Betws-y-Coed railway station

Betws-y-Coed railway station is a railway station on the Conwy Valley Line from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales. It is situated 15 12 miles (24.9 km) south of Llandudno Junction.

Betws-y-Coed
National Rail
Betwsycoedsn.jpg
The station entrance in August 2006.
LocationBetws-y-Coed, Conwy
Wales
Coordinates53°05′31″N 3°48′04″W / 53.092°N 3.801°W / 53.092; -3.801Coordinates: 53°05′31″N 3°48′04″W / 53.092°N 3.801°W / 53.092; -3.801
Grid referenceSH795565
Managed byTransport for Wales
Platforms1
Other information
Station codeBYC
ClassificationDfT category F1
History
Original companyLondon and North Western Railway
Key dates
6 April 1868[1]Opened as Bettws-y-Coed
8 June 1953[1]Renamed
Passengers
2015/16Decrease 35,872
2016/17Increase 36,286
2017/18Decrease 35,322
2018/19Increase 35,364
2019/20Decrease 23,126
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

The passenger train service is operated by Transport for Wales and is marketed as the Conwy Valley Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Dyffryn Conwy).

The railway station is also an important bus interchange station. It is used by the Snowdonia National Park Sherpa bus services to Capel Curig, Pen-y-Gwryd, Pen-y-Pass, Beddgelert, Porthmadog, Tryfan and Bethesda. Other connecting bus services operate to Penmachno, Corwen, Llangollen, Llanrwst, Trefriw, Dolgarrog, Conwy and Llandudno. The local bus timetables advertise the train services and the "Gwynedd Red Rover" day ticket is valid on Conwy Valley trains as well as the Sherpa and Conwy Valley bus services. There is also a coach park at the station, which is extensively used by tourist coach operators.

Station historyEdit

 
The station platform in July 2017.
 
Patrons of the station café watch a train pass. (September 2009)

The Conwy Valley line was constructed by the London and North Western Railway with the primary aim of transporting dressed slate from the Blaenau Ffestiniog quarries to a specially built quay at Deganwy for export by sea. The original plans envisaged a railhead at Betws-y-Coed and a large goods yard was established with intended interchange to a proposed narrow gauge line (with a significant saving in construction costs) via the steeply graded Lledr Valley to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Other entrepreneurs proposed narrow gauge lines from Corwen to Betws-y-Coed, Penmachno to Betws-y-Coed and from Beddgelert to Betws-y-Coed. In the event the line to Blaenau, which was not completed until 1879, was built to standard gauge and the other proposals were abandoned.

Extensive passenger and goods facilities were however provided at Betws-y-Coed, where the station, which was opened in 1868, adjoins the London to Holyhead A5 turnpike road and was thus ideally located to serve many isolated communities in Snowdonia and also the rapidly developing tourist industry. In the LMS timetables the station was listed as "Bettws-y-Coed - Station for Capel Curig".[2]

There was originally a passing loop with full length up and down platforms. A camping coach was positioned here by the London Midland Region from 1955 to 1959, the coach was replaced in 1960 by a Pullman camping coach which was here until 1970.[3]

The loop was removed in the 1960s but the footbridge that previously gave access to the now removed down platform has been retained and provides access to the Conwy Valley Railway Museum, which runs a miniature railway and other attractions in the former goods yard.

The comprehensive range of passenger station buildings have been preserved and sympathetically adapted for use as a cafe, coffee shop, holiday apartments and retail outlets. The station now functions as an unstaffed halt. The platform was refurbished and a digital Passenger Information System installed in Spring 2009. Train running information is also provided via telephone and timetable poster boards.[4]

 
Betws-y-Coed Station in 1961 with Camping Coaches in the siding.

ServicesEdit

Six trains each way per day call on Mondays to Saturdays (approximately every three hours), with four trains each way on Sundays.[5]

Services from this station were suspended following serious flood damage to the track and associated infrastructure resulting from the heavy rainfall associated with Storm Gareth on 16 March 2019. Repairs took several months to complete, with a replacement bus service in operation in the meantime.[6] The line was reopened on 24 July 2019, in time for the staging of the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst.[7] Further storm damage to the north (this time from Storm Ciara) in February 2020 once again saw services suspended, with buses replacing trains from here until the line reopened again in September 2020.[8]

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Llanrwst   Transport for Wales
Conwy Valley Line
  Pont-y-Pant

Village and surrounding areaEdit

Betws-y-Coed is an important tourist village and the station is centrally located beside the large village green. The district has magnificent scenery and there are several spectacular waterfalls, including the much visited Swallow Falls, which are served by frequent Sherpa buses from Betws-y-Coed station. There are several large hotels in the village.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Butt 1995, p. 33.
  2. ^ Quick 2019, p. 72.
  3. ^ McRae 1997, pp. 44-50.
  4. ^ Betws-y-Coed station facilities National Rail Enquiries Retrieved 31 May 2017
  5. ^ Table 102 National Rail timetable, December 2019
  6. ^ Flood damaged Conwy Valley line could be closed for months itv.com news article 25 March 2019; Retrieved 26 March 2019
  7. ^ Flood-hit Conwy Valley line set to reopen next monthITV News article 25-06-2019; Retrieved 25 June 2019
  8. ^ "Conwy Valley Line opens after £2.2m flood repairs". BBC, 28 September 2020.

SourcesEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit