The Vale of Glamorgan Railway


The Company began life in 1979 when a group of enthusiasts got together to establish a Railway Heritage Centre at Bute Road Station in the docklands are of Cardiff. Known then as Butetown Historic Railway Society, the aim was to restore the derelict Taff Vale Railway station & establish a steam hauled passenger service from Bute Road to the city centre. Hard work by a devoted band of volunteers saw the station buildings refurbished & steam locomotive 'Sir Gomer' brought back to working order. By 1994 a short length of track at Bute Road was brought into use for Steam hauled passenger trains.

However, by then work well underway to rejuvenate the docklands are of the city & the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation had no interest in the steam railway scheme & the society would have to relocate.

Fortunately the forward looking Vale Of Glamorgan Council offered the Barry Island Station site to the Society as the location for a steam heritage centre. The Welsh Development Agency also offered financial support for the scheme.

By 1997 the Society, now renamed the Vale Of Glamorgan Railway Company had moved all its rolling stock & equipment to Barry Island where a large new purpose built shed & maintenance base was occupied. At the same time the station building at Barry Island constructed by the Barry Railway in 1896 were completely renovated for the Vale Of Glamorgan Railway Company's use. (See also WalesRails website)

The new climate created by rail privatisation & the consequent  vast increase in paperwork, rules & regulations meant that it wasn't until 1998 that a very short steam passenger service was begun & it was Christmas 1999 before passengers would board the train at Barry Island Station.

For many years I have been considering getting involved with the heritage railway movement in Wales. The problem was that all the "big" sites were a long drive away therefore meaning I would have to drive at least an hour & half to get there. However, in the last year or so the Vale Of Glamorgan Railway based at Barry Island Station have been making great strides towards being the premier line in South Wales. The line at present runs a distance of around 2 miles from Barry Island Station to the old Goods Shed at Hood Road, literally next door to Dai Woodham's legendary Yard.

Hood Road Goods Shed at top of picture above locomotives

As a result, I decided early in 2001 to join as a life member & offer my services as I am fortunate enough to work close enough to literally see the steam rising from the locos as they cross the causeway to & from Barry Island. My eventual wish is to drive an engine & it's that thought that fires my interest. The recent extension over the causeway to Hood Road is is just the beginning with the much fabled "Barry 10" waiting in the wings to be restored as the VOGR fleet. There have been any arguments over the years on what to do with these locos (See Below), some good, some bad. I have my opinions but I believe that with the ambitions & prospects available to the VOGR we will probably need every one of these locos.

The "Barry 10"
Loco Number Loco
Class
Loco
Company
Loco
Designer
Date
Built
Location
Built
Loco
Builder
Works
Number
Date
Withdrawn
Wheel
Arrangement
Locomotive
Notes
2861 2800 GWR   1918 Swindon     1963 2-8-0 Consolidation
4115 5101 GWR   1936 Swindon     1965 2-6-2T Large Prairie
5227 5205 GWR   1924 Swindon     1963 2-8-0T Consolidation Tank
5538 4500 4575 GWR   1928 Swindon     1962 2-6-2T Small Prairie, Cosmetic restoration only
5539 4500 4575 GWR   1928 Swindon     1962 2-6-2T Small Prairie
6686 5600 GWR   1928 Newcastle Armstrong Witworth & Co 974 1964 0-6-2T  
7927 Modified Hall GWR   1950 Swindon     1965 4-6-0 Willington Hall
44901 5MT Black 5 LMS   1945 Crewe     1965 4-6-0  
48518 8F LMS Sir William A Stanier 1944 Doncaster     1965 2-8-0  
80150 4MT BR 2-6-4T 1956 Brighton     1965 2-6-4T  
92245 9F BR   1958 Crewe     1964 2-10-0  

Many of the biggest plans for the future are as we speak coming to fruition with the recently announced 500K grant to extend the line another couple of miles to Barry Town & a main line linkup. This will also include the connection to the historical Barry Railway original loco shed & the skills centre currently restoring the TVR coach.

In the future I visualise a full working fleet of steam locos running a franchise service between Cardiff & Bridgend along the original Vale Of Glamorgan Railway, Steam shuttles from Cardiff to Barry Pier to board paddle steamers bound for the West Somerset Railway across the Bristol Channel. Today this is my dream but not an impossible one. I ask you to JOIN NOW & make my dream your dream.

Copy of original Vale of Glamorgan Railway prospectus.