Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru

12 April 2010

Last issue

2010 Archive

RSS feed RSS

Link to this issue

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and supporters, and especially the all rail staff of North Wales.

Coming events:

Monday 12 April Wrexham Railway Society  My 200 best slides by John Feild - a look back at railway photography. (Change of programme)

Tuesday 13 April. The 8E Railway Association (Northwich);  Chris Banks presents 'Engine Sheds - Part 1'

Monday 19 April. RCTS Meeting in Chester at 19.45. Branch AGM followed by members' digital presentations.

Tuesday  20 April   North Wales Railway Circle  China Steam 

23-25 April. Llangollen Railway Spring steam gala in aid of the Patriot Appeal and Corwen extension fund raiser. A visiting engine is expected as a special LMS guest.

Saturday 24 April.  Steam on the Coast. PMR Tours. The Welsh Dragon (Lincoln) - Crewe - Holyhead.

Saturday 24 April. Chester Model Railway Club & Ffestiniog Railway Dee & Mersey Group. The Thames Valley Express. Excursion train from Hooton to Windsor picking up at Bache, Chester and Crewe with option to leave train at Harrow & Wealdstone for London. MkII coaches top and tailed by Class 67 Diesel locomotives.

May 2010
Tuesday  4 May   North Wales Railway Circle      David Lindsay:  Around Lake Maggiore & Milano.

Saturday 8 May Mid-Cheshire Rail Users Association Excursion. Most Mid Cheshire Line Stations, Manchester
Piccadilly, Stockport and Crewe to Oxford, Bath (for the East Somerset Railway) and Bristol. Booking info       

See the Calendar page for more details.

Bachmann's 00 model of 57 315 is now available from your local stockist, price around £70.

BR standard 2-6-4T 80072 looking very much at home on the Llangollen Railway, 11 April. Picture by Katherine Vinten.

Crewe Bonanza, 10 April - report by David Hennessey

Above, 57 309 Brains departing from Crewe with the Saturdays-only London Euston to Holyhead Pendolino 'drag.'

DB Schenker 67 029 Royal Diamond pulling away from Crewe, with a London Victoria to Runcorn Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) Pullman excursion, which was running in connection with the 2010 Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool.

A look at four of the Pullman cars that were on the VSOE special to Runcorn, which are not often seen this far north. The three visible names, left to right, are Phoenix, Perseus (both of these were ordered by the LNER in 1938, but finally delivered to British Railways in 1951 and used on the 'Golden Arrow' boat train) and Audrey (built 1932 as part of a Southern Railway 5-BEL electric multiple unit). All the old Pullmans have been rebuilt in recent times to meet modern crash-worthiness regulations.

The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust's Peppercorn A1 60163 Tornado in the loco preparation area at the Crewe Heritage Centre. At the time of writing, she was being prepared for the Crewe to Carlisle 'Cumbrian Coast Tornado' on Wednesday 14 April 2010.

DB Schenker 67 005 Queen's Messenger on the approach to Crewe, with the empty stock movement of the London Victoria to Runcorn Pullman. This movement went on towards the LNWR depot south of the station. More pictures on my fotopic site.

Llangollen views

The Llangollen Diesel Group operated their Class 26 D5310 for only the second time on public services on 10 April, the loco making four return trips between Llangollen and Carrog. Above, D5310 approaches Llangollen Goods Junction with the first service of the day, the 10:30 Llangollen-Carrog. (Mark Riley)

D5310 at Carrog. Picture by Dave Bramley, who writes: 'The weather really was superb for the day, and as usual a fantastic welcome from the staff and volunteers of the railway made the day.'

At line's end in Carrog ... for now. (Dave Bramley) Here's hoping the paperwork for the extension gets sorted soon, as it seems to be getting bogged down. The Railway's news page reported on 6 April that the Welsh Assembly Government Ministers concerned had decided to require two supplementary reports (which had been submitted to them five months earlier) to be offered for public consultation, a process which will take a further seven weeks, holding up the grant of a Transport and Works Order, and the construction work which must start by 31 August to comply with the conditions of the Government's grant.

Some positive news: Stanier Mogul 42968 (Picture above by Kieran Hardy) has been confirmed as the visiting engine for the Railway's Corwen Patriot Gala from Friday 23 until Sunday 25 April. The three day all-steam gala has been staged to generate publicity and funds for the Carrog to Corwen extension and for the LMS Patriot Project, which is assembling a new-build 'Patriot' class loco, number 45551 The Unknown Warrior at the Llangollen Railway Works. Progress on the project can be seen at the Works during the Gala.

Other locos working during the ‘Corwen Patriot Gala’ will include newly restored BR Standard 4 Tank, 80072 (picture above by Mark Riley); Black 5 44806; GWR Heavy Freight 3802; GWR Pannier Tank 6430 with 2 autocoaches, and GWR 0-6-2T 5643 which is on hire from the Furness Railway Trust after visiting the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston Docks.

Full details of the gala and other LR events are on the Llangollen Railway website. The LMS-Patriot Project is looking to get 300 new Regular Donors over the next 12 months. Regular Donations from as little as £5/month are being sought.  Visit for a Donations and Membership Form


An unusual sight at Manchester Oxford Road on 10 April was East Midlands Trains 'Meridian' unit 222 005 which (as on the equivalent day in 2009) stood in for a Class 158 on two return trips between Nottingham and Liverpool to handle the crowds travelling to the Grand National.  This is the 14:45 Nottingham - Liverpool, pictured by David Parry.

150 260, working train 2F78, the 15:30 Service from Wrexham Central to Bidston, seen from the foot crossing at the back of the Rhos Robin
industrial estate, a location to often seen on our the site before (Karl Latham)

A well-known sight on North Wales steam trips, 6233 Duchess of Sutherland, having received an extension of its boiler certificate until November 2010, has been repainted for this summer's trains in the black livery adopted by the LMS railway in its last years after World War II, which it will retain until entering works for overhaul towards the end of the year. (This particular loco was never streamlined, and did carry this colour scheme from 1946 until repainted in green in the early 1950s.) It was pictured by Tim Fenton on 9 April stabled in the bay outside Wyvern House at the north end of Derby station; it will be powering the 'Welsh Dragon' to Holyhead on 24 April.

158 833 makes its way over the level crossing in Barmouth town centre on 10 April. (Darren Durrant) We believe that the recent trial week of the new ERTMS signalling between Harlech and Pwllheli went off without incident, although no definite date for the 'live' operation has been given to us. One worry appears to be the ability, or otherwise, of the electrical supply from the engine-driven alternators on these units to supply the additional power of the new equipment. It's even been suggested that should the engine of one of the vehicles in the 2-car set fail, it will not be possible to carry on (at reduced speed) with just the one engine, as would normally be the case, because of this problem.

The Saturday Pendolino on 10 April, having been hauled to Holyhead by 57 309 Brains, returned behind Arriva-liveried 57 315, no doubt to get it to Longsight depot for maintenance. Darren Durrant's picture shows the train crossing Conwy Cob with the castle behind. On Monday morning 12 April, 57 309 in its turn headed out of Holyhead on the express to Cardiff, with 57 313 trailing on the rear.

Wrexham and Shropshire's 11:27 Wrexham - London passes Chirk with 67 010 in charge, 7 April (Tim J. Rogers)

Freight review

Helsby on 7 April, as 70 004 passes with 4F03, the 15:15 Fiddler's Ferry - Ellesmere Port Manisty Wharf, to collect another load of imported coal. (Tim J. Rogers) According to a report on 8 April, of the six of these locos currently in the Freightliner fleet,  only this one and 70 001 were in working order.

DB Schenker's plan to replace the last few Class 60s with 59s isn't going entirely to plan - 59 201 slipped to a stand in the Liverpool docks area on the morning of 7 April whilst hauling coal train 6F80. Assistance was summoned in the shape of 60 085; Andrew Vinten managed to grab a picture on his mobile phone as the cavalcade rolled into Warrington Bank Quay.

7 April saw 57 007 working the 6C19 12:06 Chirk - Carlisle timber empties, seen above crossing Chirk Viaduct, shortly after leaving the Kronospan Plant. Picture taken by Mark Riley from Thomas Telford's Chirk aqueduct ...

... and passing Chirk station after visiting Gobowen for the loco to run round. (Tim J. Rogers)

66 843 worked the Carlisle - Chirk train, seen approaching Helsby on 8 April (Ken Davies)

A colourful sight on the Valley flask train of 8 April, pictured at Llandudno Junction at 15:32 running at something like the 'normal' time  (Peter Lloyd.) Locos are 66 414 James the Engine, still carrying its Stobart livery even though DRS no longer work any Stobart trains, and 66 426.

The morning westbound flask passes Rowton on 12 April, with 37 611 leading 37 059. (Andrew Vinten)

Speaking of nuclear matters and our previous article about the controversy surrounding the proposed new Wylfa B power station, thanks to reader Phil Atack for reminding us that 'PAWB', the name chosen by the protest group, as well as standing for 'People Against Wylfa B' is also the Welsh word for 'Everyone.' Very clever ... reminds of the the old story that when the Great Western took over the Cambrian lines in 1922, junior porters were ridiculed for their new caps saying 'GWR' which as well as the common meaning of 'husband' can also mean 'a being endowed with power.' Of course Virgin Trains did not exist in those days.

Here's one by Andrew Vinten from 6 April showing 37 194 and 37 229 passing Hargrave, showing more detail of the flasks and their wagons. Bachmann are promising a 4mm scale model of these vehicles in their 2010 programme, as well as on as one of the older four-wheel OTA timber wagons which used to run to Chirk.

Royal Navy in North Wales - report by Brian Jones

HMS Charger seen at the landing stage at Conwy Morfa on the morning of 3 April.  P292 is an P2000 or Archer-class Fast Patrol Vessel completed by Vosper Thornycroft. She is just over 20 metres long and 5.8 metres wide and powered by two Rolls-Royce turbo engines. The ship is based at the Royal Naval Headquarters (Merseyside) in Liverpool and was commissioned in 1988.

She has 4 crew plus a Commanding Officer, and sails with a Training Officer and a complement of students. She is attached to the Liverpool University Royal Naval Unit (URNU), under the command of Lt Richard Hurman RN, who is also Officer in Charge of the Unit. There are 13 other University units around the country, each with one of these vessels allocated. More information on the ship's website.

North Wales Coast home page  2010 Archive  Previous Noticeboard