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 (updated1/4/07)

 

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 30/11/16)

Snow Scenes (updated 31/10/15)

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

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

Volunteer Contact details page (updated 18/5/16)

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

Video list (new 9/11/15)

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!

 

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

 

F&WHR YouTube advert 2/12/16

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 3 mins 54 seconds of video advertising the F&WHR for the 2017 season published 2/12/16. This video was taken on a professional betamax camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

Tuesday Gang report 29/11/16

Tony Baker reports: The gang found themselves on the FR this week at Tan-y-Bwlch changing the timbers on the pedestrian crossing at the station (as part of Winter Major Works programme at this location-Ed). The centre and platform side outer timbers were changed leaving the car park side outer timbers for next week. The height difference between the top of the 75 lb rail and the platform edge means that a slope will be needed. This will be done next week with cold tarmac.

This easterly view (29/11/16) shows the situation before work started at Tan-y-Bwlch station crossing. 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 easterly view (29/11/16) shows work in progress on the centre and side timbers for the crossing. 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 easterly view (29/11/16) shows the state of the crossing at the end of the day with gap to the platform edge requiring filling with tarmac next week. 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.

 

Car parking charges withdrawn

All Gwynedd car parking charges have been withdrawn for the first two weekends in December and the Xmas weeks 15-27/12/16.

 

Santa Specials to run to Rhyd Ddu?

There are rumours that Santa Specials will run to Rhyd Ddu rather than Snowdon Ranger (where there is no loop) to avoid having to top and tail the trains. The Santa Specials run on 10-11/12/16, 17-18/12/16 and 22-23/12/16 from Dinas. FR Santa Specials have been diverted to the southern end of the WHR this year due the Winter Major Works Programme on the FR and run from Porthmadog to Beddgelert on the same dates, except for 23/12/16 (a rare case of more trains on the WHR than the FR!). See F&WHR website for times and fares.

 

Traws Class No.08757 appeal

The Crowdfunding appeal for EWS' 08757 raised a total of £3,712 from 105 backers by the initial deadline on 28/11/16. EWS has given the T&BFCR an additional 10 days to raise the full £19,600 bid.

The Cambrian News reports that volunteers have now completed the initial clearance between Cwmbowydd Road level crossing and Blaenau Ffestiniog station and are now moving to Maentwrog Road station where the main operating base will be. They need the Class 08 to work pw trains to the advancing head of steel as access is difficult on this section to Llan Ffestiniog.

 

FR Coach No.118 disposal

FR 'tin' coach No.118 has been sent to the Golden Valley Railway Butterley. The coach may have seen occasional use on the WHR, being used on The Snowdonian in 2015. The GVR has previously received FR coach No.119. The 1977 built No.118 was one of five 'tin' coaches built 1977-1981 that are now life expired and being replaced by new-build coaches.

 

This westerly view (30/11/16) shows Criccieth Castle with FR coach No.118 for transport to the GVR, Butterley. The coach was moved to Minffordd yard to propel onto a low loader rather than use the purpose built Gasworks Siding loading point in Llyn Bach car park. It was a frosty morning and temperature in some parts of North Wales reached about -10C! 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 view (30/11/16) shows Criccieth Castle propelling FR coach No.118 onto a low loader next to the new wagon shed in Minffordd Yard. 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 (30/11/16) shows FR coach No.118 on a low loader but loaded on temporary bogies as the GVR is only buying the coach body. 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.

 

Orange timetable fades out

December sees the Orange WThSO timetable become irregular with no service on Saturday 3/12/16. The final trains are on 7-8/12/16 primarily for coach traffic for the alpine views of mountains in the snow (snow is forecast for Friday 2/12/16). The Orange timetable resumes in March with trains from 1-23/3/17. The Green timetable, with two trains a day from Dinas to Beddgelert, runs from 27/12/16 to 1/1/17 and during Half Term, 18-25/2/17, a frequent time for snow in North Wales. The new season Yellow timetable starts on 25/3/17 with trains operating from Caernarfon Station MFX.

 

No.130 news 25-27/11/16

On 25/11/16 No.130's boiler cradle appeared complete with all the riveting and painting done. On 26/11/16 work was in progress on the foundation ring. All four sections have been made and will be machined on the new horizontal borer. On 27/11/16 the vacuum brake reservoirs were deemed life expired having many holes in them but the brackets are in good condition. These reservoirs came from SA off NGG No.155. The brackets will be tidied up and new reservoirs made. The WHR already have the right size tube to fabricate the reservoirs. Additionally, the heavy brake arms that also came from No.155 only need a little fettling up before they can fitted. For images see No.130 page.

 

Trains halted by fallen trees 23/11/16

Martin Kressman reports: The 11:15 departure from Porthmadog was terminated at Pont Croesor on 23/11/16. The line between Pont Croesor and Hafod-y-Llyn was blocked by fallen trees following the recent gale force winds.

 

This northerly view (23/11/16) shows staff clearing the line north of Pont Croesor as seen from Vale of Ffestiniog. While the first train was terminated at Post Croesor, the second train ran through to Hafod-y-llyn as booked. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ben Rosen and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

TRAWS scheme optimism

A Welsh Government Minister has stated that the re-instatement of the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen rail link is achievable before the Feasibility Report has even reported. Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, has announced that he will call for the results of the Feasibility Study to be incorporated into a future national transport finance plan. See Cambrian News story (very slow link).

 

T&BFCR Class 08 appeal latest

With one day left to go the Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway has raised about 18% of the £19,600 needed to secure the EWS loco. Some 104 backers have raised a total of £3702 towards the purchase as of 27/11/16. The Crowdfunding appeal finishes at 8pm on 28/11/16.

 

No.130 progress 23/11/16

The new tyres on the driving wheels of No.130 were being shrunk onto the wheelsets on 23/11/16. The first two axles are finished and now just need profiling. More progress is expected later this week. For images see No.130 Facebook page.

 

Tuesday Gang report 22/11/16

Today the Tuesday Gang completed the work at Coed Mawr LC 44.30 (the more northerly of the two level crossings at Beddgelert Forest campsite-Ed) when we changed out the rotten RHS outer timbers. Six volunteers attended and a steady drizzle throughout.

 

This easterly view (22/11/16) shows the preparation of side timbers for the Coed Mawr crossing. 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 (22/11/16) shows the completed Coed Mawr crossing. 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.

 

Traws Class 08 still needs donations

Having reached 17% of needed donations (some £3,462 of the £19,600 tendered cost) there are still 5 days left to raise this vital funding for the Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Community Railway. There are some 94 backers of this project so far and the Crowdfunding finishes at 8pm on 28/11/16. Similar wheelbase GWR 0-6-0 tank engines used to operate on the route so the sharp curves and checkrails on the converted F&B narrow gauge section should not be a problem for this loco.

The project is gathering pace and is currently making good progress clearing the length from Cwmbowydd Road level crossing as far as the Blaenau Ffestiniog station headshunt. There is a working party this coming weekend 26-27/11/16.

 

No.130 news 21/11/16

Riveting of the boiler cradle is well underway. The new centre stretcher that carries the vacuum cylinders should now be in place. For full report see No.130 Facebook page.

 

WHHR Santa Specials

The WHHR is running Santa Specials on 10-11/12/16. Tickets are still available. There are trains at 1100, 1300 and 1500 both days and tickets cost £8.50 adult £9.50 children. See WHHR website.

 

Winter sunshine on WHR 19/11/16

Trains are continuing to run to Hafod-y-llyn SWTHO until 8/12/16 and from 1-23/3/17. Santa trains 10-11/12/16, 17-18/12/16 and 22-23/12/16 from Dinas to Snowdon Ranger. A twice daily green timetable service runs Dinas-Beddgelert over the Xmas holidays 27/12/16-1/1/17 (NR crossing is blocked Boxing Day as Machynlleth powerbox is closed) and 18-25/2/17.

 

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 4 mins 48 seconds of video of Lyd hauling the Orange timetable train to Hafod-y-llyn 19/11/16. This video was taken on a professional betamax camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

NG15 No.134 news

The November working party due 19-20/11/16 was called off as not many of the regular volunteers could attend.

 

Snow report 19/11/16

Martin Kressman reports: Following storms overnight last night consisting of thunder and lightning, high winds, rain, sleet and snow there is now a thin blanket of snow on the Carneddau, the Glyders, the Elidirs and Snowdon down to around 500m (Rhyd Ddu is about 200m above sea level-Ed).

 

Traws 08 funding reaches 13%

With 7 days left to raise the £19k EWS asking price, the Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Festiniog Community Railway has raised some £2,653 from 79 donations so far. The group aims to use the loco on PW trains and maybe hauling passenger trains on the branch. See Crowdfunding website.

 

Snowy Snowdonia

This easterly view (11/16) shows Lyd about to set out on a train to Hafod-y-llyn with great views of the mountains. 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.

 

Although Martin Kressman reports that snow had disappeared from Snowdon by 10/11/16, the weather forecast for Snowdon shows heavy snow predicted from Friday 18/11/16 to Tuesday 22/11/16 and the mountains are likely to be covered in snow during the Orange timetable trains SWThO this weekend and next week.

 

Trains on Film 20/11/16

Rob Bradley reports: A film show planned for Sunday 20/11/16 in Cell Blaenau, the old police station in Blaenau Ffestiniog. If successful, further similar shows are possible.

 

Click on the advert to see details of a film show planned for Sunday 20/11/16 in Cell Blaenau, the old police station in Blaenau Ffestiniog. If successful, further similar shows are possible.

 

Tuesday Gang report 15/11/16

Tony Baker reports: The gang was back at LC 44.30 Coed Mawr (the more northerly of two crossings at Beddgelert Forest campsite-Ed) where we changed the left hand outer timbers. We discovered the telephone cable which feeds instruments at the crossing and the halt under the timbers so extra care had to be taken. Next week we will do the right hand side.

 

This northerly view (15/11/16) shows the Meillionen Halt telephone cable discovered during the repair of the eastern side of the crossing. 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 (15/11/16) shows the completion of the eastern side of the crossing with the telephone cable protected.. 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.

 

Aerial view of Lyd 14/11/16

Click on the link to see a view of Lyd returning to Porthmadog from Hafod-y-llyn, passing the former Hafod Garregog Halt.

 

Trawsfynydd 08 appeal hits 10%

Neil Parry advises that the Crowdfunding Appeal for the purchase of a Class 08 loco from EWS for the Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Community Railway has hit 10% with 10 days remaining to raise money. Some 68 backers have contributed over £1,900 of the £19,600 required. An additional benefit for those contributing £250 or more is to be entered in a raffle for a pair of GWR first class tickets.

 

Lyd 12/11/16

Lyd was still carrying the Remembrance Day wreath on 12/11/16.

 

This southerly view (12/11/16) shows Lyd carrying the wreath crossing the Afon Nanmor bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Norman Bond (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (12/11/16) shows Lyd crossing the Afon Nanmor bridge on its return from Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Norman Bond (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR Society East Anglian Group meeting 17/11/16

David Gander reports: Our next meeting takes place this coming Thursday 17/11/16. We welcome Steve Sedgewick who will be presenting ‘Railway Photography – A Different Point of View’.

Our December meeting will be on Thursday 8/12/16, and will be our traditional ‘Members’ Slides and Mince Pies’. We will meet again then in February.

We meet at the Six Bells Pub, 9 High Street, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5DH. We meet up any time after 6-6.30pm and an evening meal is available in the restaurant or bar. Prices are reasonable. The meetings are usually held in the Function Rooms, accessed from the car park at the rear of the pub, and start around 8pm with a halfway break for coffee (£1.20 per person). We finish around 10pm. There is a charge of £2 per meeting for Group members, £3 for non-members. Fulbourn is easily accessible from the A14/M11 corridors and is served by Stagecoach bus Citi 1 (This bus runs every 30 minutes until 23.36, via Cambridge railway station where it arrives at 00.05) Car parking can be busy but there is space available on Church Lane, a 3-5 minute walk to the pub. You are most welcome to join us. We meet on the third Thursday of the month (excepting December when it’s the second Thursday), with meetings held until May – with a break in January.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 11/11/16

With Caernarfon station buildings now cleared, a skip is being used to remove away the debris. The F&WHR is advertising for its Santa Specials and advising passengers they must travel from Dinas.

 

This northerly view (11/11/16) shows the debris from the demolition of the old station Portacabins structure being placed in a skip for removal. The F&WHR has put up posters advertising Dinas as the station for Santa Special Trains. on the right can be seen the stopblock protecting the truncated headshunt. In future the track will be extended almost up to the old BR tunnel portal. 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.

 

T&BF CC win bid for Class 08

The Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Community Railway has won a bid with EWS for one of the Class 08 shunters they are disposing. No.08757 is currently in operational condition at Crewe Electric Depot. The T&BF are hoping to raise £19600 by crowd funding with just 13 days left to fund the cost of the loco and its removal to a secure location from Crewe. The loco would be used on engineering trains during the reconstruction phase and maybe on passenger trains when services resume. Currently the volunteer group is working to clear the line from Cwmbowydd Road level crossing to Blaenau Ffestiniog NR station stopblocks. See T&BFCC crowdfunding website for details of how to contribute. There are various levels of donation reward from £10 to £1,500: the £10 donation reward is a 1 hour cab ride whereas a £1,500 donation reward is a full day's driving course and the loco carrying the donor's name for two years when the railway is operational.

This loco is in RES red livery and has in recent years been seen at BS/DIRFT/BS/Swindon/Whatley Quarry (2004), Acton/TO (2008), Westbury (2009), Westbury/Didcot/Westbury/Didcot/Hinksey (2010), Didcot (2011), Crewe Electric (stored 2013).

 

F&WHR gift vouchers

The F&WHR is offering attractive gift vouchers with views of both railways and values from £5-£50. They can be used for food, gifts or train tickets. See F&WHR website.

 

Lyd 10/11/16

This easterly view (10/11/16) shows Lyd reversing onto the second train of the day ready to head for Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Max Birchenough and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (10/11/16) shows Lyd crossing Britannia Bridge heading for Hafod-y-llyn on the second train of the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Max Birchenough and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (10/11/16) shows Lyd carrying a poppy wreath for its run to Hafod-y-llyn as a mark of respect for Remembrance Day as no trains actually operated on 11/11/16. 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.

 

Tuesday Gang report 8/11/16

Tony Baker reports: The gang started work this Tuesday on LC 44.30 which is the main level crossing in the Forest Campsite. Heavy rain was forecast for after lunch so we concentrated on the centre timbers this week. Rest will follow next week all being well. We just finished at 1pm when it started. Lunch was then taken.

 

This northerly view (8/11/16) shows the preparation of the central timbers with notches cut to accommodate the track clips. 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 easterly view (8/11/16) shows the preparation for installation of the central timbers. 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 westerly view (8/11/16) shows the bolting down of the central timbers, with notches being cut out to accommodate the track clips. 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 (8/11/16) shows the central timbers finished and the poor state of the outer timbers. 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.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 6-8/11/16

On Sunday 6/11/16 the toilet block was moved to its new position alongside the temporary station building at Ty Seiont (the old Age Concern Wales building at the south end of the platform). On Tuesday 8/11/16 the old station Portacabins were demolished allowing the sewer contractors full access to the site.

 

This westerly view (6/11/16) shows the toilet block moved to its new location alongside Ty Seiont. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (8/11/16) shows a local contractor, Robin Thomas of Caernarfon, demolishing the old station Portacabins structure in preparation for the sewer diversion. As far as possible the F&WHR likes to use local contractors. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Aerial view 2/11/16

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 2 mins 5 seconds of video of Lyd hauling the Orange timetable morning train through the teletubby bridges on The Traeth on 2/11/16. This video was taken on a Phantom 2 quadcopter video camera by John Rawlings and is best watched in 480p mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

This southerly view (2/11/16) shows an aerial view of Lyd passing the first of the 'teletubby' bridges in The Traeth with the morning train. Lyd is hauling a seven coach FR rake approaching Pont Croesor which apparently is not open during the Orange timetable. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a quadcopter digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New F&WHR webshop website

The new on-line site has been launched in time for purchases for Xmas. Items to be purchased can be loaded into a basket along with pre-booked tickets for travel and a single payment made. To celebrate the launch of the new site, UK first class postage prices have been reduced to just £1.99.

 

Year in the Life of F&WHR 2016 YouTube

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 5 mins 48 seconds of promotional video for the upcoming 'Year in the Life of the F&WHR 2016' DVD published 7/11/16. The three DVD/BluRay set contains about four hours of video filmed in 2016. This video was taken on a professional betamax video camera by John Wooden (F&WHR) and is best watched in 1080p HD mode.

 

Aerial views 1/11/16

This southerly view (1/11/16) shows an aerial view of Rhyd Ddu station with Llyn y Gader behind and Moel Hebog to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a quadcopter digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (1/11/16) shows an aerial view of Waunfawr station with the Snowdonia Parc Brewpub to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a quadcopter digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More snow 7/11/16

More snow fell on Snowdon early this week and the snow line came down to 500m on 7/11/16. However, Rhyd Ddu is at the 200m contour so there is currently no snow around the height of WHR.

 

Snow at last 5/11/16!!

Martin Kressman reports: There was a light dusting of snow on Snowdon above about 800m on 5/11/16.

 

Volunteering on the T&BF CRC

The enthusiast group clearing the NR Trawsfynydd Branch is looking for volunteers this weekend and 19-20/11/16 starting from Cwmbowydd Crossing, Blaenau Ffestiniog and working towards the NR station. B&B can be arranged. The group claims to have a Freight Operating Company interested in operating the branch. one way of operating the NR station is to have a stop block (locked with the Betws-Blaenau token) part way along the platform that can be removed for excursions or through freights. See volunteer website.

 

Gwynedd Council to close Duffws station toilets?

One of the public toilets being considered for closure by Gwynedd Council is the facility built in the old FR terminus at Duffws in Blaenau Ffestiniog. If this large iconic building is closed it might be an idea for the F&WHR to buy it for their own use. However the building is on the opposite side of the main road from Blaenau Ffestiniog station though it does have a large car park often used by F&WHR travellers who commence their journeys at that end of the line as the current station car park is very small and often fully occupied at peak times.

A copy of the following letter to the FR management has been received for publication on this website: 'For the first time in several years, yesterday I drove to Blaenau to take the 11.45 train to Porthmadog. I followed the sign at the entrance to the station for the trains and (presumably) the station car park. After parking up I went to pay at the machine to discover that parking is limited to 3 hrs. The 11.45 train arrives back at Blaenau at 14.45. Thus 3 hours parking is not sufficient to make anything but a trip on the train to Tan-y-Bwlch without the risk of receiving a parking fine. As a result, fortunately, I found an unrestricted parking spot on the main road thus depriving Gwynedd Council of a fee and travelled all the way to Porthmadog as intended.

Maybe a word with Gwynedd Council is required.'

 

First day success for Orange timetable 2/11/16

With pleasant sunshine in North Wales, well over 100 passengers turned up for both trains on the first day of the Orange timetable. Trains run at 1115 and 1405 from Porthmadog WThSO 2/11/16-8/12/16 and 1-23/3/17 offering a 10 mile round trip. Trains can only be joined at Porthmadog so Pont Croesor does not seem to be open and neither does the short temporary platform installed at Hafod-y-llyn itself a few years ago. It remains a mystery why trains are not running to Beddgelert as last year as there seems to be plenty of time in the timetable from 1230 when the rake arrives back in Porthmadog and the second departure at 1405. It seems likely that operating on the flat Traeth to Hafod-y-llyn allows a small loco to be used and thus saves fuel costs compared with an NG16 or Double Fairlie, which would be required for the 1 in 40 onwards through the Aberglaslyn Pass to Beddgelert. A Green timetable operates on the WHR over the Xmas Holiday from 27/12/16 to 1/1/17 and in the February Half Term holiday from 18-25/2/17 with trains from Dinas at 1015 and 1330 to Beddgelert. A return journey is possible from Beddgelert at 1200.

 

This northerly view (2/11/16) shows Lyd crossing Britannia Bridge returning from Hafod-y-llyn on the first train of the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (2/11/16) shows Lyd running around the first Orange timetable train at Hafod-y-llyn. The station might be used to keep costs down as a small loco can be used with a relatively large rake on the flat Traeth section of the railway rather than the 1 in 40 north of this point. 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.

 

Click on the YouTube box to watch 1 min 37 secs of video of Lyd hauling the first Orange timetable train from Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn on 2/11/16. This video was taken on a professional betamax video camera by John Wooden (F&WHR) and is best watched in 1080p HD mode.

 

Tuesday Gang report 2/11/16

Tony Baker reports: On Tuesday 2/11/16 we completed the refurbishment of crossing 41.34. This is one of the largest crossing on the WHR and facilitates access to the Forestry Commission (now Natural Resources Wales since 1/4/13) to bring out timber at Cae'r Gors. All timbers needed replacing, the existing being twenty feet long. We devised a method to replace using existing stock and two additional pairs of the metal straps used for fixing outer timbers. We spent three Tuesdays here, first week centre timbers, second week left hand outer, third week right hand outer.

 

This southerly view (11/10/16) shows the preparation for installation of the central timbers, also showing rotten outer timbers. 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 (11/10/16) shows the gang preparing to fit the central timbers. 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 (25/10/16) shows the central timbers complete but outer timbers rotten and in need of replacement. 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 (25/10/16) shows the preparation of the outer left (east side) timbers. 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 (25/10/16) shows the east side timbers fitted. 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 (1/11/16) shows the outer right (west side) timbers ready for fitting. 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 (1/11/16) shows the Natural Resources Wales crossing at Cae'r Gors completed. 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.

 

Snow report 3/11/16

The current cold snap is generating snow on Snowdon at least with snow forecast to fall from 3-7/11/16 creating an alpine backdrop to the WHR for the Orange timetable which commenced WThSO from 2/11/16. The Daily Post has a snow report.

 

This poster view (3/11/16) shows the WHR's Orange timetable advert with views from previous years. This year's Orange Timetable runs WThSO from 2/11/16 to 8/12/16 and from 1-23/3/17. Trains run between Porthmadog and Hafod-y-llyn but can only be joined at Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EU regional funding may now come through 3/11/16

The High Court has ruled today that the Prime Minister does not have the authority to trigger Brexit (subject to an appeal the Government has stated they will make). Teresa May has been told any decision to trigger Article 50 and start Brexit negotiations must be subject to a vote in Parliament. This will delay any process (if passed by Parliament) to leave the EU and give time for essential grants the F&WHR is seeking to come through if the UK was to leave the EU. Hopefully this will now secure the funding for Caernarfon station and for similar railway projects such as the Bala Lake Railway's Extension project (see below) which had been in doubt.

 

Hafod-y-llyn ready for Orange timetable 2/11/16

Hafod-y-llyn loop was used a few years ago for similar Winter season services to the Orange timetable that started today, primarily for coach traffic. A new ground frame was required and so the S&T department constructed a large concrete pad was cast by the mainline points to support the ground frame and cranks. The PW Department levelled the crossover so that the rodding would continue to operate smoothly after the track was packed. After several years work in development a token key lock was fitted, tested and commissioned just in time for the first service on 2/11/15.

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2016-17

Keeping the permanent way, in particular, and the infrastructure in general, fit for trains to run is an essential task. Volunteers have a lot to offer by assisting with this. We have a mix of weekend and weekday working parties. The Black Hand, Tuesday Gang and Rest of the World Gangs will be very glad to accept your help. 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.

Please note dates for 2016-7 notified 26/7/15.

The programme for the remainder of 2016 is as follows:

March 5-3/3/16 12-18/3/16WW 19-20/3/16    
April 2-3/4/16 9-11/4/16LW# 16-17/4/16   30/4/16-^
May -1/5/16^ 7-13/5/16WW 14-15/5/16   28-30/5/16^
June   11-12/6/16 18-20/6/16LW# 25-26/6/16  
July   9-10/7/16 16-22/7/16WW 23-24/7/16  
August   6-7/8/16 13-15/8/16LW# 20-21/8/16  
September 3-4/9/16 10-16/9/16WW 17-18/9/16    
October 1-2/10/16   15-16/10/16   29-30/10/16
November   5-11/11/16WW# 11-13/11/16   26-27/11/16
December 3-9/12/16WW# 10-11/12/16      

2017 dates

January 7-8/1/17 14-20/1/17WW 21-22/1/17    
February 4-5/2/17 11-17/2/17WW 18-19/2/17    
March 4-5/3/17 11-17/3/17WW 18-19/3/17    
April 1-2/4/17 8-9/4/17LW# 15-16/4/17^    
May   13-14/5/17 6-12/5/17WW 27-28/5/17^  
June   10-11/6/17 17-18/6/17LW# 24-25/6/17  
July   8-9/7/17 15-21/7/17WW 22-23/7/17  
August   5-6/8/17 12-13/8/17LW# 1920/8/17  
September 2-3/9/17 9-15/9/17WW 16-17/9/17   30/9/17-
October -1/10/17   14-15/10/17 21-22/10/17LW# 28-29/10/17
November 4-10/11/17WW# 11-12/11/17   25-26/11/17  
December 2-8/12/17WW# 9-10/12/17      

^ Bank Holiday weekend

LW-Long weekend Friday-Monday

WW-Working week Saturday-Friday

# For dates for April, June, August and October are subject to confirmation-contact Paul Bradshaw if you are interested. Dates for November and December 2016 are provisional pending preparation of the Winter Major Works Programme.

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 2016

1/1/16 Final Mince Pie Special 1000 return from Caernarfon
12-21/2/16 Princess visit to King's Cross with coaches Nos.1/12
13-20/2/16 Start of WHR 2016 Green Timetable Porthmadog-Rhyd Ddu (2 trains a day)
24/2-17/3/16 Green Timetable MTFX
19/3/16 Start of WHR 2016 Season Blue Timetable
26/3-29/3/16 Start of WHR 2016 Season Yellow Peak Easter Timetable (4 days only)
26-28/3/16 Family Easter Events around the F&WHR including cab rides with DHR No.19
16/4/16 The Snowdonian including DHR No.19
16-17/4/16 New Volunteer Event
30/4-2/5/16 FR Members Weekend (DHR No.19 on FR trains and may feature special workings on WHR)
30/4-2/5/16 Hugh Napier visit to Albert Dock, Liverpool with two coaches on a short running track
7-8/5/16 Moelwyn, Mary Ann and Busta visit Le Petit Train de Haute Somme, Picardy, France.
14/5/16 Extra trains from Porthmadog for Caernarfon Food Festival
20-22/5/16 Rail-Ale 12th Annual Beer Festival based at Dinas
21-22/5/16 Moelwyn, Mary Ann and Busta visit Apedale Railway, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
28-30/5/16 Hugh Napier at National Trust Penrhyn Castle Steam Days, Bangor
11/6/16 The Snowdonian Limited - a limited rerun of The Snowdonian
11-12/6/16 Moelwyn, Mary Ann and Busta visit Beamish Museum, Durham.
1-3/7/16 Moelwyn, Mary Ann and Busta visit Beamish Museum, Durham.
12-13/8/16 Launceston's quarry Hunslet Velinheli and FR coaches Nos.1/12 at Shrewsbury Flower Show
18-21/8/16 Launceston's quarry Hunslet Velinheli and FR coaches Nos.1/12 at Southport Flower Show
25/7-29/8/16 Summer family events around the F&WHR including Beddgelert this year
21/8/16 Classic Car and Family Day at Dinas including slate shunt, footplate rides and miniature railway
9-11/9/16 SuperPower 2016 (WHRS AGM 10/9/14)-A repeat of 2015 Great & Small III with layouts at Dinas
24-25/9/16 Lyd visits L&BR Gala
30/9/16-2/10/16 Britomart and Bugboxes visit NYMR Gala
7-9/10/16 FR Victorian Weekend (some events on WHR in Porthmadog-Beddgelert 7/9/16)
27/10/16 WHR Halloween Train Caernarfon to Waunfawr
10-11/12/16 WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr
17-18/12/16 WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr
22-23/12/16 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? If you have a correction or require a reply please leave your email address or, more simply, send an email directly to my email address shown near the top of this page, just after the list of links to other pages.

 

[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

 

V4.3390 updated 2/12/16