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Butlins Penychain Railway Station Back

Thanks to Robert Owen who wrote this article for Wikipedia and has allowed us to reproduce it here.
If you have any memories or photographs of arriving at Penychain Station en route to Pwllheli then please send us an e-mail

Penychain railway station, formerly known as (and still sometimes referred to as) Butlins Penychain railway station is located at the Penychain level crossing on the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd, Wales. This railway station is an unstaffed halt on the Cambrian Coast Railway with passenger services to Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Harlech, Barmouth, Machynlleth and Shrewsbury. For many years the station served the large Butlins Holiday Camp at Penychain.

The station was particularly busy in the 1950s and early 1960s when most holidaymakers arrived at the Camp either by train or coach. Following the closure of the railway line from Caernarvon to Afonwen Junction (about 2 miles east of Penychain) and the growing popularity of the motor car, fewer Campers arrived by train from the mid-1960s onwards. The station was almost universally referred to as 'penny-chain' by non-Welsh speaking holidaymakers. The correct pronunciation in Welsh is 'pen - uck - ain' , as near as I can make clear. The 'uck' bit in the middle is similar to a throat clearing sound. Meanwhile, Butlins had their own road-going 'Puffing Billy' train to ferry Campers to/from the main railway station on Saturdays. This was also used for trips around the Camp on other days.

The Cambrian Coast railway split the Holiday Camp into two halves. A single-span over-bridge connected the South Camp to the West, Middle, and East Camp areas which were located to the North of the railway line. Penychain Station also had its own Signal Box located just beyond the end of the platform.

Although much reduced in size, and now with only a single platform, it is still open and now serves the Haven Holiday Park and Caravan Park on the former Butlins site. Trains only call by request.

Article © Robert Owen

This map of the Cambrian Railway shows Penychain Station, the camp is located between there and Afonwen.

Cambrian Railway

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