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Tenterden Terrier

The Gower Light Railway

Promoted by the Light Railways Syndicate Ltd., with Holman F. Stephens as engineer and E.W.I. Peterson as solicitor, a Light Railway Order for this scheme was confirmed by the Board of Trade on 4 October 1898.

Gower mapThe proposal was for a new line about 11 miles long from the London & North Western Railway at Killay, on the line out of Swansea Victoria, through Three Crosses, Cillibion, Frog Moor and Knelston to the fishing village of Port Eynon. From Killay, it was intended to reinstate a derelict mineral line, the Clyne Valley Tramway, and the disused Clyne Valley branch of the Swansea & Mumbles Railway to join the main line of the Swansea & Mumbles at Mumbles Road and run over it to a terminus at Rutland Street, Swansea.

At a meeting at Reynoldstone in 1895 it was said that the light railway would “open up the district, and serve, not only for the conveyance of the country produce to Swansea, but to introduce to tourists and others the beautiful secluded scenery which abounds in the neighbourhood of Gower”.

The British Electric Traction Co. was at that time negotiating to take over the Swansea & Mumbles, and it is thought that BET planned to work both the Swansea & Mumbles and the Gower Light Railway electrically. In the event, the Swansea & Mumbles was not electrified until 1929.

Finance was not forthcoming for the Gower Light Railway although an Amendment Order was obtained in 1902 which granted an extension of time in addition to other powers.

In 1912 an attempt was made by local interests (particularly Henry N. Miers and C.J.C. Wilson) in conjunction with H.F. Stephens and F.C. Mathews to revive the scheme under the title of the Gower Peninsula Light Railway. However, despite attempts to persuade the local authorities to give financial support which lasted until 1924, this fared no better than the original scheme.

An article by Stephen Garrett giving further details of the Gower Light Railway proposals appeared in the Tenterden Terrier, No.28, Summer 1982.

Read the original article here