Mumbles Railway

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Parliamentary and legal papers 1811-1954; Oystermouth Railway and Tramroad Company Records 1804-1885; Swansea Improvements and Tramways Company Records 1874-1953; Mumbles Railway and Pier Section records 1899-1930; Swansea Improvements Undertaking 1881-1928; Swansea and Mumbles Railway Company Records 1879-1959; Mumbles Railway and Pier Company records 1875-1959; South Wales Transport Company records 1893-1950; Mumbles Railway and Pier Section 1928-1948; Omnibus Section records 1892-1959.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Swansea and Mumbles railway ran from Swansea to Mumbles. In 1804 the Oystermouth Railway and Tramroad Company was incorporated and work began on building the line. In 1806 goods traffic began to pass over the line in waggons pulled by horses. The main cargo was limestone at this stage. However, as Mumbles began to lose its industrial character and started to develop as a tourist resort, freight lessened and in 1807 the line became unique as providing the first regular rail passenger service in the world.

In 1874 the Swansea Improvements and Tramways Company (SITC) was incorporated and was given the powers to work over the Mumbles railway system. In 1877 the SITC began to operate sevices on the line in competition to those already provided by the railway owners. In 1879 the owners became a limited company called the Swansea and Mumbles Railway Company Limited (SMRC). The Mumbles Railway and Pier Company was incorporated in 1889 in order to extend the railway from Oystermouth to Mumbles Head and to construct a pier at the head. The new line and pier were opened in 1898. In 1896 agreement was reached between the SMRC and the SITC with the SITC stopping running services on the line in return for certain payments from the SMRC. In 1899 the Railway and Pier undertakings of the SMRC and the Mumbles Railway and Pier Company were leased to the SITC. Between 1877 and 1929 steam passenger services ran on the line replacing the earlier horse-drawn waggons. In 1929 the line was electrified.

In 1927 the SITC transferred its interest in the Swansea and Mumbles Railway to its associate, the South Wales Transport Company Limited. The line closed in 1960.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all researchers by appointment. Please note that somecollections contain sensitive information and access may be restricted.