News and recent Press Releases INDEX to  Corwen Pages Progress - September 2014

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY TRUST  The Station, Llangollen LL20 8SN


Rapid progress at the Dwyrain Corwen East Station

There was a momentous occasion for the Llangollen Railway on Friday, 8th August 2014, with the arrival of a gauging train at the site of the Corwen temporary station. A test train of three diesel railcars ventured west of Carrog to check out the clearances at structures along the two and a half mile railway extension.

The train was driven by the chairman of Llangollen Railway Trust, Elizabeth Harland, who took the opportunity to congratulate the volunteer members of the extension project team on the completion of the track laying exercise.

Commenting on the successful test run along the extension, Elizabeth Harland said, “I was delighted to drive the gauging train down the line and to see what had been achieved by our volunteers.”

Picture below shows some of the project team meeting the chairman in front of the railcar at the Corwen rail head.

Looking towards completion of the project

However, before trains can run into the station at Dwyrain Corwen East, a further stage of construction requires the erection of a 38 metre long ramp off the platform end to connect with a footpath coming up from ground level. This is a complex text designed to meet modern standards which will allow for disability access on an appropriately graded structure.

George Jones, for Llangollen Railway Trust said, “The completion of tasks is rapidly coming to a conclusion and, when all arrangements come together, we will then be able to announce a date for the opening of train services to Corwen. This will be the completion of a 40 year old dream.”

The photograph below shows the six coach gauging train  coming along side the scaffolding which forms the basis of the temporary platform at Dwyrain Corwen East station.

The running of the gauging train was possible thanks to all the work undertaken to have the new track ballasted and then packed and aligned with the aid of a hired-in tamper machine.

In addition, work is well underway by contractors, Grosvenor Scaffolding of Bagillt, to erect the 100 metre long temporary platform which will provide the passenger facility at the Dwyrain Corwen East station.

The completion of all infrastructure works will shortly allow for the track extension to be inspected with a view to being declared fit for the operation of passenger trains.

Earlier the railcar was captured en route passing the site of the former Bonwm Halt as seen in the photograph below.


10 AUGUST 2014

Donations are still  needed for Phase 2 Of the project - the new Corwen Terminus Station To be sited about 300 yards to the west of Dwyrain Corwen East

Any further donations to the ‘Sponsor a Sleeper’ fund

will be used to buy sleepers for Phase Two

The fencing gang cracking on with the job 15th August

Picture - George Jones

Platform and pedestrian ramp surfaces being fitted      

Photos George Jones

Left to Right: The cabin at the bottom of the ramp gets a goat of Chocolate and Cream Paint; The paling fence to the rear of the platform being fixed in place; The view to the east along the platform. - All pictures George Jones

The Driver Training Train on 22nd September 2014; Left - approaching Dwyrain Corwen East; The train in the platform; The train returning to Carrog to take up the scheduled service departure. - All photos - George Jones

What can be seen from Dwyrain Corwen East

Left to Right: The iron age fortress of Caer Drewen on the hilltop to the north of the station; The Berwyn Mountains rising to the South of the Station. The temporary stop block at the end of the Phase One running line taken from the path to the station. Photos - John Rutter

Above - Left: Bill Shakespeare and Gordon Heddon with the team who have driven the project.

Above - right: The Cabin painted in Western Region chocolate and cream - both photos - George Jones

It is always worth repeating the warning regarding the photography of trains on the Carrog to Corwen length. All the photos of trains on the running line have been taken from the footpath on the A5 road, which runs very closely with the railway for most of its length, NOT from the trackside.

A word of caution is appropriate though! The A5 is fast, busy, twisty and heavily loaded; and there are no safe parking places.

The safe parking places are at the Llidiart-y-Parc (east) end, about ¼ mile to the west where there is a large layby; and at the Corwen (west) end where there are plenty of parking places in the town carparks.

In between, it is necessary to walk. The footpath is on the railway side, but not particularly wide. The A5 is already prone to accidents - please don’t add any more!

John Rutter - Webmaster

Official Opening To Dwyrain Corwen East St Davids Day 1st March 2015 Dwyrain Corwen East Station A few pictures  from October

Possibly the most significant picture so far - the drivers eye view of Dwyrain Corwen East Platform showing just how close to completion we are!

The rear of the Corwen Push-Pull service set of coaches in Platform 1 of Llangollen Station.

It’s not just DMUs which have ventured to Dwyrain Corwen East. 3802 is seen at Bonwm on a driver familiarisation run.

Progress with Dwyrain Corwen East platform ramp. There is still some work to do on the walking surface, then the fencing will need to be completed. The picture to the right is taken from the A5 main road. The fencing to the rear of the platform and on down the ramp is progressing nicely.

DMU service trains seen on the extension during the October 4th & 5th DMU Gala. The train had to stop 200 Metres short of the platform as the track into the platform was not passed for public use. On the left, the Wickham unit passes the gates at Bonwm; and on the right the 104 unit returns east under Bridge 28A

All photos George Jones


The operation of a sequence of three Corwen Specials provided a grand occasion to announce the arrival of the Llangollen Railway at the temporary station platform of Dwyrain Corwen East yesterday.

The first two trains provided the opportunity for supporters of the Corwen Appeal and volunteers to celebrate the completion of the extension west from Carrog.

The first train with No.3802 leading and Black 5 45337 on the rear arrived on time at 1135 having run non-stop from Llangollen.  A large crowd of townsfolk were on hand to welcome the train and the regional media gave the occasion extensive coverage. After a brief ten minute stop over the train reversed out.

The topping and tailing of the five coach train was specially arranged for this opening day, but showed how uneconomic such an operation would be for the course of normal day-day running.

The daily service, which operates in half term week from 27 October, will be hauled by one engine. In the absence of a run round loop at the temporary terminus, the train will be propelled back to Carrog under the control of a driver in the PCV (Propelling Control Vehicle) at the rear of the train. Run round of the locomotive will take place at Carrog and the timetable reflects this operation.

The 2014 season of trains will conclude with Remembrance weekend trains operating to Corwen 8/9 November.

The post Christmas Mince Pie Special Trains will operate to Corwen from 26 December. There after a formal opening ceremony at Dwyrain Corwen East is planned for St David’s Day, 1 March 2015, followed by a full season of trains in 2015.

George Jones, for Llangollen Railway Trust, said, “This project has been a great challenge, but its completion a great achievement for all those involved in the many aspects of its construction. The further challenge is to tackle Phase 2 and build the proper terminus nearer to the town centre.”

George Jones Press Officer

Llangollen Railway Trust

23 October 2014

Photos above: GWR 3802 at Dwyrain Corwen East - Photos by Martin Gill

Subsequently the Black 5 lead the second train into the platform after 3802  had detached at Carrog, and the third train saw 3802 on the front for the final run. Again crowds turned out from Corwen and district to witness this historic occasion. Many older people said they remembered the last days of trains in Corwen nearly 50 years ago and others recalled their childhood taking the school train to Bala.


At the end of a short season for passenger trains on its new extension to Corwen, the Llangollen Railway hails the operation a great success which exceeded expectations.

In the ten days of operations since the first trains for supporters ran on 22nd October, nearly 4000 passengers sampled a ride on the 2.2 mile extension beyond Carrog.

For seven days of the half term holiday the trains operated as one steam locomotive with four coaches for the scheduled three trains a day, when the engine ran with a special headboard “The Corwen Revival”. The trains early in each day were fully loaded with visitors eager to experience the journey to the new temporary terminus, known by the bilingual name as Dwyrain Corwen East.

Photo above : Black Five 45337 with “The Remembrance” as viewed from the access ramp at Dwyrain Corwen East on 9th November 2014.

Whilst the train operations were successful, some lessons have been learned as regards passenger expectations and their needs will be incorporated into the procedures for the next series of trains to Corwen during the Mince Pie Special season from 26th December. In the meantime work will continue with the fitting out of the facilities at the temporary station which requires, amongst other things, the provision of electric power with a link up to the mains supply and the completion of a footpath to the entrance.

George Jones, for Llangollen Railway, said, “Everyone is pleased with the success of the trains on the extended line. However, the operation has demonstrated the limitations of terminating at the phase 1 station which is without facilities to run an engine around the train. This emphasises the need to proceed to the phase 2 terminal station nearer the town centre directly funding can be secured for this final stage of the extension project. Only then will all the advantages of serving Corwen be realised.”

George Jones

Llangollen Railway Trust Ltd

Photo above: Black Five No.45337 with “The Corwen Revival”

at the Dwyrain Corwen East station on 27th October 2014.

Kevin Gooding, General Manager, for Llangollen Railway, said, “We are delighted with the public response to the Corwen train services. Visitors have come from near and far to sample the extended line. As well as those who travelled by train from Llangollen, others joined the train at Corwen to sample the reverse journey option. This is a passenger flow we wish to develop next year when a full season of operations will commence following an official opening for the station at Dwyrain Corwen East on 1st March 2015.”

Mr Ken Skates, Welsh Assembly member for Clwyd South, who was on the first public train on 27th October, said, “It is fantastic to see this Welsh Government supported project going full steam ahead after decades of incredible hard work and dedication by an amazing team of volunteers.

While this restoration project has been a genuine labour of love for those involved, the unbelievable amount of blood, sweat and tear that’s gone into this fantastic achievement cannot be over estimated.

They have turned a mission impossible into a reality and created something we can all be exceptionally proud of.”

During the final weekend of trains, on 8th/ 9th November, the locomotive, Black Five, No.45337, ran with a special headboard “The Remembrance” to mark the national commemoration of the First World War. In addition, the owners of the locomotive, the 26B Loco Company, arranged for the nameplate “Ayrshire Yeomanry” to be fixed to the running plate, as formerly carried by long lost class mate No.45156.

Fundraising continues even though we are now operational through to the Phase One end stop. Fundraising for Phase 2, Corwen Central Station, 300 yards west of the present end of the line, continues.

Please help all you can. Cheques should be made out to Llangollen Railway Trust

and sent to the Railway Office, The Station, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SN

Please Gift Aid any donations, it makes a huge difference to us.

Also: Shares in Llangollen Railway PLC are available via the office.

Please phone 01978 860 979 for more information.

Fund Raising The New Station at Corwen  (to be built under Phase 2 of the extension)  now has its own website

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Corwen Extension Phase One




1st MARCH 2015

Timetabled trains now run through to Dwyrain CORWEN East

The Llangollen Railway celebrated the official opening of the station at Dwyrain Corwen East with a special train on St David’s Day for the conveyance of some 270 invited guests from Llangollen to Corwen.

The five coach Corwen Special left Llangollen with locomotives attached to the front and rear of the with No.3802 leading and 5199 on the rear.

Ceremonial activities offered a public spectacle to celebrate the Official Opening day, when Vice Presidents Bill Shakespeare and Gordon Heddon unveiled the Dwyrain Corwen East station name board and the Chairman, Peter Lund, cut to ribbon to declare the station open.

Railway volunteers performed an enactment of fixing the golden fishplate to the last panel of track to mark the rejoining of Llangollen to Corwen by rail. At a word of command the lead locomotive No.3802 eased forward and burst through the Official Opening Day banner which was stretched across the track.

Ceremonial activities offered a public spectacle to celebrate the Official Opening day, when Vice Presidents Bill Shakespeare and Gordon Heddon unveiled the Dwyrain Corwen East station name board and the Chairman, Peter Lund, cut to ribbon to declare the station open.

Railway volunteers performed an enactment of fixing the golden fishplate to the last panel of track to mark the rejoining of Llangollen to Corwen by rail. At a word of command the lead locomotive No.3802 eased forward and burst through the Official Opening Day banner which was stretched across the track.

The official activities were concluded when Llangollen Railway Trust Vice President Bill Shakespeare delivered a short speech acknowledging all the efforts which went into rebuilding the railway from Llangollen to Corwen over the past 40 years, and the need still to press on to complete the phase 2 of the project with a terminal station nearer Corwen Town centre. He unveiled a commemorative plaque which will be displayed in the station building.

The Llangollen Silver Band and the Glyndŵr Male Voice Choir provided music and song during the occasion and members of the Corwen Community are on hand to distribute complimentary miniature daffodils to guests. A good crowd of several hundred local residents assembled to see the activities and add their applause to the event. The temporary station building now houses a selection of modern works of art provided by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team, aimed at promoting the Dee Valley by train. These are well worth viewing.

Guests were invited to view the site of the future extension and visit the new Railway Exhibition in Capel Goch in London Road. Among the first visitors to the exhibition when it opened on 14th February were three young ladies from Hong Kong who ventured out to sample a steam train ride in North Wales. The picture below shows two of the party seen with the engine at the station. This just goes to show how the Railway attracts visitors from around the world.

Llangollen Railway Trust

3 March 2015

Dismantling of the temporary platform - Dwyrain Corwen East - commences November 2019

Picture - George Jones