NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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17 December 2018
In the Christmas Spirit, an image of 47 971 Robin Hood descending the bank from Sharnbrook Summit on the Midland Main Line in the snow sometime around 1990-93 with a Derby Railway Technical Centre test train of departmental coaching stock. Originally 47 480 then 97 480, the loco was named Robin Hood in 1979. The loco survived until April 1998 and was cut up at EMR Kingsbury in November 2001 (Barrie Hughes).
Chester Christmas Chuffer
Saturday 15 December saw some foul weather, amid which the Pathfinder Tours 'Chester Chuffer' excursion made its way from Salisbury (dep. 06:46) to Chester (arr 13:29 on time) behind Lord Dowding, 34046 masquerading as 34052. Understandably, our contributors had some trouble recording the passage of this train, but Jim Ikin was at Tilstone bank near Beeston in the wind and rain (above).
Approaching Chester (Bob Greenhalgh).
Chester (George Jones). 67 018 was tucked behind.
Nameplate study (George Jones). The change of name from Braunton also confusingly changed the class of the loco from 'West Country class' to 'Battle of Britain' class as the only difference between the two was the naming theme. Lord Dowding (Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding) was Air Officer Commanding RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Martin Evans found 68 022 Resolution, resplendent in TransPennine livery, paused in Platform 10 at Crewe on 17 December, apparently engaged in driver training runs between Crewe and Wavertree Junction in preparation for test running with the new Mk5 coaches, the exercise is to be repeated for the rest of the week. These new loco-hauled trains are now expected to enter public service on the TransPennine route in May 2019.
Saturday 15 December was the 40th day of the Northern conductors' strike action, with no sign of any resolution. Transport for Wales took the opportunity to hire from Northern to work on the Llandudno to Manchester Airport axis: 150 211 and 150 268. Ian Henderson photographed the combo at Chester. The locomotive-hauled 'Premier service' set was also in action working extra trains: 1T50 14:12 Holyhead - Manchester, 1T51 17:22 Manchester - Chester, 1T52 19:15 Chester - Manchester and 1T53 20:20 Manchester - Holyhead.
On the evening of strike-hit 8 and 15 December, TfW very helpfully used one of their units between scheduled services to run two specials to Stockport when crowding at Manchester Piccadilly station was reaching danger levels.
All the above diagrams are planned to be repeated on 22 December. Watch our Twitter feed for confirmation.
Looking back with Barrie Hughes - North Wales 1991
On 29 March 1991 47 851 on a Euston - Holyhead service passed Bates Mill Road bridge near Beeston Castle 45 minutes late at 12:55. The loco was previously numbered 47 064 / 47 639 and had recently been painted into Intercity livery from green when it was first renumbered as 47 851. At this time it did not carry a name but it had previously carried Industry year 1986 until removed in July 1988. It later carried the name Traction Magazine for a while. This loco is still going strong in the West Coast Railways fleet in their rather dull maroon livery after several repaints into Virgin/Virgin BR two tone green liveries.
Tyseley-based Class 117 DMU set T303 (cars 51364, 59516 and 51406) passes over the Northgate Locks on the same day as seen from Chester Walls on the Up Fast line. The rear destination blind is set to Chester.
150 125 was on a Bangor working and was a sign of things to come. This Provincial-liveried example of a next generation DMU provided poor seating and even poorer views. The unit is on the Down fast approaching Roodee Junction as seen from Chester Walls. [This unit has been used by various train companies over the years, most recently by Great Western; all their 150/1 units are destined for a new life with Northern, but this one and 150 126 remain with Great Western at the time of writing.]
47 972 in large logo livery appears out of the mist at Roodee junction on the Up Fast. This loco was renumbered from 47545 into a series of six 47/9s. This loco survived in traffic until December 98 when it was marked for parts recovery. The loco was cut up March 2010 at Booth’s Rotherham after a period stored by Fragonset.
Holiday snaps - By Charlie Hulme
Some images from our recent short stay in the Cheltenham area. Above, 60 017 passes through Gloucester station on 7 December with empty oil tanks from Westerleigh oil terminal to Robeston Sidings near Milford Haven, a former refinery which closed in 2014 and is now used as a storage and distribution facility by Puma Energy.
At Worcester Shrub Hill on 9 December, 150 126 (see note above) after arrival at Worcester with the 10:20 local train from Gloucester.
I was surprised to see that semaphore signals are still serving Worcester Shrub Hill, just as the were the last time I was there ... in 1968.
New 'IET' electro-diesel (or bi-mode in current parlance) units are now common on longer-distance workings in the area. This one has arrived at Cheltenham Spa at 17:55 as the 15:36 from London Paddington. The numbering of these units is a little confusing. The power car carries the number 800 316, is the unit number; the other also have individual six-digit numbers, a break from the tradition of five-digit numbers for coaching stock.
These trains have gained a reputation for hard 'ironing board' seats, which in our opinion has some justification.
The reservation indicators are rather neat, although they make the view down the coach look like Blackpool Illuminations.
Ready for the snow?
Martin Cleverley sends this picture taken on 6 December in March, Cambridgeshire, of one of Network Rail's 'independent snowploughs' - it looks like one which was fitted with an icicle-breaking rail for use in the Peak District tunnels - a feature which might have prevented the braking of a cab window of a Class 56 earlier this year when propelling the lower snowplough units made from Class 40/45 bogies. These units come in pairs, what's happened to its twin?
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