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 handled 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 20/4/14)

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

 

An unlikely combination!

The Talyllyn Railway's No.1 Talyllyn has been delivered to Boston Lodge for repairs after an incident on the TR. See F&WHR story. It arrived in Minffordd Yard on 21/4/14 and was transferred via the WHR on 22/4/14 as road access to Boston Lodge for a load like this was impossible. The loco is 2'3" gauge and was delivered to Snowdon Mill area on a load loader before Linda hauled the loco on a flat wagon across Snowdon Street and through Harbour Station to Boston Lodge for repair. See F&WHR Facebook story with four images of this unusual move.

 

This northerly view 22/4/14 shows Linda at Snowdon Mill about to haul the TR's No.1 Talyllyn on a flat wagon to Boston Lodge after delivery by a low loader (seen in background). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

NG15 No.133/134

This northerly view (14/4/14) shows the remains of No.133 with No.134's new tender. In the foreground are a set of accommodation bogies. The local BR signal that way lying on the ground here has moved into the Goods Shed for restoration. 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.

 

More progress was made with No.134 in March. See No.134 website.

 

Old Star Picture

This southerly view (3/4/13) shows No.138 on the morning train passing Beddgelert Forest Campsite at 1040 in the bright Spring sunshine. This train passes the morning southbound service at Rhyd Ddu. There were several days of brilliant sunny, if cold, weather around Easter 2013 and the mountains put on a good alpine display covered in snow down to Rhyd Ddu. 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 Zoner Photo Studio 13 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dinas 14/4/14

This northerly view 14/4/14 shows the remains of No.109. Most of the loco, including its power bogies and wheels, appears to be present. The loco was moved to Dinas in January following the sale of Peter Waterman's LNWR works at Crewe. 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.

 

See LNWR website to see Pete Waterman's original plan for this loco, which was cancelled when the Government pulled out of his apprenticeship scheme.

 

No.87 12/4/14

This northerly view 12/4/14 shows No.87 drifting down towards Beddgelert Forest Campsite at 1554. The train was running late due to having to wait for a path after Fiji's late running and difficulties getting a token. The train was due to depart Beddgelert at 1540. 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.

 

Lautoka No.11 9-10/4/13

Lautoka No.11 visited Waunfawr on 9/4/13 on a steam test and on 10/4/14, Porthmadog for gauging purposes, with two flat wagon (No.863 and another) and the Combination Car No.1001. See F&WHR Facebook page for 19 photos on those dates on the timeline.

 

Lautoka No.11 12-13/4/13

The loco was trialled on the weekend of 12-13/4/14 on a 4 vehicle freight rake as a test train load. The rake used consisted of Nos.1424, 921 (with bad wheel flat), 922 and the ex-SAR brake van. On 12/4/14 the train ran from Dinas to Beddgelert and was turned out immaculately to be a surprise guest as the Snowdonian Special paused there for lunch.

The loco however continuously makes smoke, which will be of interest to photographers, and needed a polish by Beddgelert. It would not restart on the 1 in 40 in the station so special permission was given for it to set back to the straight between Bryn-y-felin and Goat Tunnel to take a run at the station. A further stop for a blow up at Afon Cwm Du bridge was required before storming through Pont Cae'r Gors Cutting.

The late arrival at Rhyd Ddu and the need to water lead eventually to three trains present at Rhyd Ddu with a token having to be taken forward by car (and delayed by a road accident). The northbound tank was unusable so No.11 had to water at the southbound tank. First the test train shunted past the south points to stable the rake on the main line and then the loco ran back through the northbound platform and reversed through the southbound platform to water in the southbound tank before collecting its rake again.

 

This southerly view 12/4/14 shows No.11 working hard on its test train on the final section of 1 in 40 before the summit. The train was running late due to having to stop repeatedly for blow ups. It was designed for relatively flat sugar fields in Fiji. 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 12/4/14 shows No.11 working hard on its test train on the final section of 1 in 40 before the summit at 14.51 passing Pont Cae'r Gors level crossing. 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 12/4/14 shows No.11 arriving at Rhyd Ddu at 14.55. 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 12/4/14 shows No.11 and its test load freight wagons at Rhyd Ddu at 14.57. 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 12/4/14 shows No.11 at Rhyd Ddu at 14.58. 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 12/4/14 shows No.11 at Rhyd Ddu at 1500. 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 12/4/14 shows No.11 at Rhyd Ddu at 15.05 whilst running through the southbound track to water at the south water tower after propelling its rake out of the station to stable on the south side. The loco had been through the north end points within shunt limits to make this manoeuvre as the north end tank was unusable, apparently because the hose was too short. 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.

 

Lautoka No.11 (Fiji) on passenger train 19/4/14

This northerly view 19/4/14 shows No.11 at Hafod-y-llyn double heading with No.143 on the 1000 from Caernarfon with a snow free Snowdon in the background after one of the mildest Winters on record. 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.

 

Lautoka No.11 (probably to be named Fiji later this year) double headed the 1000 from Caernarfon to Porthmadog on 19/4/14 in a late change to the loco roster. The loco reached Porthmadog in earlier trials on 10/4/14 for gauging. The loco was on show at Harbour Station and offered cab rides over the Easter weekend from 1230 Saturday until 1130 on Sunday (until presumably heading back to Dinas on the 1315 departure). See Richard Barnett's Flickr album for images between Dinas and Rhyd Ddu.

 

Welsh Pony programme 7-18/4/14

Holders of Rover tickets to the '60 years of Preservation FR' Gala on Sunday 4/5/14 can view the 'forensic' dismantling of Welsh Pony at Boston Lodge from 1000. John Wooden has produced a series of 6 YouTube's videos detailing the history of the loco and the task ahead, as explained by Jon Whalley (F&WHR Chief Mechanical Engineer).

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 4 mins 48 secs of video/photos of Welsh Pony featuring its history, published on 7/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 3 mins 47 secs of video of Welsh Pony detailing the first part of necessary work, published on 9/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 3 mins 18 secs of video/photos of Welsh Pony detailing the second part of necessary work, published on 9/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 4 mins 2 secs of video/photos of Welsh Pony detailing the third part of necessary work, published on 13/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 4 mins 35 secs of video/photos of Welsh Pony detailing the fourth part of necessary work, published on 16/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 3 mins 30 secs of video of Welsh Pony detailing the fifth and final part of necessary work, published on 18/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Team Wylfa report 15/4/14

Clive Briscoe reports: On Tuesday evening this week, Team Wylfa A team had a visitor – your very own webmaster, Barrie himself, so he was able to see first-hand what we get up to! Martin had called in to say B Team wouldn’t be there on Thursday as Rod is poorly so asked if A Team could deal with the F Set. So, first job in the Carriage Shed, check the F Set and oil up the remaining plain bearinged bogies on F Set.

Then relocate to the Loco Shed: Because we had lost over an hour with the carriages, there was no work done on NG15 No.134 since there are some more urgent jobs required of us by the Works on diesel loco No.9 and the new water tank wagon. So two of the lads continued removing the remains of the old dragbox on No.9’s front and rear buffer beams and work on the water wagon continued on two fronts – 1. The vacuum brake train pipe was continued. The run has had to be reappraised in light of information received from the Works Manager – they want to be able to use the ex-Channel Tunnel synchronised jacks to lift the wagon body in the future so the bogies can be run out for maintenance. This means the train pipe cannot now be run under the side frame as originally planned. Another location has been identified and means that the pipe spools already cut and threaded don’t have to be cut or modified. 2. There are several jagged edges on the frames and edge of the deck where previous fittings have been removed – these need grinding off smooth so this was started too.

The work on the train pipe involved cutting and threading the ends of the 1½” pipes. My plea for a replacement set of pipe threading stocks didn’t fall on deaf ears and we’ve ended up with 3 sets – one for smaller diameter pipes and two sets for the larger 1” to 2½” BSP threads. Absolutely brilliant! The first set were (re)commissioned and what a difference they made – being able to break the chips and clear swarf easily instead of the ‘battle’ with our old, partly broken set. And a much better thread finish as well. Many, many thanks again to Phil in West Midlands and Clive in St. Asaph for supplying them.

 

Tuesday Gang report 15/4/14

Tony Baker reports: We expect to be continuing to pull in Porthmadog Harbour station power cables on 15/4/14. Those for pumps are completed and we are moving on to lighting cables.

 

The Snowdonian 12/4/14

K1 and No.143 (the first and last Garratts) hauled the WHR legs of The Snowdonian special train this year in rather grey weather, fundraising for Phase 5 and the Diamond Jubilee 'Lets Finish the Job' Appeal. An FR rake is used so that the special working can cover the whole system. The train passed Lautoka No.11 at Dinas on a test train using a freight rake. the YouTube link below shows extensive coverage of the train's progress to Beddgelert. At Beddgelert the loco ran round and watered before shunting into the northbound platform in advance of the arrival of The Snowdonian on its return from Caernarfon. due to late running, the train did not do a non stop run through Porthmadog as the FR service was arriving from Minffordd. The loco change to Prince and Lyd must have taken place at the far end of The Cob as the WHR engines are two large for the FR loading gauge past Pen Cob Halt.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 28 mins 25 secs of video of The Snowdonian special train on 12/4/14. This video is best watched in 1080p HD mode. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Busman's holiday 12-18/4/14

This website will not be updated until 18/4/14 as your webmaster is taking a well earned break in North Wales staying at the Beddgelert Forest Campsite.

 

Pont Croesor facilities closed for 2014

Pont Croesor station car park and toilets are closed for the 2014 season. Level access to the platforms can only be made via the footpath from the road bridge over the Afon Glaslyn (so it appears the station car park and toilets will be locked-Ed). The Glaslyn Wildlife Project has announced that they now have the funding in place to redevelop the site and plan to be fully open again for the 2015 season. However, during 2014 it is proposed to open the Viewing Hide during most of the Bank Holiday weekends and some other weekends from Easter onwards whilst the ospreys are in the area. The ospreys are still being monitored and there are improved camera facilities at the nest to enable better video coverage which will be available later in the year. See F&WHR story.

 

Welsh Pony latest 10/4/14

The F&WHR has released a 3 minute 47 second video about the restoration of Welsh Pony which is due to begin on 4/5/14. The video is called Unfinished Business Part one and featured F&WHR chief Mechanical engineer Jon Whalley. He reveals that the loco may need a new copper firebox and boiler which would be built at Boston Lodge. The loco was withdrawn in 1939 and has had only cosmetic restoration since then having been plinthed at various times. Visitors are invited to see the start of the dismantling process at Boston Lodge at 10am on that date. The loco has had its nameplate removed presumably for safe keeping. See F&WHR story.

 

Views from 9/4/14

This northerly view 9/4/14 shows No.138 near the Relay Room crossing. The loco did not require watering and so just ran round before departing for Caernarfon at 1405. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Nigel Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view 9/4/14 shows No.143 arriving at Beddgelert as viewed through the historic tableau of the water tower and lamp room. It does not yet appear that the water supply is connected to the tank. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Nigel Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 9/4/14 shows the platform seating chained down over the water supply fittings on the newly extended platform at Harbour Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Nigel Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 9/4/14 shows Merddin Emrys departing the extended platform at Harbour Station on the 1335 departure to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Nigel Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 8/4/14

Clive Briscoe reports: It was a busy night for Team Wylfa on 8/4/14. No work on No.134 unfortunately as we thought we’d better look in a couple of E Set carriage axleboxes before carrying on down to the Loco Shed in view of the problems with the new wool packing we’ve experienced the last few weeks. The ones we opened up looked very dry so we opened up the lot and oiled up. Most were quite dry and 2 boxes on one bogie needed a couple of hastily made extra bundles of wool added (we’ve used up all the spare bundles we’d made up ready!). Andy & Big John got stuck into some ‘knitting’ and made up another 5 or 6 bundles to put in soak in axlebox oil before we went down to the Loco Shed and Andy has taken the spindle of wool and the template board home and will make another 20-30 ready to put in soak next week. Hopefully that should be enough for the rest of the season.

Then down to the Loco Shed. Diesel No.9: Matt and Big John carried on grinding the remains of the old coupling ‘boxes’ off the front and rear buffer beams. They found that the easiest/quickest way is to use 5” slitting discs to cut through weld on outside of the ‘boxes’ rather than try and grind the whole 1” thick box remains off. To be continued.

New water tank wagon: We’ve been asked to sort out and fit a new vacuum brake train pipe in order to speed up its departure to Rhyd Ddu in time for the higher fire risk season. Boston Lodge works have dropped off the brake cylinder and it is already partially refurbished and almost ready to refit.

Pete and I measured up and cut some lengths of 1½” steel pipe for the rear section of the train pipe. We’ll measure and cut another length for the front end (14ft long) next week. It will be run it down the underside of the RHS frame and across to front and rear standpipes up to goosenecks with a tee branching off to the brake cylinder and across to vacuum chamber (on the LHS) just to the rear side of where brake cylinder fits. As soon as we receive some 50x5mm steel strip we will make the pipe clips to hold it all on. I made a press tool for making these clips for No.134’s train pipe so it will do double duty!

 

Fiji news

Fiji was steamed for the first time at Dinas on 9/4/14. The loco has been delivered to the WHR with a new painted steel dome as the old brass dome that came from Fiji was 'battered' and the wrong size for the loco.

 

Tuesday Gang 8/4/14

Tony Baker reports: Another day at harbour station pulling in power cables into ducts. On our way down we took down 2 of the 3 running in boards from Rhyd Ddu and delivered them to Beddgelert workshops (aka Lamp room) for refurbishment.

 

Fiji latest 4/4/14

Martin Kressman reports: The Hudswell Clarke ex-Fiji sugar plantation locomotive, to be named Fiji, arrived at Dinas from the Statfold Barn Railway on Friday 4/4/14. Initially, it is to undertake running-in trials between Dinas and Caernarfon. On 9/5/14 it is due to haul a photographic freight charter. See: Railway Children Charity Day

It is my guess that the loco will also be used on the Caernarfon-Dinas-Waunfawr shuttles over the Beer Festival weekend of 16-18/5/14 (very likely-Ed).

 

Russell latest progress 2/4/14

This Keef's view 2/4/14 shows Russell with the air pump fitted in place. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alan Keef's (Ross-on-Wye) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Diamond Jubilee Appeal launched

The F&WHR has launched an appeal to raise £8 million to 'finish the job' over the next 10 years. Leaflets were placed in Steam Railway magazine. This appeal follows on from the Phase 5 Appeal. It is now 60 years since Alan Pegler rescued the FR in 1954. The appeal identifies new station buildings needed at Caernarfon and Beddgelert and new coaches and the buildings to house and maintain the locos and coaching stock.

Urgent projects are new loco and carriage facilities at both Dinas and Boston Lodge. Most of the new build of coaches will be to the FR profile for flexibility allowing them to be 'able to work between Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog'. Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of membership is available for £25, £50 and £100 per month.

 

Relaunch of the F&WHR website

The F&WHR website was re-launched for the new season at the end of March. All the previous features appear to be there but with a new style. See F&WHR website.

 

Fijian Sugar loco to be named at F&WHR May Gala

During April, ex-Colonial Sugar Refining Company loco Lautoka No.11, repatriated from Fiji by the Statfold Barn Railway, will be making an extended visit to the Welsh Highland Railway for running in and testing. The loco is expected to be paired with K1 on a double headed service trains between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. The loco will be officially named (probably Fiji-Ed) at Porthmadog Harbour Station on Friday 2/5/14 during the "Our Railway Adventure" event. See F&WHR story and image.

 

The Snowdonian 12/4/14

The Snowdonian is running again on 12/4/14. The train is a through train on the F&WHR run by the Phase 5 fund raising team every year since the through line was completed. The train departs Porthmadog at 0845 and runs direct to Caernarfon arriving 1110 and departing 1155. There is a lunch break at Beddgelert from 1329 to 1449 before running through Porthmadog (hopefully non stop) at 1530. The turn round at Blaenau Ffestiniog is from 1704 to 1755 before a final arrival back at Porthmadog station at 18.35.

The haulage is K1 and No.143 on the WHR and Prince and Lyd on the FR. Breakfast, lunch and tea are provided and there are Observation Cars at both ends of the train. There may still be seats available. See F&WHR story for full details, timetable and booking form.

 

WHHR Baldwin No.794 2/4/14

Martyn Owen (WHHR chairman) reports: It is with great delight that I can advise you all that we have received a donation of £150,000 for the Baldwin Fund. The donation has been received from John Thomason, the brother of the late Peter Thomason who was a Director of the Railway some years ago. This incredibly generous donation will enable work to re-start on the restoration of the locomotive once RUSSELL is delivered back to us (later this year-Ed) and for rapid progress to be made. There will still be some additional fund raising to do which is currently estimated at approximately £50,000, but the combined figures are a realistic estimate of the remaining work required on the locomotive. We have set a target of having the locomotive back at Gelert’s Farm during 2017 which is the Centenary of the locomotive's original construction. I have already expressed our thanks to the Donor for his generosity. (See WHHR Baldwin website for further details-Ed).

 

Team Wylfa report 1/4/14

Clive Briscoe reports: After the problems experienced with the new wool packing in the plain bearinged carriage bogie axleboxes these last 2 weeks, news came through from the works that it had settled down, could we please help out in the Loco Shed on ex-Aussie sugar cane diesel loco No.9 and the new fire fighting water tank car.

So, down to the loco shed. Matt and Big John got stuck in with angle grinders, hammers and chisels to remove the remains of the old coupling ‘box’ on front and rear buffer beam on No.9 and Pete and Andy got stuck in on the tank wagon’s bogies – the DZF platform, complete with new tank, has been lifted high using the ex-Channel Tunnel synchronised jacks and the bogies run out from underneath. The DZF used was one from the ‘strategic reserve’ ex-Donneybrook, that arrived in 1997 and has lain idle ever since. The bogies are/were ‘orrible'. B Team’s Martin and Rod had cleaned up one bogie and by the end of the evening, Pete and Andy had the other one looking reasonable and almost ready for repainting. There were sparks and grinding dust flying about at one end of the shed and rust and other dust flying the other. Leather gloves, dust masks and goggles were the fashion accessories of the night!

Meanwhile, your scribe actually got some more work done on NG15 No.134. The new vacuum brake train pipe was progressed and now reaches to just behind the smokebox saddle casting. It now requires a notch cutting in the top platform support angle just ahead of the RHS cylinder block to bring it up truly vertical and the first two flanges welding to the spool ends just below. The next section behind the smokebox saddle requires two very short spools threaded one end (for elbows) and another pair of flanges. Beyond this it is a simple run rearwards to just in front of where the boiler firebox sits. Then some more ‘fun’ as it is lead outwards and down beneath the cab.

Here’s an appeal: We’ve a lot more pipe threading ahead – more on the vacuum brake pipework but still more on the water and steam plumbing in the not too distant future. Our ancient Easterbrook and Allencard pipe threading stocks are shot. We’ve got all the sets of dies for ¾” up to 2” BSP but can’t get spares for the stocks – amongst other things, the ratchet is broken so it will only move forwards and it is a pain not being able to reverse half a turn or so every so often to break any swarf. Likewise, you all but have to dismantle it to fully reverse it to then close it up for another run to deepen the thread. Does anyone have an unused, fully working pipe threading stock in their workshop that they could donate to us, please? Easterbrook & Allencard is the original but Presto bought them out so the dies will fit a Presto or similar more modern stock.

 

Russell progress 1/4/14

This Keef's view 1/4/14 shows Russell with one of its new riveted tanks in place. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alan Keef's (Ross-on-Wye) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Keef's view 1/4/14 shows Russell with one of its new riveted tanks in place. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alan Keef's (Ross-on-Wye) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 1/4/14

Tony Baker reports: The Tuesday Gang were once again pulling in power cables from the new platform to Spooners. Unlike last week, a few problems were encountered and rodding of ducts had to be resorted to.

 

Harbour Station development project volunteering 2013-14

Volunteers are right at the forefront of the effort to get the work finished in time. The station must be ready for trains on both railways by mid March. 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 2013 and the first months of 2014 is as follows:

April     19-20/4/14    
May 3-4/5/14   17-18/5/14 24-3-/5/14WW 31/5/14-1/6/14
June   14-15/6/14 20-23/6/14LW 28-29/6/14  
July   12-13/6/14 19-25/7/14WW 26-27/6/14  
August   9-10/8/14 15-18/8/14LW 23-24/8/14^  
September 6-7/9/14 13-19/9/14WW 20-21/9/14    
October 4-5/10/14   18-19/10/14 24-27/10/14LW  
November 1-2/11/14 7-10/11/14LW 15-16/11/14   29-30/11/14
December 5-8/12/14LW 13-14/12/14      

^ 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 (Excursion?)
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?

[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

 

V4.2728 updated 23/4/14