Talyllyn, with the Allt behind
The Villige of Talyllyn exists only because of the railway. Prior to the railway, just Brynderwen Farm existed in this area.
The three Terraces - 1-4 Griffin Terrace (left), Maple Villa/Glen View (centre) and 1-3 Rockfeild Terrace (right) were built exclusively for railway workers. Griffin Terrace bears the date 1903.
Also shown in the picture are the front entrances of the houses as well as the Tiled flooring in Griffin Terrace.
In 1860 The Midland Railway built a simple station, at the Northern point of the triangle to serve the small village of Llanfihangel Talyllyn. However The Brecon and Merthyr Railway opened first, in May 1862 and found it inconvinient to divert off their line, so in 1869 they built their own station near the mouth of the tunnel, in an area known as "Brynderwen Field", the two stations were joined by a footpath known as "Ash Path". This led to the demise of the original station, which closed on the 15th May 1878, and was then used as a house, the new station then assumed the name of Talyllyn, and a small hamlet was soon built to house the large number of railway staff employed in the area. In 1895 the "extension platform" creating a third platform was added for midland trains to avoid delaying through traffic. A pagoda style corrigated iron waiting shelter was provided on this platform, and seen in many photographs of the station. The main platform had a number of substantial buildings built from local stone, and included a Refreshment Rooms for the passengers changing trains at this important junction. Trains were controlled from three signal boxes, situated at each point of the triangle.
Original station built 1860 by Midland Railway, being used as a house The Junction showing loop-line towards Pennorth (left). The
Midland line to Talyllyn and Brecon is on the other side of the station.
Talyllyn Station just after closure as seen in 1963
Talyllyn Station (opened 1869) looking west towards Brecon Station looking east. Pagoda-style waiting room can be seen on the
Note the Station-master's house above the tunnel. extension platform in the distance used by Midland Trains, leading to
Three-Cocks. The Merthyr-line diverges to the right.
The oldest railway tunnel of any appreciable length in the country. The 674yds (616mts) long tunnel was built and opened in 1816 by The Brecon to Hay Tram road, which was a horse drawn "plate way". In 1862 work commenced to enlarge the tunnel to take a single road standard guage railway, this work was completed in three months allowing the first train to run through the tunnel on the 1st January 1863, with the first passenger train travelling through on the 2nd of May that year. The tunnel is straight and on a very slight gradient, with thirty personnel refuges built in the walls at regular spacings. Because of the need for a set of points to be situated at the mouth of the tunnel in order to serve both platforms, a unique signaling system was fitted inside the tunnel. The portal at the east end was at the end of the station platform, the west end is in open country side. Both ends of the tunnel have been blocked up and are now on private property.
Inside Talyllyn Tunnel, looking west (towards Brecon) Remnants of unique original
Celebration walk through the Talyllyn Tunnel on 8 May 2016
Within the Junction complex was a large stone built two road locomotive shed opened in about 1869. It would appear that the shed was approx, 200feet long. Records only show one banking engine being kept at Talyllyn, so it would seem that the shed was used mainly for maintenance, confirmed by the large amount of worn out brake blocks, fire bars, and even a wagon spring found during a most interesting day of investigation by members. However the 1911 census does not show any residence as being employed as fitters. The engine shed closed early in 1922 and rapidly fell into disrepair.
The Engine Shed at Talyllyn photographed in 1935 (source unknown)
The Royal Visit
In 1955 The Brecon Agricultural Show, the oldest continuously run show was celebrating it's bi-centenary, and to celebrate this special aniversary it was arranged for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to perform the opening ceremony on Saturday 5th August 1955.
The Royal Train travelled up from Hereford on the Friday afternoon, arriving at Talyllyn North Junction at 4.03pm and was stabled on the north to east curve. The two engines numbers 2225 and 2284 were taken off and serviced in Brecon Shed, whilst sister engine No. 2219 was attached for over night services.
We hope that the Royal Party enjoyed the veiw of Llangors Lake and The Black Mountains, from their train during their over night stay. Very few people would have been aware of their Royal neighbours if it had not been for the fact that railway carriages (including The Royal Train) discharged all waste directly out on to the track. As the train was parked for over 17 hours an emergency call was sent out for any receptacles to collect and aid the disposal of the Royal waste.