Backtracking on Corwen railway station plans due to lack of funding


Helen Davies

MUCH anticipated plans for a railway station in Corwen are being altered due to a lack of money.

The Llangollen Railway Trust is restoring the line to Corwen and had planned a new station to receive trains.

But the trust has now said building a full station in Corwen will not happen in the “foreseeable future”.

Instead a smaller four-coach platform on a “run-round” loop at ‘Corwen East’ is planned so trains can still use the restored line and stop in the town.

Speaking for the Trust, George Jones said they had “reluctantly concluded that, due to the present economic climate, it will not be possible to fund the proposed ‘Phase 2’ terminal station at Corwen in the foreseeable future without substantial grant aid.

“However, the board believes it is essential to run steam train services to Corwen as soon as possible. To achieve this aim a modified Phase 1 scheme will provide for the early completion of a ‘Corwen East’ station.

“Some form of portable building will be provided in this area as a temporary shelter for passengers and to offer basic facilities for railway staff.”

He said the ultimate aim was still to build a full terminal station and complex at Corwen, and it was hoped the temporary platform arrangement, if successful, would support the case for such a station.

The Corwen East station will operate on the basis of a steam train arriving to disembark all passengers. The empty train will propel backwards into the loop to allow the engine to ‘run round’. The train will then be propelled back into the station in readiness for the return journey.

Mr Jones said: “People arriving by train, or joining the train, will get from and to the station by walking across the open space known as Corwen Common beyond the car park.

“Denbighshire County Council plan a footpath through this area which will be enhanced with a water feature, standing stones and floral display to make it attractive and entice visitors into the town.

“Although it is not immediately accessible from the town car park, the station is no further away from the town centre than many other existing stations - Wrexham General station is an example where it is an eight minute walk from the station into the beginning of the main shopping area.”

The Trust estimates the cost of the full station could be between £2-3 million.
Llangollen Railway Trust chairman Jim Ritchie said: “The revised scheme recognises the practicalities of the situation.

“It is a realistic solution to the need to provide regular steam train services at Corwen sooner than waiting for the Phase 2 terminal to be delivered.”

The alternative plans have been outlined to representatives of the Corwen Business Association and Corwen Community Council were in favour of the scheme.

See full story in the Free Press

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