North East Wales - Heritage Railways
The Llangollen Railway
The Llangollen Railway is a mainly steam hauled standard gauge line starting at Llangollen Station located beside the Dee River Bridge in Llangollen Town, and continuing for 7.5 miles upstream, following the River Dee to the village of Carrog.
The old main line closed to passenger traffic in 1965 and to goods in 1968. The track, signalling and much of the infrastructure was removed or demolished quickly after this, although Llangollen, Berwyn and Carrog Station buildings survived.
The enthusiasts commemorated the re-opening in 1975 with an open day at Llangollen Station where 60 feet of track had been relaid. Berwyn was reached in 1985, Deeside in 1990, Glyndyfrdwy in 1993 and Carrog in 1996. Demolished infrastructure, such as the signal boxes at Llangollen Goods Junction, Deeside Halt, Glyndyfrdwy and Carrog were rebuilt from the ground up and are fully operational allowing multi train operation on gala days and busy weekends.
The Rhyl Miniature Railway
The Rhyl Miniature Railway first opened on 1 May 1911 and was the last to be built by Miniature Railways of Great Britain Ltd; it is now Britain's oldest miniature line. The circular route is almost one mile in length, right around Marine Lake which is behind the promenade at the west end of Rhyl. The steam trains were built in Rhyl during the 1920s and have been hauling passengers around the lake for the last 80 years. The ticket office sells tea, coffee, confectionery and gifts. The station and museum are open on every day that trains are operating.
The Cambrian Heritage Railways
2014 was the 150th anniversary of the Cambrian Railways. The Cambrian Heritage Railways operate a 1200 metre section of line from Llynclys South, a replica, period station to Pen-y-Garreg Lane, Pant; the station has a number of sidings with rolling stock stored here.
A short section of line is also in operation at Oswestry where there is a railway museum with a huge collection of artefacts brought together over many years to tell the story of the Cambrian Railways. Oswestry Station has been renovated and converted to serve as a restaurant and visitor centre on the ground floor with offices on the first floor.
All passenger trains are heritage diesel multiple units.
Llynclys South will have Santa Trains from 11.00 to 15.00 on Sundays 7, 14 & 21 December. Oswestry will also have Santa Trains on Saturdays 6, 13 & 20 December; first train 11.00, last train 15.00.
The Glyn Valley Tramway
Plans are being made to make a start on restoring the Glyn Valley Tramway at Chirk (which is between Wrexham and Oswestry) which used to run for 6 miles to the west of the town to connect the slate quarries at Glyn Ceiriog with the Llangollen Canal. Originally horse-drawn when constructed in 1873, steam was introduced in 1888; the tramway carried passengers as well as goods but the passenger service ended in 1932 and the last fright left Glyn Ceiriog in July 1935.
Now proposals are to reopen the tramway on a one-mile route between Chirk and Pontfaen with a narrow gauge, 2ft 6 line and to reconstruct the original station building.