Retracing The Cardiff Railway, Part One: Rhydyfelin Halt (low level)

In a previous blog post (which can be found here) I detailed the first stages of the old Cardiff Railway line. The line started just south of the Taff Vale Railway’s Treforest station (although it wasn’t actually connected, but came very close), but the first actual station on the line was the Rhydfelin Halt. Well, it was actually the terminus, but I’m working backwards into Cardiff, cos I’m a maverick like that.

The Cardiff Railway had been planned as a freight run to ferry coal, but these plans had been swiftly scuppered by the Taff Vale Railway, who were already smarting from competition from the Barry Railway, and were loath to lose more business. As such the Cardiff Railway became a limited passenger  service, running trains from Rhydfelin from 1910 until the early 1930’s, when dwindling profits forced the line’s closure.

The Rhydyfelin Halt was one of two stations in the town – the other was owned by the Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport railway, and ran on the mountainside, quite far from this low level station. Cardiff Railway’s station was a rail-level halt, with minimal facilities. Access was gained from Poplar Road on the north side of the station, or via Francis Street on the south side. Nothing at all remains of the station today – the construction of the A470 trunk road in the late 1960’s used the Cardiff Railway line trackbed for the most part, neatly erasing the line from existence. Here is the Francis Street entrance today…

Francis St entrance to the former Rhydyfelin Halt...

Francis St entrance to the former Rhydyfelin Halt…

The path up to the tracks would have started by the lamp-post on the right-hand side of the bottom of the street. Following on the path up to the right would have lead to the halt, as seen here…

rhydfelynhalt01So here we see the station in it’s prime, around 1911, followed by it’s current-day state as the A470. In the far distance of the old photograph, you can just make out a small bridge that the tracks run over. Despite the closure of the station in the 30’s, the trackbed and that bridge survived for at least another 30 years…

rhydfelynhalt05Moving along the route, here’s that bridge, and it’s modern day equivalent. Here’s another view from the 1960’s looking back toward the Halt, which at this point was already demolished…

Restricted useage

Finally, there’s another photograph from the 1960’s taken form the Poplar Road entrance to the Halt. Very little to see as the Halt is gone, but it’s the closest I’ve found to a picture of the old entryways to the stop. This entire patch of land is now under the A470.

Restricted useageSo that’s the old Rhydyfelin Halt stop covered. The next stop along this line was the Upper Boat station – a station that actually avoided destruction from the A470, but instead was replaced with something else… but we’ll cover that in a future blog post.

Kris

Rhyd-y-Felin Halt donated by D K Jones

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