NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
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26 September 2016
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Friday 30 September Great Western Society North West Branch. Steam in Black and White. Peter Spilsbury.
Sunday 2 October Wirral Traim and Bus Show, Birkenhead.
Tuesday 4 October North Wales Railway Circle Slate Railways of North Wales. David Gwyn, industrial archaeologist, author of The Slate and other publications and fireman on The Bala Lake Railway returns to The Vic by popular demand with a further offering "New research on the slate railways of North Wales 1796-1848"
Wednesday 5 October RCTS Liverpool Stephen Gay - Railways in a Cornish Landscape. Stephen is from Sheffield and a celebrated photographer. He returns to the Branch to give one of his presentations based on his walking tours covering the past and present railway scene.
Friday 7 October Clwyd Railway Circle Ron’s Wanderings for Main Line Steam. A collection of film clips covering main line steam and preserved lines by Ron Watson-Jones
Thursday 13 October Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society 6 G - Fifty years by the Committee
Monday 17 October RCTS Chester John Sloane: Sheds Part 2. John, from Parbold, is a member of the Lancs & North West Branch and is also the LCGB North West Branch Chairman. His nostalgic shed shots are accompanied by an insight into how each shed operated.
Friday 28 October Great Western Society North West Branch. Railway Personnel. Paul Shackcloth.
Tuesday 1 November North Wales Railway Circle North Wales Steam Days and Early Diesels.
Prolific local railway photographer Barry Wynne presents a selection of photographs from his vast archive that he took in steam days in North Wales and also covers first generation diesels
Friday 4 November Clwyd Railway Circle Development of German Electric Locomotives. An illustrated description of the principal designs from the Siemens Demonstrator of 1879 to the latest members of the Eurosprinter & TRAXX families, covering their inception, technical features and service history by Ian Mainprize
Thursday 10 November Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM and Members Miscellany
Monday 21 November RCTS Chester Revd. Canon Brian Arman: Railway Roundabout. Brian, the Society’s President, is from Bristol and another man of the cloth who is a railway enthusiast. His presentation starts and finishes in Gloucester via Bristol, Bournemouth, London and Birmingham.
Friday 25 November Great Western Society North West Branch. GW Steam in S. Wales and S West. Alf Storey
Friday 2 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members' Night & Christmas Celebration
Tuesday 6 December North Wales Railway Circle Christmas Bash. A free buffet is provided this evening and members are invited to bring their own slides/digital pictures and videos to entertain
Thursday 8 December Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society Christmas Social / An evening with Norman Kneale
Wednesday 7 December RCTS Liverpool Paul Wright: The 8D Association. Paul is Editor of the Association’s Journal.
Monday 19 December RCTS Chester John Hobbs: North Wales in Black & White.John lives in Warrington and is well known for his presentations covering the final years of steam in North Wales and around the north west. He is a member of the Branch and is actively involved in railway preservation.
Tuesday 3 January North Wales Railway Circle Secretary’s Evening. North Wales Railway Circle Secretary, Peter Hanahoe, presents a selection of his vast catalogue of photographs he has taken on the international railway scene.
Friday 6 January Clwyd Railway Circle The Ffestiniog Railway. A short history featuring FR steam locomotives and a trip up the line using photographs from the 60's onwards. By Geoff Coward
Thursday 12 January Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society My favourite memories of preserved steam on the Coast by Ron Watson Jones
Monday 16 January RCTS Chester AGM - Followed by John Feild with a slide presentation Non-members are welcome after 20.15 hours for John’s presentation which will
cover our Branch’s 2016 outdoor visits and other topical items. He is a long standing RCTS member and now President of the Branch.
Friday 27 January Great Western Society North West Branch. North of Preston Barrie Rushton
Wednesday 1 February RCTS Liverpool Mark Youdan. North West Railway Photography, 1995-2015. Mark, a Branch member, is a Driver/Trainer for Arriva Rail North and held the same position with Northern Trains.
Friday 3 February Clwyd Railway Circle BR Steam - The Splendid Years (1959-65 in B&W) Steam around the regions in the early 60’s by John Sloane.
Tuesday 7 February North Wales Railway Circle Birkenhead to The Coast. North Wales Railway Circle life member Ken Owen entertains us with a selection of pictures starting in Birkenhead, visiting his home town of Wrexham and travelling via his present home Redhill to Eastbourne and Margate on the South Coast.
Thursday 9 February Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society Snowdon Mountain Railway, by Mike Robertshaw
Monday 20 February RCTS Chester Fred Kirk: Leicester Area Steam Days. Fred, from Leicester, spent a lot of his time bicycling around with his camera at the ready to various locations on all the main lines within reasonable reach of his home.
Friday 24 February Great Western Society North West Branch. Group AGM
Friday 3 March Clwyd Railway Circle Amlwch Branch Line and Annual General Meeting Chairman of the Lein Amlwch - Central Anglesey Railway Company, Walter Glyn Davies will give a presentation on the progress of the lines revival. The talk will be followed by the Annual General Meeting.
Tuesday 7 March North Wales Railway Circle The Abergele Accident. Tony Griffiths gives a talk on the accident that occurred on 20th August 1868 at Abergele involving the Irish Mail and a part of a goods train that was being shunted.
Thursday 9 March Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society ... And we run trains too! Clare Britton (Ffestiniog Railway)
Monday 20 March RCTS Chester Paul Chancellor. A Colour-Rail Presentation. Paul, from Bromsgrove, is owner of Colour-Rail and will highlight the work of many fine railway photographers covering the better part of 70 years. He is also the RO Editor for the ‘Preservation and Other Railways’ section.
Friday 31 March Great Western Society North West Branch. (To be announced)
Tuesday 4 April North Wales Railway Circle Bangor to Hong Kong by Rail. Adam Fetherstonhaugh gives an account of his epic journey by rail from Bangor to Hong Kong via Beijing and then on to Vietnam and Cambodia.
Wednesday 5 April RCTS Liverpool David Rapson. Railways - The Digital Effect David, who lives in Connah's Quay, has worked on the railways for many years spending a lot of his life in Control positions and now works for West Coast Railway Company. He is also a Branch member and for those who read Rail Express will be aware of his contributions.
Friday 7 April Clwyd Railway Circle Railways of North Cheshire in Early BR Days Being a Manchester lad, Russell Hatt was able to capture the busy scenes around his home area.
Thursday 13 April Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society An evening with Barry & Steve - BarryWynne and Steve Morris
Monday 24 April RCTS Chester George Jones : Onwards to Corwen.George lives in Wrexham and for many years has been an important publicist for the Llangollen Railway and certain of its locomotives. He will cover the railway’s reinvigoration of the line to Corwen and look at its future prospects.
Friday 28 April Great Western Society North West Branch. (To be announced)
Tuesday 2 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition. The Annual General Meeting of The North Wales Railway Circle will be followed by the annual photographic competition. Members are invited to submit their work in three categories, prints, slides and video. Video to be kept reasonably short, approx. 5 mins. In line with Circle rules all work should have been taken in the last 12 months.
Thursday 11 May Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society A tribute to the late David Jones, by John Myers
One of the locos that inspired this website back in the 1990s: 37 408 Loch Rannoch photographed (on film) after alighting from the train achieving the 'Llandudno Junction footbridge sprint'. Picture by Charlie Hulme.
20th Anniversary special
2016 marks the 20th anniversary of this website, so we thought we'd dig out of the digital attic Notice Boards from 1996 and 2006. Back in 1996, with far fewer people having email or web access, the Notive Board was a single page, updated as required, so the October 1996 version has items going back to June. The style and layout were different then; we have converted it to fit today's layout; the photographs are small - the best that could be done with the pioneering Casio QV-10 digital camera (pictured left) which made it possible to upload topical pictures without having to take an entire film of 24 frames and rush it to a 1-hour processing shop. Some time later, this camera failed after I dropped it on to the platform at Llandudno Junction; our present camera is of the sixth generation.
Back to normal next week - with a mostly narrow-gauge collection, it seems. We hope you enjoy this look back.- Charlie
NOTICE BOARD, 1996
October Loco Situation
Reliability of the coast locos seems to have improved of late. On Friday 11th October only 425 and 418 were out of action. 425 has now moved from Crewe works to Crewe Diesel. Wigan based 426 was working the coast but otherwise all diagrams were covered by the dedicated locos. The Mostyn tanks on the same day were worked by ghost grey 37 885.
From Simon Jowett, October 13th
Privatisation Soon?The time is coming when North West Regional Railways operations will be handed over to a private company - for those not familiar with British ideas, this company will run the trains and employ staff, but will not own any trains or track. The Franchise Director is keeping very quiet, but rumour has it that the present management have put in a bid, and also the National Express road coach company, which already runs the Midland Main Line from London to Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield. It is not known whether the franchisee will be required to obtain some new trains - let's hope not!
Performance QuestionRodK writes: "Saturday September 28th 1996,37 429 working the 16.04 Prestatyn - Chester left Prestatyn at 16.05.11 arriving Chester at 16.28.05. Is this performance of merit or just typical?" - Answers welcome!
A Testing TimeThe Coast line is regularly used for test running of locos overhauled at Crewe works. Normally, a second loco is attached to the train in case of problems, but Simon Jowett reports that on 19 September 37 668 was sent out alone with the test train and failed before reaching Chester, no doubt delaying various passenger trains.
The Day We Went to ... Holyhead
My last day off work for the summer saw freight loco 37 087 of Wigan turned out for the 09.18 Crewe - Bangor (see loco shortages, below.) This certainly attracted the attention of the Railfan fraternity (picture 1) but luckily the weather was not cold as these 37/0 locos have no train heating power. Picture 2 shows the guest loco waiting to return on the 11.22 Bangor-Crewe, showing its obsolete Civil Engineer's "Dutch" colours and the fact that the BR double arrow is being removed from EW&S (Wisconsin Central) locos by order of BR ... problem is, you can still see the outline!
Others locos on duty were 37 414, 37 422, 37 429 and 37 402: freight trains glimpsed all day - one. Later in the day, with locos still short, 37 429 on the 1353 Holyhead-Crewe had to run into platform 12 at Crewe to run round, giving it chance to pose with Channel Tunnel loco 92 018, which was about to be hauled north with a test train. (picture 3)
New Timetable PublishedRailtrack has published the Winter 1996-97 Great Britain Passenger Railway Timetable which runs to an unbelievable 2118 pages! By comparison, the 1981 issue, which lasted a whole year, had just 1264 pages: larger pages, but with much less text on each page. The problem is the need to publish two or even three different Sunday tables in many cases, and the repetition. Table 102, for example, includes a repeat of much of table 81.
Class 37 haulage happily is still a main feature of table 81, the Monday-Friday service being almost unchanged. Less locomotive- hauled diagrams exist on Saturdays, however, and very few on Sundays. I have transcribed details at the followng links, although I feel there are some errors, especially on Sundays - I will endeavour to obtain the supplement when it appears.
From Simon Jowett, Monday 16 September:I saw the acetic acid tanks today behind 37 710. Contrary to the report in RAIL the Mostyn to Hull Saltend runs MWFO. For a short time at the start of the year the train ran TThO, but has run MWFO the rest of the time. I know this because I used to be able to see the Hull line from where I worked.
Loco's currently out of service from the North Wales pool are 37408/421/425. Former Wigan loco 37416 has now been released from Doncaster and been reallocated to Cardiff to cover for 427 which is currently under repair.
Shock news from Martin Plumb:On Saturday 14/09/96, the Stockport to Holyhead train (1D37) and its return working (1H44) were worked by a 3+2 'Heritage' DMU 54091, 51175, 53269, 59303, 51177.
Class 37s seen working along the coast during the same day were 402, 414, 417, 418, 420, 422 and 429.
Report from Simon Jowett, Friday 13 September 20.44:37201 has been out on the coast today and as I type it is on the Birmingham. 37505 has also worked but failed.
Six images from the afternoon of Thursday 12 September, taken in Chester: the first two show the point where the railway passes through the City walls alongside Telford's staircase canal locks and warehouse.
Sadly the service on the coast line is too-often marred by locomotive unreliability; in my view more attention to maintenance is needed. I became involved in a typical incident on 31 August, when the 10.23 from Bangor to Crewe, hauled by 37 417 Highland Region was rescued by freight loco 37 708 of Immingham depot, which had arrived in the area with the petroleum coke train to Holyhead. The picture shows the cavalcade arriving in platform 11 at Crewe, very late and crowded. Thanks to Simon Jowett for help with this item.
Many thanks to RAIL magazine for printing an item about this site, which has brought in dozens of extra users, and some very nice emails: thanks to all who have written, and remember you are welcome to send in any relevant news items.
Mining, the company which bought most of Britain's last few collieries,
has announced the forthcoming closure of Point of Ayr Colliery, which
sends out a daily train of power station coal over the eastern part of
the coast line. More traditional livelihoods lost, unless a proposed
workers' buyout can succeed.
We should mention Traction magazine, which now features a monthtly column called 'Along the Coast.' The August issue explains some of the complexity of the InterCity workings: it seems that on Monday - Thursday nights, train 1D89 20.05 London - Holyhead (22.45 from Chester) is worked by a class 47 loco and coaches, which then return empty. An HST set arrives empty from Manchester to work the night train to London!
Riding the Mancunian
On Saturdays only, the daily Irish Mancunian, the 09.56 from Stockport via Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead is locomotive-worked; as I live near Stockport, I decided on 3 August to sample this exotic working over the 10 km from Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly, for which 19 minutes are allowed by the timetable! I was curious to see how such a slow timing could be adhered to, but much slow running and many signal stops ensured an on-time arrival.
The departure displays at Stockport said that it would leave from platform 4, which is very awkward to photograph, unlike platform 3 which is in clear view from southbound platform 2 on the other side of the tracks. I decided not to bother with a photo ... until at 09.52 it was announced as a 'platform alteration' to platform 3! By this time 37 429 and its empty train was arriving (from Chester or Crewe?) so I had to move very fast under the subway, take my picture and get back again, trying to avoid annoying any 'real' passengers.
Anyway, everyone boarded the train, complete with its chocolate and cream first coach, and we departed on time, only to meet a lady who was walking down the train putting reservation labels on the seats and asking some unfortunates to move!
A unique feature of this train, in view of the shortage of diesel-loco hauled trains in Britain as a whole, is that while running on the slow line from Stockport to Manchester, it is joined on the adjacent fast track by the 08.34 Cross Country Trains Class 47-hauled service from Birmingham to Manchester, which leaves Stockport at 10.03, and the two roll simultaneously into Piccadilly at 10.15. An unusual photo-opportunity (Saturdays only, remember) but MIND YOUR HEAD!
Another smart move across the footbridge at Piccadilly got me aboard the 10.17 Manchester - Penzance, hauled by a class 86 electric, for the ride back to Stockport. Overhearing a nearby conversation, I was not the only one making the trip that morning, either ... as I have never been the only passenger to photograph the class 37 after arrival at Crewe.
to those who have created links into the North Wales Coast
Railway page, including the folks at Mercurio, the
European Rail Server, and in the USA the amazingly
Yard of Chris Coleman.
Mr Goundry Speaks
The July 1996 issue of Modern Railways magazine carries a letter from Robert Goundry, managing director of North West Regional Railways, referring to an earlier writer's suggestion that there are many Mk 2d and 2e coaches, similar to the ones currently used on the coast line but with air conditioning, currently lying unwanted in storage.
Mr Goundry tantalizingly states: "There are other, better options which we are pursuing vigorously; although there are a number of hurdles to cross, I do not intend to fall back on Mr Sallery's preferred solution (Mk 2ds and 2es) until the better options have proved impossible.
"North West Regional Railways is committed to providing the best possible service in North Wales. We know there is plenty of room for improvement, and are grateful that our customers are showing support for our efforts in increasing numbers."
What can these better options be, we wonder? Mk 3 coaches and Class 158 railcars are the only other air-conditioned coaches in Britain, and these are in short supply, unless some of the disused Mk 3 sleeping cars could be rebuilt as seating coaches...
The sunny weather on Sunday 21st July took us off to Colwyn Bay, making use of the 11.30 West Coast express from Manchester to London which calls at Crewe (nearly all London trains run via Macclesfield) in time to catch the 12.21 Crewe - Holyhead. We returned to Crewe on the afternoon 'Intercity 125.'
A difference between Sunday operations and the Weekday service: on Weekdays trains use terminal platform 9 at Crewe, a replacement locomotive backing on to the train for the outward working; on Sundays, double-ended platform 12 is used, allowing the loco to run round the train. Also noted: one of the trains, complete with locomotive, spends its spare time during the day in the sidings opposite the platform at Chester, well-located for photographers.
We travelled in Riviera Trains' coach 4963; it seems there is one 'exotic' coach in each train. A very comfortable coach, too, with good old soft seats and real cloth anti-macassars instead of the NWRR paper type!
Five Mk 1 second-class coaches are being hired from 'private' owners (i.e. small companies, rather than Eversholt Leasing which owns all the normal stock) this summer for use on the coast line: no. 4912 from West Coast Railways of Carnforth, painted in maroon, and 4963, 5025/9/30 from Riviera Trains of Cranmore, painted in Chocolate Brown and Cream. Reports and photos please!
NOTICE BOARD, 28 September 2006[One of seven pages required to chronicle that busy month. Larger pictures are now easily made to fit the common screen resolutions of the time.]
The latest tram to be returned to service on the Birkenhead Tramway, No.730 is a single deck former Lisbon car now unusual as the only such vehicle operating on a standard gauge truck in lieu of its 900mm gauge original. See 'events' below for details of the special event on this line on Sunday 1 October (George Jones)
What the papers say
Here's a slightly bizarre item orogonating from the Western Mail sent to us by David McClumpha:
Super fast trains could bypass Wales
Yes, this project does exist - see www.500kmh.com - but we'd suggest the chances of it being built anywhere in the UK are remote in the extreme, so it's hard to imagine why the Assembly should bother engaging in any dialogue... espcially since recet events with the German 'maglev' system.
And here's an all-too-predictable story forwarded by Dave Sallery:
One begins to understand why rail freight cannot compete. - 28 August
Around and about - with Mark Riley
The first four views were taken when I went to photograph the Valley - Crewe flask train at Mold Junction on 21 September. Above, 175 006 with the 12:47 Llandudno-Manchester Piccadilly heads towards Chester on ths warm, sunny and windy day.
Less than 15 minutes later, the Crewe - Valley Flask train passed through with 20 312 leading 37 218. Is it possible that with the forthcoming Rail Head Treatment Train programme about to start, we will see more DRS 47s on the flasks, as Class 20s and 37s will be released for RHTT duties?
Whilst I was waiting for the flasks, the 'Beluga' was on its final approach to Hawarden Airport. I almost missed the flasks as I was watching it descending! This picture was taken a few minutes after the flasks passed, so I was unlucky not to get a Train and Plane picture ... so, here's the Beluga landing on its own!
Looking east from Beeches railway bridge, 175 107 leads the 13.16 Manchester Piccadilly-Holyhead past the perimeter of Hawarden Airport. More close calls getting a train + plane picture - just a matter of time-and luck.
Now some pictures from 22 September when I went to Crewe to see Virgin's record-breaking charity train pass through. While I was waiting, 57 313 Tracy Island paused at platform 3 before returning south, presumably on rescue duties.
Yellow 'bubble car' 977968 (ex-55029) also stopped briefly at Crewe. Not sure which route it was on. (This was used as a camera unit by Carillion Rail, but the end cameras appear to have been removed.)
This is the Pendolino special, 390 047, approximately 2 minutes ahead of schedule. Unfortunately its a poor shot [don't agree - Ed.], as the light was awful and it poured with rain at the wrong moment. I took it from the north end of platform 4 where I thought the light was best. It's been renamed Heaven's Angels after Virgin Trains adopted charity for 2006, involving supplying specially adapted motorbikes to deliver healthcare in remote parts of Africa. See also the story further down this page) - 28 September
60 in the sun - report by Corrie
Saturday 16 September was a fine morning for photographs - here 60 099 stands at Holyhead.
Departure from Holyhead alongside the A55 road.
Arrival at the aluminium works. - 28 September
Former First North Western 153 367 (which was in FNW blue) is now in Arriva livery, late on 26 September at Chester. It is painted differently to the other Arriva-liveried unit 153 353, with numbers and bike decals in different places. (Dave Bramley)
A couple of class 20s, 20 305 & 20 301 were going to work to Machynlleth on 14 September, on a route-learner for the forthcoming 'water cannon' trains, but due to some problem were sent to Bidston instead, as seen here in Warren Desmond's picture. - 28 September
The Virgin record-breaker - report and pictures by Tony Miles
Euston station, 22 September, and here's the the driver of 390 047 Heaven's Angels, Russell Southworth - who drove the whole 3h 55m 27secs from Glasgow to London despite the offer of a swap with the relief driver who was with him. To maintain the level of concentration needed for the non-stop run must have been incredibly tiring, and he was mobbed by passengers afterwards.
Here's Russell with Nick Pigott, editor of Railway Magazine, and the cheque showing the final amount raised. It' s worth noting that not only did everyone (including the press) pay for their seats but all the Virgin managers on board, right up to the Managing Director, had paid for their seats and the catering staff on board all worked for free for the day, using a rest day for the trip. Many of them were actually managers taking a day to remember what it's like working on the "shop floor" as it were!
There was never a plan to change the livery of the train - why waste money when the point was to raise awareness and money for the charity not spend thousands on a paint job. I gather this was a 'spoiler' by someone who has a particular anti-Virgin axe to grind. I thought it was an excellent showcase for the railway working together, Network Rail pulled out all the stops, other train companies agreed to let a few trains be moved out of the way to give the train a clear path, and many of the passengers were railway staff from other companies taking a day off to enjoy the fun. - 27 September
Award for Dolwyddelan >
Dolwyddelan Station has been named the UK’s Most Enhanced Community Station by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP). The award, presented at a a ceremony held at the 'Locomotion' National Railway Museum, Shildon, County Durham on 22 September recognises the work of two local groups to improve the station environment for local rail users. The station has been ‘adopted’ by Dolwyddelan Yn Ei Blodau and young people from Cylch Yr Ifanc, under the Arriva Trains Wales ‘Adopt a Station’ scheme. Supported by community rail officer Larry Davies, volunteers have transformed the station garden with a range of plants and flowers and created a picnic spot for local people and visitors in the station’s former goods yard.
In winning the award the groups fought off competition from Burscough Bridge and Parbold stations in West Lancashire. The judges commended the way that local people, young and old, had pulled together to create a welcoming gateway to the station and the beautiful Conwy Valley Line.
Retired couple David and Olwen Williams from Dolwyddelan collected the award on behalf of the station adoption teams, alongside Arriva station manager Gerald Jones. Speaking at the awards David said: 'It’s absolutely wonderful to receive a UK award for the work that local people have put in to improve Dolwyddelan Station.
'For us there’s no better prize than seeing the station gardens appreciated and the picnic area in use. We often return to the station to find the picnic benches moved around so that families and large groups can sit together and share a meal. It always brings a smile to our faces to think that the station garden has been enjoyed in this way.'
Here's the station itself, as photographed by Larry Davies earlier this summer. At one time this was an island platform situated in a passing loop, with access by steps from the road bridge behind the camera. The current level entrance makes use of the old goods yard area. - 27 September
With special thanks to all readers and contributors, especially those who have stayed with us since 1996.
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