Welsh Highland Railway

Stop Press Page

 

V4.2949

News (updated 29/1/15)

You are visitor No.

Free Counters

to this website

Images updated from 21/1/15

Click here for new images

Click here for latest news

This page is kindly hosted by Peter Bowyer of Narrow Gauge Heaven and Maple Design.

Please support them!

 

Star Picture

This northerly view 14/4/14 shows No.138 drifting down towards Beddgelert Forest Campsite at 1116. Most of the services leading up to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend were hauled by Nos. 87/143 so this was a relatively rare outing for the red Garratt. The train was due to depart Beddgelert at 1125. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welcome to Version 4 of this website, launched on September 8 2004 with news about work on Phase 4 of the WHR scheme. In addition to this Stop Press page and a Phase 1/2 page, there are 9 location pages, covering the Phase 3 works between Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu. There are a further 9 pages covering Phase 4, the full route through Beddgelert, the Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog, including the Traeth Mawr to Pen-y-Mount works recently constructed by the WHHR with three regularly updated map links for this area by Laurence Armstrong.

Finally, there are pages covering 'Phase 5', Views from the Line, the history of the abandoned PBSSR works around Beddgelert, Archived News and a Contacts page for volunteers. Another page covers the current operation of the WHHR southwest from Pen-y-Mount.

 

gam_print_ordsvywat-sun-0132226440868.jpg 





























































(739415 bytes)

The above OS map shows the route through the Aberglaslyn Pass and Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge. Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Click here to use the free OS Get-a-map service.

Route section pages

Listed below are links to pages featuring progress on different sections of the line or archive views. Jump ahead to News section or follow the section links from page to page. Please note that access to the links below was restored on 2/9/04 at the new website www.isengard.co.uk

 

Phase 4 pages

Rhyd Ddu to Pont Cae'r Gors (updated 29/6/06)

Pont Cae'r Gors to Hafod Ruffydd Halt (new 8/10/06)

Hafod Ruffydd Halt to Beddgelert Forest Halt (updated 4/12/06)

Beddgelert Forest Halt to Beddgelert Station (updated 1/7/07)

Beddgelert Station Area (updated 30/6/07)

Beddgelert Station to Bryn-y-felin (updated 1/7/07)

Aberglaslyn Pass (updated 2/7/07)

Nantmor to Pont Croesor (updated 16/7/07)

Pont Croesor to Pen-y-Mount (updated 1/4/07)

WHR (Porthmadog) (updated 1/4/07)

Porthmadog Cross Town Link (updated 1/4/07)

 

Other pages

'Phase 6' page (new 2/4/06)

Views from the Line Page (updated 26/2/05)

PBSSR Works Historical Page (updated 25/3/05)

Rhyd Ddu Opening Page (New 14/2/04)

Archived News Page (updated 18/1/15)

Snow Scenes (updated 6/12/14)

Rolling Stock News Page (updated 28/12/04)

Phase 4 News Page (updated 3/3/05)

Volunteer Contact details page (updated 20/12/14)

Phase 2 and 3 page list (updated 27/8/08)

Access to Phase 2 pages is currently being progressed.

 

If you would like an automated announcement of site updates, email me at the NEW (2013) address below replacing the letters 'dot' with a full stop

Isengard@talktalkdotnet

This has been introduced as an anti-spam feature.

Disclaimer

There has never been any intent by myself to suggest that the views on these pages represent the views, opinions or policy of the FR, the WHRCL or the WHRS.

I am happy to confirm that this is an INDEPENDENT web news service.

 

Stop Press!!

New construction images/text will be posted on a regular basis.

New text in RED!

 

Phase 2 DVD released

Following many requests, your webmaster's Hi8 (stereo) Phase 2 analogue camcorder footage has been captured with a digitiser and edited to make a 2 hour DVD. All footage is from the year 2000, including:-

Click here for the Clip List.

The previous Phase 3 VHS video has been edited from original material onto DVD. Both Phase 2 and Phase 3 DVDs come in library boxes with smart illustrated inserts and a clip list (no commentary). The DVDs themselves are attractively labelled with a snowy alpine railway scene at Rhyd Ddu. The DVDs can be provided in any format (+R/-R/+RW/-RW) and the DVDs are not regionalised. Special orders for NTSC versions could be considered if the technology proves workable. All monies raised from the sale of these DVDs will go to the WHRS to support Phase 4. Contact the WHR/FR Shop. Limited numbers of copies of both DVDs will be on sale at WHRS events.

 

Phase 3 Video Offer

A new video offer for Phase 3 was launched at Easter 2004. The last video generated over 1,000 all of which was donated to the WHRS and the new video sold out at Super Power 2004, raising over 400 for Phase 4 funds.

The new video shows the construction, works trains, Royal test trains and the opening to Rhyd Ddu. The video is over 1.5 hours long covering the period 2000-2003. It also includes a few Gala clips and a 'chase the train' sequence at Llwyn-y-bedw. The special Xmas Edition now contains K1 in action footage and the 2005 Gala and the delivery of K1 to Dinas.

Phase 2 is also available in DVD format mastered from digitised analogue footage.

Phase 3 is now available in DVD format mastered from VHS tape for better reproduction!

 

Click here for Phase 3 Construction video Clip List

 

Sept 2007-Aug 2008 Edition of Phase 4 DVD

A new edition appeared at Garratt 50 including scenes from SuperPower 2007 through Palmerston at Beddgelert, the Supporters' Specials in the Aberglaslyn Pass to the final stages of linking up at Traeth Mawr. The DVD is an hour long. John Wooden sold them from his shop and also his on-line shop with all money raised going directly to the WHRS for Phase 4 funds. Following the review to be published in the Winter 2009 TSR, more copies will be produced over Xmas.

Click here for FR on-line shop

Click here for DVD Clip List

Click here for the latest YouTube Clip or on the box below

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 1 min of video of Prince crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge on 27/10/08 working a photo-charter. The quality of the YouTube clip does not represent the quality of the DVD. This video was taken by Barrie Hughes on a JVC Everio GZ-MG21EK camcorder.

 

News Section

WHR timetables

Click here for Laurence Armstrong's latest WHR North map dated 5/11/07

Click here for Laurence Armstrong's latest WHR Middle map dated 14/3/10

Click here for Laurence Armstrong's latest WHR South map dated 14/3/10

Click here for Mike Schumann's Phase 4 TWA maps courtesy of Steve Harris/WHRS

Click here for John Sreeves Gradient profile courtesy of Steve Harris/WHRS

Click here for Chainages and OS Map Reference

 

Prince at NRM 14-22/2/15

Prince and three historic four-wheeled carriages will be travelling to the NRM at York offering rides to those attending the museum's Half Term 'Paddington Bear' event in February. For further details see the NRM website.

 

Tuesday Gang 27/1/15

Tony Baker reports: The Tuesday Gang spent 27/1/15 levelling the approaches to the level crossing at Tro Elaine (the new footpath crossing near the Pont Cae'r Gors Forestry Commission car park-Ed) using a mixture of ash and ballast.

 

TRAWS Link group fights for Cambrian Coast link

After some years of discussion and false hopes, a meeting attended by over 100 people at Aberystwyth, supported by local Liberal Democrats, is pushing for a feasibility study into reopening a vital rail link, the closed Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line, that could bring tourists from South Wales to the WHR at Porthmadog. One of the Beeching passenger route cuts of the 1960s, freight services continued in the 1970s while the route was still open for milk trains, hauled latterly by Class 37s, from Carmarthen to a creameries at Pont Llanio (closed September 1970), 2.5 south of Tregaron, and Felin Fach on the Aberaeron branch (closed 1/10/73). Track was lifted during the summer of 1975 following some final train specials (see Railtour information). Your webmaster was at Aberystwyth University during the seventies and campaigned with Dyfed Council to have the route protected against just such a possibility of reopening.

The 56 mile line would start at the existing Carmarthen station and could use the Gwili Railway trackbed if running powers can be agreed. The Gwili Railway owns the section from Abergwili Junction, just 2 miles from Carmarthen, to Llanpumpsaint, a curvaceous, low speed section with several river bridges. A diversionary route to Llanpumpsaint or Pencader has been suggested avoiding the use of the Gwli Railway. The route then runs north via the old Manchester and Milford route to Strata Florida before dropping down to sea level through Trawscoed. The section of the route north of Strata Florida was a diversion which avoided the partly built mountainous section between Llanidloes and Strata Florida and left the Llangurig branch unused.

The line was closed to passengers earlier than intended on 14/12/64 due to flood damage in the Ystwyth valley near Llanilar on 13/12/64. The last train ran on Saturday 12/12/64, there being no Sunday trains. Services continued south from a temporary railhead at Strata Florida until 20/2/65 with a bus link from Aberystwyth. Local politicians point out that the route serves more people than the Aberystwyth-Shrewsbury route, which has recently been modernised with dynamic loops (aka double track sections) and higher speed limits (80mph/130kph in many places and even 90mph/145kph on some of the longer straighter sections up from a maximum 70mph in BR days). See NR speed limits online map resource. So Carmarthen-Aberystwyth journey times of possibly an hour an a half (much better than road transport!) could be envisaged with a stop every 10 miles or so. There are also hopes of freight traffic with e.g. logs to Kronospan at Chirk.

While about 3% of the trackbed has been built on, much of this is of agricultural buildings that can easily be disassembled and relocated. A similarly redeveloped route in Scotland (The Borders Line) is being rebuilt for M10 per mile including some double track and all new stations, whereas some of the stations are complete on this route. At the Aberystwyth end housing development has blocked the trackbed but a new alignment is possible or, if preferred, a new 600m tunnel under Southgate could give access to a new junction at Llanbadarn with the Shrewsbury line, just a mile outside the terminus. At Aberyswyth, reopening of the abandoned second platform would be required as the former Carmarthen bays are now occupied by the VoR.

Aberystwyth University is helping to fund a local artist who is organising a trackbed walk from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen along the old route to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the line on the weekend of 21-22/2/15, starting at Aberystwyth. For more details see BBC website. The Aberystwyth meeting follows a similar meeting last year in Tregaron and will be followed by a meeting in Carmarthen in February. See BBC Website for more details. Traws Link wishes to reopen the whole line from Bangor to Afon Wen too. They have a Facebook site which contains a 22 minute colour Vimeo of trains on the route and a petition at this website.

The first Traws Link working party took place on 13/12/14 to clear the platform at Pont Llanio station: the signalbox at Strata Florida is also being restored. If Traws Link's dream of completing the route to Bangor is realised, the F&WHR better allow for a third rail and room for standard gauge trains to pass through the proposed new WHR Caernarfon terminus!!

 

Gasworks siding 17/1/15

The Llyn Bach car park is being enlarged so that additional spaces are available. The F&WHR section at the north end is to be fenced off. The allocated space for the Gas Works siding has been incorporated into the car park to increase the number of spaces available for F&WHR passengers. The point is not being removed as a stub will be laid off this to a relocated gate at the Wilko end of the car park. From this point the pick-up lorry will connect the portable ramp to the end of the stub and winch the item to be transported onto the back of the lorry. This will presumably remove the need to use the Snowdon Street transfer point, just north of the level crossing and avoid blocking Snowdon Street.

 

This northerly view (17/1/15) shows local council contractors extending the Llyn Bach car park onto the site of the proposed Gasworks Siding that was never completed. The stub of the siding will remain and become a stock transfer point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dr. Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

ROWG report 17-23/1/15

Phil Nock reports: The Rest Of The World Gang January working week began on Saturday 17/1/15. Our principle task was to replace the Down, (Caernarfon), end point at Pont Croesor. (This is a LH point and creates a difficult chicane at this location as the F&WHR insists on RH running-Ed).

The old point was removed, partly with the aid of a small 360 excavator and the ballast dug out to below sleeper level. Later on Saturday, the new point was delivered, roughly positioned and bolted together. Because the new point is about a metre longer than the old one, we spent the next couple of days adjusting the extant trackwork either side in order, to get the right geometry. Once this was done, a couple of days was spent kango-packing the ballast to hold it all in place. The snow covered mountains that provide the backdrop to the Traeth, were a delight to behold from our work site.

On the Wednesday 21/1/15, we took a day out from our labours at Pont Croesor, to realign the section of track between Y Cyt and Cae Pawb, where a rather bad kink had developed. This was relieved by inserting a half rail stagger.

 

This northerly view (17/1/15) shows the ROWG in the process of installing the new, Down, point at Pont Croesor, on Sunday with the Christmas card backdrop of a snow-clad Cnicht and the Moelwyns. It appears to have hailed during the day at sea-level. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dr.Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (17/1/15) shows the ROWG cutting one of the closure rails for the Down loop at Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dr. Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (17/1/15) shows the ROWG tightening one of the fishplates of the main-line closure rail at Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dr Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 20/1/15

Clive Briscoe reports: On Tuesday evening 20/1/15, Team Wylfa were up to 4 with the addition of one of the main No.134 Group members, David Oates.

We carried on from last week's work - building the 4 pieces of the valve jigger - the rollers to lift the loco's driving wheels 'just' clear of the rails so they can be rotated and the valve motion set. They can also be used to lift the other wheelsets in turn so they can be rotated to line the crankpins up so as to fit the coupling rods.

Most of the plates and upstand angles had been marked out and holes pilot drilled but there was some more marking out and pilot drilling to do on one pair of upstands so one pair of the Team set to with this job using the small pillar drill. We then continued marking out and pilot drilling all of the small angle brackets that will bolt to the baseplates, through which the threaded bars that will pull a pair of rollers together - lifting the wheels - go.

Yours truly set to on the big radial arm drill to open out the pilot holes in the base plates to M20 tapping size and when the upstand angles were finished, opening out the bottom two pilot holes to 20.5mm diameter.

With a production line going on, there was not much left to do by the end of the evening. Next week we will tap the 4 holes in each baseplate, open out the pilot holes in the sides of the upstands to 24mm for the axles and open out the pilot holes in the small angles. The upstands and small angles can then be bolted to the baseplates to await the return of the now machined axles from the apprentices at Llandrillo College. Once the self-aligning bearings arrive, they can be pressed onto these axles, the axles bolted between the upstands and it's all ready to use.

The news from Boston Lodge is that No.134's axleboxes have now been whitemetalled and are about to go in the line borer so re-wheeling is not far away!

 

Clearance begins at Boston Lodge 21/1/15

The area alongside the carriage servicing shed at Boston Lodge has been cleared of vegetation in preparation for a start of work on the new Carriage Shed. The new shed will provide weatherproof storage for two ten car sets of 13 metre carriages, allowing full WHR sets to be stored undercover for the first time at Boston Lodge. The work currently underway will allow the site to be properly surveyed. The initial stages of the proposed improvements will cover road access, surface water drainage and sewage and will take place over the next 12 months. The Volunteers' Memorial is to be relocated as part of the works.

 

This easterly Boston Lodge view (21/1/15) shows clearance at the site of the future Carriage Shed alongside the existing shed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly Boston Lodge view (21/1/15) shows clearance at the site of the future Carriage Shed. The headshunt must be moved further towards Porthmadog to provide room for the works. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New webcams update

Following the installation of an FR webcam at Tan-y-bwlch, a second one is currently being installed at Minffordd. WHR supporters are wondering when and where the first new WHR webcam will be installed.

 

Tuesday Gang report 20/1/15

Tony Baker reports: On Tuesday 20/1/15 we continued with our task of transferring the contents of the S&T stores from Boston Lodge to the new building at Minffordd. Builder's bags were used to hold the smaller items. This week S&T staff were present to assist in deciding what was needed and what was for the skip.

 

NG15 working weekend 17-18/1/15

The weekend of 17-18/1/15 saw the NG15 team at work at Dinas on one of their regular monthly No.134 working parties. Over the years project leader Andie Shaw has built up a group of up to 10 (and often more) regular volunteers, including women, and sometimes there are sufficient to work on other locos. Team Wylfa members also lend a hand working on the No.134 on Tuesday evenings if time allows after they have finished carriage maintenance. On the last few visits they have worked on K1, removing tubes in advance of preparing it for a ten year boiler overhaul.

 

This southerly Dinas Loco Shed view (18/1/15) shows Nos.138/87 with Castell Caernarfon on the left and Nos.134/143 with Conway Castle and K1 on the right. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Clive Briscoe adds: No.134 is NOT in view in the above photo. On the RHS can be seen ex-No.143's hind unit slowly being rebuilt, ex-No.140's hind unit that has been running under No.143 recently, No.143's fore unit (both of these undergoing heavy overhaul - wheels just returned from re-profiling at Boston Lodge), No.143's boiler cradle on ambulance bogies with ex- No.140's boiler (currently still 'in ticket'), Conwy Castle and finally, 'just' in view, K1 (outside the shed).

No.134's frames are behind the photographer on the RHS behind ex-No.143's hind unit. On the LHS behind the photographer and No.138 is Australian sugar cane 0-6-0DM No.9 and behind that, No.140's boiler cradle (gradually being refurbished) with ex- No.143's boiler mounted, which again, is slowly being refurbished.

It is pretty cramped in the Loco Shed at the moment. As a matter of note, the No.134 Group, were working on NGG16's No.87, No.138, No.140 and No.143, NG15 No.134 and K1 this last weekend (No.140 because we were working on the hind unit and boiler that are currently making up nominally No.143!).

 

This northerly view (18/1/15) shows K1 and Conway Castle on the left and Funkey Castell Caernarfon on the right. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work is continuing on No.140's boiler frame. A loco's boiler frame identifies the loco's number so, when No.140's is complete, the loco should be released as a new loco to the WHR as No.140 rather than No.143.

 

F&WHR 2015 YouTube 'FR 150' advert 9/1/15

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 2 mins 52 secs of video of video of the F&WHR published on 9/1/15. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder and is best watched in 1080p High Definition mode.

 

Funkey hauled loco ash to Dinas 16/1/4

This easterly view (16/1/15) shows Castell Caernarfon leaving Porthmadog for Dinas a heavy loco ash train. This occasional departmental working gives all the appearance of a regular freight train on the WHR. The train contains a mix of B and DZ ex-SAR wagons. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (16/1/15) shows Castell Caernarfon crossing Britannia Bridge with a heavy loco ash train Bound for Dinas. This occasional departmental working gives all the appearance of a regular freight train on the WHR. The train was filled by an excavator at Boston Lodge ash store. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Tunnel closed from 9/2/15 for 6 weeks

Essential maintenance will require Caernarfon Road Tunnel to be closed for 6 weeks from 9/2/15. This route is often used by visitors to the WHR coming from the A55 and may in future form part of the extended WHR to a joint NR/WHR station near Morrisons supermarket if the Bangor-Caernarfon line is reopened. It is hoped the route will be reopened by the Easter Holidays and for the start of the WHR Caernarfon services on 21/3/15. See Daily Post story.

 

Coaches sold to the Golden Valley Railway 16/1/15

Spare coach No.119, used on the WHR in 2009/10, has been sold to the GVR at Butterley, Derbyshire. The coach was used to strengthen WHR rakes when large passenger flows were experienced following opening of the section through the scenic Aberglaslyn Pass. Coach No.117 has also been sold and will follow in 2016, presumably after some refurbishment. This coach was used to strengthen the other WHR rake in 2010. The delivery of additional WHR profile coaches has obviated the need to use them on the WHR. See F&WHR website for full story.

 

Prince to visit NRM at Half Term

The F&WHR has plans to draw in passengers by having its locos out and about again in 2015. The first event of 2015 will be Prince's visit to the NRM during the February Half Term week. Prince is going with the new FR super saloon No.119 and will offer rides during their Paddington Bear event 14-22/2/15. See F&WHR webpage for full details.

 

Russell to visit in 2015?

There is hope that Russell will visit the WHR in 2015. The recently refurbished WHHR loco would be a particularly good draw for the SuperPower event in September. Understandably the WHHR wanted to keep the loco on their own line last year.

 

Team Wylfa report 13/1/15

Clive Briscoe reports: On Tuesday evening this week, Team Wylfa were back in action. There were some jobs available to do on No.134's frames but, as it was bitterly cold in the Loco Shed, we chickened out and took a barrow load of steel plates and angles to the warm workshop! These are the raw materials for the valve jigger we are making to enable the driving wheels to be 'just' raised off the rails and be rotated on rollers so that the valves can be set in due course.

After marking up all the plates and angles, we set to and pilot drilled them all and then bolted all the angles to the base plates. A very satisfying result to start the new year - all 4 units done. All that remains now is to drill all the holes to larger, finished sizes and tap the holes in the base plates. The axles are almost ready - the apprentices at Llandrillo College, Colwyn Bay have been machining these for us as an exercise. Once these are received - and the self-aligning roller bearings (that have been paid for by a sponsor), we will bolt it all together and they will be ready for use. We 'may' let the works try them out setting No.143's power bogie valves as the power bogies will be going back together again soon - the wheels were all noted back from Boston Lodge's wheel lathe where they've all been re-profiled.

There's the first of 2015's No.134 working weekends coming up at the end of this week. If anyone would like to join in, please get in touch with myself, Clive, or Andie Shaw first. Contact details on this website's Contacts page or the 'contacts' page on the No.134 website http://NG15-134.co.uk.

 

Tuesday Gang report 13/1/15

Tony Baker reports: We spent the day transferring contents of S&T stores at Boston Lodge to the new F&WHR joint facilities at Minffordd Yard. Interestingly, the old wooden building at Boston Lodge was originally the Tunnel Mess on the Deviation at Dduallt. A couple more Tuesday's will be needed to complete this work. It was snowing at Blaenau but nothing on coast. There was no Tuesday Gang on 6/1/15.

 

David Lloyd George painting

David Lloyd George performed well in 2014 with its new power bogies and made occasional forays onto the WHR. It was being repainted in the same colour by volunteers and craftsmen in January.

 

Welsh Pony update

Progress continues to be made with Welsh Pony, a regular on the WHR in the 1920s/30s. The repaired saddle tank has been repainted and is over 50% original material. Also the original valve gear, wheelsets and axleboxes can be saved. However, the corroded cylinder block must be replaced and a pattern exists from the Palmerston restoration. The cost of the casting will be covered by the Palmerston photocharters on the VoR. An ongoing appeal for funds will help the rapid completion of this loco.

 

Team Wylfa report 6/1/15

Clive Briscoe reports: Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! Due to lack of people, there was no working party this week. We should be kicking off 2015 next Tuesday evening (13/1/15) - all being well - when we'll start working our way through a long list of jobs on NG15 No.134.

 

Loco round up 2014

Work on No.143 this Winter will see the power bogies refurbished. Gradual improvements have been made to the NG/G16 fleet to improve reliability. No.143 is the last loco to receive these improvements. David Lloyd George and Merddin Emrys have worked well and continued to make occasional forays onto the WHR in 2014 despite burning fire bars. Meanwhile Earl of Merioneth is being worked on for return to service in 2015 on its old power bogies. The volunteer-led project to refurbish Blanche is making slow progress and the pony truck wheels from Moel Tryfan have been released to be retained as historical artefacts, possibly meeting up with the trailing bogie frame which remains at the WHHR. The new pony truck wheels are ex-SAR ones that will have seen service under WHR coaches.

 

Boston Lodge plans

As part of the plans for a Sustainable Railway a proposal has been firmed up to improve Boston Lodge Works to enable it to cater for WHR stock as well as FR stock. For the first time, it will be possible to store all locomotives, including up to three NG16s, under cover. This will allow all loco preparation to be carried out under cover if need be in inclement weather.

The existing straight Carriage Shed on 13 and 14 road will be dismantled and relocated below the cliffs at the rear of the site to provide storage for heritage carriages. The site of the existing Carriage Shed will then be redeveloped to permit a new four road Carriage Shed with a longer curved 2 road section on the seaward side, offering weatherproof storage for two ten car sets of 13 metre carriages. The new Carriage Shed will enable a full WHR set to be stored under cover and an extension to the 14 road inspection pit will enable more carriages to be examined and maintained while minimising the need to move the set.

A new three road loco preparation shed will enable two Double Fairlies and a smaller loco to be prepared for use at the same time. New ash pits will be provided and a travelling crane will enable Garratt boilers to be removed for maintenance in the Erecting Shop. All entrance doors to sheds will meet the WHR loading gauge and it will be possible to house up to three NG/G16s under cover. The plans are preliminary designs and the final layout will blend into the environment as much as possible. The initial stages of the work will cover road access, surface water drainage and sewage and will take place in the next 12 months. Progress with the redevelopment will be phased with work only starting when funding has been secured.

 

This plan view (1/15) shows how Boston Lodge works will be redeveloped to provide for the Sustainable Railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bron Hebog at SuperPower 2015

SuperPower 2015 will feature the OO9 layout Bron Hebog, modelling the Beddgelert area, to be displayed at Dinas along with many other layouts over the weekend of 11-13/9/14. The Bron Hebog people will also bring along their 20 year old Dduallt spiral layout to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a start of work on the FR's Deviation (First Sod-2/1/65). This will be the first time the two layouts have featured side by side. See Bron Hebog website.

 

Happy New Year!

Your webmaster would like to wish you all a happy and successful New Year for 2015.

 

Snow scenes

138_BWH23-12-10Hendy S.jpg (85266 bytes)

This northerly view (23/12/10) shows No.138 with Castell Caernarfon at 1042, just south of Hendy Crossing, on the first train of the final day of Santa Specials. No.138 was substituting for the booked K1. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

After a very mild year in 2014 with every month (except August!) above average temperature maybe not much should be expected of snow around the WHR this Winter. After the Xmas Holiday service from 27/12/14 to 1/1/15 there will be no trains during the February school holidays but Porthmadog-Beddgelert weekend trips start from 28/2/12.

Click here for views/videos of WHR trains in the snow in previous Winters.

Here are some useful resources to check if there is snow at the WHR. First Hydro has four webcams in the Llanberis valley. If the one pointed at Llanberis shows snow, this would give a good indication of snow in the Gwyrfai valley as they are around the same height. However, it should be noted that snow cover generally decreases from east to west.

First Hydro weather cameras

Other useful resources include the A55 webcams (pages 7-13). The Treborth Interchange (Bangor) webcam can be helpful though it is nearer sea level than the WHR.

The WHR(P) webcams would show the rare sea level snow cover at Porthmadog. http://www.webcam.whr.co.uk/gelertsfarm/

The Meteorological Office provides a useful radar weather map covering the last 6 hours that shows the rain/snow coming into Britain and can be watched as an animation updated every 30 minutes. See Rainfall radar

The main Meteorological Office website also has a Porthmadog/Wales page that shows the predicted weather for the Porthmadog area for the next five days.

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2014-15

Volunteers are right at the forefront of keeping the permanent way, in particular, and the infrastructure, in general, fit for trains to run. We have a mix of weekend and weekday working parties. The Black Hand, Tuesday and Rest of the World Gangs will be very glad to accept an extra a hand. Contact the relevant organiser to let him know when you plan to join us. Please do not just turn up as that makes it difficult for us to plan ahead.

The programme for the remainder of 2014 and the first months of 2015 is as follows:

January 2015     17-23/1/15WW 24-25/1/15  
February 2015 7-8/2/15 14-20/2/15WW 21-22/2/15    
March 2015 7-8/3/15 14-20/3/15WW 21-22/3/15    

^ Bank Holiday

LW-Long weekend Friday-Monday

WW-Working week Saturday-Friday

The Tuesday Gang expects to be operating pretty well every Tuesday.

Arrangements may change so contact the working party organiser before you commit yourself to joining us just to make sure.

Contacts

If you intend to join one of the weekend or Tuesday gangs, please contact the appropriate organiser. If you are interested in weekday working or have any queries about track work volunteering, please contact Paul Bradshaw.

Tuesday Gang:

Contact Tony Baker for details. Phone: 01492 874579 Email: SPUDDY43@aol.com

North Wales Black Hand Gang (BHG):Dafydd Thomas Phone: 01248 681019 Email: dthomas@ffwhr.com

Rest of The World Gang (ROWG):Paul Bradshaw Phone: 01766 770034 Email: pbradshaw@ffwhr.com

If you intend to join one of the weekend or Tuesday Gang days, please contact the appropriate organiser. If you are interested in weekday working or have any queries about track work volunteering, please contact Paul Bradshaw. See Contacts page.

 

Gradient graph

John Hopkins has contributed this image of the gradient profile of the WHR. It makes clear how much of a mountain we have climbed and how steep the drop through Beddgelert is. Maybe most of all, it reveals the challenge facing northbound trains after they stop at Beddgelert!

 

Gradient profile.JPG (319064 bytes)

This image is courtesy/copyright John Hopkins and is derived from data courtesy John Sreeves with additional work by Michael Bentley. Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Events 2015

1/1/15 Final Mince Pie Special 1000 return from Caernarfon
14-22/2/15 Prince in steam at the NRM during the Paddington Bear event aimed at children
28/2/15 Start of WHR 2015 Green SSuO Timetable
21/3/15 Start of WHR 2015 Season Blue Timetable
4-6/4/15 Easter family events around the F&WHR
18/4/15 The Snowdonian
1-4/5/15 150 Years of Passenger Trains on FR (maybe some events of WHR)
15-17/5/15 Rail-Ale Beer Festival based at Dinas
25-28/5/15 May Day weekend family events around the F&WHR
25/7-31-8/15 Summer family events around the F&WHR including Beddgelert this year
11-13/9/15 SuperPower 2015 (WHRS AGM 12/9/14)
9-11/10/15 FR Victorian Weekend (some events possible on WHR in Porthmadog)
29/10/15 WHR Halloween Train Caernarfon to Waunfawr
12-13/12/15 WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr
19-20/12/15 WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr
22-23/12/15 WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr

 

Site development

If you have suggestions for development of this site, please contact me by email at the address at the top of the page.

 

Comments

If you would like to make a comment about this website, why not visit my Guestbook?

[Sign My Guestbook] [View My Guestbook] Powered by E-Guestbooks Server.

 

Maps & Plans and links

Click here for Steve Harris' /WHRS' full list of Historical Maps and Gradient Profiles

DVD material can be purchased from Jon Marsh who is the WHRS' (DVD Only) Mail Order officer. All other materials are now sold in the F&WHRS shop.

Click here for the Mail Order web page

Click here for the Official WHR website

Click here for Official WHHR site

Click here for FR Company websites

Click here for Welsh Highland Heritage Group

 

V4.2949 updated 29/1/15