When I’m out for the day on a photography trip lunchtime is one of those points in the day that I always aim to take. As a lot of my photography is landscapes I can just sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery whilst eating my lunch. However this trip was different.
Two weeks ago I was at Llangollen Railway station; the railway is a volunteer-run preserved railway in Denbighshire, Wales, which currently operates between Llangollen and the site of Bonwm halt; at 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long.
It is currently the longest preserved standard gauge line in Wales and operates daily in Summer as well as weekends throughout the Winter months using a wide variety of steam and diesel locomotives, as well as diesel multiple units.
Llangollen railway station was formerly a station on the Ruabon to Barmouth line. It closed to passengers on Monday 18 January 1965 but was later re-opened in 1975 by the preserved Llangollen Railway as its eastern terminus and has been subsequently reopened in stages westward.
Further along the line is Berwyn railway station. Following flood damage in December 1964 passenger services were suspended, ahead of the official closure of the line on in January 1965. In 1986 the station was restored and reopened as an intermediate station on the Llangollen Railway.
The railway was originally opened as the Ruabon to Llangollen line in 1862, as a way for passengers to travel to Llangollen Road (then the nearest railway station, later known as Whitehurst Halt). From there, passengers could board a coach to Llangollen. The line was a success and plans were put forward for a line from Llangollen to Corwen, a market town ten miles (16 km) past Llangollen. Work started shortly after the opening of the Ruabon to Llangollen line and the line accepted its first traffic on 18 May 1865.
Back at Llangollen Railway station there is a bridge over the line to platform 2. In the winter time it might be closed but if you ask in the cafe they will open the doors for you.
After the Beeching Axe, the Flint and Deeside Railway Preservation Society was founded in 1972 with the aim of preserving one of the “axed” railways. Originally the society was interested in preserving the Dyserth to Prestatyn line; however that line was deemed unsuitable because a small amount of freight traffic was still using it. Shame really as I live at Prestatyn and that line they were considering goes through some beautiful countryside with amazing views of the sea. It is now a paved walk and you can still see some of the old buildings and sidings associated with the railway.
The society refocused its attention on the Llangollen to Corwen section of the Ruabon to Barmouth line. The local council granted a lease of the Llangollen railway station building, as well as 3 miles (4.8 km) of track to the society, with the hope that the railway would improve the local economy and bring more tourists to Llangollen. The station reopened on 13 September 1975, with just 60 feet (18.3 m) of track.
Crossing the bridge to platform 2 gives you a great view of the bridge which was built in about 1345 by John Trevor, of Trevor Hall, who became Bishop of St Asaph. It was extended to cross the railway in the 1860s and widened in the early 1960s. The upstream side has new masonry which blends in with the older structure.
What was the subject of this weeks challenge? Lunchtime! I haven’t really spoken about it but this is where the cafe that i mentioned earlier comes in.
On platform 1 at Llangollen Railway station is a great little cafe. In the winter time it has a red-hot coal fire blazing away and the staff are really friendly. The fare is basic, tea, coffee, sandwiches, some hot food, but that’s all you need and that’s where I spent lunchtime when I was at Llangollen Railway.