NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE
|Home | Notice Board | Travel
Info | Calendar | History
| Route Guide | The
Trains | For Railfans | Links | Contact
03 March 2014
Early morning at Llanfaelog, between Ty Croes and Rhosneigr, on 26 February, and a pair of Class 37/4s, 37 409 Lord Hinton and 37 402 Stephen Middlemore head for Valley with the westbound flask train. Picture by Peter Basterfield.
Two Together RailcardA new development in the National Rail fares scheme starts on 3 March with the full launch of the 'Two Together' Railcard after a trial period when it was sold only to West Midlands Residents. This card, which will cost £30 a year from Ticket Offices or £27 on-line, is for use by two named people (always the same two, photos required) travelling together by rail at off-peak times (i.e. not before 09:30 Mondays - Fridays) and offers 33% discount for both people on all the usual range of single and return tickets, both standard and first class. Both people have to be over 16. It will be possible to have more than one of these cards, or one in addition to a Senior or other card, although of course the discounts are not cumulative.
The idea seems to be to compete with the car, which two people can use as cheaply as one, although people without a car, but with a regular travelling companion will also benefit. As transport writer Simon Calder points out, it can be worth it for just one journey: 'Take a standard London-Birmingham off-peak round trip: £50.50 per person on Virgin Trains, so £101 for two. The Two Together fare, plus the cost of a new railcard, is £96.70, which saves enough for a cup of tea each en route.'
For more details, visit the Two Together Website; there are many scenarios that can be envisaged where calculations will be needed to find the cheapest fare option, but generally it seems a good idea. Perhaps one day Britain will follow Germany and offer a card, perhaps at a higher subscription, which even a single adult under retirement age can buy.
Llandudno relaying - report by Peter Lloyd
Platform 2 at Llandudno station has been relayed over the past few weeks; also, the loco run-round points have been taken out from between platform 1 and 2. The picture above shows the short ballast train on 27 February, worked by two Class 70s, at Deganwy with 70 003 on the rear.
Later, in Llandudno station during off loading of the ballast, with 70 010 on the other end.
Colwyn Bay Miniature Railway
An email from Peter Wilson: 'I am a miniature railway enthusiast and I write occasional articles for the Miniature Railway Magazine and it has been recently been mentioned in the magazine that more content needs to come from outside the Southern half of England. I thought if I could gather sufficient information an article on the 10.25" gauge Colwyn Bay Seafront line would be appropriate. I visited Colwyn Bay in 1989, but sadly all I saw was the rake of open carriages sitting at the Llandudno end of the line having suffered at the hands of local vandals.'
We wrote about the line, with much help from readers, in the 19 December 2011 issue, which can be read in the Archive. If you know more, or know someone who does, it would be interesting to collect come more information was can pass to Mr Wilson. Since the item was published, we have discovered that the line continued round towards the main line viaduct at its east end for a short way to a shed where the loco (and coaches?) were stored. This would have been behind the camera in the 1960s(?) postcard above. The loco in the picture - Prince Charles - was later replaced by one or more ugly petrol-driven machines, does anyone have details of them?
The postcard image is from the Three Towns Forum.
Windfarms: paradise of the Mersey - notes by George Jones
These pictures by Ian Henderson illustrate the ships in the Mersey involved with the offshore windfarm project at Gwynt y Mor, and are examples of how the development is generating maritime activity off the North Wales coast and introducing some unusual vessels to the area. They also show how the new cruise liner terminal facility can attract out of season traffic as a mooring point for these off-shore support vessels - the offshore supply ships Polar Prince (above) ...
... and Fugro Saltire. They feature as movements on the shipais.com website when working in the area. All this maritime activity in the area was unthinkable not so long ago and show how the new industry has attracted business to the region.
The cable laying vessel Sia, seen backing into the Cammell Laird works, was launched in 1978 as the Caledonian McBrayne ferry MV Claymore for the Outer Isles service from Oban. Later she worked for Pentland Ferries on their Orkney Islands service before being sold in 2009 for conversion to her current role.
London terminal variety - pictures by Darren Durrant
Darren visited some London stations on 27 February, and found some locos which have been seen in North Wales from time to time. Above, on 'Thunderbird' duty at Euston station, 57 304 Pride of Cheshire.
Kings Cross, where the 'Thunderbird' standby rescue loco is usually a Class 67 provided by DB Schenker. 67 028 stands in the siding provided for the purpose. In the background, the disused eastern bore of the three Gasworks Tunnels on which the Grand Union Canal crosses the station throat.
Until 1976, through passenger trains to Moorgate emerged from the tunnel, calling at a platform known as York Way station; the wall to the right may be part of its platform. Trains headed through a tunnel leading to the so-called 'widened lines' which paralleled the Underground's Circle Line. The grey structure is Kings Cross Power Signal Box.
St Pancrad (Midland Main Line) station, with East Midlands Trains 'Meridian' 222 013 and the HST-based New Measurement Train apart to leave the the next leg of itrs busy schedule.
St David's Day on the Corwen Extension - report by George Jones
The intention to run a works train on the existing rail extension on 1 March was resolved by using the 03 shunter 03 162 to take a further supply of ballast down the line from Carrog. For the occasion the 03 was decorated with Welsh Flags and the Welsh headboard Y CYMRO (The Welshman) affixed to mark the Patron Saint's Day, known in Wales as Gŵyl Dwei Sant. For once it was a beautiful sunny day, just right for the event. The train is seen above in Carrog station as it got away, ahead of the first diesel-unit passenger train service of the day.
Later it was parked up to the west of over bridge 28A awaiting the arrival of the day's visitor when local MP Susan Elan Jones was escorted onto the track bed to meet the volunteers and see works progress on the section through to the Dwyrain Corwen East station site. She also got to 'cab' the 03, an unusual opportunity these days for a Member of Parliament, we think (see picture in left column).
The ex-Birkenhead docks shunter took the train along the track to drop stone on the track through to underpass bridge 28 and provided spectators the opportunity to record the train in section. This was a foretaste of the options which will be available when train services start later in the summer.
The empty ballast wagons were brought back to pose for further photos for those on the roadside and over bridge before the train returned to Carrog ahead of the afternoon dmu service. A memorable occasion which made up for the non arrival of the promised first train at Corwen.
Ms Jones said, 'I was delighted to visit the railway extension works and meet some of the volunteers tackling this project. The achievement with the track laying is tremendous. I am looking forward to seeing the trains at Corwen during the summer of 2014.'
Previously, on Thursday 27 February, Llangollen Railway hosted a visit by local Welsh Assembly members and officers from Denbighshire County Council. Due to inclement weather the Corwen Community bus was used to take them along the A5 to Bonwm for a briefing on works progress and the need for preventative measures to be put in place to halt riverside bank erosion at this point. The picture shows the party, including Ken Skates AM & Mark Isherwood AM, at Bonwm with the 03 shunter delivering another load of ballast.
Past Times with John Hobbs - Duchesses 50 years ago
'Princess Coronation' 4-6-2 46239 City of Chester, in green livery, heads through Prestatyn with the 7.50 am Holyhead to Crewe Parcels on 6 May 1964; this train was known as the 'Palethorpes' because it also conveyed vans with pictures of that company's sausages on them; it was only to run for another month.
Editor's note: 'Princess Coronation' was the official class name: the first one, 6220 Coronation having appeared in June 1937, soon after the coronation of King George VI, and they were considered an improved version of the earlier 'Princess Royal' class. Enthusiasts called them 'Duchesses' as many carries Duchess names, although a number of later-built examples were named for cities served by the London Midland and Scottish Railway.
46251 City of Nottingham, in red livery, enters Prestatyn with the 9.25 am Crewe to Holyhead, the premier Down train of the morning on the North Wales coast, on 17 June 1964. It was a diesel locomotive turn but if Crewe North depot was short of diesels (EE Type 4's - class 40s as they were later dubbed - at the time) for the main line, we got a 'Duchess' on this train. It would not last long; on 1 February 1965 it became a 2-car DMU!
46235 City of Birmingham, in green livery, leaves Prestatyn with the 9.25 to Crewe on Monday 29 June 1964, it was unusual to see this train on the Slow line; something must have gone wrong somewhere. Withdrawn in September 1964, 46235 46235 was prepared by BR for preservation, retaining the green livery and after storage at Nuneaton Shed, moved to the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry, which was built around her. After closure of that museum she was moved into the Thinktank, Birmingham science museum in 1997.
46251 again, leaving Prestatyn with the 2.45 pm Holyhead to Crewe, on 13 July 1964. This train ran on the Up Slow line because various boat trains were running on the Up Fast; sometimes, especially on a Saturday, 1G34 to Birmingham also had a 'Duchess' - someone, sometime must have seen them running in parallel between Prestatyn and Muspratt's Sidings - what a sight that would have been.
That WN sticker...
Another look at Peter Dickinson's picture from the last issue with the mysterious code by the number. We thought the typography looked familiar from somewhere ... John Young writes: 'It looks very much like an old GM Buses depot code sticker (WN was Wigan) to me! They used to be printed on a white background but in their last few years of existence were on a clear background.'
Examples can be glimpsed in pictures taken by bus enthusiasts, such as this one on Flickr. So just another example of an amateur adornment. Is this a bit of fun, or is it no better than graffiti? Replies not encouraged. Thanks also to Mark Youdan for helping resolve this.
North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board