Why drill a borehole?


Steam Locomotives use more water in a day than coal. To avoid extracting water out of the River Dee, a borehole has been drilled to extract groundwater to feed a water tank and water crane for the locos.

Fundraising for the fabrication of the water tank is under way. It will be placed at the east end of the platform, by the signal box.

Photos taken by:

George Jones

Paul Reynolds

John Bearne

John Rutter

Phil Carson

Julie McNamara

Bob Gwynne

Peter Jump

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CORWEN CENTRAL PROGRESS CONTINUES - July 2017 Update

The building of the wall for platform 2 was completed as of 13 July with work on the return ends to mark the limit of the platform. At the western end the back wall for the section relative to the first (of 8)  coach position has had the back wall completed and infilling has begun.

Commenced on 5 January with the delivery of the first Easi-blocs, it has taken six months of part time endeavour.  It has been a mammoth project for the small team of volunteers who have worked on the building of the 510 ft long wall.

 Some statistics will impress:

The footings took 13 Readymix loads at 6 cubic metres per load = 78 cu metres

The base was formed by 261 Easi-blocs at 0.75 of tonne each = 196 tonnes

The overhang required 541 over sail blocks with some 3000 concrete blocks to build up the required level and backing.

Still to be installed are the heritage edging flags which will follow when the area between both platform walls is filled in – a target for the autumn perhaps when platform 1 is finished.

Project Manager Richard Dixon-Gough, said, “As a new facility the modern form of construction was appropriate within available resources and at considerably less expense and far quicker than a traditional brick built structure.  It may not be very heritage but to have been built in brick would have taken a lot longer and at greater expense.”

Nevertheless, all this comes at some cost and must now be repeated for a shorter length to create the wall for platform1, hence the need for the grant aid which will cover 80% of the estimated £161k cost.

Big Dig for the signalbox

The other major item of civil engineering work began with the big dig for the siting of the signal box on the northern side of the embankment. After a survey was conducted for the site at the bottom of the embankment, an excavation down to 10ft provided an area of approximately 325 sq. ft. in which volunteers laid the foundations comprising a porous membrane and geo-plastic grid mat topped up with a layer of crushed stone and a pouring of readimix.

Contractors then installed the rods and bars to provide the reinforced concrete base and, with shuttering installed, the pouring of a special mix of concrete took place on 8 July. Now the concrete is set, further work by contractors will provide for the reinforced walls which will make up the box to the level of the embankment.  This base will provide for a locker room on which the, as yet to be restored, signalbox will be sited. As of 6 August the shuttering and reinforcement rods were in place awaiting concreting.


It is a very necessary structure to stabilise the area. When all this costly work is complete, it will largely disappear from sight as the embankment is consolidated around it in readiness for the eventual positioning of the east end points for the station loop on the adjacent ground.

Final extension west

And as of 8 July, the final westerly extension of the Corwen project began with preparations for the lengthening of the head shunt. This required dismantling of the original ‘statement of intent’ stop block and surveying of the ground onto the grassy knoll which forms the remains of the original embankment out onto Green Lane and marks the limit of the 2010 Transport & Works Order.

With work on the site producing an ever more congested area and restricting wheeled vehicle movements, it was necessary to build a temporary road up the side of the embankment from the Welsh Water Road entrance to allow access for equipment to reach the head shunt area.


The ground level required building up by 2 or 3 ft tand as of 13 July a retaining wall was being built and will be followed by fencing and planting of  Pyracantha Orange Glow whose thorns will deter intruders. When completed and the land compacted ballasting will follow to allow for one and a half panel of track to be laid and the stop block re-nstalled aat the very end of the line.


Acquisitions

The Project has been fortunate in acquiring 13 cast iron columns for use as the basis of the platform canopy. Obtained from the Pontypool and Blaenavon site the columns came from Blackfrairs station in London and are thought to be of LC&DR origin so are quite historic – if alien to North Wales!.


Another acquisition is a set of fencing panels and hand rails formerly installed at Burnham station, Slough for use at the platform subway access.


Funding

Supporters continue to respond to the Corwen Big Push appeal to buy shares in Llangollen Railway and to date £70,000 has been raised, plus donations for the various appeals for specific funds – Tenner for a Tonne and the Water Tower. Fund raising continues and as ever more is needed to ensure completion of the project in time for an opening in 2018. Copies of the Big Push share brochure remain available from Llangollen Railway, The Station, Llangollen LL20 8SN. Call 01978 860979