Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

30 May 2016

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June 2016

Sunday 5 June Steam Dreams THE CAMBRIAN COAST EXPRESS (Day 1 of 4)  London Paddington - Pwllheli (WCRC) Steam loco 60103  Flying Scotsman: Paddington - Leamington - Shrewsbury

Monday 6 June Steam Dreams THE CAMBRIAN COAST EXPRESS (Day 2 of 4)

Tuesday 7 June Steam Dreams THE CAMBRIAN COAST EXPRESS (Day 3 of 4)

Wednesday 8 June Steam Dreams THE CAMBRIAN COAST EXPRESS (Day 4 of 4) Bangor - Paddington. Steam loco 60103  Flying Scotsman:   Chester - Wrexham - Hereford - Bristol Parkway - Paddington

Wednesday 15 June Steam Dreams THE EMERALD ISLE EXPLORER (Day 1 of 9)  London Euston-Holyhead Steam loco 60103 Flying Scotsman: Euston-Holyhead.

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

The return 'Ynys Mon Express' passing Rhosneigr on 28 May; picture by Ian Pilkington. See our picture report below.

Class 67  review

Taking advantage of the lighter nights, Bob Greenhalgh ventured to Dodleston crossing on 23 May to photograph 67 022 on the 17:16 Cardiff - Holyhead.

A Change of loco: very early in the morning (01:35) on 26 May, 67 013 is stabled in Platform 3 with the Premier Express rolling stock which will later form the 05:33 to Cardiff. Picture by Eurwyn McMahon.

Mike Sheridan writes: 'On 27 May I finally got my picture of 67 002, having previously been thwarted by substitute Class 150s,  but it wasn't easy. I reasoned it had to be rostered for the Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend and it was. I managed a 'snap' as it returned to Manchester on the 13:01 from Holyhead, but didn't realise it doesn't stop at Manchester Oxford Road. Thank heavens for my new iPhone, new contract and Real Time Trains!

'I decided to photograph the return 16:50 to Llandudno at Deansgate as Oxford Road gets very busy in the evening peak and I didn't want a unit blocking the shot. I waited patiently at Deansgate, only for the sun to come out at the wrong moment...'

Scot on the Ynys Mon Express

On 23 May Robert Meredith Recorded 46100 Royal Scot returning to Locomotive Services Limited where it is based at the former Traction Maintenance Depot at Crewe; the locomotive and support coach were on their way back from the open day at Bristol St Philip's Marsh HST depot, and are seen coasting through Chorlton, near Crewe.

On 28 May, 46100 was in main line action on an excursion from Swindon to Holyhead run by Pathfinder Tours, dubbed 'The Ynys Mon Express'. The outbound train is seen above approaching Flint (Derek French).

At Flint, a young enthusiast gets a friendly wave from the crew (Glyn Jones)

The disused, but heritage-listed, Rhyl No 2 signalbox still stands forlorn - No 1 box at the other end of the station will follow it into redundancy in a few years, when the so-called 'digital railway' runs all Wales from Cardiff.

Passing Belgrano Foot Crossing, Pensarn (Ian Pilkington).

A large gallery on the platform at Abergele - hopefully nobody fell off the platform (Chris Morrison).

The classic view of Conwy Castle (Chris Morrison).

Approaching Rhosneigr in heavy rain (Ian Pilkington). Between Llandudno Junction and Holyhead in both directions the train was notably adorned with "The Irish Mail" headboard: the very same one, if we are not sadly mistaken, that was sported by 37 429 Eisteddfod Genedlaethol on 30 December 2000 to mark the end of the reign of the 37/4s on North Wales trains (see our 3 January 2011 issue). 

The return train passes the spring flowers at Rhosneigr (Chris Morrison).

Leaving the Britannia Bridge (Peter Basterfield).

Picking up speed past Rhyl No.1 signalbox (Roly High)

Although publicity had brought out a lot of observers (Royal Scot = Flying Scotsman?) there appears to be have been no real trouble with the trespassers - scourge of our hobby - that the LNER loco generated. There's one lurking in this view, though (Roly High).

Passing Holywell Junction (Ian Pilkington).

Diesels in steam

Our item about diesel locos taking on water at Bangor (last issue) led to two interesting follow-ups. Anthony Flusk writes:

'The hydrant shown in use in Paul Donohoe's picture (repeated above) was installed in the autumn of 1980. This came about after a Manchester Bangor diagram (07:47 and 15:40 from Manchester Victoria, 11:30 and 19:30 return from Bangor) was upgraded from being a DMU to Mk1
coaching stock from the May 1979 timetable change. As the only stock which could be sourced was steam heat only, the allocated motive power for the train was a Longsight-based Class 40, with a train heating boiler.

'After the 100 mile journey from Manchester, the boiler water tanks would require filling for the return working. A first a hosepipe was used, but with a class 40 water tanks having an 800 gallon capacity, this method had little effect, hence the investment in the hydrant. Even after the May 1981 timetable change, when most Manchester Victoria North Wales trains were made loco-hauled with dual heat stock and electric train heating-fitted locomotives diagrammed, the hydrant still found occasional use when a steam-heat fitted locomotive was substituted.'

Jim Johnson sends along some prize items from his picture album.  Above, on 14 February 1980, 40 069 replenishing its boiler at Bangor using the above-mentioned hosepipe. Note the cement silos in the goods yards behind, which received wagonloads of cement by the 'Speedlink' service for local distribution.

Another view. The water supply at the time was from a tap in the passageway between Platforms 1 & 2.

Next, some views of diesels' boilers 'blowing off' steam locally, all taken by Jim, all from legal positions.

25 036 was on the 11:30 Bangor-Manchester Victoria, 22 November, 1979.

47 194 approaching Wig Crossing, near Aber, 28December, 1979, with the  11:30 Bangor-Manchester Victoria.

47 191 at Llandudno Junction on 13 April, 1982 with 09:42 Manchester Victoria - Bangor.

9Fs on the Bidston - Shotton

David Pool writes: 'I have a question about the Bidston Dock to Shotton iron ore trains at the end of steam workings.  Looking at some of my old slides, I was surprised to notice that the lamp positions on the front of the Class 9F 2-10-0 locomotives were not where I would have expected, in that they were offset.  The upper and lower lamps were not on the vertical centre line of the smokebox, but approximately 12 inches to the right, when viewed from the front.  The bracket normally in front of the chimney was level with the smokebox darts, and the bracket on the buffer beam was similarly about 12 inches to the right.  Do any of your contributors know the reason for this arrangement? I attach two of the slides I took in 1967 which clearly show the offset lamps.'

The upper picture shows 92157 at Bidston on 23 April 1967 ...

... and here is 92112 at Upton on 13 August 1967.

Freight views

On 24 May, 60 096 'waits for the road' at Wrexham General with the Carlisle - Chirk logs, timed to run two hours early for the week commencing 23 May (Martin Evans).

Green Lane Crossing on 25 May, with 66 115 on the Penyffordd cement works coal train (Bob Greenhalgh.)

The afternoon Valley - Crewe flasks pass Beeches Farm on 25 May, with 66 303 and 66 424 showing their different brandings.

A newcomer to this service: 60 026 at Green Lane Crossing with the Carlisle - Chirk log train, 27 May (Bob Greenhalgh).

On the Welsh Highland - with Robert Darlaston

Welsh Highland Railway Garratt loco 143 has recently been returned to service after overhaul.  The work was completed in time for the Rail Ale Festival last weekend.  I was a passenger on the WHR on 18 May when 143 was given its first outing after overhaul and so had the unexpected pleasure of encountering it on our trip on the line.   We joined the 10.45 train from Porthmadog at Beddgelert (above), hauled by Garratt 87 (the blue one).  This train passed the 10.00 from Caernarfon behind 138 (the red one) in Beddgelert station.  

Our train paused en route at Dinas for coaling by tractor.  

On arrival at Caernarfon I was surprised to see 143 in the loop, resplendent in its fresh green livery:  it had travelled down from Dinas a little earlier.   

143 was attached to our return train (the 14.15 from Caernarfon), piloting 87 as far as Waunfawr.   

Heading out of Caernarfon, with the cycle track alongside.

At Dinas it was fascinating to note that many of the staff who had presumably been working on 143 emerged to take photos of the loco on its first main line run.    The train paused in the station while axleboxes etc were checked.  

Approaching Waunfawr.

At Waunfawr (above) 143 was removed, as planned, leaving 87 to continue to Porthmadog unassisted.

At Rhyd Ddu our train passed the 14.05 from Porthmadog hauled by 138.   

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