Mid Wales Steam Railways Tour Journey Notes 6 - Barmouth to Tywyn.
When the line to Ruabon was still open, apart for some peak holiday through trains, most services on that line originated or terminated at Barmouth. Some trains from Pwllheli/Porthmadog and from Machynlleth also started or finished their journeys here. Looking north, the former goods yard was on the right and is now occupied by a Co-operative supermarket; there was a siding that served the gas works. On the left were more sidings, a turntable and Barmouth North signal box.
At the end of the 50s, there were four each way weekdays (plus some trains from/to Barmouth) together with four trains each way on the Ruabon line (and some local services to Dolgellau). One of the four Machynlleth to Pwllheli trains was the Cambrian Coast Express; Mondays to Fridays it left Barmouth at 11.20 and arrived at Paddington at 18.00. The down train departed Paddington at 10.10 to reach Barmouth at 16.50 - although billed as an ‘Express’, it stopped at all stations between Machynlleth and Barmouth plus Penhelig Halt, two other halts on request and formed the school train out of Tywyn, with a timetabled stop at Llangelynin Halt during term time!
Freight on the Cambrian Coast Line in that era included two daily goods trains from Machynlleth to Tywyn and Barmouth, three on the Ruabon line to Barmouth (one from Chester and two from Wrexham), one Barmouth to Pwllheli and one Porthmadog to Pwllheli.
The Cambrian Lines were very important for the development of tourism in the area and into the early 60s summer Saturdays still saw a number of additional trains. Barmouth had trains with through coaches from/to places such as Birmingham, Manchester, Birkenhead, Swansea/Carmarthen and Paddington - either via Machynlleth or Ruabon.
Today there are eight weekday trains each way on the Machynlleth to Pwllheli line with an additional early morning train from Barmouth to Machynlleth. On Sundays there is normally just the one train on the line but with two additional ones in the summer until early September. The number of passengers boarding or alighting here is about 170,000 a year.
08.52 Leave Barmouth station. Just after the level crossing over the road to the beach was a bay platform that was used by trains to Dolgellau and Ruabon. The signal box (Barmouth South) that once stood by the level crossing is now at Glyndyfrdwy on the Llangollen Railway - although non-operational.
We call at Morfa Mawddach 08.56 (on request), Fairbourne 09.00, Llwyngwril 09.06 (on request) and Tonfanau 09.13 (on request).
At the end of the 50s, the Talyllyn Railway was open up to Abergynolwyn and was running three daily trains Monday to Friday in the peak summer season with two on Saturdays and one on Sunday.
09.20 Arrive at Tywyn station and leave the train; it is scheduled to cross here with the 08.52 from Machynlleth.