07 May 2018
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Tuesday 8 May North
Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic
Thursday 10 May Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society W. Gordon
Davies: A taste of Japan
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
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
Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and
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
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
Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company
Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton
- Chester - Peterborough
29 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel gala
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
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.)
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
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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