THERE are big plans for Corwen’s railway and station - but help is needed for the dream to be realised.
Corwen Central Station Development Project (CCSDP) members are creating a new and improved extension of Llangollen Railway and are hoping to have finished their project by next year, but they are currently struggling with a lack of funds.
The project’s plans are to move the original platform at Corwen Station to a better location, closer to the town centre.
There are also plans to create a subway which will give the public access to the platform direct from the town car park, making it easier for people to board the steam engine which runs from Llangollen.
Richard Dixon-Gough, project manager, said: “Changing the railway will attract more people because they will be able to visit the town more easily by train instead of driving.
“This will hopefully create a new kind of destination and provide many more opportunities for tourism in Corwen.”
At the moment there is a temporary platform for people to get on and off the train at the Corwen station but the volunteers feel it is important to change this.
Kevin Gooding, general manager at Llangollen Railway, said: “The project is going as well as can be expected but it’s a very slow process at the moment.
“The more donations we get, the more we can do. If everything goes to plan it all should be ready by next April. If this happens I will be extremely proud, pleased and relieved.”
The project needs approximately £75,000 to put all the plans into practice, but it seems that the funds the volunteers have collected at the moment are quite far away from the grand total.
Llangollen Railway overall has also suffered a few other problems which has knocked the morale of those working on the Corwen Central Station extension.
The Glyndyfrdwy level crossing of the Llangollen Railway was recently vandalised which left volunteers feeling unnerved and disappointed. But luckily the vandals were found and have been making amends.
Mr Gooding said: “It is happening everywhere and it should never have happened but the group that were involved have been helping us at the railway.
“In a perfect world it would not have happened but through education we can hopefully put an end to it as many people don’t realise the dangers.”
It is a worrying thought for all the volunteers working for Llangollen Railway as a whole that people can vandalise all the hard work they put in to improving the railways, but they are determined to continue.
Paul Reynolds, publicity manager for CCSDP, said: “People in Corwen would be thrilled to bits if we were able to give them a new and improved station.”
Mr Dixon-Gough added: “If the project was completed we would not know what to do with ourselves; it would be so great if everything is done on time and we are able to build everything from the platform to the subway.
“Plus, when it is finished there would be plenty of job satisfaction among the volunteers.”
The volunteers are keen enthusiasts who travel to Corwen to help from various places: only one of them is local to the town.
According to Mr Gooding, there are around 25 volunteers working on the CCSDP who are all above 50 years old. They are all very passionate about the project to create a spectacular new attraction in Denbighshire.
George Jones, Llangollen Railway member, said: “Corwen is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a hightlight of the Dee Valley which we hope more and more people are going to discover.
“Hopefully the project will bring more visitors to Corwen, travelling by train, who can witness the views for themselves as the train gives people an introduction to the beautiful scenery of the area.
“You just don’t get the same effect in the car.”
The volunteers are not only looking for people to donate money to the cause, no matter the amount, but they’re also looking for physical donations of supplies and equipment such as sand or bricks which would be very useful to the project.
The CCSDP and the volunteers need as much help as they can get in order to achieve their goal of completing the project next year.
Mr Gooding added: “I think Corwen station has slowly been sadly forgotten but the end result will be a catalyst for many things to come.
“If anybody wants to help us by making any kind of donation, no matter the size or amount, we would be so grateful.”
See full story in the Free Press