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FR & WHR & WHHR News

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. meeee

    meeee Member

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    There isn't really a need for any more engines of any size. This is a project to fill a gap in the restoration of the FR rather than the roster. What there is a desperate need for is a decent engine shed to keep them in though. The present one is completely unfit for the needs of the railway not to mention the fact it is falling apart.

    As for Palmerston it was arranged with the boiler inspector that it could be re-tubed and have it's ten year internal inspection last year after several tubes started leaking in the autumn. This winter it needs to be stripped so the boiler can be inspected externally then it will be ok for another 10 years. Palmerston doesn't cover many miles so over the last 20 years it has shown that a relatively small group of volunteers can keep it in good condition doing bits and pieces of mechanical work as and when needed. I think it's longest period out of traffic was during the previous re-tube in 2004 as this was done by volunteers mostly at weekends.

    Tim
     
  2. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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    Welsh Highland Railway steams onto special National Lottery Live Show
    The Welsh Highland Railway has been chosen to appear on national television this weekend, on a special edition of The National Lottery Live, celebrating 20 years of changing lives across the UK.
    Paul Lewin, Director & General Manager of Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, and Elen Roberts, one of more than 1,000 volunteers who keep the line going, will join host Gaby Roslin, shadow theatre group Attraction, and other National Lottery funded projects on the BBC One show, to be broadcast this Saturday at 2150hrs.
    In an ambitious Millennium scheme, £4.2 million of National Lottery funding was used to help rebuild and re-open the abandoned Welsh Highland Railway in stunning Snowdonia, north Wales. The UK’s longest heritage railway is now a major tourist attraction, running past the foot of mount Snowdon through picture postcard scenery. Passengers can enjoy first class Pullman luxury and freshly-cooked food. Young people learn about their heritage, volunteers are able to contribute to its success and some people even achieve the dream of driving the train themselves!
    The £4.2 million Lottery grant was one of the first issued in 1995, and remains the largest grant issued in north Wales.
    Paul Lewin, Director & General Manager of Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, said:
    “National Lottery funding galvanised our attempts to resurrect this much loved line, and helped attract further funding – around £9 million at that stage.
    “I’m very proud of what the Welsh Highland project has achieved. We did what we planned to do in building this railway, and fifteen years later we have a highly successful business. I think it a great Lottery funding success story, and I’d like to take the opportunity of this special landmark for the National Lottery to thank the players who made it possible.”
    Since the first National Lottery draw on 19 November 1994, players have raised £32 billion for 450,000 charities, arts, sports and heritage projects, in addition to creating more than 3,700 millionaires and paying out £53 billion in prizes.
    Jackie O’Sullivan, from the National Lottery, added: “In the last 20 years, the National Lottery has funded many fantastic projects and organisations throughout Wales.
    “The Welsh Highland Railway is a superb example of how National Lottery funding can be enjoyed by all, creating a family resource and visitor attraction, preserving our past, educating the next generation and creating jobs and volunteering opportunities.”
    As well as being one of the first and largest projects, it is also one of the most scenic, highest and longest Lottery funded projects in Wales - the summit of the Welsh Highland Railway is 650 feet above sea level, and the line is 26 miles in length.
     
  3. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    To be fair, watching the video it sounds like a lot of the damage actually goes back to the engine's working life. Wheels rubbing against the frame plates, for example - that doesn't happen when an engine is sitting on a plinth!

    I'm very pleased to see on the website update that all discarded parts will be retained for eventual display. Thus, although the operational Welsh Pony may be an almost-new engine, no historic material will have been destroyed. And, of course, we still have Princess as an example of an "untouched" (at least mechanically) FR England.

    Bear in mind that Welsh Pony was a "Large England", built to a slightly different specification to the original side tanks. But the idea of creating a replica Little Giant in original 1867 condition is an intriguing one! It could look like this: https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Little_Giant
     
  4. Shed9C

    Shed9C New Member

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    I think it goes without saying that everyone is grateful that Welsh Pony was saved, although surely 'Back of the shed' would have been preferable to rusting away on a plinth...
     
  5. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    I have a vague childhood memory of climbing on and in Welsh Pony, and adding to the pile of stones in the firebox (I think). I must say a plinthed loco is a very imposing sight and a definite draw to a railway. We ended up travelling the next day
     
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  6. Chris B

    Chris B New Member

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    My childhood memories go back a bit further than that. Welsh Pony was keeping K1 and the Harrogate Peckett company down the side of the long shed when my grandad first to me to Portmadoc in 1974
     
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  7. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    A decade before that it also had 'Palmerston' for company - painted pink and named (on rubber nameplates) "Harold Wilson"! Happy days. Ray.
     
  8. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    i would be very interested to hear any comments on this, but when Welsh Pony ceased work in 1939/40, i am guessing it wasnt stored and laid up as one would do for a loco to be repaired and rebuilt, but was probably left in the state Merddin Emrys was a few years later? it would be interesting to learn what state Princess was left in when the line closed. plus Princess spent many years on a plinth at Bleanau Ffestiniog but no one has suggested it deteriorated as a result.
    when one considers the 'rebuild' of Dolgoch and Talyllyn on the TR in the 1950s/early 1960s (when very very little of the original locos was re-used, and you could probably have made a fair museum exhibit from the parts not re-used) the treatment of Welsh Pony is very well thought out and sympathetic.
    cheers,
    julian
     
  9. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    Possibly Welsh Pony was 'laid up' rather than just abandoned as, at that time, the F.R. management may not have anticipated closure. They certainly thought it worthwhile ordering a new boiler for Prince. IIRC the staff only got a day's notice of closure in 1946 so there may have been no time to lay up Princess so she was simply left as she was. I don't suppose anyone involved is still around. Princess was on display in Blaenau by 1964 and, IIRC ,later Portmadoc on the same plinth where Welsh Pony was displayed more recently so the weather must have taken its toll over all those years. In practical terms it probably only matters for a static restoration as a restoration to working order would likely have involved replacement of most major parts as we are seeing with Welsh Pony. I, too, have been following the dismantling and restoration and cannot praise the team involved too highly.
    Cheers, Ray.
     
  10. Adam Wiles

    Adam Wiles New Member

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    At the risk of starting a heated debate, when the ten years is up for Welsh Pony's boiler certificate, couldn't the old bits be put back together to form a locomotive fit for display and then a replica of Little Giant be constructed around the new bits being made now? Just a thought...
     
  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Called "My Little Pony"?

    Paul H.
     
  12. meeee

    meeee Member

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    I think you're underestimating the amount of old bits being reused. Plus we have nowhere to display Princess let alone another static loco.


    Tim
     
  13. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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    The second new webcam on the FR has gone live at Minffordd, joining the one at Tan y Bwlch. They can be accessed from the button on the front page of the website at www.festrail.co.uk The next camera to go live will be at Harbour Station and is still under test. Further cameras at locations along the 40 mile railway will follow.
     
  14. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Super!
     
  15. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick New Member

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    The button has been taken off the front page and replaced with another promoting 'The Snowdonian' fund-raising train. To access the webcams go to
    http://www.festrail.co.uk/webcam.htm
     
  16. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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  17. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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  18. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    I was wondering whether the railway has to pay to use the term Pullman?
     
  19. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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    We have had a licence since 1998 when Bodysgallen entered service.
     
  20. AndrewT

    AndrewT New Member

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