NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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18 September 2017
Welsh Highland NG/G16 No 138 prepares to shunt ex-South African Railways wagons out of the sidings at Porthmadog Harbour Station - taken from the Control Office window by staff member Michael Baker, Sunday 17 September.
Alan Crawshaw travelled from Bangor to Carfiff by the Premier service on 12 September, and took this picture of 67 016 on arrival. Alan writes: 'We returned Wednesday evening 13 Seprember but were disappointed to see a 175 turn up, the DVT having reportedly 'failed' on the loco-hauled set'.
Llangollen station on 10 September, with 2-6-2T 5199 after working the first train of the day. Picture by Roger Carvell.
Roger writes: 'Despite changeable weather a healthy number of passengers got off and everyone seemed pleased. As is customary the engine crew took to the station buffet to top up their own tanks. But is there modernisation on the footplate? Is the traditional billy can about to be overtaken by the take away cup? I think not!'
Preserved passenger ship MV Balmoral arrives at Llandudno Pier, 16 September (Greg Mape).
A moment on Manchester Metrolink's Airport line with airport-bound tram 3091 and an inbound Airbus A330 of Thomas Cook inbound from Cuba (Greg Mape).
Network Rail 97 303 negotiates Northenden Junction while on a training run from Derby via Buxton on 13 September. It waited a few minutes near the signal box whilst the driver swapped ends then departed back the way it came on the single line to Hazel Grove (Greg Mape).
Welsh Highland Super-Power event
Welsh Highland Railway NG/G16 No. 87 stands at the head of the 08:15 mixed train to Caernarfon, Porthmadog Harbour Station Saturday 16 September. Picture by Michael Baker. Unfortunately 87 failed at Pont Croesor on the afternoon service train, so Lyd and diesel Vale of Ffestiniog had to be dispatched to take over, and the next day's service was somewhere reduced.
Earl of Merioneth at Porthmadog on Sunday 17 September (Jim Ikin).
Jim Ikin photographed the ex-South African Railways NG15 class no. 134 under restoration at Dinas.
This plate is fixed to 134 - intended for Chinese labourers in South Africa, perhaps. The 134 project has its own very comprehensive website.
Undergoing restoration is South African Railways NGG16 Class Garratt 130 built by Beyer Peacock in 1951, and now owned by Peter Best of Steam Powered Services Ltd who purchased it from the Exmoor Steam Centre.
This should not be confused with another of the class, 109, which was purchased in 2009, also from the Exmoor Steam Centre, by pop music producer and rail enthusiast Pete Waterman for use on the Welsh Highland, initially it began overhaul at Waterman's LNWR heritage works in Crewe by apprentices as part of their studies, but it seems the Government cancelled the scheme's funding, and the loco has been moved to Dinas works to wait its turn.
External work being undertaken by the WHR team at Dinas includes the fabrication of side tanks for the new-build Standard Class 3 2-6-2T for the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust, based at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley line.
Historic loco K1, the world's first Garratt system loco, built for Tasmania, was on static display at Dinas, looking somewhat rusty.
Behind the Ffestiniog Railway Boston Lodge halt is this memorial to a number of volunteers who’ve passed away, with superb views back over the Cob to Porthmadog (Jim Ikin).
Meet the New Bosses
Tom Joyner (far left-hand picture) has been appointed as Managing Director of Arriva Train Wales, which operates the Wales and Border franchise. Tom his recently served, since 2013 as Passenger Services Director for London Midland; previously he has worked in the field of future rail systems at Network Rail, and before that he held 'board and leadership roles' within First Group and National Express train operating companies He says he is 'excited at the prospect' and starts work with Arriva on 2 October 2017, taking over from Ian Bullock who is stepping down as Managing Director a post he has held since 2013, after a period as Customer Service Director.
Elsewhere in the Arriva empire, David Brown (right-hand picture) is in the process of taking on the Managing Director job at Arriva's Northern company, following the departure to Scotland a few months ago of Alex Hynes.
Andy Evans writes: 'Regarding the 17:20 train from Barrow being 'late' as reported by your contributor (last issue), I believe it is held (unofficially?) to make the connection from the loco-hauled coast working from Carlisle. I have used this service twice and both times have made the connection. There is time to do this as the working is Barrow to Windermere,so it reverses at Lancaster and makes up the lost time there.'
Steam at Oswestry - report by Martin Evans
On 9 and 10 September the Cambrian Railways at Oswestry were running steam in connection with a National Heritage weekend so I took the opportunity to travel from Oswestry station to the recently extended line to Salop Road Bridge on 9 September. The loco in steam was Barclay 0-4-0 saddle tank, works no. 2216 built in 1949. Above, 2216 steams back to Oswestry from the end of the line at Salop Road.
The signal box at Oswestry South undergoing further repairs.
Departing from Oswestry for Salop Road.
Approaching the present end of the line near Salop Road.
Festival No.6 - report by Jim Johnson
Festival No.6 was held again at Portmeirion over the weekend of 9 & 10 September, and Virgin Trains ran their usual extras from Euston to Bangor on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th, and in the opposite direction on on Monday 11th. These services were available to the general public as well as festival-goers, non-stop running between Chester and Bangor, and vice versa on the Monday, being an agreeable feature. The very first 'extra', on the Thursday, was 1D85 11:10 Euston-Bangor, formed of 221 108 Sir Ernest Shackleton, arriving right-time at 14:14.
Similar signage ...
... and Portakabin booking office, to last year, but no bunting this year, which was a shame.
The 'Festival No.6'-liveried set, 221 106 Willem Barents was on ordinary service duties that day, seen here leading set 221 118 on 1A48, 13:58 Holyhead - Euston.
221 108 departing on the Up Main as 5D53 empty stock to Chester at 14:32, 5 minutes early.
Shortly afterwards the Network Rail HST came through at 14:47, being 1Q30 10:55 Derby RTC - Crewe, via Holyhead. 43 014 The Railway Observer leading ...
... and 43 062 John Armitt trailing.
221 112 Ferdinand Magellan formed Friday's 1D85, with delayed 158 831 as 1G50 13:24 Holyhead-Birmingham International, 18 minutes late, arriving at Platform 1. Flooding of the line near Gaerwen had caused several cancellations and delays earlier on, but the No.6 extras were largely
Virgin colleagues exchange waves on the Friday as 221 112 departs on the up main as 5D53 empty to Chester ...
... and 221101 Louis Bleriot moves up to Belmont Tunnel as 5D58 empty to Chester, having formed 1D86 12:10 Euston - Bangor.
Prior to the first extra back to Euston on the Monday, 150 257 departs as 1G32 09:23 Holyhead to Birmingham International.
Does anyone collect security guard numbers?
'Festival'-liveried 221 106made an appearance as 5A33 09:20 Chester-Bangor empty stock ...
... The signaller has set the signal (which is now an LED-based unit with only one 'lamp' which can show any of the three colours) to yellow, rather keep the signal at red and use the white calling-on [or shunt-ahead?] lights below the main signal as is more usual with terminating trains.
Virgin staff were handing out black bin-bags for passengers to cover their muddy boots, after another rain-plagued festival.
221 114 stands on the down main as 5D38 10:04 Crewe - Bangor empty stock, as 158 829 enters as 1G40 11:27 Holyhead-Birmingham International ...
... and 67 018 appears with 1D34 09:50 Manchester Piccadilly-Holyhead, with 'Dave Trains' at the helm.
Three Virgins in Bangor: 221 114 is 1A38 12:25 Bangor - London Euston; 221 112 Ferdinand Magellan and 221 116 form 1D83 09:10 Euston - Holyhead. All the trains that I observed were very well-patronised, except the very last Bangor - Euston, 1A68, 18:35 departure, which was relatively lightly-loaded. 221 143 Auguste Picard was the set.
Several different bus companies provided the shuttle services to and from the festival site at Portmeirion. Express Motors Neoplan N516 'Starliner' coach CY55 MRU (above) was the first on the scene on the Thursday. Note the registration letters chosen to read 'Cymru.'
On the Monday, J30 RGO of Nefyn Coaches, a Volvo B12M/Van Hool T9 Alizee formerly registered WA54 HXX.
Eifions Coaches of Holyhead's T11 HEH, a Mercedes Turismo, loads at Bangor. Other participants observed included Caelloi, and Lloyds Coaches.
Steam Heat - by Vince Chadwick
I noted this caption to Roly High's picture (repeated above) in the 11 September Notice Board:
'... the locomotive had to be uncoupled, a tricky job for a crew member, with the steam-heating pipe needing some caution, especially when not wearing the recommended heavy-duty gloves.'
While agreeing that heavy duty gloves are a good idea for any uncoupling actions, the steam heat pipe, if the steam heat is turned off from the footplate, the steam heat cock on the loco end of the leading coach is closed, and the steam heat cock on the front of the loco is opened, there is little change of burns from escaping steam to the 'man underneath'.
Closing the cock on the leading coach means no steam will escape from the coaches when the pipe to the tender is disconnected, and indeed heat will be sustained in the coaches by the trapped steam. Opening the cock on the front of the loco depressurises the steam heat pipe on the loco so little or no steam should escape when the coach - the tender pipe is disconnected, and certainly no pressurised steam.
Interestingly I was discussing this very point this week with an experienced steam driver (Great Central, Llangollen, Statfold, etc) during a holiday visiting narrow gauge steam in East Germany, and he made these very observations as we noted drain cocks open on inter-coach connections
of the steam pipe on a Harz train to drain condensate.
Portrait of the Britannia Bridge - pictures by Greg Mape
Robert Stephenson's Britannia Bridge over the Menai Strait as rebuilt after a fire, and topped with a road deck in 1980, is an impressive sight. The bridge was designed that the centre pier could be be built on the 'Britannia Rock' in the middle of the Strait at this point.
Seen from below through Greg's wide-angle lens. The steelwork was refurbished in 2011.
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