26 June 2017
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
[Details of events during the summer of 2017 are welcome for
1-2 July Llangollen
Railway Classic Transport weekend
1-2 July Talyllyn
Railway Llechfan Garden Railway weekend and Beer
22-23 July Llangollen
Railway 1960s weekend
22-24 July Penrhyn
Quarry Railway Celebration of five years of running
Sunday 23 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company North Wales Coast Express Liverpool - Holyhead
Tuesday 25 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company The Welsh Mountaineer
Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog
25-28 August Bala Lake
Railway Steam Gala
1-3 September Welshpool
and Llanfair Railway Gala Weekend
15-17 September Welsh
Highland Railway Super Power Weekend
16-17 September Penrhyn Quarry
Railway Special event
Saturday 23 September Welshpool and
Llanfair Railway Diesel day
23-24 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel Weekend
6-8 October Ffestiniog
Railway Victorian Weekend
13-15 October Llangollen
Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Saturday 18 November Steam on the Coast Steam
Dreams Cathedrals Express London Euston - Llandudno
for the Christmas Market. 46233 Duchess of
Sutherland: Crewe - Llandudno and return
158 835 crosses Barmouth Bridge, 18 June. Picture by
68 028 and 68 004 Rapid passes Bangor
with the 6K41 Valley to Crewe flasks on 21 June 2017.
60 026 heads 6J37 Carlisle - Chirk logs over Lunds
Viaduct, Settle-Carlisle Line on Monday 19 June (Ian
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland - report by Martin Evans
On 22 June I travelled on the Welsh Highland Railway from
Waunfawr to Porthmadog and return Above, Double Fairlie loco
Merddin Emrys prepares to depart Porthmadog with the
13:35 service to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Beyer-Peacock loco 143 runs around at Porthmadog
before departing with the 14:10 service to Caernarfon.
Garratt 87 steams into Beddgelert with the 10:00
service from Porthmadog.
Rhyl on 23 June - pictures by Roly High
A new barrier has been placed around the ground signal in
Rhyl's Engineers sidings.
Nearby, the foundations have been put in to take the new
signalling system. These, together with the black metal
stanchions are being installed up and down the line.
A slight problem with this foundation is the location: the
yellow lines appear to mark the proper site.
Word on the grapevine about the damaged pointwork
is,although the track is to be re-modelled
shortly,the damaged points are to be replaced, but they are
to be re-located the other side of the bridge to the east of
the signalbox. Can anyone confirm?
175 114 passes Milepost 209 from London and arrives at Rhyl
with the 10:36 Manchester Airport to Llandudno Junction.
Colas Rail tamper DR 73911 passes through Rhyl en
route to Llandudno Junction from Rugby.
The Lighting Express (?)
'The Lighting Express' of 24 June was a private charter from
Kettering to Shrewsbury via Oakham, East Midlands Parkway,
Sheet Stores, Uttoxeter, Crewe, Middlewich and Chester and
returning via Wolverhampton, Walsall, Nuneaton and Market
Harborough. DB Cargo provided Royal loco 67 006 Royal
Sovereign as traction. Peter Neve photographed the
outward train at Rossett.
Gobowen (Chris Morrison). The consist was 6 Riviera
Trains Mk2 First Opens, a Brake Second Open and a Mk1
restaurant car, all in BR blue/grey.
The train reversed to Coton Hill sidings for watering (Chris
The view from Shrewsbury Castle as 67 006 departs from
platform 4 with the 16:15 return to Kettering (Chris
The Liverpool Docker - report by George Jones
The 'Liverpool Docker' railtour organised by UK Railtours
took the first passenger train to the Liverpool Bulk
terminal. As there were other things going on at Liverpool
Pier Head, I left it late to go to Liverpool South Parkway
to see it pass. Much to my surprise, it seems to have got
away from there on time and made the Edge Hill Wapping
Cutting and carriage sidings as planned around 16:00.
Train 1Z76, the return excursion, came through Liverpool
South Parkway on time at 16:30 working on the Slow lines for
the 'rare track' experience and was photographed passing
platform 3 with 66 177 leading ...
...and 66 100 on the rear of the formation.
The opportunity was taken to poke the camera at Allerton
depot and record three Class 319s in assorted colours: new
Northern, plain white awaiting branding, and old Northern
Barmouth Holiday - pictures by Tim Rogers
A small selection from a large portfolio of pictures taken
by Tim Rogers in the Barmouth area, one of the most
photogenic locations in Britain. Above, 158 834
makes its way across the viaduct on 18 June.
158 824 approaching Morfa Mawddach station. Happily,
threats to close the path across the bridge came to nothing.
Barmouth station, with 158 837. More in the next update!
Tyseley Open Day - report by Jim Ikin
A day out at the Vintage Trains Tyseley depot Open Day
provided photo opportunities. Above: 1939-built 5080
Defiant originally built as Ogmore Castle.
7029 Clun Castle gets pushed onto the
turntable by Cowan Sheldon steam crane WR139.The Castle,
built in 1950, hauled the last official steam service out of
Paddington in June 1965.
Above left: North Wales Coast favourite 5043 Earl
of Mount Edgcumbe entering the turntable. Right: 4965
Rood Ashton Hall ex-Albert hall
5043 on the table.
What a line up! 7029, 5043, 5080, 4965 and new-build 6853
The boiler of 1938-built 2-8-0 2885 which moved from
Birmingham Moor Street station in 2013 after eight years on
Pannier tank 7760 of 1931 in the works
1934-built Jubilee 5593 Kolhapur awaits overhaul.
Pannier tank 9600 of 1945 giving rides.
46233 Duchess of Sutherland leads an
explosive cavalcade with 4965 and 5043.
An update on the progress of 45596 Bahamas was given
by Steve Allsop and John Hillier to a number of Society
Bahamas’s boiler (in the background is the boiler of Duke of
Gloucester). The white background paint on welded areas
enables potential cracks to be seen during magnetic particle
The firebox end of 5596's boiler, and its distinctive double
chimney which has to be half an inch less in height that
before because of the thickness of new tyres.
On display in the car park on a low loader was Hunslet No 85
of 1954, built for the Sierra Leone Railway. After closure
of the SLR the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway bought the
engine and four coaches and ran it until 2010. Funding is
now required for a new boiler and overhaul.
A Most Unusual working for a 47 - by Richard Boyd
Readers might be interested in seeing a few photos which
have a very tenuous connection with North Wales in that the
loco, 47 375, certainly worked down the Coast at some point
in its long career (Here's
On 27 May, Continental
Railway Solution Ltd ran a circular excursion using 47
375 from and to Budapest Nyugati via Dunaujvaros, Retszilas,
Szekesfehervar, Komárom and Dorog. The loco was exported to
Hungary in October 2015 but it took quite some time
thereafter before permission was granted for it to operate
on the Hungarian rail network. Consequently the tour on 27
May was its first public outing. All I can say is that it
was worth the wait. The photos show the train at Budapest
Nyugati station (above) prior to its 08:50 departure...
... following its return and flanked by a Hungarian
electric loco ...
... , and at Komárom during one the many photo stops. The
latter is just across the Danube from Slovakia so 47375
would have been visible from there as well, almost making it
two new countries for Class 47s in one day. As you can see,
the weather was fantastic all day and at Kisbér the tour was
greeted by the deputy mayor handing out free alcoholic shots
and Hungarian white wine. All in all, a fantastic day out
that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, when Hungary
was part of a military alliance pointing nuclear weapons at
37s in the North - report by Stephen Hughes
I recently took advantage of a Scottish Railway Preservation
Society tour from Edinburgh to Thurso and Wick, thus
fulfilling a long-held ambition to travel on the Far North
line. Although my preference would have been for steam
haulage, the prospect of that was diminishing, the last time
was, I think, the northbound leg of the 'Great Britain' last
The next best option was the SRPS 'The Far North Explorer',
starting from Edinburgh Waverley (above) at 21:49 on Friday
2 June, hauled by a pair of Class 37s, 37 025
and 37 421. The former, named Inverness TMD
was purchased in 2000 by the Scottish Class 37 Group, and
currently used by Colas Rail, whilst the latter is in the
ownership of Colas, having been bought from preservation and
the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 24 hours on the train. (Above: a
pause at Helmsdale). It was well run, the SRPS coaching set
is in excellent condition and there was enough allowance in
the timings to ensure that we returned on time, despite the
late running of a number of Scotrail DMUs. Even better, the
SRPS arranged a couple of coaches for those interested
passengers who wished to view Dunnet Head and John o'Groats.
(Hint to RTC - a trip to South Stack might be a better idea
than having to spend 4 hours in Holyhead).
Above: 37025 at Perth, around 22:30 on the Saturday. I
alighted here to catch the last train to Glasgow and my
hotel, thankfully we were on time. The trip was made even
more interesting for me in that I had travelled to Penzance
the previous Monday behind 'Tornado' on 'The Cornishman'. I
had never been west of Exeter before, in fact the only time
I had journeyed to Exeter by train was with my father on the
'Atlantic Coast Express' in 1963!
Stephen adds: " I don't profess to have any great knowledge
of Class 37s, but I believe that both worked on the North
Wales Coast for a period, and knowing how you like to drag
out some old photographs... "
Well 37 421 certainly did work on the Coast, it spend some
years in the regular passenger fleet from 1993, named The
Kingsman for the local Territorial Army
Regiment. The picture above, from the Manchester Locomotive
Society archives. was taken at Chester in 1996
by Peter Hutchinson.
The only picture we can find in our own personal archive is
this odd one of 37 421 on the rear of a steam-hauled
excursion at Edale in the Hope Valley.
37 025 was never a regular sight in North Wales, but a look
at the essential Class
37 data site reveals that it made two passenger trips
to Holyhead on 12-13 September 1995 (picture),
and at lease one ballast train from Penmaenmawr while
allocated to Bescot depot the following year. No doubt its
Colas duties for Network Rail will bring frequently to North
Coast home page | Archive