PREPARATIONS are in hand for a resumption of train services on the heritage railway in the Dee Valley.

This week, the Llangollen Railway staff and volunteers have ramped up their efforts to start running trains again within the Covid 19 restrictions from Saturday (August 1).

This has involved the preparation of train sets and the stations at Llangollen and Carrog to handle passenger numbers to allow for social distancing needs.

In addition, all operational staff, drivers, guards, signalmen and station staff, have needed to be familiarised with the arrangements in place to deal with the coronavirus at stations and on trains for the appropriate spacing, the cleansing procedures and facilities.

After the four-month lockdown period, all operational staff have been required to renew their competency with their role by re-examination and assessment of the task they undertake.

This need is specified in the procedures for heritage railways to follow in the document as issued by the Office for Rail and Road.

It has required a good deal of planning by the operations director and operational manager to ensure the implementation of the new procedures.

Test trains have operated this week to allow for the railway’s operational systems to be checked out and staff to be re-introduced to working the trains which will run non-stop between Llangollen and Carrog.

Initially the heritage diesel railcar units ran down the line, followed by the traditional set of coaches with a class 31 diesel in charge, seen passing Berwyn on Wednesday.

The reintroduction of a steam locomotive will follow as patronage builds up and the timetable is enhanced.

Both Llangollen and Carrog stations will be closed stations during this implementation period and non-ticket holders will not be allowed access to platforms whilst social distancing is in force.

Those who wish to see the train must do so from the public road.

Passengers must join the train at Llangollen and stay within the station at Carrog where refreshments will be available during the stop-over before making a return.

Llangollen Railway general manager Liz McGuinness said: “Initially, we will be running three trains a day departing Llangollen at 10.40am, 1pm and 3.10pm and advance booking is necessary.

"The spacing requirements for individuals and family groups means that seating will be allocated after an on-line booking is made to make best use of available seats.

"Family groups may wish to make use of the compartments for exclusive travel during their journey.

“Bookings to date are encouraging from our supporters eager to have a ride again on the Llangollen Railway and a great way to see the Dee Valley in summertime. "However, running the trains at a profit in these circumstances will be a challenge and we ask for everyone interested to support the railway to make all the effort worthwhile.”

Further details about booking seats and timetable are available on the webpages at: