THE first trains have run on the reopened Conwy Valley line newly repaired after being extensively damaged by flooding in the Spring.

Initially the line has reopened between Llandudno Junction and Llanrwst, and the remainder onwards to Betwys-y-Coed and Blaneau Ffestiniog will open next week. The reopening is in time for the National Eisteddfod to be held in Llanrwst between Friday August 2 and Saturday August 10.

Passengers on one of the first trains were delighted at the reopening. Mr Paul Hillsmith, a railway enthusiast who lives in Llanrwst travelled on the first train out of the town to Llandudno Junction and back again, said: “I just wanted to be one of the first people to get on the train after the line has reopened. I’m now on my way back to Llanrwst to have my breakfast.”

The driver of the train, mother of three, Mrs Nia Jones, said this was the first time she had driven along the Conwy Valley line and was very impressed with its beauty. “This was the first time for me to go over the line, it was my first trip, you can see they have done a lot of work on the line, its beautiful scenery.” A lady who joined the train at North Llanrwst said she was on her way to go shopping in Llandudno, a regular trip for her. “I have missed the service while the line was closed and am so glad it has reopened.”

There were only four passengers on the trip from Llandudno Junction south to Llanrwst, but on the return more than 30 boarded at Llanrwst with others joining at North Llanrwst and Tal-y-Cafn.

Mr Ioan Jenkins, Development Director for Transport for Wales, also travelled on the train to ensure everything ran smoothly. He said this was the first time he had travelled on the line and was struck by the beauty of the countryside. “This is a day to celebrate the reopening of the Conwy Valley line after a number of months when the line was closed due to flooding. It is in perfect time for the National Eisteddfod.”

To mark the reopening of the line a steam train will run along the line on Saturday 3 August.