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The Swansea and Mumbles railway

The Swansea and Mumbles railway was first called the Oystermouth Railway, but it was always known locally as the ‘Mumbles Train’. It was originally built following an Act of Parliament in 1804 to move limestone from the Mumbles quarries to Swansea canal and harbour. Other goods included iron ore and coal.

The Mumbles Train was originally pulled by horses rather than a steam engine. It became a commercial passenger railway on 25th May 1807, which continued until the mid-1820s when a road was built alongside the railway line, causing the service to close. It was re-opened again in 1841, after the tracks along the Clyne Valley (a branch of the original railway) had been re-laid and extended to link up with the colliery at Rhydydefaid.

1877 saw the introduction of the first steam trains, although horses continued to pull wagons and passenger carriages until 1896. The railway eventually closed in January 1960, when buses became a more popular form of public transport.

The railway still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world: horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel. A campaign is currently underway to re-open it as a tourist attraction.