VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help Llangollen Railway to resume operations.

In a message to Trust members, chairman Peter Edwards has outlined the challenge facing the volunteer workforce in efforts to reopen the heritage railway in the Dee Valley.

He said: “Summer has officially started and volunteers have the opportunity for productive outdoor work on the various sites along the railway.

"After an eight-month shut down, the challenge to return the railway to an operational condition is immense and calls for considerable manpower resources.”

He noted now that the auction of PLC assets is complete and the Trust has the key equipment secured, the Permanent Way team can plan to complete work on the Dee Bridge and subsequent essential work in Berwyn Tunnel and at Glyndyfrdwy.

There is a three-week lead time on starting this task, so work should begin at the end of June.

However, there are also many other jobs to be done, and in line with previous messages from the Board of Trustees, these will have to be tackled by volunteers.

Many key roles are vacant and, in the short term, volunteers are asked to take on those responsibilities.

A spokesman for the trust said: "The appeal is to all who have felt there has not been an opportunity for them to be active.

"Now is the time to come back to Llangollen and all the other sites on the railway to get the wheels turning again.

"There is a massive amount of inertia in a stopped organisation, and the more of us that can lend a hand the quicker we will start things moving again.

"It goes without saying that all of this is dependent on the continued loosening of pandemic restrictions by the UK and Welsh Governments.

"We are watching developments keenly and will inform volunteers immediately if there is anything that might impact our plans.

"The manpower needs are in all the operational departments of the railway; Carriage and Wagon, Motive Power, Permanent Way & Signalling, Stations, the Estates Team and trackside vegetation control.

"There is a desperate need for willing individuals to assist in the many jobs that have built up since 2019.

"In particular, Civil Engineering Expertise is needed and especially the services of a qualified civil engineer to do structure inspections to underpin the safety of the track formation.

"This would suit a retired civil engineer who might be interested in helping the Trust.

"The Office and Admin Support also calls for help from those who have skills in Admin, IT, Website Management, social media, Finance Procedures, Contract & Supplier Management.

"All can be usefully employed to help cover general office tasks and reduce the workload on Board members.

"Volunteers need to be paid up members of the LRT for insurance purposes and enquiries may be made to Volunteer Liaison Officer c/o Llangollen station, LL20 8SN.

"It will be a considerable achievement when trains start running again between Llangollen and Carrog whilst work continues on the new Terminus at Corwen."