Photo Gallery by George Jones

Laying track eastward from Bridge 28A towards Bonwm Halt - November 2013

The top view of underbridge 28 looking west towards the railhead


Track Gang in Action

Setting up panel 10 

 Fishplating panel 9


The rails from Bridge 28A rnow run past the site of Bonwm Halt and join up with the rails from Carrog. This picture shows how close the A5 is to the railway at this point. The view of the railway between Carrog and Corwen will allow for some excellent photography.

A word of warning, however. The A5 is narrow and fast with very few spaces for parking. It will be best to leave the car in the ample parking area at Corwen and walk the mile or so to the viewpoint.

A closer view of the roadrailer on the joining piece at Bonwm Halt.

There now remains a further half mile to lay from Bridge 28A into Dwyrain Corwen East. To achieve this, Bridge 28A repaird require completion and a small matter of £60,000 needs to be raised for sleepers and ballast.

A “Sponsor a Sleeper for £20” fundraising campaign is under way.

Before and after pictures of the same spot, just below the A5 near the layby. Left before any works started in 2004; Right, the same place with the trackbed cleared and the railhead progressing west and, centre, 6430 passes the roadsign with the ballast train on 5th April 2011

Photos by John Rutter and George Jones

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY TRUST LTD


CORWEN EXTENSION PROJECT REVIEW – JANUARY 2014


Into A New Year


After the golden moment on 27 December, when the two lengths of rail were joined at Bonwm, the reporting of the occasion provided good coverage in the regional media and was a considerable boost to interest in the early completion of the extension.


Another grand occasion occurred for volunteers on 2 January 2014 when a ballast train ran from Carrog to Bonwm.


For the first time since the scrap man’s train came through in 1968/69, a diesel locomotive and train paused at the site of the former Bonwm Halt. Later it proceeded west of under pass bridge 28 to drop stone on the newly laid track. Volunteers celebrated with a group photograph in front of the class 26 locomotive No.D5310 at the end of its run. The unexpected sight of a train on the section of track parallel with the A5 road generated a lot of excitement in Corwen as further confirmation of progress.


Bridge 28A Repairs Completed


The contractors finished repairs to the brick arch and abutments of the over bridge in early January and the scaffolding was dismantled on 5 January, although some final pointing of the lower layers remains to be done. The repair includes the provision of bat boxes to meet the environmental requirements for this protected species.


This opens up the way west for the final half mile of track into the Corwen station site and will involve the laying of 46 panels of rail.


Track laying depends on the provision of further supplies of concrete sleepers and fittings, as well as base ballast, and sources for these are being investigated for early delivery. Good support has been received for the Sleeper Appeal organised by volunteer Mr Paul Bailey and the Appeal  remains open for further contributions towards the £20,000 target.


Pending further track laying the volunteers are hard at work clearing the over grown vegetation on the sides of the cutting beyond Bridge 28A and on the final approach into the station site. Bridge 29 has been rebuilt to provide pedestrian access to the riverside nature reserve.


Dwyrain Corwen East station site


The access on site of the contractors for the Corwen Flood Alleviation Scheme to provide an outflow into the River Dee neared completion in early January. Restatement of the level at the location of the former bridge 30, where out flow pipes were installed, is now complete and has allowed renewal of vehicle access from the Corwen end on to the trackbed.


On 15 January the Railway’s contractors marked out the locations of the footings for the bases of the five coach length platform. Excavations on the embankment quickly began and with concrete being poured completion in week ending 24 January is likely.


Completion of this section is dependent on the provision of materials and the continuing spell of mild weather. Based on past performance, half a mile of track can be laid by the volunteer work force in approximately twelve work days, equating to six weeks, once the base ballast is laid and sleepers are distributed along the length.


The application of resources, both manpower and financial, are the key elements to the completion of this project. If you wish to help your donation for the Corwen Sleepers Appeal can be made by cheque, payable Llangollen Railway Trust Ltd, and addressed to: Mr P Bailey. Dolwen, Bryneglwys, Corwen, Denbs, LL21 9LY. Gift Aiding your donation will add to the financial benefit obtained.


Photographs to illustrate this review will be found on the Enthusiast and Archive section of this website.


Llangollen Railway Trust

17 January 2014.


Work on the Flood alleviation work on the site of  Dwyrain Corwen East station at the beginning of January 2014

Work commences on the platform for Dwyrain Corwen East  Station in January 2014. The concrete pads for the platform supports  have been poured and commence to harden.

A sight not seen since the track was removed in 1968. A ballast train , hauled by D5310 on the rails east of Bonwm Halt.

The picture to the right shows how close to the A5 trunk road the railway is at this point.. However, for those of Photographic enthusiasm, as can be seen in this photo - the road is relatively narrow, fast, twisty, busy and has no available parking spaces. The footpath does extend the full length of the extension from Corwen town, so parking the car and walking is the only safe option. Corwen has plenty of parking space within 5 mins or so walk of Dwyrain Corwen East Station.

All photos George Jones

Dwyrain Corwen East platform is being built  at the far end of the water channel, where pipes have been installed under the embankment; easiest seen in the picture on the right.

PROGRESS ON THE CORWEN EXTENSION – FEBRUARY 2014

Onwards to Corwen……………….nearly there

The removal of the contractor’s scaffolding on completion of repairs to over bridge 28A opened up the track bed for further track laying during January.

Within the limits of readily available stocks of sleepers, the permanent way team laid four track panels to bring the head of steel up to the bridge. This work saw the arrival of the works train on site, propelled by the class 03 shunter 03162, now out stationed at Carrog, making another notable train movement west of Plas Bonwm, the second locomotive to pass the site of the former Bonwm Halt.

Work clearing the vegetation in the cutting beyond over bridge 28A occupied the volunteer work force for much of January and continues during February, with a notable improvement to the view of the over bridge as seen from the A5 road and the track. A fifth track panel was laid on 1 February which brought the railhead through the bridge arch, an operation seen by those who availed themselves of the escorted track viewing walk from Carrog to Corwen.

A further 40 panels of track are needed to reach the station site, but, for the moment, the railhead remains at this point whilst further supplies of concrete sleepers are sought for delivery. A good response to the Corwen Sleeper Appeal has provided the necessary cash, but finding them at the right price and grade is proving difficult, also bearing in mind the added costs of transport to the site from wherever they are available.

Base ballast is being delivered to site for spreading on the track bed and further work is going on to attend to the many specific items of infrastructure which require completion, as with the provision of surfaces at level crossings, for example. Top ballast delivered to Carrog yard has provided several loads of stone for the ballast train to bring out and deposit on the stretch leading up to Bonwm  Halt, again propelled by the 03 diesel shunter. Given the situation at locations on the mainline requiring repairs, it will come as no surprise to find that availability of ballast is currently at a premium.

During February the Project team hosted an informal inspection of the extension works by Steve Turner from the Minor Railways Team at the Office of Rail Regulation, who pointed to items of detail still needing attention but, overall, the work met with general approval.


Dwyrain Corwen East station

Contractors gained access to the station site on 15 January and marked out the location of the footings for the station platform along the embankment. Excavations quickly followed and, with concrete poured, the 66 footings were completed in seven days. They now clearly mark out the station site as seen from the A5 road, but the five coach platform will not be installed until the track is in place.

Reinstatement of the level at the location of the former bridge 30 has been undertaken and has allowed for vehicular access to the trackbed, although the contractor for the Corwen Flood Alleviation Scheme continued to require ccess to the riverside. The high level of the water in the River Dee has frustrated their aim to complete the work on the drainage outflow which remains on hold. It is now expected that the works site for this major civil engineering project will be vacated and the area restored during May. Meanwhile the area known as Corwen Common through which a public footpath will lead visitors from and to the station site remains underwater and completion of this facility must await better ground conditions.


Finally, within the station area, underpass bridge 29 has been rebuilt to allow pedestrian access to the riverside nature reserve and only awaits provision of the handrails.


But…………………No First Train on 1st March

Regrettably, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the current situation as regards outstanding works means that the ambition of running a first train to Corwen on St David’s Day will not be met. Whilst this is disappointing, as an expression of good faith and future intent, it is planned to run an engineers’ works train to the head of rail, wherever that may be, on Saturday 1 March and further details of this will be announced shortly. During February the Project team hosted an informal inspection of the extension works by Steve Turner from the Minor Railways Team at the Office of Rail Regulation, who pointed to items of detail still needing attention but, overall, the work met with general approval. The Llangollen Railway fully intends to operate trains to the phase 1 station at Dwyrain Corwen East during 2014. Although a specific date cannot be given at this time, the prospects are for trains to operate on the extension during the summer peak period and the Railway’s timetable for 2104 reflects the train times for this, although for the moment trains continue to terminate at Carrog.


Continued support needed

Thanks are due to all those who have contributed to this long drawn out railway restoration project which continues to require the provision of resources to see its completion. Those wishing to give their support to this final stage of the project are asked to donate to the Corwen Sleeper Appeal which remains open to receive funds c/o:

Mr Paul Bailey, Dolwen,

Bryneglwys, Corwen, Denbs, LL21 9LY, remittances payable Llangollen Railway Trust Ltd.

High resolution copies of the photos (or others) included in this report are available on request.


GeorgeJones

Llangollen Railway Trust - February 2014


£20 buys 1/3 of a ton of pre-formed, pre-stressed concrete complete with two ‘mats’, four ‘carrots’ and four clips.


Mats? - Mats are the insulating rubber sheets that the rail sits on to isolate it from the concrrete.

Carrots? Well - we call them carrots. They are small, shaped orange insulating spacers which keep the steel rail away from the steel fitting cast into the concrete sleeper.

Clips? These are ‘Pandrol Clips’ which are used to attach the rail hard down to the sleeper. The photo to the left shows all the pieces for one rail - there are, of course, two rails on each sleeper.

Why £20 for a sleeper?

The footpath at Corwen from the town car park towards the station site (behind the clump of trees in the centre)


Flood relief work at Bridge 30

Bridge 30 has been removed and concrete pipes laid in its place. Floodwater collection channels are being dug to connect with the new pipes into the River Dee

All photos - George Jones

Photo Gallery of activities between Bonwm and the site of Dwyrain Corwen East

By  Peter Dickinson

LEFT - Rails through Bridge 28A. RIGHT - The last bit of bare trackbed to Dwyrain Corwen East (the platform location is just out of sight as the trackbed bends to the right. Pictures - George Jones

St Davids Day: 1st March 2014. Susan  Elan Jones MP with the track gang at Bridge 28A

The St Davids Day Train! Only a ballast train unfortunately, but we did get it there! (See report above)

Both photos George Jones