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Sideshoots - associated subjects => Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions => Topic started by: Witham Bobby on March 01, 2021, 02:29:35 pm



Title: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Witham Bobby on March 01, 2021, 02:29:35 pm
Sad news from the banks of the River Dee

https://llanblogger.blogspot.com/2021/03/llangollen-railway-plc-asks-bank-to.html?spref=fb&m=1&fbclid=IwAR0sK1mP-_9M3Cpc2hfek8yfQWigB-PWmvssgi0OcVSqgFKQW

This will not be the last news of this sort, I suspect


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Oxonhutch on March 01, 2021, 02:50:30 pm
Very sad indeed.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: broadgage on March 02, 2021, 07:56:24 am
Very sad, the recent covid lockdowns must have made a bad position worse, but it would appear that serious losses predate the pandemic.
Two recent but pre pandemic years show substantial losses, and there is also a reference to "engineering contract disputes" that predate the present management.

Hopefully somone can purchase the assests from the official receiver and re-open the railway.

Hopefully the planning system will be used to prohibit use of the track and buildings for other purposes.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 02, 2021, 10:42:38 am
It looks like this may be another example where the COVID pandemic has accelerated processes that were already underway.

Will all existing heritage railways survive? The Llangollen Railway passes through some exceptionally lovely countryside, though its options for change are more limited than those of lines with main line connections. It can only ever be a tourist day out, whereas other lines may be able to adapt to become useful transport links in a greening economy.

But it is possible that COVID restrictions on international travel may go on for a very long time. Will domestic tourist attractions like this soon be busier than they have been for years?


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: broadgage on March 02, 2021, 04:09:19 pm
Agree.
UK holidays may become more popular, which will potentially benefit heritage lines.

Restrictions on overseas travel may remain for longer than restrictions on internal travel.
Even without any restrictions , some holiday travelers may avoid overseas destinations for fear of infection, or restrictions being reimposed whilst they are abroad.
Some people are avoiding air travel due to the hassle factors of security checks etc.
Others are avoiding or reducing air travel due to climate change concerns.
Brexit may make European holidays less attractive, more hassle factor and paperwork, customs checks etc.

Despite the present challenges, I see a brighter future for UK tourism, and for heritage lines in particular.

A coal burning steam locomotive is inherently "ungreen" and I would hope that heritage lines could try and be a bit greener in other respects.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=21624.msg265437#msg265437 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=21624.msg265437#msg265437) Link to an earlier post about greening heritage lines.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Lee on March 02, 2021, 04:20:23 pm
It looks like this may be another example where the COVID pandemic has accelerated processes that were already underway.

Will all existing heritage railways survive? The Llangollen Railway passes through some exceptionally lovely countryside, though its options for change are more limited than those of lines with main line connections. It can only ever be a tourist day out, whereas other lines may be able to adapt to become useful transport links in a greening economy.

Really? Which ones?

Members explored and put together probably the best case regarding Minehead:


Footnote - a guess at what a National Rail service could look like

Year 1:
80 minute journeys ...
From Minehead at
05*45, 07#05, 09z00, 12w00, 15w00, 18:00 and 21:00
From Taunton at
07:05, 10w30, 13w30, 16z30, 18#00, 19:30 and 22*30



Don't like guessing ... wanted a bit of light relief from something else so had a play, and had a couple of nagging wonders if it would work.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/minehead_80.jpg)

* Crossing National Rail services at Williton ONLY
* Terminating at platform on Seaward Road directly beside / behind Butlins
* National Rail trains do not use Minehead heritage station which can be locked secure out of hours

Early train all year off Minehead handles connecting London and Bristol commuters
Second train is for Bristol / Cardiff ... school and commuters in to Taunton
Third train is hospital / shopping / leisure traffic
18:00 caters for commuters returning home from Minehead (pity about it being much earlier in summer?)
21:00 is final train for homebound people;  Bristol connection at Taunton M-F

First train off Taunton provides for commuters into Minehead
Next two in winter provide for daytime arrivals (time difference no great problem in summer?)
16:30, 17:55 and 19:30 are school / commuter returns (pity 16:30 is earlier in summer)
Late train inbound at 22:30 for the night owls

Norton Fitzwarren, Doniford, Crowcombe and Stogumber services possibly thinner than need be, pointing joerneys towards Taunton in the morning, back later in the day.

* Heritage trains cross at Crowcombe, Williton and Blue Anchor
* Heritage YELLOW timetable used - peak services only minor mods.
- Only mix of heritage and National is from 18:09 to 18:30 - cross at Crowcombe.
- Diesel heritage services call at Minehead (Seaward Road)
- Only first outbound / last inbound steam trains call at Seaward Road to avoid cutting into service time

Keeping an eye on both day trips out from Butlins and arrival / departures from there.

Some summer / through train concerns as might be a bit tight; want to avoid double change?  How about longer layover at Bishops Lydeard which allow for staff PNBs?    How important is through Bristol service during day in summer - are connection at Taunton for London ad the north more critical?   Changes at Bishops Lydeard - run National Rail terminators to bay so that it can be cross platform to / from heritage and National Rail will not get in way of steam run around.

Connections at Bishop's Lydeard quicker in one direction, slower in other for mechandising
All have some allowance for making up time
All services except 16:15 off Minehead have National Rail connections (no NR train avaiable)

However, as we all know, there are a myriad of reasons why we probably wont be able to get that over the line.

Swanage was for many years the "Heritage Community Railway in waiting" but even they have found the final hurdles a lot harder to overcome than they ever imagined.

I dont want to be unduly negative though - More than happy to read members thoughts on what could possibly work.

But it is possible that COVID restrictions on international travel may go on for a very long time. Will domestic tourist attractions like this soon be busier than they have been for years?

I really hope RS is wrong on the prospects for international travel. As much as i am hugely grateful for the fulfilling and often fascinating work I have over here, it was always my intention to take work on both sides of the channel, and I hope to get back to that as soon as I possibly can.

In more general terms, I am actually reasonably optimistic that at least some of the favorite foreign destinations of the British holidaymaker will be available to them this summer, albeit with the obligatory face masks, possible "vaccine passports" etc. - https://www.itv.com/news/2021-03-02/work-begins-on-plan-for-return-of-international-holidays-in-may-as-global-travel-taskforce-meets


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: grahame on March 02, 2021, 04:52:51 pm
It looks like this may be another example where the COVID pandemic has accelerated processes that were already underway.

Will all existing heritage railways survive?

A question I asked over 12 years ago (August 2008) on my blog.

Quote
Preserved railways - struggling to the future?

After Dr Beeching and with the demise of steam traction on our mainline railways, a wide selection of preserved lines (re)opened using the old track, or the old trackbed where it had to be relayed. These lines had been closed under the Railway's Rationalisations plans, so they tended not to have had a heavy traffic flow in the recent past. They were run using withdrawn BR stock, the trains on them tend to be very old. They were set up in a flush of enthusiasm by people keen to retain, for nostalgia and future generations, the railway scene as they had known it.

So, some 20 or 30 years on, you see some of the lines an services facing a shortage of volunteers, rolling stock which is getting progressively harder to keep in service, track wearing out, and a passenger flow that's sparse even on the busiest few weekends of the year.

Longer article continues ... ((here)) (http://www.wellho.net/mouth/1757_.html)

The Llangollen Railway passes through some exceptionally lovely countryside, though its options for change are more limited than those of lines with main line connections. It can only ever be a tourist day out, whereas other lines may be able to adapt to become useful transport links in a greening economy.

But it is possible that COVID restrictions on international travel may go on for a very long time. Will domestic tourist attractions like this soon be busier than they have been for years?

I wish I had a crystal ball - I don't - rather, I'll make a demi-educated guess.

The Llangollen line has a lot going for it.  It is within attractive "day trip" reach of Liverpool, Manchester, The Potteries, and the West Midlands.  It's in a holiday area - plenty of places to stay.  Lots else to do in the area which is likely to attract the same balloon of people looking to do multiple things in a day or holiday, but not so similar it competes head on. At a distance, other attractions of transport interest make a holiday in the area for those types very attractive indeed. The countryside is lovely, the line has interesting engineering features and it's got about the optimum journey time for the most attractive and "profitable" trip.  The natives are, I think, reasonably friendly.

It also has issues. It is not reachable by rail; not sure what public transport on the road into Llangollen is like, but there's no rail link as at (for example) Taunton to Bishops Lydeard; that can be fixed and may become a necessity for survival as we move towards zero carbon.  There is no realistic option of a secondary public transport role for the line - but then there's a very sad and frustrating lack all across the heritage sector of success in this area, so far.

Things I don't know - what / whether there is to do / see as additional attractions at the new Corwen terminus or indeed how close it is to Corwen. Nor do I know the amount, standard suitability for purpose of rolling stock on the line or the financial arrangements for its being there.  I don't know the state of the track, earthworks and other engineering, fencing, etc - nor do I know how much volunteer support there is to help oil the wheels - bearing in mind the old ACoRP figure that £1 spent on a volunteer brings in £4.20 in benefit.

Conclusion?  There are some issues and metrics that will never be ideal, but there should/could be a working product there even in a reduced heritage transport sector.  It rather depends on whether there's an inspirational and enthusiastic person or group of people to take it forward, and whether they'll be allow to though all the complexities of doing so without being tied down by historic encumbrances.



While I have been writing, Lee has posted. I will read him further in a minute, but at first glance he appears to be confirming that use for heritage and regular traffic in the area has - even for obvious cases - been an unachievable goal. So, perhaps, its not a practical concern here at Llangollen.



Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Ralph Ayres on March 03, 2021, 02:03:24 pm
I'd dismissed Llangollen as impossible to get to without driving until the heritage railway had a special event that particularly attracted my attention.  I decided to look into it in more detail and found it had an hourly or better bus service only taking 20 minutes from right outside the nearest main line station at Ruabon, better than many non rail-served towns in GWR land (though it does seem counter-intuitive that Wales isn't GWR territory any more!).  As well as the heritage railway it has superb walking, both level along the canal (the genuinely iconic Pontcysyllte aqueduct is little more than a stroll away) and more challenging elsewhere, glorious scenery, a range of eating and shopping options and an excellent B&B I found.

I do hope the railway recovers; I'd been looking forward to a return visit.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: CyclingSid on April 06, 2021, 01:39:56 pm
Things still not looking very good for Llangollen, but possibly more hopeful for others:
https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/coronavirus-lockdown-roadmap-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-for-heritage-railways-943715 (https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/coronavirus-lockdown-roadmap-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-for-heritage-railways-943715)


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Andy on April 08, 2021, 02:04:49 pm
Things still not looking very good for Llangollen, but possibly more hopeful for others:
https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/coronavirus-lockdown-roadmap-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-for-heritage-railways-943715 (https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/coronavirus-lockdown-roadmap-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-for-heritage-railways-943715)


I hope it works out for them - it's a line I'd like to visit. Here's hoping that as restrictions are lifted and travel abroad is difficult, heritage railways will enjoy a bumper season.
 


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: grahame on April 17, 2021, 03:42:17 pm
Auction of assets ... interesting to see what is on offer and what is NOT on offer ...

https://www.lsh.co.uk/-/media/files/lsh/machine-auctions/online-auctions_mba/pre-sale-flyer/2021/llangollen-online-auction-flyer-v2.ashx


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Rhydgaled on May 03, 2021, 11:58:18 am
The Llangollen Railway passes through some exceptionally lovely countryside, though its options for change are more limited than those of lines with main line connections. It can only ever be a tourist day out, whereas other lines may be able to adapt to become useful transport links in a greening economy.
"It can only ever be a tourist day out"... if run by a small private/volunteer-run organisation. However a large organisation/government with much greater resources at their disposal could be able to do something with it. Connecting the line up with the rest of the national network at Ruabon would be difficult and expensive, but not impossible.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 03, 2021, 03:46:55 pm
The Llangollen Railway passes through some exceptionally lovely countryside, though its options for change are more limited than those of lines with main line connections. It can only ever be a tourist day out, whereas other lines may be able to adapt to become useful transport links in a greening economy.
"It can only ever be a tourist day out"... if run by a small private/volunteer-run organisation. However a large organisation/government with much greater resources at their disposal could be able to do something with it. Connecting the line up with the rest of the national network at Ruabon would be difficult and expensive, but not impossible.

It's a fair point: nothing's impossible where there is political will. Looking at satellite images of Ruabon though, it's clear that the old trackbed there has been developed extensively.

In recent years, the problem of routing railways into the hearts of towns and cities is often solved by tunnelling, which leads me to wonder: how many towns could be reconnected to the national network if we ignored the old (built over) routes, and built tunnels instead? Is this really a prohibitively expensive option?


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: ellendune on May 03, 2021, 05:56:11 pm
Looking at satellite images of Ruabon though, it's clear that the old trackbed there has been developed extensively.

I did the same, but came to the opposite conclusion. 


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 03, 2021, 10:13:31 pm
Looking at it again, maybe there's less than I thought... but there are certainly some very new houses on the site of the embankment where the line crossed the A539 at Chapel Street, and Rhosymedre Community Primary School (recently rebuilt, by the looks of it) may prove a bit of an obstacle.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: ellendune on May 03, 2021, 10:33:46 pm
Looking at it again, maybe there's less than I thought... but there are certainly some very new houses on the site of the embankment where the line crossed the A539 at Chapel Street, and Rhosymedre Community Primary School (recently rebuilt, by the looks of it) may prove a bit of an obstacle.

I agree

But at Chapel street there is a potential way round and it is actually the building just north of the school that is on the route.  Still an obstruction though. 


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: grahame on May 04, 2021, 07:25:17 am
I think we are well into "hypothetical" here, aren't we?   I've not seen any group making a serious suggestion of linking Corwen and Llangollen back to Ruabon, nice though it would be, and there could be a scenario of it opening up that part of Wales for commuter services into The Wirral / Liverpool / Manchester.

From old maps (armchair study) I note a plethora of old (industrial?) railways in the area - all, I'm sure, long gone and with some sharp bends by the look if things - but I do wonder if there might be alternative routes.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Lee on May 04, 2021, 11:40:44 pm
I think we are well into "hypothetical" here, aren't we?   I've not seen any group making a serious suggestion of linking Corwen and Llangollen back to Ruabon, nice though it would be, and there could be a scenario of it opening up that part of Wales for commuter services into The Wirral / Liverpool / Manchester.

From old maps (armchair study) I note a plethora of old (industrial?) railways in the area - all, I'm sure, long gone and with some sharp bends by the look if things - but I do wonder if there might be alternative routes.

The Llangollen Railway Trust made a presentation to the Select Committee on Transport in 2004 - https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmtran/169/169we24.htm

Obviously 17 years old now, but worth repearing here in terms of its thoroughness:

Quote from: Llangollen Railway Trust
Memorandum by the Llangollen Railway Trust (RR 23)

RURAL RAILWAYS—PROPOSAL FOR RUABON TO LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY LINE REINSTATEMENT (THE VALE OF LLANGOLLEN JUNCTION RAILWAY)

  It has been brought to our attention that the Transport Select Committee is holding an inquiry into Rural Railways and that a public meeting is to be held in Shrewsbury on 21 April 2004.

  The Llangollen Railway, a heritage railway, currently operates a remaining section of the former cross- country route from Ruabon on the Shrewsbury-Chester line to the Cambrian Coast at Barmouth. The section concerned is that between Llangollen and Carrog. There are active plans to extend beyond Carrog to the town of Corwen, a matter of slightly over two miles to give a total route mileage of 10. These extension plans had been delayed whilst the local authority and other agencies resolved matters relating to the proposed terminus site, notably addressing the question of alleviating flooding from where the proposed replacement terminus will be built.

  It is our hope that the matters referred to above will be resolved during 2004 but a further issue has arisen that I feel I should draw to your attention. This relates to a recent development affecting the potential to make the Llangollen Railway a valuable component of the United Kingdom's rail network in the future and could have significance for the social and economic well being of Llangollen, the Dee Valley and neighbouring areas.

  The former junction station for the line through Llangollen to the coast at Barmouth was located at Ruabon on the Shrewsbury to Chester Line. We consider the potential benefits from relinking the Llangollen Railway back to Network Rail at Ruabon are considerable and that the Select Committee should give due consideration to making recommendations that closed track-beds should remain protected transport corridors to preserve their value for reuse in the future. The situation in which we find ourselves is such that if such protection were to be established the present difficulty we are experiencing in convincing the Local Authority of the value of such protection would be avoided. There can be little doubt that rejoining the Llangollen Railway to the National Network would enhance the traffic potential on the Chester Shrewsbury Line.

  Denbighshire County Council do not accept that the track bed within its jurisdiction, other than 10 miles between Llangollen (Castle Street Bridge) and Corwen (Green Lane), should be protected from development that would obstruct any future reinstatement of a railway.

  The section, about which the Llangollen Railway has the greatest concern, from Ruabon Line Junction on the Chester-Shrewsbury main line to an end-on junction with the present preserved operation passes through two Local Authority areas. From the main line to just west of the site of Trevor Station, the trackbed is within Wrexham Council's jurisdiction.

  Wrexham Council has been positive in its attitude and protected the trackbed at Trevor Station when redevelopment took place on part of the station site. This has left the remains of the two platforms intact and allows for a double track formation to be reinstated. It offers the potential to provide a passing loop if services were to be reinstated. However, Denbighshire County Council take the view that the Railway could not be reinstated and have not heeded views expressed to them to the contrary. I would mention Denbighshire Council is also the railway's landlord with whom we would prefer to maintain a harmonious existence but, on this occasion, it is necessary to express our views very strongly.

  At Llangollen the trackbed to the east of the Town is partially obstructed by a landscaped area, part of the public car park and area in front of Lower Dee Mill, a housing development at Hoel Esgob and The Woodlands Hotel (River Lodge). Following the closure and relocation of the DAPOL Model Railway Factory, the future of the Lower Dee Mill site became uncertain and we have now heard that a developer may, or already has, applied for planning permission to build approximately 45 luxury flats on the freehold site. Our view is that any planning application must be the subject of an objection unless the developer were minded to make-over a suitable corridor to allow reinstatement of a single track link-line.

  Contrary to the view expressed by Denbighshire County Council, I can inform you that a Condition Survey undertaken by the railway's honorary civil engineer, Steve Jones, has shown that, despite the obstructions to the trackbed already in existence, reinstatement of a single-track railway extending from Llangollen Bridge to the former Llangollen Line Bay at Ruabon is still achievable. A deviation around the obstructions east of Llangollen has been surveyed and confirms the practicality of such a project, but that can only remain a possibility if Denbighshire Council can be made to understand the benefits that such a project could bring for Llangollen and the Dee Valley. In essence there is a critical requirement to protect a corridor from the easternmost point of the existing Llangollen Railway to where the original track-bed can be accessed beyond The Woodlands/River Lodge Hotel.

  The concept for reinstatement would be a single-track railway occupying half of the former double track formation. Part of the formation is used for public services and Wrexham Water, who installed a water main a few years ago, took the trouble to consult with the Llangollen Railway prior to undertaking the work. Consequently the water main does not obstruct any plans to reinstate the railway line. It is envisaged the half of the trackbed not used by the Railway would become a cross-country footpath between Llangollen and Trevor.

  Apart from the works required to deviate past the obstructed area at Llangollen, the other major concerns are the missing road bridge at Acrefair and providing an independent access to the Bay Platform at Ruabon avoiding use of the up and down Chester lines. There is sufficient width within the existing formation from Llangollen Line Junction to the Bay at Ruabon for a single track to be laid independent of the main line, any connection to Network Rail being an option to pursue at any time. However, the problem is at Bridge WSJ2/504 (Plas Madog Road) crossing the main line where the span is only sufficient for a double track. The bridge is likely to be subject to reconstruction to meet new load-weight requirements and if the southwest abutment were to be moved back to allow a three-track span to be installed, the operational situation would be resolved.

  Bridge 3 at Acrefair crossing the A539 Road was originally a single stone-built skew arch. Clwyd County Council demolished it in 1974 as part of a road junction-widening scheme. In engineering terms, replacement with a standard BR steel and concrete composite through deck structure is relatively simple and a practical solution.

  Operationally it is anticipated a re-laid line from Ruabon to Llangollen with a physical connection to the National Network would provide potential to attract both local and seasonal traffic, excursions and, possibly, freight using a trans-shipment facility at Corwen.

  Llangollen is a tourist destination with associated traffic problems. The valley location offers little scope for a by-pass road and, in the summer season, traffic clogs the surrounding roads and car parks. At Swanage, on the Isle of Purbeck, the need for a by-pass road was effectively avoided by the realisation that the Heritage Railway could perform a valuable Park and Ride function. The added attraction of Heritage Trains not only also helped draw passengers out of their cars for the experience but also freed the narrow roads in the area around Corfe Castle and Swanage.

  Elsewhere, a longer running scheme has significantly reduced traffic congestion at St Ives in Cornwall and, in this case, the highly scenic rail journey provides the additional attraction for motorists to abandon their cars and let the train take the strain. In both the cases I have quoted the appropriate Local Authority provided the parking area adjacent to the railway lines and suitable stations were built specifically to serve the park and ride schemes.

  In the case of Llangollen, the greatest potential for generating a viable park and ride scheme is at Ruabon, situated in Wrexham Council's area whereas Llangollen and the whole of the trackbed from just east of Trevor as far as Corwen comes under the jurisdiction of Denbighshire County Council. With access off the A539, Ruabon Station is ideally situated to become a parkway facility serving the Shrewsbury-Chester line both in a north and southbound direction as well as west into the Dee Valley.

  Ruabon Station is convenient not only to the A539 but also the A483 and the A5/M54 corridor. It provides a useful pick-up point for passengers travelling from Wales into Birmingham and the West Midlands avoiding the A5/M54/M6 congestion. In effect the Railway becomes a by-pass for the A5/M54/M6 into the centre of Birmingham and this will be aided by the intended rerouting of the Birmingham—Holyhead services via Shrewsbury-Chester in 2004. A parkway station at Ruabon also offers potential for park and ride to Shrewsbury (and for services via the North & West Line to South Wales and the Cambrian line into Mid Wales), Telford and Wolverhampton southbound and Wrexham/Chester (with connections to the North Wales Coast, Manchester and Liverpool) northbound.

  Southbound services terminating at Wrexham could be extended to Ruabon but potential would be enhanced if Ruabon-Llangollen were operated independently of, but in association with, the existing Llangollen Railway at specific times likely to attract good patronage. At Llangollen the existing horse-landing dock has potential to be extended back under Llangollen Bridge as a dedicated platform to accommodate up to two Sprinter Units (four-Cars) permitting heritage operations at Llangollen to be easily separated from services off the National Network when required.

  Chester is a developing centre of commerce and finance and Llangollen is within the catchment area for attracting employees. This would bring greater income into the town strengthening the local economy for traders. Equally, at weekends and during holiday periods, ease of travel into Llangollen without the need to rely on the motorcar will further assist commercial development and a good through rail service, especially with direct operation from Llangollen to Chester for both commuting and social purposes, will have traffic development potential. Ideally, a Ruabon-Llangollen shuttle utilising DMUs from the Llangollen Railway's resources would replace Monday to Friday through peak workings from a train operating company during the off-peak period. Steam workings from Ruabon to Carrog and Corwen would be restricted to peak holiday periods and in connection with special events.

  There is also potential for through trains and charters, especially at the time of the Eisteddfod, and these cannot be discounted because the ability to deliver up to 500 passengers without affecting road congestion in the town is significant. Corwen also offers Park and Ride opportunities for those travelling in from the west on the A5 and a railhead for freight at that location could assist reducing heavy lorry movements.

  I would appreciate you bringing this matter to the attention of the chairperson and members of the committee. I believe that there is insufficient weight given to the argument of protecting closed track-beds and that there have been numerous instances where it has become necessary to reuse them for their original purpose. There is a clear need to be wise before, rather than after, the event.

  It is clearly essential, in this case, that the Llangollen Railway effectively convinces Denbighshire County Council that its current attitude against protecting the establishment of a right-of-way past the obstructions to the trackbed at Llangollen is wrong and that they should be wise before the event rather than after when it is too late. In the most recent response from Ian Miller, Chief Executive of the Council, he has simply said that he has nothing to add to what he had written previously. I have written to senior ministers of the Welsh Assembly but have been referred to Denbighshire. Denbighshire's view is that they have no resources or funding but, quite clearly, when the financial arguments in terms of benefit to the community is assessed, and set against matters such as road infrastructure improvements, then reinstating the Ruabon to Llangollen Line will clearly provide value for money.

  I also believe that too little credibility is given to the potential of the Heritage Railway Movement although powerful evidence exists to demonstrate what it can deliver in the form of delivering traffic solutions on the Isle of Purbeck via the Swanage Railway. Heritage Railways have considerable depths of experience, especially when many core participants are former and current railway employees who have a natural enthusiasm for both their job and hobby.

  I am sure you will be delighted to learn that the Llangollen Railway Trust, together with the architect and contractor, recently received an Award from the Institute of Civil Engineers for the renovation of the Berwyn Viaduct. Steve Jones, the Trust's Honorary Civil Engineer, and myself attended the ceremony on behalf of the Railway Trust to receive the award from Douglas Oakervee, President of the Institute of Civil Engineers. The award takes the form of framed certificates presented to the client, the architect and contractor.

  The Berwyn Viaduct renovation was completed both on time and within budget and is a tribute to the professionalism of the all those involved. The judges commented, and I quote: "We could not help thinking how diabolically awkward the site was. The quality of the workmanship is just terrific." Clearly the Railway has established its credentials for managing major projects and Steve Jones and myself have now taken on the task of Project Development Officers for the purpose of establishing acceptance by Denbighshire County Council that nothing should be permitted to occur at the former DAPOL factory at Lower Dee Mill that would preclude the potential reinstatement of a single track railway from Llangollen Bridge to the National Network at Ruabon.

  The Llangollen Railway does not have the financial resources to undertake such a project and our view is that external funding in the form of grants, etc would be appropriate. What the Llangollen Railway does have is technical excellence to be able to take forward such a project and where the rural rail network can be enhanced by participation with the Heritage Railway Sector that input can lower the cost of reinstatement.

  If I were to express a view insofar as the site of Lower Dee Mill is concerned, I cannot do other than observe it has potential for the establishment of a National Railway Museum for Wales and such a development would offer considerable potential for traffic growth to improve viability of a reinstated. We already have excellent facilities for restoration of locomotives and rolling stock and the combination of the Llangollen Railway with a NRM for Wales would create an excellent facility and attraction.

  I am attaching copies of the route Condition Survey and Costings. These costings are for delivering a track-bed ready to receive the track. Allowing for an uplift since their were prepared in the year 2000, adding legal costs and completing works ready for service operation would bring the spend to the region of £12-£14 million.

Frank Spence

Hon Public Relations Officer

13 April 2004


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: johnneyw on May 13, 2021, 07:07:00 pm
Although it's never good to have to auction valuable equipment off when you don't want to, this article from the BBC gives a fairly upbeat report on the moves to hopefully secure the Llangollen Railway's future:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-57099124


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: grahame on June 23, 2021, 03:26:16 pm
from the Shrposhire Star (https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/mid-wales/llangollen/2021/06/22/railway-trust-furious-at-decision-to-seize-customers-money/)

Quote
Railway trust furious at decision to seize customers' money

Wedding deposits and advance ticket sales for Llangollen's steam railway are to be seized by administrators dealing with the insolvency of the management arm of the tourist attraction.

Llangollen Railway Trust members say they are beyond furious at the decision that £30,000 of customer money placed in a client trust account will have to go to creditors, and say the money belongs to loyal customers.

The trust says the money was placed in the account following insolvency advice and says it it now talking with lawyers about an appeal.

It includes the deposits for four weddings that were due to have taken place before the pandemic meant their postponement.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: TonyK on June 23, 2021, 05:08:27 pm
from the Shrposhire Star (https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/mid-wales/llangollen/2021/06/22/railway-trust-furious-at-decision-to-seize-customers-money/)

Quote
Railway trust furious at decision to seize customers' money

Wedding deposits and advance ticket sales for Llangollen's steam railway are to be seized by administrators dealing with the insolvency of the management arm of the tourist attraction.

Llangollen Railway Trust members say they are beyond furious at the decision that £30,000 of customer money placed in a client trust account will have to go to creditors, and say the money belongs to loyal customers.

The trust says the money was placed in the account following insolvency advice and says it it now talking with lawyers about an appeal.

It includes the deposits for four weddings that were due to have taken place before the pandemic meant their postponement.

That's awful, but unsecured creditors come at the very bottom of the pile when it comes to assets. I would have hoped that the money was put into a client trust account before insolvency became an issue, but it doesn't sound like it.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: johnneyw on June 23, 2021, 11:49:39 pm
Unwelcome news indeed and I fear that they may not see there money back.
Yet at the same time, there is this more welcome news, although of little comfort to those left out of pocket:

https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2021/06/steam-returns-to-llangollen-as-steam-locomotive-3802-goes-on-test.html


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Lee on July 05, 2021, 12:04:57 pm
From Rail Advent: (https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2021/07/trains-return-to-the-llangollen-railway-this-july.html)

Quote from: Rail Advent
Trains return to the Llangollen Railway this July!

The Llangollen Railway Trust has announced that a limited train service will commence this July.

The railway has been closed since the Llangollen Railway PLC asked its bank to appoint receivers.

However, trains will return on Friday 9th July 2021 for the first time since the sad news, with the Trust now operating the line.

Trains will operate between Llangollen and Berwyn on Friday 9th, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July.

Departures from Llangollen will be at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 & 16:00.

However, Friday evening, two additional trips at 19:00 and 20:00 will run to coincide with the start of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the Illumination of the Town Bridge taking place at 21:00.

Service will extend to Glyndyfrdwy and Carrog over the coming weeks once essential maintenance projects are completed.

A new website for the Llangollen Railway is currently being worked on, alongside a new booking system. Mike Williams from the Llangollen Railway has told RailAdvent that tickets will be sold to passengers who turn up on the day.

Tickets will be valid for one return trip between Llangollen and Berwyn.

A 2 Car DMU set will operate all of the trains, but Mike also said that if passenger demand is there, then this will be upgraded to a 4 car set.


Title: Re: Llangollen Ry
Post by: Lee on October 28, 2021, 11:02:10 pm
The Llangollen Railway Trust have continued what must be one of the greatest comebacks of railway history by beginning the final phase of the Corwen station project this week - https://www.wrexham.com/news/llangollen-railway-trust-first-passenger-trains-to-run-into-corwen-next-year-210683.html

Quote from: Llangollen Railway Trust
“Project volunteers are greatly cheered by the dropping of the initial loads of ballast and keen to get on with the completion of the work to allow first passenger trains to run into Corwen next year.”



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