On a very windy Sunday in September (11th of September) we made a trip to Dinas on the Welsh Highland Railway as they were having their annual Super Power event – this year it was once again themed around “Great & Small” . This is the third year that it has been themed around this.
A Day at Dinas
The events of the gala were mainly centred at Dinas, which is why we chose to base ourselves there.
Linda and Britomart (Caernarfon – Dinas/Waunfawr Shuttles)
Hunslet’s Linda and Britomart ‘Top and Tailed’ shuttles between Caernarfon and Dinas/ Waunfawr.
Linda is the sister to Blanche and worked at the Penrhyn Quarry in her working life. Linda arrived at the Ffestiniog with Blanche in 1962 and has been a favourite on the shorter trains ever since.
Britomart came to the Ffestiniog Railway in 1965, Britomart had a working life at the Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry in the Nantlle Vale in North Wales. Britomart is now privately owned.
Garratt 143 on Freight Trains
Garratt 143 on Sunday was rostered for Freight trains, which ran from Dinas along the line towards Porthmadog.
Garratt 143 entered service on the Welsh Highland Railway in September 1998 at the Enthusiasts’ Weekend. No. 143 spent its working life in south Africa where it was able to pull heavy freight.
Various locos were giving footplate rides throughout our visit.
Lautoka No. 19
Visiting from the Statfold Barn Railway, Lautoka No. 19 was giving FREE footplate rides along the Dinas sidings. Built in 1904 by Hudswell Clarke, it spent its working life at the Colonial Sugar Refining Co (CSR) of Fiji. The loco spent a period of time as a static display, but arrived at Statfold in May 2012 and was back in steam in the spring of 2013.
Delivered new to Cilgwyn but bought by Penrhyn quarry in 1928 (Later becoming ex- Penrhyn). From there she was bought by Bernard Latham, who restored Lilla in his garden. Lilla had several homes before coming to the Ffestiniog Railway for their “Hunslet Hundred” Gala in 1993, Bernard decided to keep her at the railway, as she fitted in so well. A few years later, he decided to sell Lilla to the FR.
Velinheli (Who was visiting from the Launceston Railway) is a ‘Quarry Hunslet’ (Alice class) and was built by the Hunslet Engine Co. in 1886. She worked in the Welsh Slate Quarries at Dinorwic before being sold to Armstrong Evans near Launceston. She was then rebuilt by James Evans for use on the private Inny Valley Railway. When this closed in 1986 she was moved to Launceston Steam Railway. Velinheli is privately owned by James Evans.
Prince (Shuttles between Dinas and Beddgelert)
George England Loco ‘Prince’ took shuttle trains from Dinas to Beddgelert with two WHR coaches and Carriage 11, the shuttles met ‘Palmerston’ at Beddgelert, where Palmerston was doing the Beddgelert to Porthmadog Section of the line.
No. 2 ‘Prince’ was the second locomotive to be built for the original Ffestiniog Railway, Prince was built by George England Locomotive Co. in 1863 – Prince was the first locomotive to be rebuilt on the preserved Ffestiniog Railway and is a popular sight at Galas as well as special charters (Such as ‘The Snowdonian’ and ‘The Snowdonian Limited’ earlier this year).
Hunslet ‘Hugh Napier’
During the event, the FF&WHR ran ‘Slate Shunt Experiences’ which gave the opportunity to drive a steam loco and do some shunting!
Hugh Napier worked at the Penrhyn Quarry. The loco is owned by the National Trust and aim to have him publicly available and is operated by the Ffestiniog Railway.