Corwen Development

Up to Date News Letters can be found in the ‘News’ section of the website.

Llangollen Railway Trust

On Wednesday 22nd October 2014 the first passenger train ran into Dwyrain Corwen East.

Thus completing phase one of the Corwen Extension project.

CORWEN IN 2018

The  graphic, courtesy of Steam Railway magazine, shows the state of play on the Corwen Central site at the beginning of 2018.

The area to the left (western end) is essentially complete, the area in the middle is the current work priority for 2018 and to the right (eastern end) is the challenge for the beginning of 2019 when we aim to be able to connect with the existing railhead at Dwyrain Corwen East.

In 2018 the foundations and association pipe work for the water tower will be tackled to connect to the borehole in its newly erected Pump House. Then the footings for the platform 1 will be excavated and concreted to allow the building with Easi-blocs and other blocks to create the wall. When complete, the area of the island platform will require in-fill with approx. 10,000 tonnes of spoil to the levelled and compacted. Paving will follow and provision for platform furniture. The pipework and connections for this infrastructure are now in place.

This work will require considerable expenditure and, whilst we have Welsh Government European grant aid to the tune of £128k for the platform, that is only 80% of the cost. The in-filling of the void between the two walls is the subject of an appeal – Tenner for a Tonne – to pay for the contractor to bring in the spoil recovered from the remains of the old Ruthin branch embankment.

If all goes well, by the end of the summer season, the completion of the platform loop line will allow connection to the points for the siding and mainline.

We still have a lot to do and completion of the project is dependent upon the valiant efforts of the volunteers involved in the work, aided as needed by contractors.

Funding is the key to the successful completion of this project and any assistance you can give to speeding the work will be gratefully received, either by donation to specific aspects of the work or purchase of shares in Llangollen Railway PLC – the Big Push Appeal – of which 235,000 remain available.

With your help we will be able to steam the first train into Corwen Central early on 2019. Financial offers of support can be sent to the Corwen Railway Development Project, details of how to donate can be found in the Corwen News letters.

Our thanks to Toby Jennings at Steam Railway magazine for use of the site progress plan which we will update as work is completed.

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY TRUST; PRESS RELEASE – 12 June 2018 – Immediate

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY TAKES DELIVERY OF A HERITAGE WATER TANK

The latest stage in the Corwen Central Railway Development Project has seen a major item of railway infrastructure installed at the station site in the form of a traditional style of parachute water tank, as used in the steam era.

Brought round by road from the premises of Barnett Engineering Ltd in Rhosllanerchrugog, the installation took place on Tuesday, 12 June.

The cylindrical water tank sits on top of a column and is designed to hold 2,000 gallons of water for rapid delivery to replenish the tanks of a steam locomotive. Standing seven metres high, the completed facility weighs in at five tonnes. It incorporates a modern gate valve delivery system and will draw water from a borehole sited next to the railway at Corwen.  The structure has been built to modern standards using fabrication and welding methods to meet current regulatory requirements, yet retains the appearance of an item of heritage equipment.

A Llangollen Railway spokesman said, “This latest addition to the railway facilities is now a major feature on the Corwen site and a further statement of our intent to complete the terminus station.

During a slick two-hour operation, the complete assembly of water tank and its supporting column was off-loaded, pulled erect and lifted on to the base of a previously prepared foundation plinth. With the access stairs and swivel water delivery arm attached, this new item of infrastructure stands at the eastern end of platform 2 and will service locomotives standing on either of the loop lines. A trial filling of water must await the construction of a sump and drain away, once the borehole water supply is connected.”

“Installation of this new item of heritage railway equipment has only been possible through the generous donations from members and supporters who have raised £17,000 in funding as a major contribution to the project to provide a water supply for locomotives at the new terminus. Work to complete the station and its facilities continues with the next stage concentrating on building the platform 1 wall during the summer. An opening of the Corwen station in 2019 remains dependent on the acquisition of resources in terms of materials, manpower and finance and continued support is necessary if we are to achieve that aim.”

Speaking for Barnett Engineering Ltd, Managing Director, Steve Barnett, said, “When we were asked to construct this steam-age item of equipment we thought it a little unusual, but the job was accepted as a challenge. However, it proved well within our capacity to design and manufacture and we are pleased to see the completed job delivered to Corwen where it will be installed at the new station site.”

George Jones Llangollen Railway Trust, The Station, Llangollen LL20 8SN

01978 860979

 LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY TRUST, The Station, Llangollen LL20 8SN

 PRESS RELEASE; 25 JULY 2018

 CORWEN STATION PROJECT VISITOR PRAISES VOLUNTEERS

The Llangollen Railway’s Corwen Central station site continues to attract top rail managers to see the work being undertaken by the volunteer-led project.

The latest visitor was Andy Thomas, Network Rail managing director England and Wales, who was given a guided tour of the station works site by project leader, Richard Dixon-Gough. In the course of his visit, he was shown the current progress with the building of the platform 1 wall and the recently installed new-build water tank. The building of the base wall for the soon-to-be-installed signalbox was also inspected and the need for redundant materials to complete the heritage signalling facility was noted.

In the course of discussions with the volunteers, Mr Thomas noted the similarities of issues the project faced with station projects being undertaken by Network Rail and the need for more resources to complete the task.

Andy Thomas, Network Rail managing director England and Wales, said: “I was delighted to visit the Corwen site, and see the tremendous work of volunteers first hand, especially the recently installed water tower.

“The Llangollen Railway provides the local community and visitors to the area the chance to journey back in time, and I am pleased to see the heritage railway able to expand through generous donations, including from Welsh Government.

“This is an exciting time as the new station platform is completed at Corwen Central, and I would encourage staff from Network Rail to use their volunteer leave to support the Llangollen Railway volunteers in these final stages of the project.”

Richard Dixon-Gough said, “We were very pleased to be able to show Andy how the Corwen project is progressing and contrast our efforts with those of Network Rail on developments elsewhere. Help from all sources is essential if the station is to be completed to receive trains in 2019 and the prospect of Network Rail employees volunteering to help would be most valuable.”

Photo shows Andy Thomas with Richard Dixon-Gough on site at the east end of the Corwen station site.

George Jones, LRT 12 July 2018

Llangollen Railway Trust

Review of progress at the Corwen Central works site – Autumn 2018

The project team has continued to make significant progress on the site during the summer and autumn with many different aspects of the works being completed or started during this period assisted by the many donations or share purchases which have been made by supporters.

Completion the platform 1 wall for the upside loop has reached the point where, as of mid-November 2018, the last 70 yards of foundations aew in place with the building up of blocks to follow to complete the six coach platform length. Once this in complete, the infilling of the area to create the island platform will resume but, the meantime, where the two walls exist around the subway access point, infilling has taken place with spoil brought in from the old Ruthin branch. Meeting the expense to employ a contractor to carry out this work has been assisted by the many contributions to the Tenner for a Tonne appeal which has reached its initial target of £10K but, of course, more is always needed.

Within the area infilled and compacted the foundations for the planned platform waiting room have been excavated and concreted with provision of drainage and water supply for the toilets. When the infill is complete, the surface will be paved by a contractor needing an estimated 40k pavers to be laid before further platform furniture can be installed.

Foundations for the installation of the intended canopy are also being prepared and the recovered heritage stanchions have been cleaned and refurbished ready for installation. Another on-going renovation job has been the refurbishment and modification of a set of heritage railings which will be installed around the subway access area, both time consuming aspects of work by dedicated volunteers.

As noted previously, the Water Tank was delivered to site and installed at the end of June. It is now connected up with the borehole via the pumphouse installed at the foot of the embankment. The pumphouse has finally gained a roof to allow completion of the electrical installation which one day will allow for the water to flow to fill the tank now all the plumbing and drain away is complete.

The other big installation job has been the delivery of the signal box cabin from its long term storage at Carrog. The former West Rhyn wooden cabin was delivered in 1991 and waited until this summer for a group of volunteers to give attention to its external condition and a repaint, as well as internal supports in readiness for a big lift. In October it was taken down the A5 road by low loader, and lifted on to the previously built locking room where it looks the part as a major item of station infrastructure. It will receive a new balcony and access stairs, but must await internal restoration and fitting out as a long term project. Initially, the station track layout will operate with ground frames pending complete signalling of the area.

The temporary station building adjacent to the subway access has received a new roof to make it water tight, and disabled entry and exit doors have been fitted, as well as getting an external coat of chocolate and cream paint to look the part. A lot of work is needed internally to provide for the booking office and waiting room facility as an on-going task. This work will now receive attention from the station staff as they transfer from the now redundant building at the Dwyrain Corwen East temporary platform which has closed.

The project team of dedicated volunteers now face working through the winter period to complete the terminus. Aside from completing the platform 1 wall, the provision of the track work to complete the loop line and siding is a priority task to be undertaken.

Finally, when all this is done and no further deliveries of materials to site are required, the last challenge will be the infilling of the infamous gap in the embankment and allow for the two rail heads connected up, hopefully by early spring 2019.

Llangollen Railway Trust Chairman, Liz Guinness said,

“ In the expectation that we will be able to run into Corwen Central during 2019, we have taken the decision to close the temporary platform at Dwyrain Corwen East as of 4 November and the structure will now be dismantled. An opening date for the new terminus depends on the winter’s weather and continued availability of resources – manpower, materials and finance – if we are to complete the new station providing basic facilities for the locomotive run-round and passenger access, as has happened elsewhere with new developments.

What has been achieved so far by the project team members is amazing and the subject of much favourable comment from various VIPs who have visited the site and seen what has been created with minimum resources and within budgeted costs.

Continued help with contributions to the project are essential if trains to Corwen are to be a feature of the 2019 timetable and an anticipated boost the railway’s fortunes. It may have been a long time coming, but we are nearly there and your support will ensure it is operational next year when trains can stop over in the platform adjacent to the town’s centre. FOR THE WINTER OF 2018/19 trains will terminate at Carrog.”

George Jones    LRT

More information on fundraising for phase 2 to follow and more can be found on the below link –

http://www.llangollen-railway.org.uk/corext2.html

Information: Additional donation and application forms are available from Llangollen Railway, The Station, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SN Tel: 01978 860979 Email: info@llangollen-railway.co.uk. Completed forms should be returned to the same address.

Llangollen Railway Trust, The Station, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SN – Registered Charity No 1046614, Registered Company No 304033