Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

07 May 2018


Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

May 2018

Tuesday 8 May  North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition  

Thursday 10 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  W. Gordon Davies:  A taste of Japan

June 2018

Saturday 2 June Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

2-3 June  Llangollen Railway Heritage railcar gala

30 June Llangollen Railway Classic transport

July 2018

7-8 July North Wales N Gauge Model Railway Show, Conwy.  With 12+ layouts on show with trade support and second-hand sales. Refreshments available and full disabled access. Saturday 10:00 - 17:00, Sunday 10:00 - 16:00. Adults £4, Children £2. Ysgol Porth y Felin, Llanrwst Road, Conwy LL32 8FZ

Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and return. 45690

Tuesday 24 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company Welsh Mountaineer Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog. 45699 or 48151: Preston - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Blaenau and return

August 2018

Saturday 4 August. Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains.  Bangor (07.00/22.15) Llandudno Jct (07.25/21.55) Colwyn Bay (07.35/21.45) Rhyl (07.50/21.30) Prestatyn (08.00/21.20) Flint (08.10/21.10) Chester (08.30/20.50) Crewe (09.30/20.00) Stafford to Stratford-on Avon. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

September 2018

Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton - Chester - Peterborough

29 September Llangollen Railway Diesel gala

October 2018

12-14 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala

Friday 19 October Steam on the Coast Golden Eagle Luxury Tour (Day 5 of 12) (Provisional)  Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog 46100: Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog, Holyhead - Crewe

Sunset over Colwyn Bay with a Class 158 passing, 7 May. Picture by Greg Mape.


Rhyl signalbox (above) seen being re-painted by a team of Network Rail staff (or contractors)  on 6 May; picture by Roly High. The box is now permanently closed, but is a scheduled listed building, as its long-closed but still standing No.2 Box at the other end of the station, so is protected from immediate demolition.  A last gesture to the community by Network Rail?

Steam on Mostyn Street, Llandudno as part of the weekend's Victorian Extravaganza. This railway and steam tram were visiting from the Whitfield Light Railway (Facebook link).  The railway will be in action again in Morecambe on 1-3 June.  Picture by Greg Mape.

Over the last few months the 'Friends of Ruabon Village' have taken a keen interest in the upkeep of the station and in the Autumn, Arriva Trains Wales provided three fully-stocked planters which they are looking after. Recently they have turned there attention to the artwork on the station approach road and have tidied it up very well, indeed they have now taken steps through Wrexham Council to have the neglected fencing repaired in due course (Martin Evans).

Colas Rail's switch and crossing tamper DR 73911 Puma in Rhyl's Engineers Siding, 1 May. The unit seems to have its name on one side only (Roly High).

Loco-hauled changes - report by Mike Stone

For two weeks from 16 April the 07:15 Holyhead - Crewe was booked for loco haulage utilising the Cardiff set (minus buffet), returning as an 18.17 Crewe - Holyhead, which at first sight bore no relation to any train in the Working Timetable, but on investigation, after waiting for time at both Chester and Llandudno Junction, it ran in the path of the 17.50 from Manchester.

However it would appear that on Friday 20 April the 17:16 from Cardiff terminated at Abergavenny due to a fatality,  and a DMU was used until the set (minus diner) eventually ran empty to Crewe to form the 18:17 on the 27th with 67 022. Presumably it was changed after arriving at Crewe on 2 May (or the next morning if they were quick off the mark), as the set was round the back of the shed on 3 May with 67 015.

(The reason for the changes was that the line at Maindee Junction was affected by engineering works, will all trains from the north terminating at Cwmbran.)

Flask scenes

68 002 Intrepid and 68 026 (one of the sub-fleet intended for use by TransPennine Express) exits Bangor Tunnel with the 6D43 Crewe to Valley flasks on 3 May (Rowan Crawshaw).

68 023 Achilles propels 68 030 into the Valley triangle on 4 May (Wyn Jones).

Visitor from Stevenage

A 'Spirit of the Lakes' excursion ran on 7 May from Stevenage (dep. 05:20), St Neots, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Retford and Doncaster via Diggle, Stockport and the Mid-Cheshire line to Llandudno, hauled by 47 804, pictures above at Rhyl by Roly High. The signalbox looks smart in its British Railways (London Midland Region) colours.

47 826 was on the rear (Roly High).

Abergele (Greg Mape). The train lost time steadily along the Coast, arriving in Llandudno 28 minutes late. The passengers had just two and a half hours to enjoy Llandudno before stating the long trek home via Wigan and Blackburn at 15:30 with a scheduled arrival in Stevenage at 22:34. The train would then travel empty-stock overnight, with a break at Hellifield, to West Coast Railway's Carnforth arriving at 10:00 on 8 May.

The reason for the late running was the equally late running ahead of it by the 09:10 Birmingham International - Holyhead, formed of 158 827 and 150 830 (Roly High).

Cambrian Corner

Proving that the Cambrian 'loco ban' is more to do with rolling stock, the Class 97/3 locos have been in action piloting track machines, required as ERTMS-fitted traction must accompany movements except during 'possessions' of section of line for engineering work during which normal trains are not allowed. Ian Wright photographed such a working from his vantage point above Fairbourne on 1 May, with a Network Rail 'stoneblower'.

A closer view near Morfa Mawddach (Kate Jones).

Having delivered its payload to Barmouth where it would be used for overnight track work, the loco (97 302?) returned to  its depot at Coleham (Shrewsbury), seen near Fairbourne (Ian Wright). On 4 May, the machine was collected and returned to Coleham.

Severn Valley Sunday - report by Richard Putley

I visited the Severn Valley Railway on Sunday 6 May 2018 in the hope of seeing – and riding behind, visiting GWR 'King' 4-6-0 6023 King Edward I; but worryingly I saw from the SVR’s website it had failed in traffic the day before. I arrived at Bewdley just before 09:00. I could see the plumes from three steam locos. These turned out to be 7802 Bradley Manor, 0-6-0PT 1501 (above) and 'West Country' 4-6-2 34027 Taw Valley. This last had not been one of the locos that they had intended to run this weekend so I guessed – correctly as things turned out – that the 'King' was out for the count!

The first Northbound train was at 09:59 and booked to be diesel hauled. The motive power was 50 031 resplendent in InterCity 'Raspberry Ripple' livery – which this class never wore in British Rail days. The train was almost empty so I boarded and rode on it to Bridgnorth.

On arrival there my worst fears were confirmed. 6023 was parked outside the shed but not in steam. Behind it was Class 14 D9551 which was in the Golden Ochre colour once worn by D1015 Western Champion.

I returned immediately from Bridgnorth aboard the 10:55 departure, hauled by LMS 2-6-0 43106. I took this as far as Arley, where I waited and photographed 50 031 arriving with the 11:50 service from Bridgnorth. I took this as far as Kidderminster, returning behind it on the 13:45 departure from there. At Kidderminster several diesels were parked outside the new Diesel Shed including D1015 “Western Champion” which is currently in maroon.

This time I rode as far as Hampton Loade ...

...where I saw Barry Railway coach 163 under restoration. I re-traced my steps to Bewdley on the 3:28 from Hampton Loade which was hauled by 43106.

I photographed 50 031 arriving at Bewdley, with the driver surrendering the Single Line Token to the signalman at Bewdley North, and then I left for home.

Also this weekend I photographed one of the new 'Intercity Express' Trains in Malvern for the first time, working the 07:15 from Great Malvern to Maidenhead; many services were terminating there due to engineering works between Maidenhead and London Paddington.

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