31 August 2020
(see also our
Calendar page for venues)
Note: we have removed all entries relating to meetings
as the events are cancelled.
The Clwyd Railway Circle has informed us that all their
dates for the 2020=21 season, previously listed here, have
now been suspended.
Saturday 5 September Steam at Chester 'The
Cheshireman' (Railway Touring Company). Norwich to Chester.
Loco 6233 for part of the journey.
A Voyager crossing the River Dane, Northwich on 20 August
with the 09:38 Crewe to Holyhead, diverted due to bridge
work near Crewe. The train was also terminated at
Bangor due to a bridge strike. Picture by Chris Taylor.
Transport for Wales has now
applied the policy change already applied by English
operators to rescind the 'essential travel only' rule:
here's a message
from Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive Officer. But
of course we should be sure to take care, keep away from
other passengers, and wear a face-covering at all times when
on the railway.
Coast scenes - by Peter
Three images from 27 August. Above. A Transport For Wales
175 DMU passes over The River Clwyd on the outskirts of Rhyl
in North Wales running as 1V97 Holyhead to Shrewsbury.
Transport For Wales 175 DMU works train 1H89 Holyhead to
Manchester Piccadilly photographed at Old Colywn.
Avanti West Coast train 1A48, 13:58 Holyhead to Crewe, at
Abergele & Pensarn, worked by Bombardier-liveried 221
Clock Face - continued
Further to the items about the Clock Face route inspired by
David Pool's picture from 1979, Peter Hanson writes
'the line was regularly used for Sunday engineering
diversions and during the week for trains carrying cars from
the car factories at Speke. The picture shows 46
053 with the diverted 09:40 Newcastle to Liverpool at
the south side of Clock Face on Sunday 19 October
1978. I have also seen the Swindon built Trans Pennine
unit for Hull routed this way.
As confirmation of the route taken by these diversions, I
managed to obtain from the Manchester Locomotive Society
archive the Special Traffic Notice for 13 May 1979, the date
of David's picture. This reveals that only locomotive-hauled
diverted services needed to go via the long Ince Moss
Junction to Bamfurlong Junction; diverted trains worked by
DMUs would reverse at Sutton Oak and use the north to east
curve which did exist there to reach the main line.
Some points arise about our previous item. Firstly,
the former passenger service on the route served Widnes
South station, which closed in 1962, not Widnes Central as we
originally wrote. Also, the Adlestrop Map we used to
illustrate the route shows a link for westbound trains on
the main line at St Helens Junction to southbound the
southbound line to Appleton and Widnes. This chord
never existed, although there were a lot of sidings there
serving an LNWR works; cartographer Richard Fairhurst
assures us he will remove it.
Observers at Acton Bridge station in the morning of 29
August were treated to the sight and sound of two 'Black 5'
locos. 45231 Sherwood Forester (above)
passed at 08:54 on a charter train run by Locomotive
Services from Crewe to Carlisle. Thanks to the fact
that the company has now permitted Real
Time Trains to show locomotive allocations, we can
tell you that 47 805 was on the other end of the train.
At 09:22, 44871 passed Acton Bridge, in
the process of transfer with its support coach from the East
Lancashire Railway to Crewe. West Coast are so far not
tempted to release loco information, so this working is
labelled by 'RTT' with the default description of
diesel hauled, and a load of 106 tonnes (!). From Crewe it
continued to Bristol, sandwiched by two Class 47 diesels
which came from Carnforth, and the next day, 30
August, hauled a 'Royal Duchy' excursion from Bristol
to Plymouth and Par.
7822 Foxcote Manor returned from a short
visit to the West Somerset Railway on 28 August and was
quickly prepared for the weekend service trains at
Llangollen. On Saturday 30 August it was seen passing Berwyn
with the 10:40 Llangollen to Carrog with a 'Thunderbirds are
Go' headboard including a reproduction of a Virgin
Trains 'Scott Tracy' nameplate. The loco should run on
steam days between 29 August and Mid-October. Picture by George
Jones. Some good news is that the Llangollen Railway,
like a number others, has been granted funds (£161,000 in
this case) from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help
them through the winter.
The second diverted Crewe - Holyhead train on 20 August
crossing the Weaver Navigation at Hunt's Locks on the
Northwich Viaduct (Chris Taylor).
On 27 August, 66 127 hauling the twelve wagons of
6M86 10:27 Margam T.C. to Dee Marsh, seen at rather wet
Buckley (Tim Rogers).
On 28 August, 158 831 leading the 1L18 11:47 Holyhead to
Birmingham International, seen departing Llandudno
Junction, features on car 57831 the 'support the NHS'
rainbow, not to be confused with the Pride
stripes as currently seen on Avanti Pendolino
390 119, or the rainbow bands worn by the winner of the
World Cycling Championship.
On 24 August 158 829 approaches Tywyn station with
the Pwllheli portion of the 10:08 from Birmingham
International, as Talyllyn Railway loco Edward Thomas
is being attended to, no doubt as part of the preparations
for the re-start
of public services on Saturday 1 September. Picture by
158 819 departs from Fairbourne towards Pwllheli at
15:45. The old station-master's house appears to be in
good hands. Fairbourne's residents, and those of nearby
Arthog, will be among those most affected by the
forthcoming closures of Barmouth viaduct; the
13-minute train ride to Barmouth will be replaced by a bus
journey of around 18 miles via Dolgellau (Greg Mape).
The 12¼ inch gauge Fairbourne Railway is already
operating since 18 July. On 24 August the scaled-down
replica of Lynton and Barnstaple loco Yeo was in operation (Greg
A Barmouth viaduct panorama (Greg Mape)
A view on 30 August by Kate Jones of the works
compound for the Barmouth viaduct. Work is on-going on the
underneath of the viaduct while the bridge is
Looking back: Ireland 1968 - with David Pool
The end of BR steam in 1968 made me realise that time was
running out for steam in Ireland, and I should make a visit
before it was too late. After crossing from Stranraer
to Larne I headed for Belfast York Road, where a
friendly Shed Foreman was happy for me to photograph
withdrawn and active steam locomotives. On 30 August 1968
two “Jeeps” Nos 4 and 53 were on shed, being used on the
spoil trains from Magheramorne Quarry to Belfast, where a
Motorway was under construction. No.4 is a Derby built
WT Class 2-6-4T, and is now preserved at Whitehead, County
On the main line between Belfast and Dublin later that day,
I found a good location for photographs a few miles South of
Newry, .near the Border at Killeen. The “Enterprise”
was the prestige train on the line, worked jointly by NIR
and CIE with their own stock. First to pass was the
1100 from Dublin, formed by a pair of ex Great Northern
railcars, four passenger coaches and another pair of
railcars on the rear. The leading railcar was 129 in
the green GNR livery. At that time NIR had no
passenger diesel locomotives suitable for these trains,
after the withdrawal of the famous V Class compound steam
The “Enterprise” leaving Belfast at 1130 was a CIE train,
and headed by 181 Class B185, built in 1966 by General
Motors. These were the most powerful modern CIE
diesels until the 071 class appeared in 1976, the older A
Class diesels having been relegated to secondary
duties. Twelve of the 181 Class locomotives were
built, and one has been preserved.
The branch from Attymon Junction to Loughrea in County
Galway was not likely to survive long, and visiting Loughrea
on 31 August 1968 the branch train comprised diesel C203 and
a single coach. C203 was built by Metropolitan Vickers
in 1956 with a Crossley engine. I later photographed
it at Dunsandle, making a smoky departure, and it was not
surprising that eventually these locomotives were rebuilt by
CIE with General Motors diesel engines. The branch was
closed in 1975.
Moving on to Athenry, a freight from Dublin to Galway was
approaching, hauled by a single-cab 121 Class B123, built by
General Motors. The assortment of wagons was typical
of CIE freights at the time, but these are now just
memories, with the few remaining freight workings today
being mostly bulk flows of containers and zinc ore, plus
some timber. The single track coming in on the left is
from Claremorris, and was eventually closed, passenger
services having been reduced to one train per day between
Ballina and Limerick. This line is now part of the
Western Rail Corridor reopening scheme, but no funds are yet
available for the section between Athenry and Claremorris.
On 3 September 1968 I was in Westport, County Mayo, where A
Class A36 was carrying out some shunting. The A Class
locomotives had been built by Metropolitan Vickers, and had
the troublesome Crossley engines. As with the C Class,
the A Class locomotives were also later rebuilt by CIE with
General Motors engines, the A Class being then renumbered
with an “R” suffix. The black livery was standard for
CIE diesels in the early 1960s.
Strabane was the station on the Great Northern line from
Omagh to Londonderry which provided an interchange with the
narrow gauge County Donegal Joint Railway. When I
arrived at Strabane on 6 September 1968 I was not prepared
for what I saw. The tracks had disappeared, but the
narrow gauge rolling stock and the station buildings were
little changed since the closure in 1960. There were
also two 2-6-4T locomotives, CDJR Nos. 4 and 5, both of
which have now survived in preservation.
The following day 7 September 1968 was the last day of my
visit, and my last chance to photograph the spoil
trains. Troopers Lane station was on a rising gradient
for loaded trains working to Belfast, and WT Class Nos. 50
and 53 were top and tailing the train. What better way
to remember Ireland in 1968?
Statfold enthusiasts' day 9 August - report by Jim
Everything at the Statfold
Railway was very well organised and as safe as could
be in the present climate;the original one-day enthusiasts
day (originally booked for March) was split over two days to
enable social distancing and a track and trace system was in
place. Here is a selection of locos with North Wales
connections. Above: Ex-Dinorwic and Penrhyn quarries
respectively are Hunslets Cloister of 1891 and Sybil
Mary of 1906.
Dinorwic Hunslet King of Scarletts of 1889.
Dinorwic Hunslet Michael of 1932.
Penrhyn Avonside Machlyn of 1933.
The boiler of ex Penrhyn Barclay Cegin.
Bagnall Wendy of 1919 paired with new-build Jack
Lane of 2005. Wendy worked in Blaenau
Ffestiniog and Nantlle before being bought in the 1960s for
£30. She has recently arrived from the Hampshire Narrow
Tasmanian Railway Beyer-Garratt K1 of 1909 via the Welsh
An image taken in 2019 (no face masks, but still in situ)
sectioned ex Penrhyn Hunslet Gertrude of 1909.
From Dave Sallery's archive - a Euro-selection for the
Irish Rail 011 crosses the River Liffey in Dublin on the
Cork to Arklow ammonium tank train, 6 July 1994.
Oil burning pacific 012 054-3 entering Rheine on a semi-fast
from Emden in 1971, one of the last DB steam passenger
In 1967, SNCF 141R 2-8-2 backs onto the Basel - Calais
train at Hazebrouck. This was the traction changeover point,
as the overhead wires went to Dunkerque.
And back home: on 28 March 1990 08 915 shunts mail
vans in the Age of Brutes (British Rail Universal Trolley
Equipment) at Manchester Piccadilly.
Coast home page | Archive |
Previous Notice Board