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The WHR rebuild can be split into 5 separate phases.
Whilst each of the first 4 phases dealt with the incremental increase in the length of line used, the final phase was to build the infrastructure that is needed for a fully operational railway, including works on the FR.
Most of the links, below, direct you to a site originally created by the late Dr Ben Fisher. Updates are now handled by a team from the WHRS which now funds the hosting of the site.
The Isengard site is run by Barrie Hughes, an individual who over the period of the construction has provided an independent look at the railway and its construction.
The Black Hand Gang has a website which was updated for a period, but alas, only up to Phase 3
Phase 1 - - Caernarfon to Dinas
The first three miles of WHR (Caernarfon)'s route are not part of the original Welsh Highland. Its northern terminus was at Dinas Junction, three miles from Caernarfon on the standard gauge line from Bangor to Afonwen, which used to link the North Wales Coast Line with the Cambrian Coast, until the closure of the Caernarfon-Afonwen section in 1964. The Bangor-Caernarfon link remained until 1971, latterly for freight traffic that could not be shipped through Holyhead following the 1970 Britannia Bridge fire. The site of the town's station, on the northern side of town, was redeveloped as a supermarket in 1994, and more recently the railway route through the middle of the town and under Y Maes (Castle Square) was converted into a link road. The trackbed from Caernarfon to Dinas and beyond, owned by the County Council, was opened as a foot- and cyclepath, Lôn Eifion, in the 1980s.
The second phase of the Welsh Highland Railway Project represents the reinstatement of the original North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways line from the original terminus at Dinas to Waunfawr, at a cost of around two million pounds. After the long wait for approval to proceed, the work needed to reopen took almost exactly a year, from the first fencing work to the start of passenger trains in August 2000. It had been hoped to open as early as the end of May, but in the event this did not prove possible, mainly because of delays attributed to the extremely wet (even for North Wales!) 1999/2000 winter weather, which slowed down work on drainage of the trackbed at numerous Phase 2 sites.
This brings you a thorough account of Phase 3 of the Welsh Highland Railway Project; the links will take you to illustrated pages detailing the work done on different sections and other aspects of the railway. This was a massive, ambitious and complex stage of the WHR Project, so we make no apologies for the fact that there is a lot of information to take in, especially for the newcomer.
Phase 4 - - Rhyd Ddu to Porthmadog
- Route Description Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert
- Route Description Beddgelert to Porthmadog
- The Rebuilding
- Isengard site
Construction work proper started in Summer 2005. As on Phases 2 and 3, work has proceeded simultaneously at multiple sites which have gradually joined up to form the full route. The major tasks for Phase 4 are outlined.
Phase 5 is an ongoing project to build on the basic infrastructure to provide all the amenities a railway requires
There is no existing resource page to link to. There is, however, an appeal document, which you may wish to visit here