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FR & WHR & WHHR News

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

  1. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Compared to other F&WHR events though it is pricy, and most of those will allow full line trips on one or other of the lines. I can't go for personal reasons but I would struggle to justify the cost myself (similar to the Snowdonian trains).

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  2. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    Like you I can't get there for the event, so my comments are a bit academic. But on thinking about it I started to think that it seems a good idea to limit the action to Beddgelert to Boston lodge, particularly as the loadings on the trains are of necessity going to be limited.This way you get to see much more than you would if you were 20 miles up the other end of the line, and more opportunities will be available to travel, albeit on shorter runs. It looks a cracking event, and not just because Russell is being allowed to play out on the other line. Why couldn't it have been last week when I was there?!

    Steve B
     
  3. jon5051

    jon5051 New Member

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    Agreed re keeping the action restricted. Another example of this of course is Hunslet 125 - which was still considerably cheaper. I think there can't be much doubt that the cost is entirely due to the fact it's Russell through the pass; the rest of it doesn't seem to be justified to me. Like the past two posters, I won't be attending - could only make two days and, to be brutally honest, doesn't appeal to me in comparison to the more intensive other events at the FWHR (will be back for Victorian weekend, plus a week in the summer), but I wish both lines all the best for it and am sure it will be well patronised.
     
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  4. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    Nothing on the FR website yet but from a post on NG Facebook it appears that Baldwin 608 is not now going to be operating at next weekend’s event and members of the home fleet will be deputising.
    Bearing in mind the fact that unlike 1215, it was actually rostered on services all the way through to Beddgelert, personally in view of the cost, it was Probably what just swung my decision to attend the event and buy a 3 day rover. So more than a little disappointing particularly at such short notice and I’d suggest that an event that was already borderline in terms of value for money has now definitely swung the other way.
    Perhaps consideration could be given to 1215 covering 608’s duties on the longer run or extending the validity of the rover tickets to cover normal FR/WHR services as compensation for the loss of what was one of the main attractions?
     
  5. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    Does this mean that Baldwin 608 will not be appearing at all, or just not operating? Disappointed but still intending to go.
    Ray.
     
  6. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    Well from the following statement I guess it won't even be there on static display

    "Despite immense efforts by the ‘Baldwin 608’ team, the loco is not quite ready to make its F&WHR debut at this event as we had hoped. Instead we will be hosting a future visit from this locomotive, once its eagerly anticipated restoration is fully completed.

    General Manager Paul Lewin said: “We have to thank the ‘608’ team for the enormous effort that they have put in, endeavouring to have the loco ready for this event. Unfortunately, it is always difficult to be sure how long a restoration will take, particularly on a loco that has not seen service for so many years. We are looking forward to welcoming the loco in the future, but - in the meantime - we now have the opportunity for more of our own fleet to be seen operating alongside ‘Russell’, with increased photographic opportunities.”


    This is the second FR gala in two years that has failed to deliver one of its main attractions (after 1215 was a no-show last year).
    That was less of an issue however as despite the ticket price being lower, there were a lot more visiting locos, far more side attractions and rover tickets included travel over the whole FR line + special trains to Pont Creosor and Beddgelert.
    I intend no criticism of the groups responsible for restoring these locos at all, and I'm sure they have made every effort to have 608 ready but I'm afraid that the FR's statement that "the opportunity for more of our own fleet to be seen operating" just smacks of marketing "spin" and doesn't cut the mustard when you are already charging people 3 figure sums for a weekend rover ticket to ride trains over only a short section of the line and now with more of them now being hauled by locos that you can ride behind on the FR at any time for normal fares. The comment re "increased photographic opportunities" also seems to confirm that these galas are now being focussed more and more for the benefit of photographers, many of whom won't making any monetary contribution at all to the cost of putting the gala on.

    Unfortunately, to be able to secure accommodation in the area for weekends such as this, you need to book well in advance so you can't afford to wait and see if everything promised is actually going to turn up (And certainly not until a week before)

    As per my original post, one would hope the FR are looking as a matter of urgency to see what they can offer in terms of additional attractions or compensation to those who have already bought rover tickets.

    Chris
     
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  7. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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  8. weltrol

    weltrol Member

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    As a life member of the FfRS, now relegated to the 'stay at home' brigade through ill health, I usually log in to the webcams. However, over the past few weeks, I have noticed that the cameras seem to be switched off when something interesting is happening at Minffordd or Porthmadog. Maybe it is due to bandwidth issues ( the usual excuse...) or is it a ploy to make us visit in person to see what is happening?
     
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  9. pgbffest

    pgbffest New Member

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    The IT crowd have been fitting out Waunfawr station for a little while now - probably why sometimes the webcam isn't available. I always find the more interesting days can be found when there isn't much booked to be going on.
     
  10. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I am not at all technology literate so I had often wondered if it was simply my computer or internet but it seems not. It used to be that the FR Webcams were temperamental but when they worked were very good. Now they seem to be down more often, the one at Port seemingly down for much of the day, and the others appear to freeze when trains are expected. Presumably not a huge problem to fix as the Talyllyn in the last year have greatly improved their webcams and they seem to work fairly well.

    I also not that the TR had their anything goes day to day and seemed to be streaming a lot live on facebook and many of the videos are on their facebook page. They did year and I seem to remember of the standard gauge railways streamed their gala live on facebook last year. I don't know if this is something that the FR or other railways are considering doing in the future but I would suggest they look at and seriously think about as it is great for those of us who cannot get there.
     
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  11. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    Can anyone from the railway clarify the timetable for Friday? Are there any trains beyond Beddgelert to Caernarfon? As published, the TT implies not - but surely this cannot be correct?
     
  12. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    The train graphs I have seen suggest there is no full line service on RhE on Friday, and only 2 return trips on the FR.
     
  13. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    Nexuas - thank you for the reply. I'm tempted to quote John McEnroe at this point. Time to check if the hotel (in Caernarfon) is cancellable, as this event is becoming personally unviable. I'll spend my money somewhere else.
     
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  14. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

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    I attended two events over the past weekend.
    Friday I was included amongst the guests at the official opening of Caernarvon and Waun Fawr stations, they are something of a contrast.
    Saturday I was a passenger on the "Snowdonian Limited" - I had promised my father the ride as he was unwell in June last year, unfortunately, it was just his ashes that made the trip with me.
     
  15. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    As you suggest, ridiculous that on the Friday of what is supposed to be a 3 day gala that there are no trains at all running the full length of the WHR, and there is such a paltry service on the FR.
    Having received the working timetable for the weekend yesterday, it is also now clear that no effort has been made to compensate for 608's "no-show" by swapping 1215 onto it's turns to Beddgelert. It had already come as a big disappointment as more details of the weekend emerged that 1215 was going to be confined to the pretty uninteresting flat bit to Pont Creosor and
    clearly, as it worked to Beddgelert this weekend, there is no capability/logistics issue with it doing so. So why not run it to Beddgelert during the gala itself, even if just on one day?
    So now, the only visiting loco that is actually running a reasonable distance and through the more interesting sections is Russell.
    We'd booked 3 day rovers (and 4 nights accommodation) on the experience of previous galas that we'd probably need the 3 days to cover all that was likely to be on offer.
    Looking at the timetable now, you could probably cover most activities in a day. (and have to pay extra if you want to travel on the rest of the FR/WHR)
    Unfortunately our accommodation isn't refundable and we've already paid for the 3 day rover tickets so we will just have to try and spread out what's on offer over the 3 days or fork out even more cash on some extra journeys on the FR/WHR to fill in the time.
    Massively disappointing and I will think very carefully about committing to future galas, certainly when its patently obvious that the FR had no "Plan B" in place should 608 not be ready.

    Chris
     
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  16. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    WHHR services on Friday will be handled by BRITOMART on its own as HUGH NAIPER will not be available till Saturday.
     
  17. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    And still nothing on the FR/WHR's website news page to say that 608 is no longer attending. (In fact the gala specific page is still advertising its trips)
     
  18. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Very poor that so much was going to happen, and now isn't. The only consolation is that there are other ng steam railways in N Wales. I shall spend some time on the Talyllyn, and take just one day for the Ffestiniog's much reduced offering.

    John
     
  19. meeee

    meeee Member

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    That's a bit dramatic.

    As far as I can work out the only thing that isn't happening is the Baldwin isn't coming for reasons beyond the control of the organisers. Taliesin will be running instead. People have suggested getting 778 but that isn't vac or spark arrestor fitted.

    I think sometimes the logistics of these things are taken for granted. I imagine that when the event was being planned the risks associated with running a non spark arrestor fitted loco (1215) at full thrash up Natmoor bank were taken into consideration. Especially when you consider what the weather was like this time last year. You'd all be crying blue murder if all the trains had to terminate at Pont Croesor because Wales is on fire!

    Now I appreciate it is quite wet and this means 1215 could run to Beddgelert with no issues just like it did this weekend. The tough bit is you're re-writing the timetable the week before the event with many knock on effects to take care of. These events are often a difficult balance. Engines need to be in certain places at certain times for certain things you happen. There's a limited number of crews with a limited number of working hours. There's a huge amount that goes on behind the scenes making sure it goes smoothly. Swapping an engine in you weren't using is a lot easier than shifting one you were using about.

    Then there is joe public who look at their event guide for a ride behind 1215 totally unaware that social media have demanded that it does a load of different duties to the ones advertised. Then they all start complaining instead. So it's catch 22.

    Tim
     
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  20. Seraphim

    Seraphim New Member

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    What about the complete absence of trains beyond Beddgelert to Caernarfon? You refer to Joe Public - what are the staff at the shiny new station going to say when people arrive for the train which won't run until tomorrow? That's an awkward conversation. Only two trains on the FR is ludicrous. How can the railway possible justify charging the same (inflated) amount for day tickets for the Friday when the offering - now paltry to say the least - is a fraction of that on the Saturday and Sunday. I'm a really big fan of the FR/WHR, but this is leaving a very bitter taste.
     

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