The pointer shows
The location of the
Content on this page
An Independent Guide to Britain’s Preserved Railways
If you like this page, bookmark it or share it
Copyright © 2010 British Heritage

About | Terms of use | Privacy policy | Disclaimer

Please support the work of British Heritage Railways by making a donation towards building and maintaining this website. Payments are processed securely by PayPal.


Brecon Mountain Railway

Brecon Mountain Railway

A unique narrow gauge line in South Wales

The current Brecon Mountain Railway is part of a proposed 5½ mile narrow gauge line which will run through the highest railway tunnel in Great Britain. The railway uses unusual locomotives and equipment collected from outside the UK.

Brecon Mountain Railway at a Glance

Type: Narrow gauge railway on former          standard gauge track bed

Gauge: Narrow, 1’ 11¾” (603mm)

Length: 5 miles (3½ miles open to            passenger traffic)

Stations: 2

First opened: 1859

Closed: 1964

Re-opened in preservation: 1980


Getting there

The starting point for journeys is Pant station, there is no public road access to Pontsticill station.

By Train - The nearest national rail network station is Merthyr Tydfil which is served by Arriva Trains Wales from Cardiff. From Merthyr Tydfil, travel to Pant station by bus (see below) or taxi.

By Car - Pant station is located just off the Heads of the Valleys trunk road, about 3 miles north of Merthyr Tydfil. Follow the Brown Mountain Railway tourist signs from the A470 and A465.

By Bus - Pant station is close to the 35 bus route from Merthyr Central Bus Station.


The map below shows the location of Pant and Pontsticill stations together with the future Torpantau station. Parking is only available at Pant. Click on the markers to see the station name. Use the zoom and pan tools to explore the map. Postcodes, OS map references and coordinates are given below the map.


I visited the Brecon Mountain Railway with my wife in the summer of 2008 and once we had found it (if you make a wrong turning the brown signs disappear), had a very enjoyable day. The platform at Pant is accessed by long ramps rather than stairs, no disability discrimination here, everyone uses the same route.

The BMR currently runs from Pant, about 3 miles north of Merthyr Tydfil to a temporary terminus at Dol-y-gaer, at the northern end of Taf Fechan Reservoir. There is no station at Dol-y-gaer, trains stop there and the locomotive runs round for the return journey but passengers cannot alight. On the return journey trains stop at Pontsticill for 20 minutes.

The unique narrow gauge line runs on part of the standard gauge Brecon and Merthyr Railway track bed. The site was deemed ideal to operate a steam tourist railway using various locomotives and equipment collected from Europe and further afield. Merthyr Tydfil was at one time the greatest iron making town in the world and most of the earlier railways used iron rolled by its mills. It was also the location of the trial run of Richard Trevithick’s locomotive in 1804, the first steam railway locomotive in the world.

The return trip from Pant to Dol-y-gaer takes about 65 minutes including the 20 minute stop at Pontsticill. Passengers travel in one of the all-weather observation saloons hauled by a vintage steam locomotive, in our case it was Graf Schwerin-Lowitz, a Jung 0-6-2WTT built in 1908. The carriages have end balconies which I believe are unique to UK narrow gauge railways. The line runs through beautiful scenery into the Brecon Beacons National Park along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir.

There is time at Pontsticill to alight from the train and visit the snack bar or admire the view across the water to the peaks of the Brecon Beacons. If you choose to take a later train back to Pant, you can go for a walk alongside the reservoir.

On returning to Pant, we visited the workshop where No 2, a Baldwin 4-6-2 tender engine built in 1930 was receiving attention, and had lunch in the Licensed Tearoom. There is also a picnic area nearby and a souvenir shop at platform level.

I look forward to the line being opened to Torpantau. Tony Hills, the BMR General Manager, said that at present the railway only has enough locomotives and stock to have one train running, in order to run trains to Torpantau, two trains will be needed. This can only be achieved when at least one of the locomotives being built and restored are ready for use and more carriages have been built so it will be a few years before the extension opens.

It is planned to extend the line a further half mile through the Torpantau tunnel but this requires a new bridge to be built, a major project in itself.

Attractions and Facilities


Contact Details





Brecon Mountain Railway
Pant Station
Merthyr Tydfil
CF48 2UP

01685 722988


Map | Getting there | Attractions & Facilities | Operation | Brief History | Review | Links




A weekend service is provided all year except in November when the Restaurant and shop at Pant station are open but no trains are running. A daily service is provided in the summer and in December except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In spring and autumn, trains run on some weekdays, the pattern is complex so check the Brecon Mountain Railway website for details (see link below). The trains have carriages specially designed to carry wheelchairs.




Brief History

The Brecon Mountain Railway runs on part of the standard gauge Brecon and Merthyr Railway track bed.




OS map ref



CF48 2UP


Lat: 51.778028N Long: 3.365367W




Lat: 51.799651N Long: 3.361669W




Lat: 51.839878N Long: 3.381753W

Brecon Mountain Railway