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 4/10/18)

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

 

F&WHR hit by Storm Callum 15/10/18

The F&WHR advised passengers in advance that all trains would be cancelled on Friday 12/10/18 because of Storm Callum. In the event while the storm was a little less serious in North Wales than last October's storm, trees were brought down. A large tree was found to have blocked the track near Fron Goch Garden centre and about 10 trees blocked the track on the FR near Whistling Curve. In the event, all trains were cancelled on both lines on Saturday except the 10:50 from Porthmadog which was booked to run to Beddgelert and possibly extended to Rhyd Ddu, if inspection trains found the line was clear in the Beddgelert Forest. Sunday saw a determined effort to clear the FR by the PW gangs but trains operated as normal on the WHR. By Monday both lines were operating normally.

 

This easterly view (14/10/18) shows No.138 ready to depart on a Caernarfon train and Vale of Ffestiniog on a PW train in Porthmadog Harbour station. The high levels of water on the inland side of The Cob indicate how much rainfall the area had endured! The waterfalls were still in spate days after the storm had passed. 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.

 

ATW bows out 13/10/18

Arriva Trains Wales handed over the keys on Saturday night to Keolis/Amey who operate the trains for TfW (Transport for Wales), on a non-profit making basis.

 

Llangefni Bridge 14/10/18

Martin Kressman reports: 'The bridge is going to be lifted (on 14/10/18 Ed) because the damage is so severe that it is now being supported by the lorry. It is to be taken to Gwlchmai for disposal. I don't think the driver will be allowed to drive again.'

The Daily Post has a final report and video.

 

Harlech Castle 12/10/18

This westerly view (12/10/18) shows FR PW loco Harlech Castle in its new livery at Boston Lodge. The green livery replaces the previous two tone yellow/grey 'plant' livery but retains the warning wasp stripes on the buffer beams. 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.

 

SuperPower 16/9/18

This westerly view (16/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Tryfan Junction on a vintage 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 Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (16/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Tryfan Junction on a vintage train. the station was manned for most of Saturday and Sunday by members of the WHHG who offered light refreshments. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (16/9/18) shows Lyn and Taliesin arriving at Tryfan Junction on a shuttle working from Waunfawr. Unusually both locos were on the front rather than top and tailed. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Lyn pausing at Tryfan Junction on a shuttle train wreathed in steam. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Lyn pausing at Tryfan Junction on a shuttle train with cow-catcher detail, a useful feature on a line where sheep often find their way onto the track! 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (16/9/18) shows No.138 negotiating the chicane around Wilko's store on Llyn Bach with the afternoon standard WHR service to Caernarfon. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This westerly view (16/9/18) shows Vale of Ffestiniog shunting FR stock in Porthmadog station. With so many FR locos on the WHR, the Funkey was an invaluable loco to have available for traffic over the weekend. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Class 40 outing reduced 13/10/18

With Storm Callum bringing heavy rain, trees down and landslides to North Wales, NR has closed the Conwy Valley line and Cambrian Coast lines north of Dyfi Junction for Friday and Saturday with bustitution, the last days of ATW's contract. This has impacted Saphos Rail's first Class 40 outing on 13/10/18 which will now run to Llandudno and then Holyhead if possible, missing out the Conwy Valley line. The fully booked train is to be hauled by D213 Andania (40013). See Daily Post report on storm.

 

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Lorry wedged under Llangefni bridge 11/10/18

In an unusual moved a lorry wedged under the Llangefni Bridge on the OOU Amlwch branch is to be released by lifting the bridge rather than cutting up the lorry! Let us hope the bridge is replaced as the line is being cleared by volunteers hoping to reopen the line. See Daily Post report.

 

Caernarfon station 16/9/18

This southerly view (16/9/18) shows Caernarfon platform which will be altered again during the WMWP. Tracks will be moved  to the right to match the platform edge as far as the location where the kerbs are displaced to the right. The point will be moved to the left allowing a maximum length train to be accommodated. The headshunt will be extended to allow two Garratts to run round together. Taliesin is seen in the distance taking water with the shuttle train in the platform. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Caernarfon cafe with its plate glass windows and plate glass balustrade. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows Caernarfon cafe giving a view over the castle. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (16/9/18) shows the red tile finish of the rotunda with the main entrance 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 Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows the red tile finish of the rotunda with the new high class toilets to the left. The expensive grey walling material gives a finish similar to slate. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (16/9/18) shows the large exhibition space with artists in residence. The large doors facing south will allow rolling stock to be displayed with minimal movement from the tracks. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

No.87 withdrawn for 10 year overhaul

This northerly view (7/10/18) shows No.87 at 1549 ready to haul the Diamond appeal supporters special from Caernarfon to Porthmadog. It was expected that this would be the final working for this loco before its 10 year overhaul this Autumn. The loco is to receive new bogie frames as the current frames are badly cracked. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Richard Watson a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Moelwyn 100 years old!

This westerly view (5/10/18) shows Moelwyn in the WHR at Porthmadog on the occasion of its 100th birthday. The loco was built for the First World War and acquired by the FR in the 1920s from a sale of war surplus stock. Now retired from front line PW use, the 2-4-0DM still sees regular outings, including on the WHR, as part of the Heritage Fleet. It was repainted in grey livery in 2016. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Paul Lewin (F&WHR) a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

TfW livery applied to North Wales trains 8/10/18

The Daily Post reports that the first re-liveried Class 175 DMU (No.175107) was running in North Wales duties from 8/10/18. Keolis/Amey take over WalesRail from midnight on Saturday 13/10/18 and the final loco-hauled ManWAG is likely to run on Friday 12/10/18. This service diagram is likely to be provided by a DMU in future as the coaching stock belongs to Arriva. The diagram itself continues to 7/12/18.

 

Diamond Jubilee appeal subscriber's special 7/10/18

Richard Watson reports: The annual Diamond Jubilee Appeal Supporters' event took place on Sunday 7/10/17. The tour took in Minffordd Yard, Boston Lodge Works and the new station at Caernarfon. The train was billed as Lyd plus 6 carriages, but in the event Blanche took the train from Minffordd (dep. 09.45) as far as Boston Lodge Halt, where contributors de-trained and the rolling stock put away in Glan-y-Mor yard.

At 12.15 the train departed again for Caernarfon, behind Garratt No.87. The Garratt had backed the carriages up to Boston Lodge Halt, and then departed, giving participants the unusual experience of being Garratt hauled across The Cob. This trip was to be No.87's final one before withdrawal for overhaul, having covered a record 110,000 miles in service in the 10 years it has been in traffic. Passing Harbour Station, the WHR service train was, unusually, stabled in the WHR loop.

At Caernarfon we were able to see inside the majority of the new building. The Exhibition Hall which opens onto the path from the station platform has doors deliberately made wide enough to accommodate an item or items of rolling stock. We also viewed the shop area, with floor to ceiling translucent panels to the outside, the high specification "Changing Places" disabled loo, and the downstairs and upstairs sections of the new cafe.

 

This easterly view (7/10/18) shows No.87 being prepared at Boston Lodge for its final trip. One aim of the Diamond Jubilee appeal to provide a Garratt sized loco shed over this siding for the WHR that starts from Porthmadog each morning. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Richard Watson a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (7/10/18) shows new build Observation car Gwyrfai being fitted out at Boston Lodge. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Richard Watson a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (7/10/18) from the upper floor of the cafe shows the best view of the Caernarfon Castle from any restaurant in town. Customers will also get a view of the dangerous manoeuvres like this car crossing the roundabout below. Town planners have instituted this shared space idea to confuse drivers and cause them to drive more slowly. Others think it may lead to more accidents! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Richard Watson a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (7/10/18) shows one of the first coaches to use Caernarfon station's bus bay. The steel fence between the station and bus bay has still not been completed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Richard Watson a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

More from SuperPower 15/9/18

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys hauling the 1420 from Caernarfon to Beddgelert passing Dinas Loco Shed where No.9 is stabled in the headshunt as depot pilot. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys pausing at Waunfawr to allow the 1415 from Porthmadog to pass. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows No.143 and No.138 arriving at Waunfawr with the 1415 standard WHR service from Porthmadog. The locos as separated by the DZT tank wagon as used on SAR for additional water supply but in this case to reduce the loading on the Plas-y-nant bridge which is an original bowstring 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 Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows David Lloyd George arriving at Rhyd Ddu with the 1555 FR rake from Beddgelert. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys running round promptly at Beddgelert in order to haul the 1720 to Caernarfon from the Up line. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys ready to haul the 1720, the last train of the day from here, to Caernarfon unusually from the Up line. This avoided a stock shunt to the Down line, the normal northbound departure platform. Parts of the ground frame and linkages can be seen to the right of the loco for Beddgelert's siding/catch point. This is still not complete 2 years after the project was started. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows the KMX tamper in Rhyd Ddu yard along with most of the wagon fleet. This allowed room at Dinas for various heritage train and footplate rides in the sidings. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows the Glan-y-afon waterfall as seen from the train on the Glan-y-afon viaduct. A recent tree fall has revealed much more of the waterfall in this beauty spot. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Vintage trains to Beddgelert 5/10/18

This year's FR Victorian Gala features vintage trains to Beddgelert! Taliesin will haul the 1000 and 1300 from Porthmadog with Palmerston on the 1600. See F&WHR website for full details and timetable. Lyd will also be hauling an unadvertised private train onto the WHR in the morning, returning in the evening.

 

Trustees Special 3/10/18

The F&WHR Trustees special operated on the 3/10/18. Stock was taken to Dinas on 2/10/18 and then worked forwards to Boston Lodge Halt on 3/10/18 hauled by No.87, one of the rare visits of the Garratts to their limit of working on the FR. They are out of gauge for Rhiw Plas bridge.

 

This easterly view (3/10/18) shows No.87 unusually taking Boston Lodge curve with the Trustees Special to Boston Lodge Halt for a works visit. Garratts rarely work to the limit of the loading gauge at Boston Lodge halt though have recovered failed FR locos in this area in recent years. 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.

 

SuperPower 15/9/18

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Castell Caernarfon in Dinas Loco Shed undergoing refurbishment including rewiring and fitting of the repaired gearbox. The loco's bonnets have been repainted at Boston Lodge in green so the cab will be too when the loco can get to Boston Lodge giving the interesting prospect of a mixed livery loco for a short while? 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Castell Caernarfon in Dinas Loco Shed undergoing refurbishment. It is hoped the loco will be available for the 2019 season as the WHR is desperately in need of a rescue/heavy PW loco and sometimes has to call on Vale of Ffestiniog, the FR's Funkey, from Boston Lodge. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows coach No. 1001 being refurbished in Dinas Loco Shed. This former Mess vehicle/Brake coach ex Chattenden & Upnor Railway has been under repair by volunteers since 2017 and will likely see use on PW trains in future. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows No.130 being nearing completion in Dinas Loco Shed. It is hoped the boiler will be delivered for fitting this autumn having missed several delivery dates and the loco might be available next season to replace No.87, due to be withdrawn for its 10 year overhaul this Autumn. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows No. 87 waiting at Dinas to depart on the 1420 Caernarfon-Porthmadog standard WHR service train. The loco is due to be withdrawn this Autumn for its 10 year overhaul and replacement of its bogie frames which have had cracks repaired in the past. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Dinas with the Vintage FR set. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows No.130's new tanks on a flat wagon in Dinas North Yard. A spare tank has also been ordered for presumably No.87 when it comes in for its 10 year overhaul this Autumn. 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 digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows ex-Shotton Steelworks shunter Bill in Dinas North Yard. The ride is said to be a bit hard so the shunter is mostly confined to Dinas shunting duties. Its twin, Ben, still in yellow livery remains unrefurbished and off the rails on the bank above 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 Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower YouTube 14-16/9/18

Click on the YouTube link to watch 15 mins 24 seconds of video covering SuperPower event commencing with the removal of all the freight stock to Rhyd Ddu sidings to free Dinas yard for footplate rides etc. This YouTube was published on 21/9/18. This video was taken by John Wooden (F&WHR) on a professional betamax camcorder and is best watched in 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows or View on YouTube where all options are available.

 

SuperPower 15/9/18

The weather was sunnier on Saturday. The exhibits at Dinas were appreciated by all but some of the promised model exhibits did not turn up. There were no external caterers this year after the relatively poor attendance last year but F&WHR staff ran a good cafe in the Goods Shed with seats in the Exhibition tent. Lyn performed well in top and tail movements but many wanted to see the loco tried out on the 1 in 40 sections near Beddgelert. The General Manager confessed he liked the loco and it was used on a trip to Caernarfon Friday evening after services had finished to bring fish and chips to Dinas for volunteers. Lyn was one of the main reasons for better attendance this year and shows the value in having a visiting loco at SuperPower. Last year there were none.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys northbound at Dinas with a short FR vintage rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (15/9/18) shows No.138 southbound at Dinas with a WHR standard rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Lyn southbound at Caernarfon with a WHR shuttle rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This easterly view (15/9/18) shows Taliesin taking water at Caernarfon before heading south on the back of a WHR shuttle rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Lyn arrived at Waunfawr with a WHR shuttle rake with Taliesin on the rear. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Taliesin southbound at Waunfawr with a WHR shuttle rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This northerly view (15/9/18) shows Lyn on the rear of the shuttle at Waunfawr before setting off for Caernarfon with a WHR shuttle rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Barrie Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 1300D digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

SuperPower 14/9/18

The weather was dull but at least the threatened storms held off until the following week. Just two contributions from readers this year, despite the attendance being much better than last year's Dark skies SuperPower.

 

This southerly view (14/9/18) shows Merddin Emrys northbound at Waunfawr with a short FR vintage rake. The Waunfawr station buildings were due to be removed soon after this view and the new station buildings were due to be started. The architect was present on the 15/9/18 to explain the project and gave further details at the AGM. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Keith Holland and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This southerly view (14/9/18) shows the L&BR's Lyn in the sidings at Dinas which had been cleared out for various activities. This replica of the L&BR's American designed Baldwin Lyn performed well and gained much attention from visitors. 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.

 

Castell Caernarfon's gearbox 24-31/8/18

Volunteer Tom Waldren has been painting Castell Caernarfon's gearbox during the final week of August. Castell Caernarfon has been out of action for nearly two years and is sorely missed for PW and rescue duties. The damaged gearbox was refurbished and delivered to Dinas last September but maintaining the steam fleet has had priority until recently. The loco is being rewired and repainted as part of the overhaul.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (24/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's gearbox before attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush. This is the undamaged gearbox. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (24/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's gearbox after attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush. This is the undamaged gearbox. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (24/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's undamaged gearbox after attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush now with gloss coat. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

This Dinas loco shed  view (24/8/18) shows Castell Caernarfon's undamaged gearbox after attention from Tom Waldren's paintbrush. A gloss coat will be added later. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to see full size (where available). This image is copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

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 2160p 4K HD in Google Chrome browser as only 720p HD available on Windows or View on YouTube where all options are available.

 

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 metal fencing 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.

 

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 (includes some WHR events on 5/10/18)
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

 

V4.3677 updated 15/10/18