Swansea railway station


Swansea railway station

Infobox UK station
name=Swansea
other_name=Abertawe
manager=Arriva Trains Wales
locale=Swansea
borough=Swansea
code=SWA
usage0405=1.386
usage0506=1.422
usage0607=1.572
platforms=4
start=1850

Swansea railway station is the railway station serving Swansea, Wales. It is the fourth busiest station in Wales after Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street and Newport High Street. It is one of four railway stations in the City and County of Swansea.

Train services

To the east, services operate along the South Wales Main Line. First Great Western operates InterCity services to London Paddington and Arriva Trains Wales provides the Swanline service to Cardiff Central. Some Arriva Trains Wales services operating to Manchester Piccadilly call at Swansea.

To the west, services operate along the West Wales Line to Carmarthen and then to Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven or Fishguard Harbour. These services are operated by Arriva Trains Wales.

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 Line to Shrewsbury. [ [http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=998 Arriva Trains Wales: Heart of Wales Line: Shrewsbury - Llandrindod - Swansea timetable] ]

Facilities

The station is a terminus, standing at the end of a short branch off the South Wales Main Line and 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. InterCity Express 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 station but 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 train to London was a regular service from the station: it was possible to post letters straight onto the train.

History

The station was originally opened in 1850. Although the station was built by the South Wales Railway, which amalgamated with Great Western Railway in 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] ] .

ee also

*Transport in Wales
*List of railway stations in Wales

References


*"Railways around Swansea" factsheet from Swansea Museums Service
*"The South Wales Railway" factsheet from Swansea Museums Service

External links

* [http://www.swanseaheritage.net/swanseathroughtheyears/building.asp?BUILDING_ID=19 Photographs of the station through the years]

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