The Llangollen and Corwen Railway Company, one of several small railways to appear in the area, came into being by Act of Parliament on 6th August 1860. Carrog Station is situated on this line approximately 2 ½ miles from Corwen.
Construction (by Thomas Brassey) was completed early in 1865 and the line opened for passengers and goods in May of that year.
The Great Western Railway (GWR) operated the line as part of the through route to the seaside resort town of Barmouth which was completed in 1869, enabling journeys from major cities such as London and Manchester to the Welsh Coast via the Dee Valley.
As traffic increased, the GWR made various improvements and additions to the stations on the line. In the case of Carrog Station a passing loop, a second platform with waiting room, extension to the existing platform and a signal box were added. The sidings layout was altered. The original buildings and facilities together with all the later additions and improvements remained in situ until final closure in 1964.
The line was closed on 13th December 1964 following severe flooding and undermining of the track bed, some weeks before the intended date. A ‘Crosville’ bus service was introduced as a replacement and exists in similar form to the present day.
At Carrog the station buildings were boarded up, ‘tin sheds’ removed and the track finally lifted in 1968.
In keeping with the remainder of the line, the track bed and buildings at Carrog were acquired from British Railways by the local council. The signal box and platform 2 waiting room were demolished. Carrog Station House became a council house, the tenancy fortunately including the main station buildings and adjacent part of platform 1, which were little altered by the tenant. Meanwhile the remainder of the site was leased to a local farmer which helped ensure the survival of the whole of the site and its boundaries as nature took over.
The Flint and Deeside Preservation Society (later the Llangollen Railway Trust) was formed in July 1972 with the objective of reopening a railway closed under the Beeching cuts. The 10 miles of the original Llangollen and Corwen Railway Company was chosen after consideration of other options in the area. The Society secured a Council lease in 1975 covering the whole of the line and proceeded to reopen the Railway in stages commencing with Llangollen Station followed by the track and stations westward.
At Carrog, the station house, buildings, grounds and part of platform 1 had been purchased by the council tenant and placed on the open market in 1989. The property was purchased by a life member of the Llangollen Railway Trust as his home and residence which secured the station for the Railway. The new owner commenced renovation works on the buildings.
The organization ‘Friends of Carrog’ (FOC) was formed on 15/1/92 to manage and secure finance for the preservation of the original parts of the station and the reinstatement of the whole site as near as possible to the mid-1950s condition. This period was chosen as it can more authentically accommodate the Railway’s mix of stock than an earlier period and yet avoid reflection of the decline of the later, 1960’s period.
Physical evidence on site, old photos, various literary sources and the recollections of previous railway employees, historians and local residents were all used as reference.
Complete buildings, and railway fittings were obtained from various locations in the UK and reconstructed at the station site. Replica items such as signs and lamps were made where correct originals were missing and substitutes could not be found.
Meanwhile by Autumn 1995 the Llangollen Railway Trust had rebuilt the line through Glyndyfrdwy and track laying on the final stages to Carrog was progressing rapidly.
The necessary permissions were obtained by the Carrog Station owner and a lease document drawn up enabling the re-use of the privately owned buildings, grounds and entrances for railway purposes. The fences enclosing the freehold, private gardens and the original entrances were revised by the new owner providing an uninterrupted platform with dedicated public access. This is an extremely rare, if not unique situation in the UK.
Carrog Station was inspected by HM Inspector of Railways and reopened on 2nd May 1996 by His Grace the Duke of Westminster, Patron of the Llangollen Railway.
Significant events since the re-opening:
The Railway received the Ian Allan award for the best independent railway in 1998.
BBC2 Timewatch program re-staging of the 1829 Rainhill Trials centred on Carrog Station 2002.
Commissioning of Carrog Signals installation 2005/6.
Llangollen Railway SSS1 Gala 2007.
Westinghouse Award for Carrog Signalling Installation 2008.
Llangollen Railway SSS2 Gala 2009.
A Transport and Works Order Application for the Carrog to Corwen Extension was submitted to the Welsh Assembly by Llangollen Railway Trust in 2009.
25th August 2010 Llangollen railway received notice of the approval of the T and W Order effective 27th August.
It was thus that the Corwen extension works carried out in the 80's and 90's were restarted in 2010.
Track re-laid to site of Bonwm Halt (half way to Corwen) 2012.
Llangollen Railway SSS3 Gala 2012.
Gauging runs by DMU and steam run to Corwen Phase 1 platform in August 2014.
Llangollen Railway SSS4 Gala 2015.
A Short History of Carrog Station and the Barmouth Line.