1. Welcome to 28DaysLater.co.uk - 28DL - The UK Urban Exploring / Urban Exploration / Urbex Forums.

    Asylums and Hospitals, High Stuff, Industrial, Leisure Sites, Residential Sites, Military Sites, Mines and Quarries, ROC Posts, Theatres and Cinemas, Draining, Underground Sites, European and International Sites, Leads, Rumours and News, Kit, Clothing, Equipment, Photography and Video sections plus a lot more.

    Please feel free to browse this website as a guest. Creating an account removes some ads, allows you to post replies, start new topics and threads, and gives you access to more features including bookmarking, live chat, messaging and notification systems.

    Create an account | Login | Request new password

Report - Gyfylchi Tunnel, Afan Valley, South Wales - December 2013

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by cunningcorgi, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    13
    Visited with lenston147.

    HISTORY

    Built to accommodate broad gauge trains, the South Wales Mineral Railway served the colliery of the Glyncorrwg Coal Company. Authorised in 1853, the section between Briton Ferry and Tonmawr opened on 1st September 1861 with an extension to Glyncorrwyg coming on line on 10th March 1863. A standard gauge conversion occurred in May 1872.

    The route from Tonmawr cut through the hill towards Cymmer via a single bore tunnel measuring 1,109 yards. Though largely unlined, its roof boasts an irregular brick arch throughout and repair collars have been installed over the years in areas of weakness. Originally contracted to cut it was J G McKenzie and Berwick-born engineer John Dickson but his contract was re-let after three years due to a lack of progress.

    [​IMG]
    South Wales Mineral Railway route map from Briton Ferry to Glyncorrwg.

    Death attended on 16th August 1902 and the Board of Trade subsequentially issued an Accident Report.

    On Saturday, 16th August 1902, Mr Perrott, a cashier of the Colliery Company, was going down from Glyncorrwg by the third train, and as he was anxious to get to Briton Ferry as soon as possible asked Mr Stephens, the traffic and telegraph clerk at Glyncorrwg if the train could run through to Ton Mawr, and pass the up train there instead of waiting for it at Cymmer. The conversation between the two on this subject was held in the presence of no−one else, and the evidence of the two is contradictory.

    Just as the train started at 4.30pm, Mr Stephens says he wired to Cymmer to say the train had started, but got no reply. He then wired to Incline Top to ask where the other engine was, and received a message back that it had just left. He then wired to Incline Top to telephone to Ton Mawr to stop the up train, but the signal box there was shut up, the signalman having left. There was no possibility of communicating with either of the trains, which were thus proceeding in opposite directions on a single line, the down train with instructions to pass at Ton Mawr and the up train to pass at Cymmer. Naturally a collision ensued, as the up train could not see the down train approaching it, being in a tunnel with a curve at the top end. The tunnel being straight at the lower end, R. Hughes, the driver of the down train, caught sight of the up train as it entered the tunnel when he was about half-way through, and he succeeded in stopping his train just as it was run into by the up train. It was Mr Stephens' duty to have ascertained from Incline Top, before telling Hughes that he could run through to Ton Mawr, that the up train had received the necessary instructions to wait at Ton Mawr for the down train. He is to blame for the collision.

    Barnes, the signalman at Ton Mawr, left his box without permission shortly after 4pm on receiving a message from the Port Talbot Railway that their traffic was finished for the day, and for this he is much to blame.

    The drivers and firemen of both engines were injured, and a cashier of the Glyncorrwg Colliery Co, who was riding on the engine from Glyncorrwg, and seven passengers who had permission to ride in the guard's van were severely injured, two of the latter succumbing to their injuries.


    Although the line only officially carried minerals, passengers were often accommodated in the guard's van.

    The end of the line came on 13th July 1947 when a landslip blocked the approach cutting at the tunnel's western portal. Since its abandonment, this end of the bore has become flooded, with the waters first making their presence felt close to the centre. Given the gradient, it's likely that the tunnel is drowned to its roof for about 100 yards.

    (Courtesy Forgotten Relics & accident report information from The Industrial Railway Record, No. 25, pages 75 - 77, June 1969)

    THE VISIT

    It is always nice to see old friends at Chrsitmas time especially when you didn't exactly part under the best of terms when you last saw them. This was definatly the case with me and Gyfylchi tunnel. On my previous visit I found it very hard to light the tunnel adequately as there are numerous profile and colour changes along with an ever present mist due to one end being collapsed and the other breeze blocked where a deluge of water breaches the crown for about 75 yards.

    Also, something inspired all of us to get involved in the crazy world of exploring. For me it was seeing pictures and reading stories from two people who were going underground in South Wales in the early 1970's for pleasure and not for work. A picture from one of them, Capt' Gorgeous, always stayed in my mind. Taken on 19th January 1975, it shows that exploring techniques haven't changed much in nearly 40 years.

    [​IMG]
    'Here I am getting our rubber dinghy into the half flooded Gyfylchi Tunnel. It was too deep for wellies, so the only way was by boat!'

    Many thanks to Capt' Gorgeous for allowing me to use his photo for this report.

    His set of South Wales tunnel shots, many from the 70's, can be found here - South Wales Tunnels - a set on Flickr and his flickr page is here - Flickr: Capt' Gorgeous' Photostream

    So onto the photos, working back out from the flooded section.

    1. Start of the flood
    [​IMG]

    2. Mist and water
    [​IMG]

    3. Slightly less mist and water
    [​IMG]

    4. Red brick
    [​IMG]

    5. Brace yourself
    [​IMG]

    6. Wonky bricks
    [​IMG]

    7. Marker post
    [​IMG]

    8. Support
    [​IMG]

    9. Curve
    [​IMG]

    10. Light
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking !
     
    #1 cunningcorgi, Dec 22, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013

    Remove this ad by donating or subscribing.

  2. lock1999

    lock1999 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    4
     
  3. lock1999

    lock1999 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    4
    Captain Gorgeous boat trip was much more comfortable than our wetsuit and air bed trip, magic trip.
     
    Lenston likes this.
  4. Mistee2211

    Mistee2211 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    Is that the tunnel off one of the Afon Argoed walks on the hill above the river?
     
  5. gas man

    gas man 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    3
    yes,its quite easy to find if you know the area
     
  6. Mistee2211

    Mistee2211 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    I remember seeing it when I was about 10 with my parents, it fascinated me at the time, blocked up with breeze blocks with a single metal door, I can't remember what I did last week but I remember that, lol
     
  7. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    718
    Same one
     
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 0)

Share This Page

Remove this ad by creating an account and logging in