Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

24 April 2017

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue.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

April 2017

Friday 28 April Great Western Society North West Branch. The L&Y in BR days.  Noel Coates.

May 2017

Tuesday 9 May (change of dateNorth 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.

Wednesday 10 May  Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Groupís AGM + John Ellis Williams - The Continuing Story.

Thursday 11 May   Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society   A tribute to the late David Jones, by John Myers 

Llandudno Junction, 22 April. Picture by Jim Ikin.

Specials Special

22 April saw two railtours make their way along the coast: a Branch Line Society rare-track-hunting affair, dubbed 'Y Triongl Gogledd Cymru' and a more conventional excursion, 'The Conwy Explorer' from London by UK Railtours.

Let's look first at the UK Railtours train, 1Z77 06:39 London Euston - Blaenau Ffestiniog (12:50 - 13:10) - Llandudno (arr 14:46) and 1Z78 17:15 Llandudno - London Euston (arr. 22:17). Passengers had the bookable option of leaving the train at Blaenau Ffestiniog, travelling by Ffestiniog train to Porthmadog, then by road coach to re-join the tour train at Llandudno. The train was hauled from London to Crewe by a Class 90 electric loco, where a top-and-tail pair of DB Cargo class 66s.  Above, 66 105 takes the outbound train past Hawarden Airport and the premises of Marshall Aviation Services. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.

66 105 approaches the remains of the former Holywell Junction station with its original Chester and Holyhead Railway station building (Roly High).

Arrival at Llandudno Junction (Ken Robinson).

Ready to start for the Conwy Valley (Jim Ikin).

Departure for Blaenau Ffestiniog with 66 149 leading; the Branch Line tour is in the station (Ken Robinson).

66 149 crosses Pont Gethin Viaduct over the A470 (Jim Ikin).

66 149 passes Dolwyddelan on its way to Blaenau. Vegetation growth no longer permits one to take the 'traditional' shot from a bit further on (Ken Robinson).

66 105 on the rear at Blaenau Ffestiniog (Ken Robinson). This loco took the train pack down the valley after a short visit.

66 149 on the rear, leaving Blaenau Ffestiniog (Dave Sallery).

Ffestiniog Railway Fairlie David Lloyd George arriving at Blaenau with the 11:25 from Porthmadog. Four coaches of the 13:40 return departure were reserved for railtour participants (Dave Sallery).

Roman Bridge (Jim Ikin).

The return with 66 149 leading passes Mostyn (Tim Rogers).

Chester (Eurwyn McMahon).

Y Triongl Gogledd Cymru

The Branch Line Society's tour, run in conjunction with the Brush Type 4 Fund, which is dedicated to preserving Class 47 locos, started at Carnforth and followed a complex itinerary including a visit to various rare loops and such like, including the un-numbered platform at Hooton. Above, 47 580 County of Essex leads the Branch Line Society charter through Bache station heading from Chester to Hooton. 47 270 Swift is on the tail (Bob Greenhalgh).

Promised highlights of the trip included traversing the Up and Down Goods Loops at Holywell Junction, surviving fragments of the former quadruple track sections which were a feature of the Coast line. I was reported that they had been 'specially fettled' in time for this tour and for use by engineering trains for  work in the near future which will involve their removal. A Network Rail Mobile Operations Manager was on hand on the day to keep an eye on things: He's seen in Roly High's picture acknowleging the passage of a Class 175.

In the Down Loop, which is the former Down Slow line (Roly High). The tamper opposite is in the Up Siding. Once there were four platforms here, allowing trains on the buth the outer Slow lines and the central Fast lines to call.

The turnout in these views by Roly High of 47 580 on the rear of the train was formerly the link to the branch line to Holywell Town (closed in 1954), although there was no direct link to the branch: passenger trains used a bay platform, and any trains to or from the main line had to make a double reversal, a wise precaution as the branch had one of the steepest gradients in the country. The right-hand view shows the train passing the platform; Roly writes: 'In all my years would I have thought I would ever see a passenger train at Holywell Junction station again.'

Arrival at Llandudno Junction, 7 minutes late (Ken Robinson). At Holyhead, passengers were treated to various moves including a visit to the carriage washer.

It had been planned to use the Up loop - the former Up Slow line at Holywell Junction on the return run, but in the even, the train stayed on the main line. According a a report on the always-useful wnxx forum, the Mobile Operations Manager 'did not have the right key.'

Above, approaching Bagillt on the return run (Tim Rogers).

Heading east through the gorse at Bagillt (Tim Rogers). The black headboard of the Branch Line Society and the 'Brush Type 4 Fund' one stayed on 47 270 when it was rear loco.

Freight scenes

The eastbound flask train on 17 April, with 37 259 and 37 602 and FNA wagons 550034  and 550031 (Tim Rogers).  DRS have now sold several of the 37/6 batch, but 602 remains in flask action.    

On 22 April 66 128 and 66 116  pass Shotton high level with train 6M76, 00:41 Margam to Dee Marsh steel train,  281 minutes late after 66 116 failed in the Wooferton area, south of Ludlow (Tim Rogers).   

North Wales Coast home pageArchive | Previous Notice Board