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FR & WHR & WHHR News

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

  1. Herald

    Herald New Member

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    • I am sure the FfWHR will be having a debrief on the event and from what I have seen your comments are one of the few negative ones around.”[/QUOTE]

    Operational issues with elderly equipment are perhaps inevitable and one must give credit to the FR for attempting to run such events. One might, however, hope that lessons will be learnt about simple things:

    • I've overheard many complaints about the limited capacity of the Goose relative to using coaches with the visiting locos, the lack of shuttles on some days and their infrequent nature,
    • the relatively shambolic activity in Minffordd yard with no clarity of what might be happening when and a lack of trade stands, public address or other attractions,
    • visiting loco crews overheard grumbling about poor co-ordination of what to do or when,
    • running the concluding cavalcade through the platform road when running it through a carriage siding or into the WHR loop would have provided better photo opportunities for the assembled public.
    Logically a number of difficulties causing delay could have been easily foreseen. E.g.
    • Taliesin's inability to pull 33 slate wagons from the yard without assistance with time then lost organising assistance before the move was postponed,
    • the cavalcade on Monday being excessively drawn out due to poor planning of times both of the preceding inbound train and the time needed for some quirks to cross the cob. The commentators are to be congratulated on managing to pad out the extended gaps but left us in little doubt that better planning was needed.
    Most overheard comments have been about how much better FR events were in the past - maybe this is just the rose tinted spectacles of old men or that galas generally have become bigger and better elsewhere or maybe it is just a "quirk and curiosity" of the narrow gauge that things are relaxed and ad hoc .
     
  2. black5

    black5 Active Member

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  3. LesterBrown

    LesterBrown Member

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  4. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    I don't think I actually said I was unhappy with the event, just that the enjoyment of it had the edge taken off it by some of the issues I raised.
    And yes, my travelling companion and I have also provided feedback direct to the railway.

    Re the door incident, I'm not so certain that a derailment couldn't have occurred. The door in question had its opening edge leading so if it had come into contact with an immovable rock wall, simple mechanics means that the door would have attempted to push the coach sideways. This may "just" have resulted in the door disintegrating or being pushed off its hinges into the coach but it could have had enough strength to tip that side of the coach. Either way it could have resulted in shock or injury for the occupants. I stand by my "lucky escape" comment.

    I made no comment re who's fault things were in my post, only stating the fact that the door in question hadn't been locked when it should have been. As the train left from the WHR platform at Port, the door that opened would have been on the non-platform side so would have not been checked by the guard or platform staff there, and if nobody embarked or disembarked from that coach at Boston Lodge it may not have been rechecked by the train staff there either. I would add that when we reached Minffordd, the guard went down that side of the train rechecking the doors and at least one other door was also found to be unlocked....
    It may well be however that the enquiry identifies that there was a defect with both the lock and the actual door catch on that vehicle, although I believe that set of vehicles including that coach was, presumably after a fitters inspection, in use the following day.

    I would readily admit that there may have been other operational issues which prevented the train continuing, but these were not conveyed to passengers and the main issue I was trying to highlight was around not giving passengers any information as to what might be happening for 20+ minutes. The staff may not have company mobiles but there are land lines at every station which could be used to disseminate information.

    It appears from subsequent posts that mine were not the only negative comments heard over the weekend, and certainly back at our B&B there was quite a bit of discussion over breakfast on Sunday and Monday mornings, particularly in respect of the situation in respect of the lack of shuttles and the use of the goose as passenger accommodation on the majority of those that did run.

    The question was raised in the subsequent post as to whether it was a case of "rose tinted spectacles" making us less satisfied with more recent galas than those in the past but I don't think that is entirely the case. Past galas definitely provided more in terms of side attractions whether it be "drive an engine" at BL and Minffordd, cab rides at Port and BF, and a far greater selection of trade stands, model railway layouts/displays etc.

    I've been visiting the FR for 40+ years now and have always enjoyed those visits, and this one was no exception.
    It was just that I left feeling slightly let down in the way that some of the issues were dealt with and that there were some missed opportunities that could have turned the event from a good one into a great one.

    Chris
     
  5. 30854

    30854 Active Member

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    (I did unsuccessfully try a couple of searches before posting. Apologies if this is the wrong thread / is a daft question / has been asked before)

    WHR Loading Gauge: Is there a specific reason why new passenger stock wasn't built to the same hight as the NGG16 Garratts?
     
  6. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    Stability perhaps?
    Headroom in them is pretty good so no real reason to build them any taller.

    Chris
     
  7. 30854

    30854 Active Member

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    Makes sense.... Thanks Chris. Last time I was in that neck of the woods, the FR was only open to Dduallt, Palmerston was little more than a pile of scrap and the cutting behind the Goat Hotel at Beddgelert was soggy up to knee level!!
     
  8. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    Well worth a visit now then
     
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  9. 30854

    30854 Active Member

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    A return visit is long overdue. Part of the charm of holidays spent y Bermo 45 years ago (strewth, I'm getting old!!) were the Cambrian Coast Line journeys on 1st generation dmmus with panoramic views ahead or astern, armed with a season ticket, to/from FR, TR, VofR. The Fairbourne (I love those Guest 2-4-2s) was just a ferry crossing away, Blodge painted all it's locos green (even Princess stranded on her plinth in Blaenau Ffestiniog - seen when dragged onto a coach trip on a seperate occasion) and coach 116 was like an oven (I preferred the Bug Boxes!), Abergynolwyn station building was home to the biggest wasps nest seen before or since and everything at Aberystwyth had been dipped in woad.

    [\End of nostalgic ramblings]
     
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  10. Johnb

    Johnb Part of the furniture

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    I always do at least one day trip up there each year (200 miles each way) and Bob Branch's charters have been good value I. The last few years. The problem with NWales NG is there is too much to choose from
     
  11. 45669

    45669 Well-Known Member

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  12. DerekTrotter

    DerekTrotter New Member

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    Did i dream this or did i see a picture of The Earl on fb the other day?

    If this was real...i thought this loco was moth balled. Is it back out to bolster the running fleet in the summer?
     
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  13. banburysaint

    banburysaint New Member

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    The earl is out according to Facebook photos I have asked how long it has left

    Sent from my PRA-LX1 using Tapatalk
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Active Member

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    Ffestrail Insider (the Faceache page) has changed it's masthead photo to one of EoM in the last couple of days.
     
  15. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry New Member

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  16. meeee

    meeee Member

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    The Earl has been undergoing a bogie overhaul over the winter and is now available until the end of August. As far as i'm aware its boiler ticket will not be extended.

    Tim
     
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  17. black5

    black5 Active Member

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  18. meeee

    meeee Member

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    There is no need to. The NGG16s are so tall because of the height of the running plate over the bogies. Width and legroom are generally more useful to passengers. Extra height is just adding cost for no real reason.

    Tim
     
  19. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Out of interest, what is the headroom in the carriages? Just curious given that I can't stand straight in parts of some mainline stock, so would dispute that there is "no real reason" for adding height where it's feasible.
     
  20. acw71000

    acw71000 Active Member

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    A selection of shots including the reinstated 'Earl of Merioneth' filmed on 31.5.17

     
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