Superpower Weekend 
September 9th-11th 2011

Superpower 2011 took place over the weekend September 9th-11th 2011.  This was arguably the most ambitious Superpower event yet staged,  with almost every conceivable train path utilised during the Saturday and Sunday programmes, taking full advantage of the cross town link in Porthmadog for the first time in such an event. Equally the loco and operating departments were at full stretch.  The weather was mostly dull and breezy with patches of sunshine but the downpours which had been forecast did not materialise.  The meticulous planning over the previous months paid off and the schedules proceeded largely without a hitch.

The Welsh Highland Railway's three NGG16, Nos 87, 138 and 143 were in action, and there were several Festiniog Railway locomotives including Lilla and Britomart, Lyd in new green livery, two double Fairlies double heading trains on the Saturday, Linda and Blanche double heading a train on Sunday and triple heading Garratts too. Visiting engines were Adrian Shooter's Darjeeling B Class No 19 with its two accompanying coaches also in light blue, and Statfold Barn's Jung Mallet No 9, both making return visits to the railway and hauling service trains. 

Lyd at Beddgelert - Chris ParryLilla and Britomart beside 138 at Dinas - David TidyMallet No 9 at Dinas - Clive BriscoeTriple heading Garratts 143, 87 & 138 steam across Britannia Bridge - Chris ParryDHR "B" Class 19B at Dinas - Clive BriscoeDHR 19B, Merddin Emrys and David Lloyd George enter the Aberglasyn Pass - Jon PotterMallet No 9 and DHR 19B bring the mixed freight/passenger train into Rhyd Ddu - Simon Melhuish

"King of the Hill"
The Railway Performance Society were in attendance measuring detailed loco performances on the 1 in 40 climb from Beddgelert to Rhyd Ddu, with a view to selecting an empirical "King of the Hill". Their decision was announced on the Monday after the event. The fastest time over the recorded stretch was achieved by oil fired Garratt No 138, but not far behind were the Penrhyn ladies Linda and Blanche. In relation to their grate area,  the power developed by the Penrhyn ladies was deemed outstanding however, and accordingly they have been declared "Queens of the Hill".   See the full press release from Andrew Thomas and the spreadsheet of data from the RPS.

The public were also invited to vote and the clear winner for King of the Hill was Garratt NG/G16 143 with 27% of the votes cast, and the runner up was the Hunslet pairing of Linda and Blanche with 13%. The loco putting on the most impressive performance was judged to be Linda and Blanche with 25% of the vote while the runner up was the DHR B Class. For full details of the results visit the Festrail site

The Queens of the Hill after their winning run - Clive BriscoeQueens of the Hill 2011 - Photo by Jon Potter

At Dinas there were footplate rides in the sidings and displays in the goods shed. There was the opportunity to have a look at progress with a locomotive that will hopefully soon be seen on Welsh Highland metals, the ex-South African Railways NG15 No134. The restoration team were working on the locomotive in the Clip Shed over the weekend and the brand new tender body made an impressive display in the yard, while its chassis was on display in the carriage shed.  

Six locos at Dinas - Clive BriscoeTank for NG15 tender at Dinas - David TidyTank for NG15 tender at Dinas - David TidyTank for NG15 tender at Dinas - David TidyTender chassis for 134 - Clive Briscoe

The Superpower 2011 video by John Wooden:

Acknowledgments and thanks to photographers Jon Potter, Chris Parry, Clive Briscoe, Simon Melhuish, John Wooden.

Reports from the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2010events.

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Authored by Ben Fisher; created 6th September 2011, last updated September 20th, 2011 by David Tidy