Station Name: CORWEN

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 8.5.1865
Location: North side of Bridge Street (A5)
Company on opening: Great Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 14.12.1964
Date closed completely: 14.12.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: The station site is in use as a sales outlet for Ifor Williams Trailers, the two end wings of the main station building have been retained as offices. The large brick goods shed also survives on an industrial estate to the west of the station.
County: Denbighshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ075436
Date of visit: 10.2.2008
Notes: Corwen Station was opened by the Great Western Railway (GWR) on the 8th May 1865. At the time of opening the station acted as a terminus for the GWR line from Ruabon and for the Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen Railway (DRCR) from Denbigh. By 1866 the GWR had continued there line westwards and by 1868 it had reached Dolgellau, which gave access to Barmouth making it an important trunk route.

The DRCR had actually reached Corwen before the GWR in the Autumn of 1864 when they had completed the final section of their line from Denbigh. For a short period while they waited for the GWR to complete Corwen station the DRCR had used a temporary wooden station slightly to the east which opened on 6th October 1864. The Denbigh line was extended into Corwen in late 1865 and the connecting line was inspected by the Board of Trade on 11th October 1865 but it is not recorded when the temporary station closed.(Clinker's Register lists the first station as closing on 1st September 1865, before the line was inspected which seems unlikely).

The GWR line was a single track route but at principal stations passing loops were provided. Corwen was a little unusual in that the DRCR line, itself a single track route, came in from the north and ran parallel to the GWR route giving the effect of a double track railway. Crossovers were provided at the east end of Corwen Station so that trains could transfer between the two routes and also so that they could access the two platforms that Corwen station was provided with. To the west of Corwen station the line reverted to single track. Corwen had two signal boxes, the east box was sited on the eastbound platform and the west box which controlled access to the goods yard was 600 yards west of the station close to the A5 road bridge.

Corwen Station’s main facilities were located in a handsome stone built, single storey building which was located on the south side of the line on the westbound platform. The station building had a booking office, parcels room, general waiting room, ladies waiting room and refreshment rooms as well as storage rooms for lamps and other railway essentials. On the eastbound platform a single storey brick built building with canopy provided waiting rooms. The platforms were linked by a covered footbridge. Extensive goods facilities were located to the west of the station on the south side of the line and included a large brick goods shed, cattle dock and pens and a 5 ton crane. Further sidings and a turntable, water tank and engine shed were sited on the north side of the
ine, west of the goods yard. The shed closed 4.8.1928 but the turntable, parachute water tank and loco sidings remaining in use well into BR times.

Most of the passenger services ran along the GWR route. Long distance and local GWR services all stopped at Corwen. By 1866 services to Denbigh were being operated by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) but they consisted of only three trains per day. By 1879 the LNWR had taken control of the Denbigh line and five trains were running.

By the early years of the 20th Century train services had settled down into a predictable pattern. Long distance GWR express trains ran along the entire length of the GWR line between Ruabon and Barmouth whilst local services ran from Corwen to Bala, Chester, Ruabon and Denbigh. In 1923 the Denbigh line became part of the London Midland and Scottish

Railway (LMS) but train services on that route never reached more than six services out and back on weekdays.

In January 1948 Corwen station became part of the British Railways (Western Region). On the 1st of February 1953 the Denbigh service was discontinued. This did not effect Corwen Station very much as the services on the main line had always been more frequent and did not rely on the Denbigh trains for business. By 1953 only three trains ran out and back.

Goods services continued to run towards Denbigh until 1962 after which the line between Gwyddelwern Station and Corwen was taken out of use. It was lifted shortly afterwards.

The main line through Corwen was recommended for closure in the Beeching Report of 1963 and the goods service was withdrawn on 2nd December 1964 with the station scheduled to close to passengers on 18th January 1965 but due to severe flooding of the line west of Llangollen, including at Corwen, the station closed a month early on 14th December 1964.

The trackbed between the platforms was filled in the 1970s and the eastbound platform buildings were demolished but all the buildings on the westbound platform including the canopy remained intact until 1978 when the site was largely cleared to make way for a sales centre for Ifor Williams Trailers. The two end wings of the main station building were retained.

The preserved Llangollen Railway is planning to start work in 2010 on constructing an extension to Corwen. This will require construction of a new station at the east end of the town some distance short of the original station.

Tickets from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Nick Catford and Route Map by Alan Young.

Source: From Chester to Holyhead the Branch Lines by Bill Rear. Oxford Publishing 2003
ISBN 978-0-860935-69-8

To see other stations on the Denbigh, Ruthin & Corwen Railway click on the station name: Denbigh, Llanrhaiadr, Rhewl, Ruthin, Eyarth, Nantclwyd,
Derwen & Gwyddelwern

Corwen Station looking west early 20th century
Copyright photo from Tony Harden Collection

Corwen Station and goods yard in 1953

Looking east at Corwen Station on 22nd October 1961. The SLS Farewell to Corwen line railtour had come in from the Denbigh line. By this date the footbridge had lost its roof. Other than that the station was very much as it had been since 1865.
Copyright photo by Bevan Price

Corwen Station looking east from the station footbridge in July 1963
Copyright photo by R M Casserley

Looking west from Corwen Station footbridge towards the goods yard
Photo from John Mann collection

Corwen Station looking west in August 1976
Photo by Alan Young

Corwen Station looking west in March 1978
Photo by Alan Young

Corwen stations main building in February 2008 seen from the site of the eastbound platform.
Photo by Paul Wright

Click here for more pictures of Corwen Station

Last updated: Wednesday, 17-May-2017 09:19:44 CEST
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