Tachwedd 2004 November

Carrog Station

A Short History 2

The Llangollen and Corwen Railway Company, one of several small railways to appear in the area, came into being by act of parliament on 6th August 1860. Carrog is situated on this line.

Construction (by Thomas Brassey) was completed early in 1865 and the line opened for passengers and goods in May of that year.

The Great Western Railway (GWR) operated the line from the beginning. The through route from Ruabon via Carrog to the seaside resort town of Barmouth was completed in 1869, enabling through journeys from major cities such as London and Manchester to the Welsh coast.

As traffic increased, the GWR made various improvements and additions to the stations on the line. In the case of Carrog Station a passing loop, a second platform with waiting room, extension to the existing platform and a signal box were added. The sidings layout was altered. The original buildings and facilities together with all the later additions and improvements remained in situ until final closure in 1964.

The line was closed on 13th December 1964 by flooding severance, some weeks before the intended closure date, and did not reopen under British Railways. A ‘Crosville’ bus service was introduced as a replacement and exists in similar form to the present day.

At Carrog the station buildings were boarded up, ‘tin sheds’ removed and the track finally lifted in 1968. The trackbed and buildings at Carrog were acquired from British Railways by the local council. The signal box and platform 2 waiting room were considered unsafe and demolished by the council. Carrog station house became a council house, the tenancy fortunately including the main station buildings and adjacent part of Platform 1, which were little altered by the tenant. Meanwhile the trackbed, yard and remaining platforms were leased to a local farmer, which helped ensure the survival of the whole of the site and boundaries as nature took over.

The Flint and Deeside Preservation Society (later the Llangollen Railway Trust) was formed in July 1975 with the objective of reopening the 10 miles of line of the original Llangollen and Corwen Railway Company. The Society proceeded to reopen the line in stages commencing with Llangollen Station followed by the track and stations westward.

At Carrog, the station house, station buildings, grounds and part of Platform 1 had been purchased by the council tenant and placed on the open market in 1989. The property was purchased by a life member of the Llangollen Railway Trust as his home and residence. The new owner commenced renovation works on the buildings which included new solid floors, chemical damp proof course, re-rendering of walls, replacement windows, central heating, rewiring etc etc.

The group ‘Friends of Carrog’ was formed on 15th January 1992 by members of the Llangollen Railway to ensure the protection and preservation of the original parts of the station and to oversee the reinstatement of the whole site as near as possible to the mid 1950s condition. Physical evidence on site, old photos, various literary sources and the recollections of previous railway employees, historians and local residents were all used as reference. Materials and complete buildings where necessary, were obtained from various locations in the UK and reconstructed at the station site. Replica items such as signs and lamps were made where correct originals were missing and substitutes could not be found.

The necessary statutory permissions were obtained by the Carrog Station owner and a lease document drawn up enabling the re-use of the privately owned buildings and entrance for railway purposes. This is an extremely rare, if not unique situation in the UK.

Carrog Station was inspected by HM Inspector of Railways and reopened on 2nd May 1996 by his grace the Duke of Westminster, patron of the Llangollen Railway. The Railway received the Ian Allan award for the best independent railway in 1998.

Volunteers are always needed and anyone from Carrog or Parc who would like to help at the Station or elsewhere on the railway will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested drop into Carrog Station for a chat.

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