NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
|Home | Notice Board | Travel Info | Calendar | History | Route Guide | The Trains | For Railfans | Links | Contact|
25 March 2019
Share on Twitter
Tweets by @NWrail1
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
Tuesday 2 April North Wales Railway Circle Gareth Haulfryn Williams, archivist and author, on 'Rails to/from Bethesda.'
Wednesday 3 April RCTS Liverpool "Manchester to Liverpool by CLC" Ken Grainger
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
Friday 12 April Altrincham Electric Railway Society Great Western and Southern Steam in the West Country. A colour slide presentation by Alf Storey.
Monday 15 April RCTS Chester "Steam on the North Wales Coast" (Video Presentation) Ron Watson Jones
Saturday 4 May Steam on the Coast: Vintage Trains: Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza - Dorridge - Llandudno 7029: Dorridge - Wolverhampton - Llandudno and return
Saturday 4 May Steam on the Coast: A1 Steam Trust: 'The Ynys Mon Express' 60163: Leicester-Holyhead-Crewe
Tuesday 7 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Members' Photo. Competition.
Tuesday 6 June Steam on the Coast: West Coast Railways: London Euston - Holyhead
Steam Crewe-Holyhead and return
Sunday 21 July Steam on the Coast: West Coast Railways. Liverpool-Holyhead. 45690: Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Jn - Holyhead - Chester
Tuesday 23 July: Steam on the Coast: West Coast Railways, Welsh Mountaineer: Liverpool-Holyhead Preston-Blaenau Ffestiniog 48151 or 45600: Preston-Manchester-Chester-Llandudno Jn-Blaenau and return
Saturday 3 August Steam on the Coast: UK Railtours, 'The Irish Mail' London Euston - Holyhead
34046, 46100 or 70000 Crewe - Holyhead and return
158 820 and 158 827 pass the closed signalbox at Prestatyn with 1D14 13:08 Birmingham International to Holyhead on 22 March. Picture by Tim Rogers.
Loco-Hauled passengers and flasks - pictures by Sean Thomas
68 018 Vigilant and 88 003 Genesis passing through Llanfairfechan with 6K41 Valley Nuclear Electric to Crewe coal Sidings, running 47 minutes early on 19 March.
88 009 Diana and 88 003 Genesis approaching Llandudno Junction with 6D43 Crewe Coal Sidings to Valley Nuclear Electric, 20 March.
67 029 Royal Diamond approaching Llandudno Junction with the 09:53 Manchester to Holyhead service on 20 March.
67 029 worked the Manchester services on 20 and 21 March after 67 014 became unusable on the previous day. Above, 67 029 propels the 13:07 Holyhead - Manchester at Penmaenbach on 20 March.
88 007 Electra and 88 003 Genesis passing through Penmaenbach with 6D43 Crewe Coal Sidings to Valley, 22 March.
The return train to Crewe on 22 March approaches Llandudno Junction. [We think that the debut of 88 007 means that all the 88s have now visited Valley except 88 010.]
Tornado is back
On 23 March, promoted by UK Railtours/A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, The Bard of Avon' excursion was steam hauled throughout the journey from Manchester Piccadilly station to the medieval town of Stratford upon Avon, the first time LNER Peppercorn Class A1 60163 Tornado has departed Manchester Piccadilly. Peter Cross photographed the train approaching Stockport ...
... and arrived, with plenty of seam to spare.
The tour picked up passengers at Stockport, Wilmslow, Crewe and Shrewsbury, then routed via Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street, and then proceed on the scenic North Warwick Line to Stratford on Avon.The return journey took the alternative route to Birmingham via Lapworth, Solihull, Walsall, and on to Wolverhampton, then returning by way of the outward route back to Manchester Piccadilly.
Tornado crosses the Shropshire Union Canal at Nantwich over the recently refurbished bridge number 89A (Robert Meredith).
Transport for Wales 230
Some details of the five Class 230 'D-trains' on order for Transport for Wales service on the Wrexham - Bidston line. Converted by the Vivarail company from London Underground 'sub-surface line' D stock' which has been retired prematurely, they have been replaced in London by new 'S stock' trains.
They are available to rail companies in a choice of various configurations. Welsh Class 230s are three-car sets. The end vehicles are 'battery driving motor' cars, the centre car has four diesel generator sets under the floor whose purpose is to keep the batteries charged. This sort of 'Hybrid' arrangement has been widely used on buses in recent years, it is not quite the same as a 'bi-mode'. The train is GPS-equipped to switch the engines off at specified locations - stations, or environmentally-sensitive areas if required. One car has three doors per side and an accessible toilet, others retain the original Underground four-door layout to keep station dwell times to a minimum. The Welsh version will have air conditioning and luggage racks.
It appears that the Bidston line will now be the sole user of these trains, contrary to early suggestions that they would initially work the Conwy Valley (where it was claimed they would carry a refreshment trolley!) or the Crewe - Chester shuttle which probably needs the higher speed of a Class 150 (75 mph against 60) to keep to the timings. Conwy Valley passengers will, it seems, travel in the same comfort as those travelling from Manchester to Tenby.
Hopefully the final design will involve a rethink of the cycle space as illustrated in the artist's impression, which seems to require the ghostly cyclist to hold his bike to prevent it rolling into the doorway every time the train accelerates.
A visit to Burton Point - with Ian Henderson
Ian visited Burton on 13 March, and walked to the nurseries about 300 yards past the former Burton Point (for Burton and Puddington) railway station on the Wrexham - Bidston line. The timing gave the opportunity to photo 150 283 on the 12:30 Wrexham to Bidston In the cutting on the approach from Dee Marsh ...
... and through the former platforms. A not-often photographed location, and a closed station not yet on the list to make a comeback. Opened on 1 August 1899, it closed well before the 'Beeching cuts' on 5 December 1955; the main building still stands.
The Ruby Vampire second bite
Balderton Crossing, 24 March (Bob Greenhalgh)
Stranger at Rossett, 24 March (Tim Rogers)
Following on from the problem-hit 'Ruby Vampire' railtour run by the Branch Line Society on 4 November 2018 - to raise money for the Merseyside Blood Bikes charity and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Merseyrail - a second version ran on Sunday 24 March, advertised as:
The second bite at an easy day out 'Track & Traction' loco-hauled railtour with West Coast Railways (WCR) booked to feature two Class 33 locomotives operating top 'n tail exploring the North West and the DC network on Merseyside. Highlights include Chester Goods No 2, Bidston Stabling Siding, Chester Curve, Wrexham Up Bay and the much sought after strategic connections at Bootle Jn AND Southport.
Running from Croes Newydd loop into the bay platforms, once the stabling point for Wrexham & Shropshire trains ...
... and arrived in the bay (George Jones).
Traction was top-and-tailed West Coast Railway 33 029 and the 71A locomotive Group's 33 012 Lt Jenny Lewis RN , with just three Mk1 open coaches (4905, 4994 and 99327)
and one brake-second (99723) for reasons of restricted train length for some of the moves. Open to members only, the train rapidly sold out. The planned itinerary was:
Crewe P11 PU (09.05) Chester Goods No 2 Reception Wrexham General PU (09.57) Croes Newydd Loop (RM) Wrexham Up Bay (RM) Croes Newydd Loop (RM) Bidston P1 Birkenhead North EMU Depot (RM) West Kirby (RM) Bidston Stabling Siding (RM) Bidston P2 Wrexham General Croes Newydd Loop (RM) Chester Curve Hooton Rock Ferry (RM) Hooton Ellesmere Port Acton Grange Jn Warrington Bank Quay Dn Slow Wigan Wallgate Southport P3 (break / RM) Formby Bootle Jn Olive Mount Chord Huyton Ince Moss Chord Warrington Bank Quay P2 SD (19.53) - Up Helsby Crewe P1 SD (20.34) - Up & Dn Potteries Loop (RM) - Crewe P12 SD (20.57)
Hawarden (Tim Rogers).
Penyffordd (Bob Greenhalgh).
Not on the list this time was the visit to the sidings at Dee Marsh, the site of a minor carriage derailment last time. A significant inclusion was a run along the 'Bootle Branch' from Bootle Junction and along the Olive Mount Chord (closed in 1987 and re-opened for freight in 2009) towards Huyton. The plan to run from Hooton through Ellesmere Port to Helsby was thwarted, and the train ran direct from along the Merseyrail route Hooton to Chester. Helsby Junction signalbox is normally 'switched out' on Sundays, with the route set for the main line; the organisers had asked for it to be open, and according to one report, it was staffed. Communication failure, perhaps.
West Kirby (Ian Henderson).
Coming off the 'Chester Curve' which allows trains from Wrexham or North Wales to travel on towards Hooton without reversing on the station. No regular trains make this movement, but the 'triangle' it completes is occasionally used to reverse locos, or complete trains, especially excursions terminating at Chester. Picture taken with a long lens from Bache station, a still from Bob Greenhalgh's YouTube video of the day.
At speed through Port Sunlight station. There were four tracks on this section when it was used by London - Birkenhead expresses until the 1960s (Ian Henderson).
Picture news - with Tim Rogers