Retracing The Cardiff Railway, Part Two: Upper Boat

After leaving Rhydfelin Halt (detailed here), the Cardiff Railway ran along the back of Hawthorn for about a mile or two, until just before the site of the modern day Treforest Industrial Estate. This district, known as Upper Boat, has changed significantly since the Cardiff Railway was first built, and mostly due to two factors – the start of the estate in the early 1930’s, and the construction of the A470 trunk road in the late 1960’s.

The original brick building that was Upper Boat halt has long since been demolished, and the track bed largely obliterated by residential redevelopment and the A470.  The halt was in service from 1911 to 1931, when passenger services ceased from Coryton to Rhydyfelin. The station had been built to accommodate four tracks, but only two ever run through the halt. A footbridge also crossed the lines during it’s passenger days, but this had been removed sometime between 1930 and 1950, as seen in these two OS maps from the 1920’s and 1950’s.

upperboatOS

m100954_310500_187500By the early 1930’s, adjacent land was being transformed into the fledgling Treforest Industrial Estate, and pre-construction aerial photography shows (in minimal detail, sadly) the useless Rhydyfelin Viaduct, Rhydyfelin Halt, Upper Boat Halt, and the subsequent Nantgarw Halt.

Cardiff-Railway-Final-WEB

The old brick building fell into swift disrepair throughout the 1940’s onward. The Cardiff line converted to freight only as far as Nantgarw, and despite Upper Boat’s close proximity to the new industrial estate, it wasn’t enough to breathe life into the line. By the 1970’s the building had lost its roof and was completely derelict. The trackbed through the station still existed, but more housing nearby had further erased what little trackbed had survived the recent construction of the A470. The Upper Boat roundabout took what was left.

Restricted useage

By the 1980’s and 90’s the building had been demolished completely, and a new industrial estate erected upon its footprint. In the Google Streetview pic below, the station would have occupied the rear-end of the FOCUS building, and the platforms would be under the entrance ramp to the modern day A470 .

upperboat_today

The now-abandoned FOCUS DIY warehouse now echoes the station, it’s fate also uncertain since it’s owners went out of business in 2012.

Next, we’ll look at Nantgarw Low Level Halt, as the old Cardiff Railway creeps toward its destination.

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