Machynlleth railway station

Machynlleth railway station is on the Cambrian Line in mid-Wales, serving the 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, Western Region of British Railways and London Midland Region of British Railways. It is notable in that there are 22 miles (35 km) separating this station and Caersws, the longest distance between two intermediate stations in Wales.[1]

National Rail
General information
LocationMachynlleth, Powys
Coordinates52°35′42″N 3°51′18″W / 52.595°N 3.855°W / 52.595; -3.855
Grid referenceSH744013
Managed byTransport for Wales
Other information
Station codeMCN
ClassificationDfT category E
2018/19Decrease 130,598
2019/20Decrease 121,068
2020/21Decrease 17,030
 Interchange 1,969
2021/22Increase 75,440
 Interchange Increase6,314
2022/23Increase 100,138
 Interchange Increase10,738
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road


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

The lower yard of the station contained a number of sidings that served transshipment wharves connected to the Corris Railway. A number of the quarries around Corris and Aberllefenni leased wharves here, notably Abercwmeiddaw, from 1877 onwards.[2]

The existing main line station dates from 1863, with the opening of the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway. The following year, the Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway opened the line as far as Aberystwyth, via Dovey Junction; 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.[3] 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 was completed with a lift at both ends to improve disabled access between the platforms .[4][5] The previous bridge was donated to Cambrian Heritage Railways.[6]

Motive power depot

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.[7]

Current operations


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 and evening peak periods.[8]

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

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 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.[9]

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.


New footbridge (July 2018)

The station has a staffed ticket office in the main building on platform 2. This is open throughout the daytime, however when closed tickets must be bought on the train as no ticket machine is provided. Waiting room in the main building on platform 2 and waiting room and shelter on platform 1.Public toilets. 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 footbridge with a lift at both ends.[4][5] The previous ramp up to platform 1 from street level having closed with the foundations of the new bridge being built across it.


  1. ^ "Support to re-open Carno railway station". BBC News. 6 January 2016.
  2. ^ Johnson, Peter (2011). An Illustrated History of the Great Western Narrow Gauge. Oxford Publishing Co.
  3. ^ Christiansen, Rex & Miller, R.W. The Cambrian Railways, Vol. 1 David & Charles (1967); p 65
  4. ^ a b "New footbridge dubbed 'Tower of Babel'". Cambrian News. 25 November 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Image of New footbridge". Flickr. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  6. ^ "CHR - 2015/16 (scroll down to 'Machynlleth Footbridge')". Cambrian Heritage Railways. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  7. ^ Roger Griffiths and Paul Smith, Directory of British Engine Sheds, I., Oxford Publishing (1999), p.188.
  8. ^ GB eNRT, 2017 Edition, Table 76 (Network Rail)
  9. ^ Railnews. "Pioneering past powers Arriva's future - Railnews - Today's news for Tomorrow's railway". Retrieved 2 August 2016.