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 5/6/16)

Snow Scenes (updated 20/11/15)

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

 

Chancellor visits F&WHR 13/6/16

The REMAIN campaign came to Wales on 13/6/16 with George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer) campaigning for a REMAIN vote in the EU referendum on 23/6/16. He stated that Wales would stand to lose over 24,000 jobs directly linked to the EU, that Brexit is for the rich and the poor would suffer most if Britain voted to leave the EU.

 

Click on the YouTube link to watch 1 min 15 secs of video of the Chancellor's visit to the F&WHR published 13/6/16. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode.

 

Snowdonian Limited 11/6/16

No.143 was prepared at Boston Lodge with a half full tank wagon and a flexible hose attached to the loco's water tank. This would allow the Snowdonian Limited to run non-stop without the need for a water top up between Porthmadog and Caernarfon.

 

This Boston Lodge view (11/6/16) shows No.143 being prepared for the Snowdonian Limited non-stop run from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. A 1" high pressure flexible hosepipe has been connected between the tank wagon and the loco so that it can make the journey from Porthmadog to Caernarfon without having to stop for water. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Rob Rossington and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (11/6/16) shows No.87 hurrying into the loop at Waunfawr at 1037 a few minutes before the Snowdonian Limited was due and releasing the token so the special train could continue its non-stop run to Caernarfon. 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 southerly view (11/6/16) shows No.143 arriving at Waunfawr at 1046 with the Snowdonian Limited non-stop run from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. After several days of fine weather, the weather was a little disappointing for the special run. 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 (11/6/16) shows No.143 exchanging token on the move at Waunfawr at 1046 with the Snowdonian Limited non-stop run from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. The water tank wagon allowed the train to run the 26 miles without the need to stop and take water at Beddgelert or Rhyd Ddu. 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 southerly view (11/6/16) shows No.143 just after its arrival at Caernarfon with the Snowdonian Limited non-stop run from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Rob Rossington and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (11/6/16) shows No.143 watering at Caernarfon after it non-stop run from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. The driver (Works Manager Tony Williams) is attaching the headboard to the front of the loco. 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 (11/6/16) shows No.143 ready to couple up and return to Porthmadog in the run round loop at Caernarfon. 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 (11/6/16) shows No.143 ready to depart Caernarfon with the castle in the background. 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 (11/6/16) shows No.143 passing the little used Bontnewydd Halt on the return journey. 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 (11/6/16) shows No.143 passing Dinas on the return journey with the six coach special of FR stock. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The train was later hauled by Velinheli, Prince and Linda on the FR.

 

This westerly view (11/6/16) shows Velinheli (in the expert hands of the GM Paul Lewin and Phil Brown), Prince and Linda with the six coach special of FR stock crossing Penrhyndeudraeth level crossing on the way up to Blaenau Ffestiniog in the afternoon. 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.

 

Preparations for Snowdonian Limited 9/6/16

The water wagon arrived at Porthmadog on the afternoon service from Dinas on 9/6/16 sandwiched between No.143 and No.138. It will be used to provide additional water capacity for No.143 which is set to head the first ever 25 mile non-stop steam run from Porthmadog to Caernarfon on Saturday 11/6/16. The Garratt will haul the first leg of The Snowdonian Limited, which later makes a return journey over the FR, making an 80 mile round trip in all.

 

This easterly view (9/6/16) shows No.143 and No.138 sandwiching the water wagon in the WHR platform. David Lloyd George prepares to haul an FR departure. 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 (9/6/16) shows No.143 with the water wagon and No.138 standing in the WHR platform. A group of water colour painters spent the day painting the scenes at Porthmadog station. 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.

 

Tuesday Gang report 7/6/16

The Tuesday Gang were at Pont Croesor on 7/6/16. They replaced a crossing timber on the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre (Osprey Centre) Crossing and replaced all the ATG grids that had been removed to allow the point to be replaced earlier in the year. They then adjusted the barrow crossing to the northbound platform, realigning the timbers over the Down loop so as to reduce the slew of the crossing. This job will be finished next week.

 

Garratts in good weather 8/6/15

Roger Dimmick (F&WHR) captured this excellent image of a Garratt at Porthmadog during the continuing spell of warm sunny weather that has favoured Porthmadog over the last few weeks.

 

This westerly view (8/6/16) shows No.87 shimmering in the heat haze as it works through the station sidings to prepare for hauling the 14:05 to Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Little and Large 28/5/16

This westerly view (28/5/16) shows No.143 dwarfing Velinheli (with the GM Paul Lewin at the helm) at the loco servicing point at Porthmadog Harbour station in continuing sunny warm weather. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Russell 5/6/16

This westerly view (5/6/16) shows Russell on a WHHR service in brilliant holiday sunshine. There is no news about the possible use of this original WHR loco on the WHR anytime soon despite ongoing discussions. 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.

 

TRAWS project moves forward

The TRAWS project to reopen the Cambrian Coast route from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen has moved forward a further stage. The Traws Link Cymru committee members have been invited to attend a meeting in Lampeter on 21/6/16, to assist Ceredigion County Council with a Stage 1 Transport Assessment process known as WelTAG for the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway line, as part of the Welsh Government’s ongoing work on this project. This is another vital meeting prior to approval of the full Feasibility Study into Stage I of the plan to reconnect Bangor to Carmarthen via the Cambrian Coast.

 

PTG Tour special 6/6/16

PTG tours offer a 'Portmerion and Railways of North Wales' tour, this year 3-10/6/16. See PTG Tours website. This year saw the tour on the FR and WHR on Monday 6/6/16 though it seems the WHR leg preceded the FR leg despite PTG's plans for a non stop run from the FR up the WHR!

 

This easterly view (6/6/16) shows Palmerston and Prince in the WHR loop line ready to take over the FR leg of the journey from Linda and Earl of Merioneth. 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.

 

Cambrian Coast specials

Sunday 5/6/16 saw a special Steam Dreams working from Paddington to Pwllheli where the stock stayed overnight. The train was due to be hauled steam hauled to Shrewsbury by recently completed Flying Scotsman (No.60103) and WCR's No.37516 pilotted by NR's yellow liveried ERTMS fitted No.97304 hauled the train along the coast. The fourth day of the trip on Wednesday 8/6/16 was due to see steam from Holyhead to Paddington with Flying Scotsman from Chester but the famous loco will now replace Galatea (No.45699) at Crewe before taking the welsh Marches route, no doubt NR's continued failure to reopen the congested Chester - Rossett redoubling despite having completed it last year!

There are fewer steam workings on the North Wales Coast this year despite the cancellation of many Settle and Carlisle trips due to a major landslip north of Appleby. Nevertheless Flying Scotsman is due to make a run to Holyhead on The Emerald Isle Explorer (a 9 day jaunt to Ireland) on 15/6/16 returning on 24/6/16. This is followed by The North Wales Coast Express on 24/7/16 and the Welsh Mountaineer (to Blaenau Ffestiniog) on 26/7/16. The North Wales Coast Express runs again on 21/8/16 and 4/9/16.

On 11/7/16 the WHR timetable is re-jigged to accommodate another special working.

 

Moelwyn 1/5/16

This southerly view (1/5/16) shows Moelwyn in new WD livery numbered 1701 with Mary Ann. The locos are being loaded at Dinas Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beer Festival YouTube 21-22/5/16

Click on the YouTube link to 9 mins 11 secs at Rail Ale 21-22/5/16, published 29/5/16.This video was taken by Tom Waldren. It is best watched at 1080p HD mode.

 

Final call for Snowdonian Limited 11/6/16

There are still a few seats left for this second run of The Snowdonian, known as The Snowdonian Limited, that raises funds for the F&WHR Sustainable Railway Appeal. Please phone 01766 515835 for more details. The first run of The Snowdonian raised over £60,000 earlier this year.

There will be an evening tour of Boston Lodge on the 10/6/16 for participants. First Class fares are £300 or Third Class £180. A non stop run with Beyer-Garratt, possiblyNo.143, is planned from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. The FR journey will feature three ex-Quarry locos from Boston Lodge, Linda, Lilla and Hugh Napier or perhaps Velinheli.

A tour of workshop and Hog Roast at Dinas in included. Afternoon Tea will be taken at Tan-y-Bwlch. Ex-L&BR Club Car No.14 is included in the train and will be dispensing Purple Moose 'Snowdonian' real ale. The train departs at 9.15am from Harbour Station and returns at 7.20 pm.

 

 

 

This southerly view (18/4/15) shows Prince leading the two Ladies past Meillionen (Beddgelert Forest Campsite) on last year's Snowdonian. 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.

 

More about No.140

Graham Pattinson adds: The 'spare' power unit in the Loco Shed is from No.143 - the one from No.140 that was restored and sitting in the workshop for some years went under No.143 a few years ago. The other unrestored No.140 power unit is in the Carriage Shed. The boiler in No.140's cradle at the back of the workshop is from No.143, No.140's boiler having been on No.143 for some years.

 

Bill painted 3/6/16

Ex-Shotton Steelworks stockyard shunter Bill is nearing completion at Boston Lodge. The loco has been painted green and given its red 'Bill' nameplate. Its twin, to be called Ben, remains at Dinas for eventual restoration.

 

This westerly view (3/6/16) shows Bill resplendent in its new green livery at Boston Lodge in brilliant sunshine. The loco arrived on the WHR is BSC yellow livery. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Gerallt Jones (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 31/5/16

Tony Baker reports: The gang cleared out a blocked culvert just north of Dinas and repaired the foot crossing at the end of the platform at Waunfawr which had developed a trip hazard.

 

Russell at 110

Original WHR loco Russell was 110 years old on 2/6/16. The loco is in service on the WHHR with fine weather over the Bank Holiday week. Enthusiasts must be wondering when the loco will finally appear on the WHR.

 

This westerly view (4/6/16) shows Russell departing the Tremadog Road terminus on a WHHR service in brilliant holiday sunshine. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Goodwin (WHHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Coach No.2047 progress

The underframe for new WHR coach No.2047 moved into the Boston Lodge Coach Works at the start of April and steady progress is being made on this new vehicle funded by the WHRS.

 

No.134 Working Party report

Laurence Armstrong reports: This working party concentrated on one main task, however a number of other jobs were also continued. The main focus of attention was that of the sand-boxes. With the two mechanical lubricators now residing on the running plate and in such a position that they would foul the reinstatement of sand-boxes in their original position it was decided that the best approach would be to make cardboard templates for a new design of sand-box. Whilst these sand-boxes made use of the same cut-out in the running plate for the exit pipe they will be slightly rearward of their existing position. We also have two further added complications. The first being that we will be using steam sanders and so a suitable location is needed for the weirs/sand traps that form part of this mechanism. The second complication is that originally the loco was designed for forward running only and so they only sand in that direction. On the Welsh Highland Railway we will be operating just as much in reverse and so require an extra pair of sand-boxes to cater for that reverse running. As it turned out, and after inspection of the best location, we decided that one large sand-box on the right hand running plate would be able to provide sand for both sides of the loco.

We therefore set about making the three sandboxes out of cardboard. We were prepared for this task and some cardboard boxes had been brought along for the purpose, however we were very fortunate that it was also the Rail Ale festival at the railway and the organisers had plenty of ex-drinking glasses boxes available for us to use to supplement what we'd brought. Once the templates were made we took them all down to No.133 to double check for clearances there, especially against the boiler.

Other tasks continued this weekend included the manufacture of the locking ring for the Wakefield lubricator we refurbished last month. There's still a bit to finish off on this that hopefully will happen next time. As part of the lubrication scheme we also continued with the manufacture of the four fittings that will lubricate the slide bars. This was started a few months ago but was moved down the priority list. After finding the components we made last time we continued with these. This also included clearing out the attachment holes in the slide bars and running a tap through to ensure they'd bolt on cleanly. Again there's still work to do on these next time.

Team Wylfa have been helping the NG15 group for the past few years during their midweek evening working parties. Unfortunately the team have now disbanded due to the closure of  Wylfa Power Station and the retirement of key personnel involved. Some of those people, however, are continuing their activities on No.134 and have joined the main weekend working parties.  One of those jobs being carried on during the week, and now at the weekend, was the manufacture of the support brackets for the brake vacuum pipe run underneath the tender as shown below.

See No.134 website for images of progress.

 

Linda 3/6/16

This northerly view (3/6/16) shows Linda departing Porthmadog's WHR platform on and FR service in brilliant holiday sunshine. All WHR trains must depart this platform but it is also used for FR trains when congestion occurs. The FR's Yellow timetable sees the FR's 1035 departure just half an hour after the previous service so the rake is usually prepared in platform 2, the WHR platform. 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.

 

No.140 news

The priority job is to restore No.130 and the work is being externally funded. Nos.87/138/143 are in service this year. When there are additional people available work continues on the ex-No.140 bogie in the workshop. This could, once finished, be used as a spare on any loco. No.140's boiler will be worked on intermittently partly because there is a person available who is trying to gain experience in boiler work who will shortly extract some more tubes from this boiler. It is possible that this boiler will be fully refurbished for use on one of the other engines but it seems No.140 will remain a Christmas tree for other locos rather than being restored in its own right as many enthusiasts hope.

 

No.138 27/5/16

This westerly view (27/5/16) shows No.138 crossing Britannia Bridge from an unusual angle. The green strip is the cycleway to help cyclists avoid the flangeways only to be used when the level crossing lights are not flashing! 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.

 

Welsh Pony progress 25/5/16

This Boston Lodge view (25/5/16) shows Welsh Pony's original valve gear under restoration. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Paul Lewin (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

'Countryfile' on the F&WHR 29/5/16

BBC's 'Countryfile' will be broadcasting its Snowdonia Special edition at 1900 on Sunday 29/5/16. The programme features a ride on the new FR train to Beddgelert with Lyd haulage.

 

F&WHR in the Caravan Club

Terry Scott reports: The F&WHR has made it to the June edition of the Caravan Club magazine in a piece about Snowdonia. There is a picture of No.138 hauling a Porthmadog train looking back towards Beddgelert from above Bryn-y-Felin on the cover. There are also two pictures, one of Merddin Emrys by power station lake heading toward Porthmadog, the other being an older picture of No.138 with a DZ wagon leading the set round the curve following Bryn-y-Felin bridge.

 

Barrie Clark's bench

Following the very successful appeal to fund a bench in memory of Barrie Clark, to be placed on the platform at Waunfawr station, the date for unveiling and dedicating the bench has now had to be changed to suit the arrangements of Barrie's family. This short ceremony will now take place on Monday, 20/6/15 at 12:00 at Waunfawr station. Barrie was a very loyal, generous and supportive member of the WHR. He was a long term member of the infamous Black Hand Gang and the K1 Group.

 

F&WHR seeks organiser for Caernarfon new station

The F&WHR management is moving ahead with the next stages of the £2m project which will equip the Welsh Highland Railway with a prestigious new station in Caernarfon. As the project has heavy grant funding input it is imperative that we have a team member who can help us keep a close track of the project finances and communicate effectively with both the project and company finance teams. The project will take around two years and will mean a significant improvement to the railway and, more importantly, the product we offer to passengers. If you are feel you could help, have some relevant experience and have a day or so a week to spare the F&WHR management would like to hear from you. This is a one-off opportunity to be part of a team delivering a station that will make a great step towards finishing the job for the Welsh Highland Railway. Please contact plewin@ffwhr.com.

 

No.143 20-25/5/16

These northerly and southerly views (20/5/16) shows No.143 at Dinas Loco Shed. The loco is reported to have performed well at Rail Ale last weekend. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly views (25/5/16) shows No.143 crossing Britannia Bridge and entering Porthmadog Harbour station. The loco has substituted for No.138 on this week's roster. 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.

 

Seesaw weather 25/5/16

Porthmadog again hit the headlines on 25/5/16 with 21°C on 24/5/16 then 13°C. It is hoped the regular reports of fine weather at Porthmadog hitting the national headlines will bring more tourists to the Cambrian Coast and benefit the F&WHR.

 

Tuesday Gang report 24/5/16

Tony Baker reports: On Tuesday 24/5/16 we were at LC 30.74 where there was a rail stack in Phase 3 days. The task was to replace 3 rotten outer timbers. The weather was warm and sunny with 7 volunteers and trains reasonably well loaded.

 

This northerly view (24/5/16) shows the Tuesday Gang removing rotten crossing timbers at LC30.74 at Llwyn-y-bedw between Waunfawr and Betws Garmon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (24/5/16) shows the Tuesday Gang cutting new crossing timbers to size at LC30.74 at Llwyn-y-bedw between Waunfawr and Betws Garmon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (24/5/16) shows the finished job at LC30.74 at Llwyn-y-bedw between Waunfawr and Betws Garmon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bank Holiday weekend footplate rides 28-30/5/16

There will be four locos available for footplate rides this weekend. Velinheli and Lilla will work Saturday, to be joined by Britomart and Palmerston Sunday and back to the original two on Monday. Velinheli arrived from the Launceston Steam Railway on 23/5/16 and Hugh Napier departed for the Bank Holiday weekend where it will run at the National Trust 'Steam Days' event at Penrhyn Castle 28-30/5/16.

 

Moelwyn visits Beamish museum events

Moelwyn, Mary Ann and Busta are continuing their tour of the country with an extended visit to the Beamish Museum near Durham. They arrived by lorry on 25/5/16. They will feature in the upcoming 'Power from the Past' 11-12/6/16 and 'Battle of the Somme Centenary' 1-3/7/16 events.

 

Rail Tourism Grants

The first UK Velorail project has received Government funds of £75,000. A scheme to reopen the mothballed Gwendraeth Valley line in South Wales has received the maximum funds from the Government's Rail Tourism Awards announced 25/5/16. This line previously featured the triple-headed Class 03/cut down Class 08 trips between Pembrey Docks/Kidwelly to Cwm Mawr. Those supporting the reopening of the Blaenau-Trawsfynydd line may be pleased to hear that this the Antur Stiniog Velorail scheme did not receive funding.

The 'Great Little Trains of Wales' has received funding of £67,000 to fund a project to used the big train to visit the little train. this will include promotional material including a modern equivalent to the Bradshaw's Guide popularised by Michael Portillo. Many would think the money would be better spent providing a mobile ERTMS unit to allow steam/diesel excursions to return to the Cambrian Coast.

 

More No.130 news

Richard Watson advises: According to the Friends of 130 Facebook page No.130's old boiler has been scrapped but various parts have been saved for reuse.

 

Busy week on the Cambrian

The Cambrian lines have seen more locomotives than usual recently. On 17/5/16, Inspection Saloon 'Caroline' was taken from Derby to Pwllheli led - as required by one of NR's four ERTMS fitted Class 37s allocated to the route. No.97303 was attached at Coleham west of Shrewsbury, where the fleet is shedded. This yellow NR liveried loco now carries a small red dragon transfer under the driver's window. A regular performer is the past in North Wales, No.37425, was on the rear. The two locos were on the front when they returned through Porthmadog on 18/5/16. The same loco pilotted an ecs with WCR's No.57313 to Aberystwyth on 20/5/16 for a Statesman Rail excursion to Carlisle the following day. The same Class 97 hauled a stoneblower unit across Barmouth Bridge on 22/5/16 having run light engine from Coleham (the stoneblower was reported stabled at Tywyn on 18/5/16 by Bob Rainbow). Nos. 37668/9 which were fitted with Hitachi ERTMS units last year have still not put in an appearance on the Cambrian to give a bit of flexibility and allow more railtours to visit the Cambrian.

 

Beer Festival YouTube 20-22/5/16

Click on the YouTube link to 17 mins 27 secs at Rail Ale 20-22/5/16, published 22/5/16.This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode.

 

No.134 report

Clive Briscoe reports: A small team from the No.134 Group attended the May working weekend. A big clean up on the loco's frames took place, measured and marked up the proposed route for the twin vac lines on the tender. Martin and Laurence went back to their Blue Peter roots - 'And here's one we made earlier, children' - luckily plenty of cardboard boxes were available from the beer festival going on in the Dinas North (Station) Yard and a supply of parcel tape. They made up cardboard, full size replicas of the proposed new sandboxes which will fit on the running plates atop the frames - nearly as original with a new one to allow sand to be delivered for backwards running, so were back and forth between the Loco Shed and No.134's frames and No.133, now shunted down to the furthest extent of the long siding below the Carriage Shed in the North yard - not far short of ½ mile each way, to check the fit... Design almost finalised.

 

Livingston Thompson

The NRM Fairlie, Livingston Thompson has moved to a more central location near the turntable at the NRM. The loco lies alongside the final Class 66 which has been turned out in BR express passenger livery similar to No.92220 Evening Star. GBRF's No.66779 (also named Evening Star) has itself been promised to the NRM at the end of its working life.

 

The Snowdonian taster YouTube 19/5/16

Click on the YouTube link to 2 mins 40 secs of a promotional video showing The Snowdonian at various locations on the F&WHR on 16/3/16, published 19/5/16. The full video is available from the F&WHR web-shop. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode.

 

No.140 to be resurrected?

No.140, the original red liveried NG16 has been parked at the back of the Loco Shed with little work done on it for the last 10 years. Various parts have been cannibalised for use under the other three operational NG16s. This was the third Garratt to come to the F&WHR, donated by a group of German and Swiss enthusiasts who had rescued it from South Africa but No.87 jumped the queue as it was supported by a benefactor. The loco was originally stored at Glan-y-Pwll after arrival in 1997 before moving to Dinas in 2005 when work started on its reconstruction. This soon stalled after a while when worked switched to No.87 in 2006. Now the F&WHR's management is finally looking at returning this loco to steam. Two other NG16s are stored at Dinas, No.109 (Pete Waterman) and No.130 (Pete Best -see below), making a fleet of 6 in all.

 

No.143 on test 18/5/16

This southerly view (18/5/16) shows No.143 on steam test at Dinas in preparation for its use on Rail Ale shuttle this weekend. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Huw Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (18/5/16) shows No.143 on steam test at Dinas double heading No.87 on the 1415 from Caernarfon as far as Waunfawr. The loco is reported to have performed well. 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.

 

No.130's boiler

Initially No.130's boiler was sent to the South Devon Railway for assessment but was found to be uneconomic to repair. Quotes were received in November 2015 and a new boiler has been ordered from A. D. Dalgleish on Teeside for delivery to Dinas by June 2017 with first steaming planned for early 2018. See Steam in Action website.

 

Tuesday Gang report 18/5/16

Tony Baker reports: Today the gang were in Minffordd Yard carrying on with the level crossing over the Waggon Tracks rail into their shed. An unusual crossing as it is over a set of points. Care had to be taken to protect the switch blades from any ballast. The final ballasting used a ballast hopper conveniently parked a short way away on a siding. The Minffordd Yard inner ring road has now been reopened.

 

This westerly view (3/5/16) shows the Tuesday Gang completing the road crossing next to Minffordd Waggon Tracks Shed. 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 (3/5/16) shows Harlech Castle entering the Minffordd Waggon Tracks Shed. This was possibly the first loco to enter there. On the right is the lower deck of the Glasgow Tram, restoration of which has recently been completed in Boston Lodge Carriage Works. 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 (3/5/16) shows the completed road crossing next to Minffordd Waggon Tracks Shed. 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.

 

No.130 report 17/5/16

Martin Kressman reports: Last week No.130's boiler cradle was sandblasted in preparation for painting and dye penetrant non-destructive crack testing was carried out. Today (17-5/16) a start was made on the painting (the loco is owned by Pete Best of Steam Powered Services-Gloucester and was purchased from the Exmoor Steam Railway collection in 2014-Ed).

 

No.143 progress 16/5/16

This northerly view (16/5/16) shows No.143 on steam test at Dinas following release from Dinas works, resplendent is a new lined green livery. 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 southerly view (16/5/16) shows No.143 on steam test at Dinas. 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.

 

Safety Manager special 16/5/16

This northerly view (16/5/16) shows Linda hauling the new Safety Manager's inspection special stopped on the shelf in the Aberglaslyn Pass between T3 and T4, the long tunnel. 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.

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2015/16

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 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      

^ Bank Holiday weekend

LW-Long weekend Friday-Monday

WW-Working week Saturday-Friday

# For dates for April, June and August contact Paul Bradshaw if you are interested for confirmation. Dates for November and December 2016 are provisional pending preparation of the Winter Major Works Programme.  Dates will be confirmed in Autumn 2016.

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
7-9/10/16 FR Victorian Weekend (some events possible on WHR in Porthmadog)
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

 

V4.3298 updated 14/6/16