The Welsh Highland Railway will be running its first public passenger trains into Porthmadog Harbour Station this weekend.
On October 30 the WHR is running two through NGG16 garrett hauled trains from Caernarfon to Porthmadog Harbour for the phase 4 supporters.
These operations will be followed in January with a series of ‘taster trains’ from Porthmadog Harbour to Hafod-y-Lyn, south of the Aberglaslyn Pass for the general public.
The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway Company (FWHR) have confirmed this week that the cross town link has been passed by Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate and Office of Rail Regulation as being fully compliant and safe for public use.
However, Porthmadog town councillors have complained that the crossing over Britannia Bridge poses a potential hazard to walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Cllr Jason Humphreys said: “There have been several accidents since the crossing was installed in 2008, with one victim sustaining a broken collar bone. They either get their wheels trapped in the grooves, or lose traction completely on the wet rails.
The FWHR are not of the same opinion, spokesman Andrew Thomas said: “The route to be taken by cyclists is clearly signposted to avoid them crossing the tracks at a shallow angle.
“The crossings are fully signed in order that road users not familiar with the area are aware of the road conditions ahead.
“All road users have a duty of care to themselves and to others to observe and obey all road signs.
“Many other towns and cities in the UK and Europe operate far more extensive street running tramway sections where cyclists appear to cope with them with no problem.
“Rule 306 states that all road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists, should take extra care when driving or riding close to or when crossing railway tracks, especially if the rails are wet, and that they should take particular care when crossing the rails at shallow angles. It is safest to cross tracks directly at right angles.”
It is the opinion of British Heritage Railways that the councillors should welcome the arrival of the Welsh Highland Railway to the town as the narrow gauge railways of Porthmadog attract thousands of tourists.