WHR

News Archive Page

2008

V4.24 updated 1/2/09

with news to 31/12/08

 

Newly archived sections are placed at the start of this page. This page contains archived news from 2007.

Click here for archived news from 2007

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Lyd progress

The Lynton & Barnstaple replica loco Lyd may return to Boston Lodge as soon as No.87 rolls out early in January or February and leaves space and time available. The loco is currently stored at Glan-y-Pwll shed and is expected to make rapid progress to completion as it is planned to use it on the WHR for Driver Training Experiences offered as rewards to Appeal Supporters. The loco used to haul a maximum of 4 coaches on the 1 in 50 and it will be interested to see if the improvements made, including boiler improvements noted previously, will allow more than this on the more challenging 1 in 40. The Joy valve work was nearing completion by October with a contract to be placed for the machining of the die block slides. Alan Keef is also making a new brass dome.

Previous reference has been made to an alternative cab to allow the loco to pass through Garnedd tunnel and operate on the FR to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The solution adopted is to make two small sections of the top of the cab removable to provide a similar but lower profile. The steel plate for the cab has been cut and shaped ready for fitting. The coal bunkers need to be added and will be capable of being adapted to oil firing. The controls need fitting and the pipework formed and fitted. Paul Lewin has appealed for an additional £20,000 to complete the loco. Donations may be made via the FR Trust, contact Bill Edmondson for a donation form and advice about Gift Aid. When finished the loco will visit other routes such as the revived L&B.

 

Training Track Walk 30/12/08

On 30/12/08 about 30 staff and volunteers took part in a 12 mile trackbed walk from Pont Cae'r Gors to Porthmadog Harbour Station along the route of the railway. This is one of the first steps in route learning in preparation from test trains and opening in 2009. Some of the issues dealt with included working the 1 in 40 and approaches to level crossings in the Beddgelert Forest, the approaches and working of Beddgelert Station, the busy Bryn-y-felin footpath crossing, the Aberglaslyn tunnels, the Nantmor Crossing (again on 1 in 40), the Pont Croesor crossings, Cae Pawb Crossing and the challenges of the CTRL working.

 

...and now Blu-Ray DVDs for 2009!

With the advent of HD camcorder for Xmas (thanks to my very tolerant wife!), 2009 footage will be in Blu-Ray HD format for 4x sharper DVDs possible as a result. Some trial footage so far through the TV's HDMI input are impressive. It is intended to take all the test trains and railway opening events of 2009 on this camcorder. Videos will be edited and output on Blu-Ray discs for a slightly higher price than the standard version which will still be available. Next, I need to purchase a Blu-Ray writer and a Blu-Ray video editor and a Blu-Ray player in the January sales!

 

Supporters' Special trains 16-17/5/2009

Andrew Savage reports: We are getting one or two queries about arrangements for the arrangements for 16-7/5/09. Until we sort the train times we can't give any detail. However, the current thinking is that there will be two trains on the 16/5/09. Both will run from Caernarfon, with the morning train being for Gold and Silver subscribers, and the pm train for Bronze subscribers. Both trains will run to Port and back, and they will cross at Beddgelert. It is not yet clear what will happen on the 17/5/09. I will be writing in detail to all subscribers when train times and catering are sorted.

The North Wales Track Gang is to complete more of the CTRL links over the weekend of 3-4/1/09. It is probable that they will complete the links either side of the Snowdon Street tramway and so move the operable railway to the end of the tramway outside Cob Records. With the Beddgelert Forest fishplate campaign almost finished over Xmas, attention shifts initially to completion of the already started tramway link south of Snowdon Street to be followed by the one over UB220, Y Cyt.

 

Rest of the World Gang 27-31/12/08

Alun Evans reports: On 29/12/08 I decided to join the Rest of the World Gang (ROTWG) and help with some of the finishing touches to the WHR's Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert railway in preparation for that section's HMRI inspection in January for the planned opening in April 2009. The works train diesel haulage this day was provided by Conway Castle. The ROTWG's work was to jim crow the rails to smooth the curve more and replace all the fishplates through the upper part of the Lower S curve.

 

S9_AE29-12-08 Conway Castle on lower S curve.jpg (84992 bytes)

This view (29/12/08) shows Conway Castle on the works train. The large embankment was formed from spoil from Cutting Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alun Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Upnor Castle has now been repaired, fixing of all previous faults, and is currently based at Hafod-y-llyn for use on ballast trains down towards Porthmadog. The siding and future loop at Hafod-y-llyn has been renamed Hen Hafod so as to avoid confusion with the FR's Hafod y Llyn. The weather was cold but sunny. The ROWG was split into two gangs. One led by Steve Walker started jim crowing at Cutting Mawr whilst the other led by Paul Bradshaw started further down on the Beddgelert side (in the middle of the S curve). Both gangs worked towards one another.

 

S9_AE29-12-08Cutting Mawr fishplates E.jpg (119892 bytes) S9_AE29-12-08Cutting Mawr fishplates W.jpg (160965 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 29/12/08) show work on replacing fishplates and jim crowing rails at the south end of Cutting Mawr. The two views show the two gangs approaching each other and it seems that they met up at this location. There was still work to do on the fishplate replacement programme between Cutting Mawr and Ty'n-y-coed on the final two days of the ROTWG 'Blowing Away the Christmas Cobwebs' four day stint. The jim crows are due to go back to the FR from the weekend. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alun Evans and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S11_AE29-12-08Upnor at HH.jpg (133296 bytes)

This view (29/12/08) shows Upnor Castle on the PW train stabled at Hen Hafod (aka Hafod-y-llyn). The loco is now understood to be in good working order after recent attention. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alun Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Mike Fisher reports: The fishplate replacement program (on curves sharper than 200 metre radius) has been tackled from two ends, one working up from Beddgelert, which has reached as far as the straight above the top Cwm Cloch crossing (LC82) the other down from Pont Cae'r Gors which is complete to the Meillionen Campsite Halt. This was to take account of the availability or not of the support train with its tool van. The back of this work has been broken and one or two weekends should see the work completed although again the campsite level crossings still have to be dealt with.

Due to the cold weather during the four days work after Christmas, Conway Castle would not start in the mornings and all the tools have had to be pushed up the 'S' bends from Beddgelert station using one of the EAG flat wagons and the rail skate, or by making use of Paul Bradshaw's Landrover. Only on the first day did we get the loco started after lunch to help retrieve the tools.

The Rest of the World Gang will be transferring attention to the Phase 3 Salem curves during late January working week.

 

Phase 4 works

The trap point is not required at Beddgelert Station until trains approach from the south. A stop-block will be provided for the Easter-July terminating service. Another of the tasks left to do at Beddgelert is the sheep-proofing of the station. The boundary wall will have metal stanchions added and two strands of wires to deter jumping sheep. This will protect the flower beds!

Ballast trains will run again from Rhyd Ddu to make the most of the short Winter days as it takes so long to get up to Beddgelert Forest from Hafod-y-llyn. Ballast may also be delivered to the compound near Pont Croesor if required. The sacrificial smoke deflectors on the two new bridges in the Traeth have not yet been fitted.

Running in trains for the Beddgelert Extension may operate from Porthmadog if the Phase 3 improvement works sever the line during January-March period. No.87 may even be seen in action working from Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu! While Alasdair Stewart remains as Civil Engineering Manager at Dinas, Owen Duncan (responsible for much of the setting out and CAD work) now works about 2 days a week on an 'as required' basis.

 

Agreement on Cae Pawb Crossing 29/12/08

Agreement was reached with NR in the Autumn for working construction and test trains across Cae Pawb Crossing. HMRI, as usual, will require a number of test trains before the line can be opened in July. The documents remained to be signed by the FR Operations Manager as of 29/12/08. With installation of the new NR ERTMS signalling system having slipped back from Easter until September 2009, the operation of Cae Pawb Crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing) was looked at under the existing signalling system. However a six figure sum would have been required for just a few months operation from the planned July WHR opening. The interim solution (agreed in outline) involves telephone communication between Harbour Station Control and Machynlleth Signalling Centre. WHR trains will not be permitted to cross if a Cambrian Coast train is in section travelling from Harlech towards Porthmadog. The crossing cabin has still not been started.

 

'The Cambrian' steam excursions 2009

Provisional plans are that WCR's 'The Cambrian' steam hauled service will run Monday to Friday throughout the Summer 2009 season and all trains will be extended to Pwllheli. This means an end to the Porthmadog shunt seen in operations up to 2008. Provisional plans see trains operating Monday 27/7/09 to Friday 28/8/09. Fares, timings and dates of operation will be published on this website as soon as they are available. Departure from Machynlleth is planned for 1000 and arriving at Pwllheli at 1240. The train calls at Dovey Junction, Aberdovey (not Tywyn this year!), Barmouth, Harlech, Minffordd and Porthmadog. The departure from Pwllheli is timed for 1415 with arrival back at Machynlleth at 1700 where the train stables and is serviced. Groups of 10 or more ravelling together will be offered a 10% discount. Provisional bookings are now being taken for the 2009 season.

Please telephone 01524 737751 / 737753. Online booking will be available later. Click on the link below for full details:

http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/thecambrian.html

This may be the last year of operation of this train as ERTMS will not apparently have a mobile unit capable of fitting to a visiting loco. West Coast Rail is looking for a solution with NR and it is possible one of NR's Network liveried ERTMS fitted Class 37s could pilot the steam loco to provide the signalling, though this could prove unsightly to some. The ramifications of no mobile ERTMS unit have not, it appears, been considered by NR previously as only class 158 DMUs are being fitted. The recession and drop in the value of the pound might bring increased UK leisure travel/holidays from both overseas and UK residents. This might increase demand for Cambrian Coast Excursions with loco haulage though it remains unclear if NR's fleet of four yellow Class 37s based at the new Sutton Bridge would even be allowed in passenger use. They could take over from the train engine at Shrewsbury or pilot the train.

 

Cambrian Coast Express to return?

On 19/12/08 Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) started consultation on its application for an Operating Licence for a new service from Aberystwyth/Pwllheli to London Marylebone from December 2009. Two services would run each day from Aberystwyth with a third from Pwllheli on Summer Saturdays, initially using refurbished Class 158 dmus fitted with ERTMS for use on the Cambrian Coast route, subject to clearance of the type between Aynho Junction and Marylebone. The trains would run in 2/4 car sets splitting at Birmingham International and calling at Leamington Spa and Bicester North (and possibly Wembley on event days).

The proposal answers criticisms of extremely poor connections into Wrexham & Shropshire's Marylebone service at Shrewsbury but stymies any aspirations W&S might have of operating to Aberystwyth. ATW also recently won operational rights over the new North Wales-South Wales loco-hauled service 'Y Gerallt Gymro' using re-liveried Class 57/3s. It was rumoured that W&S were interested in this service too. This operates via Crewe as plans to provide dynamic loops on the singled Chester (Saltney Junction) to Wrexham route have yet to be implemented (though they have been upgraded to a high priority for the Welsh Assembly). The link below gives details of ATW's application, including proposed timetables.

ATW Cambrian Coast Express application

 

Xmas Crossword 2008 winners

The annual Xmas Crossword was won by Frederick Lea who receives a free copy of the latest Construction DVD (2007-8). Other early successful entrants included Ernie Preston, John Mottram, John Sreeves and John Heys.

Click here for the Xmas Crossword

Click here for solution

 

No.87 preview 22/12/08

Photos of No.87 were embargoed until the recent release of official FR photos on 13/1/09.

 

87_BWH22-12-08BL A.jpg (59629 bytes) 87_BWH22-12-08BL B.jpg (55099 bytes) 87_BWH22-12-08BL C.jpg (58513 bytes)

These views (all 22/12/08) show No.87 in its works grey topcoat with applied website and WHR labelling in the final stages of assembly before roll out. At this stage the dome cover had not been fitted. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.digital camera.

 

Pont Croesor loop latest

With the construction of LC114B/C it has become clear that the 20m overlap for run round of locos at this loop is not available and the point must be moved further south before the platform is built. The WHR(P) has offered to built the platform here. Components for the point at the south end of the loop are in store at Dinas. While it should be possible to complete Hafod-y-llyn loop shortly, Pont Croesor loop may have to wait until signalling arrangements are completed. The Gwynedd Highways Dept. has no firm information about the foundations of LC114A and this is holding up installation of fencing/safety barriers as holes will need to be drilled to ascertain the ground conditions.

 

S11_BWH22-12-08LC113.jpg (50657 bytes)

This view (22/12/08) shows the old and the new LC113 just north of the bridge at Pont Croesor. The kissing gate crossing has been moved north of the original to allow safe exit onto the road. The footpath is closed during the Osprey season. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH22-12-08LC114B.jpg (93075 bytes) S12_BWH22-12-08LC114B footpath.jpg (95692 bytes)

These southerly views (both 22/12/08) show work on LC114B/C. The first view shows the temporary level crossing surface in LC114B used by the farmer (and protected by cattle grids). The crossing still needs its crossing tray and timbers. The second view shows the three footpath gates that give access from the main road to the platforms crossing the road approaches to LC114B/C. Fencing of the footpath between LC114B and LC114A has yet to be completed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright B.W.Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH22-12-08LC114C N.jpg (83460 bytes)

This view (22/12/08) shows UB220 with the short distance between the point and LC114C at Pont Croesor. The fenced path to the left will become the access to the platforms. However, the point must be moved south before trains run around here as the overlap is too short. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news summary

Work will soon be started to connect the WHR point to the ground frame and a third disc signal will be placed at the station throat to signal trains onto the WHR. There will also be a manually triggered down starter at the west end of the WHR platform that controls entry to the Britannia Bridge level crossing. This will be 'ladybird' signal as used at Tan-y-grisiau. The road crossing itself will be controlled by 'wig-wag' signals including the road from Snowdon Wharf. This road junction on a level crossing is similar to the arrangement at Harlech on the Cambrian Coast Line. The Home signal for Up WHR trains will be sited at the start of the Llyn Bach tramway and will be manually activated presumably by the loco crew after the train has stopped. This signal will only clear when the level crossing and the WHR junction is cleared. The rebuilding of the Spooner's Beer Store which is in the way of extending the WHR platform to the west had not been started by 22/12/08.

David High (WHRCL Director for the CTRL) will be leaving the project soon having completed delivery of most of this extremely complicated section of the WHR.

 

Dinas alterations

Negotiations are well underway to purchase the remaining part of the Welsh Water storage shed at Dinas that is joined to the Dinas Loco Shed to the south. This will more than double the length of the shed and permit storage of all locos out of the weather if tracks are installed inside the building back towards the north end near the road bridge.

The pump out system for the new controlled emission toilet on No.2010 has been commissioned and the coach toilet can now be used. Meanwhile Coach No.2090 has gone to Boston Lodge for retrofitting of a toilet compartment. It will run with the F set in 2009.

 

Loco programme

K1 is having a new chimney rolled as the old one has rusted through. The cast iron chimney base has been sent away for repair too as some fatigue cracks were discovered radiating from the bolt holes.

No.138 has been re-tubed but more work is needed before it can be hydraulically tested. The tubes must be expanded and the superheater elements fitted. It has been decided to re-tap the washout plugs to a thread common to the other locomotives. A newly fabricated section of the boiler cradle must be fitted. The rear power unit is also receiving attention. It is the one that failed under No.143 and was swapped to keep the latter running. Work is handled by the two Dinas fitters and volunteers, helped from time to time by Boston lodge staff who have experience with No.87.

No.87 itself is nearing completion and is expected to roll out very soon after Xmas and do some test running on The Cob, which is the only section of the FR that can accommodate its loading gauge. The loco may undertake some clearance tests in Harbour Station.

 

Phase 2/3 trackwork programme 2009

After the Xmas trains finish on 1/1/09 a programme of work begins to improve timings on Phase 2/3 with a view to improving timings and making operating the new longer Beddgelert service more reliable from Easter 2009. Pete Gray will be leading a Phase 2/3 improvement programme as follows:

3-16/1/09       Dinas to A487 maintenance

10/1-1/2/09    Tros-y-gol to Plas-y-nant change rails and tamp for 15mph

7-20/2/09        Bron-y-fedw to Glan-yr-afon maintenance

14-27/2/09      Cae'r Moel curve realign and tamp for 20mph

23-27/2/09      Aspinall's Curve recant for15mph

 

Snowdon Mill works

The conversion of Snowdon Mill to flats is underway and affects the railway in that it has a long boundary alongside the tramway north from Snowdon Street to Y Cyt (UB220). With the completion of the track to Cae Pawb Crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing), the tramway transition at UB220 is now the Head of Steel.

 

S14_BWH22-12-08HOS.jpg (67892 bytes)

This view (22/12/08) shows UB220 with the Head of Steel now the tramway transition just north of the bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH22-12-08Snowdon Mill works.jpg (50994 bytes)

This view (22/12/08) shows the Snowdon Mill works with the demolition of the property wall alongside the tramway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH22-12-08SS tramway S.jpg (94222 bytes)

This view (22/12/08) shows the tramway transition south of Snowdon Street level crossing. The length through the former rail store also needs completion between LC123 and LC124, the council depot access. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin works

The contractor was off site at Bryn-y-felin road bridge site by 7/12/08 with landscaping of the former diversion completed. A small section of the diversion was retained to allow access to a field gate. The ballast at the former level crossing required attention owing to water/mud ingress from the road diversion into the trackbed rather than the trackside drains.

 

S9_BWH22-12-08BYF LC removed.jpg (84173 bytes) S9_BWH22-12-08BYF landscaping.jpg (66825 bytes)

These southerly views (both 22/12/08) show work complete at Bryn-y-felin. The first view shows the temporary level crossing removed. The second view shows a section of the road diversion retained as a field access. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright B.W.Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The fencing of the new wheelchair compliant ramps at LC90, Fisherman's Path crossing, just over the Afon Glaslyn were complete by 20/12/08.

 

S10_BWH22-12-08BYF footpath crossing complete.jpg (82143 bytes)

This easterly view (22/12/08) shows the completed fencing on the new ramps to LC90 on the east side of the Afon Glaslyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Benches

The final pair of custom-built Beddgelert waiting shelter benches arrived at Dinas from the West Midlands Group in mid December and have been safely stored prior to fitting at Beddgelert.

 

Cladding of Traeth Bridges

Cladding of the parapets of the two new over bridges near Traeth Mawr continues. Hewn slate blocks are being used to disguise the rather obvious white concrete that can be seen from miles away. By 20/12/08 the parapet cladding appeared complete at OB216 with a crenulated pattern of coping stones (as at Tryfan Junction) to prevent climbing rather than the triangular blocks favoured on public road bridges. Cladding of OB217's parapets is also in progress.

 

CTRL points moved to Dinas

The CTRL Harbour Station points have been moved to Dinas from the area of the Gasworks Siding for safe keeping until they are required next year, when the Harbour Station is redeveloped and The Cob widened.

 

CTRL points_BWH22-12-08Dinas.jpg (79218 bytes)

This view (22/12/08) shows the Harbour Station CTRL points moved to Dinas for safe keeping. They had previously been at Gasworks Siding next to Porthmadog Llyn Bach car park. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Observation Coach No.2100 progress 22/12/08

By mid November marquetry had been applied to the new Observation Car with the theme being the ospreys that now are a regular feature in the area. The coach was up on jacks by mid December for work to be progressed on the vacuum brakes.

 

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This view (22/12/08) shows new Observation coach No.2100 up on jacks at Boston Lodge. The ceiling has a large moulded rose type light fitting in the observation end. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 improvements

The front tank was removed from K1 in mid December, using the rail gantry, to allow access underneath to attend to a problem with the front brakes.

 

K1_BWH22-12-08front tank Dinas North Yard.jpg (99593 bytes)

This westerly view (22/12/08) shows K1's front tank under the rail gantry in Dinas North Yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

HMRI inspections

Mike Hart reports: The final wrap up HMRI visit is planned for the end of January for the Rhyd Ddu-Beddgelert section. The inspection of the Beddgelert-Porthmadog section is planned for the end of March. A final wrap up visit for Beddgelert-Porthmadog is planned for the beginning May. There will be other visits from HMRI officers who deal with specific matters such as Crossing Orders, SMS submission, etc.

 

Rhyd Ddu-Beddgelert finishing works 22/12/08

At Pont Cae'r Gors, a watching brief will be kept on the deep cutting. There is a plan to provide a retaining wall if required at some stage in the future.

At the lower end of the Upper S curve there is a need to widen the original 1920s-built embankment as the smooth curve laid across the embankment has the sleepers approaching the width of the formation for a short length just north of UB146. This work is planned for early January when fill will likely be taken to the location in a DZ wagon and widening work will take place over some 20m on the outside of the curve.

 

S8_BWH22-12-08 widening at UB146 S.jpg (124232 bytes) S8_BWH22-12-08 widening at UB146 N.jpg (109893 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 22/12/08) show the curve just north of UB146. The curves look a lot smoother in this area now the fishplates have been replaced and the rails jim crowed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright B.W.Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog report 17/12/08

John Ewing reports: Although the loco worked satisfactorily for a couple of hours in the yard at Dinas after its rebuild was completed in July, it overheated on its delivery run as it approached Waunfawr and was recovered to Dinas. Pete Gray’s team removed the engine and it was sent away to be dismantled and the crank reground. The engine should be ready to return to Dinas next week and one of the staff plans to come in for a couple of days over Christmas to install it in the loco and complete the assembly, including refitting the cylinder head, in the Goods Shed and using the rail crane. So, we should see Dolgarrog back in action early in the new year. It has been sorely missed by the track gangs!

 

Harbour Station WHR point 17/12/08

The temporary WHR point at Harbour Station was fitted with stretcher bars on 17/12/08. The short WHR platform lengths still need to be laid plus the transition to the Britannia Bridge tramway, as well as the tramway transitions either side of the Snowdon Street section of tramway.

 

S14_RD17-12-08HS Harlech Castle point fitting.jpg (106395 bytes)

This westerly view (17/12/08) shows Harlech Castle with welding van No.99 in the formation in Harbour Station whilst fitting the WHR point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RD17-12-08HS point welding.jpg (89856 bytes)

This westerly view (17/12/08) shows the stretcher bards fitted to the temporary WHR point which will be required when it is used in passenger service in 2009. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 9-16/12/08

Tony Baker reports: We are in the process of making the line in the area of Hafod-y-llyn pig proof (the farmer at Hafod-y-llyn has roaming pigs!). Installing a run of barbed wire 2" below ground along the fence line. We started on 9/12/08 and continued on 16/12/08. The new contact email address for the Tuesday Gang is:-

tony.baker@festrail.co.uk

 

Team Wylfa report 16/12/08

Clive Briscoe reports: A small team (of 2!!) met for the last time of 2008 on Tuesday evening (16/12/08). In the absence of carriage checks and other instructions, we did some more preparatory work for No.134 in the Clip Shed. This consisted of more tool cupboard moves, assessing some lighting cables which need to be moved in order to raise the door heights and generally tidying.

That's it then for 2008 so 'Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda' to all our readers from the team. At the moment we're not sure as to which Tuesday we'll be reconvening in January as some of the Team will still be away on the 6/1/09. I can say for certain that we WILL be there on Tuesday 13/1/09. Further advice will be posted via the websites.

 

ROTWG report 14/12/08

The Rest of the World Gang continued to improve track south from Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt, jim crowing joints on curves and resetting gaps between rails.

 

S9_TE14-12-08jim crow campsite.jpg (88474 bytes)

This northerly view (14/12/08) shows members of the ROTWG applying the jim crow to a joint just south of Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_TE14-12-08campsite.jpg (119651 bytes)

This southerly view (14/12/08) shows members of the ROTWG resetting gaps between rails just south of Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track Gang 6-7/12/08

Dafydd Thomas reports: 'Whilst others were Ho!Ho!Hoing! on the Santa Trains over this weekend we have been aligning the track at the south end of Pont Cae'r Gors cutting (near the new Forestry Crossing). This was followed by aligning and fettling the track south from LC77 to Meillionen Campsite Halt. We also aligned the track through the platform at the halt (a difficult job as it had been tamped and heavily ballasted). Hopefully all this is now in reasonable shape and can be tamped. The Black Hand Gang will now be taking a break over Christmas and will next be out on the tracks on 3/4 January 2009.'

The real priorities, although not very spectacular, are to bring the Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert section up to standard for the HMRI inspection in January. The rest, down to Porthmadog and including completion of the CTRL missing links, will be done as and when the opportunity arrives. About 2km of track needs jim-crowing/new stronger fishplates or other minor attention between Beddgelert Forest Campsite and Cutting Mawr (the upper part of the Lower S curve). Completion of the outstanding level crossings, LC76/77 is imminent after the survey at the end of October and before the HMRI inspection.

 

UB150

The WHRCL is to monitor the state of UB150 under operational railway loadings rather than replace it as was required with the similar UB131 and UB133. UB150 lies between LC76 and LC77 at Beddgelert Forest Campsite and is a concrete bridge buried under a deep embankment. The work done to protect the base (invert) and prevent undermining of the abutments is considered to be sufficient for the time being. Compared to the other two bridges, the slab is in relatively good condition and crossed by a deeper embankment. Trains will cross the bridge at only 5mph as they will be between two level crossings at this point.

 

Trackwork postscript

Andy Savage reports: GrantRail provided nine graduates for the week (ending 5/12/08) who, with supervision from ROTWG, did the fishplate changing and crowing up from Beddgelert to somewhere around Ch.21700 (the lower half of the Lower S curve). This was despite having to work on the FR on Monday (1/12/08) as the weather was too cold to Jim Crow rails. All reported the week as very enjoyable and educational.

 

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This southerly view (5/12/08) shows Grant Rail graduates pushing the trolley up to Cwm Cloch out of Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (5/12/08) shows Grant Rail graduates jim crowing rails at LC85 in the middle of the lower S bend. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cae Pawb track complete 5/12/08

Andrew Thomas reports on a successful week for Andrew Savage's KM Post gang: We now have continuous metals from Snowdon Street to Caernarfon. Castell Conwy became the first loco since Russell in 1937 to travel from Porthmadog New(1933) to Dinas on Friday 5/12/08 - a gap of 71 years. Crewed by Ben Rosen, James King and Andrew Thomas, the loco first returned its B wagon to Beddgelert, then ran to Rhyd Ddu to collect a faulty DZ wagon which was delivered to Dinas for repair before returning light engine to Rhyd Ddu ready for the weekend's BHG activities. The historic event was celebrated in the Dinas control office with complimentary coffee. No speeches were made.

Andy Savage's working week, although originally intended only to place the kilometre posts on Phase 4, actually achieved:

A splendid time was had by all. Celebrity guest Ben Rosen even descended from the footplate to pull in the real Golden Clips on the last sleeper at the Traeth Mawr overlap.

 

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These southerly views (all 5/12/08) show Conway Castle heading south from Traeth Mawr for the first time and arriving at Cae Pawb Crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing) with the first through train to Porthmadog New (1931)! The same train had reached a point a little to the north the day before. The B wagon was used to collect lineside rubbish and carry the PW equipment. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (5/12/08) shows a reformed rake delivering rail to Cae Pawb Crossing ready to complete the gap at the site of the North Catch Point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and two southerly views (all 5/12/08) show the completion of the link to Cae Pawb Crossing North Catch Point. This allowed Conway Castle to proceed to the location of Porthmadog New (1931), the first train to do so for over 71 years other than the demolition trains of the 1940s. This 'station' was used by the WHR when it could no longer afford to cross trains over the GWR. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (5/12/08) shows Ben Rosen pulling the final rail clip at Traeth Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 progress 4/12/08

With work on No.87 nearing an end, the loco made a brief appearance outside Boston Lodge early in December in works grey livery and was caught on camera in this sequence of photos, with Vale of Ffestiniog as a heavier than normal Works Pilot.

 

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This westerly view (4/12/08) shows No.87 being shunted in Boston Lodge works yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (4/12/08) shows No.87 being shunted in Boston Lodge works yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (4/12/08) shows No.87's works plate. The loco was manufactured at Cockerill's Seraing works near Liege, Belgium. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (4/12/08) shows No.87 being shunted in Boston Lodge works yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and westerly views (both 4/12/08) show No.87 approaching the works headshunt which has been lengthened to accommodate the longer locomotives of this class. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Track complete at Traeth Mawr 4/12/08

Andrew Savage's Kilometre Post gang have been working this week fitting km posts to the section between Rhyd Ddu and Harbour Station. Conway Castle was taken down as far as Traeth Mawr earlier in the week tidying up the trackside and filling two B wagons with rubbish. On 4/12/08 they completed the link-up at Traeth Mawr and removed the Stop Block, a momentous occasion (any pics gratefully received!). Conway Castle then moved rail to the north side of Cae Pawb crossing (Cambrian Crossing) to complete the link there on 5/12/08.

 

Porthmadog Bypass Public enquiry 2/12/09

A further stage in the Porthmadog Bypass consultation process was held from 2/12/08 with a proposal to drop the Tremadoc Bypass element and make certain alterations near the Porthmadog sports clubs at the north end of Snowdon Street beyond the NR level crossing. Concerns have also been expressed about a low bridge under NR at Penamser (the end of the A498) that would require tall vehicle traffic to continue to pass through the north side of Porthmadog. Appraisals will be made of the bridge and a further low NR bridge at Wern nearer to Criccieth.

 

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These two scans show the original plans for the Porthmadog Bypass published a few years ago. Details may have changed and these will be replaced when diagrams are to hand. Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Team Wylfa report 2/12/08

Clive Briscoe reports: There was a very small Team of 2 of us on the evening of 2/12/08. With the carriage checks and oiling done for now until Easter 2009, the opportunity was taken to do some more housekeeping and outstanding minor repairs to equipment in the Clip Shed workshop. A vice that had been donated for the No.134 project and stored whilst the project was on hold has finally been found a place on the workbench (Thanks due to Andy Keene). A tripod mounted, twin boom 110V floodlight that has only been working on one light for some time was also attended to. This was stripped and a dry joint found in the lamp housing. This was successfully repaired. Both minor items but will make future work that much easier.

A reminder that we will NOT be there next Tuesday 9/12/08 but will be reforming for probably the final time for 2008, on Tuesday 16/12/08.

 

Construction progress 1/12/08

Work is now finished on LC73 at Weirglodd Isaf, complete with extensive signage. Work was also underway nearby on a new headwall to UB142 in local stone.

 

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These easterly and northerly views (both 1/12/08) show the completion of UB142 just south of Weirglodd Isaf. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and easterly views (both 1/12/08) show the completed LC73 at Weirglodd Isaf. Poles for warning signs and fencing have now been completed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin road crossing farewell 30/11/08

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This northerly view (30/11/08) shows the cleared site of the temporary road level crossing at Bryn-y-felin. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 30/11/08

Dr. Simon Melhuish reports: Today we had to replace a damaged rail north of Meillionen Forest Campsite Halt. Starting from Rhyd Ddu, we first went to the bad rail, then to Beddgelert, where we dropped the tool van. Next was Hen Hafod (the PW siding), to take a rail off the bolster, and after that, to Pont Croesor to collect RRMs. Then back to Hen Hafod to pick up the rail, Beddgelert, to collect the van, and back to the damaged rail. The rails were soon swapped over, and the train returned to Rhyd Ddu. This took all day! But it was a pretty good tour of most of Phase 4.

 

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This northerly view (30/11/08) shows Conway Castle taking the RRMs north at Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (30/11/08) shows the recently completed bridge at Bryn-y-felin with frost over the tracks. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Jane Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (30/11/08) shows Rowland Doyle's point gang has been out fitting components for the trailable point mechanism to be fitted at Beddgelert as at other loops. This is the south point at Beddgelert with black metal plates added to the blades to which the mechanism will be attached. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 25/11/08

Tony Baker reports: The Tuesday Gang are beavering away completing level crossing signage. One open crossing, that's one with no gates, has to have as many as 18 signs! We have just completed 2 of these, Weirglodd Isaf Crossing and Cemetery Crossing. All work has to be done by car and by foot. If we are lucky we get the rail skate. A couple of weeks ago we finished LC111 and had to push the skate back to Hen Hafod (Hafod-y-llyn loop) taking 40 mins.

 

Team Wylfa report 25/11/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa were back in action on Tuesday evening 25/11/08 and our task was to prepare the 'E' Set for the Santa Specials and Christmas - New Year running. We did a full mechanical check and oil up. Note that the 'E' Set has been reconfigured into a new consist and is now made up of all the newest carriages plus No. 2115, Bodysgallen, as usual bringing up the rear.

We will be back next Tuesday 2/12/08 but not Tuesday 9/12/08 then back Tuesday 16/12/08.

 

Tracklaying progress 23/11/08

Dafydd Thomas reports: The North Wales Track Gang had the lot over the weekend between Rhyd Ddu and Hafod Ruffydd, including rain, wind, sleet, hail and sunshine. Progress was made in that we have made the curve between UB126 and UB127 (roughly in the vicinity of Ch.17000-17300, the end of the long straight south of Pont Cae'r Gors) far better. This involved putting in a stagger in the rail joints and reworking 13 track panels.

 

Chinese loco progress

After splitting from its tender on 23/11/08, the loco (still in the WHR platform at Harbour Station) was jacked up and packed so that it could be placed on wheel skates for the journey across The Cob to Boston Lodge.

 

Bryn-y-felin progress

The level crossing was removed by 23/11/08 and work was underway to remove the temporary road and restore the field using stockpiled soil.

 

Chinese loco arrives 22/11/08

The Chinese 2' 6" (762mm) gauge tender loco (carrying No.4) has arrived back on the FR, by way of the WHR connection at Porthmadog Harbour Station. The WHR Junction point blade had been placed back in the Harbour station platform line on 21/11/08 and set for the connection. An area was coned off by Cob Records store for the low loader delivery. On 22/11/08, the lorry arrived about midday and a ramp was constructed to lower the loco onto rails placed on their sides in the stub WHR platform outside Spooners. By 1500, the loco was on rails outside Spooners. FR diesel loco Moel-y-gest hauled the loco off the lorry. No.4 was going to Boston Lodge on wheel skates made specially by project volunteers for its outsize gauge.

The 0-8-0 tender loco, Dahuichang No. 4, was initially delivered to Minffordd yard in early 2007 but more recently spent some time on display at Locomotion in Shildon, leaving the FR on 15/8/08. The loco was owned by Beijing Capital Steel and Chemical Factory, and was one of four operating on a route approximately 1 mile long that was built to carry limestone from a quarry to a crusher serving a cement factory. The loco initially arrived in the UK from China on 4/1/07, following discussions with owners since 2005, when the railway closed and the loco fleet was stored. The design is an Eastern European type from the late 1940's. Over 5000 of similar types were built in various countries, with about 10% built in China, possibly making it the most common narrow gauge design. The locomotive carries Harbin Works No. 221 of January 1988.

Project members intend to build a shed at Boston Lodge to accommodate the loco during its overhaul and re-gauging. The loco should make a powerful addition to the FR fleet and is in relatively good condition, having been built as recently as 1988. Some superstructure, including the cab, will need to be cut down if it is to operate on the FR. Full details of the C2 project may be found here http://www.c2project.org/.

 

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This view (21/11/08) shows the reassembly of the WHR point at Porthmadog Harbour Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (22/11/08) shows Chinese loco No.4 descending the ramp from the low loader. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (22/11/08) shows the Chinese loco No.4 having 'arrived' in the stub of the WHR platform outside Spooners. The gauge of the 'rails' can be seen to be a little wider than the WHR's gauge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (22/11/08) shows FR diesel Moel-y-gest with B wagons. The FR diesel was used to haul the Chinese loco off the low loader. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction progress 20/11/08

As part of the campaign to finish the Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert section prior to an HMRI inspection in December or January, work is underway on the remaining level crossings. LC73 at Weirglodd Isaf received attention on 20/11/08 with concrete aprons being cast either side. Warning sign poles were also ready for concreting in.

 

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These easterly and northerly views (both 20/11/08) show the completion of LC73 at Weirglodd Isaf. Poles for warning signs are also visible. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Further south, work was underway in the Aberglaslyn Pass on making LC90, the Fisherman's Path crossing at Bryn-y-felin, compliant for wheelchair access. This includes gentle ramps and large kissing gates.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 20/11/08) show the completion of LC90 at Bryn-y-felin with large size kissing gates. The approach ramps have also been made more gentle for self propelled wheelchair users. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (20/11/08) shows the completion of LC90 at Bryn-y-felin with gently inclined ramps. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.134 progress 15-16/11/08

The new 'NG15 No.134 Team' held its first working party on 15-16/11/08. Team Wylfa was present on the first Saturday to show members where previously preservation efforts had stored parts removed from the loco. The frames are in the former Clip Shed. The first job was cleaning up the shed and a wagon load of rubbish was moved to the South Yard skips. Sunday saw the chassis jacked up to examine the underside. The springs from all the axles were removed to be sent off for examination. they will either be refurbished or replaced. Working parties will be held on the third weekend of the month. Except for December, it is intended to meet monthly at least until March 2009. At some stage it is planned to have a working week. Contact Peter Randall on the Contacts page for details. Team Wylfa members will also be helping on Tuesday evenings when their other 'core' duties of carriage inspections (and NGG16 progress!) are not required. No.134 will be completed when funds and time allows.

 

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This view (26/10/08) shows No.134's chassis in the Clip Shed at Dinas before work started. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Over the weekend of 15-16/11/08 time was spent sorting through parts to see what is still there and what has been misplaced. On Sunday, volunteers lifted No.134 up about 2 feet to have a look and assess what they have to remove to get the front truck off.

 

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These views (both 16/11/08) show underside of No.134 with the front truck connection. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Steve Holland and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Local news

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is to conduct a feasibility study into upgrading the Conwy Valley line to carry slate waste from Blaenau Ffestiniog for road building etc. A trial train operated a couple of years ago for McAlpines. The scheme could cost up to £26 million and would allow heavy locos and stock to traverse the route. The current interest in reclaiming slate quarry waste might allow another look at moving the similar tips near the WHR at Glan-yr-afon and Betws Garmon via rail, though working B wagons to a new Blaenau Ffestiniog freight yard might be far fetched! WAG's target is to provide 25% of aggregate from reclaimed sources. The Conwy Valley scheme has widespread local support.

Local newspapers report that Porthmadog Council is to have a meeting with an officer from the Railway Inspectorate about the CTRL. They claim to have had no consultation with the WHRCL but David High (WHRCL Director for the CTRL) is adamant that consultation has occurred and can quote chapter and verse about the dates and letters exchanged concerning the level crossing designs.

The first stage in developing the Caernarfon Bypass has been achieved with the publication earlier this year of consultation documents considering transport problems in the corridor where there is considerable congestion for much of the day and difficulty joining the road (e.g. at Dinas!). While considering improved rail options (including reopening main line rail link from Bangor to Afon Wen), it has confirmed that one of the most likely options is a bypass on a new alignment. As previously suggested, the southern end has been identified as the new A487/A499 roundabout south of Llanwnda (the north end of the Llanllyfni/Pen-y-groes Bypass). The northern end would be Parc Menai roundabout at the western end of the Y Felinheli bypass. A route via Caeathro is mentioned. The most likely alignment would pass west of Bontnewydd, crossing the WHR just north of the halt via a new over-bridge. Click on the link below for access to the report and other associated documents.

http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/transport/roads/reports/a487weltag/?lang=en

 

Baldwin to feature at WHR(P) Gala 2-4/5/09

Chris Dearden reports: A Baldwin locomotive of the type synonymous with the Welsh Highland Railway is to return to the line in 2009. Baldwin 4-6-0PT No.778, which is based at the Leighton Buzzard Railway, will visit the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog for a gala event during the bank holiday weekend at the start of May (2-4/5/09). It will be the first time a Baldwin has operated in this part of Wales since 1936, when sister engine No.590 last hauled trains on the original Welsh Highland. The Baldwin 4-6-0PT locomotives were originally built in Philadelphia for service in the trenches of the First World War. After the war, many were purchased for use on narrow gauge lines around the UK and further afield, including No.590 which worked on the Welsh Highland Railway. No.778 worked in India after the war ended, and was one of a pair brought to the UK in the 1980s. It has been restored by the Greensand Railway Museum Trust to its original 1917 condition and will be making its first trip away from its home base to operate at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway gala weekend.

 

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This view (27/8/07) shows Baldwin No.778 at the Pages Park terminus of the Leighton Buzzard Railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

James Hewett, Chairman of the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, said: “We’re delighted to host this historic visit. The original WHR Baldwin locomotive featured in so many pictures of the old Welsh Highland that the type has become closely associated with the line. “This type of locomotive which has a special place in the hearts of many narrow gauge fans, and the high quality restoration of No.778 has enabled us to see an example of the type in service once again.”

The gala event – called “Spirit of the Welsh Highland” – also sees the launch of the WHR Heritage Train. The newly restored Welsh Highland Buffet Car and a replica of the long vanished Ashbury corridor coach No.25 will take their place alongside two other original WHR carriages for the first time. James Hewett added: “The combination of a Baldwin locomotive and a rake of original Welsh Highland stock means it promises to be an exciting weekend. For the first time since 1936, it will be possible to recreate some of the classic Welsh narrow gauge scenes of the 1920s and 1930s. We’re hoping that it will be possible to serve tea in the original WHR Buffet Car over the weekend to complete the picture!”

A further Baldwin 4-6-0PT, No.794, was brought to the UK at the same time as No.778. Owned by the Imperial War Museum, it is on loan to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway for restoration. It’s hoped that the gala weekend can be used to start new fundraising drive to get it into service. The “Spirit of the Welsh Highland” gala weekend will also include chance to visit the newly opened Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland museum which is currently being developed at the WHHR Gelert's Farm Works. Children’s author Christopher Vine, who specialises in informative but entertaining books for younger enthusiasts, will be launching his new book at the WHHR gala event. Porthmadog Narrow Gauge, the town’s annual model railway exhibition also takes place on Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend, immediately opposite the WHHR terminus.

 

K1 progress 16/11/08

Andrew Rutter reports: A working party of 10 or 11 volunteers from the K1 group were able to tackle a list of maintenance items that are accumulating after K1's very successful season. The fire bars are to be raised in light of operating problems with accumulation of ash in the ash pan; so this was removed from the bottom of the firebox. The rocking grate is likely to be abandoned as well.

 

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These views (both 15/11/08) in Dinas Loco Shed show the fire bars and rocking grate and the ash pan removed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Rutter and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The receiver (or intermediate pressure) pipe had to be removed and as it required attention to the damaged cladding an inspection revealed considerable wastage of the steel pipe. It is hoped that because of water retention in the insulation that wraps around the pipe it will be replaced with stainless steel.

 

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This view (16/11/08) shows corrosion of the steam pipe between the high and low pressure engines. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Rutter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The injector drains are not satisfactory so investigations into size and shape of pipework and location of drainage to below the cab floor is being considered. The cab floor itself is usually very wet due to drainage issues so 'marine scuppers' are being procured to drain the wooden floor through the steel footplate beneath. There is an issue with the front brakes so the front tank has been made ready to lift to allow for access. The front buffer plate is also removed for inspection of the vacuum cylinder.

 

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This view (15/11/08) shows K1 receiving attention in the Dinas Loco shed with chimney removed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Rutter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The rear tank coal rails are to be modified for space to allow the rear lamp to be fitted. This will be protected by a box section and lid that allows access but protects during coaling and the wooden mock-up is being used to check the location, etc. Also an improvement to climbing into the coal bunker was worked out and steps, grab rails and a wider chequer plate for the fireman's side footplate on the tank were decided upon. The chimney is removed for a new funnel section about to be rolled. The existing cast bottom is being repaired as it is cracked and the top will have its customary beading refitted. The cylinder drain cocks blow the ballast around especially on the H.P. engine, modifications are proposed, and the NGG 16's were looked at to gain ideas.

 

K1_AR16-11-08marking out rear light fitting.jpg (42693 bytes)

This view (16/11/08) shows a wooden mock up of the rear lamp being used to mark out alterations necessary to the coal rails on the rear of the loco. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Rutter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

One of the expansion links was taken down to assess wear in the bearings that is a problem also to the other three. A plan to grind the pins to a new dimension and re- bush with phosphor bronze is being planned. A change to grease instead of oil lubrication is envisaged. Also the reversing 'trigger & link' mechanism has wear and that will be attended to with improvements to lubrication as one of these pair lies under the coal bunker. The team also liased with the NGG 15 team so that they can utilize more of the stores space and kit that was used during the K1 rebuild and is no longer required.

This was quite a long list, apart from the ongoing project of generation of electricity for the lamps, so more working parties will now be planned to follow up a very productive weekend.

 

Construction progress 15/11/08

Cladding of the very obvious concrete parapets on OB216 is proceeding well. OB217 will be treated similarly. Hewn slate blocks are being used which fits in well with the local environment.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 15/11/08) show the cladding of the concrete parapets on OB216. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 15/11/08

The Rest of the World Gang continued with the long process of fixing joints in the Beddgelert Forest. Working south, progress resumed at LC75, the Weirglodd Isaf Pastures, improving the joints and fitting heavy duty fishplates. The rail ends were jim-crowed to avoid the 'three-penny bit' curves that develop with the weaker fishplates. Crossing timbers for LC75 were removed to allow tamping the improved section the following week. Conway Castle replaced Upnor Castle for the weekend as the latter was under repair at Dinas.

 

S8_JE15-11-08Jim crow.jpg (81430 bytes)

This northerly view (15/11/08) shows ROTWG volunteers jim-crowing a rail joint near LC75. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S8_JE15-11-08LC75N .jpg (69425 bytes)

This northerly view (15/11/08) shows crossing timbers removed at LC75. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S8_JE15-11-08Conway Castle at LC75.jpg (48730 bytes)

This northerly view (15/11/08) shows Conway Castle near LC75. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction progress 12/11/08

Bryn-y-felin road bridge was opened to traffic on the morning of the 11/11/08. Work continues to complete the approach walling and remove the temporary road and level crossing. The surprising narrowness of the road design has already raised concerns about the safety of photographers on the bridge. It appears that the council's design did not allow for a footpath.

 

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This northerly view (12/11/08) shows a Shearings tour bus having difficulty rounding the bend onto the bridge. There is no footpath on the bridge, unlike the reconstructed Pont Betws. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work continues to make the Fisherman's Path crossing compliant for wheelchair access despite the fact that the NT path immediately south is not! Fencing will follow.

 

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This easterly view (12/11/08) shows the wheelchair ramp being constructed on the south side of the Bryn-y-felin footpath crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Down at Pont Croesor, work continues on the halt with the ballast for the loop line laid recently.

 

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This southerly view (12/11/08) shows ballast being laid southwards on the westerly (southbound) track through the site of the future Pont Croesor Halt. The fencing defines the access path to the platforms. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 11/11/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa were hard at work again on Tuesday evening 11/11/08 with something a bit different this time. As the No.134 offensive is now under way (with another No.134 Team working weekend this coming weekend, 15/16 Nov) we needed to do a bit more reorganising and moving around of tool cupboards for forthcoming modifications to the Clip Shed. It is proposed to fit new, higher opening doors so that a completed loco can be rolled out in due course complete with cab, dome and chimney. The lighting wiring that we installed several years ago is clipped to the existing wooden lintel and needs moving up to the higher steel girder lintel. We assessed what is required and also what is required to move the light switches currently fixed to the present fixed boarding adjacent to the personnel door in the other bay. It is proposed to have opening doors in this bay also so that No.134's tender chassis can be rolled in so allowing simultaneous work on both loco and tender.

We also moved the air compressor that we had mounted on a trolley back into the K1 Shed next door, back onto its original mountings and reconnected it to the original power supply. It had been trolley mounted to allow it to be moved about the site - notably to power the needle guns when we were working on No.140's boiler in the Goods Shed. This has now reactivated the compressed air ring main in the Clip Shed which means the No.134 Team can use needle guns, compressed air chisels, impact wrenches etc.

Note that Team Wylfa will NOT be present again at Dinas next week, 18th Nov but will be back on the 25/11/08 when we will have to do a full inspection and oil up of the E Set preparing it for the Santa Specials.

 

Harbour Station pilot test

When WHR operations extend to Harbour Station, shunt release will be required and a shunting loco will need to be stabled at the station while temporary arrangements are in place. The train will need to be lead out of the FR platform with the WHR loco attached to the rear. The shunt loco will then be detached and then the WHR loco will lead the rake off The Cob and onto the CTRL. Over the second weekend of November a shunt release simulation took place. A diesel loco, e.g. Criccieth Castle is likely to be the usual pilot loco in 2009.

 

North Wales Track Gang progress 8-9/11/08

Dafydd Thomas reports: This weekend saw the Black Hand Gang preparing the platform lines at Beddgelert Station for ballasting and tamping. This necessitated checking the distance of the rail from the platform edge for the whole length of both lines as well as vertical alignment on both lines. Adjustments were made as necessary and the sleepers shovel packed to maintain their position prior to tamping. Progress at Porthmadog is unlikely to resume until the Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert section is fully prepared for the HMRI inspection in December.

 

Tracklaying plans 8/11/08

This weekend it had been hoped to complete the Snowdon Street tramway transition and fill the gap south of Snowdon Street and possibly complete the one on Y Cyt too at the north end of the Snowdon Mill tramway. However, the North Wales Track Gang were required instead to check, level and align the loop at Beddgelert Station ready for tamping with no mention of the trap points yet.

 

Bryn-y-felin road bridge progress 7/11/08

The triangular coping blocks were placed recently on the parapet above the railway to prevent anyone standing on it. No concrete cladding is envisaged as it is thought it will soon weather to grey. James Cyf. was laying the base course of tarmac on 7/11/08 and the bridge is likely to be opened in late November once the wearing course in added. The temporary road and level crossing will then be removed.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 2/11/08

John Ewing/Paul Bradshaw report: On 2/11/08 the ROTWG moved the Phase 4 train north from Hafod-y-llyn to Beddgelert, crossing the level crossing at Bryn-y-felin for one of the last times. The road bridge is due to be commissioned later in November. There was some shunting at Beddgelert Station, using the siding so that the SA brakevan was in the middle of the train. Further fishplate upgrading took place near Weirglodd Isaf into the top of the lower half of the Upper S bend.

S9_AT2-11-08Upnor at BS station.jpg (81878 bytes) S9_AT2-11-08Upnor in BS siding.jpg (62366 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 2/11/08) show shunting at Beddgelert. The first view shows Upnor Castle in the western track at Beddgelert Station. The second view shows the loco in the siding with a B wagon. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Volunteer and staff Xmas party

Dafydd Thomas reports: The Christmas Party at Dinas on 6/12/08 from 7:00pm is for ALL WHR volunteers and staff. It should be a good evening going on past experience. There will be real ale as well as other drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, hot food as well as live entertainment, all for the modest price of £15. To book your ticket contact Dafydd Thomas, details on the Contacts page.

Cheques should be made out to Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri and sent to: Dafydd Thomas, Ty Croes, Crymlyn, Abergwyngregyn, Llanfairfechan. LL33 0LU

 

The Last Train to Traeth Mawr 2/11/08

Michael Chapman reports from what some saw as the end of an era of operating to Traeth Mawr (although hope remains that agreement can eventually be reached between the FR and WHR(P) about future running rights) : It is sad that whilst there is an air of anticipation and excitement surrounding the Welsh Highland Railway and the reintroduction of through-services next year, that Sunday 2/11/08 will go down in history as the date when services on another part of the Welsh Highland Railway ceased.

 

TM_MC2-11-08Gelert at TM.jpg (79231 bytes)

This northerly view (2/11/08) shows Gelert at Traeth Mawr with UB207 in the background on the final working. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

For on Sunday 2nd November 2008 at 3:00pm, the WHR Ltd ran their very last train to Traeth Mawr. The loop had already been removed so the formation was a push-pull train with Ruston & Hornsby diesel locomotive Glaslyn leading and 0-4-2T Bagnall Gelert bringing up the rear. It was a beautiful Autumnal day - the type you only seem to get in Snowdonia; the low sun lit the mountains with a pinkish glow and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The weather was mild but the distant mountains were dusted with snow. Before the train departed Porthmadog, a group photograph was arranged in front of Gelert. There was a real family atmosphere as virtually everyone associated with the WHR Ltd was in attendance; the Chairman and Vice-chairman, Membership Secretaries, the team rebuilding Russell, the Operating Manager, the team from the Carriage Works, shop manageress, guards, several members and many of the volunteers who had built the railway.

As the train ran passed Gelert's Farm works and towards Pen-y-Mount, there were mixed emotions on the train; sadness that this was the last train of the season and the last train to Traeth Mawr, but also a sense of pride in what had been achieved during 2008.

At Traeth Mawr, and with special permission for this one-off occasion, the passengers disembarked and another group photograph was arranged. A wreath was also laid to commemorate the last WHR Ltd train to Traeth Mawr; it was like the one laid on the stop-block in Barnstaple in 1935 when the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway closed and was made up from foliage and bronze chrysanthemums -just like the original. A speech was made by WHR Ltd chairman James Hewett who thanked everyone for their hard work and accomplishments during the year.

 

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This northerly view (2/11/08) shows the wreath being laid on the stop-block at Traeth Mawr with James Hewitt the WHRL chairman (right) and vice-chairman (Chris Dearden). The Welsh inscription "Yma o Hyd" on the wreath means "We're still here". The rails overlap those laid from the north for 1m behind the stop-block. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (1/11/08) shows one of the final WHR(P) trains heading into the sunset from Traeth Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (2/11/08) shows the silvery ribbons of steel leading back to Porthmadog in the evening sunlight. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

All too soon, the attendees re-joined the train, now bathed in evening sunlight, and commenced the return journey to Porthmadog. If anyone thought this was a sad occasion, then the smiles on people's faces confirmed otherwise. Even so, there was a small twinge of emotion as Operating Manager Martyn Owen took the right-away and eased Gelert and the train away from Traeth Mawr for the final time. In an echo of the opening day in March 2007, Gelert's whistle sounded a long continuous blast as the train passed over the crossing at Pen-y-Mount.

Once back at Porthmadog, the wreath was placed on Gelert's smokebox door for photographs. Then the attendees retired to The Russell Tea Room for cakes and coffee. James Hewett addressed the attendees and said 2008 was the best year in the 28-year history of the WHR Ltd; 22,728 passengers were carried!

 

TM_MC2-11-08Gelert arrives back at Porthmadog.jpg (56548 bytes)

This easterly view (2/11/08) shows Gelert arriving back at Porthmadog (Tremadoc Road) with the wreath on the smokebox door. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

TM_MC2-11-08first and last tickets.jpg (33566 bytes)

This view (2/11/08) shows the first and last tickets issued for the Traeth Mawr operation. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Looking to the future, next year the WHR Ltd will be known as the " Welsh Highland Heritage Railway", in an attempt to strengthen its own marketing image when the line through Beddgelert is open. The railway will continue running trains over the section of line it owns, from Porthmadog to Pen-y-Mount. The company is also progressing with lots of exciting projects such as developing a new museum at Gelert's Farm; it is due to be open next Spring - the building is largely complete and at the time of writing the tracks and being put in and the concrete floor built. The restoration of the flagship WHR locomotive Russell is progressing well and is almost at rolling chassis stage - it is on track to return to steam next year. The heritage train project is also progressing well and plans are being made for the restoration of WW1 Baldwin No.794.

 

Buffet car_MC2-11-08.jpg (51778 bytes)

This view (2/11/08) shows the WHR Buffer Car being rebuilt at the Gelert's Farm Carriage works. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Russell_MC2-11-08.jpg (65846 bytes)

This view (2/11/08) shows progress with Russell. It is hoped it will steam again next year. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (2/11/08) shows the concrete floor laid between the tracks in the new WHR(P) museum, to be opened next Spring. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR(P) museum progress 1/11/08

Good progress has been made with the WHR(P) museum at Gelert's Farm. The building's steel shell is complete with track laid. A concrete floor has been cast.

 

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These southerly views (both 1/11/08) show the new extension of the WHR(P) museum at Gelert's Farm that already has track and stock inside. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 1/11/08) show the new extension of the WHR(P) museum at Gelert's Farm that already has track and stock inside. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Trains run in Autumn snow!

Snow came very early to the WHR this year and on 28-9/10/08 almost reached down to Rhyd Ddu. The Half Term Holiday saw a two train steam service with K1 and No.143 on 28-30/10/08 and, despite the severe cold (2.5C! at Rhyd Ddu) and wind-chill, the open coaches were popular with well wrapped up passengers who were enjoying alpine views that are usually only available between December and March. Snow was noted even lower at Froncysyllte on the A5 around 115m on 1/11/08 as your webmaster returned from his busman's holiday!

 

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This southerly view (29/10/08) shows snow on Moel Hebog as seen from Rhyd Ddu station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The service declined to a two train service by 1/11/08 and surprisingly there was no service on 2/11/08 and no weekend trains at all during the rest of November this year as an economy measure. Santa Specials run at weekends 6-7/12/08 and 13-14/12/08 and 20-21/12/08. Xmas Holiday trains resume on 26/12/08 to 1/1/09 but there are no February Half Term trains in 2009 as the railway will be commissioning Rhyd Ddu signalling around this time and focussing on opening to Beddgelert. Services to Rhyd Ddu recommence on 28/3/08 and are extended to Beddgelert on 11/4/09 given HMRI approval.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 1/11/08

John Ewing reports: On 1/11/08 the ROTWG reconnected track across Environment Agency flood relief culvert and replaced broken rail clips at Traeth Mawr.

 

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This northerly view (1/11/08) shows track relaid over the Environment Agency's 100 year flood relief culvert. The south loop point at Pont Croesor loop has not yet been installed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/11/08) shows the first train over the completed flood relief culvert. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_JE1-11-08TM spring clips.jpg (42272 bytes)

This southerly view (1/11/08) shows volunteers replacing spring clips at Traeth Mawr. A WHR(P) steam working is seen at the railhead which remains unconnected at this time. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 31/10/08

Progress at the new Cae Pawb Crossing of NR has seen the northern gate painted white and the gates locked with padlocks. The track is incomplete north of the crossing where the catchpoint is fitted. The track south of the crossing is complete through the catchpoint by the Porthmadog New (1923) station water tower. The tramway transition at the north end of Snowdon Mill tramway on Y Cyt bridge is expected to be completed in November. There is no sign of progress with the base for the level crossing cabin, progress on the base of which was expected in August.

 

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These northerly views (both 31/10/08) show progress in the Cae Pawb Crossing area. The first view shows the northern gates painted white but the track is incomplete beyond. The second view shows the track completed south of the level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 31/10/08) show track completed with the trap point next to the former water tower at Porthmadog New (1923). Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Some progress was made with the transition plates south of Snowdon Street by the North Wales Track Gang on 26/10/08. The temporary track panel south of the level crossing used as a rail loading area has been removed.

 

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This northerly view (31/10/08) shows progress with the transition plates at the south end of Snowdon Street tramway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH31-10-08GS transition plates.jpg (92638 bytes)

This northerly view (31/10/08) shows the remaining two pairs of transition plates at Gasworks Siding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (31/10/08) shows snow on Cnicht and the Moelwyns as seen over the Llyn Bach public open space. The mesh on the lower part of the fence makes the fencing dog (and small child!) proof. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A new footpath crossing has been formed at the south end of Wilkinson's store presumably for emergency evacuation.

 

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These northerly and westerly views (both 31/10/08) show progress on the Llyn Bach corridor. The first view shows the chicane around Wilkinson's store is now nicely aligned. The second view shows a new footpath crossing presumably for emergency evacuation of Wilkinson's store. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH31-10-08BB-LB transition.jpg (96542 bytes)

This northerly view (31/10/08) shows the completed transition plates at the north end of the Britannia Bridge tramway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Harbour Station, plans are underway for a new Spooner's beer store. The extension may be demolished and replaced this Winter to allow the extension of the WHR platform towards the Britannia Bridge tramway.

 

S14_BWH31-10-08Beer Store E.jpg (63014 bytes) S14_BWH31-10-08Beer Store W .jpg (74425 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 31/10/08) show the Spooner's Bar beer store. The first view shows the point where the roof changes direction. The modern extension will be demolished from this point towards the viewpoint. The second view shows the point where the wall bends. The extension will be demolished beyond this point and the platform extended full width to the west. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 31/10/08

Tamping has followed the fitting of heavy duty fishplates the previous week southwards through the Upper S curve. By 31/10/08 the KMX was in action immediately south of Beddgelert Forest Halt. Later in the day it also tamped north to UB150, where both level crossings (LC76 and LC77) now have timbers, one with an adjacent footpath crossing to the south (LC77). The two crossings are still unfenced but surveying was underway on 31/10/08 to complete the work.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 31/10/08) show progress with the tamping programme. The first view shows the KMX tamper/liner at Beddgelert Forest Halt. The second view shows the KMX tamping just south of the halt. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work on the Bryn-y-felin road bridge is nearing completion with final cladding of the embankments. These have suffered from heavy rain scouring the earth layer in recent days. The roadway between the parapets looks too narrow for two coaches to pass and also allow safe room for pedestrians or photographers! The road will be tarmaced and opened later in November.

Upnor Castle was based at Hafod-y-llyn during the final week of October and appeared to do no work.

Good progress has been made at Pont Croesor. A kissing gate has been installed just north of the bridge for the footpath that heads north across the floodplain to Hafod Garregog. This footpath is only open at times when the Ospreys are away. The kissing gate has been placed about 20m north of its previous location as the road verge was not wide enough to safely accommodate it at the previous location close to the bridge.

 

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This westerly view (31/10/08) shows the new kissing gate for the seasonal footpath that heads northeast from Pont Croesor to Hafod Garregog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The main B4410 level crossing at Pont Croesor has seen some walling work done on the north west approach but no progress on the southeast side. An application is being made for an open crossing with wigwag controls.

 

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This westerly view (31/10/08) shows new walling at LC114A. An open crossing is planned for this location with wigwag warning signs. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Good progress has also been made with LC114C. This new level crossing, immediately south of LC114B (the original Osprey Centre crossing), is for the seasonal Osprey Centre with both road and pedestrian access. LC114B is fitted with cattle grids and will become the farmer's permanent access. Fencing was underway on 31/10/08 and included the access to Pont Croesor Halt along the west side of the line.

 

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These easterly and northerly views (both 31/10/08) show progress with LC114C. The first view shows the new ramp leading to LC114C. The second view shows the new access to Pont Croesor Halt on the left of the railway with snow on the Moelwyns. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bob Branch photo charter in the Aberglaslyn Pass 27/10/08

The final day of the Bob Branch Charter saw Palmerston and Prince at locations between Ffridd Isaf curve and the Aberglaslyn Pass tunnels. Your webmaster caught the final day when sunshine and hail showers provided mixed photo opportunities. Palmerston was stabled at Rhyd Ddu and Prince joined with the rake after some run pasts at Ffridd Isaf curve. Prince led the 3 coach vintage rake down to Beddgelert with Palmerston on the rear, facing north.

 

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This northerly view (27/10/08) shows Prince leading the train, waiting at Rhyd Ddu for Palmerston to be attached to the rear. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (27/10/08) shows Prince leading the train, arriving at Bryn-y-felin with Palmerston attached to the rear, awaiting the removal of the track block protecting the footpath crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (27/10/08) shows Prince leading the Bob Branch photo-charter train, pausing at Bryn-y-felin to detach Palmerston from the rear. Final soil cladding of the approach embankments for the new Bryn-y-felin road bridge was underway in the background. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Palmerston was detached at Bryn-y-felin and Prince took the rake down the Aberglaslyn Pass for some southbound run pasts. Later, Palmerston joined for some northbound run pasts while Prince retreated south to the tunnels.

 

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This northerly view (27/10/08) shows Palmerston being detached at Bryn-y-felin and the track block being refitted to protect the level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (27/10/08) shows Palmerston detached at Bryn-y-felin. Permanent fencing is required around the new wheelchair compliant footpath crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A camera crew from BBC's Countryfile programme (broadcast on 2/11/08 where a 6 minute slot was allocated to the story at the end of the hour long programme) travelled in Prince's tender and arrived back to couple up at Bryn-y-felin when the afternoon was over. Click on the link below where the programme is available for a week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/countryfile/

 

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This southerly view (27/10/08) shows Palmerston leading the train back up the Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (27/10/08) shows Palmerston leading the train back up the Pass at Sheepcote Cutting. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (27/10/08) shows Palmerston heading for Bryn-y-felin north of Sheepcote Cutting. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (27/10/08) shows Palmerston approaching Bryn-y-felin at the end of the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (27/10/08) shows Prince with the BBC Countryfile camera crew returning from the tunnels. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (27/10/08) shows Prince on the rear as Palmerston sets off on the return to Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The train continued to Pont Cae'r Gors where Palmerston did some run pasts while Prince was detached and ran back down to Beddgelert light engine before returning at 1545. The pair were noted being shunted at Dinas two days later by Castell Caernarfon.

 

North Wales Track Gang report 26/10/08

Dafydd Thomas reports: The North Wales Track Gang (aka Black Hand Gang) completed fitting of the first pair of the transition rails on special base plates where the tramway section comes off Britannia Bridge towards Llyn Bach. A lot of very exacting work was needed. The tramway rail was first cut back, the long special base plates inserted and the S75 rail then placed to close the gap between the tramway rail and the Polish S30 rail coming from the Llyn Bach car park section. This process was also started with the second transition at the Snowdon Street and progressed as far as inserting the long special base plates.

 

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This southerly view (26/10/08) shows the careful fitting of the pair of transition baseplates to the Llyn Bach/Britannia Bridge transition. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (26/10/08) shows the delivery of the heavy transition baseplate to Snowdon Street. It had to be carried the last few metres as the temporary length of track in the rail store has now been removed. Volunteers range from teenagers to the retired. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bob Branch photo charter at the Aberglaslyn tunnels 26/10/08

The Bob Branch charter visited the Aberglaslyn Tunnels, particularly on 26/10/08, when your webmaster was en route to North Wales and therefore unable to cover the event. The images that were promised by a photographer have unfortunately not been forthcoming but other correspondents have helped out. If there are any further views from this date, they would be welcome.

 

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This easterly view (26/10/08) shows Palmerston stabled between T3 and T4 in the Aberglaslyn Pass awaiting a run past, as seen from the Fisherman's Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Phil Brown and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bob Branch photo charter 25/10/08

On 25/10/08, the action started again at Rhyd Ddu and the train, top and tailed by Prince and Palmerston headed for Beddgelert in sunshine. However, by the time it got there, the weather deteriorated and heavy rainfall set in for the day by lunchtime and the rest of the day was cancelled with the train retreating from the Aberglaslyn Pass.

 

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This easterly view (25/10/08) shows Palmerston watering at Rhyd Ddu in preparation for the day ahead. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dave Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Gardening at Rhyd Ddu 25/10/08

Dave Waldren reports: My son Mathew and I had arranged to meet Margaret and Graham Cartland-Glover for some gardening at Rhyd Ddu station. We managed about 4 hours before giving up, soaked to the skin and buffeted by the wind. At least the plants won't need watering-in!

 

Bob Branch photo charter views 24/10/08

The Bob Branch photo-charter on 24/10/08 operated on the same day as volunteer work in the Beddgelert Forest. Prince and the three heritage coaches worked up from Dinas early, arriving at Rhyd Ddu by 0930. John Ewing (WHRCL) has kindly provided these views.

 

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These northerly views (both 24/10/08) show Prince bringing the heritage coaches up to Rhyd Ddu at Waunfawr and Plas-y-nant. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 24/10/08) show Palmerston watering at Rhyd Ddu and then Prince arriving in the background. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Prince and its rake then left for some early shots near the Summit before Palmerston coupled to the rear for the journey to the Aberglaslyn Pass.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows Prince leaving Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 24/10/08) show Prince and Palmerston top and tailing as they approach and pass over UB150 near Beddgelert Forest Halt at 1000. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (24/10/08) shows Prince arriving with the rake at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston on the rear of the rake at Beddgelert just after 10am. The charter passed the works train in the loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The action started at Rhyd Ddu and Palmerston and Prince were the Aberglaslyn Pass on a short heritage rake until around midday. The train returned to Beddgelert before another sequence of run pasts in the Lower S Curve and Cutting Mawr in the afternoon. The train then returned to Rhyd Ddu about 1700.

 

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This northerly view (24/10/08) shows Prince performing run pasts in the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgwick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston and Prince top and tailing in the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgwick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (24/10/08) shows Prince running along the ledge between T3 and T4 in the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Francis Blake and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

After their work in the Aberglaslyn Pass the train returned to Rhyd Ddu and was combined with the Phase 4 works train as far as Weirglodd Isaf, which it passed just after 1600. The works train had to take refuge in Beddgelert station loop while the charter passed.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston and Prince top and tailing on their return to Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgwick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston making run pasts in the Lower S Curve. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgwick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston emerging from Cutting Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgwick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston leading the combined rake of the photo-charter, including Prince on the rear, and Upnor Castle with the works train coupled behind across the Weirglodd Isaf pastures. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 24/10/08) show Palmerston leading Prince top and tailing as they pass LC73 (Weirglodd Isaf) around 1630, having detached the works train. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (24/10/08) shows Palmerston leading the photo-charter into the upper part of the S curve just south of LC73. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Jane Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Station names to change?

The Welsh Language Board has decreed that hyphens be inserted into Welsh place names. Bontnewydd may also change to Y Bontnewydd and Rhyd Ddu to Rhyd-ddu. However the advice is not binding on councils, who have the final say.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7606700.stm

 

Beddgelert Forest Halt

The Beddgelert Forest Campsite warden has confirmed they will be selling tickets for the line from their office for campers when open. With the Forest Card, a discount of 20% is envisaged. The halt, to be known as Meillionen Forest Campsite Halt, is about 15 mins from Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert and lies within the boundary of the campsite, although will be available for other members of the public.

 

Beddgelert trap point

Design work will start shortly on the Beddgelert Station trap point. This will be inserted in the southbound track to prevent trains from the north running away while the train engine is running around and buffering up. It will be situated in the westerly track at the south end of the station.

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows No.143 leading Castell Caernarfon out of Beddgelert on the second Supporters' Special. Sunlight reached the spot with seconds to spare! The new trap point will be positioned at the end of the platform on the left hand track. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EAG report 18/10/08

Richard Watson reports: Paul Lewin (FR General Manager) confirmed at the recent WHRS AGM that the three ex-RNAD wagons are urgently needed for trackside maintenance, as there are some 300 trees in need of attention between Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert. The rake will be well suited to the task of providing access for branch lopping and brush cutting. Martin Duncan has thrown us the challenge to have two out of the three wagons available for use on the WHR (and FR) during the winter of 2009. The two vehicles in question would be the access wagon and the low sided ‘flat’, with the mess van following at a later date. Ideally, Martin would like to use these vehicles with other specialised vehicles carrying, for example, the cherry picker or the shredder.

 

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This view (18/10/08) shows ex-RNAD wagons Nos. 5002/3 (the latter still requiring wheels) at Mill Green. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Richard Watson and was taken on a Sony DSC-P73 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

That is a pretty tough target for a very small group, so further assistance from members either on site, or by working on the refurbishment of parts at home will be very welcome. Money is always needed, particularly as we are “going it alone” financially.

Boston Lodge has continued to assist as a donor of essential wagon parts, and we are very grateful for their help. We recently received 8 droplight windows from the C&W stores, for re-use in the mess van. These are surplus to requirements, having been recovered from FR Buffet Car No.103 which has been withdrawn and dismantled. During their first life (1968-2006), the windows are estimated to have covered more than half a million miles!

No.5002 continues to make progress and its brakes were adjusted recently. We now need to “up the ante” if we are to meet our deadline, so have restarted work on No.5003 in parallel with No.5002. In September No.5003 was pinch barred sideways from “Track 1” to the EAG “Main Line”, and on 18/10/08 it was reunited with its wheels. The brake hanger lugs have now been ground off in preparation for re-positioning to suit the new track gauge and the frame prepared for re-painting.

 

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These views (both 18/10/08) show progress with the ex-RNAD wagons at Mill Green. The first view shows the re-wheeled No. 5003 with detail of the axlebox and springing arrangement. The second view shows the Robert Hudson plate on No. 5003. The plate appears on one side only and carries neither maker's number or date! Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Richard Watson and were taken on a Sony DSC-P73 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

One of two station 'running in' signs recently delivered to North Wales has now been erected at Beddgelert (noted in place on 1/10/08), where it is acting as a temporary advertisement prior to the opening of the railway at Easter 2009. Two more signs for Beddgelert, and one each for Meillionen Forest Campsite, Pont Croesor and Nantmor have been assembled and painted and await application of lettering which will be supplied by Cedric Lodge. These five complete the order for Phase 4.

 

Working week report 23-24/10/08

On 23/10/08, the fishplate replacement gang reached Canal Cutting, where the sharp curve of the Upper S bend requires all fishplates replaced with the stronger versions. On 24/10/08, the gang had finished the curve and were on the straight beyond.

 

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These easterly and northerly views (both 24/10/08) show progress with the fishplate replacement programme. The first view shows the track gang replacing fishplates near the new forestry crossing and the second view Upnor Castle sandwiched in the middle of the Phase 4 train at the end of the day near the forest boundary. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction progress 24/10/08

Down on the Traeth, work is nearing completion on the flood relief channel and track should be relaid soon.

 

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This northerly view (24/10/08) shows a distant view of the PW train at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows the deck of the flood relief channel ready for the formation to be remade. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (24/10/08) shows the flood relief channel already dealing with some minor flooding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The WHRCL has received the 8 special extended 'fishplates' that join the tramway sections to plain line on the CTRL. These will be installed soon but have been stored near the Gasworks siding for now.

 

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This southerly view (24/10/08) shows the specially manufactured tramway linking sections stored at the site of Gasworks siding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Working Week report 22/10/08

Work replacing fishplates with the new heavier duty version (and jim crowing rail ends) has progressed to a point just north of Canal Cutting (the formerly deeply flooded cutting) at the start of the Upper S curve.

 

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These southerly views (both 22/10/08) show progress with the fishplate replacement programme. The first view shows the straight between Hafod-y-Llyn Ganol farm and Canal Cutting and the second view Upnor Castle with the Phase 4 train at the end of the day. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 21/10/08

Clive Briscoe reports: After a quick visual check of the carriages, it was straight up to the Loco Shed last night, where we did some final wire brushing of No.138's boiler shell and, at last, completed the paint job. I will be attending Dinas on Saturday morning for the restart of the No.134 project. I need to show the new team, of which we will take some part, where all of No.134's bits are stored.

It was noted that all of the new tubes are now fitted in No.138's boiler and appear to have been expanded at both ends. All that now remains is belling over and seal welding the tube ends in the firebox. Palmerston has now joined Prince at Dinas for the Bob Branch photo-charter (leaving Porthmadog by road on 19/10/08). Prince is orientated towards Porthmadog and Palmerston towards Caernarfon (same as this time last year). Some work has been undertaken on the coal conveyor on the bank at the coaling point in the North yard. It looks a lot more user friendly now. A small stock of coal has arrived for Palmerston. Work on the new coal dump is now well in hand with all the vertical beams (into which will slot sleepers) now set into concrete. The concrete slab will follow soon.

 

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This northerly view (20/10/08) shows Palmerston at Dinas in preparation for the Bob Branch photo-charter the following weekend. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Working week report 20/10/08

Volunteers were working south and nearing Hafod Ruffydd, bending rail ends with a jim crow and replacing fishplates with the new heavy duty style where necessary.

 

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This southerly view (20/10/08) shows volunteers bending rail ends with a jim crow. The Phase 4 construction train is visible south of the worksite. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (20/10/08) shows a comparison between the original fishplates and the new heavy duty version. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

ROTWG report 19/10/08

Paul Bradshaw reports: The fishplate upgrade project has reached as far south as UB131 on close of business on Sunday afternoon (19/10/08) despite the atrocious weather conditions, thanks to the determination of an enthusiastic band of volunteers.

 

Construction news 19/10/08

The '100 year flood' relief culvert, just south of Pont Croesor loop, is nearing completion. The trackbed needs to be reinstated over the concrete pipes and then track relaid.

 

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These southerly views (both 19/10/08) show progress with the new '100 year flood' relief culvert south of Pont Croesor loop. The first view shows the culvert is ready for the trackbed to be replaced The second view shows the headwalls complete and an outflow apron remains to be constructed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Further south, a working platform has been erected on the south face of OB216, possibly so that the contractor can clad it with local stone.

 

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This northerly view (19/10/08) shows scaffolding on the face on the parapet of OB216, presumably so that local stone cladding can be fitted. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr station building

Construction of the Waunfawr station building, supported by a benefactor, has been put off for this Winter due to the recession.

 

DVD clip list uploaded

This website's hour long DVD 'WHR Construction 2007-8' by your webmaster is available from the FR's on-line shop, price £20. The DVD covers the period September 2007-August 2008 and is finished in wide-screen mode with Dolby stereo with a disc label and an attractive DVD box insert. There is a menu for the several chapters. Additional copies have been made for the Xmas sales season and a review should be included in the next TSR magazine. Already over £2,000 has been raised by the sale of previous editions. The DVD has been tested on modern DVD players and computers.

All funds raised from the sale of the DVD go to the WHRS. Previous editions are available from your webmaster. An Excel file showing the detailed contents of the DVD is available at the link below.

Click here for DVD Clip List

 

ROTWG fit first heavy duty fishplates 18/10/08

John Ewing reports: The Rest of The World Gang started from Rhyd Ddu with Upnor Castle for a change on Saturday for the planned Working Week starting 18/10/08. A DZ wagon was included in the rake for building work to be completed at Ty'n-y-coed during the course of the week. Trackwork centred on Pont Cae'r Gors where rail bending was demonstrated using a pair of jim crows. The first two pairs of high strength fishplates were installed just north of UB125. The rail ends had been jim-crowed curved and the fishplates then installed. Upnor Castle was then parked on the joints to check wheel flange clearances.

 

NG15 No.134 project launched 18/10/08

Pete Randall reports: Following the announcement at the WHRS AGM, the Society would like to announce details of the project to restore one of the NG15s at Dinas. The basis of the project is as follows:

The WHRS has asked me (Peter Randall) to act as Project leader and I am now looking to establish a group of people to assist with this exciting project. In particular I would like to hear from anyone who could help in the following capacities.

I have a new email for use in connection with the project and would appreciate it if all could use this one when emailing about the project whrng15ataoldotcom (replace "at" & "dot" with "@" & "." to use!) Hopefully an easy to remember address. So if you would like to come along to help, donate or just want to know what is happening, please drop me a line.

 

Team Wylfa report 15/10/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa had planned to get No.138's boiler completed externally last night (14/10/08) but the extremely wet weather (late arrival) and E Set had other plans for us. The E Set was due its full check and oil up. Yes, we got stuck in but then a few minor problems with axlebox cover nuts and studs set us back and by the time we'd drilled out, modified bolts to fit etc, it was 2130 and no time left to go up (through the monsoon) to the Loco Shed. All we could do at that time was return to our workshop and clean and put away the tools. Ah well, all that's required of the carriages next week is a quick visual check so we SHOULD be able to finish the boiler work.

 

New BBC WHR clip 14/10/08

A new 1:34 minute BBC clip from 14/10/08 covers the WHR Extension and No.87 at Boston Lodge. Click on the link below.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7669785.stm

 

Dinas news

The coaling up area on the bank (above Dinas North Yard loading dock) has been cleared of coal and scraped down ready to start laying the concrete base for the new coal dump. At the moment, K1 is silent because there is no coal stored whilst this work is under way. Meanwhile, No.143 is reported running well according to some of the loco crew on a new supply of a blended, reclaimed fuel oil which has been recently sourced and is reputedly, almost as cheap as the coal.

Works staff have now got about 75% of No.138's boiler tubes fitted including many that have now been expanded in at the firebox end as well (though not yet belled over and seal welded - see last news item for reasons why this is done).

 

Phase 4 construction progress 12/10/08

The new road bridge at Bryn-y-felin will not be completed until November. Progress has been made with the approach walls on both sides of the bridge.

 

Tracklaying progress 11-12/10/08

The North Wales Track Gang (aka Black Hand Gang), spent the weekend realigning the straight south from LC67 (south of Rhyd Ddu) to Pitt's Head and reworking the first curve into Pitt's Head Cutting, which has always been problematic, using staggered rails. Volunteers had the benefit of Stuart McNair and his theodolite to give them a dead straight alignment.

 

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This southerly view (12/10/08) shows Upnor Castle unusually sandwiched in the middle of the Phase 4 train in Pitt's Head Cutting. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ben Fisher and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 7/10/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa had a very busy evening last Tuesday evening (7/10/08). A quick visual check of E & F Sets was made then work switched to No.138's boiler. Volunteers needle-gunned the fireman's side lower firebox and throat-plate and between them, got approx 30% of shell painted with heat and corrosion resistant aluminium paint. Just the lower backhead remains to be completed on 14/10/08 when Team Wylfa should then get the majority of the boiler painted too. Permanent staff have begun the re-tube. As of 7/10/08 about 30 tubes were fitted to the lower barrel, with some expanded in at the smokebox end. The firebox end is significantly different as the tube ends have a copper ferrule placed around them (between tube and tube-plate), before being expanded tight and then the tube ends belled over. The belled over ends are then seal welded to the tube-plate so that the ends of the tubes are fully cooled by the water within the boiler shell and no heat sensitive raw tube ends are standing out into the flame/extreme hot gases in the firebox. This avoids the possibility that the raw ends could be 'burnt' and heat/stress cracks develop, which would then travel through/up the tube and cause failures in service. The welding has to be done by a coded welder and, when complete, is a work of art and a real test of the welder's skill. This final job will probably be done once all the new tubes are in and expanded.

 

WHR 2009 early season timetable details

The complex timetable for 2009 revealed in October shows many different service patterns with yield management clearly at work. Train services start on 28/3/09 and for the first two weeks run only to Rhyd Ddu. Presumably this is to allow final preparations to be completed for the opening to Beddgelert.

Public services are extended to Beddgelert on 11/4/09 on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend with the 1000 from Caernarfon taking 1 hour 35 minutes to Beddgelert. This is an additional 30 minutes on top of the normal steam working times to Rhyd Ddu for an additional 4 miles and includes a short stop at Rhyd Ddu and possibly at the Beddgelert Forest Campsite halt (Meillionen Forest Campsite), likely to be a major source of income for the railway. However, the first train north from the campsite will be the 1200 from Beddgelert, calling at the campsite about 10 minutes later. This may miss some potential northbound traffic looking for a day out to Caernarfon.

The timings reflect the difficult working conditions in the Beddgelert Forest with the tight S curves and several speed limited locations with level crossings. Four trains run over most of the Easter holiday week with the last one, the 1535 ex-Caernarfon, being diesel hauled throughout. This returns to Caernarfon arriving at 1905 with the same timings. Diesel services in the current timetable are 5 mins faster than steam services to Rhyd Ddu.

The service continues through the Spring, reducing to three (two sets) and even two trains (one set) on some Mondays and Fridays with the 1405 being the last departure. Timings to Beddgelert are extended to 1 hour 40 mins and even 1 hour 45 minutes on some trains. The three days of the May Bank Holiday weekend (2-4/5/09) sees the four trains services reinstated.

The Beer Festival on 8-10/5/09 has a special timetable, not the lilac one shown in the timetable page. A special timetable will also operate on the 16-7/5/09 with the first through trains to Porthmadog for sponsors. This weekend is dedicated as the Official Opening Weekend, though regular public services do not start until 7/7/09. Two Mondays and two Fridays have no services at all in mid May because of a perceived lack of interest in travel by holidaymakers on those days. An additional reason is that a 5 day service requires fewer employees than a 7 day service at a time of financial stringency. It has been decided to have no services on any of the Mondays and Fridays in June and even the first weekend in July for the same reason! The Spring Bank Holiday week sees the four train service again to Beddgelert.

 

FR and WHR(P) meetings

Further meetings have taken place during the week ending 11/10/08 between the FR and the WHR(P) management and it is understood that the two sides are moving towards a resolution of the difficult issue of running rights. At the core of the problem is the basic railway that will exist when it is opened next year and it is believed that Porthmadog to Beddgelert will initially be one long section with one train in steam shuttling back and forth between Harbour Station and Beddgelert.

 

Official Opening weekend

The dates of 16-17/5/09 have been chosen as the Official Opening Weekend for the WHR. While train services resume on 28/3/09, these will only run to Rhyd Ddu. There are no February Half Term trains in 2009 as the railway's resources will be focussed on preparing for opening the extension. Trains will be extended to Beddgelert from 11/4/09 given HMRI approval. Public trains through the Aberglaslyn Pass from Beddgelert to Porthmadog commence on 7/7/09, though it is possible some special operations will be permitted before then e.g. on the Official Opening Weekend. A range of locos and rolling stock are to be used and it is hoped that Russell and 1924 WHR test loco Merddin Emrys might tread the metals through the Aberglaslyn Pass once again.

 

FR/WHR timetable 2009

Paul Lewin, FR GM reports: Finally the waiting is over, and we can share the timetable plan for 2009 with you. You might reasonably ask; ‘wasn’t this all planned years ago?’ and the answer is, of course; ‘yes,it was’. However, in the decade since the first plans were mapped out, the world has changed considerably, and our plans have developed too. The last major review took place in 2006, when the Management Team joined with Directors and Trustees at Craflwyn, and generated a budget for 2009 in some detail. However, even at that stage, it was acknowledged that a number of key parameters might change before opening day. In the spring of 2008 the timetable for 2009 was drafted and submitted for board approval, which it achieved. By June, however, the global economic situation was starting to cause concern. The sales forecast was therefore revised to reflect a modest increase of no more than 5% over current business levels. Against this forecast, it was clear that the timetable needed further tailoring to match the service to expected business levels. Advice was sought from other major tourist railways and a revised proposal presented to the Board.

The timetable proposed for 2009 will build up throughout the season, reflecting the need to consolidate the new railway and the time required to train the many staff involved. The WHR line will be complete and approved for passenger operation by Easter. The first trains over the whole line, for our supporters, sponsors, staff and volunteers, will run during the weekend of 16 and 17 May. Some public trains will run from Caernarfon to Beddgelert between Easter and May and, after the opening weekend, special workings for charters will also run the full length of the line. In early July a full daily service will begin to operate and will continue until the end of the season. A formal celebration of the opening is expected at a later date. Details of special opening trains are being worked on at present and will be added to the timetable in due course.

The Ffestiniog Railway timetable will remain very similar to the present but will utilise two sets for a much greater part of the year and can be enhanced by the use of the Vintage train at peak times.

The spring WHR timetable offers three levels of service from Caernarfon to Beddgelert. The pink service has two steam-hauled trains leaving Caernarfon each day. The Green service introduces a second set and adds in a diesel-hauled service. The Dark Blue service brings in another steam engine, generating three steam services and one diesel service. The Summer and Autumn service, which incorporates the Beddgelert – Porthmadog section, is carefully crafted to be as flexible as possible. Previous experience has taught us the importance of flexibility and, with the cross-town link being a complex section to operate, we need to make adequate provision. As a result, the timetable is arranged to operate to the same basic timings, but in two modes. In ‘frontier’ mode, two sets work from Dinas and turn round at Beddgelert. There they meet a third train set which shuttles between Porthmadog and Beddgelert three times a day. In through-running mode the same sets originate and terminate in the same locations, but run right through. Through-running mode is planned for peak season weekdays, whilst frontier mode allows for the operation of a heritage set of either F&WHR or WHR(P) stock between Porthmadog and Beddgelert, if desired, at weekends.

The Gold service offers one steam service and one diesel service from Caernarfon each day, along with a diesel service from Porthmadog. The Brown service is similar, but the Porthmadog service is converted from diesel to steam. The Purple service is the frontier-mode timetable, typically expected to run at weekends. This offers two steam services and one diesel service from Caernarfon to Beddgelert. At the same time, three vintage services can operate from Porthmadog. In the Summer peak the Red timetable comes into play. This, as one might expect, builds on the Brown timetable and runs with all-steam traction until late afternoon, when an additional diesel-hauled service runs from Caernarfon to Beddgelert. On selected peak days a steam-hauled Food On The Move service will also operate between Caernarfon and Rhyd Ddu.

The train sets for the WHR will be designated ‘E’ and ‘F’, and will be based at Dinas, supported by a modified FR ‘B’ set, or vintage sets, working from Porthmadog. The ‘E’ set will include the new Pullman observation car, No.2100, and the service vehicle, No.2010. It is hoped that these two vehicles will be in service by Christmas 2008 to give members a taste of what is to come. The ‘F’ Set will include an upgraded No.2090, and Pullman No.2115, Bodysgallen . The ‘B’ Set will have driving trailer observation car No.111 and buffet car No.14, running together, to provide buffet and toilet facilities, supported by a number of vintage carriages. Vacuum pump-out systems for the toilets have been installed at Porthmadog and Dinas.

Planned locomotive allocations are for all WHR locos to remain at Dinas until May, when K1 will move to Boston Lodge to work the steam-hauled services from Porthmadog. No.87 will join the operational fleet as soon as practicably possible, and No.138 will displace No.143 later in the year. Castell Caernarfon will receive a new diesel engine during the course of the winter. On the FR Earl of Merioneth is undergoing a full overhaul at present and David Lloyd George is overhauled once EofM is complete.

In total, we expect to run some 56,000 passenger train miles in 2009 compared with 54,000 in 2008 (FR & WHR combined). This, we believe, provides a good balance between the train service offered to our customers, train capacity and cost control. All that is needed now is for our members, the greatest ambassadors for our railways, to persuade as many people as possible to come and see the wonderful new railway.

Click here for the working timetable

 

FR reveals plans for WHR opening 2009

At the WHRS AGM in September Paul Lewin, the FR's General Manager, announced that he was looking for HMRI approval for the Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert section by Xmas. This will mean a concentrated effort during the Autumn on level crossings, signage, tamping and new heavy duty fishplates on the tighter curves. A catchpoint removed from the siding at Beddgelert will be placed in the downhill arrival track (the westerly track) to allow run-round operations and protect the line south of there in case the train runs away on the 1 in 40 if the loco shunts onto it too heavily from the north end while it is held on vacuum brakes.

At the FR Co. AGM on 4/10/08, it was reportedly announced that while the opening from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert was planned for Easter 2009, the rest of Phase 4 (Beddgelert to Porthmadog Harbour) is not planned to open to timetabled public trains until July 2009. There is the possibility of some specials using the southern section through the Aberglaslyn Pass earlier than this as well as the staff training and mileage accumulation programme.

It is reported that the FR has rejected mediation by the Heritage Railways Association of the operational dispute between the WHR(P) and the FR. Matters now seem at an impasse with neither side really listening to the other's concerns. The issue has now been aired in various railway magazines.

 

WHR(P)/FR 2009 timetable discussions

The two organisations are still locked in discussions about the timetable for 2009 and possible operations next year. The FR would like the WHR(P) to run its stock (Russell and original coaches such as the Gladstone Car) from Harbour Station to Beddgelert but the WHR(P) wants to run from its current Tremadoc Road terminus to Pont Croesor, including a museum visit.

 

Tracklaying progress 5/10/08

In much better weather on Sunday 5/10/08, the Rest of the World Gang largely completed the Llyn Bach section of the CTRL, except for the links to the tramway at both ends. With track laid up to Britannia Bridge they shifted attention to completing LC124 to the Snowdon Street tramway through the site of the rail stockpile, reversing one rail that was the wrong way round. Later on, they extended the Gasworks siding with two 9m half rails. To end the day, the PW wagon was manhandled onto the tramway at Britannia Bridge and trundled up to the linkspan for a photo-shoot! A least one length of track remains to be completed outside Spooners as well as the four tramway links.

 

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This southerly view (5/10/08) shows volunteers working to position the final rails just south of Snowdon Street tramway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (5/10/08) shows the ROTWG clearing up after laying the final section of track through the former rail store between LC123 Snowdon Street and LC124. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (5/10/08) shows volunteers working to add half rails to the Gasworks Siding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and northerly views (both 5/10/08) show the pw wagon on the tramway at the linkspan with members of the ROTWG finally 'arriving' in Porthmadog. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Jane Ewing and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Pont Croesor floods 5/10/08

Following the previous day's heavy rain, Pont Croesor was again flooded, but the track remained well above the flood levels.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 5/10/08) show flooding around Pont Croesor following a day of heavy rain. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roy Woods and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 4/10/08

In appalling weather the Rest of the World Gang completed the Llyn Bach chicane and laid track up the Britannia Bridge tramway section. Remaining work includes the Traeth Mawr link, Cae Pawb NR level crossing links, the four tramway 10m transitions and the length outside Spooners.

 

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This northerly view (4/10/08) shows volunteers working to position the final rails in wet weather. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (4/10/08) shows the Head of Steel at the end of the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (4/10/08) shows the ROTWG clearing up and pushing their trolley back to the siding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction Progress 3/10/08

Construction continued on the '100 year flood' culvert UB213A at the south end of Pont Croesor loop by the EA. A second set of pipes has been laid to widen the culvert. Work is now underway facing the spaces between the pipes using local stone.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 3/10/08) show the double line of pipes forming the flood culvert. The second view shows the DZ construction wagon just north of the culvert. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

FR Trustees Train visits Pont Croesor 1/10/08

On 1/10/08 a special working saw Upnor Castle with coaches No.23 and 1001 on an inspection visit by the FR Trustees. This was the first time that coach No.23 had ventured so far south since 1937. This lighter coach was used as the track has not been tamped sufficiently for the modern stock.

 

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This northerly view (1/10/08) shows Upnor Castle on the FR Trustees inspection train at Beddgelert station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 1/10/08) show the FR Trustees visit to Pont Croesor where work underway on the ramps for LC114C. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

UB213A progress 1/10/08

The '100 year flood relief' culvert UB213A required by the EA is nearing completion with all the pipes now placed. The voids between the pipes are being filled with concrete to lock them in place. The pipes are on a blinding slab and will have a reinforced concrete slab cast on top of them.

 

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This southerly view (1/10/08) shows the trackbed at the south end of culvert UB213A. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 30/9/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa had another busy evening on 30/9/08. After a full check/oil up of F Set we got on with No.138's boiler. Dinas works staff have lifted the boiler still further in the cradle so access to the previously inaccessible lower part of the firebox outer wrapper can be gained. This was the area we couldn't needle gun beforehand so we attacked this and by the end of the evening, whilst one of the team needle gunned and completed the driver's side, the others wire brushed the loose surface rust off the fireman's side lower barrel. Hopefully we should be able to complete needle gunning the fireman's side and beneath the throat plate next Tuesday and begin applying the heat & corrosion resistant aluminium paint. Meanwhile, the works staff have all but completed annealing the new tube ends and have begun reaming the smokebox tube-plate tube holes true. The pneumatic tube expander is hanging ready so re-tubing is imminent.

 

Tracklaying progress 28/9/08

The North Wales Track Gang made progress on the Llyn Bach chicane over the weekend of 28-9/9/08. They brought down more sleepers that were needed from Beddgelert and sorted out the rail stack just south of Snowdon Street, which had become a bit jumbled, being a mixture of straight and pre-curved rail. In all, they laid a total of 4 rails, these being curved with staggered joints. The fact that each sleeper has to be drilled slows the job considerably. The Head of Steel advanced by some 36m and is now almost at the end of the chicane around Wilkinson's store building. The tram rail at Britannia Bridge is in sight! It is hoped the four sets of special linking fishplates will be available in October to allow both sections of tramway rail to be linked up to the CTRL sections of plain line already laid. These are over 10m long so the limit of tracklaying next weekend will be within that distance from the Britannia Bridge tramway, with no closure rail less than half a length (9m) long.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 28/9/08) show work underway tracklaying on the Llyn Bach chicane next to Wilkinson's. By the end of the day track was nearing the end of the white building with the reverse curve. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ben Fisher and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

UB 213A nears completion 26/9/08

The '100 year flood' culvert required by the Environment Agency is nearing completion just south of LC115. The extended culvert consists of 14 x 900mm diameter concrete pipes. The trackbed will be rebuilt across it in October and track relaid promptly. This will allow the ballasting and tamping to continue south to the site of Traeth Mawr loop and permit the tracks to be joined at that location. Through operation to the WHR(P)'s Porthmadog Tremadoc Road terminus will then be possible as well as the start of top ballasting and tamping of the CTRL south from Pen-y-Mount when the WHRCL relinquishes their operational agreement from 2/11/08.

 

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These westerly and southerly views (both 26/9/08) show work underway on the new 100 year flood culvert at UB213A. The first view shows one of the large diameter pipes being carried to the prepared culvert bed. The second view shows the 14 pipes laid on their concrete bed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (26/9/08) shows the trackbed at the south end of culvert UB213A. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin and Fisherman's Path works 21/9/08

Cladding of Bryn-y-felin road bridge sidewalls is proceeding well but it is not clear if the very obvious white concrete expanse of the wing walls are to be clad. James Cyf. is also working over the river replacing the steps at LC90 with a ramped access at the start of the Fisherman's Path. The Snowdonia National Park Authority and the National Trust are paying for this work.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 21/9/08) show work underway with cladding the parapets and approach walls at the new Bryn-y-felin bridge, which may be completed by the end of October. It remains unclear whether the wing-walls will be clad. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ben Fisher and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tiscali/Pipex/Webfusion charges for this website

Those who have followed this story for the last 12 months may recollect that your webmaster was charged £450.76 in September 2007 by an illegal midnight raid on the credit card used to pay the annual fee for this website (this itself in breach of contract terms). The charge was made for alleged excess use of bandwidth during August 2007. Bandwidth is a measure of server access time. Although the web hosting was organised on the basis of a more expensive 'unlimited bandwidth' account, Tiscali took over Pipex in July 2007 and did not advise customers of any contract changes. Your webmaster took his wife on an R&R holiday for 2 weeks in August following her heart attack earlier in the year. During this time traffic rose on the website as it was not updated. Tiscali chose to treat its customers as a cash cow rather than shut down the website when they reached the bandwidth limits they had unilaterally imposed without informing customers.

Tiscali did not honour contract terms, refused to answer letters, phone calls or engage in its own disputes procedures as required by Ofcom. Your webmaster's credit card company determined that the charge was illegal and refunded the money and your webmaster took legal advice. Supporters of this website contributed to a fund that just about covered the charge and legal costs. In August 2008, Tiscali turned the debt over to 'arvato finance services Ltd' of Hull who wrote asking for the charge to be settled. Phone conversations followed advising them that the credit card company had already rejected the payment. However a week later 'Smiths' of the same address as 'arvato finance services Ltd.', purporting to be acting on their behalf, wrote threatening legal action. Consequently the debt has now been paid using the monies donated by generous supporters.

Your webmaster will not now be able to return the monies donated to the WHRS as previously promised if the matter had been dropped by Tiscali. A campaign has being started with MPs, Ofcom and the Press concerning Tiscali's business methods and illegal use of credit card information. Your webmaster leaves readers of this website to make their own minds up about the advisability of dealing with Tiscali given his experience!

For the last 12 months this website has been hosted by Peter Bowyer of Narrow Gauge Heaven and Maple Design and your webmaster is grateful that no charge has been made for this service.

 

Construction progress 24/9/08

Work continues on the new '100 year flood' culvert for the EA just south of LC115. When finished in October, the track can be reinstated and the top ballast and tamping run to the site of Traeth Mawr loop. It will then be possible to join the rails there to make a continuous route.

 

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This southerly view (24/9/08) shows the gap in the track just south of LC115. The contractor has excavated the sand embankment in order to place some large diameter concrete pipes for flood alleviation. Work continues with the aim of reinstating the track in October. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

LC114C 24/9/08

Works underway just south of LC114B on the approach embankments from the Osprey site to widen the access to include a new crossing (LC114C). LC114B was introduced in order to remove a ‘T’ junction from Pont Croesor and LC114A, the B4410 (though a similar acute road junction crossing exists on NR at Harlech!). The resulting new roadway was suitable as access to the RSPB site during the Summer months. However, the farmer still wished to use it as access and for agriculture during the Winter. Design of crossing LC114B ended up as an open crossing with cattle grids in order to reduce waiting time for the large numbers of visitors but not suitable for pedestrians or cattle. The problem was solved by introducing crossing LC114C, immediately to the south. This is suitable for cattle and pedestrians and will be available all year as a gated crossing. LC114B will only be used whilst the RSPB centre is open, the gates beyond the cattle grids being closed out of hours.

 

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This northerly view (24/9/08) shows work on the eastern approaches to LC114C adjacent to the Osprey Centre. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rolling stock news 23/9/08

The new front water tank has arrived at Dinas for No.138. Prince had still not returned to Boston Lodge on 23/9/08. Only 1 rivet and 1 firebox stay remain to be completed and work on the boiler is really picking up speed now. About 70% of the new tubes for the boiler now have their ends annealed ready for expanding into the tube-plates. Re-tubing imminent. Repairs to coach No.101 have been completed and it is back on F Set.

 

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This northerly view (23/9/08) shows No.138's new front tank in Dinas shed. Prince was also present retained from the Gala presumably for an event later in the year. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Peduzzi and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 23/9/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa had a busy evening on Tuesday 23/9/08. Following a quick visual check on the carriages the team concentrated on No.138's boiler. With the loco having been outside briefly and then kept, more recently, in the Loco Shed next to locos gently simmering after a day's work, a lot of surface rust has formed since we needle gunned and wire brushed it sparkling clean ready for the boiler inspector. So it is almost back to square one with lots of wire brushing preparation again before we actually apply the heat and corrosion resistant aluminium paint. We were helped on Tuesday evening by our furthest away volunteer on his annual visit to the UK - David Power from Melbourne, Australia. Diolch yn fawr David, have a safe trip back and look forward to seeing you again next year.

 

Tracklaying progress 21/9/08

Track was laid south to a point 80m south of LC125 by the close of play on Sunday. Staggered curved lengths have been laid for the transition to the sharp right bend at the start of the Llyn Bach chicane alongside Wilkinson's store. Carillion was off site with their base now cleared away. All fencing was complete with dog guards on the lower part.

 

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This northerly view (21/9/08) shows the area immediately north of LC124 at the north end of the Llyn Bach car park. Track has been roughly laid to connect to the rail stack to ease moving rail forwards to the Head of Steel. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (21/9/08) shows the track extending south beyond LC125 at the south end of the Llyn Bach car park. Track can be expected to be laid around the Llyn Bach chicane in the next few weeks. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 21/9/08) show progress at the Head of Steel alongside Llyn Bach south of LC125. The second view shows the wagon at the HOS to pack away equipment, with Wilkinson's store to the right. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 21/9/08) show progress at the Head of Steel alongside Llyn Bach south of LC125. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Jane Ewing and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 20/9/08

The Rest of The World Gang worked at Llyn Bach over the weekend. A few lengths of tracklaying required completion north of LC124 but the main effort was to progress south from the Gasworks Siding point across LC125 and along the Llyn Bach corridor behind Wilkinson's store. By the end of Saturday the had reached LC125, the main access to the Llyn Bach public open space.

 

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These northerly and easterly views (both 20/9/08) show rail being transported to the Head of Steel passing Gasworks Siding and being screwed down with gauge-bars temporarily holding the correct gauge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly views (both 20/9/08) show a wagon in Gasworks Siding. In order to allow the RRMs to pass, the wagon was rolled onto a wooden way made of sleepers! Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 20/9/08) show the Head of Steel just north of LC125 at the south end of the Llyn Bach car park. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (20/9/08) shows the flangeway drains at a low point at the end of the tramway north of Britannia Bridge. Track can be expected to appear around the Llyn Bach chicane in the next few weeks. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying is expected to be complete in October, following which the track gangs can start to improve that laid already. In addition to the Llyn Bach/Spooners sections, remaining works include the four sets of tramway link fishplates, Cae Pawb NR level crossing link up and tamping and linking up at Traeth Mawr. In Beddgelert Forest, new stronger fishplates have been ordered for the tighter curves.

 

Cambrian Coast Express 2009

With ERTMS resignalling of the Cambrian Coast Line delayed until at least October 2009, another season of the Cambrian Coast Express summer steam excursions is being planned. Criccieth Town Council has written to West Coast Rail, operators of the service, asking if the train could stop there next year. 2009 could be the final year of operation unless NR relents and allows a mobile ERTMS receiver to be developed. Another possibility is to have one of the dedicated yellow NR Class 37s inside the steam loco (76079 has run the service every year so far).

 

New culvert at Pont Croesor 17/9/08

Good progress is being by James Cyf. with the '100 year flood' culvert just south of LC115 at Pont Croesor. This had to be programmed after the rails had reached Traeth Mawr to reach a project funding milestone. Work will be finished by the end of September. The culvert will help drain land west of the railway if floodwater builds up in this area in extreme conditions.

 

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This southerly view (17/9/08) shows the gap in the track just south of LC115. The contractor has excavated the sand embankment in order to place some large diameter concrete pipes for flood alleviation. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa Report 16/9/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa made the usual carriages checks on Tuesday evening (16/9/08). There was one surprise item, No.1001, the Chattendon & Upnor Combination carriage, was acting as the F Set brake van as coach No.101 had failed with a mechanical problem. No.1001 was a new car for us to check. Hopefully, No.101 is now back in service and back on the F Set. We plan a quick visual check of carriages on 23/9/08 followed by work on No.138's boiler. We will start to get it painted now that the boiler inspector has been and the necessary, few rivet repairs done. It is expected that it will be re-tubed shortly as the tubes have arrived.

 

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This southerly view (16/9/08) shows Combination coach No.1001 in use as a brake vehicle on a service train. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Peduzzi and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New Winter timetable

The new Winter timetable has been published. Trains run until 1/11/08 with a four train service at weekends and during the school October holiday week (from 27/10/08). Unusually, the service finishes on a Saturday. The Xmas holidays see the usual two train steam service from 26/12/08 to 1/1/09. There are no February trains this year due to 'maintenance and work on the extension'. Trains restart on 28/3/09 running to Rhyd Ddu before the Grand Opening planned for Easter. Click here for full details.

 

Tracklaying progress 14/9/08

The North Wales Track Gang continued to lay track north from Gasworks Siding and by the end of the day on 14/9/08 had reached LC124, the Gwynedd Council Depot access, where a temporary level crossing was required as this is in regular heavy use. This required the hard core digging out. Progress was limited by the need to drill all the wooden sleepers.

 

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This view (14/9/08) shows progress south of Snowdon Street. The North Wales Track Gang is laying track at LC124 in the distance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (14/9/08) shows progress at LC124, the Gwynedd Council Depot access. The North Wales Track Gang is using gauge bars to ensure the correct gauge as the track is screwed down to the sleepers. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (14/9/08) shows progress north from Gasworks siding point. The North Wales Track Gang is laying track at LC124 in the distance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (14/9/08) shows progress north from Gasworks siding point with some fencing still needed. The North Wales Track Gang is laying track at LC124 in the distance by Carillion's site office (far right). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin progress 13/9/08

The concrete cores of the approach walls are nearing completion and being clad. These are lower than the bridge parapets.

 

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This view (13/9/08) shows progress on the road bridge at Bryn-y-felin. The concrete cores of the approach walls appear complete and are being clad in local stone. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Richard Kirk and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 13/9/08

The North Wales Track Gang were in action just north of LC115 on 13/9/08 at the south end of Pont Croesor loop in the morning. They lifted two panels of track for the contractor to construct an extra culvert. This is required by the Environment Agency to accommodate the drainage of the potential '100 years flood' conditions in The Traeth. In the afternoon, they moved to Llyn Bach where they assembled the two halves of the Gasworks Siding point and aligned it. They then laid two panels of track north from there towards LC124, dragging the rails south on rollers from the stack between LC124 and Snowdon Street. Further progress here should be made on Sunday.

 

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These easterly and northerly views (both 13/9/08) show the completion of Gasworks Siding point and the laying of two panels of wooden sleepered track north towards LC124. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Tony Baker and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 12/9/08

Carillion's works are drawing to a close and they may be off site by the end of September. Fencing is nearing completion across the Llyn Bach car park with landscaping over quite an area to the east of the trackbed beside the Llyn Bach tidal basin open space. The Gasworks Siding point has been placed in position at Ch.34550 approx. since 9/9/08. Sleeper bundles and fishplates/fixings have been delivered ready the weekend track gang to lack track across the car park section, south from Snowdon Street.

 

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This easterly view (12/9/08) shows the new ballasted formation south from LC124. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 12/9/08) show the Gasworks siding point placed on the ballast at Llyn Bach car park. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (12/9/08) shows the ballasted formation north of LC125 with the new Gasworks Siding point in the distance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Normal service is restored 11/9/08

Normal service has been restored as of this update. A Vista update on 3/9/08 stopped the web editor programme FrontPage 2000 (itself a Microsoft product) working. Since then the computer has been backed up and regressed to 'Factory Conditions' and the backup restored onto the computer (that itself after allowing Norton staff remote control as Norton 360 had also been updated)! A final problem on 10/9/08 required the resetting of the server to recognise the latest version of the Cute web page transfer programme.

 

2 millionth visitor competition 10/9/08

The result of the two millionth visitor to this website occurred at about 23.20 on 10/9/08.

Simon Roberts ex-'Teenage Trainspotter' was first in with 2,000,001 but as he has won before, he has graciously offered to pass the prize to the second place. Simon sells DVDs of mainline steam at

www.steamingaroundyorkshire.co.uk

Bruce Yarborough 2,000,003
Adam Hawton 2,000,007
John Purcell 2,000,286
Jon Walker (Canada) 2,000,302
Steve Llewellyn 2,000,509
Ian Stock 2,000,574
Andrew Rutter 2,000,910
Peter Roughley 2,001,000

 

Bruce Yarborough wins a copy of the new Construction DVD (September 2007-August 2008) released for the Garratt 50 event.

 

Team Wylfa report 9/9/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa had three volunteers actively involved with Garratt 50 - both in setting up, stewarding and clearing up after. On Tuesday evening, we were back in action again but just the usual carriage inspections/oiling up. With the main running season coming to a conclusion, we will shortly have more time available to assist with loco maintenance. There's much to be done with No.138 probably being set as our main priority - it has to be completed and be ready for next Easter. There's No.140 too with many components still to be serviced and overhauled. Then there's a restart promised soon on No.134 as mentioned in the WHRS AGM.

 

Service plans 2009

The service FR's proposals for 2009 were revealed at the WHRS AGM, subject to further discussions at Board level and with the WHR(P). The existing WHR(C) service is to be extended from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert where it will terminate and run around. A new Porthmadog to Beddgelert shuttle service will run to connect, providing through journey opportunities. The FR hopes this will allow economic operation of the service with 56,000 train miles per annum, compared to 54,000 now. As the route is doubling in length this seems to imply a halving in the number of trains run. The FR has consulted several other preserved lines that run long distance services, such as the NYMR and the WSR, before coming to this decision.

The General Manager has already advised there will be no trains in January, February and March 2009, breaking the familiar pattern of a 2 week school holiday Winter service in February established several years ago. Existing services may recommence in late March with the Grand Opening at Easter (April 10th) if overall HMRI approval is granted. Work in the next few months is going to be concentrated on the Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert section with the hope of receiving approval for this section from the HMRI before Xmas. Work is also required at Salem on Phase 3.

The 2009 plan involves every train running around at Beddgelert where a catch point will be fitted to the south end of the downhill arrival line to stop any runaway while the loco detaches and runs around the train. A third rake will be needed utilising FR stock for the trains through the Aberglaslyn Pass. With Garratt No.87 soon to be available for traffic, this set could be hauled by a Garratt or an FR loco based at Boston Lodge or a WHR(P) loco and stock, subject to agreement.

Initial plans do not allow for a service off the WHR(P), though the FR seems keen to allow them to run from Harbour Station (with payments being made for use of the rake and locos). This would require an ECS movement at the start and end of the day. The reason given is the lack of signalling/paths but the FR suggest this is a temporary situation for the first year until all the issues are resolved.

 

Lyd news

Progress continues on Lyd in Boston Lodge Works with machining work on No.87 dropping off as it nears completion. Lyd's vacuum brake cylinder castings are going on the lathe next and attention is being given to the slotted links for the motion. The expensive brass dome cover has been ordered. There is still a bit of a funding gap but the FR has a lot of parts already in hand and over £50,000 in the bank to complete the loco. A bit more progress will be made before taking stock. The FR GM is still looking for a little more funding to help complete the loco. Lyd is earmarked for this Porthmadog-Beddgelert service and will run additional driver experience courses as benefits agreed for Appeal donors.

 

ICE visit WHR 8/9/08

FR Press Release: On Monday, 8/9/08, the Welsh Highland Railway Construction Limited (WHRCL), played host to the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, David Orr, and a group of 60 members of the North Wales Branch of the Institution. The group came to inspect the latest section of line currently under construction between Rhyd Ddu and Porthmadog before it opens next Easter. The group was taken on an inspection tour over the Cross Town Rail Link (CTRL) in Porthmadog to see the Cambrian Line flat crossing at Cae Pawb, and the tramway rails on Britannia Bridge.

The railway crosses Britannia Bridge to join its sister line the Ffestiniog Railway at Harbour Station - enabling us to run trains between Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog, via Beddgelert and Porthmadog. The itinerary on Monday also allowed a site walkover at the Nantmor Incline and the new reinforced earth embankment. They were shown the works carried out in the rock cuttings and were given the opportunity to inspect the southern end of the long tunnel, before being bussed to Rhyd Ddu to catch the 12:20 service train to Caernarfon. Speeches and presentations were held in the Galeri at Caernarfon, including three on the re-building of the railway, focussing on bridges (John Sreeves), geo-technical aspects of the project (Rob Evans and Debbie Scott) and an overview of the CTRL in Porthmadog (David High). The ICE president delivered a speech and presented medals to past chairmen of ICE North Wales branch.

 

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This northerly view (8/9/08) shows members of the ICE with K1 at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Service Car 2010 delivered 8/9/08

While it had been hoped that Service Car No.2010 would have been delivered to Dinas for the Garratt 50 event, it required testing prior to entry in to traffic. During testing some issues were identified that needed resolving. This coincided with peak season for carriage maintenance with 6 rakes in service and so the move to the WHR was delayed. Road transfers cost a lot of money so FR coach No.10 (Van 2) was used in place of No.2010 for the weekend. No.2010 was moved to Dinas as a backload leaving Minffordd around 1040 on 8/9/08 and was on the tracks at Dinas by midday. No.2010 is a complex vehicle and needs to be commissioned carefully.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 8/9/08) show service car No.2010 being unloaded at Dinas from the Loco-Motion lorry transport. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (8/9/08) shows coach No.2010 in Dinas North Yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 progress

It was hoped that new Garratt No.87 could have been assembled onto the power units with tanks on etc and towed for display at Porthmadog Harbour Station. However this would have cost two weeks of time in the overall completion timetable as progress was not advanced enough. The FR decided to spend the time and energy on the big copper pipework instead. The fully painted cladding sheets are going on the boiler as a final fit now and the loco should appear near complete in the next few weeks.

 

WHRS travel privileges

There was some discussion at the AGM of a restriction on travel privileges when the WHR opens throughout in 2009 due to the anticipated large number of passengers that might use the through route. No change to sponsor or volunteer travel is anticipated. The FR feels WHRS members' travel privileges are an issue which needs to be addressed as in future the cost of a Caernarfon-Porthmadog full fare return ticket might be greater than the cost of WHRS membership. A proposal has been made in order to provide a starting point for consultation with the WHRS. The suggestion is that WHRS members pay privilege rate for travel in future. Currently this is 33% of full fare. Guests of members might be offered concessionary rate. The FR wishes to consult with the WHRS and FRS directors, members and sponsors on their views as to how this situation can be managed so that privilege travel does not lead to lost income opportunities during the initial surge of traffic. Dr Richard Buxton and Dr David Gwynn, FR Co. directors will be liasing with the society boards in the near future in order to resolve these issues.

 

CTRL progress 7-8/9/08

Ballasting along the Llyn Bach section of the CTRL was completed by 8/9/08. The ballast beds finally met up at LC124, Gwynedd Council Depot's access, during the course of the afternoon. This means the WHR formation is complete throughout, though tracklaying may take until October to finish, awaiting tramway to Polish rail fishplates. Achnashean has also made good progress with the fencing. Materials have been stockpiled just south of Snowdon Street level crossing and the North Wales Track gang is likely to lay track alongside Llyn Bach car park over the weekend of 13-14/9/08.

 

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This easterly view (8/9/08) shows the completion of the ballast bed at LC124. This was the final section of the WHR formation to be completed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 8/9/08) show the completed LC124 with temporary roadway laid on geotextile over the ballast. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (8/9/08) shows the completion of fencing along the east side of the formation across Llyn Bach car park. A stockpile of earth on the right will allow the area to the east (right) of the new fence to be landscaped when it is finished. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 7/9/08) show progress at LC124 at the north end of the Llyn Bach car park. The first view shows preparations for tracklaying with materials stockpiled for the push south from Snowdon Street due on 13/9/08. The second view shows the Carillion compound and the Head of Ballast pushing north from LC125. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 7/9/08) show progress at Llyn Bach car park. The first view shows the Head of Ballast some 120m north of LC125 on that day. The area to the right will see the construction of Gasworks siding. The second view shows the landscape works to extend the public open space alongside the Llyn Bach tidal basin. The new eastern fence will run along side of the ballast. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 7/9/08) show progress at LC125 at the south end of the Llyn Bach car park. The first view shows the ballast completed and a start made on the eastern fence. The second view shows the finished ballasted trackbed in the Llyn Bach corridor alongside Wilkinson's store. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin progress 7/9/08

The approach walls are under construction and being clad in local stone.

 

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These easterly and northerly views (both 7/9/08) show progress at Bryn-y-felin road bridge. The first view shows the cast concrete approach wall on the north west side. The second view shows the finished approach wall clad with local stone on the south west side. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Narrow Gauge Garratts 7/9/08

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These northerly views (both 7/9/08) show two very narrow gauge Garratts running on special track at Dinas. The Sikh driver in the first view was reliving an experience of driving a real EAR Garratt. The standard gauge Beyer Peacock works pilot is also visible in the first view. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Prince at the Gala 7/9/08

Prince ran shuttles at the Garratt 50 event between Caernarfon and Waunfawr running push-pull with a short rake using the Combination Coach No.1001 on the far end.

 

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These northerly views (both 7/9/08) show Prince with the shuttle train at Dinas and later at Waunfawr, having watered. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 6-7/9/08

Phil Nock reports: In inclement weather (but not as inclement as Dinas or Rhyd Ddu!) about a dozen of us met on Saturday morning in Snowdon Street. First we slewed the extant track from Cae Pawb l/c south towards Snowdon Street onto the correct alignment. Then we relaid the remaining two full panels up to Y Cyt (UB220) where the tramway rails begin.

 

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This northerly view (7/9/08) shows the track tidied up north of UB220, Y Cyt. The tramway rails will require some straitening to join! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

On Sunday we met at Gelert's Farm where we reconnected the final full panel on the north side of Cae Pawb before the gap for the transition onto the catch points and slewed it appropriately. A number of sleepers were replaced as well. We then packed the catch points here, tidied up and removed the excess of baseplates. After lunch we demolished the sleeper stacks at Hafod-y-Llyn that had formed the base for the rail stack and restacked them ready for moving to Llyn Bach (the track between Snowdon Street and Britannia Bridge is to be wooden sleepered). After the excesses of Tracklaying Week, it was nice to have a relatively easy weekend.

 

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This southerly view (7/9/08) shows tracklaying around the catchpoint just north of Cae Pawb Crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHRS AGM

John Sreeves was honoured with the 'Token of Appreciation' at the AGM on 6/9/08 for all his volunteer work on the WHR bridges. There was also a presentation to Pete Hugman, ex Dinas stationmaster, who left the WHR in August to skipper a commercial barge operation. Pete returned briefly to help organise Garratt50.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7564386.stm

 

Autumn tracklaying week planned

Paul Bradshaw writes: "Our next working week will take place in October 2008. The “week” will start on Saturday 18/10/08, a ROWG weekend, and continue through until Sunday 26/10/08. The rails may now be nearly continuous from Rhyd Ddu to Porthmadog but there is still much to do before the line can be opened for traffic. During the week we are likely to be working in various locations between Rhyd Ddu and Porthmadog. There will be plenty to keep us busy. We shall be happy to see you for the whole or any part of the “week”. You do not need to commit yourself for the whole period, but if you want to do so, excellent! You may prefer to combine one of the weekends with days after or before or you could do just odd days in the period. It’s up to you.

If you need somewhere to stay volunteers have been allocated exclusive use of Penrhyn Hostel from the night of Sunday 19/10/08 to the night of Thursday 23/10/08, inclusive. There are 14 beds at the hostel. Additionally, there are 8 places (and possibly more) available on the nights of Friday 17/10/08 and Saturday 18/10/08. There is also the possibility of accommodation at Minffordd Hostel for the nights of 24/10/08 and 25/10/08. If you are interested, contact Ben Rosen, the Hostel Warden at hostelbookings@ffestiniogvolunteer.org If you want to stay at one of the hostels outside those dates, it is still worth while contacting Ben.

Please let Paul Bradshaw know, preferably by email or letter, as soon as possible if you want to join us in the period from 18-26/10/08. When you contact us let us know which days you intend to join us so that we can plan appropriately. If you intend to come for one of the weekends only and not on any of the weekdays contact the usual organiser (Paul Bradshaw for 18-19/10/08, Dafydd Thomas for 25-26/10/08) for the weekend. If you intend to come on any of the weekdays (whether with or without one of the weekends) or if you have any queries, contact Paul Bradshaw. The contact details can be found on the web sites at or at and in Snowdon Ranger.

Please do not forget that we are continuing to run working parties each week end. The dates can be found at the bottom of this page and contact information at http://www.isengard.co.uk/contacts.htm and in Snowdon Ranger."

 

K1 plaque 5/9/08

A small ceremony took place at Caernarfon station on 5/9/08 with Paul Lewin FR GM and Professor Isobel Pollock, Chairperson of the IMechE's Heritage Committee. The Institute of Mechanical Engineers presented the Engineering Heritage award to the K1 Group and a plaque headboard was unveiled on the loco. K1 carried the plaque throughout the Garratt 50 event.

 

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This view (5/9/08) shows the plaque fitted to K1. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 5/9/08) show K1 running with plaque fixed to the front. The first view shows K1 departing Caernarfon with Professor Pollock on the footplate and the second view at Dinas. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dinas preparations 1/9/08

Andrew Rutter reports: While all the link-up celebrations were happening at Traeth Mawr, a new track gang, the 'BGG - Broad Gauge Gang', were swiftly laying the new 'interchange' sidings at Dinas during 31/8/08 and 1/9/08. It must be remembered that Dinas did have standard gauge sidings for transhipment prior the WHR closing. Perhaps it might be nice to leave something like this as a heritage feature in the future with a couple of standard gauge wagons, etc? Four panels were laid by a small group of dedicated volunteers. While laying this track the FfR coaches were also being transhipped from road to rail, probably amongst the last such movements before the ribbon of steel is connected to Porthmadog. There was much shunting of rolling stock by Castell Caernarfon adjacent to the standard gauge.

 

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This northerly view (31/8/08) shows Castell Caernarfon on the refuelling road alongside the new standard gauge track at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Rutter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 31/8/08) show FR coaches being unloaded for use on the shuttle train. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Rutter and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

DVD news

Your webmaster is producing an hour long DVD of the last 12 month's progress of the WHR construction from amateur DV camcorder footage. An initial batch of about 50 copies will be in sale from the FR shop at Dinas from about lunchtime on Saturday and will be available from the FR's on-line shop for those not attending the Garratt 50 Gala. A clip list will be uploaded here to whet the appetite. The new DVD is one hour long and covers the period form September 2007 to August 2008 including

Previous year's versions of this DVD will also be re-released/produced to order if required.

 

Traeth Mawr ballasting underway 1/9/08

WHR PW staff got the job of ballasting the newly laid track at Traeth Mawr underway on 1/9/08 with a heavy ballast train over Pont Croesor. This will be followed by the KMX tamper in due course, then the track can be joined up when the horizontal and vertical wiggles have been ironed out and the rails can be cut to the correct length.

 

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This westerly view (1/9/08) shows Conway Castle hauling three ballast wagons over Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Rutter and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 Appeal

Andrew Rutter reports: 2009 is the centenary of K1. The K1 Group of the WHR are very much looking forward to her second century of operation, and with that in mind we have planned an appeal to be launched at Garratt 50 to raise funds over the next few years from supporters old and new to keep K1 steaming. The K1 Group works closely with the WHR locomotive staff to maintain the engine in good condition, so we are looking ahead to what will be needed after the current project to equip headlamps and lighting generator is completed. The water tanks are the originals, as is the coal bunker, and they will reach the end of their useful life in the not too distant future. With that in mind we are starting to gather estimates for replacements and also plan for the eventual 10 year boiler overhaul. The group has produced a leaflet showing how supporters may help and it will be available at Garratt 50.

 

Tracklaying update/appeal

There remain three sections of the Phase 4 main line where track laying will be carried out by volunteers;

The WHRCL does not at present have firm dates for the availability for track laying of the first two sections but hope to be able announce the dates and arrangements quite soon. It is expected that the Pont Croesor to Traeth Mawr section to be ready after mid-August. Paul Bradshaw plans to hold a Working Week at the end of August. It will start on Saturday 23/8/08 and continue until Sunday 31/8/08 and organisers are reasonably confident that there will be ballasted formation between Pont Croesor and Traeth Mawr by the start of the August Bank Holiday.

While the main thrust of the week will be to link the Head of Steel at Pont Croesor to the existing track at Traeth Mawr, volunteers may well undertake other tasks as well. Whether potential volunteers have already been to lay track on Phase 4 or have not yet done so, they will be welcome to join the August Working Week. Actual laying of track is not the only task for which volunteer input is essential to get Phase 4 to the condition necessary for running passenger trains over it. Even now, before the line is continuous from Rhyd Ddu to Harbour Station, volunteers have a substantial work programme ahead to complete the railway. Volunteer involvement in this is crucial.

Since the Head of Steel reached Pont Croesor in April, volunteers have been working on a multitude of other tasks needed to get Phase 4 ready for opening. However many of those who have joined the track gangs to lay track in the past seem to have overlooked that weekend work parties have been operating regularly every weekend and will continue to do so until the line is opened next year. Even after the opening regular volunteer gangs will be organised to improve and maintain the completed WHR. So it is hoped that track layers will not simply fade away!

For the August Working Week it is planned to limit the size of the working party to keep things manageable. While organisers will try to give as many volunteers as possible the opportunity to take part in what may well be the last main line track laying on Phase 4, the August Week is far from being the last opportunity to help to complete the railway. The programme of weekend dates for the Black Hand Gang and Rest of the World Gang is given below so that potential volunteers can decide which weekends they can join the track gangs between now and the end of the year and beyond. The usual fortnightly pattern of weekends continues, alternating between the North Wales Black Hand Gang and the Rest of the World Gang.

Dates in 2009 dates are provisional and will be confirmed in due course. All working weekends may be altered if circumstances require. At present organisers are looking for expressions of interest from those who can commit themselves to join the track gangs in the August Working Week. If anything untoward crops up it may be necessary to defer track laying. In that case an alternative programme of work will be arranged. Volunteers should let organisers know on which days in the Working Week (between August 23 and 31) they will be available.

Advance notice would also be welcome for those weekends volunteers are available to join the track gangs between now and the end of the year (and into 2009!) to continue the work of getting the line ready to open. Organisers will let you know as soon as possible, probably by early July, if there is a place for you on your preferred days in the August Working Week.

Please note, if you are not already inducted to work on Phase 4, that organisers wish to avoid doing inductions during the August week. So if you have not already been inducted and wish to take part in the Working Week organisers ask you to join track gangs on one of the working weekends between now and the start of the August Working Week, so that you can be inducted and gain some experience of working with one of the working parties. If you are not booked in to work during the Working Week please do not simply turn up on spec. Get in touch with Paul Bradshaw beforehand to check that there is space.

The Tuesday Gang is also out there working pretty well every Tuesday for other midweek dates.

Contact details are given on the Contacts page.

Reply to:

Email: paul.bradshaw@highrail.co.uk

Post: Dinas, Llanwnda, Caernarfon Gwynedd LL54 5UP

Phone: 01766 770034

 

(Unofficial) Golden Clip 31/8/08

With track laid to overlap the Pen-y-Mount Extension at Traeth Mawr on 31/8/08, an unofficial Golden Clip was placed to mark the occasion at 1630. The WHR(P) helped out by bringing six sleepers up to Traeth Mawr in the Guard's Van of the passenger train during the afternoon when supplies ran out.

 

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This northerly view (31/8/08) shows the view from the end of the Pen-y-Mount Extension with track overlapping just south of LC119. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (31/8/08) shows the North Wales Track Gang's 'Golden Clip' placed near LC119. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 30/8/08

The North Wales Track Gang used Conway Castle on 30/8/08, as Upnor Castle is still indisposed. At first they tightened up bolts and unloaded rail before progressing the track south of OB217. On one of the warmest afternoon's this year they then laid track to Ch.32800 approx. and were greeted by the sight of the WHR(P)'s service train hauled by Jack Lane, whistling furiously, just 100m ahead of the Head of Steel! Some ballasting had taken place north of OB216.

It is not the intention to join the track to the Pen-y-Mount Extension to Traeth Mawr at this stage as this would involve cutting the rails again once the ballasting and tamping have moved the track a little. The North Wales Track Gang will close the gap to overlap rails and then focus of the section north of Snowdon Mill in Porthmadog on 31/8/08, if time allows.

 

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These northerly views (both 30/8/08) show Conway Castle with rails being unloaded at the Head of Steel around OB217. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (30/8/08) shows Conway Castle and the PW train collecting the tired PW gang at the end of a hot day's tracklaying. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (30/8/08) shows the view from the end of the Pen-y-Mount Extension with tracklayers working in the 100m gap to the Head of Steel, south of OB217, visible in the distance. Jack Lane is seen hauling the WHR(P) train. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 30/8/08

With the Llyn Bach footpath now opening, though requiring a little attention to fencing at the south end, attention focuses on the section across the Llyn Bach car park, work started on fencing this on 29/8/08.

 

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This northerly view (30/8/08) shows fencing underway across the Llyn Bach car park. There is room for the main line and the Gasworks Siding in the formation width. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (30/8/08) shows the Llyn Bach path complete and opened to the public. The nearest section of wooden fencing requires completion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Merddin Emrys back on track

WHR celebrity Fairlie Merddin Emrys was hauling passenger trains. It was anticipated to run double headed with the newly painted Vale of Ffestiniog on 30/8/08 but hauled the 1335 on its own in the end. Hopefully. the loco will be fit to star in the Grand Opening at Easter 2009.

 

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This westerly view (30/8/08) shows Merddin Emrys hauling the 1335 from Porthmadog after recent attention to dome rivets. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin bridge 30/8/08

Work on the bridge is nearing completion. The parapets are being clad with local stone and foundations have been laid for some of the approach walls.

 

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These easterly views (both 30/8/08) show work at Bryn-y-felin. The first view shows the north parapet being clad. The second view shows the foundation for the SW approach wall. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

2 Million Counter competition

With the counter now approaching 2,000,000 small prizes will be offered for the nearest to this number over the next week or so.

 

CTRL progress 29/8/08

Carillion completed another section of ballasted trackbed alongside Llyn Bach on 29/8/08 reaching Ch.34665. There are about 240m of trackbed to form and ballast across the Llyn Bach car park during early September. The Llyn Bach footpath was also reopened throughout on 29/8/08, the tarmac gap at the Britannia Bridge end having been laid very recently as it was still sticky!

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 29/8/08) show progress north of the Llyn Bach chicane. The first view shows ballast nearing the end of the Wilkinson's car park. The second view shows the completed chicane around the corner of Wilkinson's store. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (29/8/08) shows the completed Llyn Bach chicane with Wilkinson's store (ex-Coop) to the right. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Vale of Ffestiniog test runs 29/8/08

Following its public launch on 22/8/08, FR Funkey Vale of Ffestiniog, much modified sister to Castell Caernarfon, was trialled to Porthmadog Harbour Station on 29/8/08. Now sporting an immaculate two-tone green livery similar to BR diesels of the 1960s, the Funkey appeared in Harbour Station on a test run from Boston Lodge and immediately attracted the attention of all the cameras in the vicinity! Its first task was to collect FR coach No.20 which had just been cleaned prior to transfer to Dinas for the ‘Garratt 50’ weekend. The repaint was a combined effort by volunteers and staff, with the spray painting being done by Andy Lance. It should not be very long before the engine returns to service - and provide even more reason to buy one of the enamelled green ‘Vale of Ffestiniog’ badges that have been on sale in the railway shops for some time! The loco may appear double headed in traffic over the coming weekend and eventually appear on the WHR when the through line is complete, possibly giving the tired Castell Caernarfon some time for a major overhaul.

 

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This view (29/8/08) shows Vale of Ffestiniog, fresh from overhaul, at Harbour Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 29/8/08

RRMs were delivered to Porthmadog on 29/8/08 so the final day of the ROTWG's Working Week could work on the previously laid track between the south catchpoint at Cambrian Crossing and the tramway at Snowdon Mill.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 29/8/08) show work underway around Snowdon Street. The first view shows the RRMs being unloaded at Snowdon Mill and the second view shows the wagon carrying bolts etc. just south of Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

By the end of the day the wooden sleepered track looked much better south of the catchpoint, though there was a section still to do near the Snowdon Mill tramway.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 29/8/08) show progress around the Porthmadog New (1923) catchpoint. The first view shows progress south of Cae Pawb (aka Cambrian) Crossing. The second view shows track being gauged and screwed down near the old Porthmadog New (1923) water tower. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 29/8/08) show progress south of Porthmadog New (1923) catchpoint. The first view shows tidy track at the south end of the former station. The second view shows track remaining to be completed near the transition to the Snowdon Mill tramway. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Final rails delivered to Rhyd Ddu 29/8/08

At around 1300 on 29/8/08 a Bob Francis crane was at Rhyd Ddu, unloading rails, that had been transported from Minffordd by road. The whole consignment left for Hafod-y-llyn propelled by Upnor Castle. The loco is still suffering problems and could not make it up the hill beyond Beddgelert on Thursday evening. It is due a major overhaul when the project is complete.

 

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This southerly view (29/8/08) shows the crane unloading the last batch of rails for Traeth Mawr onto the bolster wagon at Rhyd Ddu. These are sufficient to close the gap at the former loop this weekend but the final closure rail may await tamping to prevent the need for another cut at the closure joint if the gap closes or widens. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Dr. Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 presentation planned for 5/9/08

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has awarded an ‘Engineering Heritage Award’ to Garratt K1 in recognition of its historical engineering significance. A short presentation will be held at Caernarfon Station on Friday, 5/9/08, commencing at 1330, in time for the 1355 departure. A plaque is due to be presented by Professor Isobel Pollock, Chairman of the Institution, and highlights the dedication of the ‘K1 Group’ and the WHRS. The plaque will be mounted as a headboard and is a great way to kick-start the Garratt Fifty event!

 

WHR token instruments 29/8/08

FR Press release: A five year quest that stretched across the globe has been brought to a successful end thanks to Celtic camaraderie and the generosity of Iarnród Éireann, the state-owned railway network of the Irish Republic. The Ffestiniog Railway Company in Porthmadog (North Wales) had been searching for extremely rare Single Line Token Instruments for half a decade, with fruitless leads as far away as South America - with ‘Plan B’ including South Africa and India! But hearing of their plight, Iarnród Éireann decided to assist their Celtic cousins and ensure the Welsh Highland Railway (C) has the essential equipment ready for its grand-opening in 2009.

In an act of great generosity, Iarnród Éireann has sold 17 Single Token Instruments at discount price. Paul Lewin, General Manager of the Ffestiniog Railway Company, said: “The safety of Ffestiniog Railway operations has been ensured for over 100 years by use of the ‘Electronic’ Electric Token System. Understandably, we were very keen to use the same system for the new WHR (C). “However, at one stage this was looking to be almost impossible as no equipment could be found. But hearing of our plight, Iarnród Éireann worked very hard to release suitable equipment and we are immensely grateful to them.”

A spokesman for Iarnród Éireann said: “We were approached through the company’s Heritage Officer Gregg Ryan to see if we could help, and disused equipment, displaced from our network during the recent nationwide rail modernisation programme was identified as suitable. We were delighted to find a home for this equipment in the setting of an operating railway where it will continue to have a useful working life into the future.”

These instruments were collected from Inchicore Works and transported to North Wales on 28/9/08. They were transferred to secure storage the following day. There will be an official presentation and handover of the Token Instruments at Harbour Station on Monday 1/9/08.

 

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This view (29/8/08) shows the set of newly delivered token instruments at Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Observation saloon news 29/8/08

Following delivery of the curved glass panes (supplied by Greenberg Glass Ltd of Bangor) for the new WHR Observation Carr. 2100 on 28/8/08, the opportunity was taken to set up a publicity photo on 29/8/08. A trial fitting took place (for photographic purposes only) of the main Observation window pane. There are also two side panes.

 

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This view (29/8/08) shows a trial fit of the new curved glass for the WHR Observation Car No.2100. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Service Car 2010/Garratt 50 news 28/8/08

Roger Dimmick writes: Despite its appearance in Harbour Station for successful clearance testing (27/8/08) against the platform canopy (WHR profile trains will use this platform at least in 2009 as well as the sidings for stock storage), new WHR Service Car No.2010 is not yet ready for transfer to Dinas. There are a number of outstanding jobs still to be finished and, until they are completed, the carriage cannot be released into traffic. This work has to be undertaken at Boston Lodge, as the requisite facilities are not available at Dinas.

 

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These southerly and westerly views (both 27/8/08) show the differences between the two sides of WHR Service Car No.2010, undergoing clearance tests in the sidings at harbour Station hauled by Moelwyn. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

It has been reluctantly conceded that there is insufficient time remaining for the work on No.2010 to be completed, tested and passed as fit for traffic - and for the carriage to be transported to Dinas before the 'Garratt Fifty' weekend. Therefore, it has been arranged that Colonel Stephens' liveried FR Van 2 (previously known as No.10) and FR No.20 will be the vehicles transferred to Dinas for the weekend along with Prince for the shuttle services.

 

CTRL progress 28/8/08

Carillion completed the chicane on the Llyn Bach corridor behind Wilkinson's store on 28/8/08. They may reach LC125 by the end of the week. If so, once they have cleared their compound, they can build the 200m of formation from LC125 to Snowdon Street and the parallel Gasworks Siding in early September and provide a complete formation.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 28/8/08) show ballast laid on geotextile now north of the chicane behind Wilkinson's store. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 28/8/08

Track started some 50m south of OB216 at Ch.32380 in the morning and advanced rapidly to OB217 by the end of the day, leaving about 300m to complete on Friday if rails become available from Minffordd. The train has been through OB216 with the SAR brakevan (the largest vehicle on the railway), proving the loading gauge is satisfactory.

 

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These southerly views (both 28/8/08) show the Phase 4 PW train at the start of the day, with the HOS at Ch.32380. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 28/8/08) show the HOS at Ch.32380 at the start of the day. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 28/8/08) show the HOS at the end of the day at OB217 with the diverted footpath ramp visible to the right in the first view and the gap that remains for completion on Friday, if sufficient rails are provided from the FR's stockpile at Minffordd. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (28/8/08) shows the ROTWG under OB217 just 300m from the WHR(P)'s operational railway at Traeth Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

By the end of the day Working Week volunteers had laid 18 panels (some 324m) on 28/8/08, leaving the Head of Steel at about Ch.32660, just north of OB217. At that point they ran out of rails. All the sleepers have now been laid out to link to the operational railway at Traeth Mawr and the last of the rail extracted from the bank at the site of the former loop.

 

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This northerly view (28/8/08) shows Conway Castle south of OB216 at Traeth Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (28/8/08) shows the ROTWG and Conway Castle just north of OB217 at the Head of Steel with Conway Castle in attendance. The footpath ramp to the right is being fenced and the footpath runs parallel to the train on the RHS before crossing behind the brakevan to run parallel on the LHS to OB216 from the stile in the field. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (28/8/08) shows volunteers south of OB216 at the site of Traeth Mawr loop, recovering rail and moving it onto sleepers, south of LC119. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

On Friday the action is going to move to the south side of Cae Pawb crossing, working south from the trap points towards the tramway. Meanwhile rail will be delivered by road from the FR stockpile at Minffordd Yard to Rhyd Ddu yard, presumably for the North Wales Gang to complete the gap at Traeth Mawr this weekend. As volunteers left Pont Croesor the S4C outside broadcast van was setting up for their Welsh language feature about the WHR on their programme Wedi 7.

 

Conway Castle to the rescue 28/8/08

With Upnor Castle indisposed (see notes from 27/8/08) Conway Castle made one it its rare sorties onto Phase 4 on 28/8/08 to help complete the track laying. The loco was put in charge of the Phase 4 PW train. The loco made it down to the Head of Steel just south of OB216.

 

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These northerly and westerly views (both 28/8/08) show Conway Castle hauling the Phase 4 PW train at Pont Croesor bridge and crossing UB214. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 27/8/08

With Pandrol style Indian steel sleepers (rather than the planned wooden ones) used in the tunnels to improve clearances, there has been a shortage and spare SAR bolted sleepers had to be used for a few hundred metres north of LC117. This slowed down progress on 24-5/8/08 but another gang sorted out the rails left by the former Traeth Mawr loop and the sleepers there were spaced out ready for tracklaying. Back on Indian sleepers from just north of LC117 on 26/8/08, better progress was made. On 27/8/08 the Head of Steel passed through OB216 by 1600.

 

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This northerly view (27/8/08) shows the Head of Steel at the start of the day at LC117 as seen from OB216. Contractor's access alongside the LHS of the track has been necessary for a few finishing off jobs on OB216. Track was extended through the bridge by 1600 that day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 27/8/08

Carillion extended the ballast bed north to TWA Ch.34720 approx. At the current rate of progress they may complete to LC125 by 29/8/08 and withdraw to their compound.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 27/8/08) show the ballast advancing through the chicane alongside Wilkinson's supermarket. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Final rail train 26/8/08

The WHRCL ran its final rail train to Pont Croesor on 26/8/08. The final batch of rails had been loaded up on the rail bolster wagon at the weekend to help clear the site at Dinas for Garratt 50. Volunteers had been running two pairs of rails from Hafod-y-llyn using Upnor Castle and RRMs with one pair either side of the loco. Supplies at the Head of Steel had been exhausted by Monday afternoon and the rail train worked to Rhyd Ddu after public services. Battery problems caused some difficulty restarting Upnor Castle and the train was noted in the Aberglaslyn Pass at midday. The method of working across LC114 is to set both traffic lights to red. Tracklaying finally got underway after unloading south of Pont Croesor in the afternoon. There are insufficient rails to complete the job and some must be brought from the FR's stockpile at Minffordd.

WHRCL staff brought a new battery and, after it was fitted, the loco went off to the Aberglaslyn Pass to allow a S4C film crew to film the railway.

 

 

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This view (26/8/08) shows Upnor Castle with the final rail train stabled in Rhyd Ddu yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (26/8/08) shows Upnor Castle just north of LC92 at Nantmor with the final delivery of rails. All public road level crossings are protected by stop-blocks. The train must stop and staff have to remove these before the train is signalled across the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 26/8/08) show Upnor Castle propelling the rail train across LC114 and into the site of Pont Croesor loop. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Garratt 50 appeal

Dafydd Thomas writes: This unique special event will be taking place at Dinas on the WHR over the weekend of 5-7/9/08. There is still a lot of preparatory work to be done at Dinas and we need your help. Pete Hugman and Dave Kent are organising things but they cannot do it alone. Pete will be at Dinas from next Saturday, 30/8/08 right through to Garratt 50 so if you can come along any day and give a bit of help, if only half a day it would be much appreciated. You can contact Pete by e-mail - peter.hugman@festrail.co.uk or by telephone - 07919 414889.

Amongst other tasks there will be a unique opportunity to build a section of standard gauge track at Dinas; so if you fancy a bit of that give Pete a call. We especially need volunteers on the Thursday & Friday before the weekend, 4-5/9/08. Also of course if you can assist over the weekend it would be a great help, there will be numerous tasks as well as the opportunity to see at least 50 Garratt locomotives on various gauges.

 

Phase 4/New Trains appeal

Andy Savage reports: Almost all of those who signed up for the extension of the Phase 4 and New Trains appeals back in April have now converted their promises to actual cash or extended standing orders. The total of the appeals together now stands at just past £1.8 million. Thanks to all - we can still use as much money as anyone can give us, so both funds remain open.

 

Supporters' Train raffle results

Daron Lodge writes: The Winners of the Raffle sold on the Supporters' Train and Beer Festival were :-

1 Mike Middleton   Simulator Flight

2 Eric Wooding       Footplate Ride on Russell for 2

3 Garreth Jones       Footplate Ride  on Russell for 2

 

Tracklaying news 26/8/08

With the completion of the ballast bed north from Traeth Mawr to LC115 at the south end of Pont Croesor loop on 22/8/08 (the contracted date), a ballast bed is available all the way south for the tracklayers to link up to Traeth Mawr. A good start was made over the weekend and the Head of Steel had advanced to LC117, Ch.32100 but the end of 26/6/08. The south point for Pont Croesor loop has been missed out to speed progress. On 26/8/08, members of the Tuesday Gang assisted the Rest of the World Working Week volunteers. Some 800m of track (45 lengths) remain to be laid by the weekend. At one stage on 26/8/08 a panel was going down every 15 minutes after delays earlier in the day awaiting delivery of rails!

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 26/8/08) show the Head of Steel at LC117. In the second view OB216 is visible in the distance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (26/8/08) shows Upnor Castle just north of LC117 at the end of the day's tracklaying. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 26/8/08

After a quiet week, Carillion returned in force on 26/8/08 and started laying ballast north along the Llyn Bach corridor from the linkspan. By the end of the day they had reached the chicane around the recently opened Wilkinson's store (ex-Coop).

 

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This view (26/8/08) shows ballasting on geotextile completed as far as the start of the chicane around the corner of Wilkinson's. The footpath to the right has been completed and awaits tarmac before reopening. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Garratt 50 details

A leaflet and booking form may be downloaded from the links below. A weekend rover cost £35 (£15 members) and a day rover £25 (£10 members). Postal bookings should be made by 30/8/08. There is an entry to Dinas Exhibition ticket available on the day at £7.50 (£3 members). Children are half price and the normal concessions apply (including Appeal supporters). 

As well as the 50+ Garratts on display or running, there will be a 5" gauge railway running in Caernarfon Station car park. This is a unique opportunity to see extensive collections of Beyer, Peacock and Garratt railwayana and photographs. The Loco Shed and workshops will be open to view progress with overhaul of NG/G16 No.138 ‘Millennium’. There will also be a full range of sales stands with books, paintings, souvenirs and other railway related items and a Refreshments Marquee and it is hoped your webmaster's new DVD will be on sales featuring the last 12 months' progress and special trains. Parking is at Dinas and Dinas Yard itself will be open from 0800 until 1900 with a special line up of locos on both days at 0930. A large 16mm live steam layout will occupy most of Dinas Goods shed!

 

Click here for leaflet

Click here for booking form

 

Tracklaying scenes from 24/8/08

With the ballast bed complete on 22/8/08, the ROTWG Working Week tracklaying quickly got underway. In the absence of Dolgarrog (the motor of which has been removed and is now being repaired by a diesel engine specialist) Upnor Castle worked back and forth with RRMs, bringing rails from Hafod-y-llyn (a half hour trundle). Stops had to be made at Ynysfor and Pont Croesor level crossings to remove the stop-blocks and, in the latter case, set both traffic lights to red.

 

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This northerly view (22/8/08) shows the ballast bed south from Pont Croesor to Traeth Mawr, completed at LC115. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (24/8/08) shows Upnor Castle with top and tail RRMs traversing the bridge at Pont Croesor to collect rails from Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and westerly views (both 24/8/08) show Upnor Castle with rails being unloaded at the Head of Steel south of LC115 and preparing to return to Hafod-y-llyn at the end of the day. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 24/8/08) show Upnor Castle at LC114 and crossing Pont Croesor at the end of the day as it returned to Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Director's Inspection visit 22/8/08

Upnor Castle and the mess car made a visit to Pont Croesor on 22/8/08 carrying Mike Hart and an official from the W&LR who had been very helpful in obtaining the KMX tamper, rail etc. The special working started from Rhyd Ddu, passing through the Bryn-y-felin level crossing (to be removed as soon as the new bridge is complete) and paused for a while in the Aberglaslyn Pass. The visit concluded with a walk around the CTRL.

 

CTRL progress 20/8/08

Progress has almost ground to a halt on the CTRL with little done this week so far, other than marking the road arrows for the one way street at Snowdon Mill.

 

Team Wylfa report 19/8/08

Clive Briscoe report: Team Wylfa completed the usual carriages checks with the E Set checked & oiled. Dolgarrog's engine has been taken out and sent to a local external specialist for repair. K1 and the E Set finally made it down from Rhyd Ddu after the last normal service train on Tuesday. It had been marooned due to Castell Cidwm bridge being flooded again by the exceptional rain on Monday. Services on Monday and, I believe, Tuesday morning were limited to the F Set shuttling between Caernarfon and Waunfawr until the floods receded. A coal run had to be made from Boston Lodge to Rhyd Ddu in order that K1 could make it back.

 

WHR(P) news

The WHR(P) magazine reports growing traffic and a successful season. One concern they do have is the lack of an operating and fares agreement with the FR for 2009 when the through route opens. They hope to 'achieve an equitable settlement, if the FR is willing to engage realistically and productively'. They hope for a decision from the FR by the end of August so that planning might start. They also hope to run some trains for subscribers and staff onto the WHR in the commissioning period and are taking measures to improve responsibility and professionalism. The current agreement runs until 2/11/08 with provision for Phase 4 PW trains etc. Mark Smith from the Heritage Railways Association is helping with negotiations with the FR.

The aim is still to finish Russell in time for the Grand Opening at Easter 2009. A recent decision has been to replace all the axleboxes as some were worn and others had manufacturing faults that date back to 1906. This loco (and/or Baldwin No.590 if that project comes to fruition) will run with the Heritage Train, including the rebuilt Buffet car, Gladstone Car, Hudson toast-rack and replica NWNGR wagons as a mixed train if the hoped for operating agreement with the FR is settled. A replica of Ashbury corridor coach No.25 is also under construction.

 

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This view (30/5/05) shows Russell at the WHR(P)'s Porthmadog terminus just prior to the start of work on refurbishment. The project will see the loco looking much more like its original 1906 appearance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

As regards the Imperial War Museum's (IWM) Baldwin (permission has been given to number it as No.590), design work on a new boiler is complete and sent out to tender. The WHR(P) will then meet the IWM at Duxford to approve the overall restoration plan before the loco is sent to Alan Keef's for completion. A further £140,000 is likely to be required (on top of funds already raised) to complete the restoration, though some may come via grants. Although the IWM's Baldwin will not be complete for the 2009 Grand opening, the operational Baldwin at the Leighton Buzzard Railway (No.778) could be invited to complete the scene.

 

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This view (27/8/07) shows Baldwin No.778 at the Pages Park terminus of the Leighton Buzzard Railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Prince for Garratt 50

Prince in receiving attention in Boston Lodge prior to its transfer to Dinas for the Gala on 6-7/9/08.

 

Tuesday Gang report 19/8/08

Tony Baker reports: The Tuesday Gang assisted permanent staff and lined up the new points (Pont Croesor loop north points) and completed all the screwing down. After a delivery by dumper truck of ballast from the contractor we did enough shovel packing to allow the rail bolsters to be propelled across the crossing (believed to be the first crossing). Rail was unloaded and 2 lengths laid out south of the point in order that a rail stack could be created by the permanent staff tomorrow at a reasonable distance from the points. At midday we were advised by staff at the Osprey Centre that flood waters were threatening to maroon our cars which they had kindly allowed us to park on their site. We quickly moved them! At one point a panic stricken herd of cows raced through the flood water to reach higher ground!!

 

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This southerly view (19/8/08) shows the final positioning and assembly of the Pont Croesor north loop point just south of LC114B. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (19/8/08) shows one pair of rails being placed south of the Pont Croesor north loop point it in order to form a rail stack the next day. The rails will be used to push the Head of Steel south during the Working Week starting on 23/8/08, possibly all the way to link up at Traeth Mawr! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (19/8/08) shows Upnor Castle propelling the rail bolster across the B4410 at LC114A, possibly the first train across the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (19/8/08) shows Upnor Castle propelling the rail bolster across the B4410 at LC114A, possibly the first train across the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (19/8/08) shows Upnor Castle propelling the rail bolster south of LC114B, possibly the first train across the crossing. Floodwater can be seen gathering in the field on the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (19/8/08) from just south of LC114B shows a herd of cows racing for higher ground as the Traeth rapidly floods following heavy rain. The formation was at least 1m above the flood at all times. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track Gang report 16-17/8/08

The North Wales Track Gang replaced wooden sleepers with steel at the LC104 north of Pont Ynys Ferlas (the bridge formerly known as Pont Afon Nanmor). LC106, south of Pont Afon Dylif, received similar treatment. This work is necessary so that the now standard level crossing and fittings can be put in which are configured to work with steel sleepers and be removable by two men in about 20 minutes to aid tamping.

Volunteers installed new long sleepers north of Pont Croesor to take the new style of guard rails (the old type such as found on Phase 1 & 2 are not up to current specification). They then repositioned and repacked sleepers where the rails have been welded north and south of the bridge including those between LC114A and LC114B and checked all fixings on Pont Croesor and approaches.

 

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This northerly view (17/8/08) shows hand tamping with Kango tampers underway between LC114A/B. The railway reaches a summit at the nearer edge of the road so that a tarmac camber could be placed on the sharp road curve. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Upnor Castle shunted around the rail carrying wagon at Hafod-y-llyn and propelled it south to Pont Croesor, where rails were unloaded for next week's Working Week (from 23/8/08) when it is hoped to lay track south to Traeth Mawr (if James Cyf. is able to release the ballasted trackbed in time).

 

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This northerly view (17/8/08) shows Upnor Castle propelling the rail bolster wagon onto Pont Croesor for unloading. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Finally, volunteers cleared rubbish and surplus materials from this area as there will be a lot of rail traffic through here in the coming weeks with the Working Week due to start.

 

Garratt 50 latest

The FR WHR(C) website has an update (5/8/08) on the Garratt 50 event (6-7/9/08), which now includes a standard gauge Beyer Peacock loco from the Foxfield Railway and two coaches from the Conwy Valley Museum at Betws-y-coed Station. No one ever expected to see standard gauge track at Dinas again! Click on this link

 

Beddgelert benches 16/8/08

Benches were delivered to one of the two waiting shelter at Beddgelert on 16/8/08.

 

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This easterly view (16/8/08) shows the bench fitted in the waiting shelter at Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 16/8/08

Work on Bryn-y-felin road bridge (OB173) is nearing completion with the two parapets cast and lips being formed on the abutments to retain ballast. The concrete is to be clad in local stone.

 

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This northerly view (13/8/08) shows lips being cast on the wing walls with the nearer parapet still to be cast. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 15/8/08) show the lips cast on the wing walls and the completed parapets, which will be clad in local stone. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Down at Pont Croesor the track was surveyed for setting out purposes on 15/8/08. The ballast was widened around the north loop point so that it can be correctly positioned. Sleeper packs were moved from Dinas to Pont Croesor on the same date so that tracklaying may proceed through the loop site. Sleeper packs resume at LC117 some 200m north of OB216 and the formation is almost ready to receive ballast. Ballast has been extended north to a point 20m short of OB216, through which a level concrete foundation was laid on 15/8/08. The bridge itself was nearing completion with fencing being the final requirement. The public footpath on the south side slopes up to the bridge along the approach ramp from alongside the track on the north west side.

 

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This northerly view (15/8/08) shows the road barriers at LC114A adjusted to allow the passage of the PW train as tracklaying may extend south to include the loop point soon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (16/8/08) shows ballast widened at the position of the north loop point and sleeper packs laid out ready for track laying. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (15/8/08) shows sleeper packs laid out from LC117 with OB216 in the distance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly, easterly and northerly views (all 15/8/08) show the completed OB216. The first view shows a ballast pile, concrete supports cast on the tube ends and the completed parapets. The second view shows the cast deck and parapets. The third view shows the concrete formation cast within the tubes. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 15/8/08) show the ballast laid to within 20m of OB216. The first view shows OB216 and the head of ballast. The second view shows the ballast and sleeper packs laid out between OB216 and OB217 visible in the distance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

With OB216 complete bar the fencing, James Cyf. is working hard to complete a ballasted trackbed all the way to Pont Croesor by Friday 22/8/08, depending on the weather, so that the Tracklaying Week will have a free run to link the railway through from Pont Croesor to Traeth Mawr. With one week to go it still looks possible but even if the contractor does overrun a little, tracklaying can proceed north from Traeth Mawr using the few rails stored there and more rail could be taken from Dinas to Pen-y-Mount by lorry and moved to the Head of Steel when the WHR(P) is not using the extension for passenger services, e.g. in the evenings.

 

CTRL progress 16/8/08

Progress has been relatively slow on the CTRL although Carillion hope to have finished and be off site in the second half of August, handing the ballasted trackbed over for track gangs to lay. H. Howatson & Sons, North Wales Surfacing Contractors, completed the tarmac at Snowdon Street level crossing and approaches by 15/8/08. The road towards Snowdon Mill is one way westbound. A pedestrian crossing has been established for Snowdon Mill itself.

 

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This northerly view (15/8/08) shows a wagon used in tracklaying on UB220 where the first of the new linking plates will occur between the tramway rails and the Polish rail. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Following a Manchester Metrolink derailment on a transition between normal track and tramway track on a curve, special attention has been given to transitions between the WHR tramway and plain track, all of which now occur on straights. Both tramway and standard rails will be supported on standard wooden sleepers. For three sleepers either side of the junction, there will be a metal base-plate (one for each rail) that will lock the rails in position and support for the junction. This plate is quite substantial being over 3m long and 45mm thick. It will have shoulders welded to its surface that will locate the rail and act as anchorage for Pandrol-style spring clips that hold the rail down. In the vicinity of the junction, the sleepers are close-spaced and there are stiffening plates edge-welded onto the underside of the baseplate to reduce vertical bending. The baseplates will be screwed down onto the wooden sleepers in the usual way. There is no direct connection between the tramway rail and the flat-bottomed Polish rail.

The inner edges of the flat-bottom's running surface are aligned with the inner edge of the head of the tramway rail, and held in location by the base plate. Check rails will be placed inside the running rails so that their outer running edges are aligned with the inner edge of the tramway rail flangeway. The check rails are fastened onto the running rails by bolts running horizontally through holes in the rail webs and the two rails are held apart with spacer blocks (similar to those used in pointwork). The running rail and check rail thus form one unit, and are held down to the baseplate via spring clips on the outer foot of the running rail and the inner foot of the check rail. On three of the four tramway transition units, the checkrails only extend for about four sleepers. The transition at UB220 (Y Cyt) however will have checkrails about 10m long that will extend well over the bridge to provide additional safety on the bridge. Check rails have their entry ends chamfered and bent inwards in the usual manner.

 

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These southerly views (13/8/08 and 15/8/08) show Snowdon Street level crossing scarified then relaid in whisper tarmac following completion of alteration of all services. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (15/8/08) shows a car using the newly opened access to Snowdon Mill/Car Wash. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (16/8/08) shows the new Snowdon Mill footpath crossing and Armco road barriers adjacent to the Car Wash forecourt. 'No Entry' signs ensure that only vehicles coming from Snowdon Street can access the road alongside the tramway that leads to Snowdon Mill and the Car Wash. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

There has been little further visible progress between Snowdon Street and the Llyn Bach curve. Rails have been moved up to the temporary rail loading point just south of Snowdon Street level crossing, ready to extend track south across the car park. Some backfilling of land not required by the railway at the north end of the car park will extend the public open space onto the car park.

 

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This northerly view (10/8/08) shows backfilling of land not required by the railway (the alignment is marked by the wooden level posts). This will be used to extend the public open space on the side of Llyn Bach to the right. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ben Fisher and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Some progress has been made on the Llyn Bach curve itself, the linkspan and at Cob Records tramway. The drum pilaster that graced the end of the former Britannia Bridge wall has been reused at the end of the linkspan parapet. With the stonework finished on the training wall, the embankment approaching the linkspan has been re-contoured and clad with seeded local earth now that access is no longer required. With kerbing also compete in this area, pedestrian deterrent paving was laid by 15/8/08 and it seemed that Carillion was withdrawing to the Llyn Bach corridor itself. The footpath tarmac and fencing is all that needs completing to reopen the 20m gap in the Llyn Bach path. The footpath closure notice expires on 12/10/08 but is hoped all will be complete by the end of August.

 

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This easterly view (14/8/08) shows the old drum pilaster being reset at the end of the completed parapet wall on the linkspan. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (15/8/08) shows the wall complete and the embankment reformed and clad with local earth. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 15/8/08) show the Llyn Bach curve. The first view shows the paved area to the left that will feature seats in a public open space. The second view shows pedestrian deterrent paving both sides of the tramway. The footpath to the right needs tarmacing as does a further 20m north to link with that which extends south from the car park, before it can be reopened as a through route to the car park. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (15/8/08) shows the tramway across Britannia Bridge complete with yellow dot warnings on the roadway! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Original fencing had appeared alongside the tramway between Snowdon Wharf and Cob Records by 10/8/08 but a longer length remained to be completed between Cob Records and Harbour Station by 15/8/08.

 

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This westerly view (15/8/08) shows the fencing along the south side of the tramway between Snowdon Wharf and Cob Records. A longer length of fencing remains to be done on the north side of the tramway between Cob Records and Harbour Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge report 15/8/08

Work on No.87 saw progress being made with the cab front plate on 15/8/08 at Boston Lodge. The tanks, painted in grey undercoat, await fitting and are stored in the Carriage Works. The bogies are also receiving treatment with insulation being wrapped around the cylinders.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows work underway on the cab of No.87 at Boston Lodge in the Erecting Shop with the green undercoat of the cab front sheet visible. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows No.87's grey painted tanks awaiting fitting, stored in the Carriage Workshop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows work underway on the No.87's bogies at Boston Lodge in the Erecting Shop with insulation being wrapped around the cylinders. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Merddin Emrys, the loco that featured on the WHR test trains in 1923, was used as works shunter on 15/8/08, shunting Prince into the Erecting Shop. The unusual use of a double Fairlie as Works pilot was a test steaming after problems with rivets on its domes. The test was satisfactory and on 18/8/08, it ran double headed to Tan-y-bwlch as a main line test run. It is hoped it may be ready to reprise its role by the Grand Opening at Easter 2009. 

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows Merddin Emrys shunts Prince into the Erecting Shop at Boston Lodge. The loco is on test without its dome covers after attention to rivets on the domes. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The repainting of Funkey Vale of Ffestiniog into two tone green, with small yellow front warning panel, is nearing completion. This loco may run on the WHR one day as it may have lower engine hours than its sister Castell Caernarfon. Vale of Ffestiniog is similar in appearance to a BR Class 58. The loco has been out of use for a few years and Castell Caernarfon borrowed its bogies for a while, while its own received refurbished gearboxes. With the prop shaft returned to the railway on 18/8/08, the loco was likely to receive a roll out and press launch the same week.

 

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These views (both 15/8/08) show the new two tone green livery of Funkey diesel Vale of Ffestiniog. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Romanian coach No.2060 is complete and is stored near the old Carriage Shed awaiting delivery to the WHR. As the current coaching stock is sufficient for current levels of traffic, it will probably be transferred when a through route is available rather than incur the expense of hiring a lorry. However, the new WHR service car No.2010 is likely to be transferred to Dinas as soon as it is ready, as this may be before the through line is ready for stock transits.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows ex-Romanian coach No.2060 near the old Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work proceeds on the old Carriage Shed restoration project. This includes an extension over the track nearest the main road.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows work advancing on the restoration and extension of the old Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A rake of WHR stock will need to be stabled at Boston Lodge overnight for the first train out towards Beddgelert. Space has been allocated on the seaward side of the existing Carriage Shed and a siding started at the west end.

 

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This westerly view (15/8/08) shows space on the seaward side of the Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge where a new siding could be built so that the WHR rake could be stabled and maintained overnight. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Good progress is being made with new WHR observation car No.2100, with panelling work well underway. This will have a large door near the curved end suitable for wheelchair access. However the door will be partially disguised with mouldings carried across it.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows progress with the new Observation car in the Boston Lodge Carriage Works. A wheelchair access door is positioned near the end on the RHS. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More refurbished SAR bogies have appeared for freight stock at Boston Lodge.

 

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This view (15/8/08) shows a set of four refurbished bogies at Boston Lodge for use under freight stock. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 12/8/08

Team Wylfa continued to maintain carriages last week but will be helping with No.138's refurbishment when numbers of volunteers grow after the Summer holidays.

Clive Briscoe reports: A niggling problem that we had been watching for some time on one of the Romanian bogies under the Pullman car, Bodysgallen, has been attended to by Boston Lodge. One wheel flange had been noted as grinding itself against the rail head and was rapidly wearing away. It was found that the wheel diameters on that wheelset were not quite equal so one side had been running higher up the tapered tyre than the other side (ref. railway wheelset 'Coned wheel theory'). One evening during the previous week, when the set had been returned to Dinas, saw the affected bogie run out and that particular wheelset removed and taken to the wheel lathe in Boston Lodge for re-profiling. With some of the legendary Boston Lodge 'midnight oil' being burned, the wheelset was returned and put back in the bogie in time for the next day's service train.

 

Tuesday Gang report 12/8/08

On 12/8/08 the Tuesday Gang attached Type 2 signs to previously installed posts at LC104 (Afon Nanmor) & LC106 (Afon Dylif). These are the smaller signs with white lettering on a black background saying "Stop", "Look" & "Listen" bilingually and are believed to be the first signs of this type installed on phase four.

 

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This view (12/8/08) shows the new style of sign fitted to LC106. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Peter Roughley and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 problems

K1 was out of action with a collapsed brick arch for the first week of August and the service relied on No.143 (now carrying its original number!) and Castell Caernarfon. The loco was back in service by mid-August.

 

Benches for Beddgelert shelters 10/8/08

The waiting shelters were repainted grey on 10/8/08 after 14 hours of torrential rain spoiled the efforts of the West Midlands the previous day.

Michael Hadley reports: Two members of the West Midland Group are building four benches, two for each of the Beddgelert Station platform shelters. The benches are being finished in 'scrumble', a once common method of imitating hardwood grain. The benches are similar to those in Rhyd Ddu shelter.

 

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This view (8/8/08) shows the first bench in Stourbridge just prior to transportation to North Wales. Maurice Castle (left) and Mike Hodges (right). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Hadley and was taken on a Pentax Optio S50 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Garratt 50 timetable published

Roger Dimmick (FR) has provided details of the Garratt150 timetable for 6-7/9/08. Seven trains will work to Rhyd Ddu (5 steam!). There will be 5 Waunfawr shuttles, most from Caernarfon.

Click here for the timetable

 

Ghost train!! 10/8/08

There were hardly any workings through Beddgelert last week. The long delayed rail bolster train ran north on 8/8/08 hauled by Upnor Castle at 1630 through the campsite. After the last passenger train had stabled it loaded up at Dinas with the last but one train of rails being moved to Hafod-y-llyn for relaying the final mile of track. The train returned south in the dark at 2115 giving the campers a surprise as it sounded its horn in the forest and rumbled through the campsite late in the evening! It is hoped that the final rail train can run and clear the rail store before the end of August so the rail storage area can be used for Garratt150.

 

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This southerly view (8/8/08) shows Upnor Castle shunting the rail train at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (10/8/08) shows the train crossing UB150 after sunset. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin progress 10/8/08

The deck of the new road overbridge at Bryn-y-felin was cast on 8/8/08 with an excavator bucket being used to transfer the concrete to the formwork mould. Rebar for the parapets was also erected and a retaining edge is being cast to prevent the road embankment creeping over the wing walls. James Cyf's work for Gwynedd Council could be complete within a few weeks but rail access through the bridge is being maintained in the meantime.

 

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This northerly view (10/8/08) shows the recently cast deck of Bryn-y-felin road bridge curing under hessian mats. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 10/8/08

The Rest of the World gang fitted points to the south end of Hafod-y-llyn loop (RH) and the north end of Pont Croesor loop (LH) over the weekend. Pont Croesor loop is set out for right hand running but the western ballast has not yet been fitted. Saturday morning, was very wet and volunteers spent the day fitting the south point for the loop into the main line at Hafod-y-llyn. They also unclipped rails and inserted larger gaps into several panels of track south of the point as many of the original correct gaps on this section had closed up following tamping causing the rails to buckle in warm weather. Volunteers will work south opening up closed gaps on this, the longest straight on the railway.

 

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These northerly views (both 9/8/08) show the south loop point being placed at Hafod-y-llyn. A tirfor jack and wire rope is being used to slide the point to the correct position. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 10/8/08) show the south loop point at Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Sunday saw improved weather and, after finishing the point at Hafod-y-llyn, volunteers were hauled by Upnor Castle to Pont Croesor where they placed the north point of the Pont Croesor loop.

 

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This northerly view (10/8/08) shows Upnor Castle propelling the first train across the new point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (10/8/08) shows Upnor Castle leaving Pont Croesor after trackwork on the turnout south of the bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A contractor (In Line Track welding) has spent 7-8/8/08 making eight arc welds to complete the track between the north of Pont Croesor and LC114B, the Glaslyn Osprey Project crossing (GOP).

 

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This easterly view (8/8/08) shows the rails between LC114A and LC114B being arc welded by the contractor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The concrete blocks at LC114 were moved a little allowing possibly the first rail vehicles over the crossing, when volunteers moved the two half lengths cut out north of the bridge using RRMs. These lengths were used to link LC114B (the GOP Centre crossing) with the north loop point.

 

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This southerly view (10/8/08) shows the rather awkward alignment south of LC114B designed to accommodate right hand running. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

OB216/7 progress 10/8/08

OB216 is nearing completion and currently is full of scaffolding as the bolts for the smoke deflectors are added and preparations are made for the reinforcing concrete on the face of the tubes. The concrete deck has been cast and work is underway on the formwork for casting the parapets. A ballast dump has been established here.

 

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This easterly view (10/8/08) shows the concrete deck of OB216. It is half the width of OB217, which features bends onto the bridge. Preparations are underway to cast the parapets with rebar upstands. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 10/8/08) show the area around OB216. The first shows ballast pile and preparations to cast the parapets. The second views shows the scaffolding used to add the smoke deflector bolts and cast the concrete end caps. Foundations for the hoops are being cast in the foreground. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (10/8/08) shows the formation ready for ballasting south of OB216, with sleeper packs spaced alongside awaiting ballast. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Good progress has been made with OB217 which now appears finished except for a little wooden fencing. Unexpectedly, the footpath does not cross the bridge but drops down on the north east side to a new footpath crossing just north of the bridge. Curved rebar has been used to make the concrete edging hoop to the face of the tubes. This adds strength. Ballast has been laid through the site of the former Traeth Mawr loop and as far as the new footpath crossing.

 

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These southerly views (both 10/8/08) show the area around the completed OB217. The first shows the new footpath crossing just north of the bridge. The footpath, which remains to be fenced, stays east of the railway, descending behind the tree and crossing by the near pile of sleepers, which is also the current limit of ballast. The second views shows the detail of the completed bridge which now has ballast laid through it. Packs of sleepers have been laid out through the site of the former Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (10/8/08) shows the wide concrete deck of OB217. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 10/8/08) show views from the top of OB217. The first shows the new footpath crossing, just north of the bridge and the limit of ballast. The second views shows the footpath on the left and the ballast and sleeper packs through the site of Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (10/8/08) shows the concrete deck of OB217 with the footpath rising up the east side. The track has been ballasted and packs of sleepers placed ready for tracklaying. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The trackbed between Pont Croesor and OB216/7 appears ready to accept ballast as rain shedding sub base has been laid by a tarmac machine that slopes to the cess side of the formation. As soon as OB216 is complete, ballast will be laid within days to complete the ballasted formation from Pont Croesor to the site of Traeth Mawr loop, possibly within a few weeks.

 

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This southerly view (7/8/08) shows the WHR(P) push-pull train terminating just south of Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 10/8/08

Contactors assisted by volunteers, including the Tuesday Gang, moved the trap points into place north and south of Cae Pawb crossing on 4/8/08 and completed them. The track between the trap points and the crossing was connected up on both sides of the crossing and special cranked fishplates used to join the different rail profiles. The special tramway to Polish rail fishplates are on order and are likely to be delivered in September.

 

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This northerly view (5/8/08) shows the contractor grinding rails after Thermit welding of the link to Cae Pawb crossing unit. On the left a rough newly welded joint is visible remaining to be ground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (7/8/08) shows the cranked fishplates required to join the crossing rail to the Polish rail. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (4/8/08) shows the southern trap point now correctly positioned by the old water tower at the site of Portmadoc New (1923) station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (4/8/08) shows the southern trap point now correctly positioned by the old water tower at the site of Portmadoc New (1923) station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (7/8/08) shows the new Hunslet guest loco Jack Lane at the WHR(P) being used to shunt ballast wagons to the trap point. The WHR(P) kindly donated the ballast to help pack the newly laid trap point and approaches to Cae Pawb crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Pete Gray (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (10/8/08) shows the trap point now in place and joined to the level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

However, Carillion's progress was less dramatic. Kerb stones have been laid across the Llyn Bach car park to delineate the edge of the formation. Paving has been completed for a public space next to the garage. It is believed this will have some benches. Kerbstones have appeared on the Llyn Bach curve off Britannia Bridge. Cladding of the linkspan parapets and the pile wall has been completed.

 

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This southerly view (8/8/08) shows kerbing laid across the car park to delineate the edge of the formation. Brian Humphries excavator is at work clearing the car park side of the site. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (10/8/08) shows the north end of the tramway track on the Llyn Bach corridor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and southerly views (3/8/08 and 10/8/08) show the area around the Llyn Bach curve. The first shows a paved public open space formed that is to be fitted with benches. The second views shows the kerbing of the Llyn Bach footpath, now nearing completion. A little more work is needed on the parapet capping blocks. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (10/8/08) shows the cladding of the pile wall now complete and dovetailed into existing stone on the training wall. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cambrian steam problems 6-8/8/08

Not content with a Deltic, Cambrian Crossing has recently been visited by West Coast Rail's Thunderbird 33207 to assist the ailing 76079, working 'The Cambrian', the Mon-Fri Cambrian Coast August steam excursion. On 6/8/08, the steam loco is believed to have accidentally received seawater contamination from the Pwllheli hydrant and ran poorly on the return journey. WCR's rescue loco from Machynlleth shed was attached on the rear the following day and travelled inside on the return journey. Battery problems with the Class 33 delayed the restart from Porthmadog for 2 hours while it was charged up but the diesel appeared to be doing most of the work on the restart from Porthmadog. On Friday, assistance was again taken but there were no problems. The weekend saw a boiler washout and The Cambrian has not suffered any problems since. Services continue until 29/8/08 Mon-Fri, with trains extended from Porthmadog to Pwllheli on Wed/Fri (dep. Porthmadog 1219) at £7.50 return.

 

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This view (8/8/08) shows 33207 at the Porthmadog on the rear of 'The Cambrian'. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Pont Croesor Halt latest

David Allan reports: The Welsh Highland Railways Association confirms that it has agreed to fund the passenger halt at Pont Croesor. This will enable both the RhE Ltd and the WHR Ltd to provide rail access to the Osprey watching site, now attracting 50,000 visitors a year. Not only will this ensure a useful contribution to revenue for both Companies but it will also relieve some of the current road traffic to this popular site.

 

CTRL progress 4/8/08

Attention was being given to the track and catch points north of Cae Pawb (aka Cambrian) Crossing on 4/8/08.

 

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This northerly view (4/8/08) shows the track panels being laid north from Cae Pawb crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mark Herbert and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 4/8/08

The formwork for the deck for Bryn-y-felin road bridge was completed by 4/8/08 and rebar was being placed ready for a pour expected later this week.

 

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These easterly and southerly views (all 3/8/08) show the area around Bryn-y-felin road bridge. The first shows the formwork and rebar in place. The second views shows the deck formwork with clearance for pw trains. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Ballast has been laid for some 210m south of LC114B in the eastern trackbed of the Pont Croesor loop.

 

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This southerly view (3/8/08) shows the south end of the ballast at Pont Croesor loop some 200m south of LC114B. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

OB217 looks almost complete at Traeth Mawr and ballast and sleepers have been laid north from the current Head of Steel up to the bridge.

 

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This northerly view (3/8/08) shows OB217 nearing completion with the parapets and approach fencing complete. The public footpath crosses the bridge at this point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track Gang 2-3/8/08

The North Wales Track Gang laid a panel of temporary track south of Snowdon Street to load sleepers. Three panels of rail were then laid north from UB220 Y Cyt, where the tramway track ends. The special fishplates for the transition were not available. Tracklaying finished just south of the trap po9int at the site of Porthmadog New (1923) on Saturday. On Sunday, the length of rail north of Pont Croesor was removed and the group went to Dinas to section points for transfer to Hafod-y-llyn and Pont Croesor Halt loops.

 

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This southerly view (3/8/08) shows the Head of Steel three lengths north of UB220, the end of the tramway at Y Cyt bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (2/8/08) shows the North Wales Track Gang moving rails across Snowdon Street. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (3/8/08) shows the temporary track used to link to Snowdon Street tramway and transport wooden sleepers northwards. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (3/8/08) shows the splitting of points prior to their removal to Hafod-y-llyn and Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 3/8/08

The area around the linkspan was being finished off by 4/8/08. The pile wall is being clad with local stone and the parapet is receiving its capping blocks. The triangular area next to the garage has been paved and pedestrian deterrent paving has been placed around the entrance to the tramway on Llyn Bach curve. The final section of concrete has been laid but work to complete the missing 20m section of the Llyn Bach path will it seems be the final job.

 

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This northerly view (3/8/08) shows the slabbing and pedestrian deterrent paving on Llyn Bach curve. The tramway now appears complete and the riven slate blocks are being placed on the parapet. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (3/8/08) shows the cladding of the pile wall that supports the linkspan with riven slate slabs. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Pen-y-Mount works 1/8/08

Work continued on fencing and vibro-rolling Platform 1 at Pen-y-Mount while passenger trains ran through the new platform. The 'Harbour Branch' was used for stabling a works train. These works are essential for when Pen-y-Mount becomes a junction station with passenger exchange next Easter.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (1/8/08) show progress at Pen-y-Mount Halt. In the first view, the RED siding point has been moved to make way for a northerly extension of the new Platform 1. In the second view, the platform is being extended and fencing added to the right. Works trains occupy Platforms 2 and 3, Platform 3 being the main line to Harbour Station. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (1/8/08) show progress at Pen-y-Mount Halt with a passenger train running through the new Platform 1. In the first view, Gelert leads a passenger train through the new Platform 1, arriving from Traeth Mawr. In the second view, the platform is being extended, vibro-rolled and fencing added to the right. The Hunslet ex-Jubilee Line construction loco is on the rear as there is no run round at Traeth Mawr so trains must be worked top and tail to Traeth Mawr. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying in Porthmadog 1/8/08

Wooden sleepers were delivered to Porthmadog on 1/8/08 for laying at the weekend (2-3/8/08) between Snowdon Street and Cae Pawb. The catch points each side of the Cambrian Coast Line should be laid next week, thus creating a continuous track between Pen-y-Mount Junction and Snowdon Street level crossing.

 

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This southerly view (1/8/08) shows sleepers being unloaded just south of Snowdon Street level crossing for the track laying due 2-3/8/08. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.148 problems 29/7/08

This hybrid loco has suffered more problems on 29/7/08. No.143 (carrying the number No.148) has suffered a problem, this time with the leading pony truck. It is turning more and more into No.138 as an emergency pony truck exchange is underway. The loco should be back in action by the end of July. Roll on the arrival of No.87, when motive power problems will be relieved, though the continuing problems with these ageing Garratts suggests that No.140 should be progressed sooner rather than later too, or the NG15 project should be progressed quickly!

 

Tuesday Gang report 29/7/08

The Tuesday gang installed 6 signposts at LC105 and 4 posts at LC106.

 

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This northerly view (29/7/08) shows the Tuesday gang fitting the final signpost of the day at LC106 with UB199 in the background. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 29/7/08

Clive Briscoe reports: Team Wylfa fell apart on the evening of 29/7/08, just your scribe present! However, all was not lost as the presence of the late loco crew and the fact that the E Set was still out and about meant that I was not alone and hence could do 'something'. That something was a visual check that all was well with the carriage stock. I checked the F Set and by the time I had finished that, the E Set had arrived back with Castell Caernarfon and whilst the Guard was doing his duties cleaning inside, I checked underneath. So, all in all, almost everything that Team Wylfa would normally have done was done, except that by rights, the F Set should have had the oil levels checked/topped up in the axleboxes but that will last until next week.

 

LC114B placed/Pont Croesor Halt plans 29/7/08

The Glaslyn Osprey Crossing (LC114B) was placed on 29/7/08 after the Osprey site had shut for the evening. Access was available to the centre the following morning. The prefabricated panel with wooden crossing unit already attached was carried by two excavators to the correct location and set up in the correct alignment. The roadway either side was made up with slate waste to the correct levels.

 

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These southerly and westerly views (both 29/7/08) show progress around LC114B at Pont Croesor Halt. In the first view, excavators are carrying the pre-assembled panel and crossing unit north to its designated location. In the second view, the crossing has been placed at LC114B. The embankments have been clad with local spoil. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 29/7/08) show progress around LC114B at Pont Croesor Halt. In the first view, a short gap can be seen between LC114A and LC114B. The excavator is making up the correct levels for the Osprey Centre approach to LC114B. In the second view, ballast has been laid a good way south along the line of the easterly loop track. Initial plans show the LH loop point will be 20m south of LC114B. The embankment has been clad with local soil. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Initial plans showed two 60m side platforms starting about 70m south of LC114B. They would be accessed by paths along either side of the alignment from LC114B and a link to LC114A on the west side. Edge platforms rather than an island platform were chosen to keep the railway on the better consolidated original embankment. The platforms and access are not currently funded but discussions are underway with interested parties.

 

Phase 4 progress 29/7/08

With the Point Croesor level crossing opened on 28/7/08, the tarmac laying machine was used to lay a level formation of sub base through Pont Croesor loop. Ballast was also laid south from LC114A and the embankments clad with local earth. The level crossing itself is still traffic controlled. The bridge spans are higher than original so there is an incline from LC114 towards Pont Croesor loop site.

 

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These northerly, southerly and easterly views (all 26/7/08) show progress around LC114A. The first view shows the level crossing complete with dropped down roadside kerbing. In the second view, the completed Pont Croesor loop site is visible in the background. In the third view, the road has been built up for the higher level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (26/7/08) shows the track panel for LC114B, the Osprey Centre access, waiting to be craned into place to the north of its current location. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Having completed laying the sub base formation through the site of Pont Croesor loop, the paving machine is currently working on the section between OB217 and OB216. It will then work north towards Pont Croesor loop. Points will be laid at the site of the loop but it is possible only the main line will be laid at this stage so as to advance the Head of Steel to Traeth Mawr and complete a joined up railway, hopefully by September. The rails removed from Traeth Mawr loop may be used to lay track northwards along the recently re-graded formation as far as OB217.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 28/7/08) show progress around Pont Croesor. In the first view, concrete blocks with hazard markings mark the route until permanent safety barriers are erected. In the second view, the paving machine has been used to lay the formation with sub base into the RH running main line south from LC114B/C. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (29/7/08) shows ballast laid south of LC114A at Pont Croesor in preparation for laying track in August. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work has also started on the parapets for OB217 with shuttering in place ready for casting.

 

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This northerly view (28/7/08) shows shuttering in place on OB217 as seen from the WHR(P) train at Traeth Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR 'Bangers & Mash' trains 29/7/08

The 1730 from Caernarfon includes a Bangers & Mash option (Tuesdays Only), which started on 29/7/08 with limited advertising. The meal option is bookable until 1600 on the day of travel. The offer continues until the end of August. Meals are delivered to the train at Waunfawr from the Snowdonia Parc kitchens. If successful, the option may be repeated next year and expanded.

 

The Cambrian 2008 season starts 28/7/08

West Coast Rail's Cambrian steam season kicked off on 28/7/08 with the loco running nose first from Machynlleth towards Pwllheli. The train, carrying the headboard 'The Cambrian', is hauled by No.76079 as in previous years. This year trains run Mon-Fri until 29/8/08. On Wednesday and Friday the train is extended to Pwllheli but on the other days terminates at Porthmadog. A return fare of £7.50 (£5.00 child) is available from Porthmadog to Pwllheli. This section has become available to loco hauled trains after NR trackworks over the last 12 months.

Click on this link for more details from West Coast Rail.

 

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This northerly view (28/7/08) shows 'The Cambrian' arriving in Porthmadog around midday. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cae Pawb crossing cabin

With NR's ERTMS resignalling scheme not due to be implemented until after the WHR is opened next Easter, plans have had to be re-examined to equip Cae Pawb (ex Cambrian) crossing with signalling equipment suitable for the existing NR RETB system. The concrete base for the crossing signal cabin should be completed in the northwest corner of the crossing in early August and the cabin erected by the supplier soon afterwards. The WHR Heritage Group and WHRS have raised £8,000 for the box structure, which will look much like the original GWR/WHR Dutton cabin (1895 Cambrian vintage) and will, it appears, feature a stove chimney. Subsequent volunteer tasks will include wood treatment and painting.

 

WHR(P) museum announcement 28/7/08

A new museum is being built to celebrate the importance of narrow gauge railways in Gwynedd in shaping Welsh history and rail networks across the world. The development, at the WHR(P)'s Gelert Farm works, was officially launched by the new Welsh Assembly Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones AM. A slate slab plaque was unveiled to commemorate the event on 28/7/08.

 

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This view (28/7/08) shows the new plaque to commemorate the start of the project. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright WHR(P) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The new museum will enable the WHR(P) to move many of its existing displays into a dedicated building, to provide more interactive exhibits and improve access for people with disabilities. The new building will also mean the railway can offer better facilities to school parties and give the children of Gwynedd a chance to understand an important part of the area’s history. The new museum building is being partly financed with money from the family of Peter Thomason, the former Vice Chairman of the WHR(P) who was killed in a car crash in 2003.

 

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This view (28/7/08) shows an artist's impression of the new three road museum, which is a southerly extension of the existing loco shed/museum. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright WHR(P) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

It is hoped that the museum development will help secure the long-term future of the WHR(P). The new museum will complement the reopening of the WHR(C) through Snowdonia from Caernarfon to Porthmadog and like the WHR(C) is also due to be completed in 2009.

James Hewett (Chairman of the WHR(P)) added: “Visitors to the WHR(P) in 2009 will have chance to take a short train ride with us as well as to tour the new museum. We hope that this means we can offer people an alternative to the longer train trips to Caernarfon, Beddgelert and Blaenau Ffestiniog which will be operated by the Ffestiniog Railway.”

 

Hafod-y-llyn loop to go ahead

A decision has been taken to go ahead with completing the Hafod-y-llyn loop. A spare point at Dinas will be moved there to become the south point in the Autumn. Once Dolgarrog's shed is no longer required the ballast can be laid and the existing siding extended south to make a full 200m loop. The loop at Ch.26200 splits the long 9km (6mile) section between Pont Croesor Halt loop (Ch.31200) and Beddgelert Station loop (Ch.22300). It will ease working of this long section as the 1 in 40 climb of the Nantmor Incline and the difficult to work Aberglaslyn Pass to Beddgelert section lies just north. The loop will be useful for passing trains, possibly as a continuing pw location, a refuge siding and even possibly a location to take on a banker.

 

New points and fishplates

Refurbished ex-SAR points were used for the two main loop points at Beddgelert Station. They will see heavy use as trains will either be braking heavily or working hard to accelerate on the 1 in 40 through the station. New points will be needed at Beddgelert in the not too distant future as both of those that have already been installed are not in the first flush of youth. The decision has been made to replace them with high specification new points following satisfactory delivery of similar specification points for the CTRL. While the existing points would last for a year or two, their life span would be limited without requiring a disproportionate amount of time and money being spent on them.

New fish plates are also on order for the tight curves on Phase 4 where those originally delivered have not proved to be strong enough to hold the alignment without “kinking”. The replacements are due to be delivered in batches later on in the Summer/Autumn and should be installed before the end of the year. Rob Merrick, WHRS Membership Secretary, has been running a Last Lap Track Appeal, which has raised over £18,500. This will buy 500 pairs of the stronger fishplates but some £3,500 is still needed towards funding the Beddgelert points. The WHRS also contributed to the cost of a forging die for the new fishplates and in total is contributing over 75% of the cost of these additional trackwork items.

 

Platform alterations at Pen-y-Mount 28/7/08

Andrew Goodwin reports: We've moved up the RED siding turnout, and have now extended the (new) No.1 Platform. The north end curve out of No.1 Platform has now been relaid and eased. We are currently working of relaying (old) No.2 Platform in 75lb rail, replacing the 45lb ex Snailbeach rail that has been there since 1980. Passenger trains started to use the new No.1 Platform for the first time on 31/7/08.

 

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These southerly views (26/7/08 and 28/7/08) show progress at Pen-y-Mount Halt. In the first view, the RED siding point is being removed to make way for a northerly extension of the new Platform 1. In the second view, the platform is being extended. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 27/7/08

On 27/7/08 the Rest of the World Gang travelled from Hafod-y-llyn to Beddgelert Forest, picking up a B wagon with fence posts at Beddgelert Station. They erected fencing at UB133 and on Sunday, Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt.

 

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This northerly view (27/7/08) shows Upnor Castle at UB133. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (26/7/08) shows fencing underway at UB133. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 27/7/08) show progress around Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. In the first view Upnor Castle in standing in the platform while fencing is erected. In the second view, the fencing is complete. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EAG Halt signs 26/7/08

Richard Watson reports: The first two station running-in boards (intended for Beddgelert station as advertising "tasters") left Norfolk on 21/7/08 courtesy of Martin Coombs, who kindly transported them on the roof of his Land Rover. They will eventually arrive in North Wales around 9/8/08 and will receive temporary lettering once erected. The two signs intended for Nantmor and Pont Croesor Halts continue to make progress at our Cambridge base, where both signs recently received their casings and cornices. Meanwhile, two further signs for Beddgelert are in a similar state of completion at our base in Norfolk.

 

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This view (26/7/08) shows the new halt signs for Nantmor and Pont Croesor, the shorter for the former. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Richard Watson and taken on a Sony DSC-P73 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin progress 26/7/08

Formwork is being erected to support the casting of the deck beam at Bryn-y-felin road bridge, now that the bearings are ready. Access for trains is still possible with care.

 

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These southerly, easterly and westerly views (all 26/7/08) show the area around Bryn-y-felin road bridge. The first shows the formwork in place. The second and third views shows both bearings now complete. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Volunteer Track Gang appeal

Paul Bradshaw reports: 'We need to strengthen the team of track layers which will be working in Porthmadog on Monday next 4/8/08. This is just for that one day. If you can make yourself available then please contact David Bateman whose phone number is 07899 934985. In case of difficulty get in touch with Paul Bradshaw (see Contacts page).

 

CTRL progress 26/7/08

LC126 was in use on 26/7/08. About 10m of tramway remain to be completed and this is likely in early August. The Llyn Bach path will be opened throughout shortly after the fencing is complete alongside the tramway section. The north side of the parapet has been faced with riven slate.

 

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This northerly view (26/7/08) shows the profile levels marked out across the Llyn Bach car park, presumably indicating the centreline, as seen from LC125. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (26/7/08) shows the completed north face of the new Britannia Bridge linkspan parapet with riven slate block cladding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (26/7/08) shows there is about 10m of tramway still to complete on Britannia Bridge curve. The wooden fencing of the Llyn Bach corridor is also visible. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (both 26/7/08) show the area around LC126 on the linkspan. The first shows a few week's work remains to complete this area. The second view shows LC126 open to the public complete with tactile red paving either side. The triangular area may be finished in pedestrian deterrent paving. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (26/7/08) shows the completed bike and pedestrian crossing just east of Cob Records store, complete with white markings to delineate clearance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (26/7/08) shows the future WHR alignment backfilled. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 news 25/7/08

More tarmac was laid at LC114 on 25/7/08. Please note that the B4410 will remain closed at Pont Croesor over the weekend of 26-7/7/08 and will not be reopened until sometime on Monday 28/7/08. The WHRCL would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

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This southerly view (25/7/08) shows the build up of the tarmac at Pont Croesor in preparation for completion of the level crossing on 28/7/08. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Further south, work continued with the concrete crown of OB217 and preparations for casting the parapets.

 

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This northerly view (25/7/08) shows the stippled concrete surface of the crown of OB217, with preparations being made for casting the parapet upstands. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 25/7/08

Tarmac was being laid at LC123, the Snowdon Street crossing, and LC126, the public footpath crossing on Llyn Bach curve. A low wall of riven slate has been constructed to deter people from crossing the tramway from the corner of the garage forecourt to walk north along Llyn Bach footpath. Tactile paving has been added at LC126 to help those with poor sight.

 

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These northerly views (25/7/08) show tarmacing under way on the CTRL. The first view shows access to the Car Wash alongside the tramway north of LC123 being tarmaced. The sign will be to indicate the one way street. The second view shows the tarmacing underway at LC126 with tactile pedestrian panels in place for those with limited vision. A low riven slate wall is visible under construction. This will lead people to LC126 rather than crossing the tramway in random places to gain access to the Llyn Bach path. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Michael Chapman and were taken on a phone camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

It appears a further section of the tramway, north of LC126, has been concreted in this week. It was covered in hessian sacking while it cured on 25/7/08. LC126 is now in use and a wall has been constructed from the corner of the garage to keep pedestrians from crossing the tramway at random points to access the Llyn Bach path.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (25/7/08) show the area around LC126. The first view shows a further section of tramway completed with hessian covering and the parapet wall now clad in riven slate, though with capping slabs yet to be added. The second view shows LC126 complete and in use. Tactile paving has been used at the site of LC126 to remind those with poor sight. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Michael Chapman and were taken on a phone camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 news 24/7/08

With adjustments to LC114 complete, tarmac was laid on 24/7/08. The finishing touches will probably be completed by the weekend.

 

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These westerly and southerly views (24/7/08) show LC114A being tarmaced. The second view shows the base layer of tarmac near complete, though the wearing layer needs to be added, possibly by the weekend. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The track gap has moved to the north end of the bridge and this will require a new longer closure rail to replace that immediately south of it. The rail removed will be used between LC114A and LC114B.

 

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This northerly view (22/7/08) shows the track gap at Pont Croesor has migrated to the north end of the bridge. It will be closed by a longer rail being inserted to the south before welding takes place. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The deck of OB217 was cast on 24/7/08.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (24/7/08) show OB217 being given a concrete roadway cap. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Station shop/cafe planning decision 23/7/08

Following a successful appeal by the FR, a WAG planning inspector has overruled the SNPA (23/7/08) and allowed the sale of food and souvenirs at the station as Beddgelert traders would not be harmed by the station shop/cafe. The inspector said that it was unlikely that many visitors to Beddgelert who park in the car park would be tempted to walk up the hill to the station site when they have passed all the other shops on the way to the car park. He was also certain that the vast majority of passengers who get off the trains at Beddgelert will have chosen that station as the destination of their railway journey. It was therefore also unlikely that they would not leave the station to visit Beddgelert.

 

CTRL news 23/7/08

Final tarmac was laid at Cob Records on 23/7/08 and on the new WHR platform at Harbour Station. Some pebble dash remains to be completed on Cob Records before it is complete.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (both 23/7/08) show progress on the tarmac at Cob Records and the WHR platform at Harbour Station. In the second view, Gelli's workers can be seen smoothing the tarmac for the platform surface. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress report 23/7/08

Progress was made tamping the crossing unit at LC114A on 23/7/08, the B4410 crossing, prior to tarmac being laid later this week.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (23/7/08) show WHRCL staff tamping the crossing unit for LC114A prior to tarmacing, possibly tomorrow. Upnor Castle is visible in the distance. The gap in the rails visible in the second image was caused by cutting off the pre-drilled sections at the rail ends, a late design change. The rails on the bridge will be adjusted accordingly. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

When the design for the track geometry across the bridge was done this included the road crossing. Following discussions with the FR PW department it was agreed that on the approaches to the bridge the joints would be welded. However the components for the track panel for the crossing were already assembled. The preparation for the welded joints includes removing the already drilled holes at the rail ends thus shortening the rails. The result was the tarmac retaining pan ends up in the wrong place. The solution was to move the crossing panel into its designed location across the roadway so that James Cyf. could finish the kerbing to allow the tarmac contractor access on 24/7/08. The WHR track gang are to move the rails on the bridge to match, replacing the 14metre closure rail at the North East end with a longer one. The removed rail will be adapted to form the closure rail required between crossings LC114A & B (LC114B is the new Glaslyn Osprey Project access just south of LC114A).

 

LC114A placed 22/7/08

The level crossing unit across the B4410 at Pont Croesor was placed at about 1530 on 22/7/08. The ballast bed was prepared first. Then Upnor Castle was fitted with a sleeper on the south end to slide the crossing unit along the existing rails. The south end of the unit was supported by an excavator as it was pushed across the ballast into its final resting place. Finally, permanent staff aligned the unit by theodolite and pot jacks were used to level it prior to welding the section into place. When all is correct, the unit will be tarmaced in place, hopefully in the next day or two.

 

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These westerly and southerly views (22/7/08) show the crossing unit for LC114A being moved into place. Upnor Castle pushed the unit south while a James Cyf. excavator supported the end as it crossed the ballast. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (22/7/08) show the crossing unit laid in place with pot jacks supporting it. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (22/7/08) shows the crossing unit in place and an excavator making up the levels of sub base. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang 22/7/08

The Tuesday Gang spent 22/7/08 fitting point levers to the new ground frame at Rhyd Ddu South. This is the point controlling access to Rhyd Ddu Yard from the main line, so it contains a facing point lock and a siding lever. Volunteers also erected signs at LC105 A/B at Hafod Garregog.

 

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This southerly view (8/7/08) shows the completed ground frame at Rhyd Ddu South, the junction for Rhyd Ddu Yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog update 22/7/08

Dolgarrog overheated during its delivery to Hafod-y-llyn on 22/7/08, despite extensive testing in Dinas Yard after its recent repair. Castell Caernarfon performed the 'Thunderbird' mission to recover the loco, which had unfortunately failed at Aspinall's Curves, just north of Waunfawr. The Funkey arrived back at Dinas with Dolgarrog in tow just after 2100. The big diesel was used because Conway Castle was in the Loco Shed with covers off for servicing. No doubt Dolgarrog will receive further attention and testing before returning to duty soon.

 

Team Wylfa report 22/7/08

Team Wylfa performed just the routine tasks again on the evening of 22/7/08, so it was back to the carriages with a full check and oil up of E Set. There was no time at the end to do anything more on No.138's boiler but it was noted that, with the exception of the 8 small tubes nested amongst the superheater flue tubes, all the other tubes had now been taken out by the workshop staff. Access to the inside for internal cleaning and the 10 year boiler inspection is thus now possible through the removed steam dome.

 

Phase 4 progress 21/7/08

Work continues at Bryn-y-felin and the abutments of the road bridge are near complete. A bearing surface has been cast onto the north abutment and a similar bearing surface is being cast on the south. It is likely that pre-cast deck beams will be craned in during the next few weeks.

 

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This southerly view (20/7/08) shows the north abutment of OB173, the new Bryn-y-felin road bridge, nearing completion with a bearing surface created for the deck beams. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ben Fisher and was taken on a Fuji S9500 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Preparations are well underway at LC114 with the road now closed for the week. Access to the Osprey Centre is from the Prenteg direction only during the road closure. On 21/7/08, the road surface was planed by a Lewis and Hunter planer/scarifier, in order to provide a level surface and a good key between the new tarmac surface and the old.

 

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This southerly view (21/7/08) shows the planer/scarifier taking the top surface off the tarmac at Pont Croesor in preparation for laying the level crossing later this week. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rebar has been fitted to OB217 to form the deck and the upstand for the parapet, which is likely to be cast this week.

 

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These westerly and southerly views (both 21/7/08) show progress on the rebar for the deck and the parapets on OB217. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track Gang report 20/7/08

Dafydd Thomas reports: The North Wales Track Gang (aka The Black Hand Gang) was busy over the weekend (19-20/7/08) gathering materials and making preparations for the final push of track laying on Phase 4. This involved gathering together track laying materials at Dinas and preparing them for onward transportation to the Head of Steel. This also helped to tidy up at Dinas in readiness for Garratt 50, 5-7/9/08. All that remains in the area once occupied by hundreds rails are the last remaining couple of loads of rail, some wooden sleepers and the made up points. When these are moved out there will be a vast clear area in the North Yard, where tracks of various gauges will be put down for the various visiting locos in September. We also did some clearance in the South Yard so that trailers, etc. bringing the visiting locos can be parked but there is a bit more work to do there.

 

Phase 4 progress 20/7/08

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This view (20/7/08) shows the area from the HOS towards OB217. This is the former area of Traeth Mawr loop now made up with compacted slate waste and ready to receive ballast. The embankment for the bridge has now been clad. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly views (both 13/7/08) show the area around Traeth Mawr. The first view shows the formation made south from LC119. The second view shows the Head of Steel some 70m south of LC119. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 19/7/08

Fencing is complete north of Cambrian Crossing (aka Cae Pawb Crossing), although the track north of the crossing remains incomplete as the catch point needs to be installed. The crossing cabin is expected to be installed in August.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 19/7/08) show the area just north of Cambrian Crossing (aka Cae Pawb Crossing). The crossing cabin will be installed to the right of the gate in the second view. The catch point is due to be connected this Summer and the interface with NR tested to allow crossing movements sometime later. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The concreting of the final section of tramway on Llyn Bach curve is expected before the end of July. The cladding of the north side of the remaining parapet is underway using riven slate as before. The area around LC126 at the west end of Britannia Bridge will also be completed with the link between the Llyn Bach footpath, the pavement on the north side of Britannia Bridge and the footpath across the garage forecourt. Some pedestrian deterrent paving is expected!

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 19/7/08) show the concreted track on Llyn Bach curve covered with hessian sacking while it cures. A further section of tramway to the north will be concreted, possibly next week. The final section of concrete parapet will also be clad with riven slate blocks. Ducting has been concreted into the pavement which will be tarmaced. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (19/7/08) shows a panoramic view of Britannia Bridge and the Llyn Bach curve. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The clearance of the section between Cob Records and Spooner's patio on 18/7/08 was a significant moment in the project as it was the last section of trackbed to remain untouched in the whole of Phase 4. The tarmac has been cut back so that platform edge kerbing can be laid. There is a gap of about 2m between the tramway and the ballasted section, which is expected to be finished by the end of July.

 

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This view (19/7/08) shows the very short gap between the tramway at Cob Records and the ballasted formation at Spooners patio. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Pont Croesor Crossing (LC114A) and Halt

Ballasting can proceed south from Pont Croesor to LC115, the access to James Cyf's compound. With the completion of the level crossing during a road closure from 21/7/08, track can then be laid south for a further 300m, plus the two loop points and the 200m loop itself. A panel of track has been assembled on Pont Croesor for LC114A, the B4410 crossing. A panel of steel track sleepered has been assembled at the site of the loop for LC114B, the Osprey Project access. Tracklaying is expected south from LC114 through the site of Pont Croesor halt in August.

 

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This view (19/7/08) shows the area of LC114. The crossing unit is due to be installed on 21/7/08 during a 3 day road closure. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 18/7/08

The Llyn Bach curve off Britannia Bridge has received its final concrete surface, though there is a short section where it links to the ballasted trackbed to complete. This has allowed the final removal of the traffic lights from the bridge.

 

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This westerly view (18/7/08) shows that the tramway track has been concreted to lock it in place on the Llyn Bach curve off Britannia Bridge. The concrete tramway is not continuous, there being an expansion gap where it crosses the edge of the linkspan. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The first short section of WHR formation across Spooner's Bar patio is rapidly nearing completion with geotextile and first stage ballast. This short section of platform will be all there is at first as trains will use the FR platform and shunt out for the first year of operation at least.

 

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This westerly view (18/7/08) shows that the formation nearing completion across Spooner's Bar patio with first stage ballasting on geotextile. The platform is being rolled and is due to be tarmaced next Tuesday. The block paving has been reinstated to the new concrete edge slabs. The Cob footpath will be retained to the right, possibly separated by railings. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 17/7/08

Progress has been made with the gauging of the tramway on the Llyn Bach curve off Britannia Bridge on 17/7/08. The area of concrete on the linkspan section of the tramway may be cast this week as formwork has been erected only for this section.

 

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These northerly views (16/7/08 and 17/7/08) show the rails laid in place on the linkspan clips with boots fixed except for the far north section beside the Llyn Bach footpath. The kerbing for the Llyn Bach footpath is in place and the parapet is nearly fully clad with ducts in place. The dropped sections of kerbing show the footpath will cross the tramway at right angles at LC126. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Marking has appeared on the tramway crossing of Britannia Bridge. A series of yellow dots either side of the tramway may mark a yellow hash area of a restricted zone 'Do not enter unless your exit is clear'.

 

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This westerly view (17/7/08) shows white lining has taken place on the Snowdon Wharf Junction. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (17/7/08) shows cycle route now clearly marked. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The platform between Spooner's and the temporary WHR Junction is beginning to appear.

 

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This easterly view (16/7/08) shows the lifting of the patio outside Spooners. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly views (16/7/08 and 17/7/08) show the excavation for the initial short section of WHR platform. The kerbing marks the platform edge. The area between the kerbing and the patio will be laid in asphalt and the block paving made up to that concrete edging. The Cob footpath on the extreme right will be retained. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 15/7/08

Team Wylfa made some progress with No.138's boiler on 15/7/08 and another batch of tube end welds were ground off in the firebox with only about a dozen remained to be finished. Permanent staff had 'popped' some more tubes out and the boiler was about 70% de-tubed by Tuesday. It was expected that all the small tubes would be out by Friday 18/7/08 as there was to be a campaign to finish it, providing no more loco problems reared their ugly heads!

 

Phase 4 progress 15/7/08

Work is underway on repointing the piers of Pont Croesor and Upnor Castle was down on the bridge with a works train on 15/7/08 for this purpose. The level crossing unit for LC114 has been fixed to the new steel track panel and craned onto the bridge ready to be placed during the road closure on 21/7/08.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 15/7/08) show Upnor Castle and a wagon on Pont Croesor. Work was underway repointing the piers The road is due to be closed on 21/7/08 to move the crossing unit into place. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Long bolts have been fitted to the crown of OB217 so that smoke deflectors can be fitted later. Geotextile matting has also been laid to stop sand infiltration into the ballast layer.

 

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These northerly views (both 15/7/08) show OB217. The first view shows long bolts fitted to the crown of the bridge that will support a future smoke deflector. The second view shows a geotextile mat laid to preserve the ballast bed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 15/7/08

Thermit welding was completed on the Llyn Bach curve on 15/7/08. With the cladding of the north face of the new linkspan parapet complete the temporary access was removed.

 

S14_RC15-7-08BB grinding weld.jpg (89126 bytes) S14_RC15-7-08BB LB curve rails.jpg (67727 bytes)

These northerly views (both 15/7/08) show the rails laid in place on the linkspan clips prior to welding with boots being fixed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC15-7-08BB north cladding complete.jpg (65470 bytes)

This westerly view (15/7/08) shows the completion of cladding the north face of the linkspan parapet and the removal of the temporary walkway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_PG15-7-08BB thermit welding A.jpg (35518 bytes) S14_PG15-7-08BB thermit welding B.jpg (45221 bytes)

These northerly views (both 15/7/08) show the rails being welded on the linkspan with molten steel being poured. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Pete Gray (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC15-7-08BB thermit weld A.jpg (73277 bytes) S14_RC15-7-08BB thermit weld B.jpg (87290 bytes)

S14_RC15-7-08BB thermit weld C.jpg (84420 bytes) S14_RC15-7-08BB thermit weld D.jpg (84171 bytes)

These easterly views (all 15/7/08) show the various stages of making the Thermit weld. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC15-7-08BB welding linkspan rails.jpg (73790 bytes)

This westerly view (15/7/08) shows the grinding of the weld and completion of cladding the south face of the linkspan parapet. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A cycleway has been marked on the road leading to the new footpath crossing just west of Cob Records. Cycles must not cross the track on the bridge due to the acute angle of the flangeways. Work was also underway to excavate the alignment between Harbour Station and Cob Records.

 

S14_RC15-7-08CR marking out cycleway.jpg (75094 bytes)

This westerly view (15/7/08) shows the red painted cycle track leading onto the crossing just west of Cob Records. Bicycles are not allowed on Britannia Bridge because of the acute angle of the flangeways. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC15-7-08CR marked out to Spooners.jpg (73311 bytes) S14_RC15-7-08HS excavating trackbed.jpg (104963 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 15/7/08) show the construction of the alignment between Cob Records and Harbour Station. The first view shows the alignment marked in blue and the second excavation east from the temporary WHR Junction. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 14/7/08

Rails have been laid on the clips across the Britannia Bridge linkspan and the Llyn Bach curve. These require booting up, welding and aligning before the concrete is poured to lock them in place, possibly before the end of the week. Work is also in progress to clad the roadside face of the new parapet with riven slate blocks.

 

S14_RC14-7-08BB LB curve with rails S.jpg (71293 bytes) S14_RC14-7-08BB linkspan N with rails.jpg (58355 bytes)

S14_RC14-7-08BB linkspan with rails E.jpg (69781 bytes)

These southerly, northerly and easterly views (all 14/7/08) show the rails laid in place on the linkspan clips prior to welding. The contractor can be seen to be cladding the new concrete parapet with riven slate blocks and backfilling the area to level the land where the new Britannia Bridge north side pavement/footpath crossing LC126 will be. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Contractor Gelli continues to excavate the drains along the line of the WHR platform and has now reached the corner of Spooner's Beer Store, itself scheduled for eventual demolition to make way for the platform.

 

S14_RC14-7-08HS platform trench W.jpg (73702 bytes)

This westerly view (14/7/08) shows the drainage trench along the line of the new WHR platform under. The new large diameter drainage pipe can be seen in this view. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog latest 14/7/08

Andrew Thomas reports: Plan A was to drive Dolgarrog from Dinas to Hafod-y-llyn on Monday 14/7/08 in a possession after the last service train was safely tucked up in bed. However, after examining the otherwise fully-functional loco over the inspection pit in the carriage shed (the first time we have been able to do this), we discovered that one of the rear chain tensioners was seized and could not be freed off without risk of damage to the leaf springs due to torsional stress, despite the application of copious amounts of WD40, very large spanners and harsh language.

The front drive chain is correctly tensioned, the axle aligned and the loco is oil and water tight and otherwise ready for action. The offending locknut will be freed off in the next couple of days by the Dinas fitter using a gas axe after which the loco will be returned to service.

We took the decision that the rear drive chain was too loose for the loco to be safely returned to service as there was a risk the chain will either jump off a sprocket or break. It is not a field serviceable item and it is therefore important that this is resolved before the loco can be returned to service. While it was obviously disappointing not to be able to deliver the loco to Hafod-y-llyn in person, we were not prepared to return it to service in its current state. Dolgarrog has, however, brought a smile to everyone's faces by running up and down the fuel road in shakedown tests earlier on Monday.

 

Phase 4 progress with OB216/7 13/7/08

Work on the two bridges OB216/7 near the site of Traeth Mawr is progressing well with the approach embankments for OB217 now fully built up and packed. The latter bridge should shortly receive its concrete facing and deck slab. The trackbed will be built north from Traeth Mawr as James Cyf. retreats north to its compound when the bridges are complete.

 

S12_BWH13-7-08OB216 E.jpg (74027 bytes)

This easterly view (13/7/08) shows UB216 in the process of being packed as the approach embankments are built up. A wacker plate is used to compact the fill. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH13-7-08OB216 N.jpg (60582 bytes) S12_BWH13-7-08OB216 S.jpg (94771 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 13/7/08) show the fill building up either side of UB216. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH13-7-08OB217 N.jpg (81758 bytes) S12_BWH13-7-08OB217 S.jpg (100497 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 13/7/08) show the UB217. The fill has reached full height and the approach embankments trimmed to final profiles on the south side. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH13-7-08OB217 S from top.jpg (76073 bytes)

This southerly view (13/7/08) shows the view from the top of UB217, which may become a popular viewpoint on the reopened WHR as a public footpath crosses the bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 12-13/7/08

On 12/7/08 the Rest of the World Gang working at Pont Croesor with Upnor Castle in attendance just north of the bridge. The panel for LC114A (the B4410 crossing) was made up from scratch on Saturday on Pont Croesor bridge itself. The rails and 8 sleepers with pre-drilled holes and bolts to hold the tarmac tray were already at Pont Croesor. The remaining sleepers were brought down on the works train. The trays, in two parts with their own "fishplate" connection, were carried over from the Osprey site, a harder task than it first looked as they proved to be quite heavy. The rails of the crossing panel are to be cut at both ends and welded to the last panel on the bridge (and overhanging the south end) when it is re-instated. There will be another welded joint at the south end of the crossing. The completed crossing panel will be craned in during the road closure from 21/7/08.

 

S11_BWH13-7-08PC crossing unit.jpg (72113 bytes) S11_BWH13-7-08PC crossing S.jpg (80911 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 13/7/08) show the LC114A area. The completed crossing unit has been constructed on Pont Croesor ready to be craned into position immediately to the south. The railing on the north side of the bridge is now complete. The second view shows the clearance and completion of the works immediately south of the bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S11_BWH13-7-08PC crossing N.jpg (86265 bytes) S11_BWH13-7-08PC crossing W.jpg (87173 bytes)

These northerly and westerly views (both 13/7/08) show the LC114A area. The first view shows the clearance and completion of the works to widen the formation immediately south of the bridge. The second view shows some concrete works to support the raising of the road to the level of the new level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S11_BWH13-7-08LC114 E.jpg (70605 bytes) S11_BWH13-7-08LC114 E2.jpg (77553 bytes)

These easterly views (both 13/7/08) show the LC114A area. The kerbing has been raised so the road can be raised to the level of the rails coming off the bridge. Kerbing has been carried back as far as the new Osprey Centre entrance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

On 13/7/08 the works train went from Hafod-y-llyn to Rhyd Ddu with Upnor Castle to collect a B wagon for the work during the week repointing the Pont Croesor piers. Volunteers worked on UB131 (Afon Cwm Du) adding wooden railings and some wire fencing too. Some progress with made with similar fencing for UB133 (Afon Hafod Ruffydd Isaf) a little to the south. The B wagon was left at Beddgelert Station. On its return to Hafod-y-llyn, the train gingerly passed between the scaffolding at Bryn-y-felin bridge where the abutment reconstruction is nearing completion. Stop/Go signs are deployed when crossing the temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin.

 

Bryn-y-felin road bridge topped out 13/7/08

James Cyf. has been making good progress with the Bryn-y-felin road bridge and the abutments have now been topped out. Some work is still required on the wing-walls. The next stage is forming the deck. Some contouring of embankments has taken place and cladding with local earth is underway. Train access through the worksite has been maintained since late June.

 

S9_BWH13-7-08BYF road bridge N.jpg (105209 bytes) S9_BWH13-7-08BYF road bridge S.jpg (113188 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 13/7/08) show the completed abutments now topped out. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH13-7-08BYF road bridge restitution.jpg (108692 bytes)

This northerly view (13/7/08) shows the restitution of the embankment on the south west corner of the bridge now that the wing-wall is nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH13-7-08BYF roadbridge E.jpg (78710 bytes)

This easterly view (13/7/08) shows the two abutments have now reached full height. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Further south progress LC112 has received fencing and work on widening Pont Croesor loop site appears near completion.

 

S11_BWH13-7-08LC112N.jpg (51328 bytes)

This northerly view (13/7/08) shows the fencing and warning posts at LC112. A stop block is used to ensure works trains stop at the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH13-7-08LC115 N.jpg (56016 bytes)

This northerly view (13/7/08) shows the completion of widening of the Pont Croesor Loop at LC115. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Llyn Bach chicane 12/7/08

Fencing of the Llyn Bach chicane area appears complete and pedestrian access may be made along the footpath alongside from the car park (LC125), though exit onto Britannia Bridge is still not possible. When the Britannia Bridge works are complete, Carillion will retreat north through here at the end of July, creating the ballasted formation.

 

S14_BWH12-7-08LB chicane N.jpg (63033 bytes) S14_BWH12-7-08LB chicane S.jpg (82001 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 12/7/08) show the Llyn Bach chicane area. The dead end footpath is accessible from the Llyn Bach car park. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog fixed

John Ewing reports the completion of Dolgarrog after a piece of missing coolant hose was procured. The loco may soon reappear on Phase 4 as it is 'a Really Useful Engine';-)

 

Dolgarrog_JE13-7-08repair complete.jpg (88498 bytes)

This view (12/7/08) shows John Ewing and Andrew Thomas with the repaired Dolgarrog. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Final preparation for linkspan tramway

With the final rail supports in place over the weekend, the rails may be placed and the final section of tramway completed next week.

 

S14_BWH12-7-08LB tramway S.jpg (97568 bytes) S14_BWH12-7-08BB linkspan track supports.jpg (89178 bytes)

These southerly and westerly views (both 12/7/08) show the northern end of the Llyn Bach section of the tramway and the supports for the tramway rails on the linkspan (the orange area of concrete). Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work around Cob Records is nearing a conclusion with the alignment of the footpath and fencing now being fixed. Stage 1 tarmac has also been laid.

 

S14_BWH12-7-08CR footpath E.jpg (76556 bytes) S14_BWH12-7-08CR footpath W.jpg (74297 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 12/7/08) show the formation of the footpath and bases for iron railings at the end of the Cob Records section of the tramway. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH12-7-08CR new entrance.jpg (48506 bytes)

This northerly view (12/7/08) shows the completed south face of Cob Records store extension with its new yellow roller shutter door. The building has been finished in pebble dash but a few small areas of the sides where the new roadside facia was matched to the existing building need to be pebble dashed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Deltic at Porthmadog 12/7/08

Pathfinder tours organised a Deltic hauled tour to Pwllheli on 12/7/08, the first visit of the class to the Cambrian Coast Line past Newtown. Blue liveried 55022/D9000 Royal Scots Grey hauled the 11 coach charter from Preston to Pwllheli passing Porthmadog at around 11:50 (depart 11:58) and on the return arriving at 14:45 (depart 14:55). This may be the one and only time a Deltic makes it to the Cambrian as the equipment of the line with ERTMS may preclude the use of unfitted locos in future other than the fleet of NR yellow liveried Class 37s to be allocated to the new Sutton Bridge depot at Shrewsbury. It is possible that the NR locos could be used 'inside' if the Barmouth bridge were to be passed for double heading. The same issue applies to West Coast Rail's steam operation after this Summer's season (Mon-Fri July 28th.-Aug 29th.). This year trains have been extended from Porthmadog to Pwllheli on Wednesday's and Fridays again using 76079. For those that would like to travel just on this section there is a special fare of £7.50 return or £5 single.

Click on The Cambrian for more details of West Coast Rail's steam operation.

 

S14_BWH12-7-08CC Deltic.jpg (75022 bytes)

This easterly view (12/7/08) shows Deltic No.55022 Royal Scots Grey crossing Cae Pawb Crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing). The loco was making light work of hauling 11 coaches! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak 6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 10/7/08

Work continues to complete the Llyn Bach curve, the final section of tramway leading off Britannia Bridge.

 

S14_RC10-7-08tramway near linkspan.jpg (97494 bytes)

This easterly view (10/7/08) shows the concrete foundation for the tramway curve that leads onto Britannia Bridge off the Llyn Bach corridor now complete with more rail supports. Those on the linkspan have yet to appear. Further cable ducts have appeared in red plastic presumably for the unused 11kV. New access chambers have also been prepared near the parapet. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The section of tramway around Cob Records has now received its tarmac surrounds and it is possible to see the line of the new fencing and footpath crossing with its tactile surface.

 

S14_RC10-7-08CR tarmac.jpg (75620 bytes)

This westerly view (10/7/08) shows the tarmaced area just west of Cob Records now complete with concrete foundation for the steel fence that will separate the footpath from the tramway here. The tarmac road surface to the rear of the view is being cold ground off so that a fresh wearing surface can be applied. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Drainage works have started along the alignment of the link between the WHR point in Harbour Station and the Cob Records tramway. Contractor Gelli will be responsible for constructing this part of the link, the trimming of the Spooners' Beer Store and the associated WHR platform here.

 

S14_RC10-7-08excavating HS link B.jpg (87322 bytes) S14_RC10-7-08excavating HS link A.jpg (76238 bytes)

These westerly and easterly views (both 10/7/08) show station works contractor Gelli digging a deep drainage trench alongside the route of the WHR link across the FR platforms. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC10-7-08WHR junction.jpg (68977 bytes)

This westerly view (10/7/08) shows the WHR junction with the point blade and crossing removed because of wear. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.148 lives!

The hybrid Garratt, No.148, ran double headed with Castell Caernarfon from Dinas to Caernarfon and back to Dinas on the lunchtime train at 11.45. However, it detached on the return from Caernarfon and the Funkey proceeded to Rhyd Ddu alone. No.148 is No.143 running with No.138's hind power bogie.

 

148_AS9-7-08Dinas in service.jpg (87404 bytes)

This southerly view (9/7/08) shows the so called No.148 paired with the Funkey on a running in turn at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dinas alterations

A start has been made on slewing the track in the Coaling Dock in towards the dock side in order to make coaling easier. It appears that some "nibbling" of the concrete at the base of the dock wall has occurred. This was probably needed to allow the track to be moved in. Judging from the distance the sleepers had moved some further slewing may well be needed before an optimal position is reached.

 

Second hand oil!

Recovered 'second hand' oil fuel is being used in No.143 (aka No.148) which, it is understood, costs about the same per day as using coal in K1.

 

Team Wylfa report 8/7/08

Team Wylfa completed safety checks/oiling up of F Set on 8/7/08 as insufficient volunteers attended to split the Team in two to work on carriages and No.138's boiler. With both E & F Sets now having had their thorough check and oil up, Team Wylfa, after a quick visual check of the carriages, WILL be back to No.138's boiler at last on 14/6/08. Although the large Garratt is fixed for now (in the guise of No.148), permanent staff have been engaged with other work so there will still be a few tube ends for volunteers to grind off in the firebox.

 

Tuesday Gang report 8/7/08

Today the gang of 12 volunteers was split into 3 and carried out the following tasks. Eight posts for trespass signs at LC 66-69 were installed. The most southerly panel of track from Pont Croesor was lifted and slid back onto the bridge as it was overhanging the end of the bridge and impeding the contractors work on building up the road level. The area around the newly installed ground frame at Rhyd Ddu was dug out to enable the base to be infilled with concrete. Permanent staff were also building the new level crossing for the entrance road to the Osprey centre. It is not being built in situ but further down the site of the future loop. The crossing panel will be craned in when ready.

 

S12_TB8-7-08Osprey crossing.jpg (81573 bytes)

This northerly view (8/7/08) shows the woodwork for the Osprey Crossing being attached to the rail slightly south of the location of the crossing. It will be craned in when all is ready. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 8/7/08

The tramway approach to the linkspan and Britannia Bridge has had rail supports prepared in the cast foundation. With the recently cast linkspan deck now cured and waterproofed, the tramway foundation will be extended across it soon. The north face of the linkspan was receiving courses of riven slate cladding on 8/7/08. When the cladding is complete, the temporary access walkway to the north face of the linkspan will be removed.

 

S14_RC8-7-08LB curve tramway.jpg (77423 bytes)

This easterly view (8/7/08) shows the concrete foundation for the tramway curve that leads onto Britannia Bridge off the Llyn Bach corridor. The linkspan deck has been coated with an orange waterproofing compound while the cable ducts have been propped up to keep them off the surface. On the left, some rail clamps are visible set in the concrete, with more to be installed over the course of the week. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC8-7-08BB Cladding linkspan.jpg (82615 bytes)

This westerly view (8/7/08) shows the cladding of the north face of the linkspan with riven slate blocks to match the existing bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_AK4-7-08LB curve.jpg (57557 bytes) S14_AK4-7-08BB linkspan.jpg (49535 bytes)

These northerly views (both 4/7/08) show the tramway curving onto the Llyn Bach corridor. The tramway ends at the first straight section north of the bridge. The second view shows the completed parapet of the linkspan. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track Gang report 8/7/08

Dafydd Thomas reports: At Pont Croesor the first joint in the track north of the bridge was modified on 5/7/08 as it is to be a welded joint. This involved cutting some 500mm off the ends off both rails so that the fish plate holes were eliminated. All track on the bridge then had to be loosened and moved up to close the 1m gap created. This involved releasing the rails on the bridge using a rail mounted bolt tightener. The rail ends on the south side of the bridge were also given the same treatment.

 

S11_AK5-7-08PC cutting rail.jpg (77583 bytes) S11_AK5-7-08PC unscrewing rails.jpg (65558 bytes)

These northerly views (both 5/7/08) show the cutting of the rail north of Pont Croesor. The second view shows a rail mounted trolley being used to slacken off the bolts on the bridge to allow the rails to be slid north. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The North Wales Track Gang laid the first panel of track south of Pont Croesor. This was a panel of track on steel sleepers that was put together on the site of the future Pont Croesor halt. The necessary fittings and timber for a level crossing will be added soon. It will then be lifted into position as the panel at the crossing of the railway by the B4410. It is being done in this way to minimise disruption to the RSPB site. The rails at the north end of the new panel near the RSPB crossing had their ends removed as above.

 

S12_AS8-7-08PC first track south.jpg (95870 bytes)

This northerly view (8/7/08) shows a length of track laid in Pont Croesor loop, just south of the new Osprey Centre access. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Sunday afternoon saw us building a crib for the new ground frame that will control access to the sidings at the south end of Rhyd Ddu.

 

S8_AK8-7-08RD point frame.jpg (104654 bytes)

This northerly view (8/7/08) shows the completed point lever crib at Rhyd Ddu South, where the king point that controls the yard will be situated. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

There were also two sub gangs working over the weekend; one at Dinas completing the assembling of points and another loading rail at Minffordd yard. The points will be probably used at either Pont Croesor or to complete the loop at Hafod-y-llyn. The rail at Minffordd maybe the 8 special linking sections that join the tramway rail to Polish rail. Volunteers also did a lot of shunting of rolling stock in order to assist the full time gang with their activities this week, such as moving the rail bolsters wagons from Hafod-y-llyn to Rhyd Ddu. This is so that they can go back to Dinas for more rail to be moved out in readiness for the final stint of track laying and also to clear the North Yard at Dinas in readiness for Garratt 50.

 

WHRCL Board inspection visit 7/7/08

On 7/7/08 the Board of the WHRCL and WHR staff made an inspection visit of the railway. Starting from Beddgelert, they encountered difficulty as Upnor Castle would not start so they used car and minibus to visit Pont Croesor and the CTRL. The loco and mess coach met them again when they returned to Pont Croesor and the party was able to inspect the railway between Pont Croesor and Beddgelert by train.

 

S9_JE7-7-08OB173.jpg (76224 bytes)

This northerly view (7/7/08) shows the sloping wing wall of OB173 being constructed on the left at Bryn-y-felin. There is still more height to be raised on the abutments. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S11_JE7-7-08Upnor at PC.jpg (44471 bytes)

This northerly view (7/7/08) shows Upnor Castle on the Inspection Train, just north of the bridge at Pont Croesor. The loco was not allowed onto the bridge as the track had been cut and there was a 20mm gap prior to welding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and northerly views (both 7/7/08) show work underway to raise levels at the site of Pont Croesor level crossing LC114, now that the access to the Glaslyn Osprey centre has been moved. The new entrance can be seen in the second image in the distance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog progress 6/7/08

Andrew Thomas reports: Everything is now back together with no bits left over. The only remaining item is the top coolant hose, which we have so far been unable to source despite a dawn raid on Boston Lodge. All other missing parts were obtained from the tractor spares emporium at Dinas. The fuel tank has been filled and coolant added up to top hose level. All body panels have been refitted. If anyone has any two and a quarter inch internal diameter rubber hose lying about in their garage, please get in touch ASAP. We either need 15” to replace the entire assembly, or a five inch length to replace the piece we had to hacksaw off when dismantling the engine. With the hose fitted and the sump filled with oil, the little blue engine is ready to go. We will also re-tension the drive chains to the axles which exhibit a rather generous amount of free play.

 

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This view (6/7/08) shows Dolgarrog's reassembly. The space where the missing hose will go is visible top left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.143 bogie repainted

No.143 has acquired the power bogie from No.138. However, the green unit was being repainted gloss black on 1/7/08 so it would not look out of place when it deputises for No.143's damaged unit. No.143's hind unit has been taken out with the rear of the loco supported on an ambulance bogie. The loco is scheduled to appear on trains from 7/7/08 in conjunction with the aging Castell Caernarfon, while K1 is being rested from the mid week trains.

 

Upnor Castle on Pont Croesor 5/7/08

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These northerly and southerly views (both 5/7/08) show Upnor Castle and the Phase 4 PW train approaching Pont Croesor and secondly running onto the bridge. This may have been the first time the loco was allowed on the bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 4/7/08

The embankment has been built up to near the top of UB217 and the formation south of there is being made up to the correct levels. At Pont Croesor, the B4410 road crossing has been the designated LC 114A, while LC114B will be the Osprey Centre Road/Angling Association crossing and LC114C will be the adjacent footpath crossing next to LC114B. The road closure at LC114A to complete the level crossing has been delayed for a week until 21/7/08 as traffic control is continuing on Britannia Bridge to complete the tramway during the originally proposed period.

 

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This southerly view (4/7/08) shows OB217 with the embankment built up to the top of the ring. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS4-7-08UB217 S.jpg (72571 bytes) S12_AS4-7-08UB217 from top S.jpg (92454 bytes)

These southerly views (both 4/7/08) show work underway at the site of OB217. The second view, from the top of the bridge, shows work underway regrading the site of the recently lifted Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS4-7-08OB217 N.jpg (63561 bytes) S12_AS4-7-08Traeth Mawr S.jpg (87356 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 4/7/08) show work underway south of OB217 regrading the site of the recently lifted Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 4/7/08

The new entrance to the Glaslyn Osprey Centre at Pont Croesor was in use from 3/7/08. This allowed the excavation of the former entrance the following day. Road levels needs to be raised on the approach to the turn on to the bridge and a short section of formation between the bridge and crossing has to be remade. Gwynedd Council has issued the a temporary road closure notice for the short length 20m either side of the bridge starting on 14/7/08. The work, including installation of the crossing unit already on site, is expected to take about three days.

 

S12_AS4-7-08PC level crossing A.jpg (62872 bytes) S12_AS4-7-08PC level crossing B.jpg (85082 bytes)

These westerly and northerly views (both 4/7/08) show work underway at the site of Pont Croesor level crossing LC114. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS4-7-08PC loop.jpg (63378 bytes)

This southerly view (4/7/08) shows the Pont Croesor loop site near complete as seen from LC114A, the new Osprey Centre level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 4/7/08) show work completed at the site of the entrance to the Glaslyn Osprey project. Work includes a cattle grid. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Heritage Point lever excavated at Pont Croesor Loop

An original point lever has been unearthed at Pont Croesor.

 

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This view (4/7/08) shows the point lever unearthed at Pont Croesor loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 progress 3/7/08

New Garratt No. 87 made a major advance on 3/7/08 when the boiler was placed in frames and the power bogies turned to face the right way. It is hoped the loco will be on display in Porthmadog Harbour Station during the Garratt 50 event in September.

 

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This view (3/7/08) shows the craning of the boiler onto its frame at Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These views (both 3/7/08) show the craning in and placement of the boiler in its frame. Like the other Garratts, the loco faces Porthmadog chimney first. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

87_RD3-7-08craning bogie.jpg (89442 bytes) 87_RD3-7-08turning bogie.jpg (104577 bytes)

These views (both 3/7/08) show the craning of the rear bogie. The boiler was supported on ambulance bogies at this stage. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 3/7/08

The concrete base for the tramway is nearing completion on the Llyn Bach curve off the Britannia Bridge linkspan.

 

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This easterly view (3/7/08) shows the concrete foundation for the tramway curve that leads off Britannia Bridge onto the Llyn Bach corridor. A small section is needed to link up with the tramway already laid in the eastbound carriageway of the bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC3-7-08BB parapet W.jpg (69329 bytes)

This westerly view (3/7/08) shows the completed parapet for the curve that leads off Britannia Bridge onto the Llyn Bach corridor. The temporary walkway will be removed when the cladding in recovered riven slate blocks is complete. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Cob Records, concrete foundations are being cast for the fence posts that will separate The Cob footpath from the tramway.

 

S14_RC3-7-08CR W fencepost bases A.jpg (82578 bytes)

This westerly view (3/7/08) shows the concrete foundation boxes for the fence that will separate the tramway from The Cob footpath. Stippled surfaces are being laid where the footpath will cross the railway near Snowdon Wharf junction. These offer a tactile reminder. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC3-7-08CR W fencepost bases B.jpg (95678 bytes)

This westerly view (3/7/08) shows the concrete foundation boxes for the fence that will separate the tramway from The Cob footpath. The completed face of Cob Records is also visible to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 2/7/08

With the ground now consolidated on the curve between the Llyn Bach corridor and Britannia Bridge, a foundation concrete layer has been cast and rebar mats installed to form the main base layer. The tramway extends north to a point where it can terminate in a straight section alongside the garage. The parapet of the linkspan area is also complete. There will be between 3 and 4 metres between the parapet and the centreline of the tramway to allow the Llyn Bach path to exit onto the north side of Britannia Bridge.

 

S14_RC2-7-08LB corridor tramway.jpg (130221 bytes) S14_RC2-7-08BB E.jpg (104661 bytes)

These northerly and easterly views (both 2/7/08) show adjacent to the garage at the west end of Britannia Bridge. Rebar mats are in place on a concrete foundation. The concrete upstand that forms the linkspan parapet is nearing completion. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Pedestrian deterrent paving has been laid east from Snowdon Wharf towards Cob Records and the ground cleared for completion of pavement works for diverted footpaths. These slabs are similar to those previously used at Snowdon Street.

 

S14_RC2-7-08SW E paving.jpg (68440 bytes)

This view (2/7/08) shows the pyramidal slabs that should deter pedestrians and traffic from the tramway at Snowdon Wharf level crossing. Other ground clearance is for completion of pavement/surfacing works. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 1/7/08

A small team of volunteers was back in action on the evening of 1/7/08 after a week's break. Progress reverted to carriage checks and oiling up on the E Set, with a full check on F Set due next week. With permanent staff and volunteers being put onto the urgent operational loco work, No.148's creation, No.138's boiler work has had to be put on a back burner and with two of the regulars off for the next few weeks, unless some of our irregular volunteers turn up next week to assist with F Set oiling up, it will be the week after next before Team Wylfa can assist/continue with the tube removal. So, if any of the readers are free and fancy joining us for Tuesday evenings, there will be plenty of work to occupy people to keep the wheels rolling and get No.138 ready for the boiler inspector. The engineering side of the operational railway really does need a helping hand at the moment, so 7-7:15pm in the Dinas Station yard is the time and volunteers meet in the mess cabin by the WHR Construction Office.

 

Tuesday Gang report 24/6/08 and 1/7/08

There was more work on signposts at crossings on 24/6/08 and 1/7/08.

Click here for detailed list of crossings

 

Appeal for help clearing Dinas

Dafydd Thomas writes:

'As many of you are by now aware the WHR will be hosting a big event 5 - 7 September, the Garratt 50 Gala. There has already been a great deal of preparation for this going on. However it's now getting to the stage where we have to start getting things ready on the ground. This starts with a clearance of the North Yard at Dinas on the weekend 19/20 July; we need as many hands as possible. So if you can come along please do so, even if it's only for a morning or afternoon. This is the only full weekend that we will have before the event as many of us will have to crack on with track laying during August. You don't have to contact me in advance, just turn up at Dinas, sign in and we'll give you a job. Look forward to seeing you.'

Dafydd's contact details are on the Contacts page.

 

Progress at Traeth Mawr 1/7/08

Regrading is taking place at Traeth Mawr at the end of the WHR(P) section. When the WHR(P) constructed the loop a few years ago the formation dropped down for the last 50m or so to LC119. James Cyf. is building this up with slate waste and compacting it.

 

S12_MH1-7-08Traeth Mawr.jpg (49969 bytes)

This view (1/7/08) shows the Head of Steel at Traeth Mawr, about 70m south of LC119 as taken from the WHR(P) train. The trackbed has been built up with slate waste to the final levels and is being consolidated with a vibro-roller. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mark Herbert, courtesy of WHR(P) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 29/6/08

Rob Bradley reports on the Rest of the World Track gang's weekend:

Saturday:

We arrived a Hafod-y-llyn at around 9am and Paul Bradshaw soon has us organised. Eight of us were on the track gang today and the task for the weekend was to build a rail stack to allow all the rail on the flat-beds to be transferred adjacent to the line. This would allow the works train to go back to Dinas and collect the rest of the rail. The aim was to remove all rail from Dinas North Yard to clear space ready for the Garratt 50 weekend on September 5-7th.

The weather was bright but overcast and we quickly worked up a sweat collecting sleepers and assembling them in groups to allow the rail to be transferred to a height that would make it easy to put back onto the wagons later. The sleepers were just 50 yards down the line so we made use of Paul Bradshaw's Land-Rover and trailer.

There were to be five stacks of sleepers arranged in a square to gain the necessary height, decking the top to allow a standing platform for loading. The weather soon turned to warm sunshine and the temperature had risen accordingly. We soon realised we had run out of sleepers so we made our way to Beddgelert to collect some from the stack near the water tower. Alun Evans and I could not resist the temptation on the way back to get an ice cream from the Parlour in the village!

On returning we completed the stacks, but we could not continue to move the rail as Upnor Castle was unable to start, so there was no way of moving the rail wagons parallel to the stack.

The plan then was to retire back to Dinas to find something to do!

On arrival I found John Ewing and Andrew Thomas at the Goods Shed working on Dolgarrog which was in pieces.

After lunch we proceeded to the South Yard for the glamorous job of creating bundles of steel sleepers! After numerous attempts we finally managed to get the contraption that clips the straps together to work and myself and Keith proceeded to tie the bundles of sleepers together with the strapping machine. This is no easy task but necessary as they will need to be transported south for the Pont Croesor-Traeth Mawr sections. With the sun beating down it soon became quite uncomfortable so we gave up around 4pm for the day tired but satisfied that we had got part of the job done for the weekend.

 

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This view (29/6/08) shows the new rail stack at Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Rob Bradley and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Sunday:

The day dawned a lot duller than the Saturday and there was definitely a threat of rain in the air. Today there were only five of us and it looked impossible to get all the rail shifted in one day. As the rain started to fall Paul managed to get Upnor Castle started and pulled the engine forward to bring the flat wagons level with the sleepers. I wondered how easy to would be for just 5 people to move all that rail.

Using long baulks across the sleeper stacks and steel box section ‘sliders’ placed under the rail in the wagon angled down to the sleepers, the plan was to slide the rail down and then manhandle into position. So we got our bars and levered the first rail out to the edge of the wagon. With one heave, the rail slid down at speed down the ‘sliders’ onto the baulks and then we pushed it along the baulk to the far end. Phew, the first one was done! By this time the rain was torrential and we were thoroughly soaked to the skin!

Slowly but surely the top row of rails were removed with a series of clangs as the rail ran down the sliders and hit the bottom. As we completed the top row, we realised the sliders were too long to fit under the next level as the rail on the stacks were moving towards the train so we had to switched to steel sleepers instead of the sliders.

We eventually managed to get the second row finished and broke for lunch. By this time the sun finally broke through and began to dry us out. The afternoon soon passed and we managed to get the whole bottom row polished off by 4pm in bright sunshine and there was a sense of satisfaction in getting the job finished. In total we had managed to stack 53 rails and the platform and train is ready for the next shipment.

All in all a great weekend and I would recommend everyone to get the chance to join in. There seems to be a determination to keep the gang together once the line is open and although there is some hard work to be done, even in the torrential rain we had a good laugh and joke. We even managed to convince one latecomer on Saturday that we were building Hafod-y-llyn halt! Many thanks to everyone there as I had a great time even if I am sunburnt to a crisp!

 

Loco news 29/6/08

No.143 has appeared with a small addition to its number plate reflecting the use of No.138's hind power bogie.

 

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This view (29/6/08) shows No.143's altered number plate which reflects the fact that the loco is currently using No.138's rear bogie. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Progress has been made with Dolgarrog which now has the pistons refitted, the main and big end bearings torqued up and lock tagged and all bottom end oil plumbing reinstalled. Volunteers are pleased that all the unpleasant lying on the back under the loco is at an end. Next weekend should see the loco fired up for the first time in months, if they can find the ignition key!

 

Tryfan Junction work to start this Autumn

The Tryfan Junction project has been costed at £50,000 and will include a short Plas-y-Nant style halt platform, refurbishment of station buildings to 1920's appearance and a short disconnected siding with some slate wagons in view. The WH Heritage Group AGM recently voted £5,000 to add to the £10,000 already raised for the project and work will start this Autumn. Fund raising will start soon with the sale of a limited run of prints of Edward Padget-Tomlinson's 1923 painting of the Baldwin and Prince at the junction (by kind permission of Mrs. Padget-Tomlinson). Prices (inc p&p) are £10.50 mounted or £23 mounted and framed. Orders should be placed with Phil Hawkins at Fron Goch, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd LL48 6DN

 

Tuesday Gang 17/6/08

Some 15 volunteers attended the Tuesday Gang on 17/6/08 and amongst other tasks worked on the signage posts at LC 70B/C/D (Pont Cae'r Gors). The contractor had finished the gate and fencing on the forest side of the crossing B/C so the Tuesday Gang was able to complete this area too. The main job was to install a telephone cable from the haul road crossing to the telephone pole on the main road just before the turn into Cae'r Gors. This was buried 6 inches down and covered in warning tape. The phone will no doubt be used by Forestry Commission contractors to seek permission to cross the line with their logging operations.

Other jobs completed were the inspection chamber at Rhyd Ddu and assisting permanent staff with the construction of the crossing timbers at LC 111 just north of Ynysfor Crossing. Some 60 sign posts for Type 1/2/3 signs and 78 Trespass sign posts remain to be installed.

 

Nantmor Halt-Cwm Bychan footpath

Earlier this year, volunteers from the Snowdonia Society helped clear undergrowth between Nantmor Crossing and Cwm Bychan along the southwest side of the railway with a view to assessing the possibility of building a footpath between the two. It is a long term project. There is no car parking space at the site of the proposed Nantmor Halt and no footpath alongside the roads between the two locations. Meanwhile the WHRS is raising funds for completion of the loop at Hafod-y-llyn, which would usefully split the long section between Pont Croesor Halt loop and Beddgelert Station loop.

 

Bits & pieces

There was a small FR/WHR display at the Merehead Quarry Open Day on 21-2/6/08.

'Food on the move' style operations will extend to the WHR this year with Snowdonia Parc Brewpub at Waunfawr providing services on the 1730 train on dates to be announced (probably late July/August). This will complement the FR's own operation on Tuesday's (Bangers and Mash) and Wednesdays' (Jacket Potatoes) from 29/7 to 27/8/08.

Merddin Emrys was used on 2 days in March on a successful FR logging operation, where the National Trust hired log trains to remove logs from tree clearance near the FR. This has led to renewed interest in diesel hauled logging trains on the WHR in the Beddgelert Forest.

Merddin Emrys recently suffered from fractured boiler rivets but will be repaired promptly as it is an economic loco to run on coal firing. It is hoped to be in service well before next Easter's WHR Grand Opening when it is hoped it will feature to reprise its role as one of the first locos to use the through route in the 1920s.

Funkey Vale of Ffestiniog is receiving a repaint and may be in action back on the FR soon on its original power bogies. The new gearboxes under Castell Caernarfon are said to have bedded in well, although the loco as a whole is showing its age with the heavy use it has seen on the WHR.

Service car No.2010 will have sliding windows. It is nearing completion at Boston Lodge.

The WHR junction point in Porthmadog Harbour station has had the V unit removed for repair following signs of wear and replaced with plain line for a short period.

 

Phase 4 progress 27/6/08

The pedestrian/traffic deterrent slabs have now been placed in the tramway at Snowdon Street level crossing. Special adapter rails are being manufactured to link the tramway rail with the S30 section Polish rail. Four pairs are required, to be installed at either end of the Snowdon Street tramway section and the Britannia Bridge tramway section.

 

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This view (27/6/08) shows the pyramidal slabs that should deter pedestrians and traffic from the tramway at Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (27/6/08) shows the pyramidal slabs in place on the north side of Snowdon Street level crossing. The road access to the Carwash in the former motorbike museum descends a slight incline to the left, which is why the drain covers are tilted. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The linkspan slab at Britannia Bridge was cast on 26/6/08 and work has started on the formwork for the parapet core upstands on the north side of the linkspan. Both sides of the concrete parapet will be clad in riven slate re-used from the existing parapet. Large scale final plans for the bridge can be viewed on Gwynedd Council's Planning website.

 

BB plans.jpg (54134 bytes)

This plan shows the 50m radius tramway curve that will soon be cast into the top surface of the linkspan deck. Existing riven slate parapet cladding materials are destined to be re-used making a pleasant finish to the bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (27/6/08) shows the right hand Carillion worker standing on the recently cast linkspan deck. Formwork is being installed for the upstand that will form the core of the new parapet. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Cob Records, work on the facia is nearing completion and The Cob footpath is being diverted while the pavement is finished ready for tarmacing.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (both 27/6/08) show the area around Cob Records. The first view shows the temporary diversion to The Cob footpath into the road with traffic control in place again. The excavator had been clearing the area ready for tarmacing. The second view shows the external walls and roof of Cob Records essentially complete except for some pebble dash cladding repair. The sign to the right advises cyclists to dismount as the rails cross the carriageway at a shallow angle and might trap bicycle wheels. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 to receive IMechE Engineering Heritage Award.

Andrew Rutter reports that The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has awarded the K1 locomotive an Engineering Heritage Award in recognition of its historical engineering significance. The K1 Group and WHRS are delighted at this news and thank the IMechE for this recognition. Arrangements for the presentation of the plaque are not yet finalised, but will probably be announced later on the WHR website. The plaque is likely to be have a date and a citation similar to the design below.

 

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This revised view (26/6/08) shows the likely design of the K1 plaque. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Rutter. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.143 bogie swap

No.143 is receiving a bogie from No.138, itself currently undergoing a 10 year overall with boiler refurbishment/exchange. A crankpin is believed to be have been damaged in the incident in the Spring when the front of one of the cylinders was damaged. The loco is currently allocated to one of this weekend's two steam diagrams on 28-9/6/08 with K1 performing reliably. Earlier in the year, the loco suffered a bearing failure on one of its pony trucks and the whole axle had to be changed.

 

CTRL progress 24/6/08

The work at Snowdon Street level crossing is nearing a conclusion with kerbing now in place to reduce the road width. Special slabs have been provided north of the crossing with sharp pyramidal features that should deter walking or vehicular access to the tramway.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 24/6/08) show the new kerbing on the west side of Snowdon Street around the level crossing. The kerbing has the effect of forming parking bays on this wide street. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work on Britannia Bridge resumed after the weekend break with rebar going in to form the deck beam and the parapet along the full length of the linkspan.

 

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These westerly (all 24/6/08) show the rebar for the linkspan beam on Britannia Bridge. The first two views also show the rebar for the parapet wall. the three supporting beams can also be seen. The parapet will be clad in hewn slate recovered from the previous wall of the bridge. The third view shows the rail ends in relation to the linkspan. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC24-6-08BB N.jpg (64293 bytes) S14_RC24-6-08BB W.jpg (65063 bytes)

These northerly and westerly views (both 24/6/08) show the rebar preparations for the casting of the linkspan deck beam. The second view clearly shows the rebar for the parapet with the temporary construction platform alongside. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Cob Records, the riven slate facia of the building is nearing completion. The building resembles many of the converted local chapels! New roadside kerbing is in place near Cob Records and The Cob footpath will be fenced off from the tramway at some stage.

 

S14_RC24-6-08CR facia.jpg (60303 bytes)

This westerly view (24/6/08) shows the facia of Cob Records nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_AT24-6-08CR E.jpg (67303 bytes)

This easterly view (24/6/08) shows the tramway at Cob Records with roadside kerbing and footpath nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC24-6-08CR tramway.jpg (72289 bytes)

This westerly view (24/6/08) shows the tramway at Cob Records with roadside kerbing nearing completion. This is the area where The Cob footpath will be fenced off from the tramway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog progress report 23/6/08

Andrew Thomas was working underneath Dolgarrog on 23/6/08 in Dinas Goods Shed and reports that with the oil feeds removed, it will be possible to torque up the crankshaft prior to reassembly the engine next weekend, when John Ewing is expected to complete the team.

 

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These upside down views (23/6/08) shows Dolgarrog's oil feeds. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas, and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track gang report 21-2/6/08

North Wales Track Gang/Black Hand Gang relaid part of the track through the crossing at Hafod Ruffydd over the weekend 21-2/6/08. This was done to put staggered rail joints into the curve at this location, which has been problematic since it was first laid. It is now a smooth curve.

The job involved first moving rail either north or south to achieve the stagger, this was done on Saturday in an almost all day downpour. On Sunday, which was thankfully dry, the sleepers were repositioned to give the required support at the newly positioned rail joints and achieve the 26 sleepers specified for lengths of track with staggered rail joints. It also involved introducing new sleepers into each section.

 

CTRL progress 22/6/08

The base formwork for the linkspan deck casting has been completed using the ribbed decking. The railway will only pass over the extreme west corner of this deck beam, which is mostly for the footpath on the eastbound carriageway of the bridge, leading to LC126, where it will cross to the corner of the petrol station while the footpath continues alongside Llyn Bach.

 

S14_AG22-6-08BB linkspan W.jpg (100159 bytes)

This westerly view (22/6/08) shows the ribbed formwork base for the linkspan in place between the deck beams now that the former parapet has been removed. A new parapet will be cast along the north side when the deck is complete, joining to that already cast on the Llyn Bach approach. The stage one concrete deck is likely to poured soon linking the rebar of the three beams into an approx. 30cm deep deck. Just beyond the deck, formwork is in place to lock the beams into a landward horizontal beam that also acts as a retaining wall for the fill of the approach from Llyn Bach. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin, WHR(P), and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_AT22-6-08CR Ballast.jpg (81630 bytes)

This westerly view (22/6/08) shows the ballasted end of the tramway just east of Cob Records. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas, and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 21/6/08

It appears that widening of the loop site at Pont Croesor Halt site is nearing completion. Tracks will be in the originally consolidated centre of the formation with side platforms as at Dinas Station as they are lighter loadings.

 

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This southerly view (21/6/08) shows the formation at the future site of Pont Croesor Halt nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin , WHR(P), and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

UB207 is being packed evenly either side to conserve its shape.

 

S12_AG21-6-08OB217 S packing.jpg (54663 bytes)

This southerly view (21/6/08) shows UB207 being packed. the ballast to the left is the remains of the headshunt at Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin, WHR(P), and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dinas rail stockpile last days

Upnor Castle hauled one of the last workings of rail from Dinas stockpile on 20/6/08. There are an estimated 3 more loads to go south. This rail is due to complete the gap between Pont Croesor and Traeth Mawr loop

 

Upnor_AS20-6-08 rail loading at Dinas.jpg (80280 bytes)

This southerly view (20/6/08) shows Upnor Castle in Dinas North Yard with rail being loaded onto the bolster wagon. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 19/6/08

The formwork for the base of the linkspan deck was cut and placed on 19/6/08. This is a ribbed, possibly plastic moulding, formwork material that appears to contain rebar strengthening so it can take the weight of the concrete pour.

 

S14_RC19-6-08BB E.jpg (94041 bytes) S14_RC19-6-08BB formwork for deck.jpg (90462 bytes)

These easterly views (both 19/6/08) show formwork being cut up and spanning the distance between the outer and central beams of the linkspan. Each piece will need to be cut to shape to form a formwork deck for the concrete pour. In the second view, a large pile of the formwork material awaits cutting to shape. In the second view, two construction workers test the rigidity of the deck formwork. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The tramway track has been completed at Cob Records with a concrete pour on 19/6/08. A concrete pad has also been cast to the east for the transition to sleepered track.

 

S14_RC19-6-08CR W final tramway pour.jpg (58286 bytes)

This westerly view (19/6/08) shows the final section of tramway now poured at Cob Records, where the slate roofing is nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC19-6-08CR E final pour.jpg (77572 bytes)

This easterly view (19/6/08) shows the end of the final section of tramway now poured at Cob Records. A deeper concrete pad will allow a firm transition to track with wooden sleepers through the WHR platform. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 18/6/08

The linkspan beams for Britannia Bridge were placed on 18/6/08. Work started at 0930 when the Walker's lorry with the three metre-deep pre-cast concrete beams pulled onto the eastbound carriageway. A Bob Francis crane was positioned on the Llyn Bach side to offload the beams. The first beam was placed parallel to the existing deck of the road bridge with one end on the new support on the first pier and the other end on the pile wall cap.

 

S14_RD18-6-08BB craning in first beam.jpg (114457 bytes) S14_RD18-6-08BB placing first beam.jpg (116124 bytes)

S14_RD18-6-08BB first beam placed.jpg (58045 bytes)

These westerly views (all 18/6/08) show the craning in and placement of the first beam parallel with the existing bridge deck. Gaps are visible in the rebar for the back wall of the pile wall capping beam to allow the beams to be placed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The second beam was then craned in and positioned at an angle with one end on the first pier and the other halfway along the pile wall cap. The inner beams are about 30cm wide while the outer beam is a little thicker. The central beam was placed a little to the west on the pier foundation to allow a larger bearing surface for the other two beams.

 

S14_RD18-6-08BB placing second beam.jpg (101789 bytes)

This westerly view (18/6/08) shows the placing of the second beam at an angle of about 20 degrees to the first. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A working platform was then placed from the first pier to the northern end of the Llyn Bach abutment and the final section craned in. This has a lip at the bottom presumably so that it can be clad in local stone. The final section was craned in at an angle to the second, aligned with the parapet on the Llyn Bach shore so that the three beams radiate from the first pier. All was finished by midday.

 

S14_RD18-6-08BB placing walkway.jpg (118184 bytes)

This westerly view (18/6/08) shows the placing of a working platform parallel to the soon to be placed third beam. It is clear that the second beam was placed about 30cm to the west to allow a greater bearing surface for the other two beams. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC18-6-08BB craning in third beam.jpg (77577 bytes) S14_RC18-6-08BB third beam and working platform.jpg (75388 bytes)

S14_RC18-6-08BB third beam.jpg (83188 bytes)

These westerly views (all 18/6/08) show the craning in and placement of the third beam parallel with the working platform, about 40 degrees from the bridge deck and 20 degrees from the second beam. The third beam has a lip which may be designed as a ledge to support local facing stone in keeping with the appearance of the harbour. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The three beams have rebar extensions above which suggests they will be keyed into the deck to be cast across them.

 

CTRL progress 16/6/08

On 16/6/08, large rocks were placed at the foot of the pile wall at the northwest corner of Britannia Bridge to form a revetment. These needed to be quite heavy to avoid being scoured by the fast flows that pass through Britannia Bridge when the sluices are opened at low tide.

 

S14_RC16-6-08BB placing rocks C.jpg (77136 bytes) S14_RC16-6-08BB placing rocks B.jpg (81756 bytes)

S14_RC16-6-08BB placing rocks A.jpg (84511 bytes)

These two westerly and one easterly views (all 16/6/08) show the protection of the pile wall with large rocks. Some larger rocks had rolled too far into the main outflow channel and were fished out as they might have impeded flows. In the third view, shuttering for the parapet is starting to appear on the left of the view. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A working platform to help place the linkspan beam has been constructed on Britannia Bridge next to the new foundation on the first pier. The delivery and placement of the beam is expected soon.

 

S14_RC17-6-08BB linkspan C.jpg (92506 bytes)

This easterly view (17/6/08) shows the construction of a cantilevered platform hanging off Britannia Bridge, weighted down with a heavy bag of sand. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC17-6-08BB linkspan B.jpg (57311 bytes)

This easterly view (17/6/08) shows the construction of a cantilevered platform hanging off Britannia Bridge, just east of the linkspan foundation on the first pier. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC17-6-08BB linkspan A.jpg (78162 bytes)

This westerly view (17/6/08) shows the cantilevered platform hanging off Britannia Bridge, ready to help position the linkspan beam on the new concrete foundation on the first pier. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC17-6-08CR E.jpg (65453 bytes) S14_RC17-6-08CR W.jpg (92668 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 17/6/08) show the area around Cob Records. The first view shows the facia, window frames and roof felting of Cob Records nearing completion. The second view shows shuttering for the casting of the final section of tramway. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 14/6/08

John Ewing visited the CTRL on 14/6/08 and provided the following views, which include the completion other for than ballasting, of the Llyn Bach section. This, presumably, is being left for access until the Britannia Bridge linkspan works are finished.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 14/6/08) show the tramway completed across Snowdon Street (LC123). Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_JE14-6-08LC125S.jpg (73786 bytes)

This southerly view (14/6/08) shows the trackbed along the newly fenced off Llyn Bach path. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 14/6/08) show the trackbed nearing completion around the north end of the Llyn Bach chicane. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 14/6/08) show the trackbed nearing completion at the south end of the Llyn Bach chicane. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Gang report 14/6/08

Upnor Castle took the first train from Hafod-y-llyn through Bryn-y-felin bridge on 14/6/08 following removal of the blockade. PW stock has been stuck at Hafod-y-llyn for the last few weeks because of Gwynedd Council's rebuilding of the road bridge. The task was to recover spare rail from Beddgelert Forest as supplies of rail at Dinas will be reaching the bottom of the pile soon.

 

S9_SM14-6-08BYF foundations.jpg (65053 bytes)

This northerly view (14/6/08) shows the concrete abutments taking shape for the new Bryn-y-felin road bridge. The protective layer has been taken off the track and this is understood to be one of the first trains across the blockade. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_SM14-6-08BS shelters finished.jpg (39142 bytes)

This northerly view (14/6/08) shows the completed waiting shelters at Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_SM14-6-08Upnor collecting rail.jpg (104461 bytes)

This southerly view (14/6/08) shows Upnor Castle and the rail bolster wagon with volunteers collecting rail just south of Ty'n-y-coed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The first activity was offloading a couple of packs of rail from the bolsters into the two foot before taking Upnor Castle and the works train up through the Aberglaslyn Pass, past the just lifted blockade at Bryn-y-Felin and on up to beyond Beddgelert to pick up loose rail from the lineside. In the afternoon volunteers moved a load of timber sleepers over the fence in Beddgelert Station ready for transport south.

On Sunday volunteers removed a defunct fence (the former roadside fence on the forest track that ran over UB150) just above Meillionen Forest Campsite Halt and spent the rest of the day clearing lineside vegetation between the top of the Forest Campsite and Ty'n-y-coed and above Hafod Ruffydd level crossing. Since tracklaying has ceased, numbers attending have fallen dramatically but during this brief hiatus there is still plenty to do and all, old and new, are still needed and most welcome to attend Rest of the World Gang or North Wales Track Gang weekends.

 

S9_PN14-6-08Upnor in Cutting Mawr.jpg (95470 bytes)

This northerly view (14/6/08) shows Upnor Castle hauling the rail bolster wagon through Cutting Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Phil Nock and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 13/6/08

Carillion made rapid progress with completing the track across the eastbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge on 13/6/08 and by the end of the day it was completed, one of the fastest jobs so far as work only started on excavation of the carriageway on 6/6/08. Traffic control is expected to be removed in a few days when the concrete has hardened. A Pochin concrete crane was based on the Llyn Bach side of the bridge so that traffic over the bridge was not disrupted.

 

S14_RC13-6-08BB concrete crane A.jpg (49915 bytes)

This stitched westerly view (13/6/08) shows the concrete crane delivering concrete to the eastbound carriageway across Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC13-6-08BB concrete crane B.jpg (49933 bytes)

This westerly view (13/6/08) shows the concrete crane delivering concrete to the eastbound carriageway across Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC13-6-08BB levelling concrete A.jpg (81743 bytes)

This westerly view (13/6/08) shows the concrete being levelled around the sharp curve on Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC13-6-08BB tramway concrete complete.jpg (67515 bytes)

This westerly view (13/6/08) shows the concreting of the tramway across Britannia Bridge finished. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 steam test 12/6/08

On 12/6/08 Boston Lodge rolled out the boiler of No.87 for a first steam test. Although the intention was to just test for leaks, none were observed so the pressure was allowed to rise until the safety valves lifted at 170 psi. A second test was scheduled for a few days later to set the safety valves at the correct working pressure.

 

87_RD12-6-08firing A.jpg (54563 bytes)

This view (12/6/08) shows the fire being built up. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

87_RD12-6-08firing B.jpg (62902 bytes)

This view (12/6/08) shows the fire being built up with scraps of wood. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

87_RD12-6-08fire.jpg (46113 bytes)

This view (12/6/08) shows the fire going well. Interestingly, the fire hole doors are labelled 'left' and 'not left'! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

87_RD12-6-08pressure gauge.jpg (36033 bytes)

This view (12/6/08) shows a standard pressure gauge fitted to the turret, that measures in metric units (kPa) as well as psi. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

87_RD12-6-08smoking.jpg (60109 bytes)

This view (12/6/08) shows the boiler smoking nicely. The turret controls are all blanked off but sighting glasses has been fixed on. The grate and ash pan are fixed to the bottom of the firebox. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No. 87 is planned for completion later this year as a coal-fired loco. The General Manager has stated it may be on display at Boston Lodge or Harbour Station at the SuperPower Garratt 50 in September. When released to traffic later this year, it will be one of the first rail vehicles to use the CTRL link to Phase 4, rather than incurring the expense of a HGV transporter. The same applies to Romanian Coach No.2060 which is not currently required by traffic levels on the WHR.

 

CTRL progress 12/6/08

Ballasting south of Snowdon Street has reached the Gwynedd Council Depot's level crossing (LC124).

 

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This northerly view (12/6/08) shows the ballasted trackbed north of LC124, just south of Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The area immediately west of the linkspan has been built up to final levels and compacted ready for the craning in of the linkspan beams which may occur next week.

 

S14_RC12-6-08linkspan E.jpg (58341 bytes)

This stitched easterly view (12/6/08) shows the curved approach to the linkspan and Britannia Bridge. The rebar is for the upstand for the bridge parapet. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rails have now been put in place across the eastbound carriageway. These must be aligned and checked for twist with the Geismar trolley before the concrete is poured which may occur within days if previous progress is anything to go by.

 

S14_RC12-6-08BB W rails in eastbound carriageway.jpg (65934 bytes)

This westerly view (12/6/08) shows the booted rails now in place across the eastbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge. The eastbound carriageway will be concreted soon to reduce traffic congestion. The section of bridge parapet to be removed is now clear. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The final tramway rails have now been placed, welded up and ground level at Cob Records. These may be concreted in after those on Britannia Bridge have been completed.

 

S14_RC12-6-08CR E rails in final tramway.jpg (87278 bytes)

This northerly view (12/6/08) shows the final weld of tramway rails at Cob Records. The frontage of Cob Records is receiving riven slate blocks. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 11/6/08

Kerb alterations in Snowdon Street will see the level crossing narrowed on the north side where a footway is being created.

 

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This southerly view (11/6/08) shows the excavation for the new kerb line on the west side of Snowdon Street level crossing. Traffic has been diverted to the south side of the crossing while this work is underway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC11-6-08SS S ballast.jpg (66935 bytes)

This southerly view (11/6/08) shows the ballast laid on geotextile matting southwards from Snowdon Street level crossing to LC124. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Further progress with Britannia Bridge has seen the supporting clips now grouted in on the eastbound carriageway and rebar mats laid for the concreting. The two empty conduits designed to carry 11kV supply under the footpath on that side will be diverted so that the electricity authority still has that option. Demolition of the existing parapet is underway where the linkspan will pass through. The riven slate parapet facia blocks are being stored for reuse to clad the new parapet on the linkspan, the beams of which are expected to be delivered and craned in next week.

 

S14_RC11-6-08BB N rail supports.jpg (69448 bytes)

This northerly view (11/6/08) shows the temporary track supporting clips fixed to the curve on the eastbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge. A rebar mesh has also been fitted before the road is concreted. The facing blocks have also been removed from the parapet behind. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC11-6-08BB E rebar in road.jpg (81622 bytes)

This easterly view (11/6/08) shows the removal of a section of parapet on Britannia Bridge where the linkspan will pass through. The riven slate blocks can be seen stored for reuse on pallets to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Cob Records, the tramway section is nearing its final phase with the installation of rail supports and formwork for the final cast of concrete. The extended area of concrete to the east of the tramway has now been removed. Cob Records new roadside wall is receiving a riven slate block facia.

 

S14_RC11-6-08CR tramway W and facia.jpg (93780 bytes)

This westerly view (11/6/08) shows the excavation of excess concrete at Cob Records with the end of the tramway now confirmed. Temporary track support clips are being installed in the final section of tramway and the roadside face of Cob Records is receiving slate facing blocks.. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 10/6/08

Team Wylfa had a good turn-out again on the evening of 10/6/08 so both carriage sets had their running gear given a visual inspection by two volunteers whilst the rest set up in the Loco Shed and continued grinding the weld beads off the firebox end small smoke tubes. By the time the carriage inspection team returned from the Carriage Shed, grinding was under way and they then took their turn (2 or 3 tube ends then come out for a rest) whilst the others went back in. The beads are almost done now and in the meantime, staff have begun to knock some of the tubes out.

It is unlikely that there will be a working party next week, 17/6/08, as several of Team Wylfa's regulars are not available. If any of the irregular team members wish to come, please phone or e-mail Clive Briscoe (see Contacts page) by 5pm Monday 16/6/08 to confirm whether it will go ahead or not. There will definitely NOT be a working party on Tuesday 24/6/08 with normal service resuming on Tuesday 1/7/08.

 

Tuesday Gang report 10/6/08

A gang of 8 volunteers continued with the job of installing the poles for the various signs at level crossings. To avoid the long detour around the closed Pont Aberglaslyn bridge, work switched to the northern end of Phase 4 at Pont Cae'r Gors. Here the original LC70 has been converted to a bridle path crossing and renumbered LC70A. Two Type 3 and two trespass signs were required. This crossing was completed and work moved south to the new double crossing LC 70 B/C, which is a forestry haul road and public footpath crossing combined. Here two Type 1 signs, two Type 3 signs and two trespass signs were required. Only the roadway side could be done as the fencing contractors have not yet completed the fencing on the forest side.

Type 1 signs are large red over white signs “Stop Look Listen” etc. usually used for public crossings. Type 2 signs are the smaller ones, white lettering on a black background used for accommodation or occupation crossings in the park. Type 3 signs are the tall black lettering on white background with a red border used for footpath crossings. Trespass signs are the signs erected on the trackbed immediately after the crossing.

Meanwhile 2 volunteers went to Rhyd Ddu and placed the concrete footings for a new inspection pit.

 

S8_TB10-6-08LC70B.jpg (113981 bytes)

This southerly view (10/6/08) shows the Tuesday Gang adding signage posts LC70B, the new forestry haul road at Pont Cae'r Gors. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 10/6/08

Further progress with Britannia Bridge has seen the marking out of the supporting clips on the eastbound carriageway. Two conduits designed to carry 11kV supply under the footpath on that side have apparently been found to be empty. However, the design of the bridge alterations calls for their inclusion in the linkspan works!

 

S14_RC10-6-08BB W laying out track.jpg (84436 bytes)

This westerly view (10/6/08) shows the setting out for the grout boxes for the temporary supporting clips for the sharply curved tramway track across the eastbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge. The parapet of the bridge is also being demolished where it will be diverted onto the linkspan, presumably reusing the same hewn slate blocks. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC10-6-08BB ducts.jpg (96917 bytes)

This northerly view (10/6/08) shows the empty 11kV conduits found under the pavement on the eastbound side of Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

With the rails aligned and checked for twist, the section of tramway from Snowdon Wharf to Cob Records was concreted.

 

S14_RC10-6-08CR W pouring concrete.jpg (50186 bytes)

This westerly view (10/6/08) shows the placing of concrete on the Snowdon Wharf to Cob Records section. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC10-6-08 CR E pouring and levelling concrete.jpg (98300 bytes)

This easterly view (10/6/08) shows the excavator placing bucket-loads of concrete at Cob Records. Levelling is achieved by using a piece of wood supported on the rails to scrape the concrete mix to the rail level. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC10-6-08CR tramway complete and rebuilding facia complete.jpg (63567 bytes)

This easterly view (10/6/08) shows the casting of the tramway slab complete as far as Cob Records. The roadside face of Cob Records is nearing completion as are alterations to the roof structure. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC10-6-08CR W tramway complete.jpg (88970 bytes)

This westerly view (10/6/08) shows the completion of the tramway slab as far as Cob Records. another length is being prepared in the foreground and this is thought to be the last section of tramway slab before the ballasted section through the WHR platform at Harbour Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 9/6/08

Concrete for the rebar cage for the footpath leading to the Llyn Bach corridor, just north of the linkspan, has been cast. Casting of the parapet is expected to follow shortly.

 

S14_RC9-6-08linkspan footpath.jpg (86556 bytes)

This easterly view (9/6/08) shows the casting of a slab and upstand for the footway immediately to the north of the linkspan foundations. Upstand rebar is visible for a later casting of the sidewall and parapet. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The formwork support has been removed from the cap on the pile wall, revealing the supporting surface for the linkspan beams. Excavation of the northern pavement on the bridge has started as preparations are made to crane in the linkspan beam in the next few weeks.

 

S14_RC9-6-08BB footpath excavation.jpg (67727 bytes)

This westerly view (9/6/08) shows the excavation of the footway where the railway will pass through onto the linkspan. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC9-6-08BB pilewall capping beam.jpg (86115 bytes)

This westerly view (9/6/08) shows the capping beam on the pile wall now revealed following the removal of the formwork. The beam will also act as the western support for the linkspan. The concrete wall to the right will be clad in local stone. The edge of the linkspan support on the first pier is just visible to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Preparations are being made to cast the next section of tramway foundation slab past Cob Records now the rebar cage has been positioned.

 

S14_RC9-6-08CR tramway foundation.jpg (88939 bytes)

This northerly view (9/6/08) shows the rebar cage in place for the tramway slab to the left, outside Cob Records. It is unclear whether the tramway will be extended to the right as, unlike previous tramway sections, there is no rebar through the formwork for the imminent pour to the left. This location is the formerly ground marked end of the tramway slab. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EAG progress 8/6/08

The sign for Meillionen Forest Campsite is nearing completion at the EAG site in Norfolk. This sign is considerably deeper (and heavier) than standard signs in order to accommodate the extra lettering. It had to be modified at a late stage from the original. Two signs intended for Beddgelert are ready for collection and delivery to North Wales later in the month. These two will receive temporary lettering once in North Wales and will be used as "appetite whetters" to create interest in the railway, as they will be easy to see from the town.

 

BFC sign B_RW8-6-08.jpg (54898 bytes) BFC sign A_RW8-6-08.jpg (67446 bytes)

These views (both 8/6/08) show the new station signs in EAG's Norfolk base. The first image shows the Meillionen sign on the jig used for its manufacture. The second image shows the sign for Meillionen Forest Campsite nearing completion. The piece of white painted timber is the same depth as all of the other running-in boards on the WHR and is included for comparison. Two signs for Beddgelert are in the background, parcelled up ready for transport to North Wales. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Richard Watson and were taken on a Sony DSC-P73 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Track Gang report 7-8/6/08

Nine volunteers took part over the weekend of 7-8/6/08. Their task was to complete the stagger at curve 112 (113?) near Hafod Ruffydd Ganol and re-space all the sleepers to Pete Gray's new specification. Ideally they needed to get the track joined up again to allow the passage of construction trains. On Saturday they concentrated on getting the three full length rails into position and moved 4 sleepers at each side of each joint. This was a hard job as the tamper gang had done an excellent job in tamping. The gang had all three rails moved and fishplated at close of play. The half rail was 5mm too long to fit into the gap and they had a choice of either slewing the track or trying to trim the rail. It was exhausting work in the hot conditions. While the track gangs make tea and coffee for the volunteers to ensure they are not de-hydrated, all volunteers are advised to bring water or soft drinks in addition during hot spells.

Sunday saw 10 volunteers and one new inductee but the weather was even hotter than Saturday. Volunteers obtained more bars so as to use all of the gang to slew the track. They gradually moved the track eastwards and with a good deal of perseverance succeeded in getting a 2mm gap at each end of the half rail. This was then fish-plated using plenty of grease and the gang was then able to concentrate on re-positioning all sleepers. It should be noted that plenty of grease is needed as during the weekend there were two enormous thuds as gaps suddenly closed instead of rails expanding slowly.

Altogether volunteers completed approx. 2.5 lengths, re-positioning all sleepers in each panel and working southwards reached a point just below UB137. Finally the whole curve and straight was re-aligned and looks considerably better now.

 

CTRL progress 7/6/08

The rebar cage pictured on 18/5/08 (see below) in the Carillion compound has now appeared in place on the linkspan approaches coupled to additional rebar for the upstand that will form the wall of the eastbound side footpath from Britannia Bridge onto the Llyn Bach footpath.

 

S14_RC7-6-08BB linkspan.jpg (111987 bytes)

This easterly view (7/6/08) shows the rebar cage in place for the linkspan approach with additional rebar for casting of a slab and upstand for the footway immediately to the north of the previous ground works. In the foreground is a large inspection chamber for the sewer that underlies the railway at this point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Harbour Station pilot duty

The FR's General manager Paul Lewin has stated that the work to finish Harbour Station may have to be completed after the hoped for opening day Easter Saturday (11/4/09). The earth works to widen The Cob will go ahead this Winter but platform signalling and track works may not be completed until the following Winter, due to the need to avoid a period when services are running. This means that other than the through 'Snowdonian' working, train departures will alternate at Porthmadog between the FR and WHR, using the existing FR platform. A station pilot will be necessary.

The probable method of working is that the WHR trains will arrive and pull forwards onto The Cob and the station pilot will attach to the rear. The train will then reverse into the FR platform for passengers to get off. The station pilot will then detach and the train engine will run around and water at the headshunt before attaching at that end. When departing, the pilot loco will draw the train out onto The Cob and detach to allow the train engine to pull forwards across the WHR junction point.

 

Moelwyn_BWH30-5-08 coal wagon at Harbour Station.jpg (87274 bytes)

This westerly view (30/5/08) shows Moelwyn on the coal wagon working at Harbour Station. The FR uses one of two Minffordd based B wagons for this duty that can often be found at Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 news 6/6/08

The loop at Pont Croesor Halt is being extended at the south end to the full 200m by widening the existing embankment.

 

S12_AS6-6-08PC S.jpg (45951 bytes) S12_AS6-6-08PC N.jpg (80401 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 6/6/08) show the widening of the loop at Pont Croesor Halt. Due to lack of strength at the edges of the formation, this will be an edge platform layout as at Dinas rather than an island platform as elsewhere on the WHR. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

OB217 has now been erected and a specialist company is on site packing the hoops to avoid distortion as the embankments are built up either side.

 

S12_AS6-6-08OB216 S.jpg (83014 bytes) S12_AS6-6-08OB216 S elevated view.jpg (45309 bytes)

S12_AS6-6-08OB216 W.jpg (52320 bytes)

These two southerly and one westerly views (all 6/6/08) show the completed hoop for OB216. The crane can be seen at the site of OB217 in the distance. The trackbed between OB216 and OB217 remains incomplete awaiting the movement by BT of their telecoms cable to the duct constructed for it by the WHRCL on the west side of the alignment. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS6-6-08OB217 S A.jpg (75751 bytes) S12_AS6-6-08OB217 N.jpg (77012 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 6/6/08) show the completed hoop of OB217 at the site of the former Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 6/6/08

The final section of the Snowdon Street tramway has now been concreted in. The eastbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge has been stripped of tarmac ready for the laying of Britannia Bridge Curve onto the linkspan. The foundation rebar has been inserted into the final section of tramway approaching Spooners bar from Cob Records.

 

S14_RC6-6-08SS tramway concreted.jpg (70983 bytes)

This northerly view (6/6/08) shows the final tramway rails concreted in place at Snowdon Street level crossing and ballast south of the crossing with the tramway rails resting on temporary sleepers. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC6-6-08BB eb tarmac excavated.jpg (59334 bytes)

This westerly view (6/6/08) shows the tarmac excavated on the eastbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge. Traffic lights will be in action again for a while the linkspan is installed and tramway tracks are set in place. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC6-6-08CR tramway.jpg (91564 bytes)

This westerly view (6/6/08) shows the final section of tramway base ready for concreting between Cob Records and Spooners. This section extends a little further east than expected from the ground markings. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 5/6/08

Rails have been welded at Snowdon Street level crossing and preparation are being made to align the track and pour this last section of the northern tramway slab track. The formation has been ballasted for a short way south of the crossing.

 

S14_RC5-6-08SS N.jpg (100397 bytes)

This northerly view (5/6/08) shows the final tramway rails welded at Snowdon Street level crossing and ballast south of the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work on the training wall capping beam has seen the casting of the support for the Britannia Bridge linkspan.

 

S14_RC5-6-08BB linkspan capping beam cast.jpg (120141 bytes)

This northerly view (5/6/08) shows the capping beam cast on the pile wall. The rebar behind it is probably for a wall to retain the fill that brings the land up to the height of the tramway slab. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC5-6-08BB linkspan capping beam cast B.jpg (82072 bytes)

This northerly view (5/6/08) shows the capping beam cast on the pile wall. The rebar to the left is probably for a wall to retain the fill that brings the land up to the height of the tramway slab. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The excavation at Cob Records passed a little to the east of the marked end of the tramway slab and a concrete foundation has already been cast. Track has been welded and ground on the section between Snowdon Wharf and Cob Records but boots remain to be fitted before it is ready for alignment checking and the concrete pour.

 

S14_RC5-6-08CR W.jpg (94751 bytes)

This westerly view (5/6/08) shows the foundation concrete in the section of tramway slab cut at Cob Records. Some services still need diverting. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 4/6/08

Rails have been placed for the completion of Snowdon Street level crossing. Work on the training wall capping beam has reached the formwork stage at the Britannia Bridge linkspan.

 

S14_RC4-6-08SS N.jpg (80960 bytes)

This northerly view (4/6/08) shows the final tramway rails placed at Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC4-6-08BB linkspan capping beam.jpg (91470 bytes)

This northerly view (4/6/08) shows the formwork and rebar in place for the capping beam on top of the pile wall at Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC4-6-08CR W.jpg (71930 bytes)

This westerly view (4/6/08) shows the preparations for a concrete pour completing the chicane at Snowdon Wharf. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC4-6-08CR W2.jpg (106616 bytes)

This westerly view (4/6/08) shows there is some rock to be excavated between Cob Records and Spooners. Various services also need diversion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC4-6-08FR drain cover.jpg (64333 bytes)

This view (4/6/08) shows an FR Co. drain cover (produce of Boston Lodge foundry?) near Cob Records. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC4-6-08Spooners W.jpg (68519 bytes)

This westerly view (4/6/08) shows the modern section of Spooners' beer store that must be cut back to create a wide enough platform through this area. The cordoned off area contains the end of the tramway slab excavations. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 3/6/08

There was another good turnout of volunteers on the evening of 3/6/08 so Team Wylfa was able to complete 'F' Set inspections and oiling by mid evening. There was not enough time left to set up in the Loco Shed and continue work on No.138's boiler so they returned to the Clip Shed Workshop to give it a Spring clean.

Stillages of track clips have been moved out to the Construction/PW shed next door as part of the 'big clean up' since last week, likewise some steel bed frames acquired as part of a possible Dinas Volunteers' Hostel project had also been moved out. These had been stored on top of No.134's loco chassis so volunteers cleared other remaining junk off that and brushed it down. This is the first 'work' to be done on No.134 in over 2 years. It will now be possible for the new No.134 Project Manager, Pete Randall, to fully inspect what he has taken on!

Whilst FR Co. and WHRS now have an agreement for WHRS to sponsor/fund raise for the rebuild, actual work, beyond housekeeping and maintaining the existing condition (i.e. keeping weatherproof) will NOT be resuming on No.134 until funding and approval by the FR Co. Board is confirmed, both of which are currently under discussion.

Next week, the schedule calls for only a visual inspection of both carriage sets with no oiling required, so Team Wylfa will be continuing work on No.138's boiler.

 

Tuesday Gang report 3/6/08

The gang of 10 spent today installing posts for LC signs at LC 99, 100, 101, 104. Posts for both trespass signs and the Stop, look, listen type were installed. Chainage markers were also progressed and one volunteer assisted permanent staff with preparations for LC79 A/B and LC80 at Tyn-y-Coed

 

S11_TB3-6-08LC signage.jpg (74216 bytes)

This northerly view (3/6/08) shows the Tuesday Gang adding signage posts to a level crossing south of Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin progress 3/6/08

Shuttering for the first stage of the abutments was set up at by 3/6/08.

 

S9_RC3-6-08BYF S.jpg (99680 bytes)

This southerly view (3/6/08) shows the substantial abutment work on the north side of the new Bryn-y-felin road bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 news 3/6/08

Work was complete on a single UB214 by 30/5/08 as noted on an official site visit by your webmaster. The trackbed between OB216 and OB217 in incomplete awaiting BT's transfer of a buried cable from the east to a duct built for them on the west side of the alignment.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08UB214 W.jpg (81560 bytes)

This westerly view (30/5/08) shows UB214 complete with local stone facing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08OB216 N.jpg (55222 bytes)

This westerly view (30/5/08) shows the trackbed north from OB216 complete as viewed from a spoil pile. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08OB216 ramp.jpg (71421 bytes)

This easterly view (30/5/08) shows the easterly ramp for OB216 being built up in the adjacent field. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08OB216 S.jpg (56108 bytes)

This southerly view (30/5/08) shows the incomplete trackbed south of OB216 awaiting BT's movement of a buried phone cable along the alignment. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08OB217 N.jpg (73588 bytes)

This northerly view (30/5/08) shows work starting on OB217 towards the northern end of the Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08OB217 NE.jpg (68434 bytes)

This northerly view (30/5/08) shows work starting on the eastern ramp onto OB217. This will carry the public footpath by the wall over the railway as well as a farmer's accommodation track. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08OB217 S.jpg (64420 bytes)

This southerly view (30/5/08) shows work starting on the western ramp for OB217 towards the northern end of the Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work started on OB216 on 3/6/08. Buckley's crane lifted the 6mm corrugated panels into place to be bolted into a hoop shape and place in a trench on the correct alignment. Work also started to deliver the segments for OB217 at Traeth Mawr, just south of the north loop point.

 

S12_RC3-6-08OB216 hoop from OB217.jpg (50471 bytes)

This northerly view (3/6/08) shows the erection of the hoop for OB216 was done off line and then it was lifted into place on the alignment of the railway. The trackbed between the two bridges awaits strengthening as BT has yet to divert a cable laid 'ultra vires' alongside the east side of the railway to the west! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS3-6-08OB216 hoop N.jpg (55339 bytes) S12_AS3-6-08OB216 erection S.jpg (55765 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 3/6/08) show the completed hoop being placed on the correct alignment. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS3-6-08OB216 inside hoop.jpg (61687 bytes) S12_AS3-6-08OB216 N2.jpg (57642 bytes)

These northerly views (both 3/6/08) show the complete hoop. The first shows progress the angled edges that support the batter of the accommodation track that crosses the bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS3-6-08OB217.jpg (68103 bytes)

This southerly view (3/6/08) shows the eastern wall demolished for the ramp for OB217 at the site of Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_RC3-6-08OB217 S hoop.jpg (74043 bytes)

This southerly view (3/6/08) shows the steel sections for OB217 being unloaded at the site of Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 2/6/08

Kerbing was in place at the end of the tramway section on the south side of Snowdon Street on 30/5/08.

 

S14_BWH30-5-08SS kerbing S.jpg (82560 bytes) S14_BWH30-5-08SS kerbing N.jpg (73153 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 30/5/08) show the kerbing in place at the end of the tramway section immediately south of Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Fencing was underway between the new railway alignment and the new footpath alongside Llyn Bach on 30/5/08.

 

S14_BWH30-5-08LB fencing footpath.jpg (79772 bytes)

This southerly view (30/5/08) shows fence posts in place on the Llyn Bach chicane. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More work has been done on the possible support for the facia that will hide the linkspan pile wall at this picturesque harbour location with it stone quays.

 

S14_BWH30-5-08linkspan profile bars.jpg (93230 bytes)

This northerly view (30/5/08) shows a close up of the square section profile bars that will support the casting of the cap onto the linkspan pile wall. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC2-6-08linkspan facia.jpg (63111 bytes)

This westerly view (2/6/08) shows a drilled bar being fixed to the welded supports just above the 'beach'. This might support a facia. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

On 2/6/08, BT removed the pole blocking the alignment just east of Cob Records and the excavators moved in to rapidly excavate the formation up to the end of the tramway section just east of Cob Records. Meanwhile the tramway between there and Snowdon Wharf was being drilled for the rail supports.

 

S14_BWH30-5-08CR E.jpg (101531 bytes)

This easterly view (30/5/08) shows the foundation slab of the tramway being prepared approaching Cob Records. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC2-6-08CR E.jpg (89273 bytes)

This easterly view (2/6/08) shows preparations underway to provide track supports in the tramway slab just east of Cob Records. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH30-5-08CR W.jpg (62981 bytes)

This westerly view (2/6/08) shows the ground marked for the end of the tramway slab just east of Cob Records. That telegraph pole cannot survive much longer! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC2-6-08CR W.jpg (55045 bytes)

This easterly view (2/6/08) shows the telegraph pole finally gone and Carillion excavating the tramway trackbed tramway track. The main road is traffic controlled so that a dumper can be parked alongside the excavations to remove material. The cones indicate the end of the tramway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 31/5/08

Fencing has been completed north of Cae Pawb (Cambrian) Crossing. NR has installed its interface at the crossing.

 

S14_AG31-5-08Trap points N.jpg (59019 bytes) S14_AG31-5-08Trap points S.jpg (72190 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (31/5/08) show the new fencing around the site of the future catch point, just north of Cae Pawb Crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing). Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_AG31-5-08CC fencing.jpg (77465 bytes)

This southerly view (31/5/08) shows heritage style wooden fencing installed just north of Cae Pawb crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_AG31-5-08CC NR interface.jpg (64074 bytes)

This easterly view (31/5/08) shows NR's interface unit in the northeast corner of Cae Pawb crossing (aka Cambrian Crossing). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

On Britannia Bridge, it appears the pile wall may receive a facing though no work was underway on Friday/Saturday.

 

S14_AG31-5-08BB linkspan.jpg (80913 bytes)

This westerly view (31/5/08) shows some welding has taken place at the base of the pile wall that may support a facing of some type above the stone bank. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

LC114A progress 30/5/08

The position of LC114A has been fixed about 10m south of LC114.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08LC114 S.jpg (55651 bytes) S12_BWH30-5-08LC114A N.jpg (69006 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 30/5/08) show the position of LC114A about 10m south of LC114. The ramp on the east side into the Osprey Site is nearing completion. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH30-5-08LC114A E.jpg (80930 bytes) S12_BWH30-5-08LC114A W.jpg (90710 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 30/5/08) show the approach ramps of LC114A about 10m south of LC114. Deliveries of screened crushed slate were underway to build up a ramp on the west side on geotextile. The new access road can be seen curving to intercept the B4410 some 50m west of LC114 with topsoil stripped. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Mystery photo

Roger Dimmick (FR) has offered a mystery photo for the 'old lags' who can remember the FR in the early days.

 

S14_RD29-5-08Mystery.jpg (90403 bytes)

This southerly view (29/5/08) shows two steel rails used as uprights cast in concrete foundations on the south side of the tramway just west of Cob Records. Can anyone remember the building they used to support? Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 29/5/08

The rebar cages for the tramway foundation across the south part of Snowdon Street level crossing and the western approach to Cob Records were complete by 28/5/08 and concrete was poured on 29/5/08. In the case of Snowdon Street level crossing, this might be the end of the slab as no rebar protrudes south from the concrete. Track between here and the Britannia Bridge linkspan is planned to be ballasted.

 

S14_RC28-5-08 SS N.jpg (93948 bytes) S14_RC28-5-08 SS S.jpg (69843 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (28/5/08) show the rebar cage in place on the southern half of Snowdon Street level crossing ready for casting of the base slab for the tramway. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC29-5-08 SS S concreted.jpg (74203 bytes)

This southerly view (29/5/08) shows the cast foundation slab for the tramway on the south side of Snowdon Street Level Crossing with the tramway track halfway across the road. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC28-5-08 CR W.jpg (70331 bytes) S14_RC29-5-08 CR W concreted.jpg (66302 bytes)

These westerly views (28/5/08 and 29/5/08) show the rebar cage for the Snowdon Wharf-Cob Records tramway section and the foundation slab cast the following day. Rebar protrudes from the end of the slab showing the tramway will extend a little further east when the telegraph pole is removed! Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC29-5-08 CR E concreted.jpg (87328 bytes)

This easterly view (29/5/08) shows the cast foundation slab for the tramway between Snowdon Wharf and Cob Records. The telegraph pole is clearly impeding further progress and beyond it, the modern extension of Spooner's Bar beer store must be removed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 28/5/08

The A498 between Prenteg and Aberglaslyn is due to re-open on 29/5/08 as a through route following completion of repair of retaining walls. The road between Pont Aberglaslyn and Nantmor will then be closed for approx one week for re-surfacing work and repairs to the parapet (again!) at Pont Aberglaslyn to be carried out. Work started on the new access road at the Osprey hide on 28/5/08. The first of the two over bridges OB216/217, south of Pont Croesor, is due to commence erection next week. Both will take about a week to assemble the Armco style corrugated steel tubes.

 

S12_AS28-5-08PCH N.jpg (74872 bytes) S12_AS28-5-08PCH N2.jpg (66716 bytes)

These northerly views (both 28/5/08) show Pont Croesor loop. The first shows progress at LC114A with Pont Croesor visible behind. The poles in the centre of the view mark the centreline of the loop. The second shows the south end of the loop where the formation is being widened to allow the full 200m length to pass the longest trains envisaged. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Porthmadog bypass latest

Documents released for public scrutiny by the WAG include a plan of the route that can be enlarged and an Environmental Summary which includes a route description and artwork.

Click on this link for more details

 

Team Wylfa report 27/5/08

Team Wylfa had a good turnout for once and four volunteers attacked the E Set after having to wait for its return from the late train. All coaches were checked and oiled up.

There are a lot of changes at Dinas in the absence of tracklaying. A big clean-up is going on, including, at the top of the bank above the Loading Dock, space has been cleared which will shortly become a proper coal store similar to that at Minffordd on the FR. i.e.. concrete floor with multiple bays made up of sleeper walls held in a vertical steel UB frame.

 

NG15 No.134 news

There has been further discussion recently about NG15 No.134 restoration project. There a few minor details to be sorted out before the project is launched, which may happen quite soon.

 

Phase 4 progress 27/5/08

More progress has been made with clearing, levelling and widening the embankment for the Pont Croesor loop and halt site. Further south, work has now reached the site of Traeth Mawr loop and the ballast will shortly be removed. Track has been removed for an additional 4 panels 72m south of LC119 as James Cyf. will need to make up the embankment levels (see Track Gang story). Clearance and fencing has established the areas where the ramps for the new accommodation bridges OB216/7 will be formed.

 

S12_AS27-5-08N2348.jpg (66989 bytes)

This northerly view (27/5/08) shows progress with clearance with the Pont Croesor loop. The embankment is being widened at the south end and the sand vibro-rolled to compact it. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS27-5-08N2321.jpg (48579 bytes)

This southerly view (27/5/08) shows progress with clearance around OB216. The trackbed has been made up with slate fines as far as here. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS27-5-08N2330.jpg (62818 bytes)

This southerly view (27/5/08) shows progress with clearance just north of OB217, with the site of Traeth Mawr loop in the distance. Clearance for the bridge ramps has also begun. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS27-5-08N2342.jpg (86351 bytes)

This northerly view (27/5/08) shows progress with clearance at OB217. The ballast of the former Traeth Mawr loop will soon be removed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang Report 27/5/08

The Tuesday Gang had twelve volunteers on 27/5/08. One gang of four completed various outstanding work on Beddgelert Station north point timbers ready to receive rodding and the associated cabinet for the trailable point mechanism. This included drilling and screwing braces to the sleeper platform, not an easy task due to the very hard wood of the jarrah sleepers. Also some ballast was moved from the shoulders to between the rails, just to the north of the point, as some sleepers were sitting on top of the ballast. Ballast levels within the point platform were adjusted to match. On completion, the gang moved up to Cwm Cloch farm crossing to take down a length of stone wall at the north west of the crossing in order to improve sight lines for the loco drivers prior to inspection next month.

Seven others repaired mid morning to Rhyd Ddu station to the right of the approach steps, where they were tasked with excavating a hole for an inspection chamber on the trackside of the fence and a trench leading to the existing chamber. The object of this exercise will be to tidy away all the visible blue water pipes presently sticking up out of the ground. The twelfth volunteer was employed on his regular Tuesday task of assisting PW staff in the construction of level crossing timbers, this time at Pont Cae'r Gors.

 

S7_AE27-5-08RD water main.jpg (96408 bytes)

This easterly view (27/5/08) shows the excavation of a trench for the water main at Rhyd Ddu that should protect it from frost. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alun Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Track gang reports 17-18/5 and 24-5/5/08

A reduced Rest of the World cleared and sorted the rubbish/scrap from the 3 B wagons in the North Yard over the weekend of 17-18/5/08. They were rewarded with the sound and sight of K1 working hard on its record length train.

On 24/5/08, the North Wales Track Gang took up four panels of track immediately south of where the WHR(P)'s Traeth Mawr loop had been. This was so that the contractors could reinstate the embankment here and bring the trackbed up to the correct level. Rail and sleepers were stored nearby and all other bits recovered to Dinas. Work switched to Dinas the following day, sorting sleepers, clips and base plates in readiness for the next and final phase of track laying. Work was also done preparing metalwork parts for crossings, tidying up the Construction Store and moving rail, including a catch point (which amounts to lots of bits) as well as a general tidy up outside the workshops. Some of the gang got carried away and helped coal up K1 when it arrived back at the end of the day, thus saving the train crew a lot of time and effort.

 

New coal loading arrangements at Dinas

The site of the conveyor is a bit further along the Dock Siding than the previous timber drawbridge so the rails are further away from the bank. The conveyor does not reach the loco so a surplus aluminium sign is used as a bridge but, as it sits at too shallow an angle to allow the coal to fall by gravity, one member of the coaling team has to be in the bunker clearing the descending coal manually and from time to time stopping the conveyor to trim the coal into the bunker. Some coal falls off the sides of this makeshift bridge and down onto the trackside.

Coal still has manually loaded into the hopper at the bottom of the conveyor, or if the coal stack is out of reach, has to be shovelled into barrows and then tipped into the hopper. So there is still at lot of hard labour at the end of a long day to re-coal the loco. Various improvements are being considered with the best solution to slew the track in towards the conveyor. This would also make it easier for the crew to move from engine to coal dock and vice versa. Ideally a small bucket loader as found in most builders' merchants yards would make short work of the coaling task.

 

CTRL progress 27/5/08

With the Bank Holiday out of the way, work got underway on 27/5/08 with the remaining part of Snowdon Street level crossing, the linkspan foundation at Britannia Bridge and the tramway adjacent to Cob Records, not to mention the Cob Records rebuilding itself!

 

S14_RC27-5-08SS tramway.jpg (64041 bytes)

This easterly view (27/5/08) shows the excavation of the south side of Snowdon Street Level Crossing with the tramway track halfway across the road. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC27-5-08BB linkspan W.jpg (71876 bytes)

This westerly view (27/5/08) shows the start of work to cap the pile wall that forms the training wall at Britannia Bridge. This will also be the foundation of the linkspan. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC27-5-08BB linkspan foundations.jpg (80814 bytes)

This northerly view (27/5/08) shows the formwork for the concrete cap extending out from the pile wall. The formwork has lots of steel rods laid in it which may support the concrete cap when it is poured. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC27-5-08BB linkspan.jpg (98226 bytes)

This westerly view (27/5/08) shows the backfilling of the linkspan area with the formwork cantilevered out from the pile wall. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC27-5-08CR E.jpg (68992 bytes)

This easterly view (27/5/08) shows the excavation of a trench across the tramway at Cob Records for services. The rail-side wall of Cob Records continues to rise and the telegraph pole still needs to be removed! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bank Holiday storm 26/5/08

The WHR managed to operate despite a storm blowing down many trees across the line on Bank Holiday Monday 26/5/08. The first train from Waunfawr with Caernarfon Castle in charge encountered a number of fallen trees at Salem and Glan-yr-afon. The first was shifted clear by the crew but the latter was too big to deal with the tools available, so the train set back to Waunfawr where K1 was waiting with the next Up train.

 

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This northerly view (26/5/08) shows the Funkey in the middle of the rake having run around K1's train at Waunfawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The passengers from the first train were disembarked and the train ran round and coupled on the back of the Pullman, with the Funkey in the middle of the two sets. K1 then pulled both sets forward to clear the North fouling point (possibly the heaviest construct K1 has ever hauled?), then ran round the whole consist itself. Passengers were then loaded onto the first train and K1 hauled it back to Caernarfon, followed by the Funkey.

At Caernarfon, passengers were informed that the line at Glan-yr-afon had now been cleared and that K1 could now proceed to Rhyd Ddu, passing No.143, which had taken over the Funkey's set on its return, at Dinas. Many fallen trees were spotted along the line including those at Salem and Glan-yr-afon that had caused the original problem. Approaching Ffridd Isaf, another tree was found to have fallen across the line, but luckily the train crew was now equipped with an axe and a saw and cleared it, proceeding to Rhyd Ddu.

 

K1_AT26-5-08RD.jpg (52689 bytes)

This northerly view (26/5/08) shows K1 running around at Rhyd Ddu. Strong winds are indicated by the almost horizontal bag on the water tower! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_RC29-5-08KMX shed.jpg (92090 bytes)

This northerly view (29/5/08) shows the KMX shed blown sidewards by the force of the storm. The KMX was not inside at the time fortunately! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S11_BWH18-5-08HYL PW trains.jpg (69769 bytes)

This northerly view (18/5/08) shows Upnor Castle and the KMX locked in at Hafod-y-llyn by the Bryn-y-felin blockade. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Dolgarrog progress 26/5/08

Andrew Thomas and John Ewing made some more progress with the repair of Dolgarrog over the Bank Holiday 24-26/5/08 weekend. The main activity was measuring the crank to check dimensions and whether it was sufficiently round as to not require regrinding. Now they have all the information required, parts should be ordered this week.

 

CTRL progress 24/5/08

Traffic is now two way on Britannia Bridge for the Bank Holiday week to minimise disruption to tourist traffic. Work resumes on the bridge from 2/6/08 when the linkspan foundation on the west abutment/training wall will be cast and the linkspan beams craned in. This will be followed later in June by the completion of the tramway across the eastbound carriageway onto the Llyn Bach corridor and also the southern half of the Snowdon Street tramway crossing. The WHRCL has estimated the CTRL project will be complete by 28/7/08.

 

S14_MC24-5-08BB linkspan.jpg (61323 bytes)

This westerly view (24/5/08) shows the relationship between the new concrete foundation for the linkspan on the most westerly pier of Britannia Bridge and the training wall support/pile wall. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Station waiting shelters

Good progress has been made with Beddgelert Station shelters. The walls of the shelters have been rendered and roofing is underway with slates. A wagon is being used to transport the builders materials along the western track of the loop.

 

S9_TB23-5-08BS north shelter  rendered.jpg (78151 bytes)

This easterly view (23/5/08) shows the shelter at the north end of Beddgelert Station now complete with slate roof and rendered. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_TB23-5-08BS south shelter renering roofing door and trolley.jpg (79142 bytes)

This easterly view (23/5/08) shows the shelter at the south end of Beddgelert Station nearing completion with the walls rendered, a door fitted and slates about to be placed. One of the EAG trucks is being used to transport render to the site from the builders lorry at the Cwmcloch access. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH18-5-08BS north shelter N.jpg (72427 bytes) S9_BWH18-5-08BS north shelter S.jpg (78463 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 18/5/08) show the northern shelter nearing completion. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH18-5-08BS south shelter N.jpg (60832 bytes) S9_BWH18-5-08BS south shelter S.jpg (61673 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 18/5/08) show the southern shelter nearing completion. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 23/3/08

Good progress is being made at Pont Croesor Halt where passive provision is being made for two edge platforms as at Dinas rather than an island platform, which may be constructed later, it is understood, by the WHR(P). HMRI do not want a road junction on the main road crossing LC114. In order to provide a new farm access and as a consequence, entry for the RSPB Osprey Centre, there is to be an additional crossing (LC114A) about 40m south of LC114 (the B4410 crossing). This will entail a new road embankment either side of the railway leading to the new crossing. Additional clearance is for a sheep pen provided as a mitigation measure.

 

S12_TB23-5-08PC loop.jpg (68157 bytes)

This southerly view (23/5/08) shows the widening and strengthening of the Pont Croesor loop site as seen from the Osprey Compound. Passive provision is being made for edge platforms here. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AK23-5-08PC S.jpg (64669 bytes)

This southerly view (23/5/08) shows the construction of the loop site at Pont Croesor Halt with the new LC114A some 40m metres to the south at the end of the hard core. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_BWH18-5-08PC crossing unit.jpg (97742 bytes)

This southerly view (18/5/08) shows the Pont Croesor level crossing tray. Clearance along the wall in the background is for access works to building a ramp leading to the new LC114A for the RSPB access and for a farm crossing. Additional clearance is for a mitigation sheep pen. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Porthmadog Bypass plans advance

The final plans for the Porthmadog/Tremadog Bypass are available for inspection at local council offices and the SNPA at Minffordd. There will be a display on 11-12 June at the Glaslyn Leisure Centre, Porthmadog, from 9am-7pm. Comments should be made by 3/7/08. Subject to Public Enquiry and the availability of finance, clearance work and diversion of services should start during the Winter of 2009 with the main construction taking place from April 2010-2012. The bypass crosses the WHR by viaduct at Pen-y-Mount Halt and goes under the FR just north of Minffordd Station via an 8m deep cutting. Some 850m of the Cambrian Coast line must be realigned to the south near Minffordd Quarry to make room for the bypass. The bypass will also relieve Britannia Bridge where, it is reported, a maximum of eight train crossings will take place on 24 peak 'red' timetable days a year and six on 159 days.

Click here for Porthmadog Today news story.

 

Porthmadog Bypass scan west.jpg (162974 bytes)

These two scans show the original plans for the Porthmadog Bypass published a few years ago. Details may have changed and these will be replaced when diagrams are to hand. Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Team Wylfa report 20/5/08

Team Wylfa made limited progress at Dinas on the evening of 20/5/08 due to lack of resources. Only one outstanding check/oiling up of a bike wagon was completed. However, a large, lockable steel chest was delivered to the volunteers, to use as a portable 'tool vault' for when they are working for any length of time away from the Clip Shed workshop. This should improve their productivity in not having to lug tools about the Dinas site at start and end of their evening working parties. Many thanks to Tony Rowland for answering Team Wylfa's needs.

 

Dinas Coaling point

Coaling up has taken a quantum leap forward and was mainly mechanised by 17/5/08. The wooden tower/'drawbridge' arrangement has been dismantled and a short, electrically driven conveyor belt substituted. All that is required now is to shovel coal from within the container into the feed hopper above the lower end of the conveyor. It is then taken up and over, dropping directly into the loco's bunker.

 

CTRL progress 23/5/08

Progress has been made at both Snowdon Street l/c and on the Cob Records tramway section.

 

S14_AK23-5-08SS S.jpg (78690 bytes)

This southerly view (23/5/08) shows the tramway track halfway across Snowdon Street. The foundation for the next section has been cast south of the crossing. New tarmac shows work is to be left like this for a short while over the Bank Holiday week. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC23-5-08SS tramway S.jpg (70147 bytes)

This southerly view (23/5/08) shows the temporary tarmac finish at Snowdon Street Crossing with the tramway track halfway across the road. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC23-5-08SS tramway N.jpg (54191 bytes)

This northerly view (23/5/08) shows the temporary tarmac finish at Snowdon Street Crossing with the tramway track halfway across the road. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC23-5-08SS tarmac preps.jpg (76782 bytes)

This northerly view (23/5/08) shows preparations to build up the tarmac alongside the tramway just north of Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC23-5-08BB upstand rolling fill.jpg (81202 bytes)

This northerly view (23/5/08) shows the linkspan upstands at Britannia Bridge now sealed and some backfilling and rolling underway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC23-5-08 BB tarmac.jpg (51338 bytes)

This easterly view (23/5/08) shows the temporary tarmac finish at Britannia Bridge level crossing with the tramway track halfway across the road. Traffic is now bidirectional for the Bank Holiday weekend period. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_AK23-5-08SW chicane E.jpg (72643 bytes) S14_AK23-5-08CR E.jpg (95806 bytes) S14_AK23-5-08CR W.jpg (76671 bytes)

These two easterly and one westerly views (all 23/5/08) show the foundation slabs cast on the east side of Snowdon Wharf chicane. It is clear a sharp reverse curve is involved and the trackbed now is clearly aimed at the modern extension of Spooners beer store, which will soon be demolished! The rail side wall of Cob Records has risen higher and further progress with the tramway depends on BT removing their telephone pole! Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC23-5-08CR tramway services.jpg (83928 bytes)

This northerly view (23/5/08) shows some services still need removing on the Cob Records approaches. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 22/5/08

Work at Bryn-y-felin continues to make good progress and the foundation slabs are now partially cast.

 

S9_AK22-5-08 BYF A.jpg (71946 bytes) S9_AK22-5-08 BYF B.jpg (83421 bytes)

These northerly views (both 22/5/08) show the foundation slabs cast on the south side of Bryn-y-felin bridge and formwork in place for the foundation casting on the north side. A section of original foundation can be seen to have been left in place as it is under the formation on the north side. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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S9_BWH18-5-08BYF D.jpg (83224 bytes)

These northerly views (all 18/5/08) show the early stages in preparing the foundation slab at Bryn-y-felin. The first view shows a section of original slab left in place as it lies under the trackbed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (18/5/08) shows cars crossing the new temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin, complete with red warning roundels on the gates. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 21/5/08

The upstands have been cast for the linkspan foundation at the west end of Britannia Bridge.

 

S14_RC21-5-08BB linkspan upstands.jpg (87672 bytes)

This northerly view (21/5/08) shows the north face of the linkspan upstand now cast. Carillion staff are measuring up the face of the piles before the concrete cap is cast. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

BT are working on Britannia Bridge. They have excavated the pavement on the south side and are laying telecomms ducts.

 

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This westerly view (21/5/08) shows the BT telecomms ducts being placed across Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cob Records roadside wall continues to rise and work has been done on the roof. Excavation for the tramway slab is nearing Cob Records and required some pneumatic rock breaking to obtain adequate clearance for the tramway slab as rock is very near to the surface at this location.

 

S14_RC21-5-08CR rebuilding.jpg (62435 bytes)

This westerly view (21/5/08) shows the wall and roof of Cob Records store being rebuilt. The excavator has almost reached Cob Records and the telephone post must soon go. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 20/5/08

The tramway track halfway across Snowdon Street level crossing was concreted in on 20/5/08. Cut outs have been left for the footway crossing, presumably a different surface.

 

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This northerly view (20/5/08) shows the rails now cemented in place at Snowdon Street level crossing. The first half of the road is now complete. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (20/5/08) shows the rails now cemented in place at Snowdon Street level crossing. The cut outs are presumably for the footpath crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Excavation continues from Snowdon Wharf chicane towards Cob Records for the extension of the tramway track. This is down to solid rock in places!

 

S14_RC20-5-08SW E.jpg (59080 bytes)

This easterly view (20/5/08) shows excavation proceeding eastwards from Snowdon Wharf level crossing towards the demolished section of Cob Records with the soon to be demolished Spooner's Bar store in the distance. A sharp left hand curve will be necessary. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 20/5/08

A largish party of 14 meant that the Tuesday Gang could progress a number of jobs on 20/5/08. Priority was given to completing the second draw pit and constructing a sleeper box which is necessary because the embankment drops steeply away adjacent to the points. This will support the trailable point machine. Secondly the gates at LC87 on the inside of the curve had been installed with the gates opening toward the line. This is not allowed so the gates were removed and the hinges moved to the other side of the posts and the gates re hung. Thirdly it had been noticed that at the south end of Beddgelert Station, where the line curves to the right to approach the south points, that the sleeper spacings did not take into consideration the fact that the joints were staggered. Five sleepers were dug out, correctly positioned and another sleeper inserted ten inches from the fishplate.

 

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This northerly view (20/5/08) shows the sleeper box built to support the trailable point mechanism for Beddgelert north points. Sleepers are locked together with steel tie plates in the shape of an X. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EAG news 16/5/08

Two new running-in boards, minus lettering, have been completed by EAG for Beddgelert Station. They are required as a marketing tool to be fitted before opening to increase awareness of the WHR. The station enjoys an elevated position above the road and car park and the signs should be easily visible and thus create a lot of interest. The signs will have temporary lettering applied for this initial task and will later have the correct, raised lettering applied for the opening of the railway in 2009. Delivery to the railway is expected to take place during the first week of June. Two further signs for this location and one for Meillionen Forest Campsite await application of casings and cornices, and final painting.

 

CTRL progress 19/5/08

The tramway track halfway across Snowdon Street level crossing has been aligned and will be concreted on 20/5/08.

 

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This easterly view (19/5/08) shows the rails being gauged before cementing at Snowdon Street level crossing. The gauge bar is in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Preparations continue on the linkspan foundation and the remaining upstands may be poured this week.

 

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This northerly view (19/5/08) shows formwork for the linkspan upstands for Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The sharply curved track has now appeared from under its hessian covering on Britannia Bridge.

 

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This easterly view (19/5/08) shows the rails curving sharply to leave Britannia Bridge for the Llyn Bach corridor. The second concrete exercise for the eastbound carriageway will be after the Spring Bank Holiday week. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cob Records has received a foundation to its roadside facia and the new wall has started to rise.

 

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This westerly view (19/5/08) shows Cob Records receiving a new roof. The roadside foundation for the north facia is beginning to rise. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC19-5-08CR foundation W.jpg (79414 bytes)

This westerly view (19/5/08) shows the foundation for Cob Records new roadside wall. The excavator (top right) was digging out the tramway which will pass immediately to the right of this foundation. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

It seems the tramway section will terminate just east of Cob Records, where the platform starts.

 

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This easterly view (19/5/08) shows the ground markings showing where the tramway section terminates in Spooner' car park. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Locos in action

No.143 was in action on the second train of the day on 18/5/08, fresh from repair after its cylinder problem the previous week. K1 hauled the earlier train.

 

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This northerly view (18/5/08) shows the newly repaired No.143 approaching Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Porthmadog, Earl of Merioneth was in charge of the 1140 departure. David Lloyd George hauled the other working.

 

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This westerly view (18/5/08) shows Earl of Merioneth departing Porthmadog Harbour station and about to cross the temporary WHR point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 18/5/08

Bryn-y-felin abutments have been reduced to rubble and removed. The formwork for a new foundation has been constructed on the south side of the bridge.

 

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This northerly view (18/5/08) shows the demolition of the abutments at Bryn-y-felin road bridge nearing completion. In the foreground the formwork for the new abutment is beginning to appear. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Clearance works have reached Pont Croesor from the south. An access also appears to have been made from the Osprey compound. The level crossing unit is on site in the Osprey compound.

 

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This southerly view (18/5/08) shows the clearance of the Pont Croesor loop site. What appears to be the new access to the Osprey compound is by the gate to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 18/5/08

The tramway drain unit at Snowdon Mill has now been fitted in position.

 

S14_BWH18-5-08UB220 N.jpg (84791 bytes) S14_BWH18-5-08UB220 tramway S.jpg (57617 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 18/5/08) show the UB220- Snowdon Mill tramway section. The first view shows the parapets completed across UB220 with the site of Porthmadog new (1923) in the distance. The second view shows the tramway section alongside the Car Wash (formerly the Motorbike Museum) approaching Snowdon Street. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (18/5/08) shows the flangeway drain unit with four holes drilled in the flangeway at a low point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Track is welded and almost ready to be cemented on the Snowdon Mill to Snowdon Street section.

 

S14_BWH18-5-08SM tramway S.jpg (89034 bytes) S14_BWH18-5-08SS tramway N.jpg (65511 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 18/5/08) show the Snowdon Mill to Snowdon Street tramway section. The second view shows the rails halfway across Snowdon Street and already welded and booted ready for the concrete pour. Some rebar works needs to be finished this week and the alignment, gauge and twist checked with the Geismar trolley before concreting later this week. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (18/5/08) shows the rebar cage for what appears to be the new linkspan. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The foundation for the linkspan has seen more progress at Britannia Bridge. The training wall piles have been cut level and will receive a cast concrete top that will form part of the supporting structure for the linkspan itself. More work is required on the upstands. It appears the trackbed alongside Llyn Bach will be completed once the bridgeworks are finished.

 

S14_BWH18-5-08LB corridor N.jpg (89372 bytes) S14_BWH18-5-08 Linkspan foundation.jpg (98952 bytes)

These northerly views (both 18/5/08) show the Llyn Bach corridor and the foundation for the new linkspan. The pile wall has been cut level and all remaining tie rods have been inserted. Click on the images to enlarge. These image are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Concrete was poured on Britannia Bridge on 16/5/08 and the concrete left covered in hessian sacking to cure over the weekend. The bridge should be clear of traffic lights by the Bank Holiday weekend. The programme is to start the eastbound carriageway across the linkspan by 2/6/08 and the linkspan beams will be placed.

 

S14_BWH18-5-08BB tramway cast E.jpg (61035 bytes) S14_BWH18-5-08BB tramway cutouts.jpg (59407 bytes)

S14_BWH18-5-08BB tramway W.jpg (55874 bytes)

These two easterly and one westerly views (all 18/4/08) show the tramway section across Britannia Bridge. The hessian has . Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The part of Cob Records fouling the alignment has been cleared from the trackbed and the foundation of the new exterior wall cast.

 

S14_BWH18-5-08CR demolished  E.jpg (77188 bytes) S14_BWH18-5-08CR demolished W.jpg (70029 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 18/4/08) show the demolition of Cob Records nearing completion and a foundation for the new exterior wall some 5m away from the kerb on the main road. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Painting dragons!

The WHRS West Midlands Group has been busy painting the red Welsh dragon motif on the raised cast iron of the platform benches. Nine frames in all were painted, six ends and three centre supports, enough for three benches probably for Beddgelert Station.

 

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This view (15/5/08) shows the red dragons raised on the platform bench frames. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mike Hadley and was taken on a Pentax Optio S50 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 feats!

The surviving steam loco from last weekend's Real Ale Festival has made some new performance records! On Tuesday 13/5/08 it hauled 9 carriages and the bike wagon to Rhyd Ddu, arriving 5 minutes ahead of schedule from an on time departure at Waunfawr. This was to allow for some large party bookings. On Saturday 17/5/08, the 1355 is scheduled to have 11 coaches, with a shunt manoeuvre adding them at Dinas at 1310!

 

CTRL progress 15/5/08

Rails were moved into their correct places on Britannia Bridge in the cut outs made in the eastbound carriageway. All looks ready for a concrete pour once the Geismar alignment trolley has checked gauge and twist.

 

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This westerly view (15/5/08) shows the rails now fixed in position on Britannia Bridge and aligned into the cut outs on the eastbound carriageway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (15/5/08) shows the flangeway drains on Britannia Bridge. These are connected into a low point on the flangeway and drain into a local gully. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC15-5-08BB W.jpg (59479 bytes)

This westerly view (15/5/08) shows the sharp curve on Britannia Bridge ready for a concrete pour. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress

The roof timbers have been placed on the shelters at Beddgelert Station.

 

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These northerly views (15/5/08) show the platform shelter at Beddgelert Station. The second view shows detail of the roof construction. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 14/5/08

Rails were welded at Snowdon Mill on 13/5/08 and further rails placed across the north half of Snowdon Street l/c (LC123) the following day. Some of the new rail is already fitted with boots ready for the concrete pour.

 

S14_RC14-5-08SS rails.jpg (73174 bytes)

This easterly view (14/5/08) shows the extension of the Snowdon Mill tramway track across Snowdon Street. Rails were laid in place on 14/5/08, though not yet welded. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Britannia Bridge, the straight rails have been welded and the sharp curved rails have been cut to length without intruding onto the eastbound carriageway. Some minor cut-outs have been made in the deck of the eastbound carriageway to accommodate the curved rail supports. The curved rail ends are staggered so that they can be completed with one carriageway still open in each phase of tracklaying. The curved rails were also welded.

 

S14_RC14-5-08BB rails E.jpg (90341 bytes)

This easterly view (14/5/08) shows the track laid across Britannia Bridge and the start of the sharp curve onto the Llyn Bach corridor. The straight rails were welded to those previously laid across Snowdon Wharf but the curved rails are not yet welded. Rebar mesh is visible ready for the next concrete pour when the rails are set in position later this week. The rails in the background are already clad in the boot and have the flangeway taped up ready for concreting. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (14/5/08) show the cut outs required in the eastbound tarmac to accommodate the curve supports. The second view shows the rail support being grouted into the deck. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC14-5-08BB welds.jpg (94599 bytes) S14_RC14-5-08BB welds finished.jpg (75363 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (14/5/08) show the welding of the curved rails on Britannia Bridge and the welds on the straight section ground down sometime later. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction progress 13/5/08

The southerly abutment of Bryn-y-felin Bridge has been demolished and work was underway on 13/5/08 to complete the demolition of the northern abutment. It is hoped to reinstate rail access next week when the demolition should be finished.

 

CTRL progress 13/5/08

At Snowdon Mill, rails were welded to the Head of Steel to lead across Snowdon Street level crossing. Later in the day, the welds were ground flat and the boots attached.

 

S14_RC13-5-08SS tramway crossing N.jpg (85366 bytes)

This northerly view (13/5/08) shows the extension of the Snowdon Mill tramway track onto Snowdon Street. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Britannia Bridge progress has been made with the upstands for the linkspan foundation north of the bridge. The rebar cages now reach the height of the pile wall that faces Llyn Bach.

 

S14_RC13-5-08BB linkspan upstands.jpg (110496 bytes)

This northerly view (13/5/08) shows the rebar added to the upstands at Britannia Bridge. The side wall will be cast soon and reach the height of the planed off pile wall. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (13/5/08) show the demolition of Cob Records. About 4m is being removed to allow the railway and The Cob footpath to pass. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 13/5/08

The Tuesday Gang continued their work on Beddgelert Station signalling. One Draw Pit was completed at the north end of the station and the other three fifths completed. (3 courses out of 5). In addition 2 standard size sleepers were removed from under the points and replaced with full length timbers. Also a sleeper wall was started adjacent to the points. Hopefully next week should see the north end completed with the exception of the power supply itself, the source of which is still under discussion.

 

S9_TB13-5-08BS cable pull.jpg (91754 bytes)

This southerly view (13/5/08) shows the Tuesday Gang working laying signal cable ducts at the north end of Beddgelert Station. A cable pull pit is being constructed near the north end points on the east side. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 12/5/08

Carillion continues to make good progress with the CTRL. Rail supports have been grouted into the section from Snowdon Mill leading up to and halfway across Snowdon Street level crossing.

 

S14_RC12-5-08SS north.jpg (87330 bytes)

This northerly view (12/5/08) shows the extension of the Snowdon Mill tramway trackbed onto Snowdon Street. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The footpath alongside Llyn Bach is nearing completion.

 

S14_MC12-5-08Llyn Bach path.jpg (53638 bytes)

This westerly view (12/5/08) shows the northern end of the Llyn Bach path from LC125. The formation is to the right and Wilkinson's new shop (the former Coop) to the right of that. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work is also in progress on the linkspan foundation just north of Britannia Bridge. The foundation slab has been backfilled with slate fines but the upstands look to be raised another 2m yet.

 

S14_RC12-5-08BB linkspan A .jpg (68764 bytes)

This northerly view (12/5/08) shows the infilling of the area behind the pile wall nearing completion at Britannia Bridge. It appears the upstands will be extended a further 2 m in height. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC12-5-08BB linkspan B.jpg (99784 bytes)

This northerly view (12/5/08) shows the infilling of the area behind the pile wall nearing completion at Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Good progress is being made across Britannia Bridge. The adjustable rail supports have been grouted into the original concrete bridge beams and rails were delivered by the afternoon of 12/5/08 ready for welding to those in place across Snowdon Wharf road junction.

 

S14_RC12-5-08BB rails A.jpg (97135 bytes) S14_RC12-5-08BB west with rails and supports.jpg (77516 bytes)

These westerly views (12/5/08) show laying of rail on the previously inserted rail supports in Britannia Bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_MC12-5-08BB rails .jpg (52674 bytes)

This westerly view (12/5/08) shows the supports for the Britannia Bridge tramway track grouted in and straight rail placed ready for welding. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The original Cob Records store has had its roof slates removed and the wall has been marked for alterations. The roadside section is being cut back to allow the railway and The Cob footpath to pass.

 

S14_RC12-5-08Cob Records W.jpg (68266 bytes)

This westerly view (12/5/08) shows the roof removed from Cob Records' store. The red line on the wall some 4m from the roadside face presumably indicates the section to be demolished. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Real Ale Festival 11/5/08

This was a major success, though numbers were a bit lighter on Sunday. The failure of No.143 with a cracked piston cover earlier in the week and also of Prince with a similar problem whilst working the shuttles left K1 and Castell Caernarfon as the main power for the weekend, with Conway Castle working the shuttles.

 

Phase 4 progress 8/5/08

The form of Beddgelert Station waiting shelters is becoming apparent. There will be both east and west facing bays, presumably with platform seats. Passengers may take advantage of the side offering the most shelter!

 

S9_RC8-5-08BS shelter.jpg (78164 bytes)

This westerly view (8/5/08) shows the final form of the Beddgelert Station waiting shelters. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Down on the Traeth, James Cyf. is making progress towards the site of Traeth Mawr loop and clearance has reached the site of OB216. It has been decided to construct towards Traeth Mawr and then lay ballast back to Pont Croesor. Tracklaying can then proceed south from Pont Croesor in the Summer when a road closure may be necessary, following the reopening of the A498 (currently closed for repair for 5 months).

 

S12_AS7-5-08PC.jpg (82419 bytes)

This northerly view (7/5/08) shows progress with clearance from LC115, looking towards the Pont Croesor loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S12_AS7-5-08LC117 N.jpg (56575 bytes) S12_AS7-5-08LC117 S.jpg (61174 bytes)

These northerly and southerly views (both 7/5/08) show LC117. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (7/5/08) shows progress with clearance at LC118, where the new accommodation bridge OB216 will be constructed. The public footpath joins the alignment at this point as seen by the A frame style to the right. This area was cleared later in the day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 9/5/08

Work has progressed on Britannia Bridge. The heavy duty tie-back rebars have received screws and spreader plate 'washers' attaching them to the front pile wall that will also become the Llyn Bach training wall. The recently excavated westbound carriageway on the bridge deck has been marked out for the position of the tramway trackbed.

 

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This westerly view (9/5/08) shows the nuts and spreader plates being attached to the tie-back rebars. More holes in the pile wall suggests there are more to come. The tide line is visible on the piles. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (9/5/08) shows the tramway trackbed marked out on Britannia Bridge in yellow ground paint curving around the left side of the Carillion surveyors. A mini-prism is being used to help the setting out. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 8/5/08

Concreting was completed across the northern half of Snowdon Street by the end of 8/5/08.

 

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This westerly view (8/5/08) shows the concrete being laid at Snowdon Street level crossing tramway section. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

There has also been progress on Britannia Bridge. Heavy duty rebar has been installed to tie back the pile seawall to the secondary pile wall to the rear. Some of this passes through holes left in the concrete upstands.

 

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This northerly view (8/5/08) shows the heavy duty rebar emerging from the face of the seawall piles. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (8/5/08) shows the heavy duty rebar passing through the concrete upstands and reaching the rear pile wall. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

There has also been progress with the pier with the bearing casting on the pier of Britannia Bridge. Formwork has been removed and a wooden pattern placed to locate dowels to attach the pre-cast linkspan beam.

 

S14_RC8-5-08BB pier.jpg (47868 bytes)

This easterly view (8/5/08) shows the new concrete bearing on the pier of Britannia Bridge that will support the linkspan. A wooden pattern is visible with some dowels already inserted to attach the linkspan beam. The new concrete bearing is firmly attached to the original stonework of the pier beneath by many dowels. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL Progress 7/5/08

With the Bank Holiday weekend tourist traffic over, attention switched to Britannia Bridge again on 6/5/08 and the tarmac was stripped from the westbound carriageway in preparation for laying the tramway track across the bridge. The tarmac was removed by the following day. It is hoped to complete all the work before the Spring Bank Holiday tourist traffic.

 

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This westerly view (7/5/08) shows the end of the Snowdon Wharf tramway track and the tarmac stripped off the bridge beyond. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (7/5/08) shows the tarmac stripped off Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 6/5/08

The Tuesday Gang used manual labour to dig trenches for signal cables at the north end of Beddgelert Station on 6/5/08. progress was also noticed with the platform shelters. The shelters are to have 3 courses of yellow bricks under the rendered block exterior walls. Further progress was noted with the demolition of Bryn-y-felin road bridge.

 

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This northerly view (6/5/08) shows the Tuesday Gang working laying signal cable ducts at the north end of Beddgelert Station. A cable pull is being threaded through the ducts. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (6/5/08) shows the contractor constructing the southern waiting shelter. Rendered blocks have been chosen for the exterior walls with 3 courses of yellow bricks at the base as used in many NWNGR buildings. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (6/5/08) shows demolition progressing at Bryn-y-felin road bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Steam on the CTRL!

The WHR(P) Gala over the Bank Holiday Weekend saw industrial diesels in use on the CTRL on a demonstration freights running in parallel with the passenger trains. However, towards the end of 5/5/08 the diesel failed and the train was rescued by steam. The 'Thunderbird' locos were Alice, Irish Mail and Jack Lane. The rescue was performed with great care and low speeds were required on the new track.

 

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This southerly view (5/5/08) shows the three steam locos rescuing the failed diesel hauled demonstration freight from the CTRL just north of Cae Pawb crossing. These were the first steam locos on the route since it has been rebuilt. Spare rails can be seen in the 2 foot. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Michael Chapman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news

Gelli Engineering has won the initial contract for the WHR platform at Porthmadog. At first this will be the short section between Spooners patio and Cob Records. The base for the Cae Pawb Crossing signal box is planned to go in during the early Summer and the box itself will be erected in August. It will be very similar in appearance to the Dutton box of the 1890s that was visible in WHR days at Cambrian Crossing.

 

Loco news

New Garratt No.87 passed its hydraulic test on 3/5/08 after a few leaks were notes on the first test on 16/4/08. For the test, it had its various openings blanked off. The bunker was delivered from Brunswick Ironworks on 18/4/08 and was soon receiving paint. Much of the loco is lying around Boston Lodge ready for assembly and this may be completed in time for the SuperPower event in September. Indeed, No.87 may be delivered to the WHR by rail if the connection is completed as planned this Summer!

 

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These views (all 5/4/08) show work in progress on No.87 at Boston Lodge. The first view shows the boiler being prepared for its hydraulic test. The second view shows the boiler frame on carrier bogies in the yard. The third view shows the rear power bogie nearing completion with the new Romanian coach No.2060 on jacks in the background. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Real Ale Festival latest

A leaflet has been released giving details of the Real Ale Festival that runs from 9-11/5/08. The real ale venues include Dinas Goods shed, the Black Boy Inn (Caernarfon), Newborough Arms (Bontnewydd), Goat Hotel (Llanwnda)-Sunday excepted and the Snowdonia Parc (Waunfawr). The real ale Cwellyn Arms at Rhyd Ddu is again not involved. Entertainment is provided at Dinas from Friday night and a Country Market will sell crafts and local produce on Sunday. A Weekend Rover costs £20 (£18 concessions). The cost of entry at Dinas is £3 including a souvenir glass.

 

Construction progress 4/5/08

Good progress is being made demolishing the abutments of Bryn-y-felin bridge by GC's contractors. The concrete appears to be more than 50cm thick and is being demolished by hydraulic rock pickers. Excavators had disposed of the first metre or so by 4/5/08. Demolition is scheduled to take a further week and then the railway blockade can be lifted.

 

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This southerly view (4/5/08) shows the demolition of Bryn-y-felin bridge. The concrete walls are almost 1m thick! The level crossing gate has acquired the traditional red roundal warning sign for when the gates are closed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ben Fisher and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 4/5/08

The northern half of LC123, the Snowdon Street crossing, was excavated by the weekend of 3-4/5/08. This will allow tramway slab track to be extended halfway across the road. When that is complete, the remaining section can be excavated and constructed without the need for a road closure. Rails will need to be welded in the middle of the road. Tramway track will finish just south of the crossing by Gasworks Siding and normal track will cross the car park as far as the Britannia Bridge tramway track.

 

S14_BF3-5-08SS tramway.jpg (75718 bytes)

This southerly view (3/5/08) shows the northern half of LC123 excavated across Snowdon Street. The tramway slab base will be extended halfway across the crossing initially. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ben Fisher and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

With the first metre or so of the upstand for the linkspan at Britannia Bridge (poured on 1/5/08) now cured the next extension upwards is due soon. As soon as the Bank Holiday is out of the way, work will start on 6/5/08 to complete the first half of tramway across Britannia Bridge extending from the Snowdon Wharf road junction westwards (in the westbound carriageway). This will involve removing tarmac to expose the concrete bridge beams between the central white line and the kerb. Steel tie-bars will be grouted in to support the rails and the tram rails will be fixed to the tie bars. Once the alignment and level has been checked with the Geismar trolley, a second concrete pour will re-instate the carriageway to match the top of rail level.

Meanwhile, the new foundations for the linkspan should hopefully be complete and linkspan bridge beams will be craned in on the north side of the bridge. BT will lay new ducts in the southern footpath over the bridge. All tasks must be completed and traffic management removed by 1400 on 23/5/08 to avoid inconvenience for the Spring Bank Holiday traffic.

 

Team Wylfa 29/4/08

With Rail Ale coming up fast (9-11/5/08), this week Team Wylfa had to start clearing the Goods Shed. No.138 has had to be wrapped up in tarpaulins as there is a possibility that it might have to stay outside for a few days and volunteers do not want the boiler exterior getting wet and rusty after all the cleaning back to bare metal. The needle gun air compressor had to be disconnected and moved back to the Clip Shed workshop and then the areas around No.138 given a good sweep. Dolgarrog will have to be moved out too but that was not one of their jobs. Llanfair, the vertical boiler De Winton quarry engine was also moved out by 3/5/08.

 

The final section

The area between Pont Croesor and Traeth Mawr is being rapidly cleared and the final section of trackbed to Traeth Mawr should be clear by mid May, allowing work to start soon on the new corrugated over bridges OB216/7. This is the last untouched section of trackbed.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 16/4/08) show UB213. Work is also visible at Pont Croesor in the distance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 16/4/08) show the limit of clearance that day at Ch.31750 approx. Work is also visible at UB214 in the distance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 16/4/08) show the unchanged trackbed at Ch.31850. Work is also visible at Pont Croesor in the distance. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 16/4/08) show LC117 at Ch.32100. The north Traeth Mawr loop headshunt lies about 550m to the south at Ch.32650. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (16/4/08) shows Snowdon, bedecked in snow (unusual of late) as seen from LC117. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Subcontractors

A face familiar to observers of Phase 2/3 is at work on Phase 4. Carillion has subcontracted some of the earthmoving work to Brian Humphries with his own excavator.

 

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This northerly view (14/4/08) shows a familiar face subcontracting to Carillion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New route to Porthmadog

Those wishing to visit Porthmadog from London and the Midlands have a new loco-hauled train service to help them on their way. On 28/4/08, Wrexham & Shropshire Railways started their Class 67 hauled service from Marylebone to Wrexham. It calls at Banbury, Tame Bridge, Wolverhampton, Cosford, Telford, Wellington and Shrewsbury where passengers may change to ATW's services onwards to Porthmadog. However, Porthmadog trains depart Shrewsbury 3 minutes before the arrival of the W&SR service! The train continues calling at all stations to Wrexham where it uses the rare platform 3. Some stops north of Banbury are served by connecting services at peak times because of pathing difficulties. The trains are serviced at Wembley and a new secure compound in the former Wrexham south bay platforms.

 

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This northerly view (3/5/08) shows No.67013 in W&SR silver livery terminated at Shrewsbury over 2 hours late. Normally trains use platform 3 northbound. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The service uses dedicated silver painted locos Nos.67012-15 and three/four Mark 3 coaches, including a restaurant car. At the moment W&SR is using the BR blue Cargo D coaches while its own Mk3 coaches being refurbished. The service will use DVTs from the Summer but as these are not yet ready it is top and tailed by a second EWS liveried Class 67 in the interim. The initial service consists of five trains per day reducing to four on Saturdays/Bank Holiday Mondays and three on Sundays, allowing for maintenance. Pick up only restrictions apply northbound at Banbury and Wolverhampton and set down only southbound. The train passes through Birmingham New Street non stop and via Coventry.

 

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This southerly view (3/5/08) shows No.67028 in EWS livery terminated at Shrewsbury over 2 hours late. Normally trains use platform 3 northbound. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The initial services have not been without teething troubles. On the first day, the rear loco No.67026 had to be run round the train to assist from Cosford on the first southbound run when No.67025 failed. This resulted in a late arrival in the capital. The first Saturday of services (3/5/08) saw the first northbound train failed at Wembley depot before departure and replaced by a fast turnaround of the first arrival from Wrexham, thus making the first northbound train over 2 hours late! It was turned back at Shrewsbury. The following train was also over an hour late by Shrewsbury but after EWS provided another loco, the third set ran to time. The final southbound service ran via Tyseley.

 

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This northerly view (3/5/08) shows No.67012 in W&SR silver livery having arrived late platform 3 at Wrexham. The train was turned around very quickly as it was already beyond its departure time. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Contact Wrexham & Shropshire Railways by visiting their website (slow this weekend possibly due to great interest in the railway) http://www.wrexhamandshropshire.co.uk/ or phoning 08452605900.

 

Beddgelert station shelters 1/5/08

Progress has been made with the construction of the shelters. The north shelter already has its operations room, with the core constructed in breezeblock. The platform is covered with plastic to protect it from the builders.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (28/4/08) show the start of work on the northern platform shelter. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 1/5/08) show work on the northern shelter and Ops Room. The second view shows that work has also started building up the breezeblock of the southern building. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin bridge progress 1/5/08

Demolition work is well underway and the railway is under blockade at this point for a further week to allow the contractors time to clear the area close to the railway.

 

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These northerly and easterly views (1/5/08) show the start of work on demolition of Bryn-y-felin road bridge. The first view shows the deck has been removed and some of the girders lie on a plastic mat and ballast layer protecting the track. The second image shows hydraulic equipment is being used to break up the concrete abutments. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 1/5/08

May 1st saw concrete progress on the CTRL! The Snowdon Mill tramway section was concreted and the foundation of the Britannia bridge linkspan also saw progress increasing the height of the sidewalls. The Llyn Bach path is nearing completion too.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows the start of concreting on the Snowdon Mill tramway section. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows the Pochin concrete crane delivering concrete to the Snowdon Mill tramway section. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows the concrete being levelled and smoothed off on Snowdon Mill tramway section. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (28/4/08) shows the rebar cage being prepared for the pier on Britannia Bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (28/4/08) show the start of work on formwork for the linkspan bearing on the pier of Britannia Bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright David High (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (28/4/08) shows the formwork for the linkspan foundation nearing completion. Dowels grouted into the existing stone pier will ensure the concrete cast on top is firmly attached to the existing bridge structure. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows the Llyn Bach footpath nearing completion. It will be finished with a tarmac surface. The railway formation is to the left. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows progress building up the linkspan foundation sidewalls. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows the linkspan foundation works are still flooding at high tide. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (1/5/08) shows the rebar cage sitting onto of the pier at Britannia Bridge with formwork fitted to the contour of the cutwater. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 30/4/08

Work was underway on 30/4/08 at Snowdon Mill preparing the tramway section for final concreting. The gauge and alignment were checked as was twist using the special Geismar sensor trolley. Following adjustments using the screw fixings, the final sections of rebar mesh were installed prior to pouring concrete in the next few days. The flangeway drain unit was also placed at the low point and plumbed in to local drains.

 

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These northerly views (30/4/08) show the final rail position being checked with the Geismar sensor trolley and the gauge bar. Reinforcing mesh has been placed before the final concrete pour. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (30/4/08) shows the flangeway drain unit installed at Snowdon Mill before the tramway in concreted. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

At Britannia Bridge, work continues on the most westerly pier to form a foundation for the linkspan. Formwork was erected around the pier to form the concrete bearing pad.

 

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This westerly view (30/4/08) shows Carillion staff using the cherry picker to install the formwork around the bearing pad. The curved face of the formwork should ensure the concrete matches the form of the shearwater surface of the pier. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (30/4/08) shows Carillion staff using the cherry picker to install the formwork around the bearing pad. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction progress 29/4/08

The line and level of the railway was set out on 28/4/08 towards the location of the proposed OB217 at the north end of the site of Traeth Mawr loop and work to clear the trackbed was expected to start later on 29/4/08.

 

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This southerly view (29/4/08) shows progress with setting out the alignment at Ch.32500 approx, looking towards the site of OB217 at the north end of Traeth Mawr loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Station shelters

Local building contractor D. Davis and Sons started work on the two Beddgelert Station platform shelters, in pouring rain, on 28/4/08. This is another example of the WHRCL benefiting the local economy. The north shelter will contain the operations room as it is nearer the centre of the 200m platform, equalising distance walked by crews changing tokens. The south one will house the ticket office (if it is not possible to finish the station building in time) and is equipped with a water supply and drainage so that station staff can have a cup of tea! The south shelter is closer to the passenger crossing onto the platform.

 

More wagon bogies at Dinas

Six South African Railways bogies have recently been delivered to Dinas. They are the cast steel pattern (like some under the DB wagons and the SA Ballast wagons) and appear to have been cleaned and painted with red oxide. They were purchased by and donated to the WHR by Mike Hart to assist with the volunteer project to refurbish the last three DZ wagons. The intention was to help release the diamond framed bogies they sit on into the carriage programme. The wagon refurbishment programme is currently on hold as at the moment as Marcus Ingram cannot get to the railway as much at the moment.

 

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This northerly view (1/5/08) shows the six newly painted refurbished Romanian bogies at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More platform seats

Four members of the West Midlands Group were in action on 27/4/08 at Round Hill painting cast iron station bench ends in a garage.

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This view (27/4/08) shows members of the West Midlands Group preparing more station benches in WHR green. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Helen Hadley and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 27/4/08

This weekend (26-7/4/08) the North Wales Track Gang completed the extension of the siding at Beddgelert Station as well as some track fettling on the platform loop line. As the mess coach etc. was south of Bryn-y-felin and therefore unavailable volunteers improvised with a small marquee on the platform at Beddgelert, which was very welcome during Sunday's downpour! There will be no tracklaying in a fortnight as the North Wales Track Gang will be fully engaged in organising 'Rail Ale' activities that weekend.

 

Andy Savage's 'Railway Children' Appeal

Dear friend,

Please forgive the begging letter, but I am about to do the 'Three Peaks by Rail' event again, for the fifth time, and, as ever, I am seeking sponsorship. This event is run every year by the Railway Children, a charity that helps children in trouble at railway stations. Although it operates all round the world it has its main focus in India and the UK, and is supported by the British Railway industry. If you want to know more about the charity and its work please go to its web site,

www.railwaychildren.org.uk/

The Three Peaks by Rail event involves 200 people climbing the highest mountains in the three mainland countries in the UK, Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. Lots of people do this, of course - our difference is that we do it as much as possible by train. We will leave Euston on the evening of July 10th, running to Bangor, from where we bus to the foot of Snowdon, which we climb in the middle of the night! It's quite a unique experience to stand at the summit at 2 in the morning, looking at all the locations I know so well and picking them out by street lights.

We leave Bangor at about 6 o'clock, and the train runs to Ravenglass, where we change onto the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and run to Dalegarth. We then walk about five miles to Wasdale Head, before climbing Scafell Pike. By the time we get down and bus back to Ravenglass we are all ready for a well earned pint, before the train sets off again at about nine in the evening for Fort William. We all sleep well on the train (in chairs or on the floor), and breakfast at half past four is a mixed blessing, but by half five we are in Fort William, by six we are walking again, and by nine we are on top of Ben Nevis, always having to walk through snow for the last few hundred yards. Then it's a rush back down the mountain for the buses, and a long journey back to London, arriving there about one in the morning of the 13th!

The railway industry will provide the train, and the food on it, at no cost, so all the sponsorship we raise goes straight to the charity. I am taking part with a team of three colleagues from the RAIB, and we aim to raise £4,000 between us. If you could sponsor the team I would be most grateful. We have a web site for donations - it's at

www.justgiving.com/theraib

or, if you prefer, we're very happy to receive a cheque made out to 'The Railway Children'. If so please send it to me at 77 Lichfield Grove, Finchley, LONDON, N3 2JL.

Many thanks for reading this, and I hope, supporting this most important charity.

Best wishes,

Andy Savage

 

CTRL progress 26/4/08

With the Snowdon Wharf concrete road junction cured a week after laying, vehicles crossed it for the first time on 26/4/08. A temporary surface was provided at the west end where the tramway will continue over the bridge after the Bank Holiday. Steam Rail magazine suggests all the CTRL work should be complete by the target date of June 24th.

 

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This westerly view (26/4/08) shows traffic using the completed concrete chicane area at Snowdon Wharf road junction. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Observation car 2100 delivered

The shell of carriage No.2100, the new Pullman Observation car, was delivered on 22/4/08. It arrived via Minffordd Yard from a local fabricator. The rounded and sloped observation end of the vehicle is similar to the type that was used on the Caledonian Railway.

 

2100_RD22-4-08 obs end B.jpg (81988 bytes)

This view (22/4/08) shows the sloped and curved end of the observation car. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

2100_RD22-4-07 obs end A.jpg (94927 bytes)

This view (22/4/08) shows the sloped and curved end of the observation car. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These views (both 22/4/08) show the frame and drag-box. Temporary steel crossbars were fitted to provide stiffness during transport. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

2100_RD22-4-08shunting in Minffordd Yard.jpg (80591 bytes) 2100_RD22-4-08vestibule end.jpg (80675 bytes)

These views (both 22/4/08) show the frame on Romanian bogies with standard entrance doors and vestibule. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon/Bontnewydd Bypass plans

Assurances have been given by the Welsh Assembly Government that a start will soon be made on detailed planning and consultation for the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass with the appointment of consultants in the Summer of 2008. This bypass is likely to start at the western end of the Y Felinheli Bypass and terminate and the northern end of the Penygroes Bypass at the new roundabout at Llanwnda. Although no decisions have yet been taken, a westerly route seems most likely, crossing the WHR just north of Bontnewydd Halt and giving good access to Caernarfon with a junction with the existing A487 about 2km south of Caernarfon, just north of Bontnewydd. The road would continue on new alignments via Caeathro and the new Tyddyn Hen roundabouts to the Y Felinheli roundabout. An easterly route, if chosen, would cross the railway between Cae'r Moel and Wernlasddu. The bypass is programmed for construction after 2010. With the current presumption against new level crossings, a new bridge would be required over the WHR.

Click here for news story

 

Team Wylfa report 22/4/08 and 15/4/08

Work continued on 15/4/08 grinding the weld beads off the tube ends in No.138's firebox. That job is very near to completion now and the next phase will be to knock all of the small smoke tubes out of the boiler ready for internal insurance inspection.

A small Team Wylfa were in action on the evening of 22/4/08. There were not enough volunteers to split the team between No.138's boiler and carriage checks so the priority was the latter after all the Easter and Hafod-y-llyn Supporters' Specials running. The E Set was checked and oiled up in its entirety. Volunteers plan on doing the F Set next week and completion of tube end grinding on No.138's boiler next week when a larger Team Wylfa is promised.

Team Wylfa is looking for a small, secure 'tool vault'. A heavy duty steel chest about 1000 L x 600 W x 400 H would be just right. If they were able to leave a HEAVY, secure box of tools onsite it would raise Team Wylfa's productivity as they would not have to waste time lugging tools around.

 

CTRL progress 25/4/08

The linkspan foundation has been cast on the northwest corner of Britannia Bridge and this supporting structure should soon begin to rise up to level of the linking beam/s that will form the triangular structure of the eastbound road/tramway and footpath. Reinforcing steel bar dowels are now in place to fix the beams for the extension of the footpath width on the linkspan.

 

S14_RC24-4-08 linkspan foundation.jpg (111279 bytes) S14_RC25-4-08 linkspan foundation B.jpg (90390 bytes)

These northerly views (24/4/08 and 25/4/08) show the casting of the foundation for the linkspan at Britannia Bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC25-4-08 linkspan foundation A.jpg (76373 bytes)

This northerly view (25/4/08) shows the completed foundation for the linkspan with rebar in place for the sidewalls that will be cast in the week ahead. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC25-4-08BB piers.jpg (71443 bytes)

This westerly view (25/4/08) shows the rebar dowels grouted in the harbour piers for the linkspan foundation. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

'Rail Ale' timetable 9-11/5/08

The FR has just released the 3 day special timetable for the Beer Festival on May 9/10/11. Friday will see K1 and Castell Caernarfon in action on four round trips. Five evening shuttles will be operated by the Funkey between Caernarfon and Waunfawr with the action finishing at 0010! Saturday sees K1 and No.143 on the four round trips with Castell Caernarfon running an intensive shuttle service all day long commencing with the 1005 from Dinas to Waunfawr and finishing at 0010. Sunday sees a similar service but with the evening shuttles finishing at 1845. Click on this link for full details of the event and timetables.

 

CTRL works 23/4/08

A flangeway drainage box has arrived to be fitted in the trial section of tramway at Snowdon Mill. Work has started to rebuild the Llyn Bach path along the west side of the railway, closure of which has been extended until October. Contractors for the Welsh Assembly Government have started work on the extension of the bridge width on the harbour side of Britannia Bridge to widen the footpath. Dowel bars are being drilled and grouted into the flat top of the cutwaters of each pier as the first stage of the works to form the new bearing for the widening span beams.

 

S14_DH23-4-08Tramway Drainage slot.jpg (56823 bytes)

This view (23/4/08) shows a flangeway drainage box. A slot is to be cut into the bottom of the flangeway at a low point. This will allow water to drain into the box, which is to be plumbed into an adjacent gully at Snowdon Mill on the trial fitted section. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_DH23-4-08Llyn Bach path.jpg (92032 bytes)

This view (23/4/08) shows the start of works on the new Llyn Bach path. Kerbing can be seen being concreted in place. The path will be backfilled, rolled and tarmaced. The railway formation will be built up in the excavated space to the left of the path. A fence will separate the path from the railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_DH23-4-08Britannia Bridge extension.jpg (67469 bytes)

This southerly view (23/4/08) shows a cherry picker giving access for contractors to drill and grout dowel bars into the top of the pier where the linkspan connects to Britannia Bridge. This will allow the footway to be widened at this point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 22/4/08

James Cyf. is making good progress with the works south of Pont Croesor. One of the two culvert pipes for UB214 has been placed. The formation has already received its rolled slate waste sub base along much the length cleared. To save money, it has been decided to lay track south from Pont Croesor rather than move rails by lorry to Pen-y-Mount, so the Golden Spike could well be at Traeth Mawr or on the final section of the CTRL to be completed. However, Pont Croesor level crossing (LC114) will obviously require a brief road closure (as did the Pont Croesor bridgeworks themselves) and this can proceed when the parallel closed A4085 is reopened later in the Spring. Works on the A4085 repair are nearing an early completion and it appears that all will be well with the timing of the LC114 works.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 22/4/08) show the completion of UB214 and the sub base extending south along the recently cleared trackbed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Station siding lengthened

On 22/4/08 a group of young Sustrans volunteers moved the siding point one panel north at Beddgelert Station and extended the siding to join up with the point on a newly laid ballast bed.

 

S9_TB22-4-08BS point.jpg (90909 bytes)

This northerly view (22/4/08) shows the Sustrans Gang working on the siding point at Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_SM22-4-08BS siding A.jpg (75868 bytes)

This northerly view (22/4/08) shows the freshly laid ballast bed that allowed the point to be moved 18m north. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_SM22-4-08BS siding C.jpg (78990 bytes)

This northerly view (22/4/08) shows track being jacked to link the western loop to the siding point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_SM22-4-08BS siding E.jpg (82953 bytes)

This southerly view (22/4/08) shows the siding still to be connected to the point. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Stuart McNair (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

With the point and siding finally in their optimum position, the westerly loop track can finally be ballasted and tamped.

 

Tuesday Gang progress 22/4/08

The Tuesday Gang were in action building LC99 and ballasting south of Ynysfor. In the afternoon they visited the Sustrans Gang in Beddgelert Station who were at work there.

 

S11_TB22-4-08LC99.jpg (79004 bytes)

This northerly view (22/4/08) shows the Tuesday Gang working on the early stages of LC99. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Weekend tracklaying

The Rest of the World Gang was in action south from Pen-y-Mount on 19-20/4/09, where they were tidying up the formation. At the end of Sunday Upnor Castle and the Phase 4 train was taken from Hafod-y-llyn to Beddgelert to providing messing facilities for this week's activity there.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 20/4/08) show ballasting near the deviation around the gas main inspection facility south of Pen-y-Mount. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Tim Evans and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_TE20-4-08Catchpoint S.jpg (67431 bytes)

This southerly view (20/4/08) shows the trap point north of Cambrian Crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_TE19-4-08Trap points.bmp (92313 bytes)

This northerly view (19/4/08) shows the trap point north of Cambrian Crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_TE19-4-08CC ERTMS location.jpg (68771 bytes)

This easterly view (19/4/08) shows the ERTMS location cabinet at Cambrian Crossing with a Class 158 passing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S10_TE20-4-08Upnor on BYF.jpg (81471 bytes)

This northerly view (20/4/08) shows Upnor Castle crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge with the soon to be demolished road bridge in the background, possibly the last time this image was possible as the bridge is due for demolition any day now. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tamping progress

The week from 14/4/08 was planned to be one of tamping and ploughing south from Rhyd Ddu. It started well with the KMX tamper running back and forth at high speed using its trolley to check alignment. The straight south to Pitt's Head certainly looks much better as a result. However, in the mid week, a weld broke and the Dinas fitter was in attendance. Restarting towards the end of the week, one of the secant switches was out of order so curves will have to be done by hand until it is fixed. by the end of the week, work had reached Pitt's Head.

 

S8_BWH14-4-08tamping PH straight.jpg (83003 bytes)

This southerly view (14/4/08) shows the KMX tamper in action at speed along Pitt's Head straight. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/4/08) shows the home/shunt signal for Rhyd Ddu now lit up as a 'double amber'. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S8_BWH18-4-08tamper at PH.jpg (67977 bytes)

This northerly view (18/4/08) shows the KMX tamper at the site of Pitt's Head Halt now with a new footpath crossing for farm use. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Hafod Ruffydd

The level crossing at Hafod Ruffydd has been completed. It required regrading of the road and the provision of a separate bridleway crossing with upward extensions so that riders can open gates.

 

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This southerly view (11/4/08) shows the Lister at Hafod Ruffydd on its way for return home at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Savage and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S8_BWH15-4-08HR crossing.jpg (107598 bytes)

This southerly view (15/4/08) shows the detail of the Hafod Ruffydd crossing. The fenced areas next to the crossing are places of retreat for horses. Some fencing is still required to complete this location. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Hafod-y-llyn

Ballast loading continues at Hafod-y-llyn. Stock will be confined to this area during the 2 week level crossing blockade at Bryn-y-felin from 21/4/08, whilst the old bridge is demolished.

 

S11_BWH18-4-08HYL loading ballast.jpg (69263 bytes)

This southerly view (18/4/08) shows the Romanian ballast wagon being loaded at Hafod-y-llyn. Upnor Castle was little used during that week as it required an exhaust repair and was leaking exhaust fumes into the cab. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 18/4/08

NR has made the ERTMS location on the north east side the Cae Pawb crossing. This will feed cables to the WHR crossing box on the north west corner.

 

S14_AG12-4-08NR signals.jpg (94990 bytes)

This easterly view (12/3/08) shows the NR location where the new ERTMS signalling system will interface with the Cae Pawb replica crossing box. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin WHR(P) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Little progress has been seen at Snowdon Street on the tramway or level crossing as work has been focussed on the Snowdon Wharf tramway section. However, alterations have been made to local sewer connections by a subcontractor (Lanes) and the south half the road is now dug up. Rails have been moved up to the crossing.

 

S14_BWH18-4-08Snowdon Street S.jpg (83456 bytes)

This southerly view (18/4/08) shows half the road has been dug up at Snowdon Street LC and tramway rails moved up ready to lay across the crossing when the tramway base is complete. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work has started on the Llyn Bach path and the formation. The foundation of the linkspan floods at high tide but concrete was placed in the hole (now excavated to bedrock) on 18/4/08 and quickly set.

 

S14_BWH18-4-08Llyn Bach S.jpg (93362 bytes) S14_BWH18-4-08Llyn bach N.jpg (111191 bytes)

These southerly and northerly views (both 18/4/08) show work on the Llyn Bach path and the formation between the car park and Britannia Bridge. Work is also visible rebuilding Wilkinson's (the former Coop). Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH14-4-08 linkspan foundation.jpg (90242 bytes) S14_BWH15-4-08linkspan foundation flooded.jpg (88191 bytes)

These northerly views (14/4/08 and 15/4/08) show the excavation for the linkspan foundation reaching bedrock. However, as the second view shows, the tides inundated the excavation later. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH18-4-08linkspan foundation.jpg (86261 bytes)

This northerly view (18/4/08) shows concrete has been poured into the hole excavated between the two pile lines at Britannia Bridge. The foundation for the linkspan pier can now be built up on this. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Appeal success

If everyone who signed up for the Appeal extension on the trains delivers the FfR will be over £150k better off in the Appeal towards completing Phase 4 with niceties like rolling stock and sheds - a good day's work!

 

Class 37 and Deltic Cambrian railtours

Pathfinder is planning a 26/5/08 (Spring Bank Holiday Monday) railtour from Swindon to the Cambrian Coast (possibly as far as Pwllheli) with 2xClass 37 in charge. On 12/7/08 55022 Royal Scots Grey will make the first ever visit by a Deltic to Pwllheli starting from Preston. Contact Pathfinder for full details.

 

Rail audit underway

With the rail stock at Dinas shrinking fast, an audit is underway to see how many rails have been left along the way. It is anticipated there are enough rails to complete the through line.

 

Bryn-y-felin temporary level crossing

The crossing was in use briefly on 14/4/08 while BT occupied the bridge with their vans so that their staff could divert the cables from the bridge (a task that was still underway on 18/4/08). The only movements across the crossing during the week were on 14/4/08 and 15/4/08 when Upnor Castle was moved north from its Hafod-y-llyn base. Level crossing gates were trial fitted on 15/4/08 and given two coats of white paint before final delivery on 18/4/08. A blockade begins on 21/4/08 for two weeks as the level crossing is brought into use and the old bridge demolished. Rolling stock will stay at Hafod-y-llyn during this period.

 

S9_BWH15-4-08Upnor on BYF LC.jpg (107939 bytes)

This southerly view (15/4/08) shows Upnor Castle crossing the new temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin on the Tuesday Gang working. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_TB15-4-08Upnor on BYF LC.jpg (76372 bytes)

This northerly view (15/4/08) shows Upnor Castle crossing the new temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin on the Tuesday Gang working. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH18-4-08BYF LC N.jpg (112944 bytes)

This northerly view (18/4/08) shows some of the new temporary level crossing gate posts fitted at Bryn-y-felin across the railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH18-4-08BYF LC S2.jpg (88180 bytes) S9_BWH18-4-08BYF LC S.jpg (104016 bytes)

These southerly views (both 18/4/08) show the temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin. The first view shows the roadside posts cemented into position. The second view shows the crossing detail. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S9_BWH18-4-08BYF LC A.jpg (91882 bytes)

This northerly view (18/4/08) shows some of the new temporary level crossing gates fitted at Bryn-y-felin. The gates can close across both the road and the railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tramway rail concreted at Snowdon Wharf

During the course of the week, Carillion, working 7 days a week, has laid the tramway rails across Snowdon Wharf/FR access, had them checked for alignment and twist (17/4/08) and finally on 18/4/08, concreted them in. The concrete is the final road surface and has been laid with a stippled surface. The flangeway was covered with masking tape to prevent concrete ingress. The trackbed required the removal of the lamp post and Porthmadog sign that were foul of the alignment at the east end. The rail is fixed straight across Snowdon Wharf access, unlike the TWA plans, so the reverse curve must occur between there and Cob Records' store. This implies a greater frontage removal of about 4m at west end of the building. A door has been built on the west side about 5m from the current frontage. The roof slating was still incomplete on 18/4/08.

 

S14_BWH14-4-08chicane E.jpg (95419 bytes) S14_BWH14-4-08chicane W.jpg (84555 bytes)

These easterly and westerly views (both 14/4/08) show the placing of the rails on the chicane at Snowdon Wharf. The second view shows the straight section of rails is yet to be welded. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_BWH14-4-08chicane W with lamp post.jpg (102183 bytes)

This westerly view (14/4/08) shows progress by the end of the day with tracks welded and placed roughly in position. The lamp post to the right was removed the following day! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly views (both 15/4/08) show the tramway weld being smoothed down after the straight section was welded on across Snowdon Wharf. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S14_RC15-4-08 removing lamp post.jpg (74821 bytes)

This northerly view (15/4/08) shows the lamp post being removed by Gwynedd Council. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 15/4/08) show the rails now welded across Snowdon Wharf road junction with the lamp post removed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (15/4/08) shows the weld for the straight section across Snowdon Wharf. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 16/4/08) show the reinforcing cages laid across Snowdon Wharf road junction with the tramway track now in its final position. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 17/4/08) show the reinforcing cages laid across Snowdon Wharf road junction with the tramway track now in its final position and cut parallel. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (both 18/4/08) show the tramway being concreted at Snowdon Wharf. The first view shows a Pochin concrete crane which was able to deliver to the full site. The second view shows the float being used to provide a level road surface. The Carillion operative is carefully balancing on the rails so that no boot marks are left in the concrete! In the background, more operatives balance on a ladder spanning the concrete, providing a roughened road surface to give adequate friction for vehicles. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 18/4/08) show the tramway track finally concreted in across Snowdon Wharf road junction. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Construction progress 16/4/08

Good progress was noted on 16/4/08 on the section south of Pont Croesor towards Traeth Mawr. Clearance of the trackbed had already covered the length between LC115 and LC116.

 

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This northerly view (16/4/08) shows the corrugated steel sections that will form the hoops of the two occupation bridges between Pont Croesor and Traeth Mawr that had been delivered the previous day. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (16/4/08) shows LC115 with the link road from the construction near Prenteg. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 16/4/08) show LC115 where the contractor is accessing the Pont Croesor to Traeth Mawr section. No progress has been made in the area north of the LC115 but rapid progress has been made south towards Traeth Mawr. The area in the foreground with the link to the access road was soon made up with slate waste. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 16/4/08) show UB214 where two culverts are to be made on different alignments. In the distance the excavator can be seen making progress south towards Traeth Mawr, clearing the trackbed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Final contract underway 14/4/08

The final contract got underway in mid April with major progress in clearing the trackbed south of Pont Croesor and firming it up with slate waste. Some 17 six-packs of Armco style 6mm galvanised corrugated steel sections had been delivered on the afternoon of 15/4/08 to form the two occupation bridges.

 

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This southerly view (14/4/08) shows progress with the clearing the trackbed at Ch.31500, south of LC115. Once the ballast and top layer of sand is cleared, slate waste is added to firm up the trackbed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/4/08) shows clearing of the trackbed with waste tipped in the borrow pit to the east (right). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Working week finale 11/4/08

Andy Savage's Working Week gang spent more time on tightening fishplates in the Beddgelert Forest near the campsite on 11/4/08 despite the wet weather. Others in the gang assisted ballasting with Upnor Castle. All three ballast wagons were filled at Hafod-y-llyn and used to consolidate the track immediately north of the bridge at Pont Croesor.

 

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This view (11/4/08) shows Upnor Castle with 3 ballast wagons ballasting immediately north of Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Derek Smith and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The Lister left via Rhyd Ddu on 11/4/08 having been loaned to the railway by Brian Faulkner for 2 months since 8/2/08 to stand in for Dolgarrog. During its stay the loco was mostly used between Hafod-y-llyn and Pont Croesor but made one trip to Beddgelert on 23/3/08 and managed to complete the remainder of Phase 4 as it left the railway! The loco has been very reliable and could handle all that was expected of Dolgarrog. The Lister left Hafod-y-llyn at 0925 following Upnor Castle, after shunting the tool wagon and flat into the shed. It arrived at Rhyd Ddu about 1 hour later. The owner then hitched lift on Upnor Castle back to Hafod-y-llyn to pick up the Landrover and trailer. Loading from the siding under the water tank was delayed by a hail storm and this allowed a comparison of sizes with K1 as the service train arrived just before midday.

 

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These northerly views (both 11/4/08) show the Lister under the water tower at Rhyd Ddu and posing alongside K1. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Brian Faulkner and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (11/4/08) shows the Lister being loaded onto its owner's trailer from the siding under the water tower at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Brian Faulkner and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Easter Traffic

School Easter Holidays this year have been spread out over 4-5 weeks as many local authorities have disconnected the 2 week holiday from the variable religious timetable for Easter. Easter was exceptionally early this year. The final week of this year's school holiday is from 15/4/08! As a result traffic on the WHR has not had the usual concentrated Easter surge and although 4 services a day have been provided at weekends, traffic has been a little lighter than expected. An 'April Showers' promotion was announced on 11/4/08 to help boost traffic, valid until 30/4/08.

April Showers Promotion

 

Supporters' Specials-the FR photo gallery

Roger Dimmick's excellent images of the special trains have been published on the official WHR website.

 

CTRL progress 11/4/08

Progress has been made with excavation of the hole for the linkspan foundation. A concrete cap has been cast on the remaining section of training wall north of the piling and the 4m space between the two lines of piles had been excavated down to near bedrock by 11/4/08.

 

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This northerly view (11/4/08) shows the excavation for the linkspan foundation reaching down to rock. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Further progress was made with the chicane slab east of Britannia Bridge and across the entrance to Snowdon Wharf on 11/4/08 with the contractor now working 7 days a week in order to return the full width of the road to use before the Spring Bank Holiday. This cast tramway section currently starts at the east end of the Britannia Bridge deck and finishes where the tramway enters onto the FR car park. The section across Snowdon Wharf has been built straight but appears to be part of the reverse curve in the TWO plans. This is because a straight has to be incorporated in the middle of a reverse curve of the length of the wheelbase of the longest vehicle.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 11/4/08) show the tramway track base chicane at Snowdon Wharf road junction at the east end of Britannia Bridge. The first view shows the holes for the track supports. The second shows the straight section before the reverse curve to line up with the platform. The light standard and Porthmadog 'Croeso/Welcome' sign in the foreground must be repositioned. Surveying is underway and some of the rail clips can be seen fixed in the concrete. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Lez Watson and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Slating of the new roof of Cob Records is nearing completion.

 

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This view (11/4/08) shows the Lister on its trailer standing alongside Cob Records. The slate roofing of the extension is nearly complete. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Brian Faulkner and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa progress 8/4/08

Team Wylfa had an abortive week last week 1/4/08 when, apart from the organiser, everyone else rang in with problems and could not attend. However on 8/4/08 a good team turned up and they 'hit' No.138's boiler with a vengeance. Two worked externally with the needle gun and wire brushes - almost finishing off the available accessible areas left to clean off and two worked inside the firebox grinding off the remaining weld beads from the tube ends so that the small smoke tubes can ultimately be knocked out towards and through the smokebox. Full protective gear had to be worn including hooded boiler suits, goggles, ear defenders and face masks.

 

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This view (8/4/08) shows needle gunning of rust on the firebox. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Jim Comerford and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This view (8/4/08) shows volunteers grinding off the weld beads from the ends of the small boiler tubes. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Jim Comerford and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

K1 views 6/4/08

K1 operated with its new lamp on 6/4/08 and was seen in the light smattering of snow at Rhyd Ddu before the snow rapidly melted away in the afternoon.

 

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This easterly view (6/4/08) shows K1 approaching Ffridd Isaf Curve with Snowdon summit behind in a snowy landscape. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgewick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (6/4/08) shows the K1 approaching Rhyd Ddu in a snowy landscape. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (6/4/08) shows K1 in Caernarfon Station sporting its new headlamp passing the timber paling fence installed by the Army last year. Arrangements are yet to be made for fitting the rear headlamp as these will involve alterations to the coal rails. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 Appeal extended

Andrew Savage advises that supporters of the Phase 4 Appeal have been asked to continue supporting the project for a further two years to help complete various projects such as the Beddgelert Station building. This is because there is a funding shortfall as additional work has proved necessary by contractors so that Phase 4 could be completed within the deadlines insisted on by the funding providers. Those who extended their sponsorship were entered into a draw on each train and the winners were invited to ride back from Hafod-y-llyn to Rhyd Ddu in the cab of the Funkey. There was another draw at the end of the day and the winner was awarded the specially designed train headboard.

 

CTRL progress 10/4/08

Fixing of the tramway rail boot at Snowdon Mill is nearing completion. The track will then be concreted in when the alignment is adjusted and fixed. Various cut and stick strategies are being used including the application of duct tape.

 

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These southerly and easterly views (both 8/4/08) show the booted tramway rail at Snowdon Mill. The first view shows a depression in the tramway base to the right that is thought to be the low point where water will drain to. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (10/4/08) shows the detail of boot fixing to the tramway rail. A weld is visible in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work on the Snowdon Wharf chicane is making fast progress. The curved section of reinforced concrete tramway base slab that starts at the east end of Britannia Bridge and crosses the Snowdon Wharf Junction is nearing completion. A further reverse curve will cross the FR car park and line up with the soon to be demolished Cob Records' frontage, leaving enough space for a 2m wide Cob footpath on the roadside. Another contractor is expected on site soon to extend the WHR platform between Spooners Bar and Cob Records, though the demolition of the modern western corner extension of Spooner's Bar does not yet appear to be programmed.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 10/4/08) show the tramway track base chicane at Snowdon Wharf road junction at the east end of Britannia Bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Roofing has commenced on Cob Records' store. When the extension is complete, material can be transferred from the roadside section and the 2m part of the frontage foul of the WHR alignment can then be demolished.

 

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This easterly view (10/4/08) shows the new frontage of Cob Records' store complete facing the FR car park. Roofing is underway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More from the Pass

Tony Penn has contributed these scenes from the Gold/Silver Supporters' Special.

 

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These southerly views (both 5/4/08) show the Gold/Silver train approaching Bryn-y-felin bridge and rounding the curve into the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Tony Penn and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 10/4/08

Andy Savage's Working Week gang linked track to Pont Croesor bridge on 10/4/08, including making good the 'removed' length at the north end. The Lister ran onto the bridge just before 1100. There are four loose rails at the south end of the bridge. The next 18m rail overhangs the end of the bridge, so it has been removed to allow construction of the formation and to stop the rail bending down. There is also another pair of rails spare there (plus an odd rail volunteers put at the north end). All will be used when tracklaying re-starts.

 

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This view (10/4/08) shows the cutting of the last rail required to join with those laid in January on Pont Croesor. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Brian Faulkner and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 10/4/08) show the Lister on Pont Croesor. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Keene and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (10/4/08) shows the four loose rails on the south end of Pont Croesor and the future level crossing beyond. Some work has taken place south of the bridge this week on the section to Traeth Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Volunteers also tidied up the alignment from Pont Croesor back to LC112 and some spots in need of attention back to Croesor Junction. They dropped two loads of ballast and in the afternoon a team set off walking south from Rhyd Ddu tightening all the fishplate bolts. By the time when Upnor Castle appeared to collect them, they had reached the 42km post, between Pont Cae'r Gors and Hafod Ruffydd. A full day of similar work is planned for Friday.

The RRMs were removed from the track at Hafod-y-llyn on Thursday morning and Lister is scheduled to go to Rhyd Ddu on Friday am for loading and departure.

 

Tracklaying progress 9/4/08

Andy Savage's Working Week laid down 15 lengths (270m) up to Pont Croesor and installed all the missing clips from yesterday. A final 16th. length was placed but is neither fishplated up nor cut to length and consequently is laid to 'broad gauge' of about 1 metre! The Head of Steel is at TWA Ch.30946, within one length of the track on the bridge. On 10/4/08 volunteers will complete tidying up the alignment, re-install the baseplates and screws on Pont Croesor bridge and, possibly, if 'management' agree, connect up the final panel, completing the work on that section of track.

 

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This northerly view (9/4/08) shows the final rail overlapping the ones on the bridge which also need to be have their chairs reinstated and screwed down. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (9/4/08) shows the group of 40 who laid the track to Pont Croesor at the end of the day. Two rails have been placed 'wide to gauge' in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 9/4/08) show track has reached within one length of Pont Croesor. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Paul Bender's Dutch volunteers built steps on both sides of the Fisherman's Path crossing at Bryn-y-felin (LC90) and then went on to collect and tidy material from between there and Beddgelert. Slate waste was delivered by the Romanian ballast wagon to complete the crossing. They also dropped some ballast.

 

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These southerly and easterly views (both 9/4/08) show work on completing the footpath steps at LC90, just east of Bryn-y-felin bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

All the fence posts from Pont Croesor to Ynysfor are now installed and the wire is starting to appear. Clearance of the Ynysfor compound continues apace. Upnor Castle and the Lister both got to, but not onto, Pont Croesor at the end of the afternoon. As there is no more track laying for the immediate future the RRMs have been moved back to Hafod-y-llyn for storage. The Lister loco is also going away on Friday as tracklaying will no resume for a some months.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 9/4/08) show Upnor Castle and the Lister alongside the B4410. Fencing has also been started. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Savage and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (9/4/08) shows the Lister loco at UB210, just north of Pont Croesor with Cnicht in the background. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin deviation

Tarmac was laid on the Bryn-y-felin road deviation on 9/4/08, including the temporary level crossing that will serve as the A498 while the road bridge is rebuilt. Upnor Castle left the tracklaying party at Pont Croesor for a while when it had to go to Bryn-y-felin to run flange grooves in the tarmac for the new road crossing. Two layers of tarmac were laid. There are now traffic lights over the bridge at Bryn-y-felin (OB173), which is due for demolition as soon as the diversion is commissioned.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 9/4/08) show the completed temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin with Upnor Castle's flange groves made in (still hot) tarmac. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 9/4/08) show the tarmaced temporary road deviation at Bryn-y-felin which had been tarmaced that day. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 9/4/08

Tramway track now extends the full length of the slab available at Snowdon Mill and the boot has been fitted to one rail. The rail will be concreted in when the alignment has been finalised.

 

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This northerly view (9/4/08) shows that all the tramway rail has been laid at Snowdon Mill. The east rail has a boot fitted and the west rail has been treated with a red paint presumably to bond better to the boot. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

LC70A progress

LC70A is the replacement Forestry Crossing near Pont Cae'r Gors as LC70 has been demoted to a footpath/cycleway crossing. LC70A needs a gate on the west side but the wooden crossing has now been made.

 

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This westerly view (9/4/08) shows the new Forestry Commission access crossing at LC70A. A footpath/cycleway gate has been formed but gates are required on the west side. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More from Supporters' Day

Steven Sedgewick has kindly provided the following images of Supporters' Specials from 5/4/08.

 

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This easterly view (5/4/08) shows the southbound Gold train between T3 and T4 above the tumbling rapids of the Afon Glaslyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgewick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (5/4/08) shows Gold train north of T2 on its return to Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgewick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly elevated view (5/4/08) shows Bronze train descending the Lower S bend having just emerged from Cutting Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Steve Sedgewick and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 8/4/08

Andy Savage's Working Week had another cracking day on 8/4/08. They started at 0830 on site, and by the time they stopped for lunch at 1300 they had laid the remaining 24 rails from Monday's rail drop, that is twelve panels by lunchtime (making 21 panels in the 24 hours after the last rail drop!). The afternoon kept up the progress with the new rails that were delivered at lunchtime. By the time the volunteers 'drew stumps' just after 1700 they had laid a total of 20 panels in the day (360m), making 30 in the two days - and that with only one panel laid yesterday morning. That must be a record!

 

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This southerly view (8/4/08) shows track laid south from LC112. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Savage and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

In fairness there was a clip crisis on Tuesday and about ten panels were laid with only 50% of the clips fitted. With deliveries during the day they should be able to make those good tomorrow. The Head of Steel has advanced by 540m over the last two days to TWA Ch.30676 and volunteers are pretty hopeful of reaching Pont Croesor by the time they leave on Friday as there are only 16 lengths remaining to be laid between the HOS and the bridge.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 8/4/08) show the Head of Steel at the end of the day alongside the B4410. Fencing has also been started. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Savage and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Fencing between the B4410 and the WHR started on Tuesday and James Cyf. have almost finished withdrawing from Ynysfor compound. They are tidying it up very well before handing it back to the farmer. With the diverted traffic from the main Tremadog-Beddgelert road (A498) as well, the site was pretty busy! Full marks go to the two gangs from the standard gauge railway - Network Rail apprentices and Grant Rail graduates, who have helped tracklaying. Both teams have got really stuck in and are helping make this high rate of progress.

 

CTRL progress 8/4/08

Carillion made good progress with the chicane at Snowdon Wharf on 8/4/08. With the rebar cages in place, the first concrete pour was made for the tramway track east of Britannia Bridge. Cob Records extension is nearing completion and roofing is underway.

 

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These westerly and easterly views (both 8/4/08) show the first concrete pour for the chicane at Snowdon Wharf road junction at the east end of Britannia Bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (8/4/08) shows the roofing of Cob Records store extension. When work is complete some 2m will be taken off the roadside of the building which is foul of the alignment. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More elevated views

Chris Farman has provided some more elevated views of the Supporters' Day trains.

 

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This southerly elevated view (5/4/08) shows Gold train emerging from the long tunnel in the Aberglaslyn Pass and finding a rare patch of sunshine! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Chris Farman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly elevated view (5/4/08) shows Gold train negotiating the two short tunnels in the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Chris Farman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 7/4/08

Andy Savage's working week party laid 10 lengths in all on 7/4/08, advancing the Head of Steel by 180m to TWA Ch.30320 approx. One length was laid in the morning then progress awaited the arrival of the rail train that was loaded at Dinas. Rail arrived at 1215 and 9 lengths were laid in the afternoon in less than 4 hours! The leading rail was cut back parallel before a start was made. The morning was spent bringing sleepers down from Hafod-y-llyn with the Lister and sorting out the sleeper spacing at LC112. Sleepers were moved by wheelbarrow along the road from LC112 to be placed on the ballast.

 

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This northerly view (7/4/08) shows rail loading at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (7/4/08) shows the Lister diesel at Ynysfor level crossing (LC112). Sleepers brought from Hafod-y-llyn are being transferred to wheelbarrow for carrying to the formation south of the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Richard Watson and was taken on a Sony DSC-P73 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 7/4/08) show the Head of Steel at the end of the day alongside the B4410. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andy Savage and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bodysgallen bogies

The Pullman coach, Bodysgallen, had new bogies with improved suspension fitted in advance of the Supporters' Specials. The bogies came from Boston Lodge.

 

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This view (7/4/08) at Dinas shows the new improved suspension on Bodysgallen's bogies. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More from Supporters' Day

Colin Lea has kindly supplied the following images of the Gold/Silver and Bronze trains.

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows the Gold train approaching T2. The morning train ran in mostly dull weather. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Colin Lea and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (5/4/08) shows the Gold train approaching LC82 as it returns to Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Colin Lea and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (5/4/08) shows the Bronze train approaching T2 as seen from the main road. The weather had brightened up for the afternoon train. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Colin Lea and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows the Bronze train on Nantmor Curve. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Colin Lea and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (5/4/08) shows the Bronze train negotiating the Aberglaslyn Pass as seen from the main road. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Colin Lea and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 5-6/4/08

The Rest of the World Gang lived up to its name with several Dutch tracklayers taking part as well as the alumni of the Imperial College Transport Society. They laid some 25 lengths in all (some 450m) and, by 1700 on Sunday 6/4/08, had joined the track to Ynysfor level crossing (LC112). When the rail arrived at LC112 on Sunday afternoon, it was found that the gap to the crossing unit was too short at 5m for the minimum length of closure rail. The crossing tray that carries the roadway was removed and the rails unclipped and slid north to join to the Head of Steel. The rail was then re-clipped and the tray reinstated in its final position. The Head of Steel is now about 2m south of the crossing at TWA Ch.30136. At the end of the day the Lister diesel ceremoniously drove onto LC112 and a couple of rails were placed south of the crossing.

 

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This southerly view (5/4/08) shows tracklaying south from LC111 with final curve before Ynysfor Crossing (LC112) beyond. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 6/4/08) show the curve near Ch.30000. Snow adorns Cnicht in the first view. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Tim Evans and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (6/4/08) shows the Lister diesel on Ynysfor level crossing (LC112) at the end of the day. Two rails have been placed south of the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (6/4/08) shows the Head of Steel south of Ynysfor level crossing (LC112). Track will rapidly advance towards Pont Croesor this week. Sleepers have been placed for several lengths south of the crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Andy Savage's working week takes over on 7/4/08 and, after a delivery of rails from Dinas, they will be able to lay the whole roadside section to Pont Croesor, just over 800m (45 panels). With James Cyf. work also starting south from Pont Croesor to Traeth Mawr this week, attention then switches to laying track on the CTRL and improving alignments elsewhere on Phase 4 as there will be no trackbed to lay track on for a few months. The section south of Pont Croesor requires two Armco style accommodation bridges to be constructed.

 

Supporters' Specials 5/4/08

The Supporters' Day went very well on 5/4/08 despite the biting cold northerly wind with the sun deigning to put in appearance in the afternoon! Several coaches brought participants from Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu for the 1015 departure. The train was formed of No.143 leading, with Castell Caernarfon inside for insurance on the 1 in 40 (1 in 35 in places!), and 10 bogies including three open coaches. From south to north the rake included No.24/O/S/O/S/S/O/S/S/P. The train carried a headboard that said it all and the Funkey was adorned with a bodyside red dragon Welsh flag.

 

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This view shows the artwork for the Supporters' Specials headboard. Click on the image to enlarge. This artwork is copyright Andy Savage. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

With much whistling, the Supporters' Special 10 coach train threaded the Lower S curve level crossings and was visible from Bryn-y-felin emerging from Cutting Mawr! The train ran non stop through Beddgelert at a slow pace and crossed Bryn-y-felin bridge at 1115. The bridge vibrated audibly as the train crossed.

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows Gold train approaching Bryn-y-felin with a rare patch of morning sunshine. The train was also visible directly above the engine near the top of the view minutes earlier as it emerged from Cutting Mawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 5/4/08) show the Gold train crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge. There was little sun for the morning train. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly elevated view (5/4/08) shows Gold train negotiating the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Chris Farman and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The Gold train arrived at Hafod-y-llyn at about 1130 and a complicated run round procedure was required to ensure the steam loco lead on the way back. First No.143 was uncoupled and ran into the siding. Secondly, the Funkey hauled the rake past the siding. Thirdly No.143 was attached to the north end and hauled the train past the siding before the Funkey was uncoupled and driven into the siding. Fourthly the train was propelled past the siding and No.143 detached. The loco ran north past the siding and the Funkey emerged to couple up. Fifthly the pair set back onto the rake before setting off for Rhyd Ddu.

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows No.143 shunting out of the siding to attach to the front of the Gold train for the return journey from Hafod-y-llyn, still with headboard attached. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The Gold train passed Bryn-y-felin again at 1200 with help from the diesel in a few locations such as the tunnels, at Bryn-y-felin and the S curves. Arriving in Rhyd Ddu around 1245 there was another complicated shunt that saw the pair in the correct order again. Coaches took participants to the Goat Hotel Beddgelert, where a buffet lunch was supplied for £10 each. Many supporters then walked up Beddgelert Station to view the Bronze train, the 1330 from Rhyd Ddu, as it passed through Beddgelert with the sun finally coming out just in time at 1410!

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows Bronze train departing Beddgelert Station. The sun came out just 10 seconds before! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

After running around at Hafod-y-llyn, the train returned through Beddgelert at 1505, again in sunshine, and the loco made a spirited assault on the final section of 1 in 40 to the summit passing through Pont Cae'r Gors Cutting with a deep exhaust beat. The return trip took only 43 minutes. The diesel did even less work on the return trip with power only being required in the long tunnel (to reduce fumes for the open coach passengers) and during a slight slip on the Upper S bend. Safety precautions included a ganger walking the tunnels ahead of the train and the inclusion of a stop block at Nantmor level crossing after the events were over to reassure road users.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 5/4/08) show the Bronze train passing Goat Cutting at 1505. The sun stayed out for much of the afternoon. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 5/4/08

Carillion is now working a 7 day week to complete the chicane section of tramway track at Snowdon Wharf road junction, east of Britannia Bridge, before the May Day Bank Holiday and release the full width of the road. They will then do the other section before the Spring Bank Holiday. In this way they will avoid the large traffic jams that might build up in Porthmadog if there were traffic lights on Britannia Bridge. All work in this area should be complete by the end of June before the main summer tourist season .

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows tramway track laid at Snowdon Mill. The tramway section is being extended up to LC123 with rebar in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (5/4/08) shows the work on the linkspan area with excavation of soil prior to casting the support structure for the footpath on top of the plinth to be cast on the steel piling. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly and westerly views (both 5/4/08) show the chicane section curving across Snowdon Wharf road junction. At this point the railway makes a swerve off the westbound carriageway of Britannia Bridge and onto the FR car park. The second view shows the situation from the Snowdon Wharf road junction. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Mark Bishop and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Photographers

FR management requests that anyone going to photo trains on Phase 4 pays due regard to local traffic and parks sensibly. Visitors should also not trespass on private land.

 

CTRL progress 3/4/08

Thermit welding was underway at Snowdon Mill tramway section on 3/4/08. Excavation at Snowdon Wharf was establishing the correct levels to begin that tramway section.

 

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This northerly view (3/4/08) shows Thermit welding of the tramway rail underway at Snowdon Mill. A temporary wooden barrier has been erected to the left, next to the car wash car park. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (3/4/08) shows excavation of the main road at Snowdon Wharf chicane is now reaching the required level. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright David High (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (20/3/08) shows the WHR turnout has all but disappeared under the FR platform. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin WHR(P) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL news 2/4/08

There has been more piling at Britannia Bridge following the successful work earlier in the year on the training wall. Tarmac has been removed from the roadway at the Snowdon Wharf road junction.

 

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This northerly view (2/4/08) shows the tramway boots delivered to Snowdon Mill tramway area north of LC123. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These westerly and northerly views (1/4/08 and 2/4/08) show the additional piling work on the training wall/linkspan structure at the west end of Britannia Bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (2/4/08) shows tarmac lifted at the east end of Britannia Bridge with its junction with Snowdon Wharf. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Phase 4 progress 2/4/08

There was further progress the Bryn-y-felin level crossing by 2/4/08 and ballasting was complete either side of LC112 ready for the weekend track gang and Andy Savage's week long track gang that follows it. Fencing is underway at Hafod-y-llyn.

 

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This northerly view (2/4/08) shows progress with the Bryn-y-felin level crossing on the east side of the line. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 2/4/08) show fencing at Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 2/4/08) show completion of the ballast gaps either side of LC112 at Ynysfor turn. Sleeper packs have also been laid out ready for the weekend track gang. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin latest

The temporary road crossing at Bryn-y-felin will be bidirectional width (6m) and the road curvature has been designed to allow full length articulated lorries to pass without going over the centreline of the road. The temporary road is well above the spec for the rest of the road through Aberglaslyn! The WHRCL will have double gates to close across the roadway, single gates across the railway and traffic lights to stop the road traffic.

The crossing caused a few problems for the WHRCL initially as they had agreed to provide and maintain the crossing surface (in timber) but it was decided that a 20m long skew crossing was inappropriate so it will be totally in tarmac and maintained by the contractors (James Cyf.) for the duration of the project. The line is expected to be blocked for up to a week while the old bridge is demolished but this should not be a major problem as the only serious traffic through this area is rail which can be stockpiled. Ballast now is delivered to Hafod-y-llyn.

 

More test trains

Another test train was run on 1/4/08 in advance of the Supporters' Specials (5/4/08) with passenger stock on WHR Phase 4. The train left Rhyd Ddu at about 0700 in gloomy weather. Upon leaving Hafod-y-llyn, it took about 45 minutes to go back up the line and arrived at Rhyd Ddu at around 0930. Castell Caernarfon hauled the train to Beddgelert. On the return journey to Rhyd Ddu Castell Caernarfon was assisted by Upnor Castle inside all the way.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 1/4/08) show the test train near Beddgelert. The first view shows the train approaching LC86 in the lower S curve. The second view shows the train ready to leave Beddgelert station with the shunt signal visible over the bike wagon. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 1/4/08) show the test train negotiating the Aberglaslyn Pass and ready to leave Hafod-y-llyn with Upnor Castle inside Castell Caernarfon. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (1/4/08) shows Castell Caernarfon crossing UB182. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 1/4/08) show the train arriving back at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

LC112 complete

The level crossing unit at LC112 was installed on 31/3/08 in advance of tracklaying to this point next weekend. The old WHR sleepers were seen just at the edge of the road cut and made an interesting spacing of black square blocks amongst the sand. The old sleeper level pretty much matched the new top of ballast so the new levels are very close to the old track bed. The WHR PW team helped the contractor getting the track panel into its final level and line.

 

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These northerly and westerly views (both 31/3/08) show the tarmac cut at LC112 in preparation for the installation of the level crossing. The second view shows a sleeper infill in black. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Chris O'Connor (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and westerly views (both 31/3/08) show the completed level crossing. The first view shows a short section of ballast remains to be completed between the excavator and the level crossing. The second view shows ballast also needs completion south of the level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Chris O'Connor (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These easterly view (31/3/08) shows the completed crossing with a temporary fill of crushed slate waste. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Chris O'Connor (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 31/3/08

Rails were pulled onto the Snowdon Mill tramway area on 31/3/08 as a trial fit and to shake down the procedures so that they are optimised by when the Britannia Bridge is similarly treated.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 25/3/08) show the Snowdon Mill area with two types of tramway rail supports now grouted in place. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright David High (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Two variants of the supports and clips and shown above. The first shows baseplates generally to be used for slab track construction. This consists of a baseplate supported by two studs that are grouted into the fist stage concrete slab. The height of each plate can be adjusted by the nuts below the plates. The clips are a generous size as they fix round the rail foot enclosed in the ‘rail boot'. The clips are slotted to allow lateral movement of the rail to correct alignment. The clips and baseplates only support the rail in the temporary condition. Ultimately the whole width from kerb to kerb will be filled with concrete and in the permanent condition the rails are supported by the concrete.

The second view shows a variation on the baseplate theme, to be used on Britannia bridge. This system has a tie bar that is fixed to the concrete slab by grout. The tiebar has 4 studs welded into it, which support baseplates as described above. Britannia bridge has a heavily reinforced concrete deck slab, covered by a waterproof layer. The WHRCL requires a system of temporary support that does not affect the bridge construction (and in particular does not affect the waterproofing). The installation at Snowdon Mill is a trial to verify that the detail will work before contractors get onto Britannia bridge where the detail HAS to work first time.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 31/3/08) show the Snowdon Mill area with pre-curved tramway rail being pulled into place for trial fitting. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright David High (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and easterly views (both 31/3/08) show the Snowdon Mill area with tramway rail supports now grouted in place. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (31/3/08) shows the extension of the tramway base towards LC123 at Snowdon Street. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (31/3/08) shows the eastern end of Britannia Bridge. Tarmac has been cut in the coned off area. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL plans 31/3/08

David High (WHRCL) has issued the following statement about the timetable to complete the CTRL:-

CROSS TOWN LINK - WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHEN

In the next two months there will be a lot of construction activity on Britannia bridge and in the vicinity of Harbour station. Three ‘possessions’ of the Trunk Road are available in the Spring and Carillion has prepared a detailed programme that has been agreed with the Trunk Roads Agency for the work.

31/3/08 to 2/5/08

Objective: To install tram track across South Snowdon Wharf road junction

What will happen?

The west side of the road between the white line and the kerb will be dug out.

A concrete slab will be cast

The tram rails will be bolted to the slab

A second concrete pour will re-instate the carriageway to top of rail level.

 

Other tasks

In the first week British Telecom will be working in the footway by Glaslyn bridge to complete the work they started before Easter.

The second phase of piling works in the north-west corner will take place.

From the second week there will also be plant working on the bridge preparing for the bridge widening.

All tasks must be completed and traffic management removed by 14:00 on Friday 2/5/08.

 

6/5/08 to 23/5/08

Objectives: To install new bridge beams and to install tram track across Britannia bridge (west-bound)

 

What will happen?

The west side of the road (on the bridge) between the white line and the kerb will be dug out.

Steel-tie bars to support the rails will be grouted to the bridge deck

The tram rails will be fixed to the tie bars

A second concrete pour will re-instate the carriageway to top of rail level.

 

Other tasks

The new bridge beams will be craned in on the north side of the bridge.

BT will lay new ducts in the southern footpath over the bridge.

All tasks must be completed and traffic management removed by 14:00 on Friday 23rd May.

 

2/6/08 to 24/6/08

 

Objectives: To install tram track across Britannia bridge (east-bound)

 

What will happen?

The east side of the road (on the bridge) between the white line and the kerb will be dug out.

Steel-tie bars to support the rails will be grouted to the bridge deck

The tram rails will be fixed to the tie bars

A second concrete pour will re-instate the carriageway to top of rail level.

 

Other tasks

Completion of bridge widening.

Reinstatement of area by Shell garage.

 

Cob Records Store

Completion of south-end (to allow use by Cob Records) 4/4/08

Demolition of north end and construction of new gable wall 25/4/08

Completion date 16/5/08

 

Tracklaying progress 30/3/08

The North Wales Track Gang laid 5 panels (90m) on 29/3/08 and an additional length on 30/3/08. Eleven volunteers turned out despite a wet and windy Traeth. However, the weather was not as bad as forecast. Upnor Castle was still incapacitated so the gang relied entirely on the Lister. Both ospreys were sighted but they did not appear disturbed by the passage of the Phase 4 trains. Sunday was dry and sunny but the track gang was tasked with jacking and Kango packing about 3/4 of a length in Beddgelert Station that was deemed too low to allow the safe passage of trains before next weekend's Supporters' Specials. They then returned to the HOS to lay the additional length referred to above. The Head of Steel advanced to TWA Ch.29668 by the end of the weekend, just north of LC111, at the end of the long straight from Croesor Junction. Upnor Castle was back in action on Sunday.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 29/3/08) show the area just north of LC112, the Ynysfor road crossing. In the first view the crossing unit has been moved off line to allow the ballast bed to be completed up to LC112. In the second view the limit of ballast is seen just north of LC112, with James Cyf.'s compound to the right. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Tony Baker and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Track is now on a gentle curve and Ynysfor Level Crossing (LC112) will soon be visible. It is hoped that next weekend's ROTWG and Imperial College (who have a deserved reputation for tracklaying) will get track to/over LC112 next weekend, some 460m (25 panels) ahead. Andy Savage's Working Week follows, with the best part of 30 people each day for the five days of the week. Track may reach Pont Croesor by the time this gang finishes on the 11/4/08! If not then the North Wales Track Gang should easily complete it by the end of the weekend on 13/4/08.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 29/3/08) show the Head of Steel just north of LC111. In the first view a gentle curve has started that leads to Ynysfor Level Crossing. In the second view LC111 is seen just ahead. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Tony Baker and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Station progress 29/3/08

Four members of the West Midland Group spent Saturday in pouring rain painting the heritage railings, handrails and gate at Beddgelert Station in black paint before the Supporters' Specials next weekend. They managed to complete all but a short section despite the very wet weather. The flower beds completed mainly by other members of the West Midland Group last week are looking excellent.

 

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These northerly and easterly views (both 29/3/08) show fence painting at Beddgelert Station. The first view also shows the flowerbeds protected against the attention of sheep by blue plastic fencing. The second view shows Mike Hodges, Paul Townsend, Peter Hadley and Mike Hadley getting thoroughly drenched whilst painting! Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Mike Hadley and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cambrian Crossing works 28/3/08

Network Rail has contractors working on what is believed to be NR's interface at Cambrian Crossing (aka Cae Pawb Crossing) this week. This is in the northeast corner of the crossing, the opposite side of the WHR to the signal box, work on which has not yet started. NR announced their Cambrian Coast Line works programme on 28/3/08 which includes the new ERTMS signalling system north of Dyfi Junction for completion in early 2009. Infrastructure works are also envisaged between Shrewsbury and Dyfi Junction.

It is uncertain if the WCR summer dated Cambrian Coast steam operation can continue into 2009 as a recent meeting suggested a mobile cab unit as used on the current RETB operation would not be available. Five yellow liveried NR Class 37s are being fitted with ERTMS for pw use on the route and it is possible that one might be attached inside or to the rear of the steam train.

 

Click here for NR Press release

 

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These easterly views (both 27/3/08) show progress at Cambrian Crossing (aka Cae Pawb Crossing). The first view shows the NR worksite in relation to the crossing. The second view show the formwork for the concrete base with ducting in place. Presumably this will be connected to the WHR signal box in due course. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHR(P)) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 25/3/08

On Tuesday 25/3/08 nine members of the Tuesday Gang were in action of Phase 4. The day was rather murky and, after a fine start, the weather deteriorated to long periods of drizzly rain. In the morning volunteers were tasked with placing blue plastic fencing around iron fencing posts surrounding the four recently planted flowerbeds on Beddgelert Station to try and dissuade the sheep from eating the plants! They still regard the station area as part of their territory and do not seem to have a problem avoiding the defences. Whether the action taken will be successful remains to be seen.

When they completed that task at about 11.00am volunteers decamped to Hafod-y-llyn where Upnor Castle and two loaded ballast wagons awaited, together with Ian Harthill, who had been working on the locomotive. They then travelled with the train to the south side of Afon Dylif Bridge (the current limit of ballast lining) and commenced dropping ballast ready for tamping in due course. Each time they returned to Hafod-y-llyn, Ian reloaded the ballast wagons with the JCB to enable another drop to be made. In all, by 4.30pm, volunteers had dropped seven wagon loads of ballast reaching the beginning of the Croesor Junction Deviation curve.

 

Snow scenes 24/3/08

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These southerly and westerly views (both 24/3/08) show snow around Rhyd Ddu. The first view shows Castell Caernarfon running round with snowclad Moel Hebog in the background. The second view shows snow on Y Garn from Rhyd Ddu platform and it appears that no time did the snow descend to the altitude of Rhyd Ddu, a sad feature of recent years, possibly due to global warming. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tracklaying progress 23/3/08

There was no advance of the Head of Steel this weekend but ballast has moved south and is nearing the Ynysfor Turn compound. Cattle have trampled the neatly laid ballast bed after gaining access to the railway from adjacent fields.

Volunteers were not scheduled to lay track on 22/3/08 but their options became even more limited due to a problem with the drive to Upnor Castle's brake vacuum pump. The loco and Phase 4 train were left at Hafod-y-llyn. So they went by car to Beddgelert and worked on the level crossing LC82, the top crossing on the lower S bend. Heavy vehicles had caused a dip in the low rail, so they spent the day dismantling the crossing (and reassembling it several times when traffic appeared!) to jack it and pack it with Kango hammers.

 

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This southerly view (22/3/08) shows work underway tamping LC82. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

However, the Lister loco made it all the way to Beddgelert Forest Halt on 23/3/08 (the furthest north it has been) with volunteers attending to dipped joints.

 

S9_AT23-3-08Lister at Beddgelert.jpg (63012 bytes) S9_AT23-3-08BS clearance train with snow on Moel Hebog.jpg (57864 bytes)

These northerly and westerly views (both 23/3/08) show progress at Beddgelert. The first view shows the Lister loco in the station on the way back from Beddgelert Forest Campsite. The second view show the clearance train has been in action with both DZ and B wagons full of rhododendron bushes. Moel Hebog is seen with a dusting of snow. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Andrew Thomas and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 23/3/08) show the Head of Steel at TWA Ch.29560. The second view shows a length unclipped and not fishplated ahead of the Head of Steel. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 23/3/08) show the LC111 at TWA Ch.29700. The level crossing has been prepared for the track to pass through as at LC110. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 23/3/08) show the area around TWA Ch.29950 with the Head of Ballast. The ballast bed has been trampled by cows that had escaped onto the trackbed. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

There is currently about 350m of ballast ahead of tracklayers, enough for the North Wales Track Gang next weekend. Another 300m of ballast will see the trackbed joined across LC112 to that alongside the B4410 south of Ynysfor Turn.

 

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This westerly view (23/3/08) shows the UB208A just south of Ynysfor level crossing (LC112). It will drain the northern end of the roadside ditch between the B4410 and the railway. The headwalls of this culvert have been finished in attractive local stone. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

CTRL progress 21-23/3/08

Over the Easter weekend WHR(P) volunteers ballasted the section laid south recently from Pen-y-Mount.

 

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This northerly view (22/3/08) shows WHR(P) volunteers ballasting at LC121A, the footpath crossing just south of Pen-y-Mount Halt. The ballasting is covering up the white geotextile. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin WHR(P) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tramway track may appear soon at Snowdon Mill now that the supports have been grouted into the concrete base. Severe winds blew over some of the warning signs over the weekend. Little progress is expected in the new week or so as the contractor may be taking an Easter break.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 23/3/08) show the tramway track, now with rail supports grouted in place at Snowdon Mill. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (21/3/08) shows the detail of the adjustable tramway track support grouted into place in the concrete foundation. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (23/3/08) shows the tramway section from LC123, Snowdon Street level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (21/3/08) shows the alterations to Snowdon Wharf access. The yellow no parking signs indicate the former alignment of the kerbs. At this point the tramway track will perform a chicane into the left hand carriageway of the road from the FR sign to the position of the third vehicle from the right. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (21/3/08) shows the newly painted green Earl of Merioneth leaving Porthmadog Harbour station with the WHR point and revised platform arrangements visible in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andrew Thomas and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert Station progress 23/3/08

Volunteers were in action planting the flower beds at Beddgelert Station over the Easter weekend so the station looks attractive on 5/4/08 when the Supports' Specials run. The team consisted of members of the West Midland Group, two local members and two people from WHR Ltd. The water crane at Beddgelert Station has a drip catcher. The crane is also chained to this to prevent the arm swinging over the track in the wind.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 23/3/08) show the flower beds planted ready for Spring. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Dave Waldren and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (22/3/08) shows the water crane chained to its drip catcher. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Simon Melhuish and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin road diversion 23/3/08

Good progress has been made constructing the apparently single carriageway diversion at Bryn-y-felin, though work has stopped for Easter. James Cyf. has the Gwynedd Council contract. Trees have also been removed near the abutments and on the north side of the road where the temporary level crossing will emerge.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 23/3/08) show progress with the temporary Bryn-y-felin road diversion. In the second view, the marks on the road indicate the north edge of the skew level crossing. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Barrie Hughes and were taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (23/3/08) shows preparations being made to make a temporary level crossing at Bryn-y-felin for the road diversion. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Snow but not on the WHR!

Much of Britain was visited by snow over the Bank Holiday Weekend but North Wales seems to have missed out with sleet only at the level of the railway and passing hail showers! Snow only accumulated on the mountain tops and passes above 300m (roughly1000 feet).

 

Snow at the Migneint.jpg (64543 bytes)

This westerly view (23/3/08) shows snow above 1000 feet in North Wales on the B4407 Llan Ffestiniog to Pentrefoelas road. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge progress 22/3/08

By 22/3/08 many of the stays were in place between the new rear inner firebox and back plate on No.87. This new loco is due to appear sometime in 2008 and many hope it will be at the Superpower Garratt event in September. During March Romanian coach No.2060 was lifted off its bogies so that work can proceed on alterations to the bogie stretchers to improve the ride characteristics.

 

CTRL progress 20/3/08

The steel joists for the roof of the Cob Records extension were placed by a Bob Francis crane on 20/3/08. When the extension is complete, the front of the building will be dealt with which impinges on the CTRL alignment.

 

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This northerly view (20/3/08) shows the steelwork being erected for the Cob Records mitigation extension. The roadside end of the building will be reduced by a similar volume to clear the WHR alignment. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Team Wylfa report 18/3/08

There was one more volunteer than last week (3 in total) on Tuesday evening but not enough to split the Team into carriage checks and No.138's boiler. So, the priority had to be the carriages with Easter running coming up. The 'F' Set plus both bike wagons got checked and oiled so that should see both sets running sweetly for the next few weeks allowing volunteers to return to No.138's boiler next week. Team Wylfa should, as previously stated, complete the external needle gunning as far as current access will allow.

 

Bryn-y-felin level temporary level crossing

The arrangements for working construction trains over the crossing are still to be confirmed with Gwynedd Council. At the moment, the plan is for there to be traffic lights on the road but most of the time they will be “off” not showing any colour at all (assuming two carriageways on the diversion). When a train approaches, it will stop beyond a gate closed across the track. A crew member will then start the traffic light generator and set the traffic lights to red at both ends of the shuttle lane. He or she will then close gates across the road and wave the train through. After the train has passed the gates will be opened and the lights either turned off or put to green to clear any waiting vehicles. The train then proceeds on its way.

 

Waunfawr Station building

Waunfawr station building, work on which was due to start in the Spring, is to be delayed until the Autumn. This is at the request of the General manager, who did not want building work during the main tourist season. As soon as funds are available from the sponsor the project will get the green light.

 

Bryn-y-felin road diversion 18/13/08

Work is advancing on the Bryn-y-felin road diversion that will allow the reconstruction of OB173. This will be brought into use after Easter.

 

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This southerly view (18/3/08) shows the construction of the road diversion in the field on the south side of the railway. The temporary level crossing will be in the foreground and will come into use after Easter. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 18/3/078

The Tuesday Gang spent the 18/3/08 surfacing and compacting the level crossing approaches at LC 81, 82, and 89. Crushed road stone were spread from the Romanian ballast wagon and compacted using a whacker plate. Sign posts have been up at the level crossings for some time. At Beddgelert Station Distant, Home and Shunt Limit signals have been erected. The northern Shunt Limit signal allows a short train e.g. a Heritage working by the WHR(P) to shunt into the siding. The siding points have had their spacer bars fitted.

 

S9_TB18-3-08LC89.jpg (80381 bytes)

This southerly view (18/3/08) shows the completion of LC89. The whacker plate is being used to compact crushed road stone. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Ffridd Isaf Curve 17/3/08

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This southerly view (17/3/08) shows Castell Caernarfon rounding Ffridd Isaf curve with the new ballast retaining blocks. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Test train 14/3/08

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This easterly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 carefully negotiating T3 with modern coaches in tow. This was the first time a steam loco had been through the tunnels in the Aberglaslyn Pass since it was closed in the 1930s. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Loco report 15/3/08

No.143 was filthy after its successful trip to Hafod-y-llyn on 14/3/08. The exhaust blast on trip through the four tunnels (particularly Goat Tunnel) had brought down all the loose bits of shotcrete off the roof. Most seem to have landed on the water tank top and sides, which needed sweeping off with a yard brush before even thinking of trying to use the normal cleansers.

K1 had failed the day before (14/3/08) with a collapse of its new brick arch, so the Funkey took over K1's duties on the first day of the Easter services. K1 was tried out later in the day double heading with the Funkey but was taken off at Waunfawr and was towed back to Dinas behind No.143's train.

 

Tracklaying progress 15-16/3/08

Despite the poor weather, nine panels of track were laid over the weekend south from Gatws Bach (LC110) and another pair of rails laid out but not fishplated. The North Wales Track Gang were also engaged in levelling the point at Hafod-y-llyn as well as taking out some dips in the track in this area on Saturday. On Sunday the track each side of the level crossing at Nantmor (LC 92), was also levelled. This all helps with the preparation for the Supporters' Specials on 5/4/08 as the KMX tamper is temporarily out of action. The Head of Steel is at Ch.29570 approx. and the Head of Ballast some 30m north of LC111.

 

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These northerly views (both 15/3/08) show the North Wales Track Gang tracklaying near Gatws Bach (LC110). The first view shows track laid through LC110. The second shows the Head of Steel that day south of Gatws Bach. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Alun Evans and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (15/3/08) shows the ballast laid to a point 30m north of LC111. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alun Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (15/3/08) shows the centreline of LC111. The pre-assembled crossing unit is seen just behind the dumper in James Cyf's Ynysfor Turn compound. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alun Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EAG update 15/3/08

Four sets of re-gauged wheels (with strengthened flanges) were delivered to the EAG work base on Saturday 15/3/08 from the Tal-y-llyn Railway works at Pendre. Roger Thacker kindly provided the transport.

 

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This view (15/3/08) shows the regauged wagon wheels back from the Tal-y-llyn Railway. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Richard Watson and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The existing edge angles on 5002 were removed and set aside for reuse, yielding a plane-surfaced underframe with no projections above the top surface of the channel sections. Trunnion bearings have been machined and are the correct diameter to fit the 12" diameter vacuum cylinders presently at Mill Green. Suitable bearing plates were made for the trunnions, and now need completion by hole drilling and welding the bearings to the fixing plates.

Plates have been let into the ends of the steel channel and dimensions taken to allow two hand brake ratchet supports to be cut to length at a later date. Much has been learned about the actual workings of vacuum cylinders. It has been found that the piston rod from the 10" diameter cylinder is not interchangeable with that for a 12" diameter as its stroke is too short. Two dismantled 12" cylinders have been received from Boston Lodge, and volunteers hope to make up one good one even though some vital parts are missing.

Further progress has been made on Phase 4 station running-in boards. Two signs, for Nantmor and Pont Croesor received their facings of black 'Foamalux' on 15/3/08 and similar work is under way in Norfolk on four signs for Beddgelert and one for Meillionen Forest Campsite.

 

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This view (15/3/08) shows the Nantmor Halt sign under construction. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Richard Watson and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

FR Greaser's Special 15/3/08

The FR Greaser's Special ran last Saturday (15/3/08) from Minffordd Yard to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back to Porthmadog in advance of the start of regular FR services. As part of their work lubricating points etc. they attended to the ex-Penrhyn point that forms the temporary WHR turnout at Porthmadog Harbour Station. The greasers expect that next year the Greaser's Special will run all the way to Dinas!

 

Daily train services commence 15/3/08

The WHR opened for business on 15/3/08 with its Easter services. The weekend was cold, wet and windy! Train services are offered every day this year until 31/10/08. No.143 is handling the 1045 and K1 the 1220. Some schools are taking their 'Easter' Holidays as late as the fortnight 7-18/4/08 so Easter this year might be a little quieter on the railway.

 

Tracklaying progress 14/3/08

Track did not advance on 14/3/08 as many volunteers were helping with the test train. However the ballast did advance some 300m to LC111 and sleeper packs were placed ready for the North Wales Track Gang to progress the Head of Steel south from Gatws Bach (LC110) towards Ynysfor this weekend.

 

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This southerly view (14/3/08) shows the Head of Steel at Gatws Bach (LC110) with James Cyf. laying out ballast and sleepers to LC111. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bryn-y-felin level crossing 14/3/08

Contractors for Gwynedd Council continued clearance works for the temporary level crossing north of OB173 on 14/3/08. The diversion will be in use just after Easter and GC has allowed six months for the bridge rebuilding.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 14/3/08) show clearance works for the temporary road diversion and level crossing at Bryn-y-felin road bridge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows clearance works for the temporary road diversion and level crossing at Bryn-y-felin. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Beddgelert water crane 14/3/08

As well as the excitement of the test train, 14/3/08 saw the erection of the Beddgelert Station water crane. D.J.Williams built the device at their Peblig mill works, Caernarfon and delivered it on site. The crane was erected using a Buckley's Crane Hire crane that came up the access from the Cwmcloch farm track.

 

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These northerly views (all 14/3/08) show the fitting of the water crane at the north end of Beddgelert Station. The first view shows the components being craned onto the platform. The second view shows the assembly on the platform. The third view shows the counterweight being fitted. The fourth view shows the crane being bolted down while held suspended in position. In the distance, the test train can be seen waiting for construction to be completed with No.143 leading. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows the water crane being lifted onto the holding down bolts. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (14/3/08) shows the final stages in erecting the water crane with its supply tower in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (14/3/08) shows the final stages in erecting the water crane. The Buckley Crane Hire crane had to have its outriggers on the westerly track. Now that the area is no longer required, it is possible the siding point may be moved one of two lengths to the north and the siding extended towards the viewpoint to provide a more useful length of siding to stable a heritage train. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Once complete, the test train was allowed to pass. While the train was at Hafod-y-llyn, the water crane was tested. On the way back it was used for the first time to refill No.143 before the long 1 in 40 climb to the Summit.

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More pics from the Pass!

Kevin Lambert was on hand to take some images at Bryn-y-felin which have just come to hand.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 14/3/08) show the test train rounding the curve as it comes off Bryn-y-felin bridge with No.143 in charge. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Kevin Lambert and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

A number of videos of last week's special working to Hafod-y-llyn have appeared on YouTube. No.143 is heard slipping momentarily on the level crossing at LC86 on one during its climb up the 1 in 40 from Beddgelert through the lower S curve. The 10 coach train approaches the planned maximum 12 coach loading anticipated in the business plan.

Click on this one for 10 minutes of coverage of the Beddgelert to the Aberglaslyn Pass and back.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 14/3/08) show the test train entering the Aberglaslyn Pass with Castell Caernarfon bringing up the rear. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Kevin Lambert and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Test train 14/3/08

Another test train was run on 14/3/08, this time with Garratt No.143 on the front and Castell Caernarfon on the rear for insurance! This was the first steam through the Aberglaslyn Pass since the route was closed!! Tracklaying volunteers joined the train at Beddgelert Station to gauge the ride and help with any problems. The train negotiated the pass at around midday and made it all the way to Hafod-y-llyn where No.143 was shunted around the train. The 10 coach train was also a load test to see if No.143 could haul the train up the 1 in 40 without undue slipping. The rake consisted of an open No.2022, a saloon, another open No.2021, four more saloons, Pullman coach Bodysgallen, open No.2020 and finally the heritage replica NWNGR coach No.24.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 on the test train passing Pitt's Head. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 on the test train breasting the summit. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 on the test train approaching LC86, the Cwmcloch lane in the middle of the S curve just north of Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The test train had to wait the completion of the water tower.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 arriving at Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Andy Keene and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 arriving at Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 arriving at Beddgelert Station. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mike Schumann and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (14/3/08) shows the test train at Cemetery Crossing (LC88). Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 14/3/08) show the test train passing Bryn-y-felin with Castell Caernarfon on the rear as it heads down into the Aberglaslyn Pass Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 approaching the tunnels in the Aberglaslyn Pass. This was the first time a steam loco had been through the tunnels in the Pass since it was closed in the 1930s. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 between T2 and T3. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 negotiating T3. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This northerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 between T3 and T4. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mike Schumann and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 14/3/08) show No.143 emerging from Nantmor Cutting and stopping before checking that Nantmor level crossing was safe to cross. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly and southerly views (both 14/3/08) show No.143 crossing Nantmor level crossing and heading south. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (14/3/08) shows the test train rounding Nantmor Curve. The reinforced earth embankment is now greening over. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Ray Cooper and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This westerly view (14/3/08) shows the test train crossing UB182, the A4085 Nantmor road bridge. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Mike Schumann and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This easterly view (14/3/08) shows the test train descending the Nantmor bank as viewed from the hills overlooking the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Alasdair Stewart (WHRCL) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 14/3/08) show No.143 descending the Nantmor Incline. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 14/3/08) show No.143 at LC94. Castell Caernarfon is seen on the rear. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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This southerly view (14/3/08) shows No.143 arriving at Hafod-y-llyn. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These three northerly and one southerly views (all 14/3/08) show the shunt release at Hafod-y-llyn. The first view shows the train arriving. The second view and third views show No.143 shunted off into the siding and Castell Caernarfon propelling the rake past it. The final view show the test train ready to return with both locos now on the front. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright John Ewing (WHRCL) and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These northerly views (both 14/3/08) show the test train returning to Beddgelert. The first view shows the train entering T4 at Cwm Bychan. The second view shows the train curving onto the bridge across the Afon Glaslyn at Bryn-y-felin. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Ray Cooper and were taken on a digital camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

On the return journey No.143 was watered using the newly erected Beddgelert Station water crane for the first time.  Although ballasting has reached UB199 (as at 9/3/08), tamping is a little further behind and the Supporters' Train on 5/3/08 is unlikely to venture beyond Hafod-y-llyn.

 

Lister to Beddgelert pics 13/3/08

The Lister loco standing in for Dolgarrog made its first trip to Beddgelert on 13/3/08 to collect a wagon.

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These northerly views (both 13/3/08) show the Lister loco at Beddgelert Station. The first view shows the loco just north of the north points. The second shows the Lister with Mike Hart's braked wagon. It also shows the siding in use with the small four wheel wagons and a ballast wagon. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Brian Faulkner and were taken on a digital phone camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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These southerly and northerly views (both 13/3/08) show the Lister loco in the Aberglaslyn Pass. The first view shows the loco just north of T2. The second shows the Lister near the Blacker Bombard gun mount, just south of T2. Click on the images to enlarge. These images are copyright Brian Faulkner and were taken on a digital phone camera. Images post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Progress with Harbour Station 13/3/08

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This westerly view (13/3/08) shows the WHR spur off the Harbour Station point has been covered over with slate waste to reform the dropped down FR platform. The rails extend as far as the seat in the distance. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Roger Dimmick (FR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Rest of the World Track Gang week finale 9-13/3/08

The Rest of the World Track Gang packed up on 13/3/08 after 6 days of hard work on Phase 4. As well as advancing the Head of Steel to Gatws Bach (LC110), parts of the gang had worked on less glamorous tasks such as the Ffridd Isaf curve ballast retaining wall and greasing up the fishplates between Rhyd Ddu and Pont Cae'r Gors.

 

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This southerly view (11/3/08) shows the ballast retaining wall on the Ffridd Isaf curve. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 and displayed at 96dpi.