Llangollen Station

Llangollen station

Llangollen station, seen from the old stone road bridge across the river into Llangollen Town Centre. The railway is built on a ledge above the river, fortunately high enough to avoid even the highest water levels now that the river is level controlled from the Bala end. The river is unusually high in this photo due to snow melt during the previous few days. International canoe competitions are held on the River Dee and the stretch shown in the photo is usually the finish.

Llangollen Station building is a listed building and is undergoing a major work schedule to rectify faults which have developed over its 140 year life time, and give it another 140 years of service to the railway.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is as far as we can go today. The tracks finish under the Dee bridge at present; however, it is a goal of the railway (although a long term one) to relay the tracks back to Ruabon Junction and the rest of the network.

Meanwhile we all hope that you have enjoyed this brief look at our line, and maybe someday you can visit us for real, ride the trains and see the Dee Valley in all its moods for yourselves. (photo: David Hardy)

Inserted and modified 2nd October 2007 by John Rutter - email webmaster@llangollen-railway.co.uk

Pentrefelin

Pentrefelin

Pentrefelin yard, the site of the carriage storage sidings during the heyday of railway tourism. At that time, people used too flock to Llangollen and surroundings for a day out from the Liverpool or Manchester areas, and the special trains were stored here ready to take them back home. The yard is now being brought back into use for carriage and wagon storage, repair and maintenance, with a museum within the building. (David Hardy)

Approaching Llangollen

The last section of line runs on a ledge above the river and enters a cutting just before Llangollen Station. The locomotive servicing and maintenance shed is above the line to the left in this photograph. To the right, above the bracket signal, .is the cemetery.


Green Lane Bridge, which carries a minor road, forms a visual barrier as Llangollen station is approached. Once through the bridge, the platforms immediately appear. (John Rutter)

Approaching
Llangollen

Berwyn

Berwyn Station

Berwyn Station and surroundings are probably the most picturesque part of the line. Running downhill from the tunnel for about half a mile, the line curves to the right under a small plate girder road bridge and on to the Berwyn Viaduct. This structure is one of three interlocked stone and brick bridges. The high viaduct is parallel to the river and crosses a stream, the lane down from the A5 also crosses the stream, turns sharp right under the viaduct and immediately onto the King Edward VII Bridge over the River Dee. It is only possible to see the full effect of this interlocking masonry from the river level.

As can be seen from the photograph, Berwyn Station sits on a high ledge above the river, overlooking the Chain Bridge (unfortunately closed awaiting repair) and the Chain Bridge Hotel. Sitting on the station platform on a summer afternoon, drinking tea whilst the world (and the trains) go by is a recipe for inner peace. (John Rutter)

Dee Bridge

The Dee Bridge

Below Berwyn Station, the river flows in a narrow channel, steeply below the railway. When the river floods, this part becomes a torrent. After half a mile or so downhill, the line finally crosses the River as it turns sharply to the south. The Dee Bridge is a substantial iron structure which held up the re-opening of the line for several years due to the need for substantial repairs; this required much fundraising to complete.

Over the bridge to the left of the line is Pentrefelin, a yard which was used to stable the tourist trains in the days before the rundown of the railway under the British Railways rationalisations. This area is now being developed into a carriage and wagon restoration centre and museum.

Here the canal also comes close to the line. It is built on a ledge which runs from the Horseshoe Falls, just above Berwyn Station, all the way to the Froncysillte Aqaduct, four miles beyond Llangollen. At the point in the photo, it is some 10 feet above the railway on the far side of Pentrefelin yard. (John Rutter)

Towards Berwyn Tunnel

Approaching Berwyn
Tunnel

From the end of the short straight after Deeside Loop to the Western portal of Berwyn Tunnel, the line closely follows the meanderings of the river. Sitting on a ledge about 30 feet above the water, the line sweeps in a series of reverse curves, giving some of the best views of the train on the line. The natural woods, both above and below, are varied in the range of trees they contain, and are largely untouched by commercial felling due to their inaccessibility. The tunnel entrance is just ahead of the S160 locomotive in this picture, which was taken in Spring before the leaves were fully out.

Some way above, the A5 takes a long detour via a hairpin bend, whilst the Railway cuts through the hill and saves around half a mile. The first section of the tunnel is on a tight right-hand bend, so the view ahead is completely dark, unless you are in a diesel locomotive or railcar with a headlight. The subsequent section is straight and on a downward grade so the end of the tunnel can be seen.

At 689 yards long, it is the longest single-bore tunnel in preservation; steam engine crews must make every effort to avoid stalling on the uphill section of the tunnel, as it quickly fills with smoke. (John Rutter)

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