THE NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY NOTICE
Hysbysfwrdd Rheilffordd Arfordir Gogledd Cymru
Class 60 still clinging to life: 60
049 hauls the Oakleigh - Tunstead empties through Plumley, 9
January (Andrew Vinten)
This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and
supporters, and especially the rail staff of North Wales.
13 January 2010
Thanks for all the superb
pictures received: as many more as we can fit in will appear in the
next update. - Charlie
Two locos, one coach
This spectacular view from Ian
Macer-Wright's viewpoint high on the hills above Fairbourne at
08:45 shows a rather unusual train, with a light on the side, making
its way across Barmouth Viaduct.
About 12:00 the train returned south, and it could be seen that it
comprised two Class 31 diesels sandwiching one yellow Network Rail
vehicle. (Ian Macer-Wright)
On the next day, 7 January, the train north as 2Q08 06:42 Shrewsbury -
Manchester Longsight via Bidston, Wrexham Central and Mouldsworth. Mark Riley was surprised while on a
shopping expedition to see 31 106 -and
31 602 Driver Dave Green top-and tailing
test coach DB999508 at Wrexham. Mark's first picture is of the train
running up to Croes Newydd, with a cloud of choking exhaust emanating
from 31 602. A short time earlier, the train had paid a flying visit to
Next, train leaves Croes Newydd with 31 602 leading and still
"clagging" away looking more like a steam loco, with Track Inspection
Coach DB999508 sandwiched between the two 31s. This vehicle is one of a
batch of inspection saloons built in the 1960s for the Western Region
Civil Engineer's Department of BR. It was converted to a track
inspection vehicle in the 1980s; part of the conversion involved
installing the side cutaways. In 2003 it was overhauled and fitted with
new track recording equipment. Today, according to the excellent
it 'operates whenever the Track Recording Unit
950 001 (primarily) or The Track Recording Car
999550 is in dock. It has no planned programmes but is held as a spare
recording vehicle. Generally it goes out with make-up vehicles to suit
and either a pair of DRS 37s or Rail Vehicle Engineering 31s.'
31 106 in BR Blue at the rear as the train leaves for Bidston. Mark Riley writes: 'It was a change
for me to photograph something other than a unit or the Wrexham and
David Rapson photographed the
train heading through Shotton High Level station at 09:36.
Two interesting forthcoming events
Engineer, author and publisher Steve
Morris will be giving a talk to the North Wales Railway Circle
on Tuesday 19 January. The
subject is 'Cardiff Canton Diesel Depot' and covers the history of the
depot in Diesel days along with some memories of Steve's time working
there in the mid 80's. The presentation will be available on DVD for
purchase at £5 a copy with all the proceeds going to the NWRC.
Location is the Railway Institute Euston Road Bangor, starting 19.30 -
The LCGB North West Branch Meeting, at 19:30 on Thursday 21 January at The Parkside
Room, St. David's
Social Centre, 249 Wargrave Road, Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows
(non-members welcome) will be a slide show by Ian Pilkington entitled 'The North
Wales Coast Railway since 1989.' The show features steam and diesel
traction between Bagillt and Holyhead over the past 20 years, first
shown at the RCTS Lancashire & North West Branch at Preston last
Wrexham & Shropshire Pictorial - by Mark Riley
67 012 A Shropshire Lad departs from
Wrexham in low winter sun and freezing weather with train 1P13 on 4
January. Trains have been strengthened to four coaches, a sensible idea
to cope with current passenger numbers. Cargo-D Mark 3as are in use
here until the delivery of the third set of newly-refurbished coaches.
An unidentified DVT and 67 cross Cefn Viaduct in the low winter sun
later in the afternoon of 4 January with 1J82 11:20 Marylebone-Wrexham
General. For almost a year this train was terminating at Shrewsbury,
but now runs through to Wrexham General as it originally did in
2008. The silver coaches are highly reflective and combined with
the very low late afternoon sun has meant some loss in detail, partly
recovered in camera RAW and a little selective burning thereafter.
Wrexham finally succumbed to the arctic weather with significant
snowfall on 5 January. After several hours of snow, I walked down to
Wrexham General to see what was happening there. Unusually 175 007 was out of service in
platform 3 (above) at 19:30. Normally one would expect a Class 150
waiting to work a later service, but on this occasion, the unit was to
eventually work the 21:02 service to Chester. There was no 20:49
Wrexham to Shrewsbury service which was presumably cancelled.
158 828 was working from
Holyhead-Shrewsbury, though having arrived at Wrexham on time, and
waited at platform 1 for 20 minutes. It terminated at Wrexham,
and shortly afterwards was seen heading back towards Chester. I do not
know the precise reason why it was terminated at Wrexham. Note the
protection for the coupler and the snow briefly gaining in intensity!
Wrexham and Shropshire DVT 82304 in the bay with the empty stock from
1J83, with 67 013 Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte at the rear,
having arrived a few minutes late. There was no sign of the Euston -
Wrexham Voyager which should have arrived at 20:44.
Having run round to platform 2, 175 007 awaits departure with the 21:02
service to Chester. A commuter told me that buses had been cancelled
since 16:30 due to the appalling weather, so it was fortunate that
there was minimum disruption to local rail services.
66 185 with 6V80, the Dee Marsh
- Llanwern empty steel train was held at platform 3 for a considerable
time, with more than enough time to take several pictures. I didn't
wait to see it's departure as I had had enough of the cold!
Seen at 01:00 on 6 January are Driving Van Trailers 82305, left, and
82304 with the coaches from 1J84 and 1J83 respectively. A cold night
for staff servicing the coaches in readiness for morning services.
Despite the continuing freezing weather, the Wrexham and Shropshire
trains appear to be coping well! I was determined to get a sunny shot,
in the snow, with one of the new sets of coaches and I finally achieved
this on January 8. 67 015 David J Lloyd departs from Wrexham
General with 1P13 11:27 Wrexham-Marylebone, running approximately 12
minutes late. The train was given right of way over the Arriva Holyhead
- Birmingham International which was held at platform 1.
New freight terminal for Holyhead?
The Daily Post reports on 8
A Freight express linking Northern
Europe and Ireland could see the
building of a multi-million pound rail freight terminal in Holyhead –
creating jobs and taking lorries off the A55. European, UK
and Irish operators are said to be interested in creating the
fast-track ‘land-bridge’ from France to Ireland as pressure grows for
greener and cheaper freight travel. The proposed service
would go through Britain’s most advanced rail freight terminal at
Daventry in the West Midlands before linking on to Holyhead for the
short ferry hop to the Irish Republic.
This would require
the building of a modern rail freight terminal and storage facilities
in Holyhead and the creation of a significant number of jobs. The
terminal could cost between £40m and £70m, depending on the
land chosen. Transport
consortium Taith has placed the proposal top of its priority list for
the Rail Transport Plan and held discussions with the Welsh Assembly
Government. International consultants AECOM have already identified
demand from British Isles and continental freight firms. They
are also investigating the creation of a 'load consolidation centre' at
Shotton for industrial operators in Deeside to switch transport from
road to rail.
An Anglesey County Council spokesman
confirmed: 'Taith are working with the AECOM consultancy on developing
further the Land Bridge concept for rail freight through the port of
Holyhead and the potential for a load consolidation centre at Deeside.'
said the consultants would now prepare business cases for the two
projects, which are expected to be completed by March 2010.
Transport minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the Welsh Assembly Government
was committed to getting freight off the road and on rail. He said
grant facilities were available to assist this. He added: 'We are doing
what we can to move freight onto rail. This project could
be very important in doing that and in terms of jobs for Holyhead.
Parry, port manager at the Stena Line managed Holyhead Port, said:
'There is no doubt a rail freight terminal would be a benefit to the
port. This something that is being discussed with us.' Rail
freight operations had previously existed in Holyhead until the 1980s.
The proposed terminal could link with plans to build storage facilities
at Parc Cybi in Holyhead.
Chorlton, chairman of the Holyhead Transport and Environmental Package,
said: 'This has huge potential and would have to be a plus for
Holyhead. It would give it an edge over other ports. 'We are now
looking at possible locations for such a plan. This would create
new work for Holyhead.'
What an honour to be the chairman of a package! Perhaps he is in
charge of ensuring the Secretary posts it.
The old Freightliner terminal, which closed in the 1980s because the
trains were losing money (although the service was initially
transferred to tun to Seaforth near Liverpool), was located where the
car park is now
opposite Platform 3. Some redundant sidings exist on the opposite side
of the station, but these are not really in the right place for
transferring freight to ships. We await with interest the consultants'
report - it won't be the first time such a report has been prepared or
suggestions made, but unless something is done to equalise the costs of
rail and road one can't help thinking that the foreign lorries with
their cheap fuel will carry on rolling down the A55.
page : 2010
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