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Aberffraw

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The picture here is a map of the supposed route: of which the "history" I have created in the previous post (historical inaccuracies in italics). The black line represents the branch line to Penrhyn, part of which is made up from the original quarry tramway. The blue line shows the original extension (the Aberffraw Railway) to Soar Station, where (Aberffraw Railway-operated) passenger trains reversed and ran to Bodorgan via the LNWR Chester-Holyhead main line. The red line identifies the Henllys Branch, and its later extension to Ty Croes Station by the LNWR, which voided the use of Bodorgan as a junction station; meanwhile Soar Station became a lone outpost of the railway, mainly used as a transfer point onto the LNWR for goods trains owned by Thomas Gwyn's Aberffraw Gabbro Company. Passenger services soon limited to a parliamentary service. The branch to Penhryn didn't survive the Grouping, the length of the branch was too short, the lime quarry closed in the 1880s and limited passengers used it, limited services were implemented on a parliamentary basis, but the line became to expensive to operate economically; the LNWR received an act of parliament to close the route.

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The use of the main, double track line means the stations at Soar & Ty Croes must have been reasonably complex junctions.

 

I'm assuming you're modelling pre-grouping, as the Aberffraw line 'closed' in 1933.

 

Shame, because the post-war development of the Anglesey Circuit could have generated more passenger traffic, as well as transport for the vintage racing cars. 

 

Of course, the extension north of the main line, to Llangefni & RAF Mona (via the over bridge just to the east of the Soar Station) would also have brought exchange traffic to Aberffraw (the installation of a double junction at Soar was deemed too complex and the local farmers objected to the loss of even more land).

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The use of the main, double track line means the stations at Soar & Ty Croes must have been reasonably complex junctions.

 

I'm assuming you're modelling pre-grouping, as the Aberffraw line 'closed' in 1933.

 

Shame, because the post-war development of the Anglesey Circuit could have generated more passenger traffic, as well as transport for the vintage racing cars. 

 

Of course, the extension north of the main line, to Llangefni & RAF Mona (via the over bridge just to the east of the Soar Station) would also have brought exchange traffic to Aberffraw (the installation of a double junction at Soar was deemed too complex and the local farmers objected to the loss of even more land).

 

 

I am modelling pre-grouping oddly enough!

 

The junction of Soar was designed extremely oddly, as the LNWR denied the Aberffraw Railway a Junction-station thus, it meant the station at Soar was cut-off from the LNWR; meanwhile the branch to Aberffraw had a complex service, where trains ran from Bodorgan (the Chairman, Gwyn petitioned for the railway to operate to the closest station on the Chester-Holyhead line, as the villagers explained that there was no point in running a A to B  passenger railway, which had no connections, apart from goods.) to Soar, reversing in order to run around to Aberffraw. The 'forward' connection to the LNWR was goods only, as it didn't face Bodorgan. (I may create a track plan of Soar in the future)

 

The junction at Ty Croes was designed so that the Aberffraw Railway was a slip off-line, where the track of the Aberffraw Branch pretty much followed the main line from Ty Croes Station, before leaving the side of the Chester-Holyhead line easy of Bryncain. There were no connections to the LNWR, except at Ty Croes Station, in order to stay simple, as the LNWR's doctrine was to not build stations within short-distance of each other on a main line.

 

Oh- I forgot in my notes on the Railway, that another branch line was constructed from Ty Croes, after the failed Aberffraw Railway (Llangefni Extension) Act of 1876, a scheme which was opposed by some rather irate farmers and extremely sharp curves and harsh gradients, that were calculated by the civil engineers for the project (especially for the line curving uphill to use the overbridge west of Soar*!), as well as a lack of investment from Llangefni town itself, the planned terminus of the line.

After several other failed schemes: the Gwalchmai Light Railway was finally constructed in 1899, with a line running from Ty Croes, via Pencarnisiog, Dothan and Glanrafon Halt to Gwalchmai. It was LNWR operated from the outset. An extension was made in 1915 to RAF Mona, an important air base where Irish Sea patrol airships were based during the 1st World War. All traffic ended in 1934 and the railway was closed.

A kind of triangular junction was created from the eastern junction at Ty Croes, and the junction and flyover constructed by the Light Railway east of Bryncain, connecting to the Aberffraw branch and Chester-Holyhead mainline.

 

*The overbridge east of Soar was taken out of the proposal as the extension would have to continue the use of trains reverse back from Soar Station, which was an inconvenience from the outset, but then reverse at Treiddon Halt, complicating matters; slowing down other services and creating an overcomplicated service that wouldn't be useful.

 

I will create a map of the Gwalchmai Light Railway soon

 

                                                                                                    - - -

 

Of course, rather unfortunately and reluctantly; the locals of Aberffraw had to say goodbye to their railway in 1933, the station at Aberffraw is now a museum, run by the Aberffraw Railway Society. The group hope in the future to build a heritage railway to Soar Station, the site is now converted into farm stores, a farm shop and café (the goods shed), and a private residence (the station building), now known as "The Sidings".

No news of the heritage railway has been made yet.

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