Conwy Valley Line - Now Reopened

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PHILIPE

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Yeup. Though the wet and muddy ones seem to blend together in my memory: the ones that stand out to me are the "lunar" landscapes of Felindre (2006) and Ebbw Vale (2010), where there was no grass or mud in sight!

Either way, my wife's dug out her boots, and I've gotten the big-wheeled "Eisteddfod Pram" out of the loft, so we're ready for our visit.
I worked at the National Eisteddfod at Ebbw Vale in 2010 and instead of getting soaked by rain I was covered in dust from head to foot as the event was held on the former Steel Works site and on bone hard conditions underfoot.
 
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krus_aragon

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I worked at the National Eisteddfod at Ebbw Vale in 2010 and instead of getting soaked by rain I was covered in dust from head to foot as the event was held on the former Steel Works site and on bone hard conditions underfoot.
I was working there too: I was one of the red-shirted meet-and-greeters.
 

Paul Dancey

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A good video has been posted on Utube of the Conwy Valley double Headed steam special. Well worth a look if you've not cought it already.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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I worked at the National Eisteddfod at Ebbw Vale in 2010 and instead of getting soaked by rain I was covered in dust from head to foot as the event was held on the former Steel Works site and on bone hard conditions underfoot.
It was worth it though. Those underground art galleries were spectacular!

I like it that Eisteddfod sites are so varied. It would be boring if they stuck to greenfield, rural locations. I'm sure Llanrwst this year and Tregaron next year will be lovely but I hope they go for a Cardiff style town centre Eisteddfod in Caernarfon after that. I gather the bid's on its way in.

Any indications of how well used the additional services are?
 
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Any indications of how well used the additional services are?
There's a post from someone on Twitter who used the 10:38 from Bangor on Saturday. Apparently there were only 8 on board. Not too suprising given the lack of publicity and that some don't even appear on journey planners.
Source: https://twitter.com/WildPlantPaper/status/1157598574768795648

A muddy Eisteddfod is something of a tradition.
Been to a few myself.
I remember the 2015 Eisteddfod in Montgomeryshire being untraditionally hot and dry. Ended up walking around the Maes sweating in wellies :D
 

krus_aragon

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There's a post from someone on Twitter who used the 10:38 from Bangor on Saturday. Apparently there were only 8 on board. Not too suprising given the lack of publicity and that some don't even appear on journey planners.
Source: https://twitter.com/WildPlantPaper/status/1157598574768795648
I took the earlier (0800) train from Llandudno Jn this morning, courtesy of 150285. We only numbered a dozen or so (picking up passengers at Glan Conwy, but not Tal-y-Cafn). I hoped it was due to our taking an early train, but from the above post it appears not. It was a far cry from the numbers that went to the Ebbw Vale Eisteddfod by train.

It's a shame that TfW weren't in a position to confirm and market train times sooner.
 

krus_aragon

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Has there been any provisional date yet issued by official sources when Dolgarrog station may be opened?
I'll keep an eye out the window for you next week when I'm passing, if nobody else happens to be in the area beforehand.
I kept a special look-out at Dolgarrog for you. The station itself looked much the same as the pictures I posted a few weeks ago; there was no apparent change to the platform area. There were some orange-clad workers with hydraulic diggers and the like working on the land east of the line in the Dolgarrog area: the land appeared very waterlogged, despite the tide being out at the time.
 

krus_aragon

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Some more loadings for Thursday morning:

The 0825 arrival from Bangor had roughly 40 on board, plenty to fill a shuttle bus to the Maes. An elderly friend who travelled mid-morning said the train was packed. (I'm not sure if they were on the 1048 from Llandudno or the 1109 from Bangor.)
 

PHILIPE

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There are quite a few cancellations on the Conwy Valley as well as other routes listed on Journey Check for tomorrow due to driver shortage. Bustitution arranged.
 
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What are the site temporary buildings like should very strong winds actually occur as forecast?
Not sure if it's as a result of wind or rain, but was listening to Radio Cymru earlier and they announced that the Maes B and Youth Campsites at the Eisteddfod were being closed because of the weather.
 

sefyllian

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What are the site temporary buildings like should very strong winds actually occur as forecast?
Some parts have already been closed – Maes B (the youth campsite/music stage) has been cancelled for the final weekend. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the main site was closed tomorrow too. I was told by a stage technician that the outside stages are safe in winds of up to 40mph. Current forecast is for 48mph…

The train service has been a bit of a shambles. Fair play to TfW for organising extra trains, but it’s a bit pointless if they don’t actually tell anyone about them. On one train to North Llanrwst I was the only passenger! And there have been a lot of delays (staff shortages apparently) which had a knock-on effect for the rest of the day as it’s single track. There were 5-6 TfW staff at North Llanrwst every day to guide people to the shuttle bus, so they probably expected it to be busier than it was.

When I went to Llanrwst last Thursday, just before the festival began, I asked staff at Bangor, Llandudno Junction, and on the train about the extra services, and no-one could tell me anything. So not surprised they weren’t well-used. Seems like a wasted effort, which is a shame.
 

krus_aragon

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What are the site temporary buildings like should very strong winds actually occur as forecast?
As described, the temporary buildings on the main Maes site are quite sturdy, most are metal structures with tarpaulin-style awnings or plastic panels, and the large ones are erected and secured with metal guy ropes.

In the surrounding area, there are hundreds of caravans, but of greater concern are the tents. These are of a design and standard reminiscent of any typical summer music festival, particularly on the Maes B youth site.

As mentioned, the outdoor performance stage may see activity cut back in high winds, but the main pavillion, being enclosed, is more resiliant. The outdoor stage had its scheduled performances through the evening yesterday: wet, but not windswept.

A nearby campsite, run by Cymdeithas yr Iaith, chose to keep their (similar) campsite open, but were advised by the police not to take any new (i.e. displaced) campers in. The local high school / leisure centre have opened up to give shelter for those campers that haven't got means to go elsewhere at short notice.
 

richpthomas

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On one train to North Llanrwst I was the only passenger!
I was the only passenger when I went down on Tuesday, on one of the extra shuttles. I was outnumbered by the conductor and three BTP officers...
The outdoor stage had its scheduled performances through the evening yesterday: wet, but not windswept.
In the two full days I spent on the Maes, I lucked out and happened to be indoors during every downpour—until Friday night in front of the outdoor stage. It was well worth it, though. This Eisteddfod newbie will definitely be back next year—although I'm not even going to attempt doing it by public transit to Tregaron.
 

Llandudno

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Great in theory running extra trains, unfortunately TfW left it far too late to promote them, then decided to cancel a number of them anyway because of a lack of train crew!

It is no wonder some of them were poorly loaded, would you risk attending an important event and rely on TfW to get you there on time, or indeed at all. Then if you travelled on the NW Coast line to connect with the Bleanau branch could you be guaranteed a seat - probably not as 2 coach trains are common place even during the school holidays.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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Great in theory running extra trains, unfortunately TfW left it far too late to promote them, then decided to cancel a number of them anyway because of a lack of train crew!
I take it there'll be no trains to Tregaron next year then. They'll probably offer a pony and trap shuttle over the top of Elenydd from Llanwrtyd (joke). It's got to be the remotest Eisteddfod site for years apart from Meifod, possibly.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I take it there'll be no trains to Tregaron next year then. They'll probably offer a pony and trap shuttle over the top of Elenydd from Llanwrtyd (joke). It's got to be the remotest Eisteddfod site for years apart from Meifod, possibly.
How many of our more "advanced in years" forum members remember stopping at Tregaron railway station?
 

Dai Corner

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of course there will, the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line has the all-new InstantFinance, InstantRebuild and InstantReopen (TM) technologies :lol:
Just leave it to Network Rail's Orange Army. If they can do Dawlish and the Conwy Valley they can do Tregaron. But from which end?
 

PHILIPE

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I take it there'll be no trains to Tregaron next year then. They'll probably offer a pony and trap shuttle over the top of Elenydd from Llanwrtyd (joke). It's got to be the remotest Eisteddfod site for years apart from Meifod, possibly.
According to Website about Drovers:-

Tregaron, “the home of many sheep & few people” at the foot of the Cambrian Mountains, is definitely remote: near the town lie the remotest chapel in Wales (at Soar-y-Mynnydd), the remotest road (to Abergwesyn), and on the remotest road the remotest telephone box. (It hasn’t worked for years, but it’s amazing how many people want to save it.

Confirms the remoteness of Tregaron
 

ChiefPlanner

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How many of our more "advanced in years" forum members remember stopping at Tregaron railway station?
Not that advanced in age (thank you) , and never actually travelled on the Aber to Carmarthen line , BUT, as a young boy aged about 4 I observed some of the passenger trains - Hymek hauled and load 3 - passing over the Ystwyth River bridge where my father was fishing.

Now this was high summer , and the trains were spectacularly empty. Either that or the passengers were prone on the floor. We , of course, drove to Aber, on empty roads. As did many others no doubt.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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According to Website about Drovers:-

Tregaron, “the home of many sheep & few people” at the foot of the Cambrian Mountains, is definitely remote: near the town lie the remotest chapel in Wales (at Soar-y-Mynnydd), the remotest road (to Abergwesyn), and on the remotest road the remotest telephone box. (It hasn’t worked for years, but it’s amazing how many people want to save it.

Confirms the remoteness of Tregaron
Is the cave where the brothers and sister robbers lived in days of yore still able to be visited?
 

6Gman

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How many of our more "advanced in years" forum members remember stopping at Tregaron railway station?
I don't remember stopping there, but did. On a very slow journey from Llandudno Junction to South Wales as a child.

Sadly, although I have clear memories of changing at Afon Wen ... and at Dovey Junction ... and the overnight stay in Aberystwyth ... I have no recollection of the journey between Aber and Carmarthen.

So I can't tell you whether it was so busy that we were sitting on fishboxes in the guard's van or so empty that we had an entire carriage to ourselves ...

:D

And I'm not "advanced in years". Just 62.

(Which probably seems ancient to some here.)
 

ChiefPlanner

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I don't remember stopping there, but did. On a very slow journey from Llandudno Junction to South Wales as a child.

Sadly, although I have clear memories of changing at Afon Wen ... and at Dovey Junction ... and the overnight stay in Aberystwyth ... I have no recollection of the journey between Aber and Carmarthen.

So I can't tell you whether it was so busy that we were sitting on fishboxes in the guard's van or so empty that we had an entire carriage to ourselves ...

:D

And I'm not "advanced in years". Just 62.

(Which probably seems ancient to some here.)
61 personally - bad enough ! , but in the 1960's in West Wales , passenger trains were an irrelevance bar very rare trips to Cardiff and Paddington.

The local bus service was excellent in all respects and ran well into the late evening , safely too, the roads were empty and 4 gallons of petrol could be got for just over a £1.

Your journey must have been quite epic for the time , and dare I say it, one of the last cross - Wales ones of the era. The fact you stayed overnight en route says it all.

The "fluff" about re-opening this line is utter rubbish when you consider how the world has changed , and society with it.



Anyway - back to Tregaron - a "lightly policed and under populated area" - there have been other major criminal issues there not so far back. Think "Operation Julie" - Carno and Tregaron......
 
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