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Author Welsh Highland Railway
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 22/04/2009 16:18:40
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A little off-topic, but the BBC has this story [web link]

A fire which may have begun with a spark from a steam train has destroyed 100 acres of land near Beddgelert in Gwynedd.

...

The train company said investigations were continuing to discover the cause of the fire.

"We've lost a very considerable amount of land," said Mr Hughes from his home at Rhyd Ddu, near Beddgelert.

"It happened at around 11 in the morning just as an RSPB man had finished surveying a piece of land with SSSI status.

"He was leaving and I noticed that the train had stopped, it (the fire) took the whole of the SSSI, (Site of Special Scientific Interest), although the fire service managed to stop it getting into the forest."

There has been some local opposition to the railway line but Mr Hughes said that he was not against the train.

"I'm basically for the train, I like these things passing through, but this has knocked me back as you don't expect your land to go up in flames," he added.

...

Welsh Highland Railway general manager Paul Lewin said the company was still investigating the incident.

"Our train stopped because they saw a fire and tried to put it out," he said.
"When they failed they carried on to Beddgelert because the priority was the safety of passengers."

...

"I can't comment at the moment but equipment is being checked and I will be interviewing staff.

"We are also talking to the police about a number of things," he added.


That last comment may be revealing...


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derrickman

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First Welsh Highland link train
Posted: 23/04/2009 07:58:41
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a real risk which has to be provided against, by anyone operating coal or wood-fired steam engines.

can't comment on whatever the WHR people may be saying to the police, but I wouldn't care to come to the attention of the North Wales Camera Van Owners' Club. Groucho Marx observed many years ago, that the best people to sue are people who have money or failing that, insurance.

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Vanoord

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 09/07/2009 12:43:17
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Tweak: Thread renamed to make it more general!

A short round-up of news that may be of interest:

WHR services have now been extended through the Aberglaslyn pass and this appears to have increased passenger loadings substantially, with the railway having to borrow coaches from the Ffestiniog Railway to meet demand!


It appears that the WHR will not start running through trains between Beddgelert and Porthmadog until next spring, although I'm sure someone with more knowledge can correct me if I'm wrong?


Record producer Pete Waterman has recently bought an NGG 16 Garrett, no. 109 from the Exemoor Steam Railway, from where recent addition no. 87 was also bought. 109 was the first NGG 16 built by Beyer Peacock in Manchester (in 1939). It will be overhauled at the London and North Western Railway workshops in Crewe.

109 appears likely to be ready for traffic at the WHR in 2011 - Press Release at this [web link]

This will (in theory) bring the number of NGG16s at the WHR to five:
- 87 - (light grey), currently in service
- 143 - (black), currently in service
- 138 'Millennium/Mileniwm' - (green), out of service for a 10 year boiler overhaul, last worked in 2007
- 140 - (red) currently at Dinas, dismantled
- 109 - (will be black), as above

Presumably 138 will return at some point in the next few months and this will allow 143 to be withdrawn for its boiler overhaul.

Whether the addition of 109 will mean that 140's restoration is put on the back burner is perhaps an interesting question?

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IP: 81.130.81.22 Edited: 09/07/2009 12:48:12 by Vanoord
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 09/07/2009 13:32:49
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The WHR are also restoring an NG15 (no 134). During August it is proposed to place NG15 loco No.133 on Y Maes (the town market square) at Caernarfon in order to draw attention to a campaign to raise some much needed funds for the restoration of an NG15 and for other unfinished bits of the railway.

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Ben Fisher

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

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 09/07/2009 20:28:42
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Vanoord wrote:

It appears that the WHR will not start running through trains between Beddgelert and Porthmadog until next spring, although I'm sure someone with more knowledge can correct me if I'm wrong?


You're not wrong - Easter 2010 is now the official target.

Vanoord wrote:

Presumably 138 will return at some point in the next few months and this will allow 143 to be withdrawn for its boiler overhaul.

Whether the addition of 109 will mean that 140's restoration is put on the back burner is perhaps an interesting question?


138 will return to service with one of 140's bogies (one of its own is under no. 143 at the moment). Almost everything on 138, 140 and 143 is interchangeable (they were built in the same batch) so the identity is slightly arbitrary, and is determined by which boiler carrier frame a loco is outshopped with. So "140" will appear at the point when its boiler frame (now sitting on a wagon in Dinas yard) is the quickest/cheapest one to get ready.

Re the point JohnnearCfon emphasises about the NG15 funding drive next month (which is set to be innovative, community-led, etc - Brunswick Ironworks are playing a major role), if it raises more than is needed for the NG15 work, the second priority for that appeal is funding the proper station building at Beddgelert which hasn't yet progressed past the foundations.
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Vanoord

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Welsh Highland Railway - more delays
Posted: 19/08/2009 11:29:33
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A few WHR snippets, firstly news of the delay to the opening through to Porthmadog:

The opening of the final stage of a 25-mile (40km) narrow gauge railway across Snowdonia has been further put back - due to an ongoing dispute over an unpaid bill.

The company claim it is owed around £250,000 by assembly government agency, the North Wales Trunk Road Authority.

The money is for work done on its behalf at Britannia Bridge, Porthmadog.

The assembly government has been asked to comment on the matter, which first came to light earlier this year.

The £28m project to reinstate the Welsh Highland Railway between Caernarfon and Porthmadog was due to be completed in Easter - with the track across the Snowdonia National Park being reopened in stages.

The line has already been opened as far as Hafod y Llyn through the Aberglaslyn pass between Beddgelert and Porthmadog.

The dispute is based on work carried out on a retaining wall damaged on the land side of the Glaslyn near Britannia Bridge near the Welsh Highland's station at Porthmadog.

Mr Lewin said the retaining wall had been damage during a storm on the tidal river.

The company used the same contractors to carry out work on the railway line and the wall, he said.

"They've done a lovely job, and it needed to be done," he added.

"But until we've recovered the money, unless some rabbit is pulled out, we have to plan our business," he said.

The money will contribute towards signalling and other commissioning work on the last bit of line.

He added however that if the dispute is settled early enough it may be possible to run some trains through to Porthmadog at the end of 2010, but a full summer timetable will not now be feasible before 2011.


BBC [web link]

The announcement from the WHR (dated yesterday) is as follows:

The opening of the final section of the Welsh Highland Railway through Porthmadog has been held up by a dispute with the North Wales Trunk Road Authority, who so far have declined to reimburse the Ffestiniog Railway for work carried out on their behalf on the river wall retaining the Glaslyn at Britannia Bridge. The moneys due to be reimbursed will contribute towards signalling and other commissioning work. While there has been some progress with this dispute, we do not now expect it to be concluded in time for the funds to be released and all the work then carried out before the 2010 season.

As a result, we are planning for services in 2010 to follow the pattern very successfully operated in 2009, between Caernarfon and Hafod-y-llyn. Some services will be extended over a further section of new railway to the bridge at Pont Croesor, giving magnificent and extensive views of the Snowdon range and of the Osprey nest site. If the dispute is settled early enough, then it may be possible to run some trains through to Porthmadog at the end of 2010, but a full summer timetable will not now be feasible before 2011.


This does tie in with the recent infilling of the tramway section trough Porthmadog with tarmac.

*****

Dr. Ben Fisher

As reported on Isengard, Dr. Ben Fisher's funeral service will take place at 1415 on Friday 28/8/09 at Bangor Crematorium.

Dr.Fisher maintained the official WHR Construction website and was a contributor to this site. He will be sadly missed.

*****

K1 on its travels

There's an interesting report on Isengard [web link] of veteran Garrett K1's recent trip to Manchester.

The locomotive spent last weekend at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry for their 'Great Garratt Gathering'.

K1 celebrated its 100th birthday on Monday, first visiting the site of Beyer Peacock's Gorton Works, then moving to Gorton's Tesco (!) and on to Brookfield Church, where the mausoleum of Richard Peacock is.

K1 was in steam for the whole trip (atop an articulated lorry) and whistled to mark a minute's silence - quite a surprise for a suburban street!

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IP: 81.130.81.119 Edited: 19/08/2009 11:31:13 by Vanoord
derrickman

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 12:56:06
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for some reason, I'm less than amazed that there may be delays on the WHR. Seems only fitting...

I'm intrigued by the photos of K1 inside the Gorton works. What is this building now used for?

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JohnnearCfon

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 13:00:24
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I wonder if they sorted out the payment dispute they had with a firm in Penrhyndeudraeth a few months ago?

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ICLOK

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 13:08:23
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I believe the Council use it for storage yet it has retained the cranes etc.. last time I went it was simply Empty!

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'Sir, I am unaware of any such activity or operation - nor would I be disposed to discuss such an operation if it did in fact exist, sir.'
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Vanoord

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 13:38:13
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Some Gorton works pics of Garretts at this [web link]

Unfortunately whoever put the page there didn't seem fit to label any of the photographs...

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IP: 81.130.81.119 Edited: 19/08/2009 13:38:33 by Vanoord
ICLOK

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 13:42:25
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Beyer Garratt works list here plus lots of other goodies!
[web link]

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'Sir, I am unaware of any such activity or operation - nor would I be disposed to discuss such an operation if it did in fact exist, sir.'
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Digit

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 13:53:30
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K1 at MOSI
As it happens I was at MOSI on Friday, the first day of the Garratt do. It all seemed to be going very well with K1 attracting a lot of attention. A lot of people had obviously visited the WHR stand as lots of WHR plastic bags were being carried around.
An intermittent whistling competition was being held by K1, the replica of Stephenson's "Planet", the other locos in steam (about five including two 7 1/2 inch models) and a couple of traction engines. MOSI shares a peripheral wall with the exterior sets for "Coronation Street" hopefully they were doing interiors that day otherwise the sound crew were probably going nuts.
The only real problem (and its totally understandable) is that K1 was on the low-loader and as a result a little bit 'bent' and unapproachable. The best view was from the MOSI train which passed very close and minimized the effect of the low-loader.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

You can see K1 just behind the train in the above photo.

My judgment was that K1 and the WHR were having a very good start to the weekend and generating a lot of interest in people who are close enough to come down for a proper look.

--

If you keep your eyes open you may see something interesting. If you don't something interesting will find you.
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derrickman

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 14:38:38
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Vanoord wrote:

Some Gorton works pics of Garretts at this [web link]

Unfortunately whoever put the page there didn't seem fit to label any of the photographs...


the first pic is surely the 18" gauge locos built for the LNWR works? 'Wren', etc?

some of the locos are identifiable by their deliviery liveries, there is one of an NGR as well

I've never been a fan of the looks of those 'Cape gauge' 3' 6" gauge rigid-wheelbase monsters, they look very front-heavy; as though they are about to fall over their own pony trucks, to me...

but the garratts look good in any gauge. They are like 1930s Bentleys, not a wrong line on them, very handsome from any angle
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ICLOK

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 14:58:58
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Yep thats 1 of the 8 Horwich Works locos...

Garratts do always seem to look good (even when dirty and run down, and I have been fortunate to see the odd one in action. The last I saw was the huge SAR 400 class 4-8-2 2-8-4 example in the adelaide Rly Museum....awesome piece of kit!![web link]

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ragl

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 19/08/2009 18:26:50
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Aren't the locos on the Welsh Highland all oil fired at the moment? If so, it would be very difficult to start a fire with a 'spark' from one of the engines.

The main excuse to convert to oil firing on the Ffestiniog back in the early seventies' was the fire risk by the then coal fired locos.

It will be interesting to see what any police investigation turns up.

Alan
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JohnnearCfon

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Posted: 19/08/2009 20:54:59
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ragl wrote:

Aren't the locos on the Welsh Highland all oil fired at the moment? If so, it would be very difficult to start a fire with a 'spark' from one of the engines.

The main excuse to convert to oil firing on the Ffestiniog back in the early seventies' was the fire risk by the then coal fired locos.

It will be interesting to see what any police investigation turns up.

Alan


No, one of them (87 in grey) is coal fired. There has been an investigation, by HMRI who found a defect in part of the spark arresting gear. HMRI were apparantly also critical of the railway's maintenence scheme in some way.

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derrickman

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 20/08/2009 08:00:19
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I'd always understood, based on 'Little Wonder', that the FR's concersion to oil firing was a cost-driven decision IP: 149.254.49.43
Vanoord

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 20/08/2009 08:24:35
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derrickman wrote:

I'd always understood, based on 'Little Wonder', that the FR's concersion to oil firing was a cost-driven decision


Originally it was, but the high price of oil a couple of years ago made coal significantly cheaper.

Hence no.87 was restored to work on coal and I'm not sure whether K1 was converted over the winter?

As far as I recall, the green Garrett (Mileniwm or however it's spelt) which is now in pieces was intended to be coal fired when it returned from its overhaul (originally the start of this year iirc) but it may be interesting to see how it emerges.

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davel

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 20/08/2009 09:55:48
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Likewise, the Ffestiniog Railway double Fairlie locos Merddin Emrys and the Earl of Merioneth and the single Fairlie Taliesin are currently coal-fired.

Dave
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JohnnearCfon

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Welsh Highland Railway
Posted: 14/01/2010 14:24:15
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Problems at Porthmadog level crossing reported on BBC website.

[web link]
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