Taff Vale Railway


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


  /  /    Nixons Private Railway
Served collieries around Mountain Ash. The line was served by the Taff Vale Extension from Nixons East Junction and Nixons West Junction. The line was also served by the Taff Vale Railway from Pontycynon Junction for Lower Duffryn Colliery. The two railway companies served Navigation Colliery Siding where unusual signalling was required.
  /  /    Powell Duffryn Private Railway
Line ran from Middle Duffryn Colliery on the Vale of Neath Railway over the Taff Vale Railway to join a line from Aberaman and on up the Aman Valley.
  /  /1836Taff Vale Railway
21/06/1836Taff Vale Railway
Act passed. Promoters included John Josiah Guest (Dowlais Iron Works), Walter Coffin (Dinas colliery). Connections made at Merthyr Tydfil to the Penydarren Iron Works, Dowlais Iron Works and Plymouth Iron Works. Line to be single track.
30/06/1837Taff Vale Railway
Act passed for branch to Cyfartha Iron Works and branch to Plymouth Iron Works, Penydarren Iron Works and Dowlais Iron Works. Only the branch to connect to Crawshays Private Railway was opened. The branch also served the Ynysfach Iron Works.
16/08/1837Taff Vale Railway
First stone laid at Pontypridd by Lady Charlotte Guest, wife of John Josiah Guest, chairman.
  /10/1840Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff station opened. The station was by the later Cardiff Queen Street's up platform. Freight track continued south to Cardiff Docks.
08/10/1840Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff [TVR] to Navigation House opened. There was a level crossing with the Pentyrch Railway at Pentyrch.
  /  /1841Taff Vale Railway
Dinas Branch opened to Aerw connect to the Aerw Tramway which served Dinas collieries.
  /  /1841Taff Vale Railway
21/04/1841Taff Vale Railway
Navigation House to Merthyr Tydfil opened. Merthyr Tydfil Plymouth Street station was not convenient for the town.
  /  /1845Taff Vale Railway
Incline Top, just north of an inclined plane near Quakers Yard, opened.
  /  /1846Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff to Taff's Well doubled. Trains ran on the right track.
06/08/1846Taff Vale Railway
Navigation House renamed Abercynon.
  /  /1847Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway
Act for Taff Vale Extension passed. Line from Coedygric North Junction to the Taff Vale Railway at Quakers' Yard.
  /  /1847Taff Vale Railway
Taff's Well to Navigation House doubled. Ynyscoi Tunnel opened out as part of the doubling of the line.
  /  /1847Taff Vale Railway
John Guest of Dowlais Iron Works resigns as the railway's chairman due to a perceived clash of interests.
01/01/1847Aberdare Railway
Line leased by the Taff Vale Railway to halt the expansion eastwards of the Vale of Neath Railway.
  /  /1848Taff Vale Railway
Branch opened to Bute West Dock from East Branch Junction (by Cardiff Queen Street).
  /  /1849Taff Vale Railway
Navigation House renamed Aberdare Junction.
28/07/1849Dowlais Iron Company
Builds own line, Dowlais Railway, from Dowlais to Merthyr as the existing old tramroad was poor and the Taff Vale Railway had not built its branch to the Dowlais Iron Works yet.
21/08/1851Dowlais Railway
Opened from Dowlais Iron Works main gate and furnaces to the Taff Vale Railway. An inclined plane was worked by steam engine and the Dowlais end worked by locomotives.
02/07/1855Rhymney Railway
Act for line from Hengoed to Walnut Tree Junction at Taff's Well on the Taff Vale Railway. Running powers granted from Walnut Tree Junction to Crockherbtown Junction, just north of Cardiff Queen Street. A Rhymney Railway line is authorised from here to Bute East Dock.
  /  /1857Taff Vale Railway
Act passed to widen viaduct over Taff by Quakers Yard and open out tunnel.
27/07/1857Penarth Harbour and Dock Railway
Ely Tidal Harbour and Railway renamed Penarth Harbour and Dock Railway. Dock and tidal Harbour to be built and line from Penarth Junction (at Radyr) on the Taff Vale Railway to the dock. Crawshay Bailey was chairman.
  /01/1858Taff Vale Railway
Incline Top station closed on opening of Quakers Yard station.
31/12/1860Railway Clearing House
By this date, Carlisle and Port Carlisle Railway and Dock, Bradford, Wakefield and Leeds Railway, Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway and Dock, Coleford, Monmouth, Usk and Pontypool Railway, Darlington and Barnard Castle Railway, Glasgow, Dumbarton and Helensburgh Railway, Great North of Scotland Railway, Great Western Railway, Hertford and Welwyn Junction Railway, Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway, Luton, Dunstable and Welwyn Junction Railway, North Yorkshire and Cleveland Railway, Rhymney Railway, South Wales Railway, Stamford and Essendine Railway, Taff Vale Railway, Vale of Clywd Railway and Warrington and Stockport Railway join.
  /  /1861Taff Vale Railway
Navigation House to Merthyr Tydfil doubled.
07/06/1861Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway
Act passed for this Taff Vale Railway backed line. The line was promoted to stop expansion eastwards of the Great Western Railway backed schemes from Llantrisant. The line ran from Llantrisant Branch Junction, Treforest, to meet the Mwyndy Branch (Ely Valley Railway) at Maesaraul.
  /  /1863Taff Vale Railway
Tunnel by Quakers Yard opened out.
  /  /1863Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway
Opened. Worked and leased by the Taff Vale Railway.
21/07/1863Dare Valley Railway
Act for line promoted by the Taff Vale Railway to run from Dare Valley Junction, by Aberdare station, to pass under the Vale of Neath Railway Dare Branch and on to Nantmelyn Colliery and Bwlffa Dare Colliery. A branch to Hirwaun was also planned, but not built. Contractor: George Fisher of the Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1865Taff Vale Railway
Penarth Dock opened.
  /01/1865Ely Valley Railway
Third rail laid from Maesaraul to Llantrisant is used by the Taff Vale Railway.
30/01/1865Cowbridge Railway
Line opened with Taff Vale Railway locomotives.
  /  /1866Dare Valley Railway
Opened. Line worked by the Taff Vale Railway.
  /03/1866Taff Vale Railway
Newbridge Junction renamed Pontypridd.
  /  /1867Taff Vale Railway
Inclined plane, by Quakers Yard, replaced by new line.
  /  /1871Rhymney Railway
Connection made between the Rhymney Railway (at south facing Penalltau Branch Junction) to a west facing junction on the Taff Vale Extension. This gave access to the line as far west as Middle Duffryn Junction and also the Taff Bargoed Joint Line and Quakers Yard and Merthyr Joint Railway both of which were jointly owned by the Great Western Railway and the Rhymney Railway to compete with the Taff Vale Railway.
  /10/1872Taff Vale Railway
Triangle of lines opened north of Pontypridd by the opening of a link from Pontypridd North Junction to Rhondda Cutting Junction.
  /  /1873Rhondda Valley and Hirwain Junction Railway
Only partly opened from Blaenrhondda Branch Junction, Treherbert, to Blaenrhondda Colliery. The line was worked by the Taff Vale Railway.
01/01/1876Cowbridge Railway
Taff Vale Railway
Cowbridge Railway leased to Taff Vale Railway.
  /06/1876Rhondda Valley Branches (Taff Vale Railway)
Porth to Maerdy opened to passengers.
01/08/1877Taff 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.
20/02/1878Penarth Extension (Taff Vale Railway)
Line opened from Penarth harbour to Penarth.
08/08/1878Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway
Act passed. Promoted by J.C. Parkinson of the Alexandra Docks and Railway and Sir George Elliot of Powell Duffryn Collieries. Double track line to run from south of the Taff Vale Railway's Pontypridd station (Pontypool, Caerphilly and Newport Junction Railway) to Caerphilly (Penrhos Upper Junction) on the Rhymney Railway. Running powers over the Brecon and Merthyr Railway's Caerphilly Branch to Machen and on to Bassaleg Junction with the Alexandra Docks and Railway. Engineer Sir James W. Szlumper.
10/08/1878Ely and Clydach Valleys Railway
Extends the Ely Valley Railway from Penygraig to Cambrian Colliery by the Taff Vale Railway's Pwllrhebog Branch.
19/10/1878Taff 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.
  /  /1880Taff 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.
  /  /1884Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway
Taff Vale Railway works line from Pontypridd to near Alexandra Docks.
14/08/1884Barry Dock and Railways
Established by an Act. Led by David Davies of Ocean Collieries. The line was to run from Barry to Cadoxton Junction then north to Drope Junction for a branch to Peterston with the South Wales Railway (then a further junction, Tynycaeau Junction, with the same line from St Fagan's) and then north to the Treforest estate at Tonteg Junction for a connection with the Taff Vale Railway before finishing near Trehafod, joining the Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1885Roath Branch (Taff Vale Railway)
Act passed.
06/08/1885Cardiff 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.
  /  /1887Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff station re-built as Cardiff Queen Street and connection opened to the South Wales Railway.
  /  /1887Taff Vale Railway
Line built from Pont Shon Norton Junction to serve the Albion Colliery at Cilfynydd.
01/12/1887Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway (Taff Vale Railway)
Line opened from Penarth to Lavernock.
  /  /1888Barry Dock and Railways
Act passed forcing the Taff Vale Railway to only use the Cardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway for local traffic rather than as a through freight route to the Barry Docks.
  /  /1888Taff Vale Railway
Attempts to buy the Bute Docks, on the threat of the opening of the Barry Dock and Railways.
23/04/1888Roath Branch (Taff Vale Railway)
  /  /1889Cardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway (Taff Vale Railway)
The line is vested in the Taff Vale Railway by an Act.
  /  /1889Pwllyrhebog Branch, Rhondda Valley Branches (Taff Vale Railway)
Extended to Pwllrhebog Colliery by buying its railway.
  /  /1889Rhondda Valley and Hirwain Junction Railway
Merged into the Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1889Dare Valley Railway
Merged into the Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1889Treferig Valley Railway
Merged into the Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1889Llantrissant and Taff Vale Junction Railway
Merged into the Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1889Cowbridge Railway
Merged into Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1895Cowbridge and Aberthaw Railway
Merged into Taff Vale Railway.
  /  /1896South Wales Railway, Taff Vale Railway
Bute Street Junction between the lines closed on opening of new fly-over east of Cardiff General.
  /  /1896Taff Vale Railway
Aberdare Junction renamed Abercynon.
16/03/1896Barry Dock and Railways
Passenger service from Barry to the Taff Vale Railway's Porth station begins.
16/03/1896Barry Dock and Railways
The Taff Vale Railway gives the company access from Trehafod to Porth.
01/12/1896Taff Vale Railway
Aberdare Junction renamed Abercynon
12/08/1898Treforest Line (Cardiff Railway)
Railway projected from Roath to Heath (on the Rhymney Railway), Walnut Tree Gap and on to Treforest (and the Taff Vale Railway).
  /  /1900Rhondda Valley Branches (Taff Vale Railway)
Introduce steam railcars to compete with buses.
  /  /1900Llancaiach 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.
01/06/1900Llancaiach Branch (Taff Vale Railway)
Taff Vale Railway starts a passenger service from Pontypridd to Nelson station.
31/07/1902Aberdare Railway
Merged into the Taff Vale Railway.
01/09/1904Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway
New service from Pontypridd (Tram Road) Halt on the Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway, east of the Taff Vale Railway station, to Caerphilly started. Uses two steam railmotors built by the Glasgow Railway Engineering Works (Glasgow Railway and Engineering Company) of Govan. Seven halts opened on route.
01/05/1905~Taff Vale Railway
Aberthin Platform opened
  /02/1906Taff Vale Railway
Duffryn Crossing Platform renamed Abercwmboi Platform
30/04/1906Alexandra (Newport and South Wales) Docks and Railway
Taff Vale Railway stops operating trains from Pontypridd to Alexandra Docks when Alexandra Docks company takes over with engines bought from the Mersey Railway.
  /  /1907Taff Vale Railway
Pontypridd station re-built with an island platform and five bay platforms.
  /05/1909Taff Vale Railway, Rhymney Railway, Cardiff Railway
Merger proposed and amalgamation bills produced. (Merger fails.)
  /05/1909Taff Vale Railway, Treforest Lines (Cardiff Railway)
Temporary connection put in between the two lines at Treforest.
12/10/1909Taff Vale Railway, Treforest Lines (Cardiff Railway)
Temporary connection removed.
  /  /1917Taff Vale Railway, Rhymney Railway, Cardiff Railway
E.A. Prosser, formerly of the Rhymney Railway, becomes Joint General Manager.
10/07/1922Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway
Tram Road Motor Halt, Pontypridd, closed when the Great Western Railway arranges for Newport trains to use the Taff Vale Railway's Pontypridd station.
02/10/1922~Taff Vale Railway
Abercwmboi Platform renamed Abercwmboi Halt
  /  /1924Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff Docks renamed Bute Road.
  /  /1928Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff Queen Street is expanded to have five platforms.
10/07/1930Barry Dock and Railways
Cardiff to St Fagans to Pontypridd, and Cadoxton to Porth diverted to parallel Taff Vale Railway routes. Treforest High Level and Pontypridd (Graig) are closed.
12/09/1932Llancaiach Branch (Taff Vale Railway)
Closed to passengers.
  /  /1938Llancaiach Branch (Taff Vale Railway)
Cilfynydd to Nelson and Llancaiach closed and lifted.
23/03/1950Taff Vale Railway
Branch to Ynysfach closed when slag traffic ceases.
  /  /1952Treforest Line (Cardiff Railway)
Coryton northwards to Nantgarw Colliery closed on opening of a spur to Nantgarw by-products Plant from the Taff Vale Railway.
02/04/1956~Taff Vale Railway
Abercwmboi Halt closed
  /01/1958Taff Vale Railway
DMU services introduced.
  /  /1962Pentyrch Railway
Level crossing at Pentyrch with the Taff Vale Railway removed.
15/06/1964Rhondda Valley Branches (Taff Vale Railway)
Porth to Maerdy closed to passengers and line singled.
27/11/1967Taff Vale Railway
Merthyr Plymouth Street closed to goods.
06/05/1968Roath Branch (Taff Vale Railway)
05/08/1968Taff Vale Railway
Pontypridd North Junction to Rhondda Cutting Junction closed.
  /  /1970Taff Vale Railway
Cardiff Queen Street cut back to an island platform with a bay.
  /  /1970Taff Vale Railway
Pontypridd station's down (southbound) face on the island platform is taken out of use.
  /09/1970Taff Vale Railway
Albion Colliery branch from Pont Shon Norton Junction closed.
  /  /1971Taff Vale Railway
Line singled between Abercynon and Merthyr. A passing loop was retained at Black Lion.
  /  /1973Rhondda Valley Branches (Taff Vale Railway)
Singled from Cwmparc to Treherbert.
  /  /1981Rhondda Valley Branches (Taff Vale Railway)
Porth to Cwmparc singled.
03/10/1988Taff Vale Railway
Abercynon renamed Abercynon South

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

TfW service to Caerphilly awaiting departure from Cardiff Bay on 6th July 2020.
Alastair McLellan 06/07/2020
The former Cardiff Bute Road station buildings, and entrance to the platforms of the now named Cardiff Bay station. The buildings were originally the ...
Alastair McLellan 06/07/2020
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
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
4 of 11 images. more

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
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
Cardiff Queen Street with its four running platforms and a bay platform for the Cardiff Bay shuttle service. ...
Alastair McLellan 12/07/2016
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
4 of 14 images. more

37429 and 37303 pass Radyr with mgr empties, from Aberthaw to Lady Windsor Colliery in 1986. 37429 had been recently Converted at Crewe Works from ...
Roger Geach 07/05/1986
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
4 of 6 images. more

A Merthyr Tydfil to Penarth service, formed by a TfW Sprinter, approaching Taffs Well on 6th July 2020. ...
Alastair McLellan 06/07/2020
A TfW Pacer leads a service from Cardiff Central to Treherbert, passing through Taffs Well, on 6th July 2020. ...
Alastair McLellan 06/07/2020
The easing of lockdown in Wales in July means we are now able to travel further than five miles from our home but most other restrictions are still in ...
Alastair McLellan 06/07/2020
A TfW Pacer Sprinter combination heads up the valley, following the River Taff between Radyr and Taffs Well, on 6th July 2020.
Alastair McLellan 06/07/2020
4 of 10 images. more

150278 heading for Aberdare at Treforest in August 2019 (see also image 70547). ...
Ken Strachan 27/08/2019
143607 forms the 16.02 to Treherbert at Treforest on 27 August 2019. When I first visited Treforest, there was a heavily vandalized Ford Escort Mark 2 ...
Ken Strachan 27/08/2019
2 of 2 images.

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
2 of 2 images.

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
4 of 4 images.

Its not hard to find the route on which Trevithick's locomotive hauled the first loco-hauled freight train back in 1804 (or so I am told). Just look ...
Ken Strachan 30/06/2018
Soon to be historic rolling stock: a down 143 heads for Cardiff as an up 142 heads for Merthyr (Valleys convention) at the loop at Merthyr Vale on ...
Ken Strachan 30/06/2018
2 of 2 images.