26 May 2020
(see also our
Calendar page for venues)
Note: we have removed all entries up
to the end of June as the events are cancelled. The
trains below are still being advertised, albeit rather
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.
As a postscript to our 'Britannia Bridge fire' special issue, Ken Robinson
sends this photograph taken by his late father in
September 1970, of Caernarfon station, closed to passengers
but in use to transship Freightliner containers between
train and lorry, using the crane seen on the left.
Some current views included today:
please now send both old and new, but remember the rules
for your particular country. Even in England, we'd
suggest that you avoid excessive use of a car, and avoid
standing on footbridges, etc, where others have to pass.
This issue is shorter than planned due to various
(happy!) home activities. Outstanding material
should appear in another update before the end of
the week.- Charlie
Engineering work - pictures by Ryan Lloyd
Weekend engineering work on the track has been taking place
on the Coast line recently. Ryan Lloyd used his allowed daily exercise
to serve events at Llandudno Junction on 9 May, where 66
501 arrived with rake of empty wagons, stopping the
colect a staff member.
On the way to work on 17 May, Ryan paused to photograph work
Colas loco 56 302 on a train of materials, including
Also in attendance, 70 806.
Tamper DR 72934 waits in the 'Tamper Siding '.
Pacer to Gobowen
An unusual train movement on 22 May, possibly never to be
repeated, involved train 5Z44 (empty stock) 10:05 Keighley
and Worth Valley Railway to Gobowen, Cambrian Railways,
formed of 'Pacer' units 144 007 and 144 006,
pictured above at Ruabon by Martin Evans on his
daily walk. The units had been stored at the
Worth Valley after withdrawal by Northern; some 144s had
been earmarked to stay in traffic after the withdrawal of
the Class 142 Pacers, but reduction of services due to the
Virus situation has made that unnecessary. Leasing company
Porterbrook have transferred (for a nominal charge?) the two
sets to the Cambrian Heritage Railways, which have obtained
the use of the bay platform and siding at Gobowen.
Arrived at Gobowen. Picture by Community Rail Officer Sheila
They will be conveyed by road to the railway's base at
Oswestry, but the intention is to use them on a public
service on the 2.5 mile branch in Shropshire between Gobowen
and Oswestry, serving a hospital en route using the
line which ceased to be used for freight some years ago
still exists, although including a level crossing (at an
acute angle) of a wide and busy road, which may be
problematic if a regular service is envisaged. Oswestry is a
significant market town, but over the years ambitious plans
by other heritage railways to serve commuters and shoppers
have tended to fade away after a short while. Currently an
hourly bus service connects the two places.
Into the bay platform (Sheila Dee).
A Cambrian Railtour, and more steam - by David Pool
The 'Cambrian Coast Express' was a Wirral Railway Circle
Railtour from Crewe to Pwllheli, via Shrewsbury on 8 April
1972, running as 1L26. After a problem at Welshpool
with 5056, one of the allocated Class 24s, 5062 and 5080
were used for the rest of the tour. Above, the train is
approaching Dovey Junction, and is signalled to take the
A Metro-Cammell unit, M56337/51182, has arrived with the
12:55 Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury, and is waiting for our
train to clear the single line from Machynlleth.
Situated on the Dovey Estuary, the isolated Gogarth Halt was
not often photographed. Facilities for would-be
passengers seem to have been rather primitive, and perhaps
it was no surprise that the Halt closed in 1984.
A photostop had been arranged at Barmouth, and the tour
participants are at least keeping off the running lines.
The Railtour continued to Pwllheli, where the locomotives
ran round. I had tried to get a photograph of the preserved
steam locomotives at the Butlin’s Camp, but my first attempt
was poor, and I determined to try again on the return
journey, This was much better, and I got an acceptable
shot of 6203 Princess Margaret Rose and the
Another photostop on the Railtour at Tywyn presented a nice
view from the footbridge, looking towards Machynlleth.
The exchange siding for the Talyllyn Railway is on the left
beyond the road bridge.
What happened to the locomotives at Butlin’s Camp?
After being moved from Butlin’s No.40 was eventually sold,
and is now to be found at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
It is a particularly historical locomotive, being the one
which when new went to the Paris International Exhibition of
1878 as LBSCR 40 “Brighton”, obtaining a gold medal for its
designer William Stroudley. When I photographed it at
Haven Street in 1992 it was in the livery of the Isle of
Wight Central Railway, where once it carried the number
11. Since then it has yet again been repainted, now
W11 “Newport” in Southern Railway green. Only eight
more years before its 150th birthday!
6203 Princess Margaret Rose appeared on the North
Wales Coast on several occasions in 1995. On 18 June I
photographed it from the car park of the Northgate Arena as
it passed Chester South Junction with a North Wales Coast
Thanks to the Internet, I have been able to get the
background to the appearance of this industrial locomotive
at Colwyn Bay, which I photographed on 28 December 1988, but
was unable to identify at the time. A clue to its
previous owner is the “Steamtown” on the buffer beam.
It was built in 1952 by Hudswell Clarke (Works No.1864) for
the NCB at Newmarket Colliery, where is received the number
S.103. After being withdrawn, it went to Steamtown
Carnforth, where it received the name “Firefly”. It
then moved to Colwyn Bay, together with a single Mk 1 coach,
where it was intended to be part of a tourist attraction on
Platform 3. The scheme was short lived, and eventually Firefly
went to the Dartmoor Railway, where it was being restored at
Meldon Quarry, the boiler in particular needing to be
renewed. In February 2020 the Dartmoor Railway went
into Administration, and unfortunately it is not clear what
the future holds for Firefly.
John Violet writes: Whilst taking my daily exercise,
cycling from Chester I came across this old coach body at
Burton, near Rossett. Clearly the cladding and windows have
At one time coach bodies like this were seen more regularly
but I have not seen one for many years now. If anybody knows
more about the vehicle I would be interested to know.
Wrexham then and now - by Jim Scott
The view from Wrexham General in 1985,
with a Class 47 on a train, probably from Ravenscraig, to Shotton steel
The same view on 19 May 2020 with a Penyffordd Cement train
.. hauled by 66 785.
Class 37 Farewell, Day 2 - by Ian Bowland
Sunday 21 May 2000, and the Farewell Special and the
Farewell headed North for Southport, Blackpool and
Crewe station and 37 038 waits to lead 37 029,
and the second Farewell Special, off to Southport via
Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly and Wigan Wallgate.
Arrival at Southport.
4: Waiting in the station were 37 415 and 37 421
which would attach to the rear of the train, then leave for
Manchester Victoria. 37 038 and 37 029 would detach and
proceed to Preston as a light engine movement.
The two 37/4s detached and ran round the train to hook up at
the rear before leaving for Preston.
038 and 029 attached to the rear after which the train left
for Blackpool. I was thoroughly disoriented by now.
Blackpool North station.
With 029 leading 038, the train left for Preston (again). At
Preston, 029 and 038 detached and left for Crewe. Next stop
was Barrow-in-Furness via Carnforth and Grange-over-Sands.
Arrival at Barrow.
The staff were extremely helpful on the day ...
... and we were allowed down to track level to photograph
but under strict control.
The two 37's took the train forward for servicing and to run
round in preparation for the journey home.
Unfortunately, I somehow lost shots of the train returning
to the station and then arriving at Crewe but apart from
those two locations there were no further stops where
pictures could be taken. The route home was via
Grange-over-Sands, Manchester Victoria (again), Denton,
Stockport then Crewe.
A fantastic weekend the likes of which I'm unlikely to see
again and my thanks go to the staff of the former First
North Western, Railway Magazine and, of course,
Charlie for promoting the event so well.
Looking back: Crewe - by Glyn Jones
A visit to Crewe Works and South Shed, Sunday 11
September 1966. Despite only having 23 months to go before
the demise of steam, the works was still repairing,
outshopping and painting locomotives. General view of
the shed yard. A slight pall of smoke hangs over the yard
with some engines being in light steam, awaiting their call
of duty the following day. More of 70032 ( in
the centre), later.
Class 5MT 4-6-0 44800 outside the paint shop prior
to having the tender
emblem applied. One wonders if lining out ever took place.
It was built in Derby in May 1944 and withdrawn from 24C
Lostock Hall at the end of March 1968, less than two years
after the photo was taken. It met its demise at Drapers of
BR Standard Class 2 2-6-0 78036 is unlined, has no
tender emblem, nor even
cab side numbers! It was identified only by its smokebox
door number plate. Built at Darlington in November 1954, it
was withdrawn from 84G Shrewsbury after a short life of just
over 12 years and scrapped at Cashmores, Newport
Class 4MT 2-6-0 43151 was built in 1951. It has its
5B Crewe South shed code painted on the smokebox door and
has recently had its tender filled from the coaling tower.
It was withdrawn some 15 months later.
Class 5MT 4-6-0 45149 with combined top feed and
dome is in remarkably clean
condition for the period. Built by Armstrong Whitworth
in June 1935, like many others, it ended its days at 24C
Lostock Hall, before being scrapped at Drapers, Hull.
A sign of the times, Class 7P 4-6-2 70032 Lord
Tennyson carries home-made
wooden replica nameplates. Were the originals stolen or had
they been removed for safe keeping prior to despatch to
'Collectors Corner'? At least some friendly shedmaster has
permitted the fixing of the replacements! [The original name
sems to have been just Tennyson.]
Built in December 1952 at Crewe, its original shed was 7C
Holyhead, from where it could be seen on the North Wales
Coast. After a shockingly short life of less than 15 years
it was withdrawn from 68A Carlisle Kingmoor in September
1967 prior to being despatched to J McWilliams, near Glasgow
for cutting up.
Another Class 2 2-6-0 78010; it was built in
December 1953 and carries a 5B Crewe South shed code. It had
already been withdrawn from service and was awaiting
departure for Cashmores, Newport for cutting up. Behind, is
9F 2-10-0 92004 which was built at Crewe in January
1954. It ended its days at 11A Carnforth in March 1968, and
like the Class 2, succumbed to the cutter's torch at
Veteran Fowler 0-6-0 Class 4F 44377 was built by Andrew
Barclay & Sons, Kilmarnock in 1927. Its mainline days
over, it had already been relegated to duties as Works
Shunter 'W13'. Now lying idle, it awaits departure to
Drapers, Hull for its demise. Note the spare / redundant
boilers in the background.
Class 3F 0-6-0s 47658 and 47615, both also
having been demoted for use as
works shunters, are also out of use and awaiting their fate.
47658 ended up
at Cohens Kettering. The destination of 47615 is
unclear, but it probably
ended up at the same destination.
A survivor! Class A4 Pacific 60010 Dominion of
Canada, minus its nameplates, is awaiting restoration
prior to preservation in the Canadian National Railway
South Manchester scenes - by Greg Mape
I have been out around South Manchester & surrounding
area since the easing of Lockdown rules, mostly by push bike. Above,
Knutsford on Saturday 16 May with 60 074 on the
Tunstead - Lostock Works limestone train.
Styal on 18 May: 66 529 running light Crewe-
Manchester International Depot perhaps for tyre turning.
While we are asked not to travel to Wales by some
authorities, a tram runs around on Manchester Metrolink
inviting us to 'Go North Wales.'
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