Mid Wales Steam Railways Tour Journey Notes 3 - Machynlleth to Aberystwyth.
Times in brackets are approximate passing times - assuming departure from Machynlleth on schedule at 10.51 based on timetables to 20 May 2017. Left or Right refers to when facing direction of travel.
10.57 Dovey Junction station (Cyff Dyfi). R - The Cambrian Coast Line to Pwllheli curves away to cross over the Dyfi River. This was once a busy interchange with a waiting room and refreshments on the platform; the two portions of the Up Cambrian Express were joined here. Signal box and extensive signalling (including a four-arm gantry) until 1988. The junction was prone to flooding at high tide and in 2008 the station and track in the area were raised by 2 feet. There is no road to the station - a 0.6 mile footpath runs from Glandyfi.
(10.58) L - Glandyfi. In between the river and the A487, the former Station Master’s house is now a private residence. Glandyfi (together with Ynyslas, Llandre and Bow Street stations) closed to passengers in 1965.There is a large National Rail sign by the road but this refers to the footpath that leads to Dovey Junction station. A signal box used to be next to the station buildings; it closed when the passing loop was removed.
(11.05) L - Ynyslas. Site of former station at the B4353 level crossing which had a passing loop, signal box and small goods yard.
11.07 Borth station. R - Apart from a small waiting room, the station buildings are now in commercial/private use; Borth Station Museum is located here in the old ticket office, station manager’s office and waiting room. A passing loop and signal box survived until the 70s.
(11.10) Llandre. R - Located south-west of the village by a level crossing over a minor road next to the B4353, the station building is now a private house; former passing loop and signal box plus, on left, a small goods yard. The village was called Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn; the station was just called Llanfihangel but in 1916 both the name of the village and the station were changed to Llandre by local request to avoid confusion with other places in Wales called Llanfihangel. The short lived (1897 - 1899) Plynlimon and Hafan Tramway ran from here for 7 miles to Talybont and the lead mines in the hills.
(11.13) Bow Street. L - This former station was at the southern end of the village next to the A487. The goods yard is now used by a Builders Merchants; Bow Street had a passing loop and signal box. There has been a long running campaign to reopen Bow Street station and the Welsh Government has applied for part funding from Westminster for a new station and interchange plus car parking and bus stops. It would be built just to the south of the old site and it could be open by 2019.
(11.18) L - As we run into Aberystwyth, the Vale of Rheidol’s track can be seen and we pass Llanbadarn crossing on the A4120 with the base for the former signal box - the final mile of the line was once double track. The Vale of Rheidol line also crosses the road and its Llanbadarn station is just west of the crossing.
11.20 L - Arrive at Aberystwyth station. The main station buildings are now a pub and an Indian restaurant; the buildings that are still used by the railway have recently been extensively refurbished.
There is now just the one platform although there are facilities to deal with locomotive hauled specials. The other face of the platform (opposite what is now the Vale of Rheidol Railway station) was used for trains on the 56 mile line to Carmarthen that curved away in front of the engine shed (Shed Code 89C, a sub-shed of Machynlleth - now used by the Vale of Rheidol) to cross the Rheidol River. It then ran south/south-west to Llanilar, Tregaron, Lampeter (branch to Aberaeron), Pencader (branch to Newcastle Emlyn), Abergwili Junction (route to Llandeilo on the Heart of Wales Line) and Carmarthen. By the late 50s there was a journey time of around 2½ hours with 16 timetabled stops and another 5 request stops; three weekday trains each way plus an extra one on Saturdays. The line closed to passengers in 1964/5 after flood damage near Llanilar but milk and freight traffic continued south of Tregaron for some years. The southern end of the line is now the Gwili Railway.