Prestatyn railway station

Coordinates: 53°20′10″N 3°24′25″W / 53.336°N 3.407°W / 53.336; -3.407
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National Rail
Prestatyn viewed from the new footbridge
General information
LocationPrestatyn, Denbighshire
Coordinates53°20′10″N 3°24′25″W / 53.336°N 3.407°W / 53.336; -3.407
Grid referenceSJ063830
Managed byTransport for Wales
Other information
Station codePRT
ClassificationDfT category D
Opened1 May 1848; 175 years ago (1848-05-01) (original station)
28 February 1897; 126 years ago (1897-02-28) (current station)
Closed28 February 1897; 126 years ago (1897-02-28) (original station)
Rebuilt1979 (renovation)
1997, 2011–18 (refurbishment)
Key dates
18481st station opened
1897current station opened
2017/18Decrease 0.333 million
2018/19Steady 0.333 million
2019/20Decrease 0.325 million
2020/21Decrease 94,156
2021/22Increase 0.252 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Prestatyn railway station on the North Wales Coast Line serves the town of Prestatyn in North Wales.

The station was built on the Chester and Holyhead Railway (CHR) line and opened on 1 May 1848. The coming of the railway is credited with bringing large numbers of tourists and prosperity to the town.[1] When the CHR was acquired by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), further expansion occurred at Prestatyn and the station became a junction for a branch line to Dyserth. In the 1890s, the LNWR built the current station.

Passenger numbers dipped significantly during the mid 20th century. After British Rail tried to close the station in the 1960s, the line and station were rationalised but remained operational. In 1979, the station was renovated. It is managed by Transport for Wales and served by their services from Cardiff Central, Birmingham International and Manchester to Holyhead and Llandudno; other services are provided by Avanti West Coast to London Euston.


19th century[edit]

Prestatyn station was built by the Chester and Holyhead Railway (CHR) on its line from Chester to the port of Holyhead on Anglesey.[2] The route, engineered by Robert Stephenson, ran mainly along the coastline of North Wales. A contract for the station's construction was awarded to the Hinson Brothers.[2]

On 1 May 1848, Prestatyn's first station opened when the CHR opened its line through to Bangor. It comprised a single slate-roofed two-storey brick building and adjacent shed on its westbound platform. The site is roughly 100 m to the east of the present station.[2]

The station was the junction for a branch line to Dyserth opened by the LNWR in 1869 and intended for mineral traffic. In 1905, a passenger service was started that lasted until 1930, when it was withdrawn by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The line remained open to serve a quarry until its closure in 1973.[3] Since then, much of the former line has been reused as a footpath.[4]

On 1 January 1859, the North Wales Coast Line and its stations became a part on the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), who had acquired the CHR.[2] The LNWR placed a great emphasis on its services between London and Ireland via the ferries at Holyhead. Traffic expanded considerably during the late 1800s and the company began a major expansion.[2] In 1897 the tracks through the town were quadrupled and the current station was constructed.[5]

The new station had prefabricated modular buildings manufactured by the LNWR at their works in Crewe.[2] Three prefabricated buildings were constructed, all 3.4 m wide and 2 m long. Timber trestles and frames supported the prefabricated units and 600mm thick concrete slabs were used for parts of the foundations to support brick footings, fireplaces and chimneys.[2]

One of the 1890s buildings is still standing on what was the line towards Chester. It had timber beam canopies along the south and west sides, three internal rooms with fireplaces and toilet facilities.[2] Two similar structures have since been demolished, one having been located on the north-westerly line (towards Holyhead) and the third being built upon yet another platform. On 28 February 1897, the new station was opened and the old station was closed.[2][6]

20th century[edit]

In 1901, further alterations to the station layout became necessary; the work was carried out by contractors Parnell & Son.[2] The former 'up' platform was redeveloped into an island platform between the railway tracks. Another timber canopy was installed on the station building's north side.[2]

Prestatyn station suffered from diminishing passenger numbers after the Second World War. It was threatened with closure during Beeching cuts in the 1960s but objections from the community led to it being reprieved.[7]

The station and line were then rationalised, the four tracks were cut to two in the 1980s, and the island platform became the only one to remain in use.[2] In 1979, the station was rebuilt in a style sympathetic to the original structure. Two of the three prefabricated buildings were demolished. In January 1997, the remaining station buildings were given Grade II listed building status.[2]

In autumn 2011, Prestatyn was the first of six stations in Wales to receive an access footbridge and lift, repaved accessible platforms, in Network Rail's 'Access for All’ programme.[8] In 2012, the station buildings were refurbished. During the first half of 2018, new signalling systems were installed along the North Wales Coast Line leading to the closure of the nearby signal box when control was centralised to the Wales Rail Operating Centre.[9][10]


The station ticket office is staffed seven days a week. A self-service ticket machine is provided for use outside opening hours and collecting pre-paid tickets. Live train running information is via digital passenger information displays.[11]


The hourly Manchester to Llandudno and Birmingham International/Cardiff to Holyhead services call here, giving the station two trains each hour to Chester and Llandudno Junction. On weekdays, Avanti West Coast operate five trains each way per day between Crewe and Holyhead, one of which runs only to Bangor. On Saturdays there is one train each way per day between London Euston and Holyhead, with two trains each way from Crewe to Holyhead, one of which continues to Birmingham New Street.[12][13] A few early morning and late night trains run to/from Crewe, rather than Cardiff or Birmingham.

On Sundays, there is an hourly service each way from mid-morning (to Holyhead westbound and Crewe eastbound) and two trains to/from Manchester. There are three trains per day each way between Crewe and Holyhead, one of which continues to London Euston.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Flint   Transport for Wales
North Wales Coast Line
Flint   Avanti West Coast
Holyhead/Bangor–London Euston


Keep Wales Tidy - Best Kept Staffed Station Award (2017)[14]



  1. ^ "Railway line history". Visit Prestatyn. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m “Prestatyn Station.” ‘’’’, Retrieved: 9 July 2018.
  3. ^ “Visit Prestatyn - Railway Line History.” Visit Prestatyn website, Retrieved: 23 March 2009.
  4. ^ “Dyserth-Prestatyn Railway.” Archived 15 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved: 23 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Prestatyn first station". Disused Stations. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  6. ^ “Old Prestatyn rail station.” ‘’’’, Retrieved: 9 July 2018.
  7. ^ Charlie Hulme. "North Wales Coast Railway History". ’’North Wales Coast Railway’’. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  8. ^ “New footbridge installed.” ‘’Network Rail’’, Retrieved: 23 December 2011.
  9. ^ Darlington, Paul. “Ushering in a new era: North Wales Railway Upgrade Project.” ‘’Rail Engineer’’, 28 June 2018.
  10. ^ Kendrick, Suzanne. “Campaigners fight to save historic Prestatyn signal box.” ‘’Rhyl Journal’’, 21 March 2018.
  11. ^ “Prestatyn station facilities.” National Rail Enquiries, Retrieved: 9 July 2018.
  12. ^ Table 81 National Rail timetable, December 2019
  13. ^ "Avanti West Coast 12 September - 11 December 2021 Timetable" (PDF). Avanti West Coast.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "North Wales Railway Stations Win 'Keep Wales Tidy' Awards". RailAdvent. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Prestatyn railway station at Wikimedia Commons