In 2010 work finally started
on a station building, a feature
long been seen as missing from the station since its opening. The
building won't be the rebuilt stone and brick structure that was such a
feature of the station in original WHR days but instead will be of the
'shelter' type as found at Snowdon Ranger and Nantmor amongst other
places. Two shelters are being provided funded by the Cymdeithas
Rheilffordd Eryri, the WHR's supporting society. This will serve as an
interim solution until such a time as the more permanent stone and
brick structure can be re-built.
The pictures below from Andy Keene show work in progress for
By the 8th September the
building was being 'plumbed in'. The
ground was then finished off with slate waste in preparation for
Superpower the following weekend.
Over a somewhat longer
session than the usual
weekend, from Wednesday to Sunday, 22nd to 26th September the North
Wales /Black Hand Gang continued with the installation of the first of
two shelters on the platform at Waunfawr.
The roof has now been
completed, the bench seat installed, the toilet
section is almost complete as well as its access ramp. Also the area
surrounding the shelter has been tidied up following disturbance to
install ducts for services.
It is hoped to complete the
remaining tasks on the first shelter and
erect the second shelter over the long 'Station Blitz' weekend, 8 to 11
The progress on the second
shelter can be seen on the 10th
October 2010 during that weekend.
On 5th October 2010 the
Gang were active in the area of Aspinal's attending to Tan-yr-Alt foot
crossing where gravel and path material has been washing down onto the
ballast from the lane slightly higher up. Whilst there the gang were
interrupted by the service train hauled by NGG16 No.87.
They're included here simply as it's not an often used location
The at the end of following
week on the 16th October the Rest of the World were clearing lineside
drainage ditches at Plas Bodaden straight and lineside
clearance between Dinas and Cae Moel.
The long working weekend of
7th Jan through to the 10th Jan was to replace the wooden sleepers at Cae'r
Afon with those of the steal South African type.
The Friday saw Castell Caernarfon and DZ175 take the sleepers to the
site. The Rest of the World Gang also took two long wooden sleepers to
Caernarfon for the replacement of point timbers at the south end of the
loop as well as collecting numerous sleepers from alongside the track
route. The second picture shows the trackgang, who were joined by
members of the ICRS, on the way to Cae'r Afon with the third picture of
them working at the site.
On 25th January 2011 the
Tuesday Gang spent a dampish day collecting the lineside brash between
the A487 overbridge OB 24.61 and through Dinas cutting to Cae Moel
overbridge OB 24.95. During the summer a lot of cutting back had
occurred here of mainly gorse by the ROTWG but because of the train
service it had not been collected up. Three trips were made with
Caernarfon Castle and 2 "B" wagons and the brash taken to a
place known colloquially as "Hugman's Hollow".
1st February 2011
Tryfan junction station is now on the new timetable, and the council
are progressing with the footpath along the Bryngwyn branch trackbed.
Photos and report by Jim Comerford
The first photo is from the crossing of the existing footpath over the
trackbed on the south side of the road overbridge. The bridge can be
seen in the photo with very significant vegetation clearance and a much
improved drainage system. The trackbed under the bridge was usually
The second is from the road crossing at Tryfan Junction showing that
the footpath has been separated from the drive to Tyddyn Gwydd which
actually runs on the former trackbed. This stretch has had a layer of
hard-core applied, while the rest of the works that were visible still
await a surface.
The third is from the apex of the 180 degree turn, beside the entrance
to Tyddyn Gwydd.
The path now provides an attractive walk from the newly opened Tryfan
Junction Halt to Rhostryfan. Further work has been done to
improve the footpath since the previous report:
Waunfawr Station buildings
Since the previous reports above, erection of the huts has been
completed. The two huts have been linked by screen fences to create a
useful enclosure in between for storage of equipment and materials.
Bryngwyn footpath was officially opened on 21st May. This
follows the route of the former Bryngwyn branch from Tryfan Junction as
far as Rhostryfan, and was created with the aid of a grant of
£30,000 from the Welsh Assembly Government. A further grant has been
obtained recently to create a picnic area at Rhostryfan.
21st June saw the Tuesday
Gang in Dinas cutting where they were required to plant new posts for
the home and distant signal at the south approaches.
The existing home signal is adjacent to OB 24.61 which carries the A
487.and is not very high up. The replacement is about 50 metres south
and higher up the bank such that it is more visible to drivers of down
trains. As the home moves south then so must the
distant. The photo from Toiny Baker shows NGG16 No.138 passing the site
for the repositioned signal.
This week the Tuesday's Gang
task was groundbreaking, literally as they planted signage for the
Slate Trail, which is of course the Bryngwyn Branch. Five posts were
erected carrying seven signs. Two at Tryfan Junction directing people
from the platform to the gated start of the trial and three at
Rhostryfan itself pointing the way around the temporary diversion in
place until the final part of the trail is built.
16th August 2011
Tuesday 16th August the Tuesday Gang North were concreting in a post at
Waunfawr on which the Signal & Telegraph department will
install a repeater for the north end
drivers white light. This is the signal that tells the driver that the
are set correctly. The present drivers white light is invisible to
drivers until they pass under UB 30.14, hence the need for a repeater
signal which is back beyond crossing LC 30.08. Report by Tony Baker
One of the Pulpit-like structures was also erected last week in Dinas
Cutting for Signal & Telegraph staff to stand a ladder on.
Report by Tony Baker
23rd August 2011
Tony Baker reports: On Tuesday 23rd August the Tuesday Gang's allotted
task was to reinforce the fence opposite LC 30.74 just south of
Waunfawr. The tenant of the field wished to put horses into the field
and it was felt by the powers that be that the fence needed more posts
to make it more robust. The same technique was adopted as at Castell
Cidwm the week before which was to put in an additional post between
each existing post. We thought this would take half a day but what they
neglected to tell us was this field had once been a land fill site and
attempts to knock in extra posts invariably hit a house brick. So
instead it took all day.
8th November 2011
Work was in progress with restoration of the station building at Tryfan
Junction. Picture and video by Andy Keene
The video shows the Tuesday
Gang's train passing Tryfan Junction on its way to Rhyd Ddu:
3/4 December 2011
the weekend the North Wales / Black Hand Gang installed additional
sleepers and moved other sleepers to give the required support at the
additional rail joints created by staggering the rail joints on the
curve at Plas Bodaden. The sleepers were shovel packed and have been
marked ready for attention from the Matisa tamper.
This weekend saw change in the weather with the gang experiencing a
mixture of heavy rainfall and hailstones.
18th December 2011
Tryfan Junction Halt has been roofed and the chimney
work was undertaken by local contractors Dafydd Davies & Sons
in a style echoing the existing station building at Dinas. Pictures by
17th/18th December 2011
The weekend 17/18 December
was a comparatively quiet one for the North Wales / Black Hand Gang.
Saturday morning they carried out some track maintenance work between
Aspinall's Crossing (LC28.50) and Aspinall's Bridge (UB28.62), which
consisted of clearing accumulated dead leaves which were decomposing
around the sleepers, which would have given seeds a good medium to grow
in come the spring. Also decaying oak leaves produce acid which can
damage the steel sleepers.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday a number of
painting jobs were undertaken at Dinas, including the new doors
recently installed in the Goods Shed.
10th February 2012 Bryngwyn footpath The footpath is now fully open. Councillor Elwyn Jones
commented to the Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald: “Work
on this two mile stretch of pathway was the final part of our scheme to
open up the hills surrounding these villages. They have fantastic views
and a rich industrial heritage, and are well worth a
can now conceivably get a Welsh Highland Railway train to Tryfan
Junction, hop off, and take a walk into the hills. There’s a new picnic
area at the old Bryngwyn station, and from there you can walk up under
the slate heaps near Rhosgadfan and onto Moel Tryfan, before travelling
along existing paths all the way to Plas y Nant and Betws
Garmon. You’ll then be able to walk back to Bryngwyn, and
the last train back to Caernarfon. There are also paths from
area to Y Groeslon and Waunfawr, so the area including Bryngwyn and
Tryfan Junction is now a great hub for exploring the countryside in all
directions, and something we hope will be a valuable resource for
locals and visitors alike.
“The community council has worked very
closely with the Welsh Highland Railway on this project and with the
Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group which have done an excellent job
in upgrading the former Bryngwyn station site. We also
substantial grant from the Welsh Government’s tidy towns initiative to
fund the work on the pathway itself. We’ll be looking to
this co-operation as we promote the pathway to railway passengers and
locals and would urge everyone to make use of this great new network of
17th-18th February 2012
Rest of the World Gang worked from Dinas to Cae Moel greasing fish
plates. They were passed by Lyd on a service train and
returning as a special. On Saturday 143 was seen on a rail
at Rhyd Ddu. Report and pictures by Simon Melhuish
Rest of the World Gang - March Working Week
In what can only be described as unusually fair weather for late March
the Rest of the World Gang spent the first five days of the March
working week 17-23 March servicing fishplates and track fastenings
between the Bodaden Straight and Tan yr Allt foot crossing.
With the number of volunteers in that period ranging from 11 each day
over the weekend and 8 or 9 on the following days good progress was
made. A total of 168 pairs of joints had their fishplates
regreased and bolts checked. Track fastenings over that
stretch were checked for tightness and any that were seized up or
wrongly oriented were corrected. In the five days the team
covered a distance of about 3 kilometres. Of the following
days one was spent collecting brash from the lineside between Dinas and
Tryfan Junction. Our train consisted of two B wagons, a DZ
and 1001. Two journeys were made with unloading taking place at the
site of Betws Garmon station. The final morning was spent
sorting out a problem at Beddgelert Station and returning the equipment
used for fishplate servicing to its rightful place at Dinas before
people set out for their journeys home.
The longer hours of daylight not only permit early morning working but
also evening working parties.
of the North Wales / aka The Black Hand Gang were out yesterday evening
(30/04/12) between 17:00 and 20:00 collecting tree prunings between
Tryfan Junction and Tan Rallt.
The opportunity was also taken to
deliver fine slate waste to Waunfawr, so that the area next to the new
platform buildings can tidied up; this area was disturbed when services
for the buildings were put in.
Aggregate for the installation of posts for a new running-in board at
Snowdon Ranger was also delivered to that halt.
Tuesday Gang spent 22nd May servicing T-bolts, from the north points at
Waunfawr 30.20 to point 29.40, a total of 800 metres. Approximately two
dozen were found to be loose. Some of these tightened up without any
fuss, others were seized and were forcibly undone with a T bar and
extended fulcrum i.e. a piece of scaffold bar. Once taken
the threads are wire brushed and liberal amounts of grease applied. The
nut and bolt are then re tightened but not using the extended fulcrum.
All were successfully dealt with.
windows were installed in the restored station building at
Junction. The work was carried out by the West
Branch of the Welsh Highland Railway Society.
Over the weekend of 6/7
October the North Wales/aka Black Hand Gang
were engaged in fitting new gutters and downpipes to the east side of
the loco shed at Dinas.
The remains of the old guttering were firstly removed. In
order to access parts of the shed wall on this side, vegetation on
neighbouring land had to be cleared. In some places ivy was invading
the wall between the two properties. Several loads of cut
vegetation were carried away in the pick-up truck
over the weekend. Report by Dafydd Thomas
The Tuesday Gang aka WHR Drains Gang spent the 9th Oct clearing a long
and very overgrown lineside drain which runs from LC 25.05 Cae Moel to
Plas Bodaden LC 25.53, a total of 480 m. About half of it was completed
by end of play. Interestingly, this lineside drain was last cleared in
2004 by the then infant Tuesday Gang.
Rest of the World Gang (3 in number) were in action at Aspinalls on
Friday 12th, jacking and packing to remove a horizontal alignment
problem, which had resulted in a temporary speed restriction. Report by
Gang continued digging out the long ditch between LC 25.05 (Rhos Isaf
Road) and LC 25.53 (Plas Bodaden) and by close of play it was estimated
they were at 25.29, roughly half way. It could take another
working days to clear the whole length. Progress is slowed by
nature of the matted grasses and weeds and substantial quantities of
deposited silt which have to be manually wrested from the
The completed section is looking much improved. Weather: from cool
& rainy to sunny periods. Volunteers: 6. Report by
Daffydd Thomas reports:
A brief summary of the North Wales / Black Hand Gang's
activities over the weekend 17/18 November : Saturday
- a series of small jobs were carried out or others completed
A survey of the drainage
at Castell Cidwm.
Installation of kilometre marker posts at Gwredog Isaf, Plas y Nant,
Snowdon Ranger, Bron y Fedw Isaf and Tro Ffridd.
Further vegetation cutting and the clearance of a drainage ditch at
Completion of cutting vegetation alongside the Carriage Shed at Dinas.
- The day was spent at Castell Cidwm rodding the drainage pipes,
cleaning out catch pits, checking the drainage as well as digging out
ballast and vegetation from the end of the main drainage
where it empties into the drainage channel that leads to the river.
members of the gang also spent the day at Dinas completing work on the
ex-South African tool/brakevan No. 3172 in preparation for fitting the
final roof covering next week.
This vehicle is now looking very
impressive with its new doors fitted, much of the external and internal
paintwork completed, refurbished brake setter, refurbished axle boxes
and of course the new roof. The small team led by Dafydd Jones Morris
have achieved a considerable amount of work in a short time on this
Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri (WHRS) project.
We look forward to seeing the finished product in a few weeks time.
On 22nd November 2012 during
a period of extreme wet weather, even by Welsh standards, the village
of Rhostryfan was severely flooded. The knock-on effect of this was
the stream, that rises on Moel Tryfan, burst it banks at UB 25.84.
About 50 feet of ballast was washed out and sleepers left hanging in
the air. The Tuesday Gang duly dealt with this on the 27th
November by taking ballast down in the pickup and
wheelbarrowed it from LC 25.91 The objective being to restore the track
to a state
that could support a ballast hopper. This was achieved by late
afternoon and the
full repair will be attended to in due course.
December was the first day of the inter-holiday WHR work party,
clearing vegetation in the area of Tryfan Junction. Paul
and Steve Broomfield worked to clear the Northern area from the road
crossing to West of the station building. Subsequently Dafydd Thomas is
leading a larger gang, which will also have the aid of the
'chipper' for the cut brash. This activity will continue until
Sunday 30th December. Report by Steve Broomfield
Pictures of Tryfan Junction by Andy Keene show some of the
areas cleared of vegetation by the work parties during the holiday
30th December 2012
Dafydd Thomas adds this
report on the work at Tryfan Junction (27 - 30 December):-
post-Christmas tree and vegetation clearance at Tryfan Junction got
into its stride on the Friday and Saturday with a good turnout of
volunteers from the North Wales/Black Hand Gang and the Rest of World
All the excess trees and vegetation that was blocking sight
lines through the station site were cut and chipped on site. This not
only allows the driver's of Up trains a clear view to the road crossing
but also allows them on emerging from under Tryfan road over bridge, to
see, well in advance if there are any intending passengers on the
The clearance work has also enhanced the location of the
restored station building. Some work to clear drains at the station
site was also undertaken, as they were full to capacity with the recent
heavy rainfall. On the Sunday a small group of volunteers cleared the
remaining trees an vegetation
between the Tryfan road bridge and Tryfan level crossing.
volunteers working on the project had an added bonus with the use of
the station building as a mess facility, complete with coal fire, which
was most welcome in the wet and cold weather.
The Heritage Group were
working on the platform extension at Tryfan Junction 22-23 February,
and were joined by members of the WHRS West Midlands Group on
March 8 -10. The completed platform will extend in front of
the building as in the original WHR arrangement.
24th March 2013
The picture by Stuart McNair shows the completed
platform extension at Tryfan Junction