Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

26 August 2013

Share this issue:

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and supporters, and especially the rail staff of North Wales.

Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page. For the current list visit our Calendar.

August 2013

30-31 August and 1 September  Llangollen Railway Steam gala. Guest appearance by
7812 Erlestoke Manor. An intensive timetable featuring LR home fleet 7822,  3802, 80072 and 44806.

September 2013

Sunday 1 September Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' steam-hauled Manchester Piccadilly - Altrincham - Chester - Holyhead and return. Note, does not start from Crewe due to engineering works. Cancelled.

Tuesday 3 September Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' 
Preston  - Frodsham - Llandudno Jc - Blaenau Ffestiniog and return. Loco 45305 or 61994.

Friday 6 September  Clwyd Railway Circle Larry Davies  '1962, A year of so much change'  Major changes were about to happen on the national network; Larry shares his observations with us.

Sunday 8 September Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' steam-hauled Liverpool - Chester - Holyhead and return. Note change of route.

Monday 9 September excursion Compass Tours Holyhead, Llanfairpwll, Bangor, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Flint,
Chester, Crewe to
Canterbury. Times: Outward | Return

Monday 9 September  Wrexham Railway Society. Graham Briggs, videos from 2013 main line steam scene and review of a number of heritage railways around the UK.

Wednesday 11 September Excursion Mid-Cheshire Rail Users Association Settle & Carlisle Express Scenic Railtour. Outward journey via the Settle & Carlisle Railway, a stopover in Carlisle and returning via the Cumbrian Coast line. This year the train starts at Hooton, then picks up at Chester, most stations on the Mid Cheshire Line, Stockport and Reddish South. As usual, there are reserved seats, a buffet car, trolley service and a MCRUA detailed route description.

Thursday 12 September Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society "6G and friends" - a look at the last years of the steam depots in North Wales of Llandudno Junction 6G, Rhyl 6K, Bangor 6B and Holyhead 6J. By Larry Davies.
Saturday 14 September Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery evening

Monday 16 September RCTS North West ’The Talyllyn Railway’ by David Mitchell. Digital presentation by David who has been involved with the Talyllyn for most of the preservation era and was its chairman for some years including archive footage from the 50s.

Saturday 21 September Llangollen Railway Diesel Day

Thursday 26 September Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Ken Grainger "Rhapsody in Blue": the Great
Northern Railway of Ireland

28 September Community Rail Festival at Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog in conjunction with the Community rail awards.

October 2013

Friday 4 October   Clwyd Railway Circle   Ian Mainprize  'Narrow Gauge Railways of the Harz Mountains' The talk comprises a section by section description of the narrow-gauge system, each section being illustrated by a map followed by photographs taken by Ian during the early 1990's. The history, infrastructure, rolling stock and locomotives are covered, and the railways are placed in context with regard to the history, geography and people of the area.

Saturday 5 October Steam at Chester West Coast Railway Company 'Welsh Borders Steam Special.' Cleethorpes - Shrewsbury and return. Steam-hauled Crewe - Chester - Shrewsbury - Whitchurch - Crewe by 44932, 45699, 46115, or 48151.

5/6 October Manchester Model Railway Society Exhibition Armitage Centre, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6ZT.

Thursday 10 October Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Wrexham – Bidston Line' Dave Rapson

Friday 11 October Altrincham Electric Preservation Society TRAINS IN THE SNOW By Dr Les Nixon. Over 60% UK including much pre-1968 steam, 20% foreign including South Africa, Turkey and Peru.

Saturday 12 October Llangollen Railway Real Ale Train evening

Monday 14  October  Wrexham Railway Society. Allan More, The Railways of the St Helens  area, a presentation showing the history of railways there.

Monday 21 October RCTS North West ’Banished to the Tropics’ by Les Nixon.Well known photographer travels from Sheffield to present an account  of his life as a railway enthusiast working in Sri Lanka in the early 70s. Lots of good old colonial British railwayana with plenty of steam e.g. narrow-gauge  railcars and Garratts. All backed by two salaries – no income tax – free accommodation – free car etc but no film available locally. He to take out enough to keep him going for well over two years! 

Saturday 19 October Steam at Chester West Coast Railway Company 'The Cheshireman' Cleethorpes - Chester. Steam-hauled by 70013: Cleethorpes - Doncaster - Sheffield - Altrincham - Chester - Doncaster.

19-20 October Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

Thursday 24 October  Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Noel Coates "The L&YR in B R Days"

26-27 October  Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

31 October  Llangollen Railway Ghost Train evening

November 2013

Friday 1 November   Clwyd Railway Circle  Paul Davies   'The Buckley Railway and the Industries it served' The talk celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the railway.     

Saturday 2 November  Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery evening

Saturday 2 November  Wirral '0 Gauge' Group Open Day,  Unit 7, The Odyssey Centre, Corporation Road, Birkenhead  CH41 1HB British model trains running 13:00 to 17:00. Admission £2 - ample free parking. Nearest Station Birkenhead Park. Contact 0151 653 0637 or j.elliott37[at] for more information. 

Sunday 3 November Llangollen Railway Ride the Rocket evening

Friday 8 November  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society FREIGHT AROUND THE WORLD by John Ryan. Presentation is 90% steam

9-10 November Llangollen Railway Remembrance Weekend

Monday 11 November   Wrexham Railway Society. John Fry, North West Electrification, speaking on the electrification of a large number of secondary lines in the north-west these and the forthcoming initial phase of the work across Chat Moss in particular.

Thursday 14 November Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM 'American Wanderings Part 1' Gordon Davies

Monday 18 November  RCTS North West ‘Circular tour of North Wales from 1966 to 1980’ by John Hobbs. 

Thursday 21 November Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Steve Fort "Carlisle to Crewe " - mainly steam scenes

30 November Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

December 2013

1 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Friday 6 December   Clwyd Railway Circle   'Members Night & Christmas Celebration' 
Members are invited to give a 15/20 minute presentation of their choice (any format). This will be interrupted by festive treats (all high calories). Members must book their slot no later than 16th November by telephoning David Jones.

7-8 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Monday 9  December    Wrexham Railway Society. Stephen Gay, Railways in a Yorkshire Landscape,  from Sheffield, he specialises in researching and photographing railways, particularly the old lines and former features alongside current routes all over Britain by walking along them in the company of his dog.  He is a Yorkshireman and his presentation will be based on his home county, including the beautiful Settle to Carlisle line.

Thursday 12 December Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Xmas Social/ 'All Change at the Junction'  Local Speakers                   

Friday 13 December  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society STEAM SHEDS ACROSS THE YEARS By John Sloane

14-15 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Thursday 19 December Locomotive Club of Great Britain  John Ryan "Various Gauges in France and Spain 1966 to 1973"

20-24 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

7 December Llangollen Railway Real Ale Train evening

Monday 16 December  RCTS North West ‘Early Days’ by David Maidment, Formerly Operations Manager BR London Midland Region David  presents his early days at Swindon and commuting on the Southern and around the UK in the early 60s

26-31 December  Llangollen Railway Mince Pie Specials.

January 2014

1 January 2014 Llangollen Railway Mince Pie Specials.

Friday 3 January   Clwyd Railway Circle  David Rapson  'Wrexham to Bidston Line' A history of the route illustrated with pictures covering the last 70 years.

Thursday 9 January  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'From a Driver’s point of view' Dave Trains

Friday 10 January  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society HISTORY OF BOLTON TRAMWAYS by Derek Shepherd (Vice-Chairman, Heaton Park Tramway)

Monday 13 January   Wrexham Railway Society. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND RAIL REVIEW ENTERTAINMENT Annual General Meeting will be followed by various  members’ own presentations.

Monday 20 January  RCTS North West BRANCH A.G.M  Followed by Alan Donaldson ‘Around Britain 1983 to 2010’

February 2014

Friday 7 February    Clwyd Railway Circle   Brian Bollington & Peter Hanahoe  'Polish Steam' The presentation is a mix of slide shows and video showing steam on the national network, including shed scenes, taken in the 1990’s.  

Monday 10 February   Wrexham Railway Society. Fred Kirk,  A Scottish Trip 60 Years On. The results of  a week long trip to Scotland, shed bashing previously not seen, black and white images of long gone shed scenes, Princes Street station etc.

Thursday 13 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'A short history of Crosville & my time with it' Clive Myers                        
Friday 14 February  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society A JOURNEY FROM MANCHESTER TO EASTLEIGH WORKS IN 1910 By Mike Hayward (Secretary, Manchester Locomotive Society)

Monday 17 February  RCTS North West Barry Shore ‘BR freight in the post steam era 1967 to 1979’

Thursday 20 February Locomotive Club of Great Britain  John Sloane "BR Scenes from the 60s”

March 2014

Friday 7 March    Clwyd Railway Circle    The Committee & David Southern AGM followed by the talk 'Railways of the Wirral'    After the formality is over, we can look forward to Dave sharing his railway experiences of 60 years living on the Wirral.

Monday 10 March   Wrexham Railway Society. Geoff Morris- Railways of New Zealand a digital presentation based on two steam-hauled trips around New Zealand in 2011 & 2012 including both preservation activities and the rapidly-changing current railway scene on the other side of the world.

Thursday 13 March Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Dinorwic Quarry Railway & its locomotives' Eric Lander

Monday 17 March  RCTS North West ‘The Ugly Duckling’: Bob Casselden looks at the transformation of B.R.’s ‘Other Provincial Services’ via ‘Regional Railways’ into today’s privatised railways
Friday 14 March  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society A Selection of Doug Darby's UK PHOTOGRAPHS by Paul Shackcloth (Photographic Officer, Manchester Locomotive Society)

Thursday 23 January Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Neville Bond “From Sea to Shining Sea” 30 years of North American scenes

Thursday 20 March Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Dr Michael Bailey "The Manchester Ship Canal Railway"

April 2014

Friday 4 April    Clwyd Railway Circle   Ron Watson-Jones   'The Irish Mail Train Crash at Penmaenmawr Aug 1950' Ron’s account of the accident on 27th August 1950.

Thursday 10 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'Welsh Wanderings in the 1980’s & 90’s' Geoff Morris   

Friday 11 April  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society Slides from the Manchester locomotive society collection by David Young.  Mainly steam locomotives taken 1950s and 1960s

Monday 14 April   Wrexham Railway Society. Jon Penn.   Railway Pictures From the  1960’s –scanned black and white negatives and vintage colour slides, favouring the Cheshire and surrounding areas.

Monday 28 April RCTS North West ‘South of the Border steam in the 50s and 60s’ by David Kelso, David travels from Kent to present a follow up to his  earlier North of the border presentation, including a period when he was resident in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Thursday 17 April Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Norman Matthews "Steam in Central America"

May 2014
Thursday 8 May Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Deganwy Dock Story' Eric Smith

Thursday 15 May Locomotive Club of Great Britain  AGM and Members/Visitors Slides & Digital Photos.

Saturday 24 August saw a long-distance excursion from Perth (dep. 05:32) in Scotland run to Holyhead (arr.14:29) and back by Compass Tours. Richard Fleckney photographed 47 826 leading the train through Llanfair PG on time at 13:56.

Don't miss our 'extra issue' from Thursday 22 August

By the waters of Ystradau - pictures by Ian Pilkington

On 20 August, Ffestiniog Railway double Fairlie 0-4-4-0T Earl of Merioneth passes Llyn Ystradau with the 13:40 Blaenau Ffestiniog - Porthmadog (Ian Pilkington).

In the opposite direction, Merddin Emrys heads the 13:35 Porthmadog - Blaenau. 'Merddin' entered FR service in 1879, exactly a century before 'Earl', both being built at the railway's Boston Lodge Works.

It's good to (go to a) talk

This week several lists of forthcoming meetings over the 2014/4 season have been received from our local railway clubs and societies, and been incorporated into our Events Calender (left column, or the Calendar page). Visitors will be welcome, in return for a small donation, at the talks listed. There are some interesting topics and well-known names, including some familiar from these pages, so if you live near one of the venues, why not go along and even join the club?

A visit to Ty Croes - pictures by Chris Morrison

Above, 57 601 heads the 16:10 Holyhead - Perth return Compass Tours charter, passing Ty Croes on 24 August.

67 002 heads the 14:41 Crewe - Holyhead summer Saturday service past the 1872-built Grade II listed signalbox at Ty Croes. This was built at the dawn of the method of railway signalling which has lasted for many years.  Note the LMS-style nameboard, painted in British Railways (London Midland) maroon,  preserved on the end of the box, not replaced by Network Rail's ugly typography. The windows, too, have been sensitively replaced with replicas. The platforms here are 'staggered' either side of the level crossing, an arrangement which ensures a train stopped in the station does not delay road traffic.

The signaller manually replaces the crossing gates after the passage of 67 002. Like Llanfair PG, this signabox is now a 'gate-box' only, not a 'block post.' No train can leave Gaerwen westbound until the previous one has passed Valley, a distance of abut 15 miles, and vice versa, which limits the capacity of the line across Anglesey. The building attached to the signalbox was originally the booking office and waiting room.

175 110 on the 16:50 Holyhead - Cardiff, which passes at 17:00 has just passed Ty Croes up home signal. The signal in the other direction has already been cleared for the arrival at 17:01 of ...

... the 13:08 Birmingham International - Holyhead, seen easing into Ty Croes - a request stop -  to pick up the photographer.

Assorted notes and comments

Dave Sallery writes: 'The nearly completed cycle bridge over the Foryd harbour in Rhyl, known as Pont y Ddraig - Dragon Bridge.  The bridge crosses the river Clwyd and means cyclists and pedestrians can avoid the narrow "blue bridge". Opening has been delayed due to cable theft! In the foreground are the remains of the three-masted City of Ottawa, built in Quebec in 1860 it was abandoned in Rhyl in 1906 after sustaining storm damage. It was supposed to be broken up, but part of the ship has survived.'

The Shrewsbury - Crewe resignalling scheme, with attendant closure of the signalboxes at intermediate points, was to be implemented some months ago, but was postponed, reportedly because of concerns about the automatic obstacle deflector equipment to be fitted at de-manned level crossings. We now hear that a date of 13/14 October has been set for the changeover, and Arriva Trains Wales and drivers currently being 're-briefed.' So get out with you cameras soon! (We said that before...) It is planned to run an Arriva train from Crewe early on 14 October to prove the signal system and routes. The September Rail Express magazine contains the second part of the article by Michael Rhodes about these signalboxes.

According to a correspondent, the brake van noted on 15 July on a road vehicle on the A55, reported recently, was indeed, as we surmised, destined to join the exhibits at the old railway station at Llannerchymedd on Anglesey, and is now in position. If anyone is passing the area, we'd be interested to see pictures of what is there.

Concerning the X94 bus from Wrexham to Barmouth, Charlie Williams writes: 'Whilst Arriva no longer go into Ruabon Rail Station, GHA still do on their route 5 Llangollen service. Also, evening X94 and Sunday (numbered T3 for some reason) services, sadly not shown in Arriva's timetable, are operated by GHA and also still go into Ruabon Rail station.'  A Wrexham Council PDF file gives the full timetable, although it still shows Arriva serving the station. It's good to know that evening and Sunday buses to operate, as anyone from the Barmouth area requiring major hospital treatment may well find themselves in Wrexham; visitors to patients are regular users of the bus service.

Chris Morrison writes: 'Preserved Class 52 diesel Hydraulic D1015 Western Champion returned to the main line with a loaded test train from Tyseley to Leicester and back on 22 August after three years out of service. It is seen arriving at Coleshill Parkway with 47 733 coupled inside.' All being well, D1015 will haul Pathfinder Tours' 'Western Wessexman' on 7 September.

A new version of the superb Realtime Trains website has been released, with a nunber of changes including a better mobile phone version of the simple interface and use of monochrome highlights on the instead of colours of text to show short-term planning and cancelled trains - a boon to users with colour-vision deficiencies. Most importantly from our point of view at the website, it is now possible in the detailed search to look up historic data about trains - freight included - which as long as a week ago, without knowing the URL of the train's page.  Well done, we say: the site is one of the best resources rail enthusiasts have seen in years. One thing worth noting: excursions run by West Coast Railway Company are coded WR, but those hauled by freight company locos, such as DRS and DB Schenker, are coded with the 'anonymised' FRGT.

No more flying banana in North Wales?

According to the current schedule, Network Rail's HST-based  made another ‘last’ run over the North Wales Coast and Marches routes in mid-August. It remains to be seen whether different traction appears in October.

The pictures by Andrew Royle show 1Q20 07:48 Crewe (LNWR) – Derby RTC via Newport led by 43 013 (top) with 43 014 (with red buffer beam) trailing,  passing Shrewsbury northbound on the centre road on Friday 16 August. Strangely, these machines no longer carry any external brandings.

The Welsh Mountaineer, 20 August

61994 The Great Marquess, having received a clear signal,  enters Chester station with the 'Welsh Mountaineer' excursion from Preston to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 20 August (Bob Greenhalgh)

Near Mold Junction (Bob Greenhalgh). The loco has been turned on the triangle of lines at Chester to as to run boiler-first up the steep gradients of the Conwy Valley branch after the necessary reversal at Llandudno Junction.

The driver looks out on the approach to the road overbridge at Flint Station – track maintenance men were walking the line some 100 yards ahead (Glyn Jones).

Llanrwst North: the fireman prepares to collect the single-line token for the section towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. The train crossed the 11:46 Blaenau - Llandudno passenger train here, as usual on these occasions (Ken Robinson).

Away again towards North Llanrwst station (Ken Robinson).

North Llanrwst station (Darren Durrant).

Dolwyddelan (Ian Pilkington). The train was slowing for a short 'breather' at the station to build up steam pressure.

On its way again, 61994 storms through Roman Bridge (Ian Pilkington).

Arrived at Blaenau Ffestiniog, with a Ffestiniog Railway train alongside (Eryl Crump)

A aristocratic scene as Earl of Merioneth meets The Great Marquess (Eryl Crump). Marquess, in current usage, is a male title, the second rank of the hereditary peerage in Britain, below Duke but above Earl, although someone can have more than one title: the current Earl of Merioneth is also Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Enough of that ...

Back at Llandudno Junction, the loco runs round its train using Platform 3 (Peter Lloyd).

After a refill of water, the 'Welsh Mountaineer' is ready at Llandudno Junction for the departure at 18:06 to Preston (Peter Lloyd).

Passing Colwyn Bay station (Darren Durrant).

Speeding downhill from Llanddulas (Larry Goddard).

Departing Rhyl as the signaller and Roly High take pictures of each other...

Passing the disused station at Talacre east of Prestatyn (Ian Pilkington).At just six vehicles including the support coach and a Pullman, the train is shorter than most excursions. This has its effect on fare levels, but is necessary to to ensure that Blaenau Ffestiniog is reached without problems.

Opened in 1903, with platforms on the outer 'slow lines' on what was then a four-track line, Talacre station was intended to service the camping grounds and beaches nearby, and the platform is still in place. Like other minor stations on the Coast line, it closed in 1966 but the platforms remain. The line adjacent to the 'up' platform is still in place;  a short section was retained as part of the access to nearby Point of Ayr Colliery, which in the 1950s employed over 700 men. It closed in 1996, and today this little-used siding, controlled from the adjacent Talacre signalbox, is all that remains to show that it a coal mine ever existed.

With a short crow on the whistle, the crew acknowledge the parents and children on the footbridge who turned out to see 61194 pass through Flint on its return journey (Glyn Jones).

At Beeches Farm, Sandycroft  on the way to Chester and Preston (Bob Greenhalgh).

Perth - Holyhead Pictures

Looking typically dull in dull weather, 47 826 brings the Perth - Holyhead excursion into Llandudno Junction on 24 August.

57 601 on the rear at Llanfair PG (Richard Fleckney)

On the return journey, 57 601 takes the curves through Colwyn Bay station (Darren Durrant).

57 601 leads the return train through Rhyl (Roly High).

Tamper news

A Colas Rail tamper seen stabled in the 'tamper siding' at Llandudno Junction (above) on 19 August between work sessions on the work on the Conwy Valley branch. the siding has had a bit of attention recently with 30+ new sleepers, some new ballast, and a reflective board on the stop block. Picture by Peter Lloyd. The ballast appears to be grey Penmaenmawr-style ballast, rather than the pink Cumbrian material currently used for new work. Could it be recycled material previously used on a main line somewhere?

The machine returned east on 20 August, as pictured by Darren Durrant at Colwyn Bay. The September 2013 issue of Rail Express magazine has a very informative article on Plasser and Theurer tampers, which we recommend to anyone interested in such things. DR 79395 is a Passer & Theurer '08' series tamper, of a type delivered after privatisation to replace the older '07' series machines used by British Rail. This one is a 08-4x4-4S-RT machine, equipped to work on switches and crossings (or points in model railway speak) as well as plain track. It articulated, running on three bogies. Also to be found is a smaller 'Compact' version which runs on just two bogies; the running numbers of the two types are intermingled within the same 739xx series.

A tamper is a machine which uses hydraulic spade-like 'tines' to pack the ballast stones under the sleepers to ensure the rails are fixed in place at the right height for smooth running.  In the past, track gangs would do this work by manual labour.

Roman Bridge for sale

The station house at Roman Bridge is for sale - for £450,000. Built in 1879, it has three bedrooms, three reception rooms and stunning views across the mountains and valleys. Outside there are ten acres of meadows and a lake stocked with salmon and trout. The owner, Roger Latham, bought it in 1997 but has known the area for 60 years. He tells the press: 'I was raised in Macclesfield but started coming here on fishing holidays with my father in the 1950s. I had known Flo Williams, the daughter of the last stationmaster, who bought the house from British Rail. As she grew older she became more anxious about things and in 1997 decided to move. She found a buyer for the house, but at the last minute they changed their minds, which caused Flo terrible anxiety, so I bought it for the asking price.'

He paid £59,000, but Roger has since spent tens of thousands renovating it and adding a garden room with splendid views of the 17th Century clapper bridge. This was [it is said] built to replace the original Roman bridge, from which the station takes its name. 'The Romans came here to mine copper and lead and had a garrison nearby,’ says Roger who has been letting it to tourists. 'It’s occupied for about 85 per cent  of the year. The area is very popular with walkers, artists and anglers, he says. The house comes with more than a mile of double-bank fishing on the River Lledr.  It is wonderful in late summer and early autumn when the migrant birds are still here and the Atlantic salmon return from west Greenland to the streams to spawn.'

The stationmaster of 1879 could never have imagined that his house would one day have a bathroom including a bidet ... More information at the Strutt & Parker website.  It's certainly getting free publicity, as various national papers and the BBC have picked it up. 'It’s the dream property for anyone who had a model railway while growing up'  says the Estate Agent. At that price, it is more likely to be the 'dream property' for a retired Network Rail executive.

The ponds shown in the map are what your geography teacher would call an 'ox-bow lake' probably artificially encouraged by railway builders in this case. One wonders why the London and North Western Railway felt the need to built a staffed station at this remote, albeit dramatic, location. It had a siding until the 1950s, possibly used by the odd wagon of domestic coal. A pair of houses, named on old maps as 'Roman Terrace' was built nearby; maybe it was planned to develop a larger settlement, or passengers from angling fraternity were expected to flood to the area. Many slate miners lived and worked in the area, but did they commute by train?

Talking Toilets

We reported in an earlier issue that the improvement work taking place on Virgin's Class 221 'Voyagers' - recognisable by their numbers in a revised place, as in Roly High's picture above - include a toilet which 'talks' to users.

Not only are users audibly reminded to lock the door, they are also treated to an audio version of the message carried by the toilet-seat lid, photographed for us by Chris Morrison. We have also obtained an mp3 file of the hilarious message - downloadable by a right-click from this link. Amaze your friends, use it on your phone... but how funny will it be the 20th time you hear it? Perhaps they will change the forbidden items occasionally?

Here's what Virgin Trains have to say: 'Let’s be honest… going to the loo on a train is never the nicest of experiences, but luckily Virgin Trains are doing what they can to make the toilet a bit more, well, friendly. The newly refurbished toilets chat to you. No, we haven’t completely lost the plot, these loos actually talk. While they may not (yet) be capable of holding a full conversation, they DO remind you to lock the door, and we hear they are great listeners. Giving them a voice isn’t the only new feature to Virgin Trains' toilets. They have also been renovated with some snazzy décor, so you can forget you are in the loo and instead feel as if you are in the middle of a beautiful meadow watching a Virgin Balloon on its descent.'

North Wales Coast home pageArchivePrevious Notice Board