Welsh Highland Railway

Stop Press Page

 

V4.3499

News (updated 21/7/17)

You are visitor No.

Free Counters

to this website

Images updated from 20/7/17

Click here for new images

Click here for latest news

 

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.

 

gam_print_ordsvywat-sun-0132226440868.jpg 





























































(739415 bytes)

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 21/7/17)

Snow Scenes (updated 31/10/15)

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

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

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

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

Video list (new 9/11/15)

Access to Phase 2 pages is currently being progressed.

 

If you would like an automated announcement of site updates, email me at the NEW (2013) address below replacing the letters 'dot' with a full stop

Isengard@talktalkdotnet

This has been introduced as an anti-spam feature.

Disclaimer

There has never been any intent by myself to suggest that the views on these pages represent the views, opinions or policy of the F&WHR, 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

 

Work finally begins on Caernarfon Station building 20/7/17

With work now complete on diverting the recently discovered gas main that crossed the site, the site of Caernarfon station building was marked out on 20/7/17.

 

This northerly view (20/7/17) shows the completed diversion of the gas main as evidenced by new tarmac in St Helens road. The station site is now free to be marked out for the construction of the station building over the next several months after months of unexpected delay after discovery of the gas main. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (20/7/17) shows surveyors marking out the site for construction of the station building to begin. In the background, the roundabout is still not fully completed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (20/7/17) shows surveyors marking out the site for construction of the station building to begin. The temporary disabled access runs along the foot of the retaining wall and is closed off from the worksite by Heras site fencing.. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang 18/7/17

Tony Baker reports: On the 18/7/17 we were at LC 53:96 Gatws Bach where we changed a rotten centre timber. Usually we find both centre timbers will have deteriorated but in this case only one had. The job still took the same amount of time though.

 

This northerly view (18/7/17) shows the decayed central timber at Gatws Bach level crossing, north of Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (18/7/17) shows the decayed central timer at Gatws Bach level crossing removed. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (18/7/17) shows the Tuesday Gang cutting notches in the new timer to fit around track clips. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (18/7/17) shows the finished job at Gatws Bach level crossing removed. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Penrhyn Railway closes 15/7/17

The Penrhyn Quarry Railway heritage operation, which only started in 2012 at Felin Fawr near Bethesda has been closed down after just 5 years of existence. The line was revived over a short length of the original PQR at the former Coed-y-parc depot in Bethesda with plans to extend north towards Bangor as far as Felin hen. The trackbed was largely clear. The locos and equipment are being moved elsewhere, possibly to other sites including the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. The gala planned for 22-23/7/17 has been cancelled along with all future events. A new company had been formed last year to operate the railway and regular services started only in February. See Daily Post report.

 

Glyn Valley Tramway moves forward 20/7/17

As one door closes, another opens. The Glyn Valley Tramway has advised of progress starting out from Chirk station towards Pont Faen about 1km along the Ceiriog Valley. Progress has been delayed by the illness of the Trust's chairman but it is hoped a 30 year lease of the station site will soon be signed along with agreement with NR to allow tree removal and site clearance. See GVR Trust Facebook page.

 

Electrification halted 20/7/17

Wires will stop at Cardiff, the Government has decided, reports the BBC. So Swansea trains will be operated by bi-mode trains which will switch to diesel power west of Cardiff. See Wikipedia IEP for full details about the Intercity Express Programme. See Hitachi website for full details about the Class 800/801 Hitachi bimode trains. TRAWS hope that the money saved could be used towards the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line and Bangor-Afon Wen link to reconnect the Cambrian Coast Line as a North-South Wales link. The Government also cancelled the Kettering-Sheffield electrification promised to Nick Clegg when he was deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government 5 years ago. Also cut was the Windermere Branch which Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats until 20/7/17, had campaigned strongly for.

On the plus side the Tory/DUP Coalition has suggested it will offer improved journey times and connections in North Wales but with no specifics.

 

No.138 out on test 18/7/17

No.138 was out on test on 18/7/17 after an extensive overhaul. The loco piloted No.87 to Rhyd Ddu and was shunted onto the back of No.143's northbound service there. No.138 was hauling the water wagon as Plas-y-nant bridge is no longer able to take two Garratts. Having three Garratts available will give maintenance cover over the summer peak season and allow interesting workings in super Power in September.

 

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 5 mins19 seconds of video showing No.138 out on test on the WHR published 18/7/17. The loco has been rebuilt over the last year and is seen double heading with No.87 with the water wagon sandwiched between them. The loco was removed at Rhyd Ddu and shunted the water wagon onto the rear of No.143's northbound rake. This video has been produced by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

Beddgelert changes 19/7/17

This southerly view (19/7/17) shows the planters removed from the platform at Beddgelert and the space filled with tarmac. The planters were getting ravaged by sheep. The KMX tamper liner is making use of the siding. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welsh Electrification dropped 20/7/17

Elsewhere the Government announced on 20/7/17 that it has cancelled Cardiff-Swansea electrification. However there would be improved journey times and connections across North Wales, which could improve public transport options for those visiting the WHR..

 

No.130 progress 19/7/17

No.130's reverser is practically finished! Many of the components that make the reverser were life expired or so worn to make them unusable. So the Dinas staff have carefully restored the reverser bracket and components. It can soon be mounted on the cradle. Progress has also been made with the boiler. The outer wrapper plates have been fixed to the foundation ring. The tubeplate complete with gusset stay has been fitted and riveted and the crown stay holes drilled and reamed on the outer crown of the boiler. Soon the outer and inner firebox will be positioned ready for final fitting. See No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

Another Garratt for Wales 17/7/17!

The Vale of Rheidol reports the arrival of a new locomotive at Aberystwyth. NG G13 No 60 was built in Germany to a British design and operated in South Africa. More recently it worked in a garden centre in Switzerland (see earlier story). After careful negotiations, meticulous planning and an 800 mile journey it has arrived in Aberystwyth via Allelys Heavy Haulage. The privately owned locomotive will enter the VoR's workshops for overhaul. It may be used to occasionally bolster the railway's resident motive power fleet in future years. See VoR Facebook page for video and Press Release. Maybe, with the surfeit of motive power, the VoR will at last be able to return the favour of the loan of Palmerston and allow one of their ex-GWR side tank locos to visit SuperPower.

 

L&B gains Local Plan approval 5/7/17

The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, which frequently guests the F&WHR's Lyd, has been pleased to hear that the Exmoor National Park Authority has unanimously approved the Local Plan which includes reinstatement statement of the L&B and planning protection for its trackbed and infrastructure. This may be the reason for the 12 month delay in receiving planning permission for the section of the Killington Lane to Blackmoor Section which it is now hoped will receive approval on 5/9/17.North Devon council approved the section south from Blackmoor Gate to Whistlandpound station as long ago as June last year. The railway has the long term aim of extending to a new station above Lynton and into Barnstaple to the site of the old depot which still exists at Pilton, where there is also a large car park.

 

Replica Ashbury coach for F&WHR

Boston Lodge is to build a replica Ashbury brake carriage for the F&WHR, presumably No.22 and finished in Maroon livery to match No.24. This will enable a NWNGR vintage train to be run with No.24, a replica built in 2002 and finished in NWNGR maroon livery. Construction (by volunteers) will start after the completion of FR replica Ashbury No.21 to appear. The WHHR at Gelert Farm has two restored NWNGR coaches, one restored and the other a replica.

Heritage stock

NWNGR No. Running No. Owner Notes
8 29 WHHR Gladstone Car built by Metropolitan C&W
9 25 WHHR Replica of an Ashbury
10 23 WHHR Buffet Car built by Ashbury
11 26 F&WHR Normally runs on FR, built by Ashbury, re-bodied
12 23 F&WHR Normally runs on WHR, built by Ashbury,  Carried No.24 on WHR 
13 28 F&WHR Scrapped. Built by Ashbury
14 27 F&WHR Scrapped. Built by Ashbury
  21 F&WHR Replica Ashbury being built for F&WHR
  22 F&WHR Replica Ashbury being built for F&WHR
  24 F&WHR Replica of No.23, an Asbury Summer coach in NWNGR Maroon.

 

Class 319 Flex for Wales

The Welsh Government is to provide 2/3 of the funding to ATW to lease 5 Class 319 Flex electro-diesel units, which used to run Thameslink commuter services from Bedford. The move will allow Class150/158 DMUs to be taken out of service and upgraded for Reduced Mobility Requirements. See Railway Gazette story and Global Rail News. As it seems the units will be used in the Cardiff Area there are still hopes of some decent loco hauled trains as a follow on order for Transpennine's Class 68 plus Mk 5 order for the North Wales-South Wales/Birmingham/Liverpool (via Halton curve -see below)/Manchester services.

 

No.130 update 16/7/17

The process of rebuilding the geometry of the power bogies is well advanced and the new horns of the leading power unit have now been fitted. They need to be hardened before final fitting and then the axleboxes can be white metalled and machined to fit. It will not be too long before the first power unit is re-wheeled.

 

Two new coaches in service 14/5/17

No.2047 and No.2091 entered service on 14/5/17. No.2047 is a standard saloon with the newer style of panoramic windows and No. 2091 is a rebuild of original 1997 built Winson No.2041 with brake and toilet.

 

Work starts on Halton Curve 14/7/17

Work has started on the long standing Halton Curve project to re-link Liverpool Lime Street and North Wales. The 1.5 mile route links Runcorn on the WCML and Frodsham on the Manchester-Chester route and crosses the more westerly of the two 'coat-hanger' bridges over the M56 (the other carries the WCML). Work is due to be completed in May 2018 with services starting in December. See BBC report. It is hoped the link will bring additional passengers by public transport to the WHR, though initially, passengers on the hourly service will have to change at Chester. The local passenger service was withdrawn from the line as long ago as 5/5/75.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the line was used by a scheduled summer Saturdays-only return service between Liverpool Lime Street and Llandudno but this ended when the double track was reduced to a single line in 1994 following the privatisation of British Rail. At the same time, the associated double points and diamond crossings for southbound trains were removed from both junctions. Only northbound trains (Frodsham to Runcorn) were left able to use the line and it was re-classed for single-line working. Railtrack's decision was based on reducing maintenance costs and, by removing the crossings and points on the West Coast Mainline, increase through-train speeds between Liverpool Lime Street and Crewe.

To avoid the expense and inconvenience of a statutory closure process for Halton Curve, a summer dated Parliamentary train continues to run (northbound only), the 0753 SO from Chester to Runcorn 27/5/17-9/9/17.

 

Gobowen station secured for rail use

Gobowen station buildings, largely empty for more than 10 years, have been purchased with help from the local councils, who offered a grant and loan amounting to£110,00. The station will be owned by the Oswestry Station Building Trust. This is the Cambrian Heritage Railways junction with the Wrexham-Shrewsbury line. Having recently received a TWA they are now hoping to open from Gobowen to Llynclys, through Oswestry station which may compete with the WHR. Cambrian Railways completed purchase of the bay platform and coal yard a few years ago and now own the whole route from Oswestry into the station. The campaign to save the station from private ownership is featured on their forum. The future of the tenants, the booking office run by Severn-Dee Travel (originally set up by girls from Moreton Hall Girls' School) and the station cafe run by pupils with learning difficulties from Derwen College, is secured. See Parish Council press release and Shropshire Star story.

 

Palmerston School Special 12/7/17

About one hundred pupils plus staff from Ysgol Eifion Wyn Junior School Porthmadog enjoyed a trip on the Welsh Highland Railway to Beddgelert and back on 12/7/17 in glorious sunshine.

 

This southerly view (12/7/17) shows Palmerston crossing Pont Croesor with a three coach school special to Beddgelert and Minffordd. The rake comprised the Victorian livery curly roofed van, a bowsider and a bugbox. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (12/7/17) shows Palmerston climbing the 1 in 40 Nantmor Bank, the start of the steep climb to Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (12/7/17) shows Palmerston taking water from the heritage tank after running around at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (12/7/17) shows Palmerston descending the Aberglaslyn Pass. It is interesting to note that vegetation has finally begun to grow on the copper contaminated embankment 100 years after construction following the addition of some soil during the WHR construction. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (12/7/17) shows Palmerston at the foot of the 1 in 40 Nantmor Bank, about to pass through the short Hafod-y-llyn works train loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Moving wheels No.8 12/7/17

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 22 mins 35 seconds of video detailing recent events on the F&WHR published 12/7/17. This video has been produced by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

Caernarfon Slate Quay project wins £3.5m grant

The Daily Post reports that the Caernarfon Slate Quay project, covering the area of derelict land between Caernarfon Station and the Harbour Master's Office opposite the castle, has been awarded an improvement grant. The grant' of almost £3.5 million, comes from the Heritage Lottery fund and will allow artisan workshops and holiday lets to be constructed on the site, including Beics Menai bicycle hire. The money is part of a £15 million EU funded scheme 'Caernarfon Tourism Attractor Destination'. The WHR has enjoyed considerable funding from the EU over the years and similar funding may dry up in the future if Brexit goes ahead. See also BBC story.

 

West Midlands Group meeting Thursday 13/7/17

Dave Waldren advises: PLEASE NOTE that due to illness, the next meeting of the WHR West Midland Group has been changed. We will no longer be entertained by Robert Pettitt on ‘Feldbahnen’, and we send Robert our best wishes for a speedy recovery. Instead, Dave Waldren will be presenting an evening of narrow gauge indulgence! In the first half, he’ll be showing a selection of unpublished vintage narrow gauge railway images from his collection, dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. In the second half he will be showing some recent videos, taken at this year’s Beer Festival, ‘Quirks II’ and the Group visit to the Downs Light Railway.

A warm welcome awaits all; come along and enjoy an evening with us regardless of whether you are a WHR Society member or not. The meeting will start at 7:30pm prompt, The Dennis Carson Room, Dame Elizabeth Hall, Firbank Close (off Oak Tree Lane) Bournville, Birmingham B30 1UA

 

Appeal for help with SuperPower

The F&WHR needs volunteers to prepare for SuperPower and to put it all away again afterwards. People are needed Wednesday and Thursday 13-14/9/17. Those who are travelling some distance would be welcome to join the North Wales Group for their monthly meeting at the Mountain Rangers Social Club, Rhosgadfan, on Wednesday 13/9/17. Help is then required Friday to Sunday 15/9/17-17/9/17 to help with stewarding, manning stands etc all through the day and evening on both Friday and Saturday. Finally assistance will be needed to put it all away again on the Monday 18/9/17. Anyone who would like to be involved in this popular event please let Tym Crowther know your availability and the F&WHR will find you something to do. Contact Tym Crowther – andy@tymcrowther.eclipse.co.uk

 

Timetable change 10/7/15

A special timetable ran on the WHR on 10/7/17 for the Belmond 'Grand tour of Great Britain' to visit the WHR. The normal 10 am departure from Caernarfon was re-timed to 10:30. The FR's observation car No.150 was been added to provide two first class coaches to accommodate the luxury tour participants.

 

New BF&TR website 10/7/17

A new Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Co. website has been launched. The group is still working at Maentwrog Road and Cwmbowydd crossing with volunteer work parties every weekend to clear the line between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd lake of undergrowth.

 

Lyn steams at Keef's 9/7/17

Replica L&B Baldwin loco Lyn was steamed for the first time at Keef's factory near Ross-on-Wye. See Lyn homepage for video of this event. Rumours persisted that the 2-4-2 pannier tank loco would be trialled on the WHR but it will now be delivered direct to Woody Bay in September after fettling work at Keef's and be launched at the L&B Gala over the weekend of 20/9/17-1/10/17. There is hope the unique loco will come to the WHR next year as the F&WHR lends Lyd, another L&B replica, to the L&B Galas regularly. The Lyn Supporters Group still needs to find £25,000 to finish the loco and paint in SR green.

 

Welsh Pony progress 8/7/17

This Boston Lodge view (8/7/17) shows Welsh Pony's boiler now with some additions to the firebox. Gauge glasses have been fitted. The mounting for the regulator is apparent and a Salter's safety valve fitted supported by a more modern safety valve hidden inside the brass dome. Supports to carry the rear frames that the cab will be built on are visible. The boiler still needs the smokebox fitting to the front. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Glenn Williams (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station gas main works 4-5/7/17

Work is underway to move the gas main from the worksite for Caernarfon station. The gas main was discovered late in the day and has delayed the start of construction the station. Footpath diversions and traffic control are needed while the road is excavated to accommodate a diversion for the gas main. A new wheelchair accessible route has been created along the east edge of the WHR compound against the retaining wall while the gas main diversion works continue.

 

This northerly view (4/7/17) shows construction of the diversion of gas main which crosses the WHR station site (presumably the trench near the road). The new excavation and yellow pipes for the new gas main can be seen in St Helens Road. Once the diversion is complete work will be able to start on constructing the new station building at Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (5/7/17) shows construction of the diverted gas main which is being moved into St Helens Road. The diverted wheelchair accessible route can be seen on the right between the worksite offices and the Segontium Terrace retaining wall. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Free weekend buses from 8/7/17

The TrawsCymru bus network that largely replaced long distance trains in Wales such as Bangor-Aberystwyth-Carmarthen and Wrexham-Bala-Barmouth across North and mid-Wales is becoming free at weekends until at least May next year. Bus services include those above but also Newtown-Brecon-Cardiff/Swansea. The £1million scheme is funded by the Welsh Assembly and is designed to promote tourism. See Daily Post report.

 

No.130 progress 5/7/16

The manifold (completed in 2016 and stored since) was delivered to Dinas at the end of June ready for the delivery of the new boiler. In early July the water pipework, including the sieve box, were finished and fixed to the cradle. New ball valves have been fitted and just need the flexible hose fitted to the tanks.

 

Welsh Pony progress 1/7/17

This Boston Lodge view (1/7/17) shows Welsh Pony's boiler now mounted on the frames. The boiler still needs the smokebox fitting to the front. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Glenn Williams (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (1/7/17) shows Welsh Pony's original boiler now mounted on the well wagon for transport and storage at Minffordd. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Glenn Williams (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rhyd Ddu fence 26/6/17

This northerly view (26/6/17) shows volunteers constructing a new fence at Rhyd Ddu next to the Garden of Remembrance. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

BF&TR update 8/7/17

After some recent personnel changes a new website has been produced. A deposit has been paid for the chipper and work is in progress this weekend clearing several buddleia bushes from south of Cwmbowydd Road level crossing in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Up to date images of progress are available on the BF&TR Facebook page.

 

No.134 update 17-18/6/17

The No.134 Group experienced a warm weekend but still with good progress made. The continuing task from last month was the fitting of the fitted bolts for the axle boxes to the pony and Krauss-Helmholtz trucks. The fitted bolts arrived, however they turned out to have M20 fine pitch threads so with only standard nuts available volunteers were only able to tap those into place on the pony truck where they had previously reamed out the holes. These were found these to be a good fit but the group still did not want to continue until they had the nuts to tighten everything up fully.

Volunteers did however move onto the Krauss-Helmholtz truck and reamed out a further 12 holes ready on that. There are eight more to do however again no further progress was safe to be made until these current ones are tightened up. The group continued tidying up of the holes from the last working party to attach the cladding to the cylinders. They had four very large holes left to do which already had stripped M12 threads. So volunteers drilled and tapped these to M14 then fitted plugs and then drilled and tapped into these with M10. All was going well until the tap broke in the last hole so this will be finished with a new tap next time.

The cylinder end covers had the same treatment of cleaning out and re-tapping the holes to take the insulation cover and the cladding cover. Both cylinder covers were then cleaned and painted. As the group wanted the dome cladding cover out of the way onto a shelf they decided to clean this, remove all the various dents and gave it a protective coat of paint.

Finally volunteers revisited the tender rear dragbox as there is some corrosion there. They cleaned off any rust and scale to examine the extent of the problem so a plan for its repair can be formulated. See NG15 website for images.

 

Taliesin on the WHR 1/7/17

This northerly view (1/7/17) shows Taliesin returning to Porthmadog at Pont Croesor. The loco was on guest driver duties and is seen passing No.143 on the morning train heading for Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

TRAWS news 1/7/17

The Gwili Railway opened its extension on the trackbed of the former Aberystwyth-Carmarthen railway on 1/7/17 with public services starting on 2/7/17. See Gwili Extension Opening and Gwili Railway Extension website for further details. See BBC report for images. The Gwili Railway has reopened to the site of Abergwili Junction, just north of Carmarthen thereby doubling the length of the operational railway to just over 4 miles. The next task for the railway is to extend north along the trackbed its owns to Llanpumsaint. Extending south into Carmarthen would be expensive. Although there is a clear strip of land along the west side of the A40 Carmarthen Bypass that could accommodate the railway into Carmarthen station, a new 50m bridge would be needed over the River Towy to link into station.

TRAWS are looking at dual working arrangements with the Gwili Railway if they succeed in their plan to reopen the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen link. Another option is a new route between Llanpumsaint and Abergwili Junction, which cuts out this sinuous, speed limited section along the Afon Gwili valley.

 

Tuesday Gang report 27/6/17

Tony Baker reports: On Tuesday 27/6/17 the Tuesday Gang worked at 3 locations. Firstly repairs were made to APG's at Tros-y-Gol. Then at Pitt's Head we replaced a wooden gate that was looking a bit tired with a metal gate. Finally the prime job was at Pont Cae'r Gors where the top rail on one of the pedestrian gates had rotted through. This was a 5 foot gate of which we had none in stock. So once again our recycling skills were put to good use. A sound piece of timber was cut from the old wooden gate that we had just replaced at Pitt's Head and fashioned into a replacement top rail.

 

This southerly view (27/6/17) shows No.87 passing Pitt's Head on the morning train to Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (27/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang repairing a gate at Pitt's Head. 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 (27/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang removing rotten timbers for a gate at Pont Cae'r Gors. 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 (27/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang with the rotten timbers on the back of the truck at Pont Cae'r Gors. 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 (27/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang completing the gate at Pont Cae'r Gors. 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 (27/6/17) shows No.143 passing the Tuesday Gang's completed gate at Pont Cae'r Gors on the afternoon train to Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tryfan Junction station master

Following hire of a Portaloo for the halt, the WHHG has appointed a station master for Tryfan junction in collaboration with the F&WHR. He will be present every fortnight at weekends from 8-9/7/16 until Superpower. See WHHG Facebook page for full details. This page also provides many archive views of the WHR.

 

Titbits Spring 2017

A new TLC will be published this year in a different style. Taliesin's perforated main steam pipe has been replaced and the loco saw duty on 10/6/17 on a WHR service with David Lloyd George. Lyd has been out of action for a short while a hot box on the pony truck is repaired. Earl of Merioneth rejoined the fleet in mid June for its final season and providing maintenance cover for the other two Fairlies. Volunteers have worked on re-tubing Blanche but the boiler has not yet been returned to the frames. Meanwhile Linda is getting a little tired and has not seen much use but was noted on the Snowdonian Limited on 10/6/17. the loco needs new pony truck wheels as the current set were from Moel Tryfan.

Caernarfon castle is OOU again following a recurrence of its gearbox problems that saw it waylaid several years ago. One of the final drive boxes suffered a failed bearing and has been sent away for repair. Unfortunately the job is not simple as the bearing housing was damaged and a new housing must be made. The wheels may need to be taken off the axles to facilitate this work. While the loco is out of traffic the air brakes are being upgraded top a fail-safe lorry type so that if the loco loses air pressure, the brakes will be applied. The brakes cannot then be released until sufficient air pressure has been generated.

Work on the front end power bogie of No.138 has been completed and good progress has been made with the rear power bogie which requires less work. It is hoped to see the loco back in traffic during June giving maintenance cover for the other two serviceable Garratts.

New coach No.2047 has been turned out with rubber secondary suspension instead of coiled springs to see if it improves the ride. If it does then other WHR coaching stock will be retrofitted.

 

Welsh Pony update

Progress is being made with Welsh Pony when time allows. The boiler passed its hydraulic exam in mid-May and the driving wheels have been installed in the main frames. A trial fit for the boiler is planned before fitting the refurbished valve gear, followed by the final fitting of the boiler. The remains of the original rear frame will then be refurbished and bolted to the brackets welded to the backhead of the boiler. The tender is nearly complete. The restoration team would very much like to retain the distinctive flat rods that this loco has carried for many years but the metal at the square eyes has become very thin. further donations to the Welsh Pony Fund will help deal with this problem.

 

No.130 news

Work continues on new Garratt No.130 with attention now focussed on refitting steam and water pipework to the cradle. Additional work has taken place on the cab, screw reverser, hand brake, footsteps and injector brackets. The next big stage with the boiler is to make a flat bed onto which the new boiler can be laid out and assembled with the geometry just right. To begin this process, large I beam girders have been laid out onto which a 3 x 6 metre flat steel sheet will be welded to form the assembly plate. This process will be completed by 28/6/17.

 

SuperPower 15-17/9/17

This year's three day SuperPower event on 15-17/9/17, titled 'Welsh Highland Stars' promises to be something special. Many hope for an appearance by Russell from the WHHR on the WHR main line but, sadly, there is still no sign that this will occur.

As is normal for this weekend, there will be an intensive service operating over the three days with many additional departures over and above the standard Welsh Highland service trains. The F&WHR has set a precedent for unique workings in previous years and has no intention of stopping now. There will be passenger, vintage, freight and mixed trains running throughout the weekend, and consequently many favourites from the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland fleet of locomotives will be in use for people to enjoy.

The Snowdonia National Park through which the railway runs is well known for its stunning and varied landscapes which of course can be admired from the train during daylight hours, but Wales now leads the world in the percentage of its territory enjoying protected status for its night skies. The Park is now an International Dark Sky Reserve, only the tenth place in the world to gain this status, and it is the F&WHR's intention to celebrate this achievement at the Gala with a number of special opportunities for visitors to enjoy, maybe with night trains.

Tickets will be available to purchase online in the very near future, and more detailed information regarding the special attractions will be published in due course.

 

WHR Stars advert for SuperPower 2017. No details are currently available. Courtesy F&WHR.

 

Classic Car Show at Dinas 20/8/17

The Classic Car show comes to Dinas again on 20/8/17 and there will be special events, such as footplate rides, slate shunt and miniature train rides as well as stands and stalls.

 

Dinas Britomart 23/6/17

On 23/6/17 Britomart hauled two coaches on a private working from Porthmadog to Caernarfon then to Blaenau and back to Porthmadog. The loco has previously run to Caernarfon pilotted by Moelwyn several years ago.

 

Snowdonian Limited 9-10/6/16

Some images have finally arrived from the Snowdonian Limited run on 10/6/16 and the Boston Lodge visit the night before. This is the second year this special working has run following The Snowdonian becoming full last year.

 

This Boston Lodge view (9/6/17) shows David Lloyd George and Taliesin being prepared for duty on the Snowdonian Limited the following day. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (9/6/17) shows Earl of Merioneth. The loco was being returned to service for a final season before withdrawal. The loco will be mounted on two old bogies and preserved intact in case a future enthusiast group wishes to restore it. It will be replaced in service by the new build Fairlie James Spooner, due for completion by 2020 in time for the 150th anniversary of the original Fairlie Little Wonder's trails on the FR. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (9/6/17) shows new FR Pullman Observation Car No.152 under construction. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (10/6/17) shows Taliesin and David Lloyd George on substituting on a service train, passing Dinas Works, so that No. 87 could be released for the non-stop working to Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (10/6/17) shows progress rebuilding No.138 in Dinas Works. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (10/6/17) shows No.143 heading to Caernarfon on the service train passing the Snowdonian Limited at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright John Mottram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (10/6/17) shows No.87 heading to Boston Lodge on the non-stop Snowdonian Limited crossing Britannia Bridge on what was to prove a wet day. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright John Mottram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (10/6/17) shows Britomart, Lilla and Linda shunting the Snowdonian Limited at Tan-y-Bwlch. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright John Mottram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (10/6/17) shows the Snowdonian Limited passing through Tan-y-bwlch lead by Britomart, Lilla and Linda. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (10/6/17) shows the Snowdonian Limited team with headboard posing with Lilla at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Tim Reynolds and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

F&WHR Moving Pictures No.7

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 22 mins 0 seconds of video detailing recent events on the F&WHR published 19/6/17. This video has been produced by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

BF&TR update

There have been some changes in the management structure of this new railway project in the F&WHR's 'backyard'. Teething difficulties are common in newly formed volunteer organisations. A new 4 min 43 second simulation video has been released to show how the railway could operate from a two coach platform at Cwmbowydd Road l/c a few hundred yards west of the joint FR/NR station until such time as operational agreements can be made to run into the main line station. The latter would probably require a new shared section token from the old LNWR station to Cwmbowydd with a trap point each end of the section. The token could be drawn by only one railway when their trains are due in the main line station, unless permissive working was allowed for same platform interchange. See BF&TR Facebook page.

 

Caernarvon BR station images 3/7/70

Caernarvon (as it was then known) BR station was located in the car park area behind Asda and the station building was roughly where the Balaclava Road roundabout is located. Your web editor was lucky enough to travel to it in one of the last year's of operation in late August 1967 in a DMU (sitting behind the driver!). The line had recently been singled in 1966, with (as I recollect) the Up line being used for all traffic. Sadly the pictures I took with my mum's Brownie 127 have become lost over time. On 1/7/69 Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales in Caernarfon Castle and trains ran as far as Dinas (including the Royal Train) for stock storage even though the line had been mothballed for 5 years following closure on 7/9/64. It is interesting to note that regular trains ran from Manchester Exchange and Liverpool Lime Street to Caernarvon in the mid sixties.

Caernarfon BR station closed 5/1/70 but reopened as a freightliner terminal six months later after the fire that destroyed the Menai Straits tubular bridge on 23/5/70. Final closure came on 30/1/72 after the new Menai Straits railway bridge was opened (albeit single track!). Dave Waldren has kindly provided a set of images he recently purchased from this short-lived revival dated 3/7/70 when Caernarfon became busy again as a freightliner terminal. Full details of Caernarfon's three earlier stations (including one on the site of the current WHR station) can be found on the Disused Station website.

 

This westerly view (3/7/70) shows the closed Caernarvon BR station with track removed from the former Bangor bays. A Class 47 in two tone green shunts freightliner wagons in the yard. The track dips down behind the signalbox into the Cross Town tunnel, now converted for road use. Two road cranes are visible for transferring freightliner wagons. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Dave Waldren from an original of unknown provenance and was taken on a film camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/7/70) shows the closed Caernarvon BR station with a road crane transferring freightliner wagons to lorries for onward shipment to Holyhead. The wall to the left of the crane still exists in the Balaclava Road car park and Y Galeri now occupies the site of the sheds visible in the distance. The track dips down to the left into the Cross Town tunnel, now converted for road use. The nearer track was exclusive to Llanberis, closed to all services, after an extended afterlife as an Excursion line, on 7/9/64 then lifted soon after. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Dave Waldren from an original of unknown provenance and was taken on a film camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (3/7/70) shows the closed Caernarvon BR station a road crane transferring freightliner wagons to lorries for onward shipment to Holyhead. The wall to the left of the crane still exists in the Balaclava Road car park and modern flats, Premier Inn and Travelodge motels now occupy the tank farm to the left. On the right he track dips down to the left into the Cross Town tunnel and converges into one track for Dinas as the right hand track for Llanberis had clearly been lifted by this date as all that is left is a catch point. The nearer crane appears to be in a fixed location with the loco shunting the wagons past it for unloading. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Dave Waldren from an original of unknown provenance and was taken on a film camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (3/7/70) shows the closed Jacobean Caernarvon BR station building on the left in front of the church with track removed from the former Bangor bays in the foreground. A Class 47 in two tone green shunts freightliner wagons in the yard. This view is taken from the site of the Balaclava Road roundabout between Morrisons and the former Christ Church, with visible spire, which became the Hwylfan Fun Centre in 1999 after lying derelict for almost 20 years. The area to the right became Morrisons. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Dave Waldren from an original of unknown provenance and was taken on a film camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (18/7/70) shows the closed Britannia Bridge following the fire on 23/5/70. Work is underway to extract the burned timbers before removal of the tubes and replacement with the new arched structure. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size. This image is copyright Dave Waldren from an original of unknown provenance and was taken on a film camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Three Peaks special 15-17/6/17

DRS provided locos Nos.37609/605 to haul this year's Three Peaks charity fund raising special to Bangor (1Z51 off Crewe rather than London as normal). The train was later to run north to Ravenglass (for Scafell Pike) and Fort William (for Ben Nevis). This rail industry sponsored event raises money for the charity Railway Children.

 

Bontnewydd Bypass Inquiry starts 13/6/17

A Public Inquiry opened on 13/6/17 into the A487 Caernarfon-Bontnewydd bypass that bridges the WHR just north of Bontnewydd Halt. The inquiry is set to take up to 6 weeks. This is an opportunity for members of the public to ask for a junction with the A4085 Caernarfon to Beddgelert road which has been missed out in the scheme. Under current plans people travelling towards Beddgelert will need to continue to drive through Caernarfon, or to continue for some miles to Bontnewydd then double back via local roads to Caeathro to access the A4065 to Beddgelert or travel via the A4086 and Pont-rug to Caeathro. See WAG report for full details, including maps and plans of the scheme. Also see BBC report. Nine alternatives have been proposed which will be considered by the Inspector including a roundabout for the A4085 and changes to the vertical profile when crossing the WHR. See Daily Post report.

Local politicians are concerned there may be decades of delays to the scheme if it is not approved now. See Daily Post report.

 

Tuesday Gang report 13/6/17

Tony Baker reports: There was a change of scene this week. Whilst we are awaiting fresh supplies of crossing timbers we applied preservative to the station buildings at Meillionen and Waunfawr. We were glad to get done at the Forest Campsite as the midges were out in force.

 

This northerly view (13/6/17) shows the preservative applied to Meillionen Halt (Beddgelert Forest) station building. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Dawson and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/6/17) shows the preservative applied to Waunfawr station building. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Dawson and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Snowdonian Limited 10/6/17

The 'Snowdonian Limited' ran on 10/6/127, offering an 80 mile round trip over the whole railway with a variety of motive power.

Tickets cost Third Class £180.00 and First Class £400.00

  • On Friday evening there was a tour of Boston Lodge at 1645.
  • Saturday approx depart around 0915 and return by 1915. Porthmadog - Caernarfon - Blaenau Ffestiniog - Porthmadog.
  • Light Breakfast on train. Hog Roast and Workshop visit at Dinas.
  • Afternoon Tea at Tan-y-bwlch.
  • Non-stop Garratt Porthmadog - Caernarfon.
  • Britomart/Lilla/Linda hauled the FR leg

On all trains:- Seating was limited to 66% capacity to provide comfort. It was hoped that historic Carriage No.14 would be included in train as a Club Car dispensing refreshments including Snowdonian Real Ale.

This train was run to raise funds for The Diamond Jubilee Appeal.

 

Class 40 visits the F&WHR 10/6/17

Its now a rare event to see loco hauled trains anywhere near the F&WHR as NR has still not developed a mobile ERTMS system capable of being installed in visiting traction. There have been no railtours to the Cambrian Coast for several years now despite the upgrading of the line making it fit for loco hauled stock. However, Blaenau Ffestiniog continues to be visited from time to time and on Saturday 10/6/17 a WCR/ELR/CFPS special visited Blaenau Ffestiniog from Preston hauled by 40145 carrying number '345', a number it carried for a few years after the end of steam where the D prefix was dropped and before TOPS in 1974.

 

This northerly view (10/6/17) shows the special posing alongside Earl of Merioneth at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Phil Brown (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

KS4415 rolling chassis 10/6/17

After five days hard work by pioneer diesel loco volunteers at Boston Lodge, the 'bottom end' of Kerr Stuart 4415 was assembled last week. The work undertaken included fitting the layshaft plus associated sprockets and gears, fitting the springs and radius rods that attach the wheelsets to each other and to the frames, lifting the frame onto the wheelsets, assembling the brake gear, fitting and adjusting the drive chains, and fitting drawgear and couplings. This is a big step forward for the project, and is effectively the end of Stage 1, although there are still a few little bits to finish off. Volunteers will now turn their attention to the engine and gearbox.

 

This northerly view (10/6/17) shows the KS4415 at Boston Lodge, now a rolling chassis. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright KS Group and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Prince to feature at SVR Gala 21-24/9/17

Prince will be running with a heritage carriage on a short track at the Engine House Highley during the SVR's Gala 21-24/9/17. The loco was stored at this location between 2010-12 while out of boiler ticket awaiting its turn in Boston Lodge loco queue. See Steam Railway's report.

 

Heavy rain disrupts services 8/6/17

Exceptionally heavy rain (even by North Wales standards!) leads to delays on 8/6/17. The first train of the day from Caernarfon ran an hour late and passed the first from Porthmadog at Rhyd Ddu rather than Beddgelert. The Traeth at Pont Croesor was heavily flooded. Later in the day Vale of Ffestiniog was called out to assist No.87 back to Caernarfon.

 

This easterly view (8/6/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog assisting No.87 on the afternoon departure from Porthmadog at 14:55. 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.

 

Heritage railways concerns about General Election

With Britain going to the polls on 8/6/17, there are concerns in many Heritage Railways about the outcome on their futures. As predicted before the Brexit vote, the economy has begun to dip markedly with the Brexit inspired reduction in the value of the pound, the consequent inflation has spiralled while wages have stagnated in 2017. This has led to reduced disposable income for the majority of families. On the plus side this bad economic news might encourage more 'staycation' but possibly 'nocation' meaning mixed fortunes for Heritage Railways, especially those a long drive from the centres of population, such as the F&WHR, now petrol has gone up so much.

While the Conservative Party, in an extreme volte-face, is now an enthusiastic advocate of Brexit at any cost, Labour and Plaid Cymru are acquiescing to the notion that the UK is going to leave the EU, albeit with various reservations. On the other hand the Liberal Democrats, Scots Nationalists, Greens and even some of the Northern Ireland parties remain implacably opposed to Brexit with the Lib Dems proposing a second referendum when the true cost of Brexit becomes clear.

The WHR has benefitted hugely from the EU's largesse in supporting economically deprived areas on the fringes. It is unlikely the WHR would have been rebuilt without EU support and it remains unclear whether any similar funding stream will appear in these 'straitened' economic times from UK government funds. If the Bank of England projections are correct and this Brexit inspired economic downturn continues, where we are now officially the G7 member with the lowest growth, it is unclear if there will ever be funds available for Heritage Railways in the future.

Voters with an interest in Heritage Railways should consider these issues carefully before voting.

 

Tuesday Gang report 6/6/17

Tony Baker reports: On 6/6/15 the Tuesday Gang were at Rhyd Ddu working on LC 39.28 where we changed two rotten outer timbers on the Caernarfon end foot crossing and then moved down to the crossing on the Snowdon footpath Ffridd Isaf LC 39.16 where we cleaned out all the mud and slate waste debris which gets washed down. Whilst this was going on three gang members were installing a planter at Meillionen which has been transferred from duties at Caernarfon. This will be planted shortly with rabbit proof flowers.

 

This easterly view (6/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang cutting timbers for the Rhyd Ddu station foot crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (6/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang fitting the new timbers for the Rhyd Ddu station foot crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (6/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang clearing the debris from the Snowdon footpath crossing at Rhyd Ddu, clearly an area that would benefit from a catch pit. 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 (6/6/17) shows the Tuesday Gang with the cleared anti-trespass grids at the Snowdon footpath crossing at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 progress 5/6/17

It was found that both of the front pony truck spring arrangements were worn and not working properly. This has now been addressed by obtaining new parts and new springs. See No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

Welsh Pony progress 1/6/17

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 8 mins 14 seconds of video detailing the progress with Welsh Pony published 2/6/17. The video has been produced by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

Events 2017

1/1/17 Final Mince Pie Special 1015/1330 return from Dinas to Beddgelert
19-22/1/17 Hugh Napier at the Caravan and Motorhome Show, Event City, Manchester
18-25/2/17 Start of WHR 2017 Green Timetable Dinas-Beddgelert (2 trains a day)
18-25/2/17 Palmerston on show Kings Cross promoting 'Great little Trains of Wales' booklet
1/3-23/3/17 Orange Timetable MTFX Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn
25/3-30/3/17 Start of WHR 2017 Season Yellow Easter Timetable (5 days only) MFX
1/4/17 Trains every day in May (except 28/4/17) including Easter Red timetable (14-18/4/17) and 29-30/4/17 and 1/5/17
8/4/17 The Snowdonian
28/4-1/5/17 FR Quirks and Curiosities event (includes some WHR events from Hafod-y-llyn)
6-14/5/17 Palmerston visit to Albert Dock, Liverpool
13/5/17 Caernarfon Food Festival (Extra services)
19-21/5/17 Rail-Ale 13th Annual Beer Festival based at Dinas
10/6/17 The Snowdonian Limited- a limited re-run of The Snowdonian
11-12/8/17 Palmerston at the Shrewsbury Flower Show
20/8/17 Classic Car Show and Family Day at Dinas
15-17/9/17 SuperPower (WHR AGM 16/9/17)
21-24/9/17 Prince at Highley (SVR) running during the SVR Gala
6-8/10/17 FR Victorian Weekend (may include some WHR events)
27/10/17 WHR Halloween Train
9-10/12/17 WHR Santa Specials
16-17/12/17 WHR Santa Specials
21-22/12/17 WHR Santa Specials
27/12/17-1/1/18 WHR Mince Pie Specials (to be confirmed)

 

Mainline news

There will be a series of railtours both to and from North Wales in 2017 and it seems that Penmaenmawr Quarries are to start delivering stone by rail again, while de-fuelling and removing contaminated material from Wylfa Nuclear Power Station will continue for another year at least. In recent years steam on the North Wales Coast/Blaenau Ffestiniog has declined and steam on the Cambrian disappeared due to NR reneging on its promise to provide a mobile ERTMS unit.

1/3/17 'Cathedrals' Express' Euston-Holyhead (steam) Steam Dreams

15/3/17 'The Edinburgh Express' Bangor-Edinburgh (diesel) WCR

22/4/17 'Y Triongl Gogledd Cymru' Lancaster-Holyhead via Stafford including various freight-only chords/loops (diesel) BLS

29/4/17 'North Wales Extravaganza' Norwich-Holyhead (diesel) NENTA

1/5/17 'The Victorian Day Pullman' Skegness-Llandudno (diesel) WCR

3/5/17 'Royal Windsor Express' Holyhead-Windsor (diesel) WCR

10/6/17 'The East Lancs Enterprise' Preston-Blaenau Ffestiniog (diesel) WCR

23/7/17 'North Wales Coast Express' Liverpool to Holyhead (steam) RYTC

25/7/17 'Welsh Mountaineer' Preston-Blaenau Ffestiniog (steam) RYTC

30/9/17 'Conway Valley Explorer II' Cleethorpes-Betws-y-coed (diesel) WCR

11/10/17 'The Jorvik/Scarborough Spa III' Bangor-Scarborough (diesel) WCR

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2017

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.

The programme for 2017 is as follows:

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

^ Bank Holiday weekend

LW-Long weekend Friday-Monday

WW-Working week Saturday-Friday

# For dates for April, June, August and October are subject to confirmation-contact Paul Bradshaw if you are interested. Dates for November and December 2017 are provisional pending preparation of the Winter Major Works Programme for 2017-18.

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.

 

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

 

V4.3499 updated 21/7/17