Taff Vale Railway

Introduction

This railway ran from the town and harbours at Cardiff to coalmines in the Taff Vale and Ironworks at Merthyr Tydfil.






Dates

  /  /1800[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Extension to Maerdy opened by buying a private line from Ferndale to Maerdy.
  /  /1836[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Authorised.
  /  /1836[Taff Vale Railway]
Incorporated.
21/06/1836[Taff Vale Railway]
Act passed. Promoters included John Josiah Guest (Dowlais Ironworks), Walter Coffin (Dinas colliery). Connections made at Merthyr Tydfil to the Penydarren, Dowlais and Plymouth Ironworks. Line to be single track.
30/06/1837[Taff Vale Railway]
Act passed for branch to Cyfartha Ironworks and branch to Plymouth, Penydarren and Dowlais Ironworks. Only the branch to connect to [Crawshays Private Railway] was opened. The branch also served the Ynysfach steelworks.
16/08/1837[Taff Vale Railway]
First stone laid at Pontypridd by Lady Charlotte Guest, wife of John Josiah Guest, chairman.
  /10/1840[Taff Vale Railway]
Cardiff station opened. The station was by the later Cardiff Queen Street's up platform. Freight track continued south to Cardiff Docks.
08/10/1840[Taff Vale Railway]
Cardiff to Navigation House opened. There was a level crossing with the Pentyrch Railway at Pentyrch.
  /  /1841[Taff Vale Railway]
Dinas Branch opened to Aerw connect to the Aerw Tramway which served Dinas collieries.
  /  /1841[Taff Vale Railway]
Opened.
  /  /1841[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Line opened from Stormstown Junction to Llancaiach Colliery.
21/04/1841[Taff Vale Railway]
Navigation House to Merthyr Tydfil opened.
21/04/1841[Taff Vale Railway]
Plymouth Street Station, Merthyr, opened. The site was not convenient for the town.
  /11/1841[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Opened. The line was horse worked. The line served Duncan and Company's Llancaiach Collieries which were just to the north of Nelson.
  /  /1845[Taff Vale Railway]
Incline Top, just north of an inclined plane near Quakers Yard, opened.
  /  /1846[Taff Vale Railway]
Cardiff to Taffs Well doubled. Trains ran on the right track.
06/08/1846[Taff Vale Railway]
Navigation House renamed Abercynon
  /  /1847[Taff Vale Railway]
Taffs Well to Navigation House doubled.
  /  /1847[Taff Vale Railway]
John Guest of Dowlais Ironworks resigns as the railway's chairman due to a perceived clash of interests.
  /  /1847[Taff Vale Railway]
Ynyscoi Tunnel opened out as part of the doubling of the line.
  /  /1848[Taff Vale Railway]
Branch opened to Bute West Dock from East Branch Junction (by Queen Street).
  /  /1849[Taff Vale Railway]
Navigation House renamed Aberdare Junction.
  /  /1849[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Extended from Porth to Dinas.
  /12/1849[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Extended from Porth to Ynyshir.
  /  /1854[Aerw Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Branches off at Aerw Branch junction to collieries.
  /  /1856[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Extension to Ferndale opened.
07/08/1856[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Extension to Treherbert opened.
  /  /1857[Taff Vale Railway]
Act passed to widen viaduct over Taff by Quakers Yard and open out tunnel.
  /01/1858[Taff Vale Railway]
Incline Top station closed on opening of Quakers Yard station.
  /  /1861[Taff Vale Railway]
Navigation House to Merthyr Tydfil doubled.
04/02/1861[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Pontypridd to Ystrad opened to passengers.
  /  /1863Pwllyrhebog Branch, [Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Opened from Tonypandy to Blaenclydach Goods. The line was worked by specially designed 0-6-0 tank engines, of 1884, which were safe to work on the incline. The incline was also cable operated.
  /  /1863[Taff Vale Railway]
Tunnel by Quakers Yard opened out.
07/01/1863[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Ystrad to Treherbert opened to passengers.
  /  /1865[Taff Vale Railway]
Penarth Dock opened.
  /03/1866[Taff Vale Railway]
Newbridge Junction renamed Pontypridd.
  /  /1867[Taff Vale Railway]
Inclined plane, by Quakers Yard, replaced by new line.
  /10/1872[Taff Vale Railway]
Triangle of lines opened north of Pontypridd by the opening of a link from Pontypridd North Junction to Rhondda Cutting Junction.
01/01/1876[Cowbridge Railway]
[Taff Vale Railway]
Cowbridge Railway leased to Taff Vale Railway.
  /06/1876[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Porth to Maerdy opened to passengers.
01/08/1877[Taff Vale Railway]
Passenger trains transferred from Merthyr Plymouth Street to Merthyr High Street. Connection from Brandy Bridge Junction to Mardy Junction ([Vale of Neath Railway]) opened. The connection was joint [Great Western Railway] and Taff Vale Railway.
20/02/1878[Penarth Extension] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Line opened from Penarth harbour to Penarth.
19/10/1878[Taff Vale Railway]
Coal train, which was being turned using the triangle of lines north of Pontypridd, backs onto passenger train at Rhondda Cutting Junction killing thirteen passengers.
  /  /1880[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Connection made to the [Taff Vale Extension] at a west facing junction.
  /  /1880[Taff Vale Railway]
Quadrupled from Cardiff to Pontypridd. From Crockherbtown Yard to Llandaff the goods lines were on the east side of passenger lines, from Llandaff and Radyr Yards the goods lines ran on the west side until Pontypridd. The freight lines crossed the passenger lines on the level at Llandaff.
  /  /1885[Roath Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Act passed.
06/08/1885[Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Act passed.
  /  /1886Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Opened for coal from Lady Windsor Colliery to north facing junction at Stormstown with the [Taff Vale Railway].
  /  /1887[Taff Vale Railway]
Line built from Pont Shon Norton Junction to serve the Albion Colliery at Cilfynydd.
  /  /1887[Taff Vale Railway]
Cardiff station re-built as Cardiff Queen Street and connection opened to the [South Wales Railway].
01/12/1887[Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Line opened from Penarth to Lavernock.
  /  /1888[Taff Vale Railway]
Attempts to buy the Bute Docks, on the threat of the opening of the [Barry Dock and Railways].
23/04/1888[Roath Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Opened.
  /  /1889Pwllyrhebog Branch, [Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Extended to Pwllrhebog Colliery by buying its railway.
  /  /1889[Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway] ([Taff Vale Railway])
The line is vested in the [Taff Vale Railway] by an Act.
08/07/1889[Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Opened from Lavernock to temporary platform at Biglis as the [Barry Dock and Railways] would not grant access to Biglis Junction station.
22/05/1890[Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Service extended to Biglis Junction on the [Barry Dock and Railways] and temporary Biglis station closed.
  /  /1896[Taff Vale Railway]
Aberdare Junction renamed Abercynon.
  /  /1896[South Wales Railway], [Taff Vale Railway]
Bute Street Junction between the lines closed on opening of new fly-over east of Cardiff General.
01/12/1896[Taff Vale Railway]
Aberdare Junction renamed Abercynon
  /  /1900[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Introduce steam railcars to compete with buses.
  /  /1900[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Albion Colliery branch from Pont Shon Norton Junction on the [Taff Vale Railway] extended north to meet the Nelson and Llancaiach line at Ynysdwr Junction.
  /  /1900Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
South facing junction, Clydach Court Junction with the [Taff Vale Railway] to Windsor Passing Siding Box, by the colliery, opened.
01/06/1900[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
[Taff Vale Railway] starts a passenger service from Pontypridd to Nelson station.
17/10/1904Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Rail motors service starts from Pontypridd to Old Ynysbwl Platform.
01/05/1905~[Taff Vale Railway]
Aberthin Platform opened
  /02/1906[Taff Vale Railway]
Duffryn Crossing Platform renamed Abercwmboi Platform
  /  /1907[Taff Vale Railway]
Pontypridd station re-built with an island platform and five bay platforms.
  /05/1909[Taff Vale Railway], [Rhymney Railway], [Cardiff Railway]
Merger proposed and amalgamation bills produced.
  /05/1909[Taff Vale Railway], Treforest Lines ([Cardiff Railway])
Temporary connection put in between the two lines at Treforest.
  /08/1909[Taff Vale Railway], [Rhymney Railway], [Cardiff Railway]
Merger Bill fails.
12/10/1909[Taff Vale Railway], Treforest Lines ([Cardiff Railway])
Temporary connection removed.
23/01/1911[Aerw Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Southbound passenger train runs into the rear of a full coal train at Coke Ovens (couple of miles northwest of Pontypridd). Eleven people killed.
  /  /1917[Taff Vale Railway], [Rhymney Railway], [Cardiff Railway]
E.A. Prosser, formerly of the [Rhymney Railway], becomes Joint General Manager.
12/07/1920~[Taff Vale Railway]
Aberthin Platform closed
02/10/1922~[Taff Vale Railway]
Abercwmboi Platform renamed Abercwmboi Halt
  /  /1924[Taff Vale Railway]
Cardiff Docks renamed Bute Road.
  /  /1928[Taff Vale Railway]
Queen Street is expanded to have five platforms.
  /  /1930[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Track between Nelson station and Nelson and Llancaiach on the [Taff Vale Extension] to be improved by the [Great Western Railway] to take passengers.
12/09/1932[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Closed to passengers.
  /  /1938[Llancaiach Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Cilfynydd to Nelson and Llancaiach closed and lifted.
  /  /1938Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Line cut back from Llanwonno Colliery to Mynachdy Colliery, by Old Ynysbwl.
  /  /1944Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Traffic from Mynachdu Colliery ceases.
22/09/1949Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Mynachdy Colliery to Old Ynysybwl closed.
23/03/1950[Taff Vale Railway]
Branch to Ynysfach closed when slag traffic ceases.
01/07/1951Pwllyrhebog Branch, [Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Closed.
28/09/1952Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Closed to passengers.
02/04/1956~[Taff Vale Railway]
Abercwmboi Halt closed
  /01/1958[Taff Vale Railway]
DMU services introduced.
  /11/1959Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Closed to goods.
15/06/1964[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Porth to Maerdy closed to passengers and line singled.
27/11/1967[Taff Vale Railway]
Merthyr Plymouth Street closed to goods.
06/05/1968[Roath Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Closed.
05/08/1968[Taff Vale Railway]
Pontypridd North Junction to Rhondda Cutting Junction closed.
  /  /1970[Taff Vale Railway]
Queen Street cut back to and island platform with a bay.
  /  /1970[Taff Vale Railway]
Pontypridd station's down (southbound) face on the island platform is taken out of use.
  /09/1970[Taff Vale Railway]
Albion Colliery branch from Pont Shon Norton Junction closed.
  /  /1971[Taff Vale Railway]
Line singled between Abercynon and Merthyr. A passing loop was retained at Black Lion.
  /  /1973[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Singled from Cwmparc to Treherbert.
  /  /1977[Aerw Branch] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Closed on closure of the Lewis Merthyr Colliery.
  /  /1981[Rhondda Valley Branches] ([Taff Vale Railway])
Porth to Cwmparc singled.
03/10/1988[Taff Vale Railway]
Abercynon renamed Abercynon South
15/10/1988Ynysybwl Branch ([Taff Vale Railway])
Railtour runs to Lady Windsor Colliery. Line then closed.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

153353 stands at Cardiff Bay with the 12 minute interval shuttle to Queen Street on 18 October. Beyond is the former Taff Vale Railway's Cardiff Dock, ...
Bill Roberton 18/10/2015
Under the canopy at the former Cardiff Bute Road station in May 2011 looking north. Beyond the end of the building, running parallel with Bute Street, ...
David Pesterfield 19/04/2011
The former Cardiff Bute Road station in 1980. The station was renamed Cardiff Bay in 1994. [See image 33903] ...
Ian Dinmore //1980
A local resident sees her friend off from Cardiff Bay, chatting through the open droplight window right up to departure. The shuttle service runs one ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009


Platform 1 has been reinstated at Cardiff Queen Street allowing the Cardiff Bay shuttle to operate without interfering with the through valley trains. ...
Bill Roberton 21/10/2015
Cardiff Queen Street with its four running platforms and a bay platform for the Cardiff Bay shuttle service. ...
Alastair McLellan 12/07/2016
A class 150 DMU is about to leave platform 4 at Cardiff Queen Street with the 1540 Penarth - Bargoed on 31 October 2013. Part of the soon to be ...
John Thorn 31/10/2013
A twin Pacer unit leaves Cardiff Queen Street heading north across Newport Road. The large building in the background is Brunel House built as a ...
John Thorn 07/04/2016







In addition to serving three valley lines (Merthyr, Aberdare and Treherbert) Radyr is also the junction for the City Line and so enjoys on eight ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009
In 1960 Radyr shed still had an allocation of 58 tank engines, over half of which were 56xx 0-6-2Ts. A marshalling yard and diesel stabling point ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009
A DMU passes under the signal gantry leaving Radyr station in 1993. ...
Ian Dinmore //1993
Tank engines in the yard at Cardiff Radyr shed in August 1962 include Collett 0-6-2T 6608 and Hawksworth 0-6-0PT 3400. ...
K A Gray 12/08/1962



A Barry Island service leaves Taffs Well towards Radyr from where it will take the Cathays line into Cardiff. 143606 is trailing 142076 as the service ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009
South Wales Valley services passing at Taffs Well with 150236 bound for Aberdare and 142076 leading a Pacer 142/143 combination heading into Cardiff ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2009







Going in through the way out - as you do. There used to be two rather grand staircases at this major Valleys junction; but even with the recent ...
Ken Strachan 31/05/2010
The redundant Pontypridd signal box seen from a southbound Treherbert line train in February 2011. The Merthyr and Aberdare line runs along the other ...
David Pesterfield 17/02/2011






Inside Abercynon signal box in March 1985. ...
Ian Dinmore /03/1985
The 15.08 mixed Pacer service from Merthyr Tydfil seen between the old and new 'signalling centres' at Abercynon on 9 December 2010. The train ...
David Pesterfield 09/12/2010
Pacer 142074 passes the redundant junction signal box as it runs into Abercynon on 9 December to form the 15.43 service to Merthyr Tydfil. ...
David Pesterfield 09/12/2010
142076 runs into Abercynon on the 15.29 Barry Island service, ex-Merthyr Tydfil. In the right background stands the reclad former 88E Abercynon steam ...
David Pesterfield 09/12/2010