02 April 2020
(see also our
Calendar page for venues)
Note: we have removed all
entries up to the end of May as the events are
Saturday 27 June Steam at Chester The Cheshireman
(Railway Touring Company). 60163 London
Euston - Chester and return.
Sunday 19 July Steam on the Coast North Wales Coast
Express (Railway Touring Company) LIverpool -
Manchester - Holyhead (15:05 - 17:40).
Tuesday 21 July Steam on the Coast The Welsh
Mountaineer (Railway Touring Company) Preston - Blaenau
Ffestiniog and return
Saturday 5 September Steam at Chester 'The
Cheshireman' (Railway Touring Company). Norwich to Chester.
Loco 6233 for part of the journey.
47 826 Springburn passing Sandycroft with a
London train on 30 March 2002 (Tim Rogers).
An extra helping of 'looking back'
as looking back is clearly very popular : the next
update which should catch up with the all the great contributions received will
be a day later than usual on the evening of Tuesday 5
April. Reminder: Images of the current scene are not
encouraged in the current situation. - Charlie
The Holyhead Breakwater Railway - by David Pool
On my visits to Holyhead in the 70s I never saw any signs of
activity on the Breakwater Railway – the locos were locked
out of site in the shed. I was determined to see these
elusive creatures before they were inevitably withdrawn, and
one of my British Rail contacts offered to let me know when
they were due to be working.
Eventually I got a message that there was planned activity
on 11 August 1976, so I set off for Holyhead early that
day. Sure enough, 01 002 was out of the shed,
together with a flat wagon loaded with a Bristol compressor,
and behind a Wickham trolley TR23.
The Wickham trolley set off down the Breakwater and
eventually returned ...
... at which time 01 002 moved off with the
After a long walk ...
... I caught up with it near a travelling crane at the
end of the Breakwater.
Some work was being carried out on the seaward side of the
Breakwater, and I decide not to wait until 01 002
The remaining task was for me to see if any photo of 01 001
was possible. A black locomotive in an unlit shed
presented problems with no flash, but I couldn’t complain
after such a successful day!
Thirty-six years later I returned to Holyhead, this time to
photograph the “Land Train” which ran between the Promenade
and the new Breakwater Country Park, the latter being the
site of the quarry which supplied the stone for the
Breakwater. The road followed the course of the
railway between the loco shed and the quarry.
As a postscript, I recently bought a Bachmann model of a
Wickham trolley. Its number was TR23.
[The train Q35 LCC has since moved to Stirling,
Scotland, replaced at Holyhead by one hauled by a Land
From Dave Sallery's archive
31 270 on reballasting duties on the Trawsfynydd
branch, 4 November 1993. The train was top and tailed from
Blaenau. On the return journey, as the ballast was dropped,
the rear loco followed at a respectable distance.
2 July 1984, 40 143 on Up ballast from Penmaenmawr
at Mostyn. The sheeted hopper wagons in the background
carried imported sulphur to the Octel plant at Amlwch.
Looking over the fence at Brush, Loughborough. At least 12
new Class 60s are in view. 27 October 1990.
2 July 1984. Mostyn docks No. 2 is backing loaded
sulphur wagons out of the docks into the yard. There they
will be sheeted over and formed into a trainload for Associated Octel,
The picture of the purple Deltic in ther last issue was by
David Wood and not as first given.
This week in 2002 - pictures by
Tim Rogers (Part 2)
Chester, 27 March 2002. 47 829, which had
gained the strange livery for a safety campaign,
working the Crewe to Holyhead section of the evening train
37 418 East Lancashire Railway calls at
Chester, taking time out from its Cardiff - Rhymney duty to
work between Cardiff and Crewe, one of a number of
loco-hauled trains on that route at the time.
Recently, it has been back on the Rhymney line filling in
for late-delivered Class 769 units.
29 Mar 2002, Shotton Low Level. 175 002 is the 10:17
Crewe to Bangor
47 814 Totnes Castle on 1A46 09:19 Holyhead
30 Mar 2002, Sandycroft. 47 826 Springburn
on 1A39 09:19 Holyhead to Euston.
First North Western 153 360 and 156 459 are
10:02 Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead.
47 789 Lindisfarne 1D87 07:20 Euston to
North Wales Coast Express c. 1989 - pictures by Gareth
1989 was a a good year for steam fans, when British Rail ran
a series of 'North Wales Coast Express' excursions along the
North Wales line in the summer, using a variety of
locomotives. Above, 34027 Taw Valley
heading out of Chester.
A4 pacific 60009, running as Osprey as the
name Union of South Africa was thought to have political
implications at the time .
Parry's Railway Companion - revisited by Geraint
Many readers will no doubt be familiar with Bradshaw's
Railway Handbook, as
used by Michael Portillo on his TV travels. In the early
days of travelling by rail, there were a number of similar
titles being written, aimed at the new traveller. One such
volume was written by Edward Parry, a native of
Chester. First published in 1848, its title page
describes it as "containing a descriptive and historical
account of all objects of interest that present themselves
on this beautifully picturesque line; especially the monster
tubular bridges across the river Conway and the Menai
Straits, and the herculean harbour of refuge at Holyhead".
Here is an extract, describing the station in Chester:
This grand central terminus station for all the lines
meeting at Chester—the London and North Western—the Chester
and Holyhead—the Shrewsbury and Chester—and the
Birkenhead Lancashire and Cheshire Junction Railways,—was
designed by Mr. Thompson, the celebrated architect, of
London, who planned the Derby station. It is admirably
adapted for the purpose of developing all those facilities
and conveniences which are the characteristics of the
railway system. The station consists of a facade facing the
city of Chester, 1010 feet long, built of dark-coloured
fire-bricks, relieved with stone facings and dressings. The
centre of this building, which is two stories in height,
contains, on the ground floor, the usual offices, waiting
and refreshment rooms; and, on the upper floor, offices for
the general station committee, and for the Chester &
Holyhead and the Shrewsbury & Chester Companies, in
which the business connected with the whole of their lines
is conducted. The number of offices and rooms exceed fifty.
The wings are formed by projecting arcades, with iron roofs,
and are appropriated to private and public vehicles, waiting
the arrival of trains. On the inner side of the office
buildings, a large platform extends, which is chiefly used
for departing trains, and is 740 feet long by 20 feet wide;
this and three lines of rails are covered by an iron roof,
60 feet in span, designed by Mr. Wylde, C.E. which is one of
the most elegant yet constructed; and us the height of the
walls on which it rests is 24 feet
from the platform, the whole shed has a very imposing
effect. Behind this shed, and only divided from it by a
series of pillars and arches, is a shed for spare carriages,
600 feet long by 52 feet wide, also covered with a
beautifully constructed iron roof. There are likewise two
sheds for arrival trains, each 290 feet long by 24 feet
broad, in a line with the office buildings, and filling the
space between the arrival shed and the shed for vehicles.
The full extent of the passenger station, from the carriage
landing at the east end to the one at the west end, is 1160
This noble building is an object of considerable attraction.
It occupies a space of ground a quarter of a mile in length.
The design is remarkable for its beauty and grandeur of
proportion. Much praise is due to Mr. Brassey, the spirited
contractor, for the workmanlike and expeditious manner in
which he has accomplished this stupendous edifice; the
foundation stone of which was laid in August, 1847, and on
the 1st of August, 1848, it was opened for traffic. The
length of the line immediately connected with the passenger
station is about 15,000 feet, with 36 turn tables, and
numerous points and crossings. Great credit is due to R. L.
Jones, Esq. the committee's secretary and general manager,
who superintended the entire
work during its progress, suggesting and causing such
alterations to be made as he deemed necessary for the
general comfort and convenience of the public.
Behind stands the Goods Station, a substantial red and blue
brick building, consisting of a shed 180 feet long and 120
feet wide, with four railway and two cart entrances, at
either end, and one railway entrance in front. It is covered
by two large roofs, supported down the centre of the
building by cast-iron columns and girders, and lighted by
two skylights, each 175 feet long and 14 feet wide. The new
bridge is of handsome design, built by Messrs. E. L. Betts
and Son, with brick and stone, consisting of six girder and
fifteen brick arches; the latter of which are converted into
stabling, and the side of the branch leading down to the
Goods Station into cattle landings. It is 1040 feet long,
and 30 feet wide within the battlements. There are also four
semaphore light-houses, gas-works, a spacious reservoir,
&c. The total cost was above £220,000.
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