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Welsh Highland & Garratts

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by richards, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    The Soller Railway (Mallorca) started life with steam, but the tortuous nature of this 3ft gauge line led to electrification in the late 1920s .... with the same four electric locos still 'doing their thing' to this day. Here's a pretty recent image to prove it!

    download.jpeg-1.jpg
    [Image courtesy Hidden Europe]

    Can't see anyone being overly keen on OHLE through Snowdonia National Park. :)
     
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  2. DcB

    DcB New Member

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    If the web info is correct (and there is not much info) the PB&SSR decided to go with 630 volts 3 phase which might have caused problems. Would have had made the 3 power wires very thick and unsuitable for overhead (the Italian line used a better voltage of 3kv AC with 3 wires then later went to a single wire with DC).
    A surface 5 rail track might have worked (rails would have taken the higher AC 3 phase current due to the lower 630v) but expensive and maybe why the project failed.
     
  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    But what if it had succeeded??
     
  4. 1729

    1729 New Member

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    Personally the best solution of train rescue would be to build a third or even fourth vale of ffestiniog esk loco. So a 350hp ffestioniog gauge diesel, though to solve the WHR train weight problem multiple unit working would be practical. Though the existing funkeys have differing control systems so not every engine could be made for multiple unit working.
     
  5. Hunslet589

    Hunslet589 New Member

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    A tricky question - and difficult to know the answer. The most probable scenario IMHO...

    According to at least one history I have read (Boyd? - and yes, yes I know...) the electric company's promotion of the PBSSR was really a Trojan horse so that they could use the trackbed to cable their electricity to Porthmadoc and other coastal communities for sale. Which means that they might have kept it going when another management would have given up.

    Assuming a merger with NWNGR had gone ahead (not at all certain) to create a WHR when the former company's finances became terminal and that the electric company retained control, then they would have had a motive to keep the WHR running as an independent entity. In which case the lease to the FR would probably not have happened. The next question is whether the railway would have survived WWII. That seems doubtful - and it probably would have folded around the same time as the old FR together with the Creosor tramway. So the end result is not all that different to what happened for real.

    The above is pure speculation and a number of other equally plausible scenarios can be constructed. We will just never know!
     
  6. mickpop

    mickpop Part of the furniture

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    How about one of these for 'Thunderbird' duties? Rated at 335hp so not far short of a Funkey. Seem to manage on the Himalayas so Snowdonia should be a doddle!

    DSCN1215.jpg
     
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  7. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Calling such a plan a 'Trojan Horse' has certain negative connotations. Recall, the Isle of Man Rly did rather well out of hosting a utility, in the form of a much needed track relay on the Port Erin line .... whilst admittedly waving bye-bye to any realistic chance of reopening the Peel line, due to same project, executed without train services in mind, on that long lifted route.

    S'pose, had a successful PB&SSR electrification scheme been employed, there'd have to have been at least a chance the FR would've looked to adopt same. Whether there'd have been a rash of of mergers will for ever remain a moot point, but with the 'Law of Impressive Sounding Names for Minor Railways' in mind (and tongue firmly in cheek), how does 'The Great North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways Company' grab y'all? :)
     
  8. Leafent

    Leafent New Member

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    This is something which I find quite interesting - if the WHR hadn't been able to get Garratts, they might have been able to get engineers from places like Brazil, India, and Java. However, there is very little info on what was available out there, and I suspect the condition would have been even worse.
     
  9. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    But would any of those loco's be cpable of a long run or would they just be shunters?
     
  10. pgbffest

    pgbffest Member

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    A solo Funkey will pull a failed train up a 1:40 (complete with Garratt). It won't get a lot of speed up, but it will do it - if all you are doing is getting it out the way, then you don't need anything else
     
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  11. mikehartuk

    mikehartuk New Member

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    Garratt Locomotive K1 - News Update


    Garratt K1 is now at the Statfold Narrow Gauge Museum Trust under a ten year loan agreement with Ffestiniog Railway Company. The current agreement is just for visual restoration and static display in the museum at Statfold. Since its arrival Statfold Narrow Gauge Museum Trust have though had a close look over the loco to assess the extent of work needed to return K1 to operational condition and have also checked that the engine would be able to fit their railway's loading gauge.


    SNGMT and FR Co are now working together toward a mutually beneficial deal whereby K1 will run at the Statfold Railway as well as be available for use on Welsh Highland Railway. To date we have mapped out both organisations aspirations and in the new year will look to develop those into a formal agreement. Nothing is finalised yet but both of our organisations have a will and passion to see K1 back in steam and at work on both of our railways.


    For and on behalf of Ffestiniog Railway Company and Statfold Narrow Gauge Museum Trust

    24th December 2019
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    I was cheered by news of the K1's move to Statfold. Given their superb track record, a more suitable base for this gem is hard to imagine and the notion of it being restored to running order is mouthwatering indeed ..... as well as (funding permitting) being a most logical move.

    The fact this historic loco is less than ideal for 'commercial' WHR services shouldn't really come as too much of a surprise to anyone, but given it's significance, finding a fitting role which allows future generations to see it in steam surely has to be welcomed by pretty much everyone.

    What d'ya say, folks? ..... If dual braking were to prove a feasible option, who wouldn't want to see this unique beastie not just at Statfold, but perhaps even heading for Devil's Bridge, or, assuming it fits the L&B loading gauge, simmering at Blackmoor Gate ...... nowt wrong with a modicum of optimism, Eh? ;)
     
  13. 48DL

    48DL New Member

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    I agree, after all, its is the Season Of Goodwill and all that jazz
     
  14. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    Well, admittedly it is difficult to understand the promotion of the PBSSR otherwise. Given that the NWNGR had struggled financially for years, it ought to have been obvious from the start that electric power generation was likely to be a more profitable enterprise than operating a narrow-gauge railway through sparsely-populated country.
     
  15. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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