October 2014


Peter Bleasdale




To visit the website

for the



click above logo











To view the

RVR Historical Rail Map

for the

Llangollen Steam Railway


click the image below

(or scroll down)



















To view

GWR Timetables

(Summer 1938 & January 1902)

for the route

(Ruabon - Llangollen - Dolgellau - Barmouth)

of the

Llangollen Steam Railway

click the image below


As winter approaches at Llangollen Station

the trees in their autumn colours


create a wonderful backdrop to this very atmospheric railway.


The rusty trackwork shows that we are now on weekend running only,

as the volunteer staff prepare the train for tomorrow's recommencement


and the special first train of the day












Looking across from above the signal box

on Platform One at Llangollen,


the River Dee, swollen by recent rainfall,

tumbles and cascades down towards the weir

at the old Corn Mill on the opposite bank,


as the autumn foliage creates a marvellous backdrop once again












Viewed from the overbridge

GWR 2-8-0, no. 3802, is privileged to be in charge

of the first train of the weekend,


which is also a special charter for a wedding party

holding their reception in the rear carriage

and aptly named 'The Wedding Belle'.


Many photographs of the happy couple and guests

were taken at the front of the train,


but your reviewer decided to keep his nose ( and camera! )

out of the proceedings on this very special occasion












The Stationmaster is busy adding white ribbon

to the front of no.3802


in anticipation of the wedding photographers


( there appeared to be two of them! )

carrying out their duties












No.3802, suitably adorned for her special duties,

awaits the 'right of way'

as the fireman cleans the cab windows

and polishes the surrounding brasswork,

having raised a good head of steam.


I assume that this does not form part

of his usual pre-departure routine












On our arrival, whilst strolling along the towpath

of the Llangollen Canal,

my wife and I were fortunate to observe

a 'Horse-Drawn Canal Boat'

approaching us in the afternoon sunshine.


The delightful colours of the surrounding foliage

add enchantment to the scene.


Taff, the horse, did not seem to appreciate

the intrusion on his workplace, however!"












With the locomotive draincocks working in full flow (!),


the driver leans from his cab

to attempt to check that the starter signal is in the clear position,

somewhat defeating his own object!


Meanwhile the ticket collector looks out from the front carriage


completely unperturbed by the proceedings ahead of him












With the starter signal clearly in the 'off ' position,


no.3802 makes a rapid start

towards Berwyn Station,


trying to dislodge some brickwork from the GWR overbridge

which was 'built to last' fortunately












Immediately after leaving the station

we arrive at Llangollen Goods Loop Signal Box


where the exchange of tokens takes place in busy periods.


Note the apparatus on the left












A short distance from the terminus,

on the right of the main line,


we approach the Llangollen Railway workshops,

where, in addition to the regular maintenance of the fleet,

two brand-new locomotive builds,

which managed to avoid the preservationists,

are taking place.


First is an LMS Patriot class 4-6-2 'The Unknown Warrior'


and secondly a GWR Class 4700 2-8-0 no.4709,


the last of a class of nine locomotives

built by G.J.Churchward in 1923

for the increasing fast overnight freight traffic.


These fine locomotives also proved very popular

for heavy passenger holiday trains in the 1950's












Immediately on leaving the workshop site


our train negotiates a sharp left -hand turn

over the River Dee across the viaduct,


as the fireman checks the water overflow

from the steam injector.


The 10mph speed limit sign,

together with the necessary steam railway telegraph pole,

is clearly in evidence.


The many variable colours of the autumn foliage

enhance the railway scene once again .












I took this opportunity to photograph

the road bridge over the River Dee


as our train stopped at Berwyn Station.



This angle is only obtainable from the train


and combined with the river and surrounding trees


is a delightful part of this area












We alight at Berwyn Station

to sample the delights of this magnificent location.


This view of the GWR viaduct alongside the River Dee

shows the lengths that our Victorian forefathers went to

in order to create a lasting memorial to their engineering prowess.


The warm autumn sunshine is a bonus

that we cannot lay claim to !












With the recent heavy rainfall in the area,

water levels in the River Dee had risen considerably

since our last visit,


and a large team of rafters and canoeists

were making the most of the ideal conditions


on this warm and sunny afternoon.












The intrepid rafters now tackle the fast flowing waters

under the decrepit Chain Link Bridge,


although one of the boats appears to be confused


about their direction of travel !












If the water journey was a challenge

for the occupants of the rafts


then it seemed to be even more precarious

for the brave canoeists.












As our train returns to Berwyn

to allow us to resume our journey,


my ever-patient wife

manages to appear in the scene once more,

Alfred Hitchcock- like,


whilst waiting for the return of your enthusiastic photographer,


at least I think that is what she said !












Whilst at Berwyn Station,


the previously unknown opportunity

to obtain a better photo

of the former residence of Mr. Beyer


was seized upon.












A view from the train

of the many and varied colours

of Mother Wales












I have included this shot

to illustrate the very rural nature

of this peaceful railway












We arrive at Glyndyfrdwy Station

( try saying that after a Saturday night out! )


which replicates many memories of rural stations in days gone by.


The milk churns were a very real part of my early youth












The second signal box at Glyndyfrdwy


proudly proclaims 'Barmouth South'

which is presumably from whence it was obtained


See below












The signalman opens the last level crossing gate

at Glyndyfrdwy Station

before pulling off the starter signal

to allow our train to proceed on its journey.

To the left of the main line stands the works ballast train

being used in the final track relaying on the 2 1/2 mile extension to Corwen.

It would appear that the GWR corrugated iron lineside shed

has reached its final resting place!












Standing in the other loop at Glyndyfrwy Station


was Stanier Black 5 no.45337

which was on a special charter up and down the line.

The young boys on the adjacent platform

seem thrilled to see two trains arriving at once

at this remote rural station.

I was extremely pleased to observe this young family

as they are the heritage volunteers of the future

and must surely be given much encouragement.












The line approaches Carrog Station

on a long left hand curve

allowing a very early view of the site.


The outer home bracket signal is 'pulled off'

for our entry into the right hand platform.


Meanwhile, the black Welsh cattle

famous for their tasty beef in this area,

graze the fields above the station,

which nestles in the valley between the gorse covered hillsides












We arrive at lovely Carrog Station

to be greeted by another waiting group of passengers.


Features to be noted are


the 'Token' apparatus on the approach


and the very unusual tree

standing proudly at the end of the platform.


Tea, cakes ( Blueberry Muffins! ) and sandwiches

are available here

for your ever-hungry reviewer












On arrival at Carrog


the fireman removes the lamp from the front buffer-beam

to replace at the rear for the loco to run round its coaches.


In the distance, through the arch of the road bridge,

can be seen the advanced starter signal


for the extension line to Corwen












The sylvan setting of the lovely station at Carrog

amidst the trees and hills of Mother Wales.


The passengers enjoying their packed lunch on the picnic table,

meanwhile oblivious to the beauty around them.












Wedding guests mingle with enthusiastic passengers

to watch GWR 2-8-0 couple to the 'Wedding Belle' charter


prior to departure from Carrog.

The fireman on this occasion was a most amenable fellow,

allowing as many people as possible


to climb onto the footplate

and have the working procedures

explained to them












Amidst clouds of steam, no.3802

runs round her 'Wedding Belle' train


for the return to Llangollen


with her happy guests still on board












Whilst approaching Berwyn Station

on the return journey


I managed to obtain a glimpse of the 'Horseshoe Falls'

through the ever-changing leaves of the trees.


In the background, the approaching canoe

fights against the strong current of the river at this point


to land safely on the opposite bank.












On the return approach to Berwyn Station,


with the delightful backdrop of colourful trees once again,

the driver keeps a sharp look out on the road ahead.


Meanwhile, two photographers on the roadside

capture the enjoyable scene












We cross the viaduct over the River Dee once more

on our return to Llangollen


and the trees pay silent homage to the enchanting view


afforded by this wonderful railway












Another close up view of the

returning 'Wedding Belle'


as it crosses the viaduct


near the Llangollen workshops












In complete contrast, Llangollen Station at dusk












The Wedding Belle train returns to Llangollen

evoking many memories for the happy couple

on their special day












To the obvious delight of the watchers on the bridge,

( and your reviewer! ),


Returning Wedding Belle, no.3802


returns from the dead-end at Llangollen


to take the former route through platform 2

to run round the train


in preparation for the

Evening Real Ale Train to Carrog












The fully loaded ( in more ways than one! )

Evening Real Ale Train


awaits departure from Llangollen Station


as the moon,

filtering through the trees,

adds delight to the proceedings












The last train has finally departed


and the station returns to peace and quiet once more


in the fading light of evening.












As the lights of the Corn Mill Restaurant

shine out over the rushing torrents of water,


the river continues its endless progress


onwards to the sea












The floodlit view of Llangollen Road Bridge




Return to Top of Page









GWR TIMETABLE Jan - Mar 1902




To visit the website

for the



click above logo