Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

18 January 2021



Forthcoming events

(see also our Calendar page for venues)

Note:  we have removed all entries relating to meetings as the events are cancelled.


Paul Shannon nipped out his the bike to Hargrave 12 January and saw 67 015 on the Holyhead - Crewe training run. On the skyline is the tower with unusual pyramidal roof of St Peter's church.  Waverton.

Exercise pictures

On 12 January  67 010 at Whitehurst approaches the viaduct with a Cardiff Canton to Wrexham General training run (Martin Evans). The Holyhead - Crewe and return test (mentioned last week) only actually ran on Tuesday. However another of the sets was also scheduled to run Tues - Fri on a 10.55 Cardiff Canton - Wrexham General and 15.10 return test, reversing in south end bay platform 1 at Wrexham. This one did slightly better, running on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Thanks to Chris Parker for this information).

66 747 comes off the viaduct with the route-learner (Martin Evans). The colour scheme is for Newell and Wright Transport, a haulage and container logistics company based in Sheffield.

Greg Mape was near home on a bike ride yesterday when  66 152 on a
Knottingley - Warrington Bank Quay (Positioning or route learning?) passed at
the same time as a Class 156 464 on a Chester-Manchester Piccadilly working, at the site of the former Baguley CLC station in South  Manchester.

Martin Evans headed along the canal from Trevor to near Cefn Viaduct to see the Avonmouth to Penyffordd cement tanks crossing on 15 January with GBRf  66 770 in charge. This loco replaced 66 781 which had previously operated the service for several months.

On 13 January Bob Greenhalgh walked to Green Lane crossing, only a mile from his house, to photograph 66 951 on a route learning run from Bidston to Crewe via Chester.

January 2005 - pictures by Tim Rogers

Sandycroft and its associated semaphore signals were due for demolishing in early 2005. Here are few images taken on 6 January before their demise, plus the Class 47 loco hauled services were also due to cease in early 2005.

47 805 passes the sinbal gantry with the 10:03 Manchester - Holyhead.

221 106 Willem Barents passes the box with the 09:50 Holyhead to London Euston.

On 17 January 2005,  47 847 Brian Morrison/Railway World Magazine passes Shotton with the 10:03 Manchester - Holyhead.

Still in de-branded First North Western colours, 175 112 passes Shotton with the 10:16 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno.

Four pictures from Holywell Junction, 18 July: 66 513 is on train 6K22, 10:40 Penmaenmawr to Crewe Basford Hall ballast

Voyager 221 134 Mary Kingsley,  09:50 Holyhead to Euston

47 847 with coaches 6054, 5931, 5773, and 9503  form  1D37 10:03 Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead. This 'celebrity' loco worked the out-and-back diagram every day from 17 to 21 January; at we attributed this to a request to Riviera Trains posted on this site, but it may just have been a coincidence.

221 101 Louis Bleriot on 09:00 Euston to Holyhead.

A selection of shunters - by Peter Neve

With the autumnal sun low in the sky, 0-6-0 diesel shunter no. 24 heads back to the reception sidings at Corus steelworks, Shotton on  31 October 1988, having delivered a number of wagons to the Coatings Plant.

 Fowler 0-6-0 “Jinty” 47673 is parked on the former coaling ramp leading to the water tank at Chester 6A MPD. The date is 26 March 1967, just two months before the shed was to close. Withdrawn engines were being parked at the shed, prior to disposal or relocation. 47673 had been withdrawn on 12 November 1966 and presumably went for scrap when Chester shed closed on  5 June 1967.

GWR Prairie tank 2-6-2 5199 shunts coaches in the yard at Pentrefelin (Llangollen Railway) on 12 October 2015. The engine had just received some repair work and was steamed to test the effectiveness of the repair. 5199 has moved to the West Somerset Railway and will be spending the 2021 season there.

 Former Birkenhead Docks shunter 03 162 has just completed a ballast drop during the construction of Corwen East station on 24 July 2014. Not long afterwards, 03 162 suffered a major failure and is now parked up, out of use, at the Pentrefelin site on the Llangollen Railway.

Looking back:  Welsh Highland 2014-19 - with David Pool

The Ynysfor level crossing LC112 off the B4410 near Garreg is another of my favourite locations for photographs, with Cnicht mountain in the background for trains coming from what was once Croesor Junction.  On a wintry 28 December 2014 Garratt 87 is heading for Pont Croesor and Porthmadog.

On 15 April 2016 the preserved Darjeeling Himalayan Railway No.19 was visiting the WHR, and on this occasion was hauling a restored Parlour Car Carrabasset.  It is emerging from Beddgelert Forest at Pont Cae’r Gors, not far from the summit of the line near Pitt’s Head.

The WHR’s Quirks and Curiosities Weekends were always sure to provide some fascinating exhibits.  On 30 April 2017 there were two particularly interesting visitors from Statfold Barn, a Davenport steam locomotive built in the USA for a sugar factory in India, and a railcar inspired by the famous Galloping Geese of the Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad.  They are running back to back at Garreg level crossing, since the Goose is not designed to power in reverse for any distance.  Ryam Sugar No.1 was built in 1917, and the Statfold Goose was constructed in 2015, using a Morris Commercial chassis and gearbox.

I had previously photographed three of the surviving Galloping Geese at the Colorado railroad museum in Golden on 31 August 1984.  No.7 was the last built by the Rio Grande Southern railroad in 1936, using a Pierce Arrow chassis and a Ford V8 engine.  In 1950 it was modified to carry tourists, and withdrawn in 1952 when the line closed.  It is an articulated design, running on three trucks (bogies), and is still in working condition.

Chaka’s Kraal No. 6 is a Hunslet, built in 1940 and used at a sugar company in Natal, but now based at Toddington in Gloucestershire.  On 22 June 2018 it was visiting the WHR for the Hunslet event, and is working a demonstration freight at Garreg.

During the first visit of the newly built replica Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Baldwin Lyn, it worked trains from Caernarfon to Waunfawr, where it was photographed on 15 September 2018.  Taliesin was on the rear in top and tail mode.   The new station building had not yet been built, but its location on the platform is clear.

The following year saw Lyn’s return, but this time paired with the Ffestiniog’s Lyd on 13 April 2019.  This was an occasion not to be missed, but things did not go exactly to plan on the day, when delays on the Ffestiniog Railway resulted in the Caernarfon bound train which had stopped for a lunch break at Waunfawr being unlikely to have sufficient time to get to Caernarfon before returning to Porthmadog.  I particularly wanted a chimney-first shot, and decided to go to Ffridd Isaf near Rhyd Ddu, since I was not prepared to try and chase the train from Waunfawr amidst the other photographers.  After a long and cold wait, the sight of Lyd and Lyn together was unforgettable.

After Lyd and Lyn, what could be more memorable in 2019?   I had planned a holiday in East Anglia, but made sure I got back before 21 June, when Russell was to be working on the WHR from Porthmadog to Beddgelert.  My shot in the Aberglaslyn Pass was a little disappointing, since there was no exhaust steam on the warm day, so I went back to Beddgelert and tried again.  I couldn’t replicate the famous photograph of Russell facing Porthmadog or near the water tower, but at least I got a shot of Russell (and Prince) at Beddgelert - with not a spectator or another photographer in sight!

From Dave Sallery's Archive

47 575 City of Hereford stands in for an InterCity loco on the Crewe - Holyhead leg of  a London - Holyhead train, departing from Rhyl,  20 May 1997.

37 402 passes the signal gantry (today serving the East Lancashire Railway at Bury) at Sandycroft with the 11:33 Crewe - Holyhead, 13 January 1994. This loco never received the full Regional Railways livery, instead it was given a two-tone grey scheme. The name Bont y Bermo, formerly carried by 37 427, was applied in February 1994. The loco remains in service today in the DRS fleet, restored to 1980s 'Large Logo' livery and named Stephen Middlemore, although perhaps for not much longer.

The re-modelling of the track layout at Rhyl was in progress on Sunday 18 March 1990 as 47 846 Thor arrived, diverted on to the Up line.  The train shown was the 09:05 (Sundays) Birmingham New Street - Llandudno Junction, which returned as the 13:15 Llandudno Junction to London,  to be handed over to an electric loco at Crewe.

The extensive goods yard here was reduced to two 'engineer's sidings'.  The resulting space was replaced by the supermarket which stands today.  47 846 survives today in rebuilt form as DRS 57 308 Jamie Ferguson.

Change of scene at Porthmadog

Dave Sallery writes: 'Any visitor to Harbour station can't fail to have seen the former tax office by the end of the cob. This has been derelict for years and is now being demolished. I believe a Premier Inn is going to be built on the site.'

The Ffestiniog have now turned their web camera to an angle which shows the demolition taking place:

The hotel rooms with windows overlooking the station should prove popular!

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