Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

17 June 2019


Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

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

16 June was the first day in service of the Llangollen Railway's new arrival, 31 271.  The picture at Carrog was taken by Rhys Evans, permitted to be on the track as he was secondman on the loco.

New book - Ruabon to Barmouth

Peter Dickinson, Llangollen Railway volunteer and a contributor to our site, has a new book published on 20 June  by Fonthill Media, entitled The Ruabon - Barmouth Line ,  a paperback with 160 pages illustrated in colour and black and white.

The publishers say that Peter 'Explores the communities the railway served, characters involved and the reasons behind its construction, beautifully illustrated with 170 previously unpublished photographs. Extensive exploration of a lost Welsh railway’s important history and operation over 100 years showing the change it brought to the communities it served Of historic and technical detail, this is of much interest to locomotive/railway aficionados, historians and modellers'.

Buy it from your favourite preserved railway shop, or from Amazon, £18.99.

Bangor scenes - by Jim Johnson

The nameplate of recently-named Voyager 221  116 City of Bangor  at its namesake town. The name was transferred earlier this year from Pendolino 390 042; we presume that someone noticed that Pendolinos haven't been seen at Bangor for some years. The old '6H'  loco shed is in the background. The unit was coupled to 221 110 James Cook, forming 1D83 09:10 Euston-Holyhead.

150 282 departing as 1T12, 11:25 Chester - Holyhead. Flooding in the Chester area the previous day had caused many displaced and cancelled services.

68 033 leading the Branch Line Society 'Conwy Cat'  special from Hooton to Holyhead Carriage Sidings, through at 13:05...

... with 66 429 on the tail. Contributor Peter Basterfield standing on the right of a fellow enthusiast.

1V96 12:32 Holyhead-Maesteg, augmented to six cars, 175 113 leading 175 115. Again, probably as a result of the flooding the previous day.

221 116's Welsh version nameplate Dinas Bangor forming 1A48 13:58 Holyhead - Euston, again with 221 110 James Cook.  'Dinas' is the accepted Welsh word for 'city' ;its original meaning was something like 'walled settlement.'

Another 150 pressed into long-distance working: 150 285 arriving as 1V97 14:36 Holyhead-Cardiff Central. [Noted at Manchester the previous day was a 150 working a Milord Haven service.. C.H.]

66 429 leads the return 'Conwy Cat' Branch Line Society special from Holyhead to Chester, at 15:16...

... with 68 033 trailing.

The Conwy Cat & The Three Peaks

The 'Conwy Cat' was one of the Branch Line Society's charity specials aimed at those who enjoy travelling over sections of track not normally used by passengers; on this occasion the recipient of the charity was The Railway Children, and excellent body which helps homeless children who live on stations in India and other countries.  The goodies included ' the new bidirectional Up Mostyn Goods Loop in both directions, passage through Ellesmere Port from East to West (giving a very small section of rare track) and the Frodsham Single line (formerly known as the Halton curve) from Halton Jn to Frodsham Jn.' Originally a trip to Blaenau Ffestiniog was included, but of course that line is still closed due to flood damage, so a visit to the carriage siding at Holyhead was substituted. As Illustrated above, both Up and Down 'main' through lines were also traversed.

Roly High was on hand with his camera to record 68 033 crossing from the Down Main and to the Up Main at Mostyn East Junction.

68 033 now heads into the Mostyn Loop from the Up Main.

66 429 was at the rear. An odd thing about this loop is that it's signalling was designed purely for possible (but currently non-existent) freight trains into Mostyn Dock, so special arrangements would have been necessary.

The return between Abergele and Llandulas with 66 429 leading (Ian Wilson).

68 033 on the rear (Ian Wilson).

Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh).

The train was arranged to run on the same day as the annual 'Three Peaks Challenge' train ran to Bangor for the participants to climb Snowdon before also Climbing Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis.  The Branch Line Society passengers de-trained at Chester so that the train could be cleaned before heading for Crewe to collect passengers from the south. 68 033 then headed down the Coast for a second time, photographed at Rhyl by Roly High.

Scotland to Wales

On 15 June, an excursion organised by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society ran from Glenrothes with Thornton on the east coast of Scotland (dep. 06:50) to Llandudno (arr.14.46).  was top-and-tailed by one-time Holyhead - Cardiff loco 67 001 (seen passing Rhyl) ...

... and former Wrexham & Shropshire 67 012. (Pictures by Ian Wilson.) The Society's own rake of Mk1 carriages  was used.

Approaching Colwyn Bay (Alan Martin).

The return, pictured by Bob Greenhalgh passing Beeches Farm,  left Llandudno at 17:15 and arrived at Glenrothes - 20 minutes late - at 00:11.

A visit to the Llangollen Railway - with Ken Robinson

On 15 June I visited the Llangollen Railway - other commitments made it impossible for me to visit on the 16th  when 31 271 was to  making its debut. However with 2-6-4T 80072 (seen on the  approach to Glyndyfrdwy with the 11:00 from Llangollen)  making one of its last appearances before the end of this month when it will be taken out of traffic for an overhaul., and an extra DMU out on driver experience, it was a good day.

The Class 104 DMU (left) on a driver experience train, and class 108 DMU after arrival at Llangollen with the 11:15 from Carrog.

The opening of the new Corwen Central station is expected on 1 October; in the meantime trains are terminating at Carrog.

Type 3 to the Sea

Paul Frost MBE,  Deputy 2nd Coxswain of the Rhyl lifeboat, writes to tell us of a fascinating railtour to be run by the Branch Line Society on 10 August from Crewe to Portsmouth, which includes a chance to travel by hovercraft as well as the usual interesting lines. Traction will be thee class 37s' details are on the BLS website.

The train will  raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), who save lives at sea and along our shores 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Still running as a two-car set following fire damage to the centre car, the sole new-liveried 175 unit, 175 107,  works 1D47 13:36 Manchester Airport - Llandudno on 13 June. Picture by Ian Wilson.

DB 66 023 runs 'wrong line' at Wrexham in order to access  the Down Main with the empty steel coil service from Dee Marsh to Margam at 09:50, this was running in front of the delayed Llandudno to Cardiff Central service which was running 30 minutes late due to signalling problems between Llandudno junction and Chester (Martin Evans.)

Crewe Open Day gallery - pictures by Alan Martin

Some images from the Open Day at Locomotive  Services' Crewe Depot (formerly Crewe Diesel Depot) on Saturday 8 June.  The number of different diesel  and electric loco types from most of the companies who run locos was quite remarkable; this images show just a few of them. Above, 20 205, 73 001 and 37 190.

50 049  Defiant in its new GBRf livery, DRS 57 307 Lady Penelope and Transpennine  68 027 Splendid.

Deltic 55 019.

Freightliner 70 008 and Colas 70 808.

08 762,  20 189 and 73 001.

Steam exhibits included  70000 Britannia, Aveling-Barford Road Roller, 760 Old Nick ...

 ... 45231 and 34046.

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