The WHR from the Air - Pictures by Peter Johnson

This set of aerial pictures was taken by the railway's official photographer Peter Johnson on September 7th 2007. At this point track extending from the north reached as far south as the Aberglaslyn Pass, and civil engineering was complete or in progress at almost all points between there and the temporary WHR (Porthmadog) terminus at Traeth Mawr.

Clicking on the images will load the full-size version in a new tab or window; sizes range from 720-940KB. These photographs are copyright Peter Johnson and may not be reproduced in any format without his permission.

Pictures of the FR from the air taken on the same flight are available here.


K1 is leaving the station for Dinas with a test train. The former de Winton works stands across the road, between the railway and the Afon Seiont.


The station is in the lower right area of the picture. The course of the railway can be made out crossing under the A487 just above the centre, and it then curves back to the left (mainly obscured by trees).

Wernlas Ddu and Cae Hn

The railway passes under the Dinas-Rhostryfan road close to the top right. A short distance below, the green field to the left of the line was the Phase 2 Cae Wernlas Ddu construction base. Cae Hn farm is in the centre, and in the trees below it the railway passes under an overbridge to enter Tryfan Junction. The line of trees running up from the bottom about a quarter of the way from the left is the Bryngwyn Branch. The edge of Rhostryfan village is top left.

Tryfan Junction

Slightly further on from the previous view, Tryfan Crossing is prominent in the foreground, as is the sharp curve to the left marking the start of the Bryngwyn Branch.

Betws Garmon old station

Tan y Ffordd is at the bottom left, with the railway and road to the right. They split either side of Gwyrfai Terrace (railway on the left); the old Betws Garmon Station and the river bridge lie between there and the Pont Betws road bridge next to the church.

Bryn Gloch

The line passes under Pont Betws followed by the new bridge within the Bryn Gloch caravan park. The waterworks lies to the left of the line beyond it, followed by the bridge over the Gwyrfai at Cae Hywel before the start of the curves through Salem.

Clogwyn y Gwn

Looking toward Rhyd Ddu, the WHR curves around and above Clogwyn y Gwn farm, passing the prominent rock outcrop top centre.

Ffridd Isaf

These dramatic curves (along the bottom of the picture) bring the line into Rhyd Ddu (bottom right).

Rhyd Ddu

No. 138 Mileniwm/Millennium awaits departure for Caernarfon.

Rhyd Ddu and Llyn y Gadair

The station is in the upper centre, with part of the Ffridd Isaf curves below, and Llyn y Gadair above.

Above Hafod Ruffydd

The sharp curve below Pont Cae'r Gors; Hafod Ruffydd level crossing is on the left, half way down. This is the section that was used for artillery practice in World War 2; the present car park at Hafod Ruffydd Isaf (lower left) was the gunnery position.

Hafod Ruffydd Ganol

The WHR runs in a straight line below Hafod Ruffydd Ganol farm before plunging into Beddgelert Forest on the left.

Canal Curve

The first apex of the upper S-Bend is in the centre. The dark line in the trees to the right of it is the railway approaching it, and the line exits bottom right past Weirglodd Isaf.

The Lower S-Bend and Beddgelert (1)

The southbound WHR makes its first crossing of the Cwm Cloch lane bottom right. Cutting Mawr is obscured by trees, then the reverse curve can be seen beyond it, from which the line runs back towards the camera to cross the lane again to the right of Cwm Cloch Isaf's farmyard. The line then reverses again to face away from the camera into Beddgelert Station (left and just below centre). Bryn y Felin is in the distance.

The Lower S-Bend and Beddgelert (2)

Looking down over the curve into Beddgelert, from further south and at roughly 90 degrees to the previous picture.

Beddgelert Station

Beddgelert with the contractors on site, and the paths and station building foundations visible. The ballast hopper wagons are in the loop.

South of Beddgelert

The railway runs above the road, with Beddgelert off to the right and Bryn y Felin off to the left. The greenery at right centre below the road is on the PB&SSR embankment by the "Bridge to Nowhere", and the isolated abutments for the bridge through the unbuilt embankment (whose edges can be seen clearly) stand a short distance below and to the left. Upnor Castle is attempting to hide its works train behind a tree.

Bryn y Felin

The road passes over the railway and the railway crosses the Glaslyn. The tips of the former copper mine can be seen upper left.

Beddgelert, Bryn y Felin and the Aberglaslyn Pass

Bryn y Felin is just right of centre, and the line is obscured by the western flank of the Pass as it heads for the tunnels.


The railway is almost invisible here despite major work in progress. The village road (which the WHR crosses) leaves the A4085 at the lower left, and the face of the railway cutting can be made out above it. The embankment repair (which was at an advanced stage) can be glimpsed in the middle of the picture, and the new road bridge and the top of Nantmor Bank are visible on the right, about a quarter of the way up from the bottom.

Old Hafod y Llyn Halt

The line enters from the foot of Nantmor Bank at the bottom right, then the riverbank repair site is visible where road, railway and river are at their closest. Rising left from the centre, the trackbed (with contractors on site) is to the right of the new roadway running parallel. The halt was just below the centre of the image.

Hafod y Llyn Isaf

The trackbed and new roadway run above the edge of the trees in the lower part of the picture, then the as yet untouched trackbed curves off to the left towards the Afon Nanmor bridge.

Hafod y Llyn Isaf and Nantmor

A more distant view of the same section, looking north. Nantmor is left of centre near the top and the Aberglaslyn Pass is at the top left.

Afon Nanmor and Hafod Garegog (1)

The Afon Nanmor bridge is lower right, with the woods on Ynysferlas above it. The line runs straight left to the level crossing and the Hafod Garegog halt site immediately to the left of it. The Afon Dylif meanders across the picture, the railway bridge crossing it is just off to the left.

Afon Nanmor and Hafod Garegog (2)

The Afon Nanmor bridge is top right. The new roadway to Ynysferlas is above and parallel to the trackbed.

Hafod Garegog, Afon Dylif and Croesor Junction

Hafod Garegog is top left, followed by the Afon Dylif bridge. The new eased curve at Croesor Junction is prominent right of centre, then the line exits south on the middle left.

Croesor Junction

The new formation is to the left of the sharper original curve. The route of the Croesor Tramway (made more visible by use as a construction roadway) runs off to the right through a farm.

Hafod y Llyn - Ynysfor

In this northward view, the whole section is visible from just south of the old Hafod y Llyn halt (upper left) via Croesor Junction to around the area of the old Ynysfor halt.

Pont Croesor (1)

Looking west across the bridge before installation of the new rail deck, on the side away from the camera. The halt site is to the left of the road, and the Glaslyn Osprey Project's viewing site is below it. Part of the course of the abortive standard gauge Beddgelert Railway of 1866 can be seen curving upwards above the WHR.

Pont Croesor (2)

Looking south along still largely untouched trackbed. Traeth Mawr loop is just visible at the top centre.

Traeth Mawr Loop

Looking east - the line in use by WHR (Porthmadog) exits to the right.

Gelert's Farm and Cae Pawb Crossing

WHR(P)'s works is below the centre of the picture, with the WHR trackbed below it. The flat crossing of the Cambrian Line at Cae Pawb is visible in place lower centre.

CTRL (1)

Cae Pawb is just right of top centre, then the Cross-Town Rail link curves right through the 1923 Portmadoc New Station (with contractors on site), emerging between the car wash and Snowdon Mill.

CTRL (2)

Showing Snowdon Street crossing (not yet started) and the main town car park. The contractor's compound is to the right of the dark area, which is the former gas works site, turned into more car parking to more than make up for the area to be taken by the railway.

CTRL (3)

A view showing almost all the CTRL route, including the former supermarket at the bottom right; the CTRL route runs to the right of it to reach Britannia Bridge.

Britannia Bridge and Porthmadog Harbour Station

The entire length of future street running is shown in this picture, together with Harbour Station before the start of works to adapt it for joint FR/WHR use. Blanche stands beside the water tower.

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Authored by Ben Fisher; last updated September 26th, 2007