Welsh Highland Railway

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News (20/6/19)

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Star Picture

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows No.87 being dragged from Boston Lodge to Dinas following failure on 16/9/17 with a frame problem. Vale of Ffestiniog provides the traction at 1040 approaching Summit Cutting at Pont Cae'r Gors. The weather had improved from that of the dismal SuperPower weekend. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welcome to Version 4 of this website, launched on September 8 2004 with news about work on Phase 4 of the WHR scheme. In addition to this Stop Press page and a Phase 1/2 page, there are 9 location pages, covering the Phase 3 works between Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu. There are a further 9 pages covering Phase 4, the full route through Beddgelert, the Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog, including the Traeth Mawr to Pen-y-Mount works recently constructed by the WHHR with three regularly updated map links for this area by Laurence Armstrong.

Finally, there are pages covering 'Phase 5', Views from the Line, the history of the abandoned PBSSR works around Beddgelert, Archived News and a Contacts page for volunteers. Another page covers the current operation of the WHHR southwest from Pen-y-Mount.

 

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The above OS map shows the route through the Aberglaslyn Pass and Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge. Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Click here to use the free OS Get-a-map service.

Route section pages

Listed below are links to pages featuring progress on different sections of the line or archive views. Jump ahead to News section or follow the section links from page to page. Please note that access to the links below was restored on 2/9/04 at the new website www.isengard.co.uk

 

Phase 4 pages

Rhyd Ddu to Pont Cae'r Gors (updated 29/6/06)

Pont Cae'r Gors to Hafod Ruffydd Halt (new 8/10/06)

Hafod Ruffydd Halt to Beddgelert Forest Halt (updated 4/12/06)

Beddgelert Forest Halt to Beddgelert Station (updated 1/7/07)

Beddgelert Station Area (updated 30/6/07)

Beddgelert Station to Bryn-y-felin (updated 1/7/07)

Aberglaslyn Pass (updated 2/7/07)

Nantmor to Pont Croesor (updated 16/7/07)

Pont Croesor to Pen-y-Mount (updated 1/4/07)

WHHR (Porthmadog) (updated 1/4/07)

Porthmadog Cross Town Link (updated1/4/07)

 

Other pages

'Phase 6' page (new 2/4/06)

Views from the Line Page (updated 26/2/05)

PBSSR Works Historical Page (updated 25/3/05)

Rhyd Ddu Opening Page (New 14/2/04)

Archived News Page (updated 6/6/19)

Snow Scenes (updated 10/12/18)

Rolling Stock News Page (updated 28/12/04)

Phase 4 News Page (updated 3/3/05)

Volunteer Contact details page (updated 18/5/16)

Phase 2 and 3 page list (updated 27/8/08)

Video list (new 9/11/15)

Access to Phase 2 pages is currently being progressed.

 

If you would like an automated announcement of site updates, email me at the NEW (2013) address below replacing the letters 'dot' with a full stop

Isengard@talktalkdotnet

This has been introduced as an anti-spam feature.

Disclaimer

There has never been any intent by myself to suggest that the views on these pages represent the views, opinions or policy of the F&WHR, the WHRCL or the WHRS.

I am happy to confirm that this is an INDEPENDENT web news service.

 

Stop Press!!

New construction images/text will be posted on a regular basis.

New text in RED!

 

News Section

WHR timetables

Click here for Laurence Armstrong's latest WHR North map dated 5/11/07

Click here for Laurence Armstrong's latest WHR Middle map dated 14/3/10

Click here for Laurence Armstrong's latest WHR South map dated 14/3/10

Click here for Mike Schumann's Phase 4 TWA maps courtesy of Steve Harris/WHRS

Click here for John Sreeves Gradient profile courtesy of Steve Harris/WHRS

Click here for Chainages and OS Map Reference

 

Summer holiday 20/6/19

Your webmaster is off on summer holiday from 20/6/19 so there will be no updates until the end of June.

 

Extra Gala event 21/6/19

During the evening of Friday 21/6/19 there will be an extra event for the WHR: Past, Present and Future Gala. There will be a gathering of WW1 locos at Harbour Station, featuring Hunslet WDLR No.303, Baldwin Moelwyn, Simplex Mary Ann and a surprise appearance from ALCO Mountaineer. Only No.303 and Moelwyn are capable of moving under their own power but they will be pottering about and posing for photos with the other locos and some wagons between 18:00 and 20:00.

 

No.130 update 2-19/6/19

By 2/6/19 the crinoline frame had been formed and trial fitted to the boiler. Progress should improve after a new WHR recruit started work on the firebox.

By 8/6/19 the tanks and cab had been sent off the Boston Lodge for finishing off and top coat painting in black. They are expected back soon.

By 10/6/19 the crinoline frame was removed as there was some remedial work identified to rivets on the foundation ring.

By 19/6/19 the remedial boiler work was complete with the boiler on a stand to allow easy access in the North Yard by the Goods Shed. The boiler needed to be taken out for 12 suspect material rivets to be replaced. Northern Steam Engineering attended and promptly and efficiently changed them and on Tuesday 18/6/19, it was hydraulically tested again with BES present, and all was well. The boiler will be put back into the frames on Friday 21/6/19, ending an unwelcome hold up in completing the loco.

See No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

Hunslet No. 303 10/6/19

WD Hunslet 1215 now carries the No.303. The loco will feature on all three days of the upcoming WHR Past Present and Future Gala.

 

This westerly view (10/6/19) shows Hunslet WD loco now numbered No.303 (Works No.1215) ready to haul a WHR test train from Porthmadog. Note the unusual coupling. This loco was completed last year but just missed its planned appearance at the Hunslet Gala event. 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.

 

Chaloner's epic run 16/6/19

In preparation for its use at the upcoming Past, Present and Future Gala, De Winton 'coffeepot' loco Chaloner made a long distance run from Dinas to Boston Lodge on 16/6/19 after appearing at the opening of Caernarfon Station on 14/6/19.

 

This northerly view (16/6/19) shows Chaloner passing Waunfawr with an FR wagon in tow. There had been an official opening ceremony for the station two days earlier. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/6/19) shows Chaloner passing through the Beddgelert Forest. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (16/6/19) shows Chaloner crossing the Bryn-y-felin bridge with FR wagon No.85 in tow carrying staff. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge open for Gala event ticket holders 22-23/6/19

The three day event will be based at the south end of the line. For full details and booking forms see F&WHR website.

On each of the three days of the event Russell will pass through the Aberglaslyn Pass 6 times, taking 10 minutes to couple up at Pen-y-Mount from F/S/Su 0955/1020/0830 and dropping off there F/S/Su at 1705/1730/1830 (the final Gala working). The intermediate trips will be Beddgelert-Pont Croesor trips to reduce the occupation of Cae Pawb NR Crossing.

Strangely there are no WHR Caernarfon trains on Friday but the Gala offers two Porthmadog-Beddgelert trips with Palmerston and the Colonel Stephens set and three trips with the Vintage set between Porthmadog and Pont Croesor hauled by WD No.1215 and Moelwyn. Taliesin and Lyd will double head the missing Baldwin's two vintage sets from Porthmadog to Beddgelert.

Saturday sees additional trains with three trips by Taliesin and Lyd double heading the missing Baldwin's Vintage set from Porthmadog to Beddgelert. Understandably, the regular yellow timetable Caernarfon workings will not call at the short Pen-y-Mount junction platform 3 which is only suitable for short rakes on Gala days at the moment. There will be five shuttles to Boston Lodge hauled by No.1215 and Palmerston which will also work two trips to Pont Croesor.  

Sunday sees similar workings for Russell and the Baldwin substitutes but an additional 1920s Vintage Train hauled by Chaloner and Palmerston from Porthmadog to Pont Croesor. The Vintage shuttles will be hauled by No.1215 and Moelwyn with three trips Porthmadog to Pont Croesor and two trips to Boston Lodge before dropping off Moelwyn and hauling a third return trip Porthmadog-Pont Croesor. The Colonel Stephens set will then be used hauled by Palmerston and Moelwyn on a couple of final Boston Lodge shuttles.

Boston Lodge Works will be open between 10:30 and 15:30 on Saturday and Sunday to event ticket holders only via special shuttles to Boston Lodge halt. Displays will include Kerr Stuart No.KS4415, Welsh Pony, new FR Fairlie James Spooner and the new WHR Observation Carr. No.2152 Gwyrfai. There will also be displays of information on the background and progress of the Boston Lodge Heritage/Development projects. FR trains will not stop at the halt and no foot/road access is permitted.

 

Old/New loco shed 17/6/19

The old Boston Lodge Loco Shed was used for loco preparation on 17/6/19 to allow the new Pen Cob junction to be commissioned. There was an 8 hour slot for the commissioning of the repositioned junction and its connections in Boston Lodge yard. See F&WHR Insider Facebook page for video and photos of event.

 

This easterly view (17/6/19) shows locos being prepared outside the old Loco Shed at Boston Lodge for service with Vale of Ffestiniog apparently back in traffic after inspection for the RAIB analysis of Beddgelert run through. No.143 is being prepared for the 10:50 departure to Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (17/6/19) shows Merddin Emrys crossing the new Pen Cob junction at the end of a day's work as the first loco to enter Boston Lodge via the new route. This completes the Winter Works programme. 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.

 

The Snowdonian Limited 15/6/19

As The Snowdonian Limited was using the Garratts on its famous non-stop run, the 1420 from Caernarfon utilised Taliesin and Merddin Emrys on the normal Blue timetable 1420 from Caernarfon. Images of The Snowdonian Limited and the substitute locos used on the WHR would be welcomed for publication.

 

This westerly view (17/6/19) shows Taliesin and Merddin Emrys crossing Britannia Bridge on the standard WHR 1420n service from Caernarfon. This unusual combination was substituting from the Garratts which were used on The Snowdonian Limited working. 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

 

North Wales mainline report 17/6/19

The Valley Nuclear Flask traffic continues on an almost daily basis. Nos.68003/16 hauled the train on 17/6/19. On 12/6/19 the train was hauled by Nos.88005/8. Meanwhile Nos.67001/12 top and tailed an SRPS Glenrothes-Llandudno excursion on 15/6/19.

 

WD No.303 calls at Pen-y-Mount 16/6/19

Trains will call at Pen-y-Mount junction (platform 3) during the Past, Present and Future Gala on 21-23/6/19. Gala tickets include travel on the WHHR. Hopefully the Pen-y-Mount platform will continue to be available as a request stop after the Gala.

 

This easterly view (16/6/19) shows Hunslet WD No.303 calling at Pen-y-Mount during its two trips to Beddgelert on Sunday Specials. The loco will also appear at the Past Present and Future Gala a week later. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon/Waunfawr stations opened 14/6/19

EU money contributed to the building of the £3 million Caernarfon station that was opened by Sir Peter Luff, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Sir Dafydd Wigley opened Waunfawr station. Chaloner was present at the Caernarfon opening celebrating the link with the De Winton works across the road. See Daily Post and North Wales Chronicle report.

 

Baldwin missing from final line up 13/6/19

Taliesin and Lyd are now scheduled to replace Baldwin No.608 during WHR : Past, Present & Future Gala, which takes place from 21-23/6/19. This will disappoint enthusiasts who hoped to reprise historical tableaux of Russell and the Baldwin at Beddgelert for the first time in over 80 years, which promised to be the highlight of the 2019 Narrow Gauge Calendar. Despite immense efforts by the ‘Baldwin 608’ team, the loco is not quite ready to make its F&WHR debut at this event as we had hoped. Instead we will be hosting a future visit from this locomotive, once its eagerly anticipated restoration is fully completed. This follows a similar situation last year where the promised Hunslet WD loco was not quite ready for the Hunslet Gala, however that loco is now available and will attend the Past, Present and Future Gala this year.

There is another similar working Baldwin (No.778) at the Leighton Buzzard Railway but it seems time is too short to arrange the loan/transport. This loco has previously appeared at the WHHR.

General Manager Paul Lewin said: “We have to thank the ‘608’ team for the enormous effort that they have put in, endeavouring to have the loco ready for this event. Unfortunately, it is always difficult to be sure how long a restoration will take, particularly on a loco that has not seen service for so many years. We are looking forward to welcoming the loco in the future, but - in the meantime - we now have the opportunity for more of our own fleet to be seen operating alongside Russell, with increased photographic opportunities."

 

Free Gala car parking and bus link 21-23/6/19

In anticipation of the large crowds expected at the Past Present and Future Gala, free parking and a free bus link have been arranged at the Porthmadog football club on the bypass. Let's hope there is no repeat of the flooding seen at the No.6 Festival in 2016.

For full details see F&WHR Facebook page.

 

Hunslet WD 303 on test 13/6/19

These southerly views (13/6/19) shows Hunslet WD No.303 at Porthmadog Harbour Station, on test ready for its two trips to Beddgelert on Sunday 16/6/19. The loco will also appear at the Past Present and Future Gala a week later. 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.

 

WHHR services during 21-23/6/19 Gala

The WHHR will be operating services during the Past, Present and Future Gala 21-23/6/19 with Russell taking one trip to Pen-y-Mount. Russell will shunt onto the front of Prince's train so passengers from the WHHR will have to detrain at Pen-y-Mount Junction platform2 and cross to the new WHR platform 3 to join the train to Beddgelert. Britomart will be lent to the WHHR for the period of the Gala. Train services on the WHHR are free to those holding Gala tickets. The WHHR will have their Engine Shed museum and displays open over the weekend. The footpath access to Pen-y-Mount will be closed over the weekend so passengers can only travel there by train.

 

WHHR Gala timetable 21-23/6/19 courtesy WHHR.

 

Work starts on Castell Caernarfon 5/6/19

This westerly view 5/6/19) shows Castell Caernarfon at Boston Lodge, stripped of its bonnets and cab and readied for a major rewire. 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.

 

East Anglian Group meeting 13/6/19

An out of course East Anglian Group meeting takes place on Thursday 13/6/19 with Dave Waldren showing slides of the Cambrian Coast VoR and W&LLR.

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.

 

Waunfawr Station building handed over 5/6/19

Waunfawr station building has been completed and handed over. It will be opened officially on Friday 14/6/19 on the same day as Caernarfon station building. The temporary wooden facilities at the north end will be removed in due course and reused at other locations.

 

This northerly view 5/6/19) shows the completed Waunfawr station building. The station has been finished to a high standard in NWNGR/WHR period style similar to Dinas. 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.

 

War Department Hunslet special to Beddgelert 16/6/19

Hunslet No.1215 missed the Hunslet Gala last year but has arrived early this year. It will be used on a fund raising trip round trip to Beddgelert ahead of the 'Past Present and Future' Gala on 21-23/6/19 with a round-trip through the Aberglaslyn Pass on Sunday 16/6/19. The locomotive is visiting the F&WHR by kind permission of the War Office Locomotive Trust. One hundred and fifty-five locomotives were built by Hunslet for the war effort in a period of just over three years making them one of the most numerous narrow gauge types. After the war they saw further service all over the world. A few of the locomotives were used in the UK, none of which survived. Following the repatriation of locomotive No.1215 from Australia, the War Office Locomotive Trust team have painstakingly rebuilt the locomotive including building a new boiler.

The trains run from Porthmadog at 11:15 and 15:00 with returns at 12:45 and 16:25 respectively. Tickets for these special trains are available from the Porthmadog Booking Office - in person or by phone on 01766 516024...Adults £25.00 ... Children £12.50 but there will be limited seating on these trains so it is best to book early.

 

North Wales News 6/6/19

No.45690 Leander worked an excursion to Holyhead on 6/6/19. Nos. 88004/8 hauled the Valley Nuclear Flasks on 5/6/19.

 

Chirk GVR station 4/6/19

Good progress with the Glyn Valley Tramway at Chirk has cleared most of the double track station site. See Glyn Valley Railway Trust Facebook page for images.

 

'Past Present and Future' Gala timetables

These are now available at the F&WHR website. Click on Friday 21/6/19 to Sunday 23/6/19 timetables to view. Locos are not yet shown allocated to trains but Russell joining the train at Pen-y-mount is shown. the event is focussed on the section between Boston Lodge and Beddgelert with four heritage rakes. Perhaps surprisingly only the standard two return trips will operate beyond Beddgelert to Caernarfon.

 

No.130 update 2/6/19

The crinoline supports for the boiler cladding have now been added to No.130. In recent weeks the two bogies had been painted and lubrication pipework was nearing completion. See No.130 Facebook page for full details.

 

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 14/5/19

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 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.

 

Special Events 2019

1/1/19 Final WHR Mince Pie Special (Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu twice daily)
15-22/2/19 Felinheli and Chaloner historical display at King's Cross
16-28/2/19 February Half Term Purple MFX service Porthmadog-Beddgelert
2-28/3/19 March Orange service MTFX Porthmadog-Hafod-y-llyn 
30/3/19 Start of new season services from Caernarfon to Porthmadog
13/4/19 'The Snowdonian' with Lyd and Lyn
14/4/19 Two L&B Specials Lyn hauled from Porthmadog to Beddgelert
17-19/5/19 Rail-Ale 15th Annual Beer Festival based at Dinas
15/6/19 The Snowdonian Limited-a limited stop re-run of The Snowdonian
21-23/6/19 WHR 'Past, Present and Future' including Russell, WD1215 and Baldwin No.605. WHRS AGM 22/6/19
4-25/8/19 Sundays Journey to the Past special Dinas-Rhyd Ddu possibly with Prince or Baldwin No.605 and two heritage coaches with an extended stop at Tryfan Junction for refreshments, including packed lunch
4-6/10/19 FR Victorian Weekend (may include some WHR events)
7-8/12/19 WHR Santa Specials (routes to be confirmed)
14-15/12/19 WHR Santa Specials (routes to be confirmed)
21-22/12/19 WHR Santa Specials (routes to be confirmed)

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2018

Keeping the permanent way, in particular, and the infrastructure in general, fit for trains to run is an essential task. Volunteers have a lot to offer by assisting with this. We have a mix of weekend and weekday working parties. The Black Hand, Tuesday Gang and Rest of the World Gangs will be very glad to accept your help. Contact the relevant organiser to let him know when you plan to join us. Please do not just turn up as that makes it difficult for us to plan ahead.

The programme for 2019 is as follows:

January 5-6/1/19 12-17/1/19WW 19-20/1/19    
February 2-3/2/19 9-14/2/19WW 16-17/2/19    
March 2-3/3/19 9-14/3/19WW 16-17/3/19   30-31/3/19
April     13-14/3/19   27-28/4/19
May   11-12/5/19 18-23/5/19WW 25-26/5/19^  
June   8-9/6/19   22-23/6/19  
July   6-7/7/19 13-18/7/19WW 20-21/7/19  
August 3-4/8/19   17-18/8/18   31/8/19-
September -1/9/198 7-12/9/19WW 15-16/9/19   29-30/9/19
October     12-13/10/19   26-27/10/19
November 2-7/11/19WW! 9-10/11/19   23-24/11/18 30-/11/19WW!
December -5/12/19WW! 7-8/12/19      

^ Bank Holiday weekend

! Subject to confirmation when the Winter Major Works Programme is available

WW-Working week Saturday-Thursday

The Tuesday Gang expects to be operating most Tuesdays.

Arrangements may change so contact the working party organiser before you commit yourself to joining us just to make sure.

Contacts

If you intend to join one of the weekend or Tuesday gangs, please contact the appropriate organiser. If you are interested in weekday working or have any queries about track work volunteering, please contact Paul Bradshaw.

Tuesday Gang:

Contact Tony Baker for details. Phone: 01492 874579 Email: SPUDDY43@aol.com

North Wales Black Hand Gang (BHG):Dafydd Thomas Phone: 01248 681019 Email: dthomas@ffwhr.com

Rest of The World Gang (ROWG):Paul Bradshaw Phone: 01766 770034 Email: pbradshaw@ffwhr.com

If you intend to join one of the weekend or Tuesday Gang days, please contact the appropriate organiser. If you are interested in weekday working or have any queries about track work volunteering, please contact Paul Bradshaw. See Contacts page.

 

Gradient graph

John Hopkins has contributed this image of the gradient profile of the WHR. It makes clear how much of a mountain we have climbed and how steep the drop through Beddgelert is. Maybe most of all, it reveals the challenge facing northbound trains after they stop at Beddgelert!

 

Gradient profile.JPG (319064 bytes)

This image is courtesy/copyright John Hopkins and is derived from data courtesy John Sreeves with additional work by Michael Bentley. Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Site development

If you have suggestions for development of this site, please contact me by email at the address at the top of the page.

 

Comments

If you would like to make a comment about this website, why not visit my Guestbook? If you have a correction or require a reply please leave your email address or, more simply, send an email directly to my email address shown near the top of this page, just after the list of links to other pages.

 

[Sign My Guestbook] [View My Guestbook] Powered by E-Guestbooks Server.

 

Maps & Plans and links

Click here for Steve Harris' /WHRS' full list of Historical Maps and Gradient Profiles

DVD material can be purchased from Jon Marsh who is the WHRS' (DVD Only) Mail Order officer. All other materials are now sold in the F&WHRS shop.

Click here for the Mail Order web page

Click here for the Official WHR website

Click here for Official WHHR site

Click here for FR Company websites

Click here for Welsh Highland Heritage Group

 

V4.3748 updated 20/6/19