Pontypool & Blaenavon RailwayMerthyr Tydfil
Furnace Sidings Railway Station
GARN YR ERW
Blaenavon NP4 9SF
 
 
The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway (PBR) heritage line is the highest preserved standard-gauge line in the United Kingdom and runs from Garn-yr-erw to Blaenavon in South Wales. It is only 2 miles (3.2 km) long and terminates 1307ft (398metres) above sea level at Whistle Inn Halt.
 
The Halt replaces the former Garn-yr-erw Halt which was a little further north. Opposite the Halt is the Whistle Inn public house which is famous for its collection of authentic miners’ lamps hanging from the ceiling in the public bar.
 
Operational
The PBR operates on weekends between Easter and the beginning of September, selected Wednesdays during July and August and then certain days in October and December.
 
For the full list of events and running days go to  Web:  Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway/ Events
 
Facilities
Currently, the main facilities are at Furnace Sidings Station. There is a Tea room serving a range of cold snacks and hot and cold refreshments; Toilets and Gift Shop. Blaenavon High Level station also has limited toilet facilities.
 
Disabled Access
Furnace Sidings Station is wheelchair accessible.
A step-free pathway has been provided to the platform at Big Pit.
 
Some train carriages have limited door apertures so visitors who are wheelchair bound are advised to email the railway via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire whether it will be possible for their wheelchair to board the train on their chosen day of visiting.
 
Safety Information
In the interests of making everyone's visit as enjoyable as possible, the PBR asks visitors to follow these safety tips:
- Please refrain from opening the train doors until the train has stopped at a platform
- Please take extra care when alighting at Whistle Inn Station as the rear carriage may not be on the platform
- Please do not lean out of the carriage windows
- Please watch out for others, especially children when closing any doors
- Please take care around any of the construction works that are currently taking place
- Please do not walk on or near the track
- When crossing the line at the Level Crossing, please co-operate with any directions given by Railway Staff
- If you undertake a visit to the PBR yard, please follow all the safety tips mentioned on the card
- Never go on the tracks, even if it is a short cut home
- Never climb over or through a fence that runs by the side of the tracks
- Never climb on a bridge over the railway tracks
- Never play with a ball or toy on a railway platform
- Never ride your bike or skateboard/Rollerblades on a railway platform and
- Never throw stones at a train or put anything on the tracks.
 
Big Pit Halt
Whilst the PBR operates to Big Pit Halt this does not imply that Big Pit National Coal Museum is open. For opening times of Big Pit go to the museum article on this website.
 
History of the line
The current line is all that is left of a much longer 1870s track that carried coal and passengers from the Welsh valleys to the coast at Newport. From the turn of the 19th century the line served mining activity centred on several pits and collieries between Brynmawr and Waunafon.
 
In 1913 a small platform, called Garn-yr-Erw halt was built just north of the Whistle Road Bridge. This halt had no timetable for passengers as it was used only by the miners.
 
Although the track along the whole route to Brynmawr was finally lifted in July 1961, the section from Blaenavon to Pontypool was still in use for coal trains from other local mines until Big Pit finally closed in 1980. The line from Cwmbran was dismantled right up to outside Blaenavon High Level station whilst the washery and other colliery buildings were demolished during 1987. Much of the railway today has now become part of National Cycle Network Route 46.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   01495 792263
         Monday – Friday  11.00 – 17.30 hours
         Saturdays           11.00 – 16.00 hours
 
Getting There
- By Car
The PBR is just off the B4248 at Garn-yr-Erw between Brynmawr and Blaenavon. Sat Nav: Use NP4 9SF which will bring you to the houses at the end of the railway’s access road. Head down to the station where you will find ample free parking.
 
M4 Motorway
- From the east
Leave at junction 25A and head for Pontypool. You will pick up signs for Big Pit Museum follow these until you near Blaenavon when you will see brown train signs – follow these to the PBR station.
 
- From the west
Leave at junction 26 and head for Pontypool. You will pick up signs for Big Pit Museum follow these until you near Blaenavon when you will see brown train signs – follow these to the PBR station.
 
From the Heads of the Valleys road
Leave at the roundabout for Brynmawr and follow the brown train signs.
 
- By Public Transport
The nearest railway stations with easy connections to the PBR are at Cwmbran and Newport where you can connect to the Stagecoach X24 (24 on Sundays) service from Newport to Blaenavon.
 
Stagecoach bus service X24 (24 on Sundays) stops close to Blaenavon High Level station. Ask to alight at Forgeside (Cemetery) Bus Stop, which is located before you reach Blaenavon Town coming from the Pontypool direction.
 
The railway is a short walk down the hill, under the bridge and then up the path that parellells the railway line to Blaenavon High Level Railway Station. Please note, there is no foot path on the main road at this point so care will need to be taken.
 
To access Public Transport Timetables
- Stagecoach timetables go to   Web:  Stagecoach/ Timetables and search for X24.
- Phil Anslow & Sons Coaches  timetables go to  Web:  Phil Anslow Coaches
Anslow Coaches provide alternative bus services in and around Blaenavon.
 
Google Maps - Brecon     
 
 

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