Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group

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AGM 2017

The 20th AGM of the Group will take place at 1400 hrs on Sunday 30th April 2017 in the Glaslyn Room of the Ganolfan,  Porthmadog. The Agenda and Minutes of the previous meeting have already been distributed to members.

Ghosts of Aberglaslyn

This  latest publication from the Group is  now on sale. The new  book by John Manners tells the fascinating story of the Porthmadog, Beddgelert and South Snowdon Railway. It tells of the aspirations, the politics and the achievements of the company which never ran a train but nevertheless left its mark on the later WHR. To order by post, print out the Order Form or better still, order online from our Sales page.

Tryfan Junction

For the first time,  vintage trains were scheduled to stop at Tryfan Junction during the Superpower Gala weekend in September 2016.  A photo opportunity was arranged there, and the Friends laid on tea and biscuits to accompany the display in the station building.

 It's a lovely spot and it's a fantastic building to show people, as well as being at the start of the Slate Trail.  Friends of Tryfan Junction is a very informal organisation, formalities are kept to a minimum but, if you've not already had one, you will need a safety induction, which can easily be organised.Contact Mike Hadley, 01386 792877/07860 828876 mike@mandhhadley.co.uk

Beddgelert Water Tank

Cedric Lodge has now brought the tank into commission and the first locos watered there over the Superpower weekend


Betws Garmon Station

This station lies in ruins beside the track, as once did Tryfan Junction. It lies well outside the village and there is no likelihood that it will ever see use again as an operational station.  The Group would like to see it restored but there are many obstacles to be overcome.  In particular, in order to be sustainable, the building would need to find some new raison d'Ítre once restored. Plans are still very much  in their infancy  and developments are awaited.

Autumn 2015:
Nick Booker appointed to F&WHR Heritage Ltd Board
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways Heritage Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Booker to the board of the Company. He replaces David Allan who has been a member of the board since 2005.

Nick is a specialist in strategic marketing and visitor attractions, including museums, and a director of Attract Marketing Ltd. He has extensive business experience in a career covering business development, marketing strategy, market research and market planning. Before beginning a career in consultancy, he held various business development roles in a number of companies, including Dunlop. He is a member of the Tourism Society and the Bristol Archaeology Society and has a keen interest in military history.

Nick has had a long involvement with the Welsh Highland Railway. He is a former director of Welsh Highland Railway (1964) Ltd and is now Chairman of the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group.

We have republished The Buffet Car book fully revised and updated by Peter Liddell – see Sales page – priced at £15.00
Wheellers Day has also been re-printed and is now available - see Sales page
The Group has made its first donation (of 3) to KS4415, the Kerr Stuart diesel restoration project:

KS4415 at Boston Lodge Sept 2015 - Andy SavageKS4415 at Boston Lodge Sept 2015 - Andy Savage
Work continues on the Cambrian Crossing Box at Pen y Mount under the guidance of Mike Hadley and it should be complete by Spring 2016:

Pen y Mount Box Aug 2015Pen y Mount box Sept 2015

Award for Tryfan Junction restoration
The  Group has won the 2014  Volunteers' Award offered by National Railway Heritage Awards for the restoration of Tryfan Junction Station building.The award was announced at the national awards ceremony in London on 3rd December 2014. It comes with a blue commemorative plaque and a cheque for £1500 towards the expense of restoration. The plaque will be erected and unveiled at a later date. 
Many have commented that John Keylock would have relished the occasion, and the award is a tribute to his vision in taking forward the restoration.

For a full report see here
Tryfan Junction - pic by FR&WHR
For details of the restoration, see the Project page.

Newly published: 
"The Bryngwyn Branch" by Dave Southern & John Keylock
Bryngwyn coverThe Welsh Highland Heritage Group's new book about the Bryngwyn Branch describes its history,  operation and closure, and its development into today's slate trail.
£15 each,  post paid in UK.

To order visit the Sales page

ISBN: 978-0-9930821-0-8 

Members' Email addresses

A message from Michael Hadley,  Assistant Secretary to the Group:

Dear Members,

We have never asked for your email addresses but on a number of occasions a list would have been helpful. If you are willing to let the Group have your email address please send an email to

Mike Hadley:    mike@mandhhadley.co.uk

We give the following undertakings:

1) We will not sell, give away or otherwise dispose of your email address to anyone outside of the Group.
2) If we do send out emails to more than a few of you at any one time, we will send them 'blind copy' to reduce the likelihood of spam. 

AGM 2014

The 17th AGM of the Group took place on Sunday 4th May 2014 in Prenteg Village Hall. The new Chairman Nick Booker reported on changes to the committee following the retirement of David Allan and the sad deaths of John Keylock and Gwynfor Pierce Jones - see the committee page. He also reports that the Cambrian  Crossing Box is finally nearing completion. Tryfan Junction building is almost complete and the intention is to move on to the signal box. Final plumbing of the Beddgelert Water Tower should be undertaken this year.

Gwynfor Pierce Jones

Gwynfor Pierce JonesIt is with much sadness that we record the passing of  Dr Gwynfor Pierce Jones who died suddenly on 23rd December 2013. He was a keen supporter of this Group, a member of its committee and a renowned expert on the history of slate mining in Gwynedd, 
Dr Pedr Jarvis wrote "He was the leading expert on slate mining in Nantlle but his interests ranged widely afield. He was always willing to help with obscure information about quarries and quarry railways; he was a treasure. Also played in the brass band - the last time apparently only the day before his untimely death. I think he was also involved with early efforts to revive the Welsh Highland, but was happy to pass on that job in later years.  It may have been from Gwynfor's influence that the Welsh-speaking element in the revival was kept in the early days"
Dr Dafydd Gwyn added "A  wonderful friend, supremely clever,  very charming – in the best sense – and  so much his own man"
His funeral  was held in Bangor on 6th January 2014 and was attended by a  large congregation of relatives, friends and colleagues.

John Keylock

John KeylockIt is with great sadness that we report the death of John Keylock. John was a driving force in the establishment of the WHHG and in its various projects, most notably in recent times with the restoration of Tryfan Junction. He was for many years secretary of the Group and possessed an enormous fund of knowledge about the railway. The funeral was held on Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in the village church at Childswickham, Broadway. The church was packed with over 200 people and standing room only. David Allan gave the eulogy,a warm appreciation of John's life.

Scattering of John's ashes:
John Keylock's ashes are to be scattered on the water meadow below the site of Salem Halt on Saturday 5th April at 11.00am.   The field is owned by Lewis Esposito who has kindly agreed to this arrangement.

Everyone connected with John is invited to this simple ceremony in memory of a great servant of the Welsh Highland Railway.  

AGM 2013

The AGM will be held on  Sunday 5th May at 2.30pm in Prenteg Village Hall (note the change of venue).
The following are the papers for the meeting:
1. Notice of meeting
2. Agenda
3. Income and Expenditure 2012
4. Balance sheet
5. The Crossing Box saga

Back issues of the Journal

The project to digitise the back issues of the journal is now complete and all issues (except the past eight issues) are available for download  in the Journals area of the website

Tryfan Junction station open weekend

The station will be manned during the weekend of  September  15th/16th. This is the weekend of the Quarrypower celebration on the railway. Come and see the latest progress with the rebuilding  and walk the Bryngwyn footpath. Trains stop here by request.

A guide  walk along the Bryngwyn branch from Tryfan Junction is taking place on Sunday 16th - see the Festrail website for further details and bookings.

 Lighting the fire -  on Sunday 16th September at 4.00pm a small ceremony is planned to light the fire for the first time.

Bryngwyn footpath

Bryngwyn footbridge to be restored - David Allan 8th June 2012
Elwyn Jones reports:
 "A further grant of £30,000 has been received from the Welsh Assembly to Llanwnda Council that will enable the completion of the slate trail footpath on the Bryngwyn branch.   The money will also fund repairs to the unique NWNG pedestrian overbridge at Rhostryfan.   Tryfan Junction is the ideal halt from which to explore this fascinating narrow gauge branch line and the slate quarries that it was built to serve."

AGM 2012

AGM 2012 about to start - picture David AllanThe AGM was held on 6th May in Beddgelert. 

The Chairman reported on  the excellent progress made with restoring the building at Tryfan Junction, the opening of the Bryngwyn footpath and the recreation of the Beddgelert Lamp Room. 

Completion of the Beddgelert Water Tank and the Cambrian Crossing Box projects are dependent on external factors which the committee arre working to resolve. 

"Wheeller's Day" was published during the year and has sold remarkably well  with reprints being ordered. The DVD "Welsh  Highland Story" is also selling well.  The website has been revamped and membership is growing. 

The Treasurer reported a surplus over the year, most of which is to be allocated to completion of the Tryfan Junction project.

Two booklets for publication are ready in draft form, on the subjects of the Bryngwyn Branch and Electric Locos for the PBSSR. 

More than half of the back issues of the journal have sold out and it is planned to put past issues on line to make them more accessible. 

Elections: David Allan and Derek Lystor were re-elected to the committee.

Tryfan Junction 5th May 2012

On Saturday 5th May Tryfan Junction station building was open to show members  the progress which has been made. See the Tryfan Junction page for views of the structure

Michael Davies at Tryfan Junction. Picture by David AllanDavid Tidy & John Keylock at Tryfan Junction - picture by David Allan


For recent changes to the site see the Changelog

Website Editor

27th February 2012

David Tidy

David Tidy has taken on the administration of the Group's website. This position  had been vacant since the untimely death of Keith Bradbury in September 2011. Keith had put an enormous amount of work into assembling the website and this website honours his memory.

Keith Bradbury

Keith Bradbury

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