Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.
The same as they probably say most Monday and Friday's when there aren't any trains?
The WHR timetable online does not appear to support that comment.
Quite, and the railway have never suggested that the gala goes further than Beddgelert and Blodge. On the rest of the F&WHR it is "service as usual" which means on the Friday (and for many weeks previously) 2 trains each way on the FR and none on the WHR - and that has never been a secret. The publicity carries all the usual caveats about availability etc.. Unfortunate, but that's the way it goes.
Whether you think the prices are too high is a matter of opinion - but that's already been debated.
Yes and no! The WHR has been running on Mondays in June, but not Fridays, but I seem to remember there being no trains on Mondays or Fridays in May when I was there last month (a bit like October).
Note - I have no connection with the railway, just the observations of one who visits once a year out of season and makes the best of it.
Well you're paying extra for the special trains which only run as far as Beddgelert on all 3 days. So you're not really loosing or gaining anything. Especially if you consider that doing a full line return trip from either end will take up your whole day. You'll just miss all the action you've paid extra for to do something you can do anytime between March and November.
I'm inclined to agree the ticket costs are a bit high. The marketing materials quite clearly state that the event is focused on Port- Beddgelert though. So why would anyone expect loads of trains to Caernarfon or BFf?
To address some of your comments:-
I fully appreciate that 608's non-attendance is for reasons beyond the control of the organisers but that "only thing that isn't happening" happened to be one of the main attractions out of what has proved to be a very limited number due to take place.
The FR news item announcing that the Baldwin was attending the event as well as Russel/1215 stated "it is intended that heritage trains will be running in the section of line between Minffordd, Porthmadog and Beddgelert, during the intervals between our regular passenger trains - providing an opportunity to experience the development of narrow-gauge railways over the past century. Tickets will be available online early in the new year, and further details (including additional visiting locomotives) will be published as soon as they are finalised."
There are in fact no special services running to Minffordd and the only additional locomotive (singular) that is attending is Chaloner.
So as activities have already been scaled down versus what was originally advertised, I don't think therefore it would have been unreasonable to have expected a "Plan B" to have been in place for 608. (Not suggesting that 778 was the only alternative but it could have been investigated as an option if paired with a vac fitted member of the home fleet in the same way as Russell is)
I fully appreciate that logistics aren't always as straightforward as they look and I'm sure it's a "lot easier" simply to substitute Taliesin, but when you are charging participants 3 figure sums for the weekend, I think they deserve more than the "easy option". (And for a lot of attendee's that Rover ticket cost is only part of the total they have had to expend when you factor in accommodation, travel costs etc.)
In respect of "Joe Public" the public timetable on the FR website doesn't actually state the locos working each train and the working timetable wasn't actually released until Sunday, so could have incorporated any amendments.
And in fact, as the FR website is still advertising 608 running trips to Beddgelert when it has known for a week it isn't going to happen, I think "Joe Public" would have had more reason to complain about that than if 1215's duties or other workings had been adjusted in the final version of the working timetable.
As for the absence of a full line WHR service on the Friday, I don't dispute that this is the normal timetable for this month but this is supposed to be a 3 day gala weekend celebrating the WHR "Past, Present and Future", so did nobody think that it might have made sense for the WHR "present" to actually be running a service on all 3 days of the gala?
Factually incorrect I'm afraid. The FR website news item relating to the event earlier in the year stated "it is intended that heritage trains will be running in the section of line between Minffordd, Porthmadog and Beddgelert". So clearly there was originally an intention to run shuttles on the FR to Minffordd as has happened at pretty much every other gala I've attended.
If the quote is correct of "in the section of line between" then the original statement was correct because the trains are running to Boston Lodge which is in the section of line between Minffordd and Boston Lodge.
I do wonder if 778 was out of price range. Most engines that end up at the FfWHR I suspect do so under a good will basis i.e. on loan and can we have a play at some point? If 778 came with a hire fee, owners rep charges and accommodation costs - then that is likely to put things straight out of the window. Could be wrong of course.
Down to interpretation I'd admit, but if only originally intending to run to Boston Lodge why not say that rather than Minffordd? I still think that was the original intent and how most people would have interpreted it.
I think if it had turned out that everything running on the WHR was going to terminate at Pont Creosor because technically it was "in the section of line between ....Porthmadog and Beddgelert" there would have been a bit of an uproar....!
No idea what the attendance arrangement might have been for 778 or any other potential addition/substitute (or indeed were/are for 608/1215), but having to pay hire costs/expenses for visiting locos is fairly common practise, and you factor that cost against anticipated revenue.
I think that’s the biggest problem, that the official FR website with the link for online booking is still advertising the Baldwin today, almost a week later. This should have been updated when the Facebook statement was put out.
But in that case technically it's not - the sections are Porthmadog-Pont Croesor and Pont Croesor-Beddgelert. Going the other way, the section is Porthmadog-Minffordd with Boston Lodge being mid-section.
I do appreciate, though, that this is something that an enthusiast would know but an average member of the public would not.
OK, not going to split hairs on technical technicalities but I still think that the website statement implies that there was probably an original intent to run shuttles to Minffordd that has fallen by the wayside at some point. (and possibly a longer "wishlist" in terms of visiting locos.)
We will no doubt try and make the best of what is still on offer and have an enjoyable weekend, but despite the higher cost, it clearly isn't going to offer the same level of activity/attractions as the superb Hunslet gala last year (or indeed the previous 2 Quirks galas which were also excellent)
Mind you, any future FR gala event is going will have to try very hard to top the pure "entertainment value" of the two double headed quarry hunslet passenger trains up to TB last year.......
Apart from the NGG's and the VBT, can anyone shed and light on which way the loco's will face on the WHR please? In the past everything I have ever seen at gala weekends have faced Caernarfon. I am guessing with top and tailing some will face Porthmadoc, including 1215?
Russell - Caernarfon
1215 - Porthmadog
Taliesin - Porthmadog
Lyd - Porthmadog
Prince & Palmerston can be turned to face either way
Britomart has arrived at the WHHR along with carriages 1, 3, 4, 10, 2, 5 & Van 3. Britomart facing Porthmadog. Info from https://www.facebook.com/WHHRly/posts/2837128446329649
Just a comment on terminology - it occurs to me that when the F&WHR speak of "heritage" trains, it normally refers as much, if not more, to the coaching stock as to the loco pulling it. Indeed many of the heritage trains I've seen there have been pulled by locos like Taliesin or DLG, which are younger than me! (Although one of my younger colleagues does refer to my youth as being in the "olden days"...)
Lets not be so negative on the event, while disappointing the event has is lost one visiting engine, the original advertising only featured Russell to Hafod y Llyn, whereas now she is running through the Aberglasyn Pass to Beddgelert, thats a bigger gain than the 'loss' of Boston Lodge to Minffordd surely?
Yep, Russel on the WHR in 2019 through the Aberglaslyn Pass to Beddgelert does it for me can't wait!!
Palmerston will hopefully be facing Caernarfon
Perhaps true, but 608's runs to Beddgelert are a far greater loss particularly as they were all solo, rather than Russels all needing to be doubleheaders or top and tail as they are using FR vac fitted stock (Apart from the two WHHR evening trips)
In respect of the WHHR evening trips, are timings published/available for these anywhere? As gala related services I'd expected them to be shown on the working timetable but they don't feature.
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