Milford Haven railway station
Milford Haven railway station serves the town of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Opened on 7 September 1863, it was originally known as Milford, becoming Old Milford by January 1902, and finally being renamed Milford Haven by April 1910. It is the westernmost railway station in Wales, but not in Great Britain as some stations in England and Scotland are further west.
|Managed by||Transport for Wales|
|Number of platforms||1|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Key dates||Opened 7 September 1863|
|7 September 1863||Opened as Milford|
|1902||Renamed Old Milford|
|1910||Renamed Milford Haven|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Milford Haven from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
The first links to a railway to Milford Haven came through the completion of the South Wales Railway in 1856. Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a vision of connecting London to New York City via a railway through Wales and then to a commuter port. The initial plan was to terminate the line at Fishguard and to create a ferry service to Ireland. The failure to complete Irish rail links meant that the terminus was modified to a location on the Milford Haven waterway. 1854 saw track reach Haverfordwest, at which point a decision had to be made as to the terminus. New Milford at Neyland was selected, in spite of opposition from Greville, and was completed in April 1856. As a result, Greville determined to finance a project himself which would see the railway come to Milford Haven under the Milford Junction Railway, a four-mile spur from Johnston. Construction began in August 1856 and lasted five years, finally completed in 1863, when the line was connected to the South Wales Railway at Johnston, and a station at Milford was opened. The line was, and remains, single track, but sufficient room was allowed in cuttings and under bridges for doubling the track if required. The opportunity to provide a rival to the South Wales Railway by using Milford as a terminus to the Manchester and Milford Railway was also explored at this time.
Excavation work was necessary to provide an embankment upon which the approaching track could be laid skirting the shoreline of Hubberston Pill. Public services commenced 7 September 1863. Further track was laid towards the recently constructed docks complex in 1875. A spur to Newton Noyes, known as the 'Estate Line', was completed in 1882. It connected with a pier, which was reached via a lifting bridge at Castle Pill; the junction with the Milford line opposite the station. This development highlighted Milford station's less than favorable location, although equidistant between the two major populations of Milford and Hakin, it was at a distance from the quayside and with no discernible pedestrian access. To rectify the issue, the short-lived Hakin Dock Station was constructed in 1898.
The original station was modest, with four sidings and a single platform, plus additional run around facilities sandwiched between the hillside and Hubberston Pill. Initial services comprised a local service running back and forth between Milford and Johnston, where passengers could connect with Great Western services from New Milford. By 1871, services had grown to seven daily in each direction, many connecting with passenger services from New Milford at Johnston. The trains using the line were operated by Great Western Railway who had part funded the original railway. It initially rented use of the line, although in 1896 absorbed The Milford Railway Company. In the 1930s many improvements were made, including narrowing the course of the Pill, extra side loops and goods yards. By 1923 the Milford Station Master was re-graded as a special class post, supported by twelve booking clerks and up to ten porters.
Milford Haven Line
Up until 1947, three daily 'vacuum fish' express services transported fish from the Haven to various destinations in the UK, including London Paddington, Yeovil and the north of England. Fish vans were often attached to passenger trains. Goods traffic remained dominant over passenger traffic until the commercial decline of the docks in the late twentieth century. Into the twentieth century, direct services to London Paddington were in operation, and a sleeper service remained in place until the 1960s. The sidings were reduced substantially in 1968, although goods traffic continued until the 1980s. InterCity 125 services from London Paddington to Milford ran until the early 1990s, terminating in 1994. Sealink operated a service to Dún Laoghaire briefly between 1978-79 from Milford. A scheme to expand the freight capability at Milford Haven is under development, based on a new import facility for biomass and wood pellets for the energy market in England and Wales. In September 2019, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire Stephen Crabb called on politicians and Network Rail to upgrade Milford station, citing a lack of suitable facilities.
The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by Transport for Wales. The usual service pattern is one train every two hours to Manchester Piccadilly via Carmarthen, Swansea, Bridgend, Cardiff Central, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Crewe and Stockport. Certain non-peak hour services terminate in Carmarthen.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Johnston||Transport for Wales
West Wales line
Line and station open
|Great Western Railway
Line and station closed
Line and station open
|Great Western Railway
Line and station closed
Until July 1994, British Rail ran a daily train from London Paddington through to Milford Haven via Reading, Bristol Parkway, Cardiff Central, Swansea, Whitland and Haverfordwest, usually operated by an InterCity 125. Under the Wales & West franchise services were also more widespread than today. A daily service operated between Milford and London Waterloo via Whitland, Swansea, Cardiff Central, Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Bradford-on-Avon, Basingstoke and Clapham Junction. Services also ran regularly to Liverpool Lime Street, and several trains per week ran to Plymouth and Penzance via Swansea, Cardiff Central, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Exeter St Davids, Plymouth, Truro and St Erth. Before September 2002 it was also not uncommon to see Virgin CrossCountry trains operating from Milford Haven to stations in the north and Scotland, usually Edinburgh and Glasgow via Swansea, Cardiff Central, Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh, Glasgow bound trains continued via Haymarket and Motherwell. Occasionally services ran from Milford Haven as far north as Aberdeen on the same route as the Edinburgh bound train, then continuing via Haymarket, Inverkeithing, Perth, Dundee, Arbroath and Montrose. These services were usually operated by an InterCity 125 set.
Waiting facilities include a covered shelter, as the original station building has been demolished. A free carpark is located opposite the platform, with capacity for 15 vehicles. An independent ticket office operates from a site on the station. The station is staffed on a part-time basis. Train running details are offered via timetable posters, a customer help point and digital information screens. Step-free access is available from the main entrance and car park to the platform.
A commemorative stone and plaque was unveiled in September 2013 on the site of the former station building to mark the 150th anniversary.
- Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. pp. 159, 177, 160. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
- Wing Commander Ken McKay A Vision Of Greatness: The History of Milford 1790-1990, Brace Harvatt Associates, 1989. ISBN 978-0-9515212-0-5
- James Frederick Rees The Story of Milford, University Of Wales Press, 1954 ASIN B000MYZBCQ
- Milford’s Railway: 150 years old Archived 8 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Pembrokeshire Rail Travellers Association, Article: Newsletter 100: April 2013, Gale, John, Retrieved 14 October 2013
- Parker, Richard, The Railways of Pembrokeshire, Noodle Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-906419-07-3
- "Vision of Britain Descriptive Gazetteer entry for MILFORD", Wilson, John Marius (1870-1872). Retrieved 9 October 2011
- Parker, Richard Neyland: A Great Western Outpost, KRB Publications, 2002. ISBN 0-9542035-3-4
- laluciole.net: A history of Britain's broad gauge railways[permanent dead link] Retrieved 30 January 2010
- Barrie, Derek A Regional History Of The Railway Of Great Britain: Vol. 12, South Wales, Thomas & Lochar, 1994. ISBN 978-0-946537-69-3
- Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, Carmarthen To Fishguard (Western Main Lines), Middleton Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-906008-66-6
- Hakin CP Junior School Hakin: A Pictorial History, C.I.T Print Services, Haverfordwest, 1998. ISBN 0-9529672-1-9
- Intercity Magazine Network Map 1993 Retrieved 5 December 2012
- Network Rail: Wales Route Archived 3 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 9 January 2013
- Make Milford station upgrade a priority - Crabb www.stephencrabb.com Retrieved 7 October 2019
- Table 128 National Rail timetable, December 2018
- Wales Route Utilisation Strategy Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Network Rail Publication, November 2008
- "National Rail Enquiries - Milford Haven Station". Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Railway Anniversary Celebrations Steaming Ahead, Western Telegraph Article, 24 August 2013
Media related to Milford Haven railway station at Wikimedia Commons