Monday, 11 July 2016

Tryfan Junction

Clunton and Clunbury
Clungunford and Clun 
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.

A.E.Housman, who wrote those words, had obviously never heard of Tryfan Junction.

I wish I could say it was the only place in the UK with 'Junction' in its name that is no longer a real junction, but sadly that would not be true. For example, at St Helens Junction, it has not been possible to change for St Helens since 1965. Even the bus service is nothing like it was - thanks to the disaster that is bus privatisation - and in the evening, particularly, the service is damnable. So much for progress!

Back to Tryfan Junction. This remote station in Wales never served more than a couple of farmhouses, but it used to be the junction station for the Bryngwyn branch of the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways. The passenger service on the branch was removed as far back as 1914 - prior even to the outbreak of war - although some goods traffic - notably slate - continued to around 1936. The branch was sharply curved and steep, and must have been an interesting ride in its day. Track was lifted in 1941, along with the rest of the Welsh Highland Railway - as the NWNGR had become. That looked like the end of it.

However, in recent years the Welsh Highland has been entirely rebuilt (apart from the Bryngwn branch) and some very keen enthusiasts decided to rebuild the station building at Tryfan Junction, and bring the station back as a halt. This was accomplished in 2011. And a very nice job they did of it! So once again, if you wish, you can alight at Tryfan Junction - though you will need to ask the guard to stop the train, as it's now a request stop. Of course, there's not much to do once you get there, except walk the length of the Bryngwyn branch, most of which has been turned into a permissive footpath. Time your walk well, as there are not that many WHR trains - only three a day at best.

When your return train comes you will need to stick out a hand to stop it. While you are waiting, recall that this place once had a passing loop, full signalling, a signal box and a stationmaster. Hard to believe as it is now. 

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