NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE
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23 April 2012
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21 - 29 April Llangollen Railway / Betton Grange Society Steel, Steam & Stars III Gala 'featuring up to 12 main line steam locos including 6 guests.'
Thursday 26 April Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Coward: Quiz and informal evening
Sat - Mon 5-7 May Llandudno Transport Festival. (No specific rail content this year but worth a visit, especially if interested in buses)
Saturday 5 May Excursion Mid-Cheshire Rail Users' Association. The Lincolnshire Poacher Railtour to Lincoln, Wainfleet and Skegness from most Mid-Cheshire Line stations. Further Details at: www.mcrua.org.uk
(now fully booked but a waiting list is in operation.)
Saturday 5 May Steam to North Wales Vintage Trains 'Llandudno Victorian Fayre' Tyseley - Llandudno
Saturday 5 May Excursion to North Wales Statesman Rail 'Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza' Departing from: Swindon (06.50/21.55) Kemble (07.05/21.30) Stroud (07.25/21.15) Stonehouse (07.35/21.05) Cheltenham Spa (08.00/20.40) Worcester Shrub Hill (08.25/20.15) Droitwich Spa (08.35/20.05) Kidderminster (08.55/19.50) Stourbridge Jct (09.10/19.30) Tame Bridge Parkway (10.00/18.30) to Llandudno Junction and Llandudno.
Saturday 5 May Excursion to North Wales NENTA train tours 'North Wales Extravaganza' from Norwich, Ipswich & East Anglian stations to Chester, Llandudno Junction (coach transfer to Llandudno), Bangor and Holyhead.
Sat - Mon 5 -7 May Ffestiniog Railway 'Blaenau 30' - celebrating the 30th anniversary of the re-opening to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Sat / Sun 5 - 6 May Welsh Highland Heritage Railway 'Elements Gala'
Tuesday 8 May 8E Railway Association Les Nixon presents The A to Z of Railways Around the World
Thursday 10 May Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society "End of Indoor Season Special"
Saturday 19 May Steam in North Wales PMR Tours 'The Welsh Dragon' Bristol to Holyhead
Friday 25 May Excursion to North Wales Compass Tours 'Snowdon Mountaineer' Carnforth, Morecambe, Lancaster, Preston, Wigan North Western, Garswood, St Helens Central, Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool South Parkway & Runcorn to Betws-Y-Coed & Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Friday 25 May Excursion to North Wales UK Railtours 'The Snowdonian' London, Milton Keynes and Rugby to to both Llandudno Junction and Bangor. From Llandudno Junction coaches for the scenic trip up the Conwy Valley to Blaenau where the greatest narrow gauge journey of all begins, right the way through via Porthmadog to Caernarfon, where coaches will be waiting for the short hop to Bangor where our main line train is rejoined. Half the passengers will do the 'circuit' in the opposite direction.
Sat / Sun 2 - 3 June Welsh Highland Heritage Railway 'Family Fun Weekend'
Friday 8 June Excursion Compass Tours 'Dorset Coast Express' Holyhead, Llanfairpwll, Bangor, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Flint, Chester & Crewe to Brockenhurst, Bournemouth or Weymouth.
Sat / Sun 9 - 10 June Welsh Highland Heritage Railway 'Teddy Bear weekend. 'Children go FREE if they bring a teddy bear. Find the bears hiding in the Engine Sheds and win a prize.'
Saturday 16 June Excursion to North Wales Scottish Railway Preservation Society From Glenrothes with Thornton, Kirkcaldy, Dalgety Bay, Edinburgh Waverley, Kirknewton over Beattock and Shap summits to Chester and Llandudno. (diesel-hauled)
Saturday 16 June Excursion Cheshire Cat Tours Whitchurch, Wem, Shrewbury, Wellington, Telford Central, Codsall, Wolverhampton, Tame Bridge Parkway, Birmingham International to Canterbury.
Sat / Sun 23 - 24 June Llangollen Railway Heritage Railcar Gala
Sat / Sun 23 - 24 June Welsh Highland Heritage Railway Slate industrial exhibition
Saturday 30 June Excursion to North Wales Compass Tours 'Snowdon Mountain Ranger' Skipton, Keighley, Shipley, Wakefield Kirkgate, Huddersfield, Denton, Stockport, Altrincham & Knutsford to Betws-Y-Coed & Blaenau Ffestiniog
Saturday 7 July Excursion to North Wales UK Railtours 'Chester and the Pennines' Stevenage, Potters Bar, Finsbury Park to Chester (break) and then through Wigan, Blackburn and Accrington to Copy Pit Summit, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd before descending to Wakefield and finally joining the East Coast Main Line to head homeward.
Sunday 22 July Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Frodsham and Chester to Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Bangor and Holyhead (arr 15:10 dep 17:45).
Sat / Sun 28 - 29 July Llangollen Railway 1960s weekend
Sunday 29 July Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Liverpool Lime Street, Broad Green, Warrington Bank Quay, Frodsham and Chester to Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Bangor and Holyhead (arr 14:30 dep 16:30).
Tuesday 31 July Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston, Warrington Frodsham, Chester to Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog (arr. 13:15 dep 16:10)
[Note: again this summer there will be no steam trains on the Cambrian Coast line due to the rail industry's continuing inability to adapt the new ERTMS signalling for use with a steam locomotive.]
Sat / Sun 4 - 5 August Talyllyn Railway Tom Rolt Steam & Vehicle Rally
Sunday 5 August Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Frodsham and Chester to Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Bangor and Holyhead (arr 15:10 dep 17:45).
Sunday 12 August Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Frodsham and Chester to Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Bangor and Holyhead (arr 15:10 dep 17:45).
Tuesday 14 August Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston, Warrington Frodsham, Chester to Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog (arr. 13:15 dep 16:10)
Saturday 18 August Steam in North Wales Vintage Trains 'The Welsh Dragon' Tyseley - Blaenau Ffestiniog (Steam loco 5043 as far as Llandudno Junction; Class 47 diesel to Blaenau)
Sunday 19 August Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Liverpool Lime Street, Broad Green, Warrington Bank Quay, Frodsham and Chester to Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Bangor and Holyhead (arr 14:30 dep 16:30).
Sat / Sun 25 - 26 August Llangollen Railway Classic Transport weekend
Sunday 26 August Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Liverpool Lime Street, Broad Green, Warrington Bank Quay, Frodsham and Chester to Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Bangor and Holyhead (arr 14:30 dep 16:30).
Tuesday 28 August Steam in North Wales Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston, Warrington Frodsham, Chester to Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog (arr. 13:15 dep 16:10)
Saturday 31 August - 2 September Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Sun / Mon 1 - 2 September Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam Gala (continued)
Saturday 15 September Excursion Cheshire Cat Tours Aberystwyth - and stations to Crewe - to Carlisle.
Saturday 22 September Llangollen Railway Diesel Day
Prestatyn on the evening of 19 April. 67 002 hauls the express from Cardiff past the new retail park under construction. The Listed railway buildings adjoining the line are being refurbished and included in the development.
As briefly mentioned here before, an extra Pendolino run to Holyhead, to free up a Class 221 Voyager diesel to run Birmigham to London via the Chiltern line cover for engineering works north of London. It will operate as train 1D90 on Saturday 5 May, retimed to start from London Euston four minutes earlier than normal at 16:06, Crewe 17:43 to 17:58 (add Class 57 loco) and stations to Holyhead arriving 20:16 (normally 1952). This offers the very rare treat of a loco-hauled train calling at Prestatyn (18:57).
No Pendolino at all appeared on the Coast on Saturday 21 April; apparently there were problems coupling the locomotive.
News about the 'WAG Express' is that a notice to Arriva Trains Wales staff informs them that the loco-hauled train will be running via Wrexham from September 2012 and that it will be using Mk3 rolling stock - presumably including Arriva's Driving Van Trailers.
The wagon being scrapped at Dee Marsh (last issue): Some wagons being scrapped there were OTA four-wheeled timber wagons of the the type once used on workings to Chirk. The ones at Dee Marsh were "cripples" - set aside after developing faults. They had been idle for years, like the rest of the OTA fleet, replaced by bogie wagons some time before Hornby and Bachmann got round to offering models of the type. However, the one in the picture appears to be a bogie vehicle, so its identity remains a mystery.
Cheshire Cat Railtours have cancelled their excursions from Holyhead planned for 26 May to Carlisle and 16 September to Holyhead, as well as the October run from Aberystwyth to Bath and Salisbury.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to these items.
Dismantling a ship - report by Nick Gurney and Dennis Oliver
Cutting-up of the MV Carrier which ran aground at Llanddulas on 3 April (see 9 April issue) is now well under way as seen from these pictures taken on 20 April.
Work goes on 24 hours a day and when the tide is in cutting still takes place on the ship. A 50-tonne crane is in place on the cycle track to get the workers on and off the vessel using a man-basket.
1680 tonnes of limestone was on board and most of this has been removed through the side of the vessel using excavators and dumper trucks.
The metal work is been cut up in to manageable pieces using blow torches and excavators fitted with cutting shears rather than buckets.
The metal work is then transported by lorry to European Metal Recycling Ltd at Alexandra Dock in Liverpool.
This overhead view shows the stare of the ship on 23 April.
Llangollen prepares for the Gala - report by George Jones
On 17 April I was able to watch visiting Great Northern Railway 0-6-2T 1744 arrive at Llangollen as one of the starts of the forthcoming week-long Steel, Steam and Stars gala. For the benefit of those who have never witnessed the operation, my picture (above) shows the low loader turning onto the bridge prior to reversing down Abbey Road; a slick operation requiring a little patience from some motorists.
Later the loco is shown about to be winched off into the yard.
70000 Britannia had arrived earlier and seen on shed over the pit having the tender attached, as resident loco 7822 looks on.
The GWR 'Large Prairie' 5199, seen in the shed on 18 April, has been repainted in British Railways black.
Also visiting is the famous London and North Western Railway (LNWR) 'Coal Tank' 58926 recently overhauled and painted in black as in its last days with British Railways. Saved from scrapping in 1958 by a team led by former Bangor shedmaster J.M. Dunn, this one of just a handful from the huge loco fleet of the LNWR which still survive, itself one of a class of 300.
Another guest locomotive, Caledonian Railway 0-6-0 no. 828, built in 1899.
Very much a star, 60163 Tornado at Llangollen on 19 April.
828 in action at Berwyn on 19 April.
'Steel, Steam & Stars III' runs for the nine days from Saturday 21 April until Sunday 29 April at the Llangollen Railway. Visit the event website for full details. Buy a ticket, and contribute to the building of a new steam loco, 6880 Betton Grange. Trains will be running over newly-relaid line beyond Carrog as far as Bonwm - see earlier Notice Boards for pictures.
[The next issue will feature your pictures taken during the event itself - I suggest readers send their one or two best shots.- Ed.]
Prestatyn: a roof without walls - report by Dave Sallery
Users of Prestatyn station during April have been treated to the unusual sight of a building with a roof, but no walls.
Here is the scene 'inside' the building; we understand that the new one will look something like the old. Ticket sales continue from the temporary ticket office down the platform.
Elsewhere on the station, let us introduce you to two new members of staff: Karen and Kim the (pigeon) grime fighting hawks. They've just taken up residence on the train indicators under the road bridge on the platform.
News from the Marine Lake