NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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31 December 2018
67 020 heads west past Hawarden Airport with the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead, 27 December. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.
Looking back: the Trawsfynydd Trekker
On 10 September 1994, 20 187 Sir Charles Wheatstone and 20 075 Sir William Cooke are seen working the second 'Trawsfynydd Trekker' railtour from Bristol; at the other end of the six coach train were 31 238 and 31 207. The unusual livery of the 20s was that of British Rail Telecommunications Limited, who at the time were working with the Racal company to lay cables along BR's infrastructure. Picture by Dave Sallery.
It would be pleasant to travel alongside the lake again by train, but the prospects do not look rosy at present following the revocation of the preservation group's licence to refurbish the track and the death of long-time promoter Colin Dale.
New book on the Bala line - review by George Jones
Now published is a definitive work on the Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog line.
In 208 pages the route of this railway is featured in a comprehensive collection of photographs, maps and text illustrating the trains, the stations, personalities and infrastructure, as well as the isolated scenery through which the line once travelled.
Although there have been previous titles reviewing this lost line, the two compilers, Martin F Williams and Derek J Lowe, have brought together a set of mainly previously unpublished black and white views, supplemented by section of colour views from the later days to offer what must be the definitive work.
Published by Lightmoor Press, the new title complements the earlier work on the Ruabon to Barmouth Line. A quality product as is to be expected from this publisher. Price £25 - hardback.
New Year's Eve oddities - pictures by Geraint Williams
In the sidings at Chester on 31 December, West Coast Railways second class open carriage 4940. This was the coach which suffered a minor derailment ar Dee Marsh Sidings back in November, which we understand awaits collection by West Coast following repairs. (Thanks to the readers who wrote with information.)
67 003, one of the three painted in Arriva blue for use on the Cardiff - Holyhead service, is rarely seen in our area, but Geraint noted it at Crewe on 31 December. The side-window panels seems to have come from another, EWS-liveried, loco.
The Llangollen Railway's 'Winter Warmer' event featured Former GWR 'large Prairie' 2-6-2T 5199 and BR standard 2-6-4T 80072. Phil Clarke visited on 28 December; above, 80072 prepared to depart Llangollen with the first train of the day.
5199 climbs Berwyn bank ...
... and re-starts from Berwyn station (Phil Clarke).
80072 arrives at Carrog from Llangollen ...
... and departs on the return journey (Phil Clarke).
The classic class 104 DMU was also in action (Phil Clarke).
80072 runs round at Llangollen after working the last steam train of the day (Phil Clarke).
Above, 5199 awaits departure from Llangollen station with the 10:15 service to Carrog on 29 December (Martin Evans).
5199 runs around at Llangollen station before departing with the 12:30 service to Carrog on 29 December. In the background is inspection saloon DW 80975, one of a batch ordered by the Great Western Railway and finished on the cusp of Nationalisation in 1948. Often used by Railway Managers, often propelled by a loco from behind; the LMS had some very similar vehicles (Martin Evans).
80072 approaches Glyndyfrdwy station with the 11:00 service from Llangollen to Carrog (Martin Evans).
Returning from Carrog with 5199, George Jones captured the moment the down train came through Glyndyfrdwy with 80072 was caught from the end coach window offering a contrast in tank engines. Now the 'Driver 2' position is no longer required for propelling moves, as when the new Corwen Central terminus opens, locos will be able to run round their trains. The view from the corridor connection is again available to the discerning passenger.
Later, when returning on the 104 the wait in Goods Junction loop allowed for sight of the single-line token on the pick up arm as we waited for the Down train to leave Llangollen.
The 13:15 from Llangollen, with 80072, seen approaching bridge 14 for a non-stop pass as the token was picked up from the arm. With a boiler life extension allowed into 2019, we can expect to see this popular engine remain in action in the first half of the new year, pending withdrawal for its ten year overhaul. Time has flown since it returned to steam after its 'ex-Barry scrapyard' epic restoration - and set the owning group a challenge to finance the next overhaul (George Jones).
The need to shunt the 'Neptune' track recording vehicle in the yard at Carrog involved the class 104 railcar in an unusual excursion into the Carrog Sidings after it arrived at 12:20 on the 11:45 service from Llangollen on Saturday 29 December ...
... The 104 moved off (without passengers) from platform 1 to be allowed in to the sidings to hook up with the Neptune and draw in out, then run it back into the adjacent line to its former position behind the signal box. Here it will continue to be worked on with a view to its return to service (George Jones).
Thirteen of these vehicles were delivered by Matisa of Switzerland between 1957 and 1967, according to the owners of another survivor, the Exeter and Teign Valley railway, who have a detailed description of its workings on their website. The Llangollen example, formerly no . 90005, has been on the railway for many years: in 1989 it was the first rail vehicle to traverse the newly-laid extension on the line beyond Berwyn.
The scene at Corwen Central on 18 December. George Jones writes: 'The picture shows the challenge for 2019 - completion of the platform 1 wall, the laying of the loop line connection, infilling the Gap and connecting the two railheads with necessary ballasting and tamping.
Then there's the detail of the station facilities for passengers and a formal inspection to allow trains to run through to the new terminus. We will get there, although the opening day remains subject to all this work being completed.
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