The Centenary Research Competition

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, the Welsh Highland Railway Society, the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway and the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group are jointly sponsoring a series of activities and events in 2022 and 2023 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the ‘original’ WHR in 1923 from Dinas, near Caernarfon to Porthmadog.

As part of the celebrations and with the support of Mortons Media Group, publishers of Heritage Railway and The Railway Magazine, the sponsors of the Centenary are launching a competition for the best piece of original research on the history of the WHR, the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway Company (NWNGR), its associated activities and personalities for which a prize of £500 will be awarded.

For the competititon announcement, see here 

For further details, the scope and rules of the competition, see here

Historical Guide back in print

Part II of the Historical Guide to the Welsh highland Railway compiled originally by John Keylock is back in print in an updated version.

See the Shop for further details

New Book – Croesor Tramway

Croesor Tramway – A History of the Tramways and Quarries of Cwm Croesor

by Dave Southern with Adrian Barrell

In the nineteenth century the slate quarries of Gwynedd in North Wales not only constituted the most important industry of the region, making a dramatic contribution to both the economy of North West Wales and its landscape, but they also supplied the bulk of the world’s roofing slate and architectural slate slabs.
This is the story of the Croesor Tramway and the slate quarries of the remote Croesor valley, that supplied some of that slate. The tramway, was conceived as a direct connection to the harbour at Porthmadog for its quarry customers. Unlike the pioneering Festiniog Railway, its close contemporary and neighbour, the tramway was horse worked throughout its life.
Built to the order of Hugh Beaver Roberts a successful solicitor and business man, from Bangor, no parliamentary powers were needed to build the tramway, as Roberts owned much of the land. Over four miles long and including two steep cable worked inclines it opened in 1864 to goods and mineral traffic and continued to carry slate along the valley until 1944, when the last wagons were sent down the Rhosydd incline. In the early 1920s, the lower part of the tramway became part of the now re-opened Welsh Highland Railway.
Based on significant original research, the building, operation and the route are described as well as the key
personalities involved such as Hugh Beaver Roberts, Charles Spooner and Moses Kellow, the entrepreneurial Croesor quarry manager. The book includes interviews with some of the people who latterly worked on the tramway and inclines.
Significant parts of the tramway and the above ground parts of some of the quarries are still accessible to the well equipped and sure footed walker. This book will therefore be of interest both to casual readers of social and industrial history as well as those wanting more detailed information on what can still be seen in the Croesor valley.
The book comprises approximately 120 pages of text and is well illustrated with maps and photographs in colour and black and white including several published for the first time.

Price £18 inc UK postage

To order go to our online shop  or download the order form to order by post

Sales – Terms and Conditions

Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group

Sales – Terms and Conditions

1. Prices are valid at the time of placing the order, but are subject to change without notice. Although we make every effort to ensure advertised prices are correct, there may be occasions where an incorrect price is advertised. Under these circumstances we are not obliged to supply goods at the advertised price where there is an error in any said price. Please note that prices advertised are VAT- inclusive.

2. Delivery of goods that are in stock will usually be within seven days. Items out of stock will be placed on back order and supplied when available, unless otherwise stated when placing an order. New items will be supplied as soon as stock becomes available. Any item on back order can be cancelled at any time. If an item is not available for dispatch within 7 days of receiving your order we will send e-mail advice of the expected dispatch date to you.

3. Delivery will be by the Royal Mail.

4. Mainland UK orders are sent carriage free. Overseas customers are asked contribute to carriage costs. We will not be liable for any duty or import taxes that may occur. Please note that carriage is calculated primarily by weight, the heavier the items ordered, the higher the carriage charge will be.

5. Full payment must be made in advance of delivery by Paypal (or Visa/ Delta, MasterCard, Switch via Paypal). We do not accept payment by Diners Club or American Express, and some debit cards may not be usable for mail order transactions. If you cannot pay by credit or debit card please send your completed order form with cheque payable to “Welsh Highland Heritage” to:

Welsh Highland Heritage Sales,

c/o Adrian Gray,

25 The Pound,




NN13 5HG.


Overseas postage rates on application to

Cheques should be made payable to “Welsh Highland Heritage”. If a payment is made and subsequently dishonoured, a charge of £15 will be levied.

6. For security reasons, when placing an order, you must give your full name, address and postcode, which must be the same as that held by the payment card company.

7. If you are not satisfied with any goods purchased from us, they may be returned within eight days of receipt for a refund, providing you have notified us in writing of your intention to return items in person, by phone, by post, or by e-mail within these eight days. The goods must be returned to the above address and the cost of packing and returning any goods will be at the customer’s expense. Please use a suitable service when returning goods, as we cannot be held responsible for any returned goods lost in transit. We must receive goods within 14 days of receipt, and any goods returned must be received by us in the condition they where received by the customer. Sealed boxes must be intact, (a good guideline is that you may do no more with the goods than you would be able to do when examining or buying goods over the counter in a shop). A full refund will be made within 21 days of the goods being received back by us, less any carriage charge if delivery was outside the UK or if a ‘next day’ service was used by request, providing the previous conditions are observed. This condition does not affect your rights on the return of faulty goods.

  1. Any details held will be used only by Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group and will not be passed on to any other parties. Occasionally we may send you details of special offers, promotions or new price lists. If you would rather not be part of any of these direct mailings, please state this when ordering.

Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group

c/o Adrian Gray,

25 The Pound,




NN13 5HG.

Tryfan Junction

For the first time, vintage trains were scheduled to stop at Tryfan Junction during the Superpower Gala weekend in September 2016. A photo opportunity was arranged there, and the Friends laid on tea and biscuits to accompany the display in the station building.

It’s a lovely spot and it’s a fantastic building to show people, as well as being at the start of the Slate Trail. Friends of Tryfan Junction is a very informal organisation, formalities are kept to a minimum but, if you’ve not already had one, you will need a safety induction, which can easily be organised.Contact Mike Hadley, 01386 792877/07860 828876

Beddgelert Water Tank

Cedric Lodge has now brought the tank into commission and the first locos watered there over the Superpower weekend

Autumn 2015: Nick Booker appointed to F&WHR Heritage Ltd Board

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways Heritage Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Booker to the board of the Company. He replaces David Allan who has been a member of the board since 2005.

Nick is a specialist in strategic marketing and visitor attractions, including museums, and a director of Attract Marketing Ltd. He has extensive business experience in a career covering business development, marketing strategy, market research and market planning. Before beginning a career in consultancy, he held various business development roles in a number of companies, including Dunlop. He is a member of the Tourism Society and the Bristol Archaeology Society and has a keen interest in military history.

Nick has had a long involvement with the Welsh Highland Railway. He is a former director of Welsh Highland Railway (1964) Ltd and is now Chairman of the Welsh Highland Railway Heritage Group.


We have republished The Buffet Car book fully revised and updated by Peter Liddell – see Sales page – priced at £15.00

Wheellers Day has also been re-printed and is now available – see Sales page


The Group has made its first donation (of 3) to KS4415, the Kerr Stuart diesel restoration project:













Work continues on the Cambrian Crossing Box at Pen y Mount under the guidance of Mike Hadley and it should be complete by Spring 2016:

Award for Tryfan Junction restoration

The  Group has won the 2014  Volunteers’ Award offered by National Railway Heritage Awards for the restoration of Tryfan Junction Station building.The award was announced at the national awards ceremony in London on 3rd December 2014. It comes with a blue commemorative plaque and a cheque for £1500 towards the expense of restoration. The plaque will be erected and unveiled at a later date.
Many have commented that John Keylock would have relished the occasion, and the award is a tribute to his vision in taking forward the restoration.

For a full report see here

For details of the restoration, see the Project page.

Gwynfor Pierce Jones

GwynforPierceJoneIt is with much sadness that we record the passing of  Dr Gwynfor Pierce Jones who died suddenly on 23rd December 2013. He was a keen supporter of this Group, a member of its committee and a renowned expert on the history of slate mining in Gwynedd,
Dr Pedr Jarvis wrote “He was the leading expert on slate mining in Nantlle but his interests ranged widely afield. He was always willing to help with obscure information about quarries and quarry railways; he was a treasure. Also played in the brass band – the last time apparently only the day before his untimely death. I think he was also involved with early efforts to revive the Welsh Highland, but was happy to pass on that job in later years.  It may have been from Gwynfor’s influence that the Welsh-speaking element in the revival was kept in the early days”
Dr Dafydd Gwyn added “A  wonderful friend, supremely clever,  very charming – in the best sense – and  so much his own man”
His funeral  was held in Bangor on 6th January 2014 and was attended by a  large congregation of relatives, friends and colleagues.