North East Wales

Glyn Valley Tramway restoration gets the green light

Long-awaited plans to restore and reopen the Glyn Valley tramway at Chirk have been given the go ahead by Wrexham Council.

It comes five years after volunteers at Glyn Valley Tramway Trust started talks about restoring one mile of the narrow gauge line in 2007.

It operated for 60 years before the last steam engine ran in 1935.

Prior to that a horse-drawn tramway was set up to transport slate and other goods in the 19th Century.

David Cooper, chair of the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust, was delighted at the outcome.

"It's been a long time coming," he said.

"It's restoring a bit of industrial heritage but also it's going to push forward the green tourist economy. It'll be an additional attraction for the area."

Work will start later this month and the first stage should be complete by Autumn 2014.

The line connected the slate quarries of Glyn Ceiriog with the canal wharf at Gledrid two miles south of Chirk via the Llangollen Canal.

A detailed planning report was drawn up for councillors and showed proposals to reopen the Glyn Valley Tramway (GVT) line and reinstate platforms on a one-mile route between between Chirk and Pontfaen.

The plan is to lay a narrow gauge line (2ft 6in wide - 0.8m) from Chirk station, following the B4500 Chirk to Glyn Ceiriog road, to Pontfaen station, north of Chirk Fisheries.

Bat survey

The trust will construct a new building to provide covered storage of railway rolling stock and allow minor running repairs, as well as reconstructing the original station building on the original site.

Also included in the plans is a small building at Pontfaen, with the construction of platforms, car parking facilities and construction of a new level access to the tramway station which will also have the dual purpose of providing disabled access to the main line station.

The railway enthusiasts say on their website that they ultimately want to see the whole line reinstated, stretching between Hendre and Chirk, but point out that funds are tight.

Last year, they raised £6,500 through fundraising to cover costs for a survey on the local bat population as part of their planning application.

Image caption Original features still exist along the tramway, including Pontfadog waiting room

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