Track shipments

The forgotten history of Tregarth Station and the current use of the track

In the heart of the village of Tregarth you will find the children’s park, a rugby and football pitch and the community centre, as well as an entrance to a footpath leading to Bethesda. The park is a popular spot for locals, but few remember the original purpose of the land as little evidence remains.

The community centre, which serves as a hub for several local events, on polling days and provides an enclosed play area for young children, stands at the original location of Tregarth railway station. Standing on the site, you won’t immediately notice the remains of the old station, but look to the right side of the building, or down the bridge, and you’ll see what’s left of the old platform edge with some benches sitting on the site of the old station.

Closed to passenger traffic in 1951, the line remained operational until 1963 before being closed completely. Passengers during this period would have seen the station closed and beginning to deteriorate. The station building remained in this condition until the 1980s, when it was demolished following the construction of the community center next door, with the land now used as parking for the site.

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The track itself was once part of a four-mile stretch from Bethesda to the Bangor Main Line, with an additional stop at Felin Hen. The line was a popular way for workers to get around.

Originally opened in 1884, the track followed the Penrhyn Railway very closely. This track belonged to Lord Penrhyn and dates back to 1800 and was mainly used to transport slate from the Bethesda quarry to the coast for shipping. The lines cross three times in total – once above and twice below.

On average in 1895 five trains traveled up and down the line each day, carrying passengers along the line, Tregarth being a popular station due to the limited other means of transport from the village at the time. In July 1922, eight trains traveled up and down the line daily, rising to sixteen in 1932, despite competition from bus services at that time.

Do you have any memories of the old Tregarth station? Let us know in the comments.

However, following World War II, many Bethesda services were curtailed and not restored to their pre-war frequency. Because of this and the growing success of local bus services, Bethesda Station became much less popular and usage of the line began to decline. In 1951 many trains passing through Tregarth carried only one coach, with the majority of customers still using the line from the village, but in December the line was officially closed to passengers.

In 1973, the station was condemned and the track had been removed

Now the old track has been converted into a bike path that can be followed from Bethesda to Bangor, after work in 2017 cleared an old tunnel in the track adding the final stretch, which to reach Bethesda previously would have required a additional detour. The track itself isn’t too difficult to hike or cycle, so it’s a perfect summer day for anyone looking to learn more about the old railway.