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Miss Prism

Rolling Stock for Merthyr Tydfil, 1950-60

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I recently received the following enquiry from a gwr.org correspondent:

 

Quote

I am attempting a scratch build of the old Taff Vale station at Merthyr Tydfil and I wondered if you could advise me what coaches would be suitable for the period between 1950-60 on the Merthyr to Cardiff line. I believe the locos used were primarily 56XXs and just want to make it as prototypical as possible.

 

Other than noting the ubiquitous 64xx and autocoach(es), I'm a bit out of my comfort zone in responding to the enquiry. Over to you. (I initially assumed the date period did not intrude into DMU days, but I suppose it does really.)

 

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Perhaps I can help.  I'm not too clued up about 1950-53 but in September 1953 the Cardiff Valleys timetable was revamped on a regular interval basis.  The [mostly] hourly passenger services from Merthyr to Cardiff and Barry Island were powered by 56xx 0-6-2Ts and BR standard class 3 2-6-2Ts.  One oddity was that two Merthyr loco diagrams, MA and MC, were worked by standard 3s based on Barry.  The coaching stock at this time was formed into five coach sets BT-T-C-T-BT, called "standard 5 coach sets" with typical imagination.  Forget about matching sets: they were assembled with the aim of having much the same number of seats in each set.  As time went by the older stock was replaced by more modern vehicles.  Although dmus [Class 116] were introduced in 1958 there was still steam working into 1962.  One source of oddities was the 8.25 am business train from Merthyr to Cardiff General.  The late Sid Rickard, whose photos are essential viewing for anyone with the remotest interest in South Wales, found himself at the General one morning in 1954.   How fortunate it was that he had his camera with him, for just before 9.30 am the Merthyr train arrived, headed by a rebuilt Taff Vale Class A and with an ex-Great Eastern coach next to the engine.

 

Chris     

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Posted (edited)

Services are:-

 

1) Cardiff, some to Queen St and the aforementioned Barry Island  through Cardiff (General), 56xx BR and 5 sets for Cardiff, Standard 3MT tanks for Barry Island though Barry 5101s could appear on these.  Standard 3MT from 1952.  Regular interval timetable from  summer 1953.  Replaced by class 116 dmu from 1958.

 

2) Aberdare.  64xx auto from 1953.

 

3) Pontsticill.  64xx auto from 1953. 
 

4) Abergavenny. 64xx auto from 1953, Abergavenny Jc based Webb Coal Tank previous.  
 

Auto trailers included matchboard types in the early 50s.   The auto services were never replaced by diesels. 
 

With my revolting pedant hat on, Merthyr High St was never part of the Taff Vale, being the terminus of the broad gauge Vale of Neath, operated by the GW.  The Taff Vale’s original terminus was at Plymouth St, later used as their goods depot and still in use in the 60s.  There had been a further service, GW & Rhymney joint, a branch running up the western side of the valley through Aberfan, but I think this had ceased by 1950.  Until the grouping, High St saw trains from 5 companies, GW, TV, Rhymney, B & M, and LNWR. 

Edited by The Johnster
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

Services are:-

 

2) Aberdare.  64xx auto from 1953.

 

 

There was also an auto train that went from Merthyr to Hirwain via Rhydycar Junction and Gelli Tarw Junction.

 

Is this the train to which you refer, or was there also a service to Aberdare via Abercynon?

Edited by Happy Hippo

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 Hirwaun of course, not Aberdare, my bad.

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There are some photos of 0-6-2s at Cardiff, mainly in 1960, taken by my father, in this album. You won't get much info about the coaches. Dad was very much a locos man. Anyway if they are of interest they are at  

 

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On 19/03/2020 at 08:13, Miss Prism said:

I recently received the following enquiry from a gwr.org correspondent:

 

 

Other than noting the ubiquitous 64xx and autocoach(es), I'm a bit out of my comfort zone in responding to the enquiry. Over to you. (I initially assumed the date period did not intrude into DMU days, but I suppose it does really.)

 

Hi Miss

 

until the MTA. Traffic was taken over by Merthyr the Abergavenny trains were formed of ex L&Y Fireproof open stock. Bill does the relevant etched sides. 
 

hope you are well. 
 

regards. Philip. 

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Before 54, the MTA line had Stanier 3 2-6-2 tanks and Ivatt2-6-2 tanks. On the odd occasion, one would get exLNWR 0-8-0s and Coal tanks. 
The Hirwaun line had 64xx, very early on a 14xx was used. The miners’ trains were hauled by 56xx

You never got outside cylinder ex-GWR locos, as they couldn’t get through Troedyrhiw and Merthyr Vale stations, so no 51xx. 
The  Pontsticill service was mainly 64xx with auto coaches, but 57 and 97xx were used as well, still with auto coaches but running around at both ends of the line.

There was often (always) a station pilot in Merthyr before 58 as Merthyr had separate incoming and outgoing platforms for the non-autocoach services.

The go-to locos in Merthyr were panniers, and they operated most of the freight services; double-headed on Brecon freights.

The odd ex-TV loco came to Merthyr as well. 
I wish I had been a spotter then!, Dai

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Hello all
I asked the question originally so a big thank you for your advice. I have registered with the site now and look forward to being part of the forums. I am new to the hobby so guess I’ll be asking more than contributing!

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4 hours ago, Steff said:

Hello all
I asked the question originally so a big thank you for your advice. I have registered with the site now and look forward to being part of the forums. I am new to the hobby so guess I’ll be asking more than contributing!

I think I might have spoken with you previously on one of the Merthyr sites? Welcome anyway, Merthyr was an amazing station in the early 50s, but there are not enough photos of it! I bet you there’s more photos of the Culm Valley than for the Taff Valley!

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Welcome aboard, Steff!  You will find my two penn'orth a few posts higher up.

 

The sheer volume of knowledge in this forum can amaze even me.   It won't take you long to suss out what to ask and of whom.

 

Chris

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On 27/07/2020 at 13:46, 88D said:

 

You never got outside cylinder ex-GWR locos, as they couldn’t get through Troedyrhiw and Merthyr Vale stations, so no 51xx. 

image.png.5368451edec77aac606a1becd7718d28.png

 

41xx, supposedly at Abercaniad, on the Quakers Yard to Merthyr line in 1950.

 

Perhaps outside cylinder ex GWR locos could get to Merthyr via the old GW+RR joint line?

 

Barry's standard 3MT tanks also used to turn up there as well. 82041 and 82044 (both 88C) being recorded on shed Sun 22/04/58

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Happy Hippo said:

image.png.5368451edec77aac606a1becd7718d28.png

 

41xx, supposedly at Abercaniad, on the Quakers Yard to Merthyr line in 1950.

 

Perhaps outside cylinder ex GWR locos could get to Merthyr via the old GW+RR joint line?

 

Barry's standard 3MT tanks also used to turn up there as well. 82041 and 82044 (both 88C) being recorded on shed Sun 22/04/58

 

 

Yep, outside GWR outside cylinder locos could get to Merthyr via all the lines, bar the ‘mainline’ from Cardiff to Merthyr. The GW/RR line gave up the ghost in the early 50s with the collapse of the bridge trackbed at Quakers Yard. The BR outside cylinder locos could get up to Merthyr because they didn’t have the bulgy cylinders of the GWR types. The only outside cylinder locos  I saw after MTA closure were 4555 on the Brecon memorial run, and The odd Mogul Ivatts- but these came via the B&m line into Merthyr.

The photo of Abercanaid station, does not look like the old TV or Gw/RR station to me. The stations on both lines were stone/brick and double lines. I stand to be corrected if my memory is playing tricks.

 

Edited by 88D
Correction

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30 minutes ago, 88D said:

The photo of Abercanaid station, does not look like the old TV or Gw/RR station to me. 

I agree with you there.

 

As I said in my post, supposedly!

 

It was just that your original statement gave the impression that ex GWR outside cylinder locos couldn't get to Merthyr.   You've now clarified they could, but not via the old TVR route.

 

It's just semantics

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

I agree with you there.

 

As I said in my post, supposedly!

 

It was just that your original statement gave the impression that ex GWR outside cylinder locos couldn't get to Merthyr.   You've now clarified they could, but not via the old TVR route.

 

It's just semantics

 

 

 

 

My prob, someone had previously said that 51xx went up to Merthyr on the valleys run; and I didn’t make this clear that I was referring to that line. Hey ho, btw I heard , when I was very young!, from a relative who worked at Merthyr engine shed that they did a trial with a 43xx and that proved the point. When did this trial take place— I haven’t a clue, or even if it did. Unless you liked panniers, Merthyr must have been Pretty poor for trainspotters!

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You may be interested in the following article(s);

"Cardiff Valleys Transition" ( in two parts )

by Martin Smith

which appeared in;

British Railways Illustrated

December 1996 Pt.1

January 1997 Pt.2

.

Brian R

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