Railways Around Llanelli

Nevill’s Dock & Railway Company

The main arteries of the extensive industrial railway network in Llanelli were built by or for the Copperworks. The system began with a line from a coal pit in the Bigyn district to the Copperworks in 1805, the year it opened. A second line ran from the site of the Copperwork’s own dock to the Carmarthenshire Tramroad. This provided a link along which stone was brought from a quarry for the building of the dock. These two lines and another to the Llanelly Railway in the New Dock district were operated by the Copperworks Company until a new company was set up in 1911. The new company was named the Nevill’s Dock & Railway taking its name from the family who had been involved from the beginning.
It continued in business linking the main iron, steel and tinplate works in and around the town until finally closing in 1969. As house building grew in Llanelli the streets built near the Copperworks system created what we saw in later years, a street based railway system. In some cases the lines ran within yards of people’s homes almost no safety facing.
In the final 20 years or so traffic changed quite considerably. The works in the centre of town, the Bres and Wern districts, had moved to Machynis or closed. That was the first section of line to close. The line to the Old Castle district had been connected to the Stradey Estate Railway when it was built to replace the defunct Carmarthenshire Tramroad and closed in the early 1960s.
The ship breakers, E G Rees used the line around Glanmor Road where there was a junction at the west end of Llanelli station, until the mid 1960s. This connection, which was also used by the Glanmorfa Foundry,  was lifted in 1967.
The final section in use was from a tinplate recycling plant latterly occupied by AMG Resources Ltd to the BR system in New Dock. When the Nevill’s Dock & Railway withdrew this last service in 1969 the then works owner, Batchelor, Robinson used its own diesel locomotive for some years, possibly until 1982 (below right).
© John Spencer