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FR & WHR & WHHR News

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

  1. Mike Birch

    Mike Birch New Member

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    It is interesting to note from the Welsh Pony conservation plan (dating from 2012) that a brick arch was specified when the loco was originally built (
    "For the fire, a brick arch was specified ‘to keep the coal from going to
    the smoke box’ and a spark arrestor ‘to keep the ashes from setting fire to the woods’").
     
  2. meeee

    meeee Member

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    It does although that is the draft specification drawn up by the FR, not necessarily what George England built. There is a reference to "spark preventers" in the stores at Boston Lodge around that time, as well as in correspondence with landowners.

    Sadly neither the early engravings of Welsh Pony or drawings of replacement boilers from Vulcan and Adamsons show any arch carriers. There doesn't seem to be much reference to replacing brick arches in the maintenance records either. So it's anyone's guess if they were fitted. Sadly I can't go and look at the Adamson boiler at the moment, to tell you if there is any evidence inside.

    Tim
     
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  3. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Are there any estimates as to how many carriages WELSH PONY will be able to handle compared with the small Englands?
     
  4. Paul.Uni

    Paul.Uni Member

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  5. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Thanks for the link. I hadn't thought of looking on Festipedia!

    Being a large England, I wondered whether it might be able to handle more carriages than the other two, but I was surprised to see that PRINCE and PALMERSTON have different ratings.
     
  6. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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  7. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The differences were largely eliminated in the 1890. The main one remaining is the 6 inch longer wheelbase.

    Power wise there isn't really much in it. Prince uses a bit less water when the superheaters warm up. The main thing is Prince was rebuilt in the 80s to handle bigger trains. In retrospect not the best move, but it is more robust than Palmerston. Prince has slightly bigger cylinders too.

    Welsh Pony, Palmerston are more working museum pieces. They can handle bigger trains if needed but this rarely happens. The rating is more to stop then wearing out than anything else.

    Welsh Pony is not on list of authorised locos yet. So doesn't have a carr rating specified.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
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  8. 45669

    45669 Member

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    Thanks for that Tim. Won't it be great when we're allowed to go and see PONY in action!
     
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Thanks for the info that some of these locos don't have brick arches. My understanding was that the introduction of brick arches was an essential development to allow coke to be replaced by coal while still achieving effective combustion. How do these locos get away with it (or rather without brick arches)?
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    "Baxter" on the Bluebell (standard gauge) doesn't have a brick arch. It has its challenges both to keep smoke down and to fire on a long sustained climb - neither of which I suspect was of much consequence for its original use as a shunting engine in a quarry.

    I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think many traction engines have brick arches.

    Tom
     
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  11. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Well those I fired in the past, which varied from 6 ton Wallis & Steevens rollers to a 20 ton Burrell showmans road loco, never had a brick arch, Neither did narrow gauge steam locomotives, some of which have to work extraordinarily hard pro rata.
    I suspect the answer is (a) tutor your crews well and (b) don't buy your fuel from the local sewage works!
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Most smaller industrial locos aren’t fitted with brick arches. It’s usually only when you get to 16” cylinders and above that they become more of a norm. As ever there will be exceptions.
     
  13. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Most of the Festiniog locos do have brick arches. They aren't essential but do help in a number of ways.

    They create a longer flame path so you get more complete combustion of any volatile gasses boiling off the coal. Not only does this improve efficiency but it also reduces smoke. It also heats the firebox more evenly.

    They also create a more even draught across the firebed. So the coal burns more even. It also reduces carryover of char when working hard. Char can also be deposited on top of the arch by the airflow rather than being carried down the tubes. The spark arrestors on the FR also help with this. They create a more even airflow across the tubes. The path of the air through the smokebox also deposits the char in the bottom. So less ends up hitting the mesh.

    Finally they help the protect the tube plate from cold air coming through the door by mixing it with hot air sooner.

    It's worth nothing that after being converted to oil most of the FR engines have very big fireholes. This was done partly to reduce stress around the door ring, but also to allow someone to climb inside. There is plate on the outside that reduces the size of the hole for firing.

    Welsh Pony and Palmerston don't have this feature. They have small fireholes. So fitting or repairing a brick arch would involve taking the ashpan off. Last year I had to dig the entire brick arch out of Lyd at Tan-y-bwlch after it collapsed. We were able to recover the fire and carry on all be it half an hour late. If i can't get the bits out the door then the loco would be a failure.

    Tim
     
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  14. Dag Bonnedal

    Dag Bonnedal Member

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    Wonderful to see Welsh Pony running, beautiful job.
    Remember her in her old very rusty state.

    One thing I noted in the videos from the test runs, was that the regulator handle moves in what to me seems like the wrong direction.
    It opens towards the driver (on the left side) and closes away from the driver (right).
    Anyone knows why?

    We have 6 locos with this type of regulator. Half of them left hand driven and half right.
    Nos. 4 and 9 are even twins, but driven from opposite sides.
    https://www.oslj.nu/en-GB/rolling-stock/steam-engines-39017076
    To pull the regulator to close seems to me to be the natural way, but that is not an universal truth.
    (A fore/aft going regulator is normally pushed to close.)
     
  15. pgbffest

    pgbffest Member

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    An email from yesterday evening appeared

    Tickets available online only from 14th July



    The swirling mists of a global pandemic have caused a seemingly never-ending cloud of difficulties, complications and uncertainty. During this period our railway has undergone challenges the like of which it has never experienced before, but while the challenges persist we have always maintained the hope that brighter times lie ahead.


    Thanks to the incredible work and continuous support of our staff, volunteers and supporters, we are delighted to announce that the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways will soon be steaming once again!


    This is a momentous occasion for the railway and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their phenomenal support during these challenging times. Generous donations, offers of voluntary service and well-wishing messages have been a constant theme throughout this period.


    Without your support, we would not be making this announcement.


    On the 20th of July we will be welcoming visitors back to the railway, for the first time since March, as we launch the Ffestiniog Railway’s reopening service from Porthmadog to Tan-y-Bwlch.


    While we are Rolling back the Mists, we are also Rolling back the Years on our new services, our Heritage carriages are once again coming to the fore, running to Tan y Bwlch much like they did in the 1960’s.


    Our priority over the past few weeks has been to create a service that maintains the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. This has been of the utmost importance and we believe the new service is as safe as possible during these troubling times.


    While safety has been the primary focus of our planning, we have also worked hard to design a service that allows you to enjoy many of the fantastic features our railway has to offer. This new look ‘Summer’ service will undoubtedly be different to what many of us expected at the start of the year, but we are determined to make it an enjoyable experience for all our visitors.


    Detailed information is provided below; while we appreciate there will be many queries regarding our reopening, we encourage you to read this thoroughly, and visit the comprehensive FAQ page on our website, prior to emailing or calling our offices.


    Limited Service


    Our reopening service will only operate on the Ffestiniog Railway - from Porthmadog to Tan-y-Bwlch.


    There will be no other train services on the F&WHR at present.


    This new service will run daily, with six round-trips per day.


    Trains will depart from Harbour Station at 10:00, 11:05, 12:10, 13:15, 14:20 and 15:25.


    The total journey time will be approximately 2 hours 45 minutes, including a one-hour layover at Tan-y-Bwlch.


    All journeys start and finish at Porthmadog. Tickets must be booked in advance (see below). Passengers cannot join (or alight from) trains at any other station, halt or request stop.


    Please arrive at Harbour Station 30 minutes before your departure time. This will allow enough time for you to purchase refreshments and select your compartment.


    Online Booking Only


    Another key feature of our reopening is that tickets will only be available via online booking and cannot be purchased at our Booking Office.
    Online ticket sales will go live on our website from 14th July.


    We will initially release tickets for trains running between 20th July and 2nd August. During the initial days of the new service we will review demand and look to extend advance bookings through to 4th September.


    We will be using our heritage carriages on these trains, with their individual compartments helping to maintain social distancing on the train. Each compartment seats up to 6 passengers, and additional dividers have been installed between seating bays.


    Ticket prices start from £50 per compartment, which includes the fare for 2 adults. Tickets for each additional adult cost £25, while the fare for each child will be £1. NOTE: there is a maximum of 6 people per compartment.


    If you are a solo traveller, you must still pay the £50 fare for the compartment.


    Tickets will be sent via email and must be presented to the Station Host or Train Guard for inspection prior to boarding the train. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can print the tickets at home and bring them with you to the station.


    The tickets will display your details and the number of travellers. They will not include any details of seat numbers or carriage compartments, which you will be free to choose upon arrival.


    Safety Measures at the Stations


    The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers has been our principal concern during the planning process for reopening our services. We have introduced measures and procedures throughout the railway to maintain the safety of all.


    Upon arrival at Harbour Station, routes into, through and out of the station will be clearly signed. It is important that all visitors adhere to these routes, while also maintaining social distancing.


    Spooner’s Café will be open to passengers and the general public, offering food and drinks from a limited takeaway menu - which can be taken on board for the journey.


    NOTE: there will be no catering service on these trains.


    There will be two routes to the trains - one through the Booking Hall direct to the platform and one through Spooner’s for those wishing to order takeaway refreshments prior to their journey.


    Harbour Station shop will remain closed - however, a ‘pop-up’ shop with a limited selection of gifts will be open at the far end of Spooner’s Café. Routes to and from the shop will be clearly signposted.


    Visitors are asked to use ‘contactless’ card payments whenever possible, to limit the use of cash being circulated and handled by staff in our facilities.


    We are also encouraging visitors to wear face coverings during their visit. Complimentary masks will be available at Harbour Station if you do not have your own.


    Hand sanitiser stations will be provided on platforms. We advise passengers to use these prior to boarding the trains to reduce potential contamination.


    Social Distancing signs will be in place to manage queues for the toilet facilities at both stations.


    Tan-y-Bwlch Café will be open to passengers and the general public, offering food and drinks from a limited takeaway menu - which can be taken on board for the journey.


    There will be a one-way route through Tan-y-Bwlch Café in order to safely manage the flow of visitors. There will be plenty of outdoor seating available throughout the station area.


    Safety Measures on board the trains


    Our carriages will be regularly deep-cleaned using ‘Zoono’, a long-lasting disinfectant surface sanitiser which offers up to 30 days of protection.


    We will be using three sets of heritage carriages, which contain separated compartments, helping to maintain social distancing on the train. As stated above, these compartments have the capacity to seat up to 6 passengers.


    Each compartment will be numbered, with visitors able to choose their compartment before boarding the train. Passengers must use their chosen compartment for the duration of the return journey.


    All carriages will be cleaned by our staff between each departure, ensuring the compartments will be safe and ready for you to enjoy upon arrival.


    Loyalty Cards and Gift Vouchers


    Due to the financial difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are regrettably unable to offer loyalty card discounts on our train services at this moment in time.


    All holders of ‘Y Cerdyn’ will receive a 6-month extension to their scheme as a result of this decision.


    Please note both ‘Y Cerdyn’ and the ‘Eat and Drink’ card can still be used for discounts in our catering outlets.


    Gift card holders will be unable to apply their discount when booking online. However they can activate their gift card by calling our Booking Office on 01766 516024.


    Society members (FRS and WHRS) can reserve tickets by calling our Booking Office. However, please note there is limited seating for members on these trains.


    ATOC card holders can purchase discounted tickets by calling our Booking Office.


    2020 Timetable Leaflets


    We are aware that a large amount of our 2020 printed timetable leaflets are still in circulation.


    Due to current circumstances we must ask that you ignore its contents as the timetables are now void and we ask you to use our website for the latest information.


    Special Event listings in the leaflets are under continuous review and, while many have unfortunately been cancelled, future events are being monitored in accordance with Welsh Government advice.


    We will make announcements on these events shortly.


    While we are delighted to share this great news with you all, we would also like to offer our sympathies to all those who have been affected and who have suffered losses during this pandemic.


    Whilst the effects of these past months will take a long time to heal, we trust that our reopening can provide a ray of joy to those who have struggled during these challenging times.


    A warm welcome awaits you all once more.


    *Please note that ongoing train services will be subject to any further changes in UK Government policy in response to the Covid-19 situation.
     
  16. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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    I see on their latest facebook post that, in order to operate the short train services to Tanybwlch referred to above without uneconomical use of the Fairlies, Welsh Pony, just restored for heritage reasons, is to be pressed into traffic (still running without nameplates until its official launch).
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
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  17. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    From F&WHR Insider Facebook page.

    A FEW WORDS ABOUT ‘WELSH PONY’ - from our GM.

    “The road to completion for ‘Welsh Pony’ has been a long one, during which we have enjoyed incredible support from our members and supporters. We are immensely grateful for that help and indeed excited at seeing the loco taking steps towards being in traffic.”

    “We had hoped to launch the engine, with our members and contributors present at the Fairlie event this summer. Sadly that event simply couldn’t happen. Now we find ourselves in an unusual situation. We will shortly commence a service to Tan-y-Bwlch using our smaller locomotives. We need three locomotives a day and in practice this means we need a fourth in case of any problems / maintenance needs. We are not looking to use the Double Fairlies for the time being, preferring to keep them for the times when we need to haul larger trains again, when they are at their most efficient.”

    “In short this means that ‘Welsh Pony’ can play an important role in helping us to earn income from fares, which in turn will help the railway to find a way through this crisis. Therefore, we hope we can count on the understanding of our members as we use the locomotive in traffic ahead of its official launch. The locomotive will simply run as ‘No.5’ for the time being. We plan to name the locomotive as part of our vintage weekend, if this is possible, and to run a celebration train in place of the originally envisaged launch train. This train will be the first time that the loco will appear publicly as ‘Welsh Pony’.”

    “We could never have imagined that ‘Welsh Pony’, restored principally for heritage reasons, would become central to our operations. I hope you will all agree though, that it is wonderful to know that it can play this special part in our railway.”

    Paul A. Lewin
    Director & General Manager
     
  18. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    No.5 spotted on camera, a couple of times, at Harbour earlier, with 'heritage' van and bogie carriage. Presumably, a test under load.
     
  19. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    It's very interesting to see how the F.R. is preparing to run trains under the shadow of Coronavirus 19. Like a number of other places which are fortunate to have non-corridor compartment stock, their trains will be more "heritage" (whatever that word actually means) than they have been since my boyhood. Selling refreshments during the runround stop at Tan-y-Bwlch may actually produce more profit than selling the same items from a buffet car. One of the things which many places will learn from this business.

    I realise the money is needed and other places are actually charging more per compartment but I do wonder if the rates will encourage a sentiment of deciding to come and travel later, when the emergency has passed and charges are less. Very likely getting income now is more vital than at an indeterminate time in the future. Other places charge per person although reserving compartments for family groups. Individual travellers are accepted although subject to social distancing requirements. Again, we shall see
     
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  20. 2392

    2392 Member

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    Indeed it could be better to start with a "high" fare and then reduce if the take up is low. Than start "low" and then increase, due to over demand for tickets....... The refreshment stop will re-introduce that facility from pre-buffet/restaurant car days, so they could perhaps cover any reduction in the cost of the train fares, as well as an "historical" railway and other land transport feature.
     

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