War and Post War Years

The Second World War (1939-1945) affected Swansea very badly. Heavy bombing raids known as 'The Blitz' caused chaos and severe damage to many buildings in the centre and suburbs. The picture below shows the damage caused after one of the bombing raids. The roads were often cluttered with rubble. This made transportation difficult.

The Mumbles Railway became an important form of transport during the war years. The electric powered trains were unaffected by petrol rationing.

Damage caused after one of the bombing raids
The Anniversary celebrations

Did you know that the trains of the Mumbles Railway were stored at various locations along the route during the war years? This was done in order to minimise potential damage to the trains during bombing raids. If all the trains had been stored at Rutland Street, they could have all been destroyed by one bomb!

In this video, Mr W. Pickard recounts the steps taken by South Wales Transport to save any possible damage to the Mumbles Train during air raids. The Clyne Valley, which Mr Pickard mentions, was a steep incline which many trains had great difficulty in climbing. If you look at the Route Map, you can see Clyne Common marked opposite Blackpill Station. The Clyne Valley railway line passed along Clyne Common.

In 1954, the Mumbles Railway celebrated its 150th anniversary. Local people dressed up in period costume to mark the occasion. Special trains also ran.

The Anniversary celebrations displayed replica constructions of earlier horse and steam hauled trains. The picture above right shows the scene at Oystermouth station. You can also see a film clip of this event by clicking on the camera icon. Watch the film clip carefully, listen to the song and write a commentary to describe the events.

Did you know that during the 1954 anniversary celebrations, the steam train was actually a diesel locomotive? It was disguised as a steam locomotive for effect.

These pictures show tramcars at the Depot and the Rutland Street Terminus during the 1950's.

Rutland Street Terminus
Tramcars at the Depot

Did you know that the Mumbles Railway was the only railway in this country (and possibly the world) which was controlled by a bus company?

The Mumbles Train

Did you know that the Mumbles Railway used four different forms of motive power? These were horse, air, steam and overhead electric traction.

On the left below, a Mumbles Train of the 1950's waits at Blackpill Station with the electricity sub-station in the background. The train on the right is travelling towards Mumbles and has just left St. Helen's Road Station. The Shrewsbury line is on the left and the Patti Pavilion is in the top right corner of the picture.

Train of the 1950's waits at Blackpill Station
Travelling towards Mumbles


Click on the projector icon to see a film which was made in 1954 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Mumbles Train. The film takes the history and development of the Mumbles Railway as its theme, depicting scenes of horse-drawn trains, steam locomotives and the electric tram. Look out for the children performing tricks, the way in which people are dressed and other features of importance to the Mumbles, for instance the Mumbles Lifeboat.


The picture below shows a Mumbles Train at the Mumbles Pier Terminus during the 1950's. The cafe and pier can be seen in the background. The pier provided a major attraction for travellers on the train, as did the nearby beaches at Bracelet Bay and Limeslade.

Did you know that the Mumbles Pier was the venue for numerous attractions? These included local band concerts, choral competitions, firework displays and aquatic sports, considered by many to be the best in the Bristol channel!
Mumbles Train at the Mumbles Pier Terminus during the 1950's