From the north, 2004
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Penrhyn or Penrhyndeudraeth (the station's original title), (English: Headland between two beaches) is a request halt on the Ffestiniog Railway. It lies at a height of 160ft (48.8m), and a distance of 3 miles 8 chains (4.99km) from Porthmadog. [route 1][wikipedia 1]
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This station was opened in 1865 on a narrow shelf cut into the hillside above the village of Penrhyndeudraeth. The initial station, only a small hut, was much closer to the level crossing than the present building and there was a walled coal yard immediately opposite. The station was rebuilt, where it now is, in 1879 - allegedly using components from the original Porthmadog Harbour Station When the station was renovated in the late 1980s the roof was stripped to give access to the timbers. Some of the wood had drilled holes which were of no apparent use in the present structure. Also some faces were painted a dull brown in colour, but some painted sides nailed facing inwards. The wood was clearly second hand. A small, stone, Goods shed served by a siding facing Up trains was added a few years later. During the 1870s the name of the station was shortened to Penrhyn, in order to avoid confusion with the station on the Cambrian Railways coast line at the bottom of the town.
The station staff in 1872 were Henry Owen, Station Master, and Henry Thomas, Porter. In 1920 the staff comprised Thomas L Piercy, Station Master, Evan Davies, Porter, and a Mrs Jones operating the crossing gates.
In 1957, Penrhyn was equipped with a loop and served as a temporary terminus from 20th April 1957 until the line was re-opened to Tan y Bwlch in 1958. The loop continued in use for passing timetabled trains until 1974, although the track and associated signalling remained in situ until 1981. The loop was short, curved and awkward, thus a long Down train would have to run into the Down end headshunt so not to foul the top end point; after the Up train had passed, the Down train had to reverse out of the headshunt until it could clear the bottom end crossover - fouling the top end point as it did so. Once a driver came Up into the loop and, looking back to see if the bottom end of his train was clear of the fouling point, he ran through the top point. That might not have been so bad, had he not then set back and derailed his loco (Mountaineer, of course) all over the top point.
For more details of how the station was operated in the early 1970s, see the Penrhyn Operations page.
From 1975 Penrhyn loop was replaced for normal timetable purposes by the new loop at Rhiw Goch.
The station building still has its ticket window on the platform, but opened as a volunteer hostel in 1968 and has been used for this ever since, having been updated and upgraded several times. The story of the initial conversion which lasted from 1966 to the formal opening on AGM day 1972 was told in the Magazine by John Ransom. 
It has had charming chimney pots, exactly like the originals, restored and gives a convincing resemblance to the Bleasdale picture of 1887. It has the drawback that the bedrooms are all in a row and anybody in the end room visiting the loo in the night has to pass through all the other bedrooms. It has good bathrooms, a kitchen and a dining room with a view across to Harlech Castle. There are discriminating volunteers who regularly book it in preference to the Hostel Mawr at Minffordd.
The platform is mainly built of second-hand LNWR engineering bricks from Leighton Buzzard Station, donated by BR in the 1980s. We had to buy some new ones to finish the job. The waggon turntable is not the original but an identical one, put here almost in the original position with its siding to the Goods Shed. This Goods Shed was used for flour traffic to the adjacent bakery from the Flour Mill in Portmadoc until 1946.
Beyond the station, the railway crosses the Penrhyndeudraeth to Llanfrothen (and Aberglaslyn) road on what is now the line's only gated & manned level crossing. Originally, the crossing was immediately above the present station so the road ran where the railway now is, and vice versa. The two were switched about and the former railway embankment lowered to ease the gradient on the road. That is why the houses between the station and the crossing have their front gates onto the railway instead of onto the road. We do not know when this change took place but it may have been before passenger services began. Information would be welcome.
The town promotes itself as the Networked Village (external site)
During the late 1980s the station building was extensively and sympathetically renovated by teams of volunteers working for the BP&G Dept. under the leadership of Eileen Clayton. It had long been used as a Hostel by FR Society Groups and the renovation improved both the fabric of the building and the facilities available to volunteers.
Unfortunately there is no public parking space on site.
For general details see here
The station is adjacent to the A4085. There is no car parking and access from the road is via a steep and uneven ramp. Trains in either direction use the same platform. Although there is covered seating, there are no other facilities.
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.
- Ffestiniog in Colour 1955-82 (Middleton Press).
- "Hostel Story", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 058, page(s): 022