Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

13 January 2014

Last issue


RSS feed RSS

Link to this issue
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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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.

January 2014

Monday 20 January  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales BRANCH A.G.M  Followed by Alan Donaldson ‘Around Britain 1983 to 2010’

Thursday 30 January  Merseyside Railway History Group   David Rapson 'Seacombe to Wrexham'

Friday 31 January  Great Western Society North West Branch The Cowley Hill Colliery to the Runcorn Gap Railway.

Friday 28 February  Great Western Society North West Branch    Group Annual Meeting followed by Members Slides.

February 2014

Tuesday 4 February North Wales Railway Circle  Bill Rogerson returns with 'Rails around UK.'

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 (Change of programme) Well-known railway photographer Peter Fitton from the Fylde will be giving a slide show entitled "The Railways of the Fylde from 1961".

Monday 17 February  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales 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”
Thursday 27 February  Merseyside Railway History Group Allan Lewis 'Union Pacific Steam'

March 2014

Tuesday 4 March North Wales Railway Circle Ken Robinson shows 'Chester to Holyhead  including Llandudno branch' slides.

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 Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘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"

Thursday 27 March  Merseyside Railway History Group AGM & Members Slides

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.

Tuesday 4 April  North Wales Railway Circle Dave Rapson of Connah`s Quay  presents a pictorial record of The Bidston - Wrexham Line.

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

Thursday 10 April  Merseyside Railway History Group Ted Lloyd 'Quiz and informal evening'

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 Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘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
Tuesday 6 May  North Wales Railway Circle A.G.M.  followed by Members Videos, Prints, Slides, and Digital work in the Photo Competition.

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.

A different viewpoint - the view from inside Northgate Tunnel in Chester, courtesy of rail worker 'Paddy F'. Notice how a fissure in the rock on the right has been filled in by a diagonal line of brickwork.

After the Storm

The railways of the Welsh coast are slowly returning to normal after the storms. As we write on 13 January, the North Wales Coast route, the Conwy Valley line and Shrewsbury - Aberystwyth are back to normal, but Llanelli - Carmarthen and the Cambrian Coast line are still subject to bus replacements.  Ian Wright's pictures from 11 January show work in progress at Milepost 89½ near Tywyn.

The adjacent road is closed to permit the operation. Maybe it will be possible to open Machynlleth to Tywyn before too long.

Further north, 30 of the 'Dragon's teeth' tank-traps from World War II,  a familiar landmark at Fairbourne, have been dislodged. The brick-built 'pill-box', which was also part of the wartime defences, has collapsed.

37 402 now and then

37 402 and 57 003 at Valley loading site on Friday 10 January (Nick Gurney).

View from the public footpath as the pair await their load (Nick Gurney). 37 402 has been named (with a BR-style red background on its nameplate) Stephen Middlemore 23.12.1954 - 8.6.2013 by DRS. Mr Middlemore was a Safety and Train Officer with DRS. 57 003, when first converted from a Class 47 for Freightliner, carried the name Freightliner Evolution, but has yet to be named by current owners DRS.

Having left Valley at 12:12 , 166 minutes early, it passed Peter Basterfield's camera position on the footbridge at Penmaenbach at 12:48, 178 minutes early ... and arrived back in Crewe 3 minutes earlier than its booked departure time from Valley.

37 402 ran in the Scottish Highlands when first rebuilt from a Class 37/0 in 1985, and was given the name Oor Wullie after a famous cartoon character. While in Scotland it was repainted from the 'large logo blue' of 1995 to the double-grey with red stripe 'Mainline' livery. The name plates were removed in 1993, and in October of that year the loco was transferred to Regional Railways North West at Crewe depot. From there it initially worked on the Southport and Blackpool 'club trains such as the one seen arriving at Deansgate in 1994 (picture by Charlie Hulme) as well as North Wales services.  When photographed it had recently received 'Railfreight triple grey' livery (but without the corresponding branding and symbols) and the Bont y Bermo name which had originally been applied some to Cardiff-allocated 37 427.

John Lewis photographed 37 402, still looking good, at Holyhead after a typical westbound run in 1999. Towards the end of loco haulage in North Wales, EWS transferred it to Cardiff where it worked passenger trains on the Rhymney line until the end of 2004 when it was placed in store.

At some point during its South Wales career, if was given a partial repaint, in an approximation of the style but in somewhat different shades, as in the above picture from our archive. (If you took it, please get in touch.) Note that the nameplate background has been changed from black to red.

DRS bought it in 2011, and after an overhaul at Barrow Hill it was returned to traffic in March 2013.

Gobowen freight - pictures by Martin Evans

For a few days in early January the steel coils from Margam to Dee Marsh were in the hands of the Brush Class 60s. One such working saw 60 066 in its unique Drax Biomass livery pass through Gobowen on train 6V75 Dee Marsh to Margam empties on 9 January.

A few days later, and a 'shed' in charge. DB Schenker's  66 128 powers through Gobowen on 13 January with the Dee Marsh to Margam steel empties in bright winter sunshine. Picture by Martin Evans.

Class 175s in view

Class 175s continue to ply their trade on trains from North Wales to Cardiff and Manchester. Above, 175 110 runs along the sea wall near Mostyn on 31 December. Picture by Tim Rogers.

175 102 calls at Helsby with a Llandudno - Manchester service on 9 January (Paddy F).

Jack Bowley built the re-liveried Class 175 card kit (see last issue).

Past Times with John Hobbs (1) Rare move at Prestatyn

On Saturday 20 June 1964, Ivatt Class 4 2-6-4T 42283 (above) worked the 12:08 Queensferry to Rhyl and is seen here leaving Prestatyn bunker first; this was unusual, as generally tank locomotives were turned before working down the coast.

Shortly afterwards the locomotive re-appeared on the 'Up Fast' line from Rhyl and was signalled from the 'Up Fast' to the 'Up Slow'; this move was very rare and I never saw such a move before or after. This view shows the signal cleared for the manoeuvre to take place.
Generally on the 'Up' lines Rhyl No 2 made switching moves, as the 'Up' Platform at Rhyl was effectively on the 'Up Slow', so stopping trains were turned in there and Rhyl No1 then put them out on Fast or Slow as required;  Prestatyn was therefore not usually required to undertake this work. It also appeared that the locomotive was required back in Chester for some reason, so perhaps the locomotive was a replacement for a failure and it was required back at Chester urgently for its normal work, but why it had to go on the Slow is a mystery.

Photo information requested

Nigel Emery sends this picture of 47 349 westbound through Bagillt with a Freightliner train, of which he'd like us to establish the date and, if possible the details of the working. It must be before 1991 when Holyhead Freightliners ceased, and a picture from 1984 shows the signalbox closed and in a vandalised condition (it has since been demolished). There are no signals visible in the picture which suggests it was already closed at the time. Any thoughts are welcome.

The locomotive still exists today, rebuilt as 57 303.

Past Times with John Hobbs (2) Crewe 50 Years Ago

Above,  British Railways built "Type A" Bo-Bo  E3090 approaches Crewe station with 7H67, a train of loose coupled open wagons from Liverpool. The main line north of Weaver Junction was not yet electrified, so this consist must have come from somewhere like Ditton Junction at least. All on a rather damp 4 January 1964.

North British Locomotive Company-built "Warship" B-B D861 Vigilant comes off its train at  Crewe on 4 January 1964 with, I assume,  the combined 7.43am from Bristol & 8.45 Cardiff to Manchester and Liverpool, which was in Crewe at 12.15, the only West of England/South Wales train that arrived before darkness descended (who said train services are poor today?)  In the background an electric loco lurks with a what looks like a steam heating van, as most trains were still steam heated at this time. Steam locomotives including 71000 Duke of Gloucester at Crewe North shed can be glimpsed through the gloom.

Ex-LNER 4-6-0 61158 runs through Crewe station light-engine, possibly having worked the Mail train from Lincoln via Nottingham, Trent and Derby the previous night and having  being used on a filling-in turn before returning to Lincoln with the Mail train that evening; again on 4 January 1964.

Fiasco at Pont Briwet

Latest news from Briwet bridge near Penrhyndeudraeth on the Cambrian Coast, as reported by the Daily Post, is that it has now been decided to close the damaged bridge to road traffic as well as rail. Eryl Crump's picture above shows the state of the roadway.

It was blocked to trains last November, although it had been intended to keep it open until the replacement bridge is built, because the bridge was 'settling'. Now, rotting timbers underneath the deck have led to Gwynedd Council closing the road over the bridge on the grounds of public safety. Last month Network Rail said buses would replace trains on the Harlech - Pwllheli section until 2015 when the new bridge is completed, but now a revised date of May 2014 has been put forward for work to be completed on the new rail bridge and a temporary road bridge to open to traffic. Let's hope so.

A picture from happier times: 11 May 2013, and the 'Cathedrals Explorer Moors and Mountains' eight-day tour makes its way to Porthmadog over Briwet bridge at the required 15 mph with 97 303 and 97 304 in charge. Picture by M.LLoyd Davies.

North Wales Coast home pageArchivePrevious Notice Board