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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Welsh Highland Railway
JR

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Joined: 07/03/2008
Location: Lurking near Hereford

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 09/04/2009 20:12:55
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skimble wrote:

simonrl wrote:

Open to the public now according to the Beeb.

Open as far as Beddgelert, but not all the way to Port quite yet.
The trip is highly recommended but, having been one of the crew on the [busy] first public train from Caernarfon yesterday, I would say that, wouldn't I Smile


And why wouldn't you say that? I'd be proud (as I'm sure you are) to be part of the crew.
Thumbs Up

--

The voices tell to write this stuff
IP: 90.241.23.224
sbt

Joined: 30/11/2008

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 10/04/2009 13:35:36
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The Welsh Highland maps available here may be of more general interest to Mine Explorers

[web link]

The current 'TWA' maps give you scanned 1:2,500 info on a small strip of Snowdonia – but may show adits etc. that larger scale maps miss and more detail of what is shown at 1:25,000

But the 'Gem' is the WWI era set of maps (again at 1:2,500) which show things as they were before the final link of what became the WHR was built. For example, it show the bottom of the Cwm Croesor Inclines where they met the Croesor Tramway, with the tips as they were then.

[web link]

And of course all the working mines and quarries near to the line will be shown.

Rick

Tweak: Links made clickable
IP: 83.148.135.213 Edited: 10/04/2009 14:02:25 by (moderator)
Morlock

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 10/04/2009 14:17:06
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Superb maps, gradients are impressive at 1 in 40. IP: 86.27.70.118
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 10/04/2009 14:21:35
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In a couple of places, due to problems encountered in a couple of places, the gradients are now steeper than the intended 1 in 40. One is through Goat Tunnel and north as far as the Beddgelert south points. The other is in the cutting south of the summit, Pontygoers Cutting (sp?).

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Ben Fisher

Joined: 10/06/2008
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 11/04/2009 21:42:27
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JohnnearCfon wrote:

In a couple of places, due to problems encountered in a couple of places, the gradients are now steeper than the intended 1 in 40. One is through Goat Tunnel and north as far as the Beddgelert south points. The other is in the cutting south of the summit, Pontygoers Cutting (sp?).


Spelling is Pont Cae'r Gors - it's adjacent to the top entrance to Beddgelert Forest, and is now a thoroughly recommended location if you want to hear and see steam working hard over a distance of miles (well that's how I spent my Saturday afternoon, anyway!). Things will be much, much less volcanic at Goat Tunnel (opens next month) as it's on a very low speed limit (reverse curves on a station approach.

The WW1 maps on Steve Harris's site (links above) have been dated pretty closely to 1916 - it seems remarkable how close the attention to detail was even in wartime. Those online versions have the eventual WHR route drawn in; this is of course not original, but was done as an aid for planning rebuilding before the full GPS survey of the route was done. The mine connection details are definitely a very interesting plus.
IP: 90.242.85.135
Morlock

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 11/04/2009 23:21:35
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Ben Fisher wrote:

[ quote]

Spelling is Pont Cae'r Gors quote]

MemoryMap finds that. Thumbs Up
IP: 82.3.228.18 Edited: 12/04/2009 14:06:42 by Morlock
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 19/04/2009 21:07:16
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Had a very enjoyable trip from Caernarfon to Beddgelert today with the swmbo and MerdinnEmrys Thumbs Up

I can second the high recommendation for the trip!

The journey from Beddgelert up to Rhyd Ddu seems to work the engine a fair amount and it's certainly very, very different from some of the other, more gentle narrow gauge railways.

It'll be nice to try out the section down the Aberglaslyn Pass in a couple on months' time; and indeed on to Porthmadog in time.

Now then... what are the chances of a (one-off perhaps) special from Caernarfon to Blaenau and back???

Apparently this would have to use the (smaller) Ffestiniog stock and is certainly not something that could be done regularly, but I wonder if there would be demand for a one-off special some time next year?

--

Filling space until a new signature comes along...
IP: 86.134.153.113 Edited: 19/04/2009 21:07:55 by Vanoord
hymac580c

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Joined: 28/05/2007
Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 19/04/2009 21:21:49
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The trip is also on our agenda this year. I am told that the carriages of the FR and the WH are different width. If this is a fact then why?
Is it possible to drive a train from Caernarforn to Blaenau? Or are the Caernarfon carriages or locomotives to wide to go further than Minffordd?

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By the time you realise your father was right, you will have a son or daughter that will tell you that you are wrong.
IP: 92.0.123.188 Edited: 20/04/2009 14:38:24 by hymac580c
Vanoord

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 19/04/2009 21:40:56
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Relying on what MerddinEmrys said... Shocked

The WHR carriages are indeed larger, particularly in height - there was an interloper on our train in the form of a Ffestiniog carriage and it was about a foot lower.

I'd thus believe that if someone were to try and take a WHR train to Blaenau, then they wouldn't get very far!

But... I don't see that it rules out using Ffestiniog carriages for such a journey, even if it meant changing engines at Porthmadog?

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IP: 86.134.153.113
grahami

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Joined: 29/01/2007
Location: Telford, Shropshire

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 20/04/2009 12:08:23
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Ben Fisher wrote:



The WW1 maps on Steve Harris's site (links above) have been dated pretty closely to 1916 - it seems remarkable how close the attention to detail was even in wartime. Those online versions have the eventual WHR route drawn in; this is of course not original, but was done as an aid for planning rebuilding before the full GPS survey of the route was done. The mine connection details are definitely a very interesting plus.


Although those are the published dates, as printed on the original maps, I would suggest that in fact the actual surveying was a year or two earlier.

There were generally three editions of the "County Series 1:2500" maps produced for much of North Wales - the first around 1889, the second around 1900 and the third around 1912. Printing of each edition took several years - so the dates at the top of each map vary somewhat.

Speaking generally, the 1900 edition tends to be the most detailed, especially as regards quarry trackwork. The 1900 edition of the Penrhyn Quarry shows the vast complexity of the pit tramways well.

Grahami

--

The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
IP: 83.148.135.213 Edited: 20/04/2009 12:11:47 by (moderator)
Ben Fisher

Joined: 10/06/2008
Location: Bangor, Gwynedd

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 20/04/2009 20:33:14
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To explain the loading gauge things:

1) The low carriage Vanoord and Merddinemrys had near the front of their train was either an 1894 NWNGR carriage (green) cut down in 1923 so it would fit through the old Moelwyn tunnel on the FR, or a 2002 replica (red), the same height as the 1894 one was originally, which can fit the modern FR loading gauge.

2) The modern WHR carriages are wider and taller than anything on the FR, for the simple reason that this makes for a dramatic improvement in comfort for most "modern shape" passengers.

3) One of the first batch of modern WHR carriages was tested for clearance throughout the FR, except through Garnedd Tunnel, which it had no chance of getting through. It could get through everywhere else, but often with such tight clearances that anything above a slow walking pace was unwise. The newer (longer) carriages would probably foul in at least one cutting. Until the railways were reconnected, it was usual to move carriages between the railways by road, via Minffordd yard. Which was a pain in the neck.

4) None of the main WHR locos (Garratts and red diesel) can get further up the FR than Rhiw Plas bridge (the one by Minffordd cemetery) without some serious dismantling.

5) There are no plans for regular through trains and nobody really wants to enlarge the historic FR loading gauge any further, so 2-4 above are OK.

6) Any Caernarfon-Blaenau train would indeed need to use FR-size stock. I think one of the railtour firms is already planning something...

Ben

http://whr.bangor.ac.uk

P.S. Public reopening through the Aberglaslyn Pass and all four tunnels is May 22nd.
IP: 90.242.85.135
hymac580c

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Location: Blaenau Ffestiniog

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 20/04/2009 21:50:55
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Brilliant, well done. The Aberglaslyn trip is something I, and many others have been looking forward to for some time now.

--

By the time you realise your father was right, you will have a son or daughter that will tell you that you are wrong.
IP: 92.19.132.208
derrickman

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 21/04/2009 08:14:58
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isn't the loading gauge, the reason why Russell's cab and dome was cut down many years ago?

although from memory, all it achieved was to spoil the look of the engine to no real purpose.
IP: 149.254.218.13
Penrhynman

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 21/04/2009 09:33:20
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grahami wrote:



Speaking generally, the 1900 edition tends to be the most detailed, especially as regards quarry trackwork. The 1900 edition of the Penrhyn Quarry shows the vast complexity of the pit tramways well.

Grahami


Is this 1900 edition available on-line? I'd very much like to see it.

Penrhynman
IP: 86.159.85.105
JohnnearCfon

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 21/04/2009 12:59:38
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Penrhynman wrote:

grahami wrote:



Speaking generally, the 1900 edition tends to be the most detailed, especially as regards quarry trackwork. The 1900 edition of the Penrhyn Quarry shows the vast complexity of the pit tramways well.

Grahami


Is this 1900 edition available on-line? I'd very much like to see it.

Penrhynman


Yes, but you have to pay about £25 for them (for an extract approx. A3 size).

--

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Ben Fisher

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 21/04/2009 20:15:37
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derrickman wrote:

isn't the loading gauge, the reason why Russell's cab and dome was cut down many years ago?

although from memory, all it achieved was to spoil the look of the engine to no real purpose.

Correct on all counts - a completely futile exercise as it would still have been impossible to escape from the cab in the old Moelwyn tunnel, and there's a credible theory that the sharpest curve on the line would have been a problem. I've got a theory though that the reduced height is what saved the loco from scrapping in 1942, when Brymbo acquired it for their Hook Norton ironstone tramway, which had low vertical clearance.

When Russell (restored to full height) visited the FR in 1988 and 1990 it didn't go above Rhiw Goch, but it was reckoned that the only place that could have been a problem was Garnedd tunnel.
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derrickman

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 22/04/2009 09:01:05
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regardless of the politics of the various overlapping societies and the divergent aims, I do feel it's a very handsome engine and I'm pleased that SOMEONE is preserving it and providing it with a place to run.

I can afford the luxury of regarding the whole matter as 'a far-off country of which we know little', in the words of a former PM even less successful than the present incumbent, but I would have to suspct that the present FR management are probably the most finacially capable the line has ever had, and the only organisation physically and financially capable of conducting operations on the scale currently being undertaken.

I strongly suspect that quite a few of the less capable and robust preserved lines will fall by the wayside in the coming years. I greatly doubt that some of the more ambitious restorations will ever be completed, and quite a few engines beyond a certain state of decay will never steam again.

hopefully Russell will find a home. Some history here;

http://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/2/Russell.htm

I had never heard of the TRPS connection before
IP: 149.254.219.30 Edited: 22/04/2009 09:23:13 by derrickman
JohnnearCfon

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 22/04/2009 12:59:27
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derrickman wrote:



hopefully Russell will find a home.



Surely Russell has a home! At Porthmadog where it is currently being restored.

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derrickman

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Posted: 22/04/2009 15:33:58
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it does now, that's true

but I have to say, I suspect that quite a number of the less well-funded preserved lines, particularly those dependent largely on contributions rather than operating revenue, are going to be feeling the draught in the coming months and years

and it is, as has been said, a large loco which is historically unable to work the greater part of the FR network, and had a dubious reputation elsewhere for derailing on tight curves and poor track in the past. I would guess that it would be unsuitable for quite a few locations running at this gauge?
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carnkie

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 22/04/2009 16:04:43
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JohnnearCfon wrote:

Penrhynman wrote:

grahami wrote:



Speaking generally, the 1900 edition tends to be the most detailed, especially as regards quarry trackwork. The 1900 edition of the Penrhyn Quarry shows the vast complexity of the pit tramways well.

Grahami


Is this 1900 edition available on-line? I'd very much like to see it.

Penrhynman


Yes, but you have to pay about £25 for them (for an extract approx. A3 size).


I believe you can get a PDF (e-mailed) for a tenner. I bought a couple and they aren't bad but of course not much good if you want the larger size.

--

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
IP: 79.74.175.2 Edited: 22/04/2009 16:05:34 by carnkie
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