The Llanelly Railway and Dock Company - The Heart of Wales Pioneer, by Michael Denman

The Llanelly Railway and Dock Company - The Heart of Wales Pioneer, by Michael Denman

Published by The Wider View in 2012, 184 pages. Large Hardback - c.28cm by 22cm (N6704)

From the rear side cover: The LR&DC was one of the earliest railways to acquire an Act of Parliament in 1828, pre-dating the Taff Vale by eight years and Queen Victoria's accession by nine. After a modest beginning with a short line from their New Dock at Llanelli to the village of Dafen, the Company set its sights on the coalfield to the north, particularly in the Amman Valley. They built their line first to Ammanford, then on to Garnant, Brynamman and Gwaun-Cae­ Gurwen with several branches. From Pantyffynnon the Company opened the main line to Llandeilo, and also ran the services for the Vale ofTowy Railway between there and Llandovery. Further expansion created new lines from Llandeilo to Carmarthen through Nantgaredig and Abergwili, and from Pontardulais to Swansea (Victoria) via the Dunvant valley with a branch to Penclawdd.

Michael Denman reveals how hands-on management was the order of the day, with details of building and running an early railway and dock and operating the earliest locomotives providing an insight into the people who ran and worked the railway. Following years of operating in isolation in west Wales, the Company had to deal with the conflict that arose when the larger LNWR and South Wales Railway companies burst upon the scene, and the inevitable financial troubles, all with a surprising outcome. Photographs, maps and drawings help illustrate the story of a railway company that built the southern part of the Heart of Wales Line on which we can still travel in the 21st century.
Chapters include:

Earliest Times
Venturing Northwards
Dealing with the South Wales Railway
To the Parish of Llandilo Fawr
Keeping Wagons Rolling
Company Bye-Laws
The Vale of Towy Railway
Three Way Expansion
Accidents along the Line
Company Men
The Locomotive Fleet
Managing the Business
Summary of Accidents
Company Employees
Staff List of Employees transferred to GWR
Private Sidings as listed for GWR, 1873
Llanelly Dock Station
Train Staff and Tablets, 1879
Half-year Accounts
Half-year Passenger Returns
Half-year Statistics
LR&DC Shareholders, 1889

The book is illustrated throughout with several black and white photographs and maps

The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.