START OF TRAIN SERVICES ON THE CORWEN EXTENSION IS ANNOUNCED FOR AUTUMN HALF TERM.

Inspection of work on the Railway’s extension has allowed the General Manager, Kevin Gooding, to issue the following announcement:

“The track inspection was successfully completed, with requirements for specific items to receive attention, to allow for the extension to Corwen to open for public services with effect from 22nd October 2014.

On Wednesday, 22nd October, special trains will run to accommodate those who have fully contributed to the project to claim their commemorative ticket for a place on the first day trains to Corwen.

The General Manager will shortly be contacting those qualifying for a seat, by post, with details of the ticketing arrangements for these special trains.

Unallocated tickets on the day will subsequently be on offer to the general public at a premium fare.

Public service to Corwen will operate, as per the published timetable, during the half term week from Monday, 27th October, and at weekends until 9 November.

As a pre-event option during the Railcars 60 weekend, 4/5th October, trains will be extended to Colomendy Curve, short of the Corwen station site.”

Work review for September

The erection of the 100 metres (330ft) platform by contractors Grosvenor Scaffolding provided an eye catching structure as seen from the A5 road and also plenty of work to fit it out with decking and rear fencing.

The platform level stands some 5 metres (16 ft) above ground level and pedestrian access to it has required the provision of a graded ramp. This has required a complex design and the structure now in place extends for 38 metres (125ft) to provide the modern standard of access for the mobility impaired. Decking of the upper length and intermediate landing has been completed and the lower length is being finalised, with fencing to be installed.

The approach to the access ramp from the town car park is through the trees by the area of the Flood Alleviation Scheme’s water catchment installation where a Portacabin is now installed thanks to grant aid from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – AONB. Painted externally in chocolate and cream, the interior is being fitted out to provide AONB information about the Dee Valley and offer facilities for station staff. A formal all weather path through to the station site is due to be installed by the Countryside Services of Denbighshire County Council.

After a site visit by Llangollen Railway Vice-Presidents, Bill Shakespeare and Gordon Heddon, work was sufficiently complete to invite members of the Corwen Community and Denbighshire County Council members to an inspection visit on 24 September. They were pleased to see the elevated view from the platform which provides a new aspect to Corwen town and the surrounding countryside, dominated as it is by Pen-y-Pigyn to the south and Caer Drewyn to the north.

After the gauging train ran with the railcars in August, the platform has since been visited by the Standard Tank 80072 and the GWR Heavy Freight 3802 to check the clearances. Route learning for operational staff has been undertaken with the Wickham railcar and a visit by the class 26 and coaches is envisaged this week.

There has been plenty of other work to keep the volunteers busy, with the installation of the occupational level crossing at Plas Bonwm Farm now complete and formal warning signs and notices in place. The list of snags continues to be worked on. However when the formal track inspection took place on Monday, 22 September it pointed to the need for attention to other matters, mainly in the form of good housekeeping, which are in hand.

The track length has been extended beyond the end of the platform and the buffer stop now resides adjacent to the gates above the access to the Welsh Water Sewerage Farm. This points at the intention to progress on to the Phase 2 site for the formal terminal station directly finance is available.

George Jones, for Llangollen Railway, said, “We have made tremendous progress this summer and trains will operate to Corwen in the tail end of the 2014 season. This short period of train services will provide experience in operating the extension prior to the formal opening on 1 March 2015 and a full season of trains linking Llangollen with Corwen during 2015.”

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