The Garw Valley Railway is based on the former Pontycymer to Tondu branch to the north of Bridgend which was curtailed to Pontycymer after 1997. Most of the track remains “in situ”, with two short lengths having been lifted. The line is single track, with potential station sites at Pontycymer, Pontyrhyl, Llangeinor and Brynmenyn. The closest national rail station is Tondu on the Maesteg Branch. Pontycymer is a 15 minute drive from the M4 at junction 36.
The Company hopes to restore passenger train services between Pontycymer and Brynmenyn within the next 10 years. The original proposal to extend in to the Brynmenyn Industrial Estate, and develop a National Railway Centre, had to be abandoned when the river bridge was demolished.
The Bridgend Valleys Railway Company Ltd. trading as Garw Valley Railway’s objective is to advance public education by the restoration, preservation and display of railway locomotives, carriages, wagons and other artefacts of historical interest and buildings connected therewith, in particular but not exclusively those connected with the Garw Valley. And the preservation of books drawings, records, documents, visual and sound recordings, cinematography films and photographs relating to such artefacts and vehicles, their history and development. It is further intended to create a Heritage Centre at Pontycymer in combination with the Garw Heritage Society. This will permit the collection of archives, photographs and other historic material to be available to the public and be preserved for future generations.
The aim of the Garw Valley Railway is “to re-create for present and future generations a typical South Wales Valleys branch line by providing a working museum atmosphere based principally upon the traditions of the Great Western Railway just prior to nationalisation”. The company also wishes to contribute to the conservation of industrial heritage of the South Wales Valleys, to protect and improve the environment and to promote tourism as a means of economic development and regeneration.