Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

26 June 2017

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

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

July 2017

1-2 July Llangollen Railway Classic Transport weekend

1-2 July Talyllyn Railway Llechfan Garden Railway weekend and Beer Festival

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

August 2017

25-28 August Bala Lake Railway Steam Gala

September 2017

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

October 2017

6-8 October Ffestiniog Railway Victorian Weekend

13-15 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam Gala

November 2017

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 Tim Rogers.

Freight scenes

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 Pilkington).

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 Morrison).

The view from Shrewsbury Castle as 67 006 departs from platform 4 with the 16:15 return to Kettering (Chris Morrison).

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 Rail.

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 Betton Grange.

The boiler of 1938-built 2-8-0 2885 which moved from Birmingham Moor Street station in 2013 after eight years on display.

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 members.

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 examination.

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 an example).

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 the UK.

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 year.

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!

Editor's note:

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 Wales.

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