PROJECT RHEILFFORDD ERYRI
WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAY PROJECT
2003 NEWS ARCHIVE
See also - [2009 News]
  
More detailed accounts of progress with rebuilding work from
Waunfawr to Rhyd Ddu (and allied developments) prior to reopening in August
2003 are laid out in context on the Phase 3 pages.
- January 2003 - Tracklaying started at Rhyd Ddu Station.
- March 2003 - Detail planning permission was granted for WHR (Porthmadog)
to start work on the Pont Croesor extension, work on which started northwards
from Pen y Mount on the 24th.
- The renovated and strengthened span of the Cae Hywel river bridge was craned
back into place.
- May 2003 - The modified parts for the Betws Garmon river bridge
were delivered and assembled.
- WHR (Caernarfon) held a Steam Adventure Week,
featuring visiting locos Linda and Stanhope.
- June 2003 - The new span of the river bridge at Betws Garmon was
craned into place, filling the last gap in the trackbed from Waunfawr to Rhyd
- Glan yr Afon Bridge was completed.
- The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways hosted guests from South Africa's
Trust & Railway from late June to early August to explore possible training
links in railway engineering and commercial activities.
July 5th 2003 - WHR (Porthmadog)'s Barclay diesel
Taxi 2 was delivered to Rhyd Ddu to work trains for the fencing
contractor; it is seen below on a test run to Snowdon Ranger with a WHR
(Caernarfon) DZ wagon.
July 16th 2003
- It was announced that HRH Prince
Charles would be opening Phase 3 of the WHR Project to Rhyd Ddu on July
- The Railway's official statement: "We are delighted to be
able to confirm that HRH Prince Charles will be opening Phase 3
of the Welsh Highland Railway to Rhyd Ddu on 30th July. This will
be a great honour for us and all the staff and volunteers who have
worked, and are still working, so hard ensuring we have the railway
ready. HRH will be touring several site in North Wales at the end
of July and today the Palace issued the following announcement:"
- "Wednesday, 30th July: HRH The Prince of Wales will take
a special journey on the Rheilffordd Eryri (Welsh Highland)
Railway to mark the completion of the latest part of the line
from Waunfawr to Rhyd Ddu, Gwynedd, Wales".
July 18th 2003 - The first through train ran
from Waunfawr to Rhyd Ddu. This was an inspection train for HMRI, leaving
Waunfawr at about 09.30 and reaching Rhyd Ddu at 16.00. The stock was
Harold and a DZ wagon, seen below halted for inspection of a
farm crossing. Jon Whalley and Ian Harthill acted as drivers, passengers
were Roland Doyle, Andy Savage, Mike Schumann, Paul Lewin and two HMRI
July 20th 2003 - FR carriages 100 and 113 were
moved to WHR(C) ahead of the start of the two-train service to Rhyd Ddu.
Carriage no. 11 was moved back to the FR the same day.
July 26th 2003
hauled the first
steam train to run south of Waunfawr since Russell
for storage at Dinas in 1937. The train ran from Waunfawr to south of
Plas y Nant for an HMRI inspection. More
July 28th 2003 - The first steam train to Rhyd
Ddu of the current era ran, leaving Waunfawr at approximately 18.00 andf
reaching Rhyd Ddu at about 19.15.
July 30th 2003
- HRH Prince Charles travelled by
train from Waunfawr to Rhyd Ddu to inaugurate the forthcoming opening
of that section. Details and pictures
- August 12th 2003 - Garratts 143 and 138 double-headed the first steam
test train to Rhyd Ddu to use a full modern passenger rake.
- August 15th 2003 - HMRI granted permission to run public services
to Rhyd Ddu.
- August 18th 2003 - Public services were extended from Waunfawr to Rhyd
Ddu - pictures here.
- August 30th 2003 - WHRS East Anglian Group members recovered four
small Hudson flat wagons for Phase 4 construction work from the Imperial War
Museum at Duxford (from under the landing path of vintage planes! - with proper
safety precautions), in a joint operation with the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway
Association. The wagons were moved to premises near Cambridge.
December 1st-19th 2003 - The WHR Project featured
in a Millennium Commission exhibition, Out of Time, at London's Tate
Modern. One of only 40 out of the Commission's 200 projects chosen to be
featured, the exhibited picture, by WHR Project Official Photographer Peter
Johnson, featured a mixed train with double-headed Garratts at Ffridd Isaf
during the September 2003 Super Power Weekend. The exhibition was due to
go on tour to other Millennium Commission-funded venues in 2004.
WHR Project News
Authored by Ben Fisher; last
modified January 15th, 2004