The routes of former railway lines provide some fine tracks for cyclists, joggers and walkers. For example, from
Leisure Centre one can follow the former route of the London
and North Western Railway along the seafront to Blackpill, then turn inland,
where a bridge used to take the track over the Mumbles Road, to continue up the
to Gowerton. Clyne Valley
The route of the Mumbles Railway used to run from
parallel with the LNW line, along part of what is now the much-widened Mumbles Road as far
as Blackpill, but would then pass under the LNW railway bridge to follow the
coastal route to Mumbles Square. This used to be the terminus, until the line
was extended to 4½ miles to reach the pier, which opened in 1898.
Railway companies competed carrying minerals and passengers down the Afan valley, the Vale of Neath, the
Swansea valley and the Clyne valley, until as many as six
lines (some primarily for freight) all ended in .
The Vale of Neath Railway served the collieries of Merthyr, Aberdare and the Neath valley. Taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1865, its terminus was
station until 1873, subsequently extended to East Dock.
and Swansea Bay Railway ran from Treherbert from 1894 to the terminus at
Swansea Riverside; it was taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1906.
The Swansea Vale Railway, which served the Tawe and
valleys, ran to Pontardawe by 1860, and to Brynamman by 1864. Ten years later it was taken over by the
Midland Railway, which became the Amman London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1876, with the terminus at
. The Swansea Vale Railway Society maintained
the remaining track before merging with the Gwili Railway in Carmarthenshire. St Thomas
The Mumbles Railway was famously the earliest passenger-carrying railway in the world, with the terminus at
Rutland Street. It began as a mineral line serving the Clyne
valley, with horses pulling trucks along a railway between Mumbles and , before passengers
were carried to a regular timetable from 1807.
With the increase in private car ownership and the need to widen the Swansea Mumbles Road, it
closed in January 1960, to widespread dismay.
The Llanelly Railway ran initially to Pontardulais, but was extended to
’s South Dock in 1866. It was taken over by Swansea London
and North Western in 1873 and ran to
(approximately the site of the Leisure Centre) until closed in 1964. Victoria
The South Wales Railway reached
in June 1850 after
the completion of the Landore viaduct, with the terminus at High Street
station. It merged with the Great
Western Railway in 1863, and nine years later all its track was converted from
the 7’0¼” broad-gauge favoured by Brunel from 1838 to the 4’8½” standard or
narrow-gauge. From 1906 the Swansea Loop
enabled the main line from London Paddington to West Wales to run to Swansea (High Street)
station, where an engine could be attached to the other end so that the journey
continued without passengers needing to change trains at Landore. Swansea
The former North and South Docks - now Parc Tawe and the Marina respectively – were linked by an overhead railway, while an iron bridge carried the Harbour Railway over the junction of Wind and Mount Streets.Many rival companies throughout the country were merged by the 1921 Railway Act into just four railways – the Great Western, the Southern, the