Hysbysfwrdd Rheilffordd Arfordir Gogledd Cymru

In a Canadian-style blizzard on 17 February, 67 018 Keith Heller, in its maple-leaf livery to celebrate that gentleman's retirement from DB Schenker, was working for Wrexham & Shropshire. It is seen heading north at 15:50 south of Gobowen (Stavros Lainas)

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26 February 2010

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We would like to reassure all contributors that we never give permission for pictures contributed to this site to be copies or used anywhere else. If asked, we pass on the request to the photographer, who retains the copyright at all times.

Currently, someone called 'Mr Cool' is copying pictures from here (and elsewhere) and putting them on his 'flickr' site ...

As far as we can tell, he has not asked anyone for permission. Contributors might like to take a look there for our familiar embedded copyright statements bearing their names.

Bangor to York via the KWVR - report by Alan Crawshaw

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Winter Steam Gala on 12 February afforded an opportunity to visit a line I'd not seen since the 1970s, and Rowan has never seen, by making a detour on our way to York to visit my parents. We booked the tickets the previous day as we'd be catching the 06:02 loco-hauled as far as Crewe. I worked out that the cheapest fare for me would be to take advantage of the 'Club 55' fare to Manchester, but I later spotted in the 'terms and conditions' that it's not valid for trains arriving in Manchester before 09:30 - which isn't mentioned on the posters and wasn't pointed out by the booking clerk. To avoid the risk of unpleasantness with the conductor I bought a single from Crewe to Manchester, which wiped out the saving.

57 314 rolled in on time and around 20 people boarded at Bangor. After a pleasant ride along the coast we alighted at Crewe (photo above), looked at 47 839/843 in the old depot ...

... saw Fastline 66 301 pass through (above) and boarded a Voyager to Piccadilly, where we transferred onto a class 170 unit bound for Hull. At Leeds we had our first ride on a Class 333 electric set which took us efficiently up the line to Keighley for slower but more charismatic accommodation.

After buying our Rover tickets we stepped straight onto the corridor set, hauled by BR Standard tank 80002. A sharp shower greeted our arrival and there was much slipping as 80002 pulled us up the gradient on the wet rails. It was a lovely ride up to the end of the line at Oxenhope (above), with occasional sunshine to illuminate the scenery.

We rode back as far as Haworth where we photographed WD 2-8-0 90733 on shed (photo). This is the only survivor from this numerous class, its interesting history is related at in the KWVR stockbook.

Next was the beautifully restored Metropolitan Railway set ...

... hauled by visiting N2 0-6-2T 1744 (above).

We spent the rest of the day enjoying this marvellous line and enjoying the variety of rolling stock, including the more prosaic suburban non-corridor coaches, and ended with a ride behind Ivatt tank 41241, once allocated to Bangor shed (above).

The journey home featured a rail replacement bus between Chester and Rhyl.

Before boarding we grabbed a couple of shots of the 66s on engineering trains.

At Rhyl we could faintly hear a 66 ticking over to the east of the station.

RCTS meeting, 1 March
The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (RCTS) meeting takes place on Monday 1st March at 7.45 p.m. at the Lever Club, next to Port Sunlight railway station.

The evening will see a digital presentation by the Society's National Hon. Publicity Officer, Mr David Kelso of Broadstairs.  He will be presenting a selection of his scenes of Scottish railway activities in the 1950s and 1960s. Visitors will be made most welcome after making a £2 donation at the entrance to the meeting.  Such donations contribute a great deal to the well being of the local branch.

Telephoned enquiries about this meeting can be made to Richard Neale on 0151 - 608 4296

Merseyrail unit movements

On 16 February, silver 67 029 Royal Diamond was observed returning two Class 507 Merseyrail EMUs, 507 010 and 507 012, to Birkenhead from Doncaster works.  The double unit move from Arpley - Birkenhead (the units are moved from Doncaster - Arpley during the night) was scheduled for the 12 Febrary but a minor derailment (involving the units and/or the barriers) in Arpley yard meant the move was eventually postponed to the 16 February. The train is seen just north of Wrexham General at 09:43. (Mark Riley)

Later in the afternoon, 67 029 approaches Caergwrle, hauling 507 006 bound for Doncaster works. The photo was taken from the bridge on Fellows Lane (Mark Riley)

The same train (6X75) at Neston. (Andrew Vinten)

23 February, and 67 024 passes Upton (Wirral) hauling 507 033 on 5X75 Birkenhead - Doncaster.  (Andrew Vinten)

There are currently (04 March) 13 more units to go to Doncaster but there may be some going for a repeat visit so we still have plenty more moves to photograph.

Wrexham and Shropshire variety - report by Mark Riley

The Wrexham & Shropshire train formations have provided a lot of interest and variety for photographers / bashers lately! On Saturday 13 February (above), Chiltern blue/white DVT 82302, ex Virgin Mark 3 Open Standards 12054, 12124 and 12094, blue/grey Buffet First 10257 and 67 010 are the formation for the 14:18 Saturday service from Wrexham to to Marylebone. The empty train is seen leaving the loop at Croes Newydd to run back into Wrexham General station.

16 February, and after the W&S services were diverted into London Paddington on 14 February, the same formation is reversed with 67 010 now facing south. This is the 1J80 service from Marylebone on approach to Wrexham General.

There appeared to be just one all silver set running on 7 February: 67 014 Thomas Telford is at the rear of the 1J80 service this time, with  DVT 82305 up front, again photographed from the same spot because of the sun as it approaches Wrexham General.

A further variation is the set with DVT 82304 (facing south), Cargo-D blue/grey Open Standard Mark 3s 12014, 12043, 12038 and silver Buffet First 10236! It is getting difficult keeping a record of all this ...

An evening at Bangor Bay - with 'Corrie'

Rail blue loco 31 106 stabled at Bangor on the evening of 19 February with an ultrasonic test train, which use ultrasound to check for flaws in the rails. 

The train was working push-pull with driving trailer 9702. In the centre of the train, Ultrasonic test coach 999605, which has been converted from coach S62482, once part of Southern Region 4-REP set no. 3015. Apparently it and S62483 were the very last two Mk1 coaches built.

57 315 called with with the Arriva express from Cardiff to Holyhead ...

... then after the passage of the Holyhead-bound Voyager service (above), 31 106  drew its short train into the tunnel. After a short wait for the driver to change cabs it propelled its train straight through Bangor station and set off to do some testing.

Pendolino views Saturday 20 February

57 303 Alan Tracy at Hargrave south of Chester with 1D83 London - Holyhead on 20 February (above). The train was running about 60 minutes late. 'It was very tranquil at Hargrave just a few birds and rabbits
dotted about,' writes contributor Andrew Vinten. 'Hopefully spring shouldn't be far away...'

Jostling with the A55 road at Tan Lan, looking just like a view on someone's model railway that isn't quite finished! (Stéphanie Durrant)

Heading west from Tan Lan (Darren Durrant)

Passing Pont Myfyrain near Gaerwen. (Corrie)

Bangor Box - Pictures by Alan Roberts

With reference to the work going on to refurbish Bangor signalbox, mentioned here recently, Signaller Alan Roberts sends along these views.The work commenced on Monday 16 November 2009, and includes new roof, windows, doors, central heating, new kitchen   and work tops.

The original wooden finials at the gable ends have been painted and will stay. The box (originally Bangor No.2) was built by the LMS railway (To an LNWR design) in the 1920s, as part of the project to enlarge the station to have four through platform faces.

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