Powys Digital History Project

The Hay Tramway 3
A fatal accident, 1843

  The 'wharf' at Hay
In Hay the tramway passed along the western edge of the town along the eastern bank of the River Wye. There was an unloading 'wharf' on the edge of the town at a higher level than the main track, reached by a short and fairly steep 'branch line'. This layout was to result in a tragic accident in September 1843.

From the
first edition
Ordnance Survey
one-inch map, 1836

County Archives

Ornance Survey map, 1836The route of the tramway at Hay can be seen on this first edition one-inch Ordnance Survey map of 1836.
The line can be seen coming into Hay from Glasbury at centre left, then follows the edge of the River Wye northwards.
The 'branch line' rising up to the wharf is just north of the church at the bend in the river to the west of the town.

In 1843 is was evidently normal practice to use horses to haul the loaded wagons up to the higher level of the 'wharf', but to allow the wagons to run freely down again to the main tramway by gravity. An old woman from Hay, Elizabeth Smith, was crossing the line near the church carrying a bag of potatoes when she was struck without warning by the wagons hurtling down the slope. She was killed instantly, and this tragedy led to the Tramway Company being severely censured by the coroner for carelessness.

There are 4 pages on the Hay Tramway. Use the box links below to view the other pages.