Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

22 August 2011

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Forthcoming events

August 2011

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.' 

September 2011

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.

October 2011

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.

Darkness falls as the return Holyhead - Liverpool North Wales Coast Express excursion calls at Chester on Sunday 21 August (Picture: Geoff Morris). See report below.


Large amounts of people alighting at Conwy from 158 837 on the 0909 Birmingham international - Holyhead on 20 Aug. Judging by the usage seen this year, perhaps more trains could call and its request stop status could be changed? (Chris Morrison)

The amusingly-named 'Limestone Cowboy' railtour run by UK Railtours on 20 August from London (with Class 92 haulage south of Crewe) featured some very interesting non-passenger lines, including the Middlewich branch, where it was photographed above by Steve Morris, and - very unusually - the line from Buxton to the lime works at Hindlow. It's a real shame that the Hindlow line cannot see more passenger use at weekends, and it gives access to the walking and cycling trails on the old trackbeds to the south.

The Cambrian lines saw loco haulage on 18 August in the shape of an Aberystwyth to York and Durham excursion arranged by Cheshire Cat Tours. The previous day, 17 August, the rolling stock was taken from Riviera Trains depot in Crewe to Aberystwyth by 97 302 and 97 303, pictured above at Hadnall by Stavros Lainas.

On the day, 97 303 and 97 302 took the train as far as Crewe, where they were removed as planned ...

... and replaced by DRS machines 37 059 and 37 218. Pictures by Andrew Royle.

Here's the 'Northern Belle' with its matching DRS locomotive 47 790 Galloway Princess, seen at Mickle Trafford on 17 August heading for the York race meeting (Stavros Lainas).

Arriva Trains Wales ran one of their Saturday 'Rugby Specials' from Holyhead to Cardiff on Saturday 13 August, using an augmented rake of the weekday express coaches. seen above heading out across Anglesey past the Valley triangle with 57 316 leading. (M.Lloyd Davies).

The North Wales Explorer, 20 August

Great Western 'Castle' locomotive 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe visited North Wales with the Tyseley - Llandudno Junction 'North Wales Explorer' charter operated by Vintage Trains on Saturday 20 August. Robert Darlaston was at Crewe to take the above portrait. Note how the high gloss of the paintwork acts as a mirror, even on the inside of the cab roof.  The Vintage Trains locomotive crew look to be younger than some other steam crews seen on our line.

Departure from Crewe (Robert Darlaston). The Class 57 in the siding is most likely waiting to haul the Pendolino from London to Holyhead.

Above: the train fortuitously runs into a patch of sunshine while passing the Roodee after departing Chester on the outward leg.  (Geoff Morris).

Earl of Mount Edgcumbe heads for Valley to turn on the triangle, passing Conwy Castle: two castles together (Chris Morrison).

Pass Llandegai en route for Valley (Rowan Crawshaw),

The passengers on the open-top bus get a good view of Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, checked at a signal on the approach to Llandudno Junction, on the return from Valley (Chris Morrison). The train terminated at Llandudno Junction, where passengers could catch a service train to Llandudno, or partake in organised road excursions to the Welsh Highland or Ffestiniog Railway. It's interesting that the Vintage Trains management do not believe in the 'diesel loco on the back' system common on other excursions.

The return 17:34 Llandudno - Tyseley pictured at Colwyn Bay (Greg Mape).

The classic view east of Colwyn Bay (Greg Mape). Coastal defence works are progressing in the background.

Rhyl (Chris Morrison).

Holywell Junction (Glyn Jones).

Passing Beeches Farm bridge near Hawarden, just as the whistle was blown - and 'before the sun was switched off - well it felt like that!'. (Dave Jackson)

Gloomy conditions prevail as 5043 passes Rowton (Geoff Morris).

Freight scenes

60 049 on the Dee Marsh steel train heading south on 15 August passing Dorrington, Shropshire very early at 09:57 (Stavros Lainas)

Andrew Vinten writes: '60 065 has been working out of  Peak Forest for the past couple of weeks in between its periods of store. I went to Mobberley on 20 August to capture 6F05 from Tunstead to Oakleigh and 60065 turned up as a bonus when we were expecting 60 040.'

The Penmaenmawr - Guide Bridge train carrying stone ballast for the Manchester Metrolink expansion has run several times recently. Jack Bowley's picture above from 9 August shows the train just arrival at the quarry sidings  (approx. 11:50). Freightliner's Bardon Aggregates-liveried 66 623 Bill Bolsover was in charge of the train. It ran again on 10 August with 66 614 and 12 August with 66 511, but has not been seen again since; the wagons are still in the sidings at Guide Bridge alongside a large stack of ballast on 18 August.

Meanwhile, on the sea, the Cemex-owned Raynes Jetty at Llanddulas still sees regular traffic. A visitor on 20 August was the UK-registered (Cardiff) Celtic Carrier. Her destination with 3000 tons of stone was Dagenham (Nick Gurney)

Martin Evans arrived at Shrewsbury on the afternoon of 19 August at 16:50pm to find 66 744 running round on the Ribblehead - Chirk empty log wagons. As we understand it, this is the loco formerly known as 66 843, a regular performer on these trains, which has been renumbered into the GB Railfreight company's series even though it still carried full Colas livery. GB Railfreight is now owned by Europorte, a subsidiary of Eurotunnel. Are you following this?

Darren Durrant's on holiday in Northern France,  the place to see exotic traction such as ... DB Schenker 66 045.

Llangollen Transport Weekend

The North West Museum of Road Transport in conjunction with the Llangollen Railway is proud to present a brand new event:- The Llangollen Railway Classic Transport Weekend. This year the event will be incorporating '100 years of Crosville bus services' to be staged at Glyndyfrdwy station on the Llangollen Railway on 27/28 August which is right in the heart of 'Crosville land.' The organisers are trying to get as many Crosville vehicles to the event as possible, along with plenty of other preserved vehicles as well. Buses will be running between Glyndyfrdwy and Corwen regularly along with a busy timetable of trains which will include steam, diesel and DMU.

You cane book online with no booking fee for online bookings.  A £2.50 booking fee applies to telephone and office bookings - Telephone 01978 860979.

North Wales Coast Express 21 August

The final run for this summer of train 1Z54, the 10:07 Railway Touring Company excursion from Liverpool - Holyhead via Llandudno, on 21 August turned out to be another outing for 'Britannia' pacific 70013 Oliver Cromwell which made the previous run on 7 August (the train advertised for 14 August was cancelled.) We pick up the train (above) as it crosses Frodsham Viaduct (Stavros Lainas).

Attracting attention during the water stop at Frodsham (Dave Jackson)

Heading for Chester at Hapsford (Stavros Lainas).

Hapsford from another angle (Dave Jackson)

Heading out of Chester through the city walls (Geoff Morris).

Moments later, crossing the canal (George Jones).

Running in fine style through the closed station of Bagillt, with the injectors under the cab working to bring water from the tender to the boiler  (Glyn Jones)...

.... and 47 760, seen hanging on the rear at Bagillt, was to tow the train back from Llandudno to Llandudno Junction on both outward and return legs, and assist with the shunting at Holyhead (Glyn Jones).

Portrait of a Pacific - near Bagillt (Tim Rogers)

A rainy scene as the train passes the disused Rhyl No. 2 signalbox (Roly High).

Abergele in the rain - fifteen minutes later it was sunny! (Ken Robinson).

Working hard near Deganwy on the the return from Llandudno to Llandudno Junction before the train continued to Holyhead (Ken Robinson).

Sunny Penmaenmawr (Ken Robinson).

Entering Bangor station (Rowan Crawshaw)

Llandaniel summit, between Llanfair PG and Gaerwen (Stavros Lainas).

Chester station on the return run (Geoff Morris).

Note:additional pictures of this train, received after this issue was completed, will appear next time.

The New Measurement Train

In complete contrast to the steam-age equipment portrayed above, Network Rail's HST-based 'New Measurement Train' was running as train 1Q30 was on its regular visit to the North Wales Coast on 18 August. Above, it runs through Chester city walls on its westward run (Geoff Morris).

The picture above, taken for us during a signal stop by Andrew Royle who is a member of the train's team, shows the view from the train on the approach to the Conwy tubular bridge with 158 830 passing on a train from Holyhead. Andrew notes: 'The NMT always seems to be stopped on the approach to Conwy, giving the opportunity to observe the bird-life from the causeway. The ballast here is littered with mussel shells as the railway proves a convenient anvil for the seagulls.'

Through the town walls at Conwy (Jack Bowley). What other lines pass through two sets of mediaeval town walls?

43 062 emerges from Bangor Tunnel with its Egyptian-style portal reflecting the latest architectural fashion of 1848 (Rowan Crawshaw)

On the west end of the train was 43 062 John Armitt, seen passing through Bangor station (Richard Fleckney)

43 014, seen on the rear at Bangor, is a buffer-fitted version (Richard Fleckney). Belmont tunnel at this end of the station also had a decorative portal, but this was lost when the tunnel was shortened to make room for an improved station track layout.

A flashback to the 1990s when HSTs in their passenger form were a daily sight on London - Holyhead trains (Charlie Hulme). Those trees have grown!

Approaching the Stanley Embankment. Picture (from the right side of the fence) by Aaron Osborne-Taylor.

Pausing in Platform 1 at Holyhead (Aaron Osborne-Taylor).

Climbing Holyhead bank on the return journey in wet conditions (Aaron Osborne-Taylor).

Approaching Colwyn Bay amid the futuristic landscape created when the railway was relocated to make way for the A55 road in the 1980s. (Jack Bowley)

Passing Rhyl Marine Lake (Nick Gurney)

Large Prairie hulk at Llangollen - report by George Jones

One of the unrestored  'Barry Ten' locos, GWR 2-6-2T 4115 has been delivered to Llangollen. It is to be dismantled and parts used for various loco recreation projects. 46 years have passed since it was withdrawn in 1965, and  the loco shows the ravages of exposure in Barry scrapyard. As a restoration job it would be a very expensive project in today's world although it may not look too bad from these front end views.

Fortunately all the substantial parts, as needed for other new build projects, are probably OK once extracted from the loco's remains. On the plus side, the major overhaul of sister loco 4141 has progressed to the point where the frames have been reunited with the wheels and it is a mobile chassis again.

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