Industrial Locomotives of West Glamorgan, by M. Potts and G.W. Green
Published by the Industrial Railway Society (IRS) in 1996, 292 pages. Hardback - c.15cm by 21cm (N6049)
From the introduction: This book is a further volume in the series covering the industrial locomotives and railways of Great Britain and deals with the county of West Glamorgan... the book incorporates and describes not only the locomotives and their locations, but includes non-locomotive, contractors' and preservation sites within the county. Appropriate maps have also been included.
The industrial archaeology of West Glamorgan is complex and varied. Some of the earliest industries comprised smelting of iron and non-ferrous metals, as well as mining of coal and other minerals. These were served by long established canals (serving Swansea and the Vale of Neath) and tramroads prior to the coming of main line railways. Documentation of these lines is limited but some impression can be gained of the activities at Neath Abbey and Cwmavon, amongst others. In more recent times the the industries of the Swansea area utilised a wide variery of processes for the manufacture of items in iron, steel and other metals. This activity has today largely ceased but has left a legacy of polluted land in the Swansea Vale which is being reclaimed for further use. Several preservation groups are seeking to retain the memory of the heyday of rail and mining activities in the area.
Eastwards, the Skewen and Briton Ferry areas have seen the activities of important oil refining and petro-chemical plants, while the steel making complex at Margam is one of the major modern production facilities in the U.K. Coal mining has been widespread throughout the county, apart from the south and south-west of the Gower peninsula. However the mines adjacent to Swansea and Briton Ferry tended to have been closed at an earlier date than those in the west and north of the county. Mines up to 1947 are recorded in the industrial section, while the extensive activities of the National Coal Board comprise a chapter in its own right. Now the wheel has come full circle and the privatised opencast disposal points that still make use of rail traction are again recorded in the industrial chapter.
The purpose of the book is to enumerate the industrial locomotives of the area and so the description of non-locomotive lines has to be selective, choosing those with an element of interest in them. We may be unable to document the early tram roads to the level of detail that they would justify, but we have included a gazetteer of recent small mines, notably in the Rheola Forest area of Glyn Neath. The information on industrial locations is set out in six sections as follows:
1. Locomotive worked systems, plus minor public railways of less than standard gauge, plus those standard gauge lines that remained independent after the 1923 grouping.
2. Locomotives and railway systems operated by the National Coal Board/British Coal from 1947 to 1994.
3. Known details of locomotives used on civil engineering contracts, including contracts involving the construction of many sections of public railway.
4. Locomotives that passed through the hands of dealers and hirers.
5. Preservation locations are included where the gauge exceeds 1 ft 3in.
6. Known details of non-locomotive worked systems of sufficient length to be of interest.
The book also includes 32 pages of plate black and white photographs to the rear of the book. There are two photographs per page, and thus over 60 photo's in total, showing different locomotives.
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.