Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

22 May 2017

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Forthcoming events

Saturday 27 May: Friends of the Mersey Ferries: annual Dock and River Cruise. The ferry Royal Iris of the Mersey will depart Seacombe 12:00 noon for a 5-hour cruise to Eastham Locks and entry to Royal Seaforth docks.

27-29 May: Bala Lake Festival of Transport.

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue.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

[Details of events during the summer of 2017 are welcome for this space]

On 20 May,  Llangollen Railway BR Standard  2-6-4T 80072 was dispatched light engine from Llangollen to Corwen after the service trains in order to pick up a short Engineering train from the headshunt at Corwen East. In glorious evening sunlight, the train gave a foretaste of what to is to come once Corwen Central has been completed. Picture by Peter Dickinson.

Apologies for any quirks in this page: we are learning a new system...

Loco views

Colas Rail's 56 078 eases through the Down Platform at Rhyl on the evening of 16 May with a train from Crewe to Llandudno Junction carrying ballast for the Conwy Valley branch (Roly High).

The flask trains are going through a Class 68 phase, perhaps to keep the locos in good order. On 17 May, 68 005 Defiant and 68 020 Reliance pass Bangor with a load for Sellafield via Crewe (Rowan Crawshaw).

Out and about with Greg Mape

On 3 May, 175 103 approaches Castlefield Junction past a rather neglected part of the replica Roman Fort of Mamucium with a Llandudno - Manchester Airport service.

A view along the river Irwell on 3 May towards the three railway crossings. The 175 is on the viaduct carrying the line towards Eccles, which has been partially rebuilt on a slightly different alignment to make room for the Ordsall Chord line, whose rusty metalwork can be seen in the background. Also glimpsed is George Stephenson's 1829 bridge (now a Grade I listed structure) which carried the original Liverpool and Manchester line into Liverpool Road station. For a view of the bridge when new, see the ART UK website.

Spotted resting at Barton Airport on 7 May was this Network Rail Helicopter G-NLDR, one of two modified Eurocopter AS.355 aircraft used for Aerial Survey work.

Back on home turf: 175 001 arrives at Llandudno Junction from Llandudno on 18 May.

150 241 passes Deganwy quay.

In the evening light, 175 116 calls at Rhyl.

Severn Valley Railway outing - with Martin Evans

31 271 Stratford 1840-2001 from the Nene Valley Railway enters Highley station on the Severn Valley Railway on 16 May with the 13:36 service to Kidderminster. The loco had arrived on the Railway to take part in the following weekend's Diesel Gala.

GBRf loco 66 771 stabled at Kidderminster to take part in the Gala.

Also stabled at Kidderminster to take part in the Gala were 73 107 (above) and rebuilt sister loco 73 965.

Scotsman in action - pictures by Phil Clarke

A few photos of Flying Scotsman, passing through Cheshire. First through Hartford ...

... then after a two-day stay and a great bonus for Crewe Heritage Centre ...

 ...  leaving Crewe for Shrewsbury in a cloud of steam.

Richard Putley's Irish Journey - day 2

The tour departed from Limerick (above) with 2-6-4T No. 4 running bunker first. Just before we left an Irish Rail DMU, 2806, departed from the adjacent platform with a service for Ennis, Athenry and Galway.

Itís a long way to Tipperary! But itís worth it if you like semaphore signals as this is one of the very few places left in Ireland where you can still find them. It's got a gated level crossing too! A real gem. We had just enough time to walk out of the station and up onto the footbridge to take pictures.

Our first water stop was at Clonmel. This station also still has semaphores and thereís also a couple of level crossings between here and Tipperary that are still gated and worked by a crossing keeper with semaphore signals. The footbridge at Clonmel, like Tipperary, is on old style one. Most of these at other stations have been replaced by new footbridges with lifts like the one at Athenry. A road overbridge at the west end of Clonmel station is also a good vantage point to photograph from.

Bizarrely, so too does Carrick-on-Suir where we had another photo stop. But the passing loop has been removed so itís hard to see why theyíve retained the box. But nevertheless the fireman surrendered the token for the section from Clonmel and received the next one. The Irish Traction Group (ITG) used to store their locos here. Most are now based on the Downpatrick Railway in Co. Down. But a couple are still parked here, quite literally boxed up by the Goods Shed!

Continuing on to Waterford, as this station now has only one platform that passenger trains can use we had to wait for the 12:45 to Dublin to depart. Passing Waterford West Signal Box I was heartened to see that a number of semaphores survive here too. 20 years ago an Irish railwaymen I had befriended as a result of travelling on some ITG tours took my brother Adrian and I for our own personal tour of the Waterford Signalboxes. The other Ďbox, Central which spans the tracks at the station still stands but is now disused. There is only one track through the station, which
continues on to Rosslare. This line is no longer in regular use but apparently Irish Rail still maintain it and theyíve just sent a weed killing train over it! Indeed we saw the train stabled, its consist
including an ex British Rail Mk1 carriage.

We were told to alight as quickly as possible at Waterford as our train would need to vacate the platform to enable The Grand Hibernian to arrive. This is a luxury charter train formed of converted Irish Rail Mk3 carriages and is operated by Belmond who operate the Northern Belle.

Like that train, it has a dedicated loco, in this case an Irish Rail 201 class diesel loco painted blue to match the carriages. But apparently this had failed so they substituted one of the older 071 class, 081 to haul it.

Once The Hibernianís passengers had de-trained, sister loco 088 coupled on to the other end and took the stock to the sidings.

Our next water stop was at Kilkenny. This station is now a terminus with a junction in the station throat where lines from Dublin and Waterford converge. In the 1990s and avoiding line was built to enable freight trains to run straight through without having to reverse, But there is no longer a
run round loop here so another 071 class diesel, 086, hauled the stock out and then No. 4 run into the siding to be watered. Meanwhile two scheduled trains arrived in the two platforms. 22332 (left) was on the Waterford bound service while 22313 (right) was on the Dublin Heuston bound service. Back in 1997 when I travelled to Waterford from Dublin all these trains were formed of Irish Rail Mk3 coaches hauled by the then new class 201 diesel locos.

During our stop at Kilkenny, No. 4 was turned so she could continue chimney first to Dublin. Our next water stop was at Athy (above) where the good weather meant that many people turned out to see us. A spirited run then ensued back to Dublin Connolly so ending a very enjoyable day!

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