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Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by WickhamofWare, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. WickhamofWare

    WickhamofWare New Member

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    I have just read the following on a Welsh Highland Railway forum:

    A story in this week's Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald (that has yet to appear online), informs us that a chap by the name of Colin Dale, from Essex, has "Secured the track between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog" with a view to running services within the next 12 months "using a mixture of vintage diesel and steam engines".

    Apparently, "as the track already exists, only minor work is needed to bring it
    up to standard, unlike the massive and costly projects to renovate old railways
    like the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland."

    -------------

    Does anyone have any further detail on this story?
     
  2. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    Has it even been officially closed? I thought it was still mothballed.

    Chris
     
  3. Selsig

    Selsig Member

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    I'm just impressed that Mr Dale thinks he can open next year with no stock, and no stations, since I doubt that he could use Blaenau Central, Manod and Llan Ffestiniog are long gone, Maentwrog Road is a private house, and the railway doesn't even reach Trawsfynydd any more. Also, despite only being closed since 1995 or so, and fairly well maintained for at least a couple of years after that, the line appears to have succumbed to nature far quicker than, as a near example, the Cambrian line between Gobowen and Llynclys. Both are overgrown, but the Cambrian seems to be mainly grass, whereas the Traws line seems to have had several invasions of forestry!

    John
     
  4. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Active Member

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    Trawsfynydd & Blaenau railway

    What's the point of trying to reopen a line on the Festiniog's doorstep. Who is going to get it into operational order ? Where are the volunteers, locos & stock coming from, as well as the new infrastructure required ? Does this guy have any money ,or is he just another dreamer ?

    Bob.
     
  5. ernestgew

    ernestgew Member

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    The line itself isn't in too bad a state. All the sleepers and fixings are pretty sound, and the joints seem reasonable. The railhead on some sections in quite worn, but would probably do for a Light Railway. The main problem there would be drainage, as some areas are quite boggy now, and also there is a lot of forestry along the line, trees growing between sleepers etc, but you could still probably run a heavy diesel shunter down there with no problems, so clearing it all shouldn't be too much of an issue.

    It seems like a good idea to me, why leave a reasonably good railway to rot, instead of doing it up and using it. Who are we to put a damper on someone who is trying to preserve something (if anybody here has looked closely enough, the name of the forum is National PRESERVATION). Even if he doesn't succed, it won't do any harm, and will at least show that people are interested in keeping railways together. If I didn't live so far away, I would definitley be there to help from the start.
     
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  6. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Active Member

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    One of our p.way experts has looked at this branch. The track is the original GWR stuff.
    The branch generally needs re-sleepering & the rail is pretty worn.

    Bob.
     
  7. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    The physical state of the p.way is probably fairly immaterial compared to the commercial pointlessness of any proposed revival of this line.
     
  8. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC the track was lifted after closure and then relaid in the 1960s for power station traffic, from BF (North) through BF (South) and onto the ex-GWR formation?

    Patrick
     
  9. MartinBall

    MartinBall New Member

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    Anyone know who Colin Dale is?
     
  10. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    A station on the Northern Line?
     
  11. WickhamofWare

    WickhamofWare New Member

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  12. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that the Post article omits the 'secured' bit. NR can't just dispose of track anyway?

    Patrick
     
  13. WickhamofWare

    WickhamofWare New Member

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  14. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay Part of the furniture

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    Looks like Mr Dale will need a trip to the wholesalers to buy some Round-Up :eek:
     
  15. Lewisb06

    Lewisb06 Member

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    He had better hurry up or it wont work...Then he will have to wait 'till next spring
     
  16. acorb

    acorb Active Member

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    I for one will wish the gentleman the very best of luck with this venture. To be honest I can see no reason why it shouldn't complement the Ffestiniog and it will go some way to provide an attraction in Blaenau which is often criticised for being a destination which has little to offer. As a new generation line it will have limited facilities to cater for the families and daytrippers that the Ffestiniog carries, so will be unlikely to make inroads into that market anyway until it has become more established. Intially it will be after people already in Blaenau or passing through, how many people start their Ffestiniog journey there as opposed to Portmadog? The southern end of the line always seems busier to me. Maybe some joint ticketing could be introduced as has been done with the 'Cambrian' and WHR Portmadog and encourage more people to start their narrow gauge journey there. Wales is short of standard gauge steam so any new scheme should be welcomed and supported and this is a very nice section of line to boot. I hope this sees more progress than a certain line on Anglesey which is crying out for steam..
     
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  17. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick Member

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    The 'Cambrian News' has a report as well - HERE

    Rather more length to this one - as well as a slight bit of confusion...
     
  18. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell Active Member

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    genuine non narrow guage of course although I think Im right in saying that the Blaenau end used to be narrow guage originally....
     
  19. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Hmm. So a local councillor thinks it's narrow gauge does he? Nice to see him so well informed about his locality.
     
  20. Roger Dimmick

    Roger Dimmick Member

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    Definitely non-narrow gauge now, but - yes, the section between Llan Ffestiniog and what is now 'Blaenau Central' was originally the Festiniog & Blaenau Railway built to Ffestiniog Railway gauge...

    The 'confusion' also, of course, includes the comment from Mr Dale that he had reached an agreement with Network Rail - with Network Rail saying they had not entered an agreement...

    I might well end-up going to the 11th September meeting... ;-)
     

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