Track Maintenance

This is a new page. Track (Permanent Way) Maintenance is essential to the smooth operation of any railway. It includes maintenance of rail, sleepers and ballast, of course, but also include other activities such as ‘keeping the drainage clear of debris’ and ‘cutting back lineside growth.’

It’s not obvious on a day to day basis, but all ‘green things’ grow. Give them a few months and what was a beautifully clear lineside is suddenly overgrown with new growth. Every so often, a programme of cutting back is required, as the following pictures show.

The extensive growth of line side vegetation has been an issue for the Railway for some time.

In order to try and overcome the problem, a trial has been taking place in recent days, involving a tractor equipped with a flail, has been used to cut back vegetation. 


Currently the Glyn to Carrog section has been cleared, plus the section from the east end of the tunnel down to Dee bridge, plus some additional work on the west side approach to Dee bridge.  


Neil Williams

Trust Director 14th November 2014

Clearing the lineside growth.

Clockwise from Top Left : Clearing the embankment to the west of the Glyndyfrdwy fixed distant signal using a powered flail; Cleared track further to the west, just before Owain Glyndwr’s Mount; Improving sightlines on Berwyn Bank just to the west of the Dee Bridge and clearing vegetation on the river side of the line just beyond Berwyn Station.

All photos Neil Williams

Pictures of Lineside Clearance

Deeside Loop 2009. Safety is the first priority and everyone stands back as 44806 approaches from the west (running tender first).

Lineside clearance has been done since the railway was first created. It is thought that this tree stump may have been first cut when the trackbed was driven through the area by the navvies in 1860 (Ish).

Since then it has been coppiced many times as can be seen when the stump is inspected closely.

Photos - John Rutter

Berwyn Tunnel East Portal 2009. The ivy ‘fringe’ over the portal was long enough to touch the train, so needed to be removed. At the same time, moss and other growth was removed from the coping stones on the wing wall. Trees litke this one, growing on a ledge above the rock face can be brought down on to the track during high winds, hence to had to go. What a great place to be volunteering; taken from the top of the east portal.

Berwyn Tunnel West Portal 2009. The line west with both banks cleared; the tunnel portal from the west; in remote places it helps to have your own train; the line to the west - well tidied up. It should last for a few years now until it needs trimming again.

All photos - John Rutter