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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Railway's Corwen extension update

The following is an update from Llangollen railway on the extension of the line to Corwen ...

During August deliveries of recycled ballast brought in 200 tonnes of stone via the access at Bonwm.

This has allowed the base ballasting of the trackbed to be brought forward towards the access gate and track laying by full time permanent way staff saw the rail head extended by six panels, with a further six to be installed shortly.

The stack of concrete sleepers at Bonwm has now been cleared thanks to a further period of hire for a JCB Load-all machine and sleepers have been dispersed along the track bed towards Corwen. A calculation of the short fall in sleepers can now be made for a further quantity to be ordered.

Further deliveries of 1,000 tonnes of ballast will provide for the base towards over bridge 28a, with pegging out of this section to be undertaken during September. It is now envisaged that track laying during the autumn will begin at bridge 28a working backwards towards Bonwm, a stretch of approximately 900 metres.

Tenders for the repair of the under arch and abutments to bridge 28a are awaited from contractors who have expressed interest in this work, but, in the meantime, a volunteer team has started repairs to bridge 28, a fisherman’s access underpass.

The repairs to the road/railer machine have been completed and, following certification, the machine is now on site at Bonwm as the essential tool for further track laying. Two members of the full-time staff are passed competent to operate this machine and two volunteers will be similarly instructed. A volunteer work force is being assembled to undertake the track laying through to bridge 28a and beyond to the Corwen platform site.

Dwyrain Corwen East Station site

The complications with the under bridges within the area of the platform appear close to being resolved. We are advised that Denbighshire County Council has let a contract for the installation of the flood relief scheme outfall to the river which will involved the removal of bridge 30. Subject to confirmation, we can expect the contractor to be on site from September with construction work taking place during the next few months.

We are further advised by Denbighshire Countryside Services that the flood relief scheme also has implications for the route of the link foot path to bridge 29. This will provide access to the nature reserve and some grant aid may be in prospect for work on refurbishing this bridge, if it can be completed during September.

Elsewhere, within the wider context of Corwen, discussions are underway with the artists for the design of the access pathway from the Corwen car park to the station site. Wide ranging discussions are also taking place with regard to the opportunities to promote the new station at Corwen as a destination in 2014 and initial plans for the train timetable have started.

Whilst it is intended that a first train will arrive at Dwyrain Corwen East on St David’s day, 1st March 2014, it is now likely that an official opening occasion will be held some weeks later to obtain maximum publicity, subject to all the work being completed, including the acquisition of the outstanding funding.

A promotional display for the Corwen Extension was provided during the period of the National Eisteddfod held at Denbigh during August with thanks to Denbighshire County Council for providing facilities.

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