St David’s Day on the Corwen Extension – report by George Jones

train_1The intention to run a works train on the existing rail extension on 1 March was resolved by using the 03 shunter 03 162 to take a further supply of ballast down the line from Carrog. For the occasion the 03 was decorated with Welsh Flags and the Welsh headboard Y CYMRO (The Welshman) affixed to mark the Patron Saint’s Day, known in Wales as Gŵyl Dwei Sant. For once it was a beautiful sunny day, just right for the event. The train is seen above in Carrog station as it got away, ahead of the first diesel-unit passenger train service of the day.

train_4Later it was parked up to the west of over bridge 28A awaiting the arrival of the day’s visitor when local MP Susan Elan Jones was escorted onto the track bed to meet the volunteers and see works progress on the section through to the Dwyrain Corwen East station site. She also got to ‘cab’ the 03, an unusual opportunity these days for a Member of Parliament, we think.

The ex-Birkenhead docks shunter took the train along the track to drop stone on the track through to underpass bridge 28 and provided spectators the opportunity to record the train in section. This was a foretaste of the options which will be available when train services start later in the summer.

The empty ballast wagons were brought back to pose for further photos for those on the roadside and over bridge before the train returned to Carrog ahead of the afternoon dmu service. A memorable occasion which made up for the non arrival of the promised first train at Corwen.

train_3Ms Jones said, ‘I was delighted to visit the railway extension works and meet some of the volunteers tackling this project. The achievement with the track laying is tremendous. I am looking forward to seeing the trains at Corwen during the summer of 2014.’