Railways of Anglesey

The main railway line serving Anglesey crosses the Menai Straits on the re-modelled Britannia Bridge, before arriving at the first station, Llanfairpwll. After this station, the route is striking in that it avoids the larger towns and villages, taking a curving route along the western side of the island before terminating at Holyhead. This route was borne out of a need to create a fast link between London and Dublin, and the potential revenue from local passengers was therefore a secondary consideration.

Aside from Holyhead and Llanfairpwll, there are intermediate stations at Gaerwen, Bodorgan, Ty Croes, Rhosneigr, and Valley, although some of these are request stops only.

Anglesey Railway History

Ambitious plans for railways across Anglesey reflected the growth in railways in the second half of the nineteenth century, but very few of the schemes came to fruition. The main line described above was a certainty because of the need to meet the increasing traffic between England and Ireland. Other schemes involved lines across the centre of Anglesey. through Llangefni to Amlwch, and then around to Cemaes Bay. A branch line was also proposed from Holland Arms to the east coast at Benllech. Other plans which failed to materialise included Valley to Cemaes, Cemaes to Rhosgoch, and Menai Bridge to Beaumaris.

The central section was constructed as far as Amlwch, but the link through to Cemaes Bay was never started. The branch line to Benllech fared better inasmuch as it was built as far as Red Wharf Bay, but the line was unprofitable, and passenger traffic ceased in 1950. Little now remains of the infrastructure, aside from some redundant bridges, including one which is visible from the A5025 road at Pentraeth.

Anglesey Railway Preservation

Anglesey Central Railway Company Ltd (Lein Amlwch) is aiming to re-open part of the former Anglesey Central Railway, which ran 15 miles from the mainline junction at Gaerwen to Amlwch. The Beeching Report led to the closure of the line to passenger traffic in 1964, although special passenger trains ran in 1992 and 1994, courtesy of Isle of Anglesey Railways Ltd. Freight traffic from the Octel Works in Amlwch continued until 1993.

The potential for re-opening is greater because the track was never removed, and when the A55 Expressway was built across Anglesey in 2000, the line was bridged just north of Pentre Berw.