My friend Ian joined me for a bit of train travel and we had a cunning plan. We would buy a South Wales Pass which allowed us four days travel on the train.  One day 1 we went to Johnston in Pembrokeshire.  As the train heads west from the busy Cardiff and Swansea stations things get a little quieter.  Some trains go direct from Cardiff to Johnston but for us we had the added excitement of having to change trains at Clarbeston Road which is a request stop.  It gave Ian an opportunity to take some photos, one of which is one of the best photos of a railway I think I’ve ever seen – well done that man.

Clarbeston Road station
Clarbeston Road station

Would our connecting train pick us up I wondered?   I needn’t have worried.  It all worked very smoothly and we were soon on our way to Johnston.

Cheery Transport for Wales staff

I’d never heard of Johnston before I started searching for stations beginning with the letter J.  Having arrived there I could understand why. There’s nothing wrong with the village at all, just not somewhere you may come on a day out, unless like us, you had a cunning plan.

Johnston railway station

After being on a train for close to three hours I felt the need to do some geocaching.  I found the cache near the station no problem and then the one near St Peter’s church.  There’s been a church here since the late thirteenth century but there’s been a few rebuilds since then.  After exploring the churchyard for a while we set off south down the Brunel Trail.  The walk followed the former GWR line, designed by Brunel.  I geocached for the first part at the same time was dodging the occasional cyclist.  After that it was time to concentrate more on the walking.  We passed some pretty ex-railway properties now converted into cottages and the Westfield Pill Nature Reserve.

Johnston and the Brunel Trail
Johnston and the Brunel Trail

On the outskirts of Neyland we left the trail and took another mode of transport, a bus over the Cleddau Bridge and into Pembroke Dock.  There was enough time remaining for us to explore a bit of the town, go down to the dock and see the ferry leaving in the distance and then walk up to the station to catch our train home.  Pembroke Dock station is one of those that looks like time has forgot.  In fact it you didn’t know the timetable you may have wondered if it was still in use.  Luckily it was and we were soon on our way back to Cardiff, via the Pembrokeshire coastal towns of Saundersfoot and Tenby.

Pembroke Dock and railway station
Pembroke Dock and railway station

Thanks to Ian for most of the photos.

Date of trip: 7 March 2019

See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations

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