NORTH WALES COAST
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19 April 2010
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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 will be LMS 2-6-0 42968.
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.
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.
17 April: A warm balmy afternoon alongside the River Conwy and Tal-y-Cafn and Eglwysbach Station slumbers in the stillness with only the droning of bees to disturb this rustic peace and the odd breeze to just tickle the daffodils.
This station is a credit to a small group of volunteer station adopters from the Llandudno and Conwy Valley railway society whose weekly toil of gardening is very much appreciated by our Rail Partnership, Arriva Trains Wales and perhaps most important of all, our passengers on the line who so often pass complimentary remarks. Such scenes make you want to come back and stay awhile! - Larry Davies.
Volcano affects North Wales Coast!
Mid-April saw the railway companies doing their best to carry a huge increase in Anglo-Irish ferry passenger numbers after high-altitude clouds of ash from a volcano in Iceland caused the authorities to ban passenger airline flights to and from the UK for several days. The morning London to Holyhead train on 16 April, for example, pictured above by Alan Crawshaw, was formed by two Voyagers to cater for the increased traffic resulting from the Icelandic volcano ash closing the sky to aircraft. It left Bangor full and standing: we wonder how many will appreciate the railway coming to the rescue and how many will grumble about the fare and the overcrowding. In the background the 12:24 Bangor to Euston is departing from platform 1.
Arriva Trains Wales also rose to the occasion, adding extra coaches when they could (causing some people to complain about the use of Class 150s) and also provided a connecting train from the ferry which arrives at Holyhead in the small hours and has not had a regular train for some time. 16 and 17 April saw an 03:00 Holyhead - Crewe train formed of three units: on 17 April 175 004 / 104 / 105 were used. Network Rail also played there part by cancelling engineering work which had been planned for the weekend.
Train 6L56, comprising 66 621 and 22 loaded wagons of small granite chippings, destination Chesterton Junction, passes Llandudno Junction at 16:40 on 12 April (Peter Lloyd)
Yet more variety to the traction seen on the Carlisle-Chirk timber trains occurred recently with Fastline 66 434 being observed working the daytime empty KFA wagons from Kronospan. (6C19 Chirk - Carlisle). On only its second working within a week, it departs Chirk at 12:10 on 13 April. The train with its loaded wagons was seen approaching Wrexham General at 04:45 that morning, so it was at Kronospan for over six hours. (Mark Riley)
The next day, 66 434 ran again and was pictured, off our normal patch at Balshaw Lane Junction, on the northbound empty logs ...
... and at the same location on the same day, Colas 66 843 is on the usual southbound logs, running via the Settle and Carlisle line this week as part of a driver familiarisation programme.
The eastbound flask passes the well-preserved old station building at Waverton at 14:02 on 13 April behind a pair of 37s, 37 611 and 601... It looks like the crew were enjoying the trip! (Stavros Lainas)
16 April's flask was hauled by 20 304 and 37 059, seen filling Bangor station with the lovely English Electric music as they roared through. (Alan Crawshaw)
The same train at Bagillt: on this day, as so often recently, the train returned to Crewe much earlier than its official 'booked time' of 14:58 from Valley, leaving Valley at 12:09. (Andrew Vinten)
The engineers' sidings at Rhyl, with a tamping machine awaiting its next duty (Darren Durrant)
Yellow flowers and a yellow train - report by Eifion Hughes
In a lovely bit of spring sunshine on 14 April, I luckily had the camera in the boot when passing Bangor Station and I noticed the yellow coaches of the Network Rail structure gauging train. As there's a good chance of picking up a Parking Ticket I went round to the goods yard for the first view of 31 285. (The usual permission was sought from the permanent way staff.
I returned to the main car park and left the Wife in charge of the car; this time I had permission from a member of the British Transport Police to access the platform via the steps next to their office.This is 'Skinhead' (no marker lights above the cab window) 31 105 and a Virgin Voyager departing with the afternoon London service.
Proposed new bridge in Chester
Elsewhere in Chester, Cheshire West and Chester Council propose to remove the existing pedestrian footbridge across the River Dee at Curzon Park which is attached to the south side of the railway bridge and replace it with a new wider pedestrian and cycle bridge attached the opposite side of the bridge with step-free access at both ends. The Cpimcil have supplied us with the 'conceptual drawing' above, which they ask us to point out is not meant as a detaiuled plan. We understand that the present footbridge will not be removed until the new bridge has been completed.
This is one of several proposed projects in the Cycle Chester Programme. Speaking about the project, Programme Manager Bethan Vaughan says "The Cycle Chester team, have been working over the past two years to make cycling in Chester a realistic option for people who don't ride for one reason or another. We have looked at problem areas across the city and are looking to make cycling a regular part of day to day life, even for those with little or no confidence on roads at present."
A public drop-in event, with an exhibition of the proposals and the
opportunity to share your comments and suggestions, will held on Wednesday 21st April from 1.30pm to 7pm in Room 3 of the Quaker Meeting House in Frodsham Street, Chester, CH1 3LF, very close to the City Rail Link bus stop. If you are unable to attend the event, the full plans will be available on the Council's website from 22 to 28 April where you will also be able to pass on your comments. (From a rail photographers point of view, this could provide a new opportunity to photograph trains on the Roodee viaduct, but then that's probably not a valid comment!)
Tornado on the West Coast