WHR

Caernarfon-Waunfawr Page

V3.17 updated 8/12/02

New images on this page from 3/6/02.

Click here for new images

Click here for JC Sreeves latest construction map

Caernarfon

A larger Portacabin is to be installed at Caernarfon in the Autumn. This will increase the retail area and provide internal toilets. Caernarfon may attract more visitors with a two train service once the Rhyd Ddu extension is open.

The provision of permanent facilities and the extension of the loop to the full 200m awaits a decision by the council on the development of the St. Helens Road area. Money is available for the construction of this permanent extended station when the need arises. The existing platforms can cope with 7 coach trains.

Work was about to start in the Summer when two Victorian sewers were discovered under the headshunt area. These were marked by ground radar and work has remained halted until the status of the sewers and what to do about them has been decided. It is hoped the new station building and coach bay will be completed in time for the 2003 Easter season.

The footbridge at Caernarfon was decorated with advertising banners for the Summer. There was also a sandwich board with train times on the castle car park. A station sign was erected on the roof of the station building. This can be moved to the new station building when complete.

 

S1_BWH10-8-02.JPG (91936 bytes)

This northerly view (10/8/02) shows Prince storming out of Caernarfon with the Heritage service with newly restored ex-WHR coach No.23 leading the three coach rake. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

St. Helens Road bridge

Blanche5.JPG (98696 bytes)

This northerly archive view shows Blanche hauling a short rake up St. Helens bank out of Caernarfon. The loco was used for the 1998 season but was exchanged for Mountaineer for the 1999 season. The BR Llanberis branch deviated from the Afonwen branch just behind the rear coach. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scanned at 200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology.

 

A turntable might be required in the former junction area with the Llanberis Branch. This is the nearest location to Caernarfon station with any space. With the railway owning 2 NG15s and the WHR(P) a further example, these locos may need turning if they are to operate in their existing form. If the tender was cut down they could operate without turning.

 

S1_BWH3-6-02B.JPG (109312 bytes) 

This northerly view (3/6/02) shows Prince approaching the St. Helens road bridge hauling the Heritage rake with newly restored ex-WHR coach No.23 leading the three coach set. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

Bont Newydd

Early in 2001 the lettering on the station signboard was stripped off, presumably by vandals. A new sign was installed by 24/8/02.

 

Dinas

Mountaineer was the mainstay of services in 2001, though No. 143 and Caernarfon Castle have seen their share of the work. Even Conway Castle has had a turn!

 

S1-103.JPG (64568 bytes)

This northerly view by invitation of WHLR staff (20/2/01) shows Mountaineer being prepared for its day's duty having been hauled out of the loco shed by Upnor Castle.  It takes over an hour to get the loco ready for action. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

The WHLR has purchased a small ex-MOD 2 foot gauge vehicle transporter. This wagon, No. 333, has an  end ramp for a tracked vehicle. The wagon is suitable for a mini excavator and was purchased initially to carry such a vehicle by rail to finish off the incomplete occupation crossings about 1 km north of Waunfawr. HMRI permission to open Phase 2 was granted on the basis these crossings would be locked OOU until provided with proper accesses in the Winter total possession.

 

S1-104.JPG (88627 bytes)

This view (20/2/01) shows the new ex-MOD transporter wagon at Dinas. The wagon is in fact two wagons with a very small diameter wheel set under the nearest end to permit the sloping access. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

S1-106.JPG (61433 bytes)

This northerly view (15/4/01) shows the WHR's new Mess Coach outside the carriage shed as viewed from the recently reopened Lon Eifion cyclepath. The Chattendon coach has been rebuilt during several months inside the carriage shed. The coach has red and white lights each end for use when propelling movements take place. It is even fitted with a tea urn! Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

S1-R1.JPG (53997 bytes)

This northerly view (22/10/01) shows the completed tool van on an ex-SAR chassis stabled north of the carriage shed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

Sleeper stockpile

A large number of steel sleepers is now in stock. They are stored near the carriage shed and appear to have a black protective coating unlike the rusty sleepers that typified the original ex-Donnybrook materials. Re-inforced concrete has been cast in Dinas North Yard for the culverts on Phase 3.

 

Carriage Shed

A pit was excavated in the carriage shed in the track nearer to the main line during July/August. The carriage shed was out of use during this time.

 

S1_BWH2-8-02D.JPG (69139 bytes)

This northerly view (2/8/02) shows work underway by FR contractors on the carriage shed pit at Dinas. The pit will make inspection and maintenance of rolling stock much easier. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

No. 133 progress

Loco No. 133 has been on the back burner for a while after its eviction from the loco shed. It has now been shunted again and is stored outside the carriage shed in the dock road. Its partner, No. 131, is still stabled in the bay platform by the buffer stops.

 

S1_BWH3-6-02G.JPG (58573 bytes)

This easterly view (3/6/02) shows No.133 is its disassembled state in the 'loading dock' siding. the loco has plastic covering on its chimney to prevent water access. Some paintwork has been done as the smokebox is black and the cabside blue. The frame of the large tender is stored in the long siding north of the carriage shed. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide taken using Sigma SA300 SLR. Scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 96dpi.

 

Goods shed C&W shop

The Museum has been closed in 2002 and some items of rolling stock removed as few people get off at Dinas and security is a problem at weekends. The museum track is being used for C&W work.

 

S1_BWH3-6-02F.JPG (45288 bytes)

This view inside Dinas Goods shed (3/6/02) shows its new use as a C&W shop. New signs are also being manufactured. A small team of volunteers is on site attending to rolling stock. Only the De Winton vertical boiler loco remains of the former extensive museum collection. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide taken by Sigma SA300 SLR. Scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide displayed at 96dpi.

 

Wagon repairs

Wagon repairs on six of the seven B wagons were undertaken over the Summer ready for the Super Power Weekend in September, when mixed trains were promised. The work took place in Dinas North yard outside the Goods Shed.

 

S1_BWH18-8-02B.JPG (69396 bytes)

This southerly view (18/8/02) shows the rusty state of the B wagons before the attention of volunteers. Four wagons were repainted prior to these final two being shunted into the yard. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

S1_BWH14-4-02A.JPG (55561 bytes)

This northerly view (14/4/02) shows work completed on the first of four wagons to be repainted for the Super Power weekend in September 2002. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

S1_BWH2-8-02B.JPG (73750 bytes)

This westerly view (2/8/02) shows two wagons completed and stabled in the bay at Dinas. The wagons were fitted with FR couplings and vacuum tanks and had their brakes checked for a rolling test by 26/8/02. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

South Yard plans

A number of ideas have been floated for new rolling stock facilities at South Yard with the arrival of the second rake and K1 due in the next several months. All of the plans centre on the difficulty of using the existing Engine Shed. The problem is that access to the shed is off the Dinas to Waunfawr section. This mean that both tokens must be in the driver's possession when the loco is prepared in the morning and put to bed at night.

One possibility is to have a point off the end of the southbound loop and construct a new track alongside Lon Eifion around the west side of the site of former Engine Shed (now the WHR workshop). The problem with this idea is that Lon Eifion would have to be diverted as there is insufficient space under the bridge for two tracks and the cyclepath.

 

S1_BWH3-6-02C.JPG (85287 bytes)

This northerly view (3/6/02) shows Prince leading the Heritage rake through the cutting approaching the main road bridge OB1 at Dinas. There is a speed limit of 10mph at this location. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

There could be space for a roundhouse with a turntable in South Yard. Volunteer accommodation could be provided above the roundhouse. Alternatively, an additional carriage shed could be constructed here as the existing Carriage Shed is already full with current rolling stock.

A second possibility is to extend one of the bay platform tracks through the area east of the Dinas station building, on the alignment of the original WHR and under the road bridge. This would involve making a level crossing near the Goods Shed for pedestrian access to the platforms. Unfortunately, an exit through the new wall built across the alignment here is required. This idea requires the purchase of the remainder of the Welsh Water shed south of the road bridge but this could be cheaper than building new facilities.

The existing shed could accommodate two tracks with two coaches on each track. One track could be a through road into the engine maintenance shed, making the preparation of locos and trains a much easier job. The existing Engine Shed headshunt could be disconnected from the main line. It would be possible to have an awning on the west side of the shed for a further two or three coaches. This shed is on the site of the original WHR carriage shed.   

 

Cae Wernlasddu siding

The pw siding at Cae Wernlasddu is likely to be retained as of July 2001. The turnout still has a 10 mph restriction in place. Access by road to remove the point was impossible due to F&M restrictions. The site has been largely emptied and the ballast pile removed but the site still retains a pile of sleepers and some Jubilee track panels. Ballast piles also remain at Cae Moel and Cyrnant.

By the end of October, the siding had been lifted and a wagon was stabled on the stub. The removal of the point will lift a long standing 10mph restriction on the middle of the long bank up to Tryfan Junction. The point was moved to Rhyd Ddu and installed for the temporary loco shed siding on 6-7/4/02.

 

Tryfan Junction

T56.jpg (56008 bytes)

This view from the Gala shows Russell on loan from Gelert's Farm, approaching Tryfan Junction with a southbound midday service. The loco had assistance from Taliesin but is seen powering up the grade past Cae Hen with an impressive exhaust beat and a tower of smoke. This image was featured on the front cover of  Snowdon Ranger No. 30. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

No work is envisaged at Tryfan Junction for the time being though the railway is co-operating with the local authorities on establishing a footpath/cycleway over the former Bryngwyn branch. A halt may be established at Tryfan Junction utilising the old station building if this comes to fruition.

The foundations of the old NWNGR signal box have been exposed and retained. This is now likely to be a volunteer project for the WHRS. In the original plans, the WHLR's engineer hoped that a short siding could be accommodated terminating at the box from the east.

The Welsh Highland Heritage Group would like to build a two bed volunteer hostel here with the remainder being used for a visitor facility for the proposed Bryngwyn Branch permissive path. This assumes a halt will be constructed here. Stone from the demolition of the old Bryn Gloch bridge could be used.

 

Bryngwyn Branch cycle path

GCC has agreed with the FR to allow the Rhostryfan to Bryngwyn section of the branch to be converted to a cycleway as a permitted path. Clearance of undergrowth started in February ahead of the closed season when birds nest. Previously, the Rhostryfan bridge area had been cleared. The works are paid for under the Slate Valleys initiative and landfill taxes. The work will not preclude any future rebuilding of the railway along the branch.

Further negotiations are underway about the section from Rhostryfan to Tryfan Junction. In the longer term, the old station at Tryfan Junction may be rebuilt and a halt provided for cyclists. The route provides a wide variety of original NWNGR architecture, gates and fencing that have been lost from the main line during the modernisation of the route in the last few years.

 

Tan-yr-allt

The sharp curve just east of Tan-yr-allt l/c (LC14), known as Aspinall's curve, is showing signs of wear on the outside rail. This is after a period of monitoring agreed with the FR. The wear is not surprising as the curve is one of the sharpest on the railway at 75m radius. According to Spoornet track laying data (SAR), gauge widening should occur on a curve as tight as this.

Some volunteers have been concerned about the lack of super-elevation on the railway as a whole. However, WHLR engineers have decided to widen the gauge by 12 mm to 610mm, with transition curves each side of 9mm. Non standard clips will be required for the transition curves but the railway has a supply of 610mm clips already.

 

Waunfawr

With work complete on the station, emphasis moves on to constructing the new line beyond the gate at the end of the headshunt at Ch. 5880. The line is fenced off to the start of the woods at Ch. 6300 with wood top fencing due to grazing animals. However, horses were still being allowed to graze on this section of the trackbed as late as 28/10/00.

A siding is planned off the northbound (east) track, currently used as a run round loop, although it seems this will not be an early priority. The RH point for the siding will be near the north end of the loop, and the siding (if built) might extend along the property boundary towards the yard gate but clear of the pipeline. Work to tidy up Waunfawr has now been completed with the yard fenced off and the cutting turfed.

 

S1_6.JPG (56944 bytes)

This northerly view (23/10/00) from Waunfawr platform shows Caernarfon Castle running around its train. The yard to the right has been levelled and tidied up, with fencing separating it from the running track and turf finish to the cutting. The fireman is busy preparing to change the points as soon as the loco is clear. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

Betws Garmon station site has now been cleared and this is to be the key point for delivering materials for the 18-month push to complete Phase 3 rather than Waunfawr. In the meantime, the long headshunt at Waunfawr allows a train to be locked out behind a trackblock.

W63.JPG (85955 bytes)

This southerly view (16/9/00) shows Taliesin and Mountaineer leaving Waunfawr for Caernarfon with the Heritage set on the Gala weekend. The point (and facing point lock) will be removed when Phase 3 is complete to be replaced by a trailable point as employed at Dinas loop. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

   

Waunfawr footbridge

Erection of the footbridge commenced in February after the galvanised steelwork was delivered unpainted from Dinas North Yard.  The four main beams across the tracks and all the columns were erected before the reopening of passenger services on 18/2/01. The side spans were not completed until the weekday possessions became available in March.

The WHRS has presented the final 10,000 donation to the WHLR (40,000 in all) but this is not sufficient to rebuild the station buildings.

The car park itself was cleared in March and made up to hard standing with quarry waste. Large rocks originally delineated the boundary between the WHR car park and the Snowdonia Park Hotel pub car park. However, these were removed for Easter. At the far side of the bridge, steps will give access to the caravan site toilets when completed.

Scaffolding, provided by contractors Bryan Green, extended over the southbound line at Easter. After trial fitting of the first panel seen above, the woodwork  towards the island platform steps by Easter although no progress was visible on the steps or decking. The bridge is being painted in oxide undercoat and a grey undercoat with gloss black finish.

 

S1-300.JPG (59160 bytes)

This easterly view (19/5/01) of the car park end of the footbridge shows the steps leading onto the bridge. These have been constructed from formwork and poured concrete. The steps are not in line with the bridge as there is an angle of about 45 degrees towards the pub car park. The step walls are clad in local stone. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

S1-301.JPG (67178 bytes)

This easterly view (19/5/01) shows the bridge parapets stretching half way across the bridge. Scaffolding has moved to the centre pier and the run round loop. There has been no progress on the steps to the island platform. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

A Lleyn youth training agency is providing the labour to cut the hardwood for the parapets to size and profile. The diagonal woodwork will have a mesh stapled to it to make the bridge safe for children. More volunteer work has seen the painting nearing its final gloss black finish.

By 20/8/01, the bridge was  nearing completion, although some parapets were still missing on the platform stairs section. The galvanised mesh is quite unobtrusive and was being attached on that date. The two side panels over each track have being boarded as a safety measure against engines blowing off as they pass under the bridge. Smoke deflectors have also be fitted as at Dinas road bridge. The bridge stairs have been fitted with handrails on one side. Lighting hoops will be provided at the head of each stairway. Finally, the car park has been levelled to the bottom step and there has been some improvement to the disabled access via the level crossing.

The bridge was closed after the brief opening for the Heritage Weekend and by late October the final steps and hand rails were being erected at the campsite end of the bridge. These parapets and mesh panels appeared completed at the end of December but lighting hoops and hand rails had not been installed.

 

S1_BWH14-4-02B.JPG (68708 bytes)

This easterly view (19/5/01) of the car park end of the footbridge shows the completed steps and lighting hoops. The bridge was opened w/e 27/4/02. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

Stair handrails were being fitted by 1/3/02 though the bridge was still not in use (officially). The three hoops were delivered to Waunfawr yard and fitted to the bridge in the week after Easter. The black hoops are fitted to the top of each stair. The three lights were fitted and were working during the daytime on 14/4/02. The footbridge was finally opened during the week ending 27/4/02. Low energy light bulbs are fitted and by 4/5/02 a timer switch had been fitted.

The bridge was passed for access to the platforms by the HMRI after the lighting received approval.

 

S1_BWH4-5-02A.JPG (59850 bytes)

This northerly view (4/5/02) shows the view from the Waunfawr footbridge. Millennium is stabled next to the bridge when a layover is timetabled at Waunfawr. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes from a slide taken using a Sigma SA300SLR. Slide scanned at 200 dpi using Olympus ES10 and iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S1-401.JPG (67289 bytes)

This southerly view (29/5/01) shows No. 143 running round under the Waunfawr footbridge. Work has now  extended over the northbound track although the steps to the island platform remained to be completed. The following day an early morning works train delivered the remaining parts including brackets that need to be welded to the structure for the parapets. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

By mid-August new fencing was erected in the car park to separate off the wheelchair access to the station l/c from the footbridge access. New poles were erected for signage. The mobile toilet next to the l/c was moved inside the railway boundary.

 

S1_BWH9-2-02.JPG (64015 bytes)

This southerly view (9/2/02) shows No.143 running round at Waunfawr headshunt. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Sigma SA300 SLR camera and scanned using Olympus ES10. Image post processed using iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology and displayed at 96dpi.

 

S1_BWH4-6-02A.JPG (57650 bytes)

This northerly view (4/6/02) shows Caernarfon Castle waiting at Waunfawr with the new evening service. This summer dated service offers new lighting angles. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr water tower

The water tower valve mechanism and swing arm was completed over winter. The first trains to use the supply were on 18/2/01 with the start of the 2001 operating season. A butterfly valve has been fitted recently to improve reliability, though the water tower is not used often.

 

S1_9.JPG (52240 bytes)

This northerly view (27/10/00) shows Caernarfon Castle on its train stopped near Waunfawr water tower, which still had scaffolding work underway at this time. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

S1_BWH18-8-02A.JPG (72103 bytes)

This northerly view (18/8/02) shows Prince at Waunfawr water tower with newly restored ex-WHR coach No.23 leading the three coach rake. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Image taken using Samsung Digimax230 digital camera and post processed using  iPhoto Plus4 image correction technology. Image displayed at 96dpi.

 

Trackworks

Daily inspections of the track continue and, for a while, many of the track gang members were retained to improve the quality of the ride as was done with Phase 1. Dipped joints and twists have been a particular problem.

Work will also take place to upgrade the track on the Phase 1 works. Generally trains will run at up to 25 mph, though perhaps at reduced speed through pointwork and in the platforms.

Track has deteriorated a little since the line was opened but will be improved to top quality when the Matisa Tamper appears.

However, with tighter curves on the ex-NWNG section and narrow clearances on bridges, there will always be some speed restrictions. There is a 10mph restriction through OB1 at Dinas and around the sharp curve at LC14.

 

S1_8.JPG (63464 bytes)

This northerly view (27/10/00) at Cae Moel shows Caernarfon Castle, mainstay of the Autumn weekday service, running towards Waunfawr. The ride has noticeably improved following extensive trackwork. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10 & iPhoto Plus4. Slide scanned at 200dpi.

 

Rail deliveries

The FR borrowed the remaining SAR rail from Cae Wernlasddu siding as their own order for SAR had not arrived in time for operation Claptrap 5 in January. The FR's new SAR rail arrived in February and was delivered direct to Waunfawr in time for the start of tracklaying south from Waunfawr on 3/3/01. The flat bottom rail came in bundles of five 18 metre lengths of 30 kg/m specification. The Waunfawr stockpile was duly used up by 16/4/01.

More rail was delivered to Waunfawr just after Easter 2001. Some was used for tracklaying to Betws Garmon and some later transferred to Rhyd Ddu for tracklaying over the Winter of 2001. The remainder was moved to Cae Hywel on 8/8/02 for tracklaying through Bryn Gloch. New rail deliveries in September 2002 are likely to go to Cae Hywel, Snowdon Ranger or Plas-y-nant worksites.

 

S1-901.JPG (66097 bytes)

This southerly view from Waunfawr level crossing (15/9/01) shows Upnor Castle stabled on the new line beyond the stopblocks. Top ballast has being added to the new line for a short length but the loco is prohibited from the section to Betws Garmon until the line is tamped. Click on the image to enlarge. This image is copyright B.W.Hughes. Slide scan technology utilised is Olympus ES10

 

Click here to view next page-Waunfawr-Betws Garmon station area

 

Click here to return to Stop Press page

 

Site development

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

Comments

Please add comments in my Guestbook.

Click here for Guestbook

 

Page Version 3.17 Dated 8/12/02