Station Name: DINAS

[Source: Les Fifoot & Paul Wright]


Date opened: 15.8.1877
Location: On the north side of T’yn Llan (Lane)
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway and North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway Joint
Date closed to passengers: 10.9.1951
Date reopened: 12.10.1997
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Company on re-opening: Welsh Highland Railway
County: Caernarvonshire
OS Grid Ref: SH476586
Date of visit: 25.5.2012

Notes: Dinas was situated on the London & North Western Railway’s (LNWR) Menai Bridge – Afon Wen line, which opened in stages between 1852 and 1871. The section of line at this point had originally been opened by the Carnarvonshire Railway (CR), but from the start it was operated by the LNWR, being formally absorbed in March 1869. Between Penygroes and Caernarfon, the CR line used some sections of trackbed of the earlier 3ft 6in gauge Nantlle Railway, which opened in 1828, and was absorbed into the CR in 1865. This was a horse drawn tramway, built to transport slate from Nantlle to the quay at Caernarfon, but from 1856 onwards, it was known to have carried passengers between Penygroes and Caernarfon.

Webb-type rame and was located at the mid-point of the up platform.

The LNWR down platform (Afon Wen direction) was, in effect, an island platform as the NWNGR terminated on its eastern side. Whilst the LNWR side was an actual brick-faced platform the NWNGR line was at ground level, its rails ballasted up to rail level with cinders. Between the LNWR and the NWNGR lines, towards the southern end of the platform, was a single-storey stone station building with a pitched roof of slate. The building was the property of the NWNGR but it provided passenger facilities for both lines.

On the eastern side of the NWNGR line was a goods shed which served the NWNGR. To its south were sidings of both narrow- and standard-gauge lines at which goods were exchanged between the two systems. Located between the LNWR and the NWNGR lines at the north end of the station stood a two-storey stationmaster’s house constructed of brick.
The NWNGR also passed beneath T’yn Llan. On the south side of the lane the NWNGR had an engine shed and facilities for the storage of passenger coaches.

At the time of opening Dinas Junction was served by LNWR trains running between Afon Wen and Bangor and by NWNGR trains running to and from South Snowdon. In 1893 the passing loop on the LNWR line was extended. The Bradshaw timetable for December 1895 showed fourteen Monday to Friday and twenty Saturday departures from Dinas as in the table below.

Up direction (northbound) December 1895

Destination

Down direction (southbound) December 1895

Destination

8.14am

Llandudno

5.50am

Afon Wen

9.20am Saturdays only

Carnarvon

6.00am

Snowdon

12.09pm

Bangor

7.45am Saturdays only

Bryngwyn

2.37pm

Bangor

10.00am

Afon Wen

5.25pm

Bangor

10.05am

Snowdon

7.49pm

Bangor

12.50pm

Afon Wen

   

12.53pm Saturdays only

Bryngwyn

   

3.05pm

Afon Wen

   

3.10pm

Snowdon

   

4.55pm

Afon Wen

   

5.00pm Saturdays only

Snowdon

   

6.55pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

   

7.00pm Saturdays only

Snowdon

   

8.11pm

Afon Wen


In July 1912 Dinas was renamed Dinas Junction. The NWNGR was not a financial success, especially after an abortive attempt had been made to extend the line to Porthmadog by creating a new section of railway and using an existing line (the Creosor Tramway). Passenger services were suspended at the end of 1913, and on 1 November 1916 the line closed.

On 31 July 1922 the NWNGR became part of the Welsh Highland Railway (WHR) which also took over the Croesor tramway and built a line from it to Rhyd Ddu via Beddgelert. The line to Porthmadog via Beddgelert opened for traffic on 1 June 1923. From that time passengers could travel between Dinas Junction and Porthmadog. Some through services did operate, but a change of train was usually required at Beddgelert.

By July 1922 Dinas Junction had fourteen Monday to Saturday departures on the LNWR line as shown in the table below. The WHR service was not included in Bradshaw, but a service had commenced on 31 July 1922 of two trains in each direction.

Up direction (northbound) July 1922

Destination

Down direction (southbound) July 1922

Destination

7.48am

Bangor

9.22am

Afon Wen

8.31am

Carnarvon

11.59am

Afon Wen

10.21am

Bangor

12.52pm

Afon Wen

11.55am

Bangor

4.13pm

Afon Wen

2.41pm

London Euston

5.31pm

Afon Wen

4.57pm

Bangor

7.40pm

Afon Wen

6.29pm

Bangor

   

7.55pm

Bangor

   

On 1 January 1923 the LNWR was absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). Very quickly the WHR found itself in financial difficulty. It had been lightly laid using redundant NWNGR equipment, and the anticipated mineral traffic did not materialise. Passenger numbers were significant only during June, July and August. The WHR went into receivership on 1927. Passenger services were reduced and became summer-only, but the LMS did advertise the WHR as a day out opportunity with through tickets being available. The LMS line remained busy: the summer timetable for 1932 showed nine Monday to Saturday northbound departures and eight Monday to Friday southbound, with an additional southbound departure on Saturdays from Dinas Junction as shown in the table below.

Up direction (northbound) Summer 1932

Destination

Down direction (southbound) Summer 1932

Destination

7.46am

Bangor

7.19am

Afon Wen

8.33am

Bangor

9.35am

Afon Wen

10.05am

Bangor

11.10am Saturdays only

Afon Wen

11.55am Saturdays excepted

Bangor

12.25pm Saturdays excepted

Afon Wen

12.06pm Saturdays only

Bangor

12.44pm

Afon wen

2.00pm Saturdays only

Bangor

2.41pm

Afon Wen

2.40pm Saturdays excepted

Bangor

3.22pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

4.55pm Saturdays excepted

Bangor

4.41pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

4.59pm Saturdays only

Bangor

5.23pm Saturdays excepted

Afon Wen

6.33pm

Bangor

5.32pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

7.53pm

Bangor

7.25pm

Afon Wen

9.43pm

Caernarvon

10.06pm Saturdays only

Nanttle

By 1936 there was only a handful of WHR services running during the summer months. The passenger service was withdrawn completely on 28 September 1936, and a year later goods services also ceased. The WHR station building was then leased by the LMS.

With the end of WHR services passenger numbers at Dinas Junction declined. Without the WHR it no longer justified the suffix ‘junction’ which was removed from 26 September 1938.

With the start of the Second World War on 3 September 1939 services were initially reduced but

they recovered slightly within a few months. In 1940 the WHR was lifted, the materials being recovered to help with the war effort.

In 1947 the passing loop was extended once again so that longer trains could pass at Dinas. One of the drivers for this was the creation of a Butlins camp at Penychain (near Pwllheli) which had been under construction in 1938 and which was commandeered by the admiralty as a naval training base in 1939. After the Second World War the Butlins camp was handed back to its owners, and it opened to paying customers for the summer season of 1947. From the outset special trains were operated.

On 1 January 1948 the Menai Bridge – Afon Wen line became part of British Railways (London Midland Region). Afon Wen station and the Pwllheli – Barmouth line were allocated to the Western Region. The summer 1948 timetable showed Dinas as having only eight northbound and six southbound trains on Monday to Friday, as shown in the table below.

Up direction (northbound) Summer 1948

Destination

Down direction (southbound) Summer 1948

Destination

7.20am

Bangor

6.23am

Afon Wen

8.51am Saturdays excepted

Bangor

9.34am

Afon Wen

8.59am Saturdays only

Llandudno Junction

12.51pm

Afon Wen

11.26am Saturdays only

Liverpool Lime Street

3.24pm Saturdays excepted

Afon Wen

11.36am Saturdays excepted

Bangor

3.44pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

12.00pm Saturdays only

Manchester Exchange

4.40pm Saturdays excepted

Afon Wen

4.38pm Saturdays excepted

Bangor

5.15pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

4.48pm Saturdays only

Bangor

6.03pm Saturdays excepted

Afon Wen

6.04pm Saturdays excepted

Bangor

6.12pm Saturdays only

Afon Wen

6.11pm Saturdays only

Bangor

8.36pm

Afon Wen

7.54pm

Bangor

   

9.33pm

Bangor

   

10.37pm

Bangor

   

On 10 September 1951 British Railways closed Dinas station to all traffic.

On 9 August 1963 H M The Queen boarded a train at Dinas which took her to Criccieth. The station was tidied up with vegetation being cut back and a 6ft strip of tarmac being laid. There was no ceremony at the station as the Queen was on a private visit to her brother-in-law, Anthony Armstrong Jones, Earl of Snowdon.

Passenger and goods services continued to pass through Dinas until 7 December 1964 when the line closed completely, a victim of the Reshaping of British Railways report of 1963 (‘Beeching Report’). The track remained in situ at Dinas until July 1969 after which it was lifted.

The Dinas station site became a depot for the Gwynedd County Council. The station building and goods shed survived as part of the depot, but the space between the platforms on the former LNWR line was filled in and levelled.

In the 1960s an attempt was made to resurrect the WHR but it came to nothing. The idea did not go away, however, and in 1989 real progress was made when the Ffestiniog Railway made a bid for the WHR trackbed. In 1995 the WHR (Transfer) Light Railway Order gave the FR authority to acquire WHR assets, and the Millennium Commission awarded a grant of
£4.3 million to construct a line from Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu. Work began on the construction of a ‘new’ WHR between Caernarfon and Dinas in 1997 using the trackbed of the former LNWR line, with a view to extending along the original WHR to Porthmadoc.

The section of line between Caernarfon and Dinas opened to passenger services on 11 October 1997. Laid as a single line the ‘new’ WHR was provided with a run-round loop at Dinas on the site of the former LNWR line, and two platforms were constructed. The original NWNGR station was brought back into use, and the goods shed was developed as a museum. Carriage sheds were built on the site of the former sidings area, east of the line and south of the goods shed. The site of the engine shed on the south side of T’yn Llan was also brought back into use.

On 7 August 2000 the line was extended to Waunfawr, and Dinas became a through station. Further extensions of the line followed in stages with the final section into Porthmadog opening to regular passenger services in 2011.

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, Llanwnda, Groeslon, Penygroes, Pant Glass, Brynkir, Ynys, Llangybi, Chwilog & Afon Wen

See also: Nantlle


Dinas station looking north in 1910. Two LNWR services can be seen standing at the through platforms. To the right can be seen the lines of the NWNGR and one of their coaches stands outside the shed. NWNGR passenger services departed from a point just to the right of the wooden hut.
Copyright p
hoto from the John Alsop collection



Dinas station as it was in 1900. Running from north to south can be seen the LNWR Menai Bridge - Afon Wen line. Curving away from the station towards the east is the NWNGR (later to become the WHR).

Looking north as a WHR train prepares to depart from Dinas in the 1920s. At that time the station was known as Dinas Junction. The train was probably on a Beddgelert service.
P
hoto from the John Mann Collection


Looking south towards Afon Wen at Dinas Junction in the 1930s. A family group waits for a southbound train. Behind them can be seen coaches of a WHR train. The sign reminded passengers that they could change at Dinas for trains to Snowdon, Beddgelert and Porthmadog.


The Caernarfon direction platform at Dinas seen looking south after closure to passenger services. The LNWR signalbox had survived as it controlled the passing loop.
Copyright photo from the John Mann collection


Looking north from the southern end of the up platform at Dinas in 1954 as a class B stopping passenger train heads south. Hauling the train was locomotive number 42156, a Fairburn designed 2-6-4t built for the LMS but which only entered service in 1948 for the fledgling British Railways. The locomotive was withdrawn on 5 February 1966 from 6H, Birkenhead Mollington Road shed and scrapped by Cashmores of Great Bridge in May of the same year. Note the SC under the 6H shedplate, denoting the loco has a self cleaning smokebox
Photo by H C Casserley


On 22 May 1962 a down class K Pick-up goods service is seen passing through Dinas. At the head of the train was 42681 looks to be almost ex-works condition. Built to a Fairburn design in 1945 by the LMS at Derby works, it entered service in June and after spells at St Albans, Plaistow and Shoeburyness sheds, it was withdrawn from 6A, Chester (Midland) shed on 29 June 1963 and cut up at Crewe works in September of that year.
Photo by J Spencer Gilks



Looking north at Dinas station former LNWR platforms in the early 1970s.
Copyright p
hoto from the John Mann collection


Looking north at the former WHR side of Dinas station in 1981. Despite being closed for 30 years the station building and shed still survived.
Photo by Alan Young


On 14 September 2007 a WHR train waits to depart from Dinas for Caernarvon. The platform at which it was standing had been the Afon Wen direction platform of the LNWR. The 'new' WHR uses the trackbed of the former standard gauge line between Dinas and Caernarvon. Originally the WHR line (originally the NWNGR) had terminated at Dinas to the left of the station building that can be seen in the distance.
Photo by Paul Wright


Looking north at Dinas station on 25 May 2012. When the station re-opened on 12 October 1997 as part of the 'new' WHR it was the site of the former standard gauge line platforms that was used for the narrow gauge line. At first Dinas was a terminus with trains running to Caernarvon. From 7 August 2000 Dinas became a through station once again when services were extended to Waunfawr on the original WHR line. When this picture was taken the WHR linked Caernarfon with Porthmadog making it the longest heritage line in Great Britain.
Photo by Paul Wright

The station building at Dinas seen looking south on 25 May 2012. The original WHR (previously the NWNGR) was to the left of the building. The bridge under which it passed can be seen in the distance. When the 'new' WHR opened to Dinas in October 1997 the line used the trackbed of the former LNWR Menai Bridge - Afon Wen line.
P
hoto by Les Fifoot

2012

2012

2012

2012

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[Source: Les Fifoot & Paul Wright]



Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 09:01:01 BST
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