RAILDATE 2024.04.12

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The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

Another terminus this week, this time with a distinctive station canopy. Where is it?

Last week's Where is this?

This is probably Britain's smallest city railway terminus, which I visited yesterday. It's quite busy, with five trains per hour. A single car unit is circled, and the substantial recently-renovated station buildings are in the foreground. Where is it?

Bonus: There are two previous names for this station. Can you name them?

Answer: Cardiff Bay. Previously known as Dock Station (officially Bute Dock, then Cardiff Docks) and Cardiff Bute Road. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Dave Goodyear, John Lacy, Phil Deaves, Richard Whitbread, Jim Allwood, Andy Sollis, Simon Wass, Paul Hopper, Bryn Pitcher, Brian Francis, Jeremy Harrison, Andrew Treves, Ian Lowe, Andy Foster, Chris Callaghan, Dave Winter.

The station buildings were the headquarters of the Taff Vale Railway until 1862, then became shared consular buildings for the sailors of Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Brazil. Tiger Bay was the colloquial name for this multi-ethnic area, which included author Roald Dahl's parents as wealthy shipbrokers from the Norwegian diaspora.

Until 1897, the TVR built its locos at the cramped West Yard works nearby. The company was absorbed by the Great Western in 1922 and the Bute Road name was adopted from 1924. The adjacent road was always Bute Street however. Cardiff Bay was adopted in 1994 as part of the regeneration of Cardiff Docks - which continues today.

Train service is now a shuttle every 12 minutes to Cardiff Queen Street using a single car Class 153. The frequency is much improved from the sub-hourly train from Coryton in former years. An intermediate station - to be called Butetown - is under construction. The Butetown to Cardiff Bay section is due to be electrified as part of the South Wales Metro scheme, with Butetown to Queen Street to run on battery. An on-street extension beyond Cardiff Bay station is also a possibility.

Effectively, Cardiff now has two centres which are connected by this line. The Welsh Senedd is sited nearby and various commercial and cultural developments have clustered around. Torchwood (TV series) was set here. Residential schemes are in the process of joining the two centres.

Plaque on the station buildings. (Not sure why Cardiff Bay came under "South Eastern")

Raildate contributor Mike Wilcock offers three of his YouTubes covering Cardiff Docks:


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©  Matthew Shaw 2024