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Neath and Brecon Railway 1898 | by ian.dinmore
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Neath and Brecon Railway 1898

This railway was originally incorporated as the Dulais Valley Railway, by Act of Parliament dated 29 July 1862. A second act of 1863 changed its title to the Neath & Brecon Railway and the first section from Neath opened on 2 September 1864. It now had powers to extend northwards over the mountains to Devynock, thence along the Vale of Usk to Brecon where a junction with the Hereford, Hay & Brecon Railway was to be made. A further act dated 29 July 1864, authorised a branch line from Devynock to Llangammarch Wells on the Central Wales Extension Railway of the LNWR.

The Onllwyn to Brecon section was opened to a temporary station at Mount Street Brecon on 8 June 1867. The Mid Wales Railway also used Mount Street as its terminus from 22 October 1868 until 30 April 1871, when they transferred to the new Free Street station built by the Brecon & Merthyr Railway. Difficulties with the B&MR had prevented the N&BR trains running through to the original B&MR station at the Watton, which were not resolved until 1874, when the N&BR began to use the new joint station at Free Street.

The failure of the bankers Overend and Gurney in 1866, followed by the contractor to the N&BR, John Dickson in 1868, caused the abandonment of the line to Llangammarch after the earthworks had been completed. Furthermore the extension to Brecon was expensive to work, causing financial problems which the N&BR sought to rectify through absorption of the Swansea Vale & Neath & Brecon Junction Railway on 26 July 1869. The SVR&N&BJR had been authorised by an Act dated 29 July 1864 to build a railway from a junction with the N&BR at Colbren to an end on junction with the Swansea Vale Railway at Ynysgeinon. This move gave the N&BR running powers to Swansea over the SVR, and in return the N&BR gave the SVR running powers to Brecon.

The Midland Railway having secured running powers to Hereford, leased the Hereford, Hay & Brecon Railway and the Swansea Vale Railway in 1874, and announced that it intended to run through trains over the N&BR using the SVR's running powers. The N&BR reluctantly accepted the Midland Railway's offer to work all traffic between Brecon, Colbren and Ynysgeinon and pay the N&BR one third of the net receipts.

The N&BR was absorbed into the Great Western Railway under the Railways Act of 1921

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Uploaded on July 27, 2013