Welsh Highland Railway - 

Dinas to Waunfawr

Upkeep and
Improvements pages:
Dinas - Waunfawr
 Harbour Station works  Caernarfon Station development

This section was built under Phase 2 of the railway's rebuilding and the construction details can be found using the link below.

Phase 2 - Dinas to Waunfawr - 1999 to 2000

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 the footings.

The groundwork taking place for one of the two new station shelters. (Photo: A.Keene)The groundwork taking place for one of the two new station shelters. (Photo: A.Keene)The groundwork taking place for one of the two new station shelters. (Photo: A.Keene)

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.

Ducting for the two station shelters. (Photo: S.Broomfield)Ducting for the two station shelters. (Photo: S.Broomfield)

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.
Waunfawr buildings - Steve BroomfieldWaunfawr station building - Steve Broomfield
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 October.
The progress on the second shelter can be seen on the 10th October 2010 during that weekend.

Waunfawr buildings - Steve BroomfieldWaunfawr station building - Steve Broomfield

On 5th October 2010 the Tuesday 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 for photographs.

Work at Tan-yr-Alt foot crossing - Simon Melhuish
87 approaching Tan-yr-Alt foot crossing - Simon Melhuish87 approaching Tan-yr-Alt foot crossing - Simon Melhuish

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.

Lineside clearance between Dinas and Cae-Moel - Steve BroomfieldLineside drainage clearance, Plas Bodaden 'straight'. - Steve Broomfield

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 on 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.

Off-loading sleepers at Cae'r Afon. (Photo: Steve Broomfield)Members of the trackgang on the way to Cae'r Afon. (Photo: Simon Melhuish)Replacing sleepers at Cae'r Afon. (Photo: Simon Melhuish)

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".

Clearing brash, Dinas to Cae Moel - Steve Broomfield

1st February 2011

Bryngwyn footpath

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 under water.

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.

Bryngwyn footpath - Jim ComerfordBryngwyn footpath - Jim ComerfordBryngwyn footpath - Jim Comerford
9th May 2011

Bryngwyn Footpath
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:
Bryngwyn footpath entrance Pic: David TidyBryngwyn foopath - the curve - David TidyBryngwyn footpath Pic: David TidyBryngwyn footpath - the overbridge Pic: David TidyBryngwyn footpath Pic: David TidyBryngwyn footpath - nearing Rhostryfan Pic: David Tidy

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.

Waunfawr station buildings Pic: David TidyWaunfawr station buildings Pic: David Tidy

21st May 2011
Bryngwyn Footpath

The Bryngwyn  footpath was officially opened on 21st May. This path 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 2011 

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.

Bryngwyn Branch 'Slate Trail' signage at Tryfan Junction. (Photo: Tony Baker)

28th June 2011 

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.

Bryngwyn Branch 'Slate Trail' signage at Tryfan Junction. (Photo: Tony Baker)Bryngwyn Branch 'Slate Trail' signage in Rhostryfan. (Photo: Tony Baker)

16th August 2011
On 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 points 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
"Pulpit" erected in Dinas cutting - 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.
Reinforcing fencing - Tony Baker

8th November 2011
Work was in progress with restoration of the station building at Tryfan Junction. Picture and video by Andy Keene

Station restoration at Tryfan Junction by Andy Keene

The video shows the Tuesday Gang's train passing Tryfan Junction on its way to Rhyd Ddu:

3/4 December 2011
Over 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 completed. The work was undertaken by local contractors Dafydd Davies & Sons in a style echoing the existing station building at Dinas. Pictures by Stuart McNair
Tryfan Junction roofing works looking down the line - Stuart McNairTryfan Junction roofing works looking up the line - Stuart McNair
17th/18th December 2011
The weekend 17/18 December was a comparatively quiet one for the North Wales / Black Hand Gang.
On 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 visit. You 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 catch the last train back to Caernarfon. There are also paths from this 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 received a substantial grant from the Welsh Government’s tidy towns initiative to fund the work on the pathway itself.  We’ll be looking to continue 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 paths.”

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 tour at  Rhyd Ddu.  Report and pictures by Simon Melhuish
Lyd passes track gang - Simon Melhuish143 passes track gang - Simon Melhuish143 at Rhyd Ddu, snow on the hills - Simon Melhuish

Rest of the World Gang - March Working Week

30th March 2012
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.
Greasing fishplates at Wernlas Ddu - Simon Melhuish

30th April 2012
The longer hours of daylight not only permit early morning working but also evening working parties.
Members 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.

22nd May 2012
The 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 apart 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.

24th June 2012"
Three windows were installed in the restored station building at Tryfan Junction.   The work was carried out by the West Midlands Branch of the Welsh Highland  Railway Society.

Tryfan Junction latest - David TidyTryfan Junction latest progress - David TidyTryfan Junction latest - David Tidy

6/7 October 2012
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

9th October 2012
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.

Drain to be cleared near Plas Bodaden - Tony BakerDrain being cleared near Plas Bodaden - Tony BakerDrain cleared near Plas Bodaden - Tony Baker

14th October 2012
 The 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 Steve Broomfield

16th October 2012
Tuesday 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 two working days to clear the whole length.  Progress is slowed by the nature of the matted grasses and weeds and substantial quantities of deposited silt which have to be manually wrested from the ditch.  The completed section is looking much improved. Weather: from cool & rainy to sunny periods. Volunteers: 6.  Report by Peter Roughley

17/18th November 2012
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 ,  including:
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 Tryfan Junction.
Completion of cutting vegetation alongside the Carriage Shed at Dinas.
Sunday - 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 ditch where it empties into the drainage channel that leads to the river.

Two 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.

27th November 2012

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 that 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.

Repairing the washout following recent flooding - Tony BakerRepairing the washout following recent flooding - Tony BakerRepairing the washout following recent flooding - Tony Baker

27th December 2012

27th December was the first day of the inter-holiday WHR work party, clearing vegetation in the area of Tryfan Junction. Paul Bradshaw 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

29th December 2012
Pictures of Tryfan Junction by Andy Keene show some of the areas cleared of vegetation by the work parties during the holiday period
Vegetation clearance at Tryfan Junction - Andy KeeneVegetation clearance at Tryfan Junction - Andy Keene Vegetation clearance at Tryfan Junction - Andy KeeneVegetation clearance at Tryfan Junction - Andy Keene
30th December 2012

Dafydd Thomas adds this report on the work at Tryfan Junction (27 - 30 December):-
The 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 Gang.
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 platform.
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.   

The 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.

11th  March 2013

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.
Extending Tryfan Junction platform - John HineExtending the Tryfan Junction platform - Stuart McNair
24th March 2013
The picture by Stuart McNair shows the completed platform extension at Tryfan Junction
Platform extension at Tryfan Junction - Stuart McNair

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Website authored by Ben Fisher; this page last updated 31st March 2013 by David Tidy