NORTH WALES COAST
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13 June 2011
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Sunday 19 June Steam on the Coast: Northern Belle Father's Day Special. Note: This was advertised as 'Crewe-Holyhead and return with 46201 Princess Elizabeth' but we believe it will now be diesel-hauled.
Saturday 2 July North Wales N Gauge Model Railway Club first Exhibition in Conwy. The show is dedicated to N Gauge and has appearances of layouts from Chester, Abergele and Caernarfon as well as the clubs' exhibition layouts. Opening hours are 10.00am to 4.00pm. The venue is St. Michael's church hall in Rosemary Lane, Conwy (off Lancaster Square in the heart of the town.)
2 & 3 July – Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Steam in the Sheds. 'Over a hundred very small steam engines will be on display and working in the Engine Sheds. Some are so tiny they can almost fit into your hand! Many of them will be working to show the power and magic of steam, whatever the size. There’s also chance to have a ride behind a small steam engine on our miniature railway during the weekend.'
Tuesday 26 July Conwy Valley Steam: Railway Touring Company, 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Note: The Railway Touring Company tours in August can also be booked together as a week's package which also includes steam trips on the 'Cumbrian Mountain Express' and 'The Cambrian'.
Sunday 7 August Steam on the Coast: 'The North Wales Coast Express' Railway Touring Company Liverpool and Chester to Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead. Hauled throughout, by one of 6100 Royal Scot, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, or 60019 Bittern.
Tuesday 9 August Conwy Valley Steam: Railway Touring Company, 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Sunday 14 August Steam on the Coast: 'The North Wales Coast Express' Railway Touring Company Liverpool and Chester to Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead. Hauled throughout, by one of 6100 Royal Scot, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, or 60019 Bittern.
Saturday 20 August Steam on the Coast: Vintage Trains Tyseley - Llandudno and return with 5043.
Sunday 21 August Steam on the Coast: 'The North Wales Coast Express' Railway Touring Company Liverpool and Chester to Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead. Hauled throughout, by one of 6100 Royal Scot, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, or 60019 Bittern.
Tuesday 23 August Conwy Valley Steam: Railway Touring Company, 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.
27, 28 & 29 August –August Bank Holiday Weekend Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Fun Whatever The Weather!
'Who cares if it rains over the Bank Holiday? We’ve organised a special fun weekend, including chance to win a prize if you find the Welsh Dragons hiding in the Engine Sheds.'
See the Calendar page for more details and later dates.
6940 departs Llangollen with its second working, the 12:00 service to Carrog, on 5 June (Mark Riley).
Shorter issue than usual this week due to holidays. - Charlie
Saturday 4 June: two locos extra, minus one
Saturday 4 June saw Arriva bring into service again their 'rugby special from Holyhead to Cardiff and back, using an augmented version of the Monday - Friday express consist. The morning train was formed of six coaches, running 1V41 08:08 Holyhead-Cardiff with 57 313 hauling and 57 315 switched off at the rear to bring the train back later. The picture above, by M.Lloyd Davies, shows it near Valley soon after departure.
Sunny Abergele (Stavros Lainas)
Chester (Chris Morrison).
Approaching Crewe, past the Heritage Centre ...
... 57 315 trails into Crewe (Mark Riley).
Unfortunately, the usual Saturday 'Pendolino drag' along the coast failed to materialise, as 57 308 Tin Tin, seen here in Mark Riley's picture close to the Crewe Heritage Centre, failed to couple to the Pendolino at Crewe (reason so far unknown). After 15-20 minutes of trying, they gave up and 57 308 was seen heading south out of Crewe soon afterwards.
1D83 from Crewe - Holyhead was worked forward by 221 101 Louis Blériot instead (Mark Riley).
Llanfair PG (Stéphanie Durrant)
Also on the coast that day was 221 115 Polmadie Depot in its special Bombardier livery (Stavros Lainas).
Later in the day, 158 822 and 158 839 depart Rhosneigr past grazing horses with the 17:30 Holyhead Cardiff (Chris Morrison)
The return of 6940 at Llangollen - report by Mark Riley
The Llangollen Diesel Group's Class 37 6940 returned to traffic for the first time this year on 5 June , following repairs due to oil contamination. It worked four round trips between Llangollen and Carrog, and on its first working of the year, it as seen here departing Berwyn with the 10:15 Llangollen - Carrog.
King on the Devonian (sort of) - report by Richard Putley
On 4 June I went to Bristol Temple Meads to see the above named tour, which had been operated by West Coast Railways. It had started from Birmingham behind a diesel loco, with 6024 King Edward I taking over at Bristol Temple Meads for the onward run to Plymouth.
But due to the number of lineside fires which 'KE1' started on the way out, Network Rail decided that the tour would be piloted by a diesel loco on theway back. This fell to 57 601, seen here entering Bristol Temple Meads. On arrival there, both locos were uncoupled and 'KE1' ran with its support coach to Barton Hill Depot under its own steam. 57 601 then re-coupled to the train and took it back to Birmingham.
DB and Arriva loco-hauled - report by Charlie Hulme
For a change, some pictures from our expedition to southern Bavaria in March 2011. Above is a view of the suburban platforms of Munich Hauptbahnhof, shown two of the older-type trains which are still very much in use in the area. Both of formed with push-pull rakes of 'n-wagen' coaches, a type built in large numbers between 1958 and 1980, and formerly known as 'silberling' of 'silver fish' due to their original unpainted metal finish, replaced on the refurbished survivors by standard Deutsche Bahn colours. On the left is a Class 111 electric loco, on the right a Class 218 diesel-hydraulic; our journeys over the few days we stayed were all made in diesel trains, as the lines to the south-west of Munich towards the Alps and Lake Constance have key to be electrified.
Our holiday hotel was in the little spa town of Bad Wörishofen, served by s branch shuttles which connect with the main at Buchloe, seen above, a busy junction station well worth a half-hour of train-watching. As well as DB trains, the area is also served by the franchised 'Alex' (Allgäu Express) regional expresses from Munich which are a very traditional loco-hauled operation, using modern diesel-electric locos. 223 066 is one of a feet of twelve. The train runs from Munich to Lindau on Lake Constance, with a portion detached at Immenstadt for the winter resort of Oberstdorf.
Arriva have run the service for some years, and the trains still carried their logo while we were there, although weeks earlier, under the terms by which All Arriva's German operations were sold at the end of February 2011 to a new company, Netinera, which is owned by a group including the Italian State Railway (FS).
This Munich-bound DB regional train, loco 218 415 on the rear, stands at Buchloe as passengers interchange to and from a diesel railcar set which which will continue to Augsburg.
A remarkable feature of Buchloe is the simultaneous parallel departure of two diesel loco-hauled trains. It is 09:52, and 218 459 on the left heads the 09:47 departure to Hergatz while 218 454 is on the 09:47 to Füssen.
Your editor at Füssen, having just arrived behind 218 486. Picture by Joanna Hulme.
From Füssen station a well-planned bus service heads for the village of Hohenschwangau, where one can walk of take the horse-bus to the famous castle of Neuschwanstein, built in the 19th century for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Above is the view of the castle from the village ...
... and here is the village from the castle, showing the older castle of Hohenschwangau on its hill.
Back to railways, and the Allgäu Express. A second loco backs on to the Oberstdorf portion, and in recent times a regular performer has been 2143.18, see here at Oberstdorf. This diesel-hydraulic machine is one of 77 built in the 1960s for the Austrian Railways, and is now owned by the Staudenbahn, a small tourist train company based near Augsburg. Arriva had two of their three 2143s on hire for some time, we understand that the current contract extends to July 2011.
2143.18 departs from Oberstdorf against the mountain backdrop (Joanna Hulme). Of you want to see all these loco workings, go soon, as no doubt they will be replaced by modern 'units' before long, as has been happening in the rest of Germany.
Just before catching the night train from Munich to Paris and on home, we travelled west out of Munich by S-bahn to Markt Schwaben, where we saw the return working of the international train from Linz to Munich which is hauled by an Austrian diesel as it runs over the non-electrified route through Braunau am Inn. This loco is 2016 073, an 'ER20' or 'Hercules' of the same type as the Arriva 223 seen above. The Austrian ÖBB has 200 of these which have largely replaced the older 2043 and 2143 types.
Don't blow a gasket!
A blown gasket was blamed for smoke which led to a passenger train being evacuated near Rhyl on 7 June, according to a BBC news report. The fire service was called at 11:21, and passengers were led to safety and the train moved to sidings. 'Upon investigation, a blown turbo gasket was found to be the cause of the smoke and no fire was discovered' said Arriva Trains Wales. The train (175 001) was travelling from Llandudno to Chester. There were no injuries. The line reopened at 12:20; replacement road transport had been arranged at Rhyl for passengers travelling to Chester.
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