Pamela was built by Hunslet in Leeds, North England in 1956 for the NCB (National Coal Board) to the common ‘Austerity’ type to move heavy coal trains around the Llynfi valley collieries. She lived and worked with several other steam locomotives of the same type as her. Of all of the engines on site, the crews mostly thought Pamela was the strongest and most reliable. Pamela was the last steam locomotive to work in the Llynfi valley, she was kept behind when the other steam locomotives were retired, as a standby in case one of the NCB’s new diesel locomotives broke down.
In 1975 Pamela was finally retired completely. The Coal board didn’t want to scrap Pamela as she was such a hard working machine so they let a preservation society in Neath look after her to restore and display. in 1996 the NCB sold Pamela to the Vale of Glamorgan Railway, based in Barry where it was returned to steam and hauled passenger trains for many years, but in 2009 Pamela finally returned to the Bridgend valleys. She is now just a few miles from her original home; the Garw valley is the next valley east of the Llynfi river.
Pamela is now on display for visitors to view, pending a full overhaul to allow her to haul passenger trains up the Garw valley in the future.
Pamela at work at Maesteg
On static display at Pontycymer
No.7705 was built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn in 1952 and previously worked at Wiggan Teape, Ely Paper Mills in Cardiff.
It was initially preserved at the former base of the Caerphilly Railway Society before residing on static display at the erstwhile Industrial and Maritime Museum in Cardiff Bay, before being bought privately on closure of that museum and moved to Barry to be restored at the former Barry Island Railway. When the previous society in charge at Barry were forced to move No.7705 came to it's present home at Pontycymer.
Privately owned, this locomotive is undergoing restoration and is hoped to be our first working steam locomotive to haul brake van shuttle rides and footplate experiences in the near future.
7705 at work at Ely Paper Mill
7705 in steam at Caerphilly.
Our two resident diesels are both Planet built 4 wheel diesel hydraulics, built by FC Hibberd.
4006 was built in 1963 and spent it's working life at Redhill Sand in Surrey.
3890 was built in 1958 for delivery to Vickers Armstrong (Shipbuilders) Ltd at their Hepburn shipyard. It weights 24.5 tons and it has got a 14.7 litre Dorman 6KUD engine which develops 165bhp @1700 rpm. It will pull 800 tons on the level. In 1968 it was bought by Thomas Hill in Kilnhurst, Yorkshire who overhauled it and 3890 was then resold to South Wales Warehouses Ltd, Penarth (which is where IKEA Cardiff Bay now stands). In 1982 it was sold to Powell Dyffryn Quarries Ltd for use at their quarry in Machen, Caerphilly. Ownership of the quarry changed over the years and 3890 was eventually donated to Bridgend Valleys Railway by the present operators, Hanson Aggregates. 3890 was built by F.C Hibberd under the "Planet" tradename, this loco is a 24.5 ton type KD-TC model and is the only one left of it's type.
4006 at present is our only operational locomotive and is used to perform demonstration runs at open days as well as works trains as we prepare to repair our permanent way southwards. 3890 is currently in reserve as a backup locomotive to 4006.
Planet's 4006 and 3890
4006 running at Pontycymer
3989 on display at Pontycymer