It's full steam ahead as heritage railway's major extension opens
The first passenger trains for more than half a century will pull into Corwen this weekend as a major extension of the Llangollen Heritage Railway is completed.
It was 1964 when mainline services ended on the Dee Valley line as part of the axing of the railways by the government that became known as the Dr Beeching cuts.
But this weekend will see trains start operating again to the new terminus at Corwen.
It is the start of the new season for the Llangollen Railway which has seen a mid-winter shut down while 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 sees all public service trains operate through to the temporary station at Dwyrain Corwen East, apart from the trains taking part in the popular Days Out With Thomas events, which will terminate at Carrog where activities are arranged for visitors.
To celebrate the reopening three steam trains a day will operate on Saturday and Sunday arriving at Corwen at 11.20am, 1.37pm and 3.47pm.
During half-term next week, an off-peak diesel rail service will run three times a day.
Kevin Gooding, general manager 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."
This year will also see the Llangollen Railway celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of 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 February 21 and 22.
Mr Gooding said: "We will celebrate the official opening to Corwen with a special train on St David's Day, followed by a steam extravaganza in March."
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