|Llangollen Station from across the River Dee|
|Terminus||Carrog soon to be
|Original gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Operated by||Llangollen Railway Trust|
|Stations||4, and 1 halt|
|Length||9 miles (14 km)|
|Preserved gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|1877||Absorbed by Great Western Railway|
|1975||Llangollen railway station taken over by the Preservation Society & full restoration work and reconstrution begins|
|1980||Llangollen Railway, Granted Light Railway Order|
|1981||Pentrefelin reached as Line extended first time (but re-opened)|
|1986||Re-opening of extension to and Berwyn Re-opens|
|1990||Deeside Halt opens, line extended|
|1993||Glyndyfrdwy Reopens, line extended|
|1996||Opening of extension to and Carrog Re-opens|
|2011||Work starts on extension to Corwen|
|2013||Bonwm halt site reached (as part of Corwen extension)|
The Llangollen Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Llangollen) is a volunteer-run preserved railway in Denbighshire, Wales, which currently operates between Llangollen and a point to the west of the site of Bonwm halt; it is 9 miles (14 km) long.
It is currently the longest preserved standard gauge railway in Wales and operates daily in Summer as well as weekends throughout the Winter months using a wide variety of steam and diesel locomotives, as well as diesel multiple units (DMUs).
Work is in the early stages of being carried out on 2.0 miles (3.2 km) of extension from Carrog to a temporary station in the outskirts of Corwen. A more permanent station on a new site more central to Corwen town will be reached later. This will require civil engineering work on an embankment at Corwen. The extension to Corwen sees the railway expand to a total of 10 miles in length.
Also, The Llangollen Railway even have a further extra long-term aim of extending Eastwards (via Trevor and Acrefair) towards Ruabon on the National Network.
- 1 History
- 2 Locomotives and rolling stock
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Commercial Service: 1865–1962
The railway was originally opened as the Ruabon to Llangollen line (see also Ruabon to Barmouth Line) in 1862, as a way for passengers to travel to Llangollen Road (then the nearest railway station, later known as Whitehurst Halt) and then board a coach to Llangollen. The line was a success and plans were put forward for a line from Llangollen to Corwen, a market town ten miles (16 km) past Llangollen. Work started shortly after the opening of the Ruabon to Llangollen line and the line accepted its first traffic on 18 May 1865.
After the Beeching Axe, the Flint and Deeside Railway Preservation Society was founded in 1972 with the aim of preserving one of the "axed" railways. Originally the society was interested in preserving the Dyserth to Prestatyn line; however that line was deemed unsuitable because a small amount of freight traffic was still using it. The society refocused its attention on the Llangollen to Corwen section of the Ruabon to Barmouth line. The local council granted a lease of the Llangollen railway station building, as well as 3 miles (4.8 km) of track to the society, with the hope that the railway would improve the local economy and bring more tourists to Llangollen. The station reopened on 13 September 1975, with just 60 feet (18.3 m) of track.
Rebuilding and Resurrection: 1975–1996
Early progress was slow due to a lack of funding, though in 1977 Shell Oil donated a mile of unused track. Volunteers started laying the track with an aim of reaching Pentrefelin, 0.75 miles (1.21 km) from Llangollen. Work finished in July 1981 with the remaining quarter mile of track used to lay sidings at the old Llangollen Goods Junction to form a home for the railway's growing fleet of rolling stock.
The working railway attracted the interest of many private companies, as well as the local council who renewed the lease of the land to the railway for a further 21 years. The Llangollen Railway Trust was gifted significant amounts of track allowing for the next extension of the line to Berwyn. This involved a £30,000 refurbishment of the Dee Bridge by the local council, which had fallen into disrepair during the period following the commercial closure of the line. The first trains operated over the newly extended 1.75 mile (2.82 km) line to Berwyn in March 1986. As rebuilding work progressed train services were later extended (via the 689yd long Berwyn Tunnel) to Deeside Halt (in 1990), Glyndyfrdwy (in 1993) and finally into Carrog on 2 May 1996.
Rebuilding and Resurrection: 2011– ?
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2013)|
In 2011, work finally started on rebuilding the section between Carrog and Corwen. The site of Plas Bonwm Farm was finally reached in 2013.
Locomotives and rolling stock
Operational Steam Locos
- GWR: 4-6-0 Manor Class 7822 "Foxcote Manor"
- LMS: 4-6-0 Stanier Black 5 44806
- GWR: 2-8-0 Heavy Freight Loco 3802
- BR: 2-6-4 Standard Class 4 Tank 80072
- Industrial: 0-6-0 Saddle Tank "Jessie" (Currently rebuilt as a licenced "Thomas" replica and running as a side tank)
Away from Llangollen
- GWR: 0-6-2 Tank Locomotive 5643
- Industrial: 0-6-0 Saddle Tank "Austin No 1"
- Industrial: 0-6-0 Saddle Tank "Darfield No 1"
- Industrial: 0-6-0 Side Tank "Jennifer"
Steam Locos under Overhaul/Restoration
- GWR: 4-6-0 hall class 5952 "Cogan Hall" (Parts Used for 6880) Will be restored in future
- GWR: 2-8-0 Heavy Goods 2859 (In Scrapyard Condition)
- GWR: 2-6-2 Large Prairie Tank 5199 (Now painted into BR Black)
- GWR: 2-6-2 Small Prairie Tank 5532 (Restored from Scrapyard Condition)
- GWR: 2-6-2 Small Prairie Tank 5539 (Restored from Scrapyard Condition)
- TVR: 0-6-2 'O1' class No 28. The last surviving Welsh standard-gauge locomotive. Owned by the National Railway Museum, under the custodianship of the National Museum of Wales. Set to be cosmetically restored, thanks to a unique three-way partnership between the society, National Railway Museum and the Gwili Railway.
- GWR: 0-6-0 Pannier Tank 7754
- GWR: 0-6-0 Pannier Tank 6430
- Industrial: 0-4-0 Tank Desmond
- Industrial: 0-6-0 Saddle Tank "Welsh Guardsman"
- Industrial: 0-6-0 Saddle Tank "68030"
- GWR: 0-6-2 Tank Locomotive 5643
- BRCW Type 2 Class 26/0 26010 or D5310
- English Electric Type 3 Class 37/0 37240 or 6940
- Brush Type 4 Class 47/4 47449 or D1566
& visiting Brush Type 2 Class 31/1 31162 (5580) (first class 31 to work on the line)
GWR 6880 Betton Grange Project
GWR steam locomotive no. 6880 Betton Grange is a 4-6-0 Grange Class locomotive, known as "the 81st Grange". As of October 2011[update] it is still under construction. When British Rail stopped using steam locomotives in 1968 none of the Grange Class locomotives were preserved, so the 6880 Society was formed in 1998 with the purpose of eventually completing an operational Grange Class steam locomotive for Heritage Railway work and Mainline Operation. Work is still ongoing on the locomotive but progress has been made on several major components, with some smaller parts being made to order. Other parts have been taken from similar, unrestored steam locomotives to aid the construction of the locomotive. The 6880 Society organised three successful "Steel Steam & Stars" once every 3 years. With SSS in 2007, SSSII in 2009 & SSSIII in 2012, held on the railway, which raised awareness of the Society and generated funds for the build. The next gala (Steel, Steam & Stars IV) should be taking place in 2014.
LMS 45551 The Unknown Warrior Project
LMS steam locomotive no 45551 The Unknown Warrior is a 4-6-0 LMS Patriot Class locomotive. None of the class survived, so the LMS Patriot project was formed in 2008 with the purpose of rebuilding an original Baby Scot known as the 52nd or 53rd Patriot. Work is still ongoing on the locomotive but progress has been made on several major components, with some smaller parts being made to order. Other parts have been taken from similar, unrestored steam locomotives to aid the construction of the locomotive. An original Fowler Tender, as used with this class, still exists at Barry, and is to be used with this locomotive. The Society has organised a Gala for 2010, held on the railway which will hopefully raise awareness for the locomotive to provide more funds to achieve the goal of the group.
In June 2011, The LMS-Patriot Project were offered a 3'3½” diameter bogie wheelset from the Churchill 8F Locomotive Group. 'The Unknown Warrior' already has the other bogie wheelset from Barry Scrapyard 8F number 48518, and with the offer of the second 8F wheelset this is the final set of wheels that are needed to complete the new build 4-6-0 'Patriot' locomotive. Six new driving wheels have already been cast and the tender wheelsets from the ex Barry Scrapyard 'Fowler' tender have now been taken from Barry to Tyesley where repairs are underway
- Green, Les (2006), A Visitor's Guide to the Llangollen Railway and the Dee Valley, Steam at Llangollen
- History of the Line, retrieved 2008-08-27
- Dyserth—Prestatyn Railway, retrieved 2008-08-27
- 6880, retrieved 2008-08-27
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Llangollen Railway.|
- Official website
- Llangollen Diesel Group
- 6880 project
- New website for Corwen Town and the extension
- LMS Patriot Project - The Unknown Warrior
- Ruabon to Barmouth inc Llangollen Railway (British Railways in the 1960's Sectional Appendix Extract)