Dinas Branch 1836
|Dinas Branch 1836|
The branch trackbed seen from the junction site during on 9th March 1975. Photo: Jim Hewett
|Type||Former branch line|
|Status||Line lifted, formation buried by slate waste tipping|
|Stations | Locations | Bridges | Tunnels | Map|
- This article is about the original alignment of the Dinas Branch, for the later alignment see Dinas Branch 1899
The line now known as the Dinas Branch was at first the mainline of the Festiniog Railway. The line was downgraded to a branch sometime after the line to Duffws had been built. The original alignment was abandoned and replaced to allow slate waste tips to be expanded over the formation.
When the Festiniog Railway was built, in 1832-1836, the line to Dinas, near Rhiwbryfdir, (the red line on the map) was the only section constructed. As detailed below, it quickly became a branch when the (mauve) Duffws line was built. Hereafter it is referred as the Dinas branch to avoid confusion with Dinas Junction on the Welsh Highland Railway line.
The point shown in the header picture, taken from underneath Footbridge 4, is where the two lines parted. The Dinas line going straight ahead, and the Duffws line veering right and crossing Barlwyd Bridge. In the early days this was the only route into the Blaenau Ffestiniog area. When the Duffws link was built, this meant if there was any traffic between the two points they had to head further to Porthmadog, then reverse to their destination. Apart from transfers of empty stock this was very unusual.
When the Railway started running passenger services in 1865 it was initially to Dinas but, by 1870, people wanted to be nearer the centre of the town, and passenger trains had been diverted to Duffws and Dinas reverted to being freight only.
With slate traffic originating on both lines, further development alleviated a problem when around 1880 the two branches were connected by a loop line to make a triangle. It continued to be a junction until 1899 when the Oakeley Quarries wanted the land to extend its slate tip when a new junction and devation line was put in nearer to Glanypwll. The location of the original junction is still to be seen even though much of the rest of the lower part of the branch is covered with slate waste, and landscaped.