- Swansea railway station
Infobox UK station
Arriva Trains Wales
Swansea railway station is the
railway stationserving Swansea, Wales. It is the fourth busiest station in Walesafter Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street and Newport High Street. It is one of four railway stations in the City and County of Swansea.
To the east, services operate along the
South Wales Main Line. First Great Westernoperates InterCityservices to London Paddington and Arriva Trains Walesprovides the Swanlineservice to Cardiff Central. Some Arriva Trains Wales services operating to Manchester Piccadilly call at Swansea.
Swansea also serves as an interchange station between mainline services and some regional services. It is one of the stations used as an interchange by passengers travelling between England and West Wales and the terminus for some of the West Wales services. [http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=2270 Arriva Trains Wales: West Wales to Swansea timetable] ] It is the southern terminus for most trains travelling on the
Heart of Wales Lineto Shrewsbury. [ [http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=998 Arriva Trains Wales: Heart of Wales Line: Shrewsbury - Llandrindod - Swansea timetable] ]
The station is a terminus, standing at the end of a short branch off the
South Wales Main Lineand the West Wales Line, so that all through passenger trains between the two must either reverse at Swansea or omit calling there. In practice, almost all passenger services do call there.
It has four platforms, which are not designated for exclusive use by any particular service but instead are shared between train services according to availability.
InterCityExpress trains from London almost always enter the station standard carriages first, usually at platform 2. The platforms are covered for only part of their length. This means first-class Intercity passengers alight nearest to the station buildings at London Paddington stationbut have no shelter when they board at Swansea.
The manned ticket hall is located at the southern end of the platforms. A rail travel centre, café and newsagent and automatic ticket machines are located in the hall. Automatic ticket barriers exist but are only used when the station is manned for safety reasons and due to the inability to handle some ticket types. The station also has a ticket office and information centre.
Until January 2004, the
mail trainto London was a regular service from the station: it was possible to post letters straight onto the train.
The station was originally opened in 1850. Although the station was built by the South Wales Railway, which amalgamated with
Great Western Railwayin 1863, it was not originally on the South Wales Railway trunk line (which was planned to connect London to the ferries to Ireland) and Swansea passengers had to change at Landore, two miles to the north. This was the case until at least 1879. Swansea is still on a short spur from the main line. The station has been renovated and extended several times in its lifetime. Nothing now remains of the original wooden station with its two platforms and galvanised roof.
The majority of the rebuilt station remains intact, although the facilities have been reduced. The platform roof is mostly intact although the Platform 1 canopy has been shortened. Platform 5 is no longer present and neither are the loading bays and fish dock that once stood beyond it. On the other side of the station a connecting line used to bypass through the station and follow the edge of what was the dock behind Wind Street and down to the dock and yards alongside former Swansea Victoria. The route alongside the station is now the car park and the remainder of the route down the docks has been obliterated (like most of the dock itself) by redevelopment. Most of the freight yard has also been lifted although some parts remain, and one siding is currently (2007) used to store trains for the morning services.
There was great competition between the different railway companies in the Victorian period. Swansea had seven stations in
1895, built by five different railway companies: High Street, St Thomas, East Dock, Riverside, Victoria, Swansea Bay, and Rutland Street (the town terminus of the Mumbles Railway). Only this station now remains in the city centre.
Name of the station
For most of its history it was known as "Swansea High Street" to distinguish it from other train stations in the area. Following Beeching's cuts in the 1960s and the closure of "Swansea Victoria", the name of the station was shortened to simply "Swansea" because no such disambiguation is needed now. Today the station is signed and referred to as and "Abertawe/Swansea" (such as on platform signs, the station's facade, public railway timetables, by the National Assembly of Wales and by Swansea County Council) [ [http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=770 City and Council of Swansea: Passenger Transport] ] [ [http://www.swan.ac.uk/economics/res2004/information/index.htm RES Annual Conference 2004 - Information ] ] . However it is still referred to as "High Street Station" on the entrance sign and in Network Rail route documentation as "Swansea High Street Station" [ [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/SWA.html National Rail Enquiries: Station Facilities: Swansea] ] .
Transport in Wales
List of railway stations in Wales
*"Railways around Swansea" factsheet from Swansea Museums Service
*"The South Wales Railway" factsheet from Swansea Museums Service
* [http://www.swanseaheritage.net/swanseathroughtheyears/building.asp?BUILDING_ID=19 Photographs of the station through the years]
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