Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Western - Radyr review 1

Radyr railway station bay platform

28/7/10 Cardiff Central to Radyr
Dept: Cardiff Central 17.37
Arrive: Radyr 17. 53
Train operating Company: Arriva Trains Wales
Traction used: Class 142 2-car DMU
Weather: Cloudy/sunny spells
Trains start at: Coryton
Frequency of trains: Every 30 minutes

The train leaves from platform 7 of Cardiff Central, having started its journey at Barry Island. The train is quite full of commuters, who get off at the various stations along the route. We go past the Millennium stadium on our right an then cross over the River Taff, before taking the avoiding line round the south side of Cardiff Canton depot. There are several sidings here but only a couple of units are in them as most are being filled with commuters all over the Cardiff area at this moment in time.
We soon come to a stop at Ninian Park station, named after Cardiff City's old football ground. That has now been demolished and lots of new houses have been built on the site. You can see the Cardiff City stadium on the left. The station has very long and wide platforms to cope with the large numbers of football fans on match days. Yet there are only two smallish sized turquoise coloured frames. Interestingly enough there are coloured paintings of both players and fans inside the shelters.
We then move off onto an embankment and onto double track. A single track goes off to the right and we pass semi-detached houses on either side of the track. We speed up to about 50 mph now as we pass a large factory on the right and then go over the South Wales mainline. We then slow and stop at Waun-gron Park, which is high above the road below. It has staggered platforms and the same two identical turquoise coloured shelters.
We continue along the embankment passing a school playing field on the left and more houses on the right. Then we stop at Fairwater, which again has the uniform turquoise shelters, though this time there are colourful paintings in them of parrots! We are now in a cutting and the train turns to the right. After about half a mile we arrive at Danescourt. Once again it has the same two turquoise shelters, but this time there is no artwork in them. There is also a dark green metal footbridge joining the platforms.
There is new housing on the right and bushes on the left. Wasteland appears on the left and on the right you can see the remains of an old track. Then you can see a new housing estate being built on the right and more new houses on the left. We then curve towards the right at about 20 mph and join the mainline from Cardiff on the right. We then come into platform 3 of Radyr station, which is a bay platform. There are two other through platforms and it is a modern looking station with just aluminium framed shelters on the two platforms. The train arrives a couple of minutes early and I get one back to Cardiff straight away.
Summary; A useful commuter line which provides a valuable service to the north west suburbs of Cardiff. MC