09 August 2021
(see also our
Calendar page for venues)
Note: we have removed all entries relating to meetings
as the events are cancelled.
The view from Conwy mountain on 4 August, with a Voyager
crossing the Cob. Picture by Greg Mape.
Late news: Llangollen
Railway will be running diesel trains only this coming
weekend, the introduction of steam has been delayed.
Llandudno Junction sidings
Finally, after years of false starts, work has finally
started at Llandudno Junction in preparation for the slate
A 'Siding Possession' was taken on Monday 9 August by Alma
Rail to clear the vegetation from the sidings opposite the
station. Work should take two weeks (they say!). Work will
start from Glan Conwy end of the sidings and work towards
the Bangor end. The hope is that relaying of the track
will start in September with a test train in October or
When we researched the item about the closure of the path
from Dolgarrog station (last issue) the latest news I was
able to find was in February and March, stating that Janet
Finch-Saunders, Welsh Parliament member for Aberconwy,
was working on the issue. In addition to sending
us images from his visit, Greg Mape sent a written
complaint, and received a reply from Ms Finch-Saunders
explaining that there have been a number of meetings between
Conwy Council with a view to find funding for re-opening
Then, three days after our item was published, the following
appeared on the Daily Post website:
Welsh Government funding of £735k will fund the
Council's contribution to refurbishing the bridge and
allow for a significant upgrade.
So that's good - all we need now is an extension of the
Dolgarrog Railway nearer to the bridge...
Instead of the previous narrow walking route between the
pipes, users will benefit from a shared walking and
cycling route on an overdeck above the pipes. This will
allow easier access to Dolgarrog railway station and
attractions in the area, hopefully increasing the use of
the Conwy Valley rail service.
Lee Waters, deputy minister for Climate Change with
responsibility for Transport, said: It is essential that
we all make more local journeys on foot or by bike, to
benefit our health and the environment."
Remarkably, the village of Dolgarrog now has a Hilton
West Lancashire Light Railway Summer Gala - report by
A very, very, wet day at the West Lancashire
Light Railway's 'summer' gala had two engines in
steam: Hunslet Irish Mail of 1903, rescued by
members from Dinorwic Quarry in 1972...
... and Kerr Stewart Joffre on its last
outing before its ten year overhaul
Also of interest - I thought- Irish Mail's
driver's tea and biscuits ...
... and a superb rail mounted-note the coupling-
burger café known as the Fireman's Shovel, note the fried
egg on the shovel! There were also model railways and a
delicious tented café.
Steam trains (COVID-safe) operate every Sunday and Bank
Holiday from Easter to the end of October, plus Wednesdays
in August. The next special event is the 'Teddy
Bears Day' on 29 August.
LT Panniers - by Peter Hudson
Richard Putley's photographs and story of his visit to the
Gwili Railway on Sunday 25 July (last issue) are of a great
interest to members of the Worcester Locomotive Society, and
particularly to myself, as I have a great interest in
the ex- LT Pannier Tanks, as I was very involved in the May
1971 purchase of a sister loco, L.95 (ex-GWR 5764) from
London Transport by the Severn Valley Pannier Tank Fund, who
have on 19 June celebrated '50 years a SVR
loco'. L.95 is ' out of ticket ', but was
repainted back into LT maroon livery & put on display at
the SVR's ' Engine House & Visitor Centre ' at Highley
from March 2019.
Ragarding L.92, above is one of my photos of L.92 in LT
service taking water at Watford (Metropolitan Line) Station
on 25 July 1968.
Just for the record and to correct a few historical facts
that Richard stated slightly incorrectly in his write up of
his visit to the Gwili Railway. GWR Pannier Tank 5786 was
bought from LT as their L.92 in October 1969 (not 1971) and
was repainted into its as current LT livery at
Buckfastleigh, South Devon Railway in 2011.
For comparison, Richard Putley's photo of it at
Bronwydd Arms water tower, 53 years later.
Locos at Chester and Bache - by Geoff Morris
On 3 and 4 August, DB Cargo operated a light engine run from
Arpley Loco Holding Sidings to Birkenhead Central and
Ellesmere Port. On both days it was routed via Chester and I
assume that it was for route learning / refreshing purposes
(possibly they will be operating some pw trains over
Merseyrail�s Wirral Lines in the near future).
I photographed the outward moves at Bache station on both
days. 66 130 (above) appeared on 3 August and passed
a late-running 507 029 on the 10:10 Chester to
Chester via Liverpool Central.
On 4 August the EMU ran to time and permitted me to use the
angle that I'd had to abandon the day before. 66 011
was the loco used this time, providing a satisfying contrast
to the DB-liveried class 66 used the previous day.
Another run from Arpley to Birkenhead (via Chester) took
place on Friday 6 August. As on the 4th (according to RTT)
it did not run to Ellesmere Port as booked. I captured
this at Chester North Junction on its outward run. As
on the 3rd, the 10:10 Chester to Chester via Liverpool
Central put in an appearance at almost the wrong time
Spot the difference: These two were taken almost exactly
four months apart and show the Carlisle - Chirk log train
passing Chester Locks with 70 817 in charge on 3
... and 70 801 doing the honours on 6th
August. I've only been out to photograph this train on
these two days as it normally passes when we're having
dinner, but in April it had been re-timed to run two hours
earlier than normal and the other day my wife was away and
so I was able to re-time dinner to make the most of the
Apart from the loco numbers and the length of the shadows,
which are less in April because of the retiming, the biggest
difference is the massive growth of foliage that has
occurred In the intervening period, not least in the bush
that has developed in between the Up & Down main lines.
From Dave Sallery's archive
101 685 near Roman Bridge, 18 July 1994; in time for
that summer the unit had been repainted in original green
livery as part of a promotion campaign for the line. Railcar.co.uk
has details of its career.
Also near Roman Bridge 37 886 with the 'Northern
Belle' charter train, Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog and
return, on 12 October 2002.
70 816 heads 6J37 Carlisle-Chirk logs over the
Settle-Carlisle line at Smardale on Wednesday 4 August
Criccieth Castle presides over 158 819 on the 13.54
(Sunday only) Pwllheli to Machynlleth service (Ken
Millward). 'Bullhead' jointed track will survive in
some sections of this line for many years to come.
Deganwy from Conwy Mountain, 4 August; A class 175 makes its
way along the Llandudno Branch (Greg Mape).
MV Sandettie at Raynes Jetty, Llanddulas on 1
August. Awaiting loading ...
... and fully loaded with limestone destined for Cowes, Isle
of Wight (Greg Mape). Of passing interest, its
previous loaded trip had been white silica sand from Lochaline
Sand Company any on the west coast of Scotland opposite the
Isle of Mull, to Runcorn.
Looking back: Diesels 1992 - with David Pool
The Pathfinder Railtour 1Z17 'The Mersey Weaver' on 14 March
1992 had come from Reading, but was to take in a variety of
branches and locations in Cheshire and Staffordshire.
From Lime Street 20 094 and 20 057 were
working as far as the reversing sidings at Latchford,
dragging 47 828 on the rear. The sun had gone
in at Bank Quay Low Level as the train arrived from Fiddlers
Ferry, but came out seconds after the train had
By the time I was ready to take the 47 on the rear, the sun
had disappeared again as usual.
The oil tank trains from Stanlow to Jarrow were often double
headed by a Class 37 and a Class 47. 11 April 1992 was
a misty Saturday morning, and the 0750 from Ellesmere Port
was passing Daresbury, headed by Railfreight Distribution 37
178 plus a rather weathered Railfreight Petroleum 47
The Provincial livery had been modified by the short lived
Network North West, being applied to diesel units in the
Manchester area. Sprinter 150 213 on 6 June
1992 at Altrincham illustrates the new red bands at the
coach ends. The train was the 10:54 from Wigan to
A Chester to Wigan unit passed shortly after, followed by 60
095 on an Appley Bridge to Northenden working.
60 095 is carrying the Railfreight Construction
The Cawoods trains of containerised coal to Ellesmere Port,
for export to Ireland, in 1992 were usually hauled by the
'Heavyweight' Class 37/7 locomotives. In the morning
of 13 June, Railfreight Coal 37 894 is passing
through Frodsham with the return empties. The
destination would be either South Wales or the North East.
Moving on to Greenbank, I photographed 47 210 Blue
Circle Cement on the Larbert to Oakleigh Soda Ash
freight. A Tinsley locomotive, although previously
based in Scotland, this Railfreight Construction Class 47
was still fitted with snowploughs in June! I assume the
Class 47 had come on at Warrington, a Class 85 Electric
being the usual motive power for this train under the wires.
31 413 Severn Valley Railway was a
distinctive locomotive with its two-tone blue livery and red
bands. On 23 August 1992 it was working the Sundays
Only 08:19 Crewe to Blackpool through Mouldsworth, which
called at Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly and Bolton.
A portrait by Paul Reynolds of 2-8-0 3802 at Berwyn
Station after the public service had finished on Saturday
afternoon 7 August. It was hoped that the loco will
haul its first train under new management next weekend, but
this has been delayed due to documetation issues. Services
will terminate at Glyndyfrdwy and be extended to Carrog the
weekend after. All subject of course to track inspection
At Corwen, over the last fortnight, the new, steel
longitudinal beams spanning the ex-Blackfriars station
columns have been installed and bolted into position
together with the zigzag steel bracing.
These beams will eventually support the canopy, which is
currently the subject of a funding appeal and grant
application. Pictures by Peter Neve.
Permanent Way volunteer Peter Jump writes: 'Over the
last 4 weeks, a small group led by our P-way supervisor Dave
Shaw have remedied all the issues in the tunnel so that
trains services can be restored to Glyndyfrdwy. We have had
to remove hundreds of rusted Pandrol clips where the track
gauge was wrong and replace with all new fittings. We have
changed two badly worn rails, and dug out and replaced eight
broken concrete sleepers. This is heavy backbreaking work
done in less than ideal conditions, but worth the effort to
achieve another milestone towards running trains again to
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