Sunday, June 16, 2024

British Steel products keep Welsh heritage railway on the right track

Another delivery of rails from British Steel at Scunthorpe is helping a North Wales heritage railway gear up for a new season.

The first delivery to the Llangollen Railway in the Dee Valley extended the track by more than two miles; the new delivery will replace two miles of existing track. And later this year, there are plans to start relaying further track, a project that will take around two years. That’s next to the line’s tunnel. It’s 40 years old and has corroded because of its location.

The chosen product is ‘Zinoco’ which are coated in zinc, which forms a protective barrier against corrosion, and thanks to latest advances, its super-hydrophobic finish also repels water. 

Darren Cole, British Steel’s UK Account Manager for Rail, said: “Maintaining a facility like this is something of a labour of love, heritage lines by their very nature require ongoing care and attention and often rely on a handful of rail enthusiasts. I’m very proud Scunthorpe rail is playing its part in their ongoing story.”

Terry Pickthall of the Llangollen Railway said: “Our team, mostly volunteers, is putting the finishing touches to our fantastic new station at Corwen. This impressive facility will be a great asset to our operations and we’re really looking forward to it opening in the summer.

“Alongside this, our staff and volunteers are also working hard to keep our existing line in excellent condition. The recent delivery of British Steel 56E1 rail has allowed us to replace a sizeable section of worn rail between our Berwyn and Glyndyfrdwy stations. This part of the line is in the very heart of the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the work has been completed in time for trains to run over new Scunthorpe-made rails during our busy Easter operations in April. We’re hoping the snow we’ve seen in March is replaced with spring flowers by Easter, but either way the valley always looks stunning!”

The former British Rail Ruabon to Barmouth line closed to passenger traffic in 1964 with goods traffic ending four years later. In 1975, the heritage railway was started by a group of enthusiasts who saw the potential for a scenic line through the Dee Valley. Terry said “When the line finally closed in 1968, the track, signalling and much of the infrastructure was removed or demolished quickly after. It’s taken a lot of hard work from our enthusiasts over many years and it’s their vision that has led to the fantastic service we offer today.”


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