Portmadoc New (1929)

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Portmadoc New (1929)
0205bWPPortmadocNew.jpg
Welsh Pony with a train at the 1929 New station
Type Station
Status No Longer exists
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Portmadoc New (1929) is a former station on the Welsh Highland Railway.

In order for WHR trains to reach the earlier Portmadoc New (1923) over the Junction Railway, they had to cross the busy GWR track, which carried up to 30 workings a day. The GWR charged the WHR for using the crossing, then known as the Cambrian Crossing, and after much dispute and exorbitant charges this ultimately came to a court decision in 1928 - in favour of the GWR. The subsequent costs incurred resulted in a decision to terminate some trains to the north of the crossing, at the unofficial Halt at Beddgelert Siding.

It was subsequently decided to terminate all WHR trains on the Croesor (north) side in order to avoid these costs. This "station" is generally referred to by enthusiasts and historians by the title of this article, to avoid confusion. However this was not the official name of the station. It was officially considered part of Portmadoc New station. The rather crude nameboard that was eventually erected on the north side read "PORTMADOG" (but see following note re spelling) and beneath, in smaller letters, "W H RLY[1]". The signwriting was clearly not a professional job, and the letter shown here as G has pronounced serifs at the bottom but none at the top and none of the other letters have serifs at all, which makes the final letter look like a G but that may not have been the intention.

This station was little more than a halt, a single building which had been moved from the 1923 site and a bench seat, but there was no proper platform. The stopping place was between the GWR crossing and the Beddgelert Siding exchange yard. There was the loop at Beddgelert Siding, but locomotives had a tendency to derail on it, with the result that coaches were often man-hauled into the loop by use of a rope. From here, through passengers would have to disembark, then, accompanied by an FR Co. Official, cross the GWR on foot before boarding a waiting FR train at Portmadoc New (1923) for transfer to Portmadoc Old (i.e. Harbour Station) and beyond.

In a later, further cost-cutting exercise, whereby cross-town passenger trains were severely curtailed, through passengers had to find their own way all the way to Portmadoc Old, not an easy route through the back streets. This was not a popular move, and did nothing to improve the falling passenger numbers on the WHR, and in 1935 regular crossings of passenger trains were reinstated.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1989). Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire, Vol. 2, The Welsh Highland Railway. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-383-4.  picture 11 after p6 - alternatively iBase 3241