Today on the 25th March 1807 the Mumbles Railway opened the first fee paying passenger railway service in the world.
The track was laid at a cost of £9000 (£8 million today).
"The Mumbles Railway was built under an Act of Parliament in 1804, authorising the removal and carriage of limestone from the quarries at Mumbles to the docks area of nearby Swansea. From there the limestone would be sent to all corners of the world. Construction was completed in 1806 and services began. There was no formal opening ceremony and, to begin with at least, it was industrial product rather than people that was the important factor."
"At this stage the operation was known as the Oystermouth Railway, only later acquiring the correct name of the Swansea and Mumbles Railway - or the Mumbles Railway as it was soon called. There was no road link between Swansea and Mumbles and, when they looked at the children hitching rides on the trams, it did not take local entrepreneurs long to realise that some form of passenger service, for people who wanted or needed to make the trip, could be something of a goldmine."
"In 1807 permission was given for the line to carry passengers. Benjamin French, one of the early investors in the project, paid £20 for the right to run the line and carry passengers."
"The concession was for one year only and on 25 March 1807 the world's first passenger railway began operations. It was a huge success, so much so that French and his partners quickly upped their offer to £25 a year in order to continue with the arrangement."
"It was an amazing achievement for small investors from south Wales. George Stephenson did not open his Stockton and Darlington Railway (the first public railway to use steam powered locomotives) until 1825 and by then the Mumbles Railway had been running for nearly 20 years."
**January 2020 marked the 60th anniversary of the closure of the Mumbles Railway ... its last journey was made at 11.42 on the 5th January 1960.**