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Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Swansea looks at tram return
Mumbles Train
The Mumbles Train was dismantled in 1960 but is still missed
Councillors in the city that boasted the world's first passenger railway are to look at the possibility of developing a tram or monorail system.

A group has been set up to look at alternative ways of cutting congestion on Swansea's streets including the busy Mumbles Road.

The Mumbles Railway opened in 1807 to connect the east and west of the city but was dismantled in 1960.

The new system could cost up to 100m and take around a decade to build.

If it works out as a viable option for the city, this could be a fantastic opportunity for Swansea
Councillor Rob Speht

Chairman of the council committee looking at the idea, Rob Speht, stressed he and his colleagues were only conducting a feasibility study at present.

There was a lot of work to do to see whether a light transit system would be economically viable, he said.

"If it works out as a viable option for the city, this could be a fantastic opportunity for Swansea."

The committee will examine schemes in other cities and possibly hire consultants to carry out an in-depth study.

Councillor Speht said a number of routes would be looked at, including linking the city centre with Mumbles, the new sports stadium at Morfa, the Fabian Way Park and Ride site and the SA1 development.

An extension may also be looked at to Morriston Hospital.

A horse-drawn railroad carriage carrying passengers between Swansea and Mumbles first ran in 1807.

By the 1870s a steam locomotive was running along the line before electric trams were introduced in 1929.

But the line was dismantled by 1960 although the loss of the train is still lamented in the letter pages of the city's daily newspaper to this day.

The idea of replacing the train has been mooted several times in the past and Mr Speht said a decision on a new transport system for Swansea would not be made before 2006.

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