Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

Top 'n' tailing up the incline

Top 'n' tailing up the incline from Furnace sidings

Picture: © Copyright Gareth James and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway is a standard gauge preserved heritage Railway, located in the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales.


The Route is roughly 3 miles long, most of which on a steep incline, so plenty of opportunity to hear the engines really working!

Furnace Sidings

This is the railways Headquarters, found in the “Middle” of the line. Located here are the Railways Engine shed and workshops and a vast array of Sidings containing stock in various states of repair.

The station has seen new additions in the past few years, including a second Platform, Footbridge and in the process of construction, a new station building.

There is also a Tea Room here.

Situated right next door is “Big Pit”, a mining museum. The railway is I believe going to reopen the short branch to it sometime this year (2011)!

Whistle Inn

The Whistle Inn is the North/Western terminus of the line. This little halt is situated right next to the… Whistle Inn, a pub.

Blaenavon (High Level)

Blaenavon High Level is the latest station to be reinstated on the line. Found approximately 1 1/2 miles South/East of Furnace Sidings.

This station and track Extension opened in 2010, and is now in regular use!

The Trains

Most trains consist of three coaches, which will hauled by Steam or a Heritage Diesel depending on the running day!

Steam hauled trains tend to be Top ‘n’ tailed as one steam locomotive could not handle a train on the incline on its own and the railway has no run-round loops at either end of the line.


Website: http://www.pontypool-and-blaenavon.co.uk/

Operating dates: See Website

Line Length: 2 3/4 miles

Operational Locomotives:

  • Ex-GWR 57XX class 0-6-0PT No.9629 (Undergoing restoration)
  • RSH ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST No.71515 Mech. Navvies Ltd
  • Bagnall 0-4-0ST No.19 HM Dockyard, Devonport
  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No.1823 Harry (Awaiting new Boiler)
  • Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST No.2074 Llantarnam Abbey (Undergoing Restoration)
  • English Electric Class 37 Co-Co No.37421
  • Brush Class 31 A1A-A1A No.D5627 Steve Organ GM
  • English Electric Class 73 Electro Diesel No.73128 OVS Bullied CB
  • Ruston 0-4-0DM No.200793 Gower Princess
  • English Electric 0-6-0DH No.104 Llanwren
  • Hunslet 0-8-0DH No.170 Ebbw (Recently rebuilt – Rarely seen!)
  • Sentinel 0-4-0DM No.1 Panteg
  • Huddswell Clarke 0-4-0DH NCB No.DL16


A regular visitor to Wales, Ivor.

A regular visitor to the PBR, Ivor the Engine

Picture: © Copyright RAY JONES and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Class 73 at Whistle Inn Halt

Class 73 at Whistle Inn Halt

City of Truro working hard up the incline

City of Truro working hard up the incline

Pictures: © Copyright Gareth James and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


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