Fishguard Harbour railway station

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Fishguard Harbour National Rail
Welsh: Porthladd Abergwaun
Fishguard Harbour
Location
Place Fishguard Harbour
Local authority Pembrokeshire
Coordinates 52°00′43″N 4°59′10″W / 52.012°N 4.986°W / 52.012; -4.986Coordinates: 52°00′43″N 4°59′10″W / 52.012°N 4.986°W / 52.012; -4.986
Grid reference SM951389
Operations
Station code FGH
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Owned by Stena Line
Number of platforms 1
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03   18,066
2004/05 Increase 28,284
2005/06 Decrease 23,873
2006/07 Increase 29,049
2007/08 Decrease 24,755
2008/09 Increase 24,838
2009/10 Decrease 23,746
2010/11 Increase 30,832
2011/12 Increase 38,852
2012/13 Decrease 35,520
History
Original company Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
30 August 1906 Station opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Fishguard Harbour from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Fishguard Harbour railway station serves the port of Fishguard Harbour, Wales. It is the terminus of one of the branches of the West Wales Line from Swansea. The area is also now served (since it reopened on 14 May 2012) by Fishguard & Goodwick railway station.

History[edit]

The station opened on 30 August 1906 when the Waterford and Cork ferry services were transferred from Neyland to Fishguard Harbour.[1] Three years later, Fishguard Harbour was developed as a port of call for Atlantic liners, and on 30 August 1909 the first Cunard liner to call at Fishguard was the RMS Mauretania.[2][3]

Facilities[edit]

A large area inside the station/port building, which contains seating and toilets, is open to rail passengers. However, there are no railway ticket machines and the station is staffed only by Stena Line personnel, no rail staff are employed there. This means there is no rail ticket office and passengers travelling from Fishguard by train must purchase their tickets in advance by post, at a different station, or onboard their train. The station has step-free access throughout, and the stations owners, Stena Line, permit smoking on the platform.[4] The station also has both long and short stay parking. The minimum connection time from Fishguard Harbour is seven minutes, and when bus replacement services are operating, the buses leave from the car park adjacent to the level crossing.

Current ownership[edit]

The station is unusual in that it is not owned by Network Rail but privately by Stena Line. Stena Line allows people to smoke on the platform because it is too dangerous to smoke at the only other possible place, where there is a level crossing over a busy road. The public smoking ban only applies to stations owned by Network rail.[5]

Rail services[edit]

Since the station is located in the harbour, its primary purpose has always been providing links with sea going transport. As such, there have always been daily services to and from Fishguard Harbour which coincide with the ferry services to Rosslare in Ireland.

Historic services[edit]

1949[edit]

April 1964 to May 2003[edit]

HST 125 and St Brendan ferry in July 1988
  • All the services serving the other stations on the branch were withdrawn on 6 April 1964, leaving the station served by boat trains only.[6] This was during the Beeching Axe period.
  • Since that date the only scheduled passenger services have been the boat trains.
  • In recent years these have been one night service and one day service all year round, despite the summer-only fast ferry. At one stage the night service was formed of an INTERCITY 125 train running direct to/from London Paddington. The daytime service was the same, although perhaps for only part of the year. British Rail, and later First Great Western and its predecessor Great Western Trains all have operated INTERCITY 125 services to Fishguard Harbour.

May 2003 to September 2003[edit]

2003 saw the remaining First Great Western Fishguard services withdrawn, with the Wales & Borders Trains franchise taking over. This meant there were no longer any through trains to or from London Paddington, but through services to and from a wide range of other stations appeared instead.

  • The night-time train started from London Waterloo every-day, connecting with Eurostar continental services, with the train arriving at 02.38 Tuesday to Saturday mornings, and 01.00 Sunday and Monday mornings. Because of this later arrival on Tuesday to Saturday, this arriving service ran empty to Carmarthen rather than form a return journey.
  • The night-time train went to Liverpool Lime Street on Monday to Saturdays and Bristol Temple Meads on Sundays, leaving each day at 01.50. On Tuesday to Saturdays, this was formed of empty stock run from Carmarthen, whereas on Sundays and Mondays, it was formed of the incoming train from Waterloo.
  • On Monday to Fridays, the day-time train started from Cardiff Central between 30 June and 5 September, not stopping Swansea and Carmarthen stations. Before and after these dates, the train started from Swansea and also called at Carmarthen.
  • On Saturdays, the day-time train went to and from Rhymney
  • On Sundays, the day-time train started at Newport, and went only as far as Carmarthen although it offered a 5 to 10 minute connection at Carmarthen for the London train.

From September 2003 to September 2011[edit]

Arriva Trains Wales took over from Wales & Borders Trains in December 2003

  • A daytime train operated to and from Cardiff Central, arriving and leaving Fishguard Harbour between 1pm and 2pm, often starting from and/or terminating at stations beyond Cardiff, such as Birmingham New Street in 2003.
    • In 2010 and 2011 the service started from Cardiff and called only at Llanelli and Whitland en route to Fishguard Harbour, making it the only scheduled passenger service to use the Carmarthen avoider line. On the return, the train called at Carmarthen as well as Whitland and Llanelli before reaching Cardiff Central, the train then continued onwards to Cheltenham Spa.
    • These daytime services therefore avoided Swansea in both directions. This is normally achieved using the Swansea District Line, but occasionally the service was routed via the "Swansea Avoiding Line" around the back of Landore Train Maintenance Depot instead.
  • A daily train operated at night, arriving and leaving Fishguard Harbour between 1am and 2am.
    • The train operated to and from Swansea, but sometimes originated from stations beyond Swansea.
    • As maintenance of the railways is predominantly done at night, this train was frequently replaced by buses. This was normally known well in advance. When buses replace the trains, the bus usually arrived at Fishguard Harbour at around 02.05 and left after loading/unloading passengers, normally around 02.10.

Current service[edit]

All services are currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales. The level of service was greatly enhanced from 12 September 2011 when five extra services per day in each direction commenced running to and from Fishguard Harbour Mondays to Saturdays. The five extra services are as follows:[8]

Outbound[edit]

Inbound[edit]

  • One early-morning trip to Fishguard Harbour from Carmarthen (with no connection from further east)
  • Two arrivals from Cardiff Central
  • Two trips from Clarbeston Road to Fishguard, one of which forms a connection out of a train from Manchester via Cardiff and Swansea (the other has no connection from further east)

These are provided on a trial basis until September 2014 and are in addition to the two daily 'boat-trains', one at lunch time and one in the dead of night, which provide the traditional ferry connections. The extra services are the first regular timetabled services to Fishguard Harbour that have not been provided solely for connection with ferries since local services were withdrawn in 1964. Since the additional services only run Monday to Saturday, only the two trains connecting with ferry services serve the station on a Sunday.

The decision to introduce additional trains has been credited to two teenagers from Moylegrove who collected a 1,440 signature petition in support of the move.[9] A consultation was held in May/June 2011 on the planned services, but did not result in much adjustment to the times. The additional trains for Fishguard initiative has guaranteed funding until 2014, during which a review will be carried out to identify demand and passenger numbers and future funding. The extra services, with trains to and from Cardiff and Clarbeston Road, are not quite what was expected when the Welsh Assembly Government announced it would be funding up to £1.4m annually to provide extra services between Carmarthen and Fishguard.[10]

Fishguard in 1971
Certificate of the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863-1921. Paddington: Great Western Railway. p. 435. 
  2. ^ Ocean-liners.com
  3. ^ MacDermot 1931, pp. 447–8
  4. ^ "Smoking ban loophole on platform". BBC News. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  5. ^ "Smoking ban loophole on platform". BBC News. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith. Western Main Lines - Carmarthen To Fishguard. Middleton Press. ISBN 978-1-906008-66-6. 
  7. ^ Gough, Terry (2002). British Railways Past and Present - West Wales. Past & Present Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85895-175-5. 
  8. ^ "Fishguard & Six Nations Timetable". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Pupils' petition for more Fishguard trains pays off". BBC News. 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  10. ^ . 2011-03-30 http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/8939011.Funding_for_extra_trains_to_Fishguard/. Retrieved 2011-03-30.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Fishguard and Goodwick   Arriva Trains Wales
West Wales Line
  Terminus
Terminus   Stena Line
Ferry
  Rosslare Europort