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Friday, July 11, 2014

Track extension reaches Corwen railhead

George Jones of Llangollen Railway gives this latest update on the track extension to Corwen ...

"As of Tuesday, 8th July, the track extension at the Dwyrain Corwen East station site has received its top ballast. 

Thanks to consistent supplies of ballast from Penmaenmawr quarry, the top ballasting of the extension has proceeded apace and the job is complete ahead of estimates. 

The 03 shunter brought the SHARK and two tipper wagons onto the station site to spread the ballast and place ash on the north side of the station site. This is the furthest west a train has proceeded so far. .

The railhead was extended at the Corwen East station site during week ending 28th June and the stop block now sits by the access gate at the end of the phase 1 station site and the Toad mess van is in residence.  

The services of the hired in tamper machine are now needed by the end of July, when further ballast supplies will be required to top up the formation once it is aligned and packed.

In the meantime, there is plenty of spade work for the volunteer work force to fettle up the stone dropped but it may be that we can soon have another golden fishplate moment at the end of the line to celebrate the achievement. 

Estimates for the building of the temporary platform with scaffolding are coming to hand from contractors, but a start date for construction has yet to be determined. 

There also remains the matter of building the graded access ramp off the embankment onto the approach road.

However, the footpaths from the car park have now been given a top coating and the poor weather approach is complete. The nature reserve access below the station site has been seeded with wild flowers and is closed to allow for germination. 

The ‘snagging’ list continues to be worked on. The piping of culverts 25g & 25h which take surface water off the A5 has been completed and work on the road surface drainage has been tackled by Highways. Some 800 fishplates on the extension have all been greased, but further work is necessary to complete the list of items requiring attention. 

With a range of work still to be completed, the date for the start of passenger services still cannot yet be given but the recent achievement brings the opening ever nearer.

The party is standing on the old under bridge 30 which disappeared as part of the Corwen Flood Alleviation Scheme – the spot where the 03 shunter is seen in the picture above. We did get there, but it has been a real challenge.

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