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From this month's featured article

Coed y Bleiddiau

Coed y Bleiddiau ('Wood of the Wolves') is a private halt between Tan y Bwlch and Dduallt and there is evidence of ancient forest in the area. Local legend has it that the last wolf to be killed in Wales met its end nearby. There is a small halt here, serving a cottage which was built around 1863 for the use of the Superintendent of the Line. The contract to build two cottages (XD97/18245) was dated 23rd November 1863. The contract specified cottages at Coedybliddia and at the Tunnel. The cost was £340 and issued to John M Evans.

The current Festiniog Railway Company Rule Book spells the name of this location as either "Coed-y-Bleddiau" or "Coed y Bleddiau". However, the correct spelling of the Welsh word for "wolves" is "bleiddiau". The location is also occasionally referred to as either "Coedybleddiau" or "Coedybleiddiau".

The railway crosses a small side valley on a curved, dry-stone, embankment here and the extra width on the valley side of the curve is evidence of its having been eased at some time, probably before 1869 when improvements were made to make locomotive working easier, but maybe when line-straightening and relaying in heavier rail was in progress in the 1850s, when locomotives were anticipated. The 1869 plans for the doubling of the line clearly show the wider curve in the formation. (more...)

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This month's featured picture

The new trident signal on the Cob

There was a McKenzie & Holland trident signal which controlled the approach to the FR Duffws Station being sited to the South of the FR main line just below Queen's Bridge (which carried Church Road over the line) in Blaenau Ffestiniog. The signals were removed from Duffws in 1923 but the Trident itself was not apparently removed until 1929. There was an appreciable period when the signal arms had been removed at Duffws, but the posts remained. According to Boyd the Duffws Trident was moved to the Cob. However design work for the new (2014) Trident signal at Porthmadog raised some interesting questions and suggests the Trident erected there in 1929 may have come from Glan y Pwll.

In early 2014 a new trident signal, based on the original but located further out on the Cob, was erected to control the approach to the revised Harbour Station layout. In June 2014 it was complete except for its finials and had yet to be commissioned. The temporary colour light signal was still controlling the trains. By early 2015 the trident signal was in full use.

Photo credit: Mark Temple

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