Welsh Highland Heritage Railway
|Welsh Highland Heritage Railway|
Rheilffordd Ucheldir Cymru
Russell and the 10.30 train. Photo: Richard Hoare
|Gauge||1ft 11 1/2 in|
|Owner||Welsh Highland Railway Limited|
|1961||Welsh Highland Railway Society formed|
|1964||WHR Society reformed as Welsh Highland Light Railway (1964) Limited|
|1980||WHR Ltd opened for passenger service|
|1987||Original locomotive Russell restored|
|2003||Original locomotive Russell taken out of service for expensive major overhaul.|
|2005||Celebrates 25 years of passenger train service|
|2007||Extended to Traeth Mawr|
|2008||Last train to Traeth Mawr|
|2009||Operational name changed to Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. Terminus reverts to Pen y Mount.|
|2014||Original locomotive Russel back in service.|
This railway has its origins in the first Welsh Highland Railway Society formed in 1961. The present site was acquired in 1978 and trains began operating there on 2nd August 1980. Originally the railway traded as the Welsh Highland Railway. In 1998, by agreement, it became known as the Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog), to avoid confusion with the main Welsh Highland Railway, then in the process of being restored between Caernarfon and Porthmadog by the Festiniog Railway Company. In February 2009, it adopted Welsh Highland Heritage Railway as its current trading name, with the formal company remaining WHR Ltd.
The origins of the WHHR lie within disagreements within the Festiniog Railway and a small group of railway enthusiasts forming the Welsh Highland Railway Society in 1961 to preserve and rebuild the original WHR which operated from 1922 to 1936. Construction of the line started in the 1970s following the acquisition of land from British Railways running alongside the Cambrian Coast line at a location known as the Beddgelert Siding. A substantial works and engineering facility has been constructed on the site of the former farm that was situated in the triangle of land between the Beddgelert Siding and the Cambrian Coast Railway. The works have been expanded with newly constructed shed accommodation in addition to the utilisation of some of the original farm buildings, which include one of the oldest buildings in Porthmadog. There has been, for some time, a museum part to the works and from 2009, with construction of a new building, this has more than doubled in size.
The railway currently operates a frequent service from March to November from the main station opposite the Network Rail station in Porthmadog, to Pen-y-mount. The trains run from Porthmadog to Pen-y-mount and then on the return stop at Gelert's Farm Halt where passengers disembark to visit the museum and miniature railway.
For 2007 and 2008, an additional short section of line was in use between Pen-y-Mount Junction and Traeth Mawr Loop. This line was built as part of an agreement signed in 1998 with the FR Co. and allowed WHR Ltd. to run on the original Welsh Highland Railway trackbed for the first time. As part of the agreement, the section closed and became a construction site when the reconstructed WHR mainline from Caernarfon was connected in 2008.
- Verbal recollections and e-group correspondence 
- Various, (1961). The Journal. Welsh Highland Railway Ltd.
- Boyd, James I.C. (1988). Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire, Vol. 1. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-365-6.
- Boyd, James I.C. (1989). Narrow Gauge Railways in South Caernarvonshire, Vol. 2, The Welsh Highland Railway. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-383-4.
- Hopkins, John (2003) . Rheilffordd Eryri/The Welsh Highland Railway: 1991 to 2003. Porthmadog: private print. OCLC 42445841.
- Johnson, Peter (2007) . Portrait of the Welsh Highland Railway. Shepperton, England: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-2658-0. OCLC 41018741.
- Johnson, Peter (2002). An Illustrated History of the Welsh Highland Railway. Hersham: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0-860935-65-5. OCLC 59498388.
- Train going through Cynfal Crossing
- Opening of Traeth Mawr Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5