WHR

News Archive Page

2019

V4.3 updated 3/5/19

with news to 31/3/19

 

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

 

De Winton centrepiece 31/3/19

The North Wales track gang moved De Winton loco Watkin into the rotunda of the new Caernarfon station to act as a centrepiece or railway display items.

 

This northerly view (30/3/19) shows the de Winton loco Watkin being craned off a lorry onto Caernarfon station's platform. 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 (30/3/19) shows the de Winton loco Watkin being placed on temporary track on Caernarfon station's platform. 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 (30/3/19) shows the de Winton loco Watkin being moved along temporary track on Caernarfon station's platform as was used to place F&WHR stock in King's cross station. 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 (30/3/19) shows the Winton loco Watkin being moved into the display room of the new Caernarfon station. 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 (30/3/19) shows the de Winton loco Watkin in the rotunda at Caernarfon station's. 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.

 

De Winton cafe 30/3/19

This northerly view (30/3/19) shows the completed de Winton Cafe in business on the first day of the new season. 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 (30/3/19) shows the completed de Winton Cafe in business on the first day of the new season. The cafe offers a panoramic view of the castle from the first floor. 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.

 

New season starts 30/3/19

Nos.138/143 are rostered for the new season's first trains starting 30/3/19. Newly restored No.130 is not yet ready and No.87 is having its 10 year overhaul.

 

This northerly view (30/3/19) shows No.143 running round at Caernarfon in the new headshunt. Careful calculations have ensured the track layout allows the large Garratt locos to pass the wall and sewer with adequate clearance. The loco is carrying headcode discs as were used on the Southern Region of British Rail. See http://www.semgonline.com/headcodes/sheadcodes.html. The fireman of No.143 decided to have them on the loco on the day. 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.

 

Waunfawr station progress 29/3/19

With services about to start on 30/3/19, work on Waunfawr station was nearing an end at the end of March. The Heras fencing must be moved to give access to the full length of the platforms and the toilets at the north end. Internal fitting out of the new station building is proceeding but externally the building is complete other than final coats of paint and a little pointing. All windows are now fitted.

 

This northerly view (29/3/19) shows the south and east face of Waunfawr station building nearing completion with all windows fitted. The doorframe woodwork is also complete. 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 (29/3/19) shows work underway to complete the windows on the west face of Waunfawr station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales main line 28-29/3/19

On 29/3/19 No.68034 and No.88009 hauled the Valley Nuclear Electric flasks. No.67014 has been on the WAG for some time and hauled the Manchester train again on 29/3/19. the yellow liveried Network Measurement Train was about of 28/3/19 with Nos.43013/62 in charge.

 

Coach No.2040 progress

The WHR's coach No.2040 is making good progress with reupholstering and external repainting. It is hoped to be released to traffic later in the season when peak traffic flows occur.

 

Caernarfon bypass news 29/3/19

Tree felling has been going on in the field next to Meifod Hotel in Bontnewydd where the roundabout is to be built to enable the bypass to cross the A487.

 

Moelwyn Tunnel 28/3/19

This westerly view (28/3/19) shows Merddin Emrys posed for a photoshoot at the completed north portal of Moelwyn Tunnel. It is intended that the south portal will be completed during next Winter's closed season. 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 progress 27/3/19

The contractors left site by the end of March and the Boston Lodge Carriage Shed and associated pointwork has been tested with a rake of coaches hauled by Vale of Ffestiniog. The Carriage shed now has a new curved end at the Porthmadog end to comply with the recently relaid fan of sidings from the new Boston Lodge headshunt. An Electrical Group Working Party completed the lighting over the final weekend.

 

Caernarfon Waterfront project

The North Wales Chronicle has reported on the progress with the £15m Waterfront Project which includes the F&WHR's new Caernarfon station. See North Wales Chronicle website.

 

Glyn Valley tramway progress

Trees have been chopped down in the GVR's Chirk station site alongside NR's Chirk station revealing the GVR platforms and foundation of the station building for the first time in many years. The Society had a productive AGM on 2/3/19. See GVR Facebook site.

 

Caernarfon-Bangor rail plans 26/3/19

The Daily Post has reported on plans to reopen the Caernarfon-Bangor line but avoiding Y Felinheli (Port Dinorwig). The route proposed by an ex-Conwy Borough transport planner follows the A487 and involves a long tunnel crossing the bypass. It is said that the severe gradients of the Y Felinheli Bypass can be managed within a 1 in 50 ruling grade. See Daily Post report which includes a sketch map.

 

Haul road crossing Bontnewydd 25/3/19

Full details of the A487 Caernarfon bypass are available at TFW's website updated to 19/1/19. The crossing work by completed by the F&WHR's PW team in association with Jones Bros. Bypass Joint Venture.

 

This southerly view (25/3/19) shows the completed haul road crossing just north of Bontnewydd. The shuttering was removed on 26/3/19 and the concrete will be set by the time trains run on 30/3/19. 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.

 

Class 03 No.03179 started up 24/3/19

As a remembrance of when the Class 03s used to work the North Wales Buckley Branch and Connah's Quay Docks in your webmaster's youth it is interesting to note that 03179 (Clive), purchased from Hornsey depot, was started up for the first time at Rushden Station on 24/3/19. The loco will be finished in NSE colours as it ran on the Isle of Wight. See 03179 Facebook page.

 

This southerly view (24/3/19) shows the team restoring 03179 at Rushden and the loco inside its shed. 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.

 

Gowrie Project 24/3/19

The lack of updates for this project has been due to an ongoing issue that volunteers hope to have resolved in the very near future. Once they have overcome this stumbling block they plan to push ahead with the project as rapidly as funds allow. Preparations have been made for the launch of the funding campaign. The project will be represented at various events over the year and a range of fundraising items will be available. The engineers in the workshop continue to fabricate components as time and materials allow. The single Fairlie Gowrie was the last NWNGR loco, built in 1908 just after Russell of 1906. It was sold during the First World War as it was found to be unsatisfactory. The loco is believed to have been scrapped in the 1920s.

 

Waunfawr progress 23/3/19

This northerly view (23/3/19) shows good progress with the west aspect of Waunfawr station building. Walling has reached the eaves and the lintels are clad in the yellow wedge effect. Some brick cladding is needed either side of the wedge effect. 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 (23/3/19) shows good progress with the internal plastering of Waunfawr station building. Tongue and groove timber will be fitted to the bottom half of the walls as original. 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 (23/3/19) shows good progress with the north aspect of Waunfawr station building. The concrete lintels have been completely covered with brick cladding. 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 (23/3/19) shows good progress with the east aspect of Waunfawr station building. One window is in place made to the original style and cladding of the concrete lintels is almost complete. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bontnewydd plant road crossing 18-23/3/19

Work has started on the plant road crossing for the Bontnewydd/Caernarfon Bypass bridge which must be finished by the 30/3/19 when the new seasons trains start from Caernarfon. The work required the rail to be lifted on 18/3/19 and a reinforced concrete bed installed. The bypass will bridge the WHR and the Lon Eifion cycleway just north of Bontnewydd Halt. WHR engineers asked for passive provision to be made for a possible long term reopening of the Bangor-Afonwen NR route.

 

This northerly view (18/3/19) shows the start of work on the plant road level crossing about 25m north of Bontnewydd Halt. The rail was lifted so that formwork could be laid to allow a reinforced concrete base to be constructed permitting heavy lorries to cross the line at this point. 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 (25/3/19) shows good progress with the plant road level crossing about 25m north of Bontnewydd Halt. The rail has now been replaced and shuttering has been placed ready for next load of concrete. 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 (23/3/19) shows good progress with the plant road level crossing just north of Bontnewydd Halt. It is likely a TSR will be in force here and a signalman paid for by the road contractor who will switch the road lights on and off as necessary for regular passenger trains as well as works trains and out of course workings. 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 Images No.29 22/3/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 29 mins 33 seconds of video covering Waunfawr station building construction and track relaying at Caernarfon. This YouTube was published on 22/3/19 and was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

James Spooner 20/3/19

The FR's second new double Fairlie James Spooner officially became a loco with the assembling of its frames on 20/3/19. The loco will carry No.8 in the FR's fleet list.

 

This Boston Lodge view (20/3/19) shows James Spooner has reached the stage of frame assembly. 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.

 

Moelwyn Tunnel north portal complete 20/3/19

A small ceremony was held at Moelwyn Tunnel's north portal with the completion of the stone facing. Mike Schumann, the original Deviation Project Engineer was present to accept the hand over of the project on 20/3/19. The work was scheduled to be finished in time for the start of services on 30/3/19. The south portal will be completed next Winter during the closed season. Completion of the south portal will effectively mark the end of the Deviation project which your webmaster helped construct in the 1960s/70s.

 

This southerly view (30/3/19) shows the completed north portal of Moelwyn Tunnel. 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.

 

Rhyd Ddu signalling works 15-18/3/19

The Rhyd Ddu signalling work was completed by the end of March in advance of the start of the new season on 30/3/19. Starting signals, 'lollipop' style home signals have been fitted and point indicators. This follows the completion of the similar Beddgelert project during a snowy February 2018.

John Savage advises: We signed it into use at 19.00 on Friday 15/3/19, with a tidy-up train taking Harlech Castle to Dinas for the first time ever on Monday 18/3/19.

 

This southerly view (18/3/19) shows Harlech Castle in the platform at Rhyd Ddu with the 'tidy up' works train. On an earlier day a train including the Mess Coach No.111 with the SAR brake van attended the site. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Savage and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (18/3/19) shows Harlech Castle in the platform at Dinas with the 'tidy up' works train. This was the first visit of the loco to Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Savage and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Archive views of Caernarfon trackworks finished 17/3/19

The North Wales Track Gang handed over the Caernarfon Project to the PW Department after a final session of tamping on 17/3/19. No doubt a visit of the KMX was planned before the start of services on 30/3/19. Images available on the F&WHR's Inside motion page.

 

This northerly view (30/3/19) shows the view from the Glan-y-mor headshunt at Boston Lodge. The tracks peeling off to the left over new pointwork serve the future new Carriage Shed to be built on the land reclaimed from the foreshore and the existing Carriage Shed. The Rest of World Gang is constructing the layout. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Ian Hartill (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (1/12/18) shows the Glan-y-mor headshunt with the new stop block with the Rest of World Gang in action. The two further sets of points will give access to the future new Carriage Shed on the foreshore. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Ian Hartill (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (10/1/19) shows the reorganisation of track leading to the fan into Boston Lodge. The five turnouts here were funded by the Ffestiniog Railway society. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Ian Hartill (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (17/1/19) shows the new headshunt at the Porthmadog end of Boston Lodge with the new Pen Cob Junction in view. The yard had not been connected at this time. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Ian Hartill (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (17/1/19) shows the tracks leading from new headshunt at the Porthmadog end of Boston Lodge. The yard had not been connected at this time. Tracks peeling off to the right serve the existing Carriage Shed and future new Carriage Shed to be built on the land reclaimed from the foreshore. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Ian Hartill (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr progress 14/3/19

This northerly view (14/3/19) shows good progress with the wedge shaped bricks that will form the lintel cladding for Waunfawr station building. This modern style of lintel cladding looks like the original but provides the strength of the hidden reinforced concrete lintel behind. 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 (14/3/19) shows good progress with fitting the lintel cladding Waunfawr station building with the east aspect nearing completion. 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.

 

East Anglian Group meeting 21/3/19

David Gander advises: Our next meeting will be held this Thursday 21/3/19 when, following our mercifully brief AGM, Jon Marsh will be entertaining us with films from his collection. Our April meeting will be on Thursday 18/4/19 when Peter Miles of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway will be making a welcome return to update us on current progress and future developments on that Railway.

We meet at the Six Bells Pub, 9 High Street, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5DH. We meet up any time after 6-6.30pm and an evening meal is available in the restaurant or bar. Prices are reasonable. The meetings are usually held in the Function Rooms, accessed from the car park at the rear of the pub, and start around 8pm with a halfway break for coffee (£1.20 per person). We finish around 10pm. There is a charge of £2 per meeting for Group members, £3 for non-members.

Fulbourn is easily accessible from the A14/M11 corridors and is served by Stagecoach bus Citi 1 (This bus runs every 30 minutes until 23.36, via Cambridge railway station where it arrives at 00.05) Car parking can be busy but there is space available on Church Lane, a 3-5 minute walk to the pub. You are most welcome to join us.

We meet on the third Thursday of the month (excepting December when it’s the second Thursday), with meetings held until May – with a break in January.

 

Taliesin to haul Hafod-y-llyn services 16/3/19

Taliesin is to haul the MTFX Porthmadog-Hafod-y-llyn Orange timetable services from 16/3/19. It is possible to join the trains at Hafod-y-llyn, though there is limited platform provision there. Snow is likely on the mountains over the weekend to form an attractive alpine backdrop.

 

L&B Special 15/4/19

Lyn will be travelling to North Wales at the end of March to double head The Snowdonian on 13/4/19 with the F&WHR's Lyd. It will also haul two L&B Specials on 15/4/19 on its own from Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu. This will be a good test for the loco up the 1 in 40 through Beddgelert Forest.

 

Moelwyn tunnel portal nears completion 14/3/19

The FR's Moelwyn Tunnel portal is nearing completion and had recently been topped out. The scaffolding will be cleared away for the start of services on 30/3/19. Many former Deviationists such as your webmaster see this as the completion of the Deviation Project. See Inside Motion website for images.

 

North Wales NR line news 1-14/3/19

No.67014 hauled the ManWAG on 14/3/19. Nos. 88004/6 hauled the Valley nuclear flasks on 13/2/19. Nos.68018/34 were present at Valley on 8/3/19. No.67022 hauled the Cardiff WAG on 5/3/19.

NR's dilapidated Nos.97303/4 hauled ballast trains on the Cambrian Coast 1-3/3/19 with ballasting work underway in the Barmouth-Harlech area and at the new station at Bow Street on the Aberystwyth route. With the line under total possession Nos.37099/418 were hired from Colas and were able to operate independently of the ERTMS signalling system. For images see Richard Jones' Flickr site and a video of the triple header climbing Talerddig bank returning to Crewe on the Monday on YouTube.

 

NR Conwy Valley services disrupted again 13/3/19

Travellers by rail to the F&WHR will find difficulty again following the torrential rain of Storm Gareth on 13/3/19 which caused major damage to the route again, some in places previously repaired. Clearly greater flood protection is needed and culverts installed to allow water to pass under the railway rather than washing it away. NR has released drone footage of the damage. It could be months before the line is restored but a temporary replacement bus service has been provided. See Daily Post report and NR website.

 

Bontnewydd bypass news 12/3/19

Martin Kressman reports: 'Over the weekend I visited the site of the old brick works in Caernarfon. Balfour Beatty and Jones of Ruthin are in the process of setting up their site offices and compound there. The field between Pontrug and Bethel in which I reported last week as having seen a digger is now bristling with marker pegs. Looking towards the Goat roundabout this morning from the south yard at Dinas there could be seen diggers breaking the ground. Nowhere in the vicinity of the railway at Bontnewydd could I see any work going on in connection with a haul road over the railway. I wonder whether they realise that this has to be done before 30 March.'

The F&WHR's Weekly notice says that the haul road over the WHR is to be installed next week, with track being lifted in preparation.

 

Baldwin identity confirmed for WHR Heritage Gala

Graham Fairhurst's Baldwin No.45190 (Ex WD No.1085) will appear at the F&WHR's 'Past Present and Future Gala' June 21-23, running between Minffordd and Beddgelert. It is one of 495 similar locos built for the WD in the First World War and the WHR's original No.590 was No.45172. The loco has been meticulously restored after being purchased from the Statfold Barn collection and will be making its first public appearance at the Gala. The loco has had a chequered history and multiple identities, being purchased for the WD lines in France in 1917. The loco was used in India by the British Army then sold to India's North Western Railway as No.45, before finishing service on the Daurala and Ryam sugar factory networks. Statfold Barn imported the derelict loco in 2013 but it was resold to Graham Fairhurst of the West Lancashire Light Railway, near Preston. The loco was restored at a private location.

It has been announced that the WHHR's Russell will also visit but current arrangement only see it travelling to Hafod-y-llyn for some reason, rather than Beddgelert with the rest of the Gala locos. Most enthusiasts would like to see the loco reach Beddgelert and pose alongside the Baldwin to recreate historical tableaux from the 1930s.

Hunslet No.1215 (ex-WDLR No.303) will also be utilised in the intensive timetable after missing the Hunslet event last year as it was not quite ready in time.

 

Caernarfon NR reopening campaign 10/3/19

The Daily Post has a report about a campaign to reopen Caernarfon-Bangor and other railways in North Wales by the Campaign for Better Transport, one of 33 lines they have identified across the country. See Daily Post story.

 

Waunfawr progress 9/3/19

This northerly view (9/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. Over half the walling appears to have been completed and the western and southern aspect might be finished in a few weeks. 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 (9/3/19) shows good progress with the southern aspect of Waunfawr station building. Walling is nearly up to the lintels. 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 (9/3/19) shows good progress with the southern and eastern aspect of Waunfawr station building. 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 (9/3/19) shows more limited progress with the northern aspect of Waunfawr station building where the toilet doors are located. 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.

 

Spring steam tests 5/3/19

This Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.143 being prepared for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. The dome is off and the smokebox and chimney are still in undercoat. 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 Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.143 being prepared for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. The dome is off and the smokebox and chimney are still in undercoat. 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 Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.138 waiting its turn for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. 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 Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.138 waiting its turn for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. The dome is off . 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.

 

Snow report 4/3/19

Martin Kressman reports: We woke this morning to snow on the mountains down to about 300 metres. This should be visible from the trains to Hafod-y-Llyn this week assuming the cloud is not as it is this afternoon.

 

Caernarfon station loop completed 3/3/19

This easterly view (3/3/19) shows the completion of the run round loop. 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 (3/3/19) shows the motorised fastening machine being used to set the torque of the track clip fastenings in the run round loop. 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 (3/3/19) shows the completion of the run round loop with the spare sleepers being removed. All that remains to be done is to ballast and tamp the run round loop on the next visit by the North Wales Track Gang on 16/3/19 before the start of services on 30/3/19. The KMX tamper liner may be called upon to finish the job. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Bypass news 2/3/19

Martin Kressman reports: So far there is little more than a few wooden marker pegs seen near the Goat Roundabout at Llanwnda. However the haul road over the WHR near Bontnewydd station has to be complete before 30/3/19 when the train service starts. New space has been provided some time ago near the Cibyn to compensate the Calor Gas distribution company for land that they will lose to make way for the bypass.

 

Waunfawr station progress 2/3/19

This northerly view (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. All the windowsills are completed on the west aspect and the windows and door temporarily boarded up with hardboard. About half the walling appears to have been completed. 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 (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. All the windowsills are completed on the south aspect and the windows and door temporarily boarded up with hardboard. 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 (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. All the windowsills are completed on the south and east aspect and the windows and door temporarily boarded up with hardboard. 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 (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. The windowsill and door are nearing completion on the north aspect and wiring can be seen to be taking place through the door. 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.

 

No.130 update 2/3/19

By late February the cab had received more attention and was almost finished. It still needs to be sand blasted before any painting takes place. See No.130 Facebook page for full details and images.

 

Caernarfon station progress 2/3/19

This southerly view (2/3/19) shows fresh ballast had been brought down by train for the North Wales Track Gang to finish the project before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. These wagons have been adapted for an excavator to climb up onto the wagons and access the ballast so it can be places accurately where needed. The final sleepers have been laid in place to complete the gap in the run round loop. 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 (2/3/19) shows fresh ballast had been brought down by train for the North Wales Track Gang to tamp the new north point and extended loop before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. There is a small gap in the track in the run round loop. 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 (2/3/19) shows the final length of the run round loop being completed by the North Wales Track Gang. The project must be finished before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. There is a small gap in the track in the run round loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 28/2/19

This southerly view (28/2/19) shows fresh ballast had been brought down by train for the North Wales Track Gang to finish the project before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. There is a small gap in the track in the run round loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welsh Pony update 27/2/19

There have been few indication of progress recently but on 27/2/19 the frames have recently been painted and various components sent away for sandblasting before return in early March for painting.

 

Waunfawr station 27/2/19

This northerly view (27/2/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. The walls are rising and windowsills and door are nearing completion on the south and east aspect. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Moving Pictures No. 28 25/2/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 28 mins 11 seconds of video covering Waunfawr station building construction and track relaying at Caernarfon. This YouTube was published on 25/2/19 and was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

Hafod-y-llyn service commences 2/3/19

The Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn MTFX Orange timetable runs 2-28/3/19. The F&WHR website advises 'due to there being extremely limited access at Hafod y Llyn, we recommend that passengers only join/leave the train at Porthmadog.' This is a change to previous years when trains were ONLY available from Porthmadog. Pont Croesor is not mentioned though the trains are likely to stop there. Taliesin is the booked traction for this week and will run round at Hafod-y-llyn.

 

Removing the King's Cross exhibits 25/2/19

This southerly view (25/2/19) shows temporary track through the entrance to King's Cross with rolling stock about to be loaded onto the Locomotion low loader pulled up outside the entrance. 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.

 

February (no) snow report 24/2/19

The February untypical 'heat wave' has reduced the chances of snow in North Wales during the period of the Half Term holiday services to nil sadly and even Snowdon is not experiencing snowfall. The MFX Purple service finishes on 28/2/19 and shows Beddgelert basking in the teens! Maybe the weather will rebalance with Winter returning in March, when, however, the Orange timetable only sees MTFX trains to Hafod-y-llyn from 2/3/19 until 28/3/19. So yet another Winter goes by affected by global warming with little or no chance of images of trains in the snow.

 

Waunfawr station progress 23/2/19

The mild weather has allowed rapid progress with Waunfawr station building. The external cladding has been rising quickly and internal work includes a start on the fitting of electrical cables.

 

This northerly view (23/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. The walls on the south face are making good progress as are the yellow brick door/window surrounds marked out by hardboard. The overall impression is very similar to the original station building and the random stone cladding is very pleasing being reminiscent of the original style. 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 (23/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. The walls on the east face are making good progress and window sills are in place. as are the yellow brick window surrounds marked out by hardboard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (23/2/19) shows work on the western aspect of Waunfawr station building as seen from the platform. The walls now include windowsills but some pointing remains to be completed. 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 (23/2/19) shows work on the northern  aspect of Waunfawr station building as seen from the platform. The walls now include windowsills but and entrances to the toilet provision. A start has been made on fitting the wiring now the building is weatherproof. 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.

 

Boston Lodge Carriage shed progress 22/2/19

This northerly view (25/2/19) shows the newly kinked end to the carriage shed. the track has been laid on the stanchions. The tracks are yet to the joined up to the new trackwork and the roof will go on later, however the framework for the new roof is complete. The kink is necessary to join with the realigned fan of tracks from the new yard king point and headshunt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 colour scheme 18/2/19

When No.87 returns to traffic from its rapid 10 year overhaul, it will be outshopped in standard SAR black livery, following its initial Works Grey and dark blue liveries.

 

Caernarfon station progress 18/2/19

This northerly view (18/2/19) shows good progress with the platform road. The North Wales Track Gang plans to finish the project before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. 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 (18/2/19) shows work is still needed to complete the run round track. 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.

 

Ash train 18/2/19

With a mini excavator hired for the track relaying in Caernarfon station the opportunity was taken on the 18/2/19 to run the ash train to clear the ash pile from by the Caernarfon water tower. Vale of Ffestiniog hauled a rake of DZ wagons down to Caernarfon and left them there for filling.

 

This southerly view (18/2/19) shows work clearing ash from by the water tower at Caernarfon station as seen from the footbridge. The ash builds up as loco crews clean their fires and grates before commencing the southbound run. 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 (18/2/19) shows work clearing ash from by the water tower at Caernarfon station as seen from the platform. The min excavator hired for the station relaying was used to load the ash into the DZ wagons before Vale of Ffestiniog took the ash away for disposal. 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.

 

Velinheli at King's Cross 18/2/19

This northerly view (18/2/19) shows Velinheli and coach No.10 at King's Cross to promote the F&WHR and holiday attractions in North Wales. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Alan Frewin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (18/2/19) shows Chaloner and coach No.10 at King's Cross to promote the F&WHR and holiday attractions in North Wales. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Alan Frewin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (18/2/19) shows Velinheli and coach No.10 at King's Cross to promote the F&WHR and holiday attractions in North Wales. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Alan Frewin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (18/2/19) shows Velinheli and coach No.10 at King's Cross to promote the F&WHR and holiday attractions in North Wales. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Alan Frewin and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 17/2/19

This northerly view (17/2/19) shows the North Wales track gang working at Caernarfon for a fourth weekend. The platform road is aligned, lifted, and is awaiting ballasting. The run round loop had a further 24 m clipped up. The North Wales Track Gang will be back for a further two weekends in March to complete the job before the start of the new Season on 30/3/19 when trackwork must be complete. 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.

 

King's Cross exhibit delivery 16/2/19

This southerly view (16/2/19) shows temporary track through the entrance to King's Cross with rolling stock about to be unloaded from the low loader pulled up outside the entrance. 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 northerly view (16/2/19) shows Velinheli and coach No.10 'arriving' on temporary track through the entrance to King's Cross to promote the F&WHR and holiday attractions in North Wales. 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 easterly view (16/2/19) shows Velinheli and coach No.10 and Chaloner on display in King's Cross. All was ready by 5:30am before the public started to arrive. 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.

 

WHRS East Anglian Group Meeting 21/2/19

David Gander advises: Our first meeting of 2019 will be held this Thursday 21/2/19 when we welcome back Chris Jones, who will be talking to us about some of the personalities involved with the history and development of the Festiniog Railway locomotives. Chris’s recent book ‘Little Giants’ is surely the definitive study of pre-preservation Festiniog Railway locomotive development – both in terms of engineering and social history – so this is bound to be an interesting talk.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday March 21/3/19, when Jon Marsh will be entertaining us with films from his collection.

We meet at the Six Bells Pub, 9 High Street, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5DH. We meet up any time after 6-6.30pm and an evening meal is available in the restaurant or bar. Prices are reasonable. The meetings are usually held in the Function Rooms, accessed from the car park at the rear of the pub, and start around 8pm with a halfway break for coffee (£1.20 per person). We finish around 10pm.

There is a charge of £2 per meeting for Group members, £3 for non-members.

Fulbourn is easily accessible from the A14/M11 corridors and is served by Stagecoach bus Citi 1 (This bus runs every 30 minutes until 23.36, via Cambridge railway station where it arrives at 00.05) Car parking can be busy but there is space available on Church Lane, a 3-5 minute walk to the pub.

You are most welcome to join us. We meet on the third Thursday of the month (excepting December when it’s the second Thursday), with meetings held until May – with a break in January.

 

Housing development row at Dinas

Richard Watson advises: There have been protests at Dinas at plans to build 24 houses and a children's play area "close to a railway line". See Daily Post report.

 

This Google Earth view shows the route of the railway at Dinas with annotated bridges and crossings. The field in the centre of the view backs onto the railway between the A487 bridge and Cae Moel bridge. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy Richard Watson and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales rail news

The MANWAG express continues to be in the hands of No.67014 in recent weeks and was noted in action on 14-15/2/19 and 18-19/2/19. The Valley Flasks continues for a few more weeks with Nos.68001/34 hauling the service on 8/2/19, Nos.88003/5 on 11/2/19 and Nos.68002/4 on 13/2/19. It will be sad to see the demise of this final freight service on the North Wales Coast in March, especially as Wylfa B (aka Wylfa Newydd) has been recently sidelined in a damaging blow to the Anglesey and North Wales economy, so no prospect of a future flask traffic.

Meanwhile No.150278 ran as 3D52, a test train from Liverpool Lime Street to Chester via Halton Curve. New services are planned to begin in May but the route has been ready since last May, the delay being due to a lack of rolling stock available to TfW.

Recognising concern about a focus on South Wales, TfW has appointed a development Director for North Wales based in Wrexham. Increasing services via Wrexham will depend on redoubling the Wrexham North Junction to Rossett single track section which includes an expensive bridge over the A483. Some minor alterations to Wrexham North Junction are planned but redoubling Gresford Bank is not currently planned.

Passengers will be compensated for delays of more than 15 minutes. The Delay-Repay scheme offers 25% refund. See TfW website.

 

More birds of prey!

Not content with the successful Osprey project, Natural Resources Wales is considering a licence to reintroduce Golden Eagles to Snowdonia, a place they have been absent from for 200 years. It is hoped the birds of prey will attract visitors to the area as well as help the local ecology. See Daily Post story.

 

Waunfawr progress 17/2/19

James King reports: The ridge flashing is formed with a shaped wooden ‘spine’ and the lead flashing was then formed in approx. 1/5 metre lengths over an identical shaped spine on the bench at platform level, before being take to the roof. When in its final position on the roof it is held there by lead tabs which fix it in position.

 

This northerly view (17/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. The slating and special lead ridge flashing have been fitted and the walls on the south face are making good progress as are the yellow brick door/window surrounds. The overall impression is very similar to the original station building and the random stone cladding is very pleasing being reminiscent of the original style. 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 (17/2/19) shows work on the eastern aspect of Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. Work is not so advanced on this side as it takes a long while at the low temperatures typical for this time of year for the traditional lime mortar to set. The windows and marked by hardboard inserts in this face. 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 (17/2/19) shows a close up of work on the eastern aspect Waunfawr station. The random stone cladding is rising to cover the blockwork interior walls and insulation. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (17/2/19) shows work on the northern and western aspects of Waunfawr station building. The windows are beginning to take shape on the northern face of the building. 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.

 

WHHR VoR brakevan

The WHHR's brakevan No.2 (ex-VoR M135) appeared in maroon livery on 17/2/19 replacing the BR blue it appeared in last March to celebrate its purchase from BR and ownership by then WHR 1964 Co. Ltd, itself celebrating 50 years. The new livery will match Ashbury carriage No.9/25. See Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Facebook page for images.

 

No-snow forecast!

Despite February being the most likely time for snow, record high temperatures across the country from mid February have made snow very unlikely. Indeed shorts seem more likely in Porthmadog, maybe a sign of global warming with midday temperatures forecast to be in the teens all week! The F&WHR's MFX Porthmadog-Beddgelert Purple Half Term service started on 16/2/19 and runs until 28/2/19 so there is a chance of the change to more snowy scenes next week. Snow sometimes occurs in March but the Orange MTFX timetable which runs 2-28/3/19 only operates to Hafod-y-llyn.

 

Velinheli in King's Cross 16-24/2/19

Hunslet 0-4-0 saddle tank Velinheli left Porthmadog on 14/2/19 for display in King's Cross concourse over the week of 16-24/2/19. the loco was due to be rolled into the concourse overnight on 15/2/19. The display will also feature Heritage coach Ashbury replica No.10 and vertical boilered loco Chaloner. A publicity team will be promoting the railways and attractions of North Wales.

 

Purple timetable starts 16/2/19

With very mild sunny weather, the two week Half Term service was launched on 16/2/19. The coaches have been Spring cleaned and the loco prepared for the service. Trains depart Porthmadog at 11:15 and 14:20 - the round trip takes about two hours, including a half-hour break at Beddgelert. Travelling travel out on the first train and returning on the second at 15:30 leaves about 3.5 hours in Beddgelert at 15:30, this gives you around 3½ hours for lunch in a café or pub or walk to Nantmor down the Aberglaslyn Pass to catch the train there. It to do a round trip from Beddgelert, catching the 12:25 train to Porthmadog, which will give over an hour for lunch in Spooners before joining the 14:20 train back to Beddgelert.

Blanche and Taliesin are the advertised traction for this week.

 

No. 130 news 15/2/19

Peter Best, owner of No.130, has announced further progress on the loco after an absence of news since December. Lubrication & small bore pipework on the rear unit is about 85% complete. Oil lines to the live/exhaust ball joints and pivot need running followed by the steam lines to the sander jets and draincocks, which need finishing. Draincock exhaust lines will be some of the last pipes run as Dinas staff hope the majority can be done with offcut copper pipe from the cab & boiler unit pipework. The front power bogie pipework is about 50% complete. For images so No.130 Facebook page.

 

Funkey route check 15/2/19

Prior to the start of the Purple timetable services on 16/2/19, Vale of Ffestiniog hauled a rake of wagons from Porthmadog to Waunfawr to ensure vegetation growth would not scratch the sides of the coaching stock.

 

This easterly view (15/2/19) shows Vale of Ffestiniog at Beddgelert after a trial run with a rake of B wagons to check the line was clear of fast growing brambles that might scratch the sides of coaches when regular services started the following day. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Glen Williams (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr progress 10/2/19

Work has resumed in earnest on Waunfawr station after a gap for the bad weather. The chimney has been completed and progress is being made with the random stone walling.

 

This northerly view (10/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station as seen from the footbridge. The chimney been completed and the random stone cladding is rising to cover the blockwork interior walls. 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 (10/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station. The random stone cladding on the east side looks very similar to the original appearance even though the stones are smaller in size. Spaces in the black insulation show where windows will be. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (10/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station. The northern aspect has a number of doors including access to operations rooms. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (10/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station. The complete northern aspect shows two doorways. It is hoped the building may be ready for the new season depending on weather. 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.

 

No.87 progress report 8/2/19

No.87 was the first steam loco to cross Cae Pawb NR Crossing in 2009 when the WHR was first completed and now, 10 years later, it is receiving its 10 year boiler overhaul after a final run on 7/10/18. The loco was soon dismantled in mid-October and by early November the boiler was at Israel Newton's. By the end of November the tubes had been removed and the boiler inspector found that only minor work was necessary before re-tubing. It is hoped the boiler will be back in the spring. Meanwhile work progresses on riveting repairs to the boiler cradle at Dinas.

The loco needs new power bogie frames as the current ones have cracked more than once. The new bogies are under construction at Dinas but may not be ready in time for the return to service. It is hoped No.130's introduction into service will fill the gap. The plan is to overhaul No.140's power bogies and fit these to No.87 in the meantime. These would become maintenance spares when No.87's are complete.

 

This Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.87's boiler cradle. Andy heating the rivets while Bryn moves the riveting jig into place. 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 Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.87's boiler cradle. Martin operates the press controls. The upper end of white hot rivet can be seen in the jig and a completed rivet to the left. 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 Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.87's boiler cradle. Martin operates the press controls. The rivet is now driven home but the holes in the plate show many more to be competed. 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.

 

No.1001 mess coach restoration 8/2/19

The volunteer led restoration of WHR Mess coach No.1001 (ex C&UR Combination Car) has reached a major milestone with the painting of the stripped body in undercoat in Dinas works. The restoration started in 2017.

 

This northerly Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.1001, the WHR mess coach. The stripped body has been repainted in green undercoat. 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.

 

Boiler news 6/2/19

Two refurbished boilers are due to have their hydraulic tests by the end of February. No.87's boiler is making good progress at Israel Newton's Cromford boilerworks and Australian boiler for No.129 is nearing testing at LMS Loughborough. The new firebox formers for No.143, funded by the WHRS, have arrived at Israel Newton's. This is a long term project.

 

WHRS AGM moved to 22/6/19

The F&WHR has reduced events this year and no SuperPower event is planned for September. The main event will be the Welsh Highland Heritage event 21-23/6/19 which replaces SuperPower and is focussed on the Porthmadog end of the line. Consequently the AGM has been moved to Saturday 22/6/19 which is in the middle of this event. The AGM will be in Porthmadog as a result for the first time.

 

Baldwin for WHR Heritage event 22-24/6/19

In addition to Russell and WD No.1215 (aka No.303) the latest announcement is Baldwin No.608. This loco is vacuum braked so it is anticipated will take part in the WHR events allowing recreation of historical scenes at Beddgelert if Russell is allowed to run there. The Baldwin may also haul the August Sunday Heritage trips to Tryfan Junction and Rhyd Ddu.

 

Caernarfon station progress 2-4/2/19

This northerly view (2/2/19) shows the start of work on track relaying at Caernarfon after a break of two weeks. The North Wales Track Gang has taken ownership of this project. 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 (3/2/19) shows track being laid against the extended platform. Eventually a 12 coach rake can be accommodated. 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 (3/2/19) shows work progressing on laying the track against the platform extension. It is hoped the work will be complete by 30/3/19 for the start of the new season's train services from Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/2/19) shows the extended headshunt at Caernarfon. This can just about take a two Garratts running round from a double headed train. 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 (4/2/19) shows the situation after the end of the relaying at Caernarfon. The North Wales Track Gang will be back in two weeks to finish the job. Track in the platform road needs to be connected just south of the point and the run round need to be completed using spare rails on the platform. 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.

 

North Wales main line 4/2/19

Nos.88003/5 hauled the Valley flasks on 4/2/19, a working normally hauled by a pair of Class 68s. This freight traffic is due to finish in the spring bringing an end to commercial freight on the North Wales Coast Line. The view of the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Straits from the Marquis of Anglesey's tower has been unavailable since 2012 as the internal steps have been closed for H&S reasons a heritage lottery grant will help reopen it soon. See BBC news story.

 

BF&TR Society first AGM 3/2/19

The newly reconstituted  Blaenau Ffestiniog & Trawsfynydd Railway Society held its first AGM on 3/2/19 in CellB Blaenau Ffestiniog. A committee was elected and hopes to resume negotiations with NR in due course to restart the project to reopen the line from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd Lake. The new organisation is called the Bala & Ffestiniog Railway Heritage Trust and its website is now available to view.

 

Snow report 1/2/19

After heavy snowfall across North Wales on 29/1/19, which caused the A55 to become blocked, the snow that affected much of the southern UK on 31/1/19 did not reach that far north. Temperatures are warming up again in advance of the MFX Half Term holiday service from 16-28/2/19 but there is plenty of time for another snowy period and the mountains will at least look alpine.

 

For those missing snow on the WHR!

Michael Chapman reports: Over Christmas I travelled to the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen in Germany - twinned with the WHR. I had snow. Photographs can be seen here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/55958391@N07/albums/72157705193667704

 

No.130 report January

Strangely, the No.130 Facebook page has been silent about progress with Peter Best's Garratt No.130 since 23/12/18. Presumably work is continuing at Dinas as it is hoped the loco will join the fleet this year to take the place of No.87 which is having its 10 year boiler overhaul and work on the frames.

 

Pullman afternoon tea package

The F&WHR has introduced a bookable Pullman Experience package consisting of afternoon tea with optional Prosecco including first class return travel from Caernarfon to Porthmadog or vice versa. The deal costs £165 for two (£20 extra for Prosecco). There are limited seats available so early booking is advisable. The service is available Saturday 16/4/19 to 2/11/19 and Wednesdays 1/5/19-19/6/19. See F&WHR website for full details.

 

North Wales main line 22-29/1/19

On 29/1/19 37099 was stabled at Bangor with the Q train. 67014 hauled the ManWAG on 28/1/19. A rockfall in Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel led to closure of the line for a 9 days from 20-28/1/19 with trains terminating at Betws-y-coed and bustitution from there to Blaenau Ffestiniog. On 22-23/1/19 Britannia was tested on a Crewe-Chester-Shrewsbury-Crewe circular journey with D1924 (47810) was on the rear for insurance.

 

History show at Kings Cross

The F&WHR will be showing Velinheli and Chaloner as part of a historical display of locos at Kings Cross from 16-24/2/19. Help is needed to run the display.

 

Moving Pictures No.27 22/1/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 25 mins 29 seconds of video covering Waunfawr station building construction, work on NG16's at Dinas, No.133's move at Dinas, Boston Lodge new throat construction and a 10 minute FRS promotional video from 1956-7. This YouTube was published on 22/1/19 and was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively, View on YouTube where all options are available.

 

Dinas Update

Four NG16s are receiving attention at Dinas. No.143 has had a boiler washout for a pre-season boiler inspection. The frames of No.87 have received strengthening while the loco is disassembled for its 10 year boiler check. The trial fitting of cab and tanks on new Garratt No.130 has been reversed to complete work on the boiler.

Spare NG15 No.133 was pulled out of the north headshunt by Bill with some reluctance. The loco did not want to go around sharp curves because the pony trucks did not have adequate sideways movement. Lubrication eventually solved the problem and the loco was left in position for a boiler assessment.

 

North Wales failure 22/1/19

No.67020 failed on the ManWAG at Newton-le-Willows on the morning of 22/1/19. It was rescued by No.66177 and ran ECS to Warrington Bank Quay before the stock was returned to Crewe. The pool of locos for the ManWAG has now increased from three to five locos, Nos.67012/14/16/20/22.

Nos.68016/17 hauled three empty flasks to valley Nuclear electric siding on 23/1/19 and silver liveried No.67014 on the ManWAG.

 

RAIB investigate Penrhyn Level Crossing incident 6/1/19

The RAIB published a notice on 23/1/19 about an incident at Penrhyn Level Crossing on the FR. An engineering train returning to Minffordd was unable to stop to open the crossing and collided with the gate across the A4085, coming to rest across the highway. The gate was damaged but no injuries were reported. The RAIB is publishing a Safety Digest in a few weeks rather than a full report. This is the second time the RAIB has been involved with the F&WHR in the last several months following the Garratt derailment near Rhyd Ddu 10/6/18 . See RAIB website.

 

North Wales Main Line news 21/1/19

Nos.68016/17 hauled the Valley Nuclear flasks on 21/1/19 as the countdown to the termination of this traffic, the last freight on the North Wales Coast, has begun. Trains are due to cease in March.

No. 67016 was propelling the 0534 Holyhead-Cardiff on the same day. TfW hopes to replace this service with Class 68/Mark 4 sets over the next few years and provide additional loco hauled rakes for midday services. Meanwhile the popular ManWAG Class 67 hauled trains also continue SSuX despite there being no mention of these loco hauled services in the long term Keolis/Amey prospectus published last October. No.67020 was on the 1307 Holyhead-Manchester today.

 

Snow Report 21/1/19

Extended periods of snow/sleet are forecast on 22-23/1/19 in the Rhyd Ddu area with temperatures about 3C.

 

KS4415 progress 20/1/19

Over last weekend volunteers were at Boston Lodge fitting the gearbox. The frame plate that didn't quite fit on the previous attempt at installation was machined down and this time it went straight in. With the gearbox safely located in the frames volunteers spent time cleaning out all the old oil and muck and then refitted all the internal parts. The gearbox was then filled up with new oil and the lid bolted back on. With the gearbox basically finished, volunteers can move onto other parts relating to the chassis; the next things will be the vacuum pipework and the band brake. Another job volunteers completed in January was making a test rig for the vacuum pump. They did some testing with a couple of coaches and there will be more of the same in the future until  it working as well as possible. See KS4414 Facebook page for images and video of gearbox operating.

 

NG15 No.134 report 19-20/1/19

With the boiler away being repaired, this year's activity will concentrate on making the frames ready to receive the boiler when it returns. Planned work includes jobs such as fitting the pony trucks and all the suitable couplings so the loco and tender can be moved around safely. However, the task for the January's Working Party was to ensure no further deterioration of No.133 took place. This involved covering all the motion and boiler in wax oil, a protective coating that is very good at keeping moisture out and wicking it away from the components. The bulk of the weekend was therefore spent removing any loose material then applying the wax oil. We also made various covers to close off a number orifices of the boiler.

The trailing pony truck wheelset that had been returned from Boston Lodge. This was cleaned and given a coat of primer before being temporarily put under the pony truck. In order to get the pony trucks ready for receiving their wheelsets volunteers took the hanging pony trucks from where they had been stored vertically along the side of the workshop and placed them flat on the floor.

A couple of new faces joined the team and whilst they are involved with the running of the railway as a guard and fireman, the hope is that they can join in when they can. See NG15 No.134 website for full details.

 

Boston Lodge progress 19/1/19

This southerly view (19/1/19) shows work on the extension to the existing Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge and the removal of the roof. The foundations for the extension are in place which will be at an angle to the existing building to allow for the sharp curve off the new throat under construction. To the right an excavator in working on the made ground provided by the new piled seawall where the new carriage shed will be. 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.

 

This easterly view (19/1/19) shows the new headshunt and buffer stop Boston Lodge throat. This has been in place and unused for a year but the tight curves into Carriage Shed extension and new Carriage shed on the seaward side have now been connected to the new junction. The existing Pen Cob Junction point is still in place nearer to Boston Lodge and won't be removed until all the pointwork in the throat is connected up. 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.

 

Caernarfon station 19/1/19

This northerly view (19/1/19) shows track being relaid in the extended headshunt at Caernarfon. In the distance can be seen the red bufferstop. The North Wales Track Gang is making good progress over the weekend. 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 (19/1/19) shows track being lifted by a crane in the bus layby onto storage area on the platform to complete the platform track extension. The rail bolster wagon is being repaired so the movement of rails was by road. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr station progress 19/1/19

This westerly view (19/1/19) shows the random local stone being fitted to the Waunfawr station building. The stonework still requires weather-struck pointing but the general appearance is very similar to the random stonework of the original structure. 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 (19/1/19) shows roof insulation and battens in place. Good progress is being made with the external wall along the east side of the station building. 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.

 

KS4415 update 19/1/19

KS4415, the experimental shunter that was trialled on the WHR in the 1920s, has today been fitted with its repaired gearbox. Some adjustments had to be made to frames and brackets to support the gearbox which occupies the sloping area at the front of this historic loco. See KS4415 Facebook page for images.

 

Start ceremony for Caernarfon bypass 17/1/19

Ken Skates, Welsh Assembly Economy minister cut the first sod for the Caernarfon/Bontnewydd bypass on 17/1/18. It is likely that all trees on the route will be cut down by the start of the bird nesting season in March and the haul road and fencing be completed. The route crosses the WHR by means of an overbridge just north of Bontnewydd halt. See North Wales Chronicle story and Daily Post story.

 

Hunslet No.303 for June gala

The WHR 'Past, Present and Future Gala' on 21-23/6/19 will feature the ex-WD Hunslet loco No.1215 of 1916. This loco missed the Hunslet Gala last year due to late completion. Locos will run Porthmadog to Beddgelert but Russell will limited to the section to Hafod-y-llyn. Enthusiasts also hope the VoR will contribute one of their GWR steam locos as the F&WHR has lent Palmerston to the line several times.

 

Boston Lodge remodelling 17/1/19

This easterly view (9/1/19) shows Whitehouse Construction of Ashbourne, Derbyshire in support of tracklaying in the Boston Lodge throat. Some curved points have been used to allow the tight curves into Carriage Shed. 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.

 

North Wales main line 16-17/1/19

Class 67 No.67012 was terminated on the northbound Gerald service on 18/1/19 at Shrewsbury. The locomotive hauling this service has suffered a power fault, causing a loss of power and loss of coach lighting/heating. Meanwhile 67020 hauled the ManWAG service to/from Holyhead the same day. BR Standard Class 7 No.70000 Britannia had hauled a test train to Chester 16/1/19 with a support coach. Nos.68018/34 had hauled the Valley nuclear flask train on 14/1/19.

 

Betws Garmon progress 14/1/19

This southerly view (14/1/19) shows Betws Garmon station building being conserved by the WHHG. Now stonework is finished it is planned to cap the walls with turf. 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 (14/1/19) shows Betws Garmon station building being conserved by the WHHG. Loose stone has been secured with a lime mortar and the random stone stored on pallets under Waunfawr footbridge has been used for this purpose as the stone was too random for use in Waunfawr station rebuilding. 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.

 

End of the line for Wylfa B

Hopes of building Wylfa B nuclear power station, also called Wylfa Newydd, were dashed today in a report by the BBC when Hitachi, owners of Horizon Nuclear, said the funding package was not suitable and work was stopped. Work will also stop on Horizon's other project at Oldbury on the Severn Estuary. Although Wylfa B would not have produced any construction traffic for the North Wales Coast line (a new dock was to be built), there were hopes that the nuclear flask traffic would revive shortly after the reactor came on line in the mid 2020s. The government has now indicated that it will consider directly funding the reactor programme. The two reactors would provide baseload electricity for over 10 million people. Nuclear flask traffic is the last freight on the North Wales Coast line and is scheduled to finish this spring as Wylfa A's closed reactors are emptied. See BBC news story.

Class 68s Nos. 68003/4 hauled the flask train on 17/1/19. It is hoped that the Valley Nuclear Electric siding will be maintained against further possible use should Wylfa B be restarted. The triangle there is used to turn steam locos after hauling excursions on the North Wales Coast.

The Government's disarray over Brexit is matched by its disarray over its Civil Nuclear programme with only one replacement reactor under construction and all but one of the remaining reactors set to close by 2030. Nuclear Power provides about 20% of baseload electricity in the UK.

 

Lyd and Lyn for The Snowdonian 13/4/19

Having appeared as a pair at the L&BR Gala, Lyd and Lyn will visit the WHR in the Spring. They will haul The Snowdonian on 13/4/19 on the WHR section from Porthmadog to Caernarfon and return. Lyn is the new build Baldwin replica No.762 that has been running on the L&BR since it was completed last year. The loco had a brief appearance on the WHR at SuperPower last year but did not operate with Lyd. For full details and booking see F&WHR website. Funds raised for the Diamond Jubilee Appeal will help complete various projects such as the new Carriage Shed and Garratt Shed at Boston Lodge.

 

North Wales Coast trains 11/1/19

There was another appearance of Class 88 on 11/1/19 with Nos.88001/9 hauling the Valley Nuclear Electric-Crewe working with three flasks. These bimode diesels have a lower power in diesel mode than electric.

 

No.133 moves 11/1/19

With some reluctance, No.133, the second SAR NG15, was moved from Dinas North Headshunt to the protection of the Carriage Shed on 11/1/19. The move may be associated with making measurements for the completion of No.134. Ex BSC Shotton shunter Bill was used with a reach wagon. See No.134 Facebook page for images.

 

Rhyd Ddu resignalling 9-10/1/19

Following completion of the Beddgelert token interlocked starter signals last Winter (and similar work at Pont Croesor), work has switched to Rhyd Ddu. The S&T train was at Rhyd Ddu on 9-10/1/19 and some 2 km of cables were pulled into the previously installed ducts. The PW HLF trainees have been loaned to the S&T team to assist with the work. Location cabinets which are currently being built in the infrastructure workshop at Minffordd will be delivered shortly. The signals will be commissioned in time for 2019 season daily services which start on 30/3/19.

 

This southerly view (9/1/19) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the S&T train into Rhyd Ddu with cabling for the Rhyd Ddu starter signal project. 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.

 

Waunfawr station progress 9/1/19

This southerly view (9/1/19) shows blocks of random local stone delivered to give a similar appearance to the original station building. Yellow bricks have also been delivered for the window and door surrounds. This section appears to have been built inside the station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon relay 6/1/19

It seems strange that track that had been laid only last winter was lifted this January but it was only temporary as the contractors still required access to the rear of the building under construction at that time. The head-shunt track as well as the track back to the straight sections in the platform and loop were taken up, the ballast was re-levelled by the WHR's contractor W H Jones and the turnout was moved to its final position by the gated entrance to the Service Road. Work will continue on alternate weekends, the next one being 19-20/1/19. If any volunteers would like to help please contact Dafydd Thomas or phone 07919 414877.

 

This southerly view (6/1/19) shows the new position of the north loop point at Caernarfon alongside the gated entry to the Service Road. The position of the gate means the public and enthusiasts will no longer be able to closely watch the loco going through the points as before. 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.

 

Work starts on Caernarfon relay 6/1/19

The Black Hand Gang started work relaying the track at the north end of Caernarfon station over the weekend of 5-6/1/19. The track must be aligned with the newly extended platform, the points moved further north and the headshunt extended alongside the station building. When work is complete trains will stop about a coach and a half closer to the station building and the WHR will have been extended about 50 m closer to Bangor! All must be complete by the start of the new season in March. A gate alongside the station building at the end of the platform will deny access to passengers/enthusiasts to the run round area and the service road.

 

This southerly view (6/1/19) shows the North Wales Track Gang lifting track with the points up on blocks ready to be lifted to its new position further north. 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.

 

This northerly view (6/1/19) shows the North Wales Track Gang lifting track with the points set to be moved later in January to a location in front of the excavator which is levelling the new base ballast for the extended headshunt. 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.

 

This northerly view (6/1/19) shows track lifted by the end of the weekend working party at Caernarfon. In the distance the excavator is extending and levelling the ballast bed for the new headshunt alongside the station building. The points will move north of the kink in the platform which is where the end of the rake will normally lie. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (6/1/19) shows track lifted by the end of the weekend working party at Caernarfon. Rails are piled on the platform ready for relaying. The point will probably be split in two and moved by excavator to its new position. The tarmaced area visible north of the new run round ballast is for bins. A plastic covering remains fitted to the rotunda to minimise leaks until snagging is complete. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Work restarts at Waunfawr 5/1/19

With blockwork complete and almost all the roof trusses fitted, insulated cladding is being added to the new Waunfawr station building. Later local rough stone cladding will be added to simulate the original look of the station building.

 

This northerly view (5/1/19) shows the southerly aspect of Waunfawr station building with trusses almost complete. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (5/1/19) shows the easterly aspect of Waunfawr station building with one truss needing to be fitted. 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 (5/1/19) shows westerly aspect of Waunfawr station building with insulation being fitted. Galvanised wall ties can be seen protruding through the insulation that will tie in the external random stone facing. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (5/1/19) shows cladding fitted to the north wall of the building. Galvanised wall ties will link the blockwork to the external stone facings. The damp proof layer is also in evidence. 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.

 

Trackworks starts at Boston Lodge 4/1/19

On 4/1/19 the PW team arrived at Boston Lodge with the FR's Dee & Mersey Group assisting the WMWP. Over the next three weeks remodelling of the throat will continue, with the aim of having the area in service by the start of the daily service. For the next three weeks Boston Lodge will be isolated from the rest of the network. Pen Cob Junction itself and the associated repositioned extended headshunt was relaid last year from 24/1/18 but not connected up. Provision will be made for turnouts for the new Carriage Shed extension on the made ground formed last year by the new sea wall. Necessary PW and emergency stock has been stored elsewhere on the network while Boston Lodge is cut off.

 

This easterly aerial view (4/1/19) shows the new Pen Cob Junction laid early last year but not connected. New ballast has been spread out for the fan of sidings that will lead from the new Pen Cob Junction to the yard throat and the extended Carriage Shed. The old Pen Cob Junction under the PW train will also be removed. Several sets of new points can be seen receiving attention next to the flat bed lorry that delivered them. 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.

 

More drone views of the PW work are available on the F&WHR's Inside Motion page courtesy Dave Thurlow.

 

This westerly view (4/1/19) shows the PW train out on the main line. The new red fencing will be extended to the west to separate the yard from the main line as Pen Cob Junction is moving west. New points are stacked after delivery before moving to new locations. 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.

 

This easterly view (4/1/19) shows the new points pre-fabricated on plastic sleepers. 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.

 

This easterly view (4/1/19) shows the points to be lifted as part of the throat remodelling and fresh ballast stored to the right. 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.

 

North Wales main line news 4/1/19

After trials with Class 68/88 combinations last year on the flasks, it was inevitable that a Class 88 pair would eventually appear as the loading is quite light with usually just a couple of flasks from the decommissioning of Wylfa via Valley Nuclear Electric Siding with Nos.88006/8 on 4/1/19. This traffic is set to finish in the spring and that is the sad end of regular freight on the North Wales Coast line.

The MANWAG Express loco hauled is continuing using the original ATW MkIII stock hired in and de-branded. No.67020 has been on duties over recent weeks.

 

Waunfawr station external wall test 3/1/19

This easterly view (3/1/19) shows a trial section of external wall built at Waunfawr for approval. The random local stone gives a similar appearance to the original station building, however the stones there were somewhat larger and less manageable. This section appears to have been built inside the station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New map for TRAWS 3/1/19

This new map (3/1/19) from TRAWS, the campaign to reopen the West Coast Wales Rail corridor from Bangor to Carmarthen,  shows how the red Bangor-Afonwen route, together with the blue Aberystwyth-Carmarthen route, would complete a west coast  rail corridor from North to South. 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.

 

Snow report 1/1/19

The final day of the 'Mince Pie' Green timetable trains 27/12/18-1/1/19 is forecast to see continuing mild weather with sunny periods and 8C forecast at Snowdon Ranger. The weather gets a bit colder with snow falling on the mountains later in the week but there will be no trains until the Purple MFX timetable for Half Term 16-28/2/19. These trains run Porthmadog to Beddgelert at 1115 and 1420 with a return journey from Beddgelert possible at 1225 allowing 1 hour 15 mins for lunch in Spooners or a walk along The Cob.

The Orange MTFX timetable Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn operates from 2/3/19 but snow is unlikely at sea level at this time of year.

 

No.143 on final Mince Pie specials 1/1/19

The crew for the final train of the Mince Pie specials was driver Paul Lewin, trainee driver Mike Hart and fireperson Julie Stirland.

 

This southerly view (1/1/19) shows No.143 running round and preparing for the final train of the Xmas Holidays with Mike Hart observing the run round. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (1/1/19) shows No.143 running round and preparing for the final train of the Xmas Holidays. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (1/1/19) shows No.143 near Ffridd Isaf curve with the final train of the Xmas Holidays. 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 (1/1/19) shows No.143 near Ffridd Isaf curve with the final train of the Xmas Holidays. 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.

 

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