Old train platform uncovered as renovation continues

A group of volunteers are making headway in their drive to completely rebuild a lost station on the narrow-gauge railway in Chirk.

The working party
The working party

Working alongside Glyn Valley Tramway Trust, the Trains in the Garden team lead by Andrew Christie, is working to rebuild Chirk station and get it running again for the first time in 86 years.

Andrew said: "I've been an enthusiast of heritage railways all my life, and really it is the quality of the people. It is a very close-knit community and they really appreciate the time people put in.

"In September 2022, the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust and I are hoping to stage an event to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee. This will see the first steam engine arrive at the station for 86 years along with the two sole surviving carriages that once worked on the line."

A close-up of a model of the Chirk station. Photo courtesy of Glyn Valley Tramway Trust.

Since 2006 the small group of volunteers has been working to clear the trackbed of debris, which mostly consisted of rubble from the old Chirk station buildings on the nearby main rail line.

Earlier this week the old platform was unearthed. The first course of bricks of the old station building is all that remains, and thankfully they are still in good structural shape to be built upon in due course.

Andrew added: "However, we need to keep going with the fundraising to make this happen so any assistance you can provide with publicity for my fundraising event in December will be gratefully appreciated."

Some £250,000 is needed for the full restoration. An official fundraising appeal is in the process of being drawn up which will allow people to support the restoration effort.

The site was closed in 1935, and planning permission has been granted to re-lay track along a mile-and-a-quarter stretch of line.

Andrew is also working on a pitch for a television programme Trains in the Garden, which would see rail enthusiasts showcase their own private garden railways, many of which are impressive in their attention to detail and size.

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