o

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway

Stop Press Page

 

V4.4877

 

News (28/5/24)

You are visitor No.

to this website

Modern images updated from 21/5/24

Archive images updated from 28/7/03

Click here for new images

Click here for latest news

Star Picture

No.590 safely tucked away at Gelert's Farm depot WHHR after loaded test trains between the FR and Beddgelert. It was intended the loco would feature in a launch event at the WHHR and in the WHR100 event at the end of June but the loco developed a hot box after several days of testing. This image is courtesy WHHR and was taken on a digital camera. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

Welcome to Version 4 of this website, launched on 8/9/04 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.

 

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)

Caernarfon Cross Town Link  (updated 10/10/10)

 

Other pages

Phase 1 images (Updated 8/9/23)

Railtours 2023 (Updated 15/12/23)

The 40km Dream Phase 1 (Updated 12/2/21)

The 40km Dream Phase 2 (Updated 1/4/21)

'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 26/4/24)

Prince Charles Visit July 2003 (updated 5/1/22)

Snow Scenes (updated 17/12/23)

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

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

Volunteer Contact details page (updated 23/6/21)

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!

 

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 References

Timetables

2024 Timetable

Trains commence on Saturday 25/3/24 and continue until 31/10/24.

Click on the image to enlarge and click again to enlarge to full size where available. This image is courtesy the F&WHR. Image post processed and displayed at 96dpi.

 

To compare with the archived 2023 timetables click here for upper half or here for lower half of the timetable.

 

F&WHR events 2024

SuperPower will return for 2024 as a weekend event but not on the Friday even though the FR's Bygones Weekend will again be a three day event. This replaces the low key WHR Society Members' Weekend last September to match the Society AGM so appears to be aimed at the general public as well and might feature appearances by both No.590, the WHHR's Baldwin and Russell given the disappointment when No.590 failed just before the Centenary of the WHR event. The WHR Members' Weekend in September 2023 was relatively poorly attended but the F&WHR's promised Baldwin did turn up at Dinas for cab rides. As last year, it seems the Snowdonian Limited has been dropped from the schedule but a rerun of The Snowdonian does occur on Saturday 21/9/24.

 

Date Event
1/1/24 Final Day of Festive Trains
10-11/17-18/24-25/2/24 Half Term Holiday Blanche cab rides at Caernarfon Station
29/2/24 Palmerston goes to Aberystwyth on display and August Gala
15-16/3/24 NLHF Boston Lodge Open Days with steam shuttle to Boston Lodge Halt
23/3/24 First day of 2024 Season
29/3/24-1/4/24 Cab rides at Caernarfon and Porthmadog over Easter weekend
6-7/4/24 Britomart and Hugh Napier visit Beamish 'Wheels of Industry' Gala
20/4/24 The Snowdonian
4-5/5/24 'Friends of the Ffestiniog' events at Porthmadog (standard WHR service)
6/5/24 Family Fun Day at Blaenau Ffestiniog with extra train to Tan-y-bwlch
11/5/24 Caernarfon Food Fair (connections available via The Harbourmaster)
18-19/5/24 Model Railway Workshop
27/5/24 Felinheli Bank Holiday cab rides Caernarfon Station
28-30/5/24 TWThO The Cwellyn Half Term Holiday service
7-8/6/24 Rail-Ale (Dinas with connecting shuttles)
24-26/8/24 Palmerston running at VoR Rheidol Steam Festival
14-15/9/24 SuperPower and WHRS AGM will involve extra trains and the launch of NG15 No.134
21/9/24 The Snowdonian II possibly with Kalahari No.134
28/9/24 Trailffest (special train following runners)
4-6/10/24 FR Bygones Weekend (may involve additional services on WHR)
7-8/14-15/21-22/12/24 F&WHR Santa Specials Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu/Santa's Grotto at Porthmadog
26/12/24-1/1/25 Festive trains on F&WHR

 

News Section

Timetable w/c 25/5/24

Click on the timetable to enlarge. Copyright F&WHR.

 

F&WHR 27/5/24

Tuesday was forecast to be an overcast rainy day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 11-14C,improving a little in the afternoon. The Tuesday service was for 5 FR trains with the Mountain Spirit/The Woodland Wanderer and The Quarryman and two through trains on the WHR with the addition on TWThO of The Cwellyn (Caernarfon-Rhyd Ddu). All three webcams were available today. The signaller turned up at 08:45 to open the box to a busy day.

First up in the drizzle was No.143 on the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster which arrived at about 09:40. James Spooner turned up at about 10:00 with the ECS for the Mountain Spirit and ran round about 15 minutes later. David Lloyd George pulled into the WHR platform at 10:38 with the ECS for the 11:10 Woodland Wanderer and started its run round as James Spooner departed.

The Woodland Wanderer was back at 13:20 and DLG ran round at 13:29. The rake was shunted to the seawall siding at 13:33 to clear the platform for later arrivals. The loco then shunted to the watering point as the Garratt arrived from the depot with the ECS for the return Snowdonia Star. The Garratts must have swopped at Rhyd Ddu as No.143 was back and shunted to the watering point at 13:42. The damp air made for good condensation effects.

James Spooner arrived at 13:55 with the returned Mountain Spirit and No.143 emerged from the yard seconds later to return to its train having topped up with water. The train departed at 14:08 with an understandably empty semi-open coach on the rear. DLG departed with the Mountain Spirit at 14:22 while James Spooner with complete cab roof shunted to the seawall siding to extract the Woodland Wanderer rake. Linda emerged from the yard as the Woodland Wanderer was shunted to the FR platform. The signaller is coming out of his box to set points for sidings. The three points near the signalbox could be motorised to help the signaller who has to operate the yard in the pouring rain sometimes. The points near the fuelling/watering point could remain crew operated.

Once the Woodland Wanderer departed Linda emerged from the yard to shunt The Quarryman rake back to the FR platform as the weather brightened up a little for the 15:25 departure.

 

East Anglian Group closure

The WHR Society's East Anglian Group has had to close due to the officers falling ill and no one coming forward to help. Over the years the Group has contributed homework projects such as WHR station signs and the running trucks for the KMX tamper. The group used to meet in a pub just south of Cambridge and your webmaster made contributions including slideshows about the various phases of WHR re-construction and the development of the Channel Tunnel over the years.

 

More from John Rawlings 17-18/5/24

This easterly view (17/5/24) shows Merddin Emrys arriving at Porthmadog with the morning Mountain Spirit. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

This westerly view (18/5/24) shows No.130 arriving at Porthmadog with the Snowdonia Star. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

This northerly view (18/5/24) shows  Britomart shunting at Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

F&WHR 27/5/24

Monday was forecast to be an improving day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 12-13C, overcast at first but brighter in the afternoon. The Monday service was for 5 FR trains with the Mountain Spirit/The Woodland Wanderer and The Quarryman and just one train on the WHR (Gelert Explorer). All three webcams were available today.

Felinheli may have made an early trip to Caernarfon this morning (possibly accompanied by Lyd) as it was due to be used on Bank Holiday cab rides inn Caernarfon Station. Lyd is the usual loco allocated to The Cwellyn which runs TWThO this week for the school Half Term holiday. David Lloyd George arrived first with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit at about 10:15 and James Spooner was next into the WHR platform with the ECS for the 11:10 Woodland Wanderer. Linda arrive at about 12:50, then promptly ran round and shunted its rake to the yard by 13:00 to clear the platform for later arrivals.

At 13:40 James Spooner ran up to the signalbox in order to swop with the Fairlie coming in on the Mountain Spirit. DLG arrived in the WHR platform at 13:53 and the new Fairlie shunted onto the rear to remove the Observation car to the seawall siding before returning to its train for the 14:05 departure. Linda shunted The Quarryman back to the platform at 15:00 and left on time at 15:25 as the final afternoon departure.

The Woodland Wanderer was back at 17:02 and the station deserted by 19:00.

 

North Wales Railtours

19/6/24 sees another Snowdonia Statesman to Blaenau Ffestiniog from Cardiff Central and stations to Birmingham New Street. Statesman Rail operate the train with top and tail Class 47s.

21/6/24 has a new venture by Northern Belle who offer a Spirit of Travel Lunch /Champagne Afternoon Tea on a circular journey from Crewe to Chester/Wrexham and a four hour mystery circle before returning to Wrexham! The Pullman coaches are hauled by a Class 47/57.

22//6/24 has an unusual Holyhead and stations to Wigan departure for the Settle & Carlisle Coastal Pullman. This train is operated by Midland Pullman.

 

July General Election called

As predicted a General Election has been called for 4/7/24. Labour are unsurprisingly offering rail re-nationalisation. This could reduce fares as we are currently paying 'cost plus' for our tickets. Most of the franchises are in fact Nationalised rail companies of other European countries who charge a premium on top of the basic cost of providing the service. The theory goes that by operating the railways ourselves at cost, we would have cheaper fares. Labour say that as franchises come up for renewal they will be subsumed into the new Great British Railways company or whatever Labour choose to called the new BR. Already TfW, ScotRail and Merseyrail are owned by local government and some of the franchises are run by the operator of last resort, the DfT. However, there is still interest in Open Access Operators and Branson has indicated Virgin might want to enter the rail market again with a service from Euston to Preston via Manchester and aspirations to serve Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow!

The Liberal Democrats have also pushed for rail re-nationalisation and reopening of branch lines to stations closed by Beeching. Helen Morgan, Lib Dem MP for Shropshire North, has been very vocal about reopening the Gobowen-Oswestry branch and the ex MP and candidate for Ceredigion Mark Williams wants to see the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line reopened, along with Bangor-Afonwen, to complete an internal Wales North-South Link as proposed by TRAWS. The Greens and Plaid also favour something similar whereas the Tory MP for Anglesey Virginia Crosbie has backed both restoration of the Amlwch Line or its conversion into a multi use travel path!

 

F&WHR 26/5/24

Sunday was forecast to start with heavy rain and even a thunderstorm at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-14C but brighter in the afternoon. The Sunday service was for 4 FR trains with the Mountain Spirit/The Woodland Wanderer and three trains on the WHR with two The Aberglaslyn and a Gelert Explorer. All three webcams were available today.

No.143 arrived with the ECS for the 10:15 The Aberglaslyn at 09:25. Merddin Emrys arrived at 10:05 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The Garratt was back again by 13:35 preparing for the 13:40 The Aberglaslyn and the yard was being shunted by David Lloyd George. The return Mountain Spirit arrived at 13:53 and DLG dropped onto the rear of the rake in the WHR platform to remove the Observation car to the seawall siding. Merddin Emrys shunted to the yard to fuel and water and complete the Fairlie swop by preparing for the 14:50 Woodland Wanderer.

At the north end of the line, the Snowdonia Star is being strengthened from 7 to 10 cars so the TThSO mixed train with coal empties/loaded coal noted earlier in the season no longer runs as it would be beyond the capacity of a Garratt on the 1 in 40. The coal train was handled by Vale of Ffestiniog this week.

 

More from John Rawlings

This southerly view (19/5/24) shows the reinforced arch of the former Morben Tramway Extension of the Corris Railway with the Cambrian Coast Line crossing above at Machynlleth station. The level has been raised as this location frequently floods. The Morben Tramway preceded the standard gauge route and had to be accommodated as a horse worked tramway for a few years before the Morben Dock became disused. All Corris produce was then transferred to the Cambrian in the exchange yard at Machynlleth. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

This easterly aerial view (19/5/24) shows the new NR arrangements and VoR tracks at Aberystwyth. The log train is dealt with on the station run round loop which is looking quite rusty here at the top of the image as there has not been a weekly log train for some weeks. The VoR station and Exhibition Centre are at the bottom of the view and the VoR Loco Shed on the upper right side of the view. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a quadcopter digital camera.

 

This easterly Exhibition Centre view (19/5/24) shows various items of rolling stock being exhibited at Aberystwyth. It seems Palmerston has left the exhibition and is being restored ready for its August Gala appearances on trains in the VoR Loco Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

This easterly Exhibition view (19/5/24) shows various items of rolling stock being exhibited at Aberystwyth including the diminutive Wren and No. 9 Prince of Wales (Aka No.1213 and awaiting overhaul). Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

North Wales main line

The 15/5/24 saw the first working from Penmaenmawr Quarry for some months with No.70809 on a stone train to Longport.

On the same date the Snowdonia Statesman came to Blaenau Ffestiniog with IC livery No.47828 and ScR livery No.47712 Lady Diana Spencer. The photogenic namer led up the Conwy Valley to find sunshine at the terminus.

No.60163 Tornado may soon be tested over night on the Cambrian ERTMS system. This is the lead loco for the ERTMS Heritage locos unit for testing south of Peterborough. The original plan was to run it on the Old Dalby test track but a landslip problem has closed this line for several weeks whilst repairs take place.

There have been a number of weekend PW trains recently on the North Wales Coast and Genesse &Wyoming orange liveried No.66509 Josiah's Wish led the train west on 18/5/24. It has certainly been a colourful time in North Wales with pink ONE (Ocean Network Express) liveried No.66587 As One We Can the previous week.

TfW has purchased two Class 67s to strengthen its fleet. Currently it hires several a day for the current diagrams and rarely seems to be able to operate all of them. It is understood one is for spares and the other will strengthen the Manchester Diagram. There seem no intention to reinstate the second loco hauled diagram to Holyhead. The locos concerned are Nos.67026/28 and are the first actual locos owned by TfW.

TfW has reminded people of its 'Kids go Free' offer which is always available and might give parents some ideas for the Half Term holiday next week. See TfW offers.

 

F&WHR 25/5/24

Saturday was forecast to be a day of light cloud at Porthmadog with temperatures of 11-17C. The Saturday service was a repeat of last week's with The Woodland Wanderer substituting for The Victorian. There are the two usual through WHR trains. All three webcams were available today.

First up was No.143 with the ECS for The Harbourmaster which arrived in the WHR platform by 09:35 ready for the 10:05 departure. No.143 departed as the Fairlie arrived with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. Run round had occurred by 10:15. At 10:37 sensible use of the WHR platform was made when the ECS Woodland Wanderer rolled into Porthmadog hauled by Merddin Emrys. Previously the ECS had run into the yard and required a propel movement to access the FR platform after the Mountain Spirit had left. At 10:40 the loco waited in the WHR run round whilst James Spooner departed before departing on time at 11:10.

 

Locals Discount offer continues into June

The F&WHR's LOCALS’ DISCOUNT scheme continues to be very popular so the F&WHR has decided to make it available throughout June - and on a wider variety of train services!
As usual, the F&WHR are offering a 50% discount (for the whole family) to local residents with their primary address in postcode areas LL22 to LL78 inclusive.
This discount will be available on the following trains:
▪ WOODLAND WANDERER (Porthmadog to Tan-y-Bwlch return)
▪ MOUNTAIN SPIRIT (Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog return)
- 14:20 departure only
▪ THE QUARRYMAN (Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog return)
▪ THE ABERGLASLYN (Porthmadog to Beddgelert return)
▪ GELERT EXPLORER (Caernarfon to Beddgelert return)
▪ SNOWDONIA STAR (Caernarfon to Porthmadog return)


In effect only The Harbourmaster and The Victorian are banned.

Use voucher code JUNE50 to receive the discount when buying tickets online, by phone, at one of our Booking Offices or from the Guard on a train. Customers must bring proof of residency (e.g. Driver’s Licence) on the day of travel to show at the check-in desk.
ℹ PLEASE NOTE: the Discount offer is for tickets only and does not include Guidebooks or Food & Drink. The code will not work on train services running before or after June 2024, or on trains other than those listed above.
More details and online tickets @ www.festrail.co.uk/trains.

 

UK Railtours Excursion 28/9/24

On Saturday 28/9/24 UK Railtours will be organising a train from London to Chester (via an interesting route!) and Llandudno Junction where the Glan Conwy freight sidings have been requested.

 

F&WHR 24/5/24

Friday was forecast to be an overcast day at Porthmadog and temperatures of 8-12C with a warmer sunnier weekend ahead. The Friday service was a repeat of last Friday's with just the one FR train (the 10:40 Mountain Spirit) from Porthmadog but no WHR trains. All three webcams were available today.

Merddin Emrys was running round at 10:05 in the FR platform ready for the only train of the day. The front Observation car was removed to reduce fuel use as first class Gold bookings had been lighter. The coach was left in the seawall siding and the loco returned to the train at 10:18. From the number of children joining the train it appeared that school Half Term holidays had started today for some areas.

 

Moving Pictures No.93 24/5/24

Click on the YouTube link to watch 31 minutes 58 seconds of video showing a review of the loco fleet. This video is copyright F&WHR and was published on 24/5/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

Another Baldwin!

A third Baldwin is in restoration at Statfold Barn where the frames of the Narrow Gauge Trust's No.779 are being reassembled. The 4-6-0T arrived at Statfold in March 2013 from India where it worked in Ryam Sugar Factory Bihar until the early 1990s. See Ryam Sugar Factory Railway. Work has been underway at Workshop X since 2020 and about 100 renovated and labelled components have been returned to Statfold for final assembly. When the loco is complete it is possible it may visit the WHR as other locos from Statfold have. The fourth Baldwin 10-12-D is at the Leighton Buzzard Railway.

 

F&WHR 23/5/24

Thursday was forecast to be an overcast day with showers in the afternoon at Porthmadog and temperatures of 9-11C. A weather warning was published for heavy rain with potential flooding. The Thursday service was a repeat of last Thursday's with five FR trains (both Mountain Spirit/The Victorian trains from Porthmadog with The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog) and the two through WHR trains. All three webcams were available today. The signalbox was opened by 09:00 and steam was being raised at Boston Lodge with Vale of Ffestiniog coming across The Cob light engine and arriving to shunt the yard at 09:09.

No.143 arrived with the ECS The Harbourmaster at 09:34 while the Funkey was standing in the yard at 09:40 before continuing its shunt. James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the Mountain Spirit at 09:48. At 10:18 the Funkey emerged from the yard propelling two empty B wagons, to be reloaded at Dinas. The train came forwards into the WHR platform at 10:22 and departed for Dinas when the 10:05 had cleared the section to Pont Croesor. The train advanced to the starter at 10:29 and departed at 10:30 after activating the crossing lights. Having run round in the yard, the Fairlie shunted the rake to the FR platform at 10:52. Merddin Emrys arrived with ECS for the 11:10 The Victorian at 10:36.

Upnor Castle was noted departing the yard at 11:34 with a short departmental working arriving at Minffordd at 11:42. Merddin Emrys was noted swopping to the 14:20 Mountain Spirit. Upnor Castle came through the WHR platform with its short Departmental working at 14:17. The diesel ran round at 14:25. James Spooner shunted The Victorian back to the FR platform at 14:45. Linda was shunting to run round and collect The Quarryman rake at 14:55 as The Victorian departed.

At 18:00 Merddin Emrys was noted departing with the ECS Mountain Spirit to close the day's activities.

 

More from John Rawlings 18/5/24

This northerly view (18/5/24) shows No.143 heading north at about 13:00 crossing Snowdon Street level crossing with the return working of the Snowdonia Star. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a digital camera.

 

This westerly view (18/5/24) shows Linda with The Quarryman stabled in the station yard awaiting the return working. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a quadcopter digital camera.

 

Oswestry CHR north end cleared

Cambrian Heritage Railways has announced that contractors have cleared the trackbed at the north end of Oswestry station as far as the unauthorised level crossing to the Medical Centre in the old Loco Works. This will allow track to be extended in the through road and platform 2 to link up in points to be laid at the north end. The first aim is to complete a run round loop to avoid top and tail working. This will allow the Class 73 many more turns rather than using a Pacer DMU. The station at the south end of the line at Weston Wharf already has a run round loop. Eventually the CHR hopes to bring platform 2, the island platform, back into use presumably with a footbridge connection as originally.

 

How a Steam Locomotive works workshop visits

These bookable F&WHR workshops provide a unique opportunity for visitors to join two of our friendly loco drivers/fitters who will provide an in-depth breakdown of the building, maintaining and driving of locos!
Participants will also get to help prepare a steam loco, see it in action behind the scenes (at our historic Boston Lodge workshops), receive information on ‘How it Works’ and then have a go at firing and driving in the yard!
It’s all very friendly and relaxed… and an ideal experience if you are looking for something a little different.
These workshops will be running on the following dates:
🟠 29/5/24 and 31/5/24
🟠 1/6/24 and 14/6/24
🟠 26/7/24
🟠 2/8/24, 9-10/8/24, 16/8/24, 23/8/24 and 30/8/24.
We ask all attendees to read the information on the Workshop webpage carefully and watch the Safety Briefing video, before booking your ticket/s.
For further information and to book your tickets, visit our website: https://www.festrail.co.uk/boston-lodge-tours-and-workshops/.

 

F&WHR 22/5/24

Wednesday was forecast to be a day of showers and sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-14C with heavy rain due overnight. The Wednesday service was a repeat of last Wednesday's with three FR trains (both Mountain Spirit/The Quarryman) and the three WHR trains (two The Aberglaslyn and the Gelert Explorer). All three webcams were available today.

No.130 was first up today with the ECS for The Aberglaslyn arriving at 09:28. Merddin Emrys arrived at 10:00 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The train was back by 14:00 and the loco ran round at 14:15 ready for the 14:20. Linda left on time with The Quarryman with the cab sheet erected to protect the crew from the rain. At 16:20 No.143 was back having swopped with No.130 on the Gelert Explorer. Ten minutes later the train left on the ECS. The final arrival was the Mountain Spirit which rolled in at 17:28. The spare Observation car and saloon were drawn out of the seawall siding and reattached to the rake to make the full length train again. The ECS left at 17:49 to close a rather wet day at Porthmadog.

 

School Whitsun Half Term holiday 27/5/24

This Bank Holiday Monday (27/5/24) the F&WHR will be offering Footplate Rides at ‘Y Stesion’, Caernarfon! Felinheli will be the engine on Footplate Ride duties from 10:30 - 16:30 and the loco must first make its way to Caernarfon and return later to Boston Lodge. Café De Winton and the Station Shop will also be open during the day! So, come along and join in the fun. There is no need to pre-book and there is no charge, although donations are always welcome towards the cost of coal etc. Additional services operate from Caernarfon during the holiday week with The Cwellyn TWThO.

 

Wylfa B announced-General Election called for 4/7/24

The Government announced it will go ahead with Wylfa B, the new nuclear power station on Anglesey on 21/5/24, leading to speculation it was trying to ensure the future of the Tory MP for Anglesey in whose constituency the power station lies. The Government has already approved a Westinghouse Pressurised Water design AP1000 or AP1200 currently under construction in the USA. Two or three reactors could be constructed at this site providing up to 3GW of power, enough to supply North Wales and much of the North West of the UK. The Government bought the site from the previous failed developers just a few months ago. New Nuclear is a key part of Carbon Reduction Policy as the reactors are Carbon Neutral and generate power 24/7 unlike wind turbines and solar arrays.

The confirmation gives hope that the Amlwch branch line might be refurbished as part of the early preparatory work for the new power station. While the Valley Nuclear Electric Siding will be used for transfer of exhausted fuel rods when the power station is operating in 5 years time, the former tank farm siding at Rhosgoch on the Amlwch branch could be used as a staging area for cement trains and aggregate with a short 5 km haul road across fields to the site of the power station. A refurbished line could be used by a preservation group at weekends or TfW could introduce a commuter service Amlwch to Bangor under 'Rolling Back Beeching'.

 

F&WHR 21/5/24

Tuesday was forecast to be a day of showers and sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 12-19C and thunderstorms in the afternoon. The Tuesday service was a repeat of last Tuesday's with five FR trains (both Mountain Spirit/The Victorian) and the two through WHR trains. All three webcams were back on-line this morning with improvements showing with the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd cameras.

The first train today was the ECS for The Harbourmaster which arrived at 09:41 hauled by No.130. Merddin Emrys arrived with the ECS for the Mountain Spirit at 09:57. James Spooner ran round The Victorian in the yard before propelling it into the FR platform. No.143 arrived at 12:20 with the Snowdonia Star and uncoupled and ran to the yard to water five minutes later. Linda ran round The Quarryman at 12:55 as No.143 ran round the Snowdonia Star. James Spooner arrived with The Victorian at 13:18 followed by Linda running to Boston Lodge. James Spooner ran round at 13:22 and shunted The Victorian to the yard to clear the FR platform for the final lunchtime arrival. Once the 14:20 Mountain Spirit had departed James Spooner shunted The Victorian back to the platform for the 14:50 departure. Linda shunted the return The Quarryman service to the platform at 14:58 ready for the 15:25 return service.

 

This easterly view (21/5/24) shows a busy scene at Porthmadog with Linda in the WHR through line delivering staff to the Garratt while No.143 readies for the 14:05 return Snowdonia Star and James Spooner shunts spare coaches in the seawall siding. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

The last train came home at 17:40 with the return of James Spooner on the Mountain Spirit. The loco detached and shunted some spare coaches from the seawall siding to reform a full length train before departing with the ECS to close the day's activities.

 

Drone views of Boston Lodge 17/5/24

This southerly view (17/5/24) shows Vale of Ffestiniog shunting rolling stock and the new Carriage Shed with its solar panels at 12:30. The strange grey vehicle outside the Coachworks is the new infrastructure vehicle which includes platforms for working at height. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a quadcopter digital camera.

 

This southerly view (17/5/24) shows Vale of Ffestiniog shunting, James Spooner outside the loco shed, No.130 in the Garratt pit road where the new Garratt Shed will be built and works pilot Moel-y-gest outside the new Small Loco Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a quadcopter digital camera.

 

This easterly view (17/5/24) shows James Spooner outside the loco shed and No.130 on the Garratt pit road with works pilot Moel-y-gest in front. The WHR Society is finding a new Garratt Shed on this siding and there will be room for a store between the siding and the new Small Loco Shed. the fan of sidings next to the Garratt leads to the Small Loco Shed which will soon be used to store locos. In the foreground is the Coach Works and C2 Chinese Loco Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright John Rawlings taken on a quadcopter digital camera.

 

F&WHR 20/5/24

Monday was forecast to be a day of showers and sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 13-20C. The Monday service was a repeat of last Monday's with just two FR trains (the Mountain Spirit) and one WHR train (the 11:30 Gelert Explorer train). Both the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcam were again off line this morning, the latter for the fifth day. These cameras have been very unreliable this season and have also taken staff weeks to fix when they go wrong. Frequently it is both the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch cameras that fail together suggesting a cable problem.

The ECS for the Mountain Spirit turned up shortly after 10:00. James Spooner ran round at 10:10 and the rake departed on time  made up to full length with Observation cars both ends. The train returned at 14:00 and made its afternoon run. The Fairlie departed with the ECS at 17:56 to close the day's activities.

 

Boston Lodge tours

The recently purchased battery locos my be used for the Boston Lodge shuttles in connection with the NLHF Boston Lodge tours commencing this summer. The Clayton built 14 tonne four wheel locos can be charged off the roof panels on Boston Lodge Carriage shed. The locos were obtained from Costain who were disposing their construction railway after completing the Tideway Tunnel Project in London. The original idea was that the locos could be used as Boston Lodge/Dinas Works pilot locos (assuming the new Dinas Carriage Shed also has solar panels fitted to charge the batteries).

For full details see Festipedia Tideway Battery Locos page.

 

WHHR No.590 news

Baldwin No.590 will be having an annual steam test at the VoR before restitution of the hot box on the centre driving wheel axle box which ran hot just before the WHR gala last year leading to sidelining at the event. It is hoped the issue can be quickly resolved and enthusiasts hope it might return to the WHHR in time for the SuperPower Weekend 14-15/9/24.

 

Gowrie boiler appeal

Gowrie, the replica single Fairlie being constructed as the final NWNGR loco, is advancing in leaps and bounds. Now, unexpectedly, the boilermaker has a construction slot available and so the project team is launching its £100,000 boiler appeal a year earlier than expected. A £20,000 deposit is needed by late autumn to allow work on the boiler to begin. The left cylinder has been cast and the right hand one will follow soon. It is intended that this 0-6-4T loco will be a higher power than the original loco and will be available to run on the WHR and visit other 2' gauge railways too. Non prototypical greedy bars on the top of the bunker will allow the loco to carry a quarter tonne of fuel for the longer journeys possible of the WHR.

 

F&WHR 19/5/24

Sunday was forecast to be a day of day long sunshine with temperatures of 13-23C. The Sunday service saw just one FR train (the 10:40 Mountain Spirit) and one WHR train (the 11:30 Gelert Explorer train). Both the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcam were again off line this morning, the latter for the fourth day. James Spooner was booked for the Mountain Spirit this weekend.

James Spooner, with cab roof installed, arrived at 09:57 with the ECS for the Mountain Spirit. The train returned at 13:55. The loco shunted the seawall siding at 14:10 and added the Observation car to the head of the train. There were quite a few people on the platform in the sunny weather probably disappointed there was no afternoon service. At 14:30 the ECS left for the depot to close the day's activities.

 

F&WHR 18/5/24

Saturday was forecast to be a day of improving sunny periods with temperatures of 10-22C. The Saturday service was reduced to three FR trains (both Mountain Spirit/ The Quarryman) and the two through WHR trains by cancelling the normal Saturday The Victorian trains. Both the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcam were again off line this morning, the latter for the third day. James Spooner was booked for the Mountain Spirit this weekend.

The Garratt arrived with the ECS at 09:28 with white discs again. The ECS Mountain Spirit arrived at 10:02. At 11:42 Velinheli was noted departing the yard and returning to Boston Lodge. No.143 arrived at 12:23 with the Snowdonia Star with the Observation car coupled to the loco. The loco shunted to the yard promptly to water, returning at 12:45 when it had to wait for The Quarryman. After Linda had arrived the loco strangely coupled to the front and headed off to Boston Lodge with the ECS at 12:52 maybe for lunch at Boston Lodge. This detracts from interest for people on the platform who like to see trains shunting around. At 13:05 Linda shunted its rake to the yard to clear the FR platform and then made its way to the refuelling point. No.143 was back at 13:34 with the ECS for the 14:10 return working of The Snowdonia Star. Linda returned from refuelling as James Spooner arrived at 13:51 with the returning Mountain Spirit. Britomart arrived light engine in the WHR platform at 14:15 after The Snowdonian had departed and gathered a small crowd of interest. James Spooner ran round at 14:17 and departed on time with the afternoon working.

The first train back was No.130 which arrived at 16:27.

 

F&WHR 17/5/24

Friday was forecast to be a day of improving sunny periods with temperatures of 9-18C. The normal Friday service was operated with one FR train (the 10:40 Mountain Spirit) and no WHR trains. The Tan-y-bwlch webcam was again off line this morning. Merddin Emrys was said to be on the Mountain Spirit with James Spooner booked for the weekend.

The train arrived back at 13:55 and the loco ran round after fuelling and watering and departed with the ECS for the depot at 14:18 to close the day's activities.

 

GVT Chirk progress 11/5/24

Volunteers have been busy at Chirk and have made further progress with the trackbed and track in the station and depot area. The line was closed in 1936 and the formation in the station area became overgrown with many trees. In the last decade there have been a few false starts cutting down trees etc but in the last 2 years the pace of work has increased with a reinvigorated volunteer group. In the last year, track has been laid, the platform cleared and the foundations of the station building and original bricks excavated. This year the trackbed has been cleared to the south including an area for the location of the depot. The railway will be built to 2'3" gauge common with the Tal-y-llyn and Corris railways to allow exchange of rolling stock for gala events etc. See GVT Facebook page for more details.

 

This northerly view (11/5/24) shows rolling stock stored on track laid against the platform in Chirk station with the NR station visible the other side of the fence as seen from Station Avenue bridge. Beyond the station the track used to extend to a canal wharf with the canal emerging in a cutting to the left of this view from the Ceiriog Viaduct and Tunnel. The foundations of the GVT station building are visible on the right. A run round loop will be installed in the space to the left of the track. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Russell Edwards taken on a Canon 2000D digital camera.

 

This southerly view (11/5/24) shows the future loco shed area just south of Chirk station with the trackbed given geotextile and bottom ballast to prevent mud incursion as seen from Station Avenue bridge. Track panels for the 2'3" railway are stored in this area. The trackbed curves to the right in the distance under Castle Road bridge (B4500) and into the Ceiriog Valley dropping steeply down to Pontfaen level crossing of the B road. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Russell Edwards taken on a Canon 2000D digital camera.

 

This northerly view (11/5/24) shows access to the GVT platform will normally be via the NR stairs and platform. The brick areas in view bottom left are the foundations of the GVT station building which is being rebuilt. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Russell Edwards taken on a Canon 2000D digital camera.

 

This westerly view (11/5/24) shows local signage advertising the project under GVT Trust. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Russell Edwards taken on a Canon 2000D digital camera.

 

This southerly view (11/5/24) shows the track heading under Station Avenue bridge just south of Chirk station. At one time the GVT station had its own separate access but this has fallen into disuse. Click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Russell Edwards taken on a Canon 2000D digital camera.

F&WHR 16/5/24

Thursday was forecast to be a day of sunny periods with temperatures of 12-19C but with heavy rain in the late afternoon. The normal Thursday service was operated with five FR trains (two Mountain Spirit/The Victorian and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog) and the two through WHR trains. Upnor Castle was already in the WHR platform with the weed killer train at 07:10 but disappeared soon after that. The Tan-y-bwlch webcam was off line this morning. The signaller arrived at 09:15 as an ECS train departed Boston Lodge.

No.130 arrived with the ECS for The Harbourmaster in the WHR platform at 09:20. James Spooner arrived on the Mountain Spirit at 10:05 as No.130 departed. The loco ran round at 10:15 and had the cab roof fitted as inclement weather was forecast. The Victorian arrived at 10:27 in the yard. Merddin Emrys ran round and shunted The Victorian into the FR platform at about 10:50.

Merddin Emrys was back at 14:00 running around the 14:20 Mountain Spirit with a large number waiting on the platform for the return working of the 14:05 Snowdonia Star which seemed delayed returning from Boston Lodge. No.143 pulled in at 14:15 and departed 19 minutes late at 14:24. Merddin Emrys departed on time. James Spooner ran round in the yard having swopped duties and emerged from the seawall siding at 14:29 to shunt The Victorian into the platform at 14:35. Linda then shunted the yard to collect The Quarryman rake at 14:42 for the 15:25 departure. At 15:20 Upnor Castle was back from the WHR with the weed killer train in the WHR platform awaiting a path across The Cob after Linda left on time. The departmental departed at 15:39 to Minffordd arriving 10 minutes later and shunting into the yard.

 

This westerly view (16/5/24) shows a very wet Upnor Castle returning to Minffordd yard after a whole day spraying the WHR with weed killer. Let us hope the heavy rain did not wash the weed killer away! Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trains began to return in the late afternoon with No.130 on The Harbourmaster departing with the ECS a minute after James Spooner pulled in with The Victorian. Merddin Emrys arrived at 17:32 with the final return of the day. The loco extracted a spare coach from the seawall siding at 17:51 to add to the rake and then hauled the ECS back to Boston Lodge at 17:59 to close the day's activities.

 

F&WHR 15/5/24

Wednesday was forecast to be a day of sunny periods with temperatures of 11-19C. The normal Wednesday service was operated with two FR trains (the morning Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog) and three WHR trains (two Aberglaslyn trains and a Gelert Explorer). The signaller turned up at 09:00 but Vale of Ffestiniog had already arrived from Boston Lodge in the WHR platform with two empty B wagons to be returned to Dinas for the regular fuel train. The train advanced to the starter at 09:00 and set off two minutes later for Dinas.

The ECS for the 10:05 The Aberglaslyn arrived behind No.143 at 09:52. The ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit arrived at about 10:00 and run round was completed by 10:20. Work was underway on the Minffordd points cabinet at 10:50 when the train passed. The Quarryman has arrived in Porthmadog by 13:00. No.143 arrived back with the Aberglaslyn at 13:02. With the Snowdonia Statesman arriving in Blaenau Ffestiniog from Chesterfield it is surprising that the F&WHR has not offered them a special train option to Tan-y-bwlch where they could have a snack at the cafe and back as previously. The excursion arrived 5 minutes late at 13:02 and was due to depart at 16:02 giving 3 hours break with plenty of time for an excursion to Tan-y-bwlch.

After The Aberglaslyn had departed at 13:40, Merddin Emrys arrived back in the WHR platform at 13:50 and ran round 2 minutes later. Linda was occupying the FR platform with the stock for the return working of The Quarryman due off at 15:25 and ran round just after 15:00. James Spooner departed Porthmadog with an 8 coach rake at 17:53 which appeared to be a vintage set rather than the ECS Mountain Spirit set.

 

Main Line news 15/5/24

Cambrian ERTMS fitted 97304 was on its way from Coleham LMD to Tywyn for a naming ceremony with an inspection saloon and the garish Loram liveried 37418 on the rear. The NR loco was named Talyllyn Railway. No.37418 was painted on 25/1/24 and named An Comunn Gaidhealach on 13/2/24. The name refers to a society that promotes the Scottish Gaelic language and culture.

Class 70 No.70809 hauled 4D61, the 0612 Longport-Penmaenmawr ballast empties in a welcome return of ballast traffic from the North Wales Coast line.

 

Cambrian Heritage Railways news 12/5/24

No.73129 (E6036) is back in action after winter maintenance and hauled most of the trains from Oswestry to Weston Wharf on 12/5/24. The CHR's outstation at Llynclys has transferred a classic Class 101 DMU to Oswestry after receiving 142055 from Oswestry. A project is being developed to put the Class 101 back into revenue service following an extended project to restore them in 2025.

 

F&WHR 14/5/24

Tuesday was a cloudy day with temperatures of 12-18C. The normal Tuesday service was operated with five FR trains (both Mountain Spirit/The Victorian trains and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog) and two through WHR trains. The signaller turned up at 09:00 but Vale of Ffestiniog had already arrived from Boston Lodge in the WHR platform with two empty B wagons to be returned to Dinas for the regular fuel train. The train advanced to the starter at 09:00 and set off two minutes later for Dinas.

No.87 departed with The Harbourmaster at 10:07 as the Fairlie pulled in with the Mountain Spirit. The Victorian worked directly into the yard a little later after the Fairlie had run round. At 12:40, unusually there was no sign of the Snowdonia Star rake inn the WHR platform. The train may have been taken ECS to Boston Lodge as Upnor Castle was working with the weed killer train (spray wagon/tank wagon, van with loco propelling at rear) in the WHR loop opposite the signalbox along with 5 of the orange army.

No.130 arrived at 12:54 but with no Observation Car on the rear and half an hour late. This allowed the weed killer train to proceed up the WHR at 13:00 as Linda ran round The Quarryman to shunt it to the yard. A few minutes later the Garratt worked forward to the depot with the ECS and Linda propelled its rake into the yard, clearing the FR platform for later arrivals.

 

This easterly view (14/5/24) shows a busy scene at Porthmadog with Upnor Castle propelling the weed killing train up the WHR from the WHR loop, No.130 was taking the ECS Snowdonia Star to Boston Lodge missing its rear Observation Car and Linda running round the recently arrived The Quarryman in the FR platform. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

The Victorian arrived back at 13:25 and James Spooner ran round 5 minutes later to clear the FR platform for a later arrival. With the WHR platform clear, this could avoid the need for some of these propel manoeuvres in the FR yard. However it appears signallers have had instructions not to use the WHR platform compared with last year when some signallers did make use of the facility for run rounds when the FR platform and station yard were congested by late running. Merddin Emrys arrived at 13:53 with the returning Mountain Spirit into the FR platform.

James Spooner ran round and shunted 3 coaches from the rear to the seawall siding presumably to deal with reduced loadings as No.130 came back from Boston Lodge at 14:07. Having deposited a coach in the seawall siding, James Spooner returned with two coaches and coupled up while the Garratt shu:38.nted to the watering point at 14:14 but was back at 14:33. Merddin Emrys, propelled The Victorian back into the FR platform at 14.35 arriving in Tan-y-bwlch at 15:24. The Garratt departed at 14:42, almost 40 minutes late. The Victorian was propelled back into the westbound platform at 15:34 and the loco then ran round.

Vale of Ffestiniog arrived back at Porthmadog with coal at 15:36 and was shunting the two loaded B wagons in the yard. This means there had been quite a few crossings to entertain passengers on the through WHR trains with an out and back coal train and a weed killing train. Upnor Castle had returned the weed killing train to Porthmadog Yard earlier in the afternoon and set off across The Cob at 15:39 heading for Minffordd Yard. The train entered the loop wrong line at 15:47 and reversed into the yard four minutes later.

No.143 returned with The Harbourmaster at 16:26 into the WHR platform at Porthmadog. This train departed for the depot ECS at 16:34. Merddin Emrys arrived back at Porthmadog with The Victorian at 17:00 with run round coming at 17:10 and departure with the ECS at 17:16. James Spooner rolled in at 17:36 with the return of the Mountain Spirit. The loco worked to the seawall siding but returned without the spare coach. Second thoughts saw shunting of coaching stock to bring the train up to full length at 18:13. The ECS departed at 18:22 to close the day's activities.

 

Mainline news 14-16/5/24

An interesting working on the Central Wales lines was 37418 along with Inspection Saloon Caroline No. 975025 on 14/5/24. The train travelled from Derby RTC to Llanwrtyd Wells before returning to Coleham LMD. The Aberystwyth log train did not operate last Friday/Saturday.

The Snowdonia Statesman with top and tail class 47s will run from Chesterfield to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 15/5/24. Sadly the Cambrian Coast Express from Cardiff to Pwllheli on 16/5/24 has been cancelled as NR could not provide suitable timings (even though this journey is relatively short). The problem seems to be the reversal at Shrewsbury where a Cambrian ERTMS fitted Class 37 comes on the rear. NR insists this is done at Coton Hill Goods Yard and apparently it takes and hour. They explain that passengers must detrain at Shrewsbury as they cannot be present during propel moves or when the train is entering non passenger lines like Coton Hill Yard. One has to ask how did BR managed to do those 10 minute loco changes at Crewe/Birmingham New Street etc. 30 years ago? Part of the problem is short sighted planning of layout alterations at Shrewsbury which have shortened Platform 3 where such loco changes could have taken place in similar times to those taken by BR, back in the day.

 

F&WHR 13/5/24

Monday was a day of sunny periods at first but heavy rain later and temperatures of 12-16C. The normal Monday service was operated with two FR trains (both Mountain Spirit) and one WHR train (the 11:30 Gelert Explorer). The 10:40 Mountain Spirit departed on time with James Spooner in charge. Up at Tan-y-bwlch Harlech Castle was waiting to pass with the FR Mess Car and PW container train off the early shift. Meanwhile Vale of Ffestiniog set off across The Cob at 10:53 with two B wagons of fuel as the rain set in.

The afternoon Mountain Spirit was at Tan-y-bwlch at 15:15 and departed for Blaenau Ffestiniog at 15:19, almost 20 minutes late. The train was back in Porthmadog by 17:55 and the loco was signalled to run round in rather wet conditions after refuelling and watering. At 18:08 James Spooner shunted the spare coach from the seawall siding to bring the rake back to full strength before leaving with the ECS at 18:22 to close the day's activities.

 

Llangollen 11/5/24

Just for a change your webmaster ventured out to the Llangollen and Corwen Railway (L&CR) and Glyn Valley Tramway (GVR) on a sunny Saturday 11/5/24. Class 47 No.47449 (now with TOPS numbering) handled the diesel service with the suburban rake and 3803 was on the steam working with the TSO rake, passing at Glyndyfrdwy. It was a brilliant sunny day and good numbers of passengers were present but the L&CR kept its rakes short to minimise fuel costs. The chair lift at Corwen's new station can accommodate light weight wheelchairs but is rather slow. Class 31 No.31271 was visible in the depot and the Class 03 diesel shunter was being worked on. Pentrefelin sidings was full of DMUs and the remaining BR Mk1 coaches.

 

This westerly view (11/5/24) shows 47499 running round at Corwen. The loco was carrying both TOPS and pre-TOPS numbers. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Barrie Hughes taken on a Canon 2000D digital camera.

 

F&WHR 12/5/24

Sunday was a day of sunny periods and thunderstorms at Porthmadog with temperatures of 25C predicted. The normal Sunday service was operated with just one FR train (the 10:40 Mountain Spirit) and one WHR train (the 11:30 Gelert Explorer). The ECS for the 10:40 arrived at about 10:00 in the FR platform and ran round 5 minutes later. The train departed on time and arrived at Tan-y-bwlch at 11:22.

At 12:53 an unadvertised special working with a headboard celebrating 50 years of the Dee & Mersey Group arrived at Tan-y-bwlch hauled by James Spooner in the sunshine. The tea room had been booked for this party later in the afternoon. Merddin Emrys passed on the return Mountain Spirit at 13:17, departing 5 minutes later while James Spooner continued towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. Merddin Emrys was back with its rake in Porthmadog at 14:00 and running round 5 minutes later. At 14:15 the ECS departed for the depot.

 

'How a steam loco works' Workshop

The F&WHR's new ‘How a Steam Locomotive works’ workshops provide a unique opportunity for visitors to join two of our friendly loco drivers/fitters who will provide an in-depth breakdown of the building, maintaining and driving of locos!
Participants will also get to help prepare a steam loco, see it in action behind the scenes (at the historic Boston Lodge workshops), receive information on ‘how it works’ and then have a go at firing and driving in the yard!
It’s all very friendly and relaxed and an ideal experience if you are looking for something a little different.
These workshops will be running on the following dates:
29-31/5/24
1-14/6/24
26/7/24
2-9-10-16-23-30/8/24
The F&WHR asks all attendees to read the information on the Workshop web page carefully and watch the Safety Briefing video, before booking their ticket/s.
Please note; unless specifically advertised all workshops and tours are for adults (16+).
Watch the F&WHR's new promotional video to get a taste of what to expect!

 

Click on the YouTube link to watch 2 minutes 55 seconds of video showing How to Drive a steam loco and was published on 10/5/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

F&WHR 11/5/24

Saturday 12/5/24 was a sunny day at Porthmadog with temperatures in the mid twenties in the afternoon. All three webcams were working and a typical Saturday service was run. There will be restricted opening at the Tan-y-bwlch tearoom on Sunday and Monday.

 

Click on the image to enlarge. This advert is copyright F&WHR.

 

The Snowdonia Star was cancelled on Saturday (for the first time this season) 'due to a last minute technical issue with the carriages at Dinas'. This could for example have been due to a points failure or minor derailment in the yard at Dinas.

 

Boston Lodge Garratt shed

Thanks to the generosity of WHR Soc. members and supporters, the Annual Appeal has been hugely successful and the WHRSoc. is getting closer to the initial target of £35k, with the total allocation standing at almost £30k when donations, Gift Aid, and a contribution from Society funds are combined. On the ground, as reported in The Snowdon Ranger, the pit has been excavated with the steelwork inspected, building extremities marked with the clearances checked, and drainage buried ready to be connected once the shed is built. The next step is to confirm the shed design before an order can be placed with the supplier. The design of the shed on 8 road (between the new 'Small Loco Shed' and the existing Loco Shed) is being coordinated with a stores facility being planned adjacent.

 

This easterly view (unknown/24) shows No.138 in the siding at the site of the Garratt Shed. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR.


Thanks to the support the project has had so far and to ensure that the shed is future-proofed, the WHRSoc. is looking to incorporate some enhancements including lighting and a roller shutter (in common with the Small Loco Shed) to make sure the facility is truly fit for purpose! Every penny helps to make sure all the F&WHR's prized locos are appropriately stored and donations are warmly welcomed via the button on the WHRSoc. webpage or by visiting https://whrsoc.org.uk/index.php/join-the-society-2/donations-and-legacies.

 

F&WHR 10/5/24

Friday 10/5/24 was a day of light cloud at Porthmadog with temperatures of 11-21C and frequent sunny periods. All three webcams were working today. Today's public service was that of a typical Friday with just one FR train, the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. F&WHR management believes traffic is low on Fridays as visitors are in transit to/from holidays which often start/terminate at weekends.

Steam was being raised at 09:30 at Boston Lodge. The ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit arrived in the FR platform at 09:53 hauled by James Spooner with its cab roof open to reflect the fine weather. The train left on time. At 12:21 Vale of Ffestiniog turned up with an 11 coach train in the Porthmadog FR platform with Nos.11/12. This may have been a sort out of the stock used at the FR AGM/Blaenau Community Day events. Run round came about 10 minutes later and departure at 12:36. Some shunting occurred and a 5 coach rake with open coach No.37 on the rear was later shunted into the WHR platform. The loco then ran light engine to the yard and shunted the other half of the rake with an open coach, Nos.11/12 on the rear coupled to the spare coach and water wagon from the seawall siding and headed off to the depot.

 

This easterly view (10/5/24) shows Vale of Ffestiniog arriving with a mixed 11 coach rake. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

Upnor Castle seemed to have turned up by 13:30 and coupled to the rake in the WHR platform as a large number of staff appeared on the platform for a training exercise in orange safety wear. The Mountain Spirit arrived back at 13:50. There was some trouble getting a vacuum but Upnor Castle eventually departed at 14:05 with the training rake towards Minffordd. James Spooner ran round at 14:07 and departed for the depot with the ECS a few minutes later.

Upnor Castle arrived at Minffordd at 14:15 and ran round at 14:30 having dropped the trainees off at Boston Lodge. The train then waited at Minffordd for the Boston Lodge trainees to complete their exercises and return to Boston Lodge Halt. The train departed Minffordd at 14:55 and arrived back at Porthmadog before running round in the FR platform at 16:10 with more trainees observing as it departed with the ECS at 16:20.

 

Return of The Cwellyn

The summer dated TWThO The Cwellyn will run again for three days during the school Spring Bank Holiday Half Term week as last year. Trains will run on 28-30/5/24 with Tuesday and Thursday trains departing Caernarfon for Rhyd Ddu at 12:00 and the Wednesday train at 12:30 to avoid clashes with the Gelert Explorer.

On other Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays it is possible to catch the Snowdonia Star through train from Caernarfon to the crossing point (normally Rhyd Ddu) and come back on the northbound service of The Harbourmaster, otherwise there is only one departure from Caernarfon and passengers must complete the full expensive round trip or ask for a fare to an intermediate station such as Beddgelert with a longer wait between trains. In the afternoon it is possible to catch the return working of The Harbourmaster from Caernarfon and intercept the return working of the Snowdonia Star, normally at Rhyd Ddu.

TThSO

Caernarfon dep 10:10 14:10
Rhyd Ddu arr 11:15 15:15
Rhyd Ddu dep 11:15 15:15
Caernarfon arr 12:25 16:25

 

Although these journeys and fares are not advertised, the journeys are available under the F&WHR's 'hop-on/hop-off' policy and may suit a passenger who cannot afford the £66 return fare on the Snowdonia Star, especially those with a large family.

Travelling the northern half of the Welsh Highland Railway, this journey offers scenic views over Ynys Môn / Anglesey and the Irish Sea before heading inland through the valley of the Afon Gwyrfai, past Llyn Cwellyn to reach Rhyd Ddu, the F&WHR's highest station, nestling on the slopes of Y Wyddfa / Snowdon.
The Cwellyn is a great, affordable, family-friendly, afternoon trip from the historic sights of Caernarfon to the dramatic mountain slopes around Rhyd Ddu. For more information and to book your tickets, which are on sale now, click the link below:
festrail.co.uk/the-cwellyn

 

Moving Pictures No.92 10/5/24

Click on the YouTube link to watch 42 minutes 9 seconds of video showing the opening of the Aberystwyth VoR Museum, Alco restoration progress and the FR Society Weekend special trains. This video is copyright F&WHR and was published on 10/4/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

Taliesin progress

Single Fairlie Taliesin was always a popular sight on the WHR reprising the role of single Fairlies on the line such as the late lamented Moel Tryfan. Work on Taliesin is underway at Boston Lodge and its firebox has been re-stayed and passed its NDT exam recently. Re-tubing is about to start and bogie work is underway. The overhaul of the power bogie is progressing well and the trailing bogie has been stripped down for overhaul. The loco may reappear in traffic towards the end of the season.

 

Gowrie project

The Gowrie project has been running for 5 years now and there has been some recent progress constructing the flared bunker sheeting. The next step is to build the cab and tank sheeting. It is a pity the Group did not select to rebuild Moel Tryfan and, while beggars cannot be choosers, WHR supporters should be glad a replica is being made of this, the final NWNGR loco. Although its time on NWNGR was brief (1908-1918) and it did not quite make it into WHR ownership, many supporters will welcome a loco that looks like a loco rather than a square tank as the Garratts appear. The Gowrie Groups hopes the loco will be able to visit many 2' gauge railways including the F&WHR

 

F&WHR 9/5/24

Thursday 8/5/24 was a day of light cloud at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-15C and frequent sunny periods. All three webcams were working today. The signaller opened the box at 09:00. Today's public services were a repeat of Tuesday's and saw 5 FR trains, including two Mountain Spirit/The Victorian and The Quarryman (from Blaenau Ffestiniog). There are also the two through services on the WHR.

First up was No.87 which arrived with the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster by 09:35 in the WHR platform. James Spooner was running round the Mountain Spirit as The Harbourmaster departed for Caernarfon. The last two coaches were shunted out of the Mountain Spirit rake to the seawall siding at 10:10 reducing the load and saving fuel in response to passenger booking levels. At 10:37, David Lloyd George arrived  in the yard with The Victorian rake, requiring a run round and a shunt/propel movement. The Mountain Spirit left on time and The Victorian was propelled into the FR platform. Surely it would be easier to run this train into the WHR platform and avoid the shunt/propel move. The only advantage of the more complex movements via the FR platform is the platform canopy on days when it is raining or the entertainment of onlookers!

No.130 arrived with the Snowdonia Star at 12:30.. The loco detached and went to refuel and water. Linda ran round in the FR platform and, at 13:00, shunted the ECS The Quarryman to the yard to clear the platform for subsequent arrivals. The Garratt emerged from the yard at 13:15 and ran round its rake in the WHR platform. DLG shunted to the FR platform and extracted The Victorian, propelling it into the yard at 13:35 to clear the FR platform for later arrivals. James Spooner arrived back with the Mountain Spirit at 14:02 and DLG shunted onto the front for the 14:20 afternoon working.

Linda and James Spooner shunted out of the yard at 14:30 with the Fairlie shunting The Victorian to the FR platform for the 14:50 departure. The final departure of the afternoon was Linda which shunted out of the yard with The Quarryman which was propelled back into the platform at 15:00 ready for the 15:25 return working.

At the end of the day the trains returned to base. DLG had run round the Mountain Spirit in the FR platform at 17:55 and was waiting the signal to return to Boston Lodge with the ECS. The train eventually left in sunshine at 18:03 to close the day's activities.  

 

Works Visit shuttles

This summer the NLHF Boston Lodge visits programme is set to commence with places becoming bookable soon. The F&WHR is hoping to increase engagement by this initiative and convert a passing interest into volunteer and eventually skilled volunteers needed to sustain the railway. Those booked on the visit will be taken to Boston Lodge Halt by a shuttle from Porthmadog station. These shuttle trains do not currently feature in the timetables but will have to be planned in view of the frequent trains across The Cob.

 

Coach Tours

The F&WHR has distanced itself from coach tours in recent years but there is room on trains from Caernarfon and this may be encouraged again as well as Cruise traffic. Holyhead cruise ships are expect to almost double from 46 last year to over 75 this year. A quality experience in Bodysgallen might see an external food supplier commissioned. Negotiations are underway with Dylan's Restaurants. Visitors may recognise the brand as the company took over the art-deco Morannedd restaurant at the end of Criccieth promenade. Other branches exist at Menai Bridge, Conwy and Llandudno, where they offer a Welsh flavoured experience.

 

SuperPower 2024 14-15/9/24

As well as the NG15 No.134 Kalahari, there will freight trains and mixed trains. The centre of attention will be between Caernarfon and Rhyd Ddu. Dinas will no doubt feature a number of stalls, possibly for the last time, with contractors moving in to build the new Carriage Shed over Winter. Many members hope that Russell and No.590 may put in an appearance as No.590 disappointed at the Centenary last year. As Russell approaches its 10 year exam this Winter, this is possibly the last year for a while that the original WHR locos can be seen together.

 

F&WHR 8/5/24

Wednesday 8/5/24 was a day of light cloud at Porthmadog with temperatures of 9-14C and occasional sunny periods. All three webcams were working today. The signaller opened the box at 09:00. Today's public services saw 3 FR trains, including two Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman (from Blaenau Ffestiniog). There are also the three WHR trains, including two The Aberglaslyn and one Gelert Explorer (from Caernarfon).

First up today was No.87 on The ECS for the 10:15 The Aberglaslyn. The orange army was tackling the king point at around midday as Caernarfon Castle arrived from the Ffos-y-fran coal store at Dinas with two B wagons of coal at 11:40 for the Harbour Station fuelling point. The two wagons were propelled into the fuelling point at 11:46. The diesel emerged light engine at 11:56 to wait by the signalbox for a path back to Dinas. The loco had gone 45 minutes later.

 

This easterly view (8/5/24) shows Caernarfon Castle propelling two loaded B wagons with coal from Dinas into the Porthmadog refuelling point. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

No.87 arrived back from Beddgelert at 12:56 with The Aberglaslyn. Linda arrived with The Quarryman at 13:00. No.87 detached and shunted to the yard to refuel at 13:03. Linda ran round the rake in the FR platform before shunting the ECS The Quarryman to the yard, releasing the FR platform for later arrivals. Linda then left light engine for the depot at 13:20. No.87 then ran round the rake in the  WHR platform and had coupled up before departing at 13:40. At 1353 the Mountain Spirit arrived in the FR platform. 

At 17:38 the Fairlie was shunting the spare carriage from the seawall to the rear of the recently arrived Mountain Spirit rake in the FR platform. The ECS set off at 17:53 for the depot.

 

Rail-Ale 7-8/6/24

Click on the advert to enlarge. This advert is copyright F&WHR.

 

This year's Beer Festival at Dinas may be last one in the current format. With work planned to get underway later in the year on the new Carriage Shed, Dinas will not have the same space for such events in future so a rethink of the format might be necessary.

 

F&WHR 7/5/24

Tuesday 7/5/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 11-18C. All three webcams were working today. Some additional trains may run today to tidy up the specials that operated over the Bank Holiday weekend. The signaller opened the box at 09:00. Today's public services saw 3 FR trains, including two Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman (from Blaenau Ffestiniog). There are also the two through WHR trains.

James Spooner brought the ECS for the Mountain Spirit over at about 10:00 and the rear two coaches were shunted to the seawall siding to deposit the saloon. The loco returned to the rake 5 minutes later light engine which meant there was no Observation Car on the rear for possibly the first time this season. On some days lighter traffic justifies reducing the length of the rake in order to save fuel. Meanwhile David Lloyd George was shunting the yard and after the Mountain Spirit departed, it propelled The Victorian rake into the FR platform for the 11:10 departure, which left on time.

No.130 arrived on the Snowdonia Star. By 13:15 the loco had run round and was coupled up to the return working. DLG arrived back at 13:20 with The Victorian. Linda was shunting in the yard at the same time as DLG ran round and shunted the rake to the yard. James Spooner arrived with the Mountain Spirit and the Fairlie swop occurred. After departure of the afternoon Mountain Spirit, Linda shunted the yard at 14:35. James Spooner departed with the afternoon The Victorian at 14:51. Linda shunted The Quarryman back to the FR platform at 15:02 ready for the 15:25 departure.

At the end of the afternoon trains began to return. At 17:17 the first ECS departed for the depot and DLG arrived with the Mountain Spirit. James Spooner was still in the yard with The Victorian at 17:30 but this also left ECS for the depot at 17:33.

 

Model Railway workshop

At the moment there do not appear to be shuttles to Minffordd to the Model Railway Workshop that takes place in the Gweithdy at Minffordd Station, Ffestiniog Railway, LL48 6HF
SATURDAY 18/5/24 : 10:30-16:30
SUNDAY 19/5/24 : 10:00-16:00


▪ WORKING LAYOUTS
• 'Rhiw Goch' - 7mm scale /16.5mm gauge - James and Peter Hoyle
• 'Port Wynnstay' - 7mm scale /16.5mm gauge - Phil Traxson
• 'Lôn Gof' - 7mm scale / 9mm gauge - Paul Towers
• 'Tutherside' - 009 - Martin Hallett
• 'Arnold Lane Wharf' - 009 - Thomas Williams
• 'Dinorwic' - 009 - Glenn Williams
• 'Railway Modelling on a Plate' - 009 - Paul Towers
• 'The Isle of Stoner Cheese Factory' and other adventures - 009 - John Wooden
• 'Dinas Depot' (under construction) - 3mm scale / TT - Robert Shrives
• 'Taste of Amlwch' - 2mm scale / N gauge - Carol and David Roberts


▪ MODELLING TECHNIQUE DEMONSTRATIONS
• Kit construction: Paul Martin / EDM Models
• Brandbright Kits: Ken Vine
• Etched brass and card building: Paul Holmes
• Various small layouts: John Wooden
▪️ REFRESHMENTS AVAILABLE
(including cakes from popular local baker - CelEmmabration Cakes)
▪️ ENTRY : £4.00 (£1.00 for under-12yrs)

 

Caernarfon Food Festival 11/5/24

It does not appear there will be an extra train to Caernarfon at this time as there has in previous years. Those intending to visit the Caernarfon Food Festival on Saturday 11/5/24 from Porthmadog and intermediate stations could catch The Harbourmaster at 10:05 from Porthmadog.

Visitors to Caernarfon on Saturday will be greeted by a vibrant tapestry of colourful stalls, as the annual 'Gŵyl Fwyd Caernarfon' - Caernarfon Food Festival is taking place in the town. The central square (Y Maes), surrounding streets, the quayside and the promenade will be lined by a vast array of tempting gifts and local produce - with entertainment and street food to enjoy as well.
Travellers on The Harbourmaster from Porthmadog will have around 1½ hours in the town to explore the festival, before re-joining their train for the return journey. It is possible to join/leave the train at intermediate stations such as Beddgelert/Waunfawr.
You can find more information, including a handy map, on the festival's website: http://www.gwylfwydcaernarfon.cymru/
Make sure you take the opportunity to wander round the stalls, you won't regret it. Come along and enjoy the festival - but make sure you bring a bag or two as well!

 

SuperPower 2024 14-15/9/24

It is possible that NG15 No.134 will be ready by September and K1 will be invited from Statfold Barn. However, many WHRSoc members will be hoping for Russell and the WHHR's Baldwin No.590 which missed last year's promised Centenary celebrations. No.590 was returned to the VoR earlier this year for rectification for its hot axleboxes. This year is the last time for some years that the two original WHR locos can appear together before Russell is withdrawn for its 10 year exam.

 

Coachworks projects

Work will start on panoramic window third class saloon coach No.2050 towards the end of 2024 for completion next year. With No.2049 replacing No.23, No.2050 will replace No.24 so that the Heritage rolling stock can be preserved for special trains. The restoration of Pullman coach No.2115 Bodysgallen (which holds 20 seats) will be complete by early summer given the support of a donor. In fact the carriage is due to be released from the paint shop in May after a roof replacement to remove the insulation which was not fireproof. The General Manager is looking for a package of Welsh food/travel that can be pitched at the cruise/corporate markets using Bodysgallen with an Observation coach Gwyrfai and a Service Car in the Snowdonia Star/Gelert Explorer rake.

 

Dinas alterations

The WHR internet based signalling system Micro ETS is to be extended from the recently completed Waunfawr installation to Dinas making full use of shunt tokens at this location once the alterations at the south end of Dinas are complete. These alterations are essential for the new Carriage Shed alterations which will be constructed 2024-6. The focus on Dinas seems to have pushed back the new Garratt Shed in Boston Lodge and news about Beddgelert station building has dried up too.

The extension of ETS to Waunfawr incorporated MicroETS with interlocked starting signals. In association with the Dark Skies project to promote astronomy, signals are switched off 2 hours after the last train passes and reactivated by the approach of a train to either home signal. This may be extended to the Dinas scheme.

Following on from the Dinas Carriage Shed works will be a new South Yard Loco Shed though there is no turnout for this shown on current expansion plans. This will be a running shed with provision for at least one Garratt normally in steam, the NG15, the diesels, the tamper and any small locos visiting. There will be a Volunteers Workshop where projects such as Mess coach No.1001 can be completed. This project will become a priority with staff employed to complete some of the work as a third Mess Car is definitely needed for next year's WMWP.

 

F&WHR 6/5/24

Monday 6/5/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-18C. All three webcams were working today. Additional special trains, including gravity trains on the FR, were operating for the FR Society AGM Weekend/Community Rail Day at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Unusually, the additional services did not extend onto the WHR as they had in previous years. Today's public services saw 5 FR trains, including two Woodland Wanderer/Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman, but just one on the WHR, the Gelert Explorer.

Lilla and Blanche were first out of Porthmadog departing the FR platform at 09:29 with a 3 coach Vintage train for Blaenau Ffestiniog, picking up James Spooner (ex the Gravity train) at Tan-y-grisiau. Lily was shunting the station at 09:58 while David Lloyd George came across The Cob, arriving in the FR platform with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit at 10:01. The Woodland Wanderer had arrived and Merddin Emrys round in the WHR platform by the time the 10:40 departed.

The Harbourmaster was back by 16:30. Blanche arrived back with the Minffordd shuttle at 16:35 allowing The Harbourmaster ECS to depart for the depot at 16:36.

 

F&WHR 5/5/24

Sunday 5/5/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-17C. All three webcams were working today. Additional special trains, including gravity trains on the FR, were operating for the FR Society AGM Weekend. Unusually, the additional services did not extend onto the WHR as they had in previous years. Today's public services saw 5 FR trains, including two Woodland Wanderer/Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman, and three on the WHR, including two The Aberglaslyn and the Gelert Explorer.

First up was Lilla shunting the station at 08:30 presumably ready to take the participants in the gravity train up to Dduallt. On Monday the gravity train will start from the Summit by the Tan-y-grisiau Power Station giving the added excitement of passing through Moelwyn Tunnel! The loco departed from Porthmadog with one coach presumably of gravity train participants at 09:00. The slate wagon rake had been collected from the Mineral Line at Minffordd earlier by David Lloyd George. Hugh Napier was noted reversing into Minffordd Yard at 09:30 light engine.

The mixed freight arrived with the RLR locos in Porthmadog yard at 10:00 and No.130 departed with The Aberglaslyn at 10:17. James Spooner was on the font of the Mountain Spirit as Merddin Emrys ran into the WHR platform at 10:33 with the ECS for the 11:10 Woodland Wanderer and ran round after the 10:40 had departed. Blanche arrived with a 3 coach train at 11:14 delaying the departure of the Woodland Wanderer slightly.

The 14:20 Mountain Spirit was noted leaving the WHR platform at 14:35 in the hands of Merddin Emrys in dull conditions. This passed a short 3 coach train at Minffordd in the hands of Blanche at 14:45 which arrived in the WHR platform at Porthmadog at 14:54. The 14:50 Woodland Wanderer then departed at 14:58 behind James Spooner (missing its cab roof) and Blanche ran round as soon as The Cob section was clear. Linda shunted the yard while the run round was underway as the sun came out again and moved The Quarryman back to the platform ready for the 15:25 return working. The RLR goods train was shunting the yard at 15:28 as Linda departed. DLG and Lilla top and tailed coach No.102 being shunting around the yard. At 15:43 they headed for the depot. Meanwhile Blanche and its 3 coach train arrived Minffordd at 15:58 and the loco ran round 5 minutes later. The RLR freight arrived at Minffordd at 16:24.

 

FfWHR Explore app launched 2/5/24

Click on the advert to enlarge. This advert is copyright F&WHR.


FfWHR EXPLORE - a travelling companion in your hand!
Visitors to Harbour Station this weekend were among the first to get their hands on the F&WHR's new app - which has been designed with everyone's enjoyment in mind, during their journey on the F&WHR.
FfWHR EXPLORE provides descriptive and historic information about stops and points of interest along the line, marking your route as you go with a locomotive icon on the map. Each railway also has three 'Out the Window' games, where the whole family can spot things seen along the route.
The FfWHR Explore app is free, provides a choice of Welsh or English text and is now available to download from the Apple Store or Google Play Store - simply click the link below and choose your preferred option:
www.festrail.co.uk/ffwhr-explore/
----------------------------------------

The App has been created as part of the Railway’s Interpretation and Boston Lodge Project - thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Lottery players, the Ffestiniog Railway Society and the FfWHR Trust.

One problem with V2.2 of the app released 2/5/24 is that does not have an EXIT button, requiring the phone to be switched off to exit the app which is not ideal. There are quite a few problems with the WHR map with Pen-y-Mount exchange platform not shown, Nantmor station shown south of its location, Plas-y-nant Halt the wrong side of the river Gwyrfai, the railway the wrong side of the road south of Waunfawr, Bontnewydd Halt the wrong side of the Afon Seiont and Caernarfon terminus the wrong side of the Seiont harbour! Furthermore, none of the request stops are named. The WHR is also shown the wrong side of the river Glaslyn in the Aberglaslyn Pass!

Features: From the app you can look at the map, or 'Out of the window' which gives options for 'Back to Nature', 'On the Railway' or 'Picture Perfect'. There is also an external link to buy tickets.

 

Trawsfynydd SMR opportunity lost? 3/5/24

The future of the Trawsfynydd Branch is in question again since the recent announcement that the former Trawsfynydd nuclear power station site is 'less suitable' for redevelopment for modular nuclear reactors than other sites such as Wylfa B site which continues to be favoured however. Recently some clearance work has taken place on the Trawsfynydd branch line close to the Blaenau Ffestiniog headshunt. At some stage it is possible the disconnected line will be given to a community group if there is no possibility of future reuse. See BBC story.

However, it has emerged that the Government has bought the Wylfa B site off Hitachi who were leading the previous attempt to build a new nuclear power station. £160 million has changed hands and includes the Oldbury site in Gloucestershire. The Government has no firm plans but is clearly interested in new nuclear as part of de-carbonising the UK Energy economy. Labour also supports the general principle of New Nuclear. See BBC report of 6/3/24. Wylfa B, if built, may have significant effects on freight traffic on the North Wales Coast line both during construction and to deal with the future nuclear waste flask traffic for which GBRf retains paths.

 

F&WHR 4/5/24

Saturday 4/5/24 was an overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 7-12C. Today there were the usual seven Saturday services, including five on the FR and the two through services on the WHR. All three webcams were working today. Additional special trains, including gravity trains on the FR, were operating for the FR Society AGM Weekend. Unusually, the additional services did not extend onto the WHR as they had in previous years.

The Mountain Spirit left at 10:43 while James Spooner shunted in the yard and propelled The Victorian into the platform. The two RLR locos brought the well wagon rake with Model T Ford into the yard at 11:10 and ran round. The Victorian departed at 10:27 in overcast weather.

The Snowdonia Star was in the WHR platform by 12:50 and No.87 returned to the train at 12:58 after refuelling and watering. Linda arrived a 13:15 with The Quarryman. Linda ran round and shunted the rake to the seawall siding at 13:25 to clear the platform for the arrival of the Mountain Spirit. James Spooner then coupled onto the rear of The Victorian which was also shunted to the yard to clear the platform for the arrival of the Mountain Spirit.

The last of the afternoon departures was the return The Quarryman. Linda shunted the train back to the platform at 15:02 ready for the 15:25 departure. The train departed on time as Lily shunted the yard. In the afternoon, Lilla gave cab rides in Porthmadog station. Blanche hauled the FRS Members Special which was unusually routed into Platform 2 at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Apparently one of the coaches caught a limited clearance marker showing how rare such a visit by rolling stock is. Open coach No.37 was positioned on the west end of the rake despite the weather.

 

Alco Mountaineer's cab

Alco restoration project Mountaineer has accelerated recently with the stripping of the boiler tubes. The cab was recently shot blasted at Boston Lodge and returned to Glan-y-pwll by road on a trailer on 4/5/24.

 

Gravity trains

The Gravity Slate train will be running three times this Bank Holiday weekend, so don't miss your opportunity to see it in action:
SATURDAY...
08:55 - Slate Waggons hauled by DAVID LLOYD GEORGE from Harbour Station to Dduallt - arriving around 10:00
▪️ 10:15 - Gravity Train leaves Dduallt
▪️ 10:25 - Passes through Tan-y-Bwlch
▪️ 10:45 - Passes through Penrhyn
▪️ 10:50 - Arrives Minffordd - runs onto Mineral Line for stabling
SUNDAY...
08:55 - Slate Waggons hauled by DAVID LLOYD GEORGE from Minffordd to Dduallt - arriving around 09:45
▪️ 10:15 - Gravity Train leaves Dduallt
▪️ 10:25 - Passes through Tan-y-Bwlch
▪️ 10:45 - Passes through Penrhyn
▪️ 10:50 - Arrives Minffordd - runs onto Mineral Line for stabling
MONDAY...
08:35 - Slate Waggons hauled by JAMES SPOONER from Minffordd to Power Station Summit - arriving around 09:35
▪️ 09:50 - Gravity Train leaves Power Station Summit
▪️ 10:00 - Passes through Dduallt
▪️ 10:15 - Passes through Tan-y-Bwlch
▪️ 10:35 - Passes through Penrhyn
▪️ 10:40 - Arrives Minffordd - runs into Minffordd Yard
Train services on Saturday, Sunday and Monday include a number of special trains for Ffestiniog Railway Society members only. Timetables (plus other information on loco and stock diagrams) can be downloaded @ https://bit.ly/FRS-AGM-2024
______________________________
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

F&WHR 3/5/24

Friday 3/5/24 was a drizzly overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-11C. Today there was just one FR service, the 10:40 Mountain Spirit and no services on the WHR. All three webcams were working today. Vale of Ffestiniog was noted shunting Boston Lodge from 09:00. Work appeared to be underway on the trident signal on The Cob.

James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit at 10:05 and the loco ran round at 10:12 in misty conditions. A second loco was being steamed at Boston Lodge, no doubt in association with the FR Society events of the evening. Blanche arrived with a private 5 coach train (including an open coach on the rear) in the FR yard at 10:33, running round 5 minutes later. As soon at the Mountain Spirit departed Blanche was signalled to shunt in the yard. The loco left light engine before midday for the depot.

Steam shunting was taking place near the Old Loco shed at 12:10 for an hour and an additional loco was in steam at Boston Lodge as fog closed in at about 13:00 hiding the action. One interesting working was the arrival of a Model T Ford on the well wagon! The murky weather hid a lot of the evening shunting but the gravity rake was visible in the FR platform at 21:00.

 

Loco roster w/c 4/5/24

A very busy Bank Holiday weekend ensures there will be six steam locos working passenger trains on the F&WHR, with a further four locos in action on other trains...
On the Ffestiniog Railway: James Spooner, David Lloyd George and Merddin Emrys will be working out of Porthmadog with the latter on Mountain Spirit and The Victorian on a daily basis - with Linda in charge of service trains starting from Blaenau Ffestiniog-The Quarryman.
Services on the Welsh Highland Railway will be covered by NG/G16s Nos.130/143:
No.130 will start the week working from Porthmadog.
No.143 will start the week working from Caernarfon.
• The two Garratt locos will swap trains at Beddgelert twice this week, so after a complicated diagram they will eventually end up back where they started at the beginning of the week.
In addition to the regular service trains, there will be a number of extra workings in association with the Ffestiniog Railway Society AGM.
Resident locos Blanche and Lilla will be busy providing footplate rides or working private trains, while visiting locos Chuquitanta and Lily (from the Richmond Light Railway) will be out in action hauling goods trains every day of the Bank Holiday weekend.
James Spooner will also be working a special train on Bank Holiday Monday, in connection with the Family Fun Day in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
So, that brings us to a grand total of TEN steam locos that can be seen running this week.
--------------------------------------------------
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

F&WHR 2/5/24

Thursday 2/5/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-17C. Temperatures are expected to rise this week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas in April! Today there were five FR services, both Mountain Spirit and The Victorian as well as The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. There were also the two WHR trains through trains. All three webcams were working today.

No.130 arrived with the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster at about 09:40. Some people are using this train as a genuine transport link coming with their suitcases, presumably from the adjacent Premier Inn. David Lloyd George arrived at 10:07 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The Harbourmaster departed about 4 minutes late. DLG ran round by 10:23. James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the 11:10 The Victorian at 10:35 routed into the FR yard for some reason. Unless the loco needed fuelling or watering it would make more sense to route the ECS into the WHR platform and run round there, rather than run round in the yard and then shunt to the FR platform after the Mountain Spirit has departed. DLG departed on time and following James Spooner run round, the rake was shunted to the FR platform at 10:50.

The Snowdonia Star arrived shortly after midday and the loco detached and went to fuel and water. At 12:50 Linda arrived with The Quarryman in sunshine but with a canvas sheet to protect the footplate crew rather than the demountable tender cab. The loco started its run round 5 minutes later but stood in the yard for a while before shunting the rake to the yard to clear the FR platform at 13:25 as the returning The Victorian approached across The Cob. DLG arrived with The Victorian at 13:36 and ran round 5 minutes later to clear the platform at 13:48 for the arrival of the return Mountain Spirit which was approaching across The Cob. No.87 emerged from the fuelling point at 14:00 and ran around its train in the WHR platform. The return working of the Snowdonia Star departed at 14:08. DLG coupled up to the 14:20 Mountain Spirit which left on time. Last out was Linda which ran round The Quarryman in the yard at 14:35 and shunted to the FR platform and departed at 15:28.

Vale of Ffestiniog returned The Victorian unusually at 17:07 after some problem earlier in the day. There was no sign of James Spooner which may have been replaced before departure on the 14:50. This allowed the Garratt on The Harbourmaster to depart ECS for the depot at 17:10. The Funkey ran round at 17:13 but as the rake was still in the FR platform the returning Mountain Spirit ran into the WHR platform unusually at 17:34. DLG detached and started a run to the depot but had to wait until the Funkey departed with the ECS from The Victorian at 17:37. The ECS from the Mountain Spirit was able to depart at about 17:50 to close the day's activities.

 

NLHF May Update 2/5/24

Click on the YouTube link to watch 8 minutes 34 seconds of video showing progress with rebuilding Boston Lodge. This video is copyright F&WHR and was published on 2/4/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

Friday night at the FR (3/5/24)

There will be a flurry of activity around the railway on Friday, as final preparations are made for the Ffestiniog Railway Society's AGM weekend. There will be a lot of shunting around the yard and carriage shed at Boston Lodge (not open to the public), with a few additional stock moves to various locations.
The slate wagons for the Saturday 'Gravity Train' will be collected from Minffordd Yard and brought to Harbour Station (by UPNOR CASTLE) in the late afternoon...
Meanwhile, VELINHELI, CHUQUITANTA and LILY will have arrived in Harbour Station around 16:00 - bringing the short Goods train that the two visiting locos will be in charge of over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
During the next three hours, the locos will be busy in Harbour Station, with a little light shunting and steaming about the station yard, entertaining visitors arriving for the AGM weekend. Around 19:00, they will couple up to the Goods train and head off back to Boston Lodge.
There will be a 'Model T' Ford as well.
______________________________
Train services on Saturday, Sunday and Monday include a number of special trains for Ffestiniog Railway Society members only. Timetables (plus other information on loco and stock diagrams) can be downloaded @ https://bit.ly/FRS-AGM-2024
⚠ IMPORTANT - If you have previously downloaded the timetables for this weekend, the train graph shown for Monday was actually a duplicate of Saturday's graph. This error has now been corrected, so you can download the fresh version using the link above.
______________________________
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

F&WHR 1/5/24

Wednesday 1/5/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-14C. Temperatures are expected to rise this week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas! Today there were three FR services, both Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman. There are also three WHR trains, including two The Aberglaslyn trains and the Gelert Explorer. All three webcams were working today.

Blanche arrived  with The Quarryman set at 12:48. The morning The Aberglaslyn returned by 12:59 as Blanche ran round and as No.87 ran to the yard to fuel and water. Blanche shunted the rake to the yard to clear the platform for the return of the Mountain Spirit. No.87 had run round and coupled up for the 13:40 afternoon trip by 13:30. The afternoon was a bit dismal so the loco turned on its LED headlight. Linda turned up at Harbour Station possibly on test in preparation for the weekend events.

Thursday's timetable will be a repeat of Tuesday's with 7 trains again.

 

F&WHR 30/4/24

Tuesday 30/4/24 was an overcast day of heavy rain at Porthmadog with temperatures of 8-12C. Temperatures are expected to rise this week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas! Today there were five FR services, both Mountain Spirit/The Victorian trains ran as well as The Quarryman. The two through trains are also running on the WHR. All three webcams were working today.

Departure of James Spooner on the 10:40 Mountain Spirit was delayed by a few minutes by the late arrival of David Lloyd George with the ECS for The Victorian into the yard. At 10:52 a PW train was standing in the westbound loop at Tan-y-bwlch with Harlech Castle in charge of the FR Mess Van No.1111, containers and an FR wagon with loose tools. The Victorian arrived at Tan-y-bwlch 11:47 and the PW train will have to move to allow the run round and the passage of The Quarryman. It had gone 5 minutes later presumably to Minffordd Yard. DLG disconnected and ran to water.

Blanche headed through Tan-y-bwlch at 12:13 and continued to Porthmadog 2 minutes later and passed through Minffordd at 12:38, finally arriving at Porthmadog at 12:48. At 13:25 No.130 ran around the Snowdonia Star in the WHR platform in rather dismal weather.

 

Bank Holiday FRSoc AGM Weekend activities
This coming weekend is filled with special events and activities arranged to coincide with the Ffestiniog Railway Society's AGM. Many of these are solely for members of the Society, but there are other things happening around the railway that anyone can enjoy - including seeing the F&WHR award-winning Gravity Slate Train in action..!
FRIDAY
▪ Newly-overhauled VELINHELI and visiting locos CHUQUITANTA and LILY on display at Porthmadog (early evening)
SATURDAY
▪ Gravity Slate Train from Dduallt
▪ Visiting locos CHUQUITANTA and LILY working goods trains to Minffordd/Tan-y-Bwlch
▪ Additional train running (for Society members)
▪ Total of NINE steam locos to see during the day
SUNDAY
▪ Gravity Slate Train from Dduallt
▪ Visiting locos CHUQUITANTA and LILY working goods trains to Minffordd/Tan-y-Bwlch
▪ Extra trains running (for Society Members)
▪ Total of EIGHT steam locos to see during the day
MONDAY
▪ Gravity Slate Train from Power Station Summit
▪ Visiting locos CHUQUITANTA and LILY working goods trains to Minffordd/Tan-y-Bwlch
▪ Community Rail Day at Blaenau Ffestiniog
JAMES SPOONER and 1920s carriages on display at Blaenau Ffestiniog
▪ Footplate Rides with BLANCHE and LILLA at Blaenau Ffestiniog (11:00-16:30)
▪ Special Train from Blaenau Ffestiniog - Tan-y-Bwlch return
▪ Tombola and stalls at Blaenau Ffestiniog
▪ Total of SEVEN steam locos to see during the day


ℹ More details will be posted over the next couple of days, but timetables (plus other information on loco and stock diagrams) are now available @https://bit.ly/FRS-AGM-2024

 

Blaenau Ffestiniog Community Rail Day/Family Fun Day – Monday, 6/5/24

This Bank Holiday Monday, 6/5/24, you are invited to a special Family Fun Day at Blaenau Ffestiniog’s railway station - featuring footplate rides, stalls on the platform and a special train to Tan-y-Bwlch and back.

Ex-Penhryn Quarry Railway locos Blanche and Lilla will be busy providing footplate rides through the station from 11:00 until 16:30. Newly built, award-winning, Double Fairlie James Spooner will be on display for photo opportunities - complete with a train of 1920s carriages.


➡ Popular local author Mike Leaver and Debbie’s Cake’ole will be among the selection of stalls on the station platform.

If you fancy a train journey down the Ffestiniog Railway - a special train will leave Blaenau Ffestiniog at 13:15 heading to Tan-y-bwlch, where there’s a 30-minute break before the return journey, arriving back in Blaenau Ffestiniog around 14:45. Tickets for the train to Tan-y-Bwlch can be purchased on the day: Adults £10 - Children £1. There’s no charge for footplate rides, but donations are always welcome. There’s no need to pre-book any of the activities either.

✅ Come along with friends and family to join in the fun - the F&WHR looks forward to seeing you during the day!

 

F&WHR 29/4/24

Monday 29/4/24 was an overcast day of heavy rain at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-11C. Temperatures are expected to rise this week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas! Today there were just two FR services, both Mountain Spirit trains ran, All three webcams were working today. James Spooner was rostered for both of today's trains. Tuesday will feature the usual seven services as last week. Dinas's No.9 PW loco made a trip out to Rhyd Ddu today with the ex SAR brakevan No.3172.

 

Tan-y-bwlch tearoom Springtime offers

The Tea Room at Tan-y-Bwlch Station is nestled in the woodlands of the Vale of Ffestiniog - making it an ideal spot to sit back, relax and enjoy a tasty treat while ‘out and about’ enjoying the beautiful countryside.
Open daily from 10:00-16:00, the tearoom serves a range of home-made and freshly-prepared sandwiches, cakes and hot food - as well as a variety of snacks and drinks.
In addition, they also have some special ‘Springtime’ offers for you to enjoy (from Monday 29/4/24):
MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY (11:30-16:00)
▪ Homemade Cake & choice of Hot Drink - £5.50
▪ Homemade Soup of the Day & Sandwich (served until 15:00) - £8.50
▪ Homemade Soup, Slice of Cake & Hot or Soft Drink (served until 15:00) - £9.50
SATURDAY & SUNDAY (11:00-14:30)
▪ Panini or Filled Baguette - with Salad Garnish, Homemade Cake & Hot Drink - £12.95

So, why not make the most of the improving weather and enjoy some exercise in the fresh country air, followed by a tasty treat from the Tea Room. The station car park is available for visitors… so you can arrive by car, by bike, on foot or by train – all are welcome. As well as The Victorian/Woodland Wanderer services passengers may make 'hop on/hop off' partial journeys if space is available (usually no problem). So journeys may start of terminate at Tan-y-bwlch on the Mountain Spirit/The Quarryman.
If you are visiting with young children, there is also plenty to keep them happy as well. The popular playground beside the railway even includes a large wooden train - so they can ‘let off steam’ there or during walks along the trails and paths through the valley above and below the station. However you decide to spend your day - exercising or simply relaxing - you can be sure tearoom staff will be pleased to see you here!

 

Oswestry Update

The Cambrian Heritage Railways at Oswestry have been busy with trackwork and have at last finished all the pointwork at the south end of the station. This means they now have access from the yard to the island platform and the through road. There are not many preservation centres that feature a through road. Unfortunately there has been no progress at the north end of the station where the Community Railway will come in from Gobowen. Part of the reason is that a level crossing was built across the tracks without permission to access a medical centre in the old Oswestry Loco Works.

The council owned station building, once the headquarters of the Cambrian Railways, will have scaffolding for a period as specialist attention is given to restoring some of its finer features. The Community Rail Link from Gobowen will be a major feature in the upcoming General Election with local Lib Dem MP Helen Morgan pushing strongly for the rail link and the Tories promising dualling of the A5 using HS2 cancellation funds. If the A5 is dualled it would incorporate a bridge over the Gobowen line, removing the current busy level crossing and any last impediment to opening a Pacer service to Oswestry using the line's two donated units.

Meanwhile at the detached south end of the line at Llynclys former Merseyside Class 503 powercar DMBSO No.28690 has arrived and been stored from the former Hornby factory at Margate. The other two parts of the unit are being scrapped! The nearby Nantmawr Quarry branch has offered to take the preserved Class 507 No.507001 which displaced the 1938 vintage Class 503 from Liverpool. While these units spent most of their life in a yellow/white MPTE livery, No.507001 has been released from Birkenhead North depot in BR Blue & Grey! See 507001 Preservation Group. Lets hope the Class 507 has a better future than the Class 308! Transfer to Nantmawr will be by lorry.

 

F&WHR 28/4/24

Sunday 28/4/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 9-12C and light cloud. Temperatures are expected to rise next week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas! Today there was just one FR service, the 10:40 Mountain Spirit and one WHR service, the 11:30 Gelert Explorer. All three webcams were working today. The headboard for The Victorian has still not arrived so this is currently the only public train on the F&WHR that operates without a headboard.

Vale of Ffestiniog arrived with a single B wagon at 09:00, possibly for loco fuel. There was more shunting of a wagon in the yard at 09:17 and at 09:23 two wagons were propelled out to the signalbox. The train shunted out to the king point at 09:29 and advanced into the WHR platform 5 minutes later. The train departed at 09:46 with all three B wagons to collect coal from Dinas. It seems the early season operation of attaching empty B wagons to the return working of the Snowdonia Star has not been used this week.

 

This easterly view (28/4/24) shows Vale of Ffestiniog hauling three empty B wagons to Dinas to collect fuel. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

At 10:05 James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The loco had its complete cab roof installed in case of inclement weather. The loco ran round 10 minutes later. Although no other public service was booked to operate out of Porthmadog, steam was being raised for a second train at Boston Lodge.

At 16:20 a departmental train was standing at the king point. Vale of Ffestiniog entered the yard at 16:28 propelling the well wagon and three B wagons loaded with coal. Having deposited the well wagon and one B wagon in the sidings the other two B wagons were propelled to the refuelling point. At 16:43 the well wagon and one loaded B wagon were propelled to the signalbox and 5 minutes later set off for Boston Lodge, propelling the short departmental across The Cob to close the day's activities.

 

This easterly view (28/4/24) shows Vale of Ffestiniog shunting the well wagon and an empty B wagon following return from its run to Dinas to collect fuel. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

F&WHR 27/4/24

Saturday 27/4/24 was a chilly day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 5-11C and light cloud. Temperatures are expected to rise next week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas! There are three FR services, the two Mountain Spirit and The Quarryman and the two through WHR services. All three webcams were working today.

James Spooner was on the 10:40 Mountain Spirit, passing Minffordd with a well loaded train at 10:51. At 13:05 both No.130 and Blanche were running round their trains as the sun came out weakly. Blanche shunted The Quarryman into the yard to leave the FR platform clear for the arrival of the Mountain Spirit. No.130 was carrying prominent white discs used in BR practice  to indicate the type of train. On some occasions the train will be a mixed train with a tail load of coal wagon s to/fro Dinas. Any guesses what this disc code pattern signifies?

 

This easterly view (27/4/24) shows Blanche shunting its rake clear of the FR platform at 12:10 while No.130 sits ready to depart with the 14:05 return working of the Snowdonia Star complete with white disc codes. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

Blanche shunted The Quarryman rake back into the FR platform at 14:30 after the 14:20 Mountain Spirit had departed. James Spooner was noted departing at 17:56 with the ECS for the afternoon Mountain Spirit to close the day's activities.

 

Loco roster w/c 27/4/24
A slightly quieter week ahead means there will only be SIX steam locos working passenger trains on the F&WHR.
On the FR: James Spooner and David Lloyd George will again be working out of Porthmadog - with Blanche or Linda in charge of trains starting from Blaenau Ffestiniog. James Spooner will haul the Mountain Spirit but will swop duties on Tuesday/Thursday lunchtime with DLG on The Victorian. Linda will haul the return working of the Quarryman on Wednesday and return Thursday morning. Otherwise Blanche will haul this train.
Services on the WHR will be covered by NG/G16s Nos.87/130:
No.87 will start the week working from Porthmadog.
No.130 will start the week working from Caernarfon.
• On Wednesday the two locos will swop trains at Beddgelert and finish at the other end of the railway
• On Thursday No.87 will work from Caernarfon, while No.130 works from Porthmadog...
In addition to the regular service trains, there will be a number of extra workings on Friday, in advance of the FRS AGM weekend. In particular, newly-overhauled Quarry Hunslet Velinheli and visiting locos Chuquitanta and Lily (from the Richmond Light Railway) will be on display in Harbour Station in the late afternoon/evening.
So, there will be a grand total of NINE steam locos that can be seen running this week.
--------------------------------------------------
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

F&WHR 26/4/24

Friday 26/4/24 was a chilly day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 5-11C and light cloud. Temperatures are expected to rise next week after a bout of unseasonably cold Spring weather which has seen temperatures comparable with Christmas! The established pattern of services on Fridays is for a single train, the 10:40 Mountain Spirit, on Fridays. All three webcams were working today.

David Lloyd George arrived at 10:10 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. By 09:34 a diesel, possibly Upnor Castle, was in the WHR platform with two coaches, possibly No.23 and brake No.10, likely to have run round from Boston Lodge as a NLHF shuttle to Boston Lodge Halt was booked today. DLG departed on time for Blaenau Ffestiniog. The diesel left with the short rake at 10:54 and was originally booked for Moelwyn. DLG returned on time at about 13:55 and the ECS departed for the depot about half an hour later to close the day's activities.

 

F&WHR 25/4/24

Thursday 25/4/24 was a chilly day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 3-10C and light cloud. Thursday had the usual seven train service repeat of Tuesday with five FR trains (both Mountain Spirit/The Victorian trains and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog) plus the two through trains on the WHR. The Tan-y-bwlch webcam was not available again for the third day running but resumed live feed in the afternoon.

No.87 arrived with the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster at about 09:15. The ECS 10:40 Mountain Spirit arrived with David Lloyd George as The Harbourmaster departed. Run round was complete by 10:20 as shunting at Boston Lodge saw the ECS for The Victorian being prepared. James Spooner propelled the rake into the FR platform at 10:48.

No.130 was on the Snowdonia Star and had some attention to its motion when it ran round at 13:35. James Spooner positioned itself in the yard ready for the Fairlie swop at 13:52 as the Mountain Spirit crossed The Cob. DLG arrived at 13:56 and James Spooner immediately shunted to the rear ready for the 14:20 departure. DLG emerged from the yard at 14:24 to shunt The Victorian rake once the Mountain Spirit had gone. The rake was shunted into the platform at 14:32 and departed on time.

James Spooner, with its cab roof complete, arrived back at 17:28 with the last return of the day, the afternoon Mountain Spirit. Run round occurred by 17:40 and the ECS departed for the depot at 17:43 to close the day's activities.

 

The Snowdonian at Waunfawr 20/4/24

This southerly view (20/4/24) shows James Spooner and Merddin Emrys waiting in the platform at Waunfawr while passengers enjoy a buffet lunch. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a phone camera.

 

Alco Mountaineer April report

The team returned to Glan-y-pwll for another working party, in rather unseasonably liquid sunshine. With the removal of the boiler from the frames this opened up two areas of work. The boiler needed the bosses and covers removing prior to contractors coming in to survey the boiler. The plate that fixes the boiler to the frames had to be detached from the foundation ring. The nuts required some force to get them undone but this was completed without breaking any studs. For photos of progress see Facebook Festrail page.
Work on the frames continued following on from previous cleaning efforts now that the boiler is out of the way. They have been degreased and pressure washed revealing paint and previous paint pen marks from the last overhaul. The rear of the chassis is now very clean, with the front having been coated in much more stubborn oil and dust mix require a bit more attention with scrapers next time. Further work continued with the development of the ash pan design and the proposed modifications with coal firing with the use of wood mock ups. There was also a lot of discussion on finalising design ideas for several modifications.
Lastly the connecting rods and piston heads were split from the crosshead. These have also been removed to allow the cylinder bores to be measured. These components have now been safely stored. The bores look quite good but may require some work to bring them back to round, there was no corrosion nor any marks on the bores so these are likely to be in good condition. The hand brake screw was finally removed but a small change will need to be made to this to prevent the build up of grease that was stopping it from being unscrewed.
Work started on removing the piston valves and the steam brake cylinder but a few issues arose requiring advice and special tools so these were left until next time. Due to all the pressure washing the axle boxes were drained ready for fresh clean oil to be added next time.
Members of the Ffestiniog Railway Society will have the chance to come and see the team in action on the Saturday during our May working party. There are many ways to support the project and get involved.
Please find our Mountaineer Appeal page on the Ffestiniog Railway Society web site.
The Alco Team has its own website, where they have a selection of items for you to purchase to support the project.
https://www.alco1265.org.uk/
Finally if you would like to get involved please contact pbooth@ffwhr.com for more information on how you can do this.

 

F&WHR 24/4/24

Wednesday 24/4/24 was an improving day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 4-12C and sunshine later. Wednesday has the usual six train service with four trains from Porthmadog (both Mountain Spirit/The Aberglaslyn trains) and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog plus one train from Caernarfon, The Gelert Explorer. The Tan-y-bwlch webcam was not available again for the second day running.

The first train was the ECS for the 10:15 The Aberglaslyn which arrived at 09:55 behind No.87. At 10:17 James Spooner (less cab roof) shunted the saloon from next to the rear of the rake to the seawall siding. Fuel can be saved on days when traffic is lighter  by reducing the weight of the train. No.143, on the Gelert Explorer, swopped duties at Beddgelert with No.87 and hauled the afternoon's The Aberglaslyn. Blanche left Porthmadog with the return working of The Quarryman at 15:27. For images see Robert Purcell's 28 images on Friends of the F&WHR Facebook page.

 

The Snowdonian 2024 and the RLR Blaenau Trip 19-20/4/24

Click on the YouTube link to watch 1hour 4 minutes 28 seconds of video showing the RLR locos visit to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 19/4/24 and The Snowdonian on 20/4/24. This video is copyright F&WHR and was published on 24/4/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

F&WHR 23/4/24

Tuesday 23/4/24 was an improving day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 4-13C and sunshine later. Tuesday has the usual seven train service with five F&WHR trains (both Mountain Spirit/The Victorian trains and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog) plus the two WHR through trains. The Tan-y-bwlch webcam was not available again this morning.

The Snowdonia Star had arrived by 12:30 and the loco had departed to refuel and water. At 13:08 Linda ran round The Quarryman and shunted the rake to the yard to clear the platform for subsequent FR arrivals. No.87 ran round the Snowdonia Star at 13:15 in the WHR platform ready for the 14:05 return service. The ECS The Harbourmaster left for the depot at 16:33. David Lloyd George arrived back with The Victorian at 17:00 into the FR platform. At 17:35 James Spooner arrived back with the Mountain Spirit in the FR platform. The loco ran round by 17:53 and departed with the ECS at 17:56 to close the day's activities.

 

Lilla, Linda and Blanche 20/4/24

This westerly view (19/4/24) shows Lilla, carrying The Snowdonian headboard, piloting Linda and Blanche away from Porthmadog on the first leg of the special working in sunny Spring weather. Lilla was removed at Minffordd rather than Tan-y-bwlch as booked due to a restriction on locos without spark arrestors operating in woodland in fine dry weather. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

RLR locos at Tan-y-grisiau 19/4/24

Gary Brindle took some video of an unannounced visit by the two Richmond Light Railway locos to Blaenau Ffestiniog late on Friday afternoon. They are seen negotiating the trailable sprung point. Fortunately the light weight CHUQUITANTA managed to push through. See Gary Brindles' video.

 

No.134 Kalahari report April 2024

Welcome to the latest update of our efforts to return No.134 to steam here in North Wales. Our March & April working parties were well supported, with some volunteer time in between and support from the permanent staff on key items.
As the days grew longer so did the copper pipework, as Laurence’s handiwork spread from the piston and valve chest lubrication, through the front truck to the steam chest pressure and gauge glass drains. Soon the pipework will creep down to the steam operated drain cocks too, which were recently fitted and look very smart with their low profile design allowing maximum ground clearance beneath No.134’s large cylinders.
During the dark days of the early months the machinists at Dinas made all new bronze fittings for the large feed pipework and volunteers plan to fit these to the shaped pipes in May with skilled help from Boston Lodge. The permanent staff also installed the Group's two mechanical lubricator drives, which are driven from the expansion links for constant stroke and are easily accessible. In this area volunteers also introduced a split in the running plates to allow handy sections above the valve gear to be removed for access without disturbing the lubricators or pipework in future. The four bypass valves which sit atop the piston valve chests had their overhaul completed, so were refitted along with modified steam pipe covers alongside the smokebox.
A recent ergonomic challenge has been the design and fabrication of the bracket to support the vacuum ejector and steam brake valve, which must hold these heavy items securely in a location for unhindered access and easy operation, while clearing other items in the restricted cab space such as adjacent opening side and front windows and pipework. This is now completed and volunteers are moving on to pipework for the ejector and steam brake too.
During March the Cab Roof had some final straightening works completed and received the attention of the painters to both its underside and top. The April working party saw volunteers finally able to bring the tender back into the workshop and position it behind the loco. Volunteers promptly lifted the roof on top - where it will hang out until it is ready to finally be mounted on the loco. The Reverser stand was connected to the reach rod for the first time and the gear was wound through its range on dead centres to check the eccentric rod lengths. Some modifications were required on the Ashpan door due to a slight clash on operation with the repaired rear truck pivot stretcher. The last of the vacuum pipework on the tender was completed and all the pipework underneath painted.
Finally, after several failed attempts due to its complexity, volunteers were happy to receive the combined Blastpipe, Blower and Ejector Exhaust Casting, which is fully machined and ready for installation  in May along with the spark arrestor plates. That has been a journey! For photos see Friends of F&WHR Facebook page.
Whilst the amount of work remaining is rapidly diminishing, what is left requires plenty of expensive brass and copper! Every penny helps, so if you are able to, please donate via this button or choose something from the Sales Department.

 

F&WHR 22/4/24

Monday 22/4/24 was an overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 7-13C. Monday had two F&WHR trains (both Mountain Spirit trains on the FR but no WHR trains). At 10:10 James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the Mountain Spirit. The train returned at 13:53 ready for the second trip.

 

Loco Roster w/c 20/4/24

The locos associated with the running of 'The Snowdonian' special and associated extra workings have already been dealt with.
Over the coming week the F&WHR will have SEVEN steam locos working scheduled passenger trains on the F&WHR.
On the Ffestiniog Railway: James Spooner and David Lloyd George will again be working out of Porthmadog - with Lyd or Linda in charge of trains starting from Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Services on the Welsh Highland Railway will be covered by all three available NG/G16s - Nos. 87/130/143:
No.87 will start the week working from Porthmadog.
No.143 will start the week working from Caernarfon.
• On Wednesday the two locos will swap trains at Beddgelert and finish at the other end of the railway.
• On Thursday No.130 will work from Caernarfon, while No.143 works from Porthmadog.

Finally - there is also a diesel-hauled train, with Moelwyn working an NLHF special on Friday.
So, that brings us to a grand total of TWELVE steam locos and ONE diesel running on timetabled or private services this week.
--------------------------------------------------
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

Chris Parry's The Snowdonian collection

Chris Parry has published his photos of The Snowdonian on Flickr, covering a wider range than your webmaster whose electric wheelchair ran out of charge at Beddgelert! Luckily a photographer helped your webmaster get back to the car park.

 

F&WHR 21/4/24

Sunday 21/4/24 was an overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 7-12C tending to be brighter later. Sunday had two F&WHR trains (the 10:40 Mountain Spirit trains and the 11:30 Gelert Explorer). The final train of The Snowdonian weekend was the 10:00 Boston Lodge shuttle on Sunday morning.

Blanche returned with the short 3 coach shuttle train from Boston Lodge at 12:29 into the FR platform. The loco ran round at 12.43 after fuelling and watering and departed with the ECS at 12:50.

 

This easterly view (21/4/24) shows Blanche with ECS Boston Lodge shuttle returning to the depot at 12:50. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR taken on a webcam.

 

No.87 was noted leaving Beddgelert on time with the return Gelert Explorer and departing Rhyd Ddu at 15:02. Rhyd Ddu yard contained the two ex-SAR ballast wagons Nos.4021/2.

 

This southerly view (21/4/24) shows No.87 with the return Gelert Explorer departing Rhyd Ddu. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on an iPhone camera.

 

Loco guests trip to Beddgelert

The F&WHR currently has two Decauville locos visiting from their home base on the Richmond Light Railway in Kent. On Saturday they went out on a trip to Beddgelert, so that they could be seen by passengers on The Snowdonian special. Here are some photos of Chuquitanta and Lily arriving back in Porthmadog after their run out on the Welsh Highland Railway.


--------------------------------------------
CHUQUITANTA
Decauville 0-4-0T (Works No.36/1885)
This Couillet built engine is the oldest surviving operational Decauville in the world, originally supplied to the Rodriguez sugar cane plantation, Peru. Acquired for full restoration by the Richmond Light Railway in 2004
LILY
Decauville 0-4-0T (Works No.648/1912)
A ‘Type 3’ Decauville, which is the youngest of its type currently in operation, originally delivered new to the Thessaly Railway, Volos in Greece. Acquired by the Richmond Light Railway in 2023.

 

F&WHR 20/4/24

Saturday 20/4/24 was an initially bright day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 4-12C but becoming overcast at midday before brightening up towards the late afternoon. Saturday had three FR trains (two The Victorian trains and The Quarryman) and the two through trains on the WHR. Access had been restored to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams in time for The Snowdonian. In addition to the regular service trains, there were a number of extra workings on Saturday 20/4/24, in association with the Snowdonian weekend. Three further locos will be in steam - resident Hunslet Lilla which will assist The Snowdonian, along with visiting locos Chuquitanta and Lily from the Richmond Light Railway which will make an appearance at Beddgelert. Finally, Lyd will assist The Snowdonian on its return from Caernarfon.

First up was The Snowdonian, departing Porthmadog at 08:45. The train was triple headed to Minffordd where Lilla was detached from the front of Linda and Blanche. Originally it had been planned to detach Lilla at Tan-y-bwlch but, as it has no spark arrestor, it was decided not to risk running the loco through the woods above Minffordd.

 

This westerly view (20/4/24) shows Lilla arriving at Minffordd with The Snowdonian at 08:57. Lilla was removed at Minffordd as it has no spark arrestor for the wooded section nearer to Tan-y-bwlch. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

Linda and Blanche continued to Tan-y-bwlch where they arrived at 09:35.

 

This westerly view (20/4/24) shows Linda and Blanche arriving at Tan-y-bwlch with The Snowdonian at 09:35. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

Linda and Blanche arrived at Blaenau Ffestiniog at 10:20 and ran round via platform 2. The point blade required a kick to ensure registration.

 

This northerly view (20/4/24) shows Linda and Blanche arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog with The Snowdonian at 10:20 and Linda commencing its run round. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

This northerly view (20/4/24) shows Blanche running round at Blaenau Ffestiniog with The Snowdonian at 10:20 while Linda is in platform 2. Use of this little used platform for run round was because the rake was too long for the loop in Platform 1. Linda was on the front again on the journey back to Pen Cob Junction. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

The train returned to Porthmadog and exchanged locos at Pen Cob Junction with James Spooner piloting Merddin Emrys. With careful coordination by the signaller, the train was able to run through Porthmadog and across Britannia Bridge non-stop.

 

This easterly view (20/4/24) shows James Spooner with Merddin Emrys running through Porthmadog with The Snowdonian at 12:00 non-stop. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

This northerly view (20/4/24) shows Lily with Chuquitanta (a loco imported from Peru) ar 12:46. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

This southerly view (20/4/24) shows James Spooner with Merddin Emrys at 12:49 after locos had watered. There was a little slipping as the train restarted. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

Some 'inconvenience' was caused to passengers on the train and those visiting the station when it was discovered that the toilets were locked. If it is now policy to lock the toilets 'out of hours', surely they should be unlocked by the guard on the first train and locked again by the guard on the last train? Passengers at least had to use of the train's toilets but queues formed for these.

 

 

This southerly view (20/4/24) shows Chuquitanta (a loco imported from Peru) and Lily  from the Richmond Light Railway at 12:56. The locos left for Porthmadog shortly afterwards. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright B W Hughes and was taken on a Canon EOS 2000D camera.

 

The Snowdonian called at Waunfawr for participants to take a buffet lunch followed by a comfort break at Caernarfon. The train eventually arrived back at Porthmadog about 20 minutes late at 18:37 with Lyd unexpectedly piloting James Spooner and Merddin Emrys. Five minutes later the three locos detached and ran to the yard to refuel and water. Lyd was released from the yard at 18:55 and went back to the depot light engine. The two Fairlies returned to the train about 10 minutes later and departed with the ECS at 19:14.

In addition to The Snowdonian, normal services saw a coal delivery with the Snowdonia Star hauled by No.87. The return working was supported to Waunfawr by Lyd. The Harbourmaster was hauled by No.143. The Quarryman was hauled to Porthmadog by Lyd and back by its more typical Linda. David Lloyd George hauled The Victorian.

 

The Snowdonian II

The Snowdonian arrived back in Porthmadog at 18:35 - just 10 minutes shy of a 10 hour day, covering eighty miles of the F&WHR, eighty miles of beautiful North Wales scenery, with food, drink and convivial company along the way.
If you would like to experience this very special train - and the associated 'behind the scenes' tours, evening meal and breakfast in Spooner's Café-Bar, lunch at the Snowdonia Parc Brew-pub in Waunfawr and food and refreshments on the train - the F&WHR are doing it all again in September. Watch out for details of The Snowdonian II running on Saturday, 21/9/24 - the F&WHR will post more information as soon as it is available.
Thanks must go to all the footplate crews, on-train staff, signallers, controllers, Booking Office staff etc who make this train possible - and, of course, to all those who came along and rode the train. Please come back again!

 

Cae Pawb incident 10/4/24 clarified

The rumour mill has suggested there was an incident at Cae Pawb just after 10:00 on 10/4/24 with The Aberglaslyn however this is NOT being investigated by the Office of Road and Rail or RAIB. This website is happy to include the F&WHR Management's clarification of the situation.

  • The Cambrian train was already delayed, and delayed further by a problem with the level crossing in Porthmadog which required it to stand between Porthmadog Station and Cae Pawb
  • As the Cambrian train was delayed, a release could not be obtained from Machynlleth Signalling Centre to open the F&WHR panel controlling the crossing at Cae Pawb
  • As the panel was not open, the WHR train approached an unlit signal which should have been treated as a danger signal
  • The WHR train braked but passed the extinguished signal by a few metres
  • There was no obstruction of the flat crossing
  • There was no triggering of ERTMS
  • The incident was reported the same day to both RAIB and ORR as required by legislation
  • Neither RAIB nor ORR are investigating
  • Network Rail at Machynlleth were also contacted

 

The northbound The Aberglaslyn is said to have slightly overrun the signal protecting Cae Pawb. Normally WHR trains would be timetabled to cross after a Cambrian train had traversed the crossing. The crossing is protected by a double catch point derailer on both north and south narrow gauge approaches. Real time trains showed the Class 158 picked up an additional 12 minutes of delay in the Porthmadog area.

 

F&WHR 19/4/24

Friday 19/4/24 was an initially overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 3-13C. Friday had a single 10:40 Mountain Spirit which appears to be coming a regular Friday feature. Access was restored to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams yesterday after 3 weeks of blank screens. In addition to the regular service trains, there will be a number of extra workings on Friday 19/4/24, in association with the Snowdonian weekend. Three further locos will be in steam on Friday - resident Hunslet Lilla, along with visiting locos Chuquitanta and Lily from the Richmond Light Railway.

At 09:45 steam shunting was visible at Boston Lodge. James Spooner arrived at 09:51 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The train left on time and steam shunting was visible at Boston Lodge. Spooner's Café-Bar was closed from 17:00 this Friday (19/4/24) as they were catering for a large Private function during the evening who were attending The Snowdonian event.

Lilla arrived in the WHR platform with a short 3 bogie shuttle train at 13:30 and promptly ran round a minute later. The run round was complete by 13:36 and the train waited for the 13:55 booked return of the Mountain Spirit before its booked 14:00 departure. James Spooner arrived back at 13:53 into the FR platform. The shuttle left for Boston Lodge Halt at 14:02. James Spooner shunted the lead Obs to the seawall siding yard at 14:25. This normally happens when an extra coach is needed. This rake may be allocated to Saturday's The Snowdonian. The loco reappeared at 14:35 with an extra coach behind the Obs and propelled it onto the rake in the station. The ECS departed at 15:02 for the depot.

Lilla returned at 16:30 with Nos.10/23/16. While Spooners had advertised it was to shut at 17:00, the management took it upon themselves to close at 16:30 except for ticket The Snowdonian ticket holders and annoyed several customers who decamped to The Australia, which benefitted from their custom instead. Lily arrived at 16:58 to coal and water and Lilla departed with its shuttle at 17:04 in strong sunshine.

 

This easterly view (19/4/24) shows Lilla arriving with the Boston Lodge shuttle at 16:30 into the FR platform this time. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

This southerly view (19/4/24) shows Lilla running round the Boston Lodge shuttle. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

This easterly view (19/4/24) shows Lily arriving light engine at 16:58 to refuel and water. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

The Snowdonian

Approximate timings for The Snowdonian on Friday 20/4/24 are as follows. All times have now been confirmed.

Porthmadog dep 08:45

Blaenau Ffestiniog arr 10:00 (comfort break)

Blaenau Ffestiniog dep 10:30

Pen Cob Junction arr 11:40 (loco swop)

Boston Lodge dep 11:55

Beddgelert arr 12:40 (watering stop)

Beddgelert dep 12:50

Waunfawr arr 13:30 (buffet lunch)

Waunfawr dep 14:55

Caernarfon arr  15:35 (comfort break)

Caernarfon dep 16:00

Waunfawr arr 16:30 (Lyd added)

Waunfawr dep 16:35

Porthmadog arr 18:10

Lilla, Linda, Blanche will haul the first leg of FR section as far as Tan -y-bwlch. Lilla will leave the train there and run into the ‘down’ line as it continues to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
The popular combination of Hunslet Ladies, Linda and Blanche, complete the FR leg welcoming Linda’s return from a lengthy overhaul and complete repaint though it has been used on The Quarryman since the start of the new season..
At Boston Lodge, a locomotive swap sees new 2023 Fairlie, James Spooner and 1879 Fairlie, Merddin Emrys double head to Caernarfon and back to Porthmadog. This will be the first time James Spooner will have been on the Welsh Highland Railway so it will be an unusual chance to see the oldest and newest Double Fairlie locomotives working together.

In a positioning move, Lyd double headed on the return Snowdonia Star which was additionally hauling two coal wagons up the 1 in 40, so that Lyd could double head the Fairlies on The Snowdonian on the way back from Waunfawr.

Other locomotive appearances:

Lilla is likely to be hauling the shuttles to Boston Lodge.

19/4/24 14:00

19/4/24 17:00

21/4/24 10:00

At Boston Lodge, and possibly later on, on show at Harbour station, the F&WHR will welcome two visiting locomotives – Decauville 0-4-0Ts CHUQUITANTA (Works No.36/1885) and LILY (Works No.648/1912) courtesy of Jeremy Martin and the Richmond Light Railway team. There is also a chance to see the visitors making a cameo appearance at Beddgelert Station on Saturday as The Snowdonian passes.

 

F&WHR 18/4/24

Thursday 18/4/24 was an overcast day with showers later at Porthmadog with temperatures of 9-10C. Thursday was a repeat of Tuesday's 7 F&WHR trains today with both Mountain Spirit, The Victorian trains and The Quarryman on the FR and the two through trains on the WHR. Access was restored to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams today after 3 weeks of blank screens.

Lyd arrived light engine in the FR platform at 12:09, probably on test. Last year Lyd was allocated to The Cwellyn out of Dinas so was outstabled there. This may happen again. Last year The Cwellyn appears for the Whitsun school holiday week in last week of May and four weeks of the August peak school summer holidays.

No.87 arrived on the Snowdonia Star at 12:26 into the WHR platform. A few minutes later the loco detached and ran to the fuelling/watering point. Lyd shunted the yard at 12:47. Linda arrived with The Quarryman at 12:52 after which Lyd shunted onto the rear of The Quarryman. The rake was shunted to the yard at 12:59 to clear the FR platform for subsequent arrivals.

 

This easterly view (18/4/24) shows Lyd arriving light engine in the yard at Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

No.87 returned to its rake and ran round at 13:17 with James Spooner arriving with The Victorian at 13:21.

 

This easterly view (18/4/24) shows No.87 getting ready for the 14:05 departure on the return Snowdonia Star while James Spooner, with open cab roof, arrives on The Victorian rake at Porthmadog. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

James Spooner ran round and shunted its rake to the yard clearing the FR platform for the return Mountain Spirit. The Fairlie then detached and ran through the FR platform to the fuelling point. Linda emerged from the yard at 13:43 with two empty B wagons which were shunted onto the rear of the Snowdonia Star to transfer to Dinas. It can now be said that this is a regular mixed train working as this is the third week of operation. Linda remained attached while David Lloyd George arrived on the return working of the Mountain Spirit at 14:00. Linda then shunted back to the depot while James Spooner made the Fairlie swop and departed at 14:22 with the Mountain Spirit. DLG then shunted onto The Victorian and moved it to the platform ready for the 14:50, which departed on time. This left Lyd to shunt the 15:25 The Quarryman departure back to the platform having taken over the duty from Linda.

 

First locos in Small Loco Shed

The fan of tracks outside the new Small Loco Shed was finally connected to the tracks set in concrete inside the shed recently and the first locos have now been shunted inside the shed. Nesta, from the BLR on FR flat wagon No.192, was shunted inside on a flat wagon along with Hugh Napier propelled in by depot diesel pilot Moel-y-Gest using a reach wagon. See video here.

 

F&WHR 17/4/24

Wednesday 17/4/24 was a day of sunny periods and showers at Porthmadog with temperatures of 2-9C. There are 6 F&WHR trains today with both Mountain Spirit trains and The Quarryman on the FR and the two The Aberglaslyn trains and the Gelert Explorer on the WHR. It is now 3 weeks since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

First up was the Garratt on The Aberglaslyn followed by James Spooner on the 10:40 Mountain Spirit which departed on time. Linda arrived at 12:55 on The Quarryman and No.130 at 12:56 on The Aberglaslyn. Linda had shunted its rake back to the FR platform after 15:00 but some problem caused Linda to be uncoupled from 15:13 to 15:20. The train left on time five minutes later. At 16:19 a double Fairlie left Boston Lodge heading light engine towards Minffordd. No.130 turned up with the return working of The Aberglaslyn at 16:25. A double Fairlie, possibly Merddin Emrys, arrived in Porthmadog light engine at 16:30, possibly on test prior to sue on the WHR leg of The Snowdonian on 20/4/24. Five minutes later the Garratt left with the ECS for the depot.

James Spooner arrived back at 17:45 with the Mountain Spirit and commenced the run round after fuelling and watering. At 18:00 the loco left with the ECS for the depot to conclude the day's activities.

 

WHHR driver experience 21/4/24

The WHHR is offering the chance to drive a 2ft gauge steam engine or diesel locomotive along their entire line. On Sunday 21/4/24 you could do this and realise a life long dream. There are several slots available throughout the day where you will have one to one tuition on how to drive our steam or diesel engines including the chance to drive from Porthmadog to Pen-Y-Mount and return. The railway will be using Gelert, a 1953 built Bagnall steam engine. or Glaslyn their 1952 built Ruston diesel locomotive to fulfil these sessions.
Sessions will run from 10.45am at 15 minute intervals, bookable in advance at bookings@whr.co.uk
or turn up and wait on a first come first served basis (pre-booked time slots will take precedent over waiting participants).
Each 15 minute session cost £45 for steam or £25 for diesel and will include driving instruction and a round trip with your hand on the regulator/throttle.
The shop at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway will also be open all day for all your book and model needs.
Caffi Russell's Café will also be open all Day serving Breakfast from 9am until 11am, lunch 12pm until 3pm.
Drinks and Home Made Cakes served throughout the day.
(Persons must be 18 yrs old or over, must be wearing suitable clothing and footwear. Contact for further details)

 

F&WHR 16/4/24

Tuesday 16/4/24 was a day of sunny periods and strong winds at Porthmadog with temperatures of 4-12C and sunny latest in the day. There are 7 F&WHR trains today with both Mountain Spirit trains, both The Victorian trains and The Quarryman on the FR and the two through trains on the WHR. It is now 20 days since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

The ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster arrived in the WHR platform at 09:35 behind No.130, leaving at 10:08. David Lloyd George arrived at 09:58 into the FR platform and ran round at 10:10, departing at 10:44, a few minutes late. In the meantime the ECS for The Victorian arrived in the yard and at 10:50 James Spooner, having run round, shunted The Victorian from the yard into the FR platform for the 11:10 departure, which came at 11:12. Loadings appeared quite light.

No.143 arrived at 12:25 on the Snowdonia Star and unusually this train proceeded to Boston Lodge several minutes later so the loco crew could have lunch. Linda arrived 12:58 with The Quarryman and after Linda ran round, the rake was shunted to the yard to clear the FR platform for further arrivals. James Spooner arrived at 13:03 with The Victorian rake, ran round and shunted it to the yard at 13:32 as Linda returned from refuelling. James Spooner then left to refuel at 13:40 as No.143 returned with the ECS for the return working of the Snowdonia Star. DLG arrived at 13:53 with the return working of the Mountain Spirit.

James Spooner arrived back at 17:30 in pouring rain so it was surprising footplate staff had the roof open. The loco ran round at 17:44 and departed with the ECS 5 minutes later for the depot to close the day's activities.

 

Rakes

Some coaches have been designated for short 'hop on-hop off', journeys and others for 'dog free' travel for those possibly allergic to dog hair.

Snowdonia Star rake based at Dinas

2152 Gwyrfai

2010

2043 (Short journeys)

2044

2045

2040 (Dog free)

2091 (Toilet/Guards)

2060 (Romanian)

2021 (semi-open)

106 (FR coach on loan)

The Quarryman rake based at Glan-y-pwll

101

114 (Dog free)

113

112

103

100 Dwyryd (Observation)

The Victorian based at Boston Lodge

10 (4 wheeler)

2 (4 wheeler First)

5 (4 wheeler Third)

15 (bowsider)

18 (bowsider)

19 (bowsider)

Van No.1 (curly roofed van)

 

F&WHR 15/4/24

Monday 15/4/24 was a day of sunny periods and strong winds at Porthmadog with temperatures of 8C and some showers late in the day. There are just 2 F&WHR trains today with both Mountain Spirit trains on the FR but nothing on the WHR from Caernarfon. It is now 19 days since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

Upnor Castle arrived light engine at 09:00 to shunt the yard and after a stop for 10m minutes by the signalbox it disappeared into the yard, presumably shunting coal wagons. James Spooner arrived at 10:02 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit which ran round by 10:11. The afternoon working returned to Porthmadog at 17:32. The loco ran round at 17:47 and departed with the ECS at 17:51 to close the day's activities.

 

F&WHR 14/4/24

Sunday 14/4/24 was a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog with temperatures of 6-10C with some showers late in the day. This is the final weekend of the school Easter holidays (those that started on Good Friday) and many holidaymakers have already gone home. So there are just 2 F&WHR trains today, with the morning Mountain Spirit train and the Gelert Explorer from Caernarfon. It is now 18 days since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

At 09:50 James Spooner hauled the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit into the FR platform. The loco ran round at 10:00 and departed on time. There was a good crowd visiting the platform in the sunshine to look at the loco, which had its cab roof removed. The train came back about 14:00 and was soon disposed to the depot as there was no afternoon service. At 15:00 Vale of Ffestiniog was noted shunting the new Carriage Shed at Boston Lodge to close the day's activities.

 

Webmaster's holiday

Your webmaster will be on holiday in Porthmadog for the next week so this may lead to the website being updated less often and notifications not being made. Normal service will resume on 23/4/24.

 

Service patterns

Sunday, Monday and Friday have much reduced service patterns with just one FR train a day on Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursday have the maximum 7 trains including two through trains on the WHR which also appear on Saturdays. The Aberglaslyn appears WO for the next two weeks and the Gelert Explorer SuWO. The Quarryman runs SuMFX. The Victorian runs STuThO for the next two weeks and has replaced the Woodland Wanderer. So it seems the post-Easter service levels are very similar to those of the Easter Holiday peak service.

The Cwellyn might appear at Late Spring Bank Holiday (Whitsun school Holiday week from 27/5/24) as it did last year after people arriving at Caernarfon expressed dissatisfaction with just one train a day on most days. On days when The Harbourmaster /Snowdonia Star run it is possible to take a hop on/hop off afternoon return working from Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu if not fully booked, where the trains cross. Any delays on the A55 driving to Caernarfon would mean there are no alternative services on most days for people who miss their trains.

 

F&WHR 13/4/24

Saturday 13/4/24 was forecast to be an overcast rainy day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 5-13C with some sunshine late in the day. This is the final weekend of the school Easter holidays (those that started on Good Friday) and many holidaymakers have already gone home. So there are just 5 F&WHR trains today, with 3 on the FR, the two Mountain Spirit trains and The Quarryman. There are also the two through trains on the WHR. It is now 17 days since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

No.130 departed on time at 10:05 on The Harbourmaster as the ECS for the Mountain Spirit approached through the murk across The Cob. James Spooner arrived with the rake in the FR platform at 10:10, run round by 10:20 and departed on time as the murk lifted. No.143 arrived with the Snowdonia Star at 12:25 but with two B wagons full of coal attached to the front for the fuelling point. At 12:33 the loco shunted the wagons to the refuelling point. Linda, with canvas cab sheet, arrived at 13:00 with The Quarryman and the loco ran round at 13:14 to shunt the rake clear of the FR platform for the return of the Mountain Spirit. No.143 ran round by 14:00 and departed on time 5 minutes later. Blanche shunted its rake back to the FR platform after the afternoon Mountain Spirit departed and left on time at 15:25. See Chris Parry's Facebook post for 12 images of the return journey of Blanche from Caernarfon.

 

This easterly view (13/4/24) shows No.143 propelling two loaded coal wagons into the yard having detached them from the Snowdonia Star. The wagons had gone up to Dinas empty on Thursday 11/4/24 attached to the rear of the Snowdonia Star. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

No.130 arrived back at 16:35, about 10 minutes late. The ECS set off for the depot promptly at 16:41. James Spooner arrived back with the afternoon Mountain Spirit at 17:39 as the sun came out. The loco went to refuel and water before running round at 17:57. The ECS departed for the depot at 18:01 to close the day's activities.

 

Moving Pictures No.91 12/4/24

Click on the YouTube link to watch 15 minutes 52 seconds of video showing the initial train services with snow on Snowdon and Hunslet races in Caernarfon. This video is copyright F&WHR and was published on 12/4/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

Loco roster w/c 13/4/24

Over the coming week the F&WHR will have five steam locos working passenger trains on the F&WHR. On the FR: James Spooner and David Lloyd George will again be working out of Porthmadog - with Linda in charge of trains starting from Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Services on the WHR will be covered by NG/G16s Nos.130 /143:
No.130 will start the week working from Porthmadog.
No.143 will start the week working from Caernarfon.
• On Wednesday 17/4/24 the two locos will swap trains at Beddgelert and work from the other end of the railway for the rest of the week.
In addition to the regular service trains, there will be a number of extra workings on Friday 19/4/24, in association with the Snowdonian weekend. Three further locos will be in steam on that day - resident Hunslet Lilla, along with visiting locos Chuquitanta and Lily from the Richmond Light Railway.
--------------------------------------------------
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

Garratt views 11/4/24

This northerly view (11/4/24) shows No.130 preparing to depart the little used Meillionen Halt in the former Beddgelert Forest campsite, now home to a very small number of millionaires' log cabins, on the returning The Harbourmaster. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a digital camera.

 

Other Garratt views from 11/4/24 can be found on the Facebook Festrail page.

 

Local Discount half price offer 22/4/24-22/5/24

The F&WHR is reviving its popular North Wales residents discount which will apply for a month from Monday 22/4/24 excepting the May Bank Holiday Weekend 4-6/5/24. The ‘LOCALS’ DISCOUNT OFFER’ will be offering a 50% discount for the whole family, on specific train services, to local residents with their primary address in the postcode areas LL22-LL78 inclusive. This covers the area Abergele, Betws-y-Coed, Bala, Dolgellau, Aberdyfi and all areas of Gwynedd and Anglesey, essentially covering people within an hour or so drive of Porthmadog or Caernarfon.


This discount will be valid on the following services from Porthmadog:
• 14:50 - THE VICTORIAN
• 14:20 - MOUNTAIN SPIRIT [Standard and Gold]
• 13:40 - THE ABERGLASLYN [Standard and Gold]


This discount will be valid on the following services from Caernarfon:
• 11:30 - GELERT EXPLORER [Standard & Gold]
• 10:10 - SNOWDONIA STAR [Standard & Gold]


🎫 Use voucher code SPRING50 to receive the discount when buying tickets online, by phone, at one of our Booking Offices or from the Guard on a train.
🆔 Customers must bring proof of residency (e.g. Driver’s Licence) on the day of travel to show at the check-in desk.
ℹ️ PLEASE NOTE: the Discount offer is for tickets only and does not include Guidebooks, shop items or Food & Drink. The code will only work on the specified train services between 22/4/24-22/5/24 inclusive (excluding 4-6/5/24).
For more details and online tickets click on www.festrail.co.uk/trains.

 

Click on the postcode map to enlarge. Click again to enlarge to full size.

 

F&WHR 12/4/24

Friday 12/4/24 was forecast to be an overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-12C. This is the final weekend of the school Easter holidays (those that start on Good Friday) and many holidaymakers have already gone home. So there is just 1 F&WHR train today, the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The signaller opened the box at 09:12 and a train was noted started out from Boston Lodge shortly afterwards. Blanche was rostered for a private train to/from Caernarfon today, while Hugh Napier and Britomart will be running light-engine from Dinas to Porthmadog following their return from Beamish Museum. It is now 16 days since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

Blanche turned up with a 3 coach special train in the WHR platform at 09:30 on which a number of Boston Lodge staff were travelling. The coaches involved were part of the rear of the Woodland Wanderer set, Nos.11/12 and a third bogie coach, possibly No.17. Steam was being raised at Boston Lodge for the one public train of the day at the same time. James Spooner pulled in with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit at 09:55. The Fairlie ran round as Blanche departed at 10:05 in the path of The Harbourmaster with the Mountain Spirit departing on time.

 

This easterly view (12/4/24) shows Blanche preparing to depart with the 10:05 Staff Special while James Spooner arrives on the ECS for the only public train of the day, the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. This is a repeat working so may have become a weekly duty. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

The Mountain Spirit had arrived back by 14:30 and the rake was standing in the FR platform as James Spooner ran round. It was only making one trip today so the ECS departed for the depot at 14:37. Blanche returned at 15:20 and went directly to the depot with its 3 coach rake to close the day's activities.

 

TfW timetable review annoys locals

TfW has given its proposals for Welsh Rail Services and they will not please users of the Cambrian Lines. The proposed hourly service to Aberystwyth is delayed until 2026 and there are cutbacks on the Cambrian Coast. Mainline enhancements are focussed on South Wales again and there is no sign of reinstatement of Holyhead/Llandudno-Manchester/Birmingham International loco hauled trains. The only good news for North Wales is that the Liverpool to Chester DMU service is to be extended to Llandudno from 2026, subject to agreement with Network Rail and work completed to level crossings. Another deferred service is Cardiff-Liverpool via Shrewsbury. This one has been delayed by the amount of NR upgrades required, possibly the re-dualling of the single line between Wrexham and Rossett. Some cynics are suggesting a more appropriate name for TfW is TfSW as it concentrates so much on South Wales services to the detriment of North Wales, which currently has just the one loco hauled train to Holyhead to Cardiff.

The review opened on 10/4/24 and closes on 13/5/24 and the public can make comments until then. See Cambrian News views on the Cambrian Coast cuts. To see the review and feedback form click here.

 

F&WHR 11/4/24

Thursday 11/4/24 was forecast to be an overcast day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-13C and misty at first. Thursday is only half way through many school Easter holidays (those that start on Good Friday) so there are 7 F&WHR trains today, with five on the FR including two Mountain Spirit and two The Victorian services and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are also the two through WHR trains. It is now 15 days since access was lost to the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams and there must be questions now about whether they will ever be restored.

First up today was No.130 which arrived with the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster at 09:43 in thick fog and LED headlights blazing. David Lloyd George turned up with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit as the Garratt left on time. James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the 11:!0 The Victorian rake into the FR yard shortly before the Mountain Spirit departed on time as the fog cleared. James Spooner ran round at 10:49 and shunted its rake to the platform before departing on time. At 12:42 the Snowdonia Star arrived behind No.143, some 18 minutes late. This may have bee3n due to flooding which was said to be inches below the sleepers just south of Plas-y-nant where subsidence continues to occur. The loco shunted off to fuel and water in the yard 2 minutes later. Linda arrived with The Quarryman at 13:03. Weather problems had forced footplate staff to erect a canvass backsheet in the absence of the demountable cab backsheet the loco can have fitted to the tender. Linda ran round at 13:10 to shunt the rake clear of the FR platform at 13:15 for the arrival of The Victorian. James Spooner arrived back with The Victorian at 13:25.

At 13:28 No.143 coupled to two B wagons and attached them to the rear of its rake allowing James Spooner to run round a few minutes later and remove its rake to the yard, clearing the FR platform for the arrival of the Mountain Spirit. No.143 then ran round at 13:42 ready for the 14:05 return working of the Snowdonia Star which left on time. DLG arrived on The Mountain Spirit at 13:56 while Linda was running round its rake in the yard. James Spooner swopped to the Mountain Spirit which departed on time at 14:20 watched by a school visit in hi-vis yellow jackets. At 14:30 DLG shunted The Victorian rake back to the platform for the 14:50 departure. Once the train had left, Linda started shunting The Quarryman back to the platform for the 15:25 return working.

 

This easterly view (11/4/24) shows No.143 removing two B wagons with coal from the yard and attaching them to the rear of the Snowdonia Star for transit to Dinas in a mixed train. This is a repeat working so may have become a weekly duty. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

F&WHR 10/4/24

Wednesday 10/4/24 was forecast to be an overcast drizzly day at Porthmadog with temperatures of 10-11C. Wednesday is only half way through many school Easter holidays (those that start on Good Friday) so there are 6 F&WHR trains today, with three on the FR including two Mountain Spirit services and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are also three on the WHR with two Aberglaslyn services out of Porthmadog but just one train out of Caernarfon (the Gelert Explorer).

Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for an unprecedented two weeks running and there must now be a question as to whether these services will ever be fully restored. There must be a major IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the season as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

First up today was No.87 which arrived on the ECS for the 10:15 The Aberglaslyn at 09:40 followed by David Lloyd George on the ECS for the 10:40 which arrived at 09:55. At 10:15 DLG shunted the B wagons so that coal was available close to the loco refuelling point as the Garratt departed for Beddgelert on time. The loco ran round its train by about 10:30 coupled up and departed on time.

 

This southerly view (10/4/24) shows David Lloyd George shunting coal wagons in the refuelling sidings before departing with the morning Mountain Spirit working. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a phone camera.

 

Linda arrived at 12:55 with The Quarryman. No.130 was on the afternoon The Aberglaslyn noted departing at 13:47, having swopped with the Gelert Explorer at Beddgelert. The afternoon became a little foggy at Porthmadog as Linda ran round The Quarryman at 15:10 and was shunted to the FR platform ready for the 15:25 return service. No.130 returned at 17:27, over an hour late! The loco may have had to assist the Gelert Explorer which was due to leave Beddgelert shortly after The Aberglaslyn arrived at 14:20. DLG arrived at 17:42 with the Mountain Spirit allowing the ECS from The Aberglaslyn to be signalled to the depot and departure came at 17:43. The ECS for the Mountain Spirit left shortly after to close the day's activities.

 

Storm Peirrick hits transport links

High tide again on the morning of 10/4/24 saw stormy weather hit coastal North Wales. Train services were disrupted west of Machynlleth with an isolated service running north of Morfa Mawddach and the Conwy Valley closed again. The A5 was blocked for a while at the Gobowen roundabout with an overturned lorry caught by a gust of wind.

 

F&WHR 9/4/24

Tuesday 9/4/24 was forecast to be a windy overcast chilly day at Porthmadog but with sunny periods later and temperatures of 6-11C. Tuesday is only half way through many school Easter holidays (those that start on Good Friday) so there are 7 F&WHR trains today, with five on the FR including two Mountain Spirit services, the two The Victorian trains and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are two through services on the WHR. The two new The Victorian trains utilise the Woodland Wanderer path and will run on Tuesday and Thursday this week featuring newly restored Victorian coaches. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the thirteen day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the season as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

No.87 arrived with the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster at 09:22. At 09:30 steam was being raised for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit which pulled into the FR platform at 10:05 behind David Lloyd George as The Harbourmaster departed. The new 11:10 The Victorian service was being prepared at Boston Lodge as DLG ran round at 10:20. The High Spring Tide passed at 09:41 along with the lower than expected gusts of wind so there was no spray across The Cob. The Victorian arrived at 10:35 and rather than being directed into the vacant WHR platform, as is usual for the Woodland Wanderer, it was signalled into the yard! This may have been because the Fairlie needed to fuel and water. The rake was noted being shunted out to the signalbox at 10:48 and back into the FR platform a minute later. This shunt seemed to be unnecessary had the rake been signalled into the WHR platform? The rake consisted of the curly roofed van ) Van No.1), three bogies and three 4-wheelers on the rear (including Nos.2/5). James Spooner ran round at 10:59 and the train departed on time after Vale of Ffestiniog arrived in the yard at 11:09 with an additional bogie coach, possibly No.100. The Funkey shunted the yard at 11:15 and again at 11:50 with the weather improving before departing for the depot shortly afterwards.

Linda arrived on The Quarryman shortly after 12:50 as the sun came out and No.143 arrived at 12:55 with the Snowdonia Star, with No.138 noted at Dinas. At 12:59 the Garratt ran to the yard to refuel and water and at 13:05 Linda was running round in the yard and possibly added coach Observation Car No.100 to The Quarryman rake where it normally belongs. Linda shunted The Quarryman rake to the yard to clear the FR platform for the next arrival and the Garratt then ran round its train at 13:15. At 16:03 Linda departed the FR platform with the return working of The Quarryman. The Victorian arrived back in the FR platform at 17:45 some 45 minutes late on its first run in the hands of James Spooner, having swopped Fairlies at lunchtime with the Mountain Spirit. The ECS departed at 18:00. DLG arrived back at 18:24, almost half an hour late. DLG ran round at 18:41 after refuelling and watering and departed with the ECS at 18:45 to close the day's activities.

 

 

This southerly view (9/4/24) shows James Spooner refuelling after returning with the late The Victorian in the late afternoon sunshine. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a phone camera.

 

Rodding?

No progress has been made with the rodding of ground frames at Beddgelert or Pen-y-Mount. In Pen-y-Mount's case it is ridiculous that a signalbox has been provided for the location but that the junction is not rodded into a frame there. Instead its takes about 10 minutes for staff from both railways to simultaneously unlock several pairs of padlocks which prevent accidental run-throughs of WHHR  trains onto the WHR main line. Rhyd Ddu could also do with a ground frame for the yard and also the Waunfawr siding if it is ever installed.

 

F&WHR 8/4/24

Monday 8/4/24 was forecast to be an overcast day with rain later at Porthmadog and temperatures of 6-13C. Monday is only half way through many school Easter holidays (those that start on Good Friday) so it is a surprise that there are only 3 F&WHR trains today, with two Mountain Spirit services and one Gelert Explorer from Caernarfon. The two new The Victorian trains following in the Woodland Wanderer path will run on Tuesday and Thursday this week featuring newly restored Victorian coaches. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the twelfth day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the season as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

The first train today was the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit which was hauled into the FR platform by James Spooner at 10:00. Run round came at 10:11 and departure was on time. The afternoon train was due back by 17:35 and arrived back behind James Spooner at 17:36. The loco ran round at 17:46 and the ECS departed for the depot at 17:51 to close the day's activities.

 

F&WHR 7/4/24

Sunday 7/4/24 was forecast to be an overcast day of stormy weather with rain later at Porthmadog and temperatures of 9-12C. Wind gusts of up to 50mph are expected until later in the day. Sunday is only half way through school Easter holidays so it is a surprise that there are only 2 F&WHR trains today with one Mountain Spirit and one Gelert Explorer from Caernarfon. The two new The Victorian trains following the Woodland Wanderer path will run on Tuesday and Thursday next week featuring newly restored Victorian coaches. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the eleventh day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the season as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

Given the stormy conditions it is possible an early test train was run to see if there were ant tress down blocking the line. James Spooner arrived in the FR platform at 10:15 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit, running round by 10:25. The train departed on time with strong winds blowing across The Cob. There were about 20 people on the station around midday but no train services for them. The storm was clearly keeping people away but its possible that only offering one train a day discourages visitors who consult the timetable before visiting.

 

This southerly view (7/4/24) shows James Spooner running round the single Mountain Spirit working at midday. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Mark Bishop and was taken on a phone camera.

 

Mainline news

Even though TfW strengthened Cambrian Coast trains to four cars, some of these workings were full and standing over Easter Holidays. A video has emerged of the double headed Cambrian coast Express from Reading. The Blue & Grey Mk2 rake looked pristine and brought back many memories of the BR era to linesiders. See video of the train passing Newtown.

The Aberystwyth logs did not operate on Friday 5/4/24 or even the 10:40 SO reserve path. Maybe there is a bird nesting season in the Spring when trees are not cut down.

 

F&WHR 6/4/24

Saturday 6/4/24 was forecast to be a day of mild but stormy weather with sunny periods at Porthmadog and temperatures of 9-16C. Wind gusts of up to 50mph are expected until late on Sunday. Saturday is only half way through school Easter holidays and there are only 5 F&WHR trains today with three departures from Porthmadog, including two Mountain Spirit workings. There are also the two through trains on the WHR and The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. The two new The Victorian trains following in the Woodland Wanderer path will run on Tuesday and Thursday next week featuring newly restored Victorian coaches. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the tenth day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the week as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

First up was No.87 on The Harbourmaster, having arrived ECS by 09:50. This remains a full length rake with two FR coaches on the rear behind the Open coach. The train departed on time shortly after the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit arrived behind James Spooner. The new Fairlie ran round at 10:22 after fuelling and watering and departed on time. The Snowdonia Star arrived at 12:27 behind No.143 with its 7 coach rake. The loco detached and ran to the yard to refuel and water. Linda arrived with The Quarryman at about 12:50 and No.143 returned to its train and completed its run round at 13:00. Linda ran round and returned to its train at 13:12 before shunting its rake to the yard at 13:15 to make space for the returning Mountain Spirit.

 

F&WHR 5/4/24

Friday 5/4/24 was forecast to be a day of light cloud at Porthmadog and temperatures of 12-13C. Friday sees a major cut back in services despite it being only half way through school Easter holidays. There are only 3 F&WHR trains today with only two departures from Porthmadog being two Mountain Spirit workings. There is just the Gelert Explorer from Caernarfon. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the ninth day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the week as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

The Woodland Wanderer disappears from the timetable for the week ahead but The Victorian appears on Tuesday and Thursday with a similar diagram. Altogether there are fewer services next week with only one train planned for Friday 12/4/24, though the peak Tuesdays and Thursdays continue to see 7 trains a day. with fewer trains today the signal box was opened at 9:30 with steam being raised at Boston Lodge for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit.

First today was Harlech Castle with a lineside clearance train consisting of two wagons carrying the shredder and the Mess Coach No.1111. This departed for the WHR at 09:37. Blanche and Lyd arrived double headed on the returning Mountain Spirit on time at 17:39. The pair ran round each other after refuelling at 17:55 ran round the train. The ECS left at 18:00 to close the day's activities as the signaller closed up the box.

 

NLHF Boston Lodge report 4/4/24

 

Click on the YouTube link to watch 8 minutes 15 seconds of video showing NLHF progress at Boston Lodge, particularly with the small Loco Shed which will soon be connected to the fan of new points and tracks outside the shed. This video is copyright F&WHR and was published on 4/4/24. It is best viewed at 1080p with Chrome and was videod on a 4K camcorder by John Wooden (F&WHR).

 

Hunslets visit Beamish museum 6-7/4/24

Britomart and Hugh Napier have travelled from Dinas to the Beamish Museum (near Newcastle-upon-Tyne) for the Beamish Steam Gala 'Wheels of Industry' event on 6-7/4/24. They will return by Friday 24/4/24. For full details see Beamish Museum.

 

Loco roster w/c 6/4/24

Over the coming week the F&WHR will again have a total of eight steam locos in action - five working passenger trains, with a further three also in steam. On the Ffestiniog Railway: James Spooner and David Lloyd George will be working out of Porthmadog - with Linda in charge of trains starting from Blaenau Ffestiniog. The two Fairlies often swop duties at midday when both Mountain Spirit and Woodland Wander/The Victorian are hauled by Fairlies.
Services on the Welsh Highland Railway will be covered by NG/G16s Nos.87/143:
No.87 will start the week working from Porthmadog.
No.143 will start the week working from Caernarfon.
• On Wednesday the two locos will swap trains at Beddgelert and work from the other end of the railway for the rest of the week.
In addition, on Friday 12/4/24, Blanche will be in charge of a private train to/from Caernarfon, while Hugh Napier and Britomart will be running light-engine from Dinas to Porthmadog following their return from Beamish Museum.
--------------------------------------------------
NOTE: This information is provided in good faith, solely as a guide, but could be subject to change at any time.

 

F&WHR 4/4/24

Thursday 4/4/24 was forecast to be a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog and temperatures of 10-11C with showers at the end of the afternoon. Thursday sees a repeat of Tuesday's service with no less than 5 departures from Porthmadog including two Mountain Spirit workings and two Woodland Wanderer trains. There are the two through trains on the WHR and also The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the eighth day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the week as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

The Garratt was first up with the ECS for the 10:05 The Harbourmaster which had arrived by 09:40. This left on time as David Lloyd George arrived with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The ECS for the Woodland Wanderer arrived at 10:35 behind James Spooner, which started its run round 3 minutes later. DLG departed a few minutes late. Vale of Ffestiniog turned up about 10:50 in the yard possibly having made a coal wagon delivery and departed light engine for Boston Lodge at 10:58. The Woodland Wanderer departed on time at about 11:10. Linda propelled The Quarryman rake into the FR platform at 15:03 and left a few minutes late at 15:28.

At the end of the afternoon the Garratt was back on The Harbourmaster by 16:55. All three webcams were off line at 17:00 on Thursday and the Minffordd and Tan-y-bwlch webcams had been off line for 8 days. There seem to be major IT issues at the F&WHR Porthmadog with the Porthmadog webcam becoming intermittent after 17:00. At 17:39 James Spooner arrived back in the rain with the afternoon Mountain Spirit to close the day's activities.

 

Storm Kathleen to hit this weekend

Half way through the two week school Easter Holiday, the Met Office has warned of Storm Kathleen which will bring 70mph winds, transient snow and heavy rain to North Wales on Saturday and Sunday. Storm Nelson brought snowfall to some parts of North Wales a week ago. A yellow weather warning has been issued for Storm Kathleen.

 

Bala Lake Railway resubmits planning application

Refused last year over environmental concerns about visitors increasing sewage levels in the River Dee, the BLR resubmitted its planning application for its Bala Town Extension on 27/3/24. Much of the new alignment is in the hands of the railway or has been prepared for them by Welsh Water as part of flood defences alongside Bala Lake. The SNPA will soon publish a link on their planning website and then the BLR would like supporters to write in any comments of support that they can for the scheme. The revised planning application has been very thoroughly researched and addresses the environmental concerns that caused the previous application to be denied.

 

Railtours 4-5/4/24

Double headed Class 97s are expected hauling the Cambrian Coast Express on 4/4/24 from Reading to Pwllheli. On 5/4/24 the Midland Blue Pullman was expected on the North Wales Coastal Pullman from Plymouth to Llandudno.

 

Cambrian Coast loses a diesel

Cambrian Coast loco No.97301 has been taken to Colwick for component recovery. This loco has not operated for some time. It leaves the Cambrian dangerously short of a loco for PW, the Aberystwyth logs and excursion workings. Will NR replace it with one of the Class 37s being offered for sale by GBRf?

 

Spooner's new menu 8/4/24

Spooners is having a major expansion of its hot food offering for the Spring. From 8/4/24 Spooners will be open for hot meals with breakfast from 09:00-11:30 and main meals from 12:00 until 21:00 seven days a week. There will be over 10 main courses as well as starters, sharers, pizzas and burgers, sides and sweets.

 

Click on the menu to enlarge. Advert copyright F&WHR.

 

F&WHR 3/4/24

Wednesday 3/4/24 was forecast to be a cold foggy overcast day at Porthmadog and temperatures of 8-10C. Wednesday sees no less than 6 departures from Porthmadog including two Mountain Spirit workings and two Woodland Wanderer trains and two The Aberglaslyn trains. There is just the one Gelert Explorer departure from Caernarfon (hauled by No.87) and also The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the seventh day running. There must be a big IT problem at Porthmadog with the telephone booking system also experiencing problems earlier in the week as well as the ongoing webcam problems!

No.130 pulled into the WHR platform at about 09:50 with headlight blazing in the fog with the ECS for the 10:15 The Aberglaslyn. James Spooner arrived with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit at 10:10 as the fog lifted slightly. No.130 departed on time and James Spooner ran round at 10:20. David Lloyd George arrived with the ECS for the 11:10 Woodland Wanderer at10:43. The loco ran round immediately as the fog cleared and the Mountain Spirit departed. The Woodland Wanderer left on time. More steam was being raised at Boston Lodge at midday.

At the end of the afternoon DLG arrived in the WHR platform at 17:40. The loco ran to the fuelling point a minute later as James Spooner departed with the ECS Woodland Wanderer. DLG completed its run round at 18:07. At 18:11 the ECS left for the depot to close the day's activities.

 

Dinas 30-31/3/24

This northerly view (31/3/24) shows Caernarfon Castle stabled in the bay at Dinas. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a phone camera.

 

This northerly view (30/3/24) shows Hugh Napier in the loop at Dinas while offering footplate rides. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a phone camera.

 

This westerly view (30/3/24) shows No.130 preparing to haul the ECS Snowdonia Star towards Caernarfon after loading with coal. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a phone camera.

 

This northerly view (30/3/24) shows Caernarfon Castle running round in the headshunt along the back of the station building at Caernarfon. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright Tom Waldren and was taken on a phone camera.

 

WHHR Easter news

This Gelert's Farm view (30/3/24?) shows Gelert's broken spring. The broken spring and copies of the spring diagrams were delivered to a company in the West Midlands on 2/3/24 and the WHHR hope to receive a replacement next week. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHHR).

 

This Porthmadog terminus view (2/4/24) shows Glaslyn substituting for Gelert after its broken spring. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHHR).

 

This Gelert's Farm view (30/3/24?) shows Gelert passing the depot before it broke its spring. This image is copyright Andrew Goodwin (WHHR).

 

F&WHR 2/4/24

Tuesday 2/4/22 was forecast to be a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog and temperatures of 9-12C. Tuesday sees no less than 5 departures from Porthmadog including two Mountain Spirit workings and two Woodland Wanderers and but just two through trains on the WHR. There is also The Quarryman from Blaenau Ffestiniog. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the sixth day running.

At 09:55 No.130 was standing in the WHR platform with 10:05 The Harbourmaster which left on time. David Lloyd George arrived at 10:03 with the ECS for the 10:40 Mountain Spirit. The Fairlie ran round at 10:20 as steam was being raised for the Woodland Wanderer at Boston Lodge. At 10:30 James Spooner (with cab roof installed) arrived in the WHR platform with the ECS for the 11:10 Woodland Wanderer. The Fairlie ran round a few minutes later just before the Mountain Spirit departed on time.

Harlech Castle arrived with the cherrypicker rake at 11:07 into the FR platform just before the Woodland Wanderer. departed on time. The diesel ran round at 11:17 and departed at 11:24 to attend to the trident signal on The Cob which also gave trouble last week. The Snowdonia Star arrived by 12:35 and Harlech Castle propelled its PW rake into the yard to clear the line for the three lunchtime FR arrivals. No.143 then ran to the yard to refuel and water. Blanche arrived at 12:56 with The Quarryman into the FR platform. The loco ran round at 13:00 and, unusually, took the rake to Boston Lodge at 13:05.

No.87 hauled two coal wagons out of the yard at 13:13 and shunted them onto the rear of the Snowdonia Star before completing the run round. James Spooner arrived back with the Woodland Wanderer at 13:22 and ran round to shunt the rake clear of the FR platform to the seawall siding with the Mountain Spirit arriving later. The Fairlie ran back through the FR platform at 13:34 to refuel and water. DLG arrived back with the Mountain Prince at 13:57 into the FR platform. James Spooner ran round and coupled up to the Mountain Spirit completing the Fairlie swop. The train left on time at 14:20. At 14:35 the ECS for the 15:25 The Quarryman was reversed into the station yard from Boston Lodge, another unusual move. DLG left on time with the Woodland Wanderer.

At 15:00  Harlech Castle emerged from the yard with the cherrypicker rake and reversed into the FR platform with Van No.51 on the rear to attend to the platform signals. Meanwhile Blanche came over from Boston Lodge with the ECS for The Quarryman in the WHR platform at 15:10. Run round came at 15:15 and departure came on time at 15:26. In the meantime the diesel detached from the S&T rake and shunted back and forth to test the signals.

 

This easterly view 2/4/24) shows Blanche running round The Quarryman while Harlech Castle is in charge of the S&T train in the FR platform. Due to congestion in the station area earlier in the afternoon with the S&T rake as well as passenger services, The Quarryman has been unusually stabled at Boston Lodge during its layover. Click on the image to enlarge and click again to expand fully where available. Image copyright F&WHR and was taken on a web camera.

 

Open coach No.39 was added to the Woodland Wanderer set over Easter as the weather was warm and sunny at Porthmadog. However on Wednesday 2/4/24 the weather turned to drizzle by the time the Woodland Wanderer returned at 17:11 (11 minutes late) and no one was sitting in the open coach understandably! DLG ran round at 17:21 and departed with the ECS at 17:25. The Mountain Spirit arrived back at 18:20, some 25 minutes late. The loco went to refuel and water before running round. The ECS departed at 18:38 to close the day's activities.

 

Glaslyn Ospreys return

The Glaslyn Osprey Centre at Pont Croesor re-opened 25/3/24 and the current pair of Ospreys, Elen and Aran, arrived over the next few days. The pair are already repairing the nest and catching fish. Visitors may arrive by buying a ticket to Pont Croesor. See Glaslyn Ospreys website for full details.

 

F&WHR 1/4/24

Easter Monday 1/4/24 was forecast to be a day of sunny periods at Porthmadog and temperatures of 6-10C, with settled weather much as yesterday. Monday sees a duplicate of Sunday's trains with no less than 6 departures from Porthmadog including two Mountain Spirit workings and two Woodland Wanderers and The Aberglaslyn but just one Gelert Explorer from Caernarfon. Both the Tan-y-bwlch and Minffordd webcams were out of action yet again today for the fifth day running.

James Spooner arrived back at 14:02 with Mountain Spirit and David Lloyd George shunted out of the yard to couple to the :22.front at 14:05. James Spooner shunted to the yard to refuel and water at 14:10 while DLG departed with the Mountain Spirit at 14.22. James Spooner ran round the Woodland Wanderer in the FR platform at 14:35. DLG returned in the late afternoon sunshine with the Mountain Spirit and was noted departing with the ECS for the depot at 18:04 to close the day's activities.

 

Trackwork Volunteering 2024

Volunteering is currently organised differently due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 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 2024 is fortnightly for the North Wales Track Gang in RED but details are still awaited for the ROWG in BLACK:

January   13-14/1/24      
February          
March          
April          
May          
June          
July          
August          
September          
October          
November          
December          

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 Phil Nock.

Tuesday Gang:

North Wales Black Hand Gang (BHG): Dafydd Thomas Phone: 01248 681019 Email: dthomas@ffw

Rest of The World Gang (ROWG): Phil Nock Email: pnock@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!

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

 

V4.4877 updated 28/5/24