Another day out on the rails, this time from Llandudno Junction, up the Conwy Valley line to Blaenau and the down to Porthmadog using the services of The Ffestiniog Railway. While waiting I took the opportunity to photograph the Euston-bound Voyager - identity unknown. 17/07/2008

 Expecting a "dogbox" I was pleasantly surprised when 150256 arrived from Llandudno. The ride up to Blaenau was uneventful but a vastly more pleasant ride and much less crowded. I have experienced some dreadful rides along the branch incarcerated in a class 153 "dogbox", I just wish NR would clear away the trees so that the beauty of the valley can be experienced. 17/07/2008

 The pouring rain at Blaenau precluded any photographing. I was very disappointed with the FR on this occasion because most of the train had been reserved for coach parties and we were obliged to travel in what was little more than a cattle truck at the rear of the train - cramped and a somewhat rough rider. The ride isn't cheap and did expect a little better from this well established railway. Historic coaching stock may be fine to look at and enthuse about but I want better than this experience. I still get nervous about being locked into a wooden bodies carriage with a box full of hot coals up front! Rant over..... This was "Blanche" waiting to depart Porthmadog 17/07/2008

 Apart from the ride I had come down to Porthmadog to see the progress on installing the rails in the road as a prelude to introducing services to Caernarfon. having spent many a holiday at Porthmadog/Black Rock over the decades I never in my wildest dreams expected to see the rails go back into the road and the Glaslyn Pass. Having seen photographs of the road run I was always under the impression that the route went past the Shell garage and through where there used to be a Co-op supermarket. This shot shows where the line will diverge. 17/07/2008

 Viewed in the other direction towards the town centre. 17/07/2008

 Looking back towards the station. 17/07/2008

 Crossing what I assume to be the bridge over the Glaslyn River where it enters Porthmadog harbour. 17/07/2008

 Looking back across the bridge. 17/07/2008

 Curving off to run alongside the river. 17/07/2008

 Looking towards the point where the rails leave the road with the former Co-op building on the right. The building is now a "Wilkinson" supermarket, the fence to the left separates the footpath from the rail route. 17/07/2008

 Taken from the same spot as the previous shot and looking in the opposite direction towards the car park. 17/07/2008

 This shot shows the rerouted footpath that links the car park to the main road. The top end of the path is currently closed while the rail laying takes place. 17/07/2008

 The view from the car park looking towards the road. 17/07/2008

 Looking in the opposite direction with the car park on the far right. The route of the railway will continue in the direction of the rapidly approaching JCB(!) where it will continue up the valley having crossed the much publicised diamond crossing with the NR line to Pwllheli. 17/07/2008

 These two have performed magnificently to have reared 8 youngsters. 17/07/2008

 Back to the station where "Blanche" was waiting to leave for Blaenau. 17/07/2008

 "Blanche" leaving along the cob. 17/07/2008

 A pleasant though crowded snack in the station cafe and then a short wait for the arrival of the return train, this time with a Fairlie in charge. 17/07/2008

 Back up at Blaenau and the Fairlie takes on water while we await the arrival of the unit from Llandudno Junction for the return trip. Needless to say it was pouring with rain. 17/07/2008

 The arrival of the shuttle and some idea of the gradient rising into Blaenau station. 17/07/2008