Boston Lodge Halt
|Boston Lodge Halt|
David Lloyd George heading an up train through the halt
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From pre-preservation times until the early 1960s, the halt name board read Boston Lodge for Portmeirion. There was a farm track adjacent to the halt that gave indirect access to Portmeirion village.
Boston Lodge Halt is the first stopping place on an Up journey after leaving Porthmadog. The Halt is a request stop, meaning that waiting passengers must give a clear signal to the driver and those wishing to alight here must inform the Guard at the previous station. The Halt, immediately Up the line from the former Engine Shed and Weighhouse at Boston Lodge was first opened before 1931. The farm track that used to cross the line on the level here, but since replaced by the Works access road, leads to Penryhn Isaf farm and can be used to reach Portmeirion. Post-preservation the Halt was a temporary terminus from the re-opening on 23rd July 1955 until the service closed for the year on 24th September. The following year the service to Minffordd was opened on 19th May 1956. While Boston Lodge Halt was the terminus the lack of a run round loop required the loco to propel the carriages (once empty) to Pen Cob Halt and carry out a chain shunt with the carriages pulled along the main line onto Boston Lodge Curve with the loco running on the track into the works. For more detail on the chain shunt see Pen Cob Halt.
Nowadays the Halt's main use is for the convenience of the Works, morning trains often pause briefly to deposit milk and other essentials for staff refreshments and during the Summer, when locos sometimes work three round trips but crews are only allowed to work two the change occurs at the Halt on the second Down trip.
The building seen at the bottom end of the platform, in the pictures below, is the former weigh office by the weighbridge and its curious, tapered, shape is a result of the original course of the railway. Until the line was improved for locomotives its original course was to the right of this photograph and in front of the weigh office where there was a pair of weigh tables. Slate waggons were weighed here, before they went through a gate just in front of the No.2 Boston Lodge Cottages. This gate marked the start of Madocks' estate property and the FR had to pay a toll, based upon weight, on all goods carried over the Cob. The improvements and realignment of the line coincided with the development of Minffordd Yard and the weigh tables and equipment were relocated to the mineral line there in 1872.
The land in the field to the South of the railway line and opposite the engine shed and office was known as the sand pit. It was thus named because sand for locomotive sanding purposes was extracted there. There was a light timber overbridge leading from the sandpit to the sand drying oven by the engine shed. The sand pit was commonly used as a camp site by volunteers in the early days of the revival but later became rather overgrown. The flat area next to the railway fence was then made into the private car park and road access for Boston Lodge works (date?). In late 2017 2,000 tons of sand were excavated and used in the new sea defences for the made up land for the new carriage shed in Glan y Mor Yard. This had the benefit of increasing the car parking spaces.
The former office was used as a very basic hostel by many early volunteers and was progressively improved; decent electrics, cooking facilities, bunk beds and a shower all appeared over the years. However, providing a WC has never been possible and residents have had to use the facilities at the Works; a situation that does not suit modern regulations. As a consequence the hostel has been closed. In 2017 it is a carriage works store.
The renovation of the Old Engine Shed, attached to the Down end of the building, has significantly improved the appearance of this end of the site. As of May 2008, no new function had been found for the former weigh office.
David Lloyd George heading an up train through Boston Lodge Halt
There is no public parking here. There some parking bays at the bottom of the access road, facing the Glaslyn estuary
For general details see here
This halt is approached by a steep and rough track and is not suitable for anyone with mobility impairments, or some types of vehicles.
Trains will not normally stop here, as this location is classed as a halt, and not a scheduled stop. Passengers are asked to notify the guard, as soon as possible, if they wish to alight at this location.
Intending passengers, from here, are requested to hold out your hand so the driver can see you. The driver will often give a short "toot" to acknowledge he has seen you.
- "Extending Glan y Mor: Civil Engineering at Boston Lodge", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 240, page(s): 921