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Author Topic: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Wales  (Read 3186 times)
grahame
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« on: August 21, 2019, 09:30:52 pm »

From the Independent

Quote
Normally, the hitchhiker takes it all in his or her chauffeur-driven stride. But yesterday I was a man with a mission, which did not allow for towing-related snarl-ups. My Monday adventure was a race against the train.

At 7.21am, the first end-to-end train across Wales departs Cardiff Central, destination Holyhead. I was there to wave it off. Wales’s answer to the Trans-Siberian is the longest train ride in the country, and takes an average of five hours.

Because of the way that the web of railways in Wales was reduced to a skeleton in the Sixties, the 7.21am takes a preposterously long route – I calculate almost 250 miles, compared with under 200 miles for the most direct road journey, using the A470.

A fascinating comparison ...
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Merthyr Imp
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 10:01:39 pm »

So what would have been the most direct route from Cardiff to Holyhead prior to the 'reduction to a skeleton'?

Possibly via Merthyr Tydfil then the Mid-Wales line to Moat Lane Junction. Change there for the  Cambrian Coast route to Afon Wen, then to Bangor and Holyhead?

May be more direct on the map but I suspect it would take more than 5 hours. At least nowadays no changes are necessary.

 
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 10:13:39 pm »

Quote from: Merthyr Imp
So what would have been the most direct route from Cardiff to Holyhead prior to the 'reduction to a skeleton'?

Possibly via Merthyr Tydfil then the Mid-Wales line to Moat Lane Junction. Change there for the  Cambrian Coast route to Afon Wen, then to Bangor and Holyhead?

May be more direct on the map but I suspect it would take more than 5 hours. At least nowadays no changes are necessary.

Likewise, Cardiff-Carmarthen-Aberystwyth-Dovey Junction-Afon Wen- Bangor and Holyhead would have taken very much longer than 5 hours.

For some reason when I saw the title of this thread I thought "Hitch-hikers Guide to the Wales. Mostly harmless." I am sure there are some on here old enough to know why... Wink
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 07:08:46 am »

For some reason when I saw the title of this thread I thought "Hitch-hikers Guide to the Wales. Mostly harmless." I am sure there are some on here old enough to know why... Wink

Use of the word "the" in the subject line was meant to encourage that!

So what would have been the most direct route from Cardiff to Holyhead prior to the 'reduction to a skeleton'?

Stupid question time ... why do so many people want to go from Cardiff to Holyhead (of all North Wales places!) ... is it for the ferries, for other major businesses there, or for political reasons because it's as far as you can get and still be in Wales?
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martyjon
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 07:11:56 am »

.... end-to-end train across Wales ....


I thought an end to end train across Wales would run Fishguard Harbour to Holyhead.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 09:07:16 am »

Stupid question time ... why do so many people want to go from Cardiff to Holyhead (of all North Wales places!) ... is it for the ferries, for other major businesses there, or for political reasons because it's as far as you can get and still be in Wales?

Perhaps Holyhead is where you'll find The Restaurant at the End of the Anglesey.
 
I thought an end to end train across Wales would run Fishguard Harbour to Holyhead.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fishguard.

And then it's back to Cardiff where you'll find Life, the University of Wales and Everything.
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Celestial
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 11:09:40 am »

Presumably the services would be listed in Table 42.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2019, 11:16:47 am »

Presumably the services would be listed in Table 42.

Love it.   Bit of re-arrangement needed though table 42 is Leeds to Settle, Carlisle and Morcambe.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2019, 11:21:52 am »

Probability of being able to rearrange table Fourty Two is infinite?..
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2019, 11:32:10 am »

Probability of being able to rearrange table Fourty Two is infinite?..

But I think you'd need a really really hot cup of tea to do that...

But leaving the Douglas Adams puns to one side for a moment, the facts of the matter are that the railways that were built in Wales were primarily interested in getting to and from England or the Welsh ports rather than going north to south.

I came across this railway map on Flickr some time ago, dating from c.1959 so pre-Beeching. Youthful reporters writing newspaper articles might do well to study it. It's better to look at it of Flickr rather than reproduce an image here because over there you can click on it to zoom in:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93936890@N02/41085827862/
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2019, 12:01:37 pm »

Probability of being able to rearrange table Fourty Two is infinite?..

But I think you'd need a really really hot cup of tea to do that...

But leaving the Douglas Adams puns to one side for a moment, the facts of the matter are that the railways that were built in Wales were primarily interested in getting to and from England or the Welsh ports rather than going north to south.

I came across this railway map on Flickr some time ago, dating from c.1959 so pre-Beeching. Youthful reporters writing newspaper articles might do well to study it. It's better to look at it of Flickr rather than reproduce an image here because over there you can click on it to zoom in:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93936890@N02/41085827862/

I think I have a copy of that map in my archive somewhere.  Isn't it amazing how well we were all interconnected by public transport in those days.  Where did it all go.......
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2019, 12:11:28 pm »

Probability of being able to rearrange table Fourty Two is infinite?..

But I think you'd need a really really hot cup of tea to do that...

But leaving the Douglas Adams puns to one side for a moment, the facts of the matter are that the railways that were built in Wales were primarily interested in getting to and from England or the Welsh ports rather than going north to south.

I came across this railway map on Flickr some time ago, dating from c.1959 so pre-Beeching. Youthful reporters writing newspaper articles might do well to study it. It's better to look at it of Flickr rather than reproduce an image here because over there you can click on it to zoom in:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93936890@N02/41085827862/

I think I have a copy of that map in my archive somewhere.  Isn't it amazing how well we were all interconnected by public transport in those days.  Where did it all go.......

The railway map at https://www.systemed.net/carto/New_Adlestrop_Railway_Atlas.pdf gives a superb, zoomable Wales (and the South West too) and I commend it to you.  And add a big THANK YOU to our modest moderator who put it together.
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2019, 12:14:30 pm »

Odd, there's a few omission on that map [edit - ie the Flickr map], eg Coventry - Kenilworth, Oxford - Abingdon, Cholsey - Wallingford.
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Celestial
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2019, 01:41:54 pm »


Stupid question time ... why do so many people want to go from Cardiff to Holyhead (of all North Wales places!) ... is it for the ferries, for other major businesses there, or for political reasons because it's as far as you can get and still be in Wales?
Not at all stupid, and I think you've answered your own question there Grahame.

 
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froome
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2019, 04:20:34 pm »


Stupid question time ... why do so many people want to go from Cardiff to Holyhead (of all North Wales places!) ... is it for the ferries, for other major businesses there, or for political reasons because it's as far as you can get and still be in Wales?
Not at all stupid, and I think you've answered your own question there Grahame.

 

There probably aren't that many travelling the full journey, but IME there certainly are large numbers travelling from Cardiff or Newport to Bangor, and many others travelling to Chester or the north Wales resorts.
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