Porthmadog Harbour station

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Porthmadog Harbour station

The sturdy-looking station building at Porthmadog Harbour was built in 1878 to 1879, replacing a collection of wooden buildings. To the north is the former goods shed, built in 1880 and now linked to the main building.

Porthmadog is how the local Welsh speakers pronounced Portmadoc (after WA Madocks, who built the Cob) and by now is the standard form.

To hear how to pronounce Porthmadog, press play: Or, download mp3 (13KB)

The station is the terminus of the Ffestiniog Railway, built to connect quarries in the Vale of Ffestiniog with the harbour constructed at "Port Madoc" from 1821 to 1825. It opened in April 1836. In 1863 it became the first narrow-gauge railway in the world to employ steam locomotives.

The passenger trains stopped on 15 September 1939, as the Second World War began. The passenger trains stopped in 15 September 1939, as the Second World War began. The station buildings were used as the headquarters and billet of Dutch commandos, whose wartime presence is marked by a memorial in Spooner’s Bar.

The railway was in poor repair after the war, and closed outright in August 1946. The Act of Parliament which authorised the railway’s construction made no provisions for its closure, so all the buildings, track and equipment were left in situ. Rail enthusiasts managed to buy the company, and began operating passenger trains over the Cob to Boston Lodge in 1955. The railway was restored in stages to Blaenau Ffestiniog and is now one of the biggest tourist attractions in Wales.

Since 2011 passenger trains have also departed from Harbour station for Caernarfon, along the restored Welsh Highland Railway. A £1.3m remodelling of the station was completed in March 2014, giving Ffestiniog and WHR trains their own platforms.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL49 9NF

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this area:
Boston Lodge workshops, near Porthmadog
Blaenau Ffestiniog rail station
Waunfawr rail station

Ffestiniog Railway on HistoryPoints.org

Website of the Ffestiniog Railway

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