YOU may think of it as the place where London’s police force first originated in 1749 or the famous orange location on the Monopoly board. But the new Bow Street station which opened this week is nowhere near the bright lights of the capital.
Rather, it serves a remote village near Aberystwyth in mid Wales.
For the first time in 56 years, the village was joined to the rail network as the first train stopped on Sunday, February 14. The original station closed after 101 years in the 1960s Beeching cuts which saw the end of thousands of stations around the UK.
The opening was kept quiet as Wales was under a strict Covid-19 lockdown. So there was little publicity when the 09:12 GMT service from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth stopped to pick up passengers at the Ceredigion village for the first time since 1965. It was just a precaution in case any over-eager railway enthusiasts had been tempted to break the restrictions to photograph the first train.
“This is an important milestone for us and we’d have liked to celebrate it more but that is not appropriate and safe at the moment,” said Transport for Wales chief executive James Price.
However the new station, which is a narrow single platform on an existing single track line, cost a staggering £8m. Admittedly, it has a car park attached. But why so much? The government has allocated a £500m fund towards reversing Beeching closures, but it won’t go very far at this rate.