ADFER Abergwaun ac Wdig RESTORED Fishguard & Goodwick

Fishguard & Goodwick Station in 2007

Then, AND now

The much-loved timber station at Fishguard & Goodwick is being restored. That’s the welcome news revealed today by Fishguard Trains.

Demolished last year as it reached the point of collapse, the building was a genuine piece of local heritage. But while there was no chance to save the dangerously dilapidated traditional clapboard building, work is well under way on site to rebuild a worthy successor.

work proceeding on restoring the former station

restoration under way

The foundations have gone in, complete with phone lines, power and services, and during March we’ll see a timber clapboard building being rebuilt. It will have a canopy on both sides, and have the potential to link up to the adjacent brick shed which is being repaired and refurbished at the same time.

The news will be a very welcome surprise to many who lamented the loss of the former station building. Fishguard & Goodwick was the original terminus of the main line west to Fishguard Harbour, and this characterful building, disused for half a century, was a physical link with an important part of our history. The return of a suitable successor opens the way for many possible uses, and there will be no lack of ideas and proposals for the station – heritage – tourism – cafe  – information centre – cycle hire – guided tour base – paper shop – even a privately-run ticket office (they do exist) – everyone will have their favourite ideas.

foundations for station and shelter

station in foreground, shelter behind

One thing it won’t be to begin with is the station shelter. That is being built, bus shelter style, further along the platform past the train indicator panel. Attached to the platform shelter will be a cycle shelter, and that points to another innovation at Fishguard & Goodwick: National Cycle Network Routes 4, 47 and 82 currently terminate at the Harbour roundabout. Now they will extend right into the station yard and up to the platform cycle shelter. Joined-up planning!

car park area at station

opening soon

Car parking is one of the most welcome features of the development. Initially there will be 23 spaces, including disabled slots, with huge potential for expansion. Both the platform and the car park will be well-lit (something that passengers who have changed at gloomy Clarbeston Road will appreciate). Initially there won’t be any CCTV, but this will be kept under review.

To accompany all this development, there will be signs of every kind, starting with four Abergwaun ac Wdig – Fishguard & Goodwick – Croeso – Welcome signs on the platform. More detail on signage in forthcoming stories.

All this work is due for completion by the end of March. That is not to say that trains will be calling at Fishguard & Goodwick from April 1st. Our money is still on May 14th, but we hope to report more on that in the coming days.

12 Comments

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12 Responses to ADFER Abergwaun ac Wdig RESTORED Fishguard & Goodwick

  1. Rhydgaled

    Thanks for the updates.

    Is there any detail on what the new building would actually be like? Since it will have a canopy on both sides it won’t be a replica, which does leave me concerned that it will not be a proper replacement but a simple (although visually appealing) shelter with an open side, a bit like the shelters at Chirk railway station but wooden. Provided the building is fully enclosed though, this is great, and unexpected (given it will be built this year), news. Assuming it will be a fully-enclosed structure, what is the point of the new bus-shelter-type affair?

    I am concerned that the information display and, especially, the new shelters behind it, will spoil the setting of the replacement character-full building. Couldn’t they have put the information display much further away down the platform, or preferably inside the building, instead? I can’t see why the passenger shelter is needed given we should be getting a station building, and since the brick shed would then not be needed for waiting passengers couldn’t bikes go in the brick shed?

    As for uses of the replacment building, my vote goes to a waiting room facility from 1st train to last (perhaps not counting the night ferry service, though in that case the brick shed should be available as shelter at that time), probably coupled to a suggestion posted on this fourm by Bulleid Pacific of: “a local transport heritage centre, charting the development of Goodwick Harbour from fishing port to the international ferry terminal it is today.” The tourist information’s current location at Ocean Lab doesn’t look like it has a future due to the marina development though, so locating it at Fishguard & Goodwick station could be a possibility.

  2. Anthony

    Nice to see the work has been progressing well at Goodwick station. Now all we need are trains to stop there.

    I bet the station will be packed on the 1st day so I hope ATW decide to use class 150’s instead of a class 153.

    A station closer to the town will be good if there are any steam or diesel specials to stop there which could perhaps boost tourism if visitors are encouraged to visit the towns

    • Rhydgaled

      Actually, I think specials are one of the reasons we will still need the harbour station when Fishguard & Goodwick is open. I think the steam specials that have come to Fishguard recently were all too long for the platform in Goodwick, as are Intercity 125s, so the harbour’s longer platform could come in very useful sometimes.

      As for the first day, will even a 150 be enough? I think two 153s working in mulitple would provide slightly more capacity than a 150, though on the service launch day how busy was the train compared to the packed station platform?

  3. DBJ

    A very welcome development! I can’t help feeling that it’s more than just co-incidence that the improvements to the rail service and infrastructure are happening when this proposed marina development is on the cards. Is it a recognition that the extra numbers of visitors that this could bring require better public transport links? Or is it perhaps a sweetener for the locals in anticipation of some controversial planning applications? Depends how cynical you are I suppose!

  4. Irishman

    Out of interest how many carriages can the F & G platform accommodate? Four? (i.e. A Sprinter attached to another Sprinter).

  5. Anthony

    Hopefully they would have the platforms built top accomodate at least a 4 carriage train especially if services are strengthened to because of the number of say rugby fans heading to/from ireland etc

  6. Irishman

    and if that other Icelandic volcano, Katla, were to erupt (there have been rumblings in recent months) it is not out of the question that a prolonged period of severe aviation disruption could be seen (i.e. months), which could see surface transportation the only way to/from Ireland and long sprinters (if not HSTs) being required to Fishguard (FGW still hold their rights to operate HSTs to Fishguard I understand). I think they were in fact on the point of doing so during the 2010 volcanic ash disruption but then ATW 6 car sprinters seem to have been the mainstay.

    I’m not suggesting for a minute that this possibility should move centre stage but this scenario is a distinct future possibility and some type of draft plan to cope with high hundreds into low thousands of foot passengers to/from Fishguard day in day out should be to hand. These things can literally happen overnight. All sorts of things are possible. for instance if the ashcloud hovered over Ireland all international travel from Ireland would firstly entail the sea journey to Wales. Similarly if the ash cloud hovered over Britain and not Ireland it could mean people travelling between Wales/England and the US would first need to go by sea to Ireland and catch the flight from Dublin, Cork or Shannon.

    I don’t want to go on about this but back in 2010 I listened to the Icelandic president’s interview on tv and he emphasised the need for good planning for such an event. I’m not convinced that the authorities on either side of the Irish Sea have sufficiently planned for such a scenario.

    In turn that would probably mean zero local capacity on the boat trains for local traffic so daytime it may mean the need for an additional local train both ways closely following the “boat train” with nighttime custom perhaps catered for by a limited-stop rail replacement bus/minibus west of Carmarthen.

  7. Swansea Jack

    I noticed this evening that the replacement building is flying up – the new wooden walls are up so it won’t be long before the roof is on. The replacement building is set-back further from the platform edge than the old one – it seems to be on PCC not NR land. They also have scaffolding around the old brick shed too, it would seem that it will also gain a roof over the next few days!! The tactile paying seems to be almost complete so the platform resurfacing should follow shortly with the platform shelter to follow. It certainly looks as if there will be something worth photographing within a week or two.

    Things really seem to be progressing well so congratulations to all those involved in getting this project up and running in such difficult financial times. From the IWJ’s announcement about the trains last March it seems that we will gave gone from no announcement at that time about the station to having one ready for opening less than 12 months later!!! Who says NR et al cannot react quickly – a good start for the Network Rail Wales Route – we can do things better, faster and cheaper in Wales. Also well done to PCC, SWWITCH, WAG etc for sorting out the funding – you’ve done us proud!

  8. Anthony

    If I remember about the ash cloud inccident some staff at FGW were happy to work to Fishguard Hbr since they still knew the route however the plan to use a hst to cover the overnight trip was dropped at the last minute and a 4 carriage sprinter was used although I think a hst would have been far better.

    The next time a major eruption causes an ash cloud (Which I think will happen) it should present a good opportunity for the train and ferry companies to market their alternative to ryanair especially showing that you dont have to spend so much time stuck at the airport and the price may be cheaper etc.

  9. Swansea Jack

    Replacement building now has a roof! It’s on PCC land so further from the station than the old one. Footprint seems similar too.

  10. Rhydgaled

    I did hear a rumour that First Great Western (can’t use the acrynom anymore, clashes with the new station) ran one of the night trains at the last ash-cloud event, but couldn’t find any confirmation, so thanks Anthony for busting that myth. I hope IC125s will be used to FGH (day and night) if major shift to rail-sail happens again.

    So, any idea why the brick shed and new building weren’t seen as the solution for bike and passenger shelter (hence a seperate bike shed and shelter apparently going in).

  11. Swansea Jack

    Rhydgaled – I understand that the HST overnight issue was going to happen until fairly late on the day it was to run – I was kept in contact with those in the know as I intended for old times sake to have a travel on the good old 01:50 Fishguard to Paddington at leat as far as Cardiff that night. From memory there were issues over pilotmen and route knowledge at the time so it didn’t happen, although I have to pay credit to the efforts made throughout the ash-cloud period by those in ATW/ FGW/ NR etc who reacted well to the increased passenger loadings.

    I understand that the improvements on the Welsh side services may have helped to get IR to improve connections over the pond – and that is why there is now an evening connection from Dublin into the evening ferry from Rosslare. It also appears that some of the passenger increase has remained on the rail – sea option, which may well explain why the rail / foot passenger market seems to be the only cross-channel sector to be expanding at the moment. The continuing advertisement of Rail-Sail since that event is great too!

    Resources for a night HST should be possible, I would have thought a daytime HST could be more difficult though, especially in the Summer period, if a similar disruption to air traffic was to occur. I believe that the air industry has developed robust plans to lessen the impact of any future ash cloud , although the proof would be if a similar occurrence were to happen again.

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