Notes: Woodland Park was located towards the northern end of the 2½-mile long Prestatyn to Dyserth Branch line on the southern edge of Prestatyn. The line had been opened in 1869 by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) to carry lead and haematite from mines in the upper Prestatyn Valley down to the Chester and Holyhead Main line at Prestatyn. Passenger services were introduced onto the line in 1905 between Prestatyn and Dyserth.
The station was originally to be called Meliden Road but a week before opening the name was changed Rhuddlan Road to avoid confusion with Meledin station. The station opened on 28 August 1905. It consisted of a short, low platform situated on the east side of the single-track line. It was reached from Meliden Road, which passed over the line to the north of the station, by a sloping footpath which was also east of the line.
The platform was very basic, constructed of railway sleepers forming the front and sides with a cinder infill behind. When the station opened there were no buildings or signs, with only a lamp standard in the centre of the platform. Within a year signs were provided proudly proclaiming 'Rhuddlan Station'. (although this could be artistic licence) By 1910 the misleading signs had gone and a wooden hut had been provided with a station sign above the door.
Rhuddlan Road was a halt it every sense of the word and is shown as such on the OS map below. However the word 'halt' never appeared on timetables, tickets or on station signs.
From the start passenger train services were operated by a ‘railmotor’ that ran between Prestatyn and Dyserth. Initially there were only two intermediate stops, at Meliden and Rhuddlan Road. When the station opened there were eight services in each direction during the summer months which reduced to five during the winter, and no Sunday service, but by the summer of 1906 this had improved to 14 trains a day in each direction.
The service proved to be very popular with local people; in the summer months tourists used the trains to Dyserth to view the Cwm waterfalls and a ruined castle. By 1911 the service frequency had built up to sixteen trains in each direction Monday - Friday (one down train did not call at intermediate stations) and fifteen on Saturday. Due to an increase in passenger numbers after the Great War, the railmotor was replaced with tank locomotives and coaches that could operate in push-and-pull mode.
to pass through Woodland Park regularly until 7 September 1973.
On 1 January 1923 Rhuddlan Road became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) and on 11 May that year they renamed it Woodland Park.
During the 1920s the effects of competition from motor bus services began to be reflected in reduced traffic on the branch. The ‘General Strike’ of 1926 did not help matters as it encouraged even more passengers to desert the railway. Despite the downturn in passenger numbers the LMS opened two further stopping places on the Dyserth Branch: St Melyd Golf Course in 1923 and Alt-y-Graig in 1929. The passenger service continued to struggle financially, especially in the winter months, and the LMS withdrew the passenger service on 22 September 1930.
The line reverted to being purely a freight route, and stone trains continued
Even after 1973 trains occasionally passed through, but the traffic had ceased by 1980, and the track was lifted in that year. Attempts were made to reopen the line as a preserved railway, and, to this end, the local authority even bought the trackbed. Eventually the plans came to nothing, and the trackbed was developed into a footpath.
The only evidence to show that Woodland Park ever existed is a sloping path that leads down from the Meliden Road bridge.
Further reading: The Prestatyn and Dyserth branch line by Stephen P. Goodall (Oakwood Press 1986) ISBN-13: 978-0853613138.
Other web site:
www.dyserth.com web site for a feature on the Dyserth branch with more photos.
Click here to see a 4 minute film of a DMU railtour to the Dyserth branch in 1968.
Route map drawn by Alan Young, Ticket from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Chris Hind
To see other stations on the Dyserth branch line click on the station name:
Chapel Street,St. Melyd Gold Links, Meliden, Allt-y-Graig & Dyserth