal had reached Merthyr Tydfil before it. The tramway was replaced by the Taff Vale Railway (one of the first proper railways in South Wales) which ran from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil. The Dowlais Iron Company built the Dowlais Railway to connect to the Taff Vale Railway.

Description of route


From Merthyr to the Iron Works at Dowlais.

Page created on 13/11/2000
Page last edited on: 11/09/2011
Contact: Ewan Crawford