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.

“The Bryngwyn Branch” by Dave Southern & John Keylock

The Welsh Highland Heritage Group’s new book about the Bryngwyn Branch describes its history,  operation and closure, and its development into today’s slate trail.
£15 each,  post paid in UK.

To order visit the Sales page

ISBN: 978-0-9930821-0-8

Members’ Email addresses

A message from Michael Hadley,  Assistant Secretary to the Group:

Dear Members,

We have never asked for your email addresses but on a number of occasions a list would have been helpful. If you are willing to let the Group have your email address please send an email to

Mike Hadley:    mike@mandhhadley.co.uk

We give the following undertakings:

1) We will not sell, give away or otherwise dispose of your email address to anyone outside of the Group.
2) If we do send out emails to more than a few of you at any one time, we will send them ‘blind copy’ to reduce the likelihood of spam.

AGM 2014

The 17th AGM of the Group took place on Sunday 4th May 2014 in Prenteg Village Hall. The new Chairman Nick Booker reported on changes to the committee following the retirement of David Allan and the sad deaths of John Keylock and Gwynfor Pierce Jones – see the committee page. He also reports that the Cambrian  Crossing Box is finally nearing completion. Tryfan Junction building is almost complete and the intention is to move on to the signal box. Final plumbing of the Beddgelert Water Tower should be undertaken this year.

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.

John Keylock

John KeylockIt is with great sadness that we report the death of John Keylock. John was a driving force in the establishment of the WHHG and in its various projects, most notably in recent times with the restoration of Tryfan Junction. He was for many years secretary of the Group and possessed an enormous fund of knowledge about the railway. The funeral was held on Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in the village church at Childswickham, Broadway. The church was packed with over 200 people and standing room only. David Allan gave the eulogy,a warm appreciation of John’s life.

Scattering of John’s ashes:
John Keylock’s ashes are to be scattered on the water meadow below the site of Salem Halt on Saturday 5th April at 11.00am.   The field is owned by Lewis Esposito who has kindly agreed to this arrangement.

Everyone connected with John is invited to this simple ceremony in memory of a great servant of the Welsh Highland Railway.

Back issues of the Journal

The project to digitise the back issues of the journal is now complete and all issues (except the past eight issues) are available for download in the Journals area of the website

Tryfan Junction station open weekend

The station will be manned during the weekend of September 15th/16th. This is the weekend of the Quarrypower celebration on the railway. Come and see the latest progress with the rebuilding and walk the Bryngwyn footpath. Trains stop here by request.

A guide walk along the Bryngwyn branch from Tryfan Junction is taking place on Sunday 16th – see the Festrail website for further details and bookings.

Lighting the fire – on Sunday 16th September at 4.00pm a small ceremony is planned to light the fire for the first time.

Bryngwyn footpath

Bryngwyn foot bridge8th June 2012
Elwyn Jones reports:
“A further grant of £30,000 has been received from the Welsh Assembly to Llanwnda Council that will enable the completion of the slate trail footpath on the Bryngwyn branch.   The money will also fund repairs to the unique NWNG pedestrian overbridge at Rhostryfan.   Tryfan Junction is the ideal halt from which to explore this fascinating narrow gauge branch line and the slate quarries that it was built to serve.”