With its unique combination of interesting engines, varied gradients and glorious scenery, the Llangollen Railway has long been a favourite venue for Footplate Days and Ways advanced courses.
The line began as the Vale of Llangollen Railway, originally a spur from the Shrewsbury and Chester Railway at Ruabon to the town of Llangollen. It was opened to goods on December the 1st 1861 and passenger traffic on June 2nd 1862, and was worked by the Great Western Railway.
The Llangollen and Corwen Railway was formed to continue the line along the Dee Valley to Corwen, a distance of nine miles and fifty chains. This was opened on May 1st 1865 and was also worked by the Great Western. Both companies were absorbed by the GWR on August 7th 1896.
Services ceased from Llangollen to Bala on December 13th 1964, and from Langollen to Ruabon on April 1st 1968.
The Llangollen Railway has relaid the track from Llangollen to Carrog and is planning to extend the line as far as Corwen. The station buildings along the way have all been lovingly restored to their steam time condition, with the exception of Glyndyfrdwy which was demolished. This station has since been rebuilt as a representation of the many small LNWR stations in North Wales which no longer exist.
Between Berwyn Station and Deeside Halt is Berwyn tunnel. A long curving tunnel of extremely tight loading gauge built on a 1 in 75 gradient, this feat of civil engineering provides many challenges for the footplate crew.
|Black Power: Visiting 9F No. 92203 'Black Prince' is gingerly backed onto a train at Llangollen Station.|
|By Road, Rail or River: At Berwyn station the road passes under the railway and crosses the river by means of a viaduct. Nearby are the Horseshoe Falls where the Llangollen Canal leaves the River Dee.|
|Summer Idyll: From the footplate of a steaming hot locomotive at Berwyn Station, the pub on the other side of the river looks the perfect place for a cool pint.|
|Staff exchange: Like most preserved lines, the Llangollen Railway is single track with passing loops at the stations. Here at Glyndyfrdwy the signalman hands the new staff to the fireman of 'Black Prince' thus assuring the train possession of the line to Carrog.|
|Don't Breathe Out..: The tight loading gauge is evident as 'Black Prince' enters Berwyn tunnel.|
|Llangollen Station: Main terminus of the Langollen Railway, Llangollen Station is situated by the bridge over the River Dee. The nearest car parks are in market street in the town and at Lower Dee Mill on the A539 from Ruabon. Llangollen town is at the junction of the A5 and A539.|