John Speller's Web Pages Caernarfonshire Railways

John Speller's Web Pages - L&NWR
Caernarfonshire Railways LNWR Untitled
Bangor & Carnarvon Railway

First in the field was the Bangor & Carnarvon Railway, chartered by an Act of 20 May 1851 to build a 9-mile line from the Chester & Holyhead Railway to the town of Carnarvon (now Caernarfon), including a short branch to the harbor at Port Dinorwic. The line opened to traffic on 1 March 1852 and was at first operated by the Chester & Holyhead Railway on a 999-year lease. The Chester & Holyhead Railway became part of the L&NWR on 1 January 1857, and the Bangor & Carnarvon Railway was absorbed by the LNWR on 15 July 1857. The line closed on 5 January 1970, but following the destruction of the Britannia Tubular Bridge in 1970 was temporarily re-opened to handle container traffic for Holyhead, following which final closure took place in January 1972.

Carnarvonshire Railway

The Carnarvonshire Railway was chartered by an Act of 22 July 1862 to build a 27-mile branch from the Bangor & Carnarvon Railway at Caernarfon to Portmadoc. An Act of 27 July 1867 shortened the line to 18.5 miles, running from Caernarfon to a junction with Cambrian Railways' Cambrian Coast line at Afon Wen. The line opened in 1872 and was worked by the London & North Western Railway, which had absorbed the line on 4 July 1870. In incorporated the Nantlle Railway, constructed as a 3 ft. 6 in. gauge tramway in 1828 and converted to standard gauge at the time of the opening of the Carnarvonshire Railway in 1872. The Nantlle Railway closed in 1963, at which time it was the last railway in Britain operated by horse power. The rest of the Carnarvonshire Railway closed under the Beeching Axe in December 1964. A journey shortly before closure in a dmu from Pwhelli to Bangor (reversing at Afon Wen) can be seen here.

Carnarvon & Llanberis Railway

The Carnarvon & Llanberis Railway was chartered by an Act on 14 July 1864 to build an 9-mile branch from Llanberis Junction near Caernarfon to the village of Llanberis. The line opened in 1869. It closed with the Carnarvonshire Railway in December 1964.

Clearing House Junction Diagram showing the railways of Caernarfonshire
Photograph of Pen-y-Groes station by John Thomas, circa 1875, showing the station staff and a Ramsbottom "DX" Class 0-6-0. Image courtesy of the National Library of Wales
Dinas station in about 1905 with a passenger train behind a Webb 0-6-0. Note the narrow gauge Welsh Highland Railway on the right
View westward, towards Pwllheli: ex-Cambrian Railway Machynlleth - Pwllheli line, junction of ex-LNW line from Bangor via Caernarfon. The train, which has come from Pwllheli behind BR Standard 2MT 2-6-0 No. 78002 30 June 1962. Image Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
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