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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update on Llan Railway landslip

* The length of track where the landslip took place. 
Llangollen Railway has given an update on the riverside landslip that occurred on the line west of Glyndyfrdwy station over the Christmas period.
This was caused by heavy rainfall and water level flows in the River Dee.
The line runs close to the river at this point and the slip took the bank away below a length of the railway's fencing, although the erosion has not yet intruded on to the track base. 

The slip has produced an intrusion which measures some 20m by 3m, but the high level of the Dee means that the precise impact on the lower riverbank cannot be seen until the water level drops.

The implications for the stability of the track means that the passage of trains west of Glyndyfrdwy cannot be authorised until repairs are completed to restore the riverside infrastructure and will possibly include improvements to the landside drainage system in this area.

As a safety precaution train services were terminated at Glyndyfrdwy station from Boxing Day to New Year's Day.
Passengers were understanding about the situation and concerned for its timely resolution, but the reduced train service adversely impacted on business originating from Carrog and at the station tearooms there.
Station staff at Glyndyfrdwy responded to the operational needs by opening up the station building to provide facilities at a time of the year when the building is normally closed.

At Llangollen station, a hole has been found to be opening up on platform 2 on the riverside stretch.  
A preliminary investigation revealed a voided area existed below the surface, likely to have been caused by water seepage through the riverside stonework but the area is subject to further investigation. 

Both incidents are subject to a claim on the Llangollen Railway's insurance and the extent and cost of the repair is subject to contractors' estimates which are currently being sought. 
Given the current predictions that further heavy downpours are likely in the future the railway will have to fund improvements that have been recommended to strengthen flood defences along the river bank. 

Further details will be known when the appointed contractors begin work and a completion date is given.

The railway's operations director Peter Evans said: "Llangollen Railway regrets the disruption to services which the landslip has caused and hopes to be able to resume train services to Carrog when the 2013 season begins on February 2.
"Priority will be given to the repair of Platform 2 used extensively for Thomas the Tank Engine events and contingency arrangements have already been made to ensure that the February series of Days Out With Thomas TM event will take place."

Meanwhile, the railway reports a successful season of Santa Special trains. I
In the course of eleven days of operations between December 1 and Christmas Eve, 44 trains ran and a total of 9,486 passengers were carried to "Lapland" at Carrog - a 90% seat occupancy. 

This is an increase of 4% on 2011 and is seen as a very satisfactory result in the current economic circumstances when family groups from within our base catchment area, and further afield, supported the seasonal entertainment.

George Jones for Llangollen Railway said: "The success of the annual Santa trains operation is down to the many volunteers who undertook a wide range of tasks involved in this festive season occasion.
"On all eleven days of the season operational duties on the trains and at stations, plus the various helpers for Santa and his elves, were covered by a wide range of volunteers of all ages.
"They came together to make up several teams which were rostered to cover the train services."

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