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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Extended railway steams into 2015 season


* The completed station at Dwyrain Corwen East.

Llangollen Railway resumes services through the Dee Valley from Saturday, February 14, when trains begin operating the town and the new terminus at Corwen.

This follows a mid-winter shutdown whilst essential maintenance work on the railway were undertaken and facilities at the new station completed.

The 2015 timetable for the heritage railway provides for all public service trains to operate through to the temporary station at Dwyrain Corwen East as the new line extension is brought into regular use.

The exceptions are trains during the popular Days Out With Thomas events, which will terminate at Carrog where activities are arranged for visitors.

Three steam trains a day will operate this Saturday and Sunday arriving at Corwen at 11.20, 13.37 and 15.47.

There is, however, only a short stop-over period here as the mode of operation for the return journey requires for the train to be propelled back to Carrog under the control of a driver in the specially modified rear coach.

The steam engine will then ‘run round’ at Carrog, where a longer stop-over takes place, allowing passengers to use the facilities there. This changes the arrangements which have become familiar to regular visitors.

During half term week, February 16-20, an off-peak diesel railcar service will be running, arriving at Corwen 11.35, 13.35 and 1535, departing five minutes later.

The diesel railcars with their exciting view of the line ahead, as seen from behind the driver, provide an excellent way for passengers to appreciate all the work that has gone into rebuilding the line from Carrog through to Corwen over the past three years.

Kevin Gooding, General Manger of Llangollen Railway, said: “The commencement of train services over the extended railway provides for a scenic journey through part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"The trains offer easy access to our three wayside stations at Carrog, Glyndyfrwy and Berwyn, which allow for the Welsh countryside to be enjoyed by walkers and others seeking a day out in the Dee Valley. 

"The two-hourly weekday train service operates from March 23 and allows for visitors to spend time in Corwen or to join the train at Corwen to travel to Llangollen.

"We trust that the extended line will attract more visitors who will contribute to the regeneration of the area and improve the viability of the heritage train services.”

2015 is an important year for Llangollen Railway which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Llangollen Station in 1865.

It is also the 40th anniversary of the start of the challenge to rebuild the railway after the derelict station at Llangollen was taken over by volunteers in 1975. 

The 2015 season has a full range of special events planned, starting with a Day Out With Thomas weekend on February 21 and 22.

Kevin Gooding added: “Thereafter we will celebrate the official opening to Corwen with a special train for VIPs on St David’s Day, March 1, when the completion of phase 1 of the extension will be suitably commemorated at Dwyrain Corwen East.

"This is immediately followed by two three-day events on March 6-8 and March 13-15, when the Betton Grange Society’s Steel, Steam & Stars IV mega-gala will bring a number of exciting steam locomotives to Llangollen to provide a steam extravaganza.”

Full details are available on the railway’s website site at: www.llangollen-railway.co.uk

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