Corwen welcomes first train for 50 years
It is full steam ahead at last for railway enthusiasts who are celebrating the first trains to visit Corwen in nearly half a century.
The Denbighshire town saw its last service in 1964 after rail cutbacks.
But volunteers at nearby Llangollen Railway have been working for four years on a two-mile (3.2km) extension from Carrog to reopen the link.
Around 30 people, many in their 60s, worked for three days a week during the past year to complete the line.
The original steam-hauled passenger line closed at Corwen in December 1964 due to flooding and the rails were taken up in 1968.
Enthusiasts first talked of re-opening the line in 1975, and the railway raised £280,000 towards the £1.2m grant-funded project over the last four years.
Contractors were brought in to work on a bridge and erect a temporary platform but most of the clearance work and track laying was done by the volunteers.
The work involved:
- Clearing the route of vegetation but being careful as it runs through a site of special scientific interest
- Laying 5,280 railway sleepers
- Bringing in 4,000 tonnes of ballast
- Negotiating five underpasses and two level crossings
The line already runs 7.5 miles (12km) from Llangollen to Carrog.
The last half a mile of track has now been completed and steam trains can reverse out on a single track from a new temporary platform at Dwyrain Corwen East and back to Llangollen.
"It has been a great challenge and a great achievement," said George Jones of the Llangollen Railway Trust.
Five coaches will run on a special service at 15:00 BST and a timetable will run three trains a day from 27 October.
The enthusiasts now want to establish a £1m permanent station in Corwen.