Hirwaun railway station
|Area||Rhondda Cynon Taf|
|Original company||Vale of Neath Railway|
|Pre-grouping||Great Western Railway|
|Post-grouping||Great Western Railway|
|24 September 1851||Station opened as Hirwain|
|September 1928||Renamed Hirwaun|
|15 June 1964||Station closed|
|Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom|
|Closed railway stations in Britain|
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
|Railways in the Hirwaun area|
The station was opened by the Vale of Neath Railway in 1851, although tramways and railways had existed in the area for at least 60+ years due to the Hirwaun Ironworks and other industries. It existed on the VoR 7 ft (2,134 mm) route between Neath and Merthyr Tydfil (1853), although the branch to Aberdare opened first in 1851.
Although only a relatively small station serving an industrial community, Hirwaun was an important junction station for the VoNR. At Gelli Tarw Junction just north of the station, it merged three lines:
- Mainline from Neath to Merthyr
- Branch to Aberdare, later junctioning with the Aberdare Railway
- Dare Valley branch, initially to Bwllfa Colliery and then extended
The three platforms of the station were also supplemented by a brickworks just north of the station site. South of the station, there existed the goods yard and associated sidings, plus junctions for:
- The Hirwaun Ironworks railway
- Tower Colliery
- Penderyn quarry tramway
- Tir Herbert brickworks
- Hirwaun Common railway
Between Glynneath and Hirwaun, a distance of only 6 miles (9.7 km), there were: five collieries; two quarries; and one gunpowder/silica factory. Each had their own private sidings, all to be tackled over the steep Glynneath embankment, which required a banking locomotive for northbound trains to be attached at Glynneath. During World War II, the Royal Ordnance Factory ROF Hirwaun added to both the goods and passenger traffic load.
Taken over by the Great Western Railway on grouping in 1921, it fell victim to the Beeching Axe in 1964, with the last train running on 13 June. However, the line itself stayed in place to Aberdare on the renamed Merthyr Line, for coal trains serving Tower Colliery and a coking plant further down the valley towards Abercynon.
Freight continues to run several times a day from Tower colliery, over track it owned north of the former station site. Although Tower's underground workings final ceased on 18 January 2008, DB Schenker Rail (UK) still run trains to the Tower washery, which depart Aberdare at 7 pm on Wednesdays, and 1130 on the Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, most often hauled by a Class 66. Freightliner also operate stone trains to Tower, but this service varies in schedule, again hauled by a Class 66.
It was announced in March 2011 that the Welsh Government’s 2011-12 capital programme would include the re-opening of the line to Hirwaun as part of the Cynon Valley Scheme. However, there is currently no information on when the work will commence.
The line to this station has been identified by Campaign for a Better Transport as a priority 1 candidate for reopening.
- "Hirwaun Railways". Rhigos memories. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Hirwaun railway station staff". Rhondda Cynon Taf Library service. 1956. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Page, p.37
- Body, G. (1983), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Western Region, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 0-85059-546-0
- Page, J. (1988), Forgotten Railways: Volume 8 - South Wales (2nd Ed), David & Charles Publishers, Newton Abbott, ISBN 0-946537-44-5
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
|Llwydcoed||Vale of Neath Railway
Mainline to Merthyr High Street, 1853
|Trecynon||Vale of Neath Railway
Aberdare branch to Aberdare, 1851
|Black Lion Crossing||Aberdare Railway
(Taff Vale Railway)