Great Western Railway Financial Records

Scope and Content

Financial records, 1842-1923, of the Great Western Railway, including records of the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway, 1853-1922; Llanelly Railway and Dock Company, 1842-1889; Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway Company, 1862-1923; Whitland and Cardigan Railway, [c. 1870]-1898; Whitland and Taff Vale Railway, [c. 1870] -1880; and Gwendraeth Valleys Railways, 1872-1916.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Great Western Railway was created by Act of Parliament in 1835 to provide a double-tracked line from Bristol to London. The GWR continued to expand its rail network across western England and Wales. In 1878, Great Western began its own coalmining operation in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire. The Llanelly Railway and Dock Co. railways, serving Llanelli and Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, was absorbed into the GWR in 1889. In 1922-1923, the government reorganisation of the railways into larger units amalgamated the 13 independent railways in South Wales and the Cambrian Railways system in mid Wales into the Great Western Railway. These companies included the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway, Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway, and the Whitland and Taff Vale Railway.


Arranged into the following groups: Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway; Llanelly Railway and Dock Company; Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway Company; Whitland and Cardigan Railway; Whitland and Taff Vale Railway; and Gwendraeth Valleys Railways.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Deposited by R. J. Wood, Records Officer, British Rail Record Centre, London, per Susan Beckley, County Archivist, West Glamorgan County Council, Swansea, 1993; Carolyn Charles, The Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum, Cardiff, 1994; James D'Arcy, Wiltshire Record Office, per Susan Beckley, County Archivist, West Glamorgan County Council, Swansea, 1994.


Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Carmarthenshire Archives Service, Business Records; The Great Western Archive (, viewed 24 October 2003.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at Carmarthenshire Archives Service.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Carmarthenshire Archives Service have been retained.

Custodial History

Records relating to Cambrian Railways and Lampeter, Aberaeron and New Quay Light Railways transferred to Ceredigion Archives in 1994.


Accruals are possible

Related Material

The main Great Western Railway archive is The National Archives: Public Record Office, Great Western Railway Co., RAIL 250-282. Further records relating to the Great Western Railway and other railway companies are Carmarthenshire Archives Service, Great Western Railway Plans of Burry Port Docks, DB/127; Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway Records, DB/121; and Llanelli Railway and Dock Company Records, DB/122.

Geographical Names