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News from FR/WHR

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by RalphW, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    I have just received the following in an email from Samantha Hughes, Booking Offices Manager, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.

    We are pleased to announce that we will be running our first passenger trains over the full length of the Welsh Highland Railway on Saturday 19th February 2011.

    The first train from Porthmadog to Caernarfon will depart at 1045, returning to Porthmadog at 1705. The first train from Caernarfon to Porthmadog will depart at 1100, returning to Caernarfon at 1650. Both trains will layover at their destination (Porthmadog or Caernarfon) for ¾ hour to allow passengers to have lunch (not included).

    A special fare applies for both these services:

    1st Class
    Adult £100 return, child £50 return
    1st class fare includes morning coffee & biscuits on outward journey and cream tea on return journey.

    3rd Class
    Adult £50 return, one child travels free with each adult, additional children £25.

    These services must be booked in advance. To book please telephone 01766 516024.
     
  2. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

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    F&WHR set to test Fairlies, Garratts and Mallets in head to head contest

    Porthmadog, November 29, 2010: The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways will have an outstanding - and eclectic - selection of locomotives in action during 2011. Not only is Manning Wardle replica 2-6-2 Lyd due to appear in authentic Southern livery for the first time, but NG/G16 number 143 will return from major overhaul in its new green livery, popular Hunslet 2-4-0 Linda will steam again and visiting locos already confirmed include Adrian Shooter's Darjeeling Himalayan 19B, Chaloner, a vertical-boilered DeWinton and, for the first time, a two-foot gauge Mallet.

    "2011 looks set to be a golden year for the Welsh Highland Railway," says F&WHR General Manager Paul Lewin. "Not only will the full 25 mile line be officially opened on April 20, but we are eager to bring a wide variety of locos to be put through their paces on the UK's most demanding railway.

    "For the first time, visitors will be able to see three different types of articulated locomotives working together - The FR's Double Fairlies; K1, the world's first Garratt; NG/G16 143, the last Garratt to be built by Beyer Peacock in Manchester; and Statfold Barn's Jung Mallet, No. 9. For the first time, these different loco designs can be seen competing in against each other to see who really is King of the Hill."

    Statfold Barn's Mallet 0-4-4-0T, Jung works No. 4878, was delivered to H. E. Oving of Rotterdam, Netherlands in April 1930 for use on the Jatibarang Brebes Sugar Mill Railway in Indonesia , where it carried No. 9. The Sugar Mill was built in 1842 by the government of the Dutch East Indies colony.

    The loco is now approaching completion and is scheduled to undergo test runs before Christmas. The first time the public will be able to see her in action will be March 19th, after which the loco will move to Porthmadog.

    Says Statfold Barn spokesperson Henry Noon: "Graham Lee and the team at Statfold Barn Railway are all very excited at the prospect of our latest rebuild project visiting North Wales. It will be an ideal opportunity to see just how the loco will perform on what is undoubtedly a challenging line.

    "We believe this is the first time a Mallet has run in Britain on a public passenger carrying railway and it is apt that it should be on the F&WHR where articulated power is the norm!"

    The loco weighs 17 tonnes and is expected to offer performance approaching that of a Double Fairlie, although the loco will undergo exhaustive testing during its stay in North Wales to see exactly what it can do. In Indonesia, the loco burnt sugar cane for fuel, but will be coal fired in the UK.

    "The Mallet has been overhauled to Statfold's usual high standard in close cooperation with Ffestiniog engineers," adds Lewin. "Wheelsets have been gauged and profiled to meet FR specifications and the loco has been fitted with vacuum brakes and chopper couplers to make it suitable for passenger use."

    The Mallet design has a rigid main frame that supports the rear end of the boiler. At the front of the main frames are the high-pressure cylinders. A sub-frame, carrying a second set of driving wheels powered by low-pressure cylinders, is positioned ahead of and pivoted to the main frames. Exhaust steam from the high-pressure cylinders is carried to the low-pressure cylinders through flexible steam pipes, as is the exhaust steam from the low-pressure cylinders to the blast pipe in the smoke box. The overall result is a compact but powerful locomotive able to negotiate tight curves.

    /ends/
    Notes to editors

    Hi-res photography can be found at
    http://www.festrail.co.uk/cgi-bin/emAlbum_press.cgi?c=show_thumbs;p=Locomotives/Mallet;i=0;pg=1
     
  3. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    What are the rules of this competition? Tug-of-war across the cob or least amount of coal used to get to Blaenau?

    Richard
     
  4. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Think they are talking WHR as two out of the three types quoted will be out of gauge for the FR?
     
  5. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

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    Haven't decided the details yet, but seeing how many carriages each can heave round the S-curves on the 1 in 40 from Bedggelert might be fun.
     
  6. 48DL

    48DL Member

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    I take it K1 is going to represent HWG' spin on articulation, if not, my money is on the ngg16!!!
     
  7. 48DL

    48DL Member

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    Ooops! forgot to ask, Andrew, any news on fares for Porthmadog to Caernarfon post April 20th 2011??
     
  8. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick Member

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    The headline fares were published two months ago in the F&WHR Winter Timetable leaflet as you'll be able to do a full-line return during the February Half-Term week...

    If you don't want to bother downloading a copy - the full-line return fare will be £32.00.
     
  9. Baldwin

    Baldwin Guest

    Seems expensive to me !! I would like to know what others think.
     
  10. Selsig

    Selsig Member

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    £32 for a 51 mile journey, at 63p per mile seems reasonable. The FR (this year) charged £18.50 for a 27 mile journey (68.5p per mile), the big players in the game such as the NYMR are slightly cheaper at 44p per mile, WSR are 48.5p per mile and the SVR are 50p per mile. However slightly nearer to the FR and the WHR, the Llanberis Lake charge £1.44 a mile, Bala Lake a nice even £1 per mile, and the Snowdon Mountain a whopping £2.66 per (grantedly spectacular, weather permitting) mile. Within the remit of the local competition, and bearing in mind just how long the WHR is, (and the relative paucity of people who will actually make the full, nearly 6 hour, round trip, rather than cheaper, and probably more popular, shorter journeys that are available) then the cost seems to be set about right.
     
  11. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    For 50 miles of one of the most scenic routes on the planet, with plenty of major league steam thrutch? Seems pretty reasonable to me.
     
  12. AndrewT

    AndrewT Member

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    And kids go free.

    (One per adult, anyway)
     
  13. 48DL

    48DL Member

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    Thanks Roger for the info, I think £32 is good value.
     
  14. Orion

    Orion Well-Known Member

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    It's difficult to see what the 'value' is, simply because what is value to one person will not be to another. I suspect that this type of working will not happen too often, just because the price of £32 will be seen by most people as being too high. This is the problem with the longer lines, an economic price for the 'service' will be perceived as being high by their customers but charging less will be seen by the railway as undercharging.

    As a 'one-off' this will appeal to a minority, but a minority that may well be large enough to fill the train. Good luck to the FR/WHR but I think that we shouldn't be surprised if this sort of working doesn't occur very often.

    Regards
     
  15. 48DL

    48DL Member

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    I have now just checked West Somerset Railway & North York Moors Railway web sites as they are the 2 longest SG lines and of similar length to the WHR and it seems that their 'day rover tickets' are half the cost, £16-00 tops.
    Maybe 'Orion' has a point, only time will tell.
     
  16. SpudUk

    SpudUk Well-Known Member

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    The danger is that anything over £25 per person will seem too much for holidayers, especially families, and that some might not see the point in travelling on the line if they can't do the whole distance! I don't think that, although I could probably only justify £32 once...and there is only a finite amount of railway enthusiasts though. However, the meer fact that we can have the discussion about how much is too much for a journey from end to end on the WHR is very exciting and indeed something I wasn't sure I would ever see, and I'm 22!!
     
  17. RGCorris

    RGCorris Member

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    Machynlleth to Euston return is £56.90. Not as scenic perhaps but a slightly longer journey !

    Richard
     
  18. Orion

    Orion Well-Known Member

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    The WSR charges £14.80 for a day rover for it’s 18 miles or so, the Ffestiniog £18.50 for a little over 13. The WHR fare for a third class return is £28.00 for its 22 miles. So far so good.

    The combined mileage of the FR/WHR is around 35miles so perhaps on that basis £32 isn’t too bad. The basic problem is that it takes a long time. I can well imagine that the died-in-the-wool enthusiast will do this, perhaps to enjoy it, perhaps just to get bragging rights, but in all honesty, I, who enjoy both railways very much, can’t imagine spending all that time sitting in a pretty uncomfortable carriage for an age, only to have to come back again!

    I suspect that my view is the most common and that the FR/WHR management know this. This sort of event will be unusual, very much a special event, not the normal way of working.

    Regards
     
  19. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    What sort of event will be unusual? The £32 quoted in Roger Dimmick's post was in reply to an enquiry of the Porthmadog-Caernarfon return fare, not Blaenau-Caernarfon.
     
  20. pennysteam

    pennysteam Well-Known Member

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    For me while it is undoubtedly a major achievement the bigger task is still to come, namely how to package it for the public. One return journey means the customer has not time to visit the destination or even the railways own shop. For me it would make more sense to package the trip into 3 optional parts. One from Caernarfon to Beddgelert, another from Beddgelert to porthmadog and a final stage from from Pothmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog. You could have more trips packaged around this, with the garrets on the first stage, and a mixture of engines on the other two. With a well thought out time table around these you could give the passenger the option of visiting all 4 destinations, this would naturally brake up the journey for both the passenger and also the Loco's. The travelling public would also feel like they have got more for their money, as they can take a whole day at leisure visiting all the attractions that the railway has to offer them. On top of that they will most likely purchase additional items from the railways own shops.
     

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