Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

07 June 2021



Forthcoming events

(see also our Calendar page for venues)

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


Recently re-liveried in TFW colours, 67 008 together with DVT 82116 on the rear, cross Conwy Cob with the 5J91 11:13 Holyhead to Crewe training run on Wednesday 2 June 2021. Picture by Garry Stroud.


Loco-hauled working on the Holyhead - Cardiff line has resumed  this morning Monday 7 June with the 05:34 Holyhead to Cardiff (Mon - Fri) which will return from Cardiff at 17:14, the path of the old 'WAG Express'.  Just this one turn will run for now, with additional runs to be introduced later. The full restaurant service is scheduled to start in September.

Even more interesting is that with Welsh Government assistance TfW have purchased 30 of the ex-LNER Mk4 carriages and driving trailers which had recently been refurbished for the Grand Central's planned open-access service between London and Blackpool, which has now been abandoned due to uncertainties caused by the Pandemic.  The intention is to use them on Manchester - Swansea services, with trains formed of five carriages, from December 2022.

The Press Release (with video) is here.

A set propelled by 67 010 travelled from Cardiff to Holyhead in preparation on Friday 4 June. Jack Bowley's picture shows it passing Colwyn Bay.

Earlier the same day, 67 008 ran a light-engine trial from  Holyhead depot to Llandudno Junction and back.   Perhaps the thinking was to ensure a spare loco was on stand-by for the first day. Pictured near Llandudno Junction by Garry Stroud.

67 010 spent 7 June at Holyhead (Mike Sheridan).

In other news ...

Training / testing runs of the Class 230 units have re-started on the Borderlands line. Stephen Dennett took these pictures at Buckley on 27 May. Above, 230 006 passing the station...

...and 230 008 tackling the nearby 'hump'.

Driver Jim Scott writes: 'I was testing a West Midlands 196 unit on 25 May and during its layover in Crewe a TfW 197 pulled in,  also on test.'

Northern's Class 769 (ex-319) hybrid units  finally entered service (two years late) at the mid-May timetable change, working the Alderley Edge and Stalybridge to Southport services.  769 448 was seen at Stockport on 26 May.

Freight scenes

Stephen Dennett was at Slack Lane on the Borderlands line to photograph 66 004 on the Dee Marsh to Margam steel empties, 26 May ...

... and Martin Evans was at Ruabon station.

66 006 powers through Rhosymedre with the empty steel coil train from Dee Marsh to Margam on 4 June

66 007 worked the 12:28 Donnington Rail freight terminal to Warrington Arpley Sidings on 2 June, seen here approaching Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury.  The load comprised car-carrying wagons of the older ...

... and more recent covered styles (Graham Breakwell).

Coton Hill sidings, Shrewsbury on 1 June, loading the wagons which will form the 19:58 to Wellingborough stone train. Sprayers  dampening down the load.... as well as loco 66 470 Sarah. 158 826 passes on a delayed 13:27 Holyhead to Wolverhampton (Graham Breakwell).

While at Shrewsbury, here's a link to Network Rail's refurbishment of Severn Bridge Junction signalbox.

GBRf loco 60 056 tackles the curve between Deansgate and Skelton Junctions on 7 June with another load wood pellets for Drax.

70 016 on  Runcorn-Northenden refuse empties creating a lot of black smoke. Pictures by Greg Mape (2).

 New books

The Corris, Welshpool and Llanfair and Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge lines were all owned by British Railways after nationalisation. Chris Magner's latest self-made book The Saviours of British Railways Narrow Gauge Railways tell the story of how three friendly BR managers  were instrumental in  the saving for preservation of the Welshpool and Rheidol lines, as well as the Corris locos which enabled the Talyllyn line to run a reliable service.

In his usual style, Chris approaches his subject from various different angles,  quoting from other writers, and sometimes digressing into other aspects of the history of the Welsh Railways and the GWR Birkenhead line between 1948 and 1969.  He even includes some colour pictures among the 67 A4 pages. All for £10.50 including postage from Chris at 21 Dunval Road, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 4NA, or contact Chris by email at

Our regular contributor Garry Stroud, who was writes to tell us that he has a new book published. The book is titled Swindon Rail scene: Hydraulics to H.S.Ts  and has over 180 colour photos with captions. and is published by Amberley Publishing in their usual style. Garry writes: ' I was an employee at Swindon back in the 1960s / 70s and the photos range from 1969 to 1989.'

From Dave Sallery's archive

33 042,   Prestatyn, 28 May 1985.

On 29 May 1985,  47 270 was on test from Crewe Works, when attached to the front of a Cardiff - Rhyl service.

D1961 passes  Acton Bridge on a London train, September 1968. It was the last Class 47 to enter service,  despite later numbers in the series, and was the last one built at Brush Falcon Works. Electric Train Heating  was fitted to the loco and it was painted in BR Blue. It was delivered in January 1968 but didn't enter service until May 1968 due to delays in fitting the ETH equipment. (Information from Class 47 website ). Later renumbered 47 515 it was cut up at Crewe in 2006 after having been withdrawn some years earlier.

As we await the arrival of Merseyrail's class 777's into traffic this photo from 19 September 1984 shows  disposal of the Class 502/503 units in Birkenhead docks after their replacement by the current 508s.

Bank Holiday Steam, seen on Anglesey

More views of 45231's exploits on 31 May. Above, near Rhosneigr ...

... and another.

Bodorgan tunnel. Pictures by Lee Andrew Davies (3).

Llanfair PG...

... and on the Valley turning triangle. Both pictures by Jack Poole,  from  reproduced by permission.

North Wales in the 70s, part 1  - by David Pool

Following the end of steam in 1968, the early 70s were not a popular period for railway photographers, with the ubiquitous BR Blue on most of the diesel locomotives, which in the North West would be mostly what became known as the class 20, 24, 25, 40, 47 and the “Peaks”.  At that time my main photographic interest had switched to buses, but fortunately I did not abandon railways altogether.  This was the era before TOPS introduced the more logical scheme, and the class number sequences were often confusing.  The principal passenger trains on the North Wales coast were usually hauled by Type 4 diesels (now known as a Class 40 or a Class 47) – a 'Whistler' or a 'Brush' in the vernacular.  Above, English Electric Type 4 No.320 (later 40 120) was leaving Rhyl on 3 April 1972 with an excursion train.  There were now only two platforms in use. 

3 April 1972 was Easter Monday, and another train hauled by an unidentified Class 47 was following, and passing the now abandoned carriage shed.  Can anyone identify the route from the 1D46 headcode? 

On 3 December 1972 a pair of Sulzer Type 2s 7571 and 7612 were passing through Heswall Hills with an ore train from Bidston Dock to John Summers at Shotton.  These locomotives would be renumbered 25 221 and 25 262, and Heswall Hills would be renamed Heswall in the following year.  Headcode 9 is for a mineral train.

The Brush Type 4 locomotives were not confined to passenger duties.  On 22 July 1973 diesel No. 1676 (later 47 090) Vulcan was leaving Birkenhead Docks at Canning Street with a partially fitted freight, headcode 8L62, which was possibly going to the Eastern Region.  This particular locomotive is a survivor, being renumbered 47 623 and finally 47 843.  It has run in Intercity, Virgin and Riviera Trains liveries, and is currently stored by Rail Operations Group. I have often photographed it on the North Wales coast line.

While I was photographing from Chester Walls on 18 July 1973, a Breakdown Train appeared unexpectedly from the Saltney Junction direction.  Sulzer 7651 (later 25 301) was conveying Chester’s 30 ton Cowans Sheldon Steam Crane RS 1099/30, running as 2Z99. 

This crane was later scrapped at Chester in 1982, but a similar 30 ton Crane has been preserved on the Severn Valley Railway.

A visit to mid Wales on 25 August 1973 found the trains between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth being worked by pairs of Sulzer Type 2 diesels.  Slowing for the single line tablet at Cemmees Road Signal Box were 5050 and 5143 (later 24 050 and 24 143), in charge of the 10:05 from Aberystwyth to Euston.

Getting photographs at Dovey Junction involved arriving by train or taking a long walk from the A487 main road.  The latter produced a nice shot of another pair of Sulzers, 5082 and 5091 (24 082 and 24 091), which I recorded as being on a train which originated at Harrow.  Since 25 August 1973 was the Saturday of a Bank Holiday weekend, it is possible that Engineering Works were taking place at Euston, and some trains were starting from Harrow.

Llangollen Update - by George Jones

This by Iain Ross shows Austin 1 in shed at Llangollen in its new lined-out paint scheme,  an example of volunteer effort to get the loco ready for a period on hire at Midsomer Norton SDJR.

Looking at the challenges ahead to reopen the line,  Chairman Peter Edwards has said:

Summer has officially started and we have the opportunity for productive outdoor work on the various sites along the railway. After an eight-month shut down, the challenge to return the railway to an operational condition is immense and calls for considerable manpower resources.

Now that the auction of PLC assets is complete and we have the key equipment secured, the Permanent Way team is planning the restart of work on the Dee Bridge and subsequent essential work in Berwyn Tunnel and at Glyndyfrdwy. There is a three week lead time on starting this so work should be able to start at the end of June.

However, there are many other outstanding jobs to be getting on with, and inline with previous messages from board members, many of these will have to be tackled by volunteers - there’s no way we can fund staff or contractors to do them. There are vacancies for key roles that need to be filled, and in the short term we are asking for volunteers to take on those responsibilities.

Vacancies for volunteers exist in all operating departments, MPD, C&W. P'way/ S&T, stations and the Trust's office all allowing for many different skills to be catered for.

More information:

North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board