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 1/8/14)

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

 

Busman's Holiday

Your webmaster will be on holiday in the Beddgelert area from 16/8/14 until 28/8/14. Please do not repeatedly hit the website looking for updates as this will cause problems with the server. Full service will be resumed on 28/8/14.

 

Wave wall to be topped with rocks 15/8/14

This easterly view (15/8/14) shows Linda hauling flat wagons with large flat slabs to top out the wave wall. The loco had earlier been used for footplate rides but it had been hoped that Fiji would be available for footplate rides from 15-17/8/14. 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.

 

Network Rail to reopen Cambrian Coast Line

Network Rail advise that works trains will be running on the Cambrian Coast Line from this Sunday 17/8/14 following completion of the rail part of the Bont Briwet bridge at Penrhyndeudraeth. Route learning empty stock passenger trains will be running from the following weekend 23-24/8/14 and the full passenger service will start from Monday 1/9/14 (although the new parallel road bridge will not open until later in the year).

 

Russell Returns video 2/8/14

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 9 mins 48 secs of video from 3/8/14 showing Russell being relaunched and its return to passenger service on the WHHR. This video was taken by Tony Cox on a camcorder and is best viewed at 1080p HD definition.

 

Super Power timetables and booking form now available

The timetables and booking form for SuperPower have now been published. There are a number of mixed and freight trains. In addition to normal service trains, Friday will see a vintage and a mixed train operate (no buffet car/toilet). Prince will haul a vintage train on two return trips from Porthmadog at 1135 to Rhyd Ddu and at 1500 Porthmadog-Beddgelert. Saturday sees three Porthmadog-Rhyd Ddu vintage trains. Sunday includes 2 vintage trains with the 1105 from Minffordd running through to Rhyd Ddu, the first to do so other than The Snowdonian. Castell Caernarfon will be moved from Dinas to Porthmadog to haul freight trains for the weekend.

An early morning vintage train will run on Saturday and Sunday so that photographers can reach vantage points ahead of the freight trains - full details and times will be available in the 'Super-Power Guide' (£2.50). The longer freight trains will haven a loco at the head and one in the middle. Boston Lodge will be open Saturday and Sunday and Minffordd Yard will be open for guided tours. Dinas Loco Shed will be open on Sunday lunchtime to see the NG15 No.134 being re-wheeled. Dinas and Pont Croesor have been identified as Request Stops.

Friday includes:

Supplementary fares apply to all three trains.

Booking in advance essential due to limited seats.

Friday Freight Train: There will be a NG/G16 hauled freight train - Caernarfon to Porthmadog with up to 15 wagons.

 

Saturday includes:

 

Sunday includes:

See F&WHR website for full details.

 

Team Wylfa report 12/8/14

Clive Briscoe reports: Much the same as last week - check and oil F Set (this week) in the carriage shed then on with NG15 No.134 in the Loco Shed. On No.134, the running plates are now almost completely undercoated - just one small area left on the RHS to rub down to get a key for the primer / undercoat then top coat the lot (the LHS is ready). The vacuum brake train pipe was advanced again - a couple of new spools were made which now brings it to the front RHS of where the cab will be and a branch up to the ejector needs to be fitted. There are several breaks in the line where flanges need to be welded in, these need ends trimming to exact length then tacking and welding in place shortly.

Because of the steamy atmosphere in the Loco Shed, the newly reground crosshead slidebars have been going rusty. They were oiled a few weeks ago but had to be attacked in places with a Scotchbrite pad where rust had formed. Unfortunately, it had got a hold and fine emery had to be resorted to as well. Still a few spots to be treated next week. We now await the return of the refurbished axleboxes from Boston Lodge so that re-wheeling of the loco can take place. Everything else is clean and tidy ready for the jacks to be moved into place.

 

Dinas Loco Shed news

Slow but steady work is ongoing with diesel No 9 and No.140's boiler cradle (with ex-No.143's boiler). Also, the valve chests on what was No.143's hind unit are in the process of being re-bored. On No 9, the cab has been de-rusted and some platework repairs made, it is now partially primed. The engine has been thoroughly cleaned and external components are being refitted. On No.140's boiler module, in the firebox the welds between tube and tubeplate are being ground off prior to the boiler being de-tubed and around the boiler cradle, the running plates are being removed to reveal the badly cracked support angles beneath. These need renewing.

 

Ex-Conwy Transport Chief calls for Caernarfon-Bangor rail link

The Daily Post story reveals that the NR Caernarfon-Bangor link could cost less than the Caernarfon Bypass. A joint station would be essential to ensure ease of access for rail passengers. The Snowdon Ranger reveals that the F&WHR is to promote Caernarfon (and its proposals for a new station on the existing site) to the North Wales/North West tourist/daytripper. As a result of this and the possible NR link, the historic Five Valleys Tour might be possible by rail again. If the NR rail link is extended to a new station site near Morrisons, the WHR could be extended through the road tunnel to a simple joint station on the same site. Provision for such has a link has been made in the current F&WHR station plans for Caernarfon.

 

Tuesday Gang report 12/8/14

Tony Baker reports: The first job was at Beddgelert where we replaced a gate post which had rotted and snapped off. This was at the back of the viewing area in the station. Next it was down to Hafod y Llyn LC 51.53 where we replaced an APG grid that had been removed and not put back. Also at LC 51.73 we splinted the top rail of a broken field gate. All trains seen were well loaded.

 

Kids' Week Special to Beddgelert 4/8/14

Linda piloted Fiji from Porthmadog to Beddgelert on 4/8/14 hauling a 7 coach FR rake for the 21st Kids' Week Special.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 8 mins 35 secs of video from the evening of 4/8/14 showing Linda and Fiji hauling the Kids' Week Special from Porthmadog to Beddgelert. This video was taken by Matt Hall on a camcorder and is best viewed at 720p HD definition.

 

ROWG Working Week 19-25/7/14

Phil Nock reports: In a change to our usual duties on the permanent way, ROWG was lent to the FR's Buildings, Historic Buildings and S&T departments for our July working week, which started on Saturday 19/7/13. Our first three days involved painting a considerable quantity of new joinery, ultimately intended for Harbour and Tan-y-Bwlch stations, before repairing to Lottie's Cottage on Monday afternoon to fettle it between tenants. The remaining four days we spent sorting and moving S&T's stores from the old smithy building at Boston Lodge, to a new, purpose built shed in Minffordd Yard and helping to relocate their ex-GPO storage van from between the PW stores and joinery shop to over by the polytunnel.

 

Tamper visits Boston Lodge 6/8/14

This easterly view (28/7/14) shows the KMX tamper passing through Porthmadog on its way to Boston Lodge for maintenance. Behind it is another maintenance train with the cherry-picker due to install cameras on Britannia 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.

 

Team Wylfa report 5/8/14

Clive Briscoe reports: This week, Team Wylfa's 'A' Team lost one of its core members for the night but gained two who normally help the 'B 'Team on Thursdays - Ben and Andy K. We had the E Set to look at first - and only just got the two outside carriages checked and oiled before the heavens opened! Luckily by the time we'd finished inside the Carriage Shed and it was time to move to the Loco Shed, it had eased but once inside there the heavens opened yet again. We tackled the running plates and gave them a rub down in preparation for further painting. Also, a couple of rough welds on the new cab angle were fettled smooth. Ben drilled the top of the frames to bolt pipe clips for the vacuum brake train pipe which was then bolted into position - it's a good fit.

Next week should see all the running plates undercoated and following that, they will be top coated before Superpower Weekend. Also, the final pipe spool should get completed to take the train pipe from mid-chassis across to the RHS where it will ultimately 1. enter the cab to the ejector and 2. Pass under the footplate to the rear dragbox and then, with a flexi pipe, cross to the tender. It is partially complete and just needs a further two bends pressing.

 

Double Fairlies 31/7/14

This westerly view (31/7/14) shows David Lloyd George departing with the 10.10 to Blaenau whilst Merddin Emrys unusually sits in the WHR platform on a second FR rake, due to form the 10.45 to Blaenau. It is interesting to see this use of the WHR platform for FR trains in the high season ‘yellow’ timetable. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David Carpenter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower update

SuperPower will be based around Porthmadog this year. There will be numerous freight trains and recreations of early WHR trains. A special train will enable photographers to move around the railway. There will be some guided tours of Minffordd Yard, now the stronghold for the Civil Engineering Department for both railways. There are several exciting plans for this yard so it is well worth a visit. At Boston Lodge, the workshops will be open on both Saturday and Sunday. At Beddgelert there will be a marquee with displays and refreshments. This will include the exciting plans for a new Caernarfon station building. At Dinas, a team of volunteers are working hard to restore NG15 locomotive, No.134. During this weekend, the team are planning an exciting move forward in the loco's restoration. On Sunday lunchtime, it is hoped to be able to re-wheel the locomotive (or at least the drivers) which would be a significant step. Beyer Garratt, K1, will be in steam for what could be its last Super Power as its boiler ticket expires in November and an extensive overhaul is required. It is hauling a mixed train from Caernarfon on Friday; possibly the last chance to ride, followed by freight trains over the weekend.

See F&WHR website for full details.

 

Fiji 27/7/14

This westerly view (27/7/14) shows Fiji preparing for cab ride duties in the WHR run round track whilst No.87 arrives with a train from Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David Carpenter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 5/8/14

Tony Baker reports: Today we stripped down and rebuilt one of the 4 APG's at LC 33.95 Plas Isaf. Originally built with the foundations consisting of 6x1 planking which was now showing signs of rotting we replaced this with 3x2 and refitted the triangles, replacing any broken or rotten ones. We then moved to LC 33.25 and replaced 3 broken triangles. Passing trains were well loaded despite the day being a bit grey and overcast.

 

Russell Returns event 2-3/8/14

Russell was officially rededicated by Martyn Owen and Mark Smith from the HRA, but later in the day the loco was rededicated for a second time by Martyn and Julianna Moats, railway systems engineer from Birmingham University. At the Welsh Highland Railway Ltd AGM on Saturday night it was reiterated Russell will be staying on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway for the first twelve months so it seems very unlikely it will appear at Super Power.

 

This westerly view (2/8/14) shows Russell preparing for the first day back in service with the Russell Returns headboard ready for the event on 2-3/8/14. The weather confounded the Met Office and was fine for much of Saturday. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (2/8/14) shows Russell on the first day back in service with the Russell Returns headboard hauling a train during the event on 2-3/8/14. The threatening storm clouds provided a dramatic background for some of Saturday but there was plenty of warm sunshine too. F&WHR General Manager Paul Lewin was present later in the day checking out the loco after some quiet help from the F&WHR. Many hope Russell might appear at SuperPower in September on the WHR. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (2/8/14) shows Russell on the first day back in service with the Russell Returns headboard hauling a train during the event on 2-3/8/14 at Gelert's Farm Halt. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Russell on test 1/8/14

This northerly view (1/8/14) shows Russell on test at Pen-y-Mount with the Russell Returns headboard ready for the event on 2-3/8/14. Sadly, the weather for the weekend has deteriorated but there may be some sunshine and showers Sunday afternoon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Russell Pearn and was taken on a iPhone digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Palmerston returns?

Palmerston is said to be returning to the F&WHR next week after extensive tests on the Vale of Rheidol. The loco will however be back on the VoR for the September Palmerston event. The loco will haul 8 special trains over two weekends between 20-28/9/14 as well as two photo-charters on 10-11/9/14. See VoR website for full details and how to book the trains including photo-charters. Additional attractions include double headers and full length GWR livery trains. This is probably Palmerston's last visit to another railway before its boiler ticket runs out and it is the first visiting loco on the VoR since privatisation 25 years ago.

 

Russell on test 31/7/14

This westerly view (31/7/14) shows Russell on test at Gelert's Farm Halt with the Russell Returns headboard ready for the event on 2-3/8/14. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright WHHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 0 mins 46 secs of video from 31/7/14 showing Russell on test at Gelert's Farm. This video was taken by WHHR on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 0 mins 46 secs of video from 31/7/14 showing Russell on test at Gelert's Farm. This video was taken by WHHR on a professional camcorder.

 

Russell arrives at Porthmadog 30/7/14

It is reported that Russell has arrived at Porthmadog ready for this week's Russell Returns event. Photos would be welcome. The brass tickets for Russell's first public passenger train have arrived! See Flickr website.

Expertly manufactured for the Welsh Highland Railway Ltd in Porthmadog by the Shaw Munster Group, the owners of R.E.V. Gomm badges based in Birmingham, only 250 have been produced. They are individually numbered from 0001 - 0250 and are supplied in special presentation boxes. As a limited-edition collectable they are sure to be sought after by ticket collectors and fans of narrow gauge memorabilia for years to come. A small number are still available for this weekend's special trains, if you'd be interested in purchasing one please act the WHHR now to avoid disappointment

Visit the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog this weekend (2-3/8/14) and soak up the atmosphere as you ride in the historic WHHR heritage train. Saturday is the date of the WHR Ltd AGM and also the 34th Anniversary of the first train on the revived WHHR.

 

Yellow timetable every day 28/7/14-31/8/14

The daily yellow timetable finally started on 28/7/14 offering two return services the full length of the WHR. The first weekend of the school holidays 26-27/8/14 however saw some families caught out with the blue timetable in operation offering only one full length return service from Caernarfon at 1000, though a Rhyd Ddu return was possible on the 1415 ex-Caernarfon. The yellow timetable continues until 31/8/14 and reappears briefly TWThO from 2-18/9/14. Late afternoon/early evening Food and Jazz trains are being offered again on the FR but after a disappointing early experiment providing food on an evening trip to Rhyd Ddu several years ago, there has been no further attempt to capture this potential market from Caernarfon. There are also 9 days in Autumn/Winter when the FR has services but not the WHR.

 

Team Wylfa report 29/7/14

Clive Briscoe reports: With the high season timetable now in force, there has been a stock rotation at last and F Set came our way for checking and servicing on the evening of 29/7/14. Not that it has been forgotten - whilst not a full check to our usual standards, B Team have been down to Caernarfon during the daytime once a week these last few weeks to catch it during the lunchtime layovers to ensure the few remaining plain bearing axleboxes got oiled.

After checking the carriages, it was, as usual, down to the Loco Shed to continue work on NG15 No.134. It had been the last No.134 Working Weekend before the summer break last weekend and the big clear up on and around the loco was in full swing. This is in preparation for re-wheeling the loco over September's Superpower Weekend. We continued the clear-up and moved the last few components and tools from on top of the frames. This released the remaining areas of running plates to be dusted off and repainted. Almost all of the running plates now are at least primed with some undercoated.

 

Tuesday Gang report 29/7/14

Tony Baker reports: The gang spent the 29/7/14 at Pen-y-Mount LC 58.11 where the APG grids were cleared out and 4 broken triangles replaced. Vegetation in the form of gorse bushes was cut back to improve sightings. At 58.33 a considerable amount of gorse bushes were also cut back and again at 57.97. We then moved down to Hafod-y-Llyn and surveyed all crossings to prepare for future work.

 

This northerly view (29/7/14) shows the initial state of LC58.11 at Pen-y-Mount. 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 (29/7/14) shows the No.87 hauling the 1000 ex-Caernarfon on the Asperger's Flyer passing Pen-y-Mount, presumably a second working of the train. 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 (29/7/14) shows the finished state of LC58.11 at Pen-y-Mount. 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 (29/7/14) shows the return 1315 ex-Porthmadog with No.87 passing on the Asperger's Flyer at Pen-y-Mount. 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.

 

Asperger's Flyer 28/7/14

An Asperger's support group has organised a tour of UK railways and they are in North Wales this week. See the Asperger's Fundraiser Facebook page.

 

This northerly view (28/7/14) shows No.87 passing Snowdon ranger Halt with the Asperger's Flyer. The train was strengthened to 10 coaches to accommodate supporters. 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 northerly view (28/7/14) shows Merddin Emrys and David Lloyd George about to haul the FR leg of the Asperger's Flyer. 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.

 

Russell Returns event brass tickets still available 2/8/14

There are still a few commemorative brass tickets available for the WHHR's Russell Returns event on 2/8/14.

 

This view (27/6/14) shows the WHHR's commemorative Russell Return's brass Edmondson ticket. This image is copyright WHHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Russell nears completion 27/7/14

This Keef's view (27/7/14) shows Russell's nameplate has been fitted at Alan Keef's works Ross-on-Wye. Some coupling rods and cab fittings are still required. The loco is due at the WHHR's Russell Returns event on 2/8/14 in less than a week so all have their fingers crossed it will be completed and delivered on time. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alan Keef's and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Scorchio!

Porthmadog reached record temperatures of 29.2C on 23/7/14 with day-long sunshine. Similar weather is forecast until the weekend.

 

Russell race to the finish 23/7/14

This Keef's view (23/7/14) shows Russell's tanks having been lined out at Alan Keef's works Ross-on-Wye. The driving wheels have been fitted but coupling rods are still required. The loco is due at the WHHR's Russell Returns event on 2/8/14 in a week's time so all have their fingers crossed it will be completed and delivered on time. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alan Keef's and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Palmerston goes to VoR YouTube 23/7/14

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 5 mins 58 secs of video from 26/6/14 (published 23/7/14) of Palmerston at the Vale of Rheidol under test light engine to Devil's Bridge. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 12 mins 17 secs of video from 1/7/14 (published 23/7/14) of Palmerston at the Vale of Rheidol under test with a trial load of VoR stock to Devil's Bridge. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Fiji cab rides 22/7/14

This easterly view (22/7/14) shows Fiji in the foreground offering cab rides at Porthmadog Harbour Station. No.138, Linda, Hugh Napier and Criccieth Castle are also visible from left to right, with Vale of Festiniog approaching in the distance. 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 above to watch 4 mins 27 secs of video (published 18/7/14) of various locos in action as well as the entertainment on offer during the Summer of Fun aimed at children (including free Fiji cab rides). This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

Fiji will be offering cab rides at Porthmadog from 25-27/7/14 and 1-3/8/14. Lilla will be offering cab rides 8-10/8/14, 15-17/8/14 and 22-25/8/14 in its final season before a major refit. See F&WHR website for full details.

 

Team Wylfa report 22/7/14

Clive Briscoe reports: It was a much diminished A Team that attended Dinas on 22/7/14 and we had double the work to do. The B Team have literally jumped ship and are sailing to the Isle of Man this week for the annual WHRS North Wales Group holiday - this time visiting the railways on the Isle of Man. So no working party on Thursday. We had the E Set to check and service in its entirety and at the beginning, there were only two of us. We found Big John in the Carriage Shed assisting the wash down and he only joined us later on after the carriages had been cleaned. Doing the whole set took until nearly 21:30 so there was no time to do any work on No.134 this week. There is the last of the monthly working weekends on No.134 before the summer break this weekend. Any new volunteers are kindly requested to get hold of Andie Shaw, Pete Randall or myself beforehand (F&WHR safety requirement). Contact details on the No.134 website.

 

Tuesday Gang report 22/7/14

Tony Baker reports: On 22/7/14 the gang were doing level crossing maintenance between Waunfawr and Plas-y-Nant.

 

Recent views of the WHR 20-22/7/14

This southerly view (20/7/14) shows two ash wagons still stabled in the siding at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Huw Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (20/7/14) shows a History Points QR label at the end of station fence out on The Cob. Unfortunately, not everyone can receive 3G at this location. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Huw Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (22/7/14) shows Linda on an FR train unusually stabled in the WHR platform. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Huw Kendall and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bachmann Baldwin

Bachmann, the producer of model railway items, is to produce an 009 scale model of Baldwin No.778 and a range of wagons to coincide with the outbreak of WW1. The WHHR is recreating No.590 as their next project after the completion of Russell this Summer. Bachmann even had the Leighton Buzzard Railway's No.778 at Barwell, near Leicester, for the launch event. See Bachmann website.

 

Palmerston visiting VoR

Palmerston is currently visiting the Vale of Rheidol railway to raise funds for the Welsh Pony restoration. The VoR has recently completed a project to improve its halts to original appearance. The loco arrived in late June and ran a light engine trip to Devil's Bridge on 26/6/14, followed by a loaded test run on 1/7/14. The F&WHR's 'spare' England engine was used in both the construction of the VoR and the WHR and will be present at Aberystwyth over the coming weeks of the school Summer Holidays and used on special trains on 20-21/9/14 and 27-28/9/14. See F&WHR news story.

 

Prince at DRS Open Day 19/7/14

Prince was in light steam at Direct Rail Services Open Day at Gresty Bridge Depot, Crewe on Saturday 19/7/14. It was a question of little and large as Prince was parked alongside the newest class of loco operating on NR, the Class 68, named after ships of the Royal Navy. The loco was placed alongside No. 68002 Intrepid, possibly the oldest and youngest pairing of locos numbered 2 in the world. There was also a stand manned by F&WHR employees and volunteers handing out promotional material. As well as hauling DRS freight, the Class 68 locos are set to replace Class 67 locos on Chiltern's Birmingham-Marylebone Inter-City passenger services later this year.

 

This westerly view 19/7/14 shows Prince, the F&WHR's No.2, alongside DRS's No.68002 Intrepid at the DRS Open Day at Gresty Bridge Depot, 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.

 

This westerly view 19/7/14 shows Prince, the F&WHR's No.2, alongside DRS's No.68002 Intrepid at the DRS Open Day at Gresty Bridge Depot, 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.

 

This westerly view 19/7/14 shows Prince, the F&WHR's No.2, alongside DRS's No.68002 Intrepid at the DRS Open Day at Gresty Bridge Depot, 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.

 

Beer Festival YouTube (published 16/7/14)

Click on the YouTube box above to watch 19 mins 52 secs of video (published 16/7/14) of various locos in action as well as the entertainment on offer at Rail Ale 2014, 16-18/5/14. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional camcorder.

 

SuperPower 2014 latest

An intensively timetabled service is planned for SuperPower over the period 12-14/9/14. According to adverts placed in the railway press, all four Garratts, including K1, will be in action. There will also be a Funkey, a Fairlie and two England locos, singly or in multiple with a 'never seen before highlight'. A dedicated microsite will be launched as soon as details are available. Many supporters hope the WHHR's Russell will put in appearance and run the full length of the WHR for the first time since 1936, following its launch at the WHHR on 2-3/8/14.

 

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:

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   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

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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

 

V4.2816 updated 16/8/14