Llanfairpwll railway station

Railway station in Anglesey, Wales

53°13′16″N 4°12′32″W / 53.221°N 4.209°W / 53.221; -4.209Coordinates: 53°13′16″N 4°12′32″W / 53.221°N 4.209°W / 53.221; -4.209Grid referenceSH525715Owned byNetwork RailManaged byTransport for Wales RailPlatforms2Other informationStation codeLPGClassificationDfT category F2Key dates1848Opened1966Closed1970Temporarily reopened1972Closed1973Reopened6 July 2020Temporarily closed21 August 2021ReopenedPassengers 2016/17Increase 19,5202017/18Increase 20,6042018/19Increase 21,2462019/20Decrease 20,8902020/21Decrease 290 Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Llanfairpwll railway station is a station on the North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Holyhead, serving the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey.

History

Opened in 1848 it was initially the terminus of the line from Holyhead before the opening of the Britannia Bridge to the mainland in 1850.[1] It suffered a catastrophic fire on 13 November 1865 and had to be completely re-constructed. It was closed in 1966 but reopened in 1970 due to the fire on the Britannia Bridge again as the terminus for trains from Holyhead, with a single wooden platform. It was again closed in 1972 and subsequently reopened again 1973 with both wooden platforms (the only one on the island), which was refurbished in 2017[2] and the signal box remain from the original configuration, but converted into a gate keeper's box, meaning no junctions or signals are controlled from there, except for gate locking. However, a turntable, sidings and goods yard have disappeared, the latter two under a car park.[1]

The station is known for its longer name, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, but this is a Victorian contrivance for the benefit of tourists[3] with no basis in historical usage. It comprises the full name of the village, plus local topographical details, plus the name of a neighbouring church etc. The actual longest railway station name in Wales (indeed the UK) is Rhoose Cardiff International Airport railway station.

Coronavirus

The railway station officially reopened for service on the 21st of August 2021, with the first service to stop to pickup passengers for Birmingham International at 5:50 in the morning.[4] Between 8th July 2020 and 21st August 2021 trains did not call at the station; Transport for Wales stated that during the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic the short platform and the inability to maintain social distancing between passengers and the guard when opening the train door was the reason.[5] Trains stopped at the platform, with Class 153, 150, 158 and 175 serving the station many times before the closure. People were complaining on Transport for Wales' social media about the decision, and letters and emails were sent to local councillors and Member of the Senedd Rhun ap Iorwerth, with a petition created on the Welsh Parliament website to support the frustration.

Passengers were left with no choice but to travel to Bangor railway station by bus or taxi, which is 5 miles away from Llanfairpwll: there were no rail replacement services serving the station unless engineering works were taking place, but passengers with bicycles had to cycle to other stations to use the trains. On 11 August 2021 it was announced that the station would re-open. Local member of parliament Rhun ap Iorwerth criticised the length of the closure stating, "I still can't understand why there couldn't have been a way to open it safely before now, and I've made my frustration clear, but better late than never."[6]

Facilities

The station is unstaffed and has no ticket provision - these must be bought on the train or prior to travel. Waiting shelters are provided on each platform and train running details offered via timetable posters and digital information screens (as can be seen from the accompanying station photograph). The station is not listed as accessible for mobility-impaired and wheelchair users on the National Rail Enquiries website.[7]

During April 2017, the upgrade of the footbridge was completed as part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan. The footbridge, which is over 100 years old, was temporarily removed earlier in the year, to undergo a £395,000 upgrade, including specialist refurbishment and repairs at the Centregreat Rail workshop in Cardiff.[8]

Services

Trains used to stop in each direction. These are Transport for Wales Rail services between Holyhead and Chester via Llandudno Junction. These continue to Shrewsbury and then either Birmingham International or Cardiff Central, though a limited number run to/from Crewe instead.[9] On Mondays to Saturdays, 9 services operates to Holyhead and 13 towards Chester. On Sundays, services are reduced to 6 towards Holyhead and 7 towards Chester.

The station has very short platforms, only 40 yards (37 m) long.[10] As a result, only one door on Transport for Wales intercity services is unlocked by the conductor/guard for passengers (Except for the BR classes 150/2 and 153 which occasionally visits Holyhead )

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Bangor
Transport for Wales Rail
North Wales Coast Line

Gallery

  • The platform and station building

    The platform and station building

  • The famous station sign, with a pronunciation guide for English speakers.

    The famous station sign, with a pronunciation guide for English speakers.

  • The former goods yard, now a car park.

    The former goods yard, now a car park.

  • 175009 passing Llanfairpwll railway station.

    175009 passing Llanfairpwll railway station.

  • The ex-signal box, a hundred yards or so up the line, now a gate keeper's box.

    The ex-signal box, a hundred yards or so up the line, now a gate keeper's box.

  • Llanfairpwll footbridge and station at night, viewed from platform 2 access path.

    Llanfairpwll footbridge and station at night, viewed from platform 2 access path.

  • The local taxi firm, PG Cabs, crossing Llanfairpwll gated crossing

    The local taxi firm, PG Cabs, crossing Llanfairpwll gated crossing

  • Notice displayed to the public from 20th August noticing that the station is reopened

    Notice displayed to the public from 20th August noticing that the station is reopened

  • Notice displayed before 20th August 2021 but after July 6th 2020 alerting users that the station was closed.

    Notice displayed before 20th August 2021 but after July 6th 2020 alerting users that the station was closed.

  • English translation of the towns name, as seen on the ex-signal box.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Jones, Geraint: Anglesey Railways, pages 27–28. Carreg Gwalch, 2005
  2. ^ "Llanfairpwll footbridge stairwell after refurbishment and repair work". Network Rail Media Centre. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  3. ^ See Slater's Directory.
  4. ^ "Realtime Trains - 1I04 0522 Holyhead and Crewe to Birmingham International". 21 August 2021. Archived from the original on 21 August 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Covid-19 timetable from 29 March 2021". Tfwrail.wales. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Trains to stop at Valley and Llanfairpwll stations again". North Wales Chronicle. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  7. ^ Llanfair P.G station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  8. ^ Bridge Upgrade for Llanfair PG Railways Illustrated issue 173 July 2017 page 14.
  9. ^ Table 81 National Rail timetable, December 2018
  10. ^ Permissible line speeds – London North Western Region (North) Archived 18 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine Network Rail. Page 104

Further reading

  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2011). Bangor to Holyhead. West Sussex: Middleton Press. figs. 26-35. ISBN 9781908174017. OCLC 795179106.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Llanfairpwll railway station.
  • Train times and station information for Llanfairpwll railway station from National Rail
  • Slater's Directory of North & Mid Wales, 1895 uses all three of the short names for the village – and does not mention the long form.
  • Video footage of Llanfair PG Railway Station
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Railway stations in Anglesey
North Wales Coast Line
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