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08 August 2011
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This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and supporters, and especially the rail staff of North Wales.
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. Cancelled.
Sunday 14 August Excursion Holyhead (dep. 07:30) to Bath or Salisbury, 'Western Cathedrals Express' with Class 52 loco. Postponed to 5 October.
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.'
9 - 11 September Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Friday 9 September Clwyd Railway Circle Edgar Richards: Railways of the North East, 1965 onwards (part 1). After recovering from an injury sustained in 2010, our top link speaker is back. This time Edgar takes us on a journey from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Durham.
Saturday 10 September Steam to Chester The Cathedrals Express London Euston - Chester. Steam Dreams 60163 Tornado: Euston-Chester and return
Saturday 10 September – Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Lace on the Train. 'It’s National Lace Making Day, and a team of master lacemakers will be travelling on the train demonstrating the art of making lace with pins and pillows.'
Saturday 17 September – Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Cob 200. 'The Great Embankment which allowed Porthmadog to be built was completed 200 years ago this weekend. Two centuries on, The Cob is still there and still doing its job. We’re planning a day of celebrations as part of the festivities going on in town, including a visit from the man who built The Cob – William Madocks himself.'
Monday 19 September RCTS Chester Bob Casselden: Teenage Memories Of The Early 1960s. A digital presentation of some of Bob’s black and white pictures from the 1960s. Bob’s home town of Yeovil will feature as well as faraway places such as Carlisle and Sunderland. His presentation will cover steam, diesel and electric traction with some of his early photographs which were taken with his ‘Box Brownie’ camera and have now been scanned for this presentation.
Saturday 24 September - Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Railways on the Air. Railway enthusiasts get together with amateur radio enthusiasts to broadcast around the globe from our station at Pen-y-Mount, and celebrate the 200th birthday of the Cob. Listen out for call sign GOWHR.
Wednesday 5 October Excursion Compass Tours - from Holyhead (dep. 07:30) and stations to Crewe, to Bath or Salisbury, 'Western Cathedrals Express'
Friday 7 October Clwyd Railway Circle Larry Davies: Railway Wanderings in North Wales. A collection of slides around North Wales presented by a great favourite with our members.
Monday 17 October RCTS Chester Brian Stephenson: Great Railway Photographers. Brian visits us from Ashford to give a digital presentation from about 10 individual photographers of the last 90 years. The show will include the work of W.J.V. Anderson, O.J Morris, T.G. Hepburn, F.R. Hebron, P. F. Cooke, Kenneth Field and C.R.L.Coles. Also included will be a selection of Brian’s own photographs from 50 years of railway photography.
70013 Oliver Cromwell passes Mold Junction with the North Wales Coast Express excursion, 7 August - picture by John Beresford. Many more pictures of this train below.
Note: several general items have been held back due to lack of time, but will appear soon.
Trains in the Landscape
Ken Robinson photographed the 17:25 Welsh Highland Railway train from Caernarfon (above) leaving Pont Croesor with NG/G16 No.87 in charge, during a 'historical walk' led by the landowner/farmer. The viewpoint is Craig Bwlch Moch (otherwise known as the eastern end of Tremadog Rocks).
Near Rhyl on 21 July, 158 833 passes the Cardiff express hauled by 57 316 (Steve Conway)
23 July: Class 37 6940 on the 15:00 Carrog - Llangollen at Glyndyfrdwy (Ken Robinson).
Above, refurbished 158 821, forming the 10:09 Birmingham International-Aberystwyth on 30 July, crosses the Afon Leri at Ynyslas, the view somewhat obscured by the Network Rail modular footbridge running alongside ...
... a better view when 158 821 returns in the opposite direction 40 minutes later, viewed from the opposite side of the bridge (Chris Morrison). The public footpath across the bridge, which follows the river from Ynyslas to Borth, crosses the line at this point.
uk.railway newsgroup and Google
Anyone who has been using the Google Groups interface to follow the uk.railway newsgroup (sometimes home to your editors's effusions) will be finding that no new posts are appearing recently. This is caused by a fault (or deliberate change) in Google's connection to the newsgroup system: uk.railway and all other newsgroups continue as always and can be read using your email program or web browser to connect to a 'real' newsgroup server, at your ISP (Virgin media offer a reasonable service) or an independent.
Chiltern transformation - report by Chris Morrrison
DB/Canadian-liveried 67 018 Keith Heller (above) heads the 15:55 Birmingham Moor St - London Marylebone at Small Heath. Birmingham city centre is on the skyline.
Banner at Birmingham Moor Street on 31 July.
67 014 Thomas Telford turned up with some newly branded 'Chiltern Mainline' stock at 17:00 on 31 July, seen above propelling into platform 3.
67 014 Thomas Telford waits to move the stock into the stabling sidings, while 165 037 waits to leave for Marylebone. Vehicles - all ex-Wrexham & Shropshire - are marked 'A' 10208 Business Zone, 'B' 12127 Wi-Fi Zone, 'C' 12117, 'D' 12169 Quiet Zone, and 'E' 12174 nearest the loco. The loco and DVT have not been branded.
Close up of 12174's branding. For information: the £20 'West Midlands Day Ranger' ticket is valid from Crewe or Gobowen to Birmingham and on Chiltern services as far as Leamington Spa.
Close up of 12169 branding.
The train moves to the sidings with 'Business Zone' 10208, a first/restaurant vehicle in W &S days - nearest the camera. We understand the buffet counter is being opened on these trains. Chiltern does not have First Class fares, and at present the 'business zone' is open to all ticket holders; it seems from the start of the new 'Mainline' timetable on 3 September there will be a supplement charged.
27 July, and the loaded log train for Chirk, hauled by 66 850 awaits a path at Chester (David Hughes).
Included in the train were two of the new timber carriers, which are being converted from the 'high-cube' vans built for international auto-parts traffic come years ago, which have been languishing unused at various depots. We understand that Colas have obtained ten of these wagons which are being converted by E.G. Steele at Hamilton.
A detail from the picture above (by David Hughes) shows the wagon data. KSAA (strictly KSA-A) is their British wagon code, which they have retained from their earlier form, pictures of which can be seen on the excellent Wagons on the Web site. The other wagon was 074.
Ian Pilkington sends this fine view of 6J37, the southbound log train, hauled by 66 850, at Smardale, north of Kirkby Stephen on the scenic Settle - Carlisle line, taken on Wednesday 3 August (Ian Pilkington).
The Valley Flask Train, 6K41, with 37 611 and 20 303 passing Llandudno Junction at 16:01 on 1 August (Peter Lloyd)
The evening of 27 July, and train 6L97 with 66 177 comprises engineers wagons loaded with continuous-welded rail passes Llandudno Junction. The train was to run round at Holyhead and drop the rail somewhere on Anglesey, for use in forthcoming relaying work (Peter Lloyd).
70013 on the North Wales Coast Express
47 245 (above) brings the empty stock into Liverpool Lime Street on Sunday 7 August to form train 1Z54 10:07 Liverpool - Holyhead 'North Wales Coast Express' steam excursion (Roly High).
The locomotive allocated was 70013 Oliver Cromwell, which was not one of the possibles given in the early publicity for this train, but was welcome nonetheless, judging by the number of pictures received. Liverpool Lime Street is a hard place to get near the loco for a picture ... (Roly High).
Heading from Liverpool towards Earlestown where the train would turn southwards, the train passes Rainhill, scene of the famous locomotive trials of 1829. Picture by Andrew Vinten.
Emerging from Sutton Tunnel which takes the Warrington - Chester line under the Weaver Junction - Liverpool branch of West Coast Main Line (Andrew Vinten).
Crossing Frodsham Viaduct which carries the line over the River Weaver (Jeff Albiston).
Approaching Frodsham (Neil Kennedy). 70013 is one of a class of 55 pacifics built by British Railways Crewe works between 1951 and 1954 under the aegis of R.A. Riddles, Chief Mechanical Engineer, and always known as the 'Britannia' class, a name (said to have been suggested by rail enthusiast Bishop Eric Treacy) which was given to the first, 70000, exhibited at the 1951 Festival of Britain. They were intended for passenger express working, and featured simplicity of design, with only two cylinders rather than three or four favoured by the pre-nationalisation companies for such work. As such they were used on the more important North Wales trains for a time: 70045 to 70049 were allocated to Holyhead motive power depot in the late 1950s.
The tender is refilled with water from a road tanker at Frodsham, as usual on these occasions, giving a chance for pictures (Neil Kennedy)
The view from the other platform at Frodsham (Jeff Albiston).
The Britannias originally had handrails on their smoke deflectors, but these were said to have obscured the drivers view of signals and contributed to a derailment near Didcot in 1955, leading to their replacement by recessed hand-holds, although those now fitted to 70013 differ from the Western Region version of that time, their purpose is the same. The other preserved 'Brit', 70000, retains handrails.
The mechanical lubricator seemed to be causing come worry for the train crew during the Frodsham layover (Neil Kennedy).
Attracting attention from Costa Coffee customers at Frodsham (Neil Kennedy).
Near Helsby (Andrew Vinten). 70013 was the last of the type to remain in BR service, being one of the locos used on the final BR main line steam train (The 'Fifteen-Guinea Special') of 11 August 1968. It entered the National Collection, being displayed for many years in the Bressingham Steam Museum in Norfolk before being returned to main line running in 2008.
About to enter Flint station. Note the crumbling concrete smoke deflectors attached to the road bridge, still just about serving their purpose! (Glyn Jones)
Passing through Flint station. Picture by Dr Peter Robert Jones.
Speeding past Point of Ayr, a location where during the heyday of mainline steam operations between 1989 to 1991 the photographer used to see regular steam hauled specials (Jeff Albiston).
Special thanks to the Rhyl Miniature Railway for facilitating this picture by Stéphanie Durrant.
Abergele (Stavros Lainas)
Near Pensarn (Ian Pilkington).
The view from Llandudno Junction signalbox by signalman Alan Roberts.
The firemen take a 'breather' as the train is hauled back from Llandudno by the diesel loco before continuing to Holyhead. The driver for the outward run was Albert Seymour of West Coast Railway Co Ltd. (Alan Roberts)
Llanfairfechan sea wall (Stavros Lainas)
Approaching Llanfair PG (Rowan Crawshaw)
Llanfair PG (Richard Fleckney)
Crossing the Afon Cefni on Malltraeth Viaduct (Ian Pilkington).
Shunting manoeuvres at Holyhead: the diesel ran round the train while the steam loco headed for the triangle of lines at Valley to turn for the return run (Roly High).
70013 about to enter the turning triangle at Valley (Ian Pilkington).
Reversing on to the triangle, where a public footpath crosses the track (Richard Fleckney).
On the triangle, which also serves the flask loading point. A lorry arrived here with an additional supply of coal (Richard Fleckney)
Ready to depart from Holyhead (Roly High).
Departure from Holyhead (Roly High).
The return train passes RAF Valley (Ian Pilkington).
Penmaenmawr (Stéphanie Durrant).
The train served Llandudno on both out and back runs, the diesel hauling the train back down the branch before the train returned to Llandudno Junction. Here's the return train near Deganwy in fine evening sunshine (Ian Pilkington).
Passing Deganwy (Stavros Lainas).
Departure from Llandudno Junction (Peter Lloyd) ...
... 47 245 on the rear (Peter Lloyd).
Gwrych Castle near Abergele (Darren Durrant)
Passing Rhyl - a nostalgic scene (Ivor Bufton).
At Holywell Junction, a superb sight and sound at approx. 70mph (Ian Pilkington).
Thanks to everyone involved in the working of this train, and to all who took the time to send pictures. Apologies in advance if any are out of sequence! Note that this train runs again, possibly with a different engine, 21 August (the 14 August run has been cancelled): pictures are welcome - but bear with us if we are not able to include them all...
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