Work gets underway on further extension of Llangollen Heritage Railway
The Llangollen Heritage Railway is steaming ahead with plans to extend and repair its line, thanks to the arrival of new track.
The flat-bottom rail from Scunthorpe Steel was delivered to Carrog station on the Llangollen Railway in March meaning repairs to the heritage line can proceed.
A further 2.5 miles will be added to the railway, extending the route through stunning countryside to 10 miles and joining the brand-new Corwen Station which opens later this year.
The line, which originally ran from Ruabon to Barmouth, closed in stages between 1964 and 1968, with much of the valuable infrastructure quickly demolished.
As with most of the Heritage railways, it took teams of determined enthusiasts to push ahead with the rescue and restoration of the lines to get them up and running again.
Enthusiasts spotted the potential for a scenic route through the Dee Valley and work began on restoring the Llangollen line, which is standard gauge, in 1975.
Since then, the progress has crept forward incrementally thanks to the commitment and determination of the custodian volunteers.
Berwyn Station was reached in 1985, Deeside in 1990, Glyndyfrdwy in 1992, Carrog in 1996 and Corwen East in 2014, with the new Corwen Central Station expected to open in 2022.
Labour of love
Terry Pickthall, Llangollen Railway Press and Communications Officer, told Railway News: “The Llangollen Railway is the only standard gauge heritage railway in North Wales and runs through the beautiful Dee Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“The railway starts at Llangollen Station in the heart of Dee and then continues for 7.5 miles upstream following the River Dee to Carrog.
“The views from the carriages are just breath-taking and constantly changing from season to season – you’ll see the first spring lambs and the ever-changing colours of the beautiful vista.
“It’s been a 10-year project. Most of the work has been completed by volunteers, it’s a true labour of love. When the line finally closed in 1968, the track, signalling and much of the infrastructure was removed or demolished quickly after.
“Llangollen, Berwyn and Carrog Station buildings survived, albeit in a state of disrepair. It’s thanks to the hard work and vision of these enthusiasts that we have this fantastic heritage line today.”
The summer programme is up and running at Llangollen, and over the weekend of 3-5th June, passengers will have the chance to fulfil any lifelong ambition to become engine drivers, with a ‘Driver for a Fiver’ scheme.
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