The WHR Project -
"A Sustainable Future"
track is in place all the way from Caernarfon to
Porthmadog, the line was formally opened in April 2011, the trains
are running, and there has been much to celebrate. But what has
been achieved is still only a basic railway. Phase 5 is
about finishing the task of creating a high class heritage railway.
The appeal was launched in December 2010 with the following announcement:
The Phase 5 Appeal. "Let's finish the job"
Details of the appeal appeared in Steam Railway and have been circulated to current sponsors. There is a dedicated website for the appeal which gives full details.
5 is designed to deliver the items we need to finish the Ffestiniog and
Welsh Highland Railways. We are making a major effort to raise the
funds to do this, by appeals to the public, to sponsors, and for
government grants. When you give, we hope it will act as match
funding, pound for pound. The funds we raise will be spent in key
areas, such as:
1. Harbour Station: to have two trains in the
station together, allowing transfer between FfR and WHR trains,
another platform is needed. We have all the plans and permissions
to do this work. Harbour Station will then really be the narrow
gauge Grand Central!
2. We will soon have more
locomotives and more carriages than we have room to store. New
locomotive facilities are urgently needed at Dinas and Boston Lodge,
and the carriage sheds there do not house the current fleet. When
the fleet gets bigger, we will need bigger sheds, or have to
leave even more of our precious carriages outside.
3. We need
two, more powerful, modern diesels to run services not economic for
steam, and to act as general purpose and rescue machines.
It would be unwise, having built the WHR, not to be able to offer the
level of service and the number of seats we want with purpose built
carriages. The initial need is for ten new FfR width
carriages, all to be built at Boston Lodge. This will allow these
vehicles to be used on both railways. More carriages will follow
as demand rises.
5. Upgraded terminal stations at
Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog are essential and we also wish to
improve intermediate stations.
appeal has been structured to encourage our sponsors to join the
Ffestiniog Family. Our experience from Phase 4 has shown how much
this is appreciated. Should you be kind enough to support the
Phase 5 Appeal, we shall welcome you to membership of the FfR or WHR
Society and to the annual tour of inspection, as well as offering other
ways in which you can join in.
The Company added the following note to the appeal literature:The FR Co board would like to clarify the position with regard to the phase 5 appeal.
the Board's overall responsibilities, this appeal seeks to raise funds
that benefit both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. We were
offered an opportunity to present the appeal in this edition of steam
railway magazine. Space in this edition is highly coveted as it is read
over the all important Christmas and New Year holiday period. We had to
respond very quickly to this opportunity.
This appeal, which is
equally relevant, and open to, supporters of both railways, includes
the share for life offer for larger donors. It gives the opportunity
for donors to opt for membership of either society as part of the
package. The project lists published to date are preliminary and will
be developed and prioritised in consultation with the Ffestiniog
Railway Society and the Welsh Highland Railway Society.
April 2nd 2011
This remarkable special was arranged to raise funds for the
"Phase 5" appeal. It ran firstly from Porthmadog to Blaenau
Ffestiniog, then to Caernarfon, passing non-stop through Porthmadog,
finally returning to Porthmadog at the end of the day.
For the WHR section the train was double-headed with
double Fairlies. Photos by
Tony Baker and Richard Watson
April 26th 2011
John Prideaux has written a booklet "A Sustainable Future" to accompany the project. Copies have already been circulated to existing sponsors.
The latest update to the Phase 5 website
reports that "The Snowdonian" raised almost £40,000 for the
project in a single day. The success of the trip is a
sign that the venture may well be repeated.
Savage reports that in total the Phase 5 appeal has already
raised commitments of almost £350k,
with £200k of that due in by the end of this calendar year. He invites
you to join in in delivering the Sustainable Railway by supporting this
4th November 2011
Phase 5 – The
Sustainable Railway – Update by Andy Savage
In the last six months
we have seen real progress with the Phase 5 fundraising, and we are
starting to see some initial progress on the projects.
for the Sustainable Railway projects has come from a number of
places. The main appeal, plus associated cash support and gift aid,
has raised just short of half a million pounds – a brilliant start
in less than a year. We currently have 20 Gold subscribers, 25
Silver and 57 Bronzes. Added to that should be a large individual
donation towards a new carriage, support from the FRS to two more,
and the CRhE donation towards the Welsh Water building at Dinas,
giving a grand total of well past £600,000 – well done and thanks
to all who have contributed towards this.
We have continued the
design of many of the projects. At Harbour Station we now have a
design that everyone is pretty happy with, including the ability to
run round trains on both railways without affecting each other’s
platforms. Both WHR and FR trains will be able to arrive and depart
at the same time. At Blaenau and Caernarfon we are in discussions
with the local communities about what might be done to improve the
facilities at those stations.
The design of the new
‘standard’ FR profile carriage is complete, and our look ahead at
what is needed has made clear that we will probably need some more
full size WHR carriages to strengthen the rakes in due course.
The layout proposals
for Boston Lodge and Minffordd are being worked up, with a new
Minffordd South Junction to give direct access to the yard a real
Physically there are
the first signs of progress. At Dinas, as I mentioned, we have
acquired the rest of the WWA shed. This is being weather-proofed as
a first step, after which we expect to extend the loco stabling
facilities into it. With the revised train services needing only a
single train stabled at Dinas, we are revising our proposals here to
see just how much we need to spend at this stage.
At Minffordd the new
Infrastructure office has been delivered, the first step towards the
proposed new depot there. On the carriage front, 103 is in service,
the first new carriage, and 121 is under construction, with an order
for 108, the third in the new series already funded and placed.
reports on Harbour Station elsewhere – but the key message is that
we have much of the funding for this project in place, and if (but
only if) Welsh Assembly Government funding can be made available, we
will be in a position to match it, and proceed with the widening,
Behind all the progress
fundraising continues. There will be a big article in the November
Railway Magazine, complete with a revised brochure updating the
appeal. We need all the money that we can raise to deliver all the
Sustainable Railway projects, and with Gift Aid and the 10%
sponsorship on offer, every pound you give is worth over £1.37 to us
straight way – more if we can use it to attract volunteer support
and grant funding – we can easily turn your £1 into £5 worth of
work in the right circumstances. So please, do consider taking out a
standing order to the Phase 5 / Sustainable Railway project - you can
find the application forms, and all the latest news, at our web site,
the WHR Project homepage
Authored by Ben Fisher; last updated by David Tidy
4th November 2011