The terminus of the Cambrian Coast line, until the mid-70s Pwllheli still retained facilities way beyond those required for the basic 6 DMUs-a-day service it had. The station had 2 platforms, there were 2 signal boxes, one to control the station area and one to control the goods yard, with 900 yds of double track in between. The site of the engine shed still retained its turntable and 2 water towers. The inevitable rationalisation arrived in Autumn 1977, and both signal boxes were abolished, but retained as ground frames to control the section of double track retained as a run-round loop. One platform was closed, and eventually a supermarket was built on the site.
24081 and 24063 sit in the second platform at Pwllheli on the Sunday 8th August 1976, with the stock of an excursion from Gloucester. Run by Gloucestershire Steam Enthusiasts, the organiser was a Mr Fielding, who later was the F in F&W Railtours, still in business as Pathfinder Tours. Pwllheli West signal box is seen, together with the bracket signal controlling the other platform, and gas lamps down the centre of the island. Just to the right of the signal box, in the far distance you may be able to make out one of the water tanks at the old engine shed site.
Another view of 24081 and 24063 at Pwllheli, showing the other bracket semaphore signal. The Cambrian Cost line was not open north of Barmouth on Sundays at this time, so Harlech, Porthmadog and Pwllheli East and West boxes would have been opened especially for this train.
25073 and 25040 arrive at Pwllheli with a Great Western (SVR) Association excursion on the 4th November 1978. The train ran from Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway, and was formed of preserved ex-Great Western coaches from that line. The train is passing the goods yard located at the site of the original Pwllheli station, and still served by a goods train twice a week at this time. Pwllheli East signal box was still retained as a ground frame to control the end of the loop and access to the yard. Later the loop was shortened and a new ground frame provided to the east of the Pwllheli Goods level crossing. This allowed the automation of the crossing, still fully signalled in 1978.
25073 and 25040 shunt the stock of the GW(SVR) Association train out of the station and into the loop prior to running round on the 4th November 1978. By 1978, the facilities at Pwllheli had been rationalised, and the signal box was now a ground frame, controlling only the access to the loop, and to a stabling siding alongside the one remaining platform.
Having run-round their excursion from Exeter, 25147 and 25188 and their train are parked awaiting their return trip on 26th August 1979. The siding immediately in front of the camera was once a long head shunt that allowed trains to be shunted from one platform to another without fouling the main line. This remained in use until 1977, and the shunt signal controlling access can be seen on the bracket signal in the shot at the top of this page.