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Celebrating the 100th anniversary since the original construction of the railway, the Welsh Highland Railway held two events during 2022 and 2023 to celebrate the milestone. Today the UK’s longest heritage railway, the first section of the line from Dinas to South Snowdon (today Rhyd-Ddu) was completed in 1922, with the remaining section to Porthmadog opening in 1923. Both events included the appearance of the only surviving original WHR steam locomotive, 2-6-2T ‘Russell’.
The first event on the 30th and 31st July 2022, celebrated the 100th anniversary since the opening of the Dinas to South Snowdon (Rhyd-Ddu) of the then, newly emerging Welsh Highland Railway. The event saw ‘Russell’ turned to face Porthmadog, running complete with original and replica carriages of the period. This was the first time ‘Russell’ had hauled passenger trains between Waunfawr and Rhyd Ddu for well over eighty years.
Footage is included from both days of the event, showcasing heritage services hauled by ‘Palmerston’ and ‘Russell’, each seen at various locations between Dinas and Rhyd Ddu. 2-6-2T ‘Russell’ is also captured hauling the final ECS movement back to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, from Dinas on the Sunday evening.
The 2023 event focused on the celebration of the original opening to Porthmadog. Over the weekend a number of special services ran between Porthmadog, Beddgelert, Rhyd Ddu and Dinas, hauled by various steam locomotives. 2-6-2T ‘Russell’ once again joined the celebrations, hauling services between Porthmadog and Rhyd Ddu, including the first public passenger services, hauled by ‘Russell’ between Beddgelert and Rhyd Ddu in preservation.
The event celebrated the WHR operation, showcasing the history of this iconic line right through to the scenic tourist trains that operate today. Heritage trains ran across the weekend hauled by Large England No.5 ‘Welsh Pony’ and Double Fairlie No.10 ‘Merddin Emrys’.
The popular ‘Harbour Master’ and ‘Snowdonia Star’ services continued to run throughout the event, hauled by the resident Garratt locomotives. The Sunday of the event saw double-headed Garratt services, including a mixed service of 20 coaches & wagons between Pont Croesor and Dinas.
The final service of the event featured Manning Wardle 2-6-2T No.190 ‘Lyd’ and Hunslet 2-6-2T ‘Russell’, double-heading a ten-coach service between Caernarfon and Porthmadog.
Footage is included from throughout both events (30th & 31st July 2022, 24th & 25th June 2023), with a wide collection of shots at carefully selected locations. Aerial videography is featured from both events, showcasing the railway from a new perspective.
This product features no commentary, allowing you to fully appreciate the sound of the steam locomotives working hard. Short titles are included throughout informing you of the date, locomotive and location. Copies of this product last approx. 66 minutes and are available in 16:9 widescreen format only.
Product release date: 11th July 2023