For restoring the Carrog to Corwen railway line, making a positive contribution to the rural economy and enabling people to enjoy the wonderful landscape of the Dee Valley

The Corwen Extension  given an award by CPRW Corwen Central Station  Subway Construction

Corwen Central Station is to have an Island Platform with arriving trains to one side and the Locomotive run-around loop to the other. In order to allow passengers to access the platform without needing to cross the running rails, a subway has been constructed (see pictures).

Contractors pour concrete into the shuttering for the sidewalls of the subway. Right - the set sidewalls.

Pouring concrete to form the subway roof. The reinforcing bars to the left of the right hand photo are to bring the walls up to platform level.

All Photos - Paul Reynolds

Aerial View of the site of Corwen Central Station Site

This aerial picture shows the location of  the new station (bottom right to centre) and the location of Dwyrain Corwen East temporary platform (upper Left).

At the time this photo was taken, track had been laid from the loco headshunt (bottom right in the trees) via the run round loop points, two panels (120 ft) along what will be the platform face and two panels along the loco run around loop. The island platform will be built between these two sets of rails. Since this photograph much work has been done on the site.

The subway to access the island platform has been cast and the trackbed levelled around it.


The trackbed veering off to the left in the lower half of the picture is what is left of the old Corwen to Ruthin LNWR line. This has been modified to accommodate the new access road to the Welsh Water Treatment Plant.


Developments on the site of the new Corwen Central Station have progressed apace, unfortunately we haven’t been able to arrange for an updated aerial photograph.


Photo by Ron Jones

LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY TRUST; CORWEN CENTRAL RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT PRESS RELEASE


Corwen Central Progress – 9 March 2017


Tremendous progress has been made with several aspects of the terminal station project, so a summary of recent work at the terminal station site in Corwen is appropriate.


Station platform

News that the grant aid application from the Welsh Government's European Regional Development Fund has been progressed to the point of receiving an Initial letter to ‘Proceed at Risk’, allowed the volunteer work force to begin construction of the island platform walls.

The method of construction is to use pre-caste concrete Easi-Blocs as a modern and economical means to allow speedy progress and the supplies on site have been purchased from donations received by the Corwen Central Development Project. 

The first section of two layers was laid alongside the Downside track on footings which are already in situ next to the subway access unit - this serves to illustrate the height to which the platform level must eventually reach.

Weighing in at three-quarters of a tonne, (and measuring in Imperial approx 4ftx2ftx1.5 ft) each bloc requires carefully handling with assistance from a hyab crane and time has been spent in trial positioning and gauging to ensure correct alignment. By 28 February a total of 259 blocs representing length of approximately 520 ft, have been laid to complete the base of the Down platform designed to accommodate an eight coach train length.

Progress was restricted at times by the need to take delivery of further supplies of blocs, itself a time consuming effort as they are off loaded and stacked ready for installation.

Some 460 blocs are needed to provide both platform bases, to be followed by a mix of other blocks and edgings to build up the necessary profile. Within a total length of 160 metres (526 ft) the space between the two walls will require some 1000 tonnes of spoil infill. Additionally, there is the need to prepare the footings for the Up platform, so that the work is going to take the volunteers the next several months to complete.

The make-up of the platform walls is illustrated in a jpeg, with the void represented by the red balls, each worth £10, as part of the Tenner for a Tonne appeal to fund the infill.

Whilst news of the grant aid application for £128K is expected shortly, it comes with the inevitable need for Llangollen Railway Trust to find match funding and donations from supporters and well-wishers remains necessary to see the project completed.


Welsh Water Road

Adjacent to the northern boundary of the station site, the new access road to the Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru Waste Water Treatment Plant was opened without ceremony on 2 February when all service road traffic was diverted to use the new entrance from Green Lane. This has allowed closure of the former access via the breach in the railway embankment, for long seen as the major obstacle in extending the railway from its present railhead at Dwyrain Corwen East into the terminal station site. The new road has been engineered to provide a graded access up and down into the plant. The finished product, as seen from the main road entrance, belies the amount of civil engineering it has taken contractors for Welsh Water to create a fit for purpose access route.

The road represents a considerable investment by Welsh Water to provide a facility more appropriate to the 21st century in terms of traffic accessibility and consequential environmental benefits.

The route from the summit where it crosses the former Ruthin branch shows how the original Great Western line embankment has been extended to provide space for the terminal loop and island platform.


Borehole

Finally, the search for an independent water supply to feed the planned locomotive refreshment facilities saw the commencement of a borehole on land adjacent to the railway embankment at the point where under bridge 31, the original access to the Waste Water Treatment plant, once existed. Local firm Dragon Drilling brought in their Italian made Comacchio MC30 drilling rig which was erected to a height of 60 ft on 23 January. In the course of six working days, the rig sank steel casings and extracted the pale grey clay of the Corwen Flood Plain.

Ground conditions proved to be more challenging than expected before a flow of water was detected at 30 metres (100ft). Completion of the borehole followed with the insertion of a slotted plastic lining tube to provide the rising main and the assembly is now capped, followed by provision of a submersible electric pump. The yield of the borehole must now be determined and the water obtained analysed for quality and, as of 27 February, test pumping of water commenced with a steady output now being maintained.

Further work in phases 2 and 3 will bring the water supply up to the water tower when this is built and erected at the eastern end of the platform.


Train service to Dwyrain Corwen East resumed as of Saturday, 11 February, with the temporary platform having an extended period of use pending opening of Corwen Central during 2018.

During the three day Gala event 3-5 March escorted access was available for visitors who wished to see the progress which is has been made with the challenge to create the new Corwen Central station. Further opportunities will be announced in due course.


 George Jones RT CCR 8 March  2017.