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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Crane lifts roof frames for new Corwen station into place


* Nearly there ... the frame is guided onto the station roof.

* Steady now ... the frame about to be fixed in place.

* The 51-metre crane towers above the Corwen car park.

* This 
the superb aerial drone shot was captured by LR volunteer Richard Walliker, a qualified drone pilot with full permission to be onsite, and Wayne Ronnenback, Corwen Stationmaster.

* The Railway Trust team anxiously watches the process from the ground.

Another vital stop along the route to opening the new Corwen Station for Llangollen Railway’s trains was reached this morning (Tuesday) as the first of the huge metal frames to support the roof was lifted carefully into place by a towering crane.

At a total cost of around £1.25m, volunteers at the heritage railway have spent the last eight years working on extending the line through the Dee Valley from Llangollen to its final terminus in Corwen.

The new station, which has been under construction for the past year or so, is now heading for completion in time for when the entire line opens to the public in what is expected by railway bosses to be the second quarter of this year.

Richard Abbott, health and safety director for the Trust which has run the railway since it emerged from liquidation and the Covid lockdowns last year, said: “The pillars and subframe of the station are already in place and today our specialist contractors, Plant & Robinson Construction Ltd, began the job of adding the roof canopy frames.

“The 26 frames, each weighing just under one ton, will be delivered to the site by our suppliers based just outside Wrexham and lifted into place by a 51-metre-high crane we have hired for the job.

“Before being lifted into position each of the frames is being assembled from their 11 component parts by the contractors’ team and the whole job should take the next few days to complete.

“The next phase of the work is to fit the roof cladding.”

Railway chairman Phil Coles, who was watching the process along with fellow Trust members, said: “This is another important step in the extension of the line to Corwen, which has now been going on for eight years.

“The canopy has been paid for by the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, administered by Denbighshire County Council, while the Welsh Government paid for the new station platform. The rest of the money has come from donations to the Trust over a number of years.

“So far we have spent just over £1m and the total cost of extending the line here from Corwen East is expected to be £1.25m.

“What has been done so far is a marvellous achievement and lots of the work has been handled by our volunteers who have an average age of 67, with some of them in their late seventies.    

“We are hopeful that the line to Corwen will finally be open to the public by the second quarter of this year.”       

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