Station Name: CHWILOG

[Source: Les Fifoot & Paul Wright]


Date opened: 2.9.1867
Location: Towards the east end the village of Chwilog, stretching north from a mini roundabout, which serves as the village bus station, on the B4354.
Company on opening: Carnarvonshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.12.1964
Date closed completely: 7.12.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Remains of a wall at the south end of the platform, and the edge of the platform can be seen. Most of the area at the north end of the station and goods sidings has been grassed over and incorporates a children’s playground. Bridge 45 is also evident in the undergrowth beyond the north of the station. The yard area opposite the southern part of the platform has been developed as housing, and a mini roundabout has been constructed adjacent to where the level crossing was situated, to serve as a bus station.
County: Gwynedd
OS Grid Ref: SH433384
Date of visit: 25.5.2012

Notes: Chwilog was situated on the Menai Bridge – Afon Wen line which opened in stages between 1852 and 1871. On 29 July 1862 the Carnarvonshire Railway (CR) was authorised to build a line between Caernarfon and Afon Wen and by October 1866 it was mostly complete and was inspected, but its opening was not approved until 2 September 1867 by which time all work was finished.

the station. This had two sidings and a head shunt, a goods shed, small platform, and a coal wharf.
Due to the lack of passing facilities, the only rare occasion when trains were allowed to pass was by setting back a freight train into the yard, and surrender of the single-line token. However this was not permitted for passenger trains. The signals were interlocked with the level crossing gates at the south end of the station, which were hand-operated. Signals were controlled from a six-lever ground frame close to the crossing, which also held the locking keys for the crossing gates and siding points.

South of the level crossing was a further siding where cattle were loaded; cattle pens, feeding facilities, a cattle run, and weighing facility were provided in this area.

At first passenger services ran between Carnarfon Pant and Afon Wen with some trains continuing beyond Afon Wen onto the Cambrian Railway was not opened throughout until 10 October 1867. There were five up and five down trains Monday-to-Saturday and one in each direction on Sundays. From January 1871, with the completion of the Carnarvon Town line, trains were
able to run between Bangor and Afon Wen. From 4 July 1870 the CR had become part of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR).

By December 1895 Chwilog had five up and five down trains on weekdays with an extra train in each direction on Mondays. There was also one train in each direction on Sundays. By July 1922 there were eleven up and nine down trains Monday-to-Saturday as seen in the table below. There were no Sunday trains.

Up Trains (Menai Bridge direction) July 1922 Destination Down Trains (Afon Wen direction) July 1922 Destination
7.04am Bangor 6.04am Afon Wen
9.39am Bangor 10.07am Afon Wen
10.45am London Euston 12.45pm Afon Wen
11.04am Bangor 1.36pm Afon Wen
12.32pm Manchester Exchange 3.09pm (Saturdays Only) Afon Wen (with through coaches to Portmadoc & Pwllheli)
1.59pm Bangor (With through coaches to London Euston) 3.19pm (Saturdays Excepted ) Afon Wen (with through coaches to Portmadoc & Pwllheli)
2.19pm Liverpool Lime Street 3.49pm Afon Wen (with through coaches to Portmadoc & Pwllheli)
4.09pm Bangor 5.17pm Afon Wen (with through coaches to Portmadoc & Pwllheli)
5.39pm Bangor 6.15pm Afon Wen (with through coach to Pwllheli)
7.04pm Bangor 8.26pm Afon Wen
9.05pm Carnarvon    

On 1 January 1923 Chwilog became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By 1928 they were running thirteen up and nine down trains. The service was nine up and eight down in the summer of 1932.

With the outbreak of the Second World War an emergency timetable was introduced from 11 September 1939, and Chwilog had only three trains in each direction on Monday-to-Saturday. The service was improved from 1 January 1940 when six trains ran in each direction on Monday-to-Saturday. From September 1943 a Monday-to-Saturday milk train
operated from Chwilog to Broad Green for the Hanson’s Liverpool dairy. The train was designated a parcels service and ran under class C lamps allowing it to make fast progress with its perishable cargo. The train left Chwilog in the evening worked by a Bangor locomotive crew. The crew had to lodge overnight at Edge Hill. Empty milk vans were worked back to Bangor attached to a passenger train. From Bangor a fresh crew worked them to Afon Wen. After a reversal at Afon Wen the train worked to Chwilog and set back into the sidings.

On 1 January 1948 Chwilog became part of the British Railways London Midland Region. The summer 1948 timetable showed eight up and eight down trains Monday-to-Friday as seen in the table below. There was nine up working on Saturdays.

Up Trains (Menai Bridge direction) Summer 1948 Destination Down Trains (Afon Wen direction) Summer 1948 Destination
6.45am Bangor 6.06am Afon Wen
8.13am (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor 7.12am Afon Wen
8.15am (Saturdays Only ) Llandudno Junction 10.13am Afon Wen
10.50am (Saturdays Only ) Liverpool Lime Street 1.35pm Afon Wen
11.00am (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor 4.09pm (Saturdays Excepted) Afon Wen
11.20am (Saturdays Only ) Manchester Exchange 4.35pm (Saturdays Only ) Afon Wen
3.55pm (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor 5.27pm (Saturdays Excepted) Afon Wen
4.03pm (Saturdays Only ) Bangor 6.00pm (Saturdays Only ) Afon Wen
5.15pm Bangor 6.48pm (Saturdays Excepted) Afon Wen
7.10pm Bangor 6.55pm (Saturdays Only ) Afon Wen
8.43pm Bangor 9.19pm Afon Wen
9.50pm Bangor    

In 1939 Billy Butlin built a holiday camp at Penychain on the former Cambrian line to the west of Afon Wen. Due to the war it did not open for holidaymakers until the summer season of 1947 although it was used during the war by the Royal Navy. The opening of the holiday camp brought a lot of extra traffic in the form of holiday specials to the Menai Bridge – Afon Wen line during the summer months and the specials were much longer than routine service trains. At many of the stations, including Chwilog, platforms were lengthened.

By May 1949 the milk traffic had been lost to road transport. Scheduled passenger services had improved by the mid 1950s. The summer timetable for 1955 showed ten up and eight down trains Monday-to-Friday as seen in the table below. On Saturdays there were eleven up and eight down trains that called at Chwilog, and other workings to and from Penychain
that did not stop.

Up Trains (Menai Bridge direction) Summer 1955 Destination Down Trains (Afon Wen direction) Summer 1955 Destination
6.42am Bangor (Manchester Exchange on Saturdays) 5.36am Afon Wen
8.09am (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor 6.52am Pwllheli
8.16am (Saturdays Only ) Llandudno Junction 10.17am Afon Wen
10.30am (Saturdays Only ) London Euston 12.42pm (Saturdays Excepted) Pwllheli
10.51am (Saturdays Only ) Liverpool Lime Street 12.49pm (Saturdays Only ) Pwllheli
10.56am (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor 1.32pm (Saturdays Excepted) Afon Wen
11.18am (Saturdays Only ) Manchester Exchange 1.57pm (Saturdays Only ) Pwllheli
11.30am (Saturdays Excepted) London Euston 4.06pm (Saturdays Excepted) Pwllheli
2.12pm Bangor 4.31pm (Saturdays Only ) Afon Wen
3.54pm (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor 6.49pm Pwllheli
3.56pm (Saturdays Only ) Bangor 8.20pm (Saturdays Excepted) Afon Wen
5.19pm Bangor 8.30pm (Saturdays Only ) Afon Wen
7.10pm Bangor    
8.10pm (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor    
8.18pm (Saturdays Only ) Bangor    
8.40pm (Saturdays Excepted) Bangor    
8.50pm (Saturdays Only ) Bangor    

DMUs were introduced onto many services from 1958. The line remained busy in the summer months into the 1960s but during the winter period it was very quiet. The Reshaping of British Railways report of 1963 (The ‘Beeching’ Report) recommended that the line between Caernarfon and Afon Wen be closed completely. This was despite the still very heavy holiday traffic in the summer. Interestingly in 1964 steam-hauled trains were used on most services with DMUs being sent elsewhere. Despite the fact that yard had been busy for many years handling goods for the local Farmers’ association, which actually owned the goods shed, it closed on 4 May 1964. Passenger services continued for another seven months until the line closed completely on 7 December 1964.

The line through Chwilog was not lifted immediately and track was still in situ in 1968. The station buildings survived in a derelict condition until the early 1980s. In May 2012 the platforms could still be seen within a play area.


Timetable from Chris Totty, tickets from Michael Stewart route map drawn by Alan Young

Sources:

To see the other stations on the Menai Bridge - Afonwen line click on the station name: Menai Bridge, Treborth, Port Dinorwic (1st), Port Dinorwic (2nd), Griffiths Crossing, Caernarvon, Carnarvon Pant, Dinas, Llanwnda, Groeslon, Penygroes, Pant Glas, Brynkir, Ynys, Llangybi & Afon Wen


Chwilog station looking south along the platform during a quiet period in 1950.


Chwilog shown on a 1900 map.

A view of Chwilog in June 1956 looking north from a southbound train that had just departed from the station. The picture shows the level crossing and the station beyond it. In the foreground can be seen points that led to a cattle dock siding.
P
hoto by H C Casserley


Looking north at Chwilog station in the summer of 1958.
Copyright p
hoto by from the Tony Harden collection


Chwilog station on a summer day in 1958. The station looks every inch the typical rural railway facility of its time. On the platform a lone passenger waits and merchandise can be seen on a trolley. Gardens have been created necxt to line complete with Chwilog name. To the left can be seen the station goods yard. From September 1943 until May 1949 milk trains ran every evening Monday-to-Saturday from these sidings to Broad Green on the outskirts of Liverpool.
Copyright photo by from the Tony Harden collection


An engine and brake van collect the single line token from Chwilog for a journey back to Bangor in the early 1960s. In the foreground is the level crossing gate.
Copyright photo from the Dave Southern collection


Chwilog station seen from a passing train in 1964.
P
hoto by Dave Nicholas


A view looking south along the Chwilog station platform in the summer of 1968. Nearly four years after closure the track of the main line was still in situ although the goods yard had been lifted.
Photo by Ken Robinson



Looking south at Chwilog station in the early 1970s.
Copyright p
hoto by from the Tony Harden collection


Chwilog station in a derelict condition in May 1979.
Photo by Nick Catford



Looking south from the north end of Chwilog station on 25 May 2012. Houses occupy part of the trackbed and the goods yard in the distance. A play area had been created towards the northern end of the station and the platform made into a feature of it.
Photo by Paul Wright

Chwilog station site looking north from the location of the location of the level crossing on 25 May 2012. A section of the station wall can be seen beyond the path to the left.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

Click on thumbnail to enlarge

Click here for more pictures of Chwilog station


 

 

 

[Source: Les Fifoot & Paul Wright]




Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 08:12:44 BST
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