Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Day out on the Llangollen railway

This is the trip we were going to do last Tuesday but then decided not to, due to the weather.

For my non-British readers, the Llangollen railway is a preserved steam railway that has operated for many years. Unlike most of the preserved railways in Wales, it's a standard gauge with full size engines and the train we travelled on was just like the ones that I remember from when young. Initially, the railway ran from Llangollen to a tiny village called Carrog, but last year they extended the track to reach Corwen. At the moment the railway operates from a temporary platform in Corwen. Work is continuing to take the track right up to the main car park where they are building a new station. The old station is now the home of Ivor Wiliams trailers.

Here is the temporary booking office. As you can see, the weather was beautiful yesterday.

Temporary Booking Office, Corwen

Here's the temporary platform where the train has just arrived.

Steam engine, Corwen

Having arrived at the terminus, there is one small problem. There is no way for the engine to get round to the front of the train, so the engine has to travel backwards, pushing the train to Carrog. Here the passengers have 20 minutes to wait while the engine is detached and run back to a set of points so it can pass the train on a rare double track section. It is then reattached to the front of the train so it can pull it (still travelling backwards, but that doesn't seem to bother steam engines) the rest of the way to Llangollen. This manoeuvre gives passengers the chance to photograph the engine. If it hadn't been so busy, it would also give you time to grab a cup of tea or an ice cream, but as there was a large party of pensioners who got off here, we didn't bother.

Carrog station

Here's the train in Llangollen. As it's peak holiday season, it was full!

Arriving in Llangollen station

Our next move was to cross the bridge into the centre of town to brave the heaving crowds in search of lunch. We decided to buy sandwiches from a conveniently located Spar and take them with us on a walk along the canal. Here's the classic view of Llangollen station and river, as viewed from the bridge.

Llangollen Station & river

Not content with one form of outdated transport, Llangollen has horse drawn boats that will take you for a gentle ride along the narrow waterway that leads to the point where the river feeds the canal. Here's one of the horses. I had to snatch the photo from behind because the chap in the high viz jacket leading the horse obscured the view from the front.

Working horse

There were warning signs forbidding other canal boats from entering this stretch of the canal. When we got to the end, we realised why. There is nowhere to turn round! A boat with an engine would have a serious problem getting back out again, but this isn't a problem if you are horse powered because you just detach the rope from one end and tie it onto the other. The boat have a removable rudder too. They have thought of everything! Here's the boat proceeding gently up the canal.

Horse boat, Llangollen

The end point was, as I said where the canal takes its water supply from the river at these lovely falls.

Horseshoe Falls

From here we retraced our steps and then hung about at the station for 20 minutes or so until it was time for our train back to Corwen.

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