This is a rare opportunity to travel by steam train over the scenic branch line from Whitland through Tenby to Pembroke Dock.
The Pembroke Coast Express recalls the 1950s days of named steam trains on the former Western Region of British Railways. The train ran from London Paddington through South Wales to the Pembroke Coast. We recreate this train hauled by either Britannia class steam locomotive No. 70000 Britannia or steam locomotive No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell.
The Pembroke Coast Express, hauled by steam locomotive No. 70000 Britannia or No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell leaves Bristol Temple Meads soon after 08:00. It heads for West Wales, passing through the Severn Tunnel, and stops at Newport and Cardiff to pick up further passengers. We pass through Bridgend and stop at Port Talbot for the steam locomotive to take on water. At Briton Ferry, we take the Swansea District Line to Llangennech. From Llanelli we run by the sea wall most of the way to Carmarthen, where our steam locomotive will be serviced. There will be around one hour to visit the oldest town in Wales, which is linked to the railway station on the other side of the River Towy by a cable stay footbridge.
Our train will be diesel-hauled when we leave Carmarthen for Whitland, where we join the scenic branch line to Pembroke Dock. We pass through Kilgetty and Saundersfoot before stopping at Tenby to set down passengers who may wish to spend time at this attractive seaside resort. There will be just over an hour to visit the walled town, which is famous for its sandy beaches and its nearby offshore monastic Caldey Island. Our train continues through Penally, with fine views over the Bristol Channel, to Pembroke Dock.
We leave Pembroke Dock hauled by our steam locomotive and return to Tenby to pick up passengers who left the train there. We continue to Whitland where we join the main line from Fishguard Harbour. We avoid the terminus station at Carmarthen by taking the south curve. We pass through Kidwelly and Llanelli before the steep ascent of Cockett Bank, a 1 in 50 gradient. Our train avoids the terminus station at Swansea High Street and passes through Neath to join the main line at Briton Ferry. There should be some fast running en route to Cardiff, our first set down stop. We stop at Newport to set down further passengers before continuing through the Severn Tunnel and onwards to Bristol, our journey’s end.
Premier Dining includes a full English breakfast, light lunch and a four course dinner silver served at your seat.
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with a savoury dish followed by a selection of fancies and cakes.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat at a table for four.
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments. Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £22 per person. (subject to availability)
Approximate timings shown
|Bristol Temple Meads||08:15||21:50|