Abergynolwyn railway station

Abergynolwyn railway station

This hillside station was originally the terminus of the Talyllyn Railway’s public passenger service from Tywyn, launched in 1866. The track continued to Nant Gwernol for goods only.

The railway company earned valuable extra income from visitors. In 1899 Abergynolwyn station was promoted as an ideal starting point for walking up Cader Idris and visiting other landmarks. The Railway Hotel in the village provided “conveyances” between the station and Talyllyn Lake (Llyn Mwyngil), where “excellent fishing” was available.

There was excitement in Abergynolwyn in March 1902 when nine or 10 slate wagons derailed a little further up the line, at Hendre, and spilled their precious cargo down the hillside. Meyrick Roberts, supervisor of the Bryneglwys slate quarry, was travelling on one of the wagons. He jumped clear and avoided injury. The coupling between the first wagon and the locomotive snapped and no harm came to the engine, which had earlier brought the morning passenger train to Abergynolwyn before fetching the loaded wagons from Nant Gwernol.

The Tallyllyn Railway was the first railway in the world to be preserved in 1951. Volunteers ran passenger trains between Tywyn Wharf and Abergynolwyn until 1976, when the track to Nant Gwernol was reopened. Abergynolwyn’s station platform was extended so that two trains, going in opposite directions, could call here at the same time.

The preserved railway was a hit with holidaymakers and other visitors. The basic waiting shelter at Abergynolwyn was soon inadequate and was replaced in 1969 with the present station building, providing a booking office and refreshment room.

The station is 1km from the village of Abergynolwyn. The route was engineered to carry slates primarily, rather than local residents.

The name denotes the mouth of the stream now known as Nant Gwernol (the mouth being where it flows into the river Dysynni). It was recorded in 1592 as Abergwen Olwyn, suggesting that the stream was known as Gwenolwyn. This could have included the name gwennol (a swallow or swift), referring to the water’s speed. To hear how to pronounce Abergynolwyn, press play:

With thanks to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society

Postcode: LL36 9UR    View Location Map

Website of the Talyllyn Railway