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Aberystwyth Train Station

history aberystwyth train stationThe original Aberystwyth Train Station was build during the 1860′s.

The original station served the passengers of two lines which took people to and from the town.

The station itself was built by the long gone Aberystwyth And Welsh Coast Railway, which was a standard gauge line built in 1862 to connect the towns along the Welsh Coast.




The first line to Machynlleth, which is still in use today, connects the town with the West Midlands, with many people getting connecting trains from Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street to other parts of the UK.


The second line, a 4ft 8.5 inch standard gauge line ran from Aberystwyth to Carmarthern, stopping at the University Town of Lampeter en route. This line was closed to passengers in 1965, and then to freight in 1970 due to the Beeching Axe, along with substantial flooding of the line in several places. From Carmarthern, passengers could join the London to Fishguard line, which brought in many people from the capital. Several parts of the line have now been incorporated into the Ystwyth Trail.


In 1925 the original station at Aberystwyth was extended to include a ‘Grand Terminus’ building, which in turn replaced the original station building, which sat on the side of one of the original platforms. The new Grand Terminus was built by Great Western Railways, and was used to reassure the towns people that this rather faceless railway giant was committed to maintaining the railway connections in West Wales, after they had absorbed the original Cambrian Railway group, which had been involved with the building of the original lines and stations in West Wales, which included Aberystwyth.


Aberystwyth Station In 1920:




In 1925 Aberystwyth station had a grand total of five platforms, which can still be seen today, although only one platform is still in use. The platforms were used as follows:

Platform 1 – Platform 1 was a bay platform at the southern side of the station. The platform was the primary platform for the Aberystwyth to Carmarthern line. However, when the Aberystwyth section of the line was officially closed in 1968, the platforms were handed over to the Vale of Rheidol railway, who still use the platform to this date for their steam train service to Devil’s Bridge. They had previously used the Aberystwyth Smithfields station, which sat where Park Avenue is today.

Platform 2 – Platform 2 was another bay platform, which sits opposite Platform 1. As well as being used by the Carmarthern line, it was also used on occasion by the mainline from Machynlleth. Again, this platform is now used by the Vale of Rheidol railway.

Platform 3 – Platform 3 is the only platform which is still in use today by the mainline railways, and backs on to Platform 2. However, Platform 3 has been renamed as Platform 1, as it is the opnly serviced platform at the station at the present day.

Platform 4 – Like Platform 3, Platform 4 also served the Cambrian mainline which goes through Machynlleth. Even thought a line still exists to this platform it has now been taken over by a Retail unit for CRAFT recycling. However, the running around line which is still in place is occasionally used by locomotive hauled trains which come in to Aberystwyth Station.

Platform 5 – Platform 5 was the Aberystwyth Station’s emergency platform, which was located at the end of Platform 4. The marshalling area has become the Rheidol Retail Park, and the other part of the platform is now an oil storage facility, which sites behind the Retail Units at the end of the retail park.


In the 1980′s, with the rise of the motor car leading to a decline in railway usage in the United Kingdom it was decided that the station was far too large for its purpose. The decision to scale down the station at Aberystwyth was also not helped by the decline in tourism in the UK, which was brought about in part by the wider availablilty of holidays abroad.


Because of this the railway yard at Aberystwyth was lifted. In front of the station a row of shops known as Western Parade was also demolished in the 1990′s in order to make way for the present Aberystwyth Bus Station, along with larger retails units, which can be seen behind the bus station. At this point, Western Parade which had long sat on the maps of Aberystwyth ceased to be. In 1982 the 2nd mainline was stripped out of the approach to the station, along with the original signal box.


The 1925 station building has been used as a local museum, which has been and gone. More recently it was sold off to a national pub chain, who still own the building, and their conversion which was in line with the original architecture has led to them winning a number of awards. You can also find a restaurant and offices on site at present.


At present, the primary access to the station itself is through the original station building from 1864, which still stands on Platform 3. However, access can be gained through the walkway between the restaurant and the pub which occupy the 1925 building.

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