* The Class 47 diesel locomotive shortly after arrival at Corwen station. Picture by Iain Ross.
Llangollen Railway has announced that a test train successfully ran to the new Corwen Central station last night (Saturday) to gauge clearances to platforms and other structures following completion of track work.
The train consisted of a rake of empty passenger coaches, running with special permission under an engineering possession.
It was hauled by historic Class 47 diesel locomotive No 1566, which has been at work in North Wales for over 40 years.
The train was crewed by expert volunteers Mark Smales, Iain Ross and Mike Williams, who between them have given over 70 years of voluntary service at Llangollen.
Richard Dixon-Gough, Corwen Station Project Manager, said: “Seeing the test passenger train arrive at Corwen was a real delight for our dedicated team of volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to build our new station from scratch, all largely funded by donations from supporters, well-wishers and grant aid from the Welsh Government.
"It was a perfect late-spring evening and the train looked superb in our new station under a clear blue sky. We’ve got a bit more work to do before we can run public trains.
"We’ve the station building and canopy to complete and then the whole project will require final sign off from the Office of Road and Rail. But we’re getting close and this test train took us a step closer.
"Corwen station will be open to the public over the Jubilee weekend to see what we’ve been up to and one of our works trains will also be on static display for people to take a look at."
Tom Taylor, LR Trust Manager, said: “What a way to kick off a week where we will see the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and Volunteers’ Week begin.
"Our new station at Corwen is looking superb and this successful test train demonstrates the power of volunteering. Our railway is a vital part of the local economy and our volunteers also help sustain local employment, both on our railway and in the wider tourist industry.
"We can’t wait to return services to Corwen and offer our passengers the full 10 mile ride through the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty again. Running between these two bustling riverside towns will help us take the Llangollen Railway forward into the future."
Corwen resident Owen Reynolds- Rees, whose house looks over the new station, said: “I was sat in my living room, looked up and was amazed to see the train pootling gently into Corwen Station, so dashed upstairs to get some photos. It was a lovely thing to see, especially on such a beautiful evening.”
Steam and diesel trains will also offer a range of services between Llangollen and Carrog over the Jubilee Weekend between June 3 and 5, with stations specially decorated. Visit www.llangollen-railway.co.uk for more details and tickets.