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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Railway's new season gets successfully underway



 * The first train arrives at Corwen East.

Llangollen Railway resumed train services through the Dee Valley from last Saturday when trains operated between Llangollen and the new terminus at Corwen. 

This followed a mid winter shut down whilst essential maintenance work on the railway has been undertaken and facilities at the new station have been completed.

The first train service was hauled by Great Western Large Prairie tank 5199,


Despite being a gloomy day, passengers joined the train at Corwen and others alighted to take in the town and the newly opened railway exhibition in Capel Goch.

Sunday was a better day when the sun came out and allowed for the train formation to be seen reversing out from Corwen, propelled by 5199 at the rear.
 
On normal weekday services three steam trains a day will operate from Llangollen, arriving at Corwen at 11.20, 13.37 and 15.47.
 
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.
 
In the absence of a run round loop, the timetable only allows short stop over period at Corwen, as the mode of operation for the return journey provides for the train to be propelled back to Carrog under the control of a driver in the specially modified rear coach.
 
This operation provides for the steam engine to ‘run round’ the train at Carrog where a longer stop over takes place and changes the arrangements which have become familiar to regular visitors.
 
During the current half term week, off-peak diesel railcar services are running with trains 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 went into rebuilding the line from Carrog through to Corwen over the past three years.
 
The two-hourly weekday train service operates from March 23 and provides for visitors to spend time in Corwen, or to join the train at Corwen to travel to Llangollen for a short visit. At selected weekends an hourly service will offer more diversity of opportunities for travel.
 
The need is for the extended line to 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 the Llangollen Railway which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the original Llangollen & Corwen Railway 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 21/22.

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