Station Name: BLAENAU DINAS

 

[Source: Tim Watson]


Date opened: 6.1.1865
Location: At the south end of the Ffestiniog Tunnel (Conwy Valley Line)
Company on opening: Ffestiniog Railway
Date closed to passengers: August 1870
Date closed completely: August 1870
Company on closing: Ffestiniog Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Merionethshire
OS Grid Ref: SH697469
Date of visit: August 2004

Notes: The Ffestiniog Railway, opened in 1836, was built to carry slate from the mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog, where it was transferred to ships for export.

When built, the line's original terminus at Blaenau Ffestiniog was not in the centre of the town, as it is today, but about half a mile to the north, alongside the LNWR line at the south end of the Ffestiniog tunnel, the longest railway tunnel in Wales. The location was chosen due to the proximity of two large slate mines - Oakely and Llechwedd, and also to provide an interchange with the LNWR, which also had a small station, little more than a halt of which nothing remains, immediately outside the southern portal of the tunnel.

The Ffestiniog Railway station, located to the west of the LNWR line, consisted of a single platform, and several sidings for slate wagons. The station was also provided with a turntable when steam locomotives were introduced to the line in 1863. There was a fairly extensive network of 2' gauge track in the vicinity, connecting various parts of Oakely and Llechwedd mines with the Ffestiniog railway.

Before to the official opening in 1865 passengers were able to use the station, travelling for free and at their own risk.

To the east, between the LNWR line and the road, there were exchange sidings which allowed slate from Llechwedd mine to be transferred to the LNWR. A weighbridge was provided here to record the amount of slate leaving the mine. This survives today, complete with a slate wagon parked on the weighbridge. Also surviving is a small hand worked crane, used for transferring slate from the narrow gauge wagons into standard gauge wagons, and there is a small quantity of narrow gauge track in situ. No standard gauge track remains, but a point lever was left on the site when the track was lifted.

Nothing remains of the Ffestiniog Railway terminus except for the track bed and a bridge which carried the line over one of the tramways of Oakely Mine.

 

Overall view of the Ffestiniog Railway station site. The line ran towards Porthmadog over the bridge at the bottom right of the picture. The stream that this bridge crosses is in fact the trackbed of one of the main tramways out of Oakely mine. This tramway entered the mine through the portal just visible to the left of the picture. The southern portal of Ffestiniog Tunnel is at the top of the picture, with the LNWR line (now the Conwy Valley Line) leaving it.
P
hoto by Tim Watson


This 1921 Ordnance Survey map shows the site of the station only. No map is available showing the station.

Looking towards the southern portal of Ffestiniog Tunnel from the site of the exchange sidings. The bridge on the right used to carry standard gauge trains into the exchange siding, whilst the bridge on the left carries the Conwy Valley Line to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The bridges are crossing the trackbed of one of the main tramways out of Llechwedd mine.
P
hoto by Tim Watson

General view of the area, showing both the Ffestiniog Railway station site and the exchange sidings the other side of the Conwy Valley Line, which runs from left to right across the picture. The building at the extreme left of the picture is a small hydroelectric power station that used to supply power to Llechwedd mine. The small building just visible to the right is the weighbridge hut, in front of which sits a slate wagon on the weighbridge. The small dark upright object barely visible to the right is a small crane used to handle slates. The sloping feature on the hillside behind is the remains of the original road access to Llechwedd mine.
P
hoto by Tim Watson


 

 

 

[Source: Tim Watson]


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