Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

April 11th 2008

Sponsors' Day 2008

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143 climbs north through Beddgelert Forest
So, appropriately, most participants began the day in Porthmadog, from where they were transported by road coaches to Rhyd Ddu, with the opportunity to view Phase 4 works such as Pont Croesor en route, and with guided walks over part of the Cross-Town Rail Link on return. The day was dry and sometimes bright, with a bitter northerly wind.

The highlights were special passenger workings onto Phase 4 for sponsors, and these trains no longer needed the special "Forest train" of light carriages and construction diesels assembled for the 2007 event, as work in the intervening year had not only seen the line extended, but in addition the track had been brought up to the standards required for the largest passenger locos and the usual passenger stock.

The trains comprised ten carriages, double-headed by NGG16 no. 143 and diesel Castell Caernarfon, and ran through Beddgelert, the Aberglaslyn Pass and Nantmor, to reverse at Hafod y Llyn. The siding here allowed the locos to change end, through an involved set of movements with the end result of the steam loco leading in both directions.

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143 heads south through the Aberglaslyn Pass
The morning train conveyed Gold and Silver sponsors.

The Gold & Silver sponsors were then bussed to Beddgelert for a buffet lunch at the Royal Goat Hotel, neatly timed to allow sponsors to view the afternoon train for Bronze sponsors pass through Beddgelert Station, before the coaches took them back either to Porthmadog, or to Rhyd Ddu for those planning to head north on the service train.

During the event, sponsors were invited to extend their contributions for an additional two years, to help support projects for which there was a funding shortfall owing to needs which had arisen for additional work by contractors in order to complete works within funding deadlines.

The projects to be supported included the station building at Beddgelert, which had not yet progressed beyond its completed foundations. Those extending their sponsorship were entered into draws, with the winner of a draw for each train riding back from Hafod y Llyn to Rhyd Ddu in the diesel cab, and the winner of a draw at the end of the day getting the train headboard.


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