THE two-mile Rhondda Tunnel on the Rhondda & Swansea Bay Railway is set to be revived as the longest underground cyclepath in Europe.
The railway opened from Treherbert through the tunnel under insurmountable terrain to Port Talbot and Aberavon in 1890, and five years later was extended to Swansea. It later became part of the GWR empire.
In its heyday, the tunnel conveyed coal trains 1000ft below the mountain tops, but the gradual decline of the coal industry saw most of the line closed.
The tunnel was closed due to a partial collapse on February 26, 1968, but the line had already been earmarked for closure under the Beeching Axe. The passenger service was maintained by buses until December 14, 1970, when the line was considered as permanently closed.
Read more in Issue 242 of HR – on sale now!