Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

10 June 2019


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Forthcoming events

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

A Locomotive Services excursion ran on 8 June from London to Crewe for visitors to the open day at the company's depot. Peter Neve photographed the return working, which ran via Chester, entering the single-line section at Rossett Junction with D1924 Crewe Diesel Depot leading  and D1944 Craftsman on the rear.

Steam on the Coast, 6 June

45690 Leander passes Pensarn with the Crewe-Holyhead leg of "The Irish Mail" on Thursday 6 June  (Ian Pilkington).

Llandudno Junction (Jim Ikin). The train is crossing over to Platform 1 so that water can be transferred from a road vehicle.

Approaching Llandudno (Jim Ikin).

Conwy (Jim Ikin).

Conwy (Jim Ikin). Most enthusiasts alive today remember the 'Jubilee' class locos in express passenger  green livery, or the LMS maroon applied after preservation, but in the early days of Nationalisation from 1948 they were considered as 'mixed-traffic' and a few, including this one, were given the lined black scheme based on pre-1923 LNWR practice. 

Llanfairfechan (Rowan Crawshaw). Built in 1936 and withdrawn from British Railways in 1964, this loco was rescued from Barry scrapyard in 1972 and has had a long career in preservation.

Approaching Rhosneigr Station (Ian Pilkington). Diesel 47 245  was on the rear of the train.

45690 leaves Holyhead with the return leg to Crewe (Ian Pilkington).

Llanfairfechan (Rowan Crawshaw). Leander was an ancient Greek hero, but the loco names is one of a series of warship names. Several ships carried the name, including a light cruiser launched in 1931, doyen of the Leander class which included Achilles (loco 5697), Ajax (5689), Neptune (5687) and Orion (5691).

Trip Notices - by Dave Plimmer

At the time of my major interest in the railways of North Wales, BR used three distinct types of Working Timetable -

Mandatory Working Timetables
Conditional Working Timetables
Shunting Locomotive and Local Trip Notices

The last of these was my particular favourite - covering it as it did all those places and workings too obscure or convoluted to get into the main tables. Here are some examples of what was in the "Trip Notices":

1972 - Last appearance of workings to Minera and Marchwiel

1973 - Last appearance of workings to Dyserth.

1975 - Penultimate year of the Class 08 at Bangor - with a lovely early-morning 'high-speed' run from Llandudno Junction on Monday mornings.

1982 - A selection of Class 08 workings.

I originally acquired a few of the Chester District Trip Notices from BR Collectors Corner, but in recent years, the go-to place for finding them has been Ebay. I've bought a few copies there, but they only come up very infrequently. At the end of May, two auctions caught my eye. I one case I
put on a low bid, in the other I just watched with interest.


Firstly, a May 1983 copy of the Chester District notice. This is one of the last in this format - from May 1984 an A4 sized booklet was produced covering the wider area "North West and North Wales". This May 1983 booklet is advertised as having 4 pages.

 A day later, an auction for a May 1970 Liverpool Area, Wirral Section Trip Notice ended. This was advertised as having 7 pages.

I guess because the Wirral booklets covered a relatively small area, their print run would have been correspondingly small. Similarly, the 1983 Chester booklet had such a reduced number of workings in it that it too has a rarity value. These nondescript, little  (6"x9" and generally less than 16 pages) booklets have always had interest value. Now it seems they have increasing monetary value too.

You can find digitised versions of Chester District trip notices on the 2D53 website.   I am always eager to borrow copies or originals of the Chester District notices to fill in the gaps.

The Sunday Yicker

The 'Sunday Yicker'  on 9 June was another of the Branch Line Society's charity fund-raising tours designed to visit lines and tracks not normally used by passenger trains. Among other exotic places visited on this itinerary, which started and ended at Crewe, were  Warrington Dallam Royal Mail depot, the  Haydock Branch,  Hanson Kelbit Sidings, Liverpool Lime Street Platform 1 and Ditton Reception Sidings. 'Yicker' is a traditional nickname for the good people of Haydock.

Traction was provided by  West Coast loco 37 668 on one end of the four coaches, and, as photographed by Bob Greenhalgh at Acton Bridge, 31 128.  Class 31s are now a rare sight on the main line; this one is currently owned by Nemesis Rail, based at the former wagon repair works in Burton-on-Trent.

Cheshire Day Ranger - with Greg Mape

67 014 brings the empty stock for the 09:53 to Holyhead into Piccadilly.

158 822 looking smart in the new livery at Chester.

Not looking so smart, in the sidings at Chester a 175 with numbers removed; apparently in process of preparation for the new livery.

'Full house' at Chester - with representatives of three of the four passengers companies that serve the station.

At Liverpool Lime Street, 350 234 wearing the livery of the new London Northwestern operator await departure with the 12:33 to London (arr. 16:31) via Birmingham, where it couples to a unit which has come from Crewe via Stoke-on Trent. How well this new arrangement will work in the long-term remains to be seen.  350/2 units have 'suburban' 3+2 seating, which doesn't seem ideal for four-hour Liverpool - London journey, but they do offer some cheap fares.

Scenes at Berwyn, 9 June - pictures by Greg Mape

Llangollen Railway duties on 9 June were shared by steam in the form of 2-6-4T 80072, seen heading arriving at Berwyn ...

... and a 'heritage DMU', a Class 108 unit on this occasion.

The line's Class 47 diesel, 1566, was also in action on 'driver experience' work, seen from the other side of the River Dee.

A4 on the move

On 7 June, 60009 Union of South Africa made a positioning move, with its support coach, from the East Lancashire Railway to St Philip's Marsh depot near Bristol, where it would take over a Woking - Kingswear excursion the following day.  Picture from Broad Oak crossing by Peter Neve, who notes: ' With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings the previous day, the sight of the poppies in the photograph was particularly poignant.'

John Cowlishaw writes:  'It ran ahead of time north of Wrexham so having missed it I ventured to Chirk in pouring rain as it had a scheduled 20 minute stop there, which I assumed was for water.  With support coach it appeared on time, had much loving attention from the crew, obtained water from a road tanker at the station and charmed an audience of about 20 very
wet folk!'

Visit to Dolwyddelan - with John Cowlishaw

Visiting Dolwyddelan on 9 June, I  noted how deeply rusty the rails to the south of the station were after not seeing a train for nearly three months following storm Gareth. 

However, I found a working group a little way further south, towards Roman Bridge - good to see that work was continuing on a Sunday.

Crewe and Shrewsbury, 7 June - pictures by Martin Evans

Freightliner  66 623 in the new livery waits at Crewe before moving to Basford Hall Yard on 7 June with ballast wagons in tow.

Transport for Wales  150 278 waits in Shrewsbury before departing for Swansea over the Heart of Wales line at 14:06. Note in the background the extensive works to refurbish the Dana footbridge at the station.

DRS / TransPennine 68 029 Courageous stabled in Platform 10 at Crewe.

Saturday at Gobowen - with Chris Morrison

On 8 June Locomotive Services Limited Class 47 D1924 (47 810) passes Gobowen with a return 15:35 Crewe  - Euston UK Railtours charter having visited the open day there.

The former goods yard at Gobowen has been tidied up and a 1937 built LMS [milk?] tank wagon with a Cambrian Railways banner sits in the sidings. Transport for Wales 158 823 leaves with the 13:28 Holyhead-Birmingham International on 8 June.

Transport for Wales 150 285, standing in for a 175, arrives at Gobowen with the 1521 Cardiff-Holyhead passing the connection towards Oswestry on the right.

 Crewe Open Day

Rhodri Williams sends us this collage recording his visit to the Locomotive Services open day.

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