WHR

News Archive Page

2018

V4.3 updated 6/11/18

with news to 30/9/18

 

Newly archived sections are placed at the top of this page. This page contains archived news from July-September 2018.

 

WHR 28-30/9/18

There was no sign of the start of works on the Caernarfon-Bontnewydd Bypass which was due to start by November. The bypass which crosses over the WHR just north of Bontnewydd Halt is due to be completed by 2021 and tree clearance needs to be completed by March 2019 in advance of the bird nesting season.

 

This northerly view (28/9/18) shows unusually empty sidings at Dinas. All the freight/PW stock had been moved to Rhyd Ddu to clear the sidings for SuperPower but they remained there two weeks later. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (28/9/18) shows the rear of Station View, the WHR's volunteer accommodation at Dinas. Electric points are being fitted to the former garden which will allow campervans etc to be accommodated in future. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (28/9/18) shows No.143 crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge with the 1420 from Caernarfon. This might be a good spot to put some timetables as many walkers seem to be unaware of the train service. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Finally, passing Boston Lodge on 30/9/18 on my way home to the Midlands, it appeared that WHR PW shunter No.9 was present.

 

North Wales Coast news 27-28/9/18

With Keolis/Amey taking over the WalesRail franchise on behalf of Transport for Wales (WAG's transport department), the ManWAG service attracted some attention in the final weeks of ATW's franchise ending on Saturday 13/9/18. These MkIII coaches are owned by ATW and speculation was rife that the train would continue to run as will the ATW owned Gerald Cardiff service until other stock is procured (MkIV coaches in the case of the Gerald Cardiff service). Trains have begun to appear in the new white TfW livery and de-branding of ATW stock has occurred. Station signs and ticket machines have begun to acquire TfW logos.

 

This easterly view (27/9/18) shows DB liveried 67013 hauling the ManWAG past Penmaenmawr headland on a sunny day after the storms of late September. Will this weekday working revert to a DMU under TfW control? 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (27/9/18) shows DB liveried 67013 hauling the ManWAG approaching Llanfairfechan with the DVT on the rear. The coaches are owned by Arriva (as ATW) but have been de-branded suggesting they will continue for a while. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (28/9/18) shows DB liveried 67013 hauling the ManWAG approaching Valley. The unusually liveried signal box controls entry to the Valley Nuclear Electric sidings the other side of the 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (28/9/18) shows DMU 150258 stopping at Valley. The low platforms in Anglesey have recently raised sections, visible in front of the cab, to facilitate access by wheelchairs etc.. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (28/9/18) shows DRS 68003 Astute and  68017 Hornet running round the nuclear flasks, which they had left on the North to West curve. While the Valley Nuclear Electric sidings were constructed in 1962 to take nuclear waste from Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, the triangle was added in 1989 for turning steam locos. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (28/9/18) shows DRS 68003 Astute and  68017 Hornet taking the triangle route in order to propel the flasks out onto the mainline. As there is only a trailing crossover at Valley and no run round in the sidings the method of working before the triangle was put in is unclear, unless they ran round in Holyhead prior to 1989. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (28/9/18) shows the pair of 68s propelling the flasks towards the junction where they waited their path. a friendly member of staff chatted with your webmaster and suggested this traffic may go on until March next year. Wylfa has been shut down for 2 years now and previously advised all flask traffic would cease in 2018. The loading gantry can be seen 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (28/9/18) shows the pair of flasks being propelling out of the sidings. This is the final freight traffic on the North Wales Coast route, a surprising decline from the 4 freightliners, Anglesey Aluminium traffic, Amlwch chemical traffic, Bangor cement traffic, Penmaenmawr quarry traffic etc. of the last few decades. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (28/9/18) shows the ground signal set and the two 68s propelling the flasks into Valley station before setting off for Crewe. In recent months 68/88 combinations and even pairs of 88s have been noted on this residual freight duty. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Gowrie Project 21/9/18

While awaiting Trust status for this, the last NWNGR loco to be built, a start has been made on engineering some of the smaller components for Gowrie, the first part being a smokebox door boss. Alongside this, other components completed so far include coupling components and the bogie pivot pins. The pins having been made to a slightly larger diameter than the originals due to the increase in boiler weight due to the design of a more powerful boiler. While many enthusiasts welcome the project, some feel Moel Tryfan would have been a more worthy loco to replicate, especially as some parts remain from the trailing bogie as used under Linda and Blanche on the F&WHR until recently.

The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust has announced another new build project to recreate two of the line's Manning Wardle locos, with Exe being constructed at Boston Lodge and Yeo to be built alongside Gowrie at the workshop in North Derbyshire.

 

Boston Lodge Works visit 16/9/18

This Boston Lodge view (16/9/18) shows Linda receiving attention. Criccieth Castle is also in the works for 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (16/9/18) shows Gwyrfai No.2152 receiving increased attention over the Autumn. The Observation car will hopefully be in service next season and will allow Observation cars in both sets. To the right the first of two diminutive Ravenglass and Eskdale coaches is 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (16/9/18) shows UPNOR CASTLE, which saw much use during the construction of the WHR, and works shunter MOEL Y GEST stabled in from of the erecting shop on the new concrete hard standing. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (16/9/18) shows the New Carriage Shed area now levelled and ready for erection when funds allow. The area is still fenced off whilst settlement occurs and various pits are dug. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower 16/9/18

This westerly view (16/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Tryfan Junction on a vintage train. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (16/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Tryfan Junction on a vintage train. the station was manned for most of Saturday and Sunday by members of the WHHG who offered light refreshments. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (16/9/18) shows Lyn and Taliesin arriving at Tryfan Junction on a shuttle working from Waunfawr. Unusually both locos were on the front rather than top and tailed. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Lyn pausing at Tryfan Junction on a shuttle train wreathed in steam. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Lyn pausing at Tryfan Junction on a shuttle train with cow-catcher detail, a useful feature on a line where sheep often find their way onto the track! 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (16/9/18) shows No.138 negotiating the chicane around Wilko's store on Llyn Bach with the afternoon standard WHR service to 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (16/9/18) shows Vale of Ffestiniog shunting FR stock in Porthmadog station. With so many FR locos on the WHR, the Funkey was an invaluable loco to have available for traffic over the weekend. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station 16/9/18

This southerly view (16/9/18) shows Caernarfon platform which will be altered again during the WMWP. Tracks will be moved  to the right to match the platform edge as far as the location where the kerbs are displaced to the right. The point will be moved to the left allowing a maximum length train to be accommodated. The headshunt will be extended to allow two Garratts to run round together. Taliesin is seen in the distance taking water with the shuttle train in the platform. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Caernarfon cafe with its plate glass windows and plate glass balustrade. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Caernarfon cafe giving a view over the castle. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (16/9/18) shows the red tile finish of the rotunda with the main entrance 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows the red tile finish of the rotunda with the new high class toilets to the left. The expensive grey walling material gives a finish similar to slate. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows the large exhibition space with artists in residence. The large doors facing south will allow rolling stock to be displayed with minimal movement from the tracks. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More from SuperPower 15/9/18

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys hauling the 1420 from Caernarfon to Beddgelert passing Dinas Loco Shed where No.9 is stabled in the headshunt 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 Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys pausing at Waunfawr to allow the 1415 from Porthmadog to pass. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows No.143 and No.138 arriving at Waunfawr with the 1415 standard WHR service from Porthmadog. The locos as separated by the DZT tank wagon as used on SAR for additional water supply but in this case to reduce the loading on the Plas-y-nant bridge which is an original bowstring bridge. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows David Lloyd George arriving at Rhyd Ddu with the 1555 FR rake from 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 Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys running round promptly at Beddgelert in order to haul the 1720 to Caernarfon from the Up line. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys ready to haul the 1720, the last train of the day from here, to Caernarfon unusually from the Up line. This avoided a stock shunt to the Down line, the normal northbound departure platform. Parts of the ground frame and linkages can be seen to the right of the loco for Beddgelert's siding/catch point. This is still not complete 2 years after the project was started. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows the KMX tamper in Rhyd Ddu yard along with most of the wagon fleet. This allowed room at Dinas for various heritage train and footplate rides in the sidings. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows the Glan-y-afon waterfall as seen from the train on the Glan-y-afon viaduct. A recent tree fall has revealed much more of the waterfall in this beauty spot. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower 15/9/18

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Castell Caernarfon in Dinas Loco Shed undergoing refurbishment including rewiring and fitting of the repaired gearbox. The loco's bonnets have been repainted at Boston Lodge in green so the cab will be too when the loco can get to Boston Lodge giving the interesting prospect of a mixed livery loco for a short while? 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Castell Caernarfon in Dinas Loco Shed undergoing refurbishment. It is hoped the loco will be available for the 2019 season as the WHR is desperately in need of a rescue/heavy PW loco and sometimes has to call on Vale of Ffestiniog, the FR's Funkey, from Boston Lodge. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows coach No. 1001 being refurbished in Dinas Loco Shed. This former Mess vehicle/Brake coach ex Chattenden & Upnor Railway has been under repair by volunteers since 2017 and will likely see use on PW trains in future. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows No.130 being nearing completion in Dinas Loco Shed. It is hoped the boiler will be delivered for fitting this autumn having missed several delivery dates and the loco might be available next season to replace No.87, due to be withdrawn for its 10 year overhaul this Autumn. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows No. 87 waiting at Dinas to depart on the 1420 Caernarfon-Porthmadog standard WHR service train. The loco is due to be withdrawn this Autumn for its 10 year overhaul and replacement of its bogie frames which have had cracks repaired in the past. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Dinas with the Vintage FR set. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows No.130's new tanks on a flat wagon in Dinas North Yard. A spare tank has also been ordered for presumably No.87 when it comes in for its 10 year overhaul this Autumn. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows ex-Shotton Steelworks shunter Bill in Dinas North Yard. The ride is said to be a bit hard so the shunter is mostly confined to Dinas shunting duties. Its twin, Ben, still in yellow livery remains unrefurbished and off the rails on the bank above the Carriage 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower YouTube 14-16/9/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 15 mins 24 seconds of video covering SuperPower event commencing with the removal of all the freight stock to Rhyd Ddu sidings to free Dinas yard for footplate rides etc. This YouTube was published on 21/9/18. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows or View on YouTube where all options are available.

 

SuperPower 15/9/18

The weather was sunnier on Saturday. The exhibits at Dinas were appreciated by all but some of the promised model exhibits did not turn up. There were no external caterers this year after the relatively poor attendance last year but F&WHR staff ran a good cafe in the Goods Shed with seats in the Exhibition tent. Lyn performed well in top and tail movements but many wanted to see the loco tried out on the 1 in 40 sections near Beddgelert. The General Manager confessed he liked the loco and it was used on a trip to Caernarfon Friday evening after services had finished to bring fish and chips to Dinas for volunteers. Lyn was one of the main reasons for better attendance this year and shows the value in having a visiting loco at SuperPower. Last year there were none.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys northbound at Dinas with a short FR vintage rake. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows No.138 southbound at Dinas with a WHR standard rake. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Lyn southbound at Caernarfon with a WHR shuttle rake. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows Taliesin taking water at Caernarfon before heading south on the back of a WHR shuttle rake. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Lyn arrived at Waunfawr with a WHR shuttle rake with Taliesin on the rear. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Taliesin southbound at Waunfawr with a WHR shuttle rake. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Lyn on the rear of the shuttle at Waunfawr before setting off for Caernarfon with a WHR shuttle rake. 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 EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower 14/9/18

The weather was dull but at least the threatened storms held off until the following week. Just two contributions from readers this year, despite the attendance being much better than last year's Dark skies SuperPower.

 

This southerly view (14/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys northbound at Waunfawr with a short FR vintage rake. The Waunfawr station buildings were due to be removed soon after this view and the new station buildings were due to be started. The architect was present on the 15/9/18 to explain the project and gave further details at the AGM. 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.

 

This southerly view (14/9/18) shows the L&BR's Lyn in the sidings at Dinas which had been cleared out for various activities. This replica of the L&BR's American designed Baldwin Lyn performed well and gained much attention from visitors. 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.

 

Annual holiday

Your webmaster will be taking his annual holiday in North Wales until 30/9/18 so there will be no updates for a couple of weeks. Normal service will resume in early October.

 

Lyn arrives at Dinas 12/9/18

This easterly view (12/9/18) shows the L&BR's Lyn arriving at Dinas for SuperPower. 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 (12/9/18) shows WHR diesel Bill drawing the L&BR's Lyn off the low loader at Dinas for SuperPower. 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 (12/9/18) shows the Lilla and bugboxes stable in the Carriage Shed at Dinas for Heritage train rides at SuperPower. 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 (12/9/18) shows Hugh Napier stabled in the Carriage Shed at Dinas for footplate rides at SuperPower. 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.

 

Moving Pictures No.23 11/9/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 18 mins 55 seconds of video covering Caernarfon and Waunfawr station updates. This YouTube was published on 11/9/18. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows or View on YouTube where all options are available.

 

Castell Caernarfon update

The bonnet of Castell Caernarfon is at Boston Lodge being repainted. The loco will be turned out in green livery but still with 'go faster' stripes on the front, albeit in shades of green not yellow.

 

Daily Post reports slower trains in North Wales 10/9/18

In a report dated 10/9/18 the Daily Post reveals the TfW trains that will replace Arriva trains on the Llandudno-Blaenau Ffestiniog branch (and the borderlands Line from Wrexham to Bidston) in October will be slower than existing trains though will have higher acceleration. The Class 230 DMUs are rebuilt D tube stock and may nevertheless be capable of cutting journey times with higher acceleration on some routes. The report includes a fly through video of Vivarail's rebuilt trains.

Rebranding of North Wales stations in TfW livery is currently underway.

 

KS4415 progress

Kerr Stuart No.4415, the experimental diesel shunter that spent time on the WHR in 1928/9, saw more progress in August and September.

Jobs undertaken over the weekend of 11-12/8/86 included work on the bronze bearings from the gearbox selector shafts, which have been cleaned up and painted in special etch primer. A new collar has been made for the front coupling pin, because the pin will have to be put in upside down, from underneath once the gearbox is in place. The collar and large split pin will stop the pin falling out. Work has also taken place on the couplings to thicken up the buffer faces. To ensure correct operation of the couplings the distance from the centre of the hook pivot to the buffer face should be 2 ", and the old couplings fell short of this. To fix it volunteers have faced the buffers off and welded a profile cut piece on.

The latest progress over 8-9/9/18 has seen more preparation work for installing the gearbox. The laser cut profiles for the new framework have been needle gunned to remove mill scale, and volunteers have cut and machined the blocks to bolt the two halves together. The blocks were cut from 60x60 bar and machined down to ensure they are truly square. Once that was done they were tack welded together and drilled in pairs. The next job will be to weld them to the profiles. The gearbox lid has been grit blasted and painted and the gear cover has been painted in top coat.

For images see KS4415 Facebook page.

 

Class 88 dominate the final flask trains 10/9/18

Nuclear Flask trains from Valley Nuclear Electric are currently in the hands of pairs of Class 88. Nos. 88002/5 performed the honours on 10/9/18. It is expected Wylfa will be defueled this Autumn so these may be the final freights on the North Wales coast line.

 

Volunteer appeal for help with SuperPower

SuperPower is from 14-16/9/18 this year, Celebrating 21 years of the WHR running from Caernarfon. The above are the event dates but for it to happen the WHR needs your help to set it up and take it all down again. Preparations continue at Dinas from 9:00 Wednesday and Thursday 12-13/9/18. It is not all heavy work, in fact far from it,. There is lots of tidying up and cleaning to be done. If you can help, if only for half a day it would be greatly appreciated, please contact Dafydd Thomas dthomas@ffwhr.com / 07919 414877 or Tym Crowther andy@tymcrowther.eclipse.co.uk.

 

Daily Post video 9/9/18

The Daily Post dated 9/9/18 features an update and video on construction of Caernarfon station. See Daily Post report.

 

No.130 progress September 4-8/9/18

On 4/9/19 a date for the boiler's hydraulic test was announced (Wednesday 26/9/18). All of the seams have now been welded and all have passed the x-ray tests. All of the pads have been welded in and about half of the stays have been welded. The boiler tubes should start to be inserted by mid-September.

At Dinas, the rolling chassis was extracted from the shed on the same date by No.138 and shunted back in by No.9 later that day.

On 8/9/18 the snifting valves were under construction at Dinas.

For images see No.130 Facebook page.

 

Caernarfon station progress 5/9/18

This northerly view (5/9/18) shows the signage erected at the south end of the station building at Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly internal view (5/9/18) of Caernarfon station shows the sound baffles mounted on the ceiling that reduce echoing in such large spaces. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart (F&WHR). Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Several internal images are also available on the Facebook F&WHR Insider page.

 

Caernarfon station disabled access reinstated 4/9/18

The work to complete the coach bay, perimeter fencing supports and the new platform surface has been finished - so Caernarfon station regains its fully accessible status, as scheduled, from Wednesday, 5/9/18. A level access entrance has been made available by the 'castle' end of the coach bay. The route to and from the platform is now formed of smooth tarmac, replacing the previous gravel surface.

 

This northerly view (4/9/18) from Segontium Terrace footbridge shows the completed bus bay and tarmac platform which enables disabled access from near the station building. It does not appear that the plate glass panels have been fitted to their supports at this stage. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR). Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 3/9/18

This northerly view (3/9/18) from Segontium Terrace footbridge shows the completed bus bay and tarmac platform which enables disabled access from near the station building. It does not appear that the metal fencing panels have been fitted to their supports at this stage. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower double Fairlies

Both double Fairlies are to visit SuperPower. On Friday 14/9/18 Merddin Emrys will haul the Vintage Train to Caernarfon at 1135 followed by Taliesin on the shuttle train rake at 1310 (to be joined by an NG16 at Beddgelert). There will be a Garratt freight train at 1210 from Dinas to Rhyd Ddu. Taliesin and the L&BR's Lyn will haul the Waunfawr shuttles top and tailed. Lyd will not appear on the WHR by agreement with the L&BR who are holding a Lyn/Lyd Gala at the end of September where the locos will be double-headed.

 

This image shows the leaflet for SuperPower 2018. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Saturday will see David Lloyd George on an additional service at 0940 using FR stock from Porthmadog to Caernarfon followed by a 1235 Caernarfon to Beddgelert return. An NG16 will return the rake back to Porthmadog at 1745 leaving both Fairlies at Dinas overnight. Merddin Emrys will run three Vintage trips during the day and Taliesin and Lyn will continue with shuttles.

 

This image shows the leaflet for SuperPower 2018 with details of trains and events at stations. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Sunday features a double headed vintage train with Merddin Emrys and David Lloyd George to Rhyd Ddu at 0800. An NG16 will haul an 0940 Porthmadog-Caernarfon train which will return with Merddin Emrys at 1235. Taliesin and Lyn will continue with shuttles until Taliesin returns home at 1345 from Dinas. Finally, the last of the visitors, David Lloyd George, departs at 1520 with just the standard service train to arrive back at Caernarfon at 1625 to complete the day.

 

This image shows the booking form for SuperPower 2018 with details of ticket prices etc. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Additionally Hugh Napier will be offering footplate rides at Dinas and Lilla will offer bugbox rides. There will be a model railway exhibition and Friday will see another 'Narrow Gauge Natter' with hot food offered for an additional charge of 7 that must be booked in advance.

 

Castell Caernarfon's gearbox 24-31/8/18

Volunteer Tom Waldren has been painting Castell Caernarfon's gearbox during the final week of August. Castell Caernarfon has been out of action for nearly two years and is sorely missed for PW and rescue duties. The damaged gearbox was refurbished and delivered to Dinas last September but maintaining the steam fleet has had priority until recently. The loco is being rewired and repainted as part of the overhaul.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (24/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's gearbox before attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush. This is the undamaged gearbox. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (24/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's gearbox after attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush. This is the undamaged gearbox. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (31/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's undamaged gearbox after attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush now with gloss coat. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (31/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's undamaged gearbox after attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush. A gloss coat will be added later. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

'Conwy Valley Explorer II' railtour 30/8/18

Class 47s Nos.47 854 Diamond Jubilee and 47832 arrived in Blaenau Ffestiniog top and tailed on time from York hauling 1Z64. Passengers were able to take a trip on the FR. See video North Wales Facebook page.

 

Caernarfon station progress 29/8/18

This northerly view (29/8/18) shows the wall between the bus bay and the platform nearing completion with finishing touched being made to the station. 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 (29/8/18) shows the wall between the bus bay and the platform nearing completion. 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 southerly view (29/8/18) shows the wall between the bus bay and the platform nearing completion. 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.

 

Reduced access to Caernarfon station 29/8/28-4/9/18

Essential engineering works will cause reduced access to Caernarfon station from Wednesday 29/8/18-Tuesday 4/9/18. Access will only be possible by the steps at the south end of the station near the ticket office and disabled passengers are invited to travel via Dinas where disabled access is available and a waiting room and disabled toilet is also available. The essential work is needed to complete the bus bay paving and wall in the area currently used by disabled access.

 

This westerly view (29/8/18) shows the level wheelchair access that will be temporarily closed while the wall and bus bay pavements are completed as viewed from the Segontium Terrace footbridge. 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.

 

Boston Lodge to build replica Exe for the L&BR

The F&WHR is reaching agreement with the L&BR to build a replica of Lynton and Barnstaple Railway's Exe, using Lyd's design. The loco may be run in on the WHR which has similar gradients to the L&BR before delivery. As the L&BR is now expanding with planning permission granted to a new southerly terminus at Wistlandpound Reservoir, two copies of Lyd are required to run the extended line within the next 5 years extension programme. The L&BR is going through the TWO process and needs several million pounds to complete the line, which may be difficult to raise if we leave the EU next year. EU funds helped complete the WHR.

The two new locos will be funded by donations through the 762 Club which allowed Baldwin Lyn, soon to appear at SuperPower, to be built. A second loco Yeo will be constructed at Killamarsh, Derbyshire by the team building NWNGR replica Gowrie and who recently completed WD Hunslet No.1215. In the longer term when the L&BR extends to Lynton and eventually to Barnstaple, two additional Lyd copies will be required to be named Taw and Lew as were the original Manning Wardle locos. It is unlikely that the frames cut for the Yeo project in 1999 will be reused as the L&BR wish to have a common design to ease maintenance and spares.

 

No.130 news 27/8/18

No.130's brake rigging is being assembled and so too are the sand jets. Additionally, the handrails are being made. The boiler is running late and hopes it might be delivered by the end of August seem to be premature.

 

KS4415 August update

KS4415 is the original diesel shunter trialled on both of the F&WHR routes in 1928/9. Work has continued to restore the loco as staff availability permits. No.4415 was on display down in Minffordd yard over the Hunslet event. In late July volunteers got the gearbox out and washed it down with the pressure steam cleaner to get all the old oil and loose dirt off. In early August they cleaned the gearbox back to bare metal with wire brushes and wheels, then painted it in primer, undercoat and a good protective top coat.

On 13/8/18 the bronze bearings from the gearbox selector shafts were being cleaned up and painted in special etch primer. A new collar has been made for the front coupling pin, because the pin will have to be put in upside down, from underneath once the gearbox is in place. The collar and large split pin will stop the pin falling out. Work has also been underway on the couplings to thicken up the buffer faces. To ensure correct operation of the couplings the distance from the centre of the hook pivot to the buffer face should be 2 " and our old couplings fell short of this. To fix it volunteers have faced the buffers off, and welded a profile cut piece on.

For images see No.4415 Facebook page.

 

Main line scene

In what must be the final season of clearing fuel rods from Wylfa Nuclear Power station, the Valley flasks have been running with double headed Class 88 locos recently rather than the pairs of Class 68s or Class 68/88 combinations seen recently. On 20/8/18 Nos. 88002 Prometheus and 88009 Diana worked the train and a different pairing Nos.88002 Prometheus/ 88005 Minerva were on the working on 29/8/18. The operators of the proposed Wylfa B (Wylfa Newydd) seem to have set themselves against using rail for any deliveries of construction materials, preferring to build a port for such deliveries, and it may be 10 years before Valley Nuclear Electric siding is used again when fuel rods become exhausted. The Nuclear Electric siding contains a triangle used by steam excursions to turn tender locos.

No.60163 Tornado is to visit the North Wales Coast form Leicester on 29/9/18 with an option to tour the whole of the F&WHR Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon with a coach link back to Bangor to join the return working from Holyhead. After its recent mainline failure Tornado is currently at Wansford depot on the NVR being repaired and tested on that line before release back to mainline traffic in time for this rescheduled run.

However it seems LMS Fowler/Stanier 4-6-0 46100 Royal Scot will take over the 'Tornado 10th Anniversary Private tour' of Great Britain North Wales leg a few weeks later on 19/10/18. This is part of a 14 day round trip of the UK using Belmond Royal Scotsman rake from Edinburgh to Edinburgh which will see Tornado used on some other sections. See Golden Eagle Luxury Trains website for full details of the journey which includes a full trip of the F&WHR from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon.

With the 'North Wales Coast 40' railtour due on 13/10/18, Saphos Rail has been testing immaculate green 40013 Andania (as D213) and it was in Chester on test on 29/8/18. The loco may run a double headed excursion in the future with blue Class 40 No.40145 (as No.345), once that loco receives new tyres, recreating the frequently double headed 'Irish Mail' of the past. Along with the Cardiff and Manchester Class 67 workings and steam/diesel excursions there is plenty to attract rail enthusiasts to North Wales in addition to the WHR.

 

Caernarfon station update 26/8/18

This southerly view (26/8/18) shows the trackbed and staff access behind the new Caernarfon station building. Lighting units are fixed to the retaining wall. The ballast bed extends up to the waste bin storage area allowing space for at least two Garratt sized locos. 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 (26/8/18) shows the completed station entrance of the new Caernarfon station building. The higher level floor and safety railings can be seen within the plate glass frontage. 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.

 

WHHG to open Tryfan junction for SuperPower

The Welsh Highland Heritage Group is to open Tryfan junction for visitors to SuperPower. Passengers must ask the guard to stop at the halt. The WHHG is looking for volunteers to man the station for 2/3 hour sessions throughout the weekend. If interested contact the WHHG through their Facebook page.

 

Final 'Journey to the Past' 26/8/18

This westerly view (26/8/18) shows Prince arriving at Tryfan Junction on the final 'Journey to the Past' special of the season. The wet weather caused good condensation! 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 (26/8/18) shows Prince arriving at Tryfan Junction on the final 'Journey to the Past' special of the season. The wet weather caused good condensation! 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 (26/8/18) shows staff in period costume unlocking the heritage coaches. 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 (26/8/18) shows F&WHR staff in period costume adding to the1920-30's period feel of the event. 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 (26/8/18) shows F&WHR staff in period costume adding to the1920-30's period feel of the event e.g. 'Lady Agatha and her butler'. 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.

 

Drowned railway re-emerges from lake 20/8/18

The trackbed of the Festiniog to Bala railway 1 mile west of the dam has re-emerged from Llyn Celyn as the water has been released to control low levels in River Dee caused by the drought during the recent heat wave. normal water levels are approximately at the 300m contour (almost 1000 ft) but the Afon Tryweryn  below the dam is at 250m so the dam retains some 50m (164 ft) depth of water when full. A surprise is that part of the formation was tarmaced, presumably for farm access. See Daily Post website for a 2 minute flythrough video of the tracked between Pen-bryn bach curve around the Mynydd Nodol headland and the dam.

 

BF&TR AGM September?

The much delayed AGM of the Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Society is likely to be in September after much reconciling of the accounts and preparation for a restart of the project following the recent death of Colin Dale and suspension of the NR track access licence.

 

Gowrie Trust update 20/8/18

Gowrie was the final loco ordered for the NWNGR in 1908 and reputedly a poor steamer before being sold about 1918. See Festipedia page. Though no doubt a worthy project, many believe the restoration of the WHR's single Fairlie of 1875 Moel Tryfan (scrapped by the FR in 1954) would have been a more deserving project, especially as several parts still exist. See Festipedia page.

Paul Stock reports on Facebook: After numerous discussions with FR Board members, prominent heritage project leaders and a number of project supporters, the decision was made to alter our approach to the project and form a Charitable Trust. The benefits of this include being able to claim Gift Aid on donations and the ability to apply for relevant grants. This should speed up the build and reduce the reliance on supporters' donations. A full range of benefits and rewards are still planned for supporters.

The project was officially launched at an event held at MOSI on 28/4/18 and the 4 founding trustees, Martyn Ashworth, Alan Freebury, David Smith and myself, were all in attendance. The show managed to drum up further support for the build, with a large number of attendees signing up to contribute as soon as the Trust status is confirmed.

The development work is proceeding well with the boiler re-design in progress and CAD. work on the 3 sets of frames almost complete. The length and diameter of the boiler have been increased slightly to allow longer tubes and a greater number of them. This, in addition to other adjustments, will improve the boiler's steaming ability and should deal with the original loco's alleged shortcomings. Once final boiler dimensions are known, adjustments can be made to the CAD. drawings and the frames then cut.

With the restoration of WD Hunslet No.1215 complete (and hopefully soon to appear on the WHR-Ed), the engineering team are eager to get their teeth into the next project and hopefully they'll soon have some metal to play with.

 

Moving Pictures No.22 17/8/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 18 mins 29 seconds of video covering Lilla's visit to the Shrewsbury Flower Festival. This YouTube was published on 17/8/18. 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 or View on YouTube

 

SuperPower timetable 14-16/9/18

This F&WHR advert view (23/8/18) shows the L&BR replica Baldwin Lyn on the L&BR. The loco will be hauling shuttle trains between Caernarfon and Waunfawr throughout SuperPower. 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.

 

Timetables have been published for SuperPower. Details and tickets can be booked on line on the F&WHR website. The three daily timetables for the event are a available at the F&WHR website. Lyn and Taliesin will 'top and tail' the Caernarfon-Waunfawr shuttles. Some of these start and finish in Porthmadog but will not see Lyn as the loco is based at Dinas so it is likely Taliesin will haul these. The normal Yellow timetable will also operate during the event and SuperPower tickets are valid on these trains too.

On Friday 14/9/18 events kick off around midday with a Heritage Train from Porthmadog at 1130 followed by the shuttle rake at 1310. There are three return runs between Caernarfon and Dinas/Waunfawr finishing at 2105.

On Saturday 15/9/18 events include 3 return Heritage Trains running Caernarfon/Dinas to Rhyd Ddu/Beddgelert. The shuttle runs four times between Caernarfon/Dinas and Waunfawr. An FR rake is also drafted in to run from Porthmadog with a midday turn from Caernarfon to Beddgelert and return.

On Sunday 16/9/18 events include 2 shuttles and 2 runs of the Heritage set from Rhyd Ddu/Beddgelert before they return to Porthmadog. The FR rake also makes another round trip visit from Porthmadog.

 

Final 'Journey to the Past' 26/8/18

Sunday 26/8/18 sees the final train of the summer dated 'Journey to the Past' service from Dinas to Rhyd Ddu. The train will run at 1100 from Dinas on 26/8/18 and tickets must be booked in advance to allow food to be prepared. Click here for tickets. Packed lunches will be supplied as part of the fare. These will be simple food served at Rhyd Ddu where there is a break to watch the run-round, stretch your leg and visit toilets. The train arrives back at Dinas at 1505 with an onward connection to Caernarfon available. Prince is again diagrammed for the service. The train is sponsored by the Welsh Highland Heritage Group. It is hoped that if the train is a success, it might be repeated and expanded next year. There were still spaces for the final train of the season available as of 24/8/18.

 

 

This view (13/8/18) shows the WHHG's flier for the Journey to the Past train. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright WHHG and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 14-21/8/18

With the builders due to hand over the site for fitting out at the end of August the final finishing off stages are underway.

 

This northerly view (14/8/18) shows the erection of the wall and fence between the pavement and bus bay (currently occupied by building materials) and the platform. There is a notable difference in level between the two. 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 southerly view (14/8/18) shows the erection of the new fence posts fixed to a concrete foundation presumably to support plate glass as with the Porthmadog Spooner's 'beer garden'. The platform appears to be about a foot above the pavement to the right. 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 internal view (21/8/18) shows the red tile finish interior finish of the rotunda base. 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 from the footbridge (21/8/18) shows an apparent change in plan with a brick wall separating the platform from the bus bay pavement and the glass panel supports mounted on that. 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.

 

No.590 progress

The WHHR's Baldwin No.590 replica project is currently stored at the VoR Aberystwyth. Shed tours give access at the moment where visitors can also see WHHR/Imperial War Museum Baldwin No.794, its new boiler and original cab front, with the original tank from WHR No.590 which may be reused. Work will start on rebuilding this loco as a No.590 replica when the VoR's No.7 is finished. The boiler, tanks and bunker from No.794 are stored outside on a wagon and will not be used on the rebuilt loco. shed tours commence at 1100 and 1430 according to staff availability so it is best to phone ahead.

 

Tryfan Junction theft mid-August

The WHR has been struck by thieves again! This time the picnic bench from the remote Tryfan Junction has been stolen and a lorry or large van must have been used to remove it. Tryfan Junction has only one road access from Bontnewydd. Thieves broke the chain/hasp on the gate and cut or broke the chain securing the bench to the ground. It would have needed at least two of them. The theft occurred sometime between Sunday 12/8/18 and Sunday 19/8/18. A replacement bench will cost over 400. The final 'Journey to the Past with Prince and people wearing period 1920's costume will be Sunday 26/8/18.

 

Lyn's SuperPower visit details

The L&B replica Baldwin Lyn is visiting the WHR for SuperPower but will not run double headed with Lyd as that event will be a special event at the L&BR later in the year. See F&WHR page for details,

 

Autumn/Winter timetable published

The Autumn and Winter timetable has been announced and will be much the same as last year. The Red Peak SSuX timetable continues until 13/9/18 but Monday 10/9/18 reverts to the yellow timetable. The Yellow timetable itself continues until 4/11/18 but the first three Mondays and Fridays in October are dropped (needless to say services continue of the FR on those dates!). The various Half Term weeks from 20/10/18 are fully covered however.

The rest of November sees a WThSO Brown service to Hafod-y-llyn. This twice daily service caters primarily for the coach traffic and is normally hauled by a small loco that cannot manage the bank to Beddgelert. The timetable suggests round trips from Porthmadog only due to limited access at Hafod-y-llyn but does not rule it out as in previous years.

Santa Specials were run last year from Dinas to Rhyd Ddu where they were met with snow on some occasions that was much appreciated by children and parents alike! This year trains are set to start from Caernarfon and may only run to Waunfawr as in earlier years. This SSuO service runs from 8/12/18 to 23/12/18. A similar FR offering will run from Porthmadog to Beddgelert as last year due to infrastructure work on the FR.

The Xmas holidays sees a twice daily Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu service from 27/12/18 to 1/1/19 whereas the FR also operates on Boxing Day. There are no other services in January on either route.

Both February Half Term holiday weeks are catered for with a twice daily MFX service from Porthmadog to Beddgelert from 16-28/2/19. This also offers a return service from Beddgelert with an hour in Porthmadog, possibly for lunch in Spooners.

March sees a return of the Brown Porthmadog-Hafod-y-llyn timetable MTFX from 2-28/3/19 and daily services recommence for the new season Easter service on 30/3/19.

See F&WHR Facebook page for full details.

 

Prince 'Journey to the Past' 12/8/18

This internal view 12/8/18 shows the interior of Tryfan Junctions station building lovingly recreated by volunteers from the WHHG. The station master was serving a cup of 'station master tea' to visitors. The period adverts and seating are similar to that at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly Tryfan Junction view 12/8/18 shows the replica Curly Roof Van No.1 which acted as the brake for the Heritage Train, complete with authentic load of milk churn and hamper. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 12/8/18 shows Prince stopped at Tryfan Junction at 11:21. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 12/8/18 shows Prince stopped at Tryfan Junction as seen from the site of the signalbox (a possible future restoration project) at 11:42. The train made some run-pasts for the passengers to photograph. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view 12/8/18 shows Prince running round at Rhyd Ddu at 13:13. Some lucky passengers are having a ride in the tender. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Palmerston special 12/8/18

This westerly view 12/8/18 shows Palmerston being prepared for a special hired train to celebrate a birthday. The headboard Cambrian Radio Cruise celebrates the circular rail excursions of the 1951-61 period from Llandudno via Rhyl (reverse), Corwen, Bala, Barmouth, Afon Wen, Caernarfon and Bangor, a journey sadly now impossible which much of the route closed and lifted following the Beeching Cuts. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view 12/8/18 shows Palmerston being prepared for a special hired train to celebrate a birthday. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Period costume for Journey to the Past 12/8/18?

With requests for staff to wear period costume for this Sunday's Prince hauled 'Journey to the Past' Dinas-Tryfan Junction-Rhyd Ddu trip, it seems to be turning into the WHR's own 'Victorian Gala' as seen on the FR! The train will run at 1100 from Dinas on 12/8/18 and tickets must be booked in advance. Click here for tickets. Packed lunches will be supplied as part of the fare. These will be simple food served at Rhyd Ddu where there is a break to watch the run-round, stretch your leg and visit toilets. The train arrives back at Dinas at 1505 with an onward connection to Caernarfon available.

 

Titbits Spring 2018

The North Wales Track Gang has made good progress this spring. On 31/3/18 they installed a gardeners' shed at Rhyd Ddu under the Caernarfon end water tower. On 1/4/18 they installed Drench signs on the approach to Summit Cutting at Pitt's Head as the grass in this cutting has caught fire before now. Posts for a new running in boards was made for Hafod-y-llyn which saw extensive use during the Hunslet Gala. The boards themselves were erected by the Tuesday Gang, currently short of volunteers as some volunteers are absent for medical reasons. David Firth is currently standing in for Tony Baker. The Tuesday Gang are pleased that some crossings have been closed, so there will be less crossing timber maintenance, as they appear not to have been used in the 20 years since the railway opened.

During the weekend of 9-10/4/18 volunteers progressed the Beddgelert siding point lever, ground frame and FPL though more work is needed here. Over the weekend of 28-29/4/18 the platforms at Dinas, Rhyd Ddu and Waunfawr were pressure washed. on 26-27/5/18 there was more progress with the Beddgelert groundframe, but progress is slow as it is an complicated job.

WHR traffic seems to be up on last year so far overall. Traffic seemed to be down a bit at the start of the new season with cold snowy weather for the Early Easter trains affecting April's revenues. The Beer Festival was also down a bit though still making a healthy profit. In fact the mainline rakes had to be used for the evening shuttles as demand exceeded the size of the shuttles trains.

 

Manchester set for Saturday North Wales extra 11/8/18

It appears the Manchester loco hauled set is to be used for Saturday's loco-hauled extra this weekend rather that the 'Gerald' set used last Saturday. As far as passengers are concerned the train times are the same but the two ECS workings from/to Holyhead are removed from the schedule as the Manchester set is stabled at Crewe. The additional service makes it easier to get to the WHR for passengers using public transport.

1T01 09:41 Crewe - Llandudno 11:17
1T02 11:28 Llandudno - Crewe 13:04
1T03 13:45 Crewe - Holyhead 16:00
1T04 16:39 Holyhead - Crewe 18:45

 

Lilla at Shrewsbury Flower show 10/8/18

Lilla is again offering rides this weekend at Shrewsbury Flower Show. See F&WHR Insider Facebook page for more images.

 

This westerly view 10/8/18 shows the well-travelled Lilla representing the F&WHR at the Shrewsbury Flower show, Quarry Park, Shrewsbury. Lilla and its two open 4-wheel coaches Nos.1/12 are offering rides alongside the River Severn on 10-11/8/18. 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.

 

Lyn for SuperPower

While the L&BR's Lyn is coming to SuperPower, another guest mentioned in TSR will not now be coming. An invitation had also been extended to the WD Hunslet team No.1215 who just missed the Hunslet Gala but they are unable to attend as well. It is hoped to invite them next year.

 

Caernarfon station break-in 9/8/18

The temporary Caernarfon Station building at Ty Seiont, Caernarfon, suffered a second break-in overnight 8-9/8/18 and the facility had to be closed for the day. The station building was reopened on the morning of 10/8/18 after rapid work by the police Scene of Crime officers released the building to staff to clean up. Fortunately the IT system was quickly repaired. This is the second break in at Caernarfon and occurred despite clear signage that no money was kept on the premises. The robbers may have been teenagers as all that was taken was sweets and drinks. However the cost of repairs will be considerable as internal doors were kicked in and external doors broken and a considerable mess made. See WHR Facebook page for images of damage.

 

Wrexham to get 500,000 rail investment

The Welsh Government is to invest half a million pounds at Wrexham North Junction with the aim of improving the frequency and speed of trains between there and Chester. Recent investment has seen the line redoubled for some 8 km from Saltney Junction to Rossett leaving a gap of about 6 km of single track on Gresford Bank between Wrexham North Junction and Rossett. The improvement could see Wrexham North Junction moved further north thereby cutting the length of the single track section to just a short section from the site of Gresford colliery over the single track bridge over the A483 dual carriageway to Rossett. This would allow trains to leave Wrexham and permit following trains to run into the station. With Keolis-Amey planning to increase services on the line including a Cardiff-Liverpool service via Halton Curve, improvements are essential.

The longer term aim must be to put a parallel single track bridge in over the A483 and redouble the whole length up Gresford Bank, which has been subject to subsidence from the former Gresford colliery. At the Chester end, the 1 mile from Roodee Junction to Saltney Junction could be re-quadrified over a refurbished Dee bridge. NR spends on 1.5% of its infrastructure budget on Welsh railways which however represent 11% of England and Wales track miles!

The improvement will ease travel to the WHR by train. See Daily Post report for full story.

 

SDR visit 29-30/9/18

A loco and two coaches will be visiting the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh on 29-30/9/18 to promote the F&WHR. It will run on 100 metres of temporary track similar to that used at the Shrewsbury Flower Show over the coming weekend 10-11/8/18.

 

Boston Lodge news

Work has begun on assembling the centre cradle of James Spooner the new Fairlie.

The refit of coach No.2042 was completed in time for the new season before Easter and No.2043 was brought in for cleaning and a re-varnish which was completed within a week followed by No.2046.

The stainless steel frame for the new WHR Observation car Gwyrfai has been completed and is in the Carriage Works awaiting body work.

A start has been made on the next major Heritage project, a replica NWNGR Ashbury bogie brake composite coach. A set of drawings has been made and timber ordered.

Castell Caernarfon's fibreglass bonnet has been removed and sent to Boston Lodge for repainting while the loco is rewired and has a replacement footplate installed.

Work at Dinas includes volunteer restoration of No.1001, the ex-Chattenden & Upnor Combination Car now used as the WHR's PW Mess/Brake.

Dinas has benefitted from the arrival of four new Sefac 7.5 tonne electric jacks provided by the WHRS. These are more powerful and supplement the four ex-Channel Tunnel jacks currently in use.

NG16 fleet news

Good progress has been made with No.130 with the power units under the cradle frame and the motion and valve gear about to be fitted. However, ideally the boiler should have been at Dinas by now. While the boiler is making steady progress an initial rather ambitious delivery date of August 2017 was not achieved and a later date of Spring 2018 was also missed due to technical challenges. It is hoped the boiler will be delivered by late August from Adam Dalgleish (Stockton on Tees). It is possible the boiler will be in the frames by SuperPower. This will be the first new UK boiler built for an NGG16 since the 1967. The work to complete the loco at Dinas will take several months and with No.87 due for withdrawal in October for its 10year overhaul, the sooner No.130 enters service the better.

No.87's boiler will go to Israel Newton's for refurbishment in mid November having been quickly released from the frames. Its 10 year overhaul should be a simple job but complications can often found after removal of the boiler tubes and the thickness of the boiler shell measured. Attention is also needed to No.87's cracked frames. The current plan is to make completely new bogie frames and only use sound components of the original frame.

The Australian boiler destined for No.138 is making good progress at Loughborough. It is due to be delivered in December and will be fitted to No.138 when its boiler ticket runs out next Summer.

Lastly No.143's old boiler has been taken apart and a new firebox is under construction for completion by the end of the year hopefully. After this attention will turn to the front end of the barrel and the smokebox tube plate once No.87's boiler is ready.

 

Waunfawr station rebuild

There will be a presentation at the AGM of plans for the new Waunfawr station building which has been generously funded by Mike Schumann. Mike had been the engineer for the early sections of the WHR and, in the past, had come in for criticism for the demolition of the old station and the use of the large irregular stone blocks in the retaining walls of the cutting alongside Snowdonia Parc. However, some smaller useable stones have were retained on pallets under the footbridge and will hopefully be used in the reconstruction. The presentation of the traditional NWNGR design will be given by Rob Chambers, the architect, who also designed the futuristic Caernarfon station.

 

News from Dinas 7/8/18

Martin Kressman reports: The components for Pete Waterman's Garratt No.109 that have been sitting in the open in the North Yard at Dinas for many years were loaded onto two low loaders today. They are to be delivered to Peak Rail at Rowsley, near Matlock. Pete Waterman is currently Chairman of this railway. He already has two GWR engines stored there.

WHR Pullman Bodysgallen has been returned to service after attention to a couple of windows at Boston Lodge Carriage Works. One of the WHR rakes had run with FR Observation coach No.100 substituting for the Pullman whilst it was under repair.

 

No.130 progress 7-18/8/18

With the hoped for completion and delivery of the boiler at the end of August, progress with the boiler is reaching the stage where hydraulic testing will test its ability top hold pressure.

By 7/8/18 No.130's brake rigging had been manufactured and the rear power unit was almost complete. Jig built brake pull rods were ready for assembly and the live steam sliding joint was being made.

By 12/8/18 the new firebox was on its left hand side and the inner firebox throat plate almost complete and welded. The stays were 80% complete.

A few days later by 14/8/18 the inner firebox crown stays were about 66% welded. The Firehole was finished whilst the backhead inner was about 80% done.

By 16/8/18 some of the brake gear was being made including the brake beams, brake blocks, pins and the clevis. All of these should be hung soon.

By 18/8/18 a small milestone in the restoration was achieved by Tony Williams and the Dinas team in mid-August as they successfully tested the vacuum system on both power units. The vacuum test was done through the entire train pipe including bogies and boiler cradle.

See No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

Journey into the Past YouTube 5/8/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 7 mins 11 seconds of video covering Prince's Heritage train on 5/8/18 including run-pasts at Tryfan Junction. This YouTube was published on 8/8/18. 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 or View on YouTube.

 

Caernarfon station preview visits

The building contract for the new Caernarfon station is set to be handed over on 28/8/18 but work on fitting out will still be underway in September. During SuperPower it is hoped preview visits can be arranged for WHRS members. it is hoped that first use will be for the WHR Santa Trains in December with the station fully open for the Summer High Season in 2019.

 

Prince 'Journey to the Past' 5/8/18

The first run of the SuO Summer dated 'Journey to the Past' special ran on 5/8/18. The special runs Sundays until the end of August but must be booked in advance.

 

This northerly view 5/8/18 shows Prince hauling the ECS stock for the Summer dated SuO Dinas-Rhyd Ddu that runs throughout August. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Zeepvat and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view 5/8/18 shows Prince about to depart with the Summer dated SuO Dinas-Rhyd Ddu that runs throughout August. The replica curly roofed van (Van No.1) in included as a brake/guards van. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Neil McMaster and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 5/8/18 shows Prince performing a run past at Tryfan Junction for the benefit of the passengers who had detrained. The replica curly roofed van (Van No.1) in included as a brake/guards van. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The F&WHR Facebook page has a video of the train at Dinas.

 

Coach No.100 added to WHR rake 5/8/18

Norman Bond reports: Coach No.100 has been added to a WHR set whilst Bodysgallen has some attention to 2 windows.

 

This easterly screenshot from the Porthmadog webcam 5/8/85 shows FR coach No.100 acting as an observation car in place of Bodysgallen on 1050 ex Porthmadog. Although it is the peak timetable, this year the yellow timetable operates SSuO and only one round trip is possible from Porthmadog at weekends compared to four on the FR! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was captured from the webcam by Terry Scott. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Blogs

The F&WHR's website is now featuring officially sanctioned Blogs. See FR Blogs page.

 

Boiler appeal

The current WHRS Appeal is to raise funds for refurbishment of a Garratt boiler estimated to cost at least 80,000. While this sum is unlikely to be met 'every little helps'!

 

WHRS AGM 15/9/18

The WHRS AGM will take place during SuperPower as usual on Saturday 15/9/18 at 19:15 in Y Galeri, Victoria Dock, Caernarfon. It is good to hear that the organisers have responded to comments about long presentations concerning non-WHR topics and will be returning to a format that gives news about the WHR.

 

SuperPower 14-16/9/18

With the L&BR's Lyn confirmed for SuperPower, it is interesting to learn that there might be a second visitor. The Dinas based event has been 2 years in planning and will feature a large marquee at Dinas with the theme 'Articulated Large and Small' with many engineering models. Many volunteers are needed and offers of help should go to Tym Crowther.

 

North Wales Coast Saturday reliefs to continue 5/8/18

The WAG 'Gerald' loco hauled MkIII set is to continue running a Saturday relief, (see diagram below) throughout August bringing welcome extra seats to those visiting the WHR by train/bus.

 

This northerly view 5/8/18 shows DB liveried 67013 about to haul the Summer dated SO1639 Holyhead -Crewe away from Holyhead. The loco is unusually on the Up end of the train. There is still a lack of clarity as to what will happen to the Arriva owned coached when Keolis-Amey takes over on 18/10/18 though the long term plans are to hire Mk4 coaches for the Holyhead-Cardiff services from late 2019. No mention has been made about the Manchester loco-hauled services. 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 EOS 1300D. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr station buildings to be removed

The wooden station buildings at Waunfawr are to be removed soon and work is to start in September on the new Waunfawr station building which will look very similar to the original at this location and may incorporate any suitable stone from the original building stored on pallets under the footbridge. The current wooden buildings, which were recently refurbished by the Tuesday Gang, will go into storage and may be used for other halts that currently do not have waiting shelters, such as Bontnewydd or Plas-y-nant. The new Waunfawr station will be completed by Spring 2019.

 

Prince to haul 'Journey into the Past' special 5/8/18

The first train of the new WHHG sponsored train Rhyd Ddu with a special stop at Tryfan Junction runs this Sunday 5/8/18 at 1100 from Dinas. The trains will operate every Sunday throughout August and advance booking is necessary (phone 01766 516024 to reserve seats). The three coach train will use Heritage coaching stock typical of the original WHR. A connection is available off the 1000 ex Caernarfon. After a stop at Tryfan Junction for photos the train resumes at 1210 to cross the 1050 ex-Porthmadog train at Waunfawr. The train will stop and allow observation from the window of other station buildings at Betws Garmon and Glan-y-afon quarry sidings.

There will be an extended break at Rhyd Ddu for packed lunch and toilet break while the loco tops up with water and runs round. The train will return at 1400 passing the 1420 from Caernarfon at Waunfawr at 1450 before terminating at Dinas at 1505. A connection is available to Caernarfon at 1605, giving an hour to watch the shunting. Tickets cost 36 (children/Society members 24) and include a packed lunch. There is a 5 add on fare from Caernarfon.

For full details see F&WHR Insider Facebook page. Any photos would be appreciated.

Mike Hadley (WHHG) adds: The coaching stock should be carriages Nos.18/15 together with the Curly Roofed Van (Van No.1). A new display of photographs has been assembled and will be located in the Goods Shed at Dinas where guests will be welcomed. At Tryfan Junction the train will set back and those that wish
to will be able (under supervision) to cross the line to the vicinity of the former signal cabin base where they can photograph the train run past. There will be toilet facilities at Tryfan Junction and 'the mug of stationmaster's tea' will be amongst the finest in the western hemisphere (a gross exaggeration!) but will include an Earl Grey alternative.

 

Moving Pictures No. 21 30/7/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 19 mins 26 seconds of video covering events on the F&WHR. This YouTube was published on 30/7/18. 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 or View on YouTube.

.

New light cast on Russell's absence from Hunslet 125

A WHHR document seen your webmaster throws new light on the decision by the WHHR to refuse the invitation of Russell to Hunslet 125 in June. Apparently discussions were underway between the two railways early in 2018. In the WHHR document dated 17/5/18 it is made clear that the invitation is being refused. However, the statement explains that the decision was based primarily on late advice by the F&WHR received on 2/5/18 (7 weeks before the Gala), considering that the WHHR was busy preparing for its peak operating season at that time. Russell hauled rains were to run charters to Hafod-y-llyn in off peak times according to the F&WHR's initial proposal, though a later proposal suggested FR coaching stock was to be used.

The document ends on a positive note with a commitment to complete Russell's alterations (and those of the WHHR's Heritage Train) for the 2019 season to enable it to visit the F&WHR 'and/or' other railways. It is a pity this document was not published, or a similar explanation made, in advance of the Gala.

 

ACR progress 30/7/18

Another railway attraction in North Wales seems to be making rapid progress while the Blaenau Ffestiniog & Trawsfynydd Society struggles to sort out its accounts in advance of an AGM due weeks ago. The Anglesey Central Railway recently received positive publicity in the press and, following granting of an access licence in 2012, it has been making steady progress with line clearance between Llangefni and Amlwch. Other local council proposals see the line between Gaerwen Junction on the North Wales Coast main line and Llangefni being opening by NR for a commuter service into Bangor. See Daily Post report from 6/5/17 and an up to date report from the North Wales Chronicle dated 30/7/18. The line closed in 1993 following transfer of the Octel traffic to road but the track remains in place although disconnected from the main line at Gaerwen Junction.

See ACR Wikipedia for full details or bilingual ACR Facebook page for latest news.

 

This northerly view 7/8/85 shows 25224 propelling the Fisons' weed killing train to Amlwch passing the site of Rhosgoch station as seen from Holyhead Road bridge. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was scanned from a slide using Minolta DiMAGE Scan Dual III. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Andania to visit its old stomping ground 13/10/18

Saphos Rail is bringing Class 40013 Andania to Blaenau Ffestiniog (and Holyhead) on 13/10/18 on a trip from its Crewe home base. See Railtours at foot of page for further information.

 

Young Volunteers' special 30/7/18

This easterly view (30/7/18) shows Lyd and Blanche crossing the Glaslyn at Pont Croesor after the end of normal services. The special was run in connection with the Young Volunteers' Training Week. 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 (30/7/18) shows Lyd and Blanche running around and watering at Beddgelert after the end of normal services. The special was run in connection with the Young Volunteers' Training Week. 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 (30/7/18) shows Blanche and Lyd preparing to depart from Beddgelert after the end of normal services. The special was run in connection with the Young Volunteers' Training Week. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). Unusually, the train ran from the northbound platform on its return, this time headed by Blanche. This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Hope for reconciliation with WHHR?

The WHHR AGM on 28/7/18 is rumoured to have resulted in the election of some new Directors who seem to be in favour of reconciliation with the F&WHR. There are grounds for hope of renewal of cooperation with the F&WHR that was suspended about three years ago. Russell may finally be allowed out to travel on the WHR again for the benefit of members of both railways and enthusiasts in general.

 

WHHR members gather for AGM 28/7/18

WHHR members are gathering in Porthmadog for their AGM on 28/7/18. Several WHHR members demonstrated their disapproval by wearing T-shirts during the Hunslet Gala lamenting the refusal to allow Russell to visit the F&WHR. While this website has been even-handed about reporting the WHHR in the past it must surely be time for the two organisations to sort out their differences for the benefit of the enthusiast community as a whole. The WHHR could then run their special trains to Hafod-y-llyn as was proposed in 2015, cross platform interchange might be possible at Pen-y-mount if a new platform is constructed on the WHR side and the WHHR museum could benefit from many F&WHR items as in the past when the Hearse van was loaned. This could lead to a major uplift in WHHR profits. Several members of both societies have been in touch with your webmaster and feel 'enough is enough', describing the current intransigent attitude as unhelpful to all. One described the current situation succinctly as a 'dialogue of the deaf'.

Let us all hope that people move on from petty squabbles of the past and cooperation will break out!

 

All quiet for the WHHR's AGM 28/7/18

Rumblings of disquiet about Russell's non-appearance at the recent Hunslet Gala have 'gone underground' in advance of the WHHR's AGM on 28/7/18. Many will be watching to see if members question the lack of progress to re-establishing the good progress and mutual working that was developing until about 2015.

 

No.130 update 27-31/7/18

By 27/7/18 most of the valves and pistons had been trial fitted and measured up. The rest of the motion is also pretty much complete.

By 31/7/18 Serious welding of the boiler was going on. The main longitudinal welds have now been completed and were X rayed last week. Results are awaited. Many of the side stays have also been welded in. The boiler is being frequently turned to allow for down handed welding.

See No.130 Facebook page for full details and images.

 

Blanche on PW visit special 27/7/18

The F&WHR has hosted a technical visit with track engineers from the University of Huddersfield Institute of Railway Research and also engineers from Transport for London. The railway ran an inspection train to show them some of challenges the F&WHR face in maintaining the railway. See F&WHR Insider Facebook page for more images.

 

This northerly view (27/7/18) shows Blanche with some DZ wagons and an inspection coach stopped outside T4 in the Aberglaslyn Pass showing the part from Huddersfield University IRR and TfL engineers. 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.

 

Mk 5 coaches in Holyhead 27/7/18

The North Wales Coast line will be given a view of the new Mk5 coaches to be used on the Transpennine Expresses today. The Anglesey Aluminium sidings were reactivated on 12/7/18 when 47813 made a special light engine working to test the yard trackwork which has not seen a train since 2009. Several coaches were delivered by road from Immingham since then. Realtime trains is showing a rake will be removed today. These excellent coaches built by CAF in Spain are currently available to buy from the production line so it is a pity that WalesRail franchise is not considering them. It has been some years since there were Scarborough-Holyhead services but the Manchester-Holyhead loco-hauled would be an ideal train for the Mk 5 coaches as the current Mk3 coaches would require improvement to provide disabled access toilets and swing-plug doors as achieved by Chiltern Railways with their Mk 3 fleet.

 

Funkey and Lyd 26/7/18

Vale of Ffestiniog hauled Lyd in steam through the Aberglaslyn Pass during the evening of 26/7/18. See video on Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Facebook Page.

 

WHR 25-28/7/18

Loco Notes from Terry Scott:

On 25/7/18 No.87 and Vale of Ffestiniog took the late running train and departed approx 17:15.

No.143 later arrived with the Glaslyn set.

The only NGG16 viewed on 26/7/18 was No.143 so it was possible Nos.87/138 OOS?

On 28/7/18 No.87 arrived with the (late) 16:30.

 

RAIB report on Clogwyn-y-gwin derailment 25/7/18

The Railway Accident Investigation Branch have investigated the accident which took place on 10/6/18. They have reported that a hook on the equalising bar on the front wheelset broke where it supports the suspension. This causes the front wheelset to become unloaded and the flange climbed the rail. The train which was travelling at the maximum speed was stopped in 30 yards after prompt action by the footplate crew. The coaching stock and passengers were recovered 2 hour later by a spare loco from Porthmadog.

The hook had cracked off the equalising beam possibly after additional loading following incorrect reassembly of suspension elements. The items concerned have been colour-coded to prevent incorrect assembly in the future. The RAIB cautions that the accident could have been a lot more serious if it had occurred elsewhere as the railway has steep embankments in several places. Indeed the railway rounds high ledges just to the north of the point of the derailment approaching Clogwyn-y-gwin and Glan-yr-afon.

Click here to read the full RAIB Safety Digest.

 

'Welsh Mountaineer' visits Blaenau Ffestiniog 24/7/18

Stanier 8F No.48151 hauled the RTC's 'Welsh Mountaineer' excursion from Preston to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 24/7/18. This was a repeat performance for the loco, which also visited in 2010/11/12/14. This time the loco was chimney first. West Coast's drab 37669 was in support. Passengers had the opportunity of a trip to Tan-y-Bwlch on the FR. It is a shame that more cannot be done to link the WHR trains to excursions to Bangor but the coach link remains a problem, as was the Dinas-Caernarfon link in original WHR days. See BF&TR Facebook page or BF&TR Railway Society Facebook page for images.

 

Russell and Juliana 23/7/18

PICTURE REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF MICHAEL CHAPMAN (WHHR), THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. AS MICHAEL HAS OFFERED MANY PICTURES IN THE PAST TO THIS WEBSITE, THE MOTIVE FOR THIS REQUEST MAY BE CONNECTED WITH THE ASSOCIATED COMMENTS ABOUT THE FORTHCOMING WHHR AGM!

This westerly view (22/7/18) shows Russell and Railway Systems Engineer Juliana Moats making a return to the WHHR. Let us hope that Russell's other enthusiasts put their collective foot down at the AGM this Saturday over the continuing impasse about invites to the F&WHR. Further views of Juliana posing with Russell are available on the WHHR's Facebook page. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright WHHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.134 report 21-22/7/18

One of the tasks the Group had had for this weekend was to clean and paint the boiler to prevent any further deterioration as well as removing more of the fittings in the process. This should leave the boiler better prepared when the time comes to send it away for overhaul. Unfortunately Saturday morning was rather damp so volunteers could not do much about painting until the afternoon so instead they continued with a job from last month, that of cleaning and sorting the metallic piston rod packing assembly. This had been left soaking in paraffin last time and so volunteers now needed to dissemble the last bits, scrape off all the carbonised oil and other deposits and re-assemble ready for use. Whether the entire assembly is used is not finalised as there may be some changes that can be made in view of the improvements made over the years to the NGG16's in service on the railway.

As it was forecast, Saturday afternoon turned out warm and sunny so it was all hands working on the boiler - some were wire brushing any loose material off the surface and others following on behind painting in Corroless rust stabilising primer. At the same time as this was going on volunteers also had the job of encouraging a colony of wasps to vacate the inside of the boiler where they'd made a nest. By the end of the afternoon the Group had completed about half the boiler, mainly on the top side so as it would be dry to enable us to re-cover the boiler in the tarpaulins at the end of the weekend.

Sunday dawned much the same as Saturday morning so again volunteers took to other jobs whilst the boiler dried out in the ever increasing amount of sunshine. So back in the workshop they completed the task of cleaning the piston rod packing and then had another go at removing the second cone assembly from the Ejector that they had left soaking from last month. They were unsuccessful so they will resume the battle next time - but they will bring the encouragement of heat into the battle!

In a few odd moments volunteers also started to rearrange the shelving in the workshop to better segregate those components refurbished and those still to do (as well as those that are likely to be scrapped as unusable!). After lunch the Group continued with the boiler, again some were wire brushing and some painting. By the end of the day it was all complete and after making sure all paint was dry it was covered over again with the tarpaulins.

For full details and images see No.134 website. The next working party is 18-19/8/18.

 

Lilla for Shrewsbury Flower Show 10-11/8/18

Lilla will be appearing again at the Shrewsbury Flower Show in the Quarry Gardens at Shrewsbury on 10-11/8/18. Temporary track is laid along a tarmaced footpath alongside the River Severn. The aim is to promote visits to the F&WHR during the Summer. See F&WHR story.

 

Locos Galore 20-28/7/18!

North Wales had a busy week for mainline loco hauled stock. On 20/7 two NR 97/3s ran top and tailed to Pwllheli on a yellow NR test train that included an old GWR car carrier coach.

On 28/7/18 the Cardiff loco hauled set was pressed into action to help with overcrowding and ran the following diagram:-

1T01 09:41 Crewe - Llandudno

1T02 11:28 Llandudno - Crewe

1T03 13:45 Crewe - Holyhead

1T04 16:39 Holyhead - Crewe

5T04 18:58 Crewe - Holyhead (ECS)

The later was a positioning move as the rake needed maintenance at Holyhead prior to its regular early diagram on Monday to Cardiff. It is not known if this will continue SO throughout the school holidays but is shown in Realtime Trains as booked again loco-hauled next Saturday.

North Wales residents got their first sight of the Transpennine 'Nova 3' Mk5 coaches when the recently assembled rake at the former Holyhead Aluminium Works was moved to the never-used Eurostar Depot in Manchester. The move had problems as the 5TC sets were assembled at Holyhead but needed a translator vehicle. No. 47812 came from Leicester and collected its barrier vehicles but failed near Chester on 26/7/18. DRS' No.57313 rescued the failure and took it to Holyhead Aluminium sidings before running light engine to Llandudno to stable. The Class 57 hauled the failure attached to the rear of the coaches from Holyhead to Manchester the following day.

 

FR coach No.120 launched 17/7/18

This easterly view (17/7/18) shows the new FR coach No.120 released to traffic. The generic resemblance to WHR coaches is striking but the coach is a little smaller to fit the more restrictive FR loading gauge. WHR coaches cannot operate on the FR so The Snowdonian and other through workings are formed of FR stock. 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.

 

Russell SuperPower offer declined?

Reports are beginning to reach your webmaster that an invitation for Russell to attend the 21st anniversary of the reopening of the WHR during SuperPower in September has been declined by the WHHR. This also follows their recently declining an invitation to the Hunslet Gala in June.

The relationship between the two railway managements seems to have declined since the F&WHR allowed train runs to Hafod-y-llyn (and Beddgelert for water) during an evening possession a few years ago. This will come as a major disappointment to the many enthusiasts who look forwards to seeing Russell (and in due course No.590) on the WHR.

With the large gaps between WHR services, giving the WHHR the right to run occasional trains to Hafod-y-llyn cannot be a problem surely? The issue of an air braked rescue loco (if needed) could be covered by one of the WHHR's LyD diesel locos or one of their small diesels.

The problem seems to stem from a 'caution' placed by the WHHR (as WHR Ltd) on land adjacent to Pen-y-Mount station where the WHR was deviated around a gas main access that had been built on the trackbed before the reopening. See WHRS website for Dr. Ben Fisher's image of the disputed area.

The WHHR has an AGM on 28/7/18 and the matter may come to the fore as some of its own members have expressed concern about the continuing failure to agree to invites for Russell from the F&WHR. A document attached to WHHR Soc AGM published for the 2017 AGM sheds some light on the issue.

 

It should be noted that WHHR volunteers actually laid the track along the disputed section in a spirit of cooperation and the F&WHR was in negotiations which allowed test runs to Hafod-y-llyn before this dispute arose. Another area of contention is the siting of the Cae Pawb/Cambrian Crossing box which was moved to Pen-y-Mount junction after the WHHR refused to allow siting on the original location on the northwest corner of the crossing.

Russell has even been (of all places!) to the Talyllyn Railway at Tywyn on display. 'Rapprochement' in recent years until 2015 had seen first WHHR test train to Hafod-y-llyn (25/6/11), WHHR Members Excursion to Hafod-y-llyn (21/7/12), the first cross platform interchange at Pen-y-Mount (7/11/14), Moelwyn's visit to the WHHR on 6/7/14, Blanche visit to the WHHR 27/4/14, K1's, visit to the WHHR 5/5/14, Britomart's visit to the WHHR 11/7/15 etc..etc...

 

Lilla footplate rides 14/7/18

Lilla will be giving footplate rides in Harbour Station on Saturday 14/7/18 from 1300-1800.

 

Death of Colin Dale

Colin Dale, the Colchester man who promoted the reopening of the Blaenau Ffestiniog &Trawsfynydd Railway, has died of cancer in hospital aged 70. The project has now been taken up by the volunteer society who are hoping to negotiate rights to clear the line with NR. See Daily Post story.

 

Who blocked Russell's visit to the Hunslet Gala?

Some members of the WHHR demonstrated in T-shirts lamenting the failure of Russell, a Hunslet loco itself, to appear at the F&WHR Hunslet Gala in late June. It seems that the loco was invited by the F&WHR but it is rumoured the WHHR management blocked the move. The absence of the loco was missed by all from an event the loco should obviously have attended. This bodes ill for a possible attendance of Russell at SuperPower in September. It really is time for the two organisations to settle their differences! See Facebook for images of t-shirt protest.

 

This westerly view (24/6/18) shows Russell operating extra trips on the WHHR approaching Gelert's Farm Halt. It seems the Hunslet was in fact invited to the Hunslet Gala on the F&WHR. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright WHHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 progress 6/7/18

By 6/7 all the coupling rods were fitted up and the cross heads were being mounted.

It is expected No.130 will be completed ready and for service early in 2019. See Friends of No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

BF&TR society update 6/7/18

The Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Society is about to release a newsletter advising of its long delayed AGM when it hopes to elect new officers and restart the project to reopen the OOU line between Blaenau and Trawsfynydd Lake Halt.

On 28/6/18 it was announced that a 40m centre to support the design of advanced nuclear technologies will be developed in North Wales by the Welsh and UK governments. This is in addition to a 200m UK government nuclear sector deal that was launched in Trawsfynydd earlier this year. The small modular reactors proposed are unlikely to require heavy freight movements by rail though it could be made a planning restraint that construction materials for the site are delivered by train, a policy that has not been required of the recently confirmed development of Wylfa B where a new port is being constructed instead of using rail to bring in construction materials. See BBC report.

 

Carriage Works update

Coach No.21 continues to progress with volunteers making it ready for painting over the summer months. The coach should receive its bogies in the autumn and go into service. FR Travel have sponsored new coach No.120 which will be in service in July after receiving wheels from the current No.120, which was taken out of service in June. Rather than have sponsorship plaques applied the coach tables have had adverts applied which illustrate FR Travel destinations in the form of a compass and mountain ranges that the world rail trips visit. Progress has also been made with fitting the woodwork to the frame of the new WHR Observation coach No.2152 Gwyrfai which is due in service early May 2019.

 

TfW Manchester train doubts

Close examination of the TfW/KeolisAmey WalesRail proposals reveals no commitment to continuing the Holyhead-Manchester loco hauled express service. This will dismay the many people who use the route. The MkIII coaching stock is owned by ATW.

Another concern is the increase in traffic being routed via the Wrexham-Chester route with a new train service on the Cardiff-Liverpool axis via the recently reopened Halton Curve between Runcorn and Frodsham. NR's redoubling of the Wrexham-Chester line was cut back to Saltney to Rossett and avoiding the expense of rebuilding a bridge over the A 483 north of Wrexham.

 

Level Crossing accident at Cwmcloch 5/7/18

The RAIB were briefly involved with the F&WHR for the second time in a month when a local car driver drove into the side of a train at Cwmcloch Upper Level Crossing on 5/7/17 but they handed the matter back to the railway and police. The car was pushed alongside the train a few yards before the train came to a stop still blocking the crossing. The Ford Puma drove into the side of No.138 as it was hauling a train to Caernarfon. Passenger were transferred to coaches to complete their journeys. There was an estimated 5,000 worth of cosmetic damage to Bodysgallen and the service car. Train services were back to normal the following day. A similar incident happened recently on the W&LlR in April.

See BBC report, Daily Post report and Cambrian News report.

 

TRAWS report goes to WAG 5/7/18

The Welsh Assembly Government is set to receive the draft 300,000 Feasibility Study TRAWS report on Stage 1 of the West Coast Rail Link, from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth. The report is several months late having been forecast for February. It is understood the report has considered alternative routes, such as those between Llandeilo and Lampeter proposed by aborted schemes in the mid 1800s. Some correspondents believe the route should 'buy out' the Gwili Railway rather than share the track. The Gwli Railway, which owns the trackbed between Abergwili Junction and Llanpumsaint, could have enough money to set up shop on the largely clear Abergwili to Llandeilo trackbed with a link to NR at Llandeilo. Another option is the Pencader Junc. - Newcastle Emlyn Branch but this would also discomfort the 2' gauge Teifi Valley Railway who currently occupy a short section of that trackbed.

Although some 97% of the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen route is clear of development, part of the estimated 750 million construction cost is due to Dyfed/Ceredigion Council failing to protect the trackbed in Aberystwyth, which has been built over, and the requirement for a possibly tunnelled diversion approach to the terminus under Penparcau. See Cambrian News story.

 

L&BR Lyn to visit SuperPower

The L&BR's replica Baldwin Lyn will be a guest at SuperPower this September. The loco was invited last year but was not quite ready in time. The opportunity to double head Lyn and Lyd together will not happen however this year. It seems Lyn will be hauling shuttle trains between Caernarfon and Waunfawr but many hope the loco will make a through journey to Porthmadog. Lyn will be invited to return at a later date. See F&WHR story.

 

Journey into the Past details 5/8/18.

This special train runs on Sundays 5-26/8/18.

The itinerary is as follows:

Arrive at Dinas station 10:15-10:30

Here passengers will be met by a host for the day and passengers will be told about some of the history of this, once important, interchange station. If coming from Caernarfon, passengers should use the 10:00 service from Caernarfon and alight at Dinas station which is a request stop. The special train will consist of Ffestiniog No.2 Prince and three heritage carriages as may have been seen on the railway in the 1920s and 1930s. It will depart Dinas Station at 11:00 heading inland along the original North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway trackbed. The first stop will be at Tryfan Junction, where the beautiful station building has been lovingly restored by volunteers. This is a chance to see inside and learn more about the busy little quarry line that branched off here for Bryngwyn. There will also be some unusual photo opportunities and a mug of station master's tea or coffee.

The train sets off again at 12:10, crossing the Caernarfon-bound service train at Waunfawr, before continuing on to Rhyd Ddu. Along the way, passengers will come across more former stations and buildings that mostly go un-noticed from passing trains - but, on this occasion, there will be time to stop and see these from the train window (Betws Garmon and Glan-y-afon Quarry branch). After arriving at Rhyd Ddu, the locomotive will run round and take on water, while passengers will be served packed lunch and have a chance to stretch their legs before the return to Dinas.

Departing at 14:00 the train will make a leisurely run through the Gwyrfai valley, crossing the Porthmadog-bound service train at Waunfawr, before arriving back at Dinas Station at 15:05. For those continuing to Caernarfon, there will be an hour to watch the shunting, look around the station and admire the views toward Anglesey before catching the 16:05 service train home.

The prices are: Adults - 36 (plus a 5 add-on fare, if travelling from Caernarfon.) - includes a packed lunch* and tea/coffee. Children / Society Members - 24

The Packed lunch will be simple fare, served in an insulated bag which passengers may keep after their journey. Vegetarian and gluten-free option available, but the WHR is not able to accommodate a wide range of dietary requirements.

Advance booking is required for these train - so please book online or phone the Booking Office on 01766 516024 to reserve seats.

These trains are sponsored by the Welsh Highland Heritage Group who look forward to giving passengers a glimpse into the fascinating past of the WHR.

 

Boiler progress 2/7/18

This boiler works view (2/7/18) shows the Australian Garratt boiler receiving new boiler plate to replace wasted plate on the backhead around the firehole. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin, General Manager F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This boiler works view (2/7/18) shows a close up of the Australian Garratt boiler receiving new boiler plate to replace wasted plate on the backhead around the firehole. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin, General Manager F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This boiler works view (2/7/18) shows a close up of the inner firebox ex-No.143. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin, General Manager F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 1-2/7/18

This aerial view with north at the top (1/7/18) shows the new rotunda complete with glazing and the general footprint of the new station building with the bus bay being progressed on the bottom left. 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 aerial view (2/7/18) shows the new main entrance door fitted. 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.

 

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 6/11/18