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April 24th 2008
(Posted in: Ffestiniog Railway News)
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Bank Holiday Weekend: 3rd -5th May 2008
This coming May Bank Holiday Weekend will bring the opportunity to see as many as possible of the Ffestiniog Railway's steam locomotives in action - with the added attraction of a trio of Hunslet locos: visiting engine 'Jerry M', privately-owned 'Britomart' and, hopefully, the eagerly anticipated return to steam of 'Lilla'.

13---Lilla-at-Harbour-2003-08-16_s.jpg
Lilla stands at Harbour Station in 2003
There will be something of interest for all the family, as well as for railway enthusiasts. An intensive timetable including trains to and from Blaenau Ffestiniog, Vintage Trains to Tan-y-Bwlch, and a variety of freight trains - plus footplate rides on the Hunslet engines - will ensure that there is never a dull moment throughout the weekend.

Friday: The weekend starts early on Friday evening, as steam engines bustle around Harbour Station marshalling the carriages into position for the following day's trains. 'Jerry M' and 'Britomart' will also be taking the Victorian Vintage Train across the Cob from Porthmadog to Minffordd. (Please note: This is a private train for 'Lyd' Supporters) The train will depart Porthmadog at 1800 to Boston Lodge Halt. The train will then run ECS to Minffordd to run round and then back to Boston Lodge. The supporters will rejoin the train at approximately 1900 to return to Porthmadog.

Saturday: A total of six passenger trains to (and seven from) Blaenau Ffestiniog - plus a private evening train to Blaenau Ffestiniog and return for FR Society members - two Vintage trains to Tan-y-Bwlch (including a mid-afternoon non-stop 'Y Cymro' service) and five freight trains to Minffordd mean that we will be using one diesel loco and up to seven steam locomotives.

The main trains to and from Blaenau Ffestiniog will be handled by Fairlie locos 'Earl of Merioneth', 'David Lloyd George' and 'Taliesin'. (Diesel loco 'Criccieth Castle' will take charge of the early morning train from Blaenau Ffestiniog - then retire to Boston Lodge) FR veteran 'Prince' will be in charge of the Victorian Vintage trains to Tan-y-Bwlch. 'Jerry M', 'Britomart' and 'Lilla' will be hauling three different freight trains (Railflats, Bo-Coals and Skips) in varying combinations, as well as offering footplate rides in Harbour Station, Porthmadog.

Sunday: An early start is required if you want to catch all the action... 'Jerry M' and 'Britomart' will head off up the line from Boston Lodge - each with their own freight train - all the way to Glanypwll Depot! They will then be available for footplate rides at Blaenau Ffestiniog station between 1100 and 1400 - before retiring to Glanypwll Depot for the night...

The passenger services will be very similar to the previous day - only missing out the early train from Blaenau Ffestiniog. The three Fairlies will again work the main trains, with 'Prince' looking after the Victorian Vintage trains. 'Lilla' will run a couple of freight trains from Porthmadog to Minffordd - and provide footplate rides at Harbour Station.Monday: There will again be six trains to and from Blaenau Ffestiniog - with the three Fairlies - and the two 'Prince'-hauled Victorian Vintage trains to Tan-y-Bwlch. 'Jerry M' and 'Britomart' will double-head a freight train from Glanypwll to Porthmadog.

In addition there will be two shuttle trains to Minffordd and return. 'Lilla' will be in charge of the morning train, while in the afternoon it will be hauled by 'Jerry M' and 'Lilla'. Separate tickets must be bought for these trains due to the limited seating available.

The grand finale of the weekend's activities will be a triple-Hunslet hauled freight train to Minffordd and return. This will arrive back at Porthmadog before the final departure of the day to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In addition to all of the above - Boston Lodge Works will be open (on a limited basis) throughout the weekend to allow FR Society members and visitors to see progress on locomotives 'Lyd' and NGG16 No.87, as well as current projects in the Carriage Works.

Simple timetables showing the times of the weekend's passenger trains are available here:

Weekend
Saturday
Sunday
Monday

Passengers can travel on any of the trains shown on these timetables (with the exception of the two Minffordd Shuttles on Monday 5th May)

If you are visiting for one day - our Day-Rover ticket costs £17.50 (£15.75 Concession)

If you would like to travel on our trains throughout the weekend - our new 'Three-in-Seven' Rover Ticket costs £35.00 (£31.50 Concession). This allows unlimited travel on Ffestiniog Railway trains on any three days out of a seven day period.

FR Society Member's Travel Privileges are available this weekend (with the exception of the two Minffordd Shuttles on Monday 5th May)

Monday's Minffordd Shuttles are restricted to a maximum of 84 passengers per train. As this will be the first opportunity to travel behind 'Lilla' following her overhaul - and the first opportunity to travel behind 'Jerry M' while she is on the FR - we expect these trains to be very popular. Tickets for each of these trains cost £4.50 per person.

A 'Spotter's Guide' to the weekend's activities will be available - price £2.50. This will include train graphs, detailed timings for all passenger and freight trains, as well as additional information on rostered locos, carriage set formations and freight train consists.

Please phone the Booking Office on 01766 516024 to book your tickets and order your 'Spotter's Guide. Porthmadog Booking Office will be open until 1800 on Friday 2nd May and from 0900 on Saturday 3rd May for collection of pre-booked tickets and 'Spotter's Guides'.

Please Note: While every effort will be made to run to timetable and provide locomotives as detailed above, the Ffestiniog Railway does not guarantee advertised connections or the advertised traction in the event of breakdown or any other obstruction of service.

 

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