Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway

Introduction

This line serves much of the west coast of Wales and, in particular, the town of Aberystwyth.

Why built

The line was built to serve a considerable area not served by railways with several coastal towns which became tourist destinations.

Service

The line carries a passenger service.






Dates

24/10/1863[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Aberdovey Harbour opened.
23/06/1864[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Aberystwyth opened.
  /  /1865[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
[Cambrian Railways]
The Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway seeks to merge with the Cambrian Railways.
14/08/1867[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Aberdovey opened.
14/08/1867[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Aberdovey Harbour closed.
02/09/1867[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Afon Wen opened.
10/10/1867[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abererch opened.
18/03/1935[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abertafol Halt opened.
01/05/1956[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abererch renamed Aberech Halt.
04/05/1964[Bala and Dolgelly Railway]
[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Closed to regular freight from Bala Junction (excluded) to Morfa Mawddach (excluded) except GPO traffic.
07/12/1964[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Afon Wen closed.
12/12/1964[Vale of Llangollen Railway]
[Llangollen and Corwen Railway]
[Corwen and Bala Railway]
[Bala and Dolgelly Railway]
[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Closed to all freight, GPO mails contract expired.
16/01/1965[Vale of Llangollen Railway]
[Llangollen and Corwen Railway]
[Corwen and Bala Railway]
[Bala and Dolgelly Railway]
[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Last day of passenger service from Ruabon (excluded) to Morfa Mawddach (excluded).
18/01/1965[Vale of Llangollen Railway]
[Llangollen and Corwen Railway]
[Corwen and Bala Railway]
[Bala and Dolgelly Railway]
[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Closed to passengers from Ruabon (excluded) to Morfa Mawddach (excluded).
06/05/1968[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abererch Halt renamed Abererch.
06/05/1968[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abertafol Halt renamed Abertafol.
12/10/1980[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Barmouth viaduct closed, closure of the line between Dovey Junction and Pwllheli seemed likely.
22/05/1981[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Barmouth viaduct re-opened to DMUs.
14/05/1984[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Last train at Abertafol.
30/09/1985[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abertafol closed.
13/04/1986[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Barmouth viaduct repairs complete.
30/05/1994[Aberystwyth and Welch Coast Railway]
Abererch closed.

Route described

The line runs west from Machynlleth west to the coast where it splits to run south to Aberystwyth and north to Barmouth, Porthmadog and Pwllheli. Connections were made to other lines at Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, XXXX, YYYY.

Locations along the line

These locations are along the line.

A Sunday morning service for Aberystwyth waits for departure time in the Down platform at Machynlleth. Unit 158832 has just come off the adjacent ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
Seen from the new station footbridge, 158832 has just come off the adjacent depot at Machynlleth to form a Sunday service to Aberystwyth and is ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
158835 and 158823 arrive at Machynlleth at 1443hrs on 16th November 2017. The train (from Birmingham International) splits here with the front half ...
Caleb Abbott 16/11/2017
View of the area office and maintenance base with the ERTMS signalling centre in the mid distance. The former steam shed can just be seen beyond. ...
Colin McDonald 10/10/2012

The entrance to Dovey Junction station isn't all it seems, as the actual platforms are over half a mile from this gate. The path runs alongside the ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
6368 stands at Dovey Junction in August 1962 with the 10.25am ex-Pwllheli ...
K A Gray 14/08/1962
158828 stops briefly at Dovey Junction on the 8 min late 15.03 service to Pwllheli to (not) pick up the photographer who instead had to trek back to ...
David Pesterfield 13/04/2012
BR Standard class 3 2-6-2T no 82005 with a train at Dovey Junction in August 1962. ...
K A Gray 14/08/1962


The site of Ynyslas station, closed in 1965, as seen from the level crossing looking towards Dovey Junction on 18th September 2016. Note the grounded ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
An old railway coach body, still in use as a bothy alongside the Cambrian Coast line at the site of Ynyslas station in September 2016. Ynyslas, ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016


Looking northwards towards Ynyslas and Dovey Junction along the tidy single platform at Borth on 18th September 2016. [See image 56698] for the ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
A class 150 calls at Borth, 7 miles north of Aberystwyth on the Cambrian Coast, in September 1988. ...
Ian Dinmore /09/1988
The grand exterior of Borth station, final stop before Aberystwyth. Beyond the entrance of this large station is just a single platform, albeit a long ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016



Funicular cars crossing at the mid-point of the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway in September 2016, with the bay and promenade visible behind. The change in ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
An ascending car nears the upper station of the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway on Constitution Hill. From here there are panoramic views of the coastline ...
Mark Bartlett 18/09/2016
In an effort to brighten up the VoR image, BR applied a modified blue livery to Nos 7 and 9 in 1976/77. The most obvious change was the application of ...
Bill Jamieson /04/1977
158827 awaits departure for Machynlleth, where it will couple with a similar unit from Pwllheli before carrying on to Birmingham International. ...
Colin McDonald 10/10/2012



For a small halt there is a substantial wooden waiting room on the platform. The waiting shelter is mounted on built up foundations and wooden steps ...
David Pesterfield 06/12/2011
Emerging from Aberdovey tunnel number 3 into Penhelig station on 17 August 2011. ...
Ian Dinmore 17/08/2011
158820 leaves Penhelig after picking up a passenger and heads towards the east side tunnel on the 13.26 service to Machynlleth. For a small halt there ...
David Pesterfield 06/12/2011
158820 leaves the east side of Aberdovey No 4 tunnel as it approaches Penhelig on 6 December with a Pwllheli - Machynlleth service. ...
David Pesterfield 06/12/2011



158821 departs Aberdovey on 6 December with the 10.09 ex Birmingham International service to Pwllheli, with the short low cost raised platform ...
David Pesterfield 06/12/2011

Arriva Trains Wales 158833 in silver 'Alphaline' livery approaches Tywyn on 14th October 2009. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2009
Talyllyn Railway No 4 Edward Thomas on a service train at Tywyn in the summer of 1961. Note the Giesl Oblong Ejector fitted to the locomotive ...
John Thorn /08/1961
ATW Pwllheli (in silver 'Alphaline' livery) and Birmingham International (in standard ATW blue) 158 DMU services cross at Tywyn in 2009. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2009
Cambrai on display at Tywyn in August 1961. ...
John Thorn /08/1961

Bilingual sign at Tonfanau. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Tonfanau, between Tywyn and Fairbourne, looking north from the adjacent road crossing in December 2011. ...
David Pesterfield 06/12/2011


An unidentified class 25 taking the Cambrian Coast pick up freight north through Llwyngwril station in the summer 1978. [Ref query 2995] ...
Mark Bartlett //1978
A Met Cam 101 DMU in hybrid livery calls at Llwyngwril on a Pwllheli service in May 1980. The passing loop had been removed by this time. Judging by ...
Mark Bartlett /05/1980
A Metropolitan Cammel 2-car DMU calls at Llwyngwril on its way from Pwilhelli to Machynlleth. Once a reasonably substantial Cambrian Coast two ...
Mark Bartlett /05/1980





The closed station site at Penmaenpool, looking east towards Dolgellau along the old trackbed in September 2016. The station house is now an ...
Mark Bartlett 19/09/2016
A view looking back over the wooden toll bridge at Penmaenpool to the south bank of the estuary, and the bird hide signal box, on 19th ...
Mark Bartlett 19/09/2016
Friday the 13th, lunchtime, a miserable wet and cold day and unfortunately no time to stop at the hotel for a warm up. Penmaenpool is a hamlet on the ...
Alan Cormack 13/10/2017
The former Penmaenpool Station station master's house, ticket office and waiting room, complete with hanging Platform 1 sign, on the south side of ...
David Pesterfield 07/12/2011


Looking north west at Morfa Mawddach along the former platform used by trains heading east on the Dollgellau route (closed 1964). The surviving part ...
David Pesterfield 04/11/2013
The Cambrian Coast Express (or most of it) calls at Morfa Mawddach in 1986. The now closed route inland via Dollgellau ran off to the left. ...
Ian Dinmore //1986

158827 passes through the level crossing at Barmouth and past the site of the former Dolgellau and Rubabon excursion platform which could still be ...
Colin McDonald 10/04/2018
158827, traveling from Pwllheli to Machynlleth, arrives at a tropical looking (but in fact distinctly chilly) Barmouth in early April 2018. ...
Colin McDonald 10/04/2018
The somewhat garishly decorated replacement buildings on the down platform side of Barmouth station in April 2018. There was formerly a bay platform ...
Colin McDonald 10/04/2018
View south towards the Barmouth Viaduct in April 2018. The refurbished station buildings on the left house the Tourist Information Centre, while the ...
Colin McDonald 10/04/2018


ATW 158832 pulls away from the halt at Talybont with a Pwilhelli to Birmingham International service. This view looks south towards the next minor ...
Mark Bartlett 19/09/2016
Arriva 158832 slows for the request stop at Talybont on the Cambrian Coast between Harlech and Barmouth. The train is the 1338 from Pwilhelli, one ...
Mark Bartlett 19/09/2016


Northbound service leaves Llanbedr. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Cambrian Coast line station opened as Talwrn Bach Halt in 1923 but renamed Llanbedr in 1978 and close to (now disused) RAF airfield of the same name. ...
Mark Bartlett 03/02/2008

Opened with the Cambrian Coast line in 1867 and from 1885 known as Llanbedr and Pensarn but it reverted to plain Pensarn in 1978. Pictured looking ...
Mark Bartlett 03/02/2008
A DMU on the Cambrian Coast line crossing Pont Briwet over the Afon Dwyryd, near Penrhyndeudraeth, in May 1990. In the background is Cooke's ...
Ian Dinmore /05/1990

Opened as Llandanwg Halt in 1929. A tiny Cambrian Coast line station that looks like it has been lifted straight off a model railway. View south ...
Mark Bartlett 03/02/2008

The 1215 arrival from Birmingham International prepares to depart Harlech as the 1226 return on 9th July 2014. The shuttle service is a result of the ...
Colin McDonald 09/07/2014
Harlech Castle looks down on the 12.26 to Birmingham International preparing to depart on 9th July 2014. ...
Colin McDonald 09/07/2014
A train on the Cambrian Coast line calls at Harlech in the summer of 2011. View is south towards Barmouth with Harlech Castle dominating the scene. ...
Ian Dinmore //2011
Currently the only way of getting from Harlech to Pwllheli by rail. Scene near Harlech station on 9 July 2014. The Cambrian Coast Line is currently ...
Colin McDonald 09/07/2014

View south from Tygwyn level crossing towards Harlech, the destination of much of the school traffic that keeps these tiny Cambrian Coast stations ...
Mark Bartlett 03/02/2008

View from Portmeirion village across the Dwyryd estuary as the 1613 service to Machynlleth leaves Talsarnau on 10th October 2014. ...
Colin McDonald 10/10/2014
This Cambrian Coast station opened with the line in 1867 and is viewed looking south towards Tygwyn and Harlech. ...
Mark Bartlett 03/02/2008
Old goods Shed sited at the rear of Talsarnau Station, seen from the south end of the platform looking along the former goods bay in December 2011. A ...
David Pesterfield 08/12/2011
An overgrown Talsarnau halt stands in the middle distance, on the currently closed Harlech - Pwllheli section of the Cambrian Coast line. Photographed ...
Colin McDonald 09/07/2014

Slate plaque at Llandecwyn station commemorating the opening of the nearby bridge over the Afon Dwyryd. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
A direct Then and Now comparison at Llandecwyn showing the rebuilt halt that was upgraded at the same time as the nearby Pont Briwet bridge ...
Mark Bartlett 19/09/2016
DMU 158826 leaves the almost finished new station at Llandecwyn on 14th October 2014 for Birmingham International. Although some work remains to be ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2014
When complete, the new Llandecwyn station, seen here on 14 October 2014, will have lighting, a Passenger Information System and slate walls to blend ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2014

A mid-day service from Birmingham International to Pwlhelli accelerates up the gradient towards Minffordd on 13th April 2015. ...
Colin McDonald 13/04/2015
The 1609 service to Machynlleth approaching Penrhyndeudraeth on 14 October. View from the new Llandecwyn station. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2014
Construction workers make their way past the site of the former Cooke's Explosives factory to the Pont Briwet road bridge construction site on 13 ...
Colin McDonald 13/04/2015
A DMU leaving Penrhyndeudraeth on the Cambrian Coast line in the summer of 1969 heading west towards Pwllheli. [With thanks to Kenneth Leiper and ...
David Spaven //1969


The 1402 to Birmingham International draws into Porthmadog on an warm autumn day in 2017:’ ...
Colin McDonald 17/10/3017
A Network Rail test train with 31105 at the rear waits for 158828 to cross at Porthmadog before heading towards Pwllheli. 14th October 2009. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2009
158820, still with its old Transport for Wales logo [see image 66034] calls at Porthmadog on its way to Pwllheli on a warm October day shortly after ...
Colin McDonald 17/10/2018
158820 in October 2018, minus its Arriva sticker (which I noticed) but still with the old Transport for Wales logo (which I didn't), seen a few days ...
Colin McDonald 17/10/2018


Colourful artwork created by local children in the Arriva Trains Wales Cambrian Schools' Safety Project on display at Criccieth station in October ...
Colin McDonald /10/2014
The 1352 service to Birmingham International arrives at Criccieth on 14th October 2014. The infilled bay platform gives access to a small garden, ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2014
The 1259 service to Pwllheli approaches the level crossing in Criccieth on a sunny 14th October 2014. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2014
A passenger waiting for the 1352 at Criccieth station on 15 October 2014. ...
Colin McDonald 15/10/2014



At the height of the popularity of Butlins Holiday Camp, Penychain had two 10 coach bidirectional platforms. The up platform survives in use and the ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
Just across the overbridge the former pedestrian access to the disused down platform, once used by hundreds of holidaymakers on a Saturday, is now ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
Dating from its Butlins days, Penychain may have the biggest 'bus shelter' of any Welsh station. It is currently brightly decorated with artwork from ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
View east over Penychain Station in December 2011, showing the extensive ramped access and the large barn type waiting room. This station is adjacent ...
David Pesterfield 08/12/2011



The entrance to Pwllheli station at the north end of the building on 14th October 2015. The building on the left is a discount store built on the site ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
The west and south sides of Pwllheli station on 14th October 2015. Only the south face of the original island platform remains. ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
Interior view of Pwllheli station on 14th October 2015. The station cafe now occupies most of the west face of the building. The single remaining ...
Colin McDonald 14/10/2015
BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4T 80101 standing in the shed yard at Pwllheli in the summer of 1962. ...
K A Gray 14/08/1962