The Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway is a heritage railway which aims to re-instate as much as possible of the former Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway which closed in 1989. The Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway, earlier known as the Carmarthenshire Tramroad was established in 1802 in Wales by an Act of Parliament. It began running trains in 1803, the initial line being a plateway, with motive power provided by a pair of horses. The Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway is claimed to be the Oldest Public Railway in Britain. Although the Surrey Iron Railway was the first to be incorporated, it is believed that the LMMR was the first to open to traffic. The Carmarthenshire Tramroad closed in 1844 but the railway reopened in 1883 operated by the newly formed Llanelly and Mynydd Mawr Railway Co. That company disappeared in 1922 on being absorbed into the Great Western Railway which was in turn of course absorbed into British Railways in 1947. Throughout the twentieth century the line continued as a main artery for coal distribution from the Gwendraeth valley, until the closure of Cynheidre Colliery in 1989.
Following a campaign lasting almost ten years from the Llanelli and District Railway Society (L&DRS) to save the intact, but derelict line the hopes were dashed in the mid-90's when the railway was sold by British Rail property board to the local authorities as part of a scheme to transform the track bed into a cycle way. This path is now a well recognised part of the National Cycle Network.
Whilst the L&DRS's efforts were thwarted, a new charitable company (Registered Charity No. 1087985) was incorporated on the 15 April 1999. It is a non-profit making company limited by guarantee with no remuneration paid to its Directors. The company is named The Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway Company Ltd, therefore reviving the name of the former operator albeit with the later Llanelli spelling. The primary objective of the registered charity is to reinstate a railway on the historic line. A heritage centre will also interpret the history of coal mining in the area and in particular the industry which the railway served.
The charity's scheme will utilise derelict land on the site of the former colliery which is now owned by the LMMR outright as of 2005. In the long-term the railway which closed to rail traffic in 1989 will be re-instated where possible. Work at the site at Cynheidre near Llanelli, South Wales is currently progressing at a steady pace. The first phase will include the placing of a loco shed on site as well as making the site available to the public. The primary objective is to achieve a running line of one mile consisting of a platform, loco shed, heritage centre, gift shop and café. As of September 2007 the loco shed had been fully constructed and this allowed for the rolling stock to be transported to the site on 19th-22nd November 2007.
The project is intended to be a vital educational resource for future generations and will keep this historical site in the minds of people of all ages.
The LMMR Co. Ltd. owns the following rolling stock for use at Cynheidre and all except the steam locomotive are currently on site at Cynheidre.
• 1206 British Rail Mark 2 RFB 1st Class BR Buffet Car Built 1973.