Prestatyn railway station
Prestatyn viewed from the new footbridge
|Managed by||Transport for Wales|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections|
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|1848||1st station opened|
|1897||current station opened|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Prestatyn from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
The original station was built, along with the line itself, for the Chester and Holyhead Railway (CHR) company. On 1 May 1848, Prestatyn railway station was opened, and large numbers of passengers soon followed. The coming of the railway is credited with bringing large numbers of tourists and prosperity to the town, which has long been an aspiring resort. Following the acquisition of the CHR by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), further expansion activity occurred at Prestatyn, such as the station becoming a junction for a freight-orientated branch line to Dyserth. During the 1890s, the current Prestatyn Station was built as a part of a wider capacity expansion scheme performed by the LNWR.
Passenger numbers dipped significantly during the middle of the 20th century. Following an unsuccessful bid by the nationalised railway operator British Rail during the 1960s to close the station, both the line and station facilities were both rationalised nonetheless, but remained operational. During 1979, a major renovation of the station was performed. In the present day, the station is managed by train operating company Transport for Wales and is served by their services from Cardiff Central, Birmingham International and Manchester to Holyhead and Llandudno; other services are also provided by Virgin Trains (West Coast), running to and from London Euston.
Prestatyn Station was built, along with the majority of the modern-day North Wales Coast Line, by the Chester and Holyhead Railway (CHR) company, which sought to develop a railway from the English border-city of Chester to the port of Holyhead on the island of Anglesey. The route, which was selected and engineered by the accomplished railway engineer Robert Stephenson, ran mainly along the coastline of North Wales, including through the town of Prestatyn, thus a station for this community was included in the scheme. A contract for the station’s construction was awarded to the Hinson Brothers.
On 1 May 1848, the first railway station to serve Prestatyn was opened on the same day upon which the CHR inaugurated the completed twin-track line through to the coastal city of Bangor. At the time of opening, Prestatyn Station comprised a single slate-roofed two-storey brick building and an adjacent shed located on its westbound platform. This site is roughly 100 meters to the east of where the present day railway station now stands.
The station was also once the junction for a branch line to Dyserth. This line was originally opened by the LNWR during 1869, who intended for it to be used for mineral traffic only. However, during 1905, a passenger service was instituted over the branch, but this lasted only until 1930, when it was withdrawn by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), who the LNWR had been amalgamated into by this point. The line remained open to serve a quarry at Dyserth until its complete closure were enacted during 1973. Since then, much of the former line has since been reused as a publicly-accessible footpath.
On 1 January 1859, the North Wales Coast Line, along with Prestatyn railway station, became a part on the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), who had acquired the CHR. The LNWR placed a great emphasis on the running of services between London and Ireland via the ferries at Holyhead. Traffic over the route expanded considerably during the late 1800s, contributing to the company launching a major expansion scheme. In 1897, this effort saw the tracks through the town being quadrupled the tracks; furthermore, it was amongst this widening scheme that the current Prestatyn railway station was constructed, as the original complex had been deemed to be insufficient to the increasingly demanding requirements.
The new facility featured prefabricated modular station buildings, which were manufactured by the LNWR at their works in the railway town of Crewe. Three such prefabricated buildings were constructed out of the modules, which shared an identical width of 3.4 meters and a length of 2 meters; the techniques was used elsewhere to produce single-storey buildings along numerous local lines. Timber trestles and frames were used to support the prefabricated units; an additional 600mm thick concrete slab was also used for specific parts of the foundations where necessary to support brick footings, fireplaces and chimneys.
One of these 1890s buildings still stands at Prestatyn Station to this day; this was constructed upon what was originally the south-easterly line (towards Chester) and featured multiple timber beam canopies set along the south and west sides, along with three internal rooms, complete with fireplaces and toilet facilities. Two similar prefabricated structure was also built, but 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 building was opened, while its original counterpart was closed during that same day.
During 1901, it was decided that further alterations to the layout of Prestatyn Station were necessary; this work was performed by contractors Parnell & Son. These changes resulted in the former 'up' platform being redeveloped into an island platform, located between multiple sets of railway tracks. Additionally, a further timber canopy was installed along the station building’s north side during this time.
Akin to many railway stations, Prestatyn Station suffered from diminishing passenger numbers in the years following the Second World War. Although it was threatened with closure during the 1960s, a proposal which was issued as part of the Beeching cuts, vigorous objections voiced by the community have been attributed as having led to the station being ultimately reprieved from such a fate.
Despite the withdrawal of the threat of closure, both the station itself and the overall line were subjection to rationalisation efforts, the results of which being the reversion of the route to double track operation during the 1980s, while the former fast line centre island platform became the only one to remain in use at the station. During 1979, Prestatyn Station was subject to an extensive rebuild effort, which was carried out in a sympathetic style to the original structure and aesthetics of the facility; despite this, two of the three prefabricated buildings were demolished sometime around this time period. During January 1997, the remaining former station buildings were recognised as being Grade II listed buildings.
During autumn 2011, Prestatyn was the first of six stations in Wales to receive a new access footbridge and lift installed, along with repaved accessibility-friendly platforms, as part of the national railway infrastructure company Network Rail's 'Access for All’ programme. During 2012, the main station buildings underwent refurbishment. During the first half of 2018, new signalling systems were installed and commissioned along the North Wales Coast Line, including at Prestatyn; this work saw the closure of the nearby Prestatyn signal box after control was centralised to the Wales Rail Operating Centre.
The station ticket office is staffed seven days a week. A self-service ticket machine is also provided for use outside these hours, as well as for collecting pre-paid tickets. Live train running information is offered via digital passenger information displays, as well as via the ticket office’s staff (during its opening hours) and a dedicated customer help point. Since the construction of the new footbridge in 2011, full step-free access to both platforms has been made possible.
The hourly Manchester to Llandudno and Birmingham International/Cardiff to Holyhead services both call here, giving the station two trains each hour to Chester and Llandudno Junction. There are also six through trains each weekday to and from London. On Saturdays there are four trains to/from London. 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) plus four through trains to London.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Flint||Transport for Wales
North Wales Coast Line
|Flint||Virgin Trains (West Coast)
WCML North Wales branch
- "Railway line history". Visit Prestatyn. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
- “Prestatyn Station.” ‘’engineering-timelines.com’’, Retrieved: 9 July 2018.
- “Visit Prestatyn - Railway Line History.” Visit Prestatyn website, Retrieved: 23 March 2009.
- “Dyserth-Prestatyn Railway.” Archived 15 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. www.dyserth.com, Retrieved: 23 September 2009.
- "Prestatyn first station". Disused Stations. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
- “Old Prestatyn rail station.” ‘’historypoints.org’’, Retrieved: 9 July 2018.
- Charlie Hulme. "North Wales Coast Railway History". ’’North Wales Coast Railway’’. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
- “New footbridge installed.” ‘’Network Rail’’, Retrieved: 23 December 2011.
- Darlington, Paul. “Ushering in a new era: North Wales Railway Upgrade Project.” ‘’Rail Engineer’’, 28 June 2018.
- Kendrick, Suzanne. “Campaigners fight to save historic Prestatyn signal box.” ‘’Rhyl Journal’’, 21 March 2018.
- “Prestatyn station facilities.” National Rail Enquiries, Retrieved: 9 July 2018.
- Table 81 National Rail timetable, May 2017
- Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2011). Chester to Rhyl. West Sussex: Middleton Press. figs. 73-85. ISBN 9781906008932. OCLC 795178960.
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