Treforest High Level Station – a look back…

Well, having covered the old Pontypridd Graig Station and the tunnel it lead into here, it seemed only natural to follow the old Barry Railway route down to it’s next stop – Treforest.

Barry Railway opened this station on the 16th March, 1896. Four tracks ran through it, with the two platforms being on loops, and connected by an impressive spanning footbridge. When Barry Railway, Taff Vale Railway and a few others were amalgamated into the Great Western Railway in 1922, this station was given the High Level suffix (on 1st July, 1924), to avoid confusion with the lower Treforest Station that ran on the Taff Vale Railway line. That lower level station absorbed the passenger traffic by the 1930’s, and is still in use today – the High Level station closing on 10th July 1930. Freight traffic still used the lines right through to 1951, with one of the lines just south of the station being used to store steam engines during 1943-1944, as the hillsides there helped protect from air attack. During the 1950’s the tracks were pulled, and the larger of the station houses became a private dwelling.

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Wide view of Treforest – High Level Station is just above and left of centre. Approx 1950. (RCT Archive)

The same image, but with the Forest Grove bridge, station and general Barry Railway line areas highlighted.

The same image, but with the Forest Grove bridge, station and general Barry Railway line areas highlighted.

Moving south from the Graig Tunnel, the line ran over raised ground on the hillside behind the School for Mines (now known as the A Block within Glamorgan University), and ran over a bridge over Forest Grove before running into the station itself.

Forest Grove in 2012 - I've added an impression of where the bridge and embankments used to be back in the 1950's. I assume they were levelled sometime in the 1960's.

Forest Grove in 2012 – I’ve added an impression of where the bridge and embankments used to be back in the 1950’s. I assume they were levelled sometime in the 1960’s.

The top house on the left is my occasional office, and working here is what sparked off my curiousity of hat was once here, as there are several tiny nuggets of the past dotted around the University grounds. If you were to follow the road around to the left in the above picture, you’d run up a slight incline to the entrance of the station building itself. Which once upon a time, looked like this…

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The newer section of the original building (on the right of the top picture) was a new booking office, added in 1908. After the line closure, the building became a private dwelling, but eventually was demolished sometime after the 1970’s or 1980’s. As you can see, very little of the original imposing station remains today – merely the foundations and a few steps. The original site of the platforms is now the site of a police vehicle depot, and the road below is now used by University students  and staff to park very badly on a daily basis. A set of steps also led up to this spot in front of the station from Hilda Street, a few streets up from Forest Grove, and these steps still exist today, as seen below.

Screen Shot 2012-12-22 at 18.09.41

As far as the platforms are concerned, I couldn’t find any photo’s of them in their prime, but there is this from the 1950’s. The tracks are gone, as is the footbridge…

The view toward Tonteg, away from the University, in April 1958 (Welsh Valleys: Cardiff to Taff Vale - Middleton Press)

The view toward Tonteg, away from the University, in April 1958 (Welsh Valleys: Cardiff to Taff Vale – Middleton Press)

Taken around the same time, a view from above the station, again, showing the disrepair it had fallen into.

Taken around 1951, (RCT Archive).

Taken around 1951, the station is bottom right. Right of centre, in the distance, is the other Treforest station (run by the Taff Vale Railway). That station is the current day operating station for the area. (RCT Archive).

So there we have it. Another slice of the Rhondda’s industrial past, and again very little remains today to show what once was there. The construction and later expansion of Glamorgan University erased a lot of the groundworks of this section of the Barry Railway, and that’s even more true moving further along the line toward Tonteg – but that’s a blog for another day.

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4 thoughts on “Treforest High Level Station – a look back…

  1. Ah mate, you had forgotten the site of the massive train tunnel on the Glamorgan Uni Campus. It’s on the car-park road which runs underneath the canteen. Google Maps: 51.590059,-3.330988, the Green Arrow, not the Red one. We always tried to climb up the bricks to find out what was inside.

    There’s also a Gem of a disused tunnel near an old industrial building at the far end of Meadow Street in Treforest. Around about here: 51.5854,-3.319374 – though I’d suspect this one was used for the old Tin works that was there back yonder.

    Treforest is full of little historical buildings and tidbits like this

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