Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

16 July 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

July 2018

Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express
Manchester Piccadilly (note change of starting station) - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and return. Timings of ECS from Crewe Timings of outbound train Timings of return to Manchester Victoria

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

Wednesday 1 August: Steam at Chester. UK Railtours / A1 Locomotive Trust. Darlington - Chester with 60163 Tornado.

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

Friday 7 September Clwyd Railway Circle “North Wales, the Future”. With Arriva's withdrawal from the next Wales and Borders franchise, what will this mean for passengers and staff? Our speaker will be able to bring us up to date with the latest news; Ben Davies - Arriva Trains Wales, Stakeholder Liaison Manager

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

Friday 5 October Clwyd Railway Circle “Snowdon Mountain Railway”A presentation given by Mike Robertshaw  Msc IEng MIED, Senior Engineering Manager of the railway. Mike Robertshaw

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

November 2018

Friday 2 November Clwyd Railway Circle “The Development of Railways in the UK”A look at rail development from Trevithick through to the 23,000 miles of railway in the UK by 1921.  Mike Blackburn

December 2018

Friday 7 December Clwyd Railway Circle “Members Night & Christmas Celebrations”Members are invited to give a 15 minute presentation of their choice (any format). FREE tea/coffee & festive treats during the interval. Contact David Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.

January 2019

Friday 4 January Clwyd Railway Circle “West Country Memories” An illustrated talk which includes all the branch lines of Devon and Cornwall. Dave Southern

February 2019

Friday 1 February Clwyd Railway Circle “The Glorious Steam Railways of India” The images were taken when it was a fully steam worked system, with a variety of steam across four different gauges. John Sloane

March 2019

Friday 1 March Clwyd Railway Circle  “Annual General Meeting” followed by “Chairman’s Choice” A night of self indulgence from the retiring chairman, David Jones

April 2019

Friday 5 April Clwyd Railway Circle  "Scotland in the 1960s" The talk covers the whole of Scotland - going up the west side to Wick and Thurso and returning down the east side from/to Carlisle.
John Cashen

With light traffic on the A55 during the World Cup semi-final, a Class 175 crosses the road at Old Colwyn on 7 July. The new 'cliff-top' homes under construction for Blue Bay Homes are on the site of the former 'Hotel 70 degrees'. Picture by Greg Mape.

Developments at Holyhead - report by Jim Johnson

On 12 July Rail Operations Group loco 47 813 worked the 08:23 from Derby North Dock Sidings to Anglesey Aluminium Sidings near Holyhead, which had not seen a train since before the Aluminium Works closed down in 2009, although the former company's shunting loco is still there. Above, having travelled to Holyhead station to cross from the Down to the Up line, approaches the entry to the site at about 15:17.

Entering the complex after the gate had been unlocked and opened.

Proceeding at walking pace. Note the shunting loco still languishing in the background.

It is probably a long time since a main line loco got this far in the complex. The purpose of the visit was to test the integrity of the track in the site, with a view to using them for storage of new carriages awaiting entry to service - Trans-Pennine Express Mk5 carriage sets, we have been informed.

Departure at 16:26, 35 minutes early.

Dumfries to Blaenau

A very long day trip which visited our area on 12 July was train 1Z66, 05:56 from Dumfries to Blaenau Ffestiniog (arr:12:55)  operated by West Coast Railways, a journey of around 240 miles. Heading the train, photographed by Bob Greenhalgh passing Hawarden Airport, was one-time North Wales loco 57 313...

... with, most unusually, 37 516 Loch Laidon on the rear, reportedly a last minute replacement for the usual 57 or 47.

After reversal, 37 516 was tasked with hauling the train up the Conwy Valley to Blaenau, and arrived just four minutes late despite a nine-minute late departure from Llandudno Junction. These four pictures by Ken Robinson chronicle the events there.

A complicated shunting manoeuvre then took place so that the 37 was at the front for the return journey too. Here are three  'maroon' locos together: 37 516, 57 313 and Ffestiniog Railway David Lloyd George during those movements.

57 313 heads the empty stock back into the station loop.

37 516 now at the head of the stock in the loop, to be shunted back to the platform later, after the departure of the 14:57 service train to Llandudno, in time for the 16:10 departure, as usual for excursions to Blaenau. The passengers had time for a trip to Tan-y-Bwlch and back.

Liverpool Lime Street - notes by Jack Bowley

I thought I'd shine some light with regards to what's happening at Liverpool Lime Street.

Platforms 1 - 9 - as they used to be  - will be renumbered fully. The old platform 1 will be decommissioned,  thus current platform 2 will become 1. The new platforms built on the site of the old  Royal Mail/Virgin Trains First Class Lounge become platforms 7 and 8 with the old platforms 8 and 9 becoming 9 and 10.

The whole re-modelling includes re-signalling of the station, with control of the station transferred from Lime Street's iconic signalbox built onto the rock walls to Manchester Regional Operating Centre (ROC) at Ashburys. This means that trains going from Manchester to Liverpool via Chat
Moss will mostly be controlled by Manchester ROC with the exception of Eccles, Astley and Edge Hill boxes which will remain for the present.

The sketch is a simplified version of the final layout.

1981 re-visited - by Dave Plimmer

Once again some great 1981 pictures from Barrie Hughes (2 July issue). Perhaps I can add a few comments. The Class 25 hauled parcels at Shotton (picture repeated above) is likely to be 5J09 0800 Bangor - Manchester Red Bank Carriage Sidings empty newspaper vans due past Shotton just after 09:20.

The second Class 40 at Llandudno Junction isn't 40 022 - from the other picture 40 022 has four brackets on the front doors whereas the second 40 only has two! According to my notes, 47 324 worked the 1J22 1347 Bangor - Manchester Victoria on the 18 September 1981. Indeed the picture shows the train crossing over at Bangor to take up the eastbound working. [We have amended to original text.]

Regarding the up loop at Bangor: The line through Platform 1 had been a loop, but from the late 1960s onwards was only a short east-facing bay. Despite appearances it was not out of use at the time of Barrie's visit, but the conversion of many of the Manchester - Bangor workings from DMU to loco-haulage from 1978 onwards had greatly reduced its usage. My picture shows Holyhead's 08 907 resting there nearly a year later on 20 August 1982.

The last booked working into Platform 1 was early on Sunday mornings when a van of newspapers was detached from the 22:37 Manchester Victoria to Holyhead and shunted across to Platform 1 for unloading. A loco worked out specially from Llandudno Junction for this shunt. The 1982
Trip Notice (above) and working Timetable (below) show the shunt and the return light engine working.

This working was not in the 1984 working timetable, and and Platform 1 was lifted in 1985 or

(For much more about the North Wales lines in this period see Dave's 2D53 website.)

Shipping news - with Jim Johnson

1767-tonne Cargo vessel Netherlands-registered Amadeus Silver (built in 2011) collected slate waste for decorative use at Port Penrhyn on 12 July.

She arrived on the morning tide at about 10:00, and left late the same evening.   I believe this is
her first visit to Bangor, but am open to correction. (Curiously there is another Amadeus Silver - a luxury cruise ship on the European rivers.)

Dusty work in the dry weather.

Local mussel boat Valentia passed by on the way into harbour.

Brookside Railway, Poynton

Some readers will know the miniature railway at Brookside Garden Centre near Poynton in North Cheshire, which has been run for many years (with the help of local enthusiasts) by Chris Halsall, who founded and ran the Garden Centre. The centre was sold in 2009 to a garden centre chain, but it was agreed that Mr Halsall would continue to run the railway and display his remarkable collection of railwayana including an almost complete set of North Wales Coast 'BR Totems'.

However, a dispute has arisen between Mr Halsall and Strikes, the owners of the centre, and he has been given 'notice to quit' by September 2018, to be replaced by a new operator.  The entire collection is to be auctioned by Great Northern Railwayana Auctions at Poynton in two auctions on 6 October 2018 and 6 April 2019.

Colin Dale

The Daily Post reports the death of Colin Dale, the Essex-based businessman who became fascinated with the idea of re-opening the mothballed line from Blaenau Ffestiniog, with a vision to attract tourists to Trawsfynydd by creating a cafe in the former power station social club and running boat trips on the lake. That vision came to nothing, as did a later idea (by another group) to hire 'velorail' vehicles for people to ride along the line.

More recently Mr Dale was involved in the Blaenau Ffestiniog & Trawsfynydd Railway Society, announcing plans to re-open the line, or part of it, which was permitted by Network Rail to clear the track until permission was removed after alleged damage a breach of operating rules. However, the Society still exists, and we await any further developments.

We wish them well, but there does seem to be a tendency to underestimate the amount of bureaucracy involved in dealing with Network Rail. It is a shame that the days when the Conwy Valley train service was extended along the line on selected days, with a commentary by local enthusiasts, but times have changed.

Llandudno Junction bus station demolished

This pile of rubble was once the Crosville bus depot at Llandudno Junction. Built in the 1930s in a pleasant architectural style while the LMS railway were owners (later part-owners) of Crosville, it was closed by Arriva in 2013. A Lidl supermarket is to be built on the site. Picture by Greg Mape.

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