Old Corwen station building
This building once housed the booking office, waiting room and other facilities for passengers using Corwen rail station. Today it’s the showroom of Ifor Williams Trailers, Britain’s largest manufacturer of trailers for towing behind cars.
The Llangollen & Corwen Railway opened its line into Corwen in May 1865. Four months later, it was joined at this station by the railway from Denbigh and Ruthin, operated by the London & North Western Railway. Trains from Denbigh had started in 1864, using a temporary terminus north of Corwen. The east-west track, operated by the Great Western Railway, was progressively extended westwards until it provided a route to the Cambrian Coast line at Barmouth.
In 1869 two freight trains collided in darkness in the GWR yard. The driver and fireman of one train, from Dolgellau, jumped from their engine. Joseph Williams, the fireman, had his foot crushed by a wagon. A “special” was provided to take him to Wrexham Infirmary, where his foot was amputated.
In 1885 a passenger train partly derailed as it entered the station. Fortunately it was travelling slowly, as it had not been fitted with vacuum brakes and the engine’s whistle had broken.
The Denbigh line closed to regular passenger trains in 1953 but for several more years the popular “land cruise” trains went this way, carrying tourists on a scenic circuit of North Wales. Richard Beeching’s 1963 report on reshaping the railways advised closing one of the east-west routes across central Wales. The Shrewsbury-Aberystwyth line was retained instead of the line through Corwen, which closed in December 1964. Part of the route has been reopened by volunteers to form the Llangollen Railway, a popular visitor attraction which is being extended to a new station on the east side of Corwen.
Ifor Williams Trailers was established in Corwen in 1958. It builds trailers of up to 3,500kg in weight for transport of farm animals, horses, cars and general goods. It employs 400 to 500 people in this rural area, and a further 100 at Deeside.
The station master’s house also survives, a little west of the IWT showroom. It’s now occupied by NFU Mutual. If you look through the fence between the two buildings you can make out the coping stones which lined the edge of the platform. The space where the tracks were has been filled in.
Postcode: LL21 0AD