Abergwili Junction

A little bit of the history...

An extension to the south of Bronwydd Arms has been on the cards for several years. About one mile of track was laid from Bronwydd to a small bridge ("Bridge 6") several years ago. This bridge took the track over a leat that used to supply water to drive the wheels in the old Carmarthen tin works. The leat was six foot wide, just over four feet deep and crossed under the track in a stone lined channel. The trouble was that it crossed the track at such a shallow angle that it took almost 30 yards to cross and the iron deck and girders were a bit of a mess! Another problem was that whenever it rained (here in Wales? Surely not?) the leat collected a lot of surface water run-off which flowed through the channel and drained into the river.

Everything stopped while (many) discussions took place as to what should be done to repair this (and how it was going to be funded!). Then it was discovered that the side walls (under broad capping stones) were only 12 inches thick and bulging out into the leat so it was no longer a case of just putting a new top on old walls, everything needed attention. Many more discussions followed with various solutions ranging from rebuilding it from the ground up to digging it all out and flattening it being proposed. Whatever was done had to include some form of drainage to allow the run-ff to flow to the river. More discussions…

Finally in May 2012 we found the solution - we decided to "Time Team" it - In other words - measure it, photograph it, record it - then fill it all in! Yes it's still there, you do still cross Bridge 6 but it's now about two feet under the track bed and a new culvert to take the run-off water across the track has been installed just upstream of the crossing.

Bridge 6 leat

The leat crossing.

This was taken just before the infilling started. The capping stones have been removed to lower the wall height to give a deeper track bed. You can see the rail head in the background where the wagon is. All the water is run-off from the hillside running backwards along the leat to the river. This view is looking north towards Bronwydd. The river is just out of the picture on the right.

Bridge 6 done

Two days later…

A clear track bed!!! Carmarthen here we come… Well, maybe…

A week after this photo was taken the huge Oak tree on the right was blown over in a gale. We estimate it was at least 60 feet tall because when it fell it literally spanned the river with just a few branches drooping into the water!  All our nice re-profiled embankments had to be re done after dragging the four foot diameter trunk back up into the track bed for cutting up and removal.

So with Bridge 6 sorted we were back on our way - no problem, er…


Testimonials

Gwili Steam Railway, Bronwydd Arms Station, Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen, SA33 6HT. Tel (01267) 238213 (Mon-Fri-10am-4pm)