Raglan Railway Station

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The Raglan Railway station served Raglan village for over a century. It was closed in 1955. The tracks were taken up and replaced by the A449 motorway in the 1970's. The station building itself was dismantled in 2012 and stored at St Fagins National History Museum in Cardiff.

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Once had a very successful Railway Station, Raglan was used to collect and deliver the post. Farmers used to transport chicks to places like Yorkshire. It was also used to transport coal from town to town as well as salt and other goods. The station was well used until 1955 when it closed (Gilchrist, 1994)

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The Earliest mention of Raglan Railway station was in the 1841 census records. Isaac & Sarah Ann Crew, and child Emily, and George Croft was Stationmaster at Raglan Station. John & Elizabeth Vaughan , Railway Inspector. William Fisher Brown and wife Jessie Elizabeth: Railwav Guard. (but CADW states that the Railway station opened in 1856).

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In 1881 the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra arrived in Raglan by rail to make a Royal Visit to Raglan Castle. School children stood along the railway to see them pass by. They were welcomed by the 8th Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. The Duke was the Hereditary Keeper of Raglan Castle. (The Graphic, Nov 18, 1881)

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In 1935 Britsh Pathe published a brief clip about the Raglan Halt called ‘Caught in the Act” .

Stationmasters: 1840's Isaac & Sarah Ann Crew, and child Emily, and George Croft was Stationmaster at Raglan Station. John & Elizabeth Vaughan , Railway Inspector. William Fisher Brown and wife Jessie Elizabeth: Railway Guard.

1870 John & Edith Kent and children; William, Edward, Herbert George, and Georgiana Frederica. John was Stationmaster at Raglan Station.

1911 - 1922 Edward George Danger was the Stationmaster at Raglan. Edward was born in Bath, Somerset in 1862. He worked his way up from Signalman in 1891 to Station Master in 1901. He and his wife Laura Catherine (b 1866, Merthyr Tydfil) and their son Ernest Stuart took over as Station Master in Raglan before 1911. Edward Danger died in 1922 and is buried in St Cadoc's Churchyard (see the St Cadoc's Churchyard Trail)

History of Raglan Railway Station: In British railway’s days, the yard contained two wharves that were rented out to local traders. One of these was a coal wharf measuring 41 square yards and was used by Davies, Jones and Clench Ltd. The other wharf measured 25 square yards. This facility was leased by an agricultural implement firm.

The staffing arrangements at Raglan echoed those at Dingestow, Llandenny and the other small stations on the line, the overall picture being one of nationalisation as the G.W.R. attempted to make these isolated outposts pay their way against a background of falling traffic levels. Until the 1930’s raglan had a staff of two porters under a class four station master, but thereafter the staff establishment was reduced to just two men.

Traffic levels here were very modest, around 10,000 tickets being issued per annum during the Edwardian period, falling to only 1,360 tickets and 30 season tickets in 1929 and 1,190 tickets and 23 season tickets in the following year. The amount of goods traffic dealt with in 1929 was 5,323 tone, while in 1935, 4,969 tons were handled. The principal source of goods traffic at Raglan appears to has been incoming minerals, which probably consisted mainly of road-building materials for the local council. In 1938, only 1,511 tons of freight were handled.

In G.W.R. days, collections and deliveries in the Raglan area were made by a Great Western delivery vehicle that was stationed at nearby Usk. This vehicle usually made two deliveries per week, but the system was improved in August 1948, when British railways arranged a daily collection and delivery service under the newly introduced zonal scheme.

The volume of passenger traffic at Raglan was somewhat higher than might be expected because, as a minor tourist destination the station handled a certain amount of incoming traffic, in addition to outgoing passenger bookings. The main attraction here was of course was Raglan Castle. The ruins became a tourist attraction during the 19th century, and in 1938 the Duke of Beaufort placed the castle into state guardianship as an Ancient Monument

Raglan Road Crossing Halt

From raglan Station, the route turned southwards, and after about one mile trains reached the un-staffed stopping place known as Raglan road Crossing Halt. The halt consisted of a short platform on the down side, with a level crossing and associated crossing keeper’s cottage immediately to the north. It had been opened by the Great Western on 24th November, 1930. The halt was of the usual earth and cinder construction. Raglan Road Crossing Halt occupied the approximate site of Raglan’s original station, which had appeared in early timetables as, Raglan Road. An ambiguous footnote beneath the timetable proclaimed that all trains would stop at Raglan Station (footpath only) when required, although it is unclear if this instruction related to a stopping place at Raglan Road, or an additional platform at Raglan Footpath. As explained earlier, Raglan Footpath was certainly in operation by 1867, by which time there were two such halting places in the vicinity – both of which were later replaced by a conventional, fully-staffed station at Raglan.

Curving imperceptibly south-westwards, the railway continued to Llandenny, where the facilities consisted of a single platform and small gods yard on the upside. A minor road crossed the line on the level immediately to the north of the station, and there was a single-storey signal box on the platform beside the station building. The signal box dated from around 1892, and it was a typical late Victorian gable roof design. The station building was similar to that at Dingestow, being a single-storey brick structure, with a low-pitched gable roof. The window and door apertures featured slightly arched openings, and two chimney-stacks protruded though the apex of the slated roof. Examination of the brickwork suggested that the building was of two periods of construction, the western portion being the original part, whereas the eastern end appeared to have been a later extension. The layout at Llandenny incorporated a crossing loop, but as there was only one platform two passenger trains were not permitted to cross. On the other hand, two freight trains, or one passenger and one freight working were allowed to pass each other. The loop was sited somewhat inconveniently on the north side of the level crossing, which made the station even less satisfactory as a place for crossing passenger trains. The loop was long enough to accommodate 22 short-wheelbase goods vehicles together with a tank engine and brake van. Llandenny issued around 10,000 tickets a year during the Edwardian period, decreasing to around 5,000 per annum and around 75 season tickets by the late 1920s. Freight traffic showed a similar decline from 5,557 tons in 1913 to 1,351 tons in 1931 and 1,386 tons by 1933. In the following year the station's freight traffic was placed under the control of nearby Usk. The station had a staff of four in the early 1900s. There were no formal arrangements for the cartage of goods.

THE FUTURE: In 2009, St Fagins Museum recently announced plans to move the Railway station to its grounds. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8400948.stm. Raglan railway station to move to St Fagans museum By Neil Prior BBC News "The building leaving Platform One is the 1876 Raglan station to St Fagans."

More than half a century after a train last departed, the Monmouthshire building itself is on the move. It is to be preserved as an exhibit at the National History Museum in the outskirts of Cardiff. The station opened in 1857 but by 1930 saw only three passengers per day, the same number of people it took to run the building. It closed to the public in 1955.

Raglan had its first station on the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool Railway to cater for the growing Victorian tourist trade to its castle. Twenty years later, two unofficial halts were built for locals to jump on and off. The station was made of red bricks and the design was typical of the time, a low-pitched roof and a small canopy which projected out towards the platform. Facilities consisted of little more than a single platform on the up side of the line, a small goods yard and coal wharf, and a cattle loading dock. But according to Gerallt Nash, senior buildings curator at St Fagans, it's this typical and unremarkable history which makes Raglan station a rare find nowadays."Raglan station is a good example of the sort of small country station that was once a common feature of rural Wales," he said. "The station building, which was built in 1876, is constructed of brick, with sandstone sills and heads to the window and door openings." "Many original features still survive, such as the deep cast iron rainwater gutters, wrought iron brackets for the paraffin oil lamps and the platform canopy."

Even during its 19th Century heyday, Raglan station was doomed. Despite its name, the Coleford, Monmouth, Usk & Pontypool Railway ran out of money, and never actually managed to reach Coleford in the Forest of Dean. The line was subsumed into the Great Western Railway, which continued to run it at a loss for more than 70 years.

In 1910, the foot-fall at Raglan was an already paltry 10,000 passengers per year. Although by 1930 this had fallen to 1,190 - or around three passengers a day - which coincidentally was the same number of people it took to run the station.

It finally closed to the public in 1955, and the last service to run through there was a commemorative trip to mark the centenary of the Stephenson Locomotion Society in 1957. Mr Nash says moving the building to Cardiff will be an engineering feat of which George Stephenson himself would have been proud. "The museum's specialist historic buildings unit have started on the careful dismantling of the structure and weather permitting, hope to complete the work by the end of the year," he said. "The museum will then be able to start on an interpretation strategy for the station which will include the date and ideas for interpreting the building as a museum exhibit." "St Fagans do not currently have a timetable for re-erecting the building." source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-20521066

sources: Raglan Local History Archives: T002 The Ross, Monmouth & Pontypool Road Line. Jenkins. Oakwood Press, 2002 The Graffic, 1881 British Pathe: Raglan in living memory, Emma Gilchrist, Horatia Durrant winning essay prize, 1994 BBC 2012 - story on Raglan Railway station

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