Carmarthen rail station
This station was created by the Great Western Railway in 1902. Carmarthen’s original station, south of the town, was opened in 1851 by the South Wales Railway, whose line from Swansea was engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. His goal was Fishguard, to cater for people and goods crossing the Irish Sea. The economic repercussions of the Irish potato famine put this railway extension on ice, and when it resumed Brunel took the track to Neyland instead of Fishguard – which the railway didn’t reach until 1906.
The hill on which Carmarthen lies precluded a town-centre station, given that the tracks were to continue to Pembrokeshire. However, in 1860 the Carmarthen & Cardigan Railway opened a railway northwards from Brunel’s station, which became known as Carmarthen Junction. The C&CR’s station, close to the town centre, was Carmarthen Town. Old Station Road still marks the site of that station, on the far side of the river from the existing Carmarthen station.
The South Wales Railway and other local companies were eventually merged into the GWR, which replaced Carmarthen Town in 1902 with a new station on this spacious site south of the river. Trains between Swansea and Pembrokeshire reversed at Carmarthen, except for the express “boat trains” to Fishguard Harbour. The track onwards from Carmarthen, leading to Aberystwyth, saw its last passenger train in 1965. After freight services had also ceased, the track was removed in the mid 1970s, leaving Carmarthen station as a terminus.
Access to the station from the town centre was improved in 2006 by Pont King Morgan, a cable-stayed bridge over the river for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge’s suspended section is 150 metres long.
Train services also took a leap forward around that time, when Arriva Trains Wales overhauled timetables to give Carmarthen a train every hour to Cardiff, Crewe and Manchester. West from Carmarthen, trains run to Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard Harbour.
Postcode: SA31 2BE