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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Latest update on railway's Corwen project

Llangollen Railway says a notable occasion came on June 25 when the first loco-hauled train visited the new Corwen station site – although it was only the ballast train.

In its latest official update on the Corwen extension project the railway says that ballast train was propelled by diesel shunter 03162 and nevertheless made an impressive sight.

The update goes on: “A continued famine of supplies of recycled ballast from Crewe frustrated the top ballasting of the track during June. 

“The issue has been resolved by placing an order for 1,000 tonnes of new stone from the quarry at Penmaenmawr, although it does come at increased cost.

“However, immediate delivery of stone by lorry to the yard at Carrog commenced and the ballast train began running again on the extension west of Bonwm from June 23.

“These daily deliveries allowed for the ballast train to work through to Corwen East as stone was dropped west of Bridge 28A.

“It is anticipated that the ballasting will take four weeks to complete, to be followed by the hiring in of a tamper machine which will clearly take completion of the exercise into August.”

On the Corwen East station site, the update says: “As of the end of June the volunteer work force began laying the final panels of track which will take the railhead through to the gated access for the site.

“Unfortunately, the prospect of the wooden temporary platform being erected by local contractors did not proceed as planned. The contractors have now withdrawn from the project and alternative methods for platform erection are being explored to provide a quick fix for this essential facility.

“In addition, the erection of the graded access ramp off the embankment is to be tackled as a volunteer led option, once the railhead is secured.

“The site of the accommodation building for the station has to be determined to allow for a concrete base to be cast, whilst the actual steel framed building is on order from the Railway’s engineering department.

“Solar powered lighting for the station is being investigated as the cost of a mains supply to the site is beyond the available budget.

“As of the end of June agencies for Denbighshire County Council were preparing the footpath below to station site which will allow access via under bridge 29 to the adjacent nature reserve. Top coating of the footpath through the Corwen Common area to the town’s car park is also proceeding.

“Attention continues to be given to the list of snags, large and small, on the length of the extension in preparation for the final inspection. With a range of work still to be completed, a date for the opening remains elusive at this stage.

“Local representatives at the Community Liaison meeting on June 25 were told that an autumnal option for a first passenger train in the Dwyrain Corwen East station is a possibility, if progress is maintained.”

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