Day 96 mile 96: Branch-line Before Breakfast. The Bangor & Bethesda Railway was decommissioned decades ago but traces of it are still there to this day. Having never really explored it and finding that sections are not massively off route on my way to work I went to go and have a look.
It was chartered under the London & North Western Railway Act of 1880 to build a railway ‘4 miles and 26 chains long from Port Penrhyn Junction, 52 chains east of Bangor station, to Bethesda,’ with intermediate stations at Felin Hen and Tregarth. The Resident Engineer was Edward Wood and the line was opened to traffic on 1 July 1884. Passenger and goods traffic went into a long decline after World War I: due largely to the rise in bus use by people and the parallel shift to road haulage by the quarries. This resulted in the closure of the line to passenger traffic on 1 December 1951 and to goods on 7 October 1963.
The rails have gone but the route through the landscape is still there along with viaducts, tunnels and signal boxes. It also provides something of a vein of nature through the landscape as, although the railway line bears the hallmarks of once being an industrial slice through the hills it is now one of the few sections which is not either farmed, grazed or lived on. At this early hour of the day the trees seem to resonate with birdsong and the pathway and bridges, clearly massive enough to fit a steam train though, add to the sense of majesty of the place.
Gosh I need breakfast and a cuppa now though!
Thanks as ever for all the support 🙂
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1768.4 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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You will have to forgive today’s earworm. I’m well aware that it is a proper foray into ‘Dad rock’ but it was what was going through my head at the time. It goes well with the post-industrial feel, the general state of the news at the moment and has a gated-snare beat to run to!