Pembroke Dock station query

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by gazthomas, 24 Aug 2015.

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  1. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I took the FGW HST from London Paddington to Pembroke Dock and back on Saturday 22nd. It was a really good trip despite the weather and I'm really impressed with the refurbishment in 1st class. It is a shame the station at Pembroke Dock in a poor state of repair.

    Anyway, my question is there are two platforms, only one of which seems to be of regular use. At the end of one platform there appears to a ramp - was this used for Motorail services?

    Also, Mr Chips is a great chip shop if you need sustenance!
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2015
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  3. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    I'm sure Motorail services have never run to Pembroke Dock. I could be wrong.
     
  4. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I thought it odd. It definitely doesn't look like a buffer. I have a photo which I'll upload with this post which shows part of it (I wasn't going to trespass).
     

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  5. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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  6. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I don't recall any Motorail services to Pembroke Dock, certainly not in the 1980's as suggested.

    Oh well, you learn something new every day!
     
  7. Cletus

    Cletus Established Member

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    It looks in pretty good condition for something that hasn't been used for years?
     
  8. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I thought so too, especially given the proximity to the sea
     
  9. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I've found a suggestion elsewhere that it is there for military use, getting light tracked vehicles on and off trains en route to the Castlemartin firing ranges.
     
  10. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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  11. muddythefish

    muddythefish On Moderation

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    Shows how often that line is used !

    Shame about pembroke Dock station - it must have been a fine sight in its heyday.

    I love the West Wales lines - I know the Pembroke, Milford and Fishguard routes well from the 1970s when they were so busy with freight with Hymeks, EE Type 3s and Brush Type 4s.

    Hard to believe now but there were 2 big wagonload freights out of Haverfordwest yard every evening plus another wagonload freight from Milford. Presumably they went to Margam.

    The oil traffic was much busier too with an abundance of trains from Esso, Gulf etc. And then there was the Fishguard boat, meat and container traffic, sleeper trains to Milford, plus Hymeks on 3-coach Swansea - Milford passengers.

    Not sure if there was much freight on the Pembroke line apart from the coal merchant at Pembroke Dock.

    I was too young to see the Neyland line open unfortunately.

    My favourite locations were Johnston and Clarbeston Road - spent many happy hours in the signals boxes there. Friendly signalmen always let me in.

    Happy days
     
  12. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I think freight finished on the Pembroke Dock completely in 1980. It was the same year that the new ferry service saw the introduction of a couple of additional passenger services.
     
  13. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    While I was on my travels on Saturday a member of railway staff suggested direct services to Pembroke Dock will end once IEP's come in. Has anyone else heard this?
     
  14. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    It is more than a suggestion, it's stated unambiguously in the new franchise award documentation, in the introduction to SLC3a it ceases from Dec 2018 onwards:

     
  15. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I was being careful as some forum members don't take kindly to rumours!

    That's a shame as it is a link for the sea side resorts down here.
     
  16. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    Well I think I'll have to do the Pembroke Dock HST next year then!

    I had just assumed it was a motor rail ramp when I sat it. Never imagined freight used to get that far down the branch.
     
  17. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    What's cool about the trip is it is the one of the few trips that I can think of that requires reversal at two stations - Swansea and Carmarthen. That's probably worthy of a trivia question on this forum!
     
  18. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    It is a shame, but sadly it is necessary because of tight clearances in the curved Narberth Tunnel which mean IEP 26m carriages won't fit. I did a trip along the line this summer and noticed it was well used at least as far as Tenby with passenger numbers falling quite a lot after this point, so perhaps there should be some coordination to have ATW trains connect with GWR trains to London at Carmarthen or maybe Whitland (more likely the former)?
     
  19. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Changing trains at Carmarthen is annoying, as you have to walk to the end of one platform, across the track and on to the other platform. It would be better, I think, to have a cross platform connection at Swansea from platform 2 to 3.

    Quite a few Pembroke Dock trains used to connect into and out of other services at Whitland. The difficulties there are once again crossing between the two platforms where it's a connection from Pembroke Dock into a train towards Carmarthen. Changing at Whitland is also a burden for passengers from Carmarthen and stations to Swansea and Cardiff, and there are still quite a lot of people from these areas that like to go to Tenby and who currently have some through trains or an easy change at Swansea.
     
  20. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    FGW trains hardly go to Carmarthen (1 weekdays and a handful on Sundays). What's the matter with Swansea for changing as Greenbank has pointed out the problems at Carmarthen.
     
  21. DelW

    DelW Member

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    I'm surprised at that - when I've been there the station building was occupied by an apparently successful real ale pub, where I've whiled away a few happy hours before my train was due. The most recent occasion was on a Saturday evening last April, when the pub was full and a band was setting up as I had to leave for my Tenby train.

    Or were you just referring to the NR area, which is not much more than a bare platform and canopy now?
     
  22. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Specifically the NR area. Now how did I miss the adjacent pub!
     
  23. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    The last time I was there it was shut!
     
  24. swcovas

    swcovas Member

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    The pub is well and truly open and, I think under the same ownership for quite some years. They do keep quite rigid opening hours, closing in the afternoon but they serve an excellent lunch and there's live music most weekends. Personally I don't think PD station is that bad though I shudder to think of how it would be had the pub not taken over part of the building. Would probably look more like Milford Haven. On an aside I noticed some months ago that Whitland station has seen some sort of refurbishment and is now seeing some use. Pleased about that as not so long ago there were calls for its demolition.

    The ramp at PD was definitely used for movement of light tracked tank type vehicles to Castlemartin.....most, if not all, were German as the German army used the range for training purposes from 1961.This ended in 1996 which is when rail transport of the tanks ended though I believe that occasional use has been made of the facilities at PD for movement of army vehicles since then. General freight on the branch ended in October 1978.
     
    Last edited: 27 Aug 2015
  25. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    That might explain things, as I was there at some point after 3 in the afternoon. The exact time escapes me now, but it was definitely the afternoon, and I'd been for a stroll around first. I didn't notice if the pub was open when I arrived, just when I went back to the station and fancied a swift one!
     
  26. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    Snap!

    I was on the train last Saturday too (Bristol - Pembroke - Swindon) - I hadn't travelled West of Swansea before so it was an interesting experience, something of a blast from the past too especially the basic stations and rather loud jointed track. Friendly crew as well.

    I was also in First - the first time I'd done a lengthy trip in a coach with the new layout, and I was also very impressed by the refurbishment, despite spending most of nine hours on the train I didn't feel as fatigued as I normally would after a journey of that length.

    Picture of the set at Carmarthen: https://flic.kr/p/wRRfjJ

    And at Pembroke: https://flic.kr/p/xPzPMo
     
  27. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I really liked the new interior too. I sat in the same seat L15 from Paddington to Pembroke dock and back and found it very comfortable. Miserable guy in buffet on way out but the guard was really friendly. Nice pictures!
     
  28. swcovas

    swcovas Member

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    Just curious, gazthomas and Temple meads, what were the loadings like West of Swansea?
     
  29. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    Cheers :)

    I can only really go on the loadings in First, which weren't particularly busy West of Swansea in either direction, but less so on the return. Did head into standard just after Carmarthen on the outward though - again, fairly light loadings.
     
  30. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    The Carmarthen HST's on weekdays seem to have light loadings, too, specially when compared to the busier sections of the route. Quite a few get on the morning service at Llanelli, though, and quite a few get off at Swansea.

    Unless you actually walk through the train, it can be difficult to judge exactly how many people are on it, because of the high seats. when I catch it, and get off in Swansea, I often think 'Where did all these people come from?' because you don't really see or hear them on the train!
     
  31. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    Very light west of Swansea
     
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