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FR & WHR & WHHR News

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by AndrewT, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. 45669

    45669 Part of the furniture

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    Two more short clips from 'All Our Yesterdays' are now on YouTube:





    Ron.
     
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  2. black5

    black5 Well-Known Member

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  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin New Member

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    'Lilla' collected 'Prince' from Glan Y Pwll today and returned it to Boston Lodge, in readiness for it's overhaul to commence.
     
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  4. DBLM Dave

    DBLM Dave New Member

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    The second day of the Christmas Mountain Spirit service from Porthmadog to Blaenau - featuring James Spooner and Blanche, and a fleeting glimpse of Lilla on a works train (29th December)
     
  5. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Well-Known Member

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  6. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    Interesting to see the recent test train between Harbour and Beddgelert, with Hunslet "Linda" plus four. One might speculate that such a consist may be considered for this year's Aberglaslyn diagram - which would please those passengers who prefer a conventional loco, while also (I imagine) reducing costs quite markedly. If so, it's definitely a feature, not a downgrade!
    To speculate further (which is after all what this forum is for....) one might envisage the occasional Plandampf with another Hunslet (if available....).

    Looking forward, I have often wondered why the 'core section' of the 40-mile railway (TYB to Beddgelert) has never been provided as a different medium-mileage offer: FR loco and stock, of course (which is historically accurate, for those who care about such things), time it so that there's a nice layover at TYB (hence keeping catering revenue), and allow the option of joining at Harbour - in fact, it'd work nicely if it started at Port. - thus - Harbour, Beddgelert, TYB, Harbour (or reverse).
    Yes, I know - I have always said on here that the railways' marketing/operations departments know a lot more than we do, and can make their own decisions - but it's fun to play with ideas, and does no harm.
    James Linda in the Aberglaslyn Pass Feb. 2024.jpg
     
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  7. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The Beddgelert service has occasionally been run short formed with Lyd but typically it is too busy to do this. This is just a test run for Linda as it hasn't done any miles under load yet.

    I can see what you're suggesting with the Tyb service but to make this work with the current timetable you need two vintage trains and most likely they will require a double engine for the WHR section to have a long enough train. You're also losing income from no first class and no buffet car on all those trains rather than just half of them. That's before you get into disabled access, crewing issues, having enough rolling stock etc. We don't want to be using the victorian stock every day for example because they cost small fortune to repaint.

    It agree though it would be quite nice to offer a vintage WHR service on some days in it's own right. The F&WHR does a lot of things but it isn't possible to do everything everybody wants all at the same time sadly. One of the big issues with recreating the old WHR is that you're trying to run a railway that lots of people want to travel on with trains from a time when hardly anybody did. You've probably seen how difficult it is to provide the capacity at various special events.
     
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  8. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    May I crave the indulgence (as they used to say on the Times letter page) of the moderators to put forward an idea recently published in the WHR Ltd. Journal? I hope here it might have a larger audience.

    For more than thirteen years Rheilffordd Eryri (RhE) trains have been passing Pen-y-Mount (PYM) Junction – but, apart from a few days in 2019 and 2023, do not stop: it recalls Buggleskelly in “Oh Mr Porter” (“lots of trains, but none of them stop!”). I see no good reason why this should be the case, especially as PYM platform 3 was provided by the goodwill of both companies working together. If PYM were to become a service train request stop on RhE (like Nantmor, Snowdon Ranger and Tryfan) then that would benefit everyone. For the Ffestiniog Railway it would provide another traffic-stream, and an additional attraction to add to the others along the line. For Gelert’s Farm it would provide a proper destination at last – and make the line a genuine branch line with a genuine railway purpose.

    Some may object that the RhE services would thereby be slowed down – but if there’s no passengers there, the train would not stop (so nothing changes), and if there are passengers – well – that’s additional fare revenue, surely! (most of the passenger flow would be northwards to Beddgelert and beyond). And even if the train has to pause, briefly, this will at most add two minutes to the journey, as there is mandatory slowing for the accommodation crossing anyway. All the safety implications of approach have already been dealt with at the WHR 100 Gala.

    The detail can easily be solved. Both railways are already used to fare-revenue-sharing – and there’s already a coach allocated on every RhE train for intermediate station passengers to use. At its simplest, passengers from Tremadog Road would just buy tickets on the RhE train – but ideally, there could be communication between the two ticket offices to allow a combined trip ticket to be sold at Gelert’s Farm and Harbour. Among all the possibilities of changing at PYM, by far the most popular is likely to be a Tremadog Road/PYM/Beddgelert trip and return: such journeys would combine the thrills of the Aberglaslyn and the attractions of Beddgelert with the interactive museum and miniature railway at Gelert’s Farm. Passengers transferring from the Cambrian might also find this option easier. Doubtless Nat Pres readers can think of other interesting possibilities.

    Of course the WHR Ltd. would have to tweak its timetable so that its trains arrive before the RhE trains stop, and leave after – but that is not too high a price to pay, and would not affect the core business of ‘a short trip and a shed tour’ in any adverse way – both services using the same trains. Some might say that the idea is over-complicated and unnecessary – but the idea of providing a rare opportunity to change between two heritage railways (and to compare wildly differing locos and rolling stock) should be easy to market. And it’s basically cost free!

    So consider this an open letter to both railways – this is such an obvious win-win situation that I am amazed that it has not already happened.

    James
     
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  9. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    I hate to be negative, but I really can't see that there would be enough demand for this to make it worth anybody's while.

    Getting on the train to Beddgelert at Tremadog Road is an option which would really only appeal to enthusiasts - who, let's remember, only make up a small proportion of the visitors at any heritage railway. Joe Public will be quite happy to board their train at Harbour. The WHR's "Aberglaslyn" Porthmadog-Beddgelert trips already cost £39 for an adult standard-class return. How many people are really going to want to pay an extra £12.75 for a WHHR fare on top of that, just for the privilege of getting on the train in a different part of Porthmadog?

    If you offered combined tickets, it might be possible to reduce the price slightly, but then you're creating quite a bit of extra admin for the long-suffering ticket office staff - and, I reiterate, probably for the sake of a very small number of tickets. And besides, a combined ticket doesn't really fit in with the current F&WHR policy of encouraging pre-booked point-to-point journeys. I can't see that there would be much enthusiasm for the idea from their point of view.

    If I remember correctly, WHR trains have occasionally stopped at P-y-M during gala events in the past. If this can be continued, then those enthusiasts who want to have the novelty of using P-y-M as a junction can have the opportunity to do so.
     
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  10. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    If you want to gain support for an idea, using the Welsh-language name without linking it to the English name isn't the best way of making it easy for a large number of would-be readers grasp what you are on about.
     
  11. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I don't understand that bit. Are you presuming someone arriving at P-y-M and changing to the Heritage Railway for the very short hop to Gelert’s Farm? There doesn't seem to be a convenient walking route between those places.

    I agree that the route from Porthmadog main line station via the WHHR to P-y-M and thus to RhE would be much more convenient for someone arriving from elsewhere by train than the walk to Harbour. But would there be enough custom for that to justify the necessary co-ordination of the timetables?
     
  12. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher Member

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    Playinf Devils Advocate, every time I have been to the shop at Tremadoc Raod, there have been people on the phone or callign in who have been wanting to trvle on the longer WHR/RhE...that to me says theere may well be a demand for a feeder service, however I agreem it would need really careful thinking out and implementation not lease with the tickeeting
     
  13. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    I am not a regular round there (to say the least), but one of the big selling points for me was the run through the streets of Portmadog.

    If you do have even anecdotal evidence of interest, that is something to follow up. There is a difference between "I've seen an operational permutation and therefore people must want to do it" and I've seen people wanting to do something that might be practicable".

    I think the biggest problem is that the WHR/RHE has gone for the "big trains not very often" model, which discourages flexibility.
     
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  14. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Well-Known Member

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  15. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    To me, all it says is that people can't read maps or signposts...
     
  16. acorb

    acorb Part of the furniture

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    The WHHR does what it does very well, the F&WHR do what they do very well, but ultimately they are very, very different businesses - with little cross over.
    I would like to see the interchange used regularly at special events where both railways are contributing (like last year), I would also like to see WHHR trains run more frequently to perhaps Pont Croesor or Beddgelert, but other than that I can not see a market for regular stops.
     
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  17. goldfish

    goldfish Nat Pres stalwart

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    Or again, being devil’s advocate, the problem might be one too many ‘Welsh highland’ railways… ;)

    Simon
     
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  18. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    Quite. Much as I love the WHHR - and I do feel sorry for the way they were treated by the FfR back in the '90s - I think it's time to move on and give the WHHR a more distinct identity. Something like "Porthmadog Railway Heritage Centre" would, I think, more accurately reflect the WHHR's current visitor offer.

    Sent from my SM-A125F using Tapatalk
     
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  19. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I think the WHHR should try to reopen the first bit of the Croesor Tramway... that would give them a longer run, and if they could pass WHR/RhE trains at Pont Croesor then that would give anyone with the inclination the option to change between 'branch' and 'mainline' services there without too much disruption to the 'mainline' timetable.

    I'll admit I've no idea what there is to do once you go up the Tramway branch and before you get to the first incline... I presume that even if remotely feasible from a technical perspective you'd essentially be terminating in the middle of nowhere? However, it would perhaps give the WHHR more of a purpose.
     
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  20. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    WHR Ltd. is the Gelert's Farm trade mark, and has been for decades. The members and volunteers would not allow it to be abandoned.

    But - in general - thanks everyone for joining in here. Most of you seem to be saying that there's no point, and it won't work - but who knows if no-one tries? Any outside looker-on finds it more than bizarre that the junction is not used - and they are right. But, fundamentally - what would anyone lose by trying it for a year or so? If, as so many say, no-one will change trains - well - then the FR's main line is not affected, is it? And if there IS demand - well - why not respond to it if it is cost-free? The only way to find out is to do it.
    Note that I am not suggesting that Rheilffordd Eryri (the Welsh name as the railway is in Wales, and a very Welsh-speaking part as well) changes its timetables - they stay as they are. Gelert's Farm will have to do that (as I had thought I had made clear).
    No-one expects passengers to change onto WHR Ltd. having just got on at Harbour - as I said, the demand will be Tremadog Road to Beddgelert - so why not provide that option?
    Everyone wins at no cost - and both organisations fulfill their charitable obligations (neither is allowed to put profit and convenience ahead of public benefit) so what possible reason is there for not doing it?
    JH
     
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