Technology

Not only did The Swansea & Mumbles Railway serve generations of passengers and transcend generations of South Walians, the physicality of the train itself evolved through technological generations. Over the 150 year lifespan of the railway, the physicality of of the train and the technology associated evolved drastically, much like the industrial society the railway was housed in. Through the use of pictorial sources available within the archive this evolution can be tracked.

The train originated as a horse drawn carriage in 1804 along a track.

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by 1855 this had developed to the standard gauge, that was a standardised style,and size of track allowing for inter-connected train lines to join up. Later it became a fully serving steam train, with usable carriages in 1877

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LAC/85/A19
Source: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University

This evolved into a steam powered train, drawing cattle carts.

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LAC/85/A19
Source: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University

By 1928 the steam powered service was replaced with a electric tram service operating along the line.

LAC_85_A19_001

LAC/85/A19
Source: Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University

These technological developments can be physically seen through the use of pictorial sources and the generation can be tracked. The technological advances can also be seen in all intricacies within the collection such as financial ledgers to track where parts were coming from and what these actual parts were.

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