Waunfawr rail station
Waunfawr is near the boundary of Snowdonia national park. If you’re travelling from Caernarfon on the Welsh Highland Railway, you’ll notice a change in the scenery after Waunfawr as the train leaves the woodland and climbs along the lower slopes of Snowdon. If you’re following the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way towards Aberdaron, Waunfawr marks a change from mountains to rolling hills.
Gwaun means heath or moor. Mawr = large. The absence of the initial G implies the name was once Y Waunfawr (“the large moor”).
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The station was opened by the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways Company in August 1877, when passenger services began between Quellyn (a station near Llyn Cwellyn) and Dinas Junction. The track was of the gauge commonly used in slate quarries, with 60cm between the rails. In 1923 trains began running onwards to Porthmadog. The NWNGRC had merged with another company to form the Welsh Highland Light Railway the previous year.
The station (originally “Waenfawr”) had a loop line for trains to pass each other and a short goods siding. A stone station building with hipped roof survived the WHR’s closure in 1937 but was a ruin when work began in the late 1990s to restore the site to railway use. The building was dismantled carefully, for re-erection later, but contractors mistakenly used the stone for a new wall beside the track.
The station reopened in August 2000. It was the terminus of the new WHR for three years, until the track was opened to Rhyd-Ddu.
Postcode: LL55 4AQ