Berwyn Viaduct Progress - part seven

Job Completed

The final task to be undertaken as part of the viaduct's major rebuild - approval by H.M. Railway Inspectorate - has now been completed. The first train to use the extended platform facility was an evening charter for the Foxcote Manor Society.

train

Above: 'Black 5' 44806 departs from Berwyn past the extended platform. A small amount of scaffolding remains. (John Joyce)

platform   platform

Above: The completed platform, railings and lamp fittings. (John Joyce)

Berwyn Viaduct Appeal

class 108 on viaduct

Above: The class 108 DMU accelerates away from Berwyn past the completed platform. (John Joyce)

Any thoughts that the Railway could have continued to use Berwyn Viaduct beyond the middle of this year (2002) were dispelled when the Contractor began to strip the structure ready for renovation. The harsh reality was that the Railway would have been truncated to a shuttle service over the two miles from Llangollen to Berwyn, but such an operation could have jeopardised the overall viability of the line. The Llangollen Railway Trust took the only possible decision by biting the bullet and putting faith in its supporters and enthusiasts to help raise the necessary funding. Although some monies have been raised, and an interest free loan obtained, there is still a long way to go.

Local traders in the Llangollen area identify the Railway as the major all-year-round attraction drawing custom into the town and surrounding areas. Without the Railway, many freely admit their businesses would suffer, especially during the winter months. We hope that this enthusiasm for the Railway will also convert to tangible support in the coming months, and be seen more broadly as an investment in the future prosperity of Llangollen.

The Llangollen Railway is admired for its determination to overcome the difficulties of rebuilding a once lost Great Western cross-country route. Circumstances that delayed the start of the renovation programme for Llangollen and Berwyn Stations meant that the Railway has two major projects occurring together rather than five years apart.

Although the Viaduct is complete, the bills must be paid and donations are needed now, not tomorrow. We have effectively tackled a legacy of deferred maintenance that stretched back to the Silver Jubilee of King George V, and we are now in the Golden Jubilee Year of his Grand Daughter, our present Queen - a span of 67 years.

How You Can Help

If the Llangollen Railway was still part of the National Network the listed status of the Viaduct would, most likely, make it eligible for Heritage Grants. We are on our own - but we won't be if you can help by making a donation or committing yourself to a regular monthly contribution by Standing Order. It doesn't matter if the amount is small or large. Every £1 raised now is £1 less to borrow.

If you pay income tax, your donation can be enhanced because the Trust is a Charity and can reclaim the tax element. We hope that you will be prepared to help us to continue to restore and operate the Llangollen Railway, and look forward hopefully to your support.

Text by Frank Spence

Copied from JJ Website 12th October 2007 by John Rutter webmaster@llangollen-railway.co.uk