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This 8km "light rail" line was, as the "Swansea and Mumbles Tramroad", the first public passenger railway. That is, the first line whose charter stated that one of its purposes was to carry passengers. It was built to connect the city to the pier at "The Mumbles", a headland that had deeper water around it so that ships could dock even at low tide.

Click on thumbnail for larger picture. For most, I can provide higher-resolution photos by email, if needed.

image C0158
Swansea & Mumbles Railway car no. 1 in shed.
Photo C0158 on 07/25/1951
image OS_301
Commuters boarding Mumbles train, St. Helen's Road, Swansea
Photo OS_301 on 06/06/1946
image OS_302
The coupling between two cars of Mumbles train
Photo OS_302 on 06/06/1946
image C0159
Swansea & Mumbles Railway train headed by car no. 6 at Black Pill. There was, I believe, an electrical substation here, which accounts for the fairly substantial station building. Ex-LNWR Mumbles Road station in the distance.
Photo C0159 on 07/25/1951
image C0160
Swansea & Mumbles Railway train headed by car no. 4 at Oystermouth.
Photo C0160 on 07/25/1951
image C0160_A
Swansea & Mumbles Railway train headed by car no. 4: enlargement of C160
Photo C0160_A on 07/25/1951
image C0161
Signal (the wooden structure with Red signal showing) on Swansea & Mumbles Railway, with train approaching. The two extra rails in the centre of the track were, I believe, to provide a better return path for the traction current.
Photo C0161 on 07/25/1951
image C0161_A
Enlargement of train shown in C0160
Photo C0161_A on 07/25/1951
image C0162
Swansea & Mumbles Railway: train approaching Mumbles point. I took the photo from the pier. On the left are sheds and shelters that had built up over the years at the pierhead. WhenI first visited the line (about 1940) the trains ran further towards the pier buildings on the left. Then the tracks were shortened and queue-control barriers were installed in the intervening space.
Photo C0162 on 07/25/1951
image DSCF0185
Looking down at where the track used to terminate: the pier entrance is to the right, out of the picture.
Photo DSCF0185 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0184
Mumbles Pier, fifty years later.
Photo DSCF0184 on 11/07/2000
image g000088
The Swansea & Mumbles line appeared in poetry, on picture postcards, and on artifacts for sale. This is a "piggy-bank" with a coin-slot in the pantograph
Photo g000088 on 04/05/2003
image DSCF0181
The Industrial Museum in Swansea, near what was the start of the Swansea and Mumbles line.
Photo DSCF0181 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0173
Photo of interior of top deck of Mumbles tram, in lieu of an actual upper deck. Each car had a crew of three: a driver plus a conductor on each deck. The lower-deck conductor gave the signal that the doors were closed and "ready to roll" to the driver. In a 2-car train, both conductors had to "ding" before the driver would start. (same thing in Toronto on Bloor street and Young street trains).
Photo DSCF0173 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0172

Photo DSCF0172 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0170
Interior, upstairs, end of car (Mumbles tram). The windws on our left are actually the front of the tram, and those on our right are the right-hand (landward) side of the tram. Again the "box" coerving the lower stairs is visible.
Photo DSCF0170 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0171
At the end of the upper deck, the entry to the stairs down is to the left. The wooden "box" sticking out of the centre wall is a cover over the lower stairs. The bench seating curves right around the front end of the tram.
Photo DSCF0171 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0182
The Mumbles line had always used double-deck vehicles, even in horse and steam days. The only remnant of the double-deck trams that had been used since 1928 is one end of one car, preserved inside the Swansea Industrial Museum.
Photo DSCF0182 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0164
Driving cab of Mumbles tram. The wheel, inside the cab to our left, is for applying the parking brake.
Photo DSCF0164 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0162

Photo DSCF0162 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0163
The trams had controls at each end, and the seats flipped over to suit the direction of travel, but there were doors only on the landward side. Entering the door at the Mubles end of the car, the staircase to ascend to the upper deck is in front of us, the driver's compartment is to the right, and the lower saloon would have been to the left - but in the museum specimen, it has been replaced by a photograph.
Photo DSCF0163 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0177
Driving position of Mumbles tram, showing the dead-man's handle and power control to the right, and the control for the compressed air brakes on our left.
Photo DSCF0177 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0174
From the upper deck we can look down the staircase of the Mumbles tram. The wood work was beautifully panelled.
Photo DSCF0174 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0160
Enameled-steel sign from the Swansea & Mumbles Railway,
Photo DSCF0160 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0161
Enameled-steel sign from the Swansea & Mumbles Railway,
Photo DSCF0161 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0166
Pantograph of Swansea & Mumbles tram
Photo DSCF0166 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0167
Flip-back seat from Mumbles tram
Photo DSCF0167 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0169
Horse-car, as used on early Mumbles line
Photo DSCF0169 on 11/07/2000
image DSCF0176
Length of bridge-rail from Mumbles line
Photo DSCF0176 on 11/07/2000

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This page last updated on 01/21/2012 16:28:44.