15 April 2019
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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.
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 -
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
67 022 at Colwyn Bay on the express from Cardiff, 8 April.
Picture by Greg Mape.
67 014 brings the 09:53 Manchester - Holyhead into
Llandudno Junction on 8 April (Tim Rogers).
66 418 Patriot passes Beeches Farm on Sunday
14 April with an engineers' train of rail-carrying wagons (Bob
Greenhalgh). This loco was named
in November 2016, the name unveiled by Adam
Cunliffe, Freightliner UK Managing Director. Mr
Cunliffe's grandfather, Wilfred Wood, is celebrated in
Stockport (including the naming of Wetherspoon pub) as
one of the town's Victoria Cross awardees.
68 003 Astute leads 68 016 Fearless
near Mostyn, 10 April (Tim Rogers).
88 006 Juno leads 88 005 Minerva
the eastbound flask train at Llanfair PG, 12 April (Ken
Crossing the A55 at Old Colwyn, 12 April (Alan Martin).
Photographed by Kate Jones crossing Barmouth Bridge on 12
April was a train comprising two Network Rail locos,
scruffy-looking 97 304 John Tiley, repainted
97 302 and a single coach, possibly saloon 999506, forming a
12:20 special from Shrewsbury to Porthmadog, calling at
Minffordd. The reason for this was a loco naming ceremony
took place at Minffordd (National Rail) station on 12 April.
Network Rail ERTMS loco 97 302 was the recipient,
and the unveiling was performed by Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Assembly Member Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for
Culture, Sport and Tourism, seen on the right of the
picture. The nameplates, in traditional BR corporate
style, read Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland
Railways on one side and Rheilffyrdd Ffestiniog ac Eryri
(Rheilffyrdd is the plural of Rheilffordd). Also
present, having travelled in a Network Rail inspection
saloon coach were Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail
(left), and Dr John Prideaux (speaking), Chair of the
Festiniog Railway Company - once Chairman of BR Intercity.
The picture above was taken by Gwilym
Philips just after the naming, which celebrates the
partnership between Network Rail and the two narrow-gauge
After the naming, 97 304 took the train to Porthmadog
top clear the line for the 15:37 Pwllheli - Machynlleth, ran
round the train and returned it to Shrewsbury. Ken
Robinson photographed the ensemble crossing Pont
Briwet near Penrhyndeudraeth.
The 17:00 Porthmadog - Shrewsbury near Morfa Mawddach (Kate
Jones). It seems that 97 304 did all the haulage.
A visit to Llanfair PG - with Tim Rogers
67 014 passes the nicely-refurbished crossing at Llanfair PG
station propelling the 13:07 Holyhead - Manchester on 8
The signalbox at Llanfair PG, which has been reduced in
function to a 'gate box' controlling just the level crossing
and its protecting signals, is a very early example of a
signalbox built by Saxby and Farmer around 1871. It has been
altered by the installation of new windows with larger panes
than the original; inside is the lever frame of standard
LNWR style, installed in 1883.
The rarely-published street-side view of the box, which with
the postponement of the planned re-signalling west of
Llandudno Junction, appears to have a secure future.
An explanation of the famous long name, which appears to
have been created, perhaps in the 1950s, by local staff.
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland news
The 'Snowdonian' special offering a through run
from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back
and then through to Caernarfon and back to Porthmadog on the
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways ran on Saturday 13
April. Jim Ikin was at Porthmadog to watch
operations. Above: 762 Lyn and 190 Lyd
run through Porthmadog after taking over the train at Boston
Lodge for what was advertised as a non-stop run
to Caernarfon. Unfortunately, due to delays caused by a fire
near the line on the Ffestiniog section, the train was
terminated at Waunfawr in order to get back to Porthmadog on
time. (Source: Festipedia)
Linda and Blanche come into Porthmadog after
bringing the Snowdonian from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Boston
Blanche moves off after coaling. Another
on 15 June.
Garratt 138 prepares to take a Welsh Highland service
train to Caernarfon.
On 14 April, 762 was working alone at Rhyd Ddu on the WHR
with a train of heritage coaches (Greg Mape).
Running round the train at Rhyd Ddu past two of the unusual
signals used by the WHR (Greg Mape).
Garratt in the woods near Bontnewydd (Greg Mape).
On a less happy note, the RAIB has issued its report on an
accident which occurred on 19 January, luckily with no
injuries, at Penrhyn Level Crossing on the Ffestiniog
Railway. A diesel-hauled engineer's train ran through the
gates which were open to road traffic, due to a loss of rail
adhesion and failure by the crew to obey company rules. The
report can be read on
the RAIB website.
Green 37 in action
On 11 April, 37 057, now turned out in a good
imitation of the green livery worn by these locos when built
in the 1960s, hauled an ultrasonic test train, 08:13
Derby R.T.C.(Network Rail) to Crewe C.S. (L&NWR Site)
via Chester and Shrewsbury. Bob Greenhalgh
photographed the train from Balderton level crossing south
of Saltney Junction.
John Cowlishaw, whose picture above was taken from
the footbridge at Rossett, writes: The train ran very
slowly, taking 23 mins from Saltney Junction and stopped at
the signal protecting the start of single track at Rossett
Junction. Whilst waiting a technician got down to
examine the underside of one coach. The signal must
have been at red, as in due course a TfW liveried 175 003
passed northbound, clearing the single line. The 37
then made a noisy exit to Wrexham.
The 175, working 1W52 05:55 Milford Haven to Crewe had been
diverted via Wrexham & Chester. This service was
cancelled between Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly due to a
level crossing failure
South of Rossett Junction on the single line, Tim Rogers
recorded the whole train in detail for us.
Mk1, Brake force runner, GSA 6397.
Mk1, Brake force runner, 96608 (Ex Motorail).
Mk1, Generator van 6262.
Mk1, Ultrasonic Test Train coach, 999606.
Mk2f, DBSO, 9702, driving trailer.
1940s at Llangollen - report by George Jones
The two-day 'forties event' on 13-14 April featured
activity at all four stations on the Llangollen line with
re-enactors and singers recreating something of the decade.
The hourly train service to Carrog featured 80072 on the
4-car suburban set and 3802 on the bar-car train with a swap
over for Sunday. 80072 is seen above running into Berwyn
with the 'subs' in tow.
The compartments of the sub set provided a novelty for some
passengers with many visitors joining in the nostalgia
coming appropriately dressed for the occasion. 3802 is seen
in wartime GWR black running into Glyndyfrdwy and with the
GWR sticker in the tender in a reverse of the
The non-return of 2-6-2T 5199 from Tyseley meant the
intended goods train only operated as a shuttle in and out
of Llangollen using the Class 08 08 as 13265 marked
'WD' on a short formation.
Ben Jackson, station master at Berwyn got to greet VIP
Dave Shilliam, station master at Llangollen got to meet the
Blue Belle singers duo ...
... and at Glyndyfrdwy a French style was adopted for the
Chef du Gare and his assistant - Jean-Paul and Pierre -
where the station was renamed Glyn du Frais for the weekend
'George Formby' entertained the visitors. All made for
an entertaining occasion in sunshine but with a chill wind.
A ride with Clun Castle - with Jim Ikin
Iím sure everyone will be looking forward to seeing 7029
Clun Castle at Chester on 27 April and for the
Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza on 4 May. We were lucky
enough to travel on Clunís first mainline excursion (after
two evening diner outings} to Oxford (above) on Saturday 6
On the return journey we got off at Stourbridge Junction.
In the morning we travelled into Birmingham Moor Street from
Stourbridge Junction. Whilst waiting a class 139 came in
from Stourbridge Town. First shown on 28 June 2008 at the
Tyseley Locomotive Works Open Day, the 139s start up
using LPG and a flywheel then takes over.
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