North East Wales

Corwen welcomes first train for 50 years

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Media caption"It has been a great challenge and a great achievement," George Jones, of the Llangollen Railway Trust

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.

Image caption Drivers on the train give a salute as they arrive at Corwen station

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