Welsh Highland Railway

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V4.3755

News (14/8/19)

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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 4/7/19)

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  and other maps courtesy of WHRS

Click here for John Sreeves Gradient profile courtesy of WHRS

Click here for Chainages and OS Map Reference

 

Chaloner at Shrewsbury Flower show 10-11/8/19

Despite the forecast rain (particularly Sunday!) the crowds came to enjoy the F&WHR's offering of rides behind Chaloner in two bugboxes on track laid alongside the River Severn at Quarry Park, Shrewsbury. Temporary track had been laid on the riverside footpath by volunteers by 6/8/19. See F&WHR website.

 

This westerly view (9/8/19) shows Chaloner at the Shrewsbury Flower Show running on temporary track alongside the River Severn. 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 96dp

 

Archive views spot

Here are some more archive views from 30/8/95 before work commenced on the WHR.

 

This westerly view (30/8/95) shows Porthmadog Harbour station with an FR train hauled by Merddin Emrys about to set out for Blaenau Ffestiniog. The station has been radically altered in the last few years with the addition the WHR platform to the right. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (30/8/95) shows Prince shunting an FR whilst Merddin Emrys is ready to for Blaenau Ffestiniog a few minutes after the previous photo. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (30/8/95) from the trackbed of the incomplete PBSSR shows Bryn-y-felin bridge with the GC footbridge built over it to give access to the trackbed through the Aberglaslyn Pass to Nantmor. In the background the original Bryn-y-felin road bridge can be seen. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (30/8/95) shows Beddgelert depot complete with foundation of lamp hut, inspection pit and water tower. The Good's Shed on the far side of the line had been used as a loco shed on some occasion but all that remains is the foundation. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Journeys to the Past Sunday specials

The F&WHR/WHHG 'Journey to the Past' Sunday special train  is operating again this summer, but this year with an extended season after a successful trial run for four Saturdays last August. This year it is running for six Sundays, 4-25/8/19 and 15-22/9/19. The journey starts at 1030 at Caernarfon to meet the host before an 1100 departure, rather than Dinas as last year, giving chance for a snack in the De Winton Cafe. The trip includes a visit to Tryfan Junction and a picnic lunch at Rhyd Ddu. Trains will be hauled by Prince, hauling 3 heritage coaches, although the loco roster does not confirm this. See F&WHR website for full details.

 

Castell Caernarfon progress July

Work is underway at a fast pace now Castell Caernarfon has moved to Boston Lodge, freeing up the Dinas fitters to concentrate on completing Garratt No.87 (and new Garratt No.130!). The loco had seemed a low priority at Dinas. The Funkey was on ambulance bogies in July whilst work on its two power bogies was completed. The new gearbox that had languished at Dinas for two years is going in and brake gear refurbished. Splash guards are being provided to stop detritus being thrown off the wheels into the engine compartment. While the engine and transmission are in reasonable condition some attention is being given to the driven shafts.

A new feature is the fitting of an ex-BR Class 47 vacuum brake exhauster to replace the belt drive exhauster currently fitted. This will mean the engine does not need to rev up to raise the vacuum to a level sufficient to release the brakes. New airbrake cylinders have been fitted with inbuilt sprung parking brakes now doubt learning the lessons of the recent runaway by Vale of Ffestiniog through Beddgelert station on the 1 in 40 on 16/4/19.

The body work is nearly finished with painting of the fibreglass shell in green with 'go faster' yellow stripes. When first ordered by Consolidated Diamond Mines (Namibia), the Funkey was the first in the world to have a fibreglass body which allowed a more complex shape to be moulded.

 

KS4415 news 14/8/19

The refurbished radiator has been delivered from New quay Radiators. While the rest of the loco is not yet ready to receive it, it will be easy to fit when the volunteer group reach that stage. Nutexa Frictions has also returned the band brakes fitted with new brake linings following the removal of the unsafe asbestos brake linings.

 

North Wales mainline news

The Valley Nuclear Electric flask traffic continues unabated even though Wylfa is nearly empty of fuel rods. It cannot be long now before the last freight train on the North Wales Coast, a line that in recent years boasted freightliners to Holyhead, RTZ traffic to Holyhead, stone trains from Penmaenmawr etc.

On 14/8/19 Nos. 68034/88010 hauled two flasks.

Aberdeen based First Group and Trenitalia, the nationalised Italian State Railways company, is taking over the WCML franchise from Virgin and intends to offer a Llandudno-London service. Let's hope this is in addition to and not lead to a reduction in the current WCML trains to Holyhead that connect with ferries. Many enthusiasts will understand why our rail fares are so dear when we have to pay a profit to a foreign nationalised railway rather than paying our own nationalised railway (remember BR?) at cost!

Gobowen (for Oswestry) will be served by a new service via Wrexham putting a further strain on the single track Wrexham North Junction to Rossett. This replaces a London service lost when Wrexham and Shropshire pulled the plug back in 28/1/11. Interestingly this leaves the short section between Gobowen and Shrewsbury without a WCML service although it could be used as a diversionary route. Other new stations include Liverpool South Parkway and Walsall. Diesel Voyagers will be replaced by a more environmentally acceptable train! See Government Press release including new WCML Franchise Map.

Notice has been given by TfW that the Mark 4 coaches and DVT will replace the current Mark 3 coaches on the Class 67 hauled Holyhead-Cardiff services SSuX from 16/12/19. The services are 05:34, 11:34, 16:51 Holyhead-Cardiff Central and the return workings 07:02,11:24, 17:16 Cardiff Central-Holyhead. Many enthusiasts will regret the passing of the comfortable Mark III coaches in favour of the distinctly hard seats in the Mark 4s.

 

Caernarfon bypass news

Martin Kressman reports: The first girder for this bridge was lifted into place overnight on Monday 12/8/19.

 

Premier Inn Porthmadog

On 4/7/19 Premier Inn submitted a planning application to Gwynedd Council to convert the former Tax Offices on the site of Britannia Foundry into a Premier Inn which would be very convenient for the F&WHR. There is a Travelodge at the far end of town on the Ffordd Penamser with no associated restaurant. See GC Planning application.

 

Introducing Archive Views 12/8/19

After a sustained bout of progressively scanning old slides from 1970 onwards, slides from mid 1995 have now been reached. This was the period when the FR announced it was to buy up the WHR and reconstruct the route. Your webmaster who was producing a Channel Tunnel column for RAIL until August 1995, decided to get some 'before' images of the WHR and start covering the construction story even though it was 200 miles from home (the Channel Tunnel was a similar distance away!). Eventually, after a short period of coverage in Railway Magazine, this website appeared. There are many previously unpublished images to come.

 

This northerly view (30/8/95) from Ty'n Llan road bridge shows Dinas station site whilst still occupied by Welsh Water. The two platform faces can be seen either side of the Welsh Water access road. The original WHR Dinas station building is hidden between more modern construction on the right, since demolished. Cyclists are using the Lon Eifion trackbed cycleway which remained open to Hendy Crossing except for a short period during Phase 1, the construction of Dinas-Caernarfon section. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Normal news service will be restored now that the 1995 WHR archive slides have finally been reached.

 

Blaenau Reopening steam special 3/8/19

Following storm damage in March NR reopened the line from Llandudno Junction to Llanrwst for the National Eisteddfod on 18/7/19 and to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 24/7/19 restoring a public transport connect to the F&WHR from the North Wales Coast. TfW ran a special train with steam haulage (a first for TfW) from Chester to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 3/8/19 hauled by Nos. 48151/45690, courtesy of WCR, Carnforth.

NR used Roman Bridge yard as an access point for PW work on Blaenau section.

 

This northerly view (3/8/19) shows Linda and Taliesin in the FR headshunt while No. 45690 waits for the pilot loco to run round from the NR headshunt in Blaenau Ffestiniog. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/8/19) shows No.48151 easing past No.45190n in the FR headshunt while No. 45690 with 6 inches to spare!  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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/8/19) shows No.48151 alongside No.45190 in the FR headshunt while No. 45690 with 6 inches to spare with the FR's Phil Brown officiating on the FR side!  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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

See also Daily Post report.

 

Carriage Shed progress 3/8/19

There was good progress with the new Boston Lodge Carriage Shed to be seen by 3/8/19. All the steelwork at the west end appeared to have been erected though roofing remained to be completed.

 

Caernarfon Bypass news 8/8/19

Martin Kressman reports: A sign has appeared on the A487 between Caernarfon and Bontnewydd announcing overnight closures of the road between 22:15 and 05:00 on the nights of 12-14/8/19. Presumably this is to enable the Bailey Bridge to be erected.

Construction of the piers to support the Bailey Bridge carrying the bypass haul road over the A487 at the Meifod in Bontnewydd was well advanced on 25/7/19

 

North Wales main line news to 12/8/19

The Valley Nuclear Electric flask traffic has been more random recently as it nears an end.

22/7/19 Nos.68001/34

24/7/19 Nos.68008/88010

29/7/19 Nos. 880010/3

7/8/19 Nos. 68004/8

8/8/19 Nos. 88002/5

12/8/19 Nos.68001/4

Due to the Acton Grange blockade on the Manchester route the ManWAG set was not being used M-F from 22/7/19 for two weeks but was used on a Saturday relief on the North Wales Coast Crewe-Llandudno return, followed by Crewe-Holyhead return. It was intended to run the relief again on 27/7/19 and 10/8/19, with a Cardiff trip on Saturdays 3/8/19, 17/8/19 and 31/8/19.  It was unclear if No.67014 was staying on the set while it was sidelined from normal duties.

 

Moving Pictures 26/7/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 26 mins 43 seconds of video covering Castell Caernarfon and the WHR Gala. This YouTube was published on 26/7/19 and was taken by John Wooden on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

A498 Road closure postponed 1/8/19

Originally these roadworks would have seen the A498 from Capel Curig to Beddgelert closed between 8am and 5pm (approximately) for the first 4-5 working days of August. The closure will eventually be from the Pen-y-Gwryd to Llyn Gwynant but the road is too narrow and bendy for vehicles to safely pass the resurfacing works. The closure has been postponed until later in the year after concerns it would interfere with holiday traffic in the peak summer season.

The diversion is through Llanberis and will take an extra 30-40 minutes to reach Nantgwynant and Beddgelert.

When the work eventually starts the road will be open after approx 5pm and at weekends.

 

Castell Caernarfon progress 10/7/19

This southerly view (10/7/19) shows Castell Caernarfon receiving attention at Boston Lodge out in the open with Upnor Castle in the background. 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.

 

Conwy Valley branch to open early 18/7/19

The Conwy Valley Line will reopen to Llanrwst on 18/7/19 and be extended to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 24/7/19 in time for the National Eisteddfod at Llanrwst and school summer holiday traffic. TfW and NR are celebrating the reopening by hosting a steam trip from Chester to Blaenau on Saturday 3/8/19 with tickets being available from Monday 22/7/19. No.70000 Britannia is also due to haul a UK Railtours Irish Mail trip from London to Holyhead the same day, steam hauled from Crewe.

As part of the works on the Conwy Valley line, the speed limit at Maenan between Dolgarrog and Llanrwst has been restored from 30 to 45 mph though Dolgarrog station remains closed until the platform repair is complete. See BBC report, Daily Post report and NR Press release.

 

Last days of the Wylfa flasks

Freight traffic in North Wales Main Line will cease with the final nuclear flask traffic from Wylfa via the Valley Nuclear Electric siding. Traffic has become sporadic with the diagram currently shown as continuing to 13/12/19 as a Q path (as required). One of the latest runs was on Wednesday 10/7/19 and followed by another on Monday15/7/19.

 

This northerly view (10/7/19) shows No.88007 Electra leading 88004 Pandora passing Ffynnongroyw hauling three flasks. The light load is well within the power rating of these primarily AC electric locos which are also fitted with a Caterpillar 950 HP engine for use away from the catenary such as in this view. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge carriage shed update 11-12/7/19

This easterly view (12/7/19) shows progress with the new carriage shed on the made ground near the new sea wall. The parallel section of the steel structure is nearly complete with some progress made at both curved ends of the shed. Also visible are the steel uprights for the store rooms on the seaward side at each end. Most of the roof bars are present for the parallel section. In the yard Castell Caernarfon is present, strangely out in the open! Also a B wagon with coal and works shunter Moel-y-gest. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright John Rawlings and was taken on a drone digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (11/7/19) shows progress with the new Boston Lodge Carriage Shed on the made ground behind the new sea wall  Here the new stanchions can be seen on the curved entrance. 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 (11/7/19) shows progress with the new Boston Lodge Carriage Shed on the made ground behind the new sea wall. Here the new roof trusses are in place and the support bars for the steel sheeting roof. 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.

 

Gala images 21-23/6/19

This northerly view (21/6/19) shows WD Hunslet No.303 being prepared for duties on the shuttles. 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 westerly view (22/6/19) shows Russell taking water at Beddgelert at 1146 from the original water tower see in many archive photos. 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 northerly view (22/6/19) shows Lyd pausing at Pen-y-Mount Junction platform 3 whilst a young enthusiast records the scene on his video camera. 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 northerly view (22/6/19) shows Britomart top and tailed by Hugh Napier on FR bugboxes in the rarely used short platform 2 at the WHHR's Tremadog road terminus. 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.

 

Gala YouTube 21-23/6/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 3 mins 22 seconds of video covering Russell and the WHR Gala. This YouTube was published on 23/6/19 and was taken by Simon Roberts of SAY FILM PRODUCTIONS. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

WHR Gala YouTube 21-23/6/19 YouTube

Click on the YouTube link to watch 28 mins 56 seconds of video covering Russell and the WHR Gala. This YouTube was published on 26/6/19 and was taken by John Wooden on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

WHR Gala 23/6/19

The day dawned a little cloudier and some photographers decided to take the trains as photo opportunities were not as good. The bus link from Porthmadog football club was well patronised with calls at Tremadog Road for the WHHR, Porthmadog Harbour and Boston Lodge. Memories of the Festival No.6 at Portmerion getting stuck in the mud of The Traeth fields nearby in 2016 did not deter motorists as the Football Club Car Park is hard standing. Festival No.6 has taken a year off but had been running yearly since 2013. It is uncertain if it will return. See Festival No.6 statement.

It was a pity the siding at Beddgelert was not in use with some suitable freight stock stabled to add to the historical tableaux but the point groundframe is still not complete after being started 2/3 years ago or more!

 

This westerly view (23/6/19) shows ex WD HunsletNo.303 stabled at Porthmadog at 1132 on the shuttle rake . Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (23/6/19) shows Prince stabled at Beddgelert at 1219 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1100 from Pont Croesor and due to depart on the next Pont Croesor shuttle at 1240. 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.

 

This southerly view (23/6/19) shows Russell stabled at Beddgelert at 1221 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1100 from Pont Croesor and due to depart on the next Pont Croesor shuttle at 1240. 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.

 

This southerly view (23/6/19) shows Russell at Pont Croesor at 1310 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1240 from Beddgelert and due to depart on the next Beddgelert shuttle at 1320 from the Up line. Taliesin is visible on the Down platform apparently substituting for rostered No.303 having arrived on the 1250 shuttle from Porthmadog Taliesin had no rostered duties on Sunday so maybe No.303 had developed a fault since the morning shuttle. 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.

 

This southerly view (23/6/19) shows Russell approaching Bryn-y-felin bridge at 1340 on the 1320 from Pont Croesor. It is not surprising there are no photographers on the bridge given the dull conditions on Sunday afternoon. 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.

 

This southerly view (23/6/19) shows Russell taking water at Beddgelert at 1338 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1100 from Pont Croesor and due to depart on the next Pont Croesor shuttle at 1240. 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.

 

This northerly view (23/6/19) shows Lyd stabled at Beddgelert at 1344 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1130 from Porthmadog and due to depart on the next Porthmadog train at 1405. The General Manager Paul Lewin is seen relaxing next to his favourite loco which he had been driving that day. 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.

 

This northerly view (23/6/19) shows Lyd at Beddgelert at 1356 due to depart on the next Porthmadog train at 1405. 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.

 

This northerly view (23/6/19) shows Prince stabled at Beddgelert at 1354 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1320 from Pont Croesor and due to depart on the next Pont Croesor shuttle at 1455. Four such shuttles were booked on Sunday, whereas there were three on Friday ands Saturday. 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.

 

This northerly view (23/6/19) shows Prince stabled at Beddgelert at 1428 on the shuttle rake having arrived on the 1320 from Pont Croesor and due to depart on the next Pont Croesor shuttle at 1455. The shuttles transferred to the Up line at Beddgelert during their layover. 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.

 

This southerly view (23/6/19) shows Russell at Beddgelert at 1431 as the next Pont Croesor shuttle after 1455 moved over to the Up line. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (23/6/19) shows Russell at Beddgelert at 1433 and due to depart on the rear of the next Pont Croesor shuttle at 1455. It would have been nice to have some period wagons in the siding to reflect the 'Past' aspect of the Gala. 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.

 

This northerly view (23/6/19) shows Lyd at Pont Croesor at 1528 due to depart on the final Porthmadog-Beddgelert train at 1523. This was the third and final Lyd working to Beddgelert on Sunday. Russell waits in the Up line with the final Pont Croesor -Beddgelert shuttle due to depart at 1625. 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.

 

This westerly view (23/6/19) shows ex WD Hunslet No.303 having arrived at Porthmadog at 1614 on the 1555 shuttle from Pont Croesor. Three more trains were due to follow this south with the last being the 1735 shuttle top and tailed by Prince/Russell at 1735 from Beddgelert that would drop the Hunslet off at Pen-y-Mount. this was to be the latest working of the weekend.   Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New Carriage shed plan

The above diagram above shows the latest plans for the new Boston Lodge Carriage shed, the steelwork for which is currently under construction, following a completion of the seawall a year or so ago and allowing for settlement. The new structure is marked out in red. The three points at the south end are already in place and Pen Cob junction is now complete with the three new turnouts at the north end to give access to the three road shed.

The areas circled in blue are storage and pump out areas. Remaining land near the seawall will be landscaped and planted to hide the long wall of the building from Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Kerr Stuart No.4415 update May/June 2019

Over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend volunteers were at Boston Lodge taking some detailed measurements of the engine block to work out the piston stroke. The block casting has been machined so the stroke needs to be checked very carefully to make sure the new crank is made correctly. The team also dismantled the McLaren injector which was found to be in good condition, although the atomiser sprayer valve guide was seized in the body and could not be removed without causing damage. Volunteers turned up a new part, and the injector was reassembled and is now ready to be tested. The last thing achieved was a crack test of the three good pistons which were thankfully found to be sound but a fourth will need a pattern making.

By 20/6/19 Farndon Engineering had sent an image of the new crankshaft they are constructing to replace the one that is sheared off.

Over the weekend of the Gala (21-23/6/19) the works was open to visitors and interpretative displays were put up around the loco in the Carriage Works. the rolling chassis had the gearbox in place.

The KS4415 team tackled some other jobs last week in addition to work in preparation for the display. This included repainting the chassis frames. The second band-brake shoe was cleaned up and repaired ready for sending away, the fuel pump unit from the MDB2 engine was examined.

For full details and images see Kerr Stuart 4415 Facebook page.

 

North Wales mainline 5-7/7/19

No.67014 was on the MANWAG on 8/7/19 after DMU substitution on 5/7/19.

 

No.130 update 27/6/19

By 27/6/19 work was underway on the new cowcatcher and support brackets. In light of experience on the WHR (including collisions with errant tractors), new extra strength brackets are being provided. The cowcatcher is also being adjusted to fit the F&WHR platforms. See Friends of No.130 Facebook page for full details and images.

 

WHR Gala 22/6/19

Saturday 22/6/19 dawned fine and sunny again. There were more trains to photograph or travel on today with the four WHR main line services in addition to the 18 Gala services through the Aberglaslyn Pass. The WHHR extra hauled by Russell ran again in the evening and as it was close to the summer solstice, there was still sunshine in the Aberglaslyn Pass. As an extra treat cars lined up on the beach at Black Rock Sands at 10pm to watch a firework display from Criccieth Castle (the beach car park is free after 5pm).

 

This northerly view (22/6/19) shows PW shunter No.9 stabled at Dinas at 1116. The KMX tamper was also stabled at Rhyd Ddu. Very few people visited Dinas as the Gala action was centred on 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 EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/6/19) shows Taliesin heading up the Aberglaslyn Pass at 1345 on the 1310 Porthmadog-Beddgelert. The pass was full of people photographing trains and parking was difficult. 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.

 

This southerly view (22/6/19) shows Prince threading the Aberglaslyn Pass at 1405 on the 1400 Beddgelert-Pont Croesor shuttle with Russell on the rear. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/6/19) shows Russell heading down the Aberglaslyn Pass at 1406 on the rear of the 1400 Beddgelert-Pont Croesor shuttle. The pass was full of people photographing trains and parking was difficult. 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.

 

This easterly view (22/6/19) shows Taliesin crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge at the top Aberglaslyn Pass at 1505 on the 1500 Beddgelert-Porthmadog. Photographers lined the route at this location. 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.

 

This southerly view (22/6/19) shows Taliesin threading the Aberglaslyn Pass at 1505 on the 1500 Beddgelert-Porthmadog with people bathing in the cool waters of the Afon Glaslyn. 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.

 

This easterly view (22/6/19) shows Prince threading the Aberglaslyn Pass at 1551 on the rear of the 1525 Pont Croesor-Beddgelert shuttle with Russell on the front. 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.

 

This easterly view (22/6/19) shows Russell crossing Bryn-y-felin bridge at 1551 leading the 1525 Pont Croesor-Beddgelert shuttle with Prince on the rear. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/6/19) shows Russell approaching Bryn-y-felin at 1933 on the WHHR's evening special still in sunshine. 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.

 

This easterly view (22/6/19) shows Russell crossing Bryn-y-felin at 1933 just before sunset at this location on the WHHR's evening special. 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.

 

This easterly view (22/6/19) shows Russell returning to the WHHR passing Parry's pig farm south of Hafod-y-llyn at 2027. 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.

 

Boston Lodge new Carriage Shed 24/6/19

On 24/6/19 work started on the new 3 road Boston Lodge Carriage shed on the seaward side of the existing Carriage Shed using the made ground that has been built up and consolidated behind the new sheet piling sea wall. The steel structure will be completed by September but the fitting out and track will require the raising of additional funding.

 

This southerly view (24/6/19) shows the erection of the steelwork for the new Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge on the made ground behind the new piling seawall. 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.

 

Additional 'Journey to the Past' dates

Two additional days have been added to the summer dated SO services from Dinas to Tryfan Junction and Rhyd Ddu sponsored by the WHHG. The service is being extended into September to take advantage of the Autumn shoulder popular with retired couples and families taking a weekend break. The dates are 15/9/19 and 22/9/19.

 

Russell at the WHR Gala 21-13/6/19 YouTube

Click on the YouTube link to watch 10 mins 2 seconds of video covering Russell and the WHR Gala. This YouTube was published on 24/6/19 and was taken by Steve Llewellyn on a camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

North Wales main line news 18-30/6/19

On 24/6/19 Nos.88001/10 hauled the Valley Nuclear flasks.

On 26/6/19 No.67010 hauled the ManWAG

On 28/6/19 there were two Class 88s again on the Valley Nuclear flasks

On 30/6/19 there was a steam special from Crewe to Holyhead with No.6201 Princess Elizabeth top and tailed by No.57314. The train was an unadvertised WCR excursion using the Northern Belle stock. The steam loco returned separately with its support coach back to Carnforth.

 

WHR Gala 21/6/19

The decision to hold the WHR Gala in June paid off with good weather all weekend and very successful operations with no failure or significant late running. The car park and bus link was used by about 50 cars and saved the walk from Llyn Bach or the limited parking and steps up to Beddgelert station for those wanting to travel by train. One downside was Gwynedd Council which decided to do surface dressing of local roads around Prenteg and Llanfrothen that weekend with traffic controls and reduced speeds imposed.

The Aberglaslyn Pass has never seen such an intensive service with 16 Gala trains on Friday and 18 on Saturday and Sunday. Many photographers took advantage of the brilliant sunshine with limited parking in the area. The trains appeared busier on Sunday as the weather deteriorating as it clouded over in the afternoon.

An additional 1800 working on the Friday and Saturday evenings saw a direct train for WHHR members using Russell and their own stock, including Gladstone Car, the Buffet Car and ex-VoR brake van. On Friday it ran through from Pen-y-Mount Junction platform 2 to Beddgelert and on Saturday from platform 3. The improved relationships between the two railways is a positive sign of things to come and enthusiasts can only hope for more in future with the possibility of Pen-y-Mount Junction being fitted with a fully interlocked point and the new platform 3 being extended to the south to allow full length trains to call there enabling exchange regular exchange of stock and passengers between the railways. When the WHHR get their Baldwin back from the VoR workshops it is hoped the loco may be allowed out on the WHR to run as No.590 (the original WHR Baldwin) reprising many historical tableaux along with Russell and original WHR stock.

Graham Farr, Chairman of the WHRL said 'Everyone I have shared thoughts with considers that it was extremely successful. Certainly the best I have participated in during my many years’ involvement in the railway. All went to plan. It is difficult to imagine how it could have gone better. Russell performed as would be expected from a star. Soundly backed up by the other locos, the carriages and the infrastructure. And everyone, from both railways and elsewhere, worked together as a team. There were plenty of visitors. Many old acquaintances were renewed and many new contacts established. And of course the highlight, not just for participants, of the two evening trips to Beddgelert by Russell and our heritage train, performing impeccably in glorious summer evening weather. So no apologies for repeating what I said on the occasion, thank you to everyone, from both railways and from elsewhere, who made it all happen. I am sure more will be said in the coming days, weeks and months.'

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Hugh Napier reversing from Pen-y-Mount Junction onto the WHHR with Russell waiting in the WHHR headshunt at 0951. Britomart had moved onto the WHHR a few days earlier where it was to be used with FR bug boxes for the weekend. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell waiting for the point 222B to be locked at Pen-y-Mount Junction before it could proceed from the WHHR headshunt at 0953 and could cross over. This lengthy procedure, allowed 9 minutes in the timetable, took nearly 25 minutes and could benefit from a proper point lever and ground frame or rodding and interlocking in the signal box at Pen-y-Mount controlling the crossover. 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.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell crossing over at Pen-y-Mount Junction at 0958 before setting back onto the WHR rake in platform 3. 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.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell crossing over at point 222B Pen-y-Mount Junction at 0958 which is locked by padlocks from both the WHHR and the F&WHR and requires a chock between the stock rail and the point blade on the east side. 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.

 

This northerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell over point 222B Pen-y-Mount Junction at 0958 and stopping just short of the level crossing at 0958. 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.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell departing Pen-y-Mount Junction at 1011 (16 mins late) double heading with Prince inside. 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.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Prince departing Pen-y-Mount Junction at 1011 (16 mins late) double heading with Russell piloting. 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.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Palmerston passing Parry's pig farm just south of Hafod-y-llyn at 1121 on the 1050 Porthmadog-Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (21/6/19) shows Prince passing Parry's pig farm just south of Hafod-y-llyn on the 1140 Beddgelert-Pont Croesor shuttle at 1155 with Russell on the rear after a shunt at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on an iPhone 5S phone camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell on the rear passing Parry's pig farm just south of Hafod-y-llyn on the 1140 Beddgelert-Pont Croesor shuttle at 1155. 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 an iPhone 5S phone camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Russell passing Parry's pig farm just south of Hafod-y-llyn at 1333 on the 1220 Pont Croesor to Beddgelert shuttle. 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.

 

This northerly view (21/6/19) shows Prince passing Parry's pig farm just south of Hafod-y-llyn at 1333 on the 1220 Pont Croesor to Beddgelert shuttle. 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.

 

This easterly view (21/6/19) shows Russell passing the site of Hafod Garregog Halt at 1452 on the 1445 Pont Croesor to Beddgelert shuttle. 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.

 

This westerly view (21/6/19) shows Prince at 1452 passing the site of Hafod Garregog Halt on the rear of the 1445 Pont Croesor to Beddgelert shuttle. 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.

 

This northerly view (21/6/19) shows Taliesin passing the Ynysfor level crossing at 1551 on the 1530 Beddgelert to Porthmadog. Unfortunately the sun went in just for a few seconds as the train passed! 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.

 

This southerly view (21/6/19) shows Palmerston passing Ynysfor level crossing at 1602 on the 1540 Porthmadog-Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (21/6/19) shows Prince passing the site of Hafod Garregog Halt at 1646 on the 1625 Beddgelert to Porthmadog where Russell was to be detached at Pen-y-Mount and serviced overnight at the WHHR. 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.

 

This easterly view (21/6/19) shows Russell passing the site of Hafod Garregog Halt at 1646 on the rear of the 1625 Beddgelert to Porthmadog where Russell was to be detached at Pen-y-Mount and serviced overnight at the WHHR. 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.

 

This westerly view (21/6/19) shows Palmerston passing the site of Hafod Garregog Halt at 1602 on the 1725 with the 1710 Beddgelert-Porthmadog, the last WHR train of the day, although it was to be followed by a WHHR special later in the evening. 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.

 

Britomart moves to WHHR 18/6/19

Britomart moved to the WHHR on 18/6/19 along with the bug boxes and sentry van to assist in passenger services while Russell was out on the main line during the Gala weekend 21-23/6/19..

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

North Wales mainline report 12-17/6/19

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.

 

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.

 

No.130 update 10-19/6/19

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.

 

North Wales main line news 5-6/6/19

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 2-8/6/19

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.

See No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

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.

 

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 and        15-22/9/19 Sundays 'Journey to the Past' specials 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
10-11/8/19 Moelwyn and Chaloner Shrewsbury Flower Show
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 2019

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

 

V4.3755 updated 14/8/19