Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group

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Tryfan Junction Reconstruction

This project was the recipient of the 2014 Railway Heritage Trust's Volunteers Award - See News

A Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group project

Tryfan Junction is unique.  Built in the heady days of  narrow gauge “railway mania” when Wales fully embraced the  railway age, this station was designed to symbolise the permanence of the trade in slate. That it has survived at all is  a tribute to its sturdy construction and to its isolated location.

Tryfan Junction after closureTryfan Junction with demolition train

It was evocatively described by James Boyd:
“Tryfan Junction must have been something of a disappointment to the stranger.   Apart from the small stone and brick station building with its generous name board below the eaves, giving the name in full, it was one of the remotest of places.   Even today, a small road passes along the rear but it only serves two farms.  In yesteryear it would have been quieter still."

Tryfan Junction from front covered in scrubTryfan Junction after scrub clearance

Not to take the opportunity that its survival offers would be to deny the very reasons for the existence of the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group.    By seizing the chance we uphold that part of our constitution which is to maintain and reconstruct all objects of Welsh Highland Railway Heritage.

Tryfan Junction restored 2012Tryfan Junction restored 2012

After years of planning,  work on reconstruction was started in 2009, and by 2012 the shell of the building had been rebuilt. A platform had been built and the halt was once again a working station with trains stopping on request. Further work remains to be done to fit out the interior.

Tryfan Junction Interior - David TidyTryfan Junction Interior - David Tidy

On 5th May 2012 the building was opened for members to see the progress made. The roof is complete and the interior is now being fitted out.

Doors and Windows installed 24th June 2012 - David Tidy Doors and windows installed 24th June 2012
24th June 2012:  Three windows were installed.   The work was carried out by the West Midlands Branch of the Welsh Highland Railway Society. Doors and windows installed 24th June 2012
Relighting the fire 16th September 2012:
The firing up party - David Allan Walkers about to set off on Slate Trail - David Allan
The blazing fire - David Allan The chimney smokes again - David Allan
"Sunday 16th September 2012 saw some twenty heritage enthusiasts foregather in the nearly completed waiting room at Tryfan Junction to celebrate the first fire there for some eighty years.   To mark both the opening of the halt and the final stages of the completion of the Slate Trail, Clerk to Llanwnda Comminity Council, Bethan Williams demonstrated her pyrotechnical technique by striking a Swan Vestas match and applying the flame to a rather damp Daily Telegraph.   Coal had been purloined the previous day from a passing Garratt and soon the newly positioned fireplace was delivering the heat for which it was designed.   Smoke issued from the station chimney and Tryfan Junction was alive once again."  Report and pictures by David Allan
Platform edging Feb 2013 - John Hine Platform edging Feb 2013 - Stuart McNair
The Group were working on the platform extension at Tryfan Junction 22-23 February,  and were also joined by members of the WHRS West Midlands Group on  March 8 -10. The completed platform will extend in front of the building as in the original WHR arrangement.
Tryfan Junction New Platform Tryfan Junction New Platform
May 2013:  The platform extension is complete and vegetation clearance has opened up the views. Thoughts are now turning to restoration of the former signal box,  the base of which is visible in the foreground of the left hand picture
Signal Box Base - Michael Hadley Signal Box Base - Michael Hadley
Signal Box Base - Michael Hadley Signal Box Base - Michael Hadley
March  2014: The West Midland Group hired a driver and mini digger and excavated the signal cabin base.There was no concrete floor to be found but there were traces of a timber floor near the top of the stonework. The Group agreed to fund the excavation and also to make good the stonework.

The outcome is the base as shown here in September 2016:
The Signal Box Base renovated

August  2016:  The old green container has finally been removed from the site (not without some difficulty),  leaving the approach route clear for the proposed slate wagon display to be developed in future