Old St Asaph rail station
Old St Asaph rail station, Chester Street
There’s no public access through the gates here, but on the left side of the RN Williams builders’ yard you can see the brick-built former station building. The station and nearby goods sidings were once a busy focal point of the city.
St Asaph station was opened on 5 October 1858 by the Vale of Clwyd Railway, whose line ran from Rhyl to Denbigh. St Asaph was the third station out of Rhyl. The line was a single-track route with passing places at intermediate stations. It was built by navvies, many of whom lodged for a while at Irish Square.
The consulting engineer was George Willoughby Hemans, who was born in 1814 at Bronwylfa, just down the hill from St Asaph station. His mother was the poet Felicia Hemans. He designed infrastructure for several countries.
The contractor was David Davies of Llandinam, Powys. He is said to have worked 16-hour days to get the railway built in just 14 months. He was also a philanthropist and successful industrialist in South Wales, and his statue overlooks Barry docks.
St Asaph station was originally provided with one platform. Another was added in 1877, when a passing loop was installed at the station so trains running in opposite directions could pass here. The two-storey station building provided the usual facilities on the northbound platform. A brick waiting shelter was available for passengers awaiting trains towards Denbigh.
In 1864 the London & North Western Railway absorbed the Vale of Clwyd Railway. Rail traffic through St Asaph increased after the Denbigh, Ruthin & Corwen Railway opened a line in 1869 from Denbigh to Corwen. In 1923 these lines became part of London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS).
By 1947 St Asaph station was served by eight passenger trains in each direction. With nationalisation in 1948, the station became part of British Railways’ London Midland Region. Passenger services decreased in the 1950s to only a couple of trains in each direction. On 19 September 1955 regular passenger services were withdrawn altogether. Goods services passed through St Asaph until 1 March 1965, when the Vale of Clwyd line was completely closed.
With thanks to John Roberts
Postcode: LL17 0RE