Welsh Highland Railway
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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.
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)
'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 2/10/15-file awaits 1/2/15-3/3/15 news/images)
Snow Scenes (updated 6/12/14)
Rolling Stock News Page (updated 28/12/04)
Phase 4 News Page (updated 3/3/05)
Volunteer Contact details page (updated 20/12/14)
Phase 2 and 3 page list (updated 27/8/08)
Access to Phase 2 pages is currently being progressed.
If you would like an automated announcement of site updates, email me at the NEW (2013) address below replacing the letters 'dot' with a full stop
This has been introduced as an anti-spam feature.
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.
New construction images/text will be posted on a regular basis.
New text in RED!
Phase 2 DVD released
Following many requests, your webmaster's Hi8 (stereo) Phase 2 analogue camcorder footage has been captured with a digitiser and edited to make a 2 hour DVD. All footage is from the year 2000, including:-
Click here for the Clip List.
The previous Phase 3 VHS video has been edited from original material onto DVD. Both Phase 2 and Phase 3 DVDs come in library boxes with smart illustrated inserts and a clip list (no commentary). The DVDs themselves are attractively labelled with a snowy alpine railway scene at Rhyd Ddu. The DVDs can be provided in any format (+R/-R/+RW/-RW) and the DVDs are not regionalised. Special orders for NTSC versions could be considered if the technology proves workable. All monies raised from the sale of these DVDs will go to the WHRS to support Phase 4. Contact the WHR/FR Shop. Limited numbers of copies of both DVDs will be on sale at WHRS events.
Phase 3 Video Offer
A new video offer for Phase 3 was launched at Easter 2004. The last video generated over £1,000 all of which was donated to the WHRS and the new video sold out at Super Power 2004, raising over £400 for Phase 4 funds.
The new video shows the construction, works trains, Royal test trains and the opening to Rhyd Ddu. The video is over 1.5 hours long covering the period 2000-2003. It also includes a few Gala clips and a 'chase the train' sequence at Llwyn-y-bedw. The special Xmas Edition now contains K1 in action footage and the 2005 Gala and the delivery of K1 to Dinas.
Phase 2 is also available in DVD format mastered from digitised analogue footage.
Phase 3 is now available in DVD format mastered from VHS tape for better reproduction!
Click here for Phase 3 Construction video Clip List
Sept 2007-Aug 2008 Edition of Phase 4 DVD
A new edition appeared at Garratt 50 including scenes from SuperPower 2007 through Palmerston at Beddgelert, the Supporters' Specials in the Aberglaslyn Pass to the final stages of linking up at Traeth Mawr. The DVD is an hour long. John Wooden sold them from his shop and also his on-line shop with all money raised going directly to the WHRS for Phase 4 funds. Following the review to be published in the Winter 2009 TSR, more copies will be produced over Xmas.
Click here for FR on-line shop
Click here for DVD Clip List
Click here for the latest YouTube Clip or on the box below
Click on the YouTube box above to watch 1 min of video of Prince crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge on 27/10/08 working a photo-charter. The quality of the YouTube clip does not represent the quality of the DVD. This video was taken by Barrie Hughes on a JVC Everio GZ-MG21EK camcorder.
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
Trustees Special 7/10/15
The annual visit of the Trustees to the WHR took place on 7/10/15. The Trustees travelled to Dinas on the Trustees Special hauled by David Lloyd George and were shown progress including new PW diesel No.9 which was dragged out into the sunshine.
This southerly view (7/10/15) shows David Lloyd George hauling the Trustees' Special arriving at Beddgelert. 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 (7/10/15) shows David Lloyd George hauling the Trustees' Special at Pont Cae'r Gors. 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 (7/10/15) shows No.9 pulled out into the sunshine at Dinas for the Trustees to see progress. 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.
New PW diesel No. 9 was on display at Dinas for the Trustees at Dinas on 7/9/15. The new loco allow Caernarfon Castle to be used primarily as a rescue loco or to substitute for a failed Garratt rather than a PW loco. The Baguley 0-6-0DM locomotive (builder's number 2395 of 1953) was built for the South Johnstone Co-operative Sugar Milling Association Ltd in Queensland, Australia. It was used for sugar cane haulage in the Innisfail district of far north Queensland for many years often with its side panels off to assist cooling in the hot conditions near the equator. The locomotive has a 150hp Gardner 8LW diesel engine de-rated to 132hp to extend life and reduce the need for cooling in the hot conditions that close to the equator. The locomotive was built for 2ft gauge but the wheelsets have been adjusted to the slightly narrower F&WHR gauge (1' 11.5") during the extended 2 year rebuilding period at Dinas. It has been turned out in a close approximation of the South Johnstone livery.
Subscribers' Special 11/10/15
Sunday 11/10/15 sees subscribers to the Sustainable Railway Appeal visiting Minffordd, Boston Lodge, Pont Croesor, Beddgelert and Dinas. The train will be hauled by Lyd and the timings are as follows:-
Photographs would be welcome.
Team Wylfa report 6/10/15
Clive Briscoe reports: Two weeks after the 'flush and oil change' on my left knee, I was back in action (taking things slowly) on the evening of 6/10/15. It was just Pete and myself but we quickly checked the E Set then walked down to the Loco Shed to continue work on No.134. The first job was to complete the lower shelf beneath our steel workbench. A raid on the firewood store provided two lengths of 6" x 1" board. A few strokes of the saw and the shelf was finished and all of our 1 1/2" pipe fittings are at last off the floor.
Next came the final fitting of the strengthening brackets beneath the LHS running plate to support the very heavy Chinese mechanical lubricator. Eventually got the 4 holes in the lubricator lined up with the running plate and then the brackets. Even more eventually, after a thorough search of the Loco Shed, we managed to find 4-off spring washers to go under the 1" BSW nuts to secure the 'beast' down. One final job next week will be to raise the running plate/brackets/mechanical lubricator by about 1/8" so that the fore ends of the two brackets will line up with the running plate cantilever off the loco's frames to allow the two fore end bolts through to finally lock everything in place... Quite a satisfying night's work!
Oh, when putting the carriage inspection record book back in the Works Office, I popped my head into the workshop and sitting on the bench in the middle were two piston heads. Could they be..? No... YES! No.134's new piston castings have been machined!!
FR Victorian weekend car park arrangements 7-11/10/15
Harbour Station car park will be closed from 0900 on Wednesday 7/10/15 to 1900 on Sunday 11/10/15 except for disabled and coaches as carousel etc will be erected for the Victorian Weekend. Visitors to the F&WHR are recommended to use the Llyn Bach car park and other town centre car parks. See F&WHR website for full information.
Seven locos will be available including Prince, Palmerston, Linda, Blanche, David Lloyd George, Taliesin and Lyd on FR services as well as the normal WHR blue timetable with No.87 and No.138 on Saturday and Sunday but no Friday trains despite the FR's Victorian Gala starting on the Friday.
Welsh Pony progress 25/9/15
This Boston Lodge view (25/9/15) shows the new right hand cylinder casting being bored for Welsh Pony. Progress is again being made now that routine maintenance has eased up a little after the High Season. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Hyde and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
Gasworks Siding 25/9/15
Kim Winter of Imperial College London organised a Friday working party of ICR&TS members on the WHR on 25/9/15 who started work on the Gasworks Siding road/rail transfer point at Llyn Bach.
This Minffordd Yard view (25/9/15) shows the ICR&TS Gang collecting materials from Minffordd Yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alessandra Foderaro and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This southerly view (25/9/15) shows the start of work at Llyn Bach with sleepers piled ready. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alessandra Foderaro and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This southerly view (25/9/15) shows sleepers being spaced out and levelled. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alessandra Foderaro and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This westerly view (25/9/15) shows sleepers being drilled. The weather improved during the course of the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alessandra Foderaro and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This northerly view (25/9/15) shows sleepers being carried to the Head of Steel. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alessandra Foderaro and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This easterly view (25/9/15) shows No.138 passing the worksite with the 1405 from Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dean Trigg and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This southerly view (25/9/15) shows progress to the end of the day with the left hand rail screwed down and levelled. Screwing down the right hand rail and ballasting and tamping of the siding was left for the North Wales Track Gang the following weekend. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Gop Kandola and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
Gasworks siding completed 4/10/15
Following on from the work started by the ICRTS a week ago, the North Wales Track Gang completed the work on 4/10/15. The siding appears to be available as a road/rail transfer point from now on.
This southerly view (4/10/15) shows the North Wales Track Gang completing Gasworks Siding as a road/rail transfer point at Llyn Bach. The concrete edge of the loading dock is visible in the foreground. Spare tramway rail is stored in the background. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Neil McMaster and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This northerly view (4/10/15) shows the North Wales Track Gang completing Gasworks Siding at Llyn Bach. The point is currently controlled by a locked clamp. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Neil McMaster and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
Titbits Autumn 2015
The signal arm detection equipment on the semaphore signals at Porthmadog has repeatedly given trouble. The problem may be due to the particularly wet conditions at this exposed location out on The Cob and additional sealing may be required.
Boston Lodge works shunter Moel-y-gest and Mike Hart's Simplex were given new coats of paint during Kid's Week during the Summer.
Concerns about the new river bridge at Penrhyndeudraeth persist as the carriageway is only 6.1m wide compared to 6.4m wide on the approaches. Maybe the little used 2.4m footway/cycle track can be narrowed to 2m? The bridge itself has eased traffic to the F&WHR from the Harlech/Barmouth coastal trip that is so popular with holiday makers and the expected congestion in Penrhyndeudraeth with right turning traffic towards the bridge has not so far occurred. A picnic area/viewpoint has been established with a layby on the Penrhyndeudraeth side of the bridge.
Antur Stiniog is continuing to promote the project to reopen the Blaenau-Trawsfynydd line as a Velorail project using the French concept of pedal powered units on rails. Their aim is to open Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llan Ffestiniog in 2016 and extend by stages to Trawsfynydd. See Antur Stiniog project page which appears to show a trial run in Blaenau Ffestiniog. However sections of the line are becoming overgrown and much work will be necessary to clear the route.
A cafe was open during the summer season at Glaslyn Ospreys Centre (the former RSPB site) adjacent to Pont Croesor Halt. The only car parking at this location is now the Glaslyn Ospreys site when open or on the limited verge nearby. The final Ospreys migrated for Africa around 25/9/15 and the site is now shut until the Spring except for special events. See Glaslyn Ospreys website or Facebook page.
TRAWS campaign secures WAG First Minister's support
The Cambrian News has reported responses by the Welsh Assembly Government's First Minister Carwyn Jones to a question about the reopening of the railway line from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen (Stage I of the TRAWS Campaign to reopen the whole Bangor to Carmarthen route via Aberystwyth). He is quoted as saying he is 'cautiously positive', and then goes on to say; '...We are in the middle of a feasibility study....it was a real shame that the track was taken up when the line was closed, because it was a really important artery for Mid Wales between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen...we should not underestimate the costs of doing it but it is something we are in the middle of looking at...' A scoping study report is awaited, hopefully any day now, which may result in a full feasibility study being commissioned. However elections to WAG are coming next year and comments like this are cheap and often disappear after elections.
KS4415 update 6/9/15
Following the successful disassembly of this loco a few months ago it has been found that many components are in better shape than initially thought. There is no external funding for this loco despite appeals for its restoration as the first successful diesel loco in the UK. Its manufacturers, Kerr Stuart of Stoke on Trent, built the loco as a demonstrator and it was loaned to the WHR and FR for shunting duties (even hauling the winter passenger service on the WHR) for several months in 1928-9 before export to Mauritius where it worked on a sugar plantation. After falling into disuse, the loco was plinthed in 1971 in Mauritius then returned to the UK in 1997 after the FR Trust paid for transport.
Various appeals have been unsuccessful but £20,000 has been raised by donations. Having the work done by volunteers has reduced the total restoration cost from £94,000 to £54,000 and an initial approach to the PRISM fund for a matched £20,000 has been encouraging, however the project must be fully funded so donations are sought the remaining £14,000. Donations can be made to the FR Society.
It is hoped to create a rolling chassis within 12 months followed by the repair and refitting of the gearbox and the replacement engine (a McLaren M4), Finally the body will be refitted though many of the existing steel panels are rusted through at the base and may require infill welding or replacement. The latest images dated 6/9/15 can be found at the KS4415 website.
Titbits Autumn 2015
While the FR is having a good year, the WHR traffic is down a little, which may be partly due to the reduction in number of services on the line over several years. The Snowdonia area weather in June-August period was relatively cold this year and this does not help. Nevertheless buffet sales have been good.
Lilla was returned to traffic in the summer before it has received a coat of paint. The heavy workload at Boston Lodge has precluded any further progress on Welsh Pony. Delivery of the boiler plate for the new boiler was delayed but it intended to restart work soon. Following work on Lyd's piston valve guide it was released to traffic in good working order and appeared at the WHR's SuperPower event. The appearance of double Fairlie David Lloyd George has been improved by the addition of stainless steel to the cylinder covers.
Merddin Emrys worked until the end of its 10 year boiler certificate on 14/9/15 but sadly did not put in an appearance at SuperPower. Two new chimneys are to be ordered for this loco but boiler tubes, stainless steel smoke boxes and smokebox doors are all in stock. The loco may reappear next year if little work is needed on its boiler but design work is underway on new boilers for Merddin Emrys and Earl of Merioneth as they are of 1968 vintage. PW diesel Harlech Castle had some attention in the Spring and had chopper couplings fitted whilst it this was being done.
Welding work was underway building the underframe for new WHR saloon No.2047 in August. More parts are being fabricated for roller bearing conversions for the remaining WHR carriages that have plain bearings. More DZ wagons are being adapted for the Infrastructure Department. Following the re-varnishing of Linda and Prince, Taliesin was attempted but it was found that the loco needed a full repaint which turned out to be in a lighter shade of red than previously.
Tuesday Gang report 29/9/15
Tony Baker reports: This week we tackled the second gate at Tro Elaine LC 41.88. Here, because of changes to levels, we had to raise the existing hinge post by approximately one foot to accommodate the new metal gate. An ingenious method of jacking up was used to achieve this. Fortunately the post was not concreted in so the method worked.
This southerly view (22/9/15) shows the Tuesday Gang removing the old broken gate on the south (car park) side of Tro Elain crossing. Ballast levels had been altered since the crossing was first installed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This southerly view (22/9/15) shows the new Tro Elain crossing gate hung on the jacked up hinge post. 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.
Unusual movements 29/9/15
Martin Kressman reports: Vale of Ffestiniog brought a rake of freight wagons including the new well wagon to Dinas this morning. It then returned to Porthmadog with a number of B wagons and a load of rails from the rail stock at Dinas (destined for the FR Winter relaying programme-Ed).
This easterly view (29/9/15) shows Vale of Ffestiniog arriving at Porthmadog with various freight wagons including the rail bolster wagons (DZ2001/1418) connected with a spacer bar for 18m rails as predicted. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This easterly view (29/9/15) shows Vale of Ffestiniog arriving at Porthmadog with a stock movement including the rail bolster wagons, the water carrier (DZT2003)and various B wagons (Nos. 921/1899/1146 and others). 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.
Blanche at the L&BR Gala 27/9/15
This southerly view (27/9/15) shows Blanche hauling replica coaches at the L&BR Gala. The F&WHR has a close association with this railway and sends a loco to the Gala every year, including replica L&BR loco Lyd in recent years. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Broomfield and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
FR Victorian Gala
Unlike previous years the FR's Victorian Gala next weekend does not feature any moves on the WHR this year. However the Saturday and Sunday see the normal WHR Blue timetable trains but no Friday service. The FR Gala runs from Friday 9/10/15 to Sunday 11/10/15.
Gasworks siding progress 25-26/9/15
This southerly view (25/9/15) shows work in progress with Gasworks Siding, the future loading dock for Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This southerly view (25/9/15) shows work in progress with Gasworks Siding, undertaken by Imperial College volunteers. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This northerly view (26/9/15) shows work nearing completion with Gasworks Siding, undertaken by Imperial College volunteers. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
WHR First Class menu
A new WHR Pullman First class menu has been prepared by the F&WHR. The attractive Pullman leaflet is available to view here and includes a choice of Light Bite/starters up to £4.50 and at least 3 main meals at £8.50. A limited choice of wines is available for £15 a 75cl bottle. The standard menu is also available to provide a wider selection.
NG15 Project September Working Party report 19-20/9/15
Pete Randall reports: When we arrived for SuperPower we found the staff from Boston Lodge had been busy and not only had they finished the axle box machining but the wheels have been finished and the loco was now back on its wheels with the axle boxes in the frame. This is a really significant step forward and means that we can start on a whole lot of other jobs – for example all the motion and the suspension. Over the SuperPower weekend there was a steady stream of visitors to the Loco Shed and we had a really significant amount added to the fund – nearly £1,500. Thank you so much to all that contributed.
To add to these great bits of news, at the AGM we were presented with the original number plates off the engine. The story is that one of the Avontuur drivers bought them when the loco was withdrawn as he used to drive it regularly. He unfortunately died a short time ago and his wife wanted to sell the plate as quickly as possible. One of our friends at the Apple Express heard about it and thought we might be interested. He therefore contacted one of our group who kindly put up the money, bought them and presented them to Andie Shaw and me at the AGM. A great surprise for both of us. The donor is happy to contribute to them but has also asked us to find out if anyone else would like to contribute then that would be welcome. Thus if anyone would like to make a contribution to the plates please email myself at [email protected] and I will let you know how to donate. Many thanks to those who pulled this off and, in advance, to those who might think of giving.
The good progress continued this last weekend. Several new castings have been arriving; including the loco brake blocks, the packing adapters to allow the tender axle boxes to be converted to roller bearings and the new front and rear pony wheel boxes, which will allow the conversion of these wheels to roller bearings as well. Finally the blanks for the new piston heads have also arrived. We are delighted that these are now in the lathe being machined – thanks to the staff and Tony for all this support.
The final piece of news is the work we completed over the last weekend (19-20/9/15). A smaller group (5 of us) worked on the suspension, trial fitting to check clearances find which bits are which (and which have gone missing!). The loco has what is known as fully compensated suspension. Compensation works by transferring the load between the wheels as the loco goes over bumps and twists in the track. This gives a smoother ride and reduces the risk of derailment. On the NG15 the suspension is in 4 runs; anchored on each side and the front and back of the loco and in the middle of the loco, either side of the main stretcher casting which carries the expansion link and the slide bars. Thus 4 axles are on the two rear runs and two on the front. We managed to get the rear runs assembled. A few pins were missing and of course without the pony truck we needed to add a packing stack to ensure there was tension in the system.
We are of course are still looking for general funds to progress. The intention is to finish the chassis and the tender, for which we have just about the right funding. Once this is done then we will have a major campaign to raise the rest of the money we need to finish the project. In the meantime, we really appreciate the donations which come in each week and still have a small quantity of badges. I will be getting some more for Christmas so if you have any colours of designs you would like to see please let me know at the email above!
No.134 Number plate purchase 50% complete
Clive Briscoe reports: I'm pleased to say that we are at 50% received for the donations towards the cost of purchasing No.134's original number plates from South Africa. Marcus I'm sure would like to receive a bit more so if those who said they'd contribute could please do so soon so I can work out the total to be paid back to him from the WHRSoc's No.134 Fund, I too, would be very pleased so I can close the books on this one.
This Dinas Loco Shed view (13/9/15) shows No.134's newly acquired nameplate being polished by a volunteer. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a Canon Powershot SX20 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
Blanche off to L&BR Gala 22/9/15
This westerly view (22/9/15) shows Blanche being shunted to Minffordd for road transfer to the L&BR Gala this coming weekend 26-27/9/15. This means of transfer will be unnecessary once the track is laid in the Gas Works siding transfer point at Llyn Bach car park. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
Tuesday Gang report 22/9/15
Tony Baker reports: On 22/9/15 we replaced a broken wooden gate at LC 41.88 Tro Elaine (near the Pont Cae'r Gors Forest car park-Ed) with a new metal gate. We also installed two 20 mph speed signs at Ynysfor LC 54.67 and Pont Croesor LC 55.58. This means that the straight stretch between these 2 sites is now raised to 20 mph.
This westerly view (22/9/15) shows the Tuesday Gang removing the old broken gate at Tro Elain 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 westerly view (22/9/15) shows No.87 passing the Tuesday Gang with the 1045 ex-Porthmadog. 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 (22/9/15) shows the Tuesday Gang completing the fitment of the new steel gate at Tro Elain 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.
ROWG report 12-18/9/15
Phil Nock reports: We started our working week on the Saturday of Superpower (12-9-15-Ed), by kango-packing some sleeper voids on the immediate approaches to UB32.48, Pont Tros-y-Gol, near the site of the long defunct Salem Halt (SuperPower passengers would have seem the Rest of the World Gang at work near the pipe bridge-Ed). As most of the Superpower action was between Caernarfon and Waunfawr, we were relatively unaffected by the festivities. We then spent several days at, around and between Tro Elain (LC41.88) and Hafod Ruffydd Ganol (LC42.75), again packing voids under sleepers. Then, for variety, we moved on to Bronant Crossing (LC23.36) near Dinas, to make good a dip there that had been reported by crew. We then spent a couple of days servicing loose and seized South African track clips between Fron Goch (LC21.87) and Bontnewydd Halt.
This westerly view (13/9/15) shows the ROWG kango-packing sleeper voids near Tro Elain (LC41.88) near the Pont Cae'r Gors Forest car park. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Bob Zeepvat and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This northerly view (13/9/15) shows the ROWG jacking and packing a dip in the track at Bronant Crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Phil Nock and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
This northerly view (13/9/15) shows the ROWG servicing seized South African track clips somewhere around Bontnewydd Halt. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Bob Zeepvat and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
Cambrian Coast WCR ERTMS tests 10-21/9/15
True to its word, West Coast Rail is attempting to bring back excursions to the once lucrative Cambrian Coast Express railtour market, which has benefitted the F&WHR in the past. In 2014, after problems in previous years with DB's staff failing to turn up to drive the NR 37/9s at Shrewsbury, the company decided to go it alone and fit Nos.37668/9 with the Hitachi ERTMS equipment. A revised fuel tank has been fitted with a notch for the ERTMS balise detector rather than reduce the loco's range by removing one of the fuel tanks. No.37668 was bought by West Coast back in 2007 and stored until selected for the ERTMS project in 2014. The loco was in traffic from 10/14 No.37669 is also to be fitted with the ERTMS equipment and should appear in due course as a reserve loco. It was in traffic from 3/15.
The loco undertook trials on the Cambrian Coast Line from Machynlleth depot from 10/9/15 when it ran from Machynlleth to Tywyn. On 15/9/15 it ran to Porthmadog and was dragged back by NR's Class 37/9 No.97304. The loco was stabled at Welshpool on 21/9/15 having worked there in the early hours from Machynlleth. Hitachi worked on the software to replicate the behaviour of the existing 24 Class 158s and 3 Class 97/9s running on the Cambrian ERTMS area with Ansaldo equipment. An issue connected with switching between kph and mph displays at the ERTMS boundary near Shrewsbury was identified and dealt with. The equipment was successfully trialled in No.97301. See RSSB website.
WCR must be hoping that, if the current running trials are successful, excursions to the Cambrian Coast can resume next year using these two Class 37s. Whether steam can ever return to the Cambrian is another matter. Although the Class 37s could pilot a steam excursion, some travellers would want the steam loco on the front and, unless NR relaxes its ERTMS rules that the first vehicle must have the ERTMS detector, operating a train with the Class 37 double headed inside or top and tailed must remain unlikely.
Goat access road upgraded 20/9/15
This northerly view (20/9/15) shows the access road from the Oberon Wood estate near the Goat Hotel which has been upgraded with rolled slate fines. This road was the original access to the station and was originally used to deliver coal from the station siding to Beddgelert village and the surrounding district. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.
The new booklet about the history of Trackbed Consolidation Ltd, the early history of the new WHR, sold well after being introduced at the WHRS AGM. Copies of this interesting read are available direct from Ernie Preston. See flyer for full details.
Ernie Preston adds: We are giving the full cover price of the first 80 copies sold to the Phase 5 Appeal. Copies may also be purchased from Harbour Station (and maybe soon from the F&WHR web shop-Ed).
First snows of Autumn 18/9/15
Martin Kressman reports: First snow observed on Moel Rhiwen (391 metres) on the evening of 18/9/15 but gone by 19/9/15.
Trackwork Volunteering 2015/16
Volunteers are right at the forefront of keeping the permanent way, in particular, and the infrastructure, in general, fit for trains to run. We have a mix of weekend and weekday working parties. The Black Hand, Tuesday and Rest of the World Gangs will be very glad to accept an extra a hand. Contact the relevant organiser to let him know when you plan to join us. Please do not just turn up as that makes it difficult for us to plan ahead.
Please note revised dates for 2015 and new dates for early 2016 notified 26/7/15.
The programme for the remainder of 2015 is as follows:
^ Bank Holiday
LW-Long weekend Friday-Monday
WW-Working week Saturday-Friday
SWW-Short working week Monday-Friday
The Tuesday Gang expects to be operating pretty well every Tuesday.
Arrangements may change so contact the working party organiser before you commit yourself to joining us just to make sure.
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.
Contact Tony Baker for details. Phone: 01492 874579 Email: [email protected]
North Wales Black Hand Gang (BHG):Dafydd Thomas Phone: 01248 681019 Email: [email protected]
Rest of The World Gang (ROWG):Paul Bradshaw Phone: 01766 770034 Email: [email protected]
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.
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!
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.
|1/1/15||Final Mince Pie Special 1000 return from Caernarfon|
|14-22/2/15||Prince in steam at the NRM during the Paddington Bear event aimed at children|
|28/2/15||Start of WHR 2015 Green SSuO Timetable|
|6-15/3/15||Welsh Pony components at Carrog for LlR Steam, Steel and Stars Gala|
|21/3/15||Start of WHR 2015 Season Blue Timetable|
|4-6/4/15||Easter Frolics family events around the F&WHR|
|1-4/5/15||150 Years of Passenger Trains on FR (some events on WHR 2/5/15)|
|15-17/5/15||Rail-Ale Beer Festival based at Dinas|
|25-28/5/15||May Day weekend family events around the F&WHR|
|11-12/7/15||Britomart and slate wagons at WHHR's Slate, Steam and Sail Gala|
|25-26/7/15||Lilla to visit to Threlkeld Museum of Mining near Keswick with Hugh Napier|
|25/7-29/8/15||Saturdays Only-Free footplate rides at Porthmadog Harbour Station|
|25/7-31/8/15||Summer family events around the F&WHR including Beddgelert this year|
|14-15/8/15||Carriage No.150 and Lilla will be at the Shrewsbury Flower Show|
|23/8/15||Family day at Dinas with Classic Cars, Footplate Rides and Sausage Making|
|29-31/8/15||National Trust Hunslet, Hugh Napier, is to visit Bristol Temple Meads Station over the Bank Holiday weekend|
|11-13/9/15||SuperPower 2015 (WHRS AGM 12/9/14)|
|25-27/9/15||Blanche will be guest of honour at the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Gala in North Devon|
|1-7/11/15||Photocharters with guest quarry Hunslet Winifred|
|9-11/10/15||FR Victorian Weekend (some events possible on WHR in Porthmadog)|
|29/10/15||WHR Halloween Train Caernarfon to Waunfawr|
|12-13/12/15||WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr|
|19-20/12/15||WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr|
|22-23/12/15||WHR Santa Trains Caernarfon-Waunfawr|
|27-31/12/15||Mince Pie Specials 1000 return from Caernarfon|
If you have suggestions for development of this site, please contact me by email at the address at the top of the page.
If you would like to make a comment about this website, why not visit my Guestbook?
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
V4.3136 updated 8/10/15