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Waunfawr is a station on the Welsh Highland Railway. It lies at a height of 125.38m (411.24 ft), and a route distance of approx 29.29km (18.2 miles) from Porthmadog.[route 1][wikipedia 1] In NWNGR days the station name was spelt Waenfawr, but since the reopening the correct Welsh spelling has been used. In translation it is Big Moor.
The station was built by the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways and opened in 1877. Originally there was a short passing loop where the island platform now stands; it was the principal passing point on the NWNGR. The train working in those days was not of a standard to meet with the approval of the Railway Inspectors - trains would be despatched to Snowdon (now Rhyd Ddu) in succession without waiting for 'train out of section' from the far end. In July 1906, a wagon broke loose from the first train and ran back down the line, hitting the second near Nant Mill. The locomotive buffer and coupling were broken, the cylinder covers and steam chest covers were cracked and the rear engine bogie left the rails.
The Modern Station[edit source]
The station reopened in 2000. The present loop is 200 metres long and thus extends beyond the southern (Up) end of the island platform. There is a water tank for Up trains, a rather elegant footbridge, flower beds maintained by the local Antur Waunfawr and until 2018 the concrete foundation for the intended station building. For consistency with FR operational practice, the trains keep to the right on double tracks, though in NWNGR and old WHR days trains passed on the left.
When it came to rebuilding the line, the original building was taken apart stone by stone, and a large platform was constructed in its place. The station stone was set aside for a reconstruction but unhappily, the contractors' workmen, not realising this, took the stone and built it into the substantial wall by the pub playground, just south of the road bridge. It was intended to rebuild at some future date.
In 2010, to provide some customer protection from inclement weather, two wooden huts were erected. These huts also contain a toilet and a room to contain the train staffs.
A new station building, in the traditional style of the NWNGR, was erected over the winter of 2018/19. This new station was designed by the same architect as the new, modern style, building at Caernarfon. The building was officially opened by The Right Honourable Lord Dafydd Wigley on 14th June 2019. The sponsor Mike Schumann was also in attendance.
Merddin Emrys and Taliesin on the Halloween train, at Waunfawr
Car Park[edit source]
There is no station car park. The adjacent public house allows use by intending passengers. It has a deep gravel surface, making it slightly difficult for people with restricted mobility or to manoeuvre a wheelchair over, though a signposted level route is provided to the level crossing at the south end of the station, through the caravan site.
For general details see here
The station is at the south end of the village on the A4085 adjacent to the Snowdonia Parc Brewpub. Access to the platform is normally by a footbridge but there is a rough, gently sloping path through the pub’s campsite. There are no facilities on the platform.
The pub itself is wheelchair friendly and when open, has accessible toilets.
See also[edit source]
The Official WHR construction site has 2 route pages covering the sections either side of the sation:
and two covering the rebuilding either side of this station: