Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

10 January 2011

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Forthcoming events

January 2011

Friday 14 January Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society
50 YEARS OF THE CRICH TRAMWAY MUSEUM a colour slide presentation by Mike Crabtree
Monday 17 January  RCTS Chester Tony Icke: WESTERN & WESSEX WANDERINGS. A slide show mainly from the 1960’s from 
Crewe to the Isle of Wight via western  routes, Swindon and the S&D.

Thursday 27 January  Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Pickard: Railways around Saltney

See the Calendar page for more details.

Class 67s ventured on to Barmouth Bridge for the first time ever on 8 January, with an excursion train from London to Barmouth; more views below. Picture by Richard Billingsley.

Winter service at Llangollen - report by George Jones

The Sundays only Diesel Multiple Unit service operates at the Llangollen Railway  from 9 January 2011 with departures from Llangollen at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. An £11 ticket (£9 for seniors) gives a day's unlimited travel. The service on 9 January was operated by the class 104 DMU set comprising M50454 and 50528 providing a warm environment for passengers to enjoy a trip down the Dee valley. With bare trees and traces of snow still around on the Berwyn Mountains, the winter journey on the railway offered views of the River Dee and countryside not otherwise available and was enjoyed in the bright sunshine. Above, the 1pm departure from Llangollen arrives at Carrog to form the 2pm return.

Above: the rear view as the train departs Berwyn down the gradient to Llangollen. With the train calling at Berwyn and Glyndyfrdwy there is the option to take various short or longer country walks from and to stations on the line which is one of the few attractions open for business in North Wales (and further afield) at this time of year. Others might enjoy the café at Carrog or adjourn to the pub in the village.

The traditional DMU offers the front and rear end cab views of the way ahead or behind and these are the subject of appreciative comment from passengers not used to travelling in heritage units or those recalling rail journeys in days gone by. Above: the rear view as the train enters the loop at Llangollen Goods Junction.

Sundays-only services continue until February, when weekend services will be operated with a DMU Saturday and Steam on Sundays. Llangollen remains a popular venue for those seeking a short day out within an hour or so of home.

Skip over the Mawddach

8 January saw an excursion from London top-and-tailed by Class 67 diesels, travel along the Cambrian Coast line to Barmouth, a surprising 'first' as these locos have previously been considered too heavy in axle-load terms for the wooden bridges on this route, notably the long viaduct across the Mawddach estuary. Above, the train runs over the level crossing into Barmouth station (Richard Billingsley).

The train was rather too long for Barmouth's platforms (Richard Billingsley).

The 'points indicator' signs which are a feature of lines having the 'sprung' points associated with the Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) system will vanish from the scene as the new ERTMS equipment takes over. In the new system the points are power-operated. (Richard Billingsley).

67 030 was at the other end of the train. This loco is RETB fitted and normally sees use on the West Highland line, hence the Saltire on the front above the number. During the three-hour layover, the train did a couple of shunt moves to make space for scheduled Arriva Trains Wales services, 67030 led the stock away from the up platform to clear it for a service to Birmingham International (Richard Billingsley)

While on the subject of ERTMS: a train driver has uploaded to YouTube a video of the operations needed in the cab to start the ERTMS computer on a 158. Interesting, and nice music too: Here's the link.
Loco-hauled report
Holyhead on New Year's Day, Saturday 1 January 2011, and Stena still haven't unwrapped their Christmas present as 57 315 awaits departure with the 14:36 Saturdays-only 'Pendolino Drag' for London. In the background 57 314 is stabled for the weekend with the stock for the Monday- Friday Holyhead - Cardiff 'WAG express. Picture by Corrie.

Heading up the 1 in 75 out of Holyhead (Corrie).

The following Saturday, 8 January,  57 308 Tin Tin was in charge of the London train, seen above westbound (above) at Llanddulas (Darren Durrant)

 ... Llanfair PG (Richard Fleckney) ...

... with Pendolino 390 029 (Richard Fleckney) ...

...  passing Valley on the return journey (Corrie).

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