Machynlleth railway station

Machynlleth railway station

Machynlleth once had two railway stations. This one opened in 1863 after a feat of civil engineering by the Machynlleth & Newtown Railway to bring the track through the uplands. The 37-metre deep cutting at Talerddig was the world’s deepest for many years. The project was overseen by industrialist David Davies of Llandinam, near Caersws. The track was later extended to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli.

Machynlleth means “Plain of Cynllaith”. Nobody knows who Cynllaith was. The name was recorded as Machenthleith in 1201-13. To hear how to pronounce Machynlleth, press play:  
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The narrow-gauge Corris Railway opened its Machynlleth terminus station in 1859. The railway closed in 1948 but the station building still survives at the entrance to Dyfi Eco Park, which occupies land where slate from the Corris area was transferred from narrow-gauge to standard-gauge wagons.

In 1864 the small companies which had built railways across Mid Wales formed the Cambrian Railways Company, which was subsumed in 1923 by the Great Western Railway. The GWR bought the Corris Railway a few years later.

In 1894 the Cambrian’s general manager authorised a box at Machynlleth station where passengers could leave old newspapers for inmates at the town’s workhouse.

David Lloyd Jones, 31, who worked at the engine shed near the station, was run over by a locomotive in October 1910, five months after his life insurance policy lapsed. The Cambrian agreed to pay £174 18s compensation to his widow, who had two infant children to raise.

Some of the Cambrian’s Machynlleth-based staff joined the armed forces in the First World War. They included engine cleaner Thomas Edgar Owen, who died in the Middle East in 1916, and Henry John Thomas, who died in Belgium in 1918.

Today Machynlleth is served by Arriva Trains Wales services between Birmingham, Aberystwyth and Pwllheli. In 2010 the station became the control centre for the UK’s first installation of the ERTMS signalling system, based on continuous communication between the computers here and all trains on the Cambrian lines. Arriva modernised the depot at Machynlleth in 2007 to service the Cambrian train fleet.

With thanks to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society, for place-name information

Postcode: SY20 8BL