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FR & WHR & WHHR News

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

  1. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    You have caught me on the footplate of Russell in your video and photos. While it was an honour and a privilege to be involved and I will never forget the thrill of the weekend, it is great to have a permanent reminder in videos like this. Thank you for enabling me to see it from the outside.
     
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  2. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    Presumably Baldwin 608 will make an appearance somewhere when ready?
    Pictures of Baldwin's 590'refurbuishment are on VoRs FB pages but looks several months before it is ready?
    Now the weekend was successful WHHR's Russell ,and eventually Baldwin 608 or 590, will hopefully ocassionally run "little trains" on the WHR (and other lines?) for NR enthusiasts (with the Garretts providing a more comfortable ride for tourists).

    Russell has a historical connection with Purbeck and would be good to have it visit the line at the mining museum there to help promote the line expansion plans which seems to have stalled.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  3. David likes trains

    David likes trains Well-Known Member

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    Visited on the Friday and Saturday, was a really good event helped by excellent weather. I enjoyed re-acquainting myself with Aberglaslyn, last time I was there the track had not yet been relaid although the railway was open as far Rhyd-Ddu. Every time I visit the WHR or FR I think I must make the effort to visit their next special event to see the vintage stock in use.

    Album of pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/djcs_trains/albums/72157709238788812

    Russell approaching the bridge over the river near Beddgelert on the Friday evening special train.
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  4. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    Here are a few pictures from Saturday, which for us meant a taxi from Beddgelert down to Porthmadog (as the first train was a bit late for what we wanted) - thank you Ifan! - and then a bus over to Boston Lodge. The bus was one of the Routemasters that was running the free Park and Ride service, and was needed because of Palmerston's mechanical wobble. As mentioned above, Lyd took over from Palmerston on the Boston Lodge - Pont Croesor shuttle, and we saw her and Hunslet 303 heading across the Cob to collect their first load of passengers while we were on our way to Boston Lodge.

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    Moelwyn was on display at Boston Lodge in all its chunky, freshly painted glory:

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    Lyd and 303 took us over to Pen -y-Mount to have a look round the WHHR, where we got to try out the different varieties of Bugbox and have a gentle ride behind Gelert. The van on Gelert's train was full to the rafters of lovely Purple Moose beer to keep the passengers hydrated on what was by now a really warm day.

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  5. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    Well as that shot looks suspiciously similar to one of mine, clearly you were also one of the few of us stood on that rock!
    I had honestly expected that location to be shoulder to shoulder with the light as perfect as it was.

    Despite the disappointment over 608's absence, it did prove to be an excellent weekend, with the weather definitely making it.
    It was a shame that Palmerston only lasted the first day before failing. Luckily Lyd was available to substitute but whereas I think it looks quite at home on the FR's modern coaches, it never seems to look "comfortable" hauling FR heritage stock! I'm also not sure what happened to Chaloner which failed to materialise for it's (only) booked passenger run to Pont Creosor on Sunday.

    Russel's appearance and performance were a credit to the WHHR team (as was their heritage rake) and it was clear from the speeches made at Beddgelert on Saturday evening following it's arrival (which to be honest, brought a bit of a lump to the throat), that all parties see this weekends events as just the beginning of what can be achieved with the increasing co-operation between the two organisations. Excellent news for all concerned.

    Chris
     
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  6. Britfoamer

    Britfoamer Member

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    Most excellent weekend, most trains well filled, the shine on Russell was mirror like, but what was it burning? Thick plumes of yellow and other colours coming from the chimney, I half expected Doc Brown and Marty McFly to be on the footplate!
    My photographic contribution over on the Photography thread should anyone care to take a look.
    Thanks to all involved as usual, one in the eye for the naysayers.
     
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  7. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    I have noticed that in recent years the F&WHR have tended to roster an "interesting" loco/locos between Christmas and the New Year. For example in 2013 I made the journey up to Caernarfon for a ride behind K1:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/muztrem/12252514736/in/album-72157636022241253/

    Nevertheless I would agree with you that many of the big gala events - not just on the F&WHR - are becoming so crowded as to be unpleasant. It would be good to try to find a way to spread the visitor numbers over a longer period of time, e.g. if you have a big-name visiting engine, employ it on ordinary service trains for a week before or after the gala.
     
  8. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    Russell did not appear on sunday despite some expecting it.
     
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  9. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    Not sure what you mean here? RUSSELL fulfilled all of her rostered duties and pretty much ran perfectly to time. If you were waiting for a Sunday evening solo run this was never the plan as she only came back to the WHHR at 18.15 (in the rain) and many of us needed to be back at work on Monday morning 100s of miles away!!!
     
  10. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    We have using the same coal all season, not sure I had noticed the smoke when I have used it before. I was firing Russell on Saturday and was going for a fairly thin bright fire, on a little but often method but even this was producing quite a lot of smoke.
     
  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    "Same coal" doesn't necessarily mean "same coal" though, if you see what I mean. We've had coal from notionally the same source for a few months, but how it behaves seems to vary every week!

    Tom
     
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  12. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Hi Tom,

    Presumably, as assiduous as I assume you are, you would ask the shedmaster what was on your loco as coal and where and what type and where from?

    Ergo what is the Bluebell's current supply?

    Also the same questions to Nexuas.

    Surely every fireman ought to be appraised of the type of coal and source in use at any particular time on a particular loco, and any fireman ought to make it his business to find out this information?

    Cheers,

    Julian

    (And thank you for all those who have posted those wonderful pics of Russell on the WHR!)
     
  13. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    I believe our coal is from fros-y-fan (sp?) open cast in South Wales.

    As a railway our coal consumption is quite low, we order a lorry full as and when needed and it is stored at the local coal merchants and brought down on his digger and loaded into a Hudson bogie wagon as and when needed and taken to our coal dock. The FR I think use the same source but have a much higher coal consumption so may well have burnt the same coal we have now anything up to 18 months ago?

    Our usual working requires the skill of keeping a very small fire alight and covering the grate with out the loco constantly blowing off. This weekend was a journey into the unknown for us as firemen as none of the daytime (or evening) crew had fired on the RhE before or fired Russell on anything other than a 3/4 mile trundle. Individually our aims were to get Russell to Beddgelert with enough steam and water to do the job. I am sure if we do it more the level of finesse will increase.

    Personally I was pleased with how consistently close to the mark I kept it throughout the three trips. I only had one major lift of the safety valves ( an unexpected request stop at Nantmor on the first trip of the day.) Yes I would have liked to have not made quite as much smoke but I think the smoke comment is consistent across all three days so may not just be down to my level of proficiency?
     
  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't think knowing the source is actually of particular practical use, even if you actually knew it in much detail. As an example, sometimes people will look at the chimney and say "are you using Russian coal?" as if that were a single thing - yet they will then regale you with the difference between Welsh and Northumberland coal! Russia is a big place, and the coal is no more a single type than British coal is, but while many heritage railway firemen could probably have a fair understanding of how Fros-y-fan varied from Shotton cobbles, I doubt many would be able to tell you just based on source the difference between Krasnyorsk or Stepoy. Then you have the difference in age: we get about one lorry of load per week or thereabouts, , but given fairly low consumption in the whole UK market coupled with quite large imports in each ship, even two deliveries from the same shipload might vary in that one is fresh and the other has been sitting in storage for a few months before delivery.

    So knowing the source doesn't in itself tell you very much.

    Therefore, you need to observe what you find, and adapt your firing accordingly. You have a lot of clues, but in order they might be:
    • What is the state of the old fire when you shovel it out (our practice is to leave fires in overnight, and therefore the new fireman sees the remains of the previous fire). Does the ash go through the bars when you clean the fire, or do you have to get it out using slice? How much clinker is there? Is it loose or stuck to the bars?
    • When you light up, how quickly does the coal start to light? How much smoke does it produce when starting to get going? How long does the smoke last before the fire burns through?
    • What can other crews in the yard tell you? They may have more more recent experience than you.
    • Once out on the road, how much smoke is produced? How much do you have to balance between top and bottom air to keep the exhaust clear? How instantaneous is the heat production?
    • What happens when the coal burns through? (Some coals - such as many Welsh coals - swell up. Some - such as the stuff we had at the weekend - remain in reasonable lumps on the grate, but without changing size. Some seem to disappear to ash and run a bigger risk of pulling holes).
    All of those clues help you, and you fire accordingly - not to mention differences between engines, loads and drivers. You have to adapt according to what you find: if you go in on the basis "this is coal from X" with a view of what you think it will do rather than what it is actually doing, you will rapidly come unstuck.

    Tom
     
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  15. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    From a linesider's and photograoher's point of view it was nice to have some visible exhaust from Russell. And of course she looked and sounded fantastic coming up through Aberglaslyn.
     
  16. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    It was great to see the WHHR rake loaded to the gunwhales ..... just like I remember the Welsh NG lines back in the early 70's!

    Here's to hoping the hatchet stays well and truly buried ..... and we can gleefully anticipate many more such fantastic sights in future.

    Query: Has there been some design change to the pony trucks on Russell since preservation? Concerns with the sharp curve onto Britannia Bridge I get, but surely, the curve into Bryn-y-Felin is no sharper than t'was during the original lines' life?

    Edit: having now watched several other clips (on YouTube), loadings on all the events' workings looked excellent too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  17. Nexuas

    Nexuas New Member

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    Nope no changes to the pony trucks, it was all rumour which has become fact through multiple retelling.

    ByF is the tightest curve on the railway so Britainnia bridge should be no problem.

    The loading on all trains looked great, I know the first Russell train on Saturday did not have a spare seat, we were stopped at Nantmor by a group of three on the way up to Beddgelert and there was no space to get them on the train and they were left on the platform. The restart was volcanic!!! Ideally a few more carriages would have helped but they were not any left available.
     
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  18. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

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    Here are my last few photos from last weekend, covering a run from Pen-y-Mount up to Pont Croesor and then back down to Harbour Station with Lyd and 303, followed by icecream / smoothie at Cadwalader's ( https://cadwaladers.co.uk/ - very nice it was too!), and actual jog back to Harbour Station and then the last WHR train back to Beddgelert, with Taliesin leading.

    [​IMG]

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    It was really good being able to compare and contrast Russell and Lyd - two variations on a similar theme.

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    Skillfully managed to hide a good part of Taliesin behind a large bush here...

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    This was a really great weekend. The Ffestiniog / WHR had some adversity to deal with, but Lyd filled Palmerston's shoes without a hitch, and when the shuttle to Boston Lodge got crowded, another carriage was added to the train. The short runs slotted between the Garratt hauled service trains worked really well, and showed that there is plenty of space in the timetable to offer something different in addition to the Garratts and super saloons. And if the WHR / WHHR want to take up that opportunity, I'd certainly make time to visit again. Beddgelert was a great place to stay, with amazing mountain scenery on every side and plenty of pubs and cafes to keep you fed and watered. It was good using the railway for transport as well as entertainment too.
     
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  19. black5

    black5 Member

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    [​IMG]
    Friday evening Hunslet 303 returns Mary Ann to Boston Lodge across the Cob.
     

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  20. talyllyn1

    talyllyn1 New Member

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    Wish I'd been there to see that restart on the gradient at Nantmor, and the climb up through the tunnel. Perhaps as well it wasn't raining.
    Russell must have been a brute of a loco compared to the Vulcan Fairlies.
    I guess the next "challenge" is a run all the way up the hill to Rhyd Ddu, and perhaps a full line trip to Caernarfon.
    I'd love to see Russell in tandem with the L & B's Lyn - good for 10 carrs I reckon!

    I know that Russell has been restored to "original" condition, but are there any plans to fit vac. brakes as before?
    It would open up a lot more possibilities on the F & WHR.
     

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