I had booked a holiday to North Wales in August 2021 which included a trip on the Llangollen Railway. My heart sank when I heard at the start of the year that it was up for sale and there were fears it might close. It was good to see it up and running again, even thought it was a DMU and only as far as Berwyn. It was better than nothing!
It was a beautiful sunny day and staff were enthusiastic and really pleased to see passengers.
Llangollen is the main terminus with the locomotive shed and yard and is the base for the commercial functions of the railway. The station was built in 1865 and is next to the C13th bridge across the River Dee.
The station has been restored back to what it might have looked like in GWR times, with ticket office and small refreshment room. The signal box is at one end of the station and a water tower at the other.
Leaving Llangollen, it is an attractive run to Berwyn station with views of the river and one of the old and now derelict mills. The line passes the carriage and wagon workshops at Pentrefelyn. It then crosses the river and climbs towards Berwyn Station. There are views back over the bare mountainsides.
Berwyn Station is built on a ledge above the valley floor. With increasing summer traffic, the platform had to be extended onto an impressive viaduct crossing the road and bridge below it.
It is a large station with an attached timber frame station master’s house. By the 1950s the station was an unmanned halt and is now a “holiday let.”:https://www.cottages.com/cottages/berwyn-stationmasters-house-hw7641
The “Chainbridge Hotel”:https://www.chainbridgehotel.com/ across the river is reached by a chain suspension bridge. Apparently the half-timbered Tudor design of the station building was designed to match the Chainbridge Hotel at the request of the local landowner.
Just beyond the hotel is the Llangollen Canal and there is a short “walk”:https://waterways.org.uk/waterways/using-the-waterways/activities/canal-walk-horseshoe-falls-train along the tow path to Horseshoe Falls, a weir across the River dee designed by Thomas Telfor to control water level in the canal.
The DMU had about 20 minutes at Berwyn before the return journey to Llangollen. Hopefully one day I will finish the trip!