In an age where we are all obsessed with the fastest, newest, trendiest, most compact of everything in our life, it’s so nice to have places we can go where we step off this crazy track and onto another which offers a slower, sedate, fun and a little romantic pace, for a while. That’s pretty much what you’ll get at the BRECON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY.
If you’ve never been or even seen the place I can tell you it’s not rocket-science. As the name suggests, it’s a railway in the Brecon Mountains. I’d like to say that’s it but really it is so much more. Everything we have come to rely on, need, must-have. Ways we commute, act on the roads on our buses, cars and bikes, this place is the exact opposite to all of that. From the moment you arrive, take in the mountain-air and hear that sound – the whoosh of the steam, you are hooked.
Now I don’t want you to think I’m some sort of train-spotting enthusiast, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is though, something about the sound of the steam engine, the setting you arrive and travel around, that makes the BRECON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY one of the must-see places.
They’ve been around a little while, in fact the place was conceived over 40 years ago when a search started to find a suitable site to build and operate a steam railway using locomotives collected from around the world. Enthusiasts started this thing off and it’s us who get to enjoy it. The line itself runs from Pant, 3 miles North of Merthyr Tydfil, to Torpantau following part of the route of the original Brecon & Merthyr Railway which closed in 1964. So there’s a little bit of history as you ride the trains. Not only the engines themselves but the stunning surroundings.
You travel from the Main Station at Pant in one of the all-weather Observation Carriages, behind a vintage Steam Locomotive. The journey takes you into the Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservior before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons and the summit of the original line. So, let’s take you on a little journey now so you can get a feel for it. Shaun Gibbs shot a really nice video (it’s on You Tube too) with his DJI Mavic Pro. Have a look below…..
Of course a day out wouldn’t be complete without a little snack. They have a licensed tearoom at their main station in Pant. Obviously you can get refreshments, gifts and souvenirs from the shop. You can though also visit the Workshop where the Steam Locomotives and Carriages are repaired, that’s really worth doing too.
All trains travel non-stop from Pant to Torpantau. All returning trains from Torpantau stop at their intermediate station in Pontsticill where you can visit the Lakeside Cafe, admire the view or go for walks alongside the reservoir, they also have a children’s play area.
They do a lot of ‘specials’ as well. Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, Children’s Parties and of course, it wouldn’t be complete with a Santa Special. The BRECON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY starting point at Pant is just a couple of miles north of the Town Centre of Merthyr Tydfil. They really have so much to do, check them out RIGHT HERE and at least go up and have a cup of tea and a look around. You won’t be disappointed. By the way – don’t forget your camera.