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Welsh Highland Railway opens to Beddgelert...

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Roger Dimmick, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. train guard

    train guard New Member

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    This is crazy! I visited the railway on Easter Saturday, having ascertained that the open top bus 197 connected with the trains at Beddgelert. But I found out that the bus operator had not informed the booking office staff at Caernarfon of this service, let alone the timings. Neither were the staff at the Caernarfon Tourist Information Centre aware of it...they had to ring them up. I decided to check the National Park Information Centre at Beddgelert as well. Yes, they had heard something about it, but they didn't really know where the stop was, directing me to the Sherpa stop in the village. It was purely by chance that I saw it arriving at the car park approach. The driver didn't have any spare timetables!

    What on earth is going on? Is it too much to ask for a bus service that actually connects with the current train service , one that is well advertised? Can someone please bang a few heads together?

    Train Guard
     
  2. edgeal1

    edgeal1 New Member

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    Although, in general, public transport in Gwyndd is pretty reasonable - particularly for an area with a relatively low population - because of the way transport in general is now structured nationally - there seems to be little incentive for coordination between operators other than on subsidised services where the Council can exert some degree of leverage. This is seem,in my view, at its worse between Blaneau and Llandudno where rather than provide a complementary almost hourly service bus and train operators compete head to head for much of the day. The case of the partial loss of the 197 open top bus service is a sad case . I have used this service on a number of occasions over the last few years (in either direction and at all seasons) and it provides ,arguably, the finest of views of the Aberglasyn (not yet been on the train ) yet never have there been more than half a dozen passengers aboard. This in spite of the fact that the service appeared (till this year?)  in the WHR timetable and in the excellent (and free) Combined Public Service Timetable  issued by Gwyndd Council (available Tourist Info. Offices etc). In my experience part of the problem is that the 197 O.T. service is little advertised in Portmadog - which after all is the main source of potential traffic - so if the bus is not outside the Parc to most people it doesn't exist and there is little chance of casual traffic. Having said these things it is perfectly possible to make complex ,multi staged journeys by public transport within Conwy /Gwyndd given the timetable mentioned above which is supported by a wide range of Rover tickets. What one can do about 'commercial' decisions about services such as that on the 197 which are made seemingly to the detriment of the overall good of the areas tourism is not clear. On the other hand if this was your firm or your council you would not be pleased about wasting money in the current climate. Alan Edge
     
  3. barclay

    barclay New Member

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    This is the journey I was planning - is the 1532 bus the one that has been withdrawn?

    Depart London Marylebone 0720 (Wrexham and Shropshire Rly), Arrive Shrewsbury 1041.
    Depart Shrewbury 1127 (Arriva Trains Wales), Arrive Portmadog 1450
    Depart Porthmadog 1532 (Local bus), arrive Beddgelert 1549
    Depart Beddgelert 1700, (Welsh Highland Railway) arrive Rhyd Ddu 1725.

    I might look and see if there's later buses which still get into Beddgelert before 1700, giving me an hour or so at the WHHR.
     
  4. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick New Member

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    Use the timetable link I included before... #-o

    The 1532 bus will be running as it's the S97 service.

    However, on Saturday the S197 'open-top' bus will still be running, and there's a departure from Port mainline at 1631 (arrive Beddgelert 1649)...
     
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Can anyone verify the story in "Steam Railway" that all coal fired locomotives on the WHR and FR have been withdrawn from use following the fire on the WHR?

    If so, the implications are rather thought provoking.
     
  6. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick New Member

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    Running on the FR today -

    MERRDIN EMRYS - Coal
    TALIESIN - Coal
    PALMERSTON - Coal
    LILLA - Coal
    BRITOMART - Coal
    DAVID LLOYD GEORGE - Oil
    THE BOAT - Gravity/Wind

    Running on the WHR today -

    VALE OF FFESTINIOG - Diesel
    NG/G16 No.87 - Coal
    NG/G16 No.143 - Oil

    Need I say more..?
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Glad to hear it! Shows how cynical we have to be about the media.

    Paul H
     
  8. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick New Member

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    That could well be going a bit too far...

    ...it could just be a case of mis-interpreting comments made.
     
  9. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I presume by that you mean if the dry weather had continued then it may be have been a concern, but that is probably the case with many lines in very dry weather when there a fire risk. I think Earl of Mount Edgecumbe has a decent go at setting parts of Yorkshire alight last weekend.

    Ultimately the FR & WHR are probably fairly lucky in thain such circumstances wether by choice or by force they do have the option to run oil fired locos
     
  10. Ben Fisher

    Ben Fisher New Member

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    Well, I certainly saw no. 87 in service earlier today, burning coal; it may be that coal fired locos were stopped for inspection of spark arrestors, but 87 has clearly been passed fit to run (K1, the other coal burner, is in Boston Lodge for a repaint). The details in that particular story in SR jumped at least one gun (that may not be the biggest one) and it's hazy on other things too. In fairness it was stop press and is qualified with "SR understands that...", but it could perhaps have been checked more carefully.
     
  11. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick New Member

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    Not really - there is an established procedure for determining whether coal-fired locos are permitted to run, or whether oil-fired locos and/or diesels should be used...

    This depends on recent weather, and current ground, conditions - which are reviewed on a daily basis and the loco dept advised accordingly. A 'snap' decision to withdraw coal-fired locos is, therefore, extremely unlikely - whereas a planned transfer from coal to oil-fired locos is normal practice...

    ...and - Yes, being fuel diverse does help!
     
  12. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    I must admit im getting fed up of having to wade through pages of complete and utter tosh on every WHR thread to find a post that interests me ](*,)

    And why are people treating this fire as though the loco was definetly the cause ? if the GM isn't convinced then that's enough for me to suspect foul play.
     
  13. barclay

    barclay New Member

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    Had a lovely trip on the new Welsh Highland on Saturday. Thought 6 quid for a single from Bedgellert to Rhyd Ddu was a bit steep though.
     
  14. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    I would agree with this in the sense that until the fire investigation people have pronounced the cause, then speculation is useless. What is worse though? A spark from the chimney or a cinder dropping through an open damper on the one hand. Or some deranged person free to carry out more folly until he or she is apprehended on the other?

    The first can be mitigated by amendment to operating practices such as reduction of tare loading where possible. However the second is much more dependent on chance.
     
  15. 48DL

    48DL New Member

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    The thing that seems to be everyone is getting wound up trying to find someone to blame..........
    Ho hum more of the wonderful blame/claim culture this country has adopted....

    This seems to me to be an ACCIDENT.

    From the pictures taken just after the train passed the site of the fire I see no 'Arsonists' running away, It is possable that a hot cinder made it to the grass and sods law, the grass caught alight?
    someone may have been naughty and was having a crafty ciggarett on the train?
    spontainious combustion?
    Act of God?

    Who knows?
    (who cares?)

    No people were hurt which is far more important.
     
  16. ChrisD

    ChrisD New Member

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    Is the boat called "Ni L'un Ni L'autre", or was that some sort of motto?

    CHRIS
     
  17. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly New Member

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    Motto, I think it's French or Latin for "Neither one nor the other" and was allegedly on the origonal.
     
  18. lil Bear

    lil Bear Member

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    I too rode on Saturday (behind 87) and have to say I did enjoy it. Even paid to ride in the Pullman on the way back, which was so cosy I dosed off for a bit! An enjoyable day and loved travelling on the extension, though I've never been since you got past Dinas!

    Only disappointment was at the end of the day when three local kids thought it be fun to throw stones at the train crew. Such stupidity and felt sorry for the guys who didn't deserve that, but there wasn't much they could do for as soon as they started they were running off laughing.

    Anyway apart from that a good show and hopefully wont be so long before my next visit.
     
  19. SillyBilly

    SillyBilly New Member

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    It's so depressing that they can't get the spear shaped fire iron of 87 and chuck it at them.....
     
  20. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    French not Latin (I'd've hoped most folk would've enough French from school to have known it wasn't Latin.... ](*,) )
     

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