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Coordinates: 51°26′08″N 3°10′28″W / 51.4355°N 3.1745°W / 51.4355; -3.1745

Penarth railway station is the railway station serving the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It is the terminus of Network Rail's Penarth branch running from Cogan Junction to Penarth station, 1 mile 12 chains (1.15 mi; 1.9 km) from the junction[1] and 2 miles 67 chains (2.84 mi; 4.6 km) south of Cardiff Central station. The Penarth branch ran from Cogan Junction to Biglis Junction, a rail mileage of 5 miles 65 chains (5.81 mi; 9.4 km) and was officially closed beyond Penarth after the last passenger train ran on Saturday 4 May 1968.

Penarth National Rail
Penarth Railway Station - - 221431.jpg
Local authorityVale of Glamorgan
Grid referenceST184714
Station codePEN
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms1
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Decrease 0.600 million
2014/15Decrease 0.597 million
2015/16Increase 0.613 million
2016/17Increase 0.633 million
2017/18Decrease 0.627 million
Original companyCardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway
Pre-groupingTaff Vale Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
20 February 1878Opened
1968Down buildings and platform removed
1984Buildings replaced
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Penarth from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.


Station historyEdit


Penarth Station (or Penarth Town as it was originally known) was built for the Cardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway, and opened in 1878 as part of that company's new line to Lavernock.[2] This was a continuation of the Taff Vale Railway's Penarth Extension Railway, which had been completed in February 1878 and gave the town its first rail link to Cardiff.

The Taff Vale took over the CP&BJR in 1889 and had the line completed from Lavernock to Biglis Junction (east of Cadoxton) on the Barry Railway in 1890.[3] The extension attracted holiday and weekend traffic from Penarth to the beach at Lavernock or Barry Island Pleasure Park[4] for the day, with steam trains running every 30 minutes from 7.15 am until 11.45 pm in both directions. There was also a sizeable amount of commuter traffic from the station eastwards into Cardiff. As first constructed the station had two side platforms & tracks (plus a non-platform line for goods traffic), a signal box and a goods yard at the Lavernock end of the station.[5]

After the Beeching reviewEdit

After The Reshaping of British Railways report, British Rail withdrew the passenger service west of Penarth on 6 May 1968.[6][7] General goods traffic over the route had previously ended on & from 7 October 1963 (the date the goods yard here also closed), leaving only the cement trains from the factory at Cosmeston and so the line beyond there closed to all traffic. The remaining section to Penarth followed suit in November 1969 when the Snowcem works closed, leaving the station as a dead-end terminus.[8] The line has been single track between Cogan Junction and Penarth since February 1967.[9]

Parts of the disused trackbed through Lower Penarth and towards Sully have been blocked and built on. Other parts have been turned into a rural railway walk and cycle path from north of Alberta Place (south of Penarth station) to Brockhill Rise road overbridge, approximately one half-mile north-east of the former Lavernock station.

Until 1968 Penarth station had two platforms, one on each side of the tracks for down and up traffic, with a gated foot crossing. After the branch was singled and the line on towards Sully and Biglis Junction closed, the platform buildings on the Plymouth Road side were sold and used as a garden centre until they were demolished in the 1980s and a new Government Jobcentre plus and private offices were built in their place.[citation needed] The loss of the down platform and its station building also effectively closed the station's main car parking area in the specially widened eastern end of Plymouth Road.

Closure of the coastal rail line removed the direct link between Penarth and Barry, Barry Island, Rhoose or Llantwit Major. Completion of the journey from Penarth by rail today entails first travelling north as far as Grangetown, before catching a connecting train in the reverse direction to Barry or any of the stations mentioned above, thus doubling the journey time and distance travelled.

Original buildingsEdit

BR had most of the original 19th-century station buildings demolished and replaced with modern ones in a major remodelling in 1984. Since 1971 the station's original ticket office building, built in 1887, has been let as a fast food outlet.

The original Railway Hotel no longer provides accommodation but is still a public house.


The station has a small "drop off and pick up only" car park in Station Approach. The current ticket office in the station building is open early morning to mid-afternoon six days per week (Monday - Friday 06:50 - 14:20, Saturday 08:30 - 15:00). A self-service ticket machine is provided for use outside these times and for collecting pre-paid tickets. Train running information is offered via digital CIS displays and timetable poster boards. Step-free access is available from the entrance to the ticket hall and platform.[10]

All services on this line are currently operated by Transport for Wales as part of the Valley Lines system of the National Rail network.


Train of two Pacer units at Penarth: a Class 142 in the foreground and a Class 143 beyond
Train of one Class 150 Sprinter unit at Penarth

The usual service pattern is four trains per hour to Bargoed from Mondays to Saturdays during the day, of which one continues to Rhymney.[11] In the evenings, services terminate at either Ystrad Mynach or Caerphilly and the frequency pattern decreases to two trains per hour. There are several evening services to Treherbert, one combined with a Rhymney departure and a second with one to Caerphilly (both split at Cardiff Central).

On Sundays there is only one train every two hours, totalling six trains all day, there is no late evening service, and trains run only as far as Cardiff Central. There are plans to increase this service to an hourly service.[citation needed]

Services are operated with Class 142, Class 143 Pacer units — usually run in pairs to provide a four-car train, and Class 150 Sprinter units — usually run singly as a two-car train.

Barry connectionsEdit

Since 1968 Penarth has had no direct rail link to Barry Island, although travel between the two towns remains popular. Rail passengers for Barry must travel in the opposite direction and change at Grangetown, before heading back to Barry. Alternatively, passengers may walk about 20 minutes from Penarth to Cogan railway station.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Yonge, John; Padgett, David (August 2010) [1989]. Bridge, Mike (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western (5th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 22. ISBN 978-0-9549866-6-7.
  2. ^ Hutton, John (2006). The Taff Vale Railway. 3. Silver Link. p. not cited. ISBN 978-1-85794-251-4.
  3. ^ Crawford, Ewan (7 August 2011). "Chronology for Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway". A History of Britain's Railways. Railscot. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  4. ^ Page, p.82
  5. ^ Penarth Town Signal Box diagramSignalling Record Society; Retrieved 2013-09-13
  6. ^ Page, p.178
  7. ^ "Train Service Anniversary Brings Back Memories" Keitch, B - Penarth Times website news article; Retrieved 2013-09-13
  8. ^ Photo of buffer stop at the "country" end of Penarth station ; Retrieved 2013-09-13
  9. ^ "The Taff Vale Railway by D.S.M Barrie"; Retrieved 2013-09-12
  10. ^ Penarth station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  11. ^ Table 130 National Rail timetable, May 2017


  • Body, G. (1983), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Western Region, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 0-85059-546-0
  • Page, J. (1988), Forgotten Railways: Volume 8 - South Wales (2nd Ed), David & Charles Publishers, Newton Abbott, ISBN 0-946537-44-5

External linksEdit