NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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18 December 2017
Santa Express on the Rhyl Miniature Railway, 17 December, with loco 105 Michael, built in 1920. The train will run again on 23-24 December, but booking is essential and some journeys are already sold out.
47s on the Coast
The Locomotive Services crew training runs ran for a second time on Saturday 16 December (see previous Notice Board). Ken Robinson's picture shows the train passing Deganwy with D1944 Craftsman leading.
Approaching Llandudno (Peter Lloyd)
As last week, D1935 was detached at Llandudno and ran via a reversal at Llandudno Junction to Holyhead. Did it also turn on the Valley triangle this time?, this will be the procedure with the steam locomotives to be used on the forthcoming 'Saphos Trains' excursions. Jim Johnson's picture shows it heading west through Bangor.
From Belmont Road bridge (Peter Basterfield).
There was an error in our previous report. To clarify - The depot which Jeremy Hosking's company now owns is the former Crewe Diesel Depot (not Crewe North diesel depot). Crewe North was a steam shed on the north side of Crewe station to the left of the Chester line.
It was in the late evening of 3 September 2017 that unit 150 217, working a Rhymney line service, ran into a fallen tree near Llanbradach and suffered some damage to the front carriage, 52217, which is now undergoing repairs at Wolverton; the other vehicle, 57217, has been inserted into 150 278 to form a temporary three-car unit numbered 150 978. For some reason this oddity - with just one toilet and a gangway too narrow for a refreshment trolley) was all that was available to work the 14:30 Manchester Piccadilly (picture above by Greg Mape) to Milford Haven on 16 December.
GWR event at WHR
John Wood of the Welsh Highland Railway Society North Wales Group writes: 'Mr John Mayell of the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire steam railway will give a informative illustrated talk on the past present, and future of their railway. The meeting is at the Mountain Rangers Football Club in Rhosgadfan; there is a £1 raffle, with stupendous prizes, sandwiches, real ale and ample parking Why not come along and see what we are all about, try volunteering and you might end up driving a Garrett NGG16 through the Aberglaslyn pass.' Date is 10 January, time 19:30.
Peter Neve at Wrexham General on 12 December photographed Colas Rail 70 803 running up and down the head shunt towards Croesnewydd North Fork signal box and back. A look at Driver Jim's 'down the tracks' thread reveals that crew training was in progress, but due to points failures they were unable to make any forays out on the main line, so just ran to and fro familiarizing themselves with the controls.
Manchester area Railtours
The 'Jolly Grid' railtour from Westbury on 16 December was (among other things) the first loco-hauled passenger train over the new Ordsall Chord. Greg Mape was there with his camera. The train was top and tailed by 56 094 - seen above on the new bridge ...
... and 60 017, seen waiting for the signal at Manchester Piccadilly. The train passed through Deansgate station three times, and included a rare visit to the Trafford Park Euroterminal intermodal yard.
Incidentally, the very busy junction to be used by Ordsall Chord services is Castlefield Junction, not- as we carelessly wrote last issue - Cornbrook Junction, which was nearby but ceased to exist when the Altrincham line was converted to Metrolink.
The next day, Sunday 17 December, saw the Grand Central company run 'The Grand Farewell' charity excursion to make the approaching end of their use of HST trains. The route took the train well away from Grand Central's normal stamping ground, including the Hope Valley line. The picture shows the visitor, headed by 43 423 and tailed by 43 480, passing our home station of Davenport. HSTs have been here before: for a period in 2003 we had Manchester - London St Pancras trains passing. It seems unlikely that we will see one again, unless a railtour operator buys one.
The train was booked to stop in the 'Down Main' loop at Stockport station, but in fact it stopped for a while at Reddish South, one of the country's least-served stations. Greg Mape photographed 43 323 departing, destination Bradford Exchange.
A marine newcomer - report by Jim Johnson
A first-time visit to Port Penrhyn, Bangor, for MV Frisium, registered at the amusingly-named (for me) Sneek, in Holland. She docked on the morning high tide. about 10:00, on Monday, 18 December, 2017, having sailed from Drogheda in Ireland.
Loading slate waste (or decorative chippings, depending on your viewpoint) from Penrhyn Quarry.
Llangollen bus collapse (again)
George Jones writes: 'Railfans heading for Llangollen Railway via Ruabon should be aware that the local bus operator, D Jones & Son, who served Ruabon station with a 20-minute frequency on route 5 have ceased trading as of today. Onward travel to Llangollen is dependent on the Arriva route 5 which currently operates a 40 minute frequency Wrexham - Llangollen but does not call at Ruabon station. As in an earlier era, travellers will need to walk down to the main road to catch this bus - the near two-hourly T3 Traws Cymru Barmouth service does call at the station but makes poor connections with the Arriva train services.'
D Jones only took on this route in 2016, following the collapse of the GHA Coaches empire, closed down by HMRC after failing to pay enough tax.
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