Caernarfon - Dinas
This section was built under Phase 1 of the
although perhaps it should be described as 'construction' in this case
as the railway uses part of the old standard gauge trackbed from
Afon Wen. The construction details can be found using the link below.
Phase 1 -
Caernarfon to Dinas - 1997
The section was therefore the first to pass from the
construction company into the care of the operating company for its
maintenance. The section has been the centre of regular working
parties, using both paid and volunteer staff, during much of the
intervening time. This section, however takes up the story from 2010
as the Phase 4 of the reconstruction was coming to a close.
During 2007 the Dinas Carriage shed was lengthened to take the
extra stock needed for the longer trains comming into use at that time.
This in turn neccitated the need to increase the length of the carriage
release road allonside the bay platform. The
normal operation is for a diesel loco, such as Caernarfon Castle, to
withdraw the stock from the carriage shed into the release road. Here
the buffet crew stock the train whilst the trains loco for the day is
prepared. Whilst in the release road however, even with the
against the buffer stop there is minimal clearance at the
points for other movements in the yard, such as the steam loco going to
In order to rectify this both the release road is being
extended. The 18th July 2010 therefore saw the Black Hand Gang
preparing for that extension with the excavation on the ptatform
surface where the track is due to go..
On the same day the Gang also
laid and then used a B wagon to test a new 'barrow' crossing that will
be used to get supplies to Up trains from the service platform.
On the weekend of the 31st
July and 1st August 2010 the release road was being extended by half a
rail length. This involved digging out the remaining spoil, moving the
buffers back and inserting half rail lengths.
On 20th November 2010 the
North Wales Black Hand Gang started construction of a new right hand
point for future use in the North yard at Dinas. The picture by Steve
Broomfield shows the main components laid out.
With the release road
extended in time for the peak operating season the extension to the bay
platform had to wait until the end of the year. This was done between
Christmas and New Year and the photographs below show the work taking
place on the 29th December 2010.
Road - March 2011
The Black Hand Gang were in
Dinas for a 'long weekend' working party from the 11th to the
13th March 2011 to insert a new point into the fuel road at
Dinas. The fuel road serves the oil storage tank for the oil fired
locos as well as being the access to the Goods Shed.
With the help of a JCB
they removed panels of track between the loco fuel store and
the existing point outside the old clip store and insert
another point nearer the fuel store. One track from the point will
go to join the existing loco fuel road and the other to form a
new siding which in turn will eventually have another point inserted on
the Goods Shed side thus forming two new roads ready, in due course,
for a loco running shed to be constructed close to the Goods
Shed. By the end of the Saturday the point had been aligned
shovel packed and one curved section of track had been fish plated to
The following day the track
through to the oil tank was re-connected in order to maintain access to
the Goods Shed. Further work will take place at a later date.
New display boards have been
erected at all the stations and halts along the railway. The photograph
from Steve Broomfield shows one of two new boards at
Caernarfon and the one at Bontnewydd.
Work started this weekend on
the replacement of the trackwork outside the loco shed at Dinas. This
area that has been badly in need of attention for some time as loco
preparation there has left the area in very poor condition, especially
in wet weather. It is intended to provide a concreted preparation and
disposal area. With one of your current guardians of this website being
a user of such facilities he can confirm that the improvment
will be much appreciated by all loco crews, no doubt as well by the
permanent staff working there.
The pictures from Simon
Melhuish show progress on the Sunday in digging out the ballast with
pick and shovel and with the help of a mini excavator. The Rest of the
World Gang are doing the work and it will continue during the
following 'working week'.
Work has continued throughout
the week on the improvements to the disposal area outside the loco shed
at Dinas. By the Wednesday the track had been cleared of all the
ballast and the number of sleepers reduced as gauge will be held by the
concrete. The gang were therefore busy installing the shuttering and
underside membrane in preparation for the first concrete pour that took
place the following day. Whilst the concreting of the first track was
in progress work continued on the preparation of the second. This
involved the attachment of polystyrene to the inside of the rail
heads to form the flange-ways within the concrete. Pictures from Steve
The second track was
completed the following day as can be seen below, and complete with the
"The Eryri Venturer", returning to
Over the weekend 26/27 March
the North Wales / Black Hand Gang continued with the work on the fuel
road and the new sidings at Dinas. The fuel road was aligned, levelled
and re-packed on Saturday morning to allow loco NG/G16 №138 to fuel up
and also to allow NG/G16 №87 into №3 siding to be coaled.
Work then progressed on
aligning and levelling the start of the access to the two new sidings,
which then allow the area to be back filled for the access to the
catering store and kitchen to be restored. The point which splits this
line into the two sidings was then reassembled and aligned. The work on
this whole project was greatly enhanced and made far easier with the
help of Gwilym Williams and his JCB, funded by Cymdeithas Rheilffordd
Eryri/Welsh Highland Railway Society.
It should be noted that these
sidings were planned before Phase 4 got underway and are not as
previously reported to be used for the new loco shed. That will be
planned and built as and when the funds are available. These sidings
will be used to store much on the little used stock to cut down on the
number of shunting moves that have to be made to access any particular
item of rolling stock.
By the weekend of the 8th
April the new Loco preparation facilities were in use. The photos
below show 138 being prepared for service on the 10th April.
On the same weekend the North
Wales Black Hand Gang were back at work on the new siding being
installed in the North yard.. The Left Hand point which splits the line
into the two sidings after leaving the goods shed / fuel road was
finally put in position. There had been a problem with levelling it and
this was discovered as being due to being three buried kerb stones just
below the surface. These are a left over from the time when the yard
was used by Gwynedd County Council's highways dept.
The point levers for the two
new points were installed and the material excavated from around the
fuel road and other area was back-filled. Steve Broomfield's photos
show the work on the 10th April.
The Rest of the World Gang
worked at Dinas from 29th April. The job was was to dig out and
build a cistern for waste water draining from the newly-concreted loco
preparation area. This stinky fluid passes through a settling tank,
where solids should collect, and then into a collecting tank. An
automatic pump lifts the contents to another system of tanks to
separate oil from the water before it is piped to the drains. We built
the collecting tank and finished the settling tank, using concrete
sections and bricks, prior to filling the area with bulk concrete.
Photos by Simon Melhuish and Steve Broomfield.
The Gang also assisted on
Friday 29th with a stub of rail from points in
the North Yard for collection of the visiting Jung Mallet on its
return to Statfold Barn. Photos by Simon Melhuish
The Black Hand Gang continued with the work of extending
the new siding in Dinas North Yard. On the Saturday, there were 17
volunteers, the majority of whom worked on continuing with the new
sidings at Dinas; others worked on preparing the Goods Shed at Dinas
for the forthcoming Real Ale Festival - Cwrw ar y Cledrau/Railale 2011,
which will be on from 20 to 22 May. The Goods Shed was cleared of
accumulated rubbish after its winter use for working on locomotives and
other jobs. The walls and floor were washed down, the walls repainted
and the floor repaired.
work on the sidings progressed with the left hand siding (facing the
GoodsShed) being left as a short spur that can be used for off-loading
locomotives and other vehicles from low-loaders. Meanwhile the right
hand siding was completed up to the edge of the area surrounding the
public toilets. So far no buffer stop has been fitted. The siding was
aligned, levelled and packed with ballast all under the watchful eye of
a number of car owners and spectators who had come to the Vintage Car
Rally at Dinas on Sunday 8th May.
In addition on the Saturday two further
volunteers painted the replica water tank for
Beddgelert but the showers put paid to their efforts after a while.
Pictures by Steve
The Tuesday Gang spent their
day at Coed Helen on lineside vegetation clearance. The main thrust of
the exercise being to strip the growth from a retaining wall on the
Eastern side of the line. The condition of this wall is not known, it
being covered. There are 500 metres of wall to clear and Gang managed
around a quarter of it within the day. This showed up that
there are several weak spots where the wall needs repair and
several spots where it is completely missing. The pictures
below show the covered wall before work started and the same
section of wall at the end of the day. Also No 138 on the 1500 ex
Caernarfon bound for Porthmadog will a well filled train. Earlier
trains heading for Pont Croesor were not so full, a trend we have
noticed previously. Apart from one very brief shower the gang
enjoyed a nice sunny day.
17th May 2011
The Tuesday Gang
continued with the lineside clearance along the stretch between Hendy
and Coed Helen which is approximately 500 metres in all. As they work
along clearing the growth off the retaining wall, places where work
will be needed to repair the wall are revealed. It is not known if this
wall received any attention during phase 1 or whether what we are
seeing is it's condition post BR days. Anyone know the answer? Lots of
standard gauge track screws are being found along the way.
The pictures show a
spot where the wall has depreciated and a work in progress shot.:
31st May 2011
Tuesday Gang spent the morning inspecting the fencing between
railway and Lôn Eifion from Dinas to Bontnewydd. Any holes
filled and slack wires retensioned. Most of the badger gates were
life-expired and measurements were taken for one of our volunteers to
make replacements at home.
In the afternoon attention switched to
Fron Goch level crossing LC 21:87. Here there was an urgent need to
improve the sighting both for the vehicles using the crossing, which is
quite busy with garden centre traffic, and from the engine drivers
perspective. A good start was made with the removal of a largish tree
on the south side which enhanced the view considerably. This job will
be continued next week. Whilst at this location, more fencing repairs
were carried out, where the wires had been cut since we were there last
week. Report by Tony Baker
4th & 5th June 2011
Saturday pm, the North Wales Black Hand Gang returned to Dinas to start
to complete clear up and reconfiguration of the P Way store at Dinas
(formerly known as the K1 shed). This task continued on the Sunday,
with rubbish being thrown out, scrap items to the 'scrap pile'
(recently added to by the NG15 team!) in order to earn a bit of cash
for the Railway. Old shelving in the store has been removed, this will
be used elsewhere, however the only problem was that a new shelving
delivery of shelving did not take place on Friday as expected, so this
job remains to be completed on another day.
Tony Baker reports
that the Tuesday gang spent the day at 2 locations. Firstly at
Fron Goch LC 21:87 where improvements to the sighting from the
crossing, which is used by the garden centre, were needed. By lunch
time they had cut back the lineside vegetation to a satisfactory level.
They then moved nearer to Caernarfon to the area of Coed Helen to do
some more work on clearing growth off the retaining wall. This had been
started 3 weeks ago but not completed. Nine volunteers enjoyed a sunny
day with one short shower.
14th June 2011
The Tuesday Gang spent the 14th June firstly at Coed Helen completing
the clearance of foliage from the retaining wall. They then moved back
to Dinas to erect the new shelving in the PW store. Interlocking parts
all assembled with just a hide mallet, no nuts,
bolts or washers involved. Six units were assembled and the wooden
shelves sealed against damp.
Other gang members were installing new badger gates, manufactured at
the Tuesday Gang workshops at Pentrefoelas, to replace the original
ones installed between Caernarfon and Dinas in 1997.
Just after 3 pm a ten coach train arrived at Dinas.with No
138 at the front of one of the most fully loaded trains to be seen on
the WHR. Report and pictures by Tony Baker
The Rest of the World Gang
long weekend started with some tasks on Phase 1. At the North end of
Bontnewydd Station , some fencing repairs were undertaken,
whilst at Cefn Werthyd, the next crossing North, two rather
signs were replaced.
A comparison between the 'old' and 'new' signs can be seen in the third
& 3rd July
The majority of the Tuesday
Gang spent the
5th July at Bontnewydd carrying out lineside clearance in order to
improve the sighting from LC's 22.51 and 22.70.
Having removed the masses of foliage, a ditch was revealed running the
whole length. This was badly clogged with detritus so will be dealt
with next week.
Tuesday Gang report from
we embarked on a job that most volunteers would run a mile from. The
weed killing train somehow managed to avoid the Dinas - Caernarfon
stretch this year and as a result Caernarfon Station had taken on a
weed infested appearance which passengers might have interpreted as an
abandoned railway. Now of course we know that not to be the truth so
six brave volunteers set about pulling up all the weeds and bagging up
all the detritus left by the local youths on their nocturnal
adventures. Due care was taken to look out for discarded syringes. The
area between the platform and track was given particular attention as
this is right under the passengers noses so to speak. Not a pleasant
job but very necessary for the local ambience. By day's end it looked a
30/31 July 2011
The North Wales / Black Hand Gang working party over the weekend of
30/31 July installed a new fence around the buffer stops at Dinas.
The length of the Bay Platform road and the Release road had recently
been extended to allow for the longer trains now running; this had
involved the removal of part of the original fence.
This fence after 14 years service had started to show its age, many of
the uprights starting to rot; so it was decided to replace the entire
fence at this location with the now 'house style' fencing for the WHR.
The cost of all the materials was sponsored by Cymdeithas Rheilffordd
Eryri (Welsh Highland Railway Society).
By Sunday evening two thirds of the job was completed; the remainder
will be completed over the coming couple of weeks by local volunteers
working in the evenings. Report by D Thomas.
2nd August 2011
The Tuesday gang spent August 2nd completing the recovery of
gateposts from Bron Hebog level crossing. They had a Kango hammer with
chisel attachment this week which considerably reduced the time spent.
After lunch, spent at Dinas, they split into 2 teams, one freeing up
rusted clips and the other making up nine sets of flag boards in
preparation for the expected increase in volunteer activities after the
summer holidays. Report and picture by Tony Baker
13/14 August 2011
Over the weekend of 13/14 August the North Wales /Black
Hand Gang completed the fence around the buffer stop at Dinas;
repaired, cleaned and painted the buffer stops. We also laid an
additional length of rail on the new short siding at Dinas, this is to
enable items to be stored on the siding as well as using it to load and
off-load coaches and locos from road vehicles.
Dafydd Thomas reports:
the weekend 15/16 October the Black Hand Gang were in action again, not
with track work this time, but a start on work on the new part of the
loco shed at Dinas which is now in the possession of the railway. New
windows were installed and new guttering put up on the west side of the
building. This work is sponsored by Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri /
Welsh Highland Railway Society.
For once the weather was kind with
two days of sunshine. Dinas was hive of activity over the weekend not
only with the usual loco crew and on-train staff getting their train
ready for the day's work, but as already mentioned the Black Hand Gang
was in action; there was the Rest of The World Gang getting
tools ready to go off to work elsewhere; the K1 Group were
working on their loco and NG15 Group were working on No. 134 and its
Simon Melhuish reports:
Rest of the World Gang attended the south end of Caernarfon Station,
where water is cascading over the Segontium Terrace retaining wall,
causing ballast voiding under the points. A temporary ditch was dug for
later connection to a drain pipe. An improved path was created for
access to the ground frame. Pictures by Simon Melhuish
1st November 2011
Baker reports that it was a very mixed bag of duties for the gang on
Tuesday 1st November with most of the work at Dinas. The main job was
to oil the axle bearings on the ballast hoppers and mess van in
preparation for their use on the winter maintenance programme.
One of the ballast hoppers was full of slate waste which had
The gang also cleaned and lubricated all the yard
points, and the siding points outside the loco shed which had some
repairs to their woodwork.
One job away from the yard was also done at Fron Goch level crossing LC
21.87 where rotted timber on the sides was renewed.
28th December 2011
The combined PW volunteer gangs were working on new refuelling
arrangements at Dinas.
A new concrete slab was cast adjacent to the servicing platform to take
a fuel tank and the surrounding area built up with slate waste.
A new loco coaling area is being created at the Caernarfon end
of the down platform. A few metres at the end of the existing down
platform was dug away with a JCB. Shuttering was put in
place, ready for concreting (to rail level) at a future date. The
platform end was edged with concrete blocks to provide a step down, and
the anti-trespass signage brought forward to suit.
Pictures by Simon Melhuish and Steve Broomfield.
24th January 2012
Gang's allotted task was to have been taking off fishplates,
greasing and putting them back north of Rhyd Ddu at crossing LC 39.08.
However, grease does not adhere well to metal in pouring rain
they switched to an inside job. The new engine shed extension at Dinas
was ready for some demolition work so they spent the day knocking down
the breeze block wall between the existing engine shed and the
extension. Above the breeze blocks was a wooden screen which was also
demolished. By the end of the day the upper part of the wall down to
the mezzanine floor had been entirely removed. They stopped at that
point as the floor was not to be demolished at this stage.
Report by Tony Baker
31st January 2012
Tuesday Gang North started work at Caernarfon Station digging
a trench for a telephone cable toward the water tower where an
instrument is to be installed Report and picture bu Tony
7th February 2012
The Tuesday Gang
spent the day at Caernarfon Station installing a telephone cable from
the cabinet under the footbridge to the water tower. The
first section from the cabinet to the trackside had to be dug out with
a Kango as it was topped with asphalt. The next section under the track
is in an orange duct and left half exposed so the anyone doing track
maintenance at this spot will know it is there. The cable then swings
through 90 degrees and follows the bottom of the wall to reach the
water tower. An instrument at this location had been requested by the
Operating Department and the telephone was installed in a
locked metal box on the wall adjacent to the tower by the S&T
Pictures and report by Tony Baker.
Over the weekend of 11/12 February the North Wales / Black
Gang were engaged at Dinas in completing the new loco coaling facility
at the Caernarfon end of the Down platform.
The job involved mixing
and laying the concrete to form the hard standing for the Loadall or
tractor to stand on whilst coaling a locomotive; the access trackway
across the bay platform road, the release road, the fuel road and № 3
siding; this was made up of slate waste laid on top of a Teram barrier
to avoid contaminating the ballast. The trackway was bounded on both
sides by timber secured in the ballast by means of metal stakes. Report
by Dafydd Thomas
Dinas Loco Shed:
Photos by Laurence Armstrong show progress with refitting
the former Water Board building as a loco shed at Dinas:
This shows the old mezzanine (storage) floor on the Loco Shed
side which has now been removed. It was in effect above the Water
in their half of the building.
Mezzanine partly removed, viewed from ‘loco shed side (left) and the
‘Water Board’s’ side (right).
New coaling point at Dinas station:
143 passing the new coaling point
going to collect its train in the release road (left) and the completed
9-11 March 2012
Over the long
weekend, Friday to Sunday, 9 - 11 March the North Wales /Black Hand
Gang achieved a number of tasks at Dinas. The numbers were swollen for
Saturday and for Sunday morning by students from Imperial College's
Commencement on the installation of a
new fence at the rear of the Up platform.
Laying a short section of temporary
track in the loco shed extension.
Rubbing down and revarnishing open coach
Completion of painting new ends for
platform benches; a task that was started by the West Midlands Group.
Reinstatement of the now repaired bench
at Beddgelert, which had been damaged by vandals.
Installation of the two 'missing' running-in boards at Dinas, as well
as a new platform designation sign and a new station sign.
Spreading of fine slate waste on the area around the Goods Shed; over
recent years many dips have formed in this area, which become puddles
when it rains.
General tidying up including
sweeping the car park and platforms; giving the access ramp to the
Ladies/disabled access toilet a coat of wood preservative.
In addition there were volunteer
gardeners were at work at Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu.
group of 10 students from Imperial College were a great help; it was
good to have some new young blood volunteering. They were all civil
engineering students who greatly appreciated the opportunity to have
hands on experience of jobs such as mixing concrete and even the simple
task of digging a hole. Report by Dafydd Thomas
this weekend, with the first trains of the new 2012 season timetable
running, the North Wales /Black Hand Gang continued with the work of
installing the new fence at the rear of the Up platform at Dinas. Also
two new benches, supplied by Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri/ WHRS were
installed at Caernarfon station. This will greatly increase the
available seating area for waiting passengers.
Report by Dafydd Thomas
Tuesday Gang were servicing T-bolts starting at Dinas Station
working north, whilst the lads from Greenlight were doing the same
working south from Caernarfon. The procedure is as follows; 2 people
walk along the track, one on each rail and test each T-bolt for
tightness. Loose ones are marked with yellow crayon. Another volunteer
follows with diesel oil in a container and gives each marked bolt a
squirt. The rest of the gang, armed with a variety of spanners, spare
nuts, bolts and washers then follow and deal with the loose bolts. Some
tighten up without any bother, others won't budge. They have been in
situ since 1997 remember. The more stubborn ones are taken out
completely and replaced with spares. In our experience most of the
stubborn ones are unmodified "O" type.
We started at 24.30, which is
the southern end of Dinas Station and marked loose bolts up to 23.70.
We rectified up to 23.72. We were assisted by 2 lads doing community
service who worked hard on a very hot day for March.
Next week we should
meet the Greenlight lads coming the other way. Report by Tony Baker
7/8 April 2012
the weekend 7/8 April the North Wales / Black Hand Gang continued with
work on the installation of the new fence on the Up platform at Dinas.
fence posts are now in (a total of 87); excess excavated material has
been cleared away and all that is needed now is to fit the remaining
panels when they are delivered; 40 out of 86 are in place.
gardeners have been busy commissioning the new platform planters at
Dinas; when completed with plants they will add a splash of colour to
Report by Dafydd Thomes
Tuesday Gang worked at Dinas carrying out repairs to the foot crossing
at the southern end of the platforms. All rotten timbers were removed
and replaced and slate fines were spread to give an even approach. The
crossing on phase one would have been laid in 1997 so really it had
lasted well. Picture by Andy Dawson
The North Wales/Black Hand Gang worked an extended weekend 20 -22 April.
Friday, 20th April they collected the remaining fence panels and
additional timber required to complete the new fence at the rear of the
Up platform at Dinas. This involved two journeys to Glasfryn Fencing's
base at Pencaenewydd and a trip to the builder's merchants at
Saturday, 21st April a concerted effort by the
volunteers saw the remaining 43 fence panels installed as well as the
closure palings at each joint.
Sunday, 22nd April saw the final
touches put to the fence with the tops of the fence posts being trimmed
to an equal height with an angular top to allow rainfall to run off;
each one being given a liberal coat of wood preservative. A final sweep
of the platform saw the job completed. The finishing touch is the new
planters installed on both platforms at Dinas, these will soon be
filled a colourful display of plants. The new fence has already had
many favourable comments from travellers on the railway as well as
locals passing on the adjacent Lon Eifion footpath.
Also on Sunday, the new fine slate waste was spread around the Goods
Shed and outside the station office/waiting room.
Society has also provided a new station sign at Dinas, two new
running-in boards, and new signs both for the waiting room and to
indicate which platform is for Caernarfon and which is for Porthmadog.
5th/6th May 2012
Over the weekend 5/6 May the North Wales / Black Hand Gang were mainly
engaged in preparations for the Real Ale Festival at Dinas. The
opportunity was taken to tidy up the station area and give everywhere a
bit of a spring clean.
Work was in progress with the extension to the engine shed at
Dinas. The concrete floor on the easternmost side, i.e. side further
from the running line, was being broken up with a view to installing
the new track. A length of old rail is exposed, possible dating from
the original WHR.
Report and pictures by Laurence Armstrong
A concrete base has now been laid in preparation for laying
in the Dinas loco shed extension.
Rails have now been laid in place in the loco shed extension at Dinas
North Wales/Black Hand Gang have completed Phase One of the
installation of the extended track on No.2 road in the loco shed at
Dinas. The track has been laid on thin steel flats and held
down on to the
sub-base true to gauge with masonry bolts. Concrete will now
be laid to bring the
excavation up to floor level.
Pictures by Laurence Armstrong show progress so far with the track
extension in the Dinas loco shed.
24th July 2012
The Tuesday Gang continued with T bolt maintenance north of Dinas.
About 20 seized bolts were dealt with.
the weekend of 11/12 August the Welsh Highland Railway North
Wales/Black Hand Gang were engaged in installing a concrete base for
the new diesel fuel tank at Dinas.
This involved not only preparing
the area for the concrete, mixing and pouring the concrete but also the
excavation of a trench for an electrical duct. The electrical duct is
required as the new tank has an electric pump.
The trench had to go
under 4 of the tracks at Dinas - the Bay Platform Road, the Release
Road, the Goods Shed Road and No.3 siding. This was no easy task as a
number of obstacles were encountered, including an area of concrete,
large pieces of slate and stones, as well as the remains of a former
retaining wall. Once the duct was in place the trench was back-filled
and the ballast re-packed under the disturbed sleepers. The trench
needs to be continued under the area immediately in front of the P Way
stores; this will have to be done by mechanical means as it will be to
a greater depth.
Approximately 50% of the concrete was put in place on 12/08/12.
The Rest of the World Gang was working at Caernarfon Station,
clearing vegetation from the retaining walls, the better to view their
integrity and prevent damage by Buddleia &c. The gang also
spent Saturday morning rodding drains by the PW store at Dinas, but
that didn't present any opportunity for interesting pictures.
Report and pictures by Simon Melhuish
On Saturday the Black Hand Gang were were engaged in
completing the concrete base for the Diesel Fuel Tank at the north end
of Dinas down platform which involved mixing by concrete mixer some 1½
tonnes of aggregate with cement and laying it alongside the previously
laid pad.. This job was completed by lunchtime.
Meanwhile a mini digger was utilised to dig a trench between where a
conduit pipe had been installed two weeks ago (under the sidings and
fuel road) to enable the conduit to be continued to the Permanent Way
Shed. The conduit pipe is now installed all the way from the
concrete base to the PW Shed door which will enable a power supply to
feed the Diesel Tank pump in due course.
On Sunday the mini digger was able to complete back filling the trench,
consolidate the ground and remove the excess spoil from the
job. The remainder of the day was spent tidying up
the North yard.
They were not able to carry out our intended task of disposing of loco
ash as there was no loco available. Upnor Castle had to double head the
service train with Castell Caernarfon due to a fault with Garratt 143.
The problem was a steam leak which was repaired by the end of the day
and it was able to take the last Up train from Dinas to Porthmadog.
Tuesday Gang were in action at Coed Helen. Report by Tony
the 4th September the Welsh Highland Drains Gang aka Tuesday Gang was
in action at Coed Helen. Between OB 20.95 and Hendy there is a long
uphill straight. Running most of the way along here on the LH side is a
covered drain which consists of a concrete trough with concrete slab
lids. The lids are mostly solid but there are two stretches where the
lids have elongated slots to allow surface water to enter the drain.
Unfortunately debris washed down from the steep bank also enters.
Result over the years it gets blocked up. So we were charged with
clearing it out. First the build up of soil and such on top of the lids
had to be shovelled away.Then lids were lifted at intervals to see how
the flow was. Where the lids were solid it was ok but the slotted
sections were well blocked. The most effective way to clear it was
found to be using the hands to scoop it out. We are not sure if this
drain predates the WHR rebuild. It may be an ex BR installation. At one
point something heavy had passed over it causing the trough to
collapse. It is planned to replace this bit with a pipe. We expect to
spend one more Tuesday on this. It makes a change from T bolt
the weekend of 8/9 September the North Wales / Black Hand Gang were
engaged in preparations at Dinas for the forthcoming Quarrypower
This involved the building of a stillage for the real ale
that will be available in the Goods Shed on Friday and Saturday along
with tidying up the Goods Shed. There was also a lot of grass and dead
vegetation strimming, clearing up rubbish, surplus bits of material
left around the north yard and a good general tidy up of the whole area.
Sunday they also managed to dispose of a large quantity of
ash to level out and make a start on providing a better walking surface
in the Carriage Shed. Report by Dafydd Thomas
The Tuesday Gang resumed the work of clearing the long drain at Coed
Helen that was started last week. As reported a section of channel had
collapsed and this was cleared out and four inch pipe inserted. In
addition where the channels with slatted lids were situated in areas
where debris was being washed down the sides of the cutting the lids
were swopped for the non slatted type. The work on the drain was taken
as far as it could be awaiting management decision on how it was to be
terminated. Work then switched to making a start on rectifying the 38
seized and loose T bolts between crossing and OB 20.95. About half were
dealt with by close of play. Report by Tony Baker
18th September 2012
Report by Tony Baker: The Tuesday Gang spent the day at Coed
Helen where a further 30 seized T-bolts were dealt with. We have now
completed from Hendy crossing 21.43 to St Helens Rd OB 20.77. Further
sections from Bronant LC 23.36 to Hendy remain to be done to complete
Caernarfon to Dinas.
Six of us worked on this whilst a further three went to
Meillionen Halt, which we have adopted, and planted bulbs and various
spring flowering plants.
All trains seen during the day were well loaded. Most
encouraging for this time in the season.
On October 2nd the Tuesday Gang were tasked with cleaning out the
drainage ditch that runs alongside the track in the vicinity of OB
23.56 (Plas Dinas bridge). Some may recognise this stretch as
being the trackbed of the Nantlle
where it goes through a tunnel under the Plas Dinas
road. The drain had become heavily silted up due to blockages in the
flow due to tree and masonry debris. This we set to clearing it, the
theory being that if a good strong flow could be obtained then the silt
would be washed away over time. Report and pictures by Tony Baker
Members of the Tuesday Gang were assisting in the carriage shed with
the painting of the SA brake van. A coal fired 138 had just
returned from a light engine run to Caernarfon and the crew are seen
oiling round and generally checking that all is well.
Thomas reports that NG/G16 No.138 has been steamed for the first time
following overhaul and conversion to coal firing. It is pictured below
in the platform road at Dinas following successful test runs to
Caernarfon. When 138 is officially returned to service in the next few
weeks, NG/G16 No.87 will be withdrawn from traffic for overhaul as part
of the maintenance programme.
No.138 was undergoing further trials between Dinas and
Caernarfon - the first picture shows Castell
Caernarfon with a works train awaiting access to the main line at
Dinas, and the second,
taken from the departing works train, is of No.138 having returned to
the loco shed. Report and pictures by Steve Broomfield
Work started on erecting the platform canopy at
Caernarfon station on 15th November, with Brunswick Ironworks
as the contractors.
The canopy will be completed in time for the Santa Trains in December
to protect the passengers from the worst of the weather.
The canopy is funded by Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri (the Welsh
Highland Railway Society), Gwynedd Council and the Welsh Government.
Picture by John E Williams
The canopy at Caernarfon station is progressing. Pictures by
the weekend 23/24 March the North Wales/Black Hand Gang were busy at
Caernarfon and Beddgelert. First job on Saturday morning was a litter
pick-up at Caernarfon station before the first train. This is a
perennial problem at this station with mainly bottles and
being thrown from the footpath above the station. The Ff&WHRCo
be asking Gwynedd Council and North Wales Police to assist with
reducing or even eliminating this serious anti-social and hazardous
26th March 2013
Tuesday Gang were tasked with replacing a life expired
fence at Dinas. The fence lies between the railway's land and the land
belonging to an adjacent house by the entrance to the north yard. The
fence is to consist of concrete posts, gravel boards and wooden
panels.This proved to be a slow job as we encountered a concrete raft 4
inches below the surface when digging the post holes. A Kango and
chisel bit had to be used and only one panel was successfully installed
by close of play. Report by Tony Baker
Tuesday Gang continued with the erection of the fence panels on the
boundary near the entrance to Dinas north yard. By the end of
day, four of us had fixed a further five panels and started the last
two holes for the last two panels. Hole digging was not too bad but one
or two difficult bits though with buried rocks and some tarmac. The
remaining two holes are going to be problematical on account of hitting
the concrete raft again.
Tuesday gang spent Tuesday 30th July at Dinas spreading more ash in the
carriage shed, adding to the ash they had spread previously alongside
No 1 Road for the benefit of staff working on the carriages. A start
was also made on fabricating a new non slip platform for the ground
frame at the side of the carriage shed.
Previous work during the
month had included painting check rail ends, point levers and buffers
along much of the line, and oiling up points at Dinas
The Llanwnda Distant signal was donated some
years ago and has been in storage at Dinas ever since. It
has now been restored and put on display in Dinas North Yard.
by Ben Fisher; this page last
updated 28th April 2014 by