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Swansea Canal
  The loss of trade to the railways  

Like large numbers of other waterways in Britain, the Swansea Canal was eventually to lose its customers for the delivery of goods to the new steam railways.
Although the railway came to mid-Wales years later than to many other parts of the country, by 1861 a line was in use next to the canal between Swansea and Ystradgynlais.

Early steam train

Remains of
Ironworks in

Ynscedwyn Ironworks Although charges for carrying goods on the canal were greatly reduced to try and compete with the railway, the iron industry was also failing due to new methods of making steel.
The Ynscedwyn Ironworks (left) closed in 1876 and those at Ystalyfera closed in 1886, so most of the remaining canal trade in carrying coal and iron was lost.
Photographs from the collection of the late
John Morris
of Ystradgynlais.
The picture on the right shows old wharf buildings lining the edge of the southern part of the canal at Landore.
The canals once played a vital part in the transport needs of local industries. These days warehouses and industrial buildings are sited next to motorways and major roads for much the same reason !
Wharves at Landore

The last boat operators to carry commercial goods on the Swansea Canal had to cease operations in 1931, because there was no longer any demand for their services.

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