NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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11 October 2021
Edward Thomas loading up at Tywyn Wharf, Talyllyn Railway, for a visit to the Corris Railway, 25 August. Dolgoch is at the head of the 10:55 departure for Nant Gwernol. Picture by Mark Hambly.
We are on holiday this week, so I've prepared in advance a page of some events on the North Wales narrow-gauge scene. Back to normal on 18 October. - Charlie
The Bala Lake Railway is Holding a Diesel Day on 17 October. We are promised:
Slate trains hauled by Rustons Chilmark and Lady MadcapFull information on the Bala Lake Railway website.
Welsh Highland Railway 'Superpower Weekend' - pictures by Ian Pilkington
Garratt 87 heads the morning demonstration freight from Caernarfon near Rhyd Ddu. All pictures are from Sunday 19 September.
Garratt 130 approaches Rhyd Ddu with the 11:00 Caernarfon-Beddgelert.
Pioneer Garratt K1, visiting from Statfold Barn, heads a WHR Members' Special from Caernarfon near Rhyd Ddu.
K1 heads away from Rhyd Ddu with the WHR Members' Special to Caernarfon.
87 heads the afternoon demonstration freight near Rhyd Ddu.
K1 heads empty coaching stock from Caernarfon near Dinas.
WHR Superpower - report by Jim Ikin
As part of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway’s AGM over the three-day weekend, on 17 September a number of members' trains were hauled by K1, which has been based at Statfold Farm for the last two years. However, apparently the new platform at Caernarfon presented gauging issues which prevented the loco running the full length of the platform.
As K1 hauled trains approached Caernarfon therefore K1 was detached and ran in on the water tower road.
Diesel Vale of Ffestiniog then hauled the train into the station.
We were lucky enough to be able to be able get seats in the beautifully restored coach 14 and travel up to Rhyd Ddu,by which time the rain had come down.
We descended through the mist to arrive back at a fine Caernarfon.
On the Sunday 87 awaits departure from Dinas with a mixed freight.
The K1 was once again in action and we caught up with it as it started its return trip from Rhyd Ddu – in much better weather than Friday!
A comprehensive tour was given by project leader Adrian Strachen of the progress on NG15 Garratt 134. Above: the tender.
... and main frames. More information on the restoration can be found at ng15-134.co.uk
Corris Gala -report by Barrie Hughes
The weekend of 3-4 September saw the short Corris Railway holding a Gala with the guest being the Talyllyn Railway's Edward Thomas, an original Corris Railway loco. On the Sunday the guest loco top and tailed with the CR’s own No. 7 with a rake of replica Corris coaches. Passengers were allowed a visit to both Carriage shed and loco shed. Outside the shed the diesel Vlad’ was on show on freight wagons. Above, Edward Thomas takes water at Maespoeth depot at the north end of the replica train. No.7 was to return the favour and visit the Talyllyn a week later for their gala.
Corris No.7 hauls the rake into Maespoeth South platform after disgorging passengers at Maespoeth North platform. A second replica Hughes Falcon loco in under construction to be known as No.10 which will replace No.7 when it comes up for its 10 year boiler overhaul in 2023/4. Another replica coach is under construction too.
The Corris Railway has several small shunters for use in Permanent Way work etc. On the right is the CR’s impressive Vlad receiving attention.
The Railway is currently only 1.6 km long between Corris station and Maespoeth depot but has big plans. South of the depot the trackbed runs alongside the A487 and a section was taken for road widening before the revitalised project got going. Now an embankment diversion is being built to meet the exiting roadside section further south.
The initial aim is to extend to Pont Evans with a challenging gradient of 1 in 30 but with a long term aim of extending to the Tan-y-Coed Forestry car park and toilets just north of Pantperthog. This is close to the Centre for Alternative Technology, a popular tourist venue.
News from the Vale of Rheidol (Press Release)
After reopening for the 2021 season The Vale of Rheidol Railway is delighted with the number of passengers enjoying a scenic journey up the valley from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge behind its historic steam locomotives.
May half-term and traffic through June, July and August has been good with the railway financially secure through the winter.
The railway did not operate passenger trains during 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with workshop activity also curtailed due to national lockdowns and priority being given to ensuring the health of its staff. Since reopening passenger services on 24 May with social distancing arrangements and other appropriate safety measures in place many trains have been sold out. Although ‘walk up’ passengers can be accepted if space is available, advance booking is recommended to guarantee seats in carriage compartments separated by specially installed plastic screens.
Although the trains run with slightly reduced capacity due to social distancing measures (which will be retained for the rest of 2021) loadings are high with traffic spread more evenly through the day and later trains achieving higher loadings than was the case pre-Covid-19. Total numbers are not quite at the level of 2019, however a small fare increase means income following reopening has exceeded 2019 levels.
Trains are running until the end of October.
During the run-up to reopening, with the welcome assistance of a £150,000 award from the Welsh Government Cultural Recovery Fund round one, a retaining wall supporting the track at a location known as Oliver Veltom Curve near Rheidol Falls station was rebuilt, half a mile of track received new sleepers and a quarter of a mile of replacement rail was laid. Other work undertaken included locomotive and carriage maintenance plus installation of plastic screens, costing £5,000, in carriages to maintain social distancing.
A further very visible enhancement is completion of the trackwork at Aberystwyth linking the £531,000 Museum collection and heritage rolling stock protection shed completed between lockdowns last year to the rest of the system. Stock has been moved into the building from the old standard gauge locomotive shed which has been cleared and, in time, will be developed into a 5000sq ft multi-function display and entertainment space.
(Three images above by Greg Mape, 31 July)
Although the necessity to place staff on Government supported furlough during the coronavirus pandemic inevitably hindered progress in the workshops during 2020, the works is now back at 90% production capacity and much engineering progress has been made. The contract to overhaul Beyer Peacock 0-6-0T No. 822 The Earl for Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway has been completed. When the locomotive was delivered to its owners on 26th July the transporter returned to Aberystwyth with Welshpool & Llanfair’s ex-Sierra Leone Railway Hunslet 2-6-2T No. 85 which has not worked since 2010. VoR staff have stripped the locomotive and reported on its condition. The loco is now in storage and Welshpool & Llanfair’s decision on the next step to be undertaken is awaited.
Next in line for works attention is completing the overhaul of VoR resident Hanomag 2-6-2+2-6-2 Garratt NG/G13 (10551/1927) No. 60. This loco is projected to be ready to enter service before the end of this season. Work is also about to recommence on restoration of Baldwin 10-12-D 4-6-0T WDLR No. 794 (BLW44699/1917), which will be completed as Welsh Highland Railway No. 590, for Welsh Highland Heritage Railway.
A photograph taken in 1966 when travelling around on a Cambrian Lines rover ticket - price £1.50.
A another faded relic from our archive, dated 1984 when the trains ran into the former Carmarthen line . A Rheidol train has just arrived and the loco will shortly run round its train, while in the main platform the crew of a Class 108 unit watch the arrival. In the distance, a pair of Class 25 locos, perhaps to work a train to London.
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