Some of the ammonia used in the factory arrived by rail from a works at Dowlais, near Merthyr Tydfil, in South Wales. The Dowlais Ammonia Factory had been established in 1939, because of the impending war, and closed in 1963. During the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s a trainload of ammonia was sent north from Dowlais to Haverton Hill each day in ICI rail tank wagons. For part of the time the first part of the route was north from Dowlais over the Brecon Beacons on steep gradients through the highest tunnel on the standard gauge network and the second highest station on the GWR. At 1313 feet above sea level Torpantau Station was second only to Princetown Station at 1373 feet.
What made the ammonia train famous, and sought out by railway photographers, was that the train was regularly hauled over the summit at Torpantau by double-headed Great Western pannier tanks as far as Hereford. Nitrochalk is still used by gardeners, although sometimes hard to find. It was approximately 370 miles from Haverton Hill to Avonwick by quite a complicated rail route.
Many thanks for this most interesting article Mike - the result of much painstaking research.
British Belmond Pullman
All the Best, Andrew.
Many thanks Andrew for giving us the privilege of your privileged photographs.