Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

03 June 2019


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Forthcoming events

June 2019

Tuesday 6 June  Steam on the Coast: West Coast Railways: London Euston - Holyhead. Steam  Crewe-Holyhead and return

July 2019

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: Preston-Blaenau Ffestiniog  48151 or 45600: Preston-Manchester-Chester-Llandudno Jn-Blaenau and return Cancelled?

August 2019

Saturday 3 August Steam on the Coast: UK Railtours, 'The Irish Mail' London Euston - Holyhead
34046, 46100 or 70000 Crewe - Holyhead and return

Not North Wales, but we can't resist Greg Mape's picture from 25 May of the 'Retro Devon Seasider' excursion from Huddersfield to Paignton (A very long day out) calling at the very basic Reddish South station with plenty of passengers in view.  The locos are 37 407 (leading) and 37 059. See also 'Class 37 activities'  at the end of this issue.

Greg Mape on the Coast

On 27 May, 67 014 beings the 09:53 Manchester - Holyhead alongside the North Wales Coast path towards Abergele.

28 May at Llandulas Viaduct, with 88 005 Minerva and 88 003 Genesis in charge of the Crewe - Valley flasks.

One of the TfW-liveried 175s on the daily  08:30 Llandudno - Cardiff service.  The website of Aura Graphics, the company who apply the new scheme, tells us that 3Ms new Non-PVC film 480mC.  Ameliorate is used, making it TfW the first rail operator to use this sustainability-focused self-adhesive graphic film.

On 29 May, seen from Cadnant Park bridge, 67 014 emerges from Conwy Tunnel, working train 1D34, 09:53 Manchester - Holyhead.

A few minutes later, A view from the opposite parapet of the bridge, showing the rear end a pair of Voyagers forming the 08:10 London Euston - Holyhead.  The Railhead Treatment Train will be very much needed at this spot in the autumn.

Next day, 30  May: with the Valley Family Air Display in full swing in the background, 67 014 passes with the Manchester - Holyhead.

The Blades Aerobatic Display Team were among the performers. Unfortunately the weather rather spoiled the show.

New-livery 158 826 made an appearance.

On 31 May, the Crewe - Valley flask train near Abergele with 68 016 Fearless and 68 003 Astute.

175 007 on 1V92, the 06:28 Holyhead - Cardiff, passes the 'Christmas Tree' which has been a feature of this location for some time.

Running five minutes late on 31 May, the 09:10 from London passes Llanfairfechan.

Chester to Liverpool, 1974 - by John Cowlishaw

Discussing the new Chester - Liverpool (via Helsby) service I was informed that such services last ran in 1974 and so dug out my timetable from that year in the roof, with Table 82 being the one in question. (Download PDF) This table has the caveat that the services from Chester and Runcorn via Helsby may be withdrawn during the currency of the timetable, even though I believe they were withdrawn at the end of that timetable i.e. 4 May 1975.

The table shows departures from Chester to Runcorn at 07:18, 08:38, 10:46 (from Llandudno to Liverpool SO),  13:40 (from Bangor to Liverpool SO),  16:20, 17:41 (ex Helsby), 18:35 (ex Helsby), 20:20 (in winter) and 21:40 with no Sunday services.  Runcorn departures were at 08:03, 09:44 (Liverpool to Bangor Summer SO), 11:56 (Liverpool to Llandudno Summer SO), 17:00, 18:13, 19:29, 22:25.  The new hourly timetable is far superior;  neither were any of  the original services extended through to Wrexham.

Perhaps the other thing noteworthy from that timetable was that the Liverpool-Euston services at Runcorn (some named 'The Liverpool Pullman' were shown as pick-up only on the Up services and set-down only on the Down services.

[Note: John was the photographer of last month's heading picture, not as shown in an early version.]

The 'Curvy Weaver'  at Mouldsworth - pictures by Bob Greenhalgh

The 'Curvy Weaver' (not 'curly' as we initially wrote!) on 1 June was a 'Forgotten tracks' tour from London visiting some rare track in the North West.  Bob Greenhalgh travelled to Mouldsworth to record its passage. Above, 66 83 leading ...

... and on the rear 66 078 looking very freshly repainted. Note that DB number their locos with a space after the class number, as is normal in Germany and (in our view) should still be normal here.

The full route was London Euston, WCML, Crewe, Warrington Yard, Latchford Sidings, Halewood Reception Sidings, Liverpool South Parkway area, Up & Down Garston Chord, Garston Freightliner Terminal, Ditton, Frodsham Curve (southbound), Chester, Mouldsworth, Hartford West Junction, Hartford North Junction, Winnington branch, Hartford North Junction, Hartford East Junction, Middlewich, Sandbach, Crewe, WCML, Euston.

Of particular note was the Winnington branch to Oakleigh sidings which has seen no trains since the chemical plant - once served by the famous 'hoppers' from Tunstead - closed. Network Rail had to clear much vegetation before it could be used.

The 15:02 Chester - Manchester called just before the passage of the special. As is all-too-common, a single Class 142 Pacer (142 009) was working the diagram; the plan by Northern to remove all these from traffic by the end of 2019 seems to have become rather flexible.

A nicely-painted seat. The colours look odd, but an authoritative website tells us that 'The Cheshire Lines Committee had their own colour scheme of light stone (similar to the GWR colour) and a mid brown which was used on all structures including signal boxes'.

Dave Sallery's Archive Spot

On 24 Octoper 1983, 47 555 The Commonwealth Spirit, someehing of a favourite with North Wales enthusiasts at the time, valls at Llandudno Junction with a train from London.

Holyhead on 3 March 1991,  and 47 841 Instititution of Mechanical Engineers departs with a mixed rake of coaches including a brake van borrowed from the Parcels sector.

31  May 1998, and there's a shortage of Class 37/4 locos so freight loco 37 191 finds itself on a passenger train, seen departing from Rhyl.

Many more like this on Dave's Flickr site.

A visit to Bala - with Jim Ikin

Visiting Bala for the model railway exhibition on Saturday 25 May we took advantage of the free bus service with 1964 built Bristol Lodekka up to Lake Celyn for a ten minute stop before returning to Bala ...

... and on to the Bala lake Railway.

We were pulled by Winifred down to Llanuwchllyn,  Alice returning the train back to Bala.

Whilst at Llanuwchllyn a visit was made to the new - opened in April Heritage Centre  containing historic items and rolling stock relating to North Wales slate.

Entry is free but donations are most welcome.

In the centre is a new boiler, built at Bridgnorth and destined for Alice at the end of the 2019 season.

George B arrives at Llanuwchllyn.

Class 37/4 activities

23 years ago this website was inspired  by the Class 37/4-hauled trains on the Coast line, which ceased regular operation at the end of 2000, but somehow we have just carried on ... and so have Class 37/4s, experiencing a passenger revival in the last few years in Cumbria and Norfolk.  Cumbrian Coast operation ended at the end of 2018, but the services from Norwich to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth carried on, supposedly until the end of the winter timetable on 18 May 2019, when they would be replaced by new railcars.

We decided to have a few days in Norwich around that weekend, which would include a Class 37 day as well as a bird-watching day. Friday 17 May was the Class 37 day - We found the train top-and-tailed by 37 405 (above,  at Norwich)...

... and 37 716, seen at Great Yamouth, one of the freight versions with no train heating facility.

Another change is in progress on these lines: the replacement of semaphore signalling. At Acle, the new signal stands to tale over from the tall semaphore protecting the single-line section ahead.

Platform lengthening in progress at Brundall ...

... one of the new remaining places where full-sized gates are moved across by hand.

37 405 'on the blocks' at Lowestoft.

Back at Norwich, 37 423 Sprit of the Lakes was stabled in the sidings ...

...later joined by recently-overhauled 37 409 Lord Hinton.  The following day, Saturday 18 May, a farewell railtour for charity ran to Liverpool Street, on what would have been, but wasn't, the final day, as it was announced that there would be 'a few more weeks.'. The special was top-and-tailed by 37 405 and 37 409.

One of the new Stadler bi-mode units, 755 410,  on a test run at Norwich.

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