Mystery Photographs

The Courtney Haydon Collection and Ron Dyer Archive

Round Oak Rail, Brierley Hill



Photograph: Courtney Haydon Collection (Y-37-04)
31/01/2011 from Bevan Price
Presumably Rhondda Tunnel, looking approx. NE
31/01/2011 from John Simmonds
This is the Blaengwynfi (west) end of the Rhondda Tunnel whose one & only airshaft is about 100 yards inside this end due to the huge depth of the mountain it passes under. It is located on the flat area above the portal approximately where the 2 telegraph posts are. I walked through it last Autumn from the other end & it is now completely walled just beyond the said shaft. View is looking roughly east.
31/01/2011 from Mal Hammond
location: Blaengwynfi
This tunnel was 2 miles long. !n the 1980s this end was landscaped and filled. The locals had found a coal seam that the tunnel crossed and were helping themselves. This part closed in Dec 1962 as the tunnel was deemed to be unsafe. There are some good photos of the untidy station site (1973) on Capt 'Gorgeous' flicker page. This shows the site and the large hill which is obscured in this photo.
01/02/2011 from Bevan Price
I know the 1962 closure date appears elsewhere, but I passed through the tunnel on 7 July 1964 on a Bridgend - Treherbert service (W55034), before continuing from Treherbert to Cardiff.
01/02/2011 from Max Birchenough
The other end of this tunnel got a mention in the BBC Wales "Weatherman Walking" programme, no. 4 in the series, I think. The presenter was walking round the head of the Rhondda Fawr, and there were some interesting views of the valley, its industrial remains, and of Treherbert station. Watchable via iplayer.
20/02/2011 from Dorothy Chambers
location: Blaengwynfi
I moved from Blaengwynfi in 1963, and know that at least the line from the village to Port Talbot was running in the dreadful winter of '63, because it was the only means of me getting to school in the town on days when buses failed to get through. It was due to close before the following winter. Our house was due for demolition, and my father succeeded in getting us rehoused in Port Talbot, arguing that otherwise he might fail to get to work and I to school in another winter like that due to Beeching's axe!
20/02/2011 from Dorothy Chambers
location: Blaengwynfi
I should have added that in the 1930s, my grandfather, a groom originally from Devon and working 'under ground' with horses, walked to and from work in a Rhondda-valley pit through this tunnel in his eighties!
06/04/2012 from andy lewis
location: Maesteg
The line from Cymmer General station down to Port Talbot was closed in 1964. After that you could only travel from Maesteg via Cymmer to Treherbert. In 1968 the Blaencwm tunnel was temporarily closed due to the roof being unstable, and trains could only then travel as far as Cymmer. In June 1970 everything closed, a terrible waste!
11/07/2014 from jim mackey
location: rhondda tunnel
As kids my friends and I used to frequently walk through this tunnel on sundays (no sunday service. This tunnel is very well documented. At 3443yds it was 77yds short of 2 miles and used to be the eleventh longest tunnel in the uk. As kids we slept in the back bedroom of our house, and the railway used to pass about 30 feet from our back garden. Many a night my brother and I would be in bed and watch the reflection of the lights of the last train of the evening (a single car diesel unit)passing across the bedroom wall. Good days.
07/12/2014 from Greg Lewis
location: Pontyclun
As a Rhondda lad who used this line in the 60s to get from Treherbert to Neath, I well remember this line. There was a junction at Cymmer. One section of the line went down the Afan Valley, via Pontrhydyfen and joined the main line in Port Talbot while the other line went to the Llynfi Valley and on to Bridgend via Caerau and Maesteg. While I believe the Afan Valley section closed as a result of the Beeching cuts, the line to Bridgend remained open for some time after this. After the Afan Valley section to Port Talbot closed, the line from Treherbert to Bridgend remained open. My late wife and I used to leave the train at Cymmer and catch a bus into Neath. On a Saturday evening we returned by bus from Neath to Cymmer to be told that the train to Trehebert, that evening, had been cancelled due to a "roof fall" in the tunnel. A replacement bus service took us to Treherbert. The replacement bus service continued for many months. I don't know if any attempt was made to repair the "roof fall" but BR then gave notice of closure of the line from Treherbert to Bridgend. I went to the public inquiry on the proposed closure in Maesteg Town Hall. The inquiry found in favour of BR.
13/01/2015 from doug hicks
location: Maesteg
29/12/2015 from Mike Daniels
location: Caerau
Used to travel everyday through the tunnel through the Caerau tunnel to Cymmer and onward to Treherbet before going down the Rhondda to Treforest.Before the Blaencwm end there was a waterfall from the roof. The rail dipped in the tunnel and the boys from Cape who drank in the rhondda on Saturday nights and walked home under the Bwlch arrived home soaked to the knees from the flooded track. The film Blue Scar started with views of the train travelling to Blaengwynfi before discharging passengers at the Station in Tunnel Terrace. When the steam trains were replaced by the Deisel coach you could view through the back windows of the coach about 100 m of the tunnel being obscured by heavy deisel fumes. Loved the train system at this time especially the Rodney at 11 pm from Maesteg to Cape on a Saturday night nd when the roads were closed with snow. Didn't know you were from the Rhondda Doug, always thought you were a Caerau boy
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