Tan y Bwlch
|Tan y Bwlch|
|An 1890s photochrom image of Tan y Bwlch|
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NGR:SH649415 Lat / Long :52.95452 / -4.01126
Tan y Bwlch, meaning 'Under the Pass' lies at a height of 434ft (132m) and a distance of 7 miles 35 chains (11.97km) from Porthmadog.[route 1][wikipedia 1] For more pictures at Tan y Bwlch, please click here.
|Stamp - old company Parcels|
|Issue No.||old company Parcels|
From 1865 until 1873 the only regular passing station for trains was at the former horse stage at Hafod y Llyn (FR) which opened for passengers on 6 January 1865. It was approximately 7 miles from Portmadoc, and horses were changed there from 1836 to 1863.
Tan y bwlch was officially opened in July 1873 but recent evidence suggests it was probably in use the previous year. The new station at Tan y Bwlch was the principal passing station from its opening (see below) until it closed to passengers on 15th September 1939. Passenger service to Tan y Bwlch was resumed on 5th April 1958. Tan y Bwlch has a large, handsome, 1980s, stone-built built water tank with two water pipes, with six-inch pull valves to feed both ends of a Fairlie in two minutes. The original, smaller, tank of which the stone plinth stands nearby, had a four-inch pipe and took five minutes to fill the loco. The fitting of larger valves here has knocked three minutes off the journey time!
There is a 1960s concrete block signal box, together with the original wooden station building, ex Hafod y Llyn (c.1873-4) and station house (c.1895-6**). The 1873 station building, having been restored, was entered for a railway heritage competition and evoked the classic response from one of the judges 'Not very 1930s, is it?'
The stone-built former goods shed serves as a shop and café and has been extended to accommodate kitchens, a store and passenger amenities. Nearby there is a good little children's playground (2009).
The nearby nature trail to Llyn Mair shows all manner of wonders. Note Bewick swans on the lake in winter and buzzards circling in the thermals in the summer.
The present footbridge is not on the site of the 19thC original but is a few yards nearer Porthmadog and serves a public footpath (formerly a Roman road) as well as providing access to the island platform. A new bridge in the original location is due to be installed in 2012.
Before 1854, there was a level crossing for the Maentwrog-Llanfrothen road which passed between the present café and the later road bridge. In that year the road was diverted to go under the new bridge, the cast-iron girders of which were, according to the legend upon them, cast at Boston Lodge, a remarkable achievement at that date.
At one point, there appeared at least two coin-operated entertainment machines outside the station. These were known as mutoscopes, and were provided by the North Wales Mutoscope Co. Pre-dating the cinema, they provided a moving-picture experience for a single viewer and were popular at the time, particularly the 'What the Butler Saw' variety.
In June 1920 the station staff appears to have been only H. D. Jones, Station Master and William Evans, Porter
 Car Park
There is space for about 25 vehicles at this station. The area is only rough gravel, and there are no marked bays.
For general details see here
Situated off a minor road, the B4410, this station has an island platform which is mainly accessed by means of a footbridge. However, there is a flat crossing with a gate into the car park situated half way along the platform. Please note this facility is not available when there is a train in the platform so please arrive early if you wish to join here
There is a small café which is open at busy times. There is ramped access into the café and a designated table for wheelchair users close to the door. There are also tables and seating outside, some of which are under cover. The toilets are outside and to the left of the café entrance. There is a small step into the Ladies’ and the Gentlemen’s toilets. The accessible toilet has level access and also contains nappy changing facilities.