About SideTracked Caches
This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath taking view. It's a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found at the SideTracked Website
About Melyncourt Halt Station
The Vale of Neath Railway was a broad gauge railway company, that built a line from Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare to Neath, in Wales, chiefly to transport the products of the Merthyr iron industries to ports on Swansea Bay.
The railway focused on transporting coal from the rapidly developing rich colliery area around Aberdare. When the narrow (standard) gauge Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway made moves to link to the area, with its Taff Vale Extension line, the Vale of Neath Railway saw that there was potential in connecting up; it laid a third rail to make mixed gauge. The link was made in 1864 and coal was conveyed to London and the north-west of England by that route. By that time the VoNR and the NA&HR had been absorbed into the Great Western Railway system.
Connections to the docks at Swansea had not been fruitful in the early days, and the Swansea and Neath Railway, soon taken over by the VoNR, made some improvement, but the docks area remained congested and difficult.
The main line of the VoNR was always busy in GWR days, mineral traffic being intensive and difficult because of steep gradients and inadequate infrastructure. The decline of the coal industry after 1945 brought decline of the VoNR route as well and in 1964 passenger operation ceased, followed by much of the mineral activity. Melyncourt Halt was a small station located next to the road at the cache location and the line can still be seen below and is still in use for infrequent coal trains.