North West Wales

Crane boost for train track plan

0-4-0 diesel mechanical locomotive 'Taurus' (pic: John Willis)
Image caption The diesel engine 'Taurus' has already been refurbished by the railway society

A plan to reopen a stretch of railway which once served the now demolished Dolgarrog Aluminium factory in Conwy has been given a boost.

Dolgarrog Railway Society spent 10 years diligently buying pieces of track, and restoring a diesel locomotive and goods vans.

Now Ainscough Strategic Land is bringing in a crane and 16 lorry-loads of rail, track and sleepers.

The company bought the old factory site after the works closed in 2007.

John Willis, who lives locally and is a member of the Dolgarrog Railway Society, said the company's help was a "huge step forward" for the plan.

'Great progress'

A large crane will be used to lay the first pieces of track.

"If we'd had to purchase the track ourselves and arrange transport, it would have taken up to a further 15 years to get to the stage we're at today," he said.

Image caption The railway society has also refurbished a guards van

Mr Willis added that "great progress" had been made over the past 10 years, but this donation "means our dreams of one day running a steam train from the site down towards the original link with Dolgarrog train station are within reach".

Nigel McGurk, managing director of Wigan-based Ainscough Strategic Land, said restoring the steam railway was an important part of company's plan to revitalise the "close and supportive" community.

"The railway society has achieved a tremendous amount over the past ten years and it is a pleasure to be able to help speed up their plans and bring them to fruition," he said.

"The former factory was an important economic driver for the area and we are determined to create a new development that brings new and lasting opportunities for Dolgarrog and the Conwy Valley," he added.

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