Network Rail chairman Richard Parry-Jones paid a visit to North West Wales on Friday to see the results of track laying work carried out by his company’s apprentices over the Winter.
He travelled from Beddgelert on the Welsh Highland Railway, to Minffordd on the Ffestiniog Railway and also paid a visit to Boston Lodge to see progress on new Pullman observation car 150 taking shape in the carriage works.
Local Assembly Member Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas and Plaid Cymru’s Parliamentary candidate Liz Saville Roberts also joined the train, which was hosted by F&WHR chairman Dr John Prideaux.
The special service was also the first public outing of Double Fairlie David Lloyd George after its overhaul and repaint.
David Lloyd George, the fourth Double Fairlie to be built at Boston Lodge, returned to service after a major overhaul in 2014 and ran in works grey.
On April 29, the loco emerged from Boston Lodge Works, where it was built in 1992, in gleaming lined red livery, complete with new dome covers and sanders – the first double engine to be so equipped.
The F&WHR celebrated 150 years of passenger services with a four day gala over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Each day saw authentic carriages and locomotives from different eras of the railway’s history, including steam hauled ‘Flying Flea’ relief services, the non-stop Y Cymro service between Porthmadog and Tan y Bwlch, a recreation of the ‘Tan y Bwlch or bust’ train headed by the petrol-engined Simplex tractor – the loco that hauled the first train of the restoration era – and an ‘Early Bird’ special headed by Planet diesel Upnor Castle.
Attendances were good on all four days, despite less than ideal weather, with the shops and Spooner’s bar and restaurant being extremely busy.