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Friday, September 15, 2023

Railway stages diesel gala this weekend

Llangollen Railway is planning a Diesel Gala this weekend, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September.   

Visitors will be able to board a variety of trains which will run an intensive timetable between Llangollen and the newly-opened station at Corwen.

The station at Corwen re-opened in June of this year, the latest westward extension of the railway which runs on the former Ruabon to Barmouth route. The line is now ten miles in length.

On both days, trains will depart Llangollen on the hour, between 10.00 and 15.00, according to the timetable published under the auspices of ‘British Rail's Llangollen and Corwen Railway', part of the ‘Dee Valley Region'.  

The journey to Corwen takes 40 minutes, calling at Berwyn, Glyndyfrydwy and Carrog. Return trips from Corwen will leave hourly between 11.15 and 16.15, calling at the same stations on the way back.

Three additional trains will run on Saturday only, departing Llangollen at 16.00, 18.45 and 20.35.  These return from Corwen at 17.05 and 19.45, though the 20.35 only travels as far as Glyndyfrdwy.  

Both the 18.45 and 20.35 are named trains – the Sulzer Symphony Scenic Landcruise – and do not call at intermediate stations.  These trains, which have bar facilities, will be topped and tailed by Classes 25 and 47.

Some trains will be hauled by Class 25 D7659, the last locomotive to be built by Beyer Peacock at Gorton, in 1966. It is visiting the North Wales line courtesy of the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust. Class 31 31271, also doing its part to haul trains, was built by Brush Traction in 1961 and is visiting courtesy of A1 Locomotive Group.  

The final locomotive in the trio will be Class 47 1566, built by BR at Crewe Works in 1964. They will be hauling a mixture of suburban and Mark 1 coaches.

Two freight services will also run. Passenger capacity for these services is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a warning on the timetable, however.  Passengers are asked to ‘bash sensibly', with a further warning that “anyone who appears intoxicated or behaves in ‘bellowing or flailing' will be asked to leave the train”.

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