Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

25 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.


The latest delivery to TfW, 230 009 on 21 January took an unusual route which started at Stourbridge Junction and headed south through Kidderminster to Worcester, then across via Malvern Link to Hereford before heading north through Craven Arms to Shrewsbury.  Chris Scott photographed it at Gobowen just after 20:00.

Stormy Weather

This week's news is dominated by 'Storm Christoff' which flooded many sections of line.  Network Rail's helicopter view shows the state of Freightliner's Crewe Basford Hall depot.

This is somewhere on the Cambrian coast.

The current situation in Wales on 25 January is:  Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog will remain closed until further notice;  Heart of Wales line will remain closed until further notice. Rail replacement travel has been arranged;  The line between Machynlleth to Pwllheli will open for service on  26 January; The lines between Chepstow and  Cheltenham Spa will open on 26 January.

Winter in Cheshire

The Drax - Liverpool empties on the Sunday routing,  passing through Hale station on 24 January. The loco is 66 754 Northampton Saints. Picture by Greg Mape.

Looking back with Tim Rogers

Holwell Junction on 22 January: 47 847  Brian Morrison / Railway World Magazine
on 1A46 09:19 Holyhead to Euston. The loco is caught in the early version of this 'heritage' livery representing the 'large logo' era,  but with numbers on the wrong typeface and the 'double-arrow' symbol incorrectly proportioned.

23 Jan 2002 at Flint:  158 757 calls with the 09:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno.

47 810 Porterbrook on 1A46,  09:19 Holyhead to Euston. At Crewe the 47 would be removed, and an electric loco attached to the other end to propel the train to London, the driver transferring to the Driving Van Trailer.

23 Jan 2002  at Holywell Junction:  175 009,  passing the signalbox,  is the 09:52 Holyhead to Crewe.

66 507 on 6K22, 11:00 Penmaenmawr to Crewe Basford Hall ballast.

43 102 emerges from the road bridge leading 1D87 08:35 Euston to Holyhead.

Six years later, 22 January 2008, and the new order on the London service. 57 304 Gordon Tracy 'drags' Pendolino 390 031 City of Liverpool on 1D22 09:00 Euston to Bangor.

The Penmaenmawr - Crewe ballast trains were still running in 2008:  although in DRS livery,  66 425 was on hire to Freightliner. Today it is still in DRS blue and still working for Freightliner.

From Dave Sallery's archive

56 134 Blyth Power (a loco which gave its name to a rock band) near Hope on a short train of coils for Dee Marsh, 10 April 1998.

Engineers' loco 37 191 entertains the 'bashers' by working a Crewe - Bangor service, 31 May 1998.

Coast regular 47 555 The Commonwealth Spirit on an afternoon Crewe- Holyhead service, 24 October 1983.

Looking back: Llangollen Railway 1976-88 - with David Pool

On 23 July 1976 things were starting to happen at Llangollen. The Flintshire and Deeside Railway Society had a Kitson steam locomotive, originally used at the Austin Factory at Longbridge, the restoration of which had been funded by the Burtonwood Brewery, and two Fowler Diesels, one from Broughton and the other from Ellesmere Port.  The Kitson, built in 1032, was originally Austin No.1 , but would become Burtonwood No.1 in gratitude.  The first Fowler Eliseg had been built in 1939 for the Aircraft Facility at Broughton, and the second very similar locomotive (Works No. 4000 007) had been built in 1947 for Weir Pumps in Scotland, eventually moving to Ellesmere Port in Castrol and then Burmah Oil plants.  45 years later the Kitson (now again Austin No.1) is at the Lavender Line, Isfield,  Eliseg is at Llanerchymedd on Anglesey, and the other Fowler (now Cockney Rebel) is at the Yeovil Railway Centre.

 When I returned to Llangollen on 28 May 1984 Eliseg was still there, but not in regular use except for Works trains.  In comparison with the 350hp of a Class 08, Eliseg’s 40hp is rather low!

Passenger services on the same day in 1984 were being worked by “Jinty” 7298.  Rescued from Barry in 1974, it was restored at Steamport (Southport) and appeared at the Rainhill celebrations in 1980.  Later at Llangollen it appeared in blue as Thomas, but eventually moved on, and recently has been at Ian Riley’s Works in Heywood, where it apparently is in the process of being sold.  My photograph was taken near Llangollen Goods Junction.

Sharing passenger duties with the Jinty was Burtonwood No.1.  On 30 March 1986 it was on the climb to the Dee Bridge, alongside the Llangollen Canal.  The group of walkers look to have left their motorcycles at Llangollen, but perhaps they were visiting the nearby Motor Museum, which opened in 1986.

14XX Class 1466 (originally numbered 4866) spent most of its working life in Cornwall and Devon.  It was obtained by the Great Western Society in 1964, and ran at Buckfastleigh and later at Cholsey before arriving at Didcot in 1967.  Since then it has visited several more railways, and on 19 July 1986 it was leaving Berwyn, with the Chain Bridge in the background.  Back at Didcot it regained the number 4866, and was eventually taken out of service in 2000.  It is hoped to have it in steam again in 2021.

On the platform at Llangollen on 12 December 1987 a miniature railway was giving rides for children – and for adults – suitably decorated for Christmas.  Lynton was built by Narogauge of Christchurch in 1984 for a 7¼ inch gauge line at Colwyn Bay Promenade.  It had been intended to be portable  The railway at Colwyn Bay was regauged to 10¼ inches in 1990, as was Lynton, then was moved to Eirias Park, where it operated as “The Narrower Gauge Railway” until the line closed in 1996.  Lynton then ran at Gloddfa Ganol , but was sold in 1997 when the site closed, and appears to have moved to somewhere in Eastern England.

The pride of the Llangollen Railway in 1988 was 7822 Foxcote Manor, passing over the Dee Bridge on 10 April.  Although it looks to be a locomotive from the Great Western Railway, it was built in 1950 for the Western Region of British Railways.  After a period at the West Somerset Railway it returned to Llangollen in 2019.   The successful Dee Bridge appeal in 2020 has enabled essential repairs to be carried out, and it is to be hoped that Foxcote Manor will be seen again back in action in 2021.

Photographed at Llangollen on 6 August 1988 were Shropshire and Winnington.  The “Austerity” No.193 was a Hunslet built in 1953 for the MoD at Bicester, moving then to Kinnerley on the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway.  Purchased by the Severn Valley Railway in 1971, it was painted crimson in 1977 and named Shropshire. The next move was to Bulmers at Hereford, then to Peak Rail at Buxton and to Llangollen in 1985.  Subsequently it has been back to Peak Rail, to the East Lancashire Railway and the Churnet Valley Railway, followed by Steamport (Southport) and finally the Ribble Steam Railway, where it now awaits a return to service.

Winnington was one of eight Ruston Hornsby 165 HP 0-4-0s, works numbers 416207  and 416213, built in 1957 and purchased by ICI for use at their works in the Northwich area. Two  later came to Llangollen, and  gained names Winnington and Wallsercote after the ICI works, where they had carried different names: including FA Freeth, Kelvin, Faraday, Rayleigh, Ramsey,  and Trevithick.

F A Freeth works no. 416213,  was  seen above at ICI’s Wallerscote Works in 1982 (reprised from our 25 June 2020 issue). Some records appear to indicate that this is the Llangollen loco named Winnington. The other,  416207 would have been Wallerscote, but its former name remains to be identified, while our access to records is defeated by the 'lockdown'.

Wallerscote 'had problems' and never entered traffic at Llangollen, but spent a long time in the bay platform at Llangollen station, painted blue to resemble 'a certain famous blue engine.'

Both were eventually sold on to ‘The Shropshire Collection’ of locomotives, apparently based at Nostalgia World, Myddlewood, near Baschurch, which  it is said became part of the Yeovil Railway Centre operation, but they are not there now according to that organisation's website. There is one of the type at the Severn Valley Railway, but that has a different history. The Wallerscote nameplate was sold at auction in 2018, but where are the two locos now?

Thanks to members of the Llangollen Railway Unofficlal Facebook Group for assistance with this.

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