Please leave your comments here.
gildy10 2013.5.12 05:38
we would like to say that this site is an enthusiast website...merely recording the progress of the extension to Corwen as it happens. We can't update it if nothing is happening and we have no control over what Llangollen Railway does regarding it's timetable for relaying etc.
John 2013.5.11 21:37
Work as finely restarted lots of visitors to this site but no one can be bothered to up date it.
About shows the contempt the directors have f6r the supporters of the railway
Brian Jones 2013.2.9 12:20
I have been engrossed reading all information on extension progress towards Corwen.Before commenting on phase 2 proposals I would like to praise every single person ever involved in creating the present heritage line as it stands today in that beutiful part of the countryside.I am gobsmacked at the lack of vision from the powers that be that the trackbed and infrastructure back to Ruabon was not protected.
In my mind every human effort should be made to reinstate the original fantastic station at Corwen.What a fantastic project that would be and I am confident it would attract massive support and enthusiasm from people who posess the vision to look far beyond what can be achieved today.
It has been proven that the narrow mindness that has preceeded has been costly in todays changing world in the long term.
Good luck to all concerned in this fantastic attraction that has so much to offer our young people in the future.
teutonic 2012.12.23 10:48
Teutonic. Corwen Extension.
I have long held the view that Corwen is not the end game of any future strategy for LR, and that Corwen alone will not work as a business proposition or LR as purely a Tourist attraction. In the fullness of time when taking into account changing socio-economic factors nationally and internationally, environmental/climate change considerations, there will be a growing modal shift in transport from road back to rail.
Essentially, to get the best economic return and most robust business case out of any railway link into Corwen, the terminal station should form a local rail head serving the interior of Denbighshire (much as the Borders Railway Project to Galashiels will benefit that presently rail-less region of Scotland) by being at the end of a feeder route that links right back to the main Line at Ruabon. This would enable a discrete number of daily through Main Line Operator worked trains via tangible employment destinations, such as Wrexham and Chester, as well as intervening LR Heritage railway volunteer operated Tourist services between Corwen and a bay platform at Ruabon. This sort of vision and strategy could serve to unlock serious investment capital and grant aid and have a very great economic uplifting effect on the economies of Corwen, and its surrounding villages.
Linking LR back to the Main Line also enables a tie-in of Llangollen with the World Heritage Site at Pontcysyllte and tapping into Wrexham MBC area's access to economic development grants and investment capital from WAG, etc.
LR should be looking to get the railway to a basic Phase 1 Station ASAP, certainly by the beginning of the 2013 operating season, and then strongly court the political agenda to secure Phase 2 being an externally funded (to LR) WAG and Denbighshire CC backed development into the original Corwen Station within at least the following 2-3 years. In parallel, dialogue should be opened up to develop a strategy to reinstate a railway from Llangollen to Ruabon within the next 6-10 years, the scheme being envisaged as an externally funded WAG, Denbighshire CC, Wrexham MBC joint initiative stand-alone from LR; and with supporting buy-in from the Main Line Railway organisations in recognition of the network feeder route capability.
PS I signed the recent Parliamentary petition to support for the Llangollen - Ruabon rail link aspiration, and would encourage as many people as possible to do the same in the interests of helping the overall rail transport lead economic development vision for the Dee Valley gain momentum.
Roy 2012.12.20 20:39
Thank you for including me in the discussion.
I understand the wish of the founder members to achieve the original plan of reaching Corwen. It is admirable that Llangollen Railway has achieved so much but, responding to your comment that others have also grown, I believe that growth has often been towards reaching a main line connection.
Looking back at the railway's activities before my time, it took 19 years to get from Llangollen to Carrog in the days when, I am told, all it took was a reasonably-priced Light Railway Order. To give all credit the members then spent huge amounts of time and effort to raise the money and install, step-by-step, one of the best of preserved railways.
To arrive at the present situation it has taken a wholly disproportionate amount of time and money to gain approval for only a further 2-1/2 miles of line, the officers having had to deal with vast bureaucracy and people and organisations who appear to exist solely for the sake of their own perceived importance. The result has been that all of that money and effort enabled progress only as far as Plas Bonum.
The proposed Phase 1 takes us only as far as the breech at the Corwen sewage works, several hundred yards from the town. At present there will be adequate parking for Phase 1 behind Corwen pavilion but no toilets or other facilities except at that considerable distance. Would the cost not far exceed its usefulness?
If and when Phase 2 is achieved with a station near the Health Centre, it will be as close to the town centre as was the original. There will be quite sufficient parking although only 2 toilets. As to a station, given financial strictures and unpredictable numbers of passengers, it will need, as a simple basic facility, pedestrian and disabled access, a platform face, a run-round facility, a ticket office and waiting room. It is difficult to see that anything more would be affordable or necessary.
Whatever is attempted it is vital that the principal interest is that of the railway. It will be imperative to consider application of such funds as may be available, a cost/benefit assessment, returns on capital and turnover, market strength and, not least, the cost of operating and sustaining the extra capacity.
I do not believe that Corwen people will make great use of the railway and that it will remain only a tourist attraction. I do believe that the local expectation of the amount of business the railway will bring to the town is over-optimistic.
If fingers are to be pointed at all it is sure to be at Llangollen Railway, whatever the outcome, whether failure of development or visitors. The local authority oversaw the removal of the bridge at Green Lane leading to the largely derelict station before, I think, 1975.
It would surely help us all if we had a decision as to a new outline overall plan for the extension or, regrettably, as to cutting the losses and abandoning the idea as impractical.
Teutonic 2012.12.20 20:26
I absolutely support your observations, views, and comments.
Phase 2 should be the Original Station at Corwen, and LR already have a surplus footbridge available in storage at Glyndyfrdwy suitable for re-erection at Corwen old station, and an outline solution of how to get the railway to the old station at Corwen has been developed internally by LR's own internal professional volunteer resource for quite some time now which could be harnessed as the basis for meaningful future investment buy-in dialogue with Local Councillors, Politicians, and the WAG.
The wheels very much need to get turning now on this long-term vision to smash the present long-standing impasse which has afflicted Phase 1 since progress was stifled back in March 2012.
For the record, the first definite correspondence raised on starting the planning development process for the Carrog to Corwen Extension Project and TWA application related activities emanated from the LR Board back in March 2000. Carrog opened in 1996. Corwen may open in 2014!!! The stretch of railway concerned is a staggering 2.5 miles.
Martin Christie 2012.12.15 12:46
Corwen Extension – A personal view.
We have had the unique experience of living on-site at Llangollen Railway's western terminus (Carrog) since 1989. In the light of the Corwen Extension debate it is timely to share some of those experiences.
The restoration of Carrog Station was carried out (and maintained to the present day) by the group ‘Friends of Carrog’. Complete buildings and structures were located, demolished, transported and rebuilt on site whilst the Railway rebuilt the formation and laid the track from Glyndyfrdwy. (Visit www.carrogstation.moonfruit.com to read the full story).
Materials not used were earmarked for a future Corwen Station and are in store at Carrog.
The plan for Carrog was for 4 years as a temporary terminus. As we all know, although very successful, a plan for 4 years has become 18 years and counting.......
Meanwhile in keeping with most preserved railways, Llangollen Railway has grown beyond recognition. The Railway has therefore considerable knowledge of rebuilding and operating its stations and there are working examples on the Railway which can be used as a template for a Corwen Terminus Station.
The more difficult questions are where and how to locate it?
Corwen Phase 1
Following a massive cut back in expected grant aid, interested parties have signed on to an ‘enhanced Phase 1’ located east of the sewage works crossing, some 300 metres from the Town car park and bus terminal. It is due to open in 2014. Clearly there will be operational limitations with the intended layout and after the initial flurry of interest it may well fall short of the year round expectations of the Town and the Railway.
Phase 2 should therefore be proceeded with ASAP before momentum is lost and the rapidly diminishing countrywide resource of period materials and artefacts disappears altogether.
Corwen Phase 2
Llangollen Railway made its intentions known in 1975 (to restore the line and stations from Llangollen to Corwen) and has been working towards the Corwen goal ever since.
Contrarily, the Corwen Community and its masters oversaw the dissolution of our superb original station complex and the severances of the track-bed. Accordingly one of the Nation’s foremost railway preservation opportunities was lost.
It would seem a reasonable split of resources therefore for that same Community to take its cue from ‘Friends of Carrog’, get involved in the practicalities, come up with a plan, raise the necessary funding and put back what is required.
Llangollen Railway has a railway to run but will nevertheless play its part in full – Complete Phase 1, propose an outline design for the Terminus Station, complete re-laying of the track, design and install the signals and operational infrastructure and provide and run the trains.
The future of Carrog Station
Friends of Carrog has a direct interest in the Corwen Project as plans for Carrog Station's consolidation and future are dependent upon it. The current proposals for Corwen are not perceived as likely to effectively supplant Carrog in the near future, whatever a 2014 timetable may show.
It appears that Carrog’s functionality as a terminus will be in demand for some years to come…………….
Miss Edwards 2012.11.27 06:26
Will work on the extion ever start again
gildy10 2012.7.28 15:25
The Wrexham Leader has a reader's letter extolling her family's day out on the Railway when her mother was "treated like Royalty".
Mum’s Railway trip was a day to savour.
It was my mum’s 87th birthday and my husband and I decided to take her on a trip on the Llangollen and Carrog railway.
I would just like to tell you what a fantastic time the staff at the railway gave her, what a little gem we have in Wales. We decided to take the 2pm train from Carrog and arrived early to have a drink in the tea rooms. When I first made enquiries about the times of trains I spoke to Keith, the manager at Llangollen. I explained it was mum’s birthday and he was very helpful and reserved a compartment for her.
When we arrived at Carrog we were greeted by Roy who ran the ticket office. What a character! You would have thought my mum was royalty. Roy was so helpful. He made sure she saw the steam train arrive and escorted her to the carriage, where in the window was a reserved sign with mum’s name and a “Happy Birthday” message. She was thrilled.
We boarded the train and it was as if we had stepped back in time. The train blew its whistle as the train followed the route of the river. After half an hour of sheer pleasure and my mum reminiscing, we arrived at Llangollen station.
When we stepped off the train we were met by Kevin, the station master. He presented mum with a brochure about the railway and made her feel very special. After enjoying some Ice cream in Llangollen we got back on the train for the trip back to Carrog. My mother was having the time of her life. I would like to thank the staff at Carrog and Llangollen, all of the volunteers that make the railway such a magical experience. I would recommend everyone to take the trip. The enthusiasts are doing a marvellous job and gave us a day we will never forget. I cannot thank them enough.
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