WHR

News Archive Page

2019

V4.2 updated 5/7/19

with news to 31/5/19

 

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

 

North Wales main line news 31/5/19

Nos. 68003/13 hauled the Valley Nuclear flasks on 31/5/19 and Nos. 88003/5 performed the duty on 28/5/19. Speculation is growing that short HSTs sets removed from stock recently disposed by GWR may be used to supplement overcrowded TfW services until delayed new stock arrives. No.67014, still in the defunct Wrexham and Shropshire silver/grey livery, hauled the MANWAG on 27-30/5/19 and has been regular on the duty recently. On 23/5/19 Colas liveried Nos.67023/7 hauled an NR rake to Holyhead and back while LSL ran a driver trainer with No.47810 running as two tone green D1924 Crewe Diesel Depot to Holyhead. Loco Services Ltd. now own the former Crewe Diesel Depot site and provide traction for Saphos Trains excursions. Saphos Trains have branched out to cover a large part of the UK including Kent and there do not appear to be any further North Wales tours planned this year.

 

Castell Caernarfon moved to Boston Lodge 23-24/5/19

With the FR's Funkey Vale of Ffestiniog sidelined after the run through at Beddgelert on 3/5/19, the urgent need for a main line diesel capable of rescuing a train has meant that work has restarted in earnest on Castell Caernarfon, which has been under repair in Dinas Works since at least April 2017. After being lifted back onto its bogies on 23/5/19 the loco was hauled to Boston Lodge, presumably for completion, on 24/5/19.

Vale of Ffestiniog was inspected on 22/5/19 but it appears it has proved impossible to recreate the fault that caused the Beddgelert run-through on 3/5/19. It is thought it might be a tolerance issue with the loco controls.

 

This northerly view 23/5/19) shows Castell Caernarfon's bogies being prepared for reinsertion at Dinas Works as seen from a passing train. In the background is the sheet bender being used to form now boiler sheet plating for No.130. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Philip Clark and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view 23/5/19) shows Castell Caernarfon being lowered  onto its bogies in preparation for a move to Boston Lodge. 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 (23/5/19) shows Castell Caernarfon being lowered  onto its bogies in preparation for a move to Boston Lodge. 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 (24/5/19) shows Castell Caernarfon being towed by Upnor Castle to Boston Lodge ready for departure wrong line from Dinas. 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 (24/5/19) shows Castell Caernarfon being towed by Upnor Castle waiting for the Up train to pass at Dinas. 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 (24/5/19) shows Upnor Castle arriving at Waunfawr hauling Castell 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 (24/5/19) shows Castell Caernarfon being towed by Upnor Castle waiting for the Down train to pass at Waunfawr. The loco was sandwiched between two B wagons with B1806 also carrying coal. 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.

 

8 million visitors 20/5/19

Two regular readers emailed noting the 8 millionth visit to this website has been passed.

Tony Ellis     8,000,001

David Bargh 8,000,002

One average over there are over 1,000 visits a day to the website, many from the same loyal band of followers, even though the website is updated less frequently these days.

 

Wrexham-Liverpool service reopened 20/5/19

The Chester to Liverpool service was launched on 20/5/19 via the reopened Halton Curve. Some trains run through to Wrexham. the reopened curve will allow reintroduction of direct Liverpool-North Wales services in the future. See Daily Post story.

 

North Wales main line 20/5/19

Nos.68003/16 hauled the Valley Nuclear Electric Flasks on 20/5/19. Meanwhile 67010 hauled the 0536 Holyhead Cardiff WAG Express on the same day.

 

Beer Festival postscript 19/5/19

This southerly view (19/5/19) shows Harlech Castle in FR PW livery with Upnor Castle on the RailAle shuttle in the bay at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (19/5/19) shows Upnor Castle and Harlech Castle returning the RailAle shuttle to Porthmadog near Betws Garmon with Mynydd Eilio in the background. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tim Evans and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Russell goes to Beddgelert YouTube 18/5/19

Russell's test train to Beddgelert ran with no problems on 18/5/19 in preparation for the Gala 21-23/6/19. The four coach rake included the Gladstone coach, the Buffet Car and the VoR van. The train set back to the new Pen-y-Mount WHR platform after crossing over from the WHHR. The loco hauled the rake with ease up the 1 in 40 Nantmor Incline and the adjustments made allowed the loco to pass around the sharp Bryn-y-felin Curve at reduced speed. As the test train ran during an evening possession a drone was allowed to approach the train closely and follow the test.

 

Click on the YouTube link to watch 11 mins 22 seconds of video covering the evening test train of Russell going to Beddgelert after modifications. This YouTube was published on 23/5/19 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.

 

Russell Heritage Gala test 18/5/19

Russell made an evening test trip from the WHHR to Beddgelert during the evening of 18/5/19 as a final test in advance of the 'Past Present and Future Gala on 21-23/6/19.

 

This southerly view (18/5/19) shows Russell out on a secret evening trip with WHHR rake as a final test before the June Gala. The train is seen negotiating the Aberglaslyn Pass. 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 southerly view (18/5/19) shows Russell with its WHHR rake approaching the Bryn-y-felin bridge in the Aberglaslyn Pass. 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 (18/5/19) shows Russell with its WHHR rake crossing the Bryn-y-felin bridge in the Aberglaslyn Pass on its way to Beddgelert. 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.

 

Beer Festival shuttle 17/5/19

This southerly view (17/5/19) shows Harlech Castle and Upnor Castle departing the bay platform at Dinas station on the first day of the Beer Festival in dull weather. The locos are diagrammed to haul frequent shuttles between Waunfawr and Caernarfon during the Beer Festival 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 southerly view (17/5/19) shows Upnor Castle and Harlech Castle arriving at Caernarfon station on the first day of the Beer Festival in dull weather. The locos are diagrammed to haul frequent shuttles between Waunfawr and Caernarfon during the Beer Festival 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.

 

Ashbury's No.21 test 15/5/19

Team X gave Ashbury's coach No.21 a test run on 15/5/19. The replica project has seen the coach emerge in the style of the original Ashbury's Tourist Third class of 1897 scrapped in 1962. After it has a little more bodywork it might hopefully appear at the WHR Heritage Gala over the weekend of 21-23/6/19.

 

This southerly view (15/5/19) shows coach No.21 emerging into the daylight at Boston Lodger hauled by Criccieth Castle Boston Lodge after six years of volunteer work. The coach is on its own bogies but some bodywork remains to be done. 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.

 

Ben departs Dinas for Boston Lodge 14-15/5/19

Ben was noted missing from Dinas on 14/5/19 and has been transferred to Boston Lodge, presumably to be restored to running order. This is the second of the two Shotton Steel Works stockyard shunters acquired that arrived at Dinas 18/2/10. With an increased requirement for PW/works shunters Ben may join the fleet quite soon as Castell Caernarfon still languishes in pieces at Dinas. The Hunslet 2'6" loco is No.9262 of 1985 and was originally destined to be Boston Lodge Works shunter.

 

This northerly view (15/5/19) shows Ben (No.2) at Boston lodge having arrived on a flat wagon from Dinas as it is has yet to be regauged. Paintwork has deteriorated during the 9 years it has been stored on the bank by the Carriage Shed at Dinas. 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 3-17/5/19

Wylfa Nuclear Power Station's traffic continues well after the proposed March deadline for the end of traffic. Nos. 68004/34 hauled the Valley Nuclear Electric flask traffic on 17/5/19. On 8/5/19 the train was hauled by Nos.68004/17 while Nos. 88005/6 hauled the train on 3/5/19. It seems that the Class 88 can handle the light weight loads despite their lower power when operating in diesel mode.

 

Chaloner and Hugh Napier footplate rides at Caernarfon 11/5/19

This southerly view (11/5/19) shows Hugh Napier (driven by the General Manager, Paul Lewin) and Chaloner arriving at Caernarfon station. The locos offered footplate rides during the Caernarfon Food Festival. 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 (11/5/19) shows Hugh Napier (driven by the General Manager, Paul Lewin) and Chaloner arriving at Caernarfon station. The locos offered footplate rides during the Caernarfon Food Festival. 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.

 

Dinas notes 10/5/19

As the additional service for the food festival originates from Porthmadog it is highly likely that it will be hauled by an FR engine or pair of engines (photos welcome). The Garratts will be needed for the service trains. Vale of Ffestiniog certainly will not be used as it is out of service (in the Heritage Carriage shed at Boston Lodge) whilst under investigation following its excursion on 16/4/19. This means that there are therefore no Funkeys available as Castell Caernarfon is still in pieces in the carriage shed.

Hugh Napier and Chaloner were being prepared in the Carriage Shed ready for giving footplate rides at Caernarfon Station on 11/5/19.

Garratt No.130 now has both engines underneath the boiler on its frame. There is still a great deal of work required to get it finished and so it is unlikely to haul the Snowdonian Limited on 15/6/19. This train will have 6/7 Carriages only providing limited seating of 100. First Class Observation Car, Third Class and Third Class Observation Car will be included plus if possible historic carriage No.14 as a Club Car serving Real Ale.

 

No.87 boiler returns 10/5/19

The repaired boiler for No.87 arrived back at Dinas on 10/5/19 after a fast track 10 year overhaul. It was being lifted onto its cradle with one power bogie under the cradle. An accommodation bogie supported the other end. The other power bogie is in the Carriage Shed.

 

This northerly view (10/5/19) shows No.87's boiler being lifted from the transport after return from Israel Newton's Cromford Works. 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 (10/5/19) shows No.87's boiler being lifted from the transport at Dinas Yard after return from Israel Newton's Cromford Works. 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 (10/5/19) shows No.87's boiler being lowered into its frames in Dinas yard. 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 (10/5/19) shows No.87's boiler being lowered into its frames in Dinas yard with an accommodation bogie at the north end. 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 Food Festival 11/5/19

The additional service 0940 ex Porthmadog and 1705 return from Caernarfon may be hauled by FR locos/Vale of Ffestiniog on 11/5/19 during the Caernarfon Food Festival. There will be cooking demonstrations in the station exhibition space and either Hugh Napier and/or Chaloner will be giving footplate rides.

 

Beer Festival 17-19/5/19

The timetables have now been released for the Beer Festival from Friday/Sunday 17-19 May. The Friday and Saturday timetables see regular diesel hauled shuttles between Caernarfon and Waunfawr in addition to the two daily return services to Porthmadog. The service train will also form a steam operated shuttle service at lunchtime between turns and four return shuttles in the evening until the 2520 from Waunfawr. All stock will have on train toilets.

Sunday sees a similar service with the event finishing at 1625 with no evening shuttles. See Beer Festival website for full timetable details,

 

No.130 unlikely for Snowdonian Limited 15/6/19

The F&WHR Snowdonian website has suggested that new NG16 Garratt No.130 might be used on 'The Snowdonian Limited' if it has been completed and run in by the time of the event on 15/6/19. The train will attempt a non-stop journey between Porthmadog and Caernarfon and features a 'hog roast' and optional Friday night meal at Spooners and visit to Boston Lodge. Reports from Dinas suggest this is unlikely given the slow progress with the loco.

 

Russell to haul Beddgelert shuttles 21-23/6/19

Russell will be allowed to haul trains to Beddgelert in contradiction to previous statements that it will only be allowed to go to Hafod-y-llyn. The loco was tested to Beddgelert earlier this year. Russell will come on at Pen-y-Mount and double head several shuttles to Beddgelert with Prince. The loco has not been tested on the sharp Britannia Bridge curve (the sharpest on the WHR) so will not run from Porthmadog Harbour station. It is possible Pen-y-Mount's new exchange platform (P3) will be open for the event but strangely no pedestrian access will be permitted at Pen-y-Mount despite there being footpath access.

On Friday 21/6/19 Baldwin No.590 lookalike No.608 will run two trip from Porthmadog to Beddgelert with the 1920s Vintage set. Palmerston will also haul a Colonel Stephens set twice during the day. WD Hunslet No.1215 will also haul three shuttles between Porthmadog and Pont Croesor with Moelwyn. Whilst at Beddgelert, Russell will haul 2 shuttles to Pont Croesor.

Saturday and Sunday will see an enhanced service. Saturday sees three Porthmadog-Beddgelert trips with the Baldwin and No.1215 paired with Palmerston operating seven shuttles, five between Porthmadog and Boston Lodge and two to Pont Croesor. Russell and Prince will repeat their Friday duties. On Sunday there will be a further three trips Porthmadog-Beddgelert with the Baldwin, followed by and Chaloner and Palmerston on one trip from Porthmadog to Pont Croesor. Russell and Prince will haul three shuttles from Beddgelert to Pont Croesor. WD Hunslet No.1215 will also haul five Vintage shuttles paired with Moelwyn, three to Pont Croesor and two to Boston Lodge. The WD Hunslet will also haul a Porthmadog-Pont Croesor trip alone. Palmerston and Moelwyn will also haul two shuttles Porthmadog to Boston Lodge with the Colonel Stephens rake.

It is likely that Russell and the Baldwin will be at Beddgelert at the same time allowing historical tableau to the re-enacted near the heritage water tower.

Russell has still to climb through Beddgelert Forest and traverse the section between Beddgelert and Waunfawr as well as the short section from Pen-y-Mount to Porthmadog Harbour. Waunfawr to Caernarfon was achieved very early in the history of the new WHR during SuperPower, 16-17/9/2000 when it ran with Taliesin between Caernarfon and Waunfawr. Enthusiasts hope that with the continuing rapprochement of the two railway companies the loco will soon be allowed to run the whole length of the line.

Hugh Napier and Britomart will be operating on the WHHR with the FR's bugbox rake (as well as the WHHR's Gelert) and it is possible cross platform interchange might be allowed at the new Pen-y-Mount Exchange platform. See F&WHR event website for full details.

 

Moving Pictures No.31 5/5/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 26 mins 29 seconds of video covering the naming of No.97302 Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. There is also extensive coverage of The Snowdonian hauled by L&BR loco Lyn, including lineside views. This YouTube was published on 5/5/19 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.

 

Mainline news 4/5/19

Tornado hauled a special along North Wales coast today.

 

Bank Holiday weekend specials 4/5/19

Merddin Emrys and Taliesin will haul the 1050 from Porthmadog and the 1420 return today. Special trains are operating too on both railways.

 

RAIB investigates runaway 3/5/19

The RAIB is investigating a WHR runaway on the 1 in 40 just north of Beddgelert on 16/4/19 when Vale of Ffestiniog, operating as a light engine, ran through the Cwmcloch crossings and Beddgelert station at 0915. The loco passed the red starter signal and entered the next section without a token. The loco was unable to reduce its speed below 10mph for the 1.25 miles of the runaway and came to a stop where the track levelled out 0.6 miles after the station beyond Cemetery Crossing. There were no injuries but the loco was subsequently sidelined for investigation.

See RAIB website for full details.

 

Conwy Valley reopening meeting 2/5/19

Network Rail held a meeting in Blaenau Ffestiniog on 2/5/19 to discuss progress with restoration of the rail link closed (yet again!) during floods on 16/3/19. They confirm the route will be reopened to Llanwrst in time for the National Eisteddfod 3-10/8/19 with the rest of the line to Blaenau Ffestiniog being reopened later in the Summer. The reason for the extended closure is because significant works have been included incorporating flood culverts so these regular closures do not happen again given the likely increase in storms predicted by global warming models. A bustitution is currently operating. See NR website.

 

KS4415 Spring update 27/4/19

Progress has been made with the experimental Kerr Stuart shunter that operated on the F&WHR in the 1920s. By 9/2/19 work had been started on the vacuum brake pipe and it was reported that its front lamp will be ready by the summer.

In February volunteers took apart the band brake from the front of the loco. /the brake shoes are to be sent away to have new friction material bonded to them. New pins will be manufactured. the wasted pin holes will ne made round again after build them up with new metal.

In mid March a McLaren powered road roller was delivered. This has been borrowed to study the MDB2 road roller engine which is similar to that fitted to KS4415.

Volunteers conducted an examination of the road roller engine had led to disassembly of the engine and fuel pump. A patternmaker has visited and it looks possible to make most of the castings for the missing parts needed to complete KS4415's engine.

See KS4415 Facebook page for full details and images.

 

Waunfawr Station progress 26/4/19

This northerly view (26/4/19) shows the new prototypical window surrounds in the waiting room of Waunfawr station. Work is in progress with the battens for the wainscoting wooden panels and floor. 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 (26/4/19) shows the new fireplace, wainscoting wooden panels and floor in the waiting room of Waunfawr station. 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 (26/4/19) shows the new toilet compartments at Waunfawr station. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.134 Spring update 26/4/19

The main frames are now in the loco shed where the drivers have been removed and are being sent away for some machining work to be carried out on them. The pony trucks are at Boston Lodge in Porthmadog where, after having the wheels moved on their axles to get the correct 'back to back' measurement for the F&WHR, they will be fitted into the trucks. New thrust plates being fitted to one truck. Meanwhile at Dinas the volunteers are completing the lubrication pipework, shaping and fitting a new chequer plate together with other smaller jobs needing completing ready for the return of the wheels and pony trucks. See No.134 Facebook page for images.

 

Hugh Napier 22/4/19

This westerly view (22/4/19) shows Hugh Napier giving free cab rides at Caernarfon over the Bank holiday weekend. With no siding anymore at Caernarfon the loco probably had to retreat to the two Garratt long headshunt whenever a service train arrived to allow the run round. 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 22/4/19

Never mind Bank Holidays, the Valley Nuclear Electric flasks ran today with Nos. 68034/88009 in charge. Nos. 66519/538 top and tailed an Engineers' train to Holyhead. On the downside the MANWAG was substituted by a unit on 22/4/19.

 

Caernarfon Food Festival 11/5/19

This successful annual event kicks off again on 11/5/19 and a special early and late additional train are being provided. See Purple timetable with an additional 0940 departure from Porthmadog and a 1705 return from Caernarfon.

 

Beer Festival 17-19/5/19

Preparations were being made for the Beer Festival dated 17-19/5/19 as early as 13/4/19 when the North Wales Track Gang were in action sorting out facilities in Dinas Goods Shed. Shuttle trains may be available between Caernarfon and Waunfawr. See Beer Festival website for full details.

 

Combination Car appeal

Jonathan Flood advises: I have put together a Flickr Album for the Wickham Combination Van.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/28686013@N05/albums/72157677624944767

A lot of the pictures came from John Williams and I have added some of my own and others that I have been supplied. I have a few more to add from its days on C&UR, W&LLR, STR (rare!) and F&WHR.

Please contact Jonathan if you have further images to share.

 

Easter Cab rides 19/4/19

Palmerston gave footplate rides at Blaenau Ffestiniog between 11:00 and 16:00 as part of the 'Good Friday Easter Fun Day!' in the town. Hugh Napier will be giving footplate rides in Caernarfon station between 10:30 and 16:00 Saturday-Monday. Another loco will operate at Porthmadog between 1030 and 1600 on the same days from the end of platform 1.

 

This westerly view (19/4/19) shows Hugh Napier heading to Caernarfon for the free cab rides due Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday. 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 mainline news 18/4/19

The MANWAG has been substituted with a unit today 18/4/19. Rumours have started that TfW is looking at short HST rakes to substitute for the Manchester loco-hauled diagram and possibly some Cardiff - Holyhead workings going over to shortened 2+4 HSTs until the end of 2020 as with Scotrail and Great Western. In the longer term TfW plan loco hauled Mk4 coaches on the Holyhead-Cardiff workings as they come off lease with LNER's East Coast operations.

 

North Wales mainline 17/4/19

No.67029, the DB silver liveried example, hauled the MANWAG on 17/4/19. Meanwhile Nos.88005/6 hauled 3 empty flasks to Valley Nuclear Electric siding on 17/4/19.

 

North Wales main line news 16/4/19

No. 67029 is on the MANWAG today (16/4/19). Yesterday (15/4/19) Nos. 68003/16 hauled the Valley Nuclear flasks with traffic continuing well beyond the time suggested for the final trains on this duty defuelling Wylfa Nuclear Power station.

 

Castell Caernarfon returns 16/4/19

Martin Kressman reports: Castell Caernarfon has returned to Dinas after a visit to Boston Lodge for attention, once again waiting overhaul. The bonnets were sent to Boston Lodge separately and have had a good makeover in PW Dept green (rather than the maroon previously carried-Ed)

 

Waunfawr station 16/4/19

This northerly view (16/4/19) shows the new fireplace under construction in the waiting room of Waunfawr station. Work is in progress with the battens for the wainscoting wooden panels and floor screeding. 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.

 

Blanche 15/4/19

This northerly view (15/4/19) shows Blanche hauling a single DZ with the tanks from No.87, presumably going to Boston Lodge for a fast repair/repaint. The boiler cladding sheets are already at Boston Lodge for a repaint. This loco was used as Dinas has need of Vale of Ffestiniog as a rescue loco so it is currently outstabled there (see 13/4/19). 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 Dumbwaiter teething problems 13/4/19

Those wishing to take food upstairs in the De Winton cafe and avail themselves of a nice view of Caernarfon Castle (and the CADW construction works on the Island site) can ask for food to be carried upstairs on the dumbwaiter lift. On the day your webmaster visited 13/4/19 there was a problem with the lift sticking several times as the staff used the pulley and ropes. Fortunately the cafe was very quiet.

 

Dinas diesels 13/4/19

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows the two powerful diesels currently stabled at Dinas. Vale of Ffestiniog seems to have taken up residence during the continued long term repair of Castell Caernarfon and can rescue or substitute if a Garratt fails. No.9 is the resident PW loco. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge works 13/4/19

This Boston Lodge view (13/4/19) shows the boilers of Lilla and Welsh Pony. Welsh Pony is now receiving volunteer work to complete it. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (13/4/19) shows the boilers of Welsh Pony and Lilla. Welsh Pony is now receiving volunteer work to complete it. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Boston Lodge view (13/4/19) shows the new WHR Observation car Gwyrfai. After experience with Glaslyn the curved end glass window only curves in one plane. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Special Train 13/4/19

This westerly view (13/4/19) shows Britomart and Moelwyn being prepared at Boston Lodge at 1111 to haul a special train to Coed-y-bleiddiau on the FR. The National Railway Heritage Award was presented to The Landmark Trust in recognition of their superb restoration of Coed-y-Bleiddiau cottage. Moelwyn went on the back at Tan-y-Bwlch so that the train could return to Porthmadog without propelling. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge progress 13/4/19

This southerly view (13/4/19) shows the Blacksmiths shop under restoration at Boston Lodge by local building contractor Berwyn Parry. The arched doorways once had tracks leading into them to allow wagon repairs. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (13/4/19) shows the alterations to the Carriage Shed. A Garratt loco can now haul a WHR train through the shed and run round. The made ground to the right will become the new Carriage Shed built on compacted fill behind the new sea sheet piled seawall. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (13/4/19) shows Pen Cob Junction at Boston Lodge. The existing yard points have still not been connected to the new headshunt despite all the work over Winter. The track in the centre should lead to the new headshunt and the two points on the right hand side removed. None of the tracks on the left of the view that will lead to the new Carriage shed are yet in use. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (13/4/19) shows the Loco Shed has received attention with new rood and wall cladding though the original battered doors have been retained. The new Garratt shed will be built over the ash pit road to the right. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (13/4/19) shows the Loco Shed has received attention with new rood and wall cladding. The new Garratt shed will be built over the ash pit road visible in the foreground. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Glan-y-mor Yard headshunt with the three new points that will lead off into the new 3 road Carriage shed in the made ground on the left of the view. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Glan-y-mor Yard with the foundations in place for the seaward side supports for the new Carriage shed in the made ground now it has compacted for over a year. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows the south end of the existing Carriage Shed with some cladding still to complete. On the right is the cab of the Chinese C2 loco project, with the its project shed behind. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHRS East Anglian Group Meeting 18/4/19

Stephen Sullivan advises: The next meeting is on Thursday 18/4/19 at the Six Bells, Fulbourn, near Cambridge at 8pm.  Peter Miles, the Chairman of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, will be speaking to us about the present and the future of the L&BR.

 

Waunfawr station progress 13/4/19

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows the externally complete Waunfawr station building. The doorway floor steps need completing and the interior still needs a lot of work though plastering appears complete. The Snowdonian is stabled in the station. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The Snowdonian 13/4/19

Glorious weather greeted The Snowdonian on 13/4/19 however the train ran into a few problems on route. The train was hauled by Linda and Blanche to Blaenau Ffestiniog but on its return to Porthmadog it was held for a while at Tan-y-bwlch while the Fire Brigade dealt with a fire between there and Minffordd. Now running well over an hour late, Lyn (facing south) and Lyd, both resplendent in SR livery, took over at Boston Lodge and made a spirited attempt at the 1 in 40 through the Beddgelert Forest.

 

This westerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn being prepared at Boston Lodge at 1058 to take over The Snowdonian when it arrived back from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (13/4/19) shows Lyn and Lyd being prepared at Boston Lodge at 1059 to take over The Snowdonian when it arrived back from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyn and Lyd working hard on the 1 in 40 at Hafod Ruffydd Crossing in the Beddgelert Forest, well over an hour late at 1354. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyn and Lyd drifting downhill at Castell Cidwm bridge, well over an hour late at 1426. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The train arrived at Waunfawr, where food was to be taken, nearly two hours late. It seems the Snowdonia Parc had a following booking with a rather young and vocal coach party so the food was brought down to the train by volunteers and passengers ate on the train while the train waited in the station. No.143 passed on a service train heading to Porthmadog.

 

This southerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyn and Lyd waiting at Waunfawr station, nearly 2 hours late at 1442. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Eventually the decision was taken to run round here and return to Porthmadog rather than visit Caernarfon station and Dinas Works as the service train, hauled by No.138, had caught up and was being held at a red flag at station limits just outside Waunfawr shunt limit. Unfortunately, even though The Snowdonian was held here over an hour the opportunity was not taken to move Lyn to the front of the train for the return journey. The locos ran round the train which was then shunted into the southbound platform and the delayed service train was allowed to proceed to Caernarfon.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn having shunted around their train at 1611 and ready to propel the train back under the main road bridge before entering the southbound platform. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning to Porthmadog approaching Betws Garmon road bridge. 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 (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning to Porthmadog approaching Plas-y-nant Halt. 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 (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, passing Castell Cidwm at 1645. Despite having stood in Waunfawr for 2 hours the opportunity had not been taken to place Lyn on the front of the train.. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn passing Castell Cidwm at 1646 with Snowdon still showing a little snow in the gullies. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, just south of Castell Cidwm at Caeau Gwynion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The train paused for a while at Snowdon Ranger Halt before proceeding to Rhyd Ddu.

 

This easterly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, just south of Snowdon Ranger with a snowclad Snowdon in the background. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, having left Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, passing Pont Cae'r Gors at 1716. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, threading the Aberglaslyn Pass. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning south, passing Ynysfor level Crossing at 1754. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

After a brief stop at Pont Croesor the train arrived back at Porthmadog around 1830.

 

This westerly view (13/4/19) shows Lyd and Lyn returning to Porthmadog approaching Plas-y-nant Halt. 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 96

 

A55 average speed camera

For those travelling to the F&WHR by car in the absence of train services on the Conwy Valley line, be aware that average speed cameras have been installed at the top of the Rhuallt Hill on the A55.

 

Cambrian Class 37 No.97302 named 12/4/19

Class 37 No.97302 was named Ffestiniog and Welsh highland Railway and the Welsh equivalent on the other side at a ceremony at Minffordd on 12/4/19. The loco had been spruced up and is almost exclusively kept for PW duty on the Cambrian Coast. As such the name is unlikely to reach a wider audience. It remains an unfortunate fact that the Cambrian is banned from Railtours without this loco or one of the other 97/3s on the front and that does not appeal to railtour organisers. NR reneged on a promise to provide a mobile unit that could have allowed visiting traction and the short lived WCR summer dated Cambrian Coast Express steam excursions to visit the line without impediment after ERTMS signalling was introduced. The F&WHR used to see many excursions arriving via this route so has lost custom due to NR's failure to keep its promises.

See Daily Post report.

 

This westerly view (12/4/19) shows 97302 being named Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway being named at Minffordd. It is hauling the General Manager's Saloon and top and tailed with a second somewhat less clean Class 97/3 (No.97304). Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (12/4/19) shows 97302 Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway resting at Porthmadog after being named at Minffordd. It is hauling the General Manager's Saloon and top and tailed with a second somewhat less clean NR loco No.9734. 0The train was moved to Porthmadog to allows the following TfW service to pass before returning to Shrewsbury. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Ready for The Snowdonian 12/4/19

This northerly view (12/4/19) shows Lyn and Lyd being warmed up for use on The Snowdonian on 13/14/19. The locos are shunting outside the Heritage Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.rmed against the snowy background of a snowclad Snowdon. There had been a heavy snowfall in the area on 3/4/19 which reached down to 200m. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). Lyn and Lyd will haul the W

 

After The Snowdonian Lyn will haul two special trains on Sunday 14/4/19 and will use Observation Carr. No.152, Super-Barn No.120 and 'Snapper Bar' Carr.14. A standard Ffestiniog Railway On-Train Buffet service will be provided during the journey. The morning departure leaves Porthmadog at 09:40 arriving Rhyd Ddu at 10:45. Following the passing of two WHR service trains, the special departs Rhyd Ddu at 12:05 and arrives back in Porthmadog at 13:05. The afternoon train leaves Porthmadog at 15:00, arriving Rhyd Ddu at 16:15. The return leg leaves Rhyd Ddu at 16:45 with an arrival into Porthmadog at 17:45. The loco will then return to Devon.

Tickets are no on sale. Fares: First Class - 40 (includes seat reservation) Third Class - 25 (Child 12.50). Please phone Porthmadog Booking Office - 01766 516024 - to purchase tickets.

 

Moving Pictures No.30 10/4/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 29 mins 22 seconds of video covering the movement De Winton coffee pot loco Watkin from Penrhyn Castle to the new Caernarfon Station where it was displayed in the rotunda. This YouTube was published on 10/4/19 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.

 

Mainline news 5-10/4/19

The Valley Nuclear Flask traffic is continuing daily with Nos.68002/16 on the duty on 10/4/19. On 12/4/19 it was Nos. 88005/6. Meanwhile No.67022 was on the Cardiff WAG on 10/4/19. The Snowdon Panorama Excursion was top and tailed by Nos.68003/34 on 6/4/19. No.67014 turned up on 5/4/19 to work the MANWAG after fears a unit had been substituted.

 

RAIB report of Penrhyn accident 10/4/19

The RAIB has published a Safety Digest of the Penrhyn Level Crossing accident of 6/1/19 involving a PW train which had a braking problem and crashed into the level crossing gates. Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident. See RAIB website.

 

B&FRH Trust 10/4/19

The newly formed Bala and Ffestiniog Railway Heritage Trust, which aims to open the line from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd, received bad news on 9/4/19 with resignation of its recently appointed Chairman Raymond Reed with effect from Sunday 14/4/19. Shane Berry is to take over the role as Interim chairman until the next AGM and will be releasing a press release about the way forwards for the new society soon.

 

F&WHR to move Blaenau Terminus?

The F&WHR's chairman John Prideaux has floated the idea of moving the FR's Blaenau Terminus to a new location nearer the A470 where genuine cross platform interchange might occur in a new 1million station. He has also mentioned the oft proposed Llechwedd Quarry branch. TfW are negotiating with the F&WHR about an improved terminus at Blaenau Ffestiniog, with the FR giving up its second platform face in favour of NR. This would require excavation to achieve a deeper alignment for NR to match the existing platform level if on the existing site. Other options include a new terminus near the original LNWR site curving onto reclaimed land alongside the A470 ( a site originally proposed by the building Back to Blaenau Plan) which would free the existing site for the BF&T Railway. See Daily Post story.

Meanwhile it seems that NR will take until the summer to restore the Conwy Valley line. Hopefully it will be rebuilt more robustly with adequate culverts to allow floodwater to pass under the line rather than through it this time! On 3/4/19 NR issued a statement saying the line will be reopened to Llanwrst in early summer in time for the National Eisteddfod (2/8/19) and to Blaenau later in the summer. A public meeting was held on 10/4/19 in Llanwrst to explain the plans. Bustitution continues in the meantime. See NR website.

 

Special Train 7/4/19

Taliesin and Merddin Emrys hauled a special train on 7/4/19 from Porthmadog to Caernarfon and back with Taliesin piloting on the return journey.

 

Lyn on test on WHR 7/4/19

This northerly view (7/4/19) shows Lyn on test at Rhyd Ddu. The loco performed against the snowy background of a snowclad Snowdon. There had been a heavy snowfall in the area on 3/4/19 which reached down to 200m. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). Lyn and Lyd will haul the WHR section of The Snowdonian on 13/4/19. This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Vale of Ffestiniog 4/4/19

With only two Garratts available and no Castell Caernarfon, the WHR is being run on a knife edge and Vale of Ffestiniog is the only available loco that can haul the heavy WHR trains.

 

This southerly view (4/4/19) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling the 1415 ex-Porthmadog approaching Castell Cidwm bridge with the snow and mist covered Snowdon in the background. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright  (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Lyn arrives 1/4/19

This northerly view (1/4/19) shows Lyn being delivered to Minffordd by low loader from the L&BR. Lyn and Lyd will double head The Snowdonian on 13/4/19 on the WHR section. 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.

 

Boston Lodge news

The new Boston Lodge Carriage shed with raised roof fits Garratt locos. The Garratts also fit the new Glan-y-mor headshunt. See the F&WHR Inside Motion page for images.

 

Pen-y-Mount (F&WHR) 1/4/19

The continuing rapprochement between the F&WHR and WHHR has seen a start of work on a new halt on the F&WHR at Pen-y-Mount which will allow cross platform interchange between the two railways. It is unclear when the halt will be opened. It is lightly built with a temporary wooden sleeper platform edge rather than the normal concrete kerb edging at other WHR stations. Access is available from the WHHR by a gate next to the Pen-y-Mount station building and via the public footpath from Cae Pawb that runs along the side of line and crosses the line south of the station.

 

This northerly view (1/4/19) shows Taliesin working a PW train at Pen-y-Mount with the new Exchange platform (platform 3) under construction. Pen-y-Mount Exchange will become the largest station in the Porthmadog area with three platform faces! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Site development

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

 

Click here to return to Stop Press page

 

Comments

Please add comments in my Guestbook.

Click here for Guestbook

Page Version 4.2 Dated 5/7/19