NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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17 February 2020
The appearance on railtour duty of 46100 on 15 February (see article below) created a remarkable amount of public interest, as seen at Stockport in Jim Ikin's picture. Do some think 'Royal Scot' is somehow related to 'Flying Scotsman'?
Tim Rogers' view
3 February on Cefn Mawr viaduct: 66 744 Crossrail crosses with 6M42 11:11 Gloucester N.Y. to Penyffordd Cement Sidings empties.
Flint on 8 February, with 175 106 on 1V98 14:27 Holyhead to Shrewsbury, the line beyond Shrewbury being affected by flooding.
Near Mostyn on 12 February, 175 106 again, with 1H88 12:54 Llandudno Junction to Manchester Airport.
Trial running with the second Mk4 train on 12 February, with 82226 leading ...
... an un-numbered Mk 4 first class coach ...
... RFM 10325. standard class/kitchen coach RSB ...
... Standard class vehicle 12454 -
... End coach, TSOE 12225 ...
... and on the rear 67 008. The train is 3J88 11:33 Holyhead Carrriage Maintenance Depot to Crewe. The '3' is the number used for Network Rail test trains: According to railcam.uk it 'was [previously[ used for freight trains capable of more than 75 mph, but now used for some test trains and some empty passenger trains which have time or route critical paths'.
Avanti at Flint, 15 February. 221 109 is 1D88 14:10 London Euston to Holyhead.
175 010 1H91 15:44 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly.
In the last issue we mentioned the controversy regarding the removal of stops from stations between Wrexham and Shrewsbury to 'speed up the service.' Full information, with thanks to Mike Stone, is that 07:02 from Cardiff has regained the calls, although initally not in the timetable database, but this has been corrected from 17 February, although the train actually started from Shrewsbury on 17 February due to storm damage . Oddly, the buses have remained in the timetable as shown bt Realtime Trains. From May 2020, the service leaves Shrewsbury at 06:45 and for some reason takes seven minutes longer from Ludlow to Shrewsbury.
Meanwhile, similar problems along the Coast have reached the pages of the local press. The 16:51 (Monday - Friday) Holyhead - Cardiff, one of the additional services intended to use the Mk4 loco-hauled set, calls only at Bangor (depart 17:18) and Llandudno Junction before Chester, with the result that commuters returning home from the city of Bangor to intermediate stations will have no train from 16:18 to 18:18, with not even a worthwhile connection at Llandudno Junction. The timetable planners seem to have lost sight of who actually travels on these trains; what were they thinking? To further annoy the Welsh locals, the train does call at Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Ludlow in England. No suggestion of a replacement bus, as in the Gobowen area case, either.
The Coast line seems to suffer from the lack of a User Group, as exists for other routes, which could have brought these matters to TfW's attention. Over the years. every attempt to start a group has failed.
From Dave Sallery's archive
59 005 and 59 104 were working were working Pathfinder Tours 'Chester Explorer' railtour when photographed near Wrexham on 13 September 2008.
Erstwhile Eurostar loco 37 611 on 18 April 2014 with a Network Rail train at Blaenau Ffestiniog.
56 033 Shotton Paper Mill passing Penyfordd on 19 July 1996 with empty OTA timber wagons.
Many more like this on Dave's Flickr site.
Llangollen half-term service - by George Jones
An off-peak timetable operates at Llangollen Railway for half-term week from 17 February with the Class 104 BCRW unit providing the weekday service. A steam service at the weekend 21/22 February.
Although the River Dee was running high and fast down the Valley, the 10:40 off Llangollen proceeded to Carrog (above) without problems, offering some grand views of the volume of water coming out of North Wales.
Winter lineside vegetation management has opened up more the lineside west of Deeside Halt to improve the view of the Llantysilio Range.
Above, the river running high west of Glyndyfrdwy station.
Alongside Llangollen station the river was wild and high as it crashed through the road bridge.
On 7 March there is a 'Back to the 90s' non-stop special train with 7822 Foxcote Manor: see the Llangollen Railway website for details.
Scenes of the 60s - by Peter Neve
The desolate view above is from the site of Chester Northgate station and looking towards the Mickle Trafford to Dee Marsh line. The signal box and three-armed bracket junction signal are both visible in the distance. The photograph was taken on 17 April 1968; the station finally closed completely in October 1969.
Two black and white photographs taken from a viewpoint near Chester General station. Stanier 8F 2-8-0 48384 leaving Chester General hauling a train of track panels past Chester No.2 signalbox on 31 May 1967.
The day before, Standard Class 5. 73011 (minus its original smokebox numberplate) at the head of a train of what appear to be iron ore hoppers. Is this a ballast train, or maybe granite roadstone from Penmaenmawr?
Braving Storm Dennis: The Peaks and Valleys ExplorerText and pictures by Richard Putley except where noted.
46100 at Stockport (Peter Cross).
A few weeks ago a friend who lives near Huyton, Merseyside, told me he had a spare Premier Class ticket for the Saphos Trains 'Pennine, Peaks and Valleys Explorer' steam tour on 15 February. The loco was due to be one of LMS 46100 Royal Scot, 70000 Britannia or SR Rebuilt 'West Country' 34046. Since I was more than happy to be hauled by any of those three locomotives, I had no hesitation in accepting his invitation to join him on the tour and spend a long weekend in Merseyside.
The tour started from Crewe and traversed the Stockport – Reddish line before arriving at Manchester Victoria (above), where we joined it. The motive on the day was no. 46100 Royal Scot which performed faultlessly during the day.
Although we had been expecting to share our table in Premier Class with two others, when we got to our seats we found they’d only laid two places. Our stewardess Amy confirmed that no-one else would be sitting there so we had the whole table to ourselves.
Departure from Victoria was a couple of minutes down and we held at Ordsall West Junction to allow a train from Manchester Piccadilly, formed of two of the new Northern Class 195 DMUs to go before us.
Once under way, we stopped for further picks up at Bolton and Chorley. We then ran through Preston Station without stopping. I hoped we might have a good fast run on the 20 mile straight between Preston and Lancaster. But it was not to be. We were sidelined in a Loop Line near Garstang I think to allow a Pendolino to overtake us. We were also held on the centre road at Lancaster for another to do likewise.
By this time were clearly running late and I wondered if we would still have a 45 minute break at Carnforth. The train crew had been notable by their silence on this, so I asked Amy what the situation was. She contacted the Train Manager who advised that we would just have a 15 minute break at Carnforth. This was sufficient to photograph Royal Scot and also the class 47 diesel loco on the back of the train, D1924 which was there “just in case”.
We had been served Starters before Carnforth. On departure from there we were served the rest of our meal. It was very good – I’d say even better than the meal I had on the WAG Express last August. The Cheeseboard was a notable selection of Lancashire Cheeses. I asked Amy for a list so I could show it to some friends back home in Wiltshire who have a monthly Cheese Club. She provided me a list on a sheet of A4 paper with tasting notes. Meanwhile we had set off along the line from Carnforth to Settle Junction. At Hellifield we took the Clitheroe Line. According to Real Time Trains our train terminated at Blackburn and then the rest of the return leg was shown as a separate train from there back to Crewe. I think we had been booked for a 10 minute stop at Blackburn for pathing requirements. But I don’t think we actually stopped there due to our late running.
At Preston we took the curve that enables trains from the Blackburn Line to turn southwards on to the West Coast Main Line. We then re-traced our route back to Manchester Victoria
My host was very disappointed that there didn't seem to be any direct trains from Manchester Victoria to Huyton; he tells me there are on Mondays to Friday. All the journeys National Rail Enquiries suggested involved changing at Newton-le-Willows. But I gather that’s a somewhat bleak station. So instead we took the 17:39 TransPennine service to Manchester Airport to Oxford Road. Despite Storm Dennis, this service (which had started from Redcar) arrived on time formed of 2 class 185 DMUs. The rear one was detached, leaving the other one very crowded. I was pleased though that this enabled to make my first trip over the Ordsall Chord.
At Oxford Road we had a half hour wait for the 18:26 to Liverpool. But fortunately it too was on time. Although formed of a single class 323 EMU, we managed to get a whole seating back to ourselves. It continued to run punctually, arriving at Huyton at its booked time of 19:03. So ended a very enjoyable day. I am very pleased that “Dennis” was not a menace to us!
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