About Brecon Mountain Railway

The Route

Pant Station and the first 600 yards (500m) of the route are built on a new alignment some of which was cut through solid rock. The original station site at Pant was not available when the trackbed was purchased.

Upon leaving the platform at Pant Station the line curves right then left on a climbing gradient before joining the original trackbed of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway. Pant Station is at 1134 Feet (346m) above sea level.

On the left hand side is the gorge of the Taf Fechan River. In the gorge can be seen the abandoned railway that ran from Pontsticill Junction to Merthyr Tydfil. This line took a circuitous route from Pontsticill descending for 6 miles to reach it's destination.

Once on the original route the railway passes a disused quarry on the right hand side before traversing the east side of the lightly wooded valley.

In the distance the village of Pontsticill can be seen approaching on the opposite side of the valley. After passing the Brecon Beacons National Park boundary stone the railway passes between two railway rolling stock storage sheds and enters Pontsticill Station, 2 miles from Pant. This was originally  the junction for the Merthyr branch line.

Pontsticill was the terminus of the Brecon Mountain Railway from the opening in 1980 to 1994.

The dam of the lower Ponsticill Reservoir can be seen to the left hand side of the station with the water treatment works in the valley below. The reservoir was constructed between 1913 and 1927, it can hold 3400 million gallons (15000 million litres).

The original signal box and station house are on the right hand side. The original stone waiting room has been converted and extended, it now houses a small museum with a collection of small stationary steam engines and 3 small steam locomotives.

The train passes through the station without stopping and continues alongside the reservoir, after 1 mile we pass over a level crossing next to the premises of the local sailing club. After a further half a mile we reach a passing loop which was the northern terminus of the railway from 1995 to 2013.

Read more about the history of the Brecon Mountain Railway

The railway now starts to climb in earnest passing through the original station at Dol-y-Gaer, now completely rebuilt and owned by the South Wales Scouts Council. The train is now climbing steeply above the upper Pentwyn Reservoir.    

After a further 1 1/2 miles the railway reaches the summit of the original Brecon and Merthyr Railway at Torpantau, 1313 feet (400m) above sea level. The original station was on the opposite side of the road, the road was re-aligned after closure in 1964 following removal of the railway bridge over the road.

Any further extension of the railway would require a new bridge to be built, our exisiting Torpantau Station has been built adjacent to the original route and to the South of the road to avoid building the bridge.

The station only has a platform, passengers wanting to explore the area can return by a later train. Trains only wait 15 minutes before returning to Ponsticill.

At Pontsticill all trains stop for either 25 or 35 minutes dependent upon the timetable before returning to Pant. Passengers wishing to remain here can return by a later train.