Todays beautifully scenic LLangollen Railway runs over a ten mile section of the former Ruabon Junction to Barmouth route that was absorbed into the Great Western Railway in 1877. The line originally opened to freight traffic as far as Llangollen in December 1861, with passenger train services commencing early in June the following year. The current day section of the heritage line to Corwen, was opened to traffic on 1st May 1865, by which time a larger and more centrally located station had been constructed in Llangollen. Closure by British Railways came about in 1964 as a result of the infamous report of Dr Beeching which had been commissioned by the government of the day in order to study potential rationalisation of the rail network in Britain. In the early 1960s standard gauge railway preservation was very much in its infancy in Britain although there were a number of narrow gauge preservation concerns up and running in Wales, so the idea of a dedicated band of enthusiasts restoring and operating services along no longer commercially viable stretches of line had already become established.
The beginnings of a Preservation Society in this corner of Wales came about in 1975 when the whole process, which has eventually resulted in what exists today, started with the humble presence of a band of enthusiastic volunteers taking over the occupancy of Llangollen Station in order to start the process of restoration and reconstruction. Over the ensuing years progress was made with the gradual extension of the line, from initial running within the station limits at Llangollen, to Corwen, where a temporary station is currently in use whilst a new purpose built station is constructed. The position of the Llangollen Railway as one of Britain's leading heritage lines is clear to see from the images included in this edition of the Recollections series of publications, which captures the character of this preserved section of the former Great Western Railway in Wales.