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 10/9/18)

Snow Scenes (updated 31/10/15)

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

 

Annual holiday

Your webmaster will be taking his annual holiday in North Wales until 30/9/18 so there will be no updates for a couple of weeks. Normal service will resume in early October.

 

Lyn arrives at Dinas 12/9/18

This easterly view (12/9/18) shows the L&BR's Lyn arriving at Dinas for SuperPower. 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 (12/9/18) shows WHR diesel Bill drawing the L&BR's Lyn off the low loader at Dinas for SuperPower. 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 (12/9/18) shows the Lilla and bugboxes stable in the Carriage Shed at Dinas for Heritage train rides at SuperPower. 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 (12/9/18) shows Hugh Napier stabled in the Carriage Shed at Dinas for footplate rides at SuperPower. 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.

 

Moving Pictures No.23 11/9/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 18 mins 55 seconds of video covering Caernarfon and Waunfawr station updates. This YouTube was published on 11/9/18. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 1080p HD in Google Chrome browser or View on YouTube

 

Castell Caernarfon update

The bonnet of Castell Caernarfon is at Boston Lodge being repainted. The loco will be turned out in green livery but still with 'go faster' stripes on the front, albeit in shades of green not yellow.

 

Daily Post reports slower trains in North Wales 10/9/18

In a report dated 10/9/18 the Daily Post reveals the TfW trains that will replace Arriva trains on the Llandudno-Blaenau Ffestiniog branch (and the borderlands Line from Wrexham to Bidston) in October will be slower than existing trains though will have higher acceleration. The Class 230 DMUs are rebuilt D tube stock and may nevertheless be capable of cutting journey times with higher acceleration on some routes. The report includes a fly through video of Vivarail's rebuilt trains.

Rebranding of North Wales stations in TfW livery is currently underway.

 

KS4415 progress

Kerr Stuart No.4415, the experimental diesel shunter that spent time on the WHR in 1928/9, saw more progress in August and September.

Jobs undertaken over the weekend of 11-12/8/86 included work on the bronze bearings from the gearbox selector shafts, which have been cleaned up and painted in special etch primer. A new collar has been made for the front coupling pin, because the pin will have to be put in upside down, from underneath once the gearbox is in place. The collar and large split pin will stop the pin falling out. Work has also taken place on the couplings to thicken up the buffer faces. To ensure correct operation of the couplings the distance from the centre of the hook pivot to the buffer face should be 2 ", and the old couplings fell short of this. To fix it volunteers have faced the buffers off and welded a profile cut piece on.

The latest progress over 8-9/9/18 has seen more preparation work for installing the gearbox. The laser cut profiles for the new framework have been needle gunned to remove mill scale, and volunteers have cut and machined the blocks to bolt the two halves together. The blocks were cut from 60x60 bar and machined down to ensure they are truly square. Once that was done they were tack welded together and drilled in pairs. The next job will be to weld them to the profiles. The gearbox lid has been grit blasted and painted and the gear cover has been painted in top coat.

For images see KS4415 Facebook page.

 

Class 88 dominate the final flask trains 10/9/18

Nuclear Flask trains from Valley Nuclear Electric are currently in the hands of pairs of Class 88. Nos. 88002/5 performed the honours on 10/9/18. It is expected Wylfa will be defueled this Autumn so these may be the final freights on the North Wales coast line.

 

Volunteer appeal for help with SuperPower

SuperPower is from 14-16/9/18 this year, Celebrating 21 years of the WHR running from Caernarfon. The above are the event dates but for it to happen the WHR needs your help to set it up and take it all down again. Preparations continue at Dinas from 9:00 Wednesday and Thursday 12-13/9/18. It is not all heavy work, in fact far from it,. There is lots of tidying up and cleaning to be done. If you can help, if only for half a day it would be greatly appreciated, please contact Dafydd Thomas dthomas@ffwhr.com / 07919 414877 or Tym Crowther andy@tymcrowther.eclipse.co.uk.

 

Daily Post video 9/9/18

The Daily Post dated 9/9/18 features an update and video on construction of Caernarfon station. See Daily Post report.

 

No.130 progress September

On 4/9/19 a date for the boiler's hydraulic test was announced (Wednesday 26/9/18). All of the seams have now been welded and all have passed the x-ray tests. All of the pads have been welded in and about half of the stays have been welded. The boiler tubes should start to be inserted by mid-September.

At Dinas, the rolling chassis was extracted from the shed on the same date by No.138 and shunted back in by No.9 later that day.

On 8/9/18 the snifting valves were under construction at Dinas.

For images see No.130 Facebook page.

 

Caernarfon station progress 5/9/18

This northerly view (5/9/18) shows the signage erected at the south end of the station building at Caernarfon. 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.

 

This southerly internal view (5/9/18) of Caernarfon station shows the sound baffles mounted on the ceiling that reduce echoing in such large spaces. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart (F&WHR). Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Several internal images are also available on the Facebook F&WHR Insider page.

 

Caernarfon station disabled access reinstated 4/9/18

The work to complete the coach bay, perimeter fencing supports and the new platform surface has been finished - so Caernarfon station regains its fully accessible status, as scheduled, from Wednesday, 5/9/18. A level access entrance has been made available by the 'castle' end of the coach bay. The route to and from the platform is now formed of smooth tarmac, replacing the previous gravel surface.

 

This northerly view (4/9/18) from Segontium Terrace footbridge shows the completed bus bay and tarmac platform which enables disabled access from near the station building. It does not appear that the plate glass panels have been fitted to their supports at this stage. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR). Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 3/9/18

This northerly view (4/9/18) from Segontium Terrace footbridge shows the completed bus bay and tarmac platform which enables disabled access from near the station building. It does not appear that the plate glass panels have been fitted to their supports at this stage. 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.

 

SuperPower double Fairlies

Both double Fairlies are to visit SuperPower. On Friday 14/9/18 Merddin Emrys will haul the Vintage Train to Caernarfon at 1135 followed by Taliesin on the shuttle train rake at 1310 (to be joined by an NG16 at Beddgelert). There will be a Garratt freight train at 1210 from Dinas to Rhyd Ddu. Taliesin and the L&BR's Lyn will haul the Waunfawr shuttles top and tailed. Lyd will not appear on the WHR by agreement with the L&BR who are holding a Lyn/Lyd Gala at the end of September where the locos will be double-headed.

 

This image shows the leaflet for SuperPower 2018. 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.

 

Saturday will see David Lloyd George on an additional service at 0940 using FR stock from Porthmadog to Caernarfon followed by a 1235 Caernarfon to Beddgelert return. An NG16 will return the rake back to Porthmadog at 1745 leaving both Fairlies at Dinas overnight. Merddin Emrys will run three Vintage trips during the day and Taliesin and Lyn will continue with shuttles.

 

This image shows the leaflet for SuperPower 2018 with details of trains and events at stations. 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.

 

Sunday features a double headed vintage train with Merddin Emrys and David Lloyd George to Rhyd Ddu at 0800. An NG16 will haul an 0940 Porthmadog-Caernarfon train which will return with Merddin Emrys at 1235. Taliesin and Lyn will continue with shuttles until Taliesin returns home at 1345 from Dinas. Finally, the last of the visitors, David Lloyd George, departs at 1520 with just the standard service train to arrive back at Caernarfon at 1625 to complete the day.

 

This image shows the booking form for SuperPower 2018 with details of ticket prices etc. 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.

 

Additionally Hugh Napier will be offering footplate rides at Dinas and Lilla will offer bugbox rides. There will be a model railway exhibition and Friday will see another 'Narrow Gauge Natter' with hot food offered for an additional charge of 7 that must be booked in advance.

 

Caernarfon station progress 29/8/18

This northerly view (29/8/18) shows the wall between the bus bay and the platform nearing completion with finishing touched being made to the station. 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 westerly view (29/8/18) shows the wall between the bus bay and the platform nearing completion. 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 southerly view (29/8/18) shows the wall between the bus bay and the platform nearing completion. 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.

 

Reduced access to Caernarfon station 29/8/28-4/9/18

Essential engineering works will cause reduced access to Caernarfon station from Wednesday 29/8/18-Tuesday 4/9/18. Access will only be possible by the steps at the south end of the station near the ticket office and disabled passengers are invited to travel via Dinas where disabled access is available and a waiting room and disabled toilet is also available. The essential work is needed to complete the bus bay paving and wall in the area currently used by disabled access.

 

This westerly view (29/8/18) shows the level wheelchair access that will be temporarily closed while the wall and bus bay pavements are completed as viewed from the Segontium Terrace footbridge. 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.

 

'Conwy Valley Explorer II' railtour 30/8/18

Class 47s Nos.47 854 Diamond Jubilee and 47832 arrived in Blaenau Ffestiniog top and tailed on time from York hauling 1Z64. Passengers were able to take a trip on the FR. See video North Wales Facebook page.

 

Boston Lodge to build replica Exe for the L&BR

The F&WHR is reaching agreement with the L&BR to build a replica of Lynton and Barnstaple Railway's Exe, using Lyd's design. The loco may be run in on the WHR which has similar gradients to the L&BR before delivery. As the L&BR is now expanding with planning permission granted to a new southerly terminus at Wistlandpound Reservoir, two copies of Lyd are required to run the extended line within the next 5 years extension programme. The L&BR is going through the TWO process and needs several million pounds to complete the line, which may be difficult to raise if we leave the EU next year. EU funds helped complete the WHR.

The two new locos will be funded by donations through the 762 Club which allowed Baldwin Lyn, soon to appear at SuperPower, to be built. A second loco Yeo will be constructed at Killamarsh, Derbyshire by the team building NWNGR replica Gowrie and who recently completed WD Hunslet No.1215. In the longer term when the L&BR extends to Lynton and eventually to Barnstaple, two additional Lyd copies will be required to be named Taw and Lew as were the original Manning Wardle locos. It is unlikely that the frames cut for the Yeo project in 1999 will be reused as the L&BR wish to have a common design to ease maintenance and spares.

 

No.130 news 27/8/18

No.130's brake rigging is being assembled and so too are the sand jets. Additionally, the handrails are being made. The boiler is running late and hopes it might be delivered by the end of August seem to be premature.

 

KS4415 August update

KS4415 is the original diesel shunter trialled on both of the F&WHR routes in 1928/9. Work has continued to restore the loco as staff availability permits. No.4415 was on display down in Minffordd yard over the Hunslet event. In late July volunteers got the gearbox out and washed it down with the pressure steam cleaner to get all the old oil and loose dirt off. In early August they cleaned the gearbox back to bare metal with wire brushes and wheels, then painted it in primer, undercoat and a good protective top coat.

On 13/8/18 the bronze bearings from the gearbox selector shafts were being cleaned up and painted in special etch primer. A new collar has been made for the front coupling pin, because the pin will have to be put in upside down, from underneath once the gearbox is in place. The collar and large split pin will stop the pin falling out. Work has also been underway on the couplings to thicken up the buffer faces. To ensure correct operation of the couplings the distance from the centre of the hook pivot to the buffer face should be 2 " and our old couplings fell short of this. To fix it volunteers have faced the buffers off, and welded a profile cut piece on.

For images see No.4415 Facebook page.

 

Main line scene

In what must be the final season of clearing fuel rods from Wylfa Nuclear Power station, the Valley flasks have been running with double headed Class 88 locos recently rather than the pairs of Class 68s or Class 68/88 combinations seen recently. On 20/8/18 Nos. 88002 Prometheus and 88009 Diana worked the train and a different pairing Nos.88002 Prometheus/ 88005 Minerva were on the working on 29/8/18. The operators of the proposed Wylfa B (Wylfa Newydd) seem to have set themselves against using rail for any deliveries of construction materials, preferring to build a port for such deliveries, and it may be 10 years before Valley Nuclear Electric siding is used again when fuel rods become exhausted. The Nuclear Electric siding contains a triangle used by steam excursions to turn tender locos.

No.60163 Tornado is to visit the North Wales Coast form Leicester on 29/9/18 with an option to tour the whole of the F&WHR Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon with a coach link back to Bangor to join the return working from Holyhead. After its recent mainline failure Tornado is currently at Wansford depot on the NVR being repaired and tested on that line before release back to mainline traffic in time for this rescheduled run.

However it seems LMS Fowler/Stanier 4-6-0 46100 Royal Scot will take over the 'Tornado 10th Anniversary Private tour' of Great Britain North Wales leg a few weeks later on 19/10/18. This is part of a 14 day round trip of the UK using Belmond Royal Scotsman rake from Edinburgh to Edinburgh which will see Tornado used on some other sections. See Golden Eagle Luxury Trains website for full details of the journey which includes a full trip of the F&WHR from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon.

With the 'North Wales Coast 40' railtour due on 13/10/18, Saphos Rail has been testing immaculate green 40013 Andania (as D213) and it was in Chester on test on 29/8/18. The loco may run a double headed excursion in the future with blue Class 40 No.40145 (as No.345), once that loco receives new tyres, recreating the frequently double headed 'Irish Mail' of the past. Along with the Cardiff and Manchester Class 67 workings and steam/diesel excursions there is plenty to attract rail enthusiasts to North Wales in addition to the WHR.

 

Caernarfon station update 26/8/18

This southerly view (26/8/18) shows the trackbed and staff access behind the new Caernarfon station building. Lighting units are fixed to the retaining wall. The ballast bed extends up to the waste bin storage area allowing space for at least two Garratt sized locos. 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 (26/8/18) shows the completed station entrance of the new Caernarfon station building. The higher level floor and safety railings can be seen within the plate glass frontage. 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.

 

WHHG to open Tryfan junction for SuperPower

The Welsh Highland Heritage Group is to open Tryfan junction for visitors to SuperPower. Passengers must ask the guard to stop at the halt. The WHHG is looking for volunteers to man the station for 2/3 hour sessions throughout the weekend. If interested contact the WHHG through their Facebook page.

 

Final 'Journey to the Past' 26/8/18

This westerly view (26/8/18) shows Prince arriving at Tryfan Junction on the final 'Journey to the Past' special of the season. The wet weather caused good condensation! 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 (26/8/18) shows Prince arriving at Tryfan Junction on the final 'Journey to the Past' special of the season. The wet weather caused good condensation! 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 (26/8/18) shows staff in period costume unlocking the heritage coaches. 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 (26/8/18) shows F&WHR staff in period costume adding to the1920-30's period feel of the event. 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 (26/8/18) shows F&WHR staff in period costume adding to the1920-30's period feel of the event e.g. 'Lady Agatha and her butler'. 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.

 

Drowned railway re-emerges from lake 20/8/18

The trackbed of the Festiniog to Bala railway 1 mile west of the dam has re-emerged from Llyn Celyn as the water has been released to control low levels in River Dee caused by the drought during the recent heat wave. normal water levels are approximately at the 300m contour (almost 1000 ft) but the Afon Tryweryn  below the dam is at 250m so the dam retains some 50m (164 ft) depth of water when full. A surprise is that part of the formation was tarmaced, presumably for farm access. See Daily Post website for a 2 minute flythrough video of the tracked between Pen-bryn bach curve around the Mynydd Nodol headland and the dam.

 

BF&TR AGM September?

The much delayed AGM of the Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd Railway Society is likely to be in September after much reconciling of the accounts and preparation for a restart of the project following the recent death of Colin Dale and suspension of the NR track access licence.

 

SuperPower timetable 14-16/9/18

This F&WHR advert view (23/8/18) shows the L&BR replica Baldwin Lyn on the L&BR. The loco will be hauling shuttle trains between Caernarfon and Waunfawr throughout SuperPower. 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.

 

Timetables have been published for SuperPower. Details and tickets can be booked on line on the F&WHR website. The three daily timetables for the event are a available at the F&WHR website. Lyn and Taliesin will 'top and tail' the Caernarfon-Waunfawr shuttles. Some of these start and finish in Porthmadog but will not see Lyn as the loco is based at Dinas so it is likely Taliesin will haul these. The normal Yellow timetable will also operate during the event and SuperPower tickets are valid on these trains too.

On Friday 14/9/18 events kick off around midday with a Heritage Train from Porthmadog at 1130 followed by the shuttle rake at 1310. There are three return runs between Caernarfon and Dinas/Waunfawr finishing at 2105.

On Saturday 15/9/18 events include 3 return Heritage Trains running Caernarfon/Dinas to Rhyd Ddu/Beddgelert. The shuttle runs four times between Caernarfon/Dinas and Waunfawr. An FR rake is also drafted in to run from Porthmadog with a midday turn from Caernarfon to Beddgelert and return.

On Sunday 16/9/18 events include 2 shuttles and 2 runs of the Heritage set from Rhyd Ddu/Beddgelert before they return to Porthmadog. The FR rake also makes another round trip visit from Porthmadog.

 

Final 'Journey to the Past' 26/8/18

Sunday 26/8/18 sees the final train of the summer dated 'Journey to the Past' service from Dinas to Rhyd Ddu. The train will run at 1100 from Dinas on 26/8/18 and tickets must be booked in advance to allow food to be prepared. Click here for tickets. Packed lunches will be supplied as part of the fare. These will be simple food served at Rhyd Ddu where there is a break to watch the run-round, stretch your leg and visit toilets. The train arrives back at Dinas at 1505 with an onward connection to Caernarfon available. Prince is again diagrammed for the service. The train is sponsored by the Welsh Highland Heritage Group. It is hoped that if the train is a success, it might be repeated and expanded next year. There were still spaces for the final train of the season available as of 24/8/18.

 

 

This view (13/8/18) shows the WHHG's flier for the Journey to the Past train. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright WHHG and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Caernarfon station progress 14-21/8/18

With the builders due to hand over the site for fitting out at the end of August the final finishing off stages are underway.

 

This northerly view (14/8/18) shows the erection of the wall and fence between the pavement and bus bay (currently occupied by building materials) and the platform. There is a notable difference in level between the two. 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 southerly view (14/8/18) shows the erection of the new fence posts fixed to a concrete foundation presumably to support plate glass as with the Porthmadog Spooner's 'beer garden'. The platform appears to be about a foot above the pavement to the right. 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 internal view shows the red tile finish interior finish of the rotunda base. 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 from the footbridge (21/8/18) shows an apparent change in plan with a brick wall separating the platform from the bus bay pavement and the glass panel supports mounted on that. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Stuart McNair (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.590 progress

The WHHR's Baldwin No.590 replica project is currently stored at the VoR Aberystwyth. Shed tours give access at the moment where visitors can also see WHHR/Imperial War Museum Baldwin No.794, its new boiler and original cab front, with the original tank from WHR No.590 which may be reused. Work will start on rebuilding this loco as a No.590 replica when the VoR's No.7 is finished. The boiler, tanks and bunker from No.794 are stored outside on a wagon and will not be used on the rebuilt loco. shed tours commence at 1100 and 1430 according to staff availability so it is best to phone ahead.

 

Tryfan Junction theft mid-August

The WHR has been struck by thieves again! This time the picnic bench from the remote Tryfan Junction has been stolen and a lorry or large van must have been used to remove it. Tryfan Junction has only one road access from Bontnewydd. Thieves broke the chain/hasp on the gate and cut or broke the chain securing the bench to the ground. It would have needed at least two of them. The theft occurred sometime between Sunday 12/8/18 and Sunday 19/8/18. A replacement bench will cost over 400. The final 'Journey to the Past with Prince and people wearing period 1920's costume will be Sunday 26/8/18.

 

Gowrie Trust update 20/8/18

Gowrie was the final loco ordered for the NWNGR in 1908 and reputedly a poor steamer before being sold about 1918. See Festipedia page. Though no doubt a worthy project, many believe the restoration of the WHR's single Fairlie of 1875 Moel Tryfan (scrapped by the FR in 1954) would have been a more deserving project, especially as several parts still exist. See Festipedia page.

Paul Stock reports on Facebook: After numerous discussions with FR Board members, prominent heritage project leaders and a number of project supporters, the decision was made to alter our approach to the project and form a Charitable Trust. The benefits of this include being able to claim Gift Aid on donations and the ability to apply for relevant grants. This should speed up the build and reduce the reliance on supporters' donations. A full range of benefits and rewards are still planned for supporters.

The project was officially launched at an event held at MOSI on 28/4/18 and the 4 founding trustees, Martyn Ashworth, Alan Freebury, David Smith and myself, were all in attendance. The show managed to drum up further support for the build, with a large number of attendees signing up to contribute as soon as the Trust status is confirmed.

The development work is proceeding well with the boiler re-design in progress and CAD. work on the 3 sets of frames almost complete. The length and diameter of the boiler have been increased slightly to allow longer tubes and a greater number of them. This, in addition to other adjustments, will improve the boiler's steaming ability and should deal with the original loco's alleged shortcomings. Once final boiler dimensions are known, adjustments can be made to the CAD. drawings and the frames then cut.

With the restoration of WD Hunslet No.1215 complete (and hopefully soon to appear on the WHR-Ed), the engineering team are eager to get their teeth into the next project and hopefully they'll soon have some metal to play with.

 

Lyn's SuperPower visit details

The L&B replica Baldwin Lyn is visiting the WHR for SuperPower but will not run double headed with Lyd as that event will be a special event at the L&BR later in the year. See F&WHR page for details,

 

No.130 progress 6-18/8/18

With the hoped for completion and delivery of the boiler at the end of August, progress with the boiler is reaching the stage where hydraulic testing will test its ability top hold pressure.

By 7/8/18 No.130's brake rigging had been manufactured and the rear power unit was almost complete. Jig built brake pull rods were ready for assembly and the live steam sliding joint was being made.

By 12/8/18 the new firebox was on its left hand side and the inner firebox throat plate almost complete and welded. The stays were 80% complete.

A few days later by 14/8/18 the inner firebox crown stays were about 66% welded. The Firehole was finished whilst the backhead inner was about 80% done.

By 16/8/18 some of the brake gear was being made including the brake beams, brake blocks, pins and the clevis. All of these should be hung soon.

By 18/8/18 a small milestone in the restoration was achieved by Tony Williams and the Dinas team in mid-August as they successfully tested the vacuum system on both power units. The vacuum test was done through the entire train pipe including bogies and boiler cradle.

See No.130 Facebook page for images.

 

Moving Pictures No.22 17/8/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 18 mins 29 seconds of video covering Lilla's visit to the Shrewsbury Flower Festival. This YouTube was published on 17/8/18. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 1080p HD in Google Chrome browser or View on YouTube

 

Autumn/Winter timetable published

The Autumn and Winter timetable has been announced and will be much the same as last year. The Red Peak SSuX timetable continues until 13/9/18 but Monday 10/9/18 reverts to the yellow timetable. The Yellow timetable itself continues until 4/11/18 but the first three Mondays and Fridays in October are dropped (needless to say services continue of the FR on those dates!). The various Half Term weeks from 20/10/18 are fully covered however.

The rest of November sees a WThSO Brown service to Hafod-y-llyn. This twice daily service caters primarily for the coach traffic and is normally hauled by a small loco that cannot manage the bank to Beddgelert. The timetable suggests round trips from Porthmadog only due to limited access at Hafod-y-llyn but does not rule it out as in previous years.

Santa Specials were run last year from Dinas to Rhyd Ddu where they were met with snow on some occasions that was much appreciated by children and parents alike! This year trains are set to start from Caernarfon and may only run to Waunfawr as in earlier years. This SSuO service runs from 8/12/18 to 23/12/18. A similar FR offering will run from Porthmadog to Beddgelert as last year due to infrastructure work on the FR.

The Xmas holidays sees a twice daily Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu service from 27/12/18 to 1/1/19 whereas the FR also operates on Boxing Day. There are no other services in January on either route.

Both February Half Term holiday weeks are catered for with a twice daily MFX service from Porthmadog to Beddgelert from 16-28/2/19. This also offers a return service from Beddgelert with an hour in Porthmadog, possibly for lunch in Spooners.

March sees a return of the Brown Porthmadog-Hafod-y-llyn timetable MTFX from 2-28/3/19 and daily services recommence for the new season Easter service on 30/3/19.

See F&WHR Facebook page for full details.

 

Prince 'Journey to the Past' 12/8/18

This internal view 12/8/18 shows the interior of Tryfan Junctions station building lovingly recreated by volunteers from the WHHG. The station master was serving a cup of 'station master tea' to visitors. The period adverts and seating are similar to that at Dinas. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly Tryfan Junction view 12/8/18 shows the replica Curly Roof Van No.1 which acted as the brake for the Heritage Train, complete with authentic load of milk churn and hamper. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 12/8/18 shows Prince stopped at Tryfan Junction at 11:21. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view 12/8/18 shows Prince stopped at Tryfan Junction as seen from the site of the signalbox (a possible future restoration project) at 11:42. The train made some run-pasts for the passengers to photograph. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view 12/8/18 shows Prince running round at Rhyd Ddu at 13:13. Some lucky passengers are having a ride in the tender. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Palmerston special 12/8/18

This westerly view 12/8/18 shows Palmerston being prepared for a special hired train to celebrate a birthday. The headboard Cambrian Radio Cruise celebrates the circular rail excursions of the 1951-61 period from Llandudno via Rhyl (reverse), Corwen, Bala, Barmouth, Afon Wen, Caernarfon and Bangor, a journey sadly now impossible which much of the route closed and lifted following the Beeching Cuts. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view 12/8/18 shows Palmerston being prepared for a special hired train to celebrate a birthday. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Period costume for Journey to the Past 12/8/18?

With requests for staff to wear period costume for this Sunday's Prince hauled 'Journey to the Past' Dinas-Tryfan Junction-Rhyd Ddu trip, it seems to be turning into the WHR's own 'Victorian Gala' as seen on the FR! The train will run at 1100 from Dinas on 12/8/18 and tickets must be booked in advance. Click here for tickets. Packed lunches will be supplied as part of the fare. These will be simple food served at Rhyd Ddu where there is a break to watch the run-round, stretch your leg and visit toilets. The train arrives back at Dinas at 1505 with an onward connection to Caernarfon available.

 

Titbits Spring 2018

The North Wales Track Gang has made good progress this spring. On 31/3/18 they installed a gardeners' shed at Rhyd Ddu under the Caernarfon end water tower. On 1/4/18 they installed Drench signs on the approach to Summit Cutting at Pitt's Head as the grass in this cutting has caught fire before now. Posts for a new running in boards was made for Hafod-y-llyn which saw extensive use during the Hunslet Gala. The boards themselves were erected by the Tuesday Gang, currently short of volunteers as some volunteers are absent for medical reasons. David Firth is currently standing in for Tony Baker. The Tuesday Gang are pleased that some crossings have been closed, so there will be less crossing timber maintenance, as they appear not to have been used in the 20 years since the railway opened.

During the weekend of 9-10/4/18 volunteers progressed the Beddgelert siding point lever, ground frame and FPL though more work is needed here. Over the weekend of 28-29/4/18 the platforms at Dinas, Rhyd Ddu and Waunfawr were pressure washed. on 26-27/5/18 there was more progress with the Beddgelert groundframe, but progress is slow as it is an complicated job.

WHR traffic seems to be up on last year so far overall. Traffic seemed to be down a bit at the start of the new season with cold snowy weather for the Early Easter trains affecting April's revenues. The Beer Festival was also down a bit though still making a healthy profit. In fact the mainline rakes had to be used for the evening shuttles as demand exceeded the size of the shuttles trains.

 

Manchester set for Saturday North Wales extra 11/8/18

It appears the Manchester loco hauled set is to be used for Saturday's loco-hauled extra this weekend rather that the 'Gerald' set used last Saturday. As far as passengers are concerned the train times are the same but the two ECS workings from/to Holyhead are removed from the schedule as the Manchester set is stabled at Crewe. The additional service makes it easier to get to the WHR for passengers using public transport.

1T01 09:41 Crewe - Llandudno 11:17
1T02 11:28 Llandudno - Crewe 13:04
1T03 13:45 Crewe - Holyhead 16:00
1T04 16:39 Holyhead - Crewe 18:45

 

Lilla at Shrewsbury Flower show 10/8/18

Lilla is again offering rides this weekend at Shrewsbury Flower Show. See F&WHR Insider Facebook page for more images.

 

This westerly view 10/8/18 shows the well-travelled Lilla representing the F&WHR at the Shrewsbury Flower show, Quarry Park, Shrewsbury. Lilla and its two open 4-wheel coaches Nos.1/12 are offering rides alongside the River Severn on 10-11/8/18. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Lyn for SuperPower

While the L&BR's Lyn is coming to SuperPower, another guest mentioned in TSR will not now be coming. An invitation had also been extended to the WD Hunslet team No.1215 who just missed the Hunslet Gala but they are unable to attend as well. It is hoped to invite them next year.

 

Caernarfon station break-in 9/8/18

The temporary Caernarfon Station building at Ty Seiont, Caernarfon, suffered a second break-in overnight 8-9/8/18 and the facility had to be closed for the day. The station building was reopened on the morning of 10/8/18 after rapid work by the police Scene of Crime officers released the building to staff to clean up. Fortunately the IT system was quickly repaired. This is the second break in at Caernarfon and occurred despite clear signage that no money was kept on the premises. The robbers may have been teenagers as all that was taken was sweets and drinks. However the cost of repairs will be considerable as internal doors were kicked in and external doors broken and a considerable mess made. See WHR Facebook page for images of damage.

 

Wrexham to get 500,000 rail investment

The Welsh Government is to invest half a million pounds at Wrexham North Junction with the aim of improving the frequency and speed of trains between there and Chester. Recent investment has seen the line redoubled for some 8 km from Saltney Junction to Rossett leaving a gap of about 6 km of single track on Gresford Bank between Wrexham North Junction and Rossett. The improvement could see Wrexham North Junction moved further north thereby cutting the length of the single track section to just a short section from the site of Gresford colliery over the single track bridge over the A483 dual carriageway to Rossett. This would allow trains to leave Wrexham and permit following trains to run into the station. With Keolis-Amey planning to increase services on the line including a Cardiff-Liverpool service via Halton Curve, improvements are essential.

The longer term aim must be to put a parallel single track bridge in over the A483 and redouble the whole length up Gresford Bank, which has been subject to subsidence from the former Gresford colliery. At the Chester end, the 1 mile from Roodee Junction to Saltney Junction could be re-quadrified over a refurbished Dee bridge. NR spends on 1.5% of its infrastructure budget on Welsh railways which however represent 11% of England and Wales track miles!

The improvement will ease travel to the WHR by train. See Daily Post report for full story.

 

SDR visit 29-30/9/18

A loco and two coaches will be visiting the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh on 29-30/9/18 to promote the F&WHR. It will run on 100 metres of temporary track similar to that used at the Shrewsbury Flower Show over the coming weekend 10-11/8/18.

 

Boston Lodge news

Work has begun on assembling the centre cradle of James Spooner the new Fairlie.

The refit of coach No.2042 was completed in time for the new season before Easter and No.2043 was brought in for cleaning and a re-varnish which was completed within a week followed by No.2046.

The stainless steel frame for the new WHR Observation car Gwyrfai has been completed and is in the Carriage Works awaiting body work.

A start has been made on the next major Heritage project, a replica NWNGR Ashbury bogie brake composite coach. A set of drawings has been made and timber ordered.

Castell Caernarfon's fibreglass bonnet has been removed and sent to Boston Lodge for repainting while the loco is rewired and has a replacement footplate installed.

Work at Dinas includes volunteer restoration of No.1001, the ex-Chattenden & Upnor Combination Car now used as the WHR's PW Mess/Brake.

Dinas has benefitted from the arrival of four new Sefac 7.5 tonne electric jacks provided by the WHRS. These are more powerful and supplement the four ex-Channel Tunnel jacks currently in use.

NG16 fleet news

Good progress has been made with No.130 with the power units under the cradle frame and the motion and valve gear about to be fitted. However, ideally the boiler should have been at Dinas by now. While the boiler is making steady progress an initial rather ambitious delivery date of August 2017 was not achieved and a later date of Spring 2018 was also missed due to technical challenges. It is hoped the boiler will be delivered by late August from Adam Dalgleish (Stockton on Tees). It is possible the boiler will be in the frames by SuperPower. This will be the first new UK boiler built for an NGG16 since the 1967. The work to complete the loco at Dinas will take several months and with No.87 due for withdrawal in October for its 10year overhaul, the sooner No.130 enters service the better.

No.87's boiler will go to Israel Newton's for refurbishment in mid November having been quickly released from the frames. Its 10 year overhaul should be a simple job but complications can often found after removal of the boiler tubes and the thickness of the boiler shell measured. Attention is also needed to No.87's cracked frames. The current plan is to make completely new bogie frames and only use sound components of the original frame.

The Australian boiler destined for No.138 is making good progress at Loughborough. It is due to be delivered in December and will be fitted to No.138 when its boiler ticket runs out next Summer.

Lastly No.143's old boiler has been taken apart and a new firebox is under construction for completion by the end of the year hopefully. After this attention will turn to the front end of the barrel and the smokebox tube plate once No.87's boiler is ready.

 

Waunfawr station rebuild

There will be a presentation at the AGM of plans for the new Waunfawr station building which has been generously funded by Mike Schumann. Mike had been the engineer for the early sections of the WHR and, in the past, had come in for criticism for the demolition of the old station and the use of the large irregular stone blocks in the retaining walls of the cutting alongside Snowdonia Parc. However, some smaller useable stones have were retained on pallets under the footbridge and will hopefully be used in the reconstruction. The presentation of the traditional NWNGR design will be given by Rob Chambers, the architect, who also designed the futuristic Caernarfon station.

 

News from Dinas 7/8/18

Martin Kressman reports: The components for Pete Waterman's Garratt No.109 that have been sitting in the open in the North Yard at Dinas for many years were loaded onto two low loaders today. They are to be delivered to Peak Rail at Rowsley, near Matlock. Pete Waterman is currently Chairman of this railway. He already has two GWR engines stored there.

WHR Pullman Bodysgallen has been returned to service after attention to a couple of windows at Boston Lodge Carriage Works. One of the WHR rakes had run with FR Observation coach No.100 substituting for the Pullman whilst it was under repair.

 

Journey into the Past YouTube 5/8/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 7 mins 11 seconds of video covering Prince's Heritage train on 5/8/18 including run-pasts at Tryfan Junction. This YouTube was published on 8/8/18. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 1080p HD in Google Chrome browser or View on YouTube.

 

Caernarfon station preview visits

The building contract for the new Caernarfon station is set to be handed over on 28/8/18 but work on fitting out will still be underway in September. During SuperPower it is hoped preview visits can be arranged for WHRS members. it is hoped that first use will be for the WHR Santa Trains in December with the station fully open for the Summer High Season in 2019.

 

Prince 'Journey to the Past' 5/8/18

The first run of the SuO Summer dated 'Journey to the Past' special ran on 5/8/18. The special runs Sundays until the end of August but must be booked in advance.

 

This northerly view 5/8/18 shows Prince hauling the ECS stock for the Summer dated SuO Dinas-Rhyd Ddu that runs throughout August. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Zeepvat and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view 5/8/18 shows Prince about to depart with the Summer dated SuO Dinas-Rhyd Ddu that runs throughout August. The replica curly roofed van (Van No.1) in included as a brake/guards van. 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 westerly view 5/8/18 shows Prince performing a run past at Tryfan Junction for the benefit of the passengers who had detrained. The replica curly roofed van (Van No.1) in included as a brake/guards van. 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.

 

The F&WHR Facebook page has a video of the train at Dinas.

 

Coach No.100 added to WHR rake 5/8/18

Norman Bond reports: Coach No.100 has been added to a WHR set whilst Bodysgallen has some attention to 2 windows.

 

This easterly screenshot from the Porthmadog webcam 5/8/85 shows FR coach No.100 acting as an observation car in place of Bodysgallen on 1050 ex Porthmadog. Although it is the peak timetable, this year the yellow timetable operates SSuO and only one round trip is possible from Porthmadog at weekends compared to four on the FR! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was captured from the webcam by Terry Scott. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Blogs

The F&WHR's website is now featuring officially sanctioned Blogs. See FR Blogs page.

 

Boiler appeal

The current WHRS Appeal is to raise funds for refurbishment of a Garratt boiler estimated to cost at least 80,000. While this sum is unlikely to be met 'every little helps'!

 

WHRS AGM 15/9/18

The WHRS AGM will take place during SuperPower as usual on Saturday 15/9/18 at 19:15 in Y Galeri, Victoria Dock, Caernarfon. It is good to hear that the organisers have responded to comments about long presentations concerning non-WHR topics and will be returning to a format that gives news about the WHR.

 

SuperPower 14-16/9/18

With the L&BR's Lyn confirmed for SuperPower, it is interesting to learn that there might be a second visitor. The Dinas based event has been 2 years in planning and will feature a large marquee at Dinas with the theme 'Articulated Large and Small' with many engineering models. Many volunteers are needed and offers of help should go to Tym Crowther.

 

North Wales Coast Saturday reliefs to continue 5/8/18

The WAG 'Gerald' loco hauled MkIII set is to continue running a Saturday relief, (see diagram below) throughout August bringing welcome extra seats to those visiting the WHR by train/bus.

 

This northerly view 5/8/18 shows DB liveried 67013 about to haul the Summer dated SO1639 Holyhead -Crewe away from Holyhead. The loco is unusually on the Up end of the train. There is still a lack of clarity as to what will happen to the Arriva owned coached when Keolis-Amey takes over on 18/10/18 though the long term plans are to hire Mk4 coaches for the Holyhead-Cardiff services from late 2019. No mention has been made about the Manchester loco-hauled services. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Waunfawr station buildings to be removed

The wooden station buildings at Waunfawr are to be removed soon and work is to start in September on the new Waunfawr station building which will look very similar to the original at this location and may incorporate any suitable stone from the original building stored on pallets under the footbridge. The current wooden buildings, which were recently refurbished by the Tuesday Gang, will go into storage and may be used for other halts that currently do not have waiting shelters, such as Bontnewydd or Plas-y-nant. The new Waunfawr station will be completed by Spring 2019.

 

Prince to haul 'Journey into the Past' special 5/8/18

The first train of the new WHHG sponsored train Rhyd Ddu with a special stop at Tryfan Junction runs this Sunday 5/8/18 at 1100 from Dinas. The trains will operate every Sunday throughout August and advance booking is necessary (phone 01766 516024 to reserve seats). The three coach train will use Heritage coaching stock typical of the original WHR. A connection is available off the 1000 ex Caernarfon. After a stop at Tryfan Junction for photos the train resumes at 1210 to cross the 1050 ex-Porthmadog train at Waunfawr. The train will stop and allow observation from the window of other station buildings at Betws Garmon and Glan-y-afon quarry sidings.

There will be an extended break at Rhyd Ddu for packed lunch and toilet break while the loco tops up with water and runs round. The train will return at 1400 passing the 1420 from Caernarfon at Waunfawr at 1450 before terminating at Dinas at 1505. A connection is available to Caernarfon at 1605, giving an hour to watch the shunting. Tickets cost 36 (children/Society members 24) and include a packed lunch. There is a 5 add on fare from Caernarfon.

For full details see F&WHR Insider Facebook page. Any photos would be appreciated.

Mike Hadley (WHHG) adds: The coaching stock should be carriages Nos.18/15 together with the Curly Roofed Van (Van No.1). A new display of photographs has been assembled and will be located in the Goods Shed at Dinas where guests will be welcomed. At Tryfan Junction the train will set back and those that wish
to will be able (under supervision) to cross the line to the vicinity of the former signal cabin base where they can photograph the train run past. There will be toilet facilities at Tryfan Junction and 'the mug of stationmaster's tea' will be amongst the finest in the western hemisphere (a gross exaggeration!) but will include an Earl Grey alternative.

 

Events 2018

1/1/18 Final day of Mince Pie Specials
10-18/2/18 Hugh Napier and Velinheli on display at Kings Cross
10-25/2/18 Purple timetable Porthmadog-Beddgelert MFX
3-15/3/18 Orange timetable Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn MTFX
14/4/18 The Snowdonian
12/5/18 Caernarfon Food Festival (Extra services)
18-20/5/18 Rail-Ale 14th Annual Beer Festival based at Dinas
9/6/18 The Snowdonian Limited- a limited stop re-run of The Snowdonian
16-18/6/18 Hugh Napier at Bala Lake Railway steam gala
21/6 and 23-4/6/18 Palmerston at Bala Lake Railway
22-25/6/18 Hunslet 125 Gala celebrating Blanche and Linda's 125th Birthday
9/7/18 Special timetable for Railtour
5-26/8/18 Sundays Journey to the Past special Dinas-Rhyd Ddu with Prince and two heritage coaches with an extended stop at Tryfan Junction for refreshments, including packed lunch
10-11/8/18 Lilla to Visit Shrewsbury Flower Show Quarry Park, Shrewsbury
14-16/9/18 Lyn to visit SuperPower (WHR AGM 15/9/18)
29-30/9/18 Lyd visit to L&BR Gala
29-30/9/18 Lilla? to visit Buckfastleigh on the SDR
5-7/10/18 FR Victorian Weekend (may include some WHR events)
31/10/18 WHR Halloween Train
8-9/12/18 WHR Santa Specials (routes to be confirmed)
15-16/12/18 WHR Santa Specials (routes to be confirmed)
22-23/12/18 WHR Santa Specials (routes to be confirmed)
27/12/18-1/1/19 WHR Mince Pie Specials (Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu twice daily)

 

Mainline news

There will be a series of railtours both to and from North Wales in 2018 while de-fuelling and removing contaminated material from Wylfa Nuclear Power Station will continue for another year at least providing the only freight traffic on the route. In recent years steam on the North Wales Coast/Blaenau Ffestiniog has declined and steam on the Cambrian disappeared due to NR reneging on its promise to provide a mobile ERTMS unit. Railtours are diesel hauled unless otherwise specified. It is good to see a few railtours starting from Bangor but sad to see nothing on the Cambrian again!

14/4/18 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe to Llandudno/Holyhead (steam throughout on main line) from Crewe Saphos Rail.

28/4/18 'The Ynys Mon Express' Leicester to Holyhead (steam) Tornado UKRT.

2/6/18 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe to Llandudno/Holyhead (steam throughout on main line) Saphos Rail.

14/6/18 'Three Peaks' Private charter Crewe to Bangor

15/6/18 'Three Peaks' Private charter Bangor to Ravenglass and Fort William

12/7/18 'The Conwy Valley Explorer' Dumfries to Betws-y-coed (47/57 throughout) West Coast Rail.

19/7/18 'The Royal Windsor Express II' Bangor (and stations to Chester) to Windsor West Coast Rail.

22/7/18 'The North Wales Coast Express' Manchester Piccadilly-Llandudno/Holyhead steam throughout on main line) RTC.

24/7/18 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston to Blaenau Ffestiniog (steam) RTC.

4/8/18 'The William Shakespeare' Bangor (and stations to Crewe) to Stratford-on-Avon (steam throughout) Saphos Rail.

30/8/18 'The Conwy Valley Explorer II' Harrogate to Betws-y-coed (47/57 throughout) West Coast Rail.

29/9/18 'The Ynys Mon Express' Leicester to Blaenau Ffestiniog/Holyhead (Tornado) UK Railtours

13/10/18 'North Wales Coast 40' Crewe-Blaenau Ffestiniog/Holyhead (40013/D213 Andania) Saphos Rail

17/10/18 'The Pendle Dalesman III' Bangor (and stations to Chester) to Carlisle (steam Hellifield-Carlisle) West Coast Rail.

19/10/18 'Tenth Anniversary Tour' Chester to Blaenau Ffestiniog/Holyhead (Tornado) Private.

 

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 is as follows:

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

^ Bank Holiday weekend

WW-Working week Saturday-Thursday

! Dates for November and December 2018 are provisional pending preparation of the Winter Major Works Programme for 2018-19.

The Tuesday Gang expects to be operating pretty well every Tuesday.

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

 

V4.3672 updated 13/9/18