Welsh Highland Railway

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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.

 

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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 17/9/14)

Snow Scenes (updated 19/1/13)

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

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

Volunteer Contact details page (updated 3/10/13)

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

 

Caernarfon 14/9/14

This northerly view 14/9/14 shows No.87 running around at Caernarfon at 1302. 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.

 

Lyd at L&BR

Lyd attended the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway's Gala at Woody Bay, Devon, over the weekend of 27-28/9/14. Three original/replica coaches were used with a fourth on the way (No.11 at Great Yeldham). Additional news and video available on the L&BR website. Lyd is staying to operate all trains this week.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 12 mins 37 secs of video published 27/9/14 covering Lyd at the L&BR Gala. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder and is best watched in 1080p mode.

 

Superpower 14/9/14

This northerly view 14/9/14 shows K1 waiting time at Rhyd Ddu with Vale of Ffestiniog in support at 1102. The Garratt is still sporting its MOSI headboard. 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.

 

This northerly view 14/9/14 shows No.143 waiting the arrival of No.138 on a second freight from the south at Rhyd Ddu at 1116 having shunted around its train in the sunshine. 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.

 

This northerly view 14/9/14 shows No.143 waiting the arrival of No.138 on a second freight from the south at Rhyd Ddu at 1128 having shunted the rake into the southbound platform in preparation. 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.

 

Porthmadog Harbour 13/9/14

This westerly view 13/9/14 shows No.87 arriving from Caernarfon at 1633. 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.

 

This westerly view 13/9/14 shows David Lloyd George ready for an FR departure at 1634. 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.

 

This westerly view 13/9/14 shows the No.87 shunting in the FR yard at 1700 having arrived from Caernarfon. 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.

 

Team Wylfa appeal

The A Team joined B team on Thursday 18/9/14 to service the carriages and a team went to Boston Lodge on Thursday 25/9/14) to catch the E Set.

Normal service resumes again from next Tuesday, 30/9/14 but the Team is now desperately looking for new hands following the recent departure of 2 of the core members of Tuesday's A Team due to 1. Health reasons and 2. Redeployment to another area of the country. Both A & B Teams are down to a core team of 2 each with occasional help from some of our irregulars. We really could do with at least one extra permanent hand for each team. The A Team starts with carriage work but moves on to working on NG15 No.134 each Tuesday evening with the B Team completing carriage work begun on Tuesdays. Nothing too strenuous with Tuesday's team having the satisfaction of helping to return No.134 to service with the interesting smaller jobs and painting. Fancy joining us - we're a happy team? Find contact details here on the Contacts page.

 

Boston Lodge 13/9/14

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the 3' gauge IOM wheels. The recently purchased Garratt wheels are in the Clip Shed at Dinas. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows Prince and historic Kerr Stuart diesel No.8. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows a spare Fairlie power bogie being refurbished. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the recently disassembled Lilla. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the new power unit for Kerr Stuart No.8. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows a DZ wagon in for repair. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the recently repaired saddle tank for Welsh Pony incorporating new metal. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the ex-Shotton Steelworks stockyard loco Bill nearing completion (Ben aka No.2 remains at Dinas). 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the No.11 Moelwyn standing on the new inspection pit with the siding now extended into the rock excavation. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the ex-Chinese Railways C2 project making steady progress in conversion to 2 foot gauge. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the ex-Glasgow Tram making steady progress. The spiral stair goes through the slot to the right and the upper deck has been removed. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the current layout of the headshunt area. The tracks here will be altered with a longer headshunt to allow an extended Carriage Shed. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the Castell Caernarfon stabled awaiting freight duties. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the KMX tamper-liner being readied for a major programme on the FR this Winter. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows the Upnor Castle and a B wagon in use for loco coal. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows Welsh Pony dissembled. 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.

 

This Boston Lodge view 13/9/14 shows Welsh Pony's smokebox removed with the sledgehammer in the capable hands of Bob Yates! 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.

 

Tuesday Gang report 23/9/14

Tony Baker reports: The gang were at Rhyd Ddu today where level crossing 39.16 was the centre of our attention. The APG's were full of detritus washed down from above and needed cleaning out. In addition there were many broken and rotten triangles and the foundation timbers, originally 6" x 1" were life expired. So we took the whole thing apart, cleared away all the detritus and rebuilt it using 3" x 1.5" timber as the foundation. A light drizzle started about 2 pm and the trains were well loaded.

 

This northerly view 23/9/14 shows No.138 arriving at Rhyd Ddu on the 1000 ex-Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view 23/9/14 shows the Rhyd Ddu crossing being repaired. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Tait and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view 23/9/14 shows the completed crossing at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Pont Croesor 13/9/14

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows No.138 with a freight at 1319 waiting to cross a second freight in Pont Croesor loop. The car park at Pont Croesor was locked as were the toilets despite the interesting trains that were passing through. It was a request stop during Superpower. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows Castell Caernarfon with a freight at 1321 arriving at Pont Croesor loop. 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.

 

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows No.138 departing Pont Croesor with the freight at 1326. The weather became quite dull at various times in the afternoon. 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.

 

Hafod-y-llyn 13/9/14

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows the Rest of the World Gang increasing the width of the ballast bed at the south end of Hafod-y-llyn loop for a headshunt. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows the Rest of the World Gang replacing crossing timbers in the middle of the Hafod-y-llyn loop. 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.

 

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows the Rest of the World Gang adding a catch point at the north end of the Hafod-y-llyn loop. 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.

 

SuperPower 12-14/9/14

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 20 mins 26 secs of video published 18/9/14 covering all three days of SuperPower. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder and is best watched in 1080p mode.

 

SuperPower 12-13/9/14

This easterly view 12/9/14 shows Prince at Rhyd Ddu having run around its heritage rake at 1320. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a Pentax digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view 13/9/14 shows No.143 at Porthmadog with the new water wagon at 1345 on a demonstration freight. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a Pentax digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 13/9/14 shows Taliesin at Porthmadog with Lyd at 1347. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a Pentax digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 16/9/14

Tony Baker reports: The Tuesday Gang were at Tros-y-Gol repairing level crossings 32.46 and 32.63 where APG grids were missing or rotting. We were passed by No.87 on the 13.20 ex-Caernarfon and No.138 on the 13.15 ex-Porthmadog. The weather was warm and sunny and the trains were well filled.

 

This northerly view 16/9/14 shows No.87 passing Tros-y-Gol south of Betws Garmon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 


This southerly view 16/9/14 shows the Tuesday Gang working on a level crossing at Tros-y-Gol just north of Salem as No.138 passes. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bron Hebog model update

I wondered whether your readers would be interested to know that the 009 model railway layout of Beddgelert ‘Bron Hebog’ will be on show this weekend coming 20th/21st September at the exhibition organised by the Railway Enthusiasts Club at Woking Leisure Centre in Surrey.

This will be the first opportunity to see this very large layout at its full extent after more than 10 years in the building. (It’s not finished yet – but the track layout – including whole the S bend above Beddgelert is now modelled and has trains running on it. (Even the team who built it haven’t seen it erected yet – it’s too big to fit in a house!)

There’s much more information about the layout on our blog http://bronhebog.blogspot.com or on our Facebook and Twitter feeds (search for Bron Hebog).

 

This image of the Bron Hebog model railway shows the work in progress on section of the layout which includes the Oberon Wood housing estate. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Rob Waller and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower 13/9/14

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows David Lloyd George in undercoat on an FR service at 1005. No.87 stands in the FR yard awaiting service on a WHR service. 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.

 

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows No.143 on a demonstration freight working approaching the summit at 1045. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows K1 with Vale of Ffestiniog assisting at 1115 approaching Pitt's Head. This was one of K1's last outings before withdrawal for its 10 year boiler refurbishment in November. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows K1 with Vale of Ffestiniog assisting at 1115 approaching Pitt's Head. 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.

 

This southerly view 13/9/14 shows No.87 passing Pitt's Head at 1154. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows No.87 passing Pitt's Head at 1154. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows No.143 with No.138 in the middle of the freight rake at 1208 approaching Pitt's Head. This method of working reduced the jerking experienced between double-headed Garratts and reduced coupling forces within the rake. 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.

 

This northerly view 13/9/14 shows No.143 with No.138 in the middle of the freight rake at 1208 approaching Pitt's Head. The new watertank wagon can be seen behind the loco. This type of wagon used to operate with NG15s to extend their range in the dry climate of Namibia with few water stops. 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.

 

Tamping Porthmadog 11/9/14

Following some ballasting of the station area last week, the KMX tamper liner was used to tamp Harbour Station on 11/9/14 prior to the SuperPower weekend.

 

This easterly view 11/9/14 shows the KMX tamper liner being used to tamp the FR's platform road to tidy up the station before SuperPower this weekend. 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.

 

Weather set fine for SuperPower

The Met Office 5 day forecast is showing mild weather and sunny periods for Porthmadog on all three days for the SuperPower weekend 12-14/9/14. See F&WHR website for full details of SuperPower weekend.

 

Team Wylfa report 9/9/14

Clive Briscoe reports: Another busy Tuesday evening for the A Team and we didn't have to head South to service the carriages - with me having misread the carriage rotation spreadsheet!

So, the E Set got a fast once over then down to the Loco Shed to carry on with NG15 No.134. Uli unclipped the front sections of the new vacuum brake train pipe, rubbed it down and primed it plus the pipe clips and brackets. Pete and Matt undercoated the running plates that were primed last week so the whole top of the loco is a uniform colour now. Meanwhile, your scribe gloss painted the running plate support angles on both sides. At the end of the evening, laminated paper number plates were stuck on the front buffer beam - 'NG15' on the driver's side and 'NG134' - SAR style - on the fireman's. An oval '134' was stuck on the rear of the new tender tank on the way back to the mess room in the North Yard. All very photogenic for this coming Super-power Weekend!!

Other items of note: Diesel No.9's radiator has now been remounted and No.140's boiler cradle is changing colour from the red oxide primer - it's now being undercoated black.

We're now another man down with Andy having had to retire on ill health grounds a couple of months ago and now Matt, after two years as an extremely useful and valuable team member, is having to pack his bags from Trawsfynydd Power Station and is moving to Cumbria. Hopefully, he'll be able to join the main No.134 Group on our working weekends from time to time so I don't think we've seen the last of him! Thanks Matt. (Also thanks Uli for the last 3 week's work, have a safe trip back to Germany and we look forward to seeing you again in a few months' time).

So, that means the core A Team is down to just two of us - Pete and myself plus our occasional 'irregular' members. Would anyone like to come and join us? Plenty of interesting work besides the carriages.

 

VoR Palmerston special offer

VoR Press release: The Vale of Rheidol Railway is running a series of special trains to celebrate 25 years of private ownership and 100 years since Ffestiniog Locomotive No. 4 Palmerston was hired to help with the demands of the First World War. We have borrowed Palmerston from our friends at the Ffestiniog to help raise money for the Welsh Pony restoration fund and help us celebrate! As the Vale of Rheidol doesn't have a volunteer group we would like to offer F&WHR volunteers a discount to reflect the close working relationship the Great Little Trains of Wales have. Our Special weekends are 20-21/9/14, 27-28/9/14 when we are running a series of special trains with Palmerston and double-headed Rheidol tanks. This is the only time we will be doing this, so it's a unique opportunity.

 

This westerly view 9/14 shows Palmerston at Aberystwyth with the VoR's No.9 Prince of Wales passing on a train to Devil's Bridge. 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.

 

The discounted prices are as follows:

Weekend Rover all trains and one run up with Palmerston £30 Adults Children £10

Weekend Rover without Palmerston £25 Adults Children £9

One return trip with Palmerston £20 Adults Children £8

These tickets are available to members either on the day or in advance with the production of a valid membership card if in the ticket office or over the phone 01970 625819 if booking in advance. If you have already bought your ticket and are a member, then we will refund the difference with the production of a valid membership card in the booking office. NOTE THESE TICKETS ARE LIMITED SO EARLY BOOKING IS BEST BUT NOT ESSENTIAL

Many thanks, Vale of Rheidol Railway.

 

Tuesday Gang report 9/9/14

Tony Baker reports: The Tuesday Gang spent the day inspecting level crossings in Snowdon Ranger area and putting up notice boards there and at Caernarfon, Dinas and Beddgelert.

 

Driver's Eye view 5/9/14

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 3 mins 31 secs of video published 5/9/14 showing a driver's eye view from Rhyd Ddu to Caernarfon. The full video will be the final part of the trilogy and will be available soon in the F&WHR shop. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder and is best watched in 1080p mode.

 

Team Wylfa report 4/9/14

It was much the same as last week for the team on Tuesday this week - get the F Set checked then straight down to the loco shed to work on NG15 No.134. Yet again, we managed another 8 man-hours work on it. The top platform is now totally painted in grey primer/undercoat and the new vacuum brake train pipe was dismantled, all screwed joints finally sealed and angles correctly set then the pipework was lightly abraded and primed. Another good night's work.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look as though we'll get any work done on No.134 next week as with the high season timetable now finished, the sets are stabled at Dinas and Porthmadog with no rotations for some weeks to come. This was the second week of F Set so we need to do another 'Team Wylfa Flying Squad' visit to Porthmadog to service the E Set next week.

It was noted that work is still ongoing on Diesel No.9 in the Loco Shed - the engine has been thoroughly cleaned and repainted in correct Gardener grey engine enamel and now looks very smart. The majority of the upperworks (including bufferbeams) have been painted in grey primer and now some of the engine compartment cladding has been painted in green undercoat.

 

Tuesday Gang report 2/9/14

The gang started today repairing the wooden steps to the GPO caravan at Dinas. Then it was down to Caernarfon Station to fit a gate at the back of the car park. Next came a trip to Betws Garmon Station to recover some APG components that had been left there. We then used some of these components to repair LC 31.40. Finally we visited Tros-y-Gol, LC 32.46 crossing and replaced 3 broken triangles.

 

This northerly view 2/9/14 shows the Tuesday Gang working on a level crossing at the site of Betws Garmon station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view 2/9/14 shows No.87 with the 1315 ex-Porthmadog passing at the site of Betws Garmon station crossing the Afon Gwyrfai bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bont Briwet latest 1/9/14

Passenger trains are now running over Bont Briwet. Trains started on 1/9/14 after two weeks of testing. According to RealTime Trains website the 2018 from Harlech to Pwllheli was the first passenger service the previous evening and the rail replacement bus service has now been stopped. Passengers may join at Llandecwyn station though there is a drop off point with a short walk to the station as work continues on the road access. Roadworks continue with the widening of the approaches to Penrhyndeudraeth crossroads where a traffic lights is surely required to cope with the additional traffic that will use the bridge that used to go via Maentwrog.

Phil Brown adds: The first passenger train was actually on Saturday 30/8/14 when the 0857 Machynlleth to Pwllheli was accidently entered in TRUST as a service to Pwllheli. This formed a 10:30 to Pwllheli and a return at 11:30. ATW then honoured this mistake.
 

 

This southerly view (1/9/14) shows No.158819 at Minffordd said to be the first passenger train to stop at Minffordd in 10 months (but see above). 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.

 

The rail bridge is opening late having missed the summer tourist traffic. Worse still, problems transferring the telephone and water main have caused further delays to the opening of the parallel road bridge element of the viaduct and this will not now open until Spring 2015. A Daily Post story includes a video of a class 97 crossing the viaduct. The Gwynedd Council website expresses dismay that contractors Hochtief will not complete the road bridge to the promised earlier deadline.

 

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 run 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:

October 4-5/10/14   18-19/10/14 24-27/10/14LW  
November 1-2/11/14   15-16/11/14 22-28/11/14WW 29-30/11/14
December   13-14/12/14      
January 2015   10-11/1/15 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 2014-15

22/3/14 Start of WHR 2014 Season
2-5/5/14 Sixty Years of Preservation-FR Gala (possible WHR events?)
3-5/5/14 WHHR Russell Gala-K1 at WHHR
9/5/14 Railway Children Charity Day (Fiji)
16-18/5/14 Rail-Ale Festival
14/7/14 Special Timetable (to accommodate the Royal Scotsman Tour Charter)
18/7/14 onwards 'Summer of Fun'-Fiji cab experience at stations
19/7/14 Prince at DRS Gresty Bridge depot Open Day
23/7/14 'Race the Train'-Dinas-Caernarfon
2-3/8/14 Russell Returns event at WHHR and Russell available subsequent weekends
12-14/9/14 SuperPower 2014 (WHR AGM 13/9/14)
31/10/14 Halloween Train
6-7/12/14, 13-14/12/14 and 20-21/12/14 Santa Specials 2014 (Caernarfon-Waunfawr)
27/12/14-1/1/15 Mince Pie Specials 2014-5 (1000 return from Caernarfon)

 

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?

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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

 

V4.2842 updated 1/10/14