This follows a mid winter shut down whilst essential maintenance work on the railway has been undertaken and facilities at the new station have been completed.
The 2015 timetable for the heritage railway provides for all public service trains to operate through to the temporary station at Dwyrain Corwen East as the new line extension is brought into regular use. The exceptions are trains during the popular Days Out With Thomas events, which will terminate at Carrog where activities are arranged for visitors.
Three steam trains a day will operate on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February, arriving at Corwen at 11.20, 13.37 and 15.47. There is, however, only a short stop over period here as the mode of operation for the return journey requires for the train to be propelled back to Carrog under the control of a driver in the specially modified rear coach. The steam engine will then ‘run round’ at Carrog, where a longer stop over takes place, allowing passengers to use the facilities there. This changes the arrangements, which have become familiar to regular visitors.
During half term week, 16th to 20th February, an off-peak diesel railcar service will be running, arriving at Corwen 11.35, 13.35 and 1535, departing five minutes later. The diesel railcars with their exciting view of the line ahead, as seen from behind the driver, provide an excellent way for passengers to appreciate all the work that went into rebuilding the line from Carrog through to Corwen over the past three years.
Kevin Gooding, General Manger of Llangollen Railway said, “The commencement of train services over the extended railway provides for a scenic journey through part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The trains offer easy access to our three wayside stations at Carrog, Glyndyfrwy and Berwyn, which allow for the Welsh countryside to be enjoyed by walkers and others seeking a day out in the Dee Valley.
The two-hourly weekday train service operates from 23rd March and allows for visitors to spend time in Corwen or to join the train at Corwen to travel to Llangollen. We trust that the extended line will attract more visitors who will contribute to the regeneration of the area and improve the viability of the heritage train services.”
2015 is an important year for the Llangollen Railway which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Llangollen Station in 1865. It is also the 40th anniversary of the start of the challenge to rebuild the railway after the derelict station at Llangollen was taken over by volunteers in 1975.
The 2015 season has a full range of special events planned, starting with a Day Out With Thomas weekend on 21st & 22nd February.
Kevin Gooding added, “Thereafter we will celebrate the official opening to Corwen with a special train for VIPs on St David’s Day, 1st March, when the completion of phase 1 of the extension will be suitably commemorated at Dwyrain Corwen East. This is immediately followed by two three-day events on 6th to 8th and 13th to 15th March, when the Betton Grange Society’s ‘Steel, Steam & Stars IV’ mega-gala will bring a number of exciting steam locomotives to Llangollen to provide a steam extravaganza.”
Full details are available on the railway’s website site at: www.llangollen-railway.co.uk