BPGV 2

The section of the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley line between Burry Port and Coedbach (Kidwelly Jn) closed from 17th September 1983 when a new line was opened linking to the main line at Kidwelly and making this section redundant. I visited during that last week of operation of the 4 mile redundant section, on Tuesday 13th September 1983.

03144,03151,03120 at Pembrey 13/09/83 (p2801.jpg)

03144 leads 03151 and 03120 on a coal working through Pembrey towards Burry Port. 03144 and 03151 are working in multiple whilst 03151 has its own crew. The track bed, converted from a branch of the Kidwelly & Llanelly canal at minimum cost and thus prone to flooding, restricted the locos used on this section to Class 03s only.

03144,03151,03120 at Burry Port 13/09/83 (p2802.jpg)

The train passses under the South Wales main line on the outskirts of Burry Port. Locos and guards vans had to have their height reduced to fit under the ex-canal bridhges on this route. The canal was here when the (broad gauge) main line arrived in 1852. The canal was converted to a standard-gauge railway in 1869, and the main line itself became standard gauge in 1872.

03144,03151,03120 at Burry Port 13/09/83 (p2803.jpg)

The train heads off towards Burry Port. In the distance is Carmarthen Bay coal-fired power station, where much of this coal, open-casted in the Gwendraeth Valley, was burnt. The power station would itself close the next year.

03151,03144,03120 at Pinged 13/09/83 (p2806.jpg)

The locos then returned in this interesting engine-and-brake-van combination to Coedbach washery. 03151 and 03144 lead with 03120 bringing up the rear. They are approaching an open crossing over a minor road near Pinged. On this day, 03119 and 03141 were stabled at Llanelli, leaving just 2 other members of the Landore allocation - 03145 and 03152 unaccounted for. In 2018, 03144 is preserved on the Wensleydale Railway and 03120 on the Fawley Hill Railway. 03151 was scrapped in 1985.

03144,03151,03120 at Pembrey 13/09/83 (p2810.jpg)

Returning to Burry Port with another load of coal from Coedbach washery, 03144, 03151 and 03120 are seen approaching Craiglon Bridge on the outskirts of Pembrey. At this point the line has been running on the former canal towpath, with the canal itself visible to the right. From here on there are 6 bridges through which the line obviously ran on the canal bed itself. The South Wales Main line is over to the left - an overbridge is visible in the distance.