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Machynlleth railway station

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Place  Machynlleth
Station code  MCN
DfT category  E
Number of platforms  2
Grid reference  SH744013
Managed by  Arriva Trains Wales
2011/12  132,206
Local authority  Powys
Machynlleth railway station
Address  Machynlleth SY20 8BL, United Kingdom
Similar  Dovey Junction railway st, Penhelig railway station, Barmouth railway station, Morfa Mawddach railway st, Aberystwyth railway station

Low level flyby of machynlleth railway station by a hercules


Machynlleth railway station is a railway station on the Cambrian Line in mid-Wales, serving the historic town of Machynlleth. It was built by the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway (N&MR), and subsequently passed into the ownership of the Cambrian Railways, the Great Western Railway, British Railways (Western Region) and British Railways (London Midland Region). It is notable that there is a distance of 22 miles between this station and Caersws, the longest distance between stations in Wales.

Contents

History

The first railway station in Machynlleth was the narrow gauge Corris Railway, which opened its station building on the north side of the main-line goods yard in 1859. This was later made accessible from the mainline station by a flight of steps from the standard gauge platform. Waggish porters were known to call out "Platform 14 for Corris" when greeting arriving passengers.

The existing mainline station dates from 1863 with the opening of the Newtown and Machynlleth Railway. The following year the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway opened the line as far as Aberystwyth via Dovey Junction, and in 1867 the line was extended from Barmouth to Pwllheli via Porthmadog (then Portmadoc). In 1868 the station and lines were absorbed into the Cambrian Railways. The Cambrian Railways were absorbed by the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922 as a result of the Railways Act 1921, and became part of British Railways in 1948.

Motive power depot

The railway built a small engine shed at the station in 1863. This was later expanded by Cambrian Railways, but the extensions were demolished after 1966, when the depot ceased to be used for servicing steam locomotives. Only the original building now survives.

Current operations

Machynlleth is the location where the majority of eastbound or 'up' trains from Pwllheli and Aberystwyth combine to go forward as one towards Shrewsbury and Birmingham International. Similarly, most trains in the opposite direction divide here before continuing west. The service in each direction is approximately two hourly, although trains to Pwllheli are far less frequent on Sundays. The infrastructure along the line was upgraded during 2010/11, with the intention of allowing hourly trains to and from Aberystwyth. In the 2015-16 timetable, some additional Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth services operate to give an hourly interval frequency during the morning & evening peak periods.

Cambrian Line signalling has been centrally controlled from Machynlleth since the 1980s conversion of the route from traditional signalling to a radio-controlled 'RETB' system. On 26 March 2011, the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) signalling system went into operational use across the Cambrian Line controlled from Machynlleth. Two days of driver familiarisation followed, with passenger operation commencing on the morning of 28 March 2011. A new control centre has been built on the down side opposite the earlier signal box which has since been demolished.

The current train operator, Arriva Trains Wales, has also developed Machynlleth into the main depot for its fleet of Class 158 trains which provide nearly all passenger services on the Cambrian Lines. Replacing the previous Victorian-era depot and yard, Arriva's depot opened in 2007 and prominently features environmentally friendly technologies such as rainwater harvesting and a wind turbine.

In 2011, The Bluebell Railway discovered a well-worn totem sign from Machynlleth during the excavating of Imberhorne Cutting as part of the northern extension to East Grinstead, which was used as a landfill site by the local council in the late 1960s. The extension was opened on 23 March 2013. The sign is now displayed in their new museum.

References

Machynlleth railway station Wikipedia


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