FRIENDS OF CARROG REPORT FOR 2018
The year 2019 will be an interesting period of change for Carrog station.
Until at least April the station reverts back to being a terminus. The scaffold platform at Corwen has
been dismantled having lasted for four years after originally being intended to be used for just one.
Once the new station at Corwen is opened then Carrog becomes a through station similar to
Berwyn and Glyndyfrdwy.
However, Carrog differs from the other two stations in that the Station House is a private dwelling, it has a
public carpark with gates which need to be opened and closed each day, it is the base of the S&T and Permanent
Way departments who require daily access and not least on the doorstep is an expanding all year-round noisy camp
site which acts as a feeder for the public to buy tickets to join the train or they just wander around the platform.
It is expected that Carrog will remain as terminus, manned and with the two loco support shops until further notice.
Your small FOC team struggles on doing its best to maintain the station to its normal high standard. We at last
have set up our new workshop, including a bench, in the rear half of the ‘Tea Room’. coach situated on the nearest
siding to the platform effectively replacing the ‘ex Weston Rhyn’ box recently moved to Corwen Station.
WORK UNDERTAKEN IN THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF THE YEAR
In January the 21 foot signal post, stored in Martin's carport, was moved into the ‘Tea Room’ coach by opening up the end nearest the signal box while two smaller posts were moved to the Platform 2 Museum. The Platform 2 CARROG running-in board was taken down in order to easily remove the rotten top rail and beading. The thinking was that it would be back up for Easter.On dismantling it was realised that it was in a very bad state due to its exposed position.The backing boards and sides were also rotting. Before ordering replacement hardwood and MDF as a backing material the CORWEN sign was brought back to Carrog to assess its condition. Being of a later build (2012) with better quality wood it was not in such a bad state only needing a new top rail and beading all round. It was given priority. The brown paint was stripped off and all the wood preserved. Work came to a halt at the end of February following a heavy snowfall which continued into early March. The deep access lane from the station to the A5 was blocked when blowing snow filled it up to hedge height - when it was cleared a car was discovered under the snow. On Saturday 3rd March a wedding train with No. 3802 ran out of water in Carrog station. The fire brigade was called but could not get through from Corwen in time, as the lane was still blocked, before the fire was dropped. The Pannier rescued the train by pushing it back to Llangollen. The guests were late for their reception but a good time was had by all as there was plenty of drink and food on board. By the time the wood was delivered a workbench, obtained by Quentin, had been assembled in the coach.The following weekend there was more snow ruling out any attempt to drive to the station.Work restarted on the signs towards the end of the month.
WORK DURING SPRING
By April the weather had improved fortunately in time for the Spring Steam Gala.
At this event an interloper in the form of a diesel was spotted lurking in Carrog sidings.
The CARROG sign including its MDF backing was completed and then wood preserved all over.The leaking gutter joints in the canopy on platform 2 were sealed with black tape. May was a busy month with a number of tasks being worked on at the same time.The CARROG sign in the workshop was continually being painted. The CORWEN sign was readied for painting. Work started on the long per-sieved task of painting platform 2 canopy by first washing it down. The annual task of renewing the white lines on the platform edges had to wait
until the weather was warm enough for the paint to dry quickly and not too many passengers about otherwise, they are liable to leave their mark on the platform and trains with white footprints. The Geraniums were planted out in the tubs giving a fantastic summer display.
WORK UNDERTAKEN IN THE REST OF THE YEAR
Two major tasks occupied us for the rest of the year. The first being the planned painting of the
canopy on platform 2, the second an unscheduled painting, into chocolate & cream, of a ramp built
by Carriage & Wagon to access from platform 1 the restored Great Northern coach in the siding
The underside of platform 2 canopy had not been painted since 2012. It was not in too bad
a state considering the length of time being mainly dirty with some rust showing through
on the main metal beams and paint peeling from the plastic roof. There was some rot in one corner
of the wooden finger posts requiring fabrication of a new corner (see photo). It took two months
to complete the painting of the underside of the canopy and its wooden surrounds.
When platform 2 was not being used the opportunity was taken to refresh the three lamp posts
in cream with brown round the bases. The single bench on this side was renewed in brown
and its GWR scrolls in cream. The windows on the outside of the waiting room were also painted.
Together with the running-in board platform 2 has had a complete repaint in 2018.
The CORWEN sign was reinstalled in the car park at Corwen in August.
Hopefully it will be moved onto the platform of the new station at a later date.
Elsewhere around the station the Cattle Dock's posts and tubes were creosoted,
grass banks strimmed, the gardens weeded and any long growth on the shrubs/trees pruned.
The Geraniums have been replaced by winter flowing pansies and spring bulbs.
RAMP FOR THE GREAT NORTHERN COACH
The Great Northern Corridor Brake Composite Coach No. 229 (LNER 4229) restored as one of the coaches in the BBC 4 series now resides in Carrog sidings. The intention was that it would be open
to the public and maybe used as a static additional catering facility. In July Carriage and Wagon
built an access ramp from platform 1. When it came to painting the arrangement was that C&W would apply the undercoat while FOC would finish it in our chocolate & cream.
This work was not on our schedule. As is usual in these circumstances it developed into a larger job than first thought. Screw holes had to be filled and rubbed down. The handrails for the ramp
were built out of scrap softwood (see photo). It was agreed that FOC would replace them with
shaped redwood paid for by the railway.
(PS. As of May 2019 both coach and ramp have been removed)
In autumn work started on building the wooden framework for a porter's trolley - all that was left
of the original was the metalwork. In plenty of time before the Santa trains the LAPLAND
and CARROG SIGNAL BOX signs were retrieved and checked over. As expected they
had been damaged and needed a repaint. The black letters are painted after the white background.
JOB LIST FOR 2019
Despite the extra work on the coach ramp the only job on our 2018 list that
we did not complete was the painting of the metal signs at the ends of the platforms.
It is not known when any painting work is scheduled for Carrog Signal Box.
It is not in our remit but its deteriorating exterior reflects badly on the station and FOC.
A) Refresh the black & white metal signs at the ends of both platforms.
The one attached to the right hand side bridge parapet towards Corwen
needs more attention as the rust keeps showing through the white paint.
B) Complete the porter's trolley.
C) Replace the rotten front axle on the trolley on platform 2.
The second similar trolley is spare and scheduled for Llangollen station.
D) Renew the metal brackets fastening the electricity boxes, at the end of platform 1, to the bridge
and paint grey.
E) Paint the White Lines on the platform edges.
F) Continually mow and strim grass and banks, tidy garden beds, plant bedding plants and bulbs.
On October 25th the Weston Rhyn Signal Box was lifted from its Carrog home and moved to Corwen. Access was difficult as the Thomas puppet show was in the car park.
The re-built porter's trolley nearly complete.
LAPLAND signs in the background.
A reminder of summer. Dave's specialist named begonias flowering in a tub on platform 1
The CARROG sign being rebuilt in the coach.
It is sitting on top of the workbench. Note the CORWEN sign.
Platform 2 canopy being washed down using the new folding ladder.