THE NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY NOTICE
Hysbysfwrdd Rheilffordd Arfordir Gogledd Cymru
The Saturday morning London - Holyhead train arrives (15 minutes
late) at Bangor 0n 16 January: 57 314 hauling
390 011 City of Lichfield. Picture by Richard Fleckney.
This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and
supporters, and especially the rail staff of North Wales.
19 January 2010
Loco swapping at Holyhead, 16 January - pictures by Corrie
57 314 hauled the London -
Holyhead Pendolino on the inward working from Crewe to Holyhead,
Saturday 16 January, seen above when passing through Llangaffo.
After arrival at Holyhead, 57 314 has retracted its coupler runs round
the Pendolino. Meanwhile 57 313
- which had arrived on Friday evening with the express from Cardiff -
is made ready in the sidings by the second Virgin driver that has
traveled with the Pendolino as usual to take care of its on-board
57 313 heads out to set back onto the Pendolino for the return to Crewe.
57 313 sets back with its retractable Dellner coupling lowered into
position. The starter signal is 'off' for another train to depart from
Platform 2 or 3.
Ready for departure. The Pendolino is 390
011 City of Lichfield.
57 314 moves off....
... and couples to the Arriva Trains Wales stock ready for Monday.
Quite an efficient way to change over the loco for the Arriva service
for routine maintenance, as the only 'light-engine' running is from
Longsight (Manchester) to Crewe. An even better way would be to revive
a Saturdays only 'Irish Mancunian' diagram making a couple of trips
from Holyhead to Manchester and back, as of yore, rather than leaving
the train sitting in Holyhead all weekend. But the powers-that-be don't
believe anyone from Dublin, Holyhead or Bangor wants go go to
Manchester, presumably since it's not in Wales.
57 313 heads the return train, 14:36 from Holyhead, through Rhosneigr.
The same train passing Flint in very dull weather at 16:03. (This
picture by Stavros Lainas)
Slide show in Valley, 5 February
On Friday, 5 February starting at 19:30 in St Michael's Community
Church Hall, Pendyffryn Estate, Valley, LL65 3DN, Mr. David
Lindsay will be presenting a Slide Show entitled 'Steam Nostalgia Night
– A Look at Steam Railways of the era 1923 - 1948 and Early British
Railways, 1948 to the mid-1950s. Most of the photographs have been
rescued from oblivion and never seen in public before.
Admission to the show will be £2.00 to include refreshments.
There will be a raffle. Proceeds of the evening will be donated towards
the up keep of St. Michael's Community Church Hall.
Corwen Extension news: Llangollen Railway press release
Following the submission of the Transport and Works Order application
in September 2009, to extend the popular Welsh Heritage Railway Line
from Carrog to Corwen, Llangollen Railway Trust received five
objections and one representation from various public and private
bodies. We are pleased to announce that all but two of these have now
been withdrawn, The most recent withdrawal is by Sustrans (a
organisation dedicated to promoting cycling facilities). Railway
Vice-Chairman, Neil Evans said, 'We hope to settle the remaining two
objections, Welsh Water and the Countryside Council for Wales in the
near future. The level of opposition really is quite low for a
fair-sized project of this sort and none of the objectors are opposed
principle to the Extension'.
The Project's team, Vice Presidents Gordon Heddon and Bill Shakespeare,
with Vice-chairman Neil Evans, who have done much work on the project
said, 'Residents, businesses and others all stand to benefit from the
scheme and it is clear that the local community can't wait to see
trains running to Corwen again after almost 50 years. The level of
public support is demonstrated by the commitment shown by the railway's
landlord Denbighshire County Council, whose intervention led to the
withdrawal of the Sustrans objection. Sustrans wanted a shared-use
path beside the line, which the Trust maintained could not be
accommodated within railway land. The Trust has agreed to talks with
Sustrans on the provision of improved facilities for cyclists.'
Llangollen Railway Chairman, Jim Ritchie, added, '2010 promises to be
an exciting year for the Railway if (when) the Transport and Works
Order is granted and we can begin the task of progressing the extension
beyond Carrog towards Corwen where a new Station will be built. The
project will involve the Llangollen Railway in a major cost exercise
outside of any grant aid which may be secured. The Llangollen Railway
Trust will be seeking donations from well-wishers and further sales of
shares in the PLC to help finance this final stage in the dream which
began 35 years ago, to rebuild the line ten miles westward from
The picture, by George Jones,
shows the current state of trackbed near the former Bonwm Halt.
Level Crossing fatality on the Marches line - report by Charlie
Another tragic level crossing accident occurred at Moreton-on-Lugg
crossing between Hereford and Leominster on 16 January, when the Arriva
Trains Wales Class 175 operating the 08:30 Manchester to Milford Haven
struck two cars.
The passenger in one car was airlifted to hospital but died the same
her husband, who was driving, was badly injured. The occupants of the
other car, as well
as the train driver, some of the passengers, and reportedly the
signaller, were treated for shock but not, we believe, physically
injured. The train stayed on the track and its passengers were
unharmed. The line was closed for a considerable time following the
incident, not being handed back to the operators until 03:35 on Monday
18 January, a bus
replacement running between Shrewsbury and Hereford.
This event is very different from nearly all other level crossing
collisions, as the full-width crossing barriers, with their associated
flashing lights on the road, are controlled from the signalbox
immediately adjacent to the crossing. I took the picture above while
waiting at the crossing with my bicycle in September 2008; the
signalbox can be seen behind the train. You can see that the view of
anyone approaching on the road from this side is very restricted by the
houses, so if the barriers were raised road users would have little
chance of seeing a train approaching, not that they should be expected
It has been reported that the crossing systems were found to be working
correctly after the accident, and pictures show no damage to the
barriers themselves. Interlocking supposedly prevents the railway
signals being cleared for a train unless the barriers are down, but
what if the signaller believes the train has already passed, when in
fact it is still approaching and has passed the distant signal? Or
could the train driver have passed the protecting signals at
danger? Or maybe some maintenance work was taking place. From the
evidence so far it is hard to blame the
motorists for the accident in this highly unusual case.
The barriers and associated equipment were replaced by new ones in
September 2009; the signals on the railway here are lower-quadrant
semaphores. Investigations are taking place which hopefully will
reveal what happened.
Watching the relaying - report by Andrew Vinten
I visited Seacombe Junction on the morning of 17 January to record the
engineering activity: four class 66s were reported to be on site: 66
103 / 016 / 127 / 232. I arrived shortly before 09:30
and found that 66 127 had left the other three where about. Above is
one of the trains: the consist is autoballaster wagons and some
flat wagons loaded with the removed bull-head track panels.
Above is 66 232 moving out of
the possession having been hauled around Bidston East Junction by 66
016. 66 016 then returned to the autoballaster train near to the former
This picture shows the train coming around the curve from Bidston Dee
Junction on to the Bidston - Wrexham line. The worker had just
removed the stop board which allowed the train to continue to Wrexham.
I then returned to the work site and recorded a road/rail vehicle
removing new sleepers from one of the flat wagons by use of a jig. The
line being replaced is the up New Brighton line.
A visit to Wrexham and Ruabon - pictures by Dave Skipsey
Sunday 17 January, and 67 010 hauls
out of the stabling sidings at Wrexham Central,
before setting back to platform 1 to form the 13:11 to London. The
signal, CN958, which replaced a ground signal, is one of the new LED
types commissioned last autumn with the installation of the new panel
in Croes Newydd North Fork signalbox (visible in the background).
175 010 calls at Wrexham with
the 10:20 from Holyhead, running only as far as Shrewsbury because of
the level crossing accident described above.
On Wednesday 13 January. 175 010 had the rare privilege of using the
down loop at Holywell Junction, where it and another 175 were shunted
after suffering coupling difficulties.
Waiting for a path was 66 232
with a 'spoil train' carrying used ballast from a relaying operation on
the New Brighton line, near the site of Seacombe Junction where the ore
dock branched off; these operations are on for a further three
weekends, although there may not always be always be ballast trains
A relocation to Ruabon station to see 67 010 calling at its first stop
on the journey to London. Note that trains are now formed of four
coaches plus the driving van trailer.
From the bridge at Ruabon the 09:33 from London is approaching past
Milepost 197 (from Paddington) with 67
A Shropshire Lad
propelling from the rear of one of the newly-refurbished trains.
'Two for the price of one' as 67 010 departs.
66 232 follows with the infrastructure train, headed for Bescot.
Meet the Minister
Wrexham & Shropshire is inviting Shropshire business leaders on
board for a business networking event with a difference on 1 February
2010. The event, which is being run by Shropshire Chamber and sponsored
by Dyke Yaxley, Chartered Accountants of Shrewsbury, offers business
leaders a chance to meet Ian Lucas MP, Minister for Business and
Regulatory Reform, in the first networking event of its kind in
Teresa Rowe, Membership and Events Co-ordinator for Shropshire Chamber
says: 'The event will provide Shropshire businesses with the
opportunity to make valuable contacts in an informal and relaxed
setting. It also allows them the chance to discuss the issues that are
affecting them and their businesses with the Business Minister himself.
They also have the bonus of a day in London, the business capital of
the UK, where they can establish and strengthen important connections
that will benefit the Shropshire economy.'
Wrexham & Shropshire is providing a special train for the event and
for just £40.00 passengers can travel in comfort to the Capital.
The train will call at Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Wellington and Telford
before travelling direct to London Marylebone.
Tickets for the event must be booked in advance via the Shropshire
Chamber of Commerce website www.shropshire-chamber.co.uk.
available on 01952 208218.
page : 2010
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