Railway still on track for opening of new station

A heritage railway says that despite closures because of the coronavirus pandemic it is still hoping that its new station will open in May.

The Hairy Bikers have filmed at the Llangollen Heritage Railway
The Hairy Bikers have filmed at the Llangollen Heritage Railway

The Llangollen Heritage Railway says the target date for opening Corwen Station is still May 28.

Closed for the third lockdown this year, the railway has lost out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of fares including Santa specials.

George Jones from the railway's development group said: "Whilst there is now a further unfortunate turn of circumstances as we end 2020, the hope is things will improve next year and we will see the new station at Corwen open on a target."

He said the support obtained from donations to allow the renewal of timbers for Dee Bridge had come from near and far thanks to the publicity given to the appeal and the response to it.

"The success of the fund raising also allows for the renewal of sleepers in Berwyn tunnel," he said.

"If Covid 19 restrictions permit, this engineering work will allow the passage of ballast trains to Corwen and the tamping of the station loop in time for an official inspection of the new station prior to opening, all of which will provide further exciting news reporting to conclude the challenge of the past ten years to extend the railway westwards from Carrog."

Before the latest lockdown, Welsh Assembly member Mark Isherwood visited the railway.

Mr Isherwood said: "I always enjoy my visits to Llangollen Railway’s Corwen Station Project and each time I am amazed and impressed by the extent of the development of the platform and facilities, and this time was no different.

“I was last there at the beginning of the year, and what has been achieved since then, in the midst of a pandemic, is incredible. The island platform is essentially now complete with its block paving surface, and the historic columns and steel work for the waiting room are all in place, along with heritage items with the name board and lampposts. There is further work to complete in the new year, but they are on course with everything.

“All the volunteers, staff and supporters involved deserve huge praise for what has been achieved, particularly in these challenging times. I am now looking forward to prospects for the station opening in 2021 and revisiting to see the finished article.”

Although Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions are preventing Llangollen Railway from receiving any income, it is still having to find £40,000 every month to pay for its ongoing overheads.

The online appeal can be accessed by visiting llangollenrailway.enthuse.com/cf/covid-19-appeal.

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