Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

26 April 2010

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

Coming events:

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 Mk II air conditioned coaches hauled by a Class 67 diesel locomotive. Further Details at

Tuesday 11 May. The 8E Railway Association (Northwich);  Dave Bathurst presents 'The Chasewater Railway - 50 years On'

15/16 May.  Llangollen Railway Charity event in aid of Hope House Children's Hospice.

29 May. Llangollen Railway Celebrating Thomas the Tank's 65th birthday.

Saturday 29 May Excursion Compass Tours  'The Cumbrian Fellsman'    Hooton, Chester, Delamere, Northwich, Knutsford, Altrincham, Stockport, Denton, Manchester Victoria & Bolton to Carlisle via Settle Carlisle Railway outward and returning via the Cumbrian Coast Railway line.  Class 67 Diesel to feature throughout.

See the Calendar page for more details.

Thanks to all who have sent pictures of 6233 Duchess of Sutherland on her first visit to the Coast line after being repainted in LMS post-war black. Those received by 16:00 on 25 April are in the slideshow above (Javascript required), others will appear in a later issue.
Arriva goes German
It looks definite now that the Arriva group, with its bus and train operations in various countries, including of course our own Arriva Trains Wales and many of the buses in our area, is to merge with the German nationalised railway, Deutsche Bahn. The DB press release (read in full at this link) tells us that: 'Arriva's headquarters will remain in Sunderland. DB will also continue its close relationship with Arriva's current management. In addition, the Arriva brand will be retained outside Germany.' So it would seem that DB red will not be seen on British passenger trains, at least initially. The price being paid for all this is £1.59 billion pounds; under the conditions of British rail franchising, this does not actually include any lines, stations, or trains, which are all leased. Presumably it does include the 'LNWR' maintenance operation at Crewe which Arriva bought from Peter Waterman a couple of years ago.

It will be interesting to see whether Arriva Trains Wales operations will be merged in any way with Chiltern Trains, already owned by DB, and/or Wrexham & Shropshire, of which DB is a major shareholder. Hiring locos from DB Schenker should also be facilitated. We hear that W&S train crew have been 'learning the road' on the North Wales Coast for reasons not clear at the time of writing.

Ash specials - report by Peter Lloyd

Extra sets have been used for a lot of Holyhead trains during the
volcano air traffic problems. Here are a few seen at Llandudno Junction the afternoon of 21 April. Above, 1D13 11:09 Birmingham International to Holyhead with 158 834 and 158 823.

Next, 1G50 13:23 Holyhead to Birmingham International with 158 827 and 158 821.

1A48 13:58 Holyhead to London Euston with 221 110 + 221 114. Arriva also ran an extra boat train for people arriving from Dublin on the late ferry, 1Z42 03:00 Holyhead to Crewe calling at Chester only and arriving at Crewe at 04:50. Sunday morning's service was 08:30 Holyhead - Crewe due to routine track works.

Photographic exhibition at Gobowen station

A Photographic Exhibition is to be held in the booking office at Gobowen station from 17 – 25 May 2010 to mark the second anniversary of the start of Marylebone train services by the Wrexham & Shropshire Railway Co. Ltd.

SCRUA is sponsoring a display of photographs featuring the Wrexham and Shropshire trains at locations along the line between Shrewsbury and Chester. The advent of the locomotive hauled trains has presented many opportunities to photograph the W&S trains in the border region when their appearance has made a  notable impression on the travelling public and the casual observer.

Supporters of the line are welcome to submit their photographs in the form of colour prints measuring a minimum of 7 x 5 inches for display. Details of date, location and train should be stated on the reverse of the print, together with the sender’s name and address, and should be sent to:

SCRUA Photo Exhibition
c/o Gobowen Booking Office
Gobowen Station
Oswestry SY11 3JS

Alternatively, digital images in the form of jpegs may be sent as attachments in an email addressed to:

with the senders’ expressed permission for colour prints to be made for inclusion in the exhibition. Submissions to be received by 12 May 2010.

The Association looks forward to receiving submissions and will endeavour to gain publicity from the promotion of this event which will be a feature of  the AGM to be held on 18 May.

Note also that the meeting of the SCRUA previously advised for 26 April will not now take place as the venue is not available.  - George Jones.

Conwy Valley Day Ranger

A new product launched by Arriva Trains Wales on 19 April gives good value for money for travel on the Conwy Valley line for a limited period.

The Conwy Valley Day Ranger will be available from 19th April to the 28th May 2010 and will be valid from Llandudno, Deganwy, and Llandudno Junction to and from all stations on the Conwy Valley line to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

At just £3.00 adult and £1.50 child it affords unlimited travel on the line for a day; the normal Day Return fare from Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog is £6.60.  Production of this ticket on the Ffestiniog Railway will also attract a generous discount of 20% off the ordinary fare on that line.

Royal visit
(from the Welsh Highland Railway website)

Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, KG is to visit North Wales on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 April.

The Royal Party will arrive in Bangor on Tuesday 27 April aboard the Royal Train. They will first visit Caernarfon Castle, where they will view the Welch Fusiliers Museum and the Exhibition of the Prince of Wales’ Investiture in 1969. Her Majesty will also step on to the Queen’s Gate balcony at the castle.

One of the planned events is a visit to the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, and a journey from Caernarfon to Dinas, where Pullman observation carriage no. 2100 will be named Glaslyn by Her Majesty.

Dinas Station and the roads around Caernarfon Station will be closed or restricted on 27 April until after the Royal visitors have left. The 10:00 service from Caernarfon will not run on this day and the 12:10 will be retimed to run slightly later. For security reasons, we are unable to divulge precise timings for the event.

In the afternoon, the Royal Party will travel to Conwy where they will visit the Venue Cymru Theatre and Conference Centre in Llandudno. At the centre they will meet groups of local volunteers and view a musical performance. The Royal Party will depart Llandudno by Royal Train, arriving at Welshpool Station in the morning of Wednesday 28 April.

Loco hauled passenger views

The days are getting longer: long enough to get pictures of the Monday - Friday Cardiff - Holyhead express making its way along the Coast. Above, 57 316 calls at Colwyn Bay on 21 April (Stéphanie Durrant)

57s can often be seen on the Saturday Virgin train too: above is 17 April's westbound train seen from Llanfair PG level crossing with 57 310 Kyrano hauling Pendolino 390 018 Virgin Princess. (Richard Fleckney)

It appears that the return working is used to move the loco from the weekday Cardiff express to Crewe and then light-engine to Manchester Longsight for maintenance, leading to the appearance of a blue loco on the eastbound Saturday.  Above, 57 313 calls at Colwyn Bay on 17 April, the same day as the previous shot. (Darren Durrant)

57 313 had arrived on the express from Cardiff the previous evening, 16 April. Here it is crossing some less environmentally-friendly transport at Tan Lan. (Darren Durrant)

A week earlier, 10 April, and 57 309 Brains was in charge at Llanfair PG. (Richard Fleckney)

New station in Manchester

This picture by Greg Mape shows the beginnings of the new Metrolink station at Chorlton-cum-Hardy, being prepared for track laying. This is actually the site of the station closed in the 1960s, which was on the  Midland Railway's main route from Manchester Central to London St Pancras. The Morrisons store stands in the old goods yard. Opening of the line here is planned for 2011, and the section beyond to East Didsbury, recently approved, is already under construction.  The custard-yellow trams will be a far cry from the Blue Pullmans which once passed this spot...

Don't forget the flask

More pictures of the Valley flask train, which continues to provide the most traction variety on the North Wales line. Above, on 13 April ex-Eurostar locos 37611 + 37601 have revered from the loading siding into Valley station and are just starting for their return journey to Crewe. (Richard Fleckney)

A good chance to take a modeller's picture of an FNA flask wagon (Richard Fleckney). What you see on the wagon is not the flask itself but a sun-shield designed to prevent excessive heating of the flask which is inside. The wagons, have numbers in the 550xxx series, with no preceding owners' prefix letters, which implies that as ex-British Rail vehicles they are owned by DB Schenker even though the trains are all worked by DRS. They exist in two main versions: earlier examples have a flat floor at each end; later ones have floors which slope down slightly towards the ends, perhaps so that water and general debris does not collect there.

Some time later, the same train passes Waverton (Stavros Lainas)

23 April, and a vintage English Electric duo performing as 6K41 passes Llandudno Junction 51 minutes early at 15:02 with 20 304 + 37 682. (Peter Lloyd)

57 003 and 57 011 near Prestatyn on the return flasks, 19 April. Picture by Dave Sallery.

Here's a curiosity: someone has made a model flask train in Lego ...

Steam in Germany

As German Railways are in the headlines, here are some German trains. Bob Lissaman writes: 'Here is a small sample of the many photos I took at the 175th Anniversary of German Railways at Trier where many special trains were steam hauled. At Gerolstein the locomotive sheds  were full of steam, and diesel railbuses. Also the DB Museum at Koblenz was well populated with vintage diesels and electrics.' Above is Pacific 01 0509, one of a class rebuilt by the East German railways from earlier pacifics in the the 1960s.

23 042, seen at Trier, is a 2-6-2 built in 1954, one of a range of  standard classes for West Germany, analogous to the 'BR Standards' in the UK.

78 468 is a much older machine, a 2-6-2T built in 1923 for suburban work and fitted for push-pull working. A speciality of Germany is the 'Plandampf' event in which regular service trains on a line or area are worked by steam traction for a weekend, subsidised by the local authorities to attract tourism. Would it work on the Conwy Valley line?

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