Stations in Blaenau

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

This expansion page was raised from an initial comment on the FR discussion group.

How many stations have there been in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area since railways arrived there?

Festiniog Railway Company (FR) stations :

  • Dinas - on the original main line. The site was demolished and the line lifted before the slate tips were expanded. Now no obvious trace remains.
  • Duffws - on the original branch line (to avoid confusion this is referred to as the 'FR Duffws' station). The line has been lifted and the site is now the town car park. The only remnant is the toilet block which was the station building.
  • Stesion Fein The original station for the LNWR connection, and called officially Blaenau Festiniog Junction (keeping the old spelling). Now demolished with the place marked by a flower bed made from old sleepers.
  • GWR Exchange around the site of the current Network Rail station.
  • Blaenau Ffestiniog - The FR Co. / Network Rail station as it is today.

Festiniog and Blaenau Railway station (to avoid confusion referred to as 'F&BR Diphwys - that is how it was spelled) and GWR station

The narrow gauge Festiniog and Blaenau Railway opened on the 30 May 1868, and until 31st August 1868, it was operated by FR staff, locomotives and rolling stock under contract.
The F&B joined the FR Co. line around the middle of Network Rail loop line opposite the bottom of Leeds Street, this point being known as Dolgarregddu Junction. This enabled the F&B to have a platform approximately in the space east towards where the FR Co. foot crossing is now. With the FR Co. passenger station on the other side of Church Street, passengers had to walk to the FR Co. Duffws station.
A temporary terminus was made for the F&B while the standard gauge GWR station was being built. This was between Glynllifon Street and Cwmbowydd Road; a postcard exists showing a train at this site.
On takeover and re-gauging by the GWR, a wide cross platform station was created. The FR retained a junction just above Dorvil Road Bridge for access to the GWR exchange sidings and the Newborough Mills tramway (part of which area is now occupied by a local school). The cross platform access remained in use until the FR Co. abandoned passenger services in 1939. The GWR station became Blaenau Ffestiniog Central under BR and was closed to passengers in 1961. To maintain a rail link to supply fuel to Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station, a connection was made between the ex-LNWR station and the ex-GWR station in 1964, using the FR Co. alignment.

London and North Western Railway (LNWR) stations

A temporary station was erected at the mouth of the Victoria tunnel when it opened in 1879. Exchange sidings existed to both the east and west sides of the line at the tunnel mouth. The line was extended into the town in 1881. The original station building was across the road from the FR Co. Stesion Fein. Extensive exchange sidings were built to the north of the station and formed the LNWR yard. The LNWR had an Act for this yard, entituled [sic] the Duffws Extension Railway. The area has been cleared since narrow gauge traffic stopped in 1962; it has been sold. The 1881 station building was replaced in 1956-9 and the replacement remained until 2012, albeit not in public use. Under BR the former LNWR station, latterly the LMSR station, became Blaenau Ffestiniog North.

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