Trawsfynydd transformed in first Welsh beach landing for National Grid

  • A 128.5 tonne electricity transformer delivery by barge and beach in mid September
  • National Grid’s first transformer delivery via a Welsh public beach
  • New transformer will ensure power continues to be delivered reliably to the local area

Please note due to adverse weather conditions the delivery of the transformer has been delayed until Wednesday 16 September (again weather dependent). 

An electricity transformer, the size of a large motorhome, is being delivered by barge and beach to a National Grid substation at Trawsfynydd on Wednesday 16 September.

In a first for National Grid, the 128.5 tonne transformer is arriving via a barge and Welsh public beach to mitigate disruption of passing through Porthmadog Harbour.

Transformers step up or step down the voltage of electricity between different circuits and play a vital role in helping ensure the UK continues to enjoy safe and reliable electricity supplies. We need to make sure an old one, which has now reached the end of its life, is replaced.  

A 330m temporary trackway is being laid on Traeth y Graig Ddu (Black Rock Sands beach) Morfa Bychan, on Tuesday (15 September) and Wednesday (16 September) ready for the transformer to arrive at the beach by an 80-metre barge on Wednesday. A 10m wide corridor will be cordoned off for the trackway with two walkways for pedestrians to cross and vehicle access to the beach will be via Beach Road.

The transformer will remain at the beach, which will continue to have public access until Friday (18 September) and will then begin to make its way to Trawsfynydd Substation arriving at around 12.30pm.

The journey and route, which is dependent on tide and weather conditions, has been carefully planned with our specialist haulage contractors and relevant authorities to minimise disruption to the public and road users.

It will be delivered on a specialist vehicle which is 31.5 metres long and will travel at approximately 12 miles per hour.

There will be a rolling road closure with a police escort to help manage traffic and make the process as smooth and safe as possible, but the exceptional size of the load and its speed of travel means there may be some delays. National Grid, its delivery partner Mammoet, transformer manufacturer Siemens Energy, police and highways authorities have spent months carefully planning the delivery and route to keep disruption to traffic and people who live in the area to a minimum. 

The transformer will follow this route on Friday 18 September.

  • Depart Black Rock Sands

  • Turn right onto High Street

  • Continue onto Britannia Terrace

  • Continue onto A487

  • Continue onto A470

  • Arrive Magnox Trawsfynydd

We recommend that anyone planning to use the roads mentioned above, should try to find alternative routes or allow additional time for their journey. 

National Grid 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. It’s a first for National Grid to have a transformer arriving onto a Welsh public beach, and certainly National Grid’s longest beach landing with 330m of track being laid, but we’ve been planning this for months to ensure we can deliver power reliably to the local area.”

To keep you updated and informed on the morning of the transformer movement, we have a broadcast text service available to remind people the main beach access will be closed and when the transformer departs from Black Rock Sands Beach, when the main beach access has re-opened and when the transformer has arrived at Trawsfynydd Substation and the delivery is complete. We will also send you a text message if there are any delays in the schedule. To subscribe to this text messaging service, please text INFO to +44 7860 027 814.

Contact for media information only:

Simmie Korotane

National Grid
+44(0) 7971 343383

[email protected]