Cardiff Bay railway station

Cardiff Bay railway station (Welsh: Bae Caerdydd), formerly Cardiff Bute Road, is a station serving the Cardiff Bay and Butetown areas of Cardiff, Wales. It is the southern terminus of the Butetown branch line 1 mile (1.5 km) south of Cardiff Queen Street.

Cardiff Bay

Welsh: Bae Caerdydd
Cardiff Bay railway station (May 2018)
LocationCardiff Bay, Cardiff
Coordinates51°28′02″N 3°09′59″W
Grid referenceST190748
Managed byTransport for Wales
Other information
Station codeCDB
ClassificationDfT category F1
Key dates
9 October 1840Line opened
December 1844Station opened as Cardiff Bute Dock
1845Renamed Cardiff Docks
1 July 1924Renamed Cardiff Bute Road
26 September 1994Renamed Cardiff Bay
December 2023Proposed closure
2015/16 1.191 million
2016/17 1.242 million
2017/18 1.303 million
2018/19 1.531 million
2019/20 1.463 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Only one platform is now in use. The station building lies on Bute Street, although the rest of the station remains visible from the nearby Lloyd George Avenue. For various reasons, including it being the origin of the first steam-powered passenger train service in Wales, the station is a Grade II* listed building.[1]

The station is within walking distance of the Senedd and the Wales Millennium Centre

Passenger services are provided by Transport for Wales. The station is due to close by December 2023, when the new Cardiff Bay station opens.


The line to the docks was opened on 9 October 1840 but the station was not mentioned in Bradshaw's railway timetables until December 1844. It was opened as "Cardiff Bute Dock" but the name was changed to "Cardiff Docks" in 1845 by the Taff Vale Railway (engineer: Isambard Kingdom Brunel). The station building was the head office of the TVR until 1862. After this it also housed the consulates of the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Brazil, with separate flag poles provided for each nation.

It was renamed "Cardiff Bute Road" by the Great Western Railway on 1 July 1924 and given its present name in 1994.[2]

Renovation of station building

Use as a railway museum
Sir Gomer operating steam train rides along the length of the platform in the early 1990s

The building was restored in the 1980s and served for a time as a railway museum under the auspices of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales and the Butetown Historical Railway Society (which in 1997 relocated its activities to the Vale of Glamorgan Railway).[3] Following this, the station building had become derelict with train passengers now using a temporary shelter.

Residential and commercial property
Complete restoration of the former station building (2020)

In August 2017, plans to build an office and apartment block next to a Grade II-listed former railway station in Cardiff were approved. These included renovating and converting the derelict building and link it to a new four-storey building. The new building would house 10 flats, offices and a cafe. The Victorian Society said the Bute Street station was one of the oldest and most significant railway structures in Wales and last year appeared on its list of the 10 most endangered buildings. It said it supported a sensitive restoration scheme but the current proposal would cause a "high degree of harm to the building and its setting".[4] The first stage of the development opened in June 2019.[5]


The Class 121 single-unit "bubble car" (May 2007)
The Class 153 single-unit "super sprinter” (June 2019)

There is a shuttle service between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay every 12 minutes Monday to Saturdays (between 0630 and 2330) and every 12 minutes on Sundays (between 1100 and 1630) using Class 153 Sprinters . Some services were formerly operated by a Class 121 "bubble car", but this unit was withdrawn in June 2013.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Cardiff Queen Street   Transport for Wales
Butetown branch line

Proposed new station

In June 2018, the then future Welsh train operating company KeolisAmey Wales announced plans to build a line extension and a terminus station, The Flourish (since renamed back to Cardiff Bay) for the Butetown Branch, along with an intermediate station at Loudoun Square.[6] This station, will completely replace the existing station, which will close.

Part of the South Wales Metro, it will continue to serve the Cardiff Bay area and is to be opened by December 2023.[7][8] The station is to have 2 platforms and will be served by tram-train vehicles. The former station buildings are due to close when the new station opens.

See also


  1. Cadw. "Cardiff Bay Station  (Grade II*) (13963)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. Quick, Michael (2009). Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology. Railway & Canal Historical Society. ISBN 9780901461575.
  3. Hutton, John (2006). The Taff Vale Railway, vol. 1. Silver Link. ISBN 9781857942491.
  4. "Station revamp and flats plan approved". 16 August 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2019 via
  5. "'Most endangered' railway building saved". 17 June 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019 via
  6. "New trains and more services in £5bn deal". BBC News. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  7. "What's Happening in South East Wales - Transport for Wales".
  8. "New trains and more services in £5bn deal". 4 June 2018 via