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Heart of Wales Line

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The Heart of Wales Line is the railway line from Llanelli to Craven Arms. Historically it was known as the Central Wales Line and also included routes through Gowerton, where the railway crossed the West Wales Line and ran through Dunvant and Killay then down through the Clyne Valley to Blackpill and then along the sea wall to Swansea Bay Station, (near the former slip bridge) before finally reaching Swansea Victoria. This section, originally built by the Llanelli Railway and Dock Company to compete with the Great Western Railway and break the monopoly they held on Swansea Dock, closed in 1964. Nationalization of the railways had removed the need for competing routes, and the running down and closure of Swansea North Dock ended the need for freight services on this path.

As a rural branch line the remainder of the Heart of Wales Line survived the Beeching axe since it also carried extensive freight traffic and served the steelworks at Bynea and industrial areas such as Ammanford and Pontarddulais, linking them with the docks at Llanelli. During engineering work the line is still used as a diversionary freight route but normally sees only light passenger services.

Places served by the route include:

Wales

  • Llanelli (West Wales Line: Gowerton, Swansea)
  • Bynea
  • Llangennech
  • Pontarddulais
  • Pantyffynnon
  • Ammanford
  • Llandybie
  • Ffairfach
  • Llandeilo
  • Llangadog
  • Llanwrda
  • Llandovery
  • Cynghordy
  • Sugar Loaf
  • Llanwrtyd Wells
  • Llangammarch Wells
  • Garth
  • Cilmery
  • Builth Wells
  • Llandrindod Wells
  • Penybont
  • Dolau
  • Llanbister
  • Llangynllo
  • Knucklas
  • Knighton

England

  • Bucknell, Shropshire
  • Hoptonheath, Shropshire
  • Broome, Shropshire
  • Craven Arms

At Craven Arms, the line joins the Welsh Marches Line to Church Stretton and Shrewsbury.

Passenger services are operated by Arriva Trains Wales using British Rail Class 150|Class 150 or British Rail Class 153|Class 153 diesel multiple units.


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