Earlier in 2010, I decided to spend a Sunday exploring the railway stations of the Coryton Line. This is the surviving section of the Bute’s Cardiff Railway, the last of the great railways built to bring coal down to the Cardiff docks. I’m sure I read somewhere that the Bute’s original intention was to run this railway along the route of the Glamorganshire Canal (which the Marquis had earlier bought), but that ultimately he wasn’t allowed to close the canal, and so had to come up with an alternative route for his railway.

Today, the Coryton Line is a single-track commuter run that swings east to west across the north of Cardiff. There are no services on a Sunday, making it the perfect day to explore these stations.

The Photos

Rhiwbina Railway Station

Taken from the footbridge over the Coryton Line at Rhiwbina Station, looking west towards Whitchurch Station. Note the CCTV camera perched high on the left in a commanding view along the platform – provided there isn’t a train there 🙂

Rhiwbina Railway Station

Looking east from the platform towards Birchgrove Railway Station, there isn’t much to be seen. There are local shops at the heart of Rhiwbina just off the bridge that you can see in the distance.

Rhiwbina Railway Station

There isn’t much more to be said about Rhiwbina Railway Station to be honest, except that I found it tidy and with a modern shelter for passengers enduring the long wait for a train.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).


If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Tsuka and Mekugi

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My desktop wallpaper today is another from these week’s theme of the Japanese katana.

It’s incredibly dangerous to handle the blade of a katana. Not only are they razor sharp on their single cutting edge, but the oils from your skin will hasten the sword’s demise by causing severe corrosion over time. What’s needed is the tsuka – the hilt of the sword, which is traditionally bound in ray skin and either silken or leather cord known as tsuka-ito in Japanese.

To hold the blade in the tsuka, the end of the blade (known as the tang) normally has one or two rivet holes punched through it (known as mekugi-ana); there are corresponding holes in the tsuka too. Into these holes go mekugi, normally bamboo pegs. You can see the mekugi on the right of this photo. For several years, this blade was actually held in place with a mekugi that I fashioned from an old chopstick, until I had the blade remounted to preserve its original furniture.

The cheeky chap you can see on the left is an example of a menuki, and we’ll take a closer look at him in tomorrow’s wallpaper.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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