WHR

News Archive Page

2017

V4.3 updated 2/11/17

with news from 1/7/17 to 30/9/17

 

Newly archived sections are placed at the top of this page. This page contains archived news from 2017.

 

WHR 30/9/17

This northerly view (30/9/17) shows No.143 approaching Meillionen Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt with the 1000 from Caernarfon on a typically damp day. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a iPhone 5Plus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (30/9/17) shows No.138 approaching Meillionen level crossing with the 1045 from Porthmadog after crossing the southbound service at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a iPhone 5Plus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR 28/9/17

This southerly view (28/9/17) shows No.143 approaching Bryn-y-felin bridge with the 1410 from Porthmadog on one of the few sunny days in the last 2 weeks of September. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (28/9/17) shows No.138 entering the Aberglaslyn Pass having just crossed Bryn-y-felin bridge with the 1415 from Caernarfon. This had crossed the earlier train at Rhyd Ddu as booked at 1515. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Cash for Caernarfon Appeal 27/9/17

In September the F&WHR launched an appeal for £140k to finish Caernarfon station with leaflets in the railway press. EU and Welsh Government funds only cover part of the total and £460k match funding is required. So far £360k had been raised. Although the F&WHR Trust can make up the total, it would have to use Diamond Jubilee funds allocated to the Sustainable Railway project such as carriage sheds and addition modern coaches. Bronze contributors are invited to pay £25 per month for 5 years, Silver £50 per month and Gold £100 per month. Each level of donation earns various privileges.

 

This northerly view (27/9/17) shows Caernarfon station steelwork nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (27/9/17) shows Caernarfon station steelwork nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (27/9/17) shows Caernarfon station steelwork nearing completion. The space between the station building and wall will house the platform and run round track and may also accommodate the TRAWS proposal for an NR Bangor-Carmarthen link if the rails are interleaved. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

Archive and mainline scenes 22-29/9/17

Your webmaster is busy scanning slides (2572 at the last count out of an estimated 10k) and still adding new digital images after switching over from slides to digital about the year 2000. As a new feature, FR/Deviation and North Wales main line scenes will be added to this website from time to time.

 

This westerly view (22/9/17) shows DRS locos Nos.68033/002 with the Wylfa nuclear flask traffic running through Bangor an hour early on the through lines. This traffic is still almost daily and is surprising in that the de-fuelling of the power station that closed in December 2015 is still continuing. The eastbound train normally runs an hour earlier than indicated in RealTime trains. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (25/9/17) shows DRS locos Nos.68034/016 with the Wylfa nuclear flask traffic passing the footbridge by the Puffin Cafe rest stop (recently reopened) at Penmaenmawr. This was one of the few sunny days in the last two weeks of a rather cold September. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (29/9/17) shows No.67016 with the Holyhead bound WAG sponsored SSuX ATW 'Irish Mancunian' seen from the footbridge at the east end of Llanfairfechan with the Great Orme in the background. The weather is deceptively bright as severe squalls passed by all day. This train was substituted by a DMU at least three times out of the ten possible workings in the last two weeks of September and appears with Class 67s in at least 3 different liveries....EWS as shown, ATW blue livery and DB red livery. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (29/9/17) shows No.67016 with the Manchester bound WAG sponsored SSuX ATW 'Irish Mancunian' seen from the footbridge at the east end of Llanfairfechan station with the Penmaenmawr headland in the background. The weather is deceptively bright as severe squalls passed by all day. A DVT leads the train and is no doubt responsible for the frequent DMU replacements! Speed limits on some sections of the North Wales Coast have been raised from a maximum of 80mph to 90 mph in recent years with CWR and simplified track layouts replacing almost all jointed track. The A55 lies over the wall to the right. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (29/9/17) shows DRS locos Nos.68016/34 with the Wylfa flasks to Crewe. This working follows the Virgin Voyager Cross Country London service and normally runs an hour ahead of its scheduled timetable. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR 27/9/17

This southerly view (27/9/17) shows No.138 approaching Meillionen Halt with the 1045 from Porthmadog after crossing the southbound service at Beddgelert. This was one of the few times the train had stopped at the halt in the last two weeks of September. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a iPhone 5Plus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (27/9/17) shows Upnor Castle back at Dinas as Depot Pilot. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a iPhone 5Plus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR 21/9/17

This westerly view (21/9/17) shows WHR PW staff using the Timberwolf tracked shredder to clear fallen branches just north of Meillionen/Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt before the first trains. The machine had accessed the trackbed from the adjacent Meillionen Level Crossing and had the token. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (21/9/17) shows the Timberwolf shredding branches just north of Meillionen/Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. The job was done quickly and the token surrendered in time for the 1000 from Caernarfon to pass through unimpeded. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (21/9/17) shows No.143 hauling the 1000 from Caernarfon just north of Meillionen/Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Very few trains called at the halt during the two weeks from SuperPower due to the campsite's imminent closure at the end of October and few campers or touring caravans being present. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (21/9/17) shows No.138 hauling the 1045 from Porthmadog just north of Meillionen level crossing. The trains had crossed at Beddgelert as is normal for the first trains of the day in the Yellow timetable. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR 19/9/17

After Vale of Ffestiniog had headed north with the failed No.87, it later returned to Boston Lodge hauling the SuperPower heritage stock and locos Palmerston and Lilla.

 

This southerly view (19/9/17) shows No.138 hauling the 10:45 from Porthmadog just north of Meillionen/Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Very few trains called at the halt during the two weeks from SuperPower due to the campsite's imminent closure at the end of October and few campers. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog passing the Beddgelert Forest Campsite hauling the SuperPower heritage stock back from Dinas to Boston Lodge after delivering the failed No.87. The loco is still carrying its SuperPower Orion headboard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows Palmerston passing the Beddgelert Forest Campsite being hauled back from Dinas to Boston Lodge after being used for cab rides at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (19/9/17) shows Lilla passing the Beddgelert Forest Campsite being hauled back from Dinas to Boston Lodge after hauling vintage train duties at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon plans

The General Manager was questioned at the WHRS AGM on 16/9/17 about the possibility of expansion of train services next year when the new Caernarfon Station opens. He indicated that there will not be an increase in the number of trains. The reasons given were that the WHR market needs further development and there is insufficient rolling stock. He added that a third train increases staffing and other costs disproportionately.

The FR was operating four return services in mid-October compared to 1.5 return services on the WHR! Maybe it is time to consider shorter WHR trains hauled by smaller engines between the Garratt mega-trains and turn them back at Rhyd Ddu? After all if a WHR passenger at Caernarfon misses a train because of traffic they may go away rather than wait over four hours for the next service which only offers a return to Rhyd Ddu.

 

Vale of Ffestiniog recovers No.87 19/9/17

No.87 failed on Saturday 16/9/17, the second day of WHR SuperPower Gala, and Vale of Ffestiniog hauled the loco back to Dinas for repair on 19/9/17. Fortunately, after a rather dismal weekend, the weather had cleared.

 

This southerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 past fallen branches just north of Meillionen /Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 approaching Meillionen level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 approaching the summit at Pont Cae'r Gors. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 approaching Summit Cutting. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 at Rhyd Ddu waiting to pass the 1000 from Caernarfon . Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows No.143 hauling the 1000 from Caernarfon at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the failed No.87 at Rhyd Ddu departing for Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR 18/9/17

This southerly view (18/9/17) shows No.143 passing fallen branches just north of Meillionen/Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (18/9/17) shows No.138 approaching Meillionen /Beddgelert Forest Campsite Halt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge views 17/9/17

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows Blanche nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows Welsh Pony's refurbished cab nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows Lyd, having returned from its rescue duty to Dinas the day before. The loco was on standby duty for Sunday. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows No.87 failed with a frame problem awaiting removal to Dinas as it is too large for Boston Lodge works. The loco is still carrying its WHR Stars headboard, 'Corona Borealis'. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows Conway Castle disassembled for repair on the Garratt pit road. It is proposed that this siding will become a Garratt running shed for light maintenance under the Sustainable Railway project. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows the completed Heritage Carriage shed with an ex-SAR wagon outside. The siding alongside gives run round access to the rear of the FR's Carriage Shed and also access to CR Chinese loco project shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows the large pile of rock excavated to allow completion of the Heritage Carriage Shed. This will be used on the foreshore to allow construction of a new enlarged Carriage Shed. Also visible are the sidings leading to the C2 Chinese Loco Project shed and the cab of this loco which, it is hoped, may eventually run on the WHR. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows new FR Observation Car No.152 nearing completion in the Coach Works. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows the surveyors' poles in blue and orange on the foreshore marking out the future base of the embankment alongside the Carriage Shed. The large pile of rock seen at the centre will be used to stabilise this area before the new Carriage Shed is constructed on this extended land. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows the FR's PW Mess Coach No.1111 with two converted BZ wagons. The conversion of BZ1423 with end flaps to allow an excavator to roll along the rake of wagons has proved a successful alteration for PW duties. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (17/9/17) shows Criccieth Castle, presumably on Works Pilot duties. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Michael Moel Tryfan news September

The Railway Magazine October edition reports that the F&WHR has donated the two trailing bogie wheelsets form the original WHR loco Moel Tryfan to the WHHR. When the nascent 'new' FR had cash-flow problems in 1954 it cut up Moel Tryfan but retained the wheelsets which were later used with the ex-Penrhyn Railway 'Ladies' Linda and Blanche to improve ride stability. These pony trucks have recently been replaced and the originals will now be reunited with the trailing bogie frame preserved at the WHHR. The move could kick start a campaign for a replica Single Fairlie. There seemed little chance the F&WHR would progress such a project as the triple axle Single Fairlie power bogie would not be interchangeable with any of the F&WHR's two axle Double Fairlie power bogies. See Moel Tryfan Facebook page for more details.

 

SuperPower 17/9/17

The weather improved a little on Sunday after a dismal Friday/Saturday but the disruption caused by the failure of No.87 led to cancellation/amendment of several trains.

 

This southerly Aberglaslyn Pass view (17/9/17) shows No.138 climbing the 1 in 40 on the 1045 from Porthmadog which was supposed to be double headed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (17/9/17) shows No.138 at Hafod Ruffydd on the 1045 from Porthmadog which was supposed to be double headed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (17/9/17) shows No.138 departing Rhyd Ddu on the 1045 from Porthmadog which was supposed to be double headed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (17/9/17) shows No.138 departing Rhyd Ddu on the 1045 from Porthmadog which was supposed to be double headed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.134 progress 16-17/9/17

Clive Briscoe reports: This September's working weekend corresponded with the WHR's 'Superpower Weekend' with all three Garratts (later reduced to 2!) being out and about with odd consists - longer than usual, freight and mixed passenger/freight trains. There were visits by an FR Fairlie (Earl of Merioneth-Ed) and Hunslet Lilla and England Palmerston offering free rides up and down the sidings in Dinas Station yard.

We found No.134's rolling chassis and tender on display outside the Goods Shed. Our leader, Pete Randall, stood alongside answering questions from SuperPower visitors and doing quite a trade selling No.134 merchandise. Meanwhile, down the yard in our workshop, the final few holes for fitted bolts in the pony and K-H trucks were being reamed to size and the bolts fitted. I believe the final awkward one will have been completed and holes drilled for split pins through the castellated nuts. That being so, it's time for bearings and wheels and getting the trucks back under the loco's frames!

The October Working Weekend is 20-22/10/17.

No.134 Group Report

The main task for volunteers for the weekend was concentrating on completing the fitment of the fitted bolts to attach the axle boxes onto the Krauss-Helmholtz pony truck. There were two pairs left to do on each axle, however this involved quite a bit of manhandling (and tractor handling!) of the truck to get it into a position where they could work on it. It was flat in the middle of the floor so they first moved it onto its side to work on one axle box, then had to turn it over to work on the other. They did complete it in the end. Volunteers just have three oilways left that require their 'Z-axis' blanking off to the outside word with a short bolt. They had this to do on the trailing truck and so all four that required blanking off were re-plugged.

The Group also sorted through the various components that are need to complete the two trucks and get them under the loco. These were items such as the oil pot covers and the two hardened steel sliding plates for each axle box. These help to distribute the weight of the loco onto the trucks and are required to slide as the loco enters curves.

Finally volunteers re-fitted the tender's rear coupling rubbers as these had been removed earlier in the year when there was a need to 'borrow' the one they had already fitted as it was needed for a service loco. There is some discussion about the arrangement for the coupling as the coupling height for the WHR is a few inches lower than that when used on SAR. One solution would be to keep it at the same height and use the 'goose-neck' coupling as already used on the NGG16s or alternatively to lower the drag box to be in line with our coupling height. The disadvantage of the latter is that it would make the coupling lower than the centre line of the tender frame therefore put a bending force on this in heavy shunts, which is a known problem in such situations.

See No.134 Group website for full details and images.

 

SuperPower YouTube 16/9/17

Click on the YouTube link to watch 6 mins 21 seconds of video covering SuperPower 16/9/17 published 17/9/17. This video was taken by Simon Roberts (SAYFILM Productions) on a camcorder and is best watched in 1080p HD in Google Chrome browser.

 

SuperPower 16/9/17 Lyd

The plan to have three Garratts in operation all weekend, utilising a standard FR rake as the third set, was foiled by the failure of No.87 with frame problems at Pont Croesor on Saturday afternoon, so it was not available for the 1410 return working. The loco was recovered to Boston Lodge and Lyd, double heading with Vale of Ffestiniog, hauled the train to Dinas, arriving over an hour late at 1728. Lyd was removed and the Funkey continued to Caernarfon and returned to Dinas on the 1635, also very late. The failure of No.87 led to timetable disruption the following day as well with a number of cancellations including the 0955 freight working with the Funkey from Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn as the FR could not find a loco to substitute.

 

This southerly Dinas view (16/9/17) shows Lyd and Vale of Ffestiniog double heading the late 1410 from Porthmadog arriving at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower Dinas shed 16/9/17

Access to Dinas Loco Shed was allowed on the Saturday 16/9/17 but was unsigned and the small side door was closed. Some may have missed the opportunity as a result.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows Castell Caernarfon under repair. Gearbox work is underway on the gearbox in the foreground to restore this much needed loco to traffic soon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows Upnor Castle and Castell Caernarfon under repair. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows the former Chattenden and Upnor Combination coach No.1001 under repair. This is the WHR's mess coach for pw and volunteer gangs. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows No.130's boiler cradle under repair. Work is underway for completion of this loco by Summer 2018. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows Castell Caernarfon's repaired gearbox which had been returned on 13/9/17 from Llewellyn's Gears (Bristol). Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows information about Castell Caernarfon's repaired gearbox. Following the gearbox failure, the loco had run between 2015-16 with power to only one bogie making it difficult to rescue a service train on the 1 in 40 sections of the WHR. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows No.130's power bogies under repair. Work is underway for completion of this loco by Summer 2018. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows work underway for the SVR's new build project Standard 3 Tank No.82045. The water tanks are being constructed at Dinas as a job for an external railway and are seen tack welded together. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas Loco Shed view (16/9/17) shows work underway for the SVR's new build project Standard 3MT No.82045 (this would have been the number of the next built if the Modernisation Plan had not intervened) see Standard Tank project website. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Winter Timetable

After the Half Term trains stop on Saturday 4/11/17, an Orange timetable will come into force with trains twice a day as last year SWThO Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn until 30/11/17 and from MTFX from 3-15/3/18. These cater primarily for Winter coach tour traffic.

'Santa Specials' operate on 9-10, 16-17, 22-23/12/17 three times a day between Caernarfon and Waunfawr at 1000, 1215 and 1430 and on the same dates between Porthmadog and Beddgelert twice a day at 1100 and 1415, which replace FR Santa trains services this year for the first time.

The Xmas Holiday 'Mince Pie Specials' operate between 27/12/17 and 1/1/18 twice a day from Caernarfon to Beddgelert at 1015 and 1335.

A Purple timetable makes a welcome return for February MFX from 10-25/2/17 with trains twice a day from Porthmadog to Beddgelert at 1115 and 1420. This timetable covers the Half Term period when it is most likely to snow in North Wales.

 

Signalling work

Work is underway at all WHR stations to rationalise signalling this Winter. Already signs have gone up advising Permissive Working in the platforms. Some stations had shunt tokens/limits and others did not. Beddgelert Station's siding ground frame is still incomplete over 2 years after it was started.

 

Cambrian Coast news August-October

A large yacht slipped its moorings and became wedged under Barmouth Bridge on 22/8/17 leading to train cancellations until the following day. See Daily Post story and follow up, BBC news story and Cambrian News story.

Over the weekend of 14-15/10/17 Barmouth will be celebrating 150 years of the Cambrian Coast Line. There will be several attractions put on by the local council including a light and laser show on the bridge and surrounds, a children’s competition in the town and an exhibition in the leisure centre with a railway theme including a static exhibit in the form of an 0 gauge model of Barmouth Bridge. More details can be found on Facebook. On Tuesday 10/10/17 a Pathfinder diesel-hauled excursion is visiting the line from Bristol, hauled by Class 97/3s from Shrewsbury to Pwllheli: photographs would be welcome as it has been several years since a loco hauled train on the Cambrian Coast Line.

Richard Watson advises: ATW are closing the Cambrian Coast Line for unspecified work from midnight Thursday 26/10/17 until midnight Friday 3/11/17 with a bustitution, see ATW website.

 

SuperPower 16/9/17

SuperPower saw rather poor weather this year, cold and wet, though it did brighten up on Sunday. With no new locos featured, passengers appeared to be rather thin on the ground as the Stars theme did not seem to appeal to the general railway enthusiast and additional parking at Dinas was not required.

The AGM was also a disappointment to some with the first hour of the AGM given over to a talk about Tornado and the P2 project, the history of which is freely available on the internet. Most people come to the AGM to hear about the WHR news but in recent years other items seem to predominate.

In order to attract larger numbers next year, enthusiasts have suggested a new loco needs to be featured such as the WHHR's Russell, the L&B's Baldwin replica Lyn, which was rolled out at their Gala 30/9/17 (see L&B 762 page for video), or one of the VoR locos. All three railways have hosted F&WHR locos in recent years so returning the favour seems in order.

No.87 was failed on arrival at Porthmadog during the afternoon on 16/9/17 with frame damage. This led to some very late running trains at the end of the day as Vale of Ffestiniog was substituted with Lyd (removed at Dinas) and cancellations of some of the Sunday workings to the dismay of linesiders. The Funkey returned the failure to Dinas for repair on 19/9/17 and collected the Heritage stock for return to Boston Lodge.

 

This southerly view (16/9/17) shows K1 dragged out into Dinas yard. It is hoped some more work will be done to restore this loco to traffic soon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (16/9/17) shows the KMX tamper liner stabled out into Dinas yard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/17) shows the rolling chassis of No.134 dragged out into Dinas yard with its completed tender to the rear. monthly work parties continue on this loco, albeit now removed from the Loco Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/17) shows Daffodil and the KMX running truck in Dinas yard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (16/9/17) shows the new toilet block at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/17) shows Bill in Dinas yard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/17) shows Lilla on a short rake of bugboxes in Dinas yard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/17) shows Palmerston offering footplate rides in Dinas yard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower YouTube 15-17/9/17

Click on the YouTube link to watch 29 mins 14 seconds of video covering SuperPower 15-17/9/17 published 18/9/17. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 1080p HD in Google Chrome browser.

 

Ex Star Picture 14/4/14

This northerly view 14/4/14 shows No.138 drifting down towards Beddgelert Forest Campsite at 1116. Most of the services leading up to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend were hauled by Nos. 87/143 so this was a relatively rare outing for the red Garratt. The train was due to depart Beddgelert at 1125. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Kodak DX6490 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 14/9/17

This northerly view (14/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. The cherrypickers have been hard at work erecting the steelwork. Some final pieces remain to be erected on the left. The sloping roof is becoming apparent. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Webmaster's holiday

This webpage will not be updated until early October as your webmaster takes his annual holiday.

 

Caernarfon station progress 11-13/9/17

This westerly view (11/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. The cherrypickers have been hard at work erecting the steelwork and most of the central circular section is complete. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (11/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day as seen from the road. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (12/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. The cherrypickers have been hard at work erecting the steelwork and the central circular section is complete. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (12/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day as seen from the road with the steelwork extending to the south. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day with the steelwork extending to the south. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (13/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day with the steelwork extending to the south forming the Exhibition Hall. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (13/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day with the steelwork extending to the south and the frontage nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station steelwork erection progress 8/9/17

This southerly view (8/9/17) shows the cherrypickers hard at work erecting the steelwork as seen from the tunnel entrance. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (8/9/17) shows the northern end of the steelwork for the new station erected. The curved frontage is becoming more apparent. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station steelwork erection progress 7/9/17

This northerly view (7/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. The cherrypickers have been hard at work erecting the steelwork. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (7/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. The curved front of the building is becoming obvious. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (7/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. The curved front of the building is becoming obvious. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (7/9/17) shows the situation at the end of the day. Two cherrypickers have been hard at work erecting the steelwork. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Palmerston for SuperPower 7/9/17

Palmerston will be heading north along the Welsh Highland Railway next week - and will be in steam at Dinas, providing footplate rides, on Saturday 16/9/17. So there will now be a total of nine locomotives in use during SuperPower 15-17/9/17.

 

Caernarfon station steelwork arrives 6/9/17

This northerly view (6/9/17) shows a large crane hired from Danny Lawlor (Bagillt, Flintshire) unloading the steelwork for the new Caernarfon station building at 10:04. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (6/9/17) shows some of the steelwork for the new Caernarfon station building at 10:05 already placed on the ground while a surveyor checks the alignment of the pads that the steelwork upstands will be bolted to. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (6/9/17) shows, with one lorry already unloaded, the crane unloading the steelwork from the second lorry at 10:06. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (6/9/17) shows the northern end of the steelwork for the new station erected. This is probably the wall section that carries the station name. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (6/9/17) shows a cherry picker in use to connect up the steelwork at the tunnel end of the site at 17:42. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welsh Pony progress 5/9/17

This Boston Lodge view (5/9/17) shows progress with the cab of Welsh Pony. Sensitive restoration of the cab continues however the roof was too corroded to repair. New roof profiles are being installed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station update 4/9/17

This southerly view (4/9/17) shows the foundations nearing completion with only the south end to do. The holding down bolts for the steelwork is apparent and it cannot be long before steelwork appears. The safe walking route along the trackbed from the Castle Slate Quay car park is still in use on the trackbed alongside the retaining wall while the footpath along St Helens Road is out of use. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Archive alterations

The archived news for 2017 was becoming too big for FrontPage to handle thanks to photos provided by this website's supporters. So it has been split into quarterly sections, 2017a being January to March, 2017b being April to June and 2017c, just started, being July to September.

 

No.143 2/9/17

This southerly view (2/9/17) shows No.143 emerging from Goat Tunnel. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon plan latest

The Daily Post has revealed details of the latest plan for spending some £15m on revitalising Caernarfon, including the area between the castle and the WHR station. Some £3.5m will be spent on redeveloping an artisan quarter in the formerly run down area between the castle and WHR station. CADW, the WAG historic monument service, is planning improvements to the castle itself and upgrading road links.

 

No.130 progress 1-6/9/17

Good progress was made with No.130 in early September. On 1/9/17 the loco's dome hole had been cut and the double plate fitted. All the holes had been drilled and riveting will soon start. The base of the dome has been overhauled and is ready to fit. The top part of the dome is just having a few rivets replaced and a small amount of weld building up. Generally, it is very good condition.

On 2/9/17 The second stage former and the outer throatplate were ready to be formed. It should be completed by 18/9/17 and tacked in place.

On 4/9/17 The front section of the barrel was practically finished and the tubeplate had been inserted and partially riveted up. The sling stays bracket was in and riveted. This section will be offered up to the rear barrel section shortly.

On 5/9/17 the pads for all of the boiler fittings had been made and machined. Most have now been tacked in place including the steam dome, safety valves and manifold. These are on the rear section of the boiler barrel. The clack pad is fitted to the front section.

On 6/9/17 the rear section of the barrel was fully gigged and in position. The pads were all tacked in and the dome doubling plate was being fitted. The next stage is for the two sections to be offered up and then the throat plate made.

 

SuperPower bus tour

An open top bus will run from Ty Seiont (Caernarfon station booking office) to Dinas every half hour from 1015 to 1645 and in the reverse direction from 1100 to 1600. It will go around the castle walls and town centre.

 

No. 9 completes WHR transit 1/9/17

This westerly view (1/9/17) shows Dinas PW shunter No.9 crossing Britannia Bridge. This is the first time the loco has travelled the whole route following protracted restoration after delivery on 29/9/09. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (1/9/17) shows Dinas PW shunter No.9 arriving at Porthmadog while Merddin Emrys sets off for Blaenau Ffestiniog. The loco was reported to run well except for bonnet door opening. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower timetable

The locos in use for SuperPower 15-17/9/17 are as follows: Garratts Nos. 87/138/143Earl of Merioneth, Lilla, Lyd, Prince and Funkey diesel Vale of Ffestiniog. Prince and Lyd have been turned to work chimney first towards Caernarfon.

 

This timetable view (1/9/17) shows Friday 15/9/17 Superpower trains. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This timetable view (1/9/17) shows Saturday 16/9/17 Superpower trains. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This timetable view (1/9/17) shows Sunday 17/9/17 Superpower trains. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Wagons repaint completed 29/8/17

Marcus Ingram reports: Both wagons are have now been completed with the help of Tom Waldren. A top coat of Semi Gloss red oxide and correct labelling was added to the wagons.

 

This northerly view (19/8/17) shows NGY4021 painted and labelled inside the Carriage Shed. A rake of bug boxes is also present presumably brought up for SuperPower. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (19/8/17) shows DZ1424 repainted and labelled inside the Carriage Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welsh Pony progress 25/8/17

This Boston Lodge view (25/8/17) shows Welsh Pony's cab carefully receiving replacement panels in the Erecting Shop to replace those found subject to wasting . Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Glenn Williams (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Glan-yr-afon view opened up 25/8/17

This easterly view from the train (25/8/17) shows a large tree has fallen on the east side of Glan-y-afon viaduct opening a better view of the waterfall. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Michael Davies and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More Garratt substitutions 24-25/8/17

This westerly view (24/8/17) shows Lyd arriving at Porthmadog with Vale of Ffestiniog in support at 1802 due to the continuing lack of availability of a Garratt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (25/8/17) shows Earl of Merioneth watering at Rhyd Ddu with Vale of Ffestiniog in support at 1050 due to the continuing lack of availability of a Garratt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHR services disrupted 24/8/17

Michael Davies reports: The 09.40 Down train hauled by No.87 failed with brick arch trouble around Dinas. No.143 which was on the 10.00 Up was dispatched Light Engine on arrival in Port to replace the failure (no spare loco at Dinas as Castell Caernarfon is having gears refurbished again-Ed). There was no loco for the 12.55 Down, so FR diesel Vale of Ffestiniog and Lyd worked the train (This led to timetable changes for the rest of the day-Ed).

 

This easterly view (24/8/17) shows Lyd and Vale of Ffestiniog covering for the failed No.87 ready to leave Porthmadog on the 12:55. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Michael Davies and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (24/8/17) shows Lyd taking water at Beddgelert with Vale of Ffestiniog inside at 1340. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Michael Davies and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (24/8/17) shows Lyd with Vale of Ffestiniog inside restarting from Beddgelert at 1347 (some 12 minutes late). Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Michael Davies and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

TRAWS update 23/8/17

A full feasibility study of the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen rail link will commence in September. The Welsh Assembly has chosen Mott Macdonald, who were involved with the Scottish Border Line reopening study, to run the £300,000 study. See TRAWS website.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 22-24/8/17

This westerly view (22/8/17) shows a number of massive front foundation excavations under construction for the new two storey Caernarfon Station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (22/8/17) shows the steel reinforcement cage for the massive front foundation excavations under construction for the new two storey Caernarfon Station building. It appears this is mostly 'made ground' so the is no firm rock foundation. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (22/8/17) shows further steel reinforcement cages for the massive front foundation excavations under construction for the new two storey Caernarfon Station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

VoR Open Day 16-17/9/17

The Vale of Rheidol 'Open Weekend' event has clashed with the WHR SuperPower. There is the opportunity to see their new Garratt No.60, ride behind their diesel No.10 and have a yard/shed tour to see long out of traffic loco No.7 Owain Glyndwr being restored. See WHR website.

 

Welsh Pony report 21/8/17

This Boston Lodge view (21/8/17) shows Welsh Pony's cab being moved from storage in the Carriage Works to the Erecting Shop, where attention will be given to the roof and panels. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Glenn Williams (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Prince for SuperPower

Prince will be back in action for SuperPower (15-17/9/17) and the FR's Victorian Weekend (6-8/10/17). Between times it will be demonstrated 21-24/9/17 at Highley during the SVR Gala.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 21/8/17

This southerly view (21/8/17) shows the front foundation for the new Caernarfon Station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Moving Wheels YouTube No.9 20/8/17

Click on the YouTube link above to watch 21 mins 22 seconds of video showing the WHR up to 19/8/17 published 20/8/17. This video has been produced by John Wooden (F&WHR). It is best watched at 1080p HD mode available on e.g. Chrome.

 

Wagon progress 19-20/8/17

Marcus Ingram reports: Over the weekend worked on NGY4021 and DZ1424 both receiving their first coats of Red Oxide primer after sand blasting them clean last week. On Sunday I was helped by Tom Waldren.

 

This northerly view (19/8/17) shows progress repainting DZ1424 with the ballast wagon NGY4021 in undercoat to the rear outside the Carriage Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (19/8/17) shows progress repainting DZ1424 with the ballast wagon NGY4021 partially painted to the rear inside the Carriage Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (19/8/17) shows NGY4021 painted but needing labelling inside the Carriage Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (19/8/17) shows DZ1424 repainted inside the Carriage Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Marcus Ingram and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Wylfa Newydd will not use Amlwch Line

Horizon Nuclear which is building Wylfa B (Wylfa Newydd), the new Nuclear Power Station near Amlwch has missed an opportunity to earn green 'brownie points' with planners by bringing in materials via a new dock adjacent to Wylfa rather than by rail. There will also be improvements to the road network between Wylfa and Valley, where transhipment of irradiated fuel would continue if the scheme is given the go-ahead. Wylfa Nuclear Power Station closed down on 30/12/15 but is still being defuelled leading to the last revenue earning freight trains on the North Wales Coast Line for a while yet.

Your webmaster wrote to Horizon Nuclear recently about the possibility of using the Amlwch line to the derelict Rhosgoch tank farm site, where a short haul road across fields could deliver construction materials to the power station. Their reply was negative. If planning permission is given later this year, Wylfa B could open in 2025 providing new jobs in the community. The old power station, which was the last Magnox reactor operating in the world, started electricity production in 1971 and had almost 45 years of generating life.

See BBC news story.

 

Cambrian Coast 150 excursion 10/10/17

Pathfinder Railtours is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Cambrian Coast Line by organising a diesel hauled service from Bristol to Pwllheli on 10/10/17. This will be the first visit by a railtour to Porthmadog for several years and will feature a pair of Class 97/3s on the Cambrian. With over 3 hours in Porthmadog there may be opportunities to visit the F&WHR/WHHR.

 

NG15 No.134 News 19-20/8/17

Clive Briscoe reports: There was a good turnout and more to do than originally envisaged. The fitted bolts to hold the axleboxes onto the front Krauss-Helmholtz and rear pony truck frames were all but completed. However, there was a 'Small' hitch in making the new cylinder lagging cladding - the template for rolling the shape was made but where were the bending rolls? There was a small hand wind set in the works but all I found was the frame. Luckily, one of the fitter/fabricators was on site and said they'd been dismantled for refurbishment by someone some months ago. He knew where all the bits where and they were duly recovered but how did it all go together? Eventually they were cobbled together into 'something' that would work but still needs some restoration/new bearing blocks for the lifting roll to set the radius but there was a work-around for now.

The tender frame was outside our workshop and had been lifted off the bogies. The Works Manager wants to get the tender frames finished so needed to know what was left to do on the bogies:- wheels to be re-profiled, axle bearings to sort, another 4 composition brake blocks and that's more or less it, everything else has been done.

The frame needs the new front dragbox and the rear dragbox to decide whether to lower it to FR/WHR standard coupling height or to use the usual 'fix' (up to now with ex SAR stock) - fit a cranked drawbar. We had the refurbished vacuum brake cylinder taking up a lot of space in our cramped workshop so that was Sunday's task, to lift it into its cradle in the tender frames.

 

Taliesin on cab ride duty 19/8/17

This westerly view (19/8/17) shows Taliesin offering cab rides at Porthmadog Harbour Station. This will happen again on Saturday 26/8/17. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 progress 18-19/8/17

No.130's tubeplate rivet holes have been drilled in the front barrel section. Also the sling stay angle rivet holes have been marked and drilled in the rear barrel section. Work has been progressing with machining the fitting pads. The sling stay angles that end up riveted to the rear barrel section are being machined to size. These will then require rolling to suit the internal diameter of the barrel. The second stage former for the throatplate is complete and is being prepared for fitting to the already part formed throatplate.

The steam dome and smokebox door for No.130 have now been collected. The rivet heads need to be ground off in order to do the machining work so these will require replacing now. Also there is some building up required on the dome so that it is above the minimum thickness. For full details and images see No.130 Facebook.

 

Caernarfon station progress 17/8/17

This northerly view (17/8/17) shows progress with foundations for Caernarfon station. The space to the right of the foundations is the trackbed for the platform and run round loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (17/8/17) shows progress with foundations for Caernarfon station as seen from the buffer stop. The space to the left of the foundations is the trackbed for the platform and run round loop which will be extended north towards the tunnel. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Garratt boilers off for repair 15/8/17

On the 15/8/17 two boilers were moved out of the Carriage Shed for repair at an external boiler maker. Vale of Ffestiniog was used as depot shunter because Castell Caernarfon is out of action again with gearbox repairs. The lorry's crane was used to transfer the boiler off its cradle and accommodation bogies. One boiler is going to Israel Newton (Cromford) and the other to Locomotive Maintenance Services (Loughborough). The second boiler was removed from the former Clip Shed. The boilers are destined for Nos.138/143 when they next need refurbishment but one will be adapted so that it also will fit No.87.

 

This northerly view (15/8/17) shows two Garratt boilers going for repair at an external contractor. It is hoped this will speed up the return to service of the next Garratt requiring its 10 year overhaul. Local haulier Hughes of Blaenau Ffestiniog was used for the transit. Vale of Ffestiniog is deputising as Dinas shunter for Castell Caernarfon which requires gearbox repairs again. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Classic Car show Dinas 20/8/17

The WHR's Summer of Fun event, 'Classic Car Show & Family Fun Day' at Dinas Station, will take place this coming Sunday, 20/8/17 - 10:00 to 16:00. It will feature a celebration of classic cars, motorcycles and other historic vehicles. There will be a display of over 80 vehicles. There are footplate rides on a Victorian steam locomotive, train rides in vintage four-wheeled carriages, a 1960s Hornby-Dublo model railway layout, stalls, snacks and refreshments.

Entry to Dinas site: £3.00 Adult (one child free per adult) £1.00 per extra child. No unaccompanied under-16 year olds are allowed on the site.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 14/7/17

This northerly view (14/8/17) shows progress with Caernarfon station with a rainbow over the site. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

EMU offered home at the BF&TR 13/8/17

The 2HAP Group, which is interested in acquiring NSE liveried EMU displaced by the impending closure of the Coventry Railway Train Museum, has announced agreement with the Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway to house the unit there if successful. The museum near Coventry airport is being forced to close because the site is being commercially redeveloped. In the absence of a third rail power supply(!) the two car unit could be used as coaching stock if the BF&TR acquired a loco. A previous attempt to 'crowd fund' a Class 08 failed to raise enough money and the loco went to the Telford Steam Railway instead.

The Class 414 (No.4311) is subject to a 'Gofundme' crowd funding appeal organised by Neil Parry started on 4/8/17. Some £297 has been raised of the £11,500 goal in the first 10 days. Contributors will get a chance to come to the Grand Opening Voyage on 4311, including half price off tickets to ride. Members of the 2HAP Group will have an opportunity to come help with the rest of the restoration. The unit was restored in 2010 and seating and windows are in excellent condition according to the 2HAP Facebook page.

 

Romanian coaches go to STR

Romanian coaches similar to the single example purchased by Mike Hart for the WHR (No.2060 delivered 15/4/2007) have been purchased by the South Tynedale Railway based at Alston. The Heritage Lottery Fund supported the purchase of 6 coaches as part of the £5.6 million Slaggyford Extension project opened on 24/7/15. The STR is now 4.5 miles long but is to launch another project to extend along the remaining 8.5 miles of ex-BR trackbed to Haltwhistle Junction (where passengers can exchange with NR) later this year. The new project is estimated to cost £30 million.

 

Lilla at Shrewsbury Flower Show 12/8/17

This easterly view (12/8/17) shows Lilla on the banks of the River Severn at Shrewsbury Flower show. Train rides in the two four wheel coaches were offered on 12-13/8/17. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Taliesin cab rides 12/8/17

This northerly view (12/8/17) shows Taliesin offering cab rides at Porthmadog Harbour Station. This will happen again on Saturdays 19/8/17 and 26/8/17. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

BF&TR update 12/8/17

The Blaenau Ffestiniog & Trawsfynydd Railway has posted completed views of its early August major clearance campaign at Maentwrog Road yard and the adjacent station on its Facebook page. They are taking orders (by 15/8/17) for full size 36" x 10" brown GWR totem station signs for the 6 stations between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Lake Halt (the initial destination of the railway). The BF&TR Facebook page has also become a repository of older images of the line including some snow scenes from 1981.

A 78 hp Case International Tractor has arrived on site and will be powering the new chipper from next weekend's working party.

 

No.130 news update 11/8/17

A recently refurbished driver's vacuum brake valve has been delivered and case hardened horns are ready to fit on the loco. Hopefully one of the power units will be re-wheeled by the end of August or early September. The reverser stand has been overhauled and built up where necessary. It has now been fitted to the cradle and fitted bolts made. All of the components for the reverser are now also ready to fit.

Boiler makers Adam Dalgleish advise that as of 11/8/17 the rear barrel section is in place and tacked to the outer side sheets; the dome rivet holes and dome doubler holes are drilled in the barrel section; the transverse stay holes are drilled and the transverse stays are being made; the second stage former for the throatplate is now complete; the holes for the sling stay hanger angles are currently being marked out with drilling to follow. Most of the fitting pads are now machined. The manifold pad is now tacked in place; the front tubeplate is being fitted to the front barrel section for marking of the rivet holes. This will have to be removed again to rivet the gusset stay to barrel brackets. For images see No.130 Facebook page.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 8-12/8/17

This southerly view (8/8/17) shows setting out of the new Caernarfon Station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (12/8/17) shows setting out of the new Caernarfon Station building at the tunnel end of the site. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Tuesday Gang report 8/8/17

Tony Baker reports: On Tuesday 8/8/17 the Tuesday Gang rebuilt a collapsed APG at LC 52:89. The base timbers had rotted and so were replaced with stronger material. We also changed the hinges on the field gate at LC 53:06 and replaced a broken catch.

 

This northerly view (8/8/17) shows the Tuesday Gang completing work on APGs near Erw Fawr. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Andy Dawson and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Lilla replaces Palmerston at Shrewsbury 11-12/8/17

Lilla is to feature at the Shrewsbury Flower show over the weekend of 11-12/8/17. The loco, featuring its new green Cilgwyn livery, will replace the previously advertised Palmerston on passenger shuttles on a specially laid track along the banks of the River Severn at the Quarry Park Shrewsbury. See Shrewsbury Flower Show website for further details.

 

North Wales freight

Your webmaster makes occasional contributions of slide scans to the North Wales Coast Railway website. The edition posted on 7/8/17 contains a set of images of the Brymbo branch freights taken in 1980.

 

WHR 'Coming of Age' Event 2018

It is a sobering thought that Autumn 2018 will see 21 years since the start of services on the WHR. The F&WHR hopes to hold a Coming of Age event to celebrate the Caernarfon-Dinas service that started on 13/10/97.

 

Trawsfynydd Lake Halt rediscovered 5/8/17

Having cleared the trackbed at Maentwrog Road, volunteers working on the Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway have uncovered the remains of Trawsfynydd Lake Halt just south of the Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station siding. Next weekend they intend to do more work at Maentwrog Road depot. See BF&TR Facebook page.

 

Taliesin on cab rides 5/8/17

This easterly view (5/8/17) shows Taliesin offering cab rides at Porthmadog. There do not appear to be any plans to offer cab rides at Caernarfon/Dinas during this year's Summer of Fun. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Loco news Summer 2017

Failures of the braided steel smokebox blower pipes are causing problems. Nos.87/143 have not steamed consistently well this season so far with occasional late running and even stopping mid-section for a blow up! Adjustments to coal supply may help and also teaching the firemen not to overload the fire at Caernarfon. No.143 has failed twice in service and needed helping home by the FR's Funkey, Vale of Ffestiniog. No.143 was soon fixed with a new grate and brick arch. This is in consequently delayed the return of No.138. The Dinas JCB Loadall also broke down and blocked access to No.138's bunker and water tanks.

Work has resumed on No.130's power bogies. The horns will be sent away for hardening and the axleboxes white-metalled and machined to fit. The tyres have been cut off the truck wheels and the truck frames will need some repair. It is hoped that No.130 will be available to replace No.87 when it comes in for its next 10 year overhaul. There is still no consideration of reassembling No.140 which continues in its role of a Christmas Tree to support the other Garratts.

With Caernarfon Castle out of action awaiting return of the gearbox, Bill has worked as Dinas pilot but attention has also turned to the little used No.9. It appears that the contract work on the injectors was not up to standard. Additional work, including the injector pumps, resulted in a mainline test which showed improvement but still a need for further work. when work on wagons and Welsh pony comes to an end, attention will be given to new carriage underframes and new Fairlie James Spooner's boiler.

Garratt boilers need long term planning. Israel Newton's Cromford Works has won a contract to overhaul boiler No.7017, previously on No.143, which now carries No.140's boiler. A lot more work was discovered to be needed than initially anticipated and the boiler is expected to go to Cromford soon for removal of wasted platework for return in 12 months or so. Boiler No.7111 will go to a contractor for repair so that hopefully Dinas will have a spare boiler available.

 

Young Volunteers Training Week 5/8/17

Young volunteers have been working on the F&WHR and one of the projects was to start the reassembly of Blanche.

 

Caernarfon progress 4/8/17

This westerly view (4/8/17) shows a lamp post being moved as it is within the station building boundary. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower details

The 3-day Rover will be £32 for members and the 1-day Rover £16. There will be four sets of coaches in action, one a mixed train, providing an intensive service between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. As well as the three Garratts, Earl of Merioneth will be hauling trains and will be withdrawn soon afterwards. No.87 was brought into Dinas for a period of routine maintenance (new ashpan drench, grate and brick arch as a result of the availability of No.138. Lyd, Prince and Vale of Ffestiniog will also haul trains.

All trains are to be given names of star constellations. As many trains will cross at Rhyd Ddu, catering will be provided there. Friday evening will feature a photographic event at Dinas. Hot food and real ale will be available.

On Saturday the Loco Shed will be open to view progress on No.130 and other projects. The Dark Skies presentation will feature a planetarium (see below) with seating for 25 so early booking is essential.

On Saturday and possibly Sunday there will be a guided walk along the Lon Gwyrfai.

On Sunday there will be a visit to Caernarfon Station site from 1300 to 1400, though there is likely to be little progress by then above the foundations.

 

New TOC promises North Wales steam 4/8/17

With the paucity of steam workings on the North Wales Coast Line this year, the announcement on 4/8/17 that Jeremy Hosking's Crewe based Locomotive Services (TOC) Limited has been granted a Train Operating Licence for the operation of charter passenger trains on the national network by the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) will be welcomed by enthusiasts. This means that the organisation has secured the three main approvals needed to operate - an ORR Safety Certificate, a Network Rail Access Agreement and an ORR Train Operating Licence. Locomotive Services Ltd spokesman Peter Greenwood said: "We have also recently secured a Network Rail gauging certificate for locos Royal Scot (Royal Scot Class No.46100) and Braunton (West Country Light Pacific No.34046) on the routes which we will operate our first trains over being; Crewe to North Wales and Crewe to Cardiff."

The new TOC's programme of railtours will be announced soon and may bring extra traffic to the F&WHR. The last steam hauled North Wales railtour happened in July and there are currently no more planned for the rest of the year by existing operators.

 

Caernarfon station delay 4/8/17

The removal of the 14" cast iron gas main that cut across the corner of the site by the roundabout delayed the start of work by a few months so it now seems unlikely that the station cannot open next Easter as hoped as a 3 month delay ensued. The gas main, now diverted in modern yellow plastic piping, was not shown on ground plans and is subject to legal action. Although consideration was given to moving the station building off the pipeline, that turned out to be unrealistic and Wales & West Utilities plan to divert the whole length of St. Helens Road would also take too long. So the short diversion off the WHR site under the road was the final plan adopted but with a considerable bill attached which presumably has been passed to the F&WHR.

Interior design of the station is progressing well. The small cafe in the station will not be a repeat of Spooners catering for the general public and will only plan to serve railway customers. It is to be named 'De Winton' to reflect the history of the loco works opposite the station. The flexible event space at the rear will be commercial space in the summer but available for special events at other times.

 

This easterly view (4/8/17) shows new signage attached to the Heras site fencing at Caernarfon Station produced by Designer Signs North Wales Ltd. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (4/8/17?) shows No.87 departing Caernarfon with the temporary (formerly Age Wales) station building in the background. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 update 2/8/17

At the end of July the rear section of the boiler barrel was offered up to the foundation ring and outer wrapper plates. Also the front section of the barrel was upright and waiting for the fitting of the front tubeplate. The tubeplate was finished and the throat plate former was being assembled. see No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

Coach No.1001 progress 1/8/17

Martin Kressman reports: Yesterday (1/8/17) we had the Mess Coach (No.1001) over the pit in the Loco Shed at Dinas to enable us to access the underside of the vehicle so that we could dismantle the brake gear which will be refurbished. Contrary to popular belief there is not any concrete beneath the floor.

 

Tuesday Gang report 1/8/18

Andy Dawson reports: We plumbed the metal gate in the ground on the Croesor side of the fence (LC5308) nearest the access road quite quickly after arriving on site, navigating through a slightly wet number of fields. We then didn't plant the metal post in the gate opposite on the Osprey side of LC5308, as the upright the gate was hanging on was rock solid and what was preventing it closing was a build up of earth behind the gate which we removed and made good. We managed to relocate the gate receiver slightly left of its location thereby making it close securely, but this may need further attention as the receiving gatepost needed drilling. The receiver on the Osprey side could do with replacing along with a couple of unbent screws which were in the post in the first place. The only slight concern would be the gap on the hanging end, but some wire attached to both top & bottom hinge should prevent livestock getting through. The farmer mentioned the next crossing (LC5289) as the support for the triangles has collapsed and needs replacing, but this shouldn't be a long job hopefully.

 

This northerly view (1/8/17) shows the Tuesday Gang completing work at Erw Fawr level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Andy Dawson and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Titbits Spring 2017

The Beer Festival has grown to become the largest event on the F&WHR calendar even though numbers were slightly down on 2016. Pint glasses from 2016/7 and generic ones are available from the on-line shop at £3.50. There was a slow start to the season on the WHR at Caernarfon station compared to the FR, possibly due to a difficulty in providing signage as contractors were changing.

 

No.138 back in traffic alone 1/8/17?

No.138 was noted in traffic on its own on 29/7/17 even though the roster shows No.87/143 in charge week commencing 29/7/17. A short video shows it passing northbound through Nantmor that day on the Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Group Facebook page.

 

This northerly view (1/8/17?) shows No.138 hauling a northbound train through the Aberglaslyn Pass. It appears that this loco is now trusted alone on service trains assuming this is not an archive view. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 1/8/17

This westerly view (1/8/17) shows the piling well underway and the shape of the station building appearing. Next week contractors might start the foundations. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

BF&TR progress 1/8/17

The Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway is making good progress clearing the line. Heavy plant has been engaged for the 'Big Push' week starting 29/7/17 and is battling the overgrown line south through Maentwrog Road station. See T&BFR Facebook page.

 

Blanche progress July 17

This northerly view (7/17) shows Blanche's boiler removed for refurbishment during Kid's Week in July. Blanche's tender has a fixed cab on its tender while Linda's, seen in the background, has a demountable cab for running in reverse in inclement weather. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.138 31/7/17

This southerly view (31/7/17) shows No.138 stabled alongside No.87 and Vale of Ffestiniog at Boston Lodge. The motive power department will be glad to have three Garratts available over the peak timetable period. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 progress 29/7/17

Good progress has been made with the new boiler at Adam Dalgleish's works in Stockton-on-Tees. Firstly, the thick bed plate was carefully set up level. Then the foundation ring was fixed and the frame onto which the boiler barrel would sit was constructed. The tolerance needed is very precise and, with the aid of digital measuring devices, it needs to be within 0.1 of a degree. The two outer wrapper plates have been fixed and braced.

 

No.138 progress 28/7/17

This southerly view (28/7/17) shows No.138 piloting No.87 all the way to Porthmadog on a very wet start to the School summer holidays which saw waterfalls in full spate. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 27/7/17

This northerly view (27/7/17) shows the appearance of large machines at the Caernarfon station site. In the background a tracked auger at work. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (27/7/17) shows the auger at the Caernarfon station site. The roundabout is still not complete as it appears people have been driving straight across, unused to the new 'shared space' style of roadway, which some find dangerous. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

KS4415 Update 26/7/17

Due to a temporary lack of space at Boston Lodge the rolling chassis of KS4415 was propelled to storage in Minffordd Yard by Criccieth Castle. The gearbox was returned to Boston Lodge from Minffordd for examination. See KS4415 Facebook page for images.

 

Coach No.1001 progress 25/7/17

Martin Kressman reports: Work has restarted on Mess Coach No.1001. On Tuesday (25/7/17) we were grinding down to bare metal around the side door openings to enable them to be welded shut. (The WHR Mess Coach is former Admiralty Chattenden and Upnor 'Combination' coach purchased from the South Tynedale in 1989 and before that used previously on the Welshpool & Llanfair-Ed).

Richard Watson adds: The Chattenden & Upnor Railway ceased to be called that in 1906 - thereafter it was known as the Lodge Hill & Upnor Railway. I too thought it was the C&UR until I researched the history of the loco Upnor Castle - see my article at Welsh Highland Heritage Journal. (Also see Wikipedia -Ed).

 

Tuesday Gang report 25/7/17

Tony Baker reports: Today we were at LC 53:06 Erw Fawr (Large Acre). Our job was to replace the ballast in the two foot with new centre timbers and to investigate why the gates were difficult to close. The weather was hot which slowed us down somewhat. The difficulty in operating the gates was due to rotting gate posts which will hopefully be dealt with in due course. Next week we will return to replace the rotten outer timbers.

 

This westerly view (25/7/17) shows the decayed side timber at Erw Fawr level crossing, north of Croesor Junction. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (25/7/17) shows work underway removing ballast and replacing with new central timbers at Erw Fawr level crossing. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (25/7/17) shows No.87 approaching Erw Fawr level crossing, with the 1000 ex-Caernarfon, passing Ynys Fach. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (25/7/17) shows No.87 approaching Erw Fawr level crossing, with the 1255 ex-Porthmadog, having rounded the Croesor Junction Deviation. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (25/7/17) shows preparation of new crossing timbers at Erw Fawr level crossing, with Cnicht in the background. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (25/7/17) shows the new central crossing timbers complete at Erw Fawr level crossing, with Snowdon in the background. Click on the image to enlarge. Click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Tony Baker and was taken on an Olympus digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower update 15-17/9/17

SuperPower this year celebrates the fact that the Snowdonia National Park is now an International Dark Sky Reserve, only the tenth place in the world to gain this status. There will be a number of special opportunities for visitors to enjoy the new status. On the Friday evening at Dinas there will be a talk by award-winning local dark sky photographer Kris Williams for members and event rover ticket holders.

Dinas will also be open all day on the Saturday. There will be the opportunity to check the progress on NG/G16 No.130, NG/G15 No.134, and K1. Quarry Hunslet Lilla will also be in steam offering short train rides.

'Dark Sky Wales' will also be at Dinas with their 'Digital Planetarium' complete with stunning visual shows designed by professional astronomers. In the planetarium guests will enjoy a tour of the heavens looking at constellations and the mythology including tales from the Mabinogion. It is possible to zoom in to the planets and explore them in detail before venturing out of the Milky Way and visit other galaxies. This amazing experience can be booked online here.

A cafe/bar will be open all day in the Goods Shed. Also on the Saturday, there will be a guided walk from Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert, covering local history and the National Park's dark sky status.

Details of special trains are as yet unclear. However Heritage Railway magazine suggests there will be several after dark special workings. sunset is about 1940 at Porthmadog during the SuperPower event. 

SuperPower tickets are available to purchase online here, and it is hoped to provide more detailed information regarding other special attractions in due course.

 

Scots Guardsman runs to Blaenau 25/7/17

One of the increasingly rare mainline steam excursions works into Blaenau Ffestiniog today hauled by Royal Scot Scots Guardsman No.46115. The train is the 'Welsh Mountaineer' from Preston organised by the RTC. This may be the last steam run of the season as it appears that there are only two diesel hauled excursions to North Wales in the second half of the year.

 

Dinas changes 24/7/17

This southerly view (24/7/17) shows the garden of the recently acquired Station View bungalow, destined to become a volunteer hostel. The overgrown garden is being cleared as the house is about to be let on a temporary basis. The overgrown Leylandii were removed by a specialist contractor. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on an iPhone 4 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Russell Campaign

Chris Magner writes: 2017 is the 80th Anniversary of the old Welsh Highland Railway closure. Since 1988 Russell has been on the FR (twice, 1988 and 1990-Ed) and the new WHR (SuperPower 2000-Ed). A Welsh Highland Heritage Railway train has reached Beddgelert (Gelert 29/12/12-Ed). The one thing that many want to see is Russell at Beddgelert. Whilst there would be some technical adjustments made to achieve this nothing is impossible for this to take place. When Russell was on the FR in 1988 it took a lot of co-operation between the volunteers at Boston Lodge and Gelert's Farm to make this happen. I would welcome a campaign for this.

 

No.134 report 22-23/7/17

With lower temperatures, the group got more done this month. The arrival of the manufactured castle nuts for the fitted bolts allowed volunteers to move into the final stages of the reassembly of the axle boxes onto the pony trucks. Previously, they had started to ream out the holes for the fitted bolts however, the fitted bolts could not be tightened or in some cases actually inserted without fear of upsetting the positioning of the axle boxes so work had stopped. With the nuts now in the Group's possession volunteers tightened those bolts already knocked into their holes on the rear pony truck. They were then able to drill and ream out the remaining holes and fit and tighten the bolts for those. This now means the rear truck is almost complete. Volunteers will give them a final tighten and fit the split pins next time. At the same time they will also drill the holes needed to fit the split pins to the bolts holding the truck centralising spring unit into place. This last outstanding job should mean that the rear truck will be ready for fitting to the loco once the wheels are refitted.

On the front, Krauss-Helmholtz truck, the Group fitted and tightened the bolts to the 12 holes already reamed out. There are a further 8 holes to ream and fit bolts to however. This truck is much heavier so it will need a bit of serious manhandling to get the truck into position to be able to drill them as the holes are in a different plane to the previous 12. Volunteers also fully tightened the centralising spring unit onto the truck's frame and started to drill the holes in the bolts and fit the split pins. Running out of time on the Sunday they only managed two of the eight so the rest will be done next time.

A few more of the cylinder casting cladding attachment holes were cleaned and tapped, however there are still a few more to do in much more awkward positions. Volunteers were also asked to look at the manufacture of the cladding for the cylinders. For this they resorted to their tried and tested method of a cardboard template. It was decided to split the cladding in the vicinity of the revised larger drain cocks to be able to actually fit it. Once the template was made, volunteers cut out the steel sheet to the overall outline. All the 'fiddly' hole cutting will be done next time.

See NG15 No.134 Facebook page for images.

 

WHR views 22/7/17

This northerly view (22/7/17) shows No.87 southbound at Beddgelert. The KMX tamper-liner is in the siding to the left causing a shadow. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on an iPhone 4 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/7/17) shows the new ivory and green livery applied to buildings at Beddgelert with ebony fence paint. The KMX tamper-liner can be glimpsed in the siding on the left. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on an iPhone 4 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/7/17) shows the recently repainted Romanian carriage No.2060 at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where applicable). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on an iPhone 4 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.134 report 22/7/17

Clive Briscoe reports: The nuts for the fitted bolts had arrived so most of the fitted bolts that had been fitted in the axlebox/pony & K-H truck got hardened up. There are still a few holes to ream so that is tomorrow's job. Down in the carriage shed, where No.134's rolling chassis is, two of us made a cardboard template for the cylinder cladding. On Sunday steel sheet will be cut.

 

BF&TR working week

The Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway is having a working week at its Maentwrog Road depot from 29-7/17 to 5/8/17. During the week they hope to uncover the site of Trawsfynydd Lake Halt. See BFTR website. For the people who never saw the line in action, lots of images are being contributed to their Facebook page showing the railway as it was with nuclear flask traffic, explosives traffic, Sunday special DMUs and excursion traffic etc.

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Glyn Valley Tramway moves forward 20/7/17

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

 

Electrification halted 20/7/17

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

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

 

Welsh Electrification dropped 20/7/17

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

 

Beddgelert changes 19/7/17

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

 

No.130 progress 19/7/17

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

 

Tuesday Gang 18/7/17

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

No.138 out on test 18/7/17

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

 

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

 

Another Garratt for Wales 17/7/17!

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

 

Penrhyn Railway closes 15/7/17

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

 

Replica Ashbury coach for F&WHR

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

Heritage stock

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

 

Class 319 Flex for Wales

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

 

No.130 update 16/7/17

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

 

Work starts on Halton Curve 14/7/17

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

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

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

 

Palmerston School Special 12/7/17

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Moving wheels No.8 12/7/17

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

 

Gobowen station secured for rail use 11/7/17

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

 

Caernarfon Slate Quay project wins £3.5m grant 11/7/17

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

 

West Midlands Group meeting Thursday 13/7/17

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

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

 

Appeal for help with SuperPower

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

 

Timetable change 10/7/15

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

 

New BF&TR website 10/7/17

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

 

Lyn steams at Keef's 9/7/17

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

 

Welsh Pony progress 8/7/17

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

 

BF&TR update 8/7/17

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

 

No.130 progress 5/7/16

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Free weekend buses from 8/7/17

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

 

Caernarvon BR station images 3/7/70

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Welsh Pony progress 1/7/17

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

 

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

 

Site development

If you have suggestions for development of this site, please contact me by email from the link on the Stop Press page.

 

Click here to return to Stop Press page

 

Comments

Please add comments in my Guestbook.

Click here for Guestbook

Page Version 4.3 Dated 2/11/17