Get in touch ...

Know of something happening in
us on

E-mail your contributions to:

We are on Facebook at

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Chance for dream drive of historic engine at Llangollen Railway

Llangollen Railway is set to make many young boys' dream of being an engine driver come true over the next couple of months.

Its Driver-for-a-Fiver experience will allow budding Casey Joneses to take the controls of a vintage diesel engine for a short chug on the famous Dee Valley line.

The mighty machine they'll be driving is a 66 year-old shunting locomotive that can usually be found doing unglamorous jobs like moving locomotives and carriages around in sidings.

The Class 08 diesel-electric engine number 13625 affectionately nicknamed 'Gronk' due to the distinctive noise made by its 350hp English Electric diesel engine, was built in 1956 at Derby Locomotive Works. 

The 08 will also be working a new and shorter shuttle service between Llangollen and Berwyn Stations, which will run in-between the three daily steam and diesel trains that run between Llangollen and Carrog.

The novel new services are the brainchild of Mike Williams, a longstanding volunteer guard and Board Member for Operations at the railway.

He said: “I’ve spent a lot of time working on the 08 over the last year. The old girl really has been invaluable to us, shunting our yards and also hauling the works trains to get our railway back in business. 

"It’s a popular loco that doesn’t get much use on public trains and we’re often asked when there might be a chance to sample a ride behind it. Well, now people can – and they can even have a go at driving it too!”

Driver-for-a-Fiver will run in Llangollen station and allow those over 12 - under 16s must be accompanied by an adult - the chance to drive the locomotive for a short distance along the platform and back. 

The experience is available between 11:20-12:05, 13:15-14:15 and 15:35- 16:15. Tickets can be purchased on the day. 

With a return journey time of 50 minutes, the Berwyn Shuttle allows those looking for a shorter trip the chance to travel to the beautiful Berwyn station in the scenic Dee Gorge. 

There is a station tearoom and it is also possible to take a walk to the Chain Bridge or nearby Horseshoe Falls and return back to Llangollen on a later train if desired. 

Departures from Llangollen are 10:20, 12:15, 14:30 & 16:30, with returns from Berwyn at 10:50, 12:16, 12:45, 14:26, 15:00, 16:31 & 17:00. 

Tickets cost £8.50 for adults, £5 for a child and £7.50 for seniors, purchasable from Llangollen station on the day. 

Mike added: “The rolling stock the shuttle will use is also interesting and quirky, adding a bit of character to the experience. 

"There is a converted open freight wagon, which has seating and a canopy. Travelling in this is a real outdoor experience and you’ll be able to hear the river as well as see it. 

"There is covered accommodation for the less adventurous – a converted LNER pigeon van, which is fully enclosed but with nice, large windows. This vehicle is nearly 100 years old and was built to carry racing pigeons around the country. 

"Don’t worry though, it’s had a lot of work done on it since then to make it suitable to carry people, including those who have mobility issues."

The events will run in April on Sat 9th & Sun 10th , Sat 16th , Sun 17th & Mon 18th , Sat 23rd & Sun 24th and Sat 30th. In May they will run on Sun 1st & Mon 2nd.

No comments:

Post a Comment