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Brecon railways
  Brecon gets on the railway map  

In 1859 an Act of Parliament authorised the building of a new railway line from Brecon, south alongside the River Usk to Talybont, and on to Dowlais near Merthyr.

  This connection with the important industrial areas around Merthyr was also to provide a rail link with other lines to the south. These served Neath, Cardiff and Newport. Early railway train

Route of
the Brecon
& Merthyr

Map of route At this time there was a 'railway mania' (similar to the 'canal mania' of the 1790s) with fierce competition between companies which put up rival proposals for new railways in the hope of making large profits. Many planned lines were never built, and a lot of money and effort was wasted.
The steam railway age came to Brecon on 1st May 1863 when the line to Merthyr was opened for traffic.
In September of the next year, 1864, Brecon gained a rail link with Llanidloes by the Mid-Wales Railway and with Hereford by the Hereford, Hay & Brecon Railway. The connection with these lines to the north and east was at Talyllyn Junction.

Just three years later, in 1867, The Neath & Brecon Railway was the next service to link with Brecon.
By this date three separate companies were running trains to Brecon, coming in to three different stations. There is more about this confusing time on the next page...

When Brecon had too many stations...


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