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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Details announced of Corwen station official opening

Four days of special celebrations will mark the fanfare official opening of the new Corwen station during the first week of June.

A highlight will be the arrival of a special steam train carrying coachloads of VIPs along the line from Carrog to see the formal opening ceremony on Friday June 2. 

There will also be a public gala event, an intensive timetable of services hauled by steam, diesel and railcars over three days, special exhibitions and the unveiling of a special commemorative model.

The opening will bring passenger rail services back into the heart of Corwen after a break of many decades.

It also marks the culmination of years of hard work by volunteers and staff of Llangollen Railway, millions of pounds of investment and the triumph of the heritage attraction over the massive setbacks of liquidation and pandemic. 

The formal opening event on June 2 will be performed by Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill, chairman of both Network Rail and the Heritage Railway Association.

Trains that day are scheduled to be hauled by Kitson 0-4-0ST “Austin 1” – one of the original Llangollen Railway steam fleet - top and tailed with visiting Austerity No 68067. 

* Kitson 0-4-0ST 'Austin 1', one of the original Llangollen Railway steam fleet, will be on duty on June 2.

June 3 and 4 will see a two-day gala event when an intensive public timetable will operate a three-train service of steam, diesel and railcar workings, each train working two return trips to Corwen a day. 

Locomotives and railcars are expected to be drawn from Austerity 68067, Class 31 No 31271, Class 47 1566 and Classes 104, 108 & 109 DMU. 

A range of attractions are planned in Corwen including model railway layouts in the town's community centre and museum.

Liverpool Model Railway Society will be exhibiting a layout entitled Corwen Through the Ages in the community centre and there is a 4mm scale model of sections of the Llangollen Railway in the museum. 

Dapol and Rails of Sheffield will also be making an announcement about a forthcoming new 4mm scale model that should be of great interest to both Llangollen Railway and GWR fans alike.

There will also be a display of heritage memorabilia in the Henry Robertson suite at Llangollen station across all four days of the event. 

A talk will be given on the evening of June 1 by renowned local archaeologist Fiona Gayle MBE entitled Denbigh, Ruthin & Corwen Railway in the Vale of Clwyd. Approximately 50 tickets at £5 each will be available. 

A vintage fire engine will also be on display at Llangollen station. 

LR Trust manager Tom Taylor said: “We are all tremendously excited at the prospect of seeing Corwen station opened for its first public trains. 

"This represents the culmination of many years of hard work by a small, but extremely dedicated team of volunteers. 

"We are all very proud of what they have achieved through some very challenging circumstances. We are also very grateful to all those who have supported the project financially, including grants from the Welsh Assembly and UK Governments. 

"Our local authorities and MPs have also supported us from the get-go. From June 3 all our services will be running to Corwen and we look forward to welcoming passengers, friends and volunteers to our superb new station as well as putting Corwen back on the railway map, where the town very much deserves to be."

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