Sugar Loaf railway station

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Sugar Loaf National Rail
Welsh: Dinas y Bwlch
Sugar Loaf railway station in southern Powys (geograph 5368007).jpg
Sugar Loaf station in April 2017
Location
PlaceSugar Loaf Mountain, Llandovery
Local authorityPowys
Coordinates52°04′55″N 3°41′13″W / 52.082°N 3.687°W / 52.082; -3.687Coordinates: 52°04′55″N 3°41′13″W / 52.082°N 3.687°W / 52.082; -3.687
Grid referenceSN844438
Operations
Station codeSUG
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms1
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 240
2014/15Decrease 110
2015/16Increase 132
2016/17Increase 228
2017/18Increase 1,846
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 Sugar Loaf from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Sugar Loaf railway station is a railway station in Powys, Wales, and is the most geographically remote station on the Heart of Wales Line. It is located one mile to the north-east of a small but prominent knoll known as Sugar Loaf, around which the A483 road loops.[1] The line through here was opened by the Central Wales Extension Railway in 1868; the station was closed to passengers in 1965 but subsequently reopened to traffic in 1984.[2]

This station is a request stop used mainly by trekkers and cyclists, since it is the nearest stop to the Sugar Loaf vantage point,[3][4] although it was originally built to serve a number of cottages occupied by railway workers (such as signalmen and track gangers).[5] The children of the workers travelled by train to school in Llanwrtyd Wells.[4] South of the station the line reaches the summit at 820 feet (250 m) above sea level and then passes beneath the hills via the 1,001-yard (915 m) Sugar Loaf tunnel, which is approached by gradients as steep as 1 in 60. It then descends steadily for the next 8 12 miles (13.7 km) down to Llandovery. The climb up to the summit here was a challenging one for train crews in steam days (especially northbound) and the use of banking locomotives was commonplace.

Usage[edit]

The station has traditionally seen very few passengers; in 2010/2011 an estimated 84 passengers used the station and in 2014 it was reported that the station was averaging five passengers per month.[2] However, in 2017/2018 it increased its passenger usage by nearly 710% from the previous year, taking it to as many visitors in the year as the previous 17 years combined. Its low usage seems to have made it a popular attraction, although usage at stations with low passenger numbers are clearly subject to statistical blips.[6]

Facilities[edit]

The station has basic amenities only - a waiting shelter and timetable poster boards - although it has had a digital CIS display fitted. There is no step-free access available, due to the station entrance being some distance from the nearest road (the A483) along a narrow path and in a cutting.[7]

Services[edit]

All trains serving the station are operated by Transport for Wales. There are four trains a day in each direction (towards Swansea and Shrewsbury) from Monday to Saturday, and two services on Sundays.[8] Being a request stop, passengers have to give a hand signal to the approaching train driver to board or notify the guard when they board that they wish to alight from the train there.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Cynghordy   Transport for Wales
Heart of Wales Line
  Llanwrtyd

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sugar Loaf (Map). 1:25,000. OS Explorer. Cartography by Ordnance Survey. Streetmap.co.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Britain's forgotten railway stations". Telegraph.co.uk. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Sugar Loaf". Heart of Wales Line. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Sugar Loaf Halt is Wales' quietest station, Arriva says". BBC. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  5. ^ Heart of Wales Travel Guide Doughty, Audrey, Llandeilo Past & Present; Retrieved 6 July 2016
  6. ^ Shuttleworth, Peter (11 December 2018). "Why Wales' quietest station, Sugar Loaf, got busier". BBC Wales News.
  7. ^ Sugar Loaf station facilitiesNational Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 28 January 2017
  8. ^ Table 129 National Rail timetable, December 2018

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Sugar Loaf railway station at Wikimedia Commons