LNWR Junction

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The abandoned LNWR station's BR replacement building, from a passing FR train
*Date: July 2005 *Photo: Keith C. Bradbury
For more information on the changing railways of Blaenau Ffestiniog see the Blaenau Ffestiniog page

One of a number of stations in the Blaenau area, this was the terminus of the LNWR line from Llandudno Junction. Originally opened on 1st April 1881, this replaced a temporary station at the mouth of the Crimea tunnel, open from 1879.

To the LNWR and LMS, the station was known simply as Blaenau Festiniog (spelt thus) but in LNWR days the running-in board on the platform read 'Blaenau Festiniog - Change Here for Narrow Gauge Line to Minffordd and Portmadoc'. By 1948 it had been replaced by a much smaller board simply reading 'Blaenau Festiniog'. In the 1950s BR erected a standard-pattern enamelled board 'Blaenau Ffestiniog Station' with the last word underneath, in smaller letters. At least the spelling was now right, but the use of the word 'Station' on a station nameboard is most unusual, being not really necessary. It was later (before 1961) replaced by the word 'North' and appeared so in BR timetables. In the RCH Handbook of Stations (1956) the station is referred to as Blaenau Ffestiniog North.

The LNWR station was immediately over the road from the FR main line and the FR opened a station for interchange traffic (now often referred to as Stesion Fein) in 1881, which provided more traffic to the FR than the GWR Exchange station.

The LNWR passenger station was built of wood and this officially temporary structure survived until the early 1950s when it was demolished, and a much smaller building in rendered brick replaced it in the late 1950s. In 1963 the platform line was extended on to the former FR alignment through the town to link up with the ex-GWR line, to permit continued rail access to Trawsfynydd nuclear power station after closure of the GWR line to Bala. On 22 March 1982 the LNWR station was closed and BR passenger services extended over the link line to the new Central station, soon to be shared with the reopened FR.

To the north of the LNWR station here was a large exchange yard for transhipment between narrow and standard gauges. The narrow-gauge side had a direct connection to the Oakeley Quarry, as well as one to the FR. In the 1950s the Oakeley company worked traffic into the yard from both directions, over their own direct connection and over the FR main line from Duffws, having leased this section from the FR.

The standard gauge lines between the LNWR and GWR stations were not joined until 1963.

Although closed when the new Blaenau Central came into service, the BR-built station building still stood until 2012 but has now been demolished, though the distinctively-stepped yellow brick walls on the approach remain. Much of the associated yard area has been sold off.

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