Colwyn Bay rail station
Colwyn Bay rail station, Princes Drive
There was no station between Abergele and Conwy when the Chester & Holyhead Railway was opened in 1848 although the railway enbankment had of course been constructed running along the sea-front. The enbankment was built by gangs of Irishmen who lived in specially-built small houses, which still exist on Sea View Road. Excavation of material to build the embankment left a massive hole in the ground opposite their accommodation. The hole is now occupied by the Bay View Shopping Centre.
As the land on which the station was built was owned by Lady Erskine, her permission had to be sought before construction could begin. Colwyn station (renamed Colwyn Bay in 1876) opened in 1849. Whenever she wished to travel by rail, the trains were obliged to wait for her carriage to arrive at the station.
In 1889, one of the first pupils at Rydal School described the station as “a primitive affair ... indifferently lighted by oil lamps”. In1904 the station was completely rebuilt and the line was enlarged with four parallel tracks. The present station forecourt and booking office with only two tracks was opened on 29th April 1982.
The first station master was Benjamin Jones and he had a staff of 35. Today the whole operation is run by three people. As you look at the station from the forecourt, the extreme right hand end is part of the original 1849 station.
In 2017 a granite “postcard” celebrating the station and railway was installed on Colwyn Bay prom.
With thanks to Graham Roberts, of Colwyn Bay Civic Society, and Colwyn Bay Heritage Group for the old photo.
Postcode: LL29 8DF View Location Map
Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this area:
Site of world's first railway water troughs, Mochdre - locos picked up water without stopping
Llanddulas viaduct and 1868 accident – 33 people killed when Irish Mail hit runaway wagons