Welsh Highland Railway

Stop Press Page

 

V4.3767

News (15/11/19)

You are visitor No.

to this website

Images updated from 11/11/19

Click here for new images

Click here for latest news

Star Picture

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows No.608 hauling a heritage rake heading for Beddgelert between T2 and T3 in the Aberglaslyn Pass during the photo charter. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Phil Brown (F&WHR) and was taken on a 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.

 

gam_print_ordsvywat-sun-0132226440868.jpg 





























































(739415 bytes)

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 3/11/19)

Snow Scenes (updated 10/12/18)

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

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

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

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

Video list (new 9/11/15)

Access to Phase 2 pages is currently being progressed.

 

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

Isengard@talktalkdotnet

This has been introduced as an anti-spam feature.

Disclaimer

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

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

 

Stop Press!!

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

New text in RED!

 

News Section

WHR timetables

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

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

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

Click here for Mike Schumann's Phase 4 TWA maps  and other maps courtesy of WHRS

Click here for John Sreeves Gradient profile courtesy of WHRS

Click here for Chainages and OS Map Reference

 

Russell and Baldwin 3/11/19

Bob Branch's Photoshoot had some lovely weather and autumn colours emphasised the splendour of the Aberglaslyn Pass. For details of next November's series of photo charters on the F&WHR email Bob at branchbob@outlook.com.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Russell storming up the Nantmor Incline. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Russell on the WHHR's rake arriving at Beddgelert after the Baldwin. This was the first time Russell and a Baldwin had been seen at Beddgelert since the WHR closed to passenger traffic on 5/9/36. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (3/11/19) shows Russell on the WHHR's rake approaching T4. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/11/19) shows Russell on the WHHR's rake emerging T4. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Russell and Baldwin No.608 taking water at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Click on the YouTube window to watch 1 min 24 seconds of video covering Russell running through T4 during the photo charter on 3/11/19. This YouTube was published on 3/11//19 and was taken by Andrew Goodwin (WHHR) using a camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

Click on the YouTube window to watch 4 mins 34 seconds of video covering Russell running through the Aberglaslyn Pass into Beddgelert during the photo charter on 3/11/19. This YouTube was published on 3/11//19 and was taken by Andrew Goodwin (WHHR) using a camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

East Anglian Group meeting 20/11/19

David Gander reports: Welsh Highland Railway Society East Anglian Group – November 2019 meeting

Our next meeting will be next Thursday, 20t/11/19. We welcome John Day, who will be talking to us about mainline steam in the 21st century – at home and abroad.

Our December meeting will be on Thursday 12/12/19 and will be our traditional Member’s’ Slides and Mince Pies evening. If you fancy a break from all the Election news then why not come and join us for a politics free evening? Please do bring some pictures or video to show us – best on a USB or flash drive – we can provide the laptop and screen.
 
We meet at the newly refurbished 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.

 

Prince 3/11/19

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Prince on the heritage rake at Porthmadog at the start of the day before the Baldwin was attached on the north end. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Prince on the rear of the Baldwin's rake heading towards T3 during a run past. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Prince on the rear of the Baldwin's rake at Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Baldwin No.608 3/11/19

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows No.608 heading towards Beddgelert passing Russell waiting to follow it up the Aberglaslyn Pass at Pen-y-Mount Junction. With increased usage of this junction anticipated next year it can't be long before it is properly signalled from the signalbox installed some years ago at this location that initially planned for Cae Pawb Crossing. Maybe with the renewed spirit of cooperation between the railways they will agree to the Cae Pawb Crossing Box now in its historical position. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows No.608 heading towards Beddgelert emerging from T3 during a run past. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Baldwin No.608 making a run past at Hafod Ruffydd. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Baldwin No.608 making a run past at Hafod Ruffydd. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Baldwin No.608 assisted by Prince making a run past at Hafod Ruffydd. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows No.608 during a run past at Hafod Ruffydd. The loco is reputed to have made a pleasing bark coming up the Nant Colwyn Pass through Beddgelert Forest. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Baldwin No.608 fails on charter

The Baldwin No.590 lookalike No.608 failed whilst in use on the photocharter last week after two run pasts at Hafod Ruffydd. There were a couple of leaking tubes at the top of the boiler and one side rod came loose presumably after a cotter pin came loose. The other side rod was removed at Beddgelert before the loco was returned to Boston Lodge for repair. The loco is new and like all new locos will have a few minor snags to fix before it operates reliably.

 

Orange timetable commences 13/11/19

The Orange timetable started on Saturday 9/11/19. Trains run from Porthmadog to Hafod-y-llyn SWThO at 1115 and 1415. Passengers can only join the train at Porthmadog. Taliesin was rostered for the first day with Prince rostered for 13-14/11/19.

 

This northerly view (9/11/19) shows Taliesin working the Hafod-y-llyn train approaching the Afon Nanmor bridge as its returns to Porthmadog. It appears the loco was used instead of the rostered Prince. 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.

 

Vale of Ffestiniog visits Dinas 11/11/19

This southerly view (11/11/19) shows Vale of Ffestiniog arriving light engine at Dinas to collect some B wagons. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Snow report 8/11/19

Martin Kressman reports there was a blanket of snow on Snowdon and the Carneddau on 8/11/19. This persisted until 9/11/19 and gave a wonderful alpine backdrop to the Hafod-y-llyn service which started that day. Snowfall was also forecast for Snowdon Summit on 14/11/19 and most days for the following week.

 

Russell in the Pass 6/11/19

This southerly view (6/11/19) shows Russell emerging from T4 on a photo charter working for a group of Americans. Prince and Palmerston were also in use. 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.

 

No.138 freight 7/11/98

This northerly view (7/11/19) shows No.138 on a demonstration freight at Waunfawr during the final day of the Bob Branch photoshoot run pasts. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (7/11/19) shows No.138 on a demonstration freight during a run past just south of Clogwyn-y-Gwin in less than ideal weather! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Last service train of the season 2/11/19

This northerly view (2/11/19) shows No143 heading south rounding Ffridd Isaf curve on the final service train of the season. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Bob Branch and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Archive views 1/10/96

The following views are probably from 1/10/96 as it looks like the weather had changed from the photos of the previous day's rail delivery to Dinas.

 

This northerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the old Bryngwyn incline as seen from Rhosgadfan Road-Y Fron road. The section of track from Tryfan Junction to Bryngwyn was to be sold of to Gwynedd Council for use as the future Slate Trail as it was not envisaged that it would be restored. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (1/10/96) shows Caernarfon Castle from old Bryngwyn incline as seen from Rhosgadfan Road-Y Fron road. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the overgrown Summit Cutting from the A4085 road bridge at Pitt's Head. At this time the cutting was overgrown and flooded due to poor drainage at the site of Pitt's Head halt. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the overgrown Summit Cutting from the A4085 road bridge at Pitt's Head. At this time the cutting was flooded due to poor drainage at the site of Pitt's Head halt. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (1/10/96) shows Summit level from the A4085 at Pont Cae'r Gors. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the trackbed in rather open conditions near the Cwm Du Forest Car Park. Later planting obscured the views at this location but a new footpath crosses the line at this point. Snowdon is visible touching the cloud cover. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the trackbed in rather open conditions at Cwm Du bridge. There are no views from this area now as deciduous forestry has grown since the area was clear-felled in 2000. Snowdon is visible touching the cloud cover. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the view now lost to forestry looking south towards Beddgelert near the Afon Cwm Du bridge. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly archive view (1/10/96) shows the view now lost to forestry looking towards Snowdon near the Beddgelert Forest car park at Cwm du. The track curves north towards Pont Cae'r Gors cutting. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

While work at Dinas had yet to start, some work was underway at Glan-y-pwll building a new shed and test track for Garratts. Money for this came from a government fund set up to ease the closure of the Trawsfynydd nuclear Power Station.

 

This easterly archive view (1/10/96) shows the headshunt of the Glan-y-pwll test track alongside NR tracks near the former Dinas (FR) station. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly archive view (1/10/96) shows the new shed at Glan-y-pwll and the test track extending towards Glan-y-pwll junction. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly archive view (1/10/96) shows the test track at Glan-y-pwll Junction. Some redundant bridge beams had been used to shore up the disused and dilapidated FR formation at this point. 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 Sigma SA300 camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Moving Pictures No.37 4/11/19

Click on the YouTube window to watch 21 mins 29 seconds of video covering the launch of new Observation Car Gwyrfai, the delivery of Baldwin No.608 and its test run on 1/11/19 and extended coverage of the photo charter on 3/11/19 with the Baldwin top and tailed by Prince running beyond Beddgelert. This YouTube was published on 5/10/19 and was taken by John Wooden on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

Comparison of Observation Cars 5/11/19

This easterly view (3/11/19) shows all four Observation Cars side by side in Porthmadog Harbour Station. The second from the left is Glaslyn and the fourth the new Gwyrfai. 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.

 

Russell and No.608 in the Aberglaslyn Pass 3/11/19

This easterly view (3/11/19) shows Russell catching the afternoon sun hauling a special photo charter with the WHHR's cooperation. This was allowed as the WHR services had terminated for the Autumn the day before. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin General Manager (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (3/11/19) shows Baldwin No.608 catching the afternoon sun hauling a special photo charter at the north end of Beddgelert station. So both original WHR locos were available for this special working. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin General Manager F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows No.608 hauling a heritage rake heading for Beddgelert between T2 and T3 in the Aberglaslyn Pass during the photo charter. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Phil Brown (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

As part of a photocharter over several days and including events on the FR, the newly arrived Baldwin No.508 (45190 of 1/3/17) hauled an FR rake to a point beyond Beddgelert. The rake had Prince on the rear to provide vacuum braking. The loco performed well and made an impressive noise climbing the Nantmor Incline. The loco is a little light on its feet and slipped several times departing Beddgelert northbound but then even the heavy Garratt locos can slip starting on the 1 in 40 in this station. Russell arrived at the station on a WHHR rake courtesy of the WHHR and it was possible to recreate historical tableaux. The loco did not proceed past Beddgelert so the Beddgelert-Waunfawr section is available as a new feature for future Russell events. It is hoped Russell and a Baldwin will be available for WHR members at next year's gala.

 

 

This southerly view (3/11/19) shows Russell approaching Ynysfor Crossing in the late afternoon sunshine. The Gladstone car is behind the loco. The loco did not pass Beddgelert during the photocharter but has been given permission to travel further north in future events. 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.

 

Flying Scotsman in North Wales 8/11/19

Flying Scotsman visited North Wales on 8/11/19 passing Mold Junction at 1044 on Steam Dreams London-Holyhead North Wales Coast Express. No.60103 hauled the train from Crewe to Holyhead and return. The loco will water at Llandudno Junction and take a break at Holyhead, being turned on the now disused Valley Nuclear Electric triangle.

Other workings on 8/11/19 included 67013 on the ManWAG and 67014 on the Cardiff service with Nos. 67023/27 on the RHTT.

On 7/11/19 Nos. 67023/27 top and tailed an NR test train to Holyhead. The RHTT saw Nos. 56087/113 top and tailing, a service they also worked on 5/11/19.

On 6/11/19 67010 was on the Cardiff service and 67013 on the ManWAG, which it also hauled the day before.

On 5/11/19 67012 worked the Cardiff-Holyhead.

On 1/11/19 the RHTT was hauled by Nos.56087/97302.

 

BFHRT update

The Bala & Ffestiniog Heritage Railway Trust that took over the suspended Trawsfynydd project has engaged Green Dragon Rail to help it prepare H&S documentation to allow it to access the Blaenau-Trawsfynydd Lake section again from 2020 hopefully.

 

Blaenau Branch closed again 23/10/19

Following a rockfall in Blaenau Ffestiniog Tunnel the branch was closed yet again from 23/10/19 for inspection and repair but was reopened a few days later. Services terminated at Llanrwst and a bus link was provided. The whole line will be closed from 23/11/19-15/12/19 to complete the storm repair from last winter and deal with 600 rock bolts in Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel to stabilise the loose rock the geological survey identified were necessary. See Daily Post story.

 

Former Star Picture

This northerly view (19/9/17) shows 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.

 

No.87 cosmetic completion

Martin Kressman reports: On 5/11/19 at Dinas No.87 was being assembled to cosmetically appear complete (i.e. power bogies underneath, cab, tank, bunker and external pipework etc. in place) in time for a photo-call on 7/11/19. It will then dismantled again to complete the build.

 

Mountaineer project launch 24/11/19

A new group is planning to build a replica of England loco Mountaineer in its original side tank form. The project was revealed in the press in August. Click on North Bay Engineering Facebook page for boiler images. For full information see Mountaineer Project website.

 

This images (1//11/19) shows the start of work on the boiler for the new Mountaineer replica. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is courtesy  North Bay Rail Engineering. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Christmas Pullman Tea on the WHR

A new feature this Xmas holiday is an Christmas Pullman Tea on the WHR between Caernarfon and Rhyd Ddu available on 27/12/19 and 31/12/19. See F&WHR Facebook page for full details.

 

Archive views 30/9/96?

Things started to move quickly in mid-1996 with the Gwynedd Council site at Dinas sold to the FR and evacuated over the next few months. Track materials were purchased from the redundant SAR Donnybrook line and shipped to the UK but at times it was a race between the locals and the contractors to remove the rail in South Africa. Some came as panels and some disassembled for use on curves. Track components came in B wagons which were stored at Dinas up on the bank behind the future Dock Siding. The following views were taken on 30/9/96 by invitation.

 

This easterly archive view (30/9/96) shows some of the workshops retained at Dinas that had been constructed by Welsh Water. B1899 complete with bogies and filled with track components stands in front of the shed. the shed was later to be known as the Clip shed where many track clips were cleaned and greased. 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 archive view (30/9/96) shows the Goods Shed at Dinas and some initial clearance of the Welsh Water site sufficient for the delivery and storage of track materials. 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 archive view (30/9/96) shows the convoy of lorries delivering loose rail to Dinas parked in the area that was to become the future platform. 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 archive view (30/9/96) shows bundles of 5 rails being unloaded to a stack on the site of the future Carriage Shed. In the background are the Welsh Water offices that were soon to be removed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (30/9/96) shows the pile of rails growing. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (30/9/96) shows the B wagon bodies, still with bogies attached and full of track fittings, stored on the bank about the future Dock Siding. 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 archive view (30/9/96) shows the Clip shed on the left and the erstwhile Gwynedd Council offices. A pile of ballast has been delivered presumably to level the site as tracklaying was not to start until the following Spring as the constrictor Mowlem refused volunteer access to the site whilst it was under construction. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (30/9/96) shows the south face of Dinas Goods shed which was to become a temporary home to Castell Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (30/9/96) shows the east face of Dinas station building with an extension that was soon to be knocked down. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly archive view (30/9/96) shows the narrow gauge bridge just south of Dinas station building. The WHR was to use the standard gauge bridge to the left and this bridge remains in use as a road access to the WHR depot at Dinas where they had purchased the southerly half of the Welsh Water building. 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.

 

Baldwin No.608's first WHR trip 1/11/19

Baldwin No.608 made its first WHR trip on 1/11/19 after attention at Boston Lodge reaching Pont Croesor. It was supported by Upnor Castle as rescue loco/braking load.

 

This easterly view (1/11/19) shows No.608 setting out onto the WHR for the first time in steam, departing Porthmadog in poor conditions for a test run to Pont Croesor. Upnor Castle is on the rear to haul the loco back. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (1/11/19) shows No.608 crossing Britannia Bridge for the first time in steam. The poor weather at least caused good condensation effects and the green colour does not really show in these lighting conditions. 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 (1/11/19) shows No.608 crossing NR at Cae Pawb. the first Baldwin to do so since the original WHR closed. for the first time in steam. Part of the test run would be to see how the loco ran through the tramway section and across this specially constructed flat crossing. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Phil Brown (F&WHR) and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (1/11/19) shows No.608 having arrived at Pont Croesor. After any necessary adjustments it is hoped that the loco will make a test run to Beddgelert to see how it performs on the 1 in 40, followed by loaded test runs with short prototypical WHR rakes. The loco performed well and ran through all points acceptably, including crossing Pont Croesor North Point to gain the southbound platform. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The return of a Baldwin to the WHR allows the recreation of many historical tableaux. The original WHR Baldwin No.590, another 10-12-D 4-6-0T, arrived on the WHR in 1923 purchased from WW1 disposals by Colonel Stephens. It ran on the WHR until closure in 1937 but was out of gauge for the FR. The loco was scrapped in 1942 as part of the war effort metal recovery programme. It is thus 77 years since a Baldwin graced WHR metals.

No.608's history is quite complex. Some 495 Baldwins were delivered for WW1 and this was one of the final batch of 100. It is likely to have seen service on the Western Front. After being constructed for the War Department as Works No.45190 of 1917 the loco was offered for disposal after termination of hostilities in 1918. This loco was likely to have been part of a batch sent with track to the North West Frontier in India to work in in supply depots to support the Third Afghan War which took place in 1919. It then became redundant and became part of the Indian North Western Railway's rolling stock and after storage was sold off in the 1930s.

No.608 became No.45 and was sold as one of six to Daurala Sugar Works in Uttar Pradesh in North Central India. In 1981 it was sold on to Ryam Sugar Factory about 500 miles to the east in Bihar. This closed in 1994 and the loco stood derelict there for 20 years. Three locos were repatriated to the Statfold Barn Railway in 2013 and one of these was sold on to West Lancs Railway founder Graham Fairhurst. The loco moved to a private workshop near Leyland in 2013 where ex Horwich apprentice Jack Cuerden (now78) undertook much of the work, though boiler work was undertaken elsewhere. Final assembly and steam testing took place in early October at Johnson's engineering workshop, Southport before delivery to the F&WHR on 11/10/19. the loco was tested the next day at Boston Lodge.

Owner Graham Fairhurst says the loco will remain at the WHR for the foreseeable future but will be available to visit other lines.

 

Archive Photos

Scanning and dating the WHR archive has taken a considerable amount of time, partly due too poor record keeping, partly because some slides need cleaning up but mostly because they were mixed up at some stage and do not have printed dates/numbers on mounts. A few of these photos were published in Railway Magazine for a short period but all predate this website which started about 2000. These pictures were taken around the end of august 1995 with a processing date of 10/9/95.

 

This southerly view (30/8/95?) shows the trackbed on the narrow shelf in the gorge at Plas-y-nant. The landowner claim right of access over the Plas-y-nant bridge which was to result in a gated cantilevered footbridge being required and apparently never used as with the footpath crossing immediately to the north! 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Slide scanned with Minolta DiMAGE ScanDual III AF2840 and post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (30/8/95?) shows the Caernarfon station site used as a car park at that time as viewed from Segontium Terrace footbridge. Gwynedd Council had provided railway style gates on the Lon Eifion to restrict access to vehicles. There was as similar gate at Hendy Crossing. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Slide scanned with Minolta DiMAGE ScanDual III AF2840 and post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (30/8/95?) shows the Caernarfon station site used as a car park at that time with Caernarfon Castle framed by Segontium Terrace footbridge. Originally the Afon Wen and Llanberis branches passed under this bridge and the horse worked Docks Branch took off to the left just after the bridge where the formation became wider. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Slide scanned with Minolta DiMAGE ScanDual III AF2840 and post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Engineers examined Pont Croesor and determined that the existing lintels that carried the WHR were sufficiently strong to carry the rebuilt railway. Initially a concrete ballasted deck was proposed. The bridge was rebuild by Gwynedd Council in 1994 with a new concrete deck and new high impact resistance highway balustrades. As GC was aware that the WHR was being planned care was taken to ensure the railway alignment was unimpeded. the initial plans were for a concrete deck with track ballast trough. Plans changed with the wider loading gauge and a steel beam structure was eventually built slightly cantilevered upstream to the west to allow for wider rolling stock and a walkway.

 

This northerly view (5-6/4/96?) shows the line of the WHR on the vacant piers adjacent to the recently rebuilt Pont Croesor road bridge. The studs of the holding down bolts are still visible in the concrete lintels. 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 Sigma SA300 SLR camera. Slide scanned with Minolta DiMAGE ScanDual III AF2840 and post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.130 progress 28/10/19

Over the last two weeks the paintwork on the tanks and dome has been completed at Boston Lodge. Eleven coats have been applied to build the depth of the colour and three layers of the sign-writing and lining have been added before two coats of varnish complete the painting. The loco itself is now in the Carriage Shed at Dinas with cab, crinolines and manifold fitted. Most valves have been fitted but are not all connected yet. No.130 must wait its turn as No.87 is first priority to return to steam for the next season.

 

A Year in the Life of the F&WHR 21/10/19

Click on the YouTube link to watch a 5 minute 27 second preview of the 4 DVD/BluRay Disc set 'A year in the Life of the F&WHR' available from November for Xmas presents etc. This YouTube was published on 21/10/19 and was taken by John Wooden on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

Special headboard 20/10/19

This northerly view (20/10/19) shows No.138 on the 1020 for Porthmadog bearing a headboard celebrating a well loved member of the North Wales Track Gang who passed away recently. 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.

 

JITP postscript 23/9/19

The stock from the Journey into the Past train was returned to ~Boston Lodge on 29/9/19 which involved Prince making a Heritage Style ECS journey over the WHR.

 

This northerly view (23/9/19) shows Prince passing the summit at 1021 with the ECS Journey into the Past heritage rake returning to Boston Lodge at the end of the season. Unfortunately the sun went in just at that second. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (23/9/19) shows Prince approaching Pont Croesor at 1104 with the ECS Journey into the Past heritage rake in fine weather. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (23/9/19) shows No.143 departing Pont Croesor at 11:07 on the 1050 service train for Caernarfon having crossed the ECS Journey into the Past heritage rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Funkey freight 19/10/19

This easterly view (19/10/19) shows Vale of Ffestiniog heading for Dinas with the temporary track panels used at events for storage. 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.

 

Christmas Trains

The FR's Santa Trains will run from Porthmadog to Beddgelert again this year on weekends from 7/12/19 and additionally on Monday 23/12/19. WHR Santa Trains will only operate on the 6 weekend dates over this period running Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu. Train times from Porthmadog are 11:00and 14:15. See FR Santa leaflet. Train times are 10:00 and 13:40 from Caernarfon see WHR Santa leaflet.

 

Journey into the Past 22/9/19

Even so late in the season there were plenty of customers for this service. New parking opposite the station is for workers associated with the redevelopment of the Triangle site nearer the castle but the parking next to the former De Winton's Factory is by way of honesty box.

 

This southerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince arriving at Caernarfon ten minutes late with the Journey into the Past heritage rake. Apparently it was difficult to raise steam as the loco had been left cold in the Carriage Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/9/19) shows the Matissa tamper and NG15 No.133 in Dinas Dock Siding. The spare NG16 water tank is sitting a DZ wagon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince waiting at Dinas whilst passengers were given a talk in the Goods Shed. WHHG staff accompanied each coach giving a commentary about points of interest. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/9/19) shows a member of the Heritage Group dressed as a period station master giving a brief history of the WHR in the Goods Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince with the blower on developing steam for the climb to Tryfan Junction. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (22/9/19) shows No.130 outside Dinas Loco shed. The tanks are still at Boston Lodge being painted. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows No.130 outside Dinas Loco shed. This loco will be in steam by late next year. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince making a run past under tracksafe supervision at Tryfan junction. Click k on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (22/9/19) shows No.143 passing Waunfawr on the service train. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows the partially restored Betws Garmon station building from the passing train the station is too close to the running line to be usefully restored although there is need for a halt near Bryn Gloch campsite. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows the clearance around the Glanrafon Quarry weigh-house as seen from the passing train. The building had been disappearing into the undergrowth until clearance earlier this year. The WHHG hope further restoration may be allowed at this site. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince taking water after the hard climb to Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince ready to complete the run round at Rhyd Ddu with a brief shaft of sunshine illuminating the seen. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows Prince completing the run round at Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (22/9/19) shows Bill as depot pilot shunting No.130 as seen from the train after an extended stop at Waunfawr for a picnic. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (22/9/19) shows the cleared line of the A487 Caernarfon/Bontnewydd Bypass just north of Bontnewydd Halt where a controlled haul road crosses the line. The road will eventually cross the line by means of a bridge here and the WHR requested that passive provision would allow for the NR standard gauge at this point. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Two Halloween trains 30-31/10/19

This year there will be two Halloween trains from Caernarfon. Trains depart Caernarfon at 1800 for Waunfawr (where finger-bites are served at the Snowdonia Park Brewpub) and arrive back at 2100. There are also two Halloween trains on the FR

 

This year's Holloween Poster. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales Main line news 20/10/19

DB red No.67010 was on the MANWAG working and silver liveried No.67014 on the Holyhead-Cardiff working on 17-18/10/19. No.67025 was noted painted silver/grey and red TfW livery at Toton on 15/10/19 prior to the start of the new TfW dedicated fleet in December. Several locos will pass through Toton to be painted to form the allegedly dedicated fleet.

On 19-20/10/19 the RHTT was top and tailed by Nos.56113/090.

 

This easterly view (15/10/96) shows No.67026 in its new TfW livery. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Darren Frearson and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Archive slide scans from 1996

In 1996 plans for the WHR go well underway with EU grants applied for and a schedule for opening in 1997. With closure of Trawsfynydd Nuclear Reactor some funds were also available for local developments for engineering and the FR built the new shed on the Glan-y-pwll branch. The track was relaid on the branch with a headshunt at the Afon Barlwyd bridge and a three road shed alongside BR tracks near the Crosville depot. This shed would later become home to number 138 and a test track for Garratts. the WHRS were active here sorting out track materials recovered fro the narrow gauge Channel Tunnel construction railway which were being disposed. A set of jacks came to the F&WHR from this source.

Notes of WHR plans made in this period are interesting to read.

September 1996: Track arrives at Dinas

October 1996: Garratt arriving Glan-y-pwll depot

November/December 1996 : Trackbed clearance starts

January/February 1997: Tracklaying starts

March 1997: Track in Caernarfon station/Garratt delivered to Dinas

April 1997: Trial runs

May 1997: Steaming

June 1997: Snagging

July 1997: Public Opening

Due to some slippage in the schedule, the opening did not occur until 13/10/97 and missed the Summer season holiday traffic!

Track materials were being lifted from the Donnybrook line in South Africa, stored in B wagon bodies to be delivered to Dinas, with extra bogies purchased for coaches. On the rolling stock side two NG16 Garratts had been purchased Nos.138/143 and two Funkeys from PPC Porth Elizabeth SA. Winsons in Daventry had the order for the initial rake of coaches and a giant track laying machine that it was hoped would mechanise the laying of preassembled track panels. A Pullman to be named Bodysgallen was being donated by the owner of the Luxury Spa of the same name at Llandudno. Initially 10 forty foot coaches were to be ordered with a design speed of 25-30 mph in view of the 25 mile length of the WHR. Similar coaches on the Port Elizabeth line in South Africa were operated at 30mph. In the event an initial tranche of 5 coaches (plus the Pullman) was ordered for delivery in September 1997.

 

This easterly view (17/6/96) shows a BR DMU heading towards Llandudno Junction passing the new Glan-y-pwll shed which was to become the initial operating base of the WHRS and see trackworks. The shed was soon to see the first work on an NG16 and three roads were laid inside. A connecting test track was laid from the shed to a headshunt and back along the old trackbed alongside the Afon Barlwyd to the junction with the FR to the right. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

The WHR's Funkey was unaltered given the larger loading gauge designed for the line. It is a large loco for narrow gauge measuring 31' by 7' and weighing 27 tonnes. The loco is vacuum braked as is all F&WHR rolling stock and has a 350hp Cummins diesel power unit. The 6 cylinder unit is turbocharged and linked with a fluid flywheel to the final drive.

 

This easterly view (26/7/96) shows the unaltered Funkey Castell Caernarfon in new maroon livery displayed in Y Maes, Caernarfon town square. The loco was to be named shortly afterwards. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (26/7/96) shows the Funkey being named Castell Caernarfon by Dafydd Wigley, the local MP, Tony Smare and Mike Schumann in the rain. Unusually for the FR it was monolingual, without a English nameplate Caernarfon Castle on the other side. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (26/7/96) shows the Funkey being named Castell Caernarfon by Dafydd Wigley, the local MP, Tony Smare and Mike Schumann in the rain. Given the weather there were few onlookers! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (26/7/96) shows the Funkey being named Castell Caernarfon by Dafydd Wigley, the local MP, Tony Smare and Mike Schumann in the rain. Unusually for the FR it was monolingual, without a English nameplate Caernarfon Castle on the other side. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (26/7/96) following the naming shows a spare nameplate Castell Caernarfon being presented to Dafydd Wigley, the local MP by Mike Schumann. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (26/7/96) following the naming shows a spare nameplate Castell Caernarfon being presented to Dafydd Wigley, the local MP by Mike Schumann. An information shop was opened on Y Maes and a teenager won the prize of a model railway and later became a buffet attendant! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (26/7/96) following the naming shows the loco getting thoroughly wet after the ceremony. The loco was on display for a few days before being moved to Dinas, following the FR taking possession of the site. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (26/7/96) shows the complete trackbed north of St Helens Road bridge and passing over the Gwyrfai viaduct. Gwynedd Council had just completed the new A487 Gwyrfai Bridge and included in the design in collaboration with the FR, space for the WHR and the Lon Eifion long distance cycleway. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (26/7/96) shows the complete trackbed with the new St Helens Road bridge passing over. The design allowed for the new WHR Funkey loading gauge with the Lon Eifion long distance cycleway on the left with some ballast on the right for the future railway. This was arguably the first section of the railway to be completed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (26/7/96) shows the propped Coed Helen lane bridge. The original Carnarvonshire Railway was build with structures completed for double track in future but there was never more than a single track. The prop needed to be replaced and moved to the right as the trackbed would be on the left in this view. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

New speed limit

A new 40 mph speed limit was noticed on the A497 between Minffordd and The Cob, though it is not obvious why as there are no houses on this section. A mobile speed camera was noted on this section in late September.

 

VoR General Manager responds 17/10/19

In coverage of the VoR it was suggested that many enthusiasts would like to see a Rheidol loco visit the WHR, either a GWR tank or a their new NG16. The VoR General Manager Llŷr ap Iolo has responded:

'The VoR has not changed hands. It is the same company which is a charity and the shares are still held by the Trust. Our chairman has passed away.

There has been no discussion about a Rheidol tank visiting the WHR. We will only have two after March as No.9 comes in for a 10 yearly overhaul and new tanks.

Palmerston was hired and paid for when it visited and was not an exchange deal.

There has been no talk of No.60 (the new NG16) leaving VoR metals to date and it will be air braked anyway.'

 

VoR locos to visit WHR?

The change of ownership at the VoR has led to hopes that a VoR loco might visit the WHR next year. The F&WHR had lent Palmerston to the VoR in 2015, making a very successful Gala. The VoR now has three working Swindon built locos No. 7 Owain Glyndwr, No. 6 Llywelyn and No. 9 Prince of Wales, no longer carrying their names, so it has more locos than it needs for everyday services and easily afford to have one visit the WHR. No.9 currently carries No.1213 (an original GWR number with some subterfuge to it). When asked in September, the F&WHR's General Manager Paul Lewin said he would welcome a VoR loco visiting the WHR and recognised it would be a big draw.

 

RAIB report on leaning out of trains 16/10/19

Following recent fatal accidents at Balham (7/8/16) and Twerton (1/12/18) on the mainline the RAIB has published recommendations about leaning out of trains, including heritage trains. The RAIB recognises that heritage railways are different e.g. limited to 25mph, lineside clearance will probably suffice. However its advice is that 'Operators of heritage railways, using stock that passengers could lean out of, should review their risk assessments for people leaning out and implement any additional mitigation measures necessary to achieve an acceptable level of safety (paragraph 95b)', see Twerton Accident Report. As the F&WHR operates open coaches and 'open' Gravity trains, this might apply to the F&WHR.

 

Baldwin arrives on the F&WHR 11/10/19

The long promised Baldwin No.608 being rebuilt at Southport arrived unannounced on the F&WHR on 11/10/19 having missed the June Russell event it was originally promised for. It will remain on the F&WHR for some time and be subject to some trials. At the moment it is stabled in Boston Lodge where no doubt some final snagging will take place and presumably the fitment of F&WHR style couplings.

After use in WW1, it was transferred to the North Western Railway of India (where it ran as NWR 45) and finally provided traction Daurala and Ryam sugar factories.

Enthusiasts have long waited for a Baldwin on the WHR and it is hoped that No.794 carrying No.590, the original WHR Baldwin, will be joining the WHHR from Aberystwyth next year. With improved relationships between the F&WHR and the WHHR it is hoped that a Baldwin and Russell will feature at some future event, maybe even No.590 recreating historical tableaux.

 

This view (11/10/19) shows Baldwin No.608 arriving on a low loader at Gasworks Siding alongside Llyn Bach. The loco is finished in a dark green livery. 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 view (11/10/19) shows Baldwin No.608 being dragged away from Gasworks Siding alongside Llyn Bach. F&WHR Ex-WD Simplex loco Mary Ann and Upnor Castle were used to drag the loco to Boston Lodge for safe storage. 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.

 

Digital scanning of WHR slides continues

Apologies for the gap in news but scanning had reached a critical stage and images needed to be uploaded to One Drive with a digital name in order to ensure they were stored in the correct date order of film process date YYYYMMDD plus an exposure number. This will make accessing WHR images a lot easier. This task has now been completed after One Drive made it difficult by failing to upload several images when tasked with uploading several thousand. There is no IGNORE DUPLICATE function which would allow a user to quickly upload a second time if the totals did not match! Normal scanning has now resumed producing some mystery WHR slide locations which will feature in a 'Requests for Help' section in future.

 

TfW Class 67 appear in new livery

While the ATW blue Class 67s were rarely to be seen on the NWC services, it appears TfW will be requiring a fixed fleet of 5 locos in their livery. It seems that the locos must be fitted with a working driver/guard communication system and door interlock confirmation. No.67008 is first in line and on any day there are only two trains to and from Cardiff (2 diagrams?) with one spare loco. The additional locos could be used for MANWAG services if TfW decides its current extreme rolling stock shortage requires retaining these much loved loco hauled trains after December. After all there is no shortage of Mk4 coaches on the market!

 

 

WHR views 15/9/19

This easterly view (15/9/19) shows Harlech Castle in its new green PW livery outstabled at Dinas North Yard. With the PW Dept moving away from high visibility yellow plant ballast plough Daffodil is now painted brown, an unlikely colour for a daffodil! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/19) shows the rake behind Harlech Castle which includes the bridge inspection cherrypicker. There are two viaducts north of Dinas on the old BR section that require regular inspections. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/19) shows No.143 running round at Caernarfon using the headshunt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/19) shows No.143 squeezing past the now sidelined Pullman coach Bodysgallen. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/19) shows Prince on the penultimate 'Journey into the Past'. Now in its second year of operation, this working was extended for two Sundays into late September. This year the train pauses at Waunfawr on the way back to use the new undercover station facilities for the picnic element of the trip. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Observation car Gwyrfai launched 5/10/19

Observation car No.2152 Gwyrfai was launched on 5/10/19 after a brief ceremony at Caernarfon with the Chairman of the F&WHR/Gwynedd Council Chairman and the WHRS Chairman. The Afon Gwyrfai is the name of the river the WHR follows for most of its length north from Rhyd Ddu. With a second Observation car in service both sets are now fully equipped.

 

This view (5/10/19) shows the launch of No.2152 Gwyrfai into service on the WHR. 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.

 

After the VIP launch on 5/10/19 Gwyrfai made its first public runs on 6/10/19 coinciding with the FR's Vintage Weekend where, unusually, there were no events on the WHR. For the first two days the new coach ran coupled to Pullman No.2115 Bodysgallen providing two first class carriages in the set. After the first weekend Bodysgallen was taken out of the set and will held in reserve, being added to either Observation when required to provide more first class accommodation.

See Cambrian News report.

 

No.130 progress 4/1019

By 4/10/19 the red gloss paint had been applied to the tanks at Boston Lodge.

For images see No.130 Facebook page.

 

F&WHR on TV 17/10/19

“Steam Train Britain” Thursday 17/10/19, Yesterday Channel, 8.00 p.m. (Freeview channel 25, Freesat 159)

"Television’s ongoing locomotive love affair continues with this new 10-part documentary following life on the nation’s many heritage railways. This opening programme begins with one the most famous and beautiful – the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway in Snowdonia"

 

North Wales Mainline news 2/10/19

On 1/10/19 No.67012 hauled the Cardiff-Holyhead.

With the Autumn leaf fall season starting Rail Head Treatment trains have begun to operate. On 2/10/19 Nos. 97304/56078 top and tailed the train from Crewe to Holyhead and returned early afternoon.

 

New Fairlie Boiler 2/10/19

This view (2/10/19) shows the new boiler for James Spooner part complete at Boston Lodge. The new Fairlie, the second to be named James Spooner, will hopefully enter service in 2020. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

North Wales main line news 1-15/10/19

The WAG Transport Minister has released a letter admitting the rolling stock problems and advising some solutions. One good piece of news is that the MANWAG service will be retained as a loco hauled train with Mk4 coaches though the recently introduced Class 37 hauled Cardiff-Rhymney train will soon go back to unit haulage.

A detailed Driver's Eye view of the North Wales Coast Line is available.

The Rail Head Treatment Trains (RHTT) kicked off on 1/10/19 for the leaf fall season which creates braking problems for lightweight DMUs. the first trains were top and tailed by Nos. 97304/56078. On 4-5/10/19 its was the turn of Nos.97302/4.

On 8-9/10/19 No.67014 was on the Holyhead-Cardiff while No.67010 was on the MANWAG on 8/10/19.

UK Railtours 'Snowdonian Panorama' ran from Euston to Llandudno Junction on 12/10/19 top and tailed by Nos.68005/033. The train then ran ECS to Holyhead for servicing. Also venturing briefly into North Wales on 12/10/19 was No.7029 Clun Castle with unusually No.20189 on the rear. This was the Chester Venturer from Dorridge, returning via Wrexham.

Also on 12/10/19 Nos.56090/96 were on the RHTT.

On 16/10/19 Nos.56113/096 were on the RHTT which also performed the duty the day before.

The MANWAG was hauled by No.67010 on 15/10/19.

 

Moving Pictures No.36 1/10/19

Click on the YouTube window to watch 28 mins 22 seconds of video covering Prince hauling the final Journey into the Past on 22/9/19, some aerial views and an FR trip. This YouTube was published on 1/10/19 and was taken by John Wooden on a professional 4K camcorder. It is best watched in HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows. Alternatively click on YouTube link.

 

Special Events 2019

1/1/19 Final WHR Mince Pie Special (Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu twice daily)
15-22/2/19 Felinheli and Chaloner historical display at King's Cross
16-28/2/19 February Half Term Purple MFX service Porthmadog-Beddgelert
2-28/3/19 March Orange service MTFX Porthmadog-Hafod-y-llyn 
30/3/19 Start of new season services from Caernarfon to Porthmadog
13/4/19 'The Snowdonian' with Lyd and Lyn
14/4/19 Two L&B Specials Lyn hauled from Porthmadog to Beddgelert
17-19/5/19 Rail-Ale 15th Annual Beer Festival based at Dinas
15/6/19 The Snowdonian Limited-a limited stop re-run of The Snowdonian
21-23/6/19 WHR Past, Present and Future including Russell, WD1215 and Baldwin No.605. WHRS AGM 22/6/19
4-25/8/19 and        15-22/9/19 Sundays Journey to the Past specials Dinas-Rhyd Ddu possibly with Prince or Baldwin No.605 and two heritage coaches with an extended stop at Tryfan Junction for refreshments, including packed lunch
10-11/8/19 Moelwyn and Chaloner Shrewsbury Flower Show
28-29/9/19 Lyd at the L&BR Gala
4-6/10/19 FR Victorian Weekend (may include some WHR events)
7-8/12/19 FR Santa Specials Porthmadog-Beddgelert 1100 and 1415
7-8/12/19 WHR Santa Specials Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu 1000 and 1340
14-15/12/19 FR Santa Specials Porthmadog-Beddgelert 1100 and 1415
14-15/12/19 WHR Santa Specials Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu 1000 and 1340
21-23/12/19 FR Santa Specials Porthmadog-Beddgelert 1100 and 1415
21-22/12/19 WHR Santa Specials Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu 1000 and 1340
18/4/20 The Snowdonian
2/5/20 FR AGM and FR extra services
9/5/20 Caernarfon Food Festival with additional train on WHR
5-7/6/20 WHR Beer Festival
19-21/6/20 Fairlie Event (may include some WHR events)
11-13/9/20 'Small' WHR Event and WHR AGM 12/9/20 may feature Baldwin No. 608
20/9/20 The Snowdonian Limited
9-11/10/20 Victorian Weekend (may include some WHR events)

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2019

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

The programme for 2019 is as follows:

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

^ Bank Holiday weekend

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

WW-Working week Saturday-Thursday

The Tuesday Gang expects to be operating most Tuesdays.

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

Contacts

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

Tuesday Gang:

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

 

V4.3767 updated 15/11/19