Inside Motion 215 - June 12th 2011
Level crossing safety exercise
The FR played host to a two day safety seminar organised
by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
last week. Over 100 delegates from companies across the
region attended and heard advice from the ORR, the emergency
services, power companies and the F&WHR itself.
The highlight of the event was a staged
level crossing incident at Minffordd involving Castell
Harlech and a very unfortunate Fiat car. Safety experts also
staged an explosive demonstration of the dangers posed by
overhead power lines.
Sandy Jennings, IOSH North Wales branch
chair, said: "We were delighted with the interest in the
event from local businesses, health and safety professionals
and the media.
"As a branch we have succeeded in raising
awareness of the dangers of working near level crossings and
rail lines in general- especially as there are so many of
them in North Wales.
"I sincerely hope that the Porthmadog event
will lead to a reduction in the misuse of level crossings
and occupational accidents on railway lines."
143 nearly ready to return to service
Beyer Garratt 143 has emerged from Boston Lodge Works
and could be out and about on running in turns later this
week. On Saturday, the loco, resplendent in its new green
livery, had a small fire lit to dry out the brick arch. A
few final details, such as fitting the whistle, need to be
sorted before the loco is steamed for the first time since
2009. 143 is now coal fired and is carrying the boiler and
one power bogie from sister loco 140.
2011 enters service
New WHR service car 2011 has entered service, enabling a
full hot food service to be offered on both WHR sets. The
carriage, converted from original semi-open 2020, also
contains guards' accommodation and an additional toilet.
Living Linear Museum
Alan Norton writes: Stage 2 of the HLF Project is about
to start in earnest. The long term project is to share the
heritage of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways with
visitors and local people, at various sites along the length
of the railways. Stage 2 is to develop the proposal and
apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a significant amount
of money to enable us to achieve our objectives.
We have awarded the contract for consultancy
to assist us in this development work to Querceus Design,
based in York. The people working with us will be Michael
Oakenfull and Carolyn Lloyd Brown, with additional work from
David and Marion Gwyn. Together they bring an extensive and
full range of experience and expertise appropriate to our
The project is being run by the Ffestiniog Railway Heritage
Ltd, and the team involved (so far) are Stephen Murfitt (FRHL
Chairman) and Adrian Gray and Andrew Scott (both FRHL
directors) and Alan Norton, who has volunteered to be
project coordinator for this stage. Other people are being
identified to provide knowledge and guidance on the heritage
of the railways, and it is anticipated that there will be an
opportunity for all interested parties to make a
contribution during the development of the proposal.
The first meeting with the consultants,
where the plan of work will be defined, is due to take place
on July 5th – making diaries fit has proven a problem – and
after this date we will provide information on what is
Prior to this, during week commencing June
13th, Michael and Carolyn will be visiting the railway to
get to know and understand us a bit more prior to that
If you bump into them, please say “Hello”
and help them wherever you can.
We are intending to organise a 'Rubbish Train' to clear
the appalling mess between GlanyPwll and Blaenau Station on
Paul Lewin is very supportive and Julian and
Macey have offered Ina, 1111 and some waggons for the day -
though Moelwyn, 63 and a van may be an alternative.
We cannot offer anything other than a day of
hard graft and for the moment we are looking for expressions
of interest to ensure the Rubbish Train is viable.
Expressions of interest from Ops, Catering, Loco, Pway and
all departments as well as any willing volunteers gratefully
We look forward to hearing from as many of
you as possible - and invite your friends. Please reply to
email@example.com if you are interested in supporting
John Wooden writes: We have some great new lines either
available now or coming soon that we thought you might like
to know about.
On the book front we already have the new F&WHR
stock book on sale; it is a completely revised and up to
date edition with every new loco and coach featured in it.
It has new pictures and has been revised by John Organ and
Martin Knight so you can rely on it being totally accurate.
Also available now is John Stretton’s
‘Ffestiniog recollections’ which has been flying off the
shelves for the very reasonable price of £5.99. A soft back
book with mostly colour pictures from the preservation era.
Coming soon is the definitive book on Boston
Lodge new-build locomotive Lyd. It will be with us shortly
and is available to pre order from the web shop. It is a
fully illustrated history of the building of this replica
Manning Wardle, Lynton & Barnstaple engine.
We have started the production of the new
series of Driver’s Eye View DVDs and the first set to be
issued is the Welsh Highland section from Porthmadog to Rhyd
Ddu and back. Videoed from Merddin Emrys on a nice sunny day
it also has discreet captions of the official route names so
that it makes an ideal tool for route learning. As soon as
circumstances allow the previously available Caernarfon to
Rhyd Ddu and the Ffestiniog railway sets will be re shot and
released to form a record of the whole railway. Towards the
end of the year there will also be a boxed set of all three
sets plus a bonus disk with a variety of entertaining extras
Also from the F&WHR video camera are a pair
of new programs called ‘Traveller’s Views’. There will be
one for each line and they will include a short history of
the railway, a trip up the line from on board and the
lineside and some other unique features. The FR version
should be with us in the next week or so and the WHR edition
is well underway. They are aimed at the casual tourist but
will be interest to the enthusiast also.
Good news for the collectors of postcards as
we finally have a new set of eight cards at the printers and
due in the next couple of weeks. They feature some very nice
pictures from several excellent photographers and due to
popular demand each card has a number on the back to
identify the year of publication and the number 01 to 08.
Joining these will also be a new FR DVD postcard as we have
sold nearly all of the first edition. This version has a
longer program on it and the WHR taster brings the line all
the way from Caernarfon to Porthmadog.
Also at the printers and due in the next
couple of months is the 2012 F&WHR calendar with twelve
superb photos from the lens of Roger Dimmick. This is also
available for pre order on the web shop which you will find,
as ever, at
Tuesday Gang wins goodies
Tony Baker reports: The Gwynedd Volunteer Centre
recently organised a photography competition. A picture of
the WHRS Tuesday Gang carrying out trackside clearance at
Coed Helen has won first prize, a hamper of goodies, which
was presented to Martin Kressman of the Tuesday Gang by the
deputy Leader of Gwynedd Council. Also present were the
Director of Mantell Gwynedd and Elfyn Llwyd the MP for
Volunteering with the WHRS is an activity
registered with the Volunteering Centres in Conwy, Gwynedd
and Denbigh. We consider this an excellent way to keep the
Railway's presence in the public eye.
The winning photograph, taken by Tony Baker
of the Tuesday Gang, is attached along with the picture of
Martin Kressman and the above mentioned dignitaries taken by
A customer writes…
I writing to thank you very much on behalf all of us who
enjoyed a wonderful experience last week. The views from
both observation cars were tremendous and we were able to
enjoy both railways in the best and worst of weathers. Our
sympathies went to the driver of the Ffestiniog train as he
struggled to keep time against the elements, having to
contend with slippery rails through leaf fall and spraying
The views from the WHR were truly
magnificent and will live in our memories for many years to
Whilst writing, I would like to offer praise and thanks to
young Oliver, who on both days kept us fully informed of
progress and makes an excellent salesman when it comes to
offering passengers your brochures for each line. A very
promising young man, and in our view should be given every
encouragement within the organisation.
Please extend our thanks to your catering
and reservations staff, who served us well. The meal in the
evening was just right, and couldn’t have been bettered for
atmosphere for nine chaps who enjoy railways, a good pint or
two, and a laugh.
Hope you continue to do well for the season,
All the best and thanks,
Dean Forest Railway.
Sunday September 18th is the date of this year's
sponsored walk. The purpose is to raise money for small
projects in and around the stations at both Blaenau
Ffestiniog and Tan y Bwlch. Participants will have the
opportunity to walk unfamiliar footpaths and to see views of
the area and the railway from a different perspective.
We will meet on the FR Blaenau Station
platform at 10.00 returning around 13.00 which should allow
time for those with a long journey home afterwards. It is
important to understand that the route will not be
difficult, but will cover several miles and will require
stout boots and weather proof clothing.
Please come along, but please ask friends to
help by sponsoring you.
The sponsorship form can be downloaded from
the F&WHR website
here, but can also be obtained from David Witcomb, 51
Stonebridge Drive, Frome, Somerset, BA11 2TW or ring 01373
John Cope writes: Due to the unavailability of the
Friends' House at a suitable date and the lack of a suitable
alternative venue at a cost which would not break the bank,
the Steampipes Committee has somewhat reluctantly set the
date for the next Steampipes as Thursday 5 January 2012.
The show which will henceforth be referred
to as "Steampipes 34" to avoid confusion will again take
place at the Friends' House, 173 Euston Rd (directly
opposite Euston station). Rob Foxon will again present the
show and Len Rawle will provide the Pipes part of the
The Steampipes Committee realises that this
departure from the traditional pre-Christmas show may not be
everyone's liking but there really is no alternative as the
Friends House is not available at the traditional time and
no other venues could be found at a reasonable cost. It is
hoped that the show will make a fitting conclusion to the
holiday season rather than a precursor to it and that our
loyal audience will continue to support Steampipes at the