Running, for approximately 8 miles, from Llangollen to the current western terminus at Carrog, this railway is the only operational standard gauge heritage line in North Wales. For most of its length it follows the course of the River Dee affording excellent views of the dramatic Welsh countryside many of which are not available to travellers on the main A5 road which also follows the route higher up the valley side.
In its previous life it formed part of a main route linking Ruabon with the coastal line at Barmouth. The line led a relatively quite life but did open up the area to tourists and in its early days made a number of small slate quarries viable concerns.
Like many lines it fell victim to competition from road transport and was closed, as part of the Beeching cut backs, in 1965.
The preserved railway seen today results from the dreams and aspirations of the Flint and Deeside Preservation Society which was formed in 1972, relaunched as the Llangollen Railway Society in 1977 and operated the first train to leave Llangollen Station in 16 years on 26 July 1981. Since then they have rebuilt and reopened the line in stages culminating with the reopening of the present terminus at the beginning of May 1996. There’s still work to be done as an extension of 2˝ miles to the small town of Corwen is already underway.
There are many pleasant walks through the splendid scenery starting and terminating at the railway’s stations. Not surprisingly the line is the most popular tourist attraction in the area, and this album by Mike Heath provides a personal photographic journey along its length, starting at Llangollen and looking at each of the stations as we travel towards the present terminus at Carrog.
ISBN 1841144436, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages.