News (updated 22/3/01)
updated from 18/2/01
Click here for new images
to Version 3 of this website, launched on October 29th 2000 with news about
work on Phase 3 of the WHR scheme.
In addition to this Stop
Press page and a Phase 1/2 page, there are 8 location pages, covering the
Phase 3 works between Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu, Aberglaslyn and (soon) the
Porthmadog Works. Finally, there are pages showing the Task Ahead beyond Rhyd
Ddu and views of Snowdon.
WHR Track Appeal
you have been interested enough to visit this site, perhaps you would like to
contribute to the Track Appeal? Due to cost inflation and unexpected
contingencies, the relative value of the Millennium Commission Grant has
dropped from 50% to 40%. The WHLR is relying on donations to fill the gap and
get the scheme completed to Rhyd Ddu by Easter 2002. Click on the track link
below and make things happen faster!
Waunfawr>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Rhyd Ddu
Volunteer and lay some track!
Jan Woods on 01286 830200 for full details
ahead or follow the links at the end of each page
Garmon station (updated
Garmon Bridge-Salem Bridge (updated
Bridge-Plasynant Bridge (updated
Halt- Castell Cidwm (N/A)
Cidwm to Glanyrafon
Viaduct-Rhyd Ddu (N/A)
Ahead Page (updated
Works Historical Page
you would like an automated announcement of site updates,
please email me by clicking here
has never been any intent by myself to suggest that the views on these pages
represent the views or opinions or policy of the FR, the WHR or the WHRS.
am happy to confirm that this is an INDEPENDENT web news service.
construction images/text will be posted on a regular basis.
text in RED!
in the Snow!
This southerly view
(30/12/00) shows No. 143 departing Waunfawr in the snow on the first train of
the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes.
Slide scanned at 200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto Plus4 image correction
This northerly view
(30/12/00) shows Garratt No. 143 approaching the Seiont Bridge in Caernarfon
on its climb to Waunfawr in snow up to 20 cm deep. The well loaded three coach
train is not an ideal load for the powerful Garratt so the loco produces an
unusually large cloud of smoke in these cold conditions. The train was running
40 mins late. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright
B.W.Hughes. Slide scanned at 200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto Plus4 image
website is offering an amazing video of the weeks leading up to and including
the Opening Day for the Dinas-Waunfawr section in August 2000 and you can help
the project by purchasing it as all funds go to the WHRS! Already all the
proceeds to date m, some �300, have been donated to the WHRS.
video includes: -
trains with Upnor Castle, the Stephcomatic tamper and Conway Castle, the first
appearance of 143 on the line, taken at EVERY public roadbridge, the first
carriages up the line, the first steam test train, opening day trains, PLUS a
long clip of a ride on the train taken with good condensation!
send a blank E180 cassette, return postage and packing and a �10 cheque
donation to the WHRS Ltd.. The video is amateur quality hand held on 8mm
camcorder as so don't expect professional quality. No money back if
addition to an hour of entertainment from the opening period, there is a
further hour of bonus unedited recording featuring both the WHR in the sun,
the FR (Taliesin's first outing on Heritage train) and the Cambrian Coast line
in the sun from the August Bank Holiday.
ORDERS POST XMAS WILL HAVE NEW FOOTAGE SHOWING No. 143 IN THE SNOW AT SEIONT
BRIDGE, CAE MOEL, RHOSTRYFAN ROAD, WAUNFAWR AND DINAS!
This southerly view
(30/12/00) shows Garratt No. 143 approaching Caernarfon at the Seiont Bridge
on the first train of the day. The tracks have not been used and are still
covered by snow up to 20 cm deep. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is
copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scanned at 200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto
Plus4 image correction technology.
for some independent reviews. Currently dispatch is same week.
out the clip list for further information.
website will be back in action soon, following a fatal accident to the
computer! It crashed!! Thanks to all the worried correspondents who thought I'd
had a fatal accident! Now I've downloaded my website to my new computer, I'll
be able to get up and running soon!
the meantime, ballasting is proceeding south from Waunfawr and six track
panels have been laid already. More news and pictures at the weekend.
Services resume after Winter break
northerly view (18/2/01) shows Mountaineer arriving at Waunfawr,
passing under the footbridge, construction of which had started a week
earlier. The spans over the tracks were in place but the links to the step
abutments at each end had not been completed. Installation of the platform
steps had started at this time from the island platform. The three-coach train
running over this weekend was the first after the winter break. Click
on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scanned at
200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology.
coach test runs
Chattendon coach underwent trial runs on 15/1/01 with the line under total
possession. The coach is destined to operate as the mess coach for the railway
and will play a vital part in the extension of the line to Rhyd Ddu. The coach
may also feature as a brakevan in the Freight Weekend planned for the Spring.
WHLR has ordered about 2 km of new rail from South Africa to the same pattern
as the existing rail (ex-Donnybrook line). Reduced handling costs will balance
the difference between the cost of new and recovered rail. The rail will be
provided in 30 kg/m in 18 metre lengths as previous. The rail will fit the
existing sleepers, fastenings and fishplates.
300 sleepers were recently delivered in addition to 1500 fishplates.
Deliveries will commence in batches from late February and will initially
restock 32 track panels borrowed by the FR for their winter maintenance
programme. The new rail will be laid south from Betws Garmon pw base. Two
further deliveries are expected later in the year.
143 runs final snow trains!
No. 143 will run the final trains of the year with four inches
of snow covering the landscape. Boxing Day saw Mountaineer used
but it developed piston problems on 27/12/00 and was withdrawn. Caernarfon
Castle was used on the 28/12/00 and its cow-catcher was effective as a
snowplough, levelling the snow ahead of the train.
the Funkey's batteries misbehaved in the cold conditions on 29/12/00 and Upnor
Castle made one of its rare sorties on passenger services. No. 143 has
been warmed up ready for use on the final 3 days of the Winter Season
passenger service and performed well on 30/12/00 despite a 40 minute late
for Rhyd Ddu opening?
saw discussions with the WHR (Porthmadog) about booking Russell for the Rhyd
Ddu opening in 2001. After the successful performance by this loco in the
September Gala, it is hoped that Russell crews will want to come back for a 12
mile run up the bank!
Merddin Emrys Appeal launched in 2000, the possibility arises of
having a double Fairlie for the Rhyd Ddu-Porthmadog opening, if the loco is
returned to steam for Spring 2001 (possibly using Earl of Merioneth's
power bogies). There is a kit of parts for one power bogie but a second would
need to be manufactured, if Earl's could not be spared. Even if Merddin
Emrys is not completed in time, the loco could re-enact the event for
the Rhyd Ddu-Porthmadog opening in 2005/6.
open coach ordered
Keef Ltd. has won an order for an additional open coach to
the same design as the existing open.
The coach will be delivered for the Summer 2001 season. The existing Open has
proved very popular and a second one could be marshalled at the other end of
the train, as passengers like to be near to the loco. The same company will be
providing another Open coach for the new rake for the Rhyd Ddu opening in
Spring 2002. Boston lodge will be providing refurbished SA bogies for the
27/10/00, coach No. 2040 was in the locoshed being fitted with
heating/lighting for a winter service. Coach No. 2041 followed and was back in
the rake on 8/11/00. The Guard's coach was the next to be completed.
Over Xmas, the three coach
Winter set was adorned internally with Xmas decorations.
Boston Lodge Newsletter has aired the question of an official project to
rebuild the NG15 for medium weight trains for the opening to Rhyd Ddu. This
would give the line four working locos including 138/143 and K1 and allow Mountaineer
to return to the FR. No. 133's tender has been stripped to the frames and is
stabled in the headshunt with painted red headstocks marked 'Dinas'.
finally ready to work
Yorkshire Engines tamper has had a new hydraulic pump fitted and everything
now seems to work (crossed fingers!). Trials were to be held in late November.
Following extensive kango work by track gangs until the end of November, it is
expected the unit will be out over December levelling and lining the
the unit has not seen any use by the end of December. The Stefcomatic has
returned to the FR.
large footbridge for Waunfawr station arrived in sections on November 24th and
was stored near Dinas Goods Shed awaiting painting. It will be erected in
January while passenger trains are suspended. It connects the two halves of
the caravan site and has steps down to the island platform. The concrete bases
were constructed in June.
in North Yard are re-inforced concrete slabs being cast for culverts on the
Waunfawr-Betws Garmon section.
Service after all!
will restart in the February half term holiday (17-25/3/2001).
has commenced on Contract 3A at Betws Garmon. Triact (Colwyn Bay) has been
appointed and was at work in late October on site clearance.
The bridge was removed on
2/11/00 and a start is to be made on sheet piling in the around the abutment
sites so that work can proceed during the fish spawning season. Piling was
finished by the end of November. The bridge girders are being stored at Dinas
for possible reuse (how about a turntable?).
new bridge will be a similar design but 17 metres span, compared to the
existing 15 metres span. However, the flood relief openings immediately
adjacent will be removed.
Posford Duvivier is designing the new structures, which will go out to tender
soon. Triact was back on site on 15/1/00 building new abutments and dealing
with the adjacent flood relief arches and formation.
depends on the completion of the Hyder works to divert the Caernarfon water
main from the trackbed to a new route following the main road (expected
to start 2/1/01). This
work started on 15/1/00 and will deal with the water main through the whole of
the Bryn Gloch area. Manweb will be moving electricity services and
subcontractors will deal with sewage/water mains etc. The new bridge in the
Bryn Gloch campsite may be left until September as a courtesy to the caravan
site owner so as not to disturb the summer season.
This southerly view
(16/12/00) shows the trackbed south from Betws Garmon station at Ch. 7000. The
bridge was removed on 2/11/00 and will be replaced by a new bridge as soon as
Hyder has removed the water main from the trackbed. Piling protects the
abutments so work can continue without disturbing fish during the spawning
season. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes.
Slide scanned at 200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto Plus4 image correction
general principle is to avoid heavy vehicles on the trackbed as these led to
deterioration in drainage in the Dinas-Waunfawr section and a mudbath!
Expensive rock imports were required to firm up the trackbed again. A
rail-based solution is also preferred, as there is poor access to the trackbed
beyond Ch. 10,000. JCB's will be largely banned from the trackbed and most of
the work will be done by 360o crawler excavators, supported by
much work as possible will be done after the basic track has been laid,
bringing in materials by rail. The majority of culverts will be strengthened
and refurbished as a more economic solution than total replacement.
work is split into several sections.
here for contract split, list of works and chainages of sections.
3B is first off the mark. This is the section from Waunfawr to Betws Garmon
station. The 1.1km length from the headshunt at Ch. 5870 to Ch. 7000 will be
constructed by direct labour. GCC officials will be consulted about the 'type
of finish of works' eg. stonework. Work will started in mid November.
3A is the next section along the line. This covers approx. 300 m from Ch. 7000
to Ch. 7300, the boundary of the Snowdonia National Park (SNP). Hyder (Welsh
Water) are expected on site in November to divert the Caernarfon water main
off the trackbed to follow the main road. Triact has been appointed for the
railway works in a contract worth �250,000. This will include a new
river bridge (UB51), minor changes to the main road bridge (OB53) and a new
access bridge (OB54) to the Bryn Gloch caravan site.
work can proceed in the SNP Authority area south of Sec. 3A until the
Aberglaslyn Works are complete (as required by the T&W Order). Work
started on 1/11/00. The contract includes rock work and tunnel repair to a
value of �200,000 approx.
should be completed by end of January, thus allowing work to start on the Bryn
Gloch-Rhyd Ddu section, early in the New Year.
footbridge will also be erected 4 metres north of Brynyfelin Bridge. This has
received SNPA planning permission. It will be opened for the 2001 tourist
remaining 8.5 km of trackbed to Rhyd Ddu will be tackled as follows.
section from Bryn Gloch Caravan site to Glanyrafon viaduct (UB95) will be
are two further river bridges across the Afon Gwyrfai at Salem (UB 56) and
Plasynant (UB64). Underpinning jobs are necessary for road bridges at Betws
Garmon (OB53), Pont Cerrig-y-rhyd (OB62), just south of Plasynant loop, and at
Castell Cidwm (OB71). These bridges will be let as 3 parcels.
training agency in Birkenhead has offered to complete the three replacement
bridges to coded welding standards. It is yet to be decided whether to take up
this kind offer.
design work and tendering is underway for the Glanyrafon viaduct. This bridge
is too weak. The abutments require new bearing seating plinths (bearing
believed to be seized) and
the two main wrought iron girders are not strong enough to take the potential
maximum loading of a double headed Garratt train. The viaduct must therefore
be strengthened by modification or supplemented by additional/replacement
beams. This is part of a design and build contract.
2.9 km section from Glan-yr-afon Ch 12700 to Rhyd Ddu station throat Ch 14600
will be done by direct labour by WHLR Ltd. itself.
Rhyd Ddu, a separate contract will be let for the station itself. This
involves a slight diversion of the route to the east as the trackbed is
currently occupied by GCC's car park and toilets. The 400 m diversion swings
sharply east then angles gently back towards the existing formation, which it
will rejoin at the headshunt at approx. Ch 15000. The station will feature a
relatively narrow 200 m island platform as, unlike Waunfawr, the station
building will not be on the platform. It will be at the north end, near the
GCC toilets, between the existing trackbed and the end of the new platform.
footbridge will connect to the platform, which will feature waiting shelters
and flowerbeds. There will be room for a 150m and a 60 m sidings on the old
formation from a point near the headshunt, facing Beddgelert. These will be
needed for stabling a passenger train and for works trains for Phase 4. The
buffer stop will be around Ch. 15200 along the straight to Pitt's Head,
although if the funding comes through as expected, there may never be a buffer
on the running line
water tower at Waunfawr was erected on its wooden cradle on 25/8/00 and looks
resplendent in its crimson paintwork. The Bank Holiday weekend saw the
fittings being added but it was not working for the Gala weekend. The mains
water feed was still to be connected when viewed on 23/12/00.
Eventually trailable points will be installed both ends but at the moment a
FPL controls the northern loop exit point. The footbridge will be placed in
January, but the station
buildings await funding.
buffer stop still needed to be reattached to the headshunt at South Yard on
There is a possibility of laying track at the south end of the carriage sheds with two points to join into the headshunt.
worked 27/12/00 but developed problems.
Castle worked 28/12/00 but developed
Castle worked 29/12/00.
143 worked 30/12/00.
Click here for Phase 3 map
here for a simple
Click here for a more detailed engineering gradient profile
you would like to make a comment on this website, why not visit my Guestbook
on my homepage?
Click here for my homepage
[ Prev | Random | Next ]
3.16 dated 23/3/01