Trawsfynydd to Cwm Prysor
On the Blaenau Ffestiniog side of Trawsfynydd station there used to be a separate station which was used exclusively by the Army. It had two platforms which were sufficiently wide for companies of soldiers and their guns and horses to be lined up. Recent agricultural development and vegetation has now obscured most traces of this station. One relic of the Great Western Railway does survive in this line of fence posts. They are all made of lengths of broad gauge rail rendered redundant following the conversion from broad to standard in 1892.
With a neatly manicured lawn where the tracks used to be, this is Trawsfynydd station in June 2001 - forty years after closure. In the distance can be seen the goods shed which has been adapted for industrial use.
After leaving Trawsfynydd, the line curved North East up the valley of the Afon Prysor. The railway ran for much of this length along a rocky shelf high above the valley floor. Here are two views of the trackbed in May 2004, over 40 years after the track was lifted.
The major engineering work on the line is this splendid viaduct carrying the line above the Afon Prysor. It has nine arches and the maximum height above the stream is 105 feet/32 metres. This viaduct can be crossed on foot by following a permissive path which leads from the main road at the head of the valley.
The trackbed may be seen on the right on its mountain shelf. The
modern equivalent - the A4212 road - is in the valley floor. The
road was not opened until 1964, until then Cwm Prysor was served by little
more than a farm track. Rhinog Fawr is the mountain on the left.
Cwm Prysor station was at the summit of the line at 1278 feet/390 metres above sea level. The now extended station building is seen here complete with one of the level crossing gates, the other gate swung from the post in front of the porch. The line was originally single track through here but a passing loop was opened in 1906 (removed 1951). The trackbed near here now carries the main road past Llyn Tryweryn. With hardly another house in sight, this station must have seen few passengers.
This picture was taken at Cwm Prysor before 1915 and the lady holding the flag is Harriet James. From the 1890's untill 1926 Harriet James ran two stations on the Ffestiniog to Bala line with her husband Robert, formerly the station master at Bala. They occupied the station house at Trawsfynydd and Mrs. James regularly cycled nearly five miles uphill to operate the crossing gates at Cwm Prysor after 1902. On her retirement at age 65 the managers presented her with an armchair. Thanks to Gwilym James for permission to use these photos.
Another view of Cwm Prysor showing Harriet James and her family.
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