The Garw Valley Railway aims to preserve and re-open the former Garw branch, near Bridgend in South Wales. The line originally ran from the former Brynmenyn Junction, where the tracks of the Garw and adjoining Ogmore valley met.
The Garw’s terminus was once at the very head of the valley in Blaengarw, however the last mile of track, together with a former coal washery site, were swept away by a land reclamation scheme in the mid 1990s. Today the branch terminates at Pontycymer, the largest town within the Garw Valley.
To date work has focused on developing a base at Pontycymer and enhancing the existing shed to house a volunteers mess, office and cafe, a new platform and fully relayed track within the new station area, all having been largely completed in the last few years.
Volunteers are working hard to clear the intact track southwards gradually towards Bryngarw Country Park via Braich-y-cymer, Pont-y-rhyl and Llangeinor (see map on right), a distance of around 4.5 miles. The railway currently hosts three open days throughout the year to showcase the progress of the railways regeneration.
Once this section of the branch line is complete there is potential to extend further to finally reconnect with the national network at Tondu, which not only will boost visitor numbers but provide an invaluable transport artery for the people of the Garw Valley.
Alongside the railway for most of it's length runs a tarmaced multipurpose trail known as the community route. To find out more click here.
Route map of the Garw Valley Railway, courtesy of Michael Fox