Tramway history unearthed


Sarah Staples

A 140-YEAR-OLD station platform will become the next focus of restoration work in Chirk.
Members of the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust, which is aiming to restore the former tramway line, uncovered the podium during one of their working party events held earlier in the year.
They are due to continue their investigations into the size and condition of the platform at their forthcoming work party meetings.
Trust chairman, Dr David Carter, explained the work will help historical records as well as aiding rebuilding
He said: “We have only uncovered 10 metres of the platform edge and the coping stone has disappeared but the rest seems to be as good as the day it was laid. We’ve also dug down to the sub base at the rail line that appears to be there, there’s no rails or sleepers, but it was a really exciting discovery. It was like going face-to-face with the past.”
Dr Carter explained the search for the platform had been disappointing until old photographs revealed where they should be excavating.
He continued: “We also found some of the original Ruabon red bricks and we have a pile that’s substantial enough to partly re-build the station, so it really will be a restoration rather than a replica.”
Currently the group is working on its first 1.2-mile phase to resurrect the line from Chirk to the Pontfaen Bridge and create a major visitor attraction.
But the plan is to eventually run the former slate and goods-carrying line through the length of the Ceiriog Valley. It ran for more than 60 years before it closed in 1935.
“Negotiations with the landowners are ongoing but they are progressing satisfactorily,” Dr Carter added. “In the meantime we will be at Chirk Fun Day later this month to continue our fundraising work.”
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