The area around Rhoose and Aberthaw had supported small scale industry based on the underlying limestone for centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century however, heavy industry came to the area. Large scale quarrying of limestone began at Rhoose point and East Aberthaw, together with large industrial cement production plants with reliable transport links being provided by the Vale of Glamorgan Railway. This was supporting massive growth in building across Great Britain and abroad. The industry required a large local workforce which prompted expansion of Rhoose. East Aberthaw, however remained roughly the same size. The introduction of the railway and large industry also required communications improvements, so roads were built and telegraph and telephone services were quickly made available with the village benefitting from these improvements.
In the 1950s the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) decided to build a new large coal fired power station at The Leys, an area of salt marsh adjacent to Aberthaw cement works. The river Thaw was diverted and the marshland was backfilled. The railway was used to bring coal to the station. In 1971 Aberthaw ‘B’ power station was opened and remains to this day with the old ‘A’ station closing in the 1980s. When the railways were reorganised from 1964, passenger services ceased on the line and Rhoose station (among others) was demolished. Passenger numbers had dropped by 90% against post war volumes, but the line remained open for mineral freight traffic carrying products from Rhoose Cement Works and coal from the Welsh valleys to Aberthaw power station. Interestingly, in 1911 Barry was the largest coal exporting port in the world. Today, the Vale line (now operated by EWS) carries more coal than it did in 1911!.