Penarth railway station

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Coordinates: 51°26′08″N 3°10′28″W / 51.4355°N 3.1745°W / 51.4355; -3.1745

Penarth National Rail
Penarth Railway Station - - 221431.jpg
Place Penarth
Local authority Vale of Glamorgan
Grid reference ST184714
Station code PEN
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Number of platforms 1
DfT category E
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 0.589 million
2012/13 Increase 0.612 million
2013/14 Decrease 0.600 million
2014/15 Decrease 0.597 million
2015/16 Increase 0.613 million
Original company Cardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway
Pre-grouping Taff Vale Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
20 February 1878 Opened
1968 Down buildings and platform removed
1984 Buildings replaced
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Penarth from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Penarth railway station is the railway station serving the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It is the terminus of Network Rail's Penarth branch running from Cogan Junction to Penarth station, 1mile 12chains from the junction and 2 miles 67 chains (4.6 km) south of Cardiff Central station. NB: Contrary to certain railway orientated sources, the official Network Rail Vale of Glamorgan Line does not run from Cardiff Central to Barry or Penarth. It starts at Barry Junction and runs to Bridgend via Llantwit Major, the line from Cardiff West Junction to Barry Island being the Barry branch. The officially named 'Penarth branch' ran from Cogan Junction to Biglis Junction, a rail mileage of 5miles 65chains and was officially closed beyond Penarth on Saturday 8 May 1968 (Last passenger train) [1]

Station history[edit]


Penarth Station (or Penarth Town as it was originally known) was built for the Cardiff, Penarth and Barry Junction Railway, and opened in 1887 as part of that company's new line to Lavernock.[2] This was a continuation of the Taff Vale Railway's Penarth Extension Railway, which had been completed in February 1878 and gave the town its first rail link to Cardiff.

The Taff Vale took over the CP&BJR in 1889 and had the line completed from Lavernock to Biglis Junction east of Cadoxton) on the Barry Railway in 1890.[3] The extension attracted holiday and weekend traffic from Penarth to the beach at Lavernock or Barry Island Pleasure Park[4] for the day, with steam trains running every 30 minutes from 7.15 am until 11.45 pm in both directions. There was also a sizeable amount of commuter traffic from the station eastwards into Cardiff. As first constructed the station had two side platforms & tracks (plus a non-platform line for goods traffic), a signal box and a goods yard at the Lavernock end of the station.[5]

After the Beeching review[edit]

After The Reshaping of British Railways report, British Rail withdrew the passenger service west of Penarth on 6 May 1968.[6][7] General goods traffic over the route had previously ended on & from 7 October 1963 (the date the goods yard here also closed), leaving only the cement trains from the factory at Cosmeston and so the line beyond there closed to all traffic. The remaining section to Penarth followed suit in November 1969 when the Snowcem works closed, leaving the station as a dead-end terminus.[8] The line has been single track between Cogan Junction and Penarth since February 1967.[9]

Parts of the disused trackbed through Lower Penarth and towards Sully have been blocked and built on. Other parts have been turned into a rural railway walk and cycle path from north of Alberta Place (south of Penarth station) to Brockhill Rise road overbridge, approximately ½ mile north-east of the former Lavernock station.

Until 1968 Penarth station had two platforms, one on each side of the tracks for down and up traffic, with a gated foot crossing. After the branch was singled and the line on towards Sully and Biglis Junction closed, the platform buildings on the Plymouth Road side were sold and used as a garden centre until they were demolished in the 1980s and a new Government Jobcentre plus and private offices were built in their place.[citation needed] The loss of the down platform and its station building also effectively closed the station's main car parking area in the specially widened eastern end of Plymouth Road.

Closure of the coastal rail line removed the direct link between Penarth and Barry, Barry Island, Rhoose or Llantwit Major. Completion of the journey from Penarth by rail today entails first travelling north as far as Grangetown, before catching a connecting train in the reverse direction to Barry or any of the stations mentioned above, thus doubling the journey time and distance travelled.

Original buildings[edit]

BR had most of the original 19th-century station buildings demolished and replaced with modern ones in a major remodelling in 1984. Since 1971 the station's original ticket office building, built in 1887, has been let as a fast food outlet.

The original Railway Hotel no longer provides accommodation but is still a public house.


The station has a small "drop off and pick up only" car park in Station Approach. The current ticket office in the station building is open early morning to mid-afternoon from Monday to Saturday.

All services on this line are currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales as part of the Valley Lines system of the National Rail network.


Train of two Pacer units at Penarth: a Class 142 in the foreground and a Class 143 beyond
Train of one Class 150 Sprinter unit at Penarth

The usual service pattern is four trains per hour to Bargoed from Mondays to Saturdays during the day, of which one continues to Rhymney.[10] In the evenings, services terminate at either Ystrad Mynach or Caerphilly and the frequency pattern decreases to two trains per hour. There are several evening services to Treherbert, one combined with a Rhymney departure and a second with one to Caerphilly (both split at Cardiff Central).

On Sundays there is only one train every two hours, totalling six trains all day, there is no late evening service, and trains run only as far as Cardiff Central. There are plans to increase this service to an hourly service.[citation needed]

Services are operated with Class 142, Class 143 Pacer units — usually run in pairs to provide a four-car train, and Class 150 Sprinter units — usually run singly as a two-car train.

Barry connections[edit]

Since 1968 Penarth has had no direct rail link to Barry Island, although travel between the two towns remains popular. Rail passengers for Barry must travel in the opposite direction and change at Grangetown, before heading back to Barry. Alternatively, passengers may walk about 20 minutes from Penarth to Cogan railway station.

Plans have been outlined[by whom?] to move the platforms at Cogan to the other side of the Penarth spur junction so that passengers for Barry could change at Cogan instead of having to travel to Grangetown.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yonge, John (August 2010) [1989]. Bridge, Mike, ed. Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western (4th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 22. ISBN 978-0-9549866-6-7. 
  2. ^ Hutton, John (2006). The Taff Vale Railway. 3. Silver Link. p. not cited. ISBN 978-1-85794-251-4. 
  3. ^ Crawford, Ewan (7 August 2011). "Chronology for Cardiff Penarth and Barry Junction Railway". A History of Britain's Railways. Railscot. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Page, p.82
  5. ^ Penarth Town Signal Box diagramSignalling Record Society; Retrieved 2013-09-13
  6. ^ Page, p.178
  7. ^ "Train Service Anniversary Brings Back Memories" Keitch, B - Penarth Times website news article; Retrieved 2013-09-13
  8. ^ Photo of buffer stop at the "country" end of Penarth station ; Retrieved 2013-09-13
  9. ^ "The Taff Vale Railway by D.S.M Barrie"; Retrieved 2013-09-12
  10. ^ Table 130 National Rail timetable, May 2016


  • Body, G. (1983), PSL Field Guides - Railways of the Western Region, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 0-85059-546-0
  • Page, J. (1988), Forgotten Railways: Volume 8 - South Wales (2nd Ed), David & Charles Publishers, Newton Abbott, ISBN 0-946537-44-5

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Dingle Road   Arriva Trains Wales
Rhymney Line