The Merthyr line is a commuter railway line in South Wales from central Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. The line is part of the Cardiff urban rail network, known as the Valley Lines; the line is the Taff Vale Railway, the first rail development in the Valleys in the 1840s and associated with the notorious Taff Vale Judgment in 1901 when the courts penalised trade unions for losses caused by strikes. The Aberdare line was closed in the 1960s under the Beeching Axe. However, the line was re-opened in the 1980s in an attempt to stimulate jobs and employment in the valley in response to the closure of the last few coal mines. In 2005, following further grant from the Welsh Assembly, the stations at Abercynon, Fernhill and Aberdare were extended to four-car length to accommodate longer peak trains in an initiative to relieve overcrowding, train leasing/running costs funded by the Welsh Assembly Government; the line follows the Rhondda line as far as Pontypridd, serving Cathays, Radyr, Taff's Well and Pontypridd.
It divides at Abercynon with separate branches to Merthyr and Aberdare up diverging valleys. The Merthyr branch serves Merthyr Vale, Troed-y-rhiw, Pentre-bach and Merthyr Tydfil; the Welsh Assembly Government confirmed in February 2007 that it is grant funding, in conjunction with European Union Objective 1 assistance, a scheme to upgrade the line north of Abercynon, including reinstatement of 2 miles of double track, to enable the introduction of a half-hourly train service, the revenue costs of which the Welsh Assembly Government will meet. The enhanced service was said to commence in 2008 but postponed to May 2009; the Aberdare branch serves Penrhiwceiber, Mountain Ash, Fernhill and Aberdare. The line continues beyond Aberdare – for goods purposes only – to serve Tower Colliery, the last deep coal mine to remain open in South Wales. Mountain Ash station was redeveloped with a grant from the Welsh Assembly Government in the early part of the decade, the scheme including the provision of a new station and a passing loop to permit an upgrade of the passenger service to two trains per hour from late 2003.
There are a few gaps in the half-hourly service to enable coal/stone trains to run to/from Tower Colliery/Hirwaun. The line is operated by Transport for Wales as part of the Valley Lines network. TfW replaced the previous franchise, Arriva Trains Wales in October 2018. Both the Merthyr and Aberdare branch lines have a half-hourly service during the day which decreases to hourly in the evening. On a Sunday service frequency decresaes to two-hourly. In December 2017, Arriva Trains Wales introduced extra sunday morning services on the Aberdare line on a trial basis; this was in response to demand from the local Assembly Member. The trial was deemed a success and the extra Sunday services were made permanent from April 2018. Since its termination at Aberdare following the Beeching Axe, there have been various proposals to extend the line northwards towards Hirwaun again. In recent years, these have been driven by the Welsh Assembly Government. In 2006, a study by local transport alliance Sewta appeared to rule out any such extension for the foreseeable future.
In November 2009, WAG sponsored Network Rail in a feasibility study to reopening both the section to Hirwaun, parts of the former Anglesey Central Railway between Llangefni on Anglesey, Bangor. Network Rail has begun work on gathering evidence for its study, beginning with cutting away vegetation on track sections to examine the condition of rails and track bedding, its report is expected to be published in early 2010, before any business case to reopen the lines can be developed. It was announced in March 2011 that the Welsh Assembly Government's 2011–12 capital programme would include the re-opening of the line to Hirwaun as part of the Cynon Valley Scheme. There is no information on when the work will commence and when the line will re-open. On 16 July 2012 plans to electrify the line were announced by the Government as part of a £9.4bn package of investment of the railways in England and Wales. The announcement was made as an extension of the electrification of the South Wales Main Line from Cardiff to Swansea and the electrification of the south Wales Valley Lines at a total cost of £350 million.
The investment will require new trains and should result in reduced journeys times and cheaper maintenance. It is thought to start between 2014 and 2019. List of railway stations in Cardiff Allen, David. "Taff Vale Update". RAIL. No. 330. EMAP Apex Publications. Pp. 38–39. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales was a British train operating company owned by Arriva UK Trains that operated the Wales & Borders franchise. It ran urban and inter-urban passenger services to all railway stations in Wales, including Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Swansea, Wrexham General and Holyhead, as well as to certain stations in England such as Hereford, Chester, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street; the company began operating in December 2003, taking over from Borders. Following the introduction of the Railways Act 2005 and Transport Act 2006, responsibility for the franchise was held by the devolved Welsh Government. Arriva Trains Wales' franchise expired in October 2018, the company did not bid to renew, it was succeeded by Transport for Wales. In March 2000 the UK government announced plans to create a separate Borders franchise. In October 2001 the two National Express operated franchises, Valley Lines and Wales & West, were reorganised, with Wales & Borders taking responsibility for most services in Wales as shown on its map.
The services from Birmingham New Street to Chester and Pwllheli operated by Central Trains were transferred. On 1 August 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded Arriva the new franchise; the new franchise was for fifteen years, with performance reviews every five years. The next five-yearly review period concluded on 31 March 2013. On 28 September 2003 the services from Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno and Holyhead as well as those between Bidston and Wrexham Central and between Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, operated by First North Western, were transferred to the new Wales & Borders franchise. Responsibility for the franchise was devolved to the Welsh Government as a result of the Railways Act 2005 and the Transport Act 2006, it worked with Arriva Trains Wales to develop the railway network within Wales; this included the introduction of direct services between North and South Wales, the reintroduction of passenger services on freight-only portions of the Vale of Glamorgan Line and Ebbw Vale Line.
ATW operated over a route length of 1691 km, with 253 DMU cars and 22 locomotive-hauled passenger carriages. Its busiest Welsh stations were Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street and Newport in South Wales, Bangor and Wrexham General in North Wales. ATW operated all services in Wales, with the exception of: Pembroke Dock/Carmarthen/Swansea/Cardiff Central to London Paddington Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour or Taunton Cardiff Central to Nottingham or Manchester Piccadilly Holyhead/Bangor/Wrexham General to London Euston various heritage railways In October 2006, ATW was ranked seventh best with an above average 89.9% of trains'on time' according to Network Rail statistics. The latest figures released by NR rate punctuality at 96.1% for period 7 of the 2013/14 financial year. The MAA figure for the 366 days up to 12 October 2013 is at 93.9%. In September 2017, a review on the conditions during a regular peak commute was published by'Stu's Reviews'; the review was publicised through national news networks such as Wales Online.
BBC Wales The Welsh Language Act 1993 requires all public bodies to provide services to the public through the medium of Welsh as well as English. As a private company and not a public body, Arriva Trains Wales was not required to provide service in Welsh, but it did conduct some business in Welsh. All stations run by Arriva Trains Wales where the Welsh and English names differed had both names displayed, with a few minor omissions. Arriva did not display Welsh names in the English stations which it managed, such as Chester, Shrewsbury, or Hereford, but included the Welsh names in its now discontinued printed timetables and other publicity material. There were bilingual signs at Hereford, for example, warning against trespassing on the railway. Arriva Trains Wales had introduced bilingual display screens and announcements in at least 46 stations. In 2004, ATW introduced a Welsh-language telephone line, its website was named the "Best Website of The Year in the Technology Wales Awards 2004". Typical ATW weekday off-peak service was as follows: Services along the North Wales Coast Line terminated at Holyhead and Llandudno.
Llandudno services ran every hour to Manchester Piccadilly via Warrington Bank Quay. Holyhead services ran every hour, to Shrewsbury via Chester and Wrexham General alternately to Birmingham International or Cardiff Central. Request stations west of Llandudno Junction were served by alternate trains; the Conwy Valley Line were operated by a single train running between Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, with six return journeys a day. The private Ffestiniog Railway operated connecting services between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Minffordd near Porthmadog. Services on the Borderlands Line ran from Wrexham Central to Bidston on the Wirral Peninsula, crossing the North Wales Coast Line at Shotton; this line connected with main-line services at Wrexham General. It may be converted to electric operation in the future. Cambrian Line services consisted of trains from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury, Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International every
Abercynon, is a village and community in the Cynon Valley within the unitary authority of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. The community comprises the village itself, as well as the districts of Carnetown and Grovers Field to the south, Navigation Park to the east, Glancynon to the north; the population of Abercynon was recorded as 6,428 in the 2001 Census, decreasing to 6,390 at the 2011 Census, despite more than a hundred additional households built over this period. The electoral ward of Abercynon includes both the community of Abercynon, but takes into account the nearby villages of Pontcynon and Tyntetown further north. Abercynon is sixteen miles north of Cardiff and forty miles from Swansea; the rivers Taff and Cynon converge at Watersmeet near Martin's Terrace. Abercynon used to have many churches and pubs. There are now only four public houses left - The Thorn Hotel, The Navigation, Brownies Bar and the Carne Park Hotel; the only churches still left are St. Donat's Church in Wales, its daughter church, St. Gwynno's, St. Thomas' Roman Catholic Church and the Methodist church in Martin's Lane.
There is a Church in a Roman Catholic church of St Thomas. Abercynon had a number of nonconformist chapels. Most had closed by 2000, including Bethania and Tabernacle. A Catholic shrine and grotto was built in 1925 on the bank of the River Taff with links to St Thomas' church, it was the idea of Father Carroll Baillie, the first priest of Abercynon who came to minister to migrant Italian and Irish miners and the small local Welsh catholic population. It was built to occupy unemployed miners during the 1925 Miners Strike; the miners used crowbars and ropes to haul huge blocks of stone from the riverbed strengthened the banks and terraces with a sloped wall. It was based on the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in France; the village was the terminus of the world's first steam railway journey when on 21 February 1804 the inventor Richard Trevithick drove a steam locomotive hauling both iron and passengers travelled from the Penydarren ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil to the basin of the Glamorganshire Canal at Abercynon.
There are memorials to Trevithick's journey outside the fire station at Abercynon. The village developed as a transport interchange being at the junction of the Merthyr and Aberdare branches of the Glamorganshire Canal and the Merthyr and Aberdare branches of the Taff Vale Railway. For a time it was known as "Navigation" and the Navigation Hotel, the headquarters of the Glamorganshire Canal, still bears this name. Unusually for a village, until early 2008, it had two railway stations. One was on the line from Cardiff to Aberdare, namely Abercynon North; the other, Abercynon South, was on the Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil line. Following major work, the North station was closed and its services moved to the South station, now named Abercynon. Trains are operated by Transport for Wales as part of the Merthyr Line service. A park and ride scheme funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council with capacity for 160 cars and free parking was opened in 2010.
Designed by Capita Glamorgan Consultancy and supported by the Arriva Trains Wales rail franchise and Network Rail, the park-and-ride facility was built on former scrubland situated between the River Taff and Abercynon Station. A new bridge with paved footways either side was built to link the park and ride with Navigation Business Park. A direct access through a new upgraded subway was provided to Abercynon Station. In 2018 Rhondda Cynon Taf Council announced proposals to expand the Park and Ride scheme at Abercynon Railway Station to provide more than 300 new parking spaces. A new parking facility will be built at Navigation Park, on the former Abercynon Colliery site a short walk from Abercynon Railway Station, it will include 310 new spaces including seven disabled bays and 15 motorcycle spaces and a bus stop will be added to the existing car park adjacent to the train station to encourage integration between bus and rail services. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council secured £787,000 from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund towards the overall cost of £1.2m.
Abercynon lies just off the A470 road between Merthyr Tydfil. Other road links include the A472 road which provides a cross valley link to Ystrad Mynach and the A4059 road to Mountain Ash and Aberdare. Abercynon Colliery was sunk by the Dowlais Ironworks in 1889 to supply a steel works in Cardiff. Employing nearly 3000 men and part of the Powell Duffryn empire pre-World War II, it was in 1973 joined with the Lady Windsor Colliery at Ynysybwl. Known as the Abercynon Lady Windsor Colliery, it closed in 1988. A memorial marks the location of the colliery in the Navigation Park. Abercynon used to have three primary schools and a secondary school but this has now been reduced to one English medium school and one Welsh medium primary school. Local secondary schools are Pontypridd High School and Mountain Ash Comprehensive School with Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic School, Rhydyfelin and St John the Baptist School, Aberdare providing faith based education. Post-16 education is provided at Coleg y Cymoedd in Nantgarw with other campuses at Aberdare and Ystrad Mynach.
Abercynon's rugby league side are called the Valley Cougars and play in the Welsh Conference Premier. The local rugby union team is Abercynon RFC and during the 1970s the team won the Glamorgan County Silver Ball Trophy on two occasions. Abercynon has a leisure centre which opened in t
Aberdare is a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, at the confluence of the Rivers Dare and Cynon. The population at the 2011 census was 31,705. Aberdare is 4 miles south-west of Merthyr Tydfil, 20 miles north-west of Cardiff and 22 miles east-north-east of Swansea. During the 19th century it became a thriving industrial settlement, notable for the vitality of its cultural life and as an important publishing centre. Aberdare dates from the Middle Ages, it was a small village in an agricultural district, centred around the Church of St John the Baptist, said to date from 1189. By the middle of the 15th century, Aberdare contained a water mill in addition to a number of thatched cottages, of which no evidence remains. In the early 19th century the population grew owing to the abundance of coal and iron ore,: the population of the whole parish, 1,486 in 1801, increased tenfold during the first half of the 19th century. Two major industries supported the growth of the community: first iron coal.
A branch of the Glamorganshire Canal was used to transport these products. From the 1870s onwards, the economy of the town was dominated by the coal mining industry, with only a small tinplate works. There were several brickworks and breweries. During the latter half of the 19th century, considerable improvements were made to the town, which became a pleasant place to live, despite the nearby collieries. A postgraduate theological college opened in connection with the Church of England in 1892, but in 1907 it moved to Llandaff. With the ecclesiastical parishes of St Fagan's and Aberaman carved out of the ancient parish, Aberdare had 12 Anglican churches and one Catholic church, built in 1866 in Monk Street near the site of a cell attached to Penrhys monastery; the services in the majority of the chapels were in Welsh. Most of these chapels have now closed, with many converted to other uses; the urban district includes what were once the separate villages of Aberaman, Cwmaman, Cwmdare, Llwydcoed and Trecynon.
There are several cairns and the remains of a circular British encampment on the mountain between Aberdare and Merthyr. Hirwaun moor, 4 miles to the north west of Aberdare, was according to tradition the scene of a battle at which Rhys ap Tewdwr, prince of Dyfed, was defeated by the allied forces of the Norman Robert Fitzhamon and Iestyn ap Gwrgant, the last Welsh prince of Glamorgan; the parish population was 1,486 in 1801, but expanded fast during the 1840s and 1850s: the population of the Aberdare District, centred on the town, was 9,322 in 1841. This population growth, a result of the growth of the steam coal trade was concentrated in the agricultural areas of Blaengwawr and Cefnpennar to the south of the town. Many of the migrants came from the rural parts of west Wales, affected by an agricultural depression. Population levels continued to increase over the next forty years, albeit with a small decline in the 1870s; the first decade of the 20th century saw a further sharp increase as a result of the steam coal trade, reaching 53,779 in 1911.
The population has since declined owing to the loss of most of the heavy industry. The Aberdare population at the 2001 census was 31,705. By 2011 it was 29,748, though the figure includes the surrounding populations of Aberaman, Abercwmboi and Llwydcoed. On 1 December 2016, following The Rhondda Cynon Taf Order 2016, the community of Aberdare was split into two new communities, Aberdare East and Aberdare West; these are coterminous with the electoral wards of the same names. Aberdare East includes the village of Abernant. Aberdare West includes Cwm Sian and Trecynon. Welsh was the prominent language until the mid 20th century and Aberdare was an important centre of Welsh language publishing. A large proportion of the early migrant population were Welsh speaking, in 1851 only ten per cent of the population had been born outside of Wales. In his controversial evidence to the 1847 Education Reports, the Anglican vicar of Aberdare, John Griffith, stated that the English language was "generally understood" and referred to the arrival of people from anglicised areas such as Radnorshire and south Pembrokeshire.
Griffith made allegations about the Welsh speaking population and what he considered to be the degraded character of the women of Aberdare, alleging sexual promiscuity was an accepted social convention, that drunkenness and improvidence amongst the miners was common and attacking what he saw as exaggerated emotion in the religious practices of the Nonconformists. This evidence helped inform the findings of the report which would go on to stigmatise Welsh people as "ignorant", "lazy" and "immoral" and found the reason for this was the continued use of the Welsh language, which it described as "evil"; the controversial reports allowed the local non-conformist minister Thomas Price of Capel Calfaria to arrange public debates, from which he would emerge as a leading defender of the Welsh language and by extension, the local population, Rev. Griffiths meanwhile, was made vicar of Merthyr to escape local anger; the reports and subsequent defence would maintain the perceptions of Aberdare, the Cynon Valley and the wider area as proudly Non Conformist and defiantly Welsh
Pontypridd railway station
Pontypridd railway station serves the town of Pontypridd in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. It is located at the junction of the Merthyr line and the Rhondda line and has for many years been the only station serving the town; until the 1930s, Pontypridd had two other stations. One, just behind the present station, was known as Pontypridd Graig, it closed in 1930. The other, Pontypridd Tram Road, serving the former Pontypridd to Newport line, closed in 1922, it was located near. The station was built by the Taff Vale Railway and opened on 9 October 1840, it was known as Newbridge Junction until March 1866. It was progressively remodelled during the 19th century, but its present appearance derives from reconstruction carried out between 1907 and 1914. Reflecting both the narrow steep sided topography of the valley, the need to accommodate many converging passenger routes and passing coal trains, it is designed as two back-to-back termini; this gave it the longest island platform in the world, around which were arranged seven platforms.
The west side of the island platform has two, stepped platform faces each capable of accommodating a full-length train. The east side of the island platform has three stepped platform faces arranged as a north bay platform, a through platform and a south bay platform; the north end of the island platform accommodated two bay platforms, now filled in. The north end bay platforms were used for services to Aberdare and Ynysybwl, the south bay platform for services to Llantrisant and Cowbridge; the modernisation of 2014/2015 brought former through platform 6 back into use as a bay platform, now numbered platform 1, for southbound services to Cardiff. Architecturally, the 1912 station still includes all the original red brick and terracotta buildings on the island platform, some of which remain in public use, e.g. as ticket office and waiting room. The elaborate 1912 main station façade in the same art nouveau style was destroyed during modernisation in the mid 1970s and replaced by a featureless red brick wall.
The station subsequently achieved Listed Building status in 1990 for architectural interest as a fine Edwardian railway station retaining original character. The 1970s façade was itself replaced by a blue brick wall in the 1990s, temporarily exposing the damaged Edwardian façade; the Pontypridd and Newport Railway was opened for goods on 25 July 1884, providing a route to Newport Docks for Rhondda coal. Passenger services, which used the TVR's station at Pontypridd, began on 28 December 1887, were operated by the Alexandra Docks and Railway, which absorbed the PC&NR in 1897. Between April 1904 and July 1922, passenger services from Caerphilly terminating at Pontypridd used the ADR's own station at Pontypridd Tram Road. Known as the Hopkinstown rail disaster, this accident occurred on 23 January 1911 when a passenger train collided with a coal train at Hopkinstown, outside Pontypridd, resulting in the loss of eleven lives; the TVR and ADR amalgamated with the Great Western Railway on 1 January 1922, as did the Barry Railway, which had a station in Pontypridd.
To avoid confusion, the two stations were both renamed in 1924, the former TVR station becoming Pontypridd Central, with the ex-Barry Railway station becoming Pontypridd Graig. On 10 July 1930, Pontypridd Graig was closed, with its services being diverted to Pontypridd Central, which reverted to its former name of Pontypridd; the former PC&NR route was closed to passengers from 17 September 1956. and in 1965, whilst the service to Llantrisant ended on 31 March 1952 and the former Barry Railway services to Cadoxton and to Cardiff Central via St Fagans on 10 September 1962. With the Beeching Plan reducing passenger traffic, falling coal production, track simplification was carried out by British Rail in 1974, resulting in the removal of all track from the eastern side of the island platform. From 1974 onwards, the station functioned as a single-platform station. However, with the subsequent re-opening of Aberdare and the growth of passenger traffic, British Rail added a new northbound platform in 1990-1991.
This platform was built alongside the former freight lines west of the main island platform, did not form part of the original station. Two platforms were in use, only one of, located in the historic part of the large island platform station dating from 1912. Platform 1 was the southern one of two former platform faces on the west side of the long island platform. Accessible via a subway, it was used, is still used, by Cardiff-bound services; the east side of the island platform once had three platform faces. This side of the station had lain out of use since the lifting of track in 1974. A booking office, a waiting room and toilets are located in original Edwardian brick and terracotta buildings on the main island platform, near Platform 1. Platform 2 was a new platform for valleys-bound services built in 1990-1 alongside the former freight lines west of the main island platform, it was not part of the 1912 station. The platform shelter was built in brickwork laid in Flemish Bond, providing at least an attenuated echo of the station buildings on the m
A train station, railway station, railroad station, or depot is a railway facility or area where trains stop to load or unload passengers or freight. It consists of at least one track-side platform and a station building providing such ancillary services as ticket sales and waiting rooms. If a station is on a single-track line, it has a passing loop to facilitate traffic movements; the smallest stations are most referred to as "stops" or, in some parts of the world, as "halts". Stations elevated. Connections may be available to intersecting rail lines or other transport modes such as buses, trams or other rapid transit systems. In British English, traditional usage favours railway station or station though train station, perceived as an Americanism, is now about as common as railway station in writing. In British usage, the word station is understood to mean a railway station unless otherwise qualified. In American English, the most common term in contemporary usage is train station. In North America, the term depot is sometimes used as an alternative name for station, along with the compound forms train depot, railway depot, railroad depot, but applicable for goods, the term depot is not used in reference to vehicle maintenance facilities in American English.
The world's first recorded railway station was The Mount on the Oystermouth Railway in Swansea, which began passenger service in 1807, although the trains were horsedrawn rather than by locomotives. The two-storey Mount Clare station in Baltimore, which survives as a museum, first saw passenger service as the terminus of the horse-drawn Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on 22 May 1830; the oldest terminal station in the world was Crown Street railway station in Liverpool, built in 1830, on the locomotive hauled Liverpool to Manchester line. As the first train on the Liverpool-Manchester line left Liverpool, the station is older than the Manchester terminal at Liverpool Road; the station was the first to incorporate a train shed. The station was demolished in 1836 as the Liverpool terminal station moved to Lime Street railway station. Crown Street station was converted to a goods station terminal; the first stations had little in the way of amenities. The first stations in the modern sense were on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, opened in 1830.
Manchester's Liverpool Road Station, the second oldest terminal station in the world, is preserved as part of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. It resembles a row of Georgian houses. Early stations were sometimes built with both passenger and goods facilities, though some railway lines were goods-only or passenger-only, if a line was dual-purpose there would be a goods depot apart from the passenger station. Dual-purpose stations can sometimes still be found today, though in many cases goods facilities are restricted to major stations. In rural and remote communities across Canada and the United States, passengers wanting to board the train had to flag the train down in order for it to stop; such stations were known as "flag stops" or "flag stations". Many stations date from the 19th century and reflect the grandiose architecture of the time, lending prestige to the city as well as to railway operations. Countries where railways arrived may still have such architecture, as stations imitated 19th-century styles.
Various forms of architecture have been used in the construction of stations, from those boasting grand, Baroque- or Gothic-style edifices, to plainer utilitarian or modernist styles. Stations in Europe tended to follow British designs and were in some countries, like Italy, financed by British railway companies. Stations built more often have a similar feel to airports, with a simple, abstract style. Examples of modern stations include those on newer high-speed rail networks, such as the Shinkansen in Japan, THSR in Taiwan, TGV lines in France and ICE lines in Germany. Stations have staffed ticket sales offices, automated ticket machines, or both, although on some lines tickets are sold on board the trains. Many stations include a convenience store. Larger stations have fast-food or restaurant facilities. In some countries, stations may have a bar or pub. Other station facilities may include: toilets, left-luggage, lost-and-found and arrivals boards, luggage carts, waiting rooms, taxi ranks, bus bays and car parks.
Larger or manned stations tend to have a greater range of facilities including a station security office. These are open for travellers when there is sufficient traffic over a long enough period of time to warrant the cost. In large cities this may mean facilities available around the clock. A basic station might only have platforms, though it may still be distinguished from a halt, a stopping or halting place that may not have platforms. Many stations, either larger or smaller, offer interchange with local transportation. In many African, South American countries, Asian countries, stations are used as a place for public markets and other informal businesses; this is true on tourist routes or stations near tourist destinations. As well as providing services for passengers and loading facilities for goods, stations can sometimes have locomotive and rolling stock depots (usually with facilities for storing and refuelling rolling stock an