This post is a short addendum to my post about the pre-railway age and the tramways of Pembrokeshire. In that post there was a section about the Porthgain to Abereiddi Tramway. In writing about that tramway, I failed to include details of the 3ft-gauge clifftop tramway which linked the slate quarry at Pen Clegyr Point with Porthgain.
I also failed to note the detail of the tramway tunnel between St. Bride’s Quarry and Porthgain Harbour. The original post can be found here:
Much of this current post about the Clifftop Tramway is summarised from a book by R.C. Jermy – “The Railways of Porthgain and Abereiddi,” which is an excellent study of the location. 
By 1906, lines which linked St. Bride’s Quarry with the harbour via two inclines had been removed. The later tramway tunnel was also redundant and the tramway rails had been lifted. “Traces of the earthworks and inclines, including the lines to the spoil tips, are the only remains on the 1906 map. There remained on the clifftop just the lines of the horse-drawn tramway fetching stone from the quarries at Pen Clegyr Point. From loading sidings in the quarry the line entered a shallow cutting passing a small smithy on the right, after which maps indicate a short passing loop. The line then climbed upwards towards the summit close to Pentop Gate at which point it curved right, passing the weighing machine which measured the wagon weights. The line then forked into two, one track leading to each of the stone crushers located above the storage hoppers. Small passing loops were located on each of these tracks.” [2: p17]
There is, for me, an interesting connection between this area and the Forest of Dean. In 1900, the Forest of Dean Stone Firms were registered in Bristol.”This concern took over the harbour and mining interest at Porthgain but after November 1909, and until it was finally wound up in 1922, its interests were managed by United Stone Firms, another Bristol-registered Company. This firm raised a mortgage of £200,000 on the Dean Forest and Porthgain interests in 1910 and indeed this was the time when the crushed stone demand was reaching its peak. Sailing ships and powered vessels called regularly, the quarry and harbour railway systems were well developed and the Company ran its own fleet of steam coasters, each of about 350 tons.” [2: p10]
However, by 1913, despite the success of its Porthgain operations the parent company passed into the hands of the receiver. It remained so until 1926 “when it was reorganised and taken out of receivership by Walter Bryant of Coleford, Gloucestershire, who formed United Stone Forms (1926) Limited.” [2: p10]
However,by July 1931, that company became insolvent and was closed by 31st August 1931.
Jermy notes that “by 1908 the demand for roadstone had increased and the Forest of Dean Stone Firms made the decision to invest in a steam locomotive for operating the clifftop system. … It was realised that with the arrival of a heavy locomotive complete relaying with heavier track would become a necessity. Accordingly 200 sleepers were ordered … and … between 20th and 22nd January, 1909 the tramway was [re-laid] with heavy rails and sleepers from Pentop Gate by the water tank to the winding engine house at the top of the incline leading from the lowest quarry levels. A new engine shed was constructed, the roof over the single road being completed just six days after the arrival of the first locomotive! An inspection pit was located between the rails in the shed. Later, in November 1909 a ten ton weighbridge was installed in a brick building close to the water tower.” [2: p18]
Later, two further locomotives arrived at Porthgain necessitating the addition of a second road to the engine shed.
Records appear to show that one of these locomotives, Singapore, was too heavy for the tramway rails in place when they arrived and as a result in some expenditure was necessary to upgrade the tramway. In fact, the prevailing weather conditions and the weight of the locomotives seem to have resulted in a significant regular maintenance programme being implemented.
Jermy shows two plans of the railway – the first shows it much as on the 1906 6″ Ordnance Survey. He dates his sketch plan to 1905. [2: p20]. The second is the result of a survey of the line by Jermy in the 1980s which seems to show the small network at its fullest extent in around 1925. [2: p21] This sketch plan shows the engine shed in its position on the Northeast side of the St. Bride’s Quarry, three roads serving the crushers and hoppers, a small Yard on the North side of St. Bride’s Quarry, a weighbridge and water tank to the Northwest of the Yard, a long straight length of line with two tracks, one known as ‘The Cutting’, the other as ‘Jerusalem Road’. These two line led to the Upper Level of Pen Clegyr Quarry and, via a cable-worked incline to the lower level of the quarry. [2: p21]
The first locomotive was named ‘Portgain‘. It was built in 1909 by Andrew Barclay in Kilmarnock. It was Works No. 1185. … No. 1185 was an 0-6-0T with 7″ x 13″ outside cylinders, 2ft 2½in wheels 3ft gauge. … Despatch Date: 26th July 1909. [2: p23] This locomotive was out of use by 1929 and was scrapped on site shortly after 1931. 
The second, ‘Charger‘ was built in 1891 by W.J. Bagnall in Stafford and had the Works No. 1381. It had a copper firebox, brass tubes and two 5½in x 10in outside cylinders. It passed through a number of ownerships before, in September 1912, it was moved to Porthgain. [2: p29-30] This locomotive was scrapped shortly after 1931. 
The third, ‘Singapore‘, was a 0-4-2 saddle tank built at the Kerr-Stuart works in Stoke-on-Trent and had Works No. 659. It had 9½in x 15in outside cylinders. It was built in 1899. It was first bought by the contractor G. Pauling and Co. It was shipped to Ireland and was used on the Burtonport Extension contract which Pauling’s were undertaking for the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway. Sold in 1903, it went to Scotland and remained there until 1912 when it was transferred to Porthgain. [2: p31-33] This locomotive was out of use by 1929 and was scrapped on site shortly after 1931. 
The fourth locomotive was ‘Newport‘, a 0-4-0T loco. It was built by Hudswell, Clarke and Company of Leeds. It was originally built as a 2ft 10in gauge loco with Works No. 311 in 1889. In 1900 it was owned by Kellett & Sons who worked on the Hagley to Frankley section of the Elan Valley Aqueduct. It went through a number of ownerships after this before entering service at Porthgain in May 1929 after an overhaul. [2: p33-36] This locomotive remained in the Porthgain Railway Locomotive Shed after closure until scrapped in 1953. 
This post includes a selection of news items about Kenya Railways in the period from 2018 to the Autumn of 2022. The items included are by no means exhaustive but they might be of interest! ……..
The Birth of a Nation: preserving records on the Kenya-Uganda railway line (EAP1143)
In 2018 the British Library funded a small pilot project undertaken in Nairobi Railway Museum’s archive. This was a low cost 6 month pilot which identified the condition of the archived documents and photographs and improved storage and access to them.
The photographs which were digitised all seem to predate the construction of the railway and document the life and times of people who lived on its route. 
The Standard-Gauge Line
In 2018, NPR reported that the “Standard Gauge Railway station in Nairobi is easily the most impressive public building in Kenya.”  The station is “adventurous. It’s all gray and modern. Geometric shapes form an abstract locomotive, and red neon announces the “Nairobi Terminus.”” 
NPR continues: “The train runs 293 miles from Kenya’s capital city to the port of Mombasa and back twice a day and represents the biggest infrastructure project since Kenya’s independence 54 years ago. The Chinese financed it; a Chinese company built it; and the Chinese will operate it for many years to come. … The project, which launched in the summer of 2017, has not only come to signify Kenya’s ambitions, but also China’s ambitions on the African continent. In the past decade, China has become the biggest lender to governments in Africa. The money has helped build ports, roads, bridges, airports and trains. But critics warn the loans are full of traps that could leave African countries in the lurch. Kenya alone owes $5.3 billion to China.” 
On 16th October 2019, VOA News reported that Kenya opened the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway Project: “Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta officially opened on Wednesday the second phase of his flagship infrastructure project: a Chinese-funded and built railway that will eventually link the port of Mombasa to Uganda. … The latest stretch of track cost $1.5 billion and runs from Nairobi to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha.” 
After the official opening, the president then joined the first ride along the line. … “The train stopped at every station, where a cheering crowd awaited the president. He promised them that the new railway will bring prosperity. … Kenyatta said that if the railway comes here, development also comes here.” 
The new track is 120 kilometers (75 miles) long and has 12 stations. Passengers can ride the trains, but the railway is mainly for cargo. The track will eventually lead to an inland container depot, (see below) from where containers will be distributed to Uganda and Rwanda, and to South Sudan. 
On 20th August 2021 the Ugandan newspaper, ‘The Independent’ reported that Kenya’s Standard-gauge railway line transported 2.31 million tons of cargo between January and the end of May that year: “an increase of about 45 percent from the similar period in 2020, according to data released on Thursday from the Kenya Railways Corporation.” 
“The rise in cargo volumes saw an increase in revenue generated during the months to 6.2 billion shillings (about 57 million U.S. dollars), up from 41.4 million dollars generated from January to May in 2020, it said. … The number of passengers using the train during the first five months of 2021 nearly doubled amid COVID-19 pandemic. … Some 601,201 passengers were ferried between the capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa during the period, up from 330,232 in 2020 when the country grappled with COVID-19 pandemic, the corporation said. … This generated revenue of 5.9 million dollars, up from 3.3 million dollars generated between January and May in 2020.” 
Refurbishment of Nairobi Central Station
Major renovations at Nairobi Central Station began on 27th July 2020. By January 2021, the work was well-advanced. Kenya Railways reported that the work would facilitate the use of the new DMUs due to arrive in the country.
Kenya Railways stated on 13th January 2021 that, “as the rehabilitation works continue[d], stringent measures [were] put in place to safeguard daily commuters as they access[ed] the station.” 
Designated boarding points were set for various trains to facilitate safe movement of passengers within the Nairobi Central Station. For instance, Kikuyu and Ruiru trains, the boarding point was designated on the Western end of the Nairobi Central Station and it was to be accessed from Railways Police station. While passengers boarding Syokimau & SGR Link trains boarded the trains from the Eastern end of the station with the access point being adjacent to Guava restaurant.
Kenya Railways stated that, “The rehabilitation of Nairobi Central Station will not only give it a new face but also show KR is dedicated in making transportation better.” 
Plans for the full renewal of Nairobi Central Station were published in May 2022. The project has been sponsored by both the British and Kenyan Governments.
THE British and Kenyan governments unveiled the final design of Nairobi’s new Central Railway Station and surrounding public area, which has been developed as part of the Nairobi Railway City redevelopment programme. 
The IRJ reported that, “The design was developed by SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Atkins and submitted to Kenya Railways and the Ministry of Transport. … The station is designed to accommodate up to 30,000 passengers per hour at peak periods, and will have 6000m2 of concourse space. The station will offer a new covered public space for the city with retail outlets and other amenities …. It features separate entrance and exit routes to avoid conflicting flows and ensure passengers can get to and from the platforms efficiently. … Three existing platforms will be joined by six additional passenger platforms, and four dedicated freight lines will be built. Two platform bridges will be built, with one for passengers entering the station and one for passengers exiting.” 
A few design office perspective views are shown below:
The SGR to MGR link at Naivasha
In July 2022, President Uhuru Kenyatta officially commissioned the Standard Gauge Railway – Metre Gauge Railway Passenger Rail Link at the Kenya Railways Mai Mahiu Station in Naivasha, Nakuru County. The ceremony took place on Tuesday, 26th July 2022.
The 5km link will enable passengers traveling to Western Kenya by train to switch from the standard-gauge service to that of the metre-gauge and vice versa. Kenya Railways reported that it would as a result be possible to travel exclusively by rail from Mombasa through Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Machakos, Kijiado and Nairobi onwards to Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kitale, Nyahururu, Nanyuki, Malaba and Bungoma. 
Naivasha Inland Container Depot
On the same day (26th July 2022) the Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD) was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Naivasha ICD facility which incorporates both the Standard Gauge Railway and the Metre Gauge Railway line will handle mainly transit cargo to the Great Lakes Region including Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi, which account for around 30% of imports and exports through the Port of Mombasa.
The SGR/MGR Link referred to above will greatly facilitate the transshipment process. All Transit cargo can now be delivered to the facility straight from the Port of Mombasa as either Through Bill of Lading (TBL) or merchant haulage (Non-TBL), while exports and empty containers can also be consolidated at the Naivasha ICD and railed to the Port of Mombasa for onward shipping.
Kenya Railways reported that, “The depot is linked to the Mombasa Port container terminal by a rail-tainer service on the Mombasa to Suswa Standard Gauge Railway line. It will serve to bring port services closer to customers and reduce congestion at the Port of Mombasa, Nairobi Inland Container Depot and on the roads. It is convenient for East African partner states who will not have to cover an entire 572 kilometres by road between Mombasa and Naivasha. From Naivasha ICD to Malaba Railway Yard, cargo will be transported over 36 hours and it will cost $860.”
Kenya Railways also affirmed that, “The Naivasha ICD includes a one-stop centre for ease of operations and efficient service delivery. The port houses all the Government agencies involved in handling of cargo namely Kenya Railways, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Port Health (Public Health) and Revenue Authority officers from partner states of Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.” 
Nakuru Railway Station
President Uhuru Kenyatta officially commissioned the revitalized 217km Nakuru-Kisumu Metre-Gauge Railway (MGR) and the 465km Longonot–Malaba segment as well as the refurbished Nakuru Railway Station.
Kenya Railways reported on 28th July 2022 that the re-commissioning had taken place: “The iconic Nakuru Railway Station is a key transit station for cargo and passenger train services to and from Western Kenya, and is the aggregation hub for farm produce from the agriculturally rich Central Rift region for onward freight to the Coast for export.” 
“Nakuru town started as a railway station on Kenyan-Uganda railway line at the turn of 20th century. It was built in 1900 and later expanded in 1957. It sits on the east side of the centre of Nakuru. The town is part of the famous ‘White Highlands settlement’ areas established by the British during the colonial era. The areas surrounding Nakuru town are mainly known for their vast agricultural potential especially cash-crop farming i.e wheat, barley, pyrethrum, sisal, maize and beans. Nakuru Railway Station was built in order to serve the rapidly growing economy of the town.” 
“Later branch lines were built to link the station to farming areas. Among these was the line linking the station to the sisal producing Solai area. Just 6.9 kilometres from Nakuru town lies Nakuru Junction station. This is the point at which the lines to Malaba and Kisumu diverge.” 
Suburban Services in Nairobi
Nairobi Commuter Rail Services now run regularly to Ruiru, Embakasi Village, Limuru, Syokimau and Lukenya in Kitengela. There is also a Madaraka Express Commuter Service that operates between Nairobi Terminus and Ngong station and a link service between Nairobi Central Station and the Standard-gauge Station runs at 0630hrs, 1200hrs and 2010hrs each day. 
A holiday in West Wales in the early Autumn of 2022 led to a little research on the railways in the area.
This is the sixth article about Pembrokeshire’s Railways. The first focussed on the pre-railway age, the second focussed on the mainline railways of the county. The third article focussed on the industrial railways in the vicinity of Milford Haven. The fourth and fifth on the Saundersfoot Railway in Pembrokeshire. The links to these posts are provided below. This article concentrates on the railways associated with RNAD Trecwn (the Royal Navy Armaments Depot at Trecwn).
TheRoyal Navy Armaments Depot at Trecwn (RNAD Trecwn)
RNAD Trecwn is, in the 21st century, a decommissioned Royal Navy Armaments Depot, south of Fishguard in the village of Trecwn, Pembrokeshire, West Wales.
It was built in 1938 to store and supply naval mines and munitions ordnance to the Royal Navy. The depot apparently came into its own during the cold war. During those times 400 permanent workers were employed at the site, housed in an MoD built small town. The site had an on-site, 2ft 6in (762mm) narrow gauge railway, built using copper to reduce sparks. Weapons were both delivered to the site and then distributed using standard gauge rail to Fishguard, Neyland for Milford Haven, and latterly Pembroke Dock. 
The Standard-gauge Branch Line and Sidings – Just south of the main entrance to RNAD Trecwm and the main security fence to the site was a single railway platform, for workers access to the depot. Within the security fence, a marshalling yard of 8 parallel loops existed, shunted by a dedicated MoD diesel hydraulic shunting locomotive. The line then extended on down the valley, through a gauge exchange shed for access to the narrow gauge network, and then provided direct access to the 58 cavern storage chambers via a series of herring-bone shaped sidings. 
Supply trains would run along the dedicated branch-line from the site: to Fishguard Harbour; to Neyland for Milford Haven; and Pembroke Dock. At Fishguard the line extended beyond the ferry terminal at Fishguard Harbour railway station, continuing along the breakwater to a single line spur, allowing for transfer of munitions to Royal Navy ships. 
These next few images show the Trecwn branch-line. The first shows its junction with what was the GWR line to Fishguard from which the branch runs Northeast towards Trecwn …
The depot was decommissioned in 1992. All 58 cavern storage bunkers and the extensive above ground network of storage sheds and other military buildings remain in place. Ownership of the site was transferred from the Ministry of Defence to Anglo-Irish consortium Omega Pacific in 1998, and then by court order to the Manhattan Loft Corporation in 2002. The site is being redeveloped as an industrial park. 
Three aerial photographs are provided by the Fishguard and Goodwick Local History Society. Posted by Ian Evans, they are used here by kind permission.
The first one shows the main entrance to the depot at it’s southern end. It can be dated to the mid-1950’s. “At the bottom right of the image can be seen the main railway line into the valley, leading to the railway sidings. The buildings to both sides of the railway sidings included a number of specialist workshops and storage facilities, there were no live explosives handled in this area.” 
The second “shows the workshops and stores buildings in more detail. The building at the bottom right with the tall chimneys was the southern boiler house which supplied steam to most of the buildings seen here. It was in this area that the narrow gauge railway system started, it extended right up the north end of the site.” 
Of interest, to me at least, is that when I load Google Earth onto my desktop I automatically get the railway tracks at Trecwn added. I am not sure how that happened, but it is useful for this article. ….
The third of three aerial images from the mid-1950s appears below. It “shows the red area where live explosives were handled and stored, everything from .303 Rifle bullets to 1 Thousand pound bombs were processed here and stored in 58 Magazines built into each side of the valley, If you zoom in you can see a number of the tunnel entrances quite clearly. A lot of the smaller buildings have blast walls surrounding them. The complex extended further north from this photo to the north end Boiler House and security gates.” 
The OpenRailwayMap  is also of great help in establishing what railways existed inside the Depot. It is clear that the standard-gauge line extended much further to the Northeast along the valley of the Afon Aer than the Ordnance Survey mapping records.
To complete this section on the Standard-gauge line, I have included a series of screen-dumps from the OpenRailwayMap . Having them at this point in the article should hopefully minimise scrolling when we look at the Narrow-Gauge network at the depot. The sequence of the map extracts runs from the Depot gates in the West, closest to the hamlet of Trecwn, eastwards to the point where the valley turns to the North and then follows the valley northwards.
This final image is the key/legend provided by the OpenRailwayMap  editors. The Trecwn branch as far as the depot gates is shown in yellow above. The standard-gauge lines within the Depot are deemed industrial lines and are therefore shown as thin brown lines. The length of these line inside the Depot is significantly longer that that shown on the Ordnance Survey maps. Abandoned standard gauge lines are shown as thick dashed brown lines (not grey as in the key).
The narrow gauge lines are shown as thin dashed brown lines. It is possible that by the time the mapping was undertaken these had been abandoned and are hence shown dashed. There are a very few lengths of narrow-gauge track shown solid brown.
The extent of the network of these lines is, for me, the most engaging element of this mapping. RNAD Trecwn had a very significant internal narrow-gauge network. …
The Narrow Gauge (2ft 6in) Lines – A 2ft 6in (762 mm) gauge network traverses the entire site, with direct access to the 58 cavern storage chambers. All rail infrastructure was built in copper to reduce the risk of sparks. Serviced via its own on-site locomotive shed and works, the line was equipped with a series of specially provided wooden enclosed wagons, with sliding roof covers. This allowed sea mines and other munitions to be directly placed within the wagons from overhead gantries, and transported over the entire site without access via any form of side door, hence enhancing safety. The narrow gauge line therefore became the main method of on-site distribution, with standard gauge rail or road the off site access method. 
The next few aerial images can be found on the Coflein website and show elements of the narrow-gauge system running along the site. In places the standard-gauge and narrow -gauge sit side-by-side.
In 2003, David Mansell, writing about the site commented: “About a mile into the site the narrow gauge railway facilities commence with maintenance sheds and a covered transfer building. There are a total of 58 storage chambers, each extending into the hillside for 200 feet, arranged in a herringbone formation along both sides of the valley. Each one has alarmed steel doors with its own siding off the narrow gauge railway.”  … His opinion at the time, was that RNAD Trecwn was “a railway enthusiasts dream with both standard and narrow (2ft 6in) gauge lines. The depot has its own branch off the Fishguard to Carmarthen line and after a small platform area outside the depot for staff the line enters the site via lockable steel gates into the main marshalling yard where the line splits into 8 parallel loops. The standard gauge line then travels the entire length of the valley alongside the narrow-gauge line which has points for the siding to each storage chamber.”  …
The narrow gauge rolling stock then consisted of the “well known ‘Trecwn’ wooden wagons with sliding roofs to enable mines to be lowered in and flatbed trucks for other munitions. Some of the stock can now be seen on the Welsh Highland and [Welshpool and] Llanfair light railways.” 
At the time Dave Mansell was writing, there was still a substantial amount on site. Locomotives included small diesel shunters and battery units; some derelict examples of which were still on the site in 2003. Points on both gauges were manually operated and still well greased. 
The next few photographs were all taken early in 2003 by Dave Mansell and are shared with his kind permission and that of Subterranea Britannica…..
Locomotives – a series of narrow-gauge locomotives were employed at the site. These are surviving examples:
Ruston & Hornsby 187069 – was a Class 25/30hp locomotive with a Ruston 3VSO engine and weighing 3.25 tons. It left the works on 28th October 1937. “It was one of forty of that type working on the Nuttall-Pauling Consortium contract to build the … Depot at Trecwn. … Construction was complete by 1941 but this locomotive was evidently still in the West of Wales in 1950, because a spares order was placed by Pauling on 26th May 1950 to be sent to Geo Bros Ltd., East Burrows Yard, Swansea, which may have been repairing it. In 1951 it was noted at Pauling’s Park Royal plant depot, Middlesex, numbered P250 in the Pauling list. It was later sold or scrapped at an unknown date. [229: p1-2]
Baguley-Drewry Locomotives – Baguley-Drewry of Burton-on-Trent built a number of locomotives for this narrow gauge network.
The Talyllyn railway purchased two of Trecwn’s narrow-gauge locomotives …. Diesel No.11 “Trecwn” & No.12 “St Cadfan” were purchased by Talyllyn volunteers from RNAD Trecwn in 2008. The names were decided by ballot in 2014 by the group that originally purchased the locomotives for the Talyllyn. Both Locomotives were re-gauged from 2ft 6in to the Talyllyn’s 2ft 3in Gauge. Talyllyn members also purchased over a mile of track from RNAD Trecwn complete with rail, sleepers, spikes and fishplates in June 2008. 
236. OpenRailwayMap (previously called “Bahnkarte”) is a detailed online map of the world’s railway infrastructure, built on OpenStreetMap data. It has been available since mid-2013 at openrailwaymap.org. This project was founded in December 2011 in order to create a world-wide, open, up-to-date and detailed map of the railway network, based on OpenStreetMap. The domain was registered on April 27th, 2013 and the corresponding website was launched in mid 2013. Since then it has received constant improvement. In February 2014 the project moved to a new server. In April 2014 a dedicated map for mobile phones was launched. 
The OpenRailwayMap includes all rail-mounted and automotive vehicles, e.g. railways, subways, trams, miniature railways and funiculars. The map does not include aerialways, monorails, and maglevs. The name OpenRailwayMap mostly refers to the online map, but the project also aims to support railroad-related data in OpenStreetMap. By developing a consistent data model, providing a mailing list for discussions, developing editor plugins, etc. the collection of these data is boosted and the data are made usable for other applications and developers. 
241. This statement needs a minot clarification. The Trecwn Branch used to leave the line between Fishguard and Clynderwen just South of where that line diverged from the route from Fishguard tthrough Clarbeston Road. The North Pembrokeshire line was lost many years before the Trecwn branch closed. The tracks visible in the image above led only to Trecwn.
The featured image above shows the Locomotive Bulldog which was used on the length of the line between the Inclined Plane and Reynalton Colliery.
This is a follow-up to the first article about the Saundersfoot Railway. The first article covered the history of the Railway and then went on to look at the route of the line from Saundersfoot Harbour via Wiseman’s Bridge to Stepaside. That is the arm of the Railway shown on the right-hand side of the image below.
The first article can be found by following this link:
These articles are part of a series looking at the railways of Pembrokeshire. Full details of that series can be found in the first article about the Saundersfoot Railway.
This article follows the line running West from Saundersfoot Harbour under Saundersfoot Railway Station to Reynalton at the left side of the map above.
Saudersfoot Harbour to Reynalton Via Saundersfoot Tunnel (Kingsmoor Tunnel)
We start this journey with some of the pictures from the first article of Saundersfoot Harbour. We begin with two very early views of the harbour and its tramroad.
This picture showing coal being loaded onto a vessel at Saundersfoot Harbour was shared on the Saundersfoot & District Historical Society’s Facebook Group on 25th May 2020 by Gillian Hibberd.
This small extract from the 1906 6″ Ordnance Survey shows the same are as appears in the satellite imagery immediately above. As can be seen, very close to this location the three rails of the incline separated into four to allow wagons to pass. 
The 1887 6″ Ordnance Survey shows the building at the head of the incline and a second loop closer to the highway which does not appear on the 1906 Survey. The existence of remains of the winding house in 2021 (see below) suggests that the building was missed off the 1906 survey. 
Coflein records the Inclined Plane as follows: “The main line of the Saundersfoot Railway … opened in 1832 between Saundersfoot Harbour … and Thomas Chapel. It was built to a gauge of 4ft 0 3/8in and originally worked by horses. A self-acting incline, some 300m long and on a gradient of 1 in 5, lay about 800m west of the harbour. At the foot was a siding and hut whilst at the summit was a winding house. The track on the incline was double with a shared inner rail, widening to a loop midway allowing wagons to pass.” 
The incline was 363 metres long. Ancient Monuments UK’s website records the site as follows: “The monument consists of the remains of a complete tramroad incline formation from an important horse-drawn tramroad built in 1832, including a former counterbalance drum housing and marshalling areas at top and bottom. The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 18th and 19th century industrial and transportation practices. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques. A drumhouse may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.” 
The tunnel under Saundersfoot Railway Station was constricted in size and as a result dictated the size of any locomotive which could be used. Bulldog was purchased in 1915. Full details of the loco can be found on the first post about the Saundersfoot Railway. There is a picture of it above at the entrance to Bonville’s Court Colliery. 
Coflein records the tunnel as follows: “The main line of the Saundersfoot Railway opened in 1832 between Saundersfoot Harbour and Thomas Chapel. It was built to a gauge of 4ft 0 3/8in and originally worked by horses. King’s Moor Tunnel carried the line under rising ground below the hamlet of Hill and the site of the 1866 Saundersfoot Station on the Whitland extension of the former Pembroke & Tenby Railway. The tunnel is 450m long, 2.44m wide and approximately 2.6m high with a semi-circular arch.”  The route of the tunnel appears most clearly on the 1948 revision of the 6″ Ordnance Survey. …
28dayslater comments that the tunnel “is very wet and very muddy in places due to the years of neglect and non-use but is a very important part of Welsh industrial history.” 
To the North of the tunnel the line was in cutting for 200metres or so. It then traversed open country until passing on an embankment and bridge over New Road (it’s present name).
The line continued across the fields before it approached Thomas Chapel. We do know that there was a short branch to Broom Colliery. Its existence is recorded by Coflein: “An earthwork linear feature, probably a relict tramway, runs for c.400m NE-SW from SN11220814, at Broom Pit, … to SN10900788, where it effects an apparent junction with the Saundersfoot Railway . … It is not depicted as a railway on Ordnance Survey County series 25inch mapping of 1889 as it was disused by this time. … Broom Colliery was re-constructed and re-opened in 1933 and improvements included a 600-yard electrically-hauled narrow-gauge tramway to carry coal to the Saunderfoot Railway.” 
That statement from Coflein is supported on their website by an Ordnance Survey extract which is reproduced here and annotated with the key features. 
The lane serving Honeywood Cottage and other deellings runs across the top-half of the map and satellite image above. Just left of, and above the centre of, the image it is crossed by the old railway. The location is marked with a red arrow. It is of interest because there appears to be a remnant of the Saudersfoot Railway just at this point. I am not entirely sure that this is the case. However, if it is then is fixes the route of the line beyond here to Reynalton. I’d be interested to know whether anyone can provide details of what it ia that appears in the photograph below.
Urbex tells us that the railway “was extended for about one and a half miles beyond Thomas Chapel to serve a new colliery at Reynalton. To avoid heavy expenditure on earthworks and bridges, the line followed a somewhat circuitous course through open country. The existing railway from Thomas Chapel to Saundersfoot was relaid.” Horse traction was finally abandoned, and all traffic between Reynalton and the head of the incline was worked by 0-4-0ST Bulldog. Bulldog was slightly larger than than Rosalind which worked the line between Stepaside and the harbour. “It had 9inch by 15inch outside cylinders, 2feet 6inch wheels, and weighed 12 and a half tons in working order. To enable it to pass through the tunnel under the Great Western Railway to Saundersfoot, the maximum height and width had to be restricted to six feet nine inches respectively.” 
Coflein comments that the colliery site at Reynalton was a former anthracite drift mine. “Reynalton Colliery was opened by 1906. It was rebuilt in 1914 under the New Reynolton Anthracite Colliery Co., and served by an extension of the Saundersfoot Railway. … The mine closed in 1921 and the site was cleared, the only survivors being a brick-built winding house, six houses in the village and some railway embankment. There are various shafts and pits shown on the 1948 OS 6inch map. A cinder and slag heap near the church was removed during the Second World War to assist with the construction of Templeton airfield, … 2km to the north. 
This last satellite image taken from Google Earth shows that my presumptions about the line of the railway close to the colliery may be right. The field which is centre-right on this image has an area of curved land which appears to have retained water differently to the rest of the field and which is as a result greener. [Google Maps, September 2022]
Writing about the Reynalton extension to the Saundersfoot Railway, Coflein says: “The main line was extended to serve Reynalton Colliery … in 1915. The colliery closed in 1921 and the extension was abandoned, the whole Saundersfoot Railway closing finally in 1939.”  Some detailed reasoning for my proposed alignment for the extension is given in the comments under the satellite image above. I am hoping that at some time I may be able to find further information on the alignments that I have shown and would be very happy for someone to correct my assumptions.
Making the assumption that I have the correct alignment a few more photos on the line of the old railway can be offered. …
It goes without saying that if anyone has photographs from along the routes shown, and is prepared to share them, I would be delighted to include them properly referenced in this article.
One final note: OpenRailwayMap  is usually an excellent source for following rail lines throughout the UK and abroad. Sadly the only length of the Saundersfoot Railway covered is a short length either side of Saundersfoot Railway Station. That length include the tunnel under that station. 
Since posting about the Town Section of the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway I have received some pictures from people who visited the railway in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and I have identified a few other items worth including in this addendum.
The featured image above is one taken by K.H. Cribb and used by kind permission of his son Russ.
The original article about the W&LLR Town Section can be found here:
Most of the images included in this article are shared with the kind permission of the photographers. My thanks to all who have been willing to let me share their photographs. The author of an image is credited in the text under that image and, as appropriate, the source is provided in the ‘References’ at the end of the article. There are a number of images for which it has not been possible to determine or to contact the original photographer to seek permission to share the image. Any help in identifying a copyright holder, if one exists, would be appreciated.
1. A set of three photographs sent to me by Tony Jervis are included in the photographs below. All were taken in 1977. One shows the remaining dual-gauge track as it existed in 1977. Another shows the location of the Seven Stars Halt, the third shows the Bron-y-Buckley length of the line after the lifting of the track.
2. Three pictures were sent to me by Malcolm Peakman.
The first to mention was from the abandoned section of the narrow-gauge line in the town and particularly the dual-gauge track alongside the Smithfield livestock market and mirrors Tony Jervis’ photograph of the same location. This photo is included in the series of pictures following the route of the town section of the line below.
The other two are from further along the line and show some of the stock purchased by the preservation society when it took over the line. I have included these here for their historical interest, even though they do not relate directly to the Town Section of the line.
Malcolm Peakman also shared some memories of the early preservation period:
“As a volunteer on the W&L between 1962 to 1964 I travelled the town section many times, despite the failure to obtain long term permission we were allowed to use the line to recover spent ballast from BR to spread further up the line, so a typical weekend would see 2 or 3 trips with empty wagons down and loaded back up and then off loaded. As I was a teenage apprentice in a Locomotive Works I was a lot fitter than I am now and this part of the job certainly helped keep me in shape!
The worst part of the run was at Raven Square where we perforce ran wrong direction in the road due to the island. This caused several near misses where motorists ignored the red flags and tried to proceed in the face a steam loco. I only saw one collision, that was outside the Seven Stars where an irate local who had parked on the tracks despite knowing it would be used at the week end, chose to deliberately drive into the locomotive, he burst his radiator and scratched the paint on the loco. The police were not very sympathetic towards him.
I was there when the pannier tank and The Earl stood side by side.”
3. An image of the W&LLR is used by the Lightmoor Press on their website to advertise one of their publications, Michael Whitehouse’s, ‘Narrow Gauge Album 1950-1965 In Colour’.  The photograph was taken by Patrick Whitehouse and is covered by copyright so cannot be reproduced in this article. It can be seen by clicking here. 
The picture shows the view from the main W&LLR yard adjacent to Welshpool Railway Station towards the town centre. It shows No. 822 idling gently in the yard whilst the day’s goods train awaits its journey to Llanfair Caereinion having already been assembled. The passenger platform was behind the photographer to the left, behind the waiting goods train. Although no regular passenger services were offered at the time that Patrick Whitehouse took the photograph, having been withdrawn by the GER in the early 1930s. Beyond the engine to the right a second goods brake van can be seen. Behind that is the dual-gauge Smithfield Siding and the Smithfield livestock market. 
(On its webpage, Lightmoor Press writes: “Patrick Whitehouse (PBW)… travelled far and wide to photograph many … narrow gauge lines and systems before they were lost. In 1957, he compiled his seminal Narrow Gauge Album, which brought many of these wonderful but obscure railways to the attention of thousands of other enthusiasts, some of whom followed in his footsteps with their cameras. Now, PBW’s son Michael has delved in to the family and other archives to compile a similar album for the 21st century, accompanied by essays from a variety of well known names and sources.”) 
4. Then and Now Images. Tim Abbot has posted two images on Flickr with permission to use under a Creative Commons Licence. These are included in the series of photographs following the route of the line. Both appear early in that series of pictures as they show the length close to the mainline railway station.
5. Ken Cribb(K.H. Cribb) took around 1000 photographs of a series of different railways. All his photos come from the 1950s and 1960s. These photographs are very recently uncovered and mostly unseen by others. His son Russ is at present cataloguing those photographs and hopes one day that publication may be possible. Russ has very kindly allowed me to include a number of his dad’s photographs in this article.
Russ has been sharing a few of the photos on a number of Facebook Groups “to gain a bit more knowledge from people or railway groups that could help. This has been a bit of an eye opener as to some of the photos, not realising what historical importance some of them are.” 
He writes: “Dad was great friends with Richard Blenkinsop and many photographic locations were done together, Dick taking loads of notes and then publishing so many fantastic books over the years, with Dad showing up in a few. Sadly we lost dad in 1995 after Alzheimer’s set in very early at the age of 56, passing away at 64. There was never enough time to go through all the photos with him at the time as I had just started my own family and time was centred around the children. Then it was sadly too late and the recollection were very mixed and distorted so now left with the enormous task of trying to make as good a job as I can with the information available.” 
Russ would be delighted if there are people who might want to assist in understanding the pictures he has. He has kindly watermarked the photographs included here and would love to hear from anyone who can add to his knowledge. For the purposes of this blog, I have to remember to keep photograph file sizes relatively small, so please don’t judge the quality of the photographs on the basis of what appears here. In my view Ken Cribb’s photos are a great asset and they need to be shared more widely, If you have something significant to offer, please get in touch with me and I will pass your details on to Russ.
Ken Cribb took 26 photographs of the W&LLR, many on the last SLS special. Russ again: “His friend Pat Webber was with him that day, (who he cycled with for two weeks around Ireland and at Letterkenny) also sent one of his photos as a Christmas card. The photos are along the route, so he didn’t travel on the train on this occasion.” 
Russ continues: “Any publication is miles away yet, have to get the spreadsheet finished first and proper inventory of what photos there are before proper scanning. … [Dad] spent most of his spare weekends and holidays helping out on the Ffestiniog Railway and photographing Welsh narrow gauge along with the 1950’s steam on standard gauge across the UK and Ireland.” 
9 of Ken’s photographs are included below.
Photographs taken along the Town Section of the W&LLR
The photos which follow illustrate the Town Section of the line throughout its history. They begin close to the mainline station in Welshpool and end at Raven Square.
The following photographs are, as far as possible, shown in sequence along the line through Welshpool starting at the mainline station and the W&LLR yard.
The first is a ‘then and now’ photograph created by Tim Abbot.
The second shows the view from Smithfield Road in front of the mainline station car park in the year s after the W&LLR rails had been lifted.
The Smithfield Siding ran alongside the Smithfield livestock market and over part of its length was dual-gauge.
It is worth noting that the provision of the narrow gauge as part of this dual-gauge track was not to allow loading and unloading at the cattle dock but to provide access for W&LLR wagons to a sawmill farther down next to the standard gauge lines. The goods and cattle were unloaded from the narrow gauge in a different part of the yard. 
In 2003, Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust recorded the site of the dual-gauge siding on its website  in 2003 as follows: “PRN 85212 – Welshpool, Smithfield Road, railway transfer dock (multiple site) Scheduled Ancient Monument MG254(POW): NGR:- SJ22980734 (SJ20NW); Unitary authority:- Powys; Community:- Welshpool; Preferred site type:- 20th Century – Cattle docks (Multiple – Intact) … A rare surviving interchange facility between narrow and broad gauge railways. Built 1903 to provide a connection between the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway (narrow gauge) and the Cambrian Railways (later Great Western) (standard gauge), it remained in use until 1956. Three parallel rails in the transfer dock allowed access for both standard and narrow gauge rolling stock to the same platforms. The site is well documented in the papers of the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway in the National Library of Wales. A triangular island platform of stone, brick and concrete survives with mixed gauge track on both sides, laid into concrete without sleepers. The island platform has two rows of cattle pens with concrete and iron fencing and timber gates, and a single-storey brick office. Of national importance as a rare surviving railway transfer dock, believed to be the last surviving example in Wales, and possibly Britain (Cadw, 2003).” 
An interesting aside to the photograph above is the content of a short discussion on the Narrow Gauge Railways Facebook group. This discussion started with a comment from the photographer about the fact that the locomotive was facing towards Llanfair and a recollection that on another visit it was seen in the loco shed with its bunker facing towards Llanfair.
In response to Alfred Fisher, Tim Abbott commented that “Countess worked bunker first towards Llanfair in the 1920s. But your experience suggests this might not have been the only time. Until 1937 it was theoretically possible to turn locos on a triangle at Welshpool, but the connecting sidings were removed after this date.” 
The triangle Tim Abbot refers to was probably formed from the narrow gauge line which was part of the dual-gauge Smithfield Siding and a line which connected to the transshipment siding in the mainline goods yard at Welshpool.
Michael Whitehouse; ‘Narrow Gauge Album 1950-1965 In Colour’; Lightmoor Press, Lydney, Gloucutestershire, 2018.
These quotes come from private messages which Russ has sent me. He has kindly given permission for these to be shared here along with some of his father’s photographs.
All Ken Cribb’s photographs are included with permission from his son Russ. Rus would be interested in hearing from anyone with information to share about his father’s photographs. Please get in touch with me, if this is the case, and I will pass your details on to Russ.