Cardiff Bay rail station

Link to French translationCardiff Bay rail station

This station was built by the Taff Vale Railway, which opened its main line from Cardiff to Abercynon in 1840. It later extended its system to many other Valleys towns. The TVR carried large volumes of coal from collieries to Cardiff docks and became one of Britain’s most profitable rail companies.

Passenger services were ancillary. The original station here, named Cardiff Docks, lacked even a platform; passengers had to climb up into the train. In 1879 a single platform was added, with a footbridge spanning five tracks for access from Bute Street. The pavement on the western side of Lloyd George Avenue now occupies the original platform’s approximate position.

The boarded-up three-storey building near the buffer stop at Cardiff Bay station was the TVR’s headquarters until 1862. Some of it continued in railway use while other rooms became the consulates of the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Brazil, whose flags hung from poles on the building’s Bute Street side.

Immediately north of the building, a pair of east-west tracks led into the TVR’s West Yard Works, west of Bute Street. Locomotives for overhaul would be turned 90 degrees on a turntable and hauled across Bute Street by horses or shunting locos.

In 1923 the TVR was amalgamated into the Great Western Railway, which closed the cramped West Yard Works in 1926 and concentrated local overhauls at the former Rhymney Railway works in Caerphilly. The GWR renamed the station Cardiff Bute Road and rebuilt it with two platform faces adjacent to the old TVR offices.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, the building was used by the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum to exhibit railway artefacts, a satellite to its main museum near the Pierhead Building.

In 1994 the station was renamed Cardiff Bay. The docklands redevelopment created new demand for travel to the area. Today the station has only one track but enjoys its best passenger service ever – an Arriva Trains Wales shuttle every 12 minutes to Cardiff Queen Street. This provides convenient access to the Wales Coast Path, which passes nearby.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: CF10 5LE 

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this region:
Cardiff Central station – Brunel diverted the river Taff to fit this one in
Newport station – one station, three different centuries of railway architecture

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