Welsh Highland Railway

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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 5/3/19)

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

 

Waunfawr progress 14/3/19

This northerly view (14/3/19) shows good progress with the wedge shaped bricks that will form the lintel cladding for Waunfawr station building. This modern style of lintel cladding looks like the original but provides the strength of the hidden reinforced concrete lintel behind. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (14/3/19) shows good progress with fitting the lintel cladding Waunfawr station building with the east aspect nearing completion. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

East Anglian Group meeting

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

L&B Special 14/4/19

Lyn will be travelling to North Wales at the end of March to double head The Snowdonian on 13/4/19 with the F&WHR's Lyd. It will also haul two L&B Specials on 15/3/19 on its own from Porthmadog to Rhyd Ddu. This will be a good test for the loco up the 1 in 40 through Beddgelert Forest.

 

Moelwyn tunnel portal nears completion 14/3/19

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

 

North Wales NR line news

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

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

 

Bontnewydd bypass news 12/3/19

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

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

 

Baldwin identity confirmed for WHR Heritage Gala

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

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

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

 

Waunfawr progress 9/3/19

This northerly view (9/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. Over half the walling appears to have been completed and the western and southern aspect might be finished in a few weeks Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (9/3/19) shows good progress with the southern aspect of Waunfawr station building. Walling is nearly up to the lintels Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (9/3/19) shows good progress with the southern and eastern aspect of Waunfawr station building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (9/3/19) shows more limited progress with the northern aspect of Waunfawr station building where the toilet doors are located. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon NR reopening campaign 10/3/19

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

 

Spring steam tests 5/3/19

This Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.143 being prepared for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. The dome is off and the smokebox and chimney are still in undercoat. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.143 being prepared for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. The dome is off and the smokebox and chimney are still in undercoat. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.138 waiting its turn for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas view (5/3/19) shows No.138 waiting its turn for its pre-season steam test when the safety values will be checked for correct operation. The dome is off . Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Snow report 4/3/19

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

 

Caernarfon station loop completed 3/3/19

This easterly view (3/3/19) shows the completion of the run round loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (3/3/19) shows the motorised fastening machine being used to set the torque of the track clip fastenings in the run round loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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

 

Caernarfon Bypass news 2/3/19

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

 

Waunfawr station progress 2/3/19

This northerly view (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. All the windowsills are completed on the west aspect and the windows and door temporarily boarded up with hardboard. About half the walling appears to have been completed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. All the windowsills are completed on the south aspect and the windows and door temporarily boarded up with hardboard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. All the windowsills are completed on the south and east aspect and the windows and door temporarily boarded up with hardboard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (2/3/19) shows good progress with Waunfawr station building. The windowsill and door are nearing completion on the north aspect and wiring can be seen to be taking place through the door. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 update 2/3/19

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

 

Caernarfon station progress 2/3/19

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

 

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

 

This easterly view (2/3/19) shows the final length of the run round loop being completed by the North Wales Track Gang. The project must be finished before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. There is a small gap in the track in the run round loop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 28/2/19

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

 

Welsh Pony update 27/2/19

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

 

Waunfawr station 27/2/19

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

 

Moving Pictures No. 28 25/2/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch 28 mins 11 seconds of video covering Waunfawr station building construction and track relaying at Caernarfon. This YouTube was published on 22/1/19 and was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

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

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

 

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

This southerly view (25/2/19) shows temporary track through the entrance to King's Cross with rolling stock about to be loaded onto the Locomotion low loader pulled up outside the entrance. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Neil McMaster and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boston Lodge Carriage shed progress 22/2/19

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

 

No.87 colour scheme 18/2/19

When No.87 returns to traffic from its rapid 1o year overhaul, it will be outshopped in standard SAR black livery, following its initial Works Grey and dark blue liveries.

 

February (no) snow report 24/2/19

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

 

Waunfawr station progress 23/2/19

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

 

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

 

This westerly view (23/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. The walls on the east face are making good progress and window sills are in place. as are the yellow brick window surrounds marked out by hardboard. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (23/2/19) shows work on the western aspect of Waunfawr station building as seen from the platform. The walls now include windowsills but some pointing remains to be completed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (23/2/19) shows work on the northern  aspect of Waunfawr station building as seen from the platform. The walls now include windowsills but and entrances to the toilet provision. A start has been made on fitting the wiring now the building is weatherproof. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 18/2/19

This northerly view (18/2/19) shows good progress with the platform road. The North Wales Track Gang plans to finish the project before the start of regular services from Caernarfon starting 30/3/19. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (18/2/19) shows work is still needed to complete the run round track. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Ash train 18/2/19

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

 

This southerly view (18/2/19) shows work clearing ash from by the water tower at Caernarfon station as seen from the footbridge. The ash builds up as loco crews clean their fires and grates before commencing the southbound run. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (18/2/19) shows work clearing ash from by the water tower at Caernarfon station as seen from the platform. The min excavator hired for the station relaying was used to load the ash into the DZ wagons before Vale of Ffestiniog took the ash away for disposal. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

King's Cross exhibit delivery 16/2/19

This southerly view (18/2/19) shows temporary track through the entrance to King's Cross with rolling stock about to be unloaded from the low loader pulled up outside the entrance. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Neil McMaster and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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

 

This easterly view (18/2/19) shows Velinheli and coach No.10 and Chaloner on display in King's Cross. All was ready by 5:30am before the public started to arrive. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Neil McMaster and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon Station progress 17/2/19

This northerly view (17/2/19) shows the North Wales track gang working at Caernarfon for a fourth weekend. The platform road is aligned, lifted, and is awaiting ballasting. The run round loop had a further 24 m clipped up. The North Wales Track Gang will be back for a further two weekends in March to complete the job before the start of the new Season on 30/3/19 when trackwork must be complete. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Velinheli at King's Cross 18/2/19

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

WHRS East Anglian Group Meeting 21/2/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Housing development row at Dinas

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

 

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

 

North Wales rail news

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

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

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

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

 

More birds of prey!

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

 

Waunfawr progress 17/2/19

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

 

This northerly view (17/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. The slating and special lead ridge flashing have been fitted and the walls on the south face are making good progress as are the yellow brick door/window surrounds. The overall impression is very similar to the original station building and the random stone cladding is very pleasing being reminiscent of the original style. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (17/2/19) shows work on the eastern aspect of Waunfawr station building as seen from the footbridge. Work is not so advanced on this side as it takes a long while at the low temperatures typical for this time of year for the traditional lime mortar to set. The windows and marked by hardboard inserts in this face. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (17/2/19) shows a close up of work on the eastern aspect Waunfawr station. The random stone cladding is rising to cover the blockwork interior walls and insulation. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (17/2/19) shows work on the northern and western aspects of Waunfawr station building. The windows are beginning to take shape on the northern face of the building. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHHR VoR brakevan

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

 

No-snow forecast!

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

 

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

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

 

Purple timetable starts 16/2/19

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

Blanche and Taliesin are the advertised traction for this week.

 

No. 130 news 15/2/19

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

 

Funkey route check 15/2/19

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

 

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

 

No.1001 mess coach restoration 8/2/19

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

 

This northerly Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.1001, the WHR mess coach. The stripped body has been repainted in green undercoat. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Boiler news 6/2/19

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

 

Waunfawr progress 10/2/19

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

 

This northerly view (10/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station as seen from the footbridge. The chimney been completed and the random stone cladding is rising to cover the blockwork interior walls. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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

 

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

 

This southerly view (10/2/19) shows work on Waunfawr station. The complete northern aspect shows two doorways. It is hoped the building may be ready for the new season depending on weather. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 progress report 8/2/19

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

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

 

This Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.87's boiler cradle. Andy heating the rivets while Bryn moves the riveting jig into place. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.87's boiler cradle. Martin operates the press controls. The upper end of white hot rivet can be seen in the jig and a completed rivet to the left. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed view (8/2/19) shows work on No.87's boiler cradle. Martin operates the press controls. The rivet is now driven home but the holes in the plate show many more to be competed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

WHRS AGM moved to 22/6/19

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

 

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

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

 

Caernarfon station progress 2-4/2/19

This northerly view (2/2/19) shows the start of work on track relaying at Caernarfon after a break of two weeks. The North Wales Track Gang has taken ownership of this project. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/2/19) shows track being laid against the extended platform. Eventually a 12 coach rake can be accommodated. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/2/19) shows work progressing on laying the track against the platform extension. It is hoped the work will be complete by 30/3/19 for the start of the new season's train services from Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/2/19) shows the extended headshunt at Caernarfon. This can just about take a two Garratts running round from a double headed train. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (4/2/19) shows the situation after the end of the relaying at Caernarfon. The North Wales Track Gang will be back in two weeks to finish the job. Track in the platform road needs to be connected just south of the point and the run round need to be completed using spare rails on the platform. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Dai Jones and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

BF&TR Society first AGM 3/2/19

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

 

North Wales main line 4/2/19

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

 

Snow report 1/2/19

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

 

For those missing snow on the WHR!

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

 

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 2018-19 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

 

V4.37223 updated 15/3/19