© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Returning home after an overnight stay in South Wales, I consulted the map carefully. (Self, whilst passing the environs of Merthyr Tydfil) "There's an interesting-looking narrow gauge railway not far from here" (Wife) "What a surprise. Will we be able to get lunch there?" Study the old maps to see what a railway maze the Merthyr and Dowlais area was. An early base of the iron industry, a number of railway companies tried to tap into the valuable traffic generated there. Sadly all are now gone, with the exception of the single track passenger line to Cardiff. The Brecon Mountain Railway is a relatively new 2ft gauge line built on part of the trackbed of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway's through route to Newport. Starting at the line's headquarters at Pant, the line heads due north to Pontsticill, formerly junction for the line via Morlais Junction to Merthyr High Street. It then climbs steadily to its highest point at Torpantau. Although track has now been laid as far as the latter, trains currently run round at Dolygaer and, as there is no platform there, they then return to Pontsticill. Passengers then have 20 minutes to take in the scenery from this elevated position above the reservoirs of the Taf Fechan, before returning to Pant. The trip takes about 65 minutes in total.posite side of the valley to the town of the same name. Our train was hauled by a pacific, no less - a Baldwin, no. 61269 of 1930, whose transatlantic origins are only too obvious. In keeping with its style, the coaching stock includes a caboose with a "birdcage" type lookout for the guard, and the station at Pontsticill (a few yards to the north of the original B&M station) is reminiscent of places much further west! We enjoyed the trip greatly, and I will certainly be looking in again, perhaps when the extension is opened. And to answer the question, yes, the lunch was most sustaining... Link: Brecon Mountain Railway No 2 runs round at Pant No 2 runs round at Dolygaer No 2 and train at Pontsticill Portrait of No 2 at Pontsticill. The sign reads "Height above sea level 1123 ft" No 2 being griced at Pontsticill Like a scene from much further west... Almost back at Pant