Derry Ormond Halt
What: Railway halt
Where: Betws Bledrws, Ceredigion
Visited: 2006, 2011, 2013
Last Known Condition: Derelict and overgrown
Page Updated: December 2013
Derry Ormond Halt was quite an unexpected discovery; tracing the route of the disused Carmarthen and Aberystwyth Railway from Lampeter to Pont Llanio, I climbed an embankment expecting, at best a crumbling brick platform to see instead a small station hiding amongst the nettles and thorns below. Opened in 1867 by the Manchester and Milford Railway Company as part of a line between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, it served the village of Betws Bledrws and the nearby Derry Ormond Estate for which it is named.
By 1911, the M. & M. R. had rather overstretched itself, in no small part due to the cost of completing a new branch line from Lampeter to Aberaeron in the same year, and was bought by the famous Great Western Railway Company. The ambitious goal of linking Manchester and Milford Haven (which was to be billed as 'the Liverpool of South Wales') was never realised; the completed lines were useful for local traffic, and formed the only direct link between North and South Wales. The next change of management came in 1948 after the Transport Act, when the line became part of the British Railways Network.
In 1963, B. R's Chairman, Dr. Richard Beeching recommended the line's closure on grounds of economy but flood damage beat him to it: a landslip near Aberystwyth forced the line's closure to passengers in 1964. Although goods services continued to be run until 1970, Derry Ormond, a small and rather isolated halt, seems to have closed at the same time as passenger traffic ceased.
The halt is a remarkable survival of a small station little altered since G.W.R days, and consists of a single platform and station building, still in G. W. R. colours, which served the combined function of waiting room and ticket office. A badly vandalised mobile home is parked at the end of the platform and contains books and other domestic odds and ends.
By 2011 the trackbed had found new use as a dumping ground for mothballed lorries, but these had been removed by 2013, leaving the site abandoned and heavily overgrown.
The Derelict Miscellany: website and all content © D. A. Gregory unless stated to be otherwise.