Full steam ahead as works progress on site at Ffestiniog
19 January 2023
Challenges addressed with a proactive and collaborative approach are those most likely to be overcome – an approach Integral strongly believe in
The week before Christmas, our project engineer for Boston Lodge Works at Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways visited site for the first time since the contractor began work on site. The project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund will provide additional spaces to tell the story of the railway and facilitate workshops demonstrating the skills needed to maintain the railway. Staff will be able to undertake more activities with their volunteers and the local community including the provision of public tours of the railway works.
To the outsider, installing new buried services and drainage across the site may not look that exciting, but are vital elements of the overall project. This work has not been straightforward for the contractor either. Numerous historic drains, ducts and high ground water have been found and the site’s location in a former quarry means slate bedrock is just below the surface causing difficult digging conditions.
Despite these challenges, the proactive and collaborative approach between the site-based main contractor and project manager and remote engineering team members proves what Integral strongly believe in – teamwork, good communication and quick problem-solving during construction allows the contractor to keep working. As a team we have been able to address challenges as they’ve arisen and keep things moving on site. It’s an exciting time seeing how the works progress with each visit.
The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow gauge railway with almost 200 years of history. It is the UK’s longest heritage railway and runs for 25 miles from Caernarfon, past the foot of Snowdon through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. The steam trains were built in the workshops in Porthmadog – Boston Lodge Works – and are still maintained there today. The site is within an old quarry and has been used as the railways engineering works since the beginning of the railway which is now approaching its 200-year anniversary.