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Machynlleth railway station is a railway station on the Cambrian Line in mid-Wales, serving the historic town of Machynlleth. It was built by the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway (N&MR), and subsequently passed into the ownership of the Cambrian Railways, the Great Western Railway, British Railways (Western Region) and British Railways (London Midland Region). It is notable that there is a distance of 22 miles (35 km) between this station and Caersws, the longest distance between two intermediate stations in Wales.[1]

Machynlleth National Rail
Machynlleth Station - geograph.org.uk - 165564.jpg
Location
PlaceMachynlleth
Local authorityPowys
Coordinates52°35′42″N 3°51′18″W / 52.595°N 3.855°W / 52.595; -3.855Coordinates: 52°35′42″N 3°51′18″W / 52.595°N 3.855°W / 52.595; -3.855
Grid referenceSH744013
Operations
Station codeMCN
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 119,636
2014/15Increase 120,802
2015/16Increase 133,228
2016/17Increase 135,990
2017/18Increase 137,686
History
Key datesOpened 1863 (1863)
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Machynlleth from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK railways portal

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Machynlleth Station circa 1885, then on the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway
 
Eastbound local train in 1951

The first railway station in Machynlleth was the narrow gauge Corris Railway, which opened its station building on the north side of the main-line goods yard in 1859. This was later made accessible from the mainline station by a flight of steps from the standard gauge platform. Waggish porters were known to call out "Platform 14 for Corris" when greeting arriving passengers.[citation needed]

The existing mainline station dates from 1863 with the opening of the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway. The following year the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway opened the line as far as Aberystwyth via Dovey Junction, and in 1867 the line was extended from Barmouth to Pwllheli via Porthmadog (then Portmadoc). In 1868 the station and lines were absorbed into the Cambrian Railways.[2] The Cambrian Railways were absorbed by the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922 as a result of the Railways Act 1921, and became part of British Railways in 1948.

In 2016 a new footbridge with a lift at both ends to improve disabled access between the platforms was completed.[3][4] The previous bridge was donated to the Cambrian Heritage Railways.[5]

Motive power depotEdit

 
The former locomotive shed at Machynlleth station

The railway built a small engine shed at the station in 1863. This was later expanded by Cambrian Railways, but the extensions were demolished after 1966, when the depot ceased to be used for servicing steam locomotives. Only the original building now survives.[6]

Current operationsEdit

Cambrian Line
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury Abbey
Coleham
 
 
 
 
Hanwood
Yockleton
Westbury
Plas-y-Court Halt
Breidden
Buttington
 
Welshpool
 
Welshpool Raven Square
Forden
Montgomery
Abermule
Newtown
Scafell Halt
Moat Lane Junction
Caersws
Pontdolgoch
Carno
Talerddig
Llanbrynmair
Commins Coch Halt
Cemmes Road
 
Machynlleth
Dovey Junction
 
Glandyfi
Ynyslas
Borth
Llandre
Bow Street
 
 
 
Aberystwyth
 
 
Gogarth
Abertafol
Penhelig
Aberdovey
 
Tywyn Wharf
Tywyn
Tonfanau
Llangelynin
Llwyngwril
 
Fairbourne
 
 
Fairbourne
(FR)
Morfa Mawddach
Barmouth
Llanaber
Talybont
Dyffryn Ardudwy
Llanbedr
Pensarn
Llandanwg
Harlech
Tygwyn
Talsarnau
Llandecwyn
Penrhyndeudraeth
Minffordd
 
Traeth Mawr Viaduct
over River Glaslyn
Porthmadog Harbour
 
 
Porthmadog
 
Porthmadog
Black Rock Halt
Criccieth
Afon Wen
Penychain
Abererch
Pwllheli

Machynlleth is the location where the majority of eastbound or 'up' trains from Pwllheli and Aberystwyth combine to go forward as one towards Shrewsbury and Birmingham International. Similarly, most trains in the opposite direction divide here before continuing west. The service in each direction is approximately two hourly, although trains to Pwllheli are far less frequent on Sundays. The infrastructure along the line was upgraded during 2010/11, with the intention of allowing hourly trains to and from Aberystwyth. In the 2015-16 timetable, some additional Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth services operate to give an hourly interval frequency during the morning & evening peak periods.[7]

Cambrian Line signalling has been centrally controlled from Machynlleth since the 1980s conversion of the route from traditional signalling to a radio-controlled 'RETB' system. On 26 March 2011, the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) signalling system went into operational use across the Cambrian Line controlled from Machynlleth. Two days of driver familiarisation followed, with passenger operation commencing on the morning of 28 March 2011. A new control centre has been built on the down side opposite the earlier signal box which has since been demolished.

A past train operator, Arriva Trains Wales, has also developed Machynlleth into the main depot for its fleet of Class 158 trains which provide all passenger services on the Cambrian Lines. Replacing the previous Victorian-era depot and yard, Arriva's depot opened in 2007 and prominently features environmentally friendly technologies such as rainwater harvesting and a wind turbine.[8]

In 2011, The Bluebell Railway discovered a well-worn totem sign from Machynlleth during the excavating of Imberhorne Cutting as part of the northern extension to East Grinstead, which was used as a landfill site by the local council in the late 1960s. The extension was opened on 23 March 2013. The sign is now displayed in their new museum.

FacilitiesEdit

The station has a staffed ticket office in the main building on platform 2. This is open all week (Monday - Friday 05:15 - 18:15, Saturday 05:15 - 18:15, Sunday 08:15 - 17:15) - outside these hours tickets must be bought on the train, as no ticket machine is provided. There are toilets, a waiting room and a cafe in the main building and waiting room and shelter on platform 1. Train running information is provided by customer help points, CIS displays, automated announcements and timetable posters. Step free access is provided to both platforms by means of a new footbridge with a lift at both ends completed in 2016.[3][4] The previous ramp up to platform 1 from street level having closed with the foundations of the new bridge being built across it.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Support to re-open Carno railway station". BBC NEWS. 6 January 2016.
  2. ^ Christiansen, Rex & Miller, R.W. The Cambrian Railways, Vol. 1 David & Charles (1967); p 65
  3. ^ a b "New footbridge dubbed 'Tower of Babel'". Cambrian News. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Image of New footbridge". Flickr. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  5. ^ "CHR - 2015/16 (scroll down to 'Machynlleth Footbridge')". Cambrian Heritage Railways. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  6. ^ Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith, Directory of British Engine Sheds, I., Oxford Publishing (1999), p.188.
  7. ^ GB eNRT, 2017 Edition, Table 76 (Network Rail)
  8. ^ RAILNEWS. "Pioneering past powers Arriva's future - Railnews - Today's news for Tomorrow's railway". Retrieved 2 August 2016.

External linksEdit

Preceding station     National Rail   Following station
Transport for Wales
Cambrian Line
Disused railways
Terminus   Corris Railway   Ffridd Gate