Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,363 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Barry Railway

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of Barry Docks, near Cardiff.

Barry Railway Company was promoted by interests in coal mining and steel in the South Wales valleys as an alternative to the existing rail service to Cardiff docks in Tiger Bay. It's primary interests were always very much in transporting the commodities of its sponsors.

1884 It was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 14 August for the construction of a dock at Barry Island. [1] The company was incorporated as the Barry Dock and Railways.

The company persuaded P. and A. Campbell to run steamers from a pier built alongside the dock across the Bristol Channel, but later put their own fleet on the station. Although the "Red Funnel" fleet as it became known gained a great measure of popularity, the company was dogged by legal disputes with its main competitors, P. and A. Campbell, legislation restricting their freedom to develop services and the legacy of the high cost of its three magnificent new steamers

Starting in 1885, the company constructed 7 miles of track from Cardiff, and the construction of railways of about 26 miles in length from the docks to the Rhondda Valley. Additionally, access was created to junctions with the existing and authorised railways to all the other great mineral-producing districts of South Wales.

The two first main line 0-8-0 tender engines to run in Britain were put into service on the Barry Railway in 1889. Originally they had been designed and built by Sharp, Stewart at Manchester for the Swedish and Norwegian Railway, but some were acquired by the Barry Company. [2]

1891 Name altered to Barry Railway Company.

1908 Line is 44¾ miles in length. [3]

Eventually the Company’s route mileage was 66 miles, but with 140 miles of sidings: 100 miles of them were around the docks. The head office of the railway was at Barry.

1923 Became part of the Great Western Railway

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia
  2. The Engineer 1925/09/25
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908