Wheels: CL. If you're on wheels, see our Easy Access page for explanation.
A full list of routes covered by Dudley Mall appears at the bottom of this page.
Rhyl from the west, at early evening.
CREWE is not so much a destination as one of the major interchange points on the railway system. And for a century it
was the manufacturing heart of the largest railway company in the country. The route diagram shows its importance
to the system. We've visited Crewe many times, but not for this directory, but a diagram and description will
appear in due course.|
Wheels: Not known.
Crewe also serves the Crewe to Birmingham line.
is (sadly) an architectural mess. Its italianate frontage of 1848 is excellent, and its overbridge staircases are obviously of the same wonderful heritage. But a lot of re-roofing and replacement of canopies has taken place in an ugly mix of styles that collectively made us wince, and the mid-track shrubbery doesn't help.
Chester scores better in other respects, though. The station is just north east of the city ring road, and easy to find once you pick up the signing. It is easy-access, with a modern ticket office (short on staff when we passed), a newsagents, hot food and coffee areas, waiting rooms, lifts, plenty of overhead shelter, and video train information. One query, though: why is there no seating at all under all the canopy space at the east end of the station? Platform numbering is sensible, with longer platforms given 'a' and 'b' suffixes to allow two trains to share them. Note that the bay platform next to platform 1 is used but not numbered, and may therefore not be for passenger use. Outside the door is short term parking and a taxi rank, and short term parking is also allowed in City Road. Finally, the station's east car park is through a gateway promising "Carriages & Post-Horses for Hire". You have to love it! Wheels: CL
Chester also serves the Chester-Cardiff line. Click here to transfer to our guide for that line.
[Not yet visited.] Wheels: ??
FLINT (Y Fflint) station marks the line between the edge of the shopping centre and the north-eastern housing estate. Flint looks as though it once had a level crossing at its west end that had to be by-passed by a road overbridge just south-east of the station area, and a public bridge now keeps the town and housing linked for pedestrians. In this case, the station also retains its own passenger bridge.
Unfortunately, both bridges are stepped and offer no wheelchair crossing. The platforms themselves are easy access, but you really want a car to get from one side to the other as the route via the road bridge represents significant exercise. Freight facilities have disappeared, with some of the space turned into parking for about 60 cars, though the goods shed itself - right outside the main station building - remains in use as a store and flanks the car park entrance. Coming in from the west, we only saw the station sign as we passed it, but there may be better signing from other routes. Those interested in local history will find Flint Castle visible from one end of the station, and the Rayner Artists part of our site has a little more on that. Wheels: CL.
The station buildings are not mentioned above because we were informed in September 2007 that the main station building, booking office and the room on the floor above had undergone renovation after our visit. The results are new facilities for staff and users (including a new waiting area), making our own description out of date. The waiting room on the Chester side is still as we saw it (closed), but it was hoped that it will also be improved in 2008. This all suggests that more passengers are now using the station. Our thanks to Duncan Stewart, the project manager, for the information.
PRESTATYN Prestatyn station is well-signed and still used, but is quieter than it once was, with one former platform partly neat grass and partly overgrown, and another tidy but out of use. It now has one recently painted traditional canopied wooden building (possibly a survivor from its pre 1923 London & North Western Railway days) with a booking office still open in the evening. Wooden benches - mainly under the canopy would seat about 40 people. As with Flint, we'd guess that Prestatyn station once had a level crossing at its east end, sealed off and by-passed by a nearby bridge as road traffic got heavier.
A modern steel overbridge links the two sides for pedestrians and also serves the station's surviving island platform. The bridge has strong handrails and long ashphalt-surfaced steps with miniature steel ramps at each end of each step which will hopefully help wheelchairs. The station has a free car park for about 35 cars including disabled spaces, and there is a pay-and-display car park on the other side of the line. Wheels: CL.
RHYL station is the most impressive station along this line but akin to a grand old lady whose children have moved away. The frontage is high seaside Victorian and still looks well - as long as you keep your sunglasses on. On the platforms there is more evidence of the station's history. The Llandudno side expects few waiting passengers and offers only a longish canopy and a large bus shelter. But the passenger bridge speaks of the golden years when they needed to be double-banked to cope with holiday-makers flooding off the trains. A lift is a welcome modern addition to them.
More than half the main building on the well-canopied Chester side is let to non-railway enterprises and what was probably the main waiting room was shut and appeared to have no seats when we visited. Rhyl does, however, have an all-day booking office. The station approach is part of a one-way road system with a pay-and-display parking area for maybe 30 cars on one side, and the bus station conveniently adjacent on the other. Signing seems good unless you use the town centre route in from the west. Wheels: CL.
ABERGELE & PENSARN
[In case the name stirs a memory, Abergele was the scene of the first serious British railway disaster in 1868, when runaway wagons containing paraffin got into the path of the Irish Mail train and many passengers were burned to death in their wooden carriages.]
The photo gives a panorama view from the beach side, showing the closed station building and the bridge linking the two platforms. Passenger shelters are just to the right of the brick buildings on both platforms.
We have not yet visited Llandudno Junction station, so the plan and these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. In addition, a large part of the station is under canopy - good for shelter, but also hiding the platform buildings from many angles and making it difficult to label the provision offered. For the same reason, we don't know if there is a lift or ramps as well as steps from the passenger overbridge. What we do know is that there is a fair amount of parking outside. Llandudno Junction is the splitting point for services to Llandudno; across to Angelsey and Irish ferry connections at Holyhead; and down towards Welsh slate country at Blaenau Ffestiniog. For the present we only cover the Llandudno route here. Wheels: ??
We have not yet visited Llandudno station, so please allow for errors. Llandudno was one of the great Victorian seaside resorts and its station resounded to the railway holiday traffic from then until the late 1950s, when car ownership became more common and the station no longer needed to be as big. We are aware of parking or potential parking around the station area if you are making a train journey, but we don't know if it would be long-term. We also have no details as yet on ticket purchase and other facilities. The note on the map that points in two directions to the sea is not being whimsical - it should actually point to three! Wheels: probably CL.
|Please note: the notes and sketches are intended only to give a general impression, and should not be relied upon for more than that. Dudley Mall accepts no liability for errors, but will correct any significant ones notified to us through firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Dudley Mall, 62 Gervase Drive, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AT.|
Text: Harry Drummond. Copyright © 2009 Dudley Mall unless otherwise attributed.