Welsh Highland Heritage Railway
|Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (Rheilffordd Ucheldir Cymru)|
Peckett 2024 'Karen', R&H 4wDE 'Glaslyn' & Bagnell 3050 'Gelert' in 1992
|Terminus||Porthmadog and Pen y Mount|
|Name||Welsh Highland Railway Ltd|
|Built by||Welsh Highland Railway Ltd|
|Original gauge||1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm)|
|Owned by||Welsh Highland Railway Ltd|
|Operated by||Welsh Highland Heritage Railway|
|Length||1 mile (1.6 km)|
|Preserved gauge||1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm)|
|1961||Welsh Highland Railway Society formed|
|1964||WHR Society reformed as Welsh Highland Light Railway (1964) Limited|
|1980||WHR Ltd opened for passenger service|
|1987||Original locomotive Russell restored|
|2003||Original locomotive Russell taken out of service for expensive major overhaul.|
|2005||Celebrates 25 years of passenger train service|
|2007||Extended to Traeth Mawr|
|2008||Last train to Traeth Mawr|
|2009||Operational name changed to Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. Terminus reverts to Pen y Mount.|
|2014||Original locomotive Russel back in service.|
The origins of the WHHR lie in a small group of railway enthusiasts, including some disgruntled volunteers from the Festiniog Railway, forming the Welsh Highland Railway Society in 1961, to preserve and rebuild the original Welsh Highland Railway which had operated from 1922 to 1936. Construction of the line started in the 1970s following the acquisition of land from British Railways running alongside the Cambrian Coast line at Beddgelert Sidings. A substantial works and engineering facility has been constructed on the site of the former farm that was situated in the triangle of land between the Beddgelert Siding, the Cambrian Coast Railway and the original Welsh Highland Railway trackbed. The works have been expanded with newly constructed sheds and the re-use of some of the original agricultural buildings, which include one of the oldest buildings in Porthmadog. A museum of narrow gauge railways is part to the works tour and from 2009, with construction of a new building, this has more than doubled in size.
The railway offers a short train ride in heritage carriages to Pen-y-Mount Junction (where there is a physical connections to the F&WHR) just under a mile away from Porthmadog. On the return journey the train stops at Gelerts Farm Halt, which is the location of the workshops and museum, visitors can also ride on the Miniature Railway before returning to Porthmadog (WHHR).
The railway is mostly run by volunteers, who operate the trains and maintain the railway and its infrastructure.
The railway currently operates trains from March to November from their main station, which is located opposite the Network Rail station in Porthmadog on Tremadog Road. Trains run for 1-mile (1.6 km) to Pen-y-Mount Junction, where the railway connects with the WHR mainline. On the return journey, the train stops at Gelert's Farm halt, allowing passengers to visit the museum and a 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge miniature railway.
In 2007 and 2008, an additional short section of line was in use between Pen-y-Mount Junction and Traeth Mawr Loop. This line was built as part of an agreement signed in 1998 with the Ffestiniog Railway and allowed WHR Ltd. to run on the original Welsh Highland Railway trackbed for the first time. As part of the agreement, the section closed and became a construction site when the Ffestiniog Railway constructed WHR mainline from Caernarvon was connected in 2008.
|Welsh Highland |
- Various (1961–2008). The Journal. Welsh Highland Railway Ltd.
- Boyd, James I.C. (1988) . Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire – Volume 1. Headington: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-365-7. OCLC 20417464.
- Boyd, James I.C. (1989) . Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire - Volume 2: The Welsh Highland Railway. Headington: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 978-0-85361-383-1. OCLC 145018679.
- Hopkins, John C. (2003). Rheilffordd Eryri/The Welsh Highland Railway: 1991 to 2003, 4th edition 388pp. The author.
- Johnson, Peter (1999). Portrait of The Welsh Highland Railway. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 9780711026582. OCLC 41018741.
- Johnson, Peter (2003). An Illustrated History of the Welsh Highland Railway. Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86093-565-5.
- Turner, Alun (2003). The Welsh Highland Railway: a History, 4th edition. Stenlak Publishing. ISBN 1-84033-263-8.
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