The Swansea Vale Railway is a heritage railway following a section of the old Midland Railway line between Swansea and Brecon.
Built in 1815 as a tramroad, the route was expanded as a feeder railway for several Swansea mines, and by 1874 was carrying passengers between Swansea St Thomas station (now closed), Llansamlet, Glais, Pontardawe, Ystalyfera, Gwys, Ystradgynlais and Brynamman. The railway was bought in 1876 by the Midland railway company in order to bypass rival railway companies and gain access to Swansea docks. In 1923, most of the railway companies were merged into the "Big Four" companies and many of these alternative routes were run down and closed. Passenger services via Brecon ceased in 1930. Between the 1930s and 1960s as the importance of Swansea port and industry dropped most of the line was closed. By 1970 nothing was left but rusting rails and earthworks.
With the assistance of Swansea city council the Swansea Valley Railway Society, based in Pentrechwyth, was able to purchase the last remaining section of intact track between Upper Bank (close to Morfa stadium) and Six Pit (now renamed Nantyffin Road). It is an indication of the scale of change in Swansea that a former industrial railway now runs between a large shopping centre and the main sports stadium for the city.
Current projects of the Swansea Vale Railway Ltd include rebuilding a signal box and developing the Upper Bank site so that passenger services can run on the full two miles of track.