Notes: Britannia Bridge station was located at the south end of the Britannia Bridge that spanned the Menai Straits linking Wales with Anglesey. The station was opened as was part of the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company’s line which was engineered by Robert Stephenson. The line opened to Banger in North Wales on the 1st May 1848 and between Holyhead and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf, both on the island of Anglesey on the 1st August 1848. The reason for the gap in the route was because the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straights was still under construction. Passengers travelled from Bangor to Llanfair PG by horse drawn coach using Thomas Telford’s Menai road bridge.
Finally, the Britannia Bridge opened to public services on the18th March 1850 and from that date through trains could run between Chester and Holyhead. Britannia Bridge station opened at this time presumably to allow the local population to gain access to the Anglesey, via the bridge, by train.
The line was a double track so the station was provided with two platforms which were on a sharp curve and both of which were low and quite short. The Holyhead platform was constructed using a timber edge which was backfilled with earth and topped with cinders or gravel. The Chester platform was made up from timber boards. Lamps were provided on both platforms. The southern end of the Britannia Bridge was at the north end of the platforms. The bridge consisted of iron tubes that were carried on stone pillars. The railway lines ran in their own tubes. Adjacent to each platform two large pillars supported lion statues.
It is likely that the Britannia Bridge station was only served by local train services but it is not known for sure which services called there.
The area at the southern end of the bridge was sparsely populated and it is likely that the station was not well used. It closed in 1858 when a new station opened further to the east. The new station was called Menai Bridge and was located at the point where the Caernarfon Railway joined the Chester Holyhead line.
For a full history of the Chester - Holyhead line see the North Wales Coast Railway web site
Further reading: The Chester & Holyhead Railway by Peter E. Baughan (1972) - Volume 1 & 2, Published by David & Charles ISBN 10-0715356178 and Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain Vol. 11, North & Mid Wales by P.E. Baughan, published by David & Charles (1991) ISBN-10: 0946537593. Tickets from Michael Stewart
To see other stations on the Chester - Holyhead line click on the station name: Sandycroft, Queensferry, Connahs Quay, Bagillt, Holywell Junction, Mostyn, Talacre, Prestatyn (1st site), Prestatyn (2nd site and Dystrth branch platform), Foryd, Llandulas, Llysfaen, Old Colwyn, Mochdre & Pabo, Llandudno Junction (1st site), Conway, Conway Marsh, Llanfairfechan, Aber, Menai Bridge, Gaerwen & Valley