Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

20 June 2016

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue. For full information visit our Calendar page.

July 2016

Sunday 24 July Railway Touring Company THE NORTH WALES COAST EXPRESS  Liverpool-Holyhead (WCRC) Steam loco 45690 or 46100: Liverpool - Chester - Holyhead and return

Tuesday 26 July  Railway Touring Company THE WELSH MOUNTAINEER Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog . Steam loco 45305 or 48151: Preston - Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog and return

August 2016

Sunday 21 August  Railway Touring Company THE NORTH WALES COAST EXPRESS  Crewe - Manchester - Holyhead (WCRC) Steam loco 45690 or 46115: Manchester - Chester - Holyhead and return

September 2016

Sunday 4 September Railway Touring Company THE NORTH WALES COAST EXPRESS  Crewe - Manchester - Holyhead (WCRC) Steam loco 45690 or 46115: Manchester - Chester - Holyhead and return


This issue it's all about steam, with as many views as we can manage of recent steam-powered trains, including the legend that is Flying Scotsman, pictured above by David Hennessey. We'll do an extra issue later in the week with our usual mix.

Steam Special - Overture

A last look at the return Cambrian Coast Express charter on 8 June, covered in our last issue featuring 46100 Royal Scot. Photograph at Penmaenmawr by Lee Andrew Davies.

46100 was in action again on 14 June, seen departing Crewe in a private charter to York (Robert Meredith).

The same train at Hartford (Phil Clarke).

60103 Flying Scotsman crossing Homes Chapel viaduct heading from York to Crewe on 14 June ready to take over the Paddington - Holyhead 'Emerald Isle Explorer' the next day (Phil Clarke).


Video from Shotton by David Jones.

Steam Special - The main event - 15 June

The London Euston - Holyhead train on 15 June was the first leg of the 'Emerald Isle Explorer' holiday whose participants sailed from Holyhead to Dublin by ferry and then spend several days travelling round Ireland, often by steam, returning to Holyhead on 23 June for a  'Virgin train of modern traction to whisk us back to London.'  We pick up the train at Crewe where it arrives from London, privately-owned by radio disc-jockey Les Ross, and in recent times named after him (Greg Mape).

Since October 2015, the loco has carried the name Les Ross on one side, and on the other the name it carried in British Rail service from 1979 to 1995, Peter Pan, seen here as it is detached from the train at Crewe (Greg Mape)

Flying Scotsman with its support coach prepares to take over (Greg Mape).

A varied line-up at Crewe (Greg Mape).  Leaving Platform 12 is a Virgin Voyager on the 11:10 London - Chester which left six minutes late 12:55 just ahead of the special 'Thunderbird' 57 307 Lady Penelope lurks behind the electric loco in the siding.

Departure from Crewe (Greg Mape). A good view of some of the less obvious attachments: the outlet pipes from the 'cylinder cocks' which the crew operate from the cab, to eject any water which has condensed in the cylinders during a stop, as well as scaring any small trainspotters in the vicinity. Behind the chimney is the 'snifting valve' which allows air into the cylinders when steam is shut off, to prevent a vacuum being created when steam is shut off.  Other loco designers put this in a different place, or missed it off altogether.                                   

Seen from Cholmondeston lock approaching Beeston between Crewe and Chester (Robert Meredith). Some press reports have suggested that the loco is named after a racehorse, based on the fact that many weird and wonderful LNER (and BR Deltic diesel) names come from that source. However, there no truth in this: it was named after the 10 am express service from London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley some years before the racehorse theme emerged. The train name perhaps originated by analogy with the mythical 'Flying Dutchman' ... or then again, perhaps not. Of course there been racehorses called 'Flying Scotsman' - there's at least one around today - but the train was surely the first use.

Through Beeston (Phil Clarke).

Sandycroft (Tim Rogers ). The National Railway Museum's history of the loco tells us that the loco was converted from right- to left-hand drive in 1954 and fitted with the 'banjo' shaped dome, and later:
In 1959 her single chimney was converted to the double Kylchap style chimney that had been so successful on her A4 cousins such as world speed record holder Mallard. Due to the soft blast from the double chimney causing smoke to drift into the driverís eye line the final significant change was made when the German style smoke deflectors were added to the engine early in 1961 and at the same time the smoke box design was altered too with the top handrail being split to accommodate a dropped lamp bracket.
The latter comment is an interesting sidelight on our recent 'lamp bracket' items. In early preservation days an original-style top handrail was definitely in place. Alan Pegler, who bought the loco in 1973, undid some of these additions to represent, as far as possible, and loco which would have worn the famous apple-green LNER livery before nationalisation in 1948.

From the footbridge at the former Bagillt station after a rainstorm. Look carefully hear the rear coach  ...

... and there's the man who thought he'd get a good view from between the tracks. Sadly, it seems there's always someone who spoils the party (Glyn Jones). Did anyone on the train get a better picture of him? Let's hope he got even wetter than the people who waited patiently on the footbridge.

Bagillt lagoon (Ian Pilkington). Bagillt village itself had suffered flash flooding the previous day.

Flint (Derek French). The Museum curators have decided to return it to its 1963 British Railways condition, not without controversy, as it was its preserved guise in LNER green that most people today remember.

Much parking on the pavement as people use various height-raising at Ffynnongroew - including of course the footbridge (John Hobbs).  (Thankfully nobody tried to balance on the wall, or maybe they had fallen off by the time of the picture.) The publicity surrounding the return of Flying Scotsman over the last few weeks has led to large numbers of people going out to see it, some of whom have trespassed on the line, resulting in attempts by 'the authorities' to suppress information about the running times of its trains - a hopeless task in these days of social media.

Steam-minded observers on platform 1 at Rhyl were disconcerted by the arrival of 67 008 propelling the 13:01 Holyhead - Manchester, looking likely to block their view of the passing of the famous A3 class loco ...

... which passed seven minutes late passing on the Down Main line, so all was well. It would seem that not many patients were being treated at the Health Centre, judging by the group of staff on the roof (Roly High).

From the footbridge east of Abergele station (David Hennessey). David writes: I was present at Abergele & Pensarn from 12:00 onward; I went to the footbridge that stands east from the station, going in the direction of Rhyl. I was able to secure a good spot for viewing and photography; when I initially got to the bridge, there were only three or four photographers who had already got their spots. But from 12:30 onward, a lot of people began to arrive to witness 60103's passing. Everyone here was on their best behaviour; nobody was seen on or near the tracks, and there was a British Transport Police presence at the packed station to make sure that good order was kept. [There are two footpath crossings visible in the picture, but nobody seems to have wandered along the lineside from them.]

60103 made a slow approach to Abergele & Pensarn, due to a preceding passenger service, the 11:10 Birmingham - Holyhead,  in front of the charter. But the semaphore cleared, allowing her to pick up speed towards Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction (David Hennessey).

From the walls of Conwy Castle (Garry Stroud).

From the hill opposite Conwy Castle (Lee Andrew Davies).

Approaching Penmaenbach Tunnel (Ian Pilkington).

Seen from Penmaenbach East Footbridge ...

... and entering the tunnel (Alan Roberts).

Crossing the Cefni Viaduct at Malltraeth on Anglesey (Rowan Crawshaw).

Near Rhosneigr (Ian Pilkington).

After arrival at Holyhead, the loco was turned on the Valley triangle (Lee Andrew Davies).

The return empty coaching stock (with a few passengers) was worked back to Crewe by 60103, seen passing a foot crossing east of Valley (Ian Pilkington). Apparently Steam Dreams did offer some tickets for a Crewe - Holyhead - Crewe trip.

Passing Belgrano foot crossing, Pensarn (Ian Pilkington).

Talacre (John Hobbs).

Bagillt (Tim Rogers).

On the rear throughout, 47 237 (Tim Rogers).

There have been some technical problems while compiling this issue: apologies to anyone whose pictures have not been included. - Charlie

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