South Wales Railways Around the Millennium
- Paul Woollard
15th August 2019
By the early years of the twentieth century, the development of rail transport in South Wales had produced an intricate network that owed its origins to several factors that came into play in the previous century, such as the demand for iron ore, limestone and high-quality Welsh anthracite coal, as well as the nineteenth-century expansion and development of rail-served Welsh Bristol Channel ports. By the 1990s, the inexorable decline of the railway network in South Wales, steepened by the devastating Miners’ Strike of 1984/85, meant that railborne freight was a shadow of its former self. What remained however, certainly in the 1990s and early 2000s, was a variety of flows in the hands of what we would now refer to as classic traction - namely Class 56s, 60s and, of course, the venerable Class 37s.
This book draws on a collection of images, mainly of the aforementioned types, often in colourful sector liveries, set in the striking rural and industrial landscapes that typify South Wales. Locomotive-hauled passenger services also added visual variety to this part of the country in the period covered by this book.