Easter in North Wales

30 March 2002

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The view from our bedroom window of the valley of the River Dee and Corwen village, the old embankment of the railway line running through the centre of the picture; one day this will again see steam trains running from Llangollen.

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After a morning horse riding, we drove to Caernarfon, from where we took the Welsh Highland Railway. Here the powerful narrowguage locomotive runs around a recently arrived train.

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As the line runs steeply uphill away from Caernarfon station, the famous castle comes into view.

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Here the WHR is built on the trackbed of a former standard guage railway, which gives space to the side for a cycleway.

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Once at Dinas, the new WHR reaches the route of the original WHR, which currently terminates at Waunfawr, though much work is underway which will eventually see it link up with the WHR at Porthmadog, which we visited last year.

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At the current terminus, Waunfawr, the locomotive runs around the train on newly laid track, with Snowdon looming out of the haze behind. Soon it will be possible to take a train to the base of the mountain.

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31 March 2002

Including a few new photos added 9 April.

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Getting kitted up

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Going down backwards!

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Lucy and Stephen are in the middle row.

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A few photos of others rafting...

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In the afternoon, with the weather inclement, we found an indoor attraction - the slate mines of Llechwedd.

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We chose to take the underground railway down into the depths.

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The deep mine incline enables visitors to explore the lower depths of the mine, by means of a 24-seat car on a gradient of 1-in-8. This is the steepest passenger underground railway in Britain.

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On emerging into the light, a view of the desolation that surrounds Blaenau Ffestiniog, with slate waste covering all the hills.


Monday 1 April 2002

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On our way home, we stopped off at the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway. The train from Llanfair is just arriving here at Raven Square, the modern-day terminus of the railway.

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Once the 2'6" railway continued through the streets of Welshpool to the main-line railway station, in what must have been an extraordinary sight, sadly lost to allow roads to be widened in the 1960s for modern traffic.

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Here we have reached the other terminus, Llanfair Caereinion. Our locomotive, Orion, reaches the very end of the line, and the points are switched to let her onto the passing loop. The long shed to her left used to be an engine shed, but is now a shop and tea-room.

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Her crew are seeing to the needs of Orion. Meanwhile we saw to our needs, and had some lunch from the tea-room.

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Orion moves back along the passing loop ready to take us back to Welshpool.

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One of the two cattle wagons built for the line in 1902 heads these wagons on a siding at Llanfair.

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This coach is one of 45 coaches built by the Gloucester Carriage & Wagon Co Ltd in 1961 for the Sierra Leone Government Railway, of which four reached the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway in 1975.

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We wait at Cyfronydd for the train from Welshpool to pass us.


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson