WHR Carriage Formations

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As the service on the WHR line has grown, the formation of the carriage rakes has been amended. Formations have been supplemented by transfers from the FR as appropriate. Here are details of those amendments, logged as they happen.

Note: the current maximum length of standard WHR rakes is 10 carriages, but this will be increased with the reconstruction of Caernarfon Station.


The Welsh Highland Railway timetable requires two trains of corridor carriages. These should each contain a first class (observation) car, a service car, a brake toilet car and an open car. The remainder of the train is made up from standard class saloons. These are distributed between the trains to ensure each has sufficient accessible spaces.

The carriage sets are identified by letter. The three main WHR sets are E-Set and F-Set whilst those on the FR are A-Set, B-Set and C-Set. Other letters may be used for non-standard or vintage sets from the FR. In addition, some winter timetables with shorter journeys use the FR carriage sets.

Current Strategy[edit]

The current carriage strategy was outlined in TSR 97 (Summer 2017). When this is completed each of the two sets will be formed of a core of nine carriages: a Pullman observation car, a Service Car, five third class saloons, a semi-open carriage, a third class/service composite and either of the non-standard carriages 2060 and 122. In the future is it intended that spares sets of three older third class saloons from the FR will be added to busier trains on demand, similar to the concept on the FR. For the present, this function will be fulfilled by adding the heritage lock-ups 23 and 24 which are no longer used by default as they largely run empty, or are used as glorified luggage vans.

Carriage 116 is due to be replaced by a WHR sized saloon around 2018. It will then be transferred back to the FR. If traffic levels rise, meaning that more than nine carriages are routinely required in a set, more WHR carriages will be constructed.


The initial formation when the line opened in 1997 was


On the day of the official Welsh Highland Opening to Waunfawr - Friday 15 September - the service trains were formed:-

11 - 23 - 17 - 37

Over the weekend 16 & 17 September, the formation was:-

11 - 12 - 23 - 17 - 37

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2004 and 2005[edit]

During Summers 2004 and 2005 the WHR(C) currently had 2 main passenger sets, consisting of 5 corridor carriages, NWNG Railway compartment coach and a bike wagon each:

For Superpower Weekend 2005 a third - called the Colonel Stephens set - was formed based on the The 1930's Train:

For this event, Carriage 26 was brought from the FR to substitute for Carriage 23 in F-set.

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Winter 2005/06 Set Formation[edit]

Source - Winter 2005/06 Operating Department Provisional Timetable

Other Winter 2005/06 changes[edit]

11 December 2005 - ( 2090 - 2040 - 2042 - 2041 - 2115 - 113) 2020 substituted for 113 giving longest all enclosed, corridor connected rake to date.

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2006 Set Formation (for WHR Subscribers Specials on 8 April 2006)[edit]

2006 Set Formation (from 9 April 2006)[edit]

The shuttle set for the Welsh Highland Superpower 2006 on 9 & 10 September was:-

1001 - 16 - 39

Carriages 16 and 39 where delivered to Dinas on Friday 8 September, being returned to the FR on 11 September.

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Set Formations for Subscribers Trains - 24 March 2007[edit]

Spring Set Formation (from 25 March 2007)[edit]

Summer Set Formation[edit]

Set formations following the entry into traffic of Carriages 2043, 2044 and 2045.

Carriages 24 and 2022 are spare at Dinas Junction. Carriage 2041 is undergoing a major overhaul at Boston Lodge, the last of the 1997 batch to be so treated.

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Spring Set Formation (from 15 March 2008)[edit]

Carriages 23, 24 and 2021 are available as spares at Dinas.

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Projected 2009 WHR passenger sets[edit]

This leaves 2022, 24 and 23 to be added as demand requires. Bike wagons may also be added to these sets.

It was announced in Mid June 2009 that there would be some shuffle of carriages to accommodate the increase in passengers following the extension of the WHR. The formations for the WHR side is predicted to become the following:

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2011 marks the first year of the complete WHR and as such any (Subject to Rule book restrictions) F&WHR carriage/set could operate on the route during this year. However the railway still has two WHR only sets, E and F sets. These will be formed for 2011 as follows:

Also due to limited overlap between Cae Pawb and Snowdon Street LC set lengths have been reduced with the removal of the bike wagons. These are no-longer required as the service cars (2010 and 2011) have ample room for cycles.


For the 2013 high summer season the sets were formed as follows:

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For the beginning of services in March, the sets were formed as follows (having been reshuffled to confine the carriages still fitted with plain bearings into one set).

24, 122 and 2060 were still undergoing winter maintenance work, with 123 temporarily forming the top end of F-Set.


By Easter the carriages had gained their normal formations as winter maintenance was completed.


The 2015 WHR carriage formations were as follows:

Winter Service[edit]

For the 2015/6 Winter Service of two trains per day between Porthmadog and Rhyd Ddu, F-Set was reformed. In previous years FR stock had been used on this service and on the FR, but with the FR closed for relaying works a WHR set was utilised allowing a full catering service.


The 2016 WHR carriage formations were as follows:

23 and 24 were added, one to each set, as required.


The 2017 WHR carriage formations are as follows:


With 2047 and 2091 not yet completed E set was initially bolstered with two of the Superbarns from A set.

Following the start of the two train service on the FR the Superbarns were required back in A set and 116 was moved to E set so that the two sets ran with one fewer carriages than normal.

23 and 24 were added, one to each set, as required.


The 14th of May saw 2047 and 2091 introduced to service service in E set. At the same time 2060 was removed from the other set for some attention in the carriage works and replaced in by 113.

23 and 24 were spare at Porthmadog.


On the 17th of July 2060 returned from the carriage works resulting in the following formations:


The main 2018 WHR carriage formations are as follows:

For a few days in August 100 replaced 2115 in F-Set whilst it the latter was in the carriage works for maintenance.

See also[edit]