Quakers Yard railway station

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Quakers Yard National Rail
Welsh: Mynwent y Crynwyr
Quakers Yard railway station in 2008.jpg
Quakers Yard railway station in 2008
Location
Place Quakers Yard, Treharris
Local authority Merthyr Tydfil
Coordinates 51°39′37″N 3°19′23″W / 51.6604°N 3.3231°W / 51.6604; -3.3231Coordinates: 51°39′37″N 3°19′23″W / 51.6604°N 3.3231°W / 51.6604; -3.3231
Grid reference ST085965
Operations
Station code QYD
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Number of platforms 1
DfT category F2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 64,746
2012/13 Increase 71,726
2013/14 Increase 82,940
2014/15 Decrease 82,728
2015/16 Increase 84,404
History
5 January 1858 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 Quakers Yard from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Quakers Yard railway station serves the village of Edwardsville in the community of Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. It is located on the Merthyr Tydfil branch of the Merthyr Line. Passenger services are provided by Arriva Trains Wales.

Until June 1964 (when the adjacent Vale of Neath Railway High Level station was closed, along with the Pontypool Road to Neath line that passed through it),[1] this was a large, two-level junction with services to numerous locations and a hub through which large amounts of coal were transported.

Today the station is situated below the Taff Vale estate where bespoke detached properties have been built on the high level line area and also on the incline that existed from the lower level which ran towards Treharris. The derelict upper level was partitioned when the Taff Vale estate was built. The land to the east below Edwardsville cemetery was earmarked for business units - but was eventually sold off to Bailey Homes house builders - mainly detached houses were built and named Forest Grove. A small senior citizen sheltered bungalow complex buffers this site with the Taff Vale site.

The line from Abercynon-Merthyr Tydfil is now a single line operation, the dual track being removed in the early 1970s, although some dual track has since been brought back at Merthyr Vale running towards Merthyr Tydfil to help with the increased frequency of services.

The station was opened as "Quakers Yard Low Level" by the Taff Vale Railway in 1858.[2]

Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the Goitre Coed Viaduct, it was opened in 1841. Its height is approx 100 ft the Goitre Coed Viaduct was widened in 1862 with another stone bridge of slightly differing design sitting embedded next to the original one, this addition can easily be spotted when passing underneath the viaducts arches on the Taff Trail cycle route 8. This viaduct still exists as the gateway to the Taff Valley for the Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil railway line. In a recent TV appearance, a Brunel expert put the Goitre Coed Viaduct as the finest example of Brunel's viaducts in Wales.[citation needed]

Two more viaducts existed at the north end of Edwardsville which were demolished shortly after the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. The main reason for their demolition was subsidence and the viaducts had been strengthened with huge wooden supports for a number of years.

It should also be noted that Quakers Yard station is also a very useful point to access or leave the Taff Trail cycle route. The beauty spot at Pontygwaith Bridge over the River Taff lies approx 1 mile north on the trail. Arriva trains allow cyclists on local trains with some restrictions on timing. Access to the Taff Trail is via a foot crossing over the railway line a short distance north of the railway platform.

This section of the Taff Trail includes the original stone sleepers from Edwardsville towards Pontygwaith and beyond towards Mount Pleasant, where Richard Trevithick ran the first ever Steam locomotive to run on rails and the first to carry passengers in 1804.[citation needed] Stephenson's Rocket of 1829 some 25 years after the Pen-Y-Darren Locomotive is no longer lauded as the first railway locomotive. For many recent years Trevithick's achievements were ignored in favour of Stephenson but it would appear in recent years with plenty of publicity both Trevithicks and the Taff Valley's place in history are now assured.

Services[edit]

Trains run every half-hour each way, north to Merthyr Tydfil and south to Pontypridd & Cardiff Central. Southbound trains continue alternately to Barry Island and Bridgend via the Vale of Glamorgan Line. On Sundays there is a two-hourly service each way to Merthyr & Bridgend.[3]

Edwardsville[edit]

Edwardsville is the name given to the small urban area that grew up around the Quakers Yard station. The railway pre-dated the villages of both Edwardsville and Treharris.[i] Although not close to Quakers Yard village, this was the only local placename of any note at the time.[ii]

The Edwardsville area began as a public house and a few houses on the road along the valley to Merthyr. The Great Western Hotel, still exists just above the railway station, with strong links to the railways obvious by its name. Around 1900 the area acquired its name from the landlord of this pub, Edmund Edwards.

Mrs C M Williams of Grove House, Edwardsville, wrote:[4]

My late father, Mr A Clarke, was in the meeting held in the Long Room of the Great Western Hotel when Edwardsville was given its name. It was called this after the late Mr Edmund Edwards, who was chairman of the meeting and the proprietor of the Great Western Hotel. He later became the owner of many properties.

The suffix ‘-ville’ was popular for new placenames around this time, particularly those largely built by speculative builders or landlords. It suggested both a pastoral ‘village’ and also a then-fashionably French aspect of 'ville' (town).[5] Edwardsville expanded on both sides of the road and soon had a board school and chapel.

On 27 October 1913, much destruction was caused in Edwardsville when it was hit by a tornado. The roofs of many houses, the school and chapel were destroyed. Three people were killed and over a hundred injured.[6] Damage was caused over a wide area, with chimneys also demolished as far down the valley as Pontypridd. This toll remains Britain's highest for a tornado.

Recently Edwardsville has expanded below the main road, with new houses filling the space of the previous high-level station.

Edwardsville is part of the Treharris community, as is Quakers Yard. Boosted by the pit, Treharris has grown to be larger than both.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Treharris, lit. 'Harrris' town' in Welsh takes its name from Harris's Navigation Pits, which were sunk in 1872.
  2. ^ Quakers Yard's placename dates from around 1700
  1. ^ Page, James. (1988), Forgotten Railways: Volume 8 - South Wales (2nd Ed), David & Charles Publishers, Newton Abbott, ISBN 0-946537-44-5, p.37
  2. ^ Hutton, John (2006). The Taff Vale Railway, vol. 1. Silver Link. ISBN 978-1-85794-249-1. 
  3. ^ GB National Rail Timetable 2015-2016 Edition, Table 130 (Network Rail)
  4. ^ "Edwardsville". Old Merthy Tydfil.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ Jones, Howard C. (1976). Place Names in Glamorgan. Starling Press. p. 25. ISBN 0903434180. 
  6. ^ "Edwardsville tornado". Old Merthy Tydfil.  External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Abercynon   Arriva Trains Wales
Merthyr Line
  Merthyr Vale