Porthmadog: Crowds watch 128-tonne transformer beach landing

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barge at Black Rock beach
Image caption,
The barge attracted attention on the beach

Crowds gathered to watch a 128.5-tonne electricity transformer arriving at a north Wales beach.

The transformer has been unloaded from an 262.5ft (80m) barge on the coast near Porthmadog, Gwynedd.

Described as "the size of a large motorhome", it will remain on Morfa Bychan beach until it is transported to Trawsfynydd substation where it will replace an old model.

It is the first time National Grid has used a public Welsh beach in this way.

Image source, NAtional Grid
Image caption,
The transformer will makes its way to Trawsfynyd on Friday

National Grid said the new transformer, which regulates the voltage of electricity between circuits, "will ensure power continues to be delivered reliably" to the local area.

The company said it had used the beach to avoid disruption at Porthmadog harbour.

A 330m (1,082ft) temporary trackway has been laid on the beach and the transformer will be delivered by a 31m-long (101ft) specialist vehicle.

Image caption,
"It's a huge operation" said Wendy Williamson of National Grid

Motorists have been warned of a rolling road closure and possible delays on Friday as the convoy makes it way from the beach, also known as Black Rock Sands, along High Street, Britannia Terrace, A487 and A470.

It is due to arrive at Trawsfynydd at 12:30 BST.

Project manager Wendy Williamson said: "Millions of people rely on us to supply their electricity without interruption, day in, day out so it's important that we keep our substations and the equipment in them working efficiently."