Wednesday, 9th October 2019
Norman, the coach driver, collects us at 08:45 and we are on our way to the railway station at Llangollen. The journey takes an hour and a quarter.
The Llangollen railway is the longest preserved standard gauge steam Railway in Wales now at 12.5 miles long. Work has been undertaken to extend it from 10 miles at Carrog to 12.5 miles near Corwen. Our train terminated at Carrog, and we had a 40 minute wait at the station before our return trip to Llangollen. This allowed time for coffee and a comfort break.
The railway was originally opened in 1862 to serve the mining industry. It closed in 1964 and restoration commenced in 1975. The line as far as Carrog was opened in 1996 and work on the extension to Corwen started in 2011.
Back at Llangollen there was a hour to have some lunch and to walk around the town. Llangollen is an attractive town on the River Dee and its bridge from 1345 (renovated in 1960) used to be on the London -Holyhead horse drawn coaching route improved by Thomas Telford in 1815.
The canal was built in 1806 and was one of Britain’ finest feats of canal engineering. It was designed by Thomas Telford to transport slates from the quarries on the Horseshoe Pass and to provide water for the Shropshire Union canal. The water is fed from the Horseshoe Falls via a very small opening controlling the flow in the pump building.
Some 4 miles away from Llangollen the canal passes over the Grade 1 listed Pontcysyllte Aqueduct of 126 feet high, 19 arches and 1,000ft long.
I recall a family canal boat holiday, when I was about 10, when we travelled from Birmingham to Llangollen over a two week period.
I distinctly remember that as we passed over the viaduct my dad’s favourite hat blew off and floated away down in to the valley below, never to been seen again.
Following the quiet, slow paced, canal experience we returned to the coach for our journey back to the hotel in Llandudno.
Rail Discoveries Tour Map:
Video of the day:
Selfie of the day:
- Welsh Highland Railway & Caernarfon
- Ffestiniog Railway & Portmeirion
- Passau and Home [via Köln]
- London to Munich [for Oktoberfest]