Newport rail station

Newport rail station

Old photo of Newport stationThe buildings at this station represent railway architecture of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The station opened in June 1850, when the South Wales Railway began operating trains between Chepstow and Swansea. Isambard Kingdom Brunel engineered the route. The original station building at Newport copied the “chalet” design Brunel had established on the Great Western Railway between London and Bristol. As railway traffic grew, the building was incorporated into the larger stone buildings which can still be seen at the north end of the platforms.

In 1863 the SWR was merged with the GWR, which further enlarged Newport station in 1928, adding the brick-built office block at the north end (beside Queensway) and the long canopies over the platforms. The photo (above right) by Peter Clark shows the station from the Cardiff end in the 1950s. The station’s main entrance was through the office block’s ground floor until this entrance closed in September 2010, when the southern entrance buildings and their linking covered footbridge opened in time for the Ryder Cup golf tournament, held at Newport’s Celtic Manor course in October 2010.

The roof over the circular entrance buildings and footbridge is of ETFE (EthyleneTetraFluoroEthylene), a transparent plastic developed originally for the space industry and weighing about 99% less than glass. The space between the outer layers of plastic was inflated after delivery from Germany to form pillows of the exact curvature required.

This station was once known as Newport High Street, to distinguish it from Newport’s two other stations. These were on a railway which ran north-south along the river Usk’s west bank. Mill Street station was roughly where the A4042 flyovers are now located, beside Queen’s Hill. Dock Street station was further south, near the George Street Bridge.

Newport station is now a busy railhead for the city and an interchange for passengers from the Marches Line (Hereford and Abergavenny) who are travelling to London or south-west England.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: NP20 4AX

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this region:
Chepstow rail station - still has original station building based on Brunel's pattern
Abergavenny rail station - features original 1850s building with low section of platform adjacent
Cardiff Central station – Brunel diverted the river Taff to fit this one in
Cardiff Bay station – The former Taff Vale Railway HQ still stands nearby