Powys Digital History Project

The Hay Tramway 4
Steam takes over, 1864

  The end of horse power
During the time it was in operation the tramway was mostly used to carry coal from Brecon to Hay and on into west Herefordshire, and carried corn and lime back on the return journey.
Movements on the line were limited to daylight hours, and the tramway was a single track with regular passing places. Although the system was intended for goods, some passengers were also carried.

Traces of the
tramway route
today near the
River Wye at Hay
(near right)

The tramway
crossed this bridge
near the church
(far right)

Line of tramway at Hay, 1999Bridge used by tramway, 1999 

Two contractors provided the horses to work the route, and it is thought that the changeover point for fresh horses was at Glasbury. Beautifully fitted out stables with oak stalls have survived near Glasbury, close to the route of the tramway.
The tramway was indeed an enterprising and courageous project for such an early date, and it provided a valuable service for Hay for almost fifty years.
It was to come to an end with the opening of the steam operated Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway in 1864. Some of the trackbeds of the pioneering Hay Tramway were used for the new railway, including the section at Hay.

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