Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

November 5th 2010

First trains run from Caernarfon to Porthmadog

The first train, headed by NG/G16 number 138, comprised ten cars including both Pullman carriages, crossed Britannia Bridge at 1214, watched by a large crowd. The train then moved onto the Cob before being drawn back into the platform by Lyd, operating as station Pilot. After lunch, the move was repeated in reverse before 138 head back towards Caernarfon.

Pont Croesor saw its first use as a passing place when the 1100 from Caernarfon, headed by 87, crossed 138's train. 87 arrived at Harbour at 1354. Local and trade press, radio and TV covered the historic events.

The following day, the last WHR passenger train of 2010 ran. A Platelayers' Special ran from Harbour to Rhyd Ddu and back as a thankyou to the volunteers responsible for laying the track. Over 175 tracklayers, contractors, their families and a couple of dogs enjoyed a spirited ride up the 1 in 40 in a nine car train double headed by Lyd and Taliesin.

The highlight of the day for many was the sight of tracklaying stalwart Upnor Castle, resplendent in its new livery and sounding like a loco reborn, acting as station pilot at Harbour.

This winter, there's a chance for a sneak preview of the final section of the Welsh Highland Railway before it opens officially on April 20, 2011.

Due to essential engineering work on the Porthmadog Bypass, the Ffestiniog Railway will not be operating for much of February and a joint F&WHR service will run from Porthmadog Harbour Station to Caernarfon for one week only between February 20th and 27th.

Demand is certain to be high, so if you want a chance to experience a ride across Britannia Bridge and through the streets of Porthmadog for the first time in more than 70 years, check out the timetable on the website today.

And due to the bypass works, the FR's popular sherry and mince pie services will also operate on the new section of the Welsh Highland between January and March, running from Porthmadog Harbour to Hafod y Llyn and back.

Services start on January 8th. Check the timetable or call the Booking Office on 01766 516024 for details.

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