The Branch Line Society

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Llangollen Shunter Shuttle
Saturday 29th September 2018

Report by Tom Gilby

It is worth recording that the Society has grown to the point where we can mount three different events in three different parts of the country in one day. As well as this one in Wales, we stewarded and participated in public rides at Ribblesdale Cement Works open day 94 miles northeast. At Swindon, 160 miles southeast was a miniature railtour


     

The lovely Llangollen Railway was particularly scenic this day and blessed with nice weather. The Diesel Gala weekend was very busy with three trains running as well as three Brake Van specials each limited to 12 participants per trip. The first, reserved for BLS and PLEG members, was fully booked. Returning from Corwen East 11 other Apostles were boarding 'Toad' Brakevan 35225 with our guard in his own van 950236, so we took a pew and set off behind 13265 (08195) at 12.23 to Llangollen Goods Jn. Once the Ground frame was staffed, the Pentrefelin Sidings branch was traversed to first facing point at the gate, as booked.


'D1566' (47449) running round beneath Castle St Bridge at the Llangollen Railway eastern end - a non passenger section covered by our brakevan trip, stabled left.
[© Tom Gilby 2018]


The trip returned to the junction to take the 'third' line climbing steeply up to the former Llangollen Goods Yard, now the Loco depot and ran onto the northernmost line (furthest from the running lines). Back at the junction it ran up to the ECS in the carriage siding, returning to the junction for a final time to wait for two passing trains to finish in P2 - or so we thought. Arriving at 13.10 there were requests and whispers we 'might' by some miracle be allowed to stay on for the shunt across to P1 outside the Signal box once the 13.38 had left which was a dilemma - a possible 'move' or a Class 33 to Corwen and back? I confess I was a doubting Thomas and had a splendid Crompton to Corwen. However, as befits someone with the initials JC, the brakevan trip duly did the crossover and two stubs under Castle Street bridge, the one over the River Dee and the eastern extremity of the railway. It was the only trip of the three so blessed! [Perhaps Tom had better do a penance and pray for a repeat event…]

At Carrog, normally all trains call in both directions at P1 which has a shop, café and toilets. However on the weekend of 29/30 Sep, during their Diesel Gala, certain trains crossed at Carrog so ran through the unusual P2. It is normally used to run-round after trains have propelled back from Corwen East.


'D13265' (08185) at Llangollen.
[© Tom Gilby 2018]




Llangollen Goods Jn, the Goods Yard branch climbs to the left, straight on left is the Empty Carriage Siding (as can be seen it wasn't!), right is the running line to Llangollen station. The far left line is to Pentrefelin Sidings behind the photographer.
[© Tom Gilby 2018]




Ascending the Llangollen Goods branch looking east towards Llangollen with the River Dee in the background. The coaches are the ones on the Empty Carriage Siding.
[© Tom Gilby 2018]




Llangollen Goods, on the north most line, furthest from the running line.
[© Tom Gilby 2018]




33102 at the soon to be closed Corwen East 'temporary' station looking west towards the end of line. Beyond the buffer stops work is in progress on the permanent Corwen terminus.
[© Tom Gilby 2018]




Looking west from the stop blocks during an inspection (no trains running); the new Corwen station, with an island platform and subway access, is on the trackbed of the line to Barmouth Junction (now Morfa Mawddach).(Rest of pictures all Major Ian Hughes, Green Dragon Rail)
[© Major Ian Hughes 2018]




The other (west) end of Corwen station looking east towards Llangollen has a brand new water tower. The left hand platform track continues beyond the island platform and will join up with the track through the right hand platform (it could be a through station one day!)
[© Major Ian Hughes 2018]




The new signal box.
[© Major Ian Hughes 2018]




The new end of line (SJ 0793 4360) at Corwen looking west, near where the line from Rhyl/Chester via Denbigh and Ruthin once trailed in from the right. As can be seen, the railway underbridge has gone over Green Lane ahead (its far side abutment can be seen ahead).
[© Major Ian Hughes 2018]




OS 1" to the mile 7th Series (1960). Carrog station is lower middle right towards Llangollen, the original station at Corwen (left) CP 14 Dec 1964 and is now an Ifor Williams Trailer showroom. The pink spot is the current Corwen East station and the bright green spot is the new end of line. Green Lane (with the missing bridge) is the yellow 'C' road under the railway. The line top left went to Denbigh.


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