Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

06 September 2021


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D1935 (47 805) passes Old Colwyn with the Holyhead - Stratford-on-Avon excursion on 1 September with 47 848 on the rear. The train was handed over to Steam traction at Crewe. Picture by Greg Mape.

Chris Morrison's view

Saphos ran a Holyhead -  Stratford-upon-Avon trip on 1 September using 47s to Crewe and 'Black Five' 45231 onwards to Stratford. It is seen above approaching a signal check at Small Heath with Birmingham city centre in the background.

45231 is working hard past  Danzey, which still retains some original GWR features, on the return form Stratford.

Transport for Wales 150 251 was turned out for the six-hour journey of the 06:32 Manchester to Milford Haven and the return 13:00 from Milford Haven to Manchester on 4 September, seen leaving Hereford on the return trip.  Arrival at Manchester Piccadilly for the weary passengers was just three minutes late.

LNER B1 61306 Mayflower heads away from a water stop at Hereford with Steam Dreams 'The Welsh Dragon Day 1' from Paddington to Shrewsbury via Gloucester on 4 September.

From Dave Sallery's Archive

31 442  near Prestatyn 16 August 1992- this was an excursion run for the 'Tall Ships' in Liverpool. The Regional Railways branded coaches had previously been used on TransPennine services.

On 12 May 1989 37 431 calls at Rhyl. When the class 155 Sprinters were introduced the timetable had an odd Cardiff - Rhyl train which arrived about 18:00. The entire 155 fleet was withdrawn from traffic with door problems almost immediately after their introduction. This lead to the first regular Class 37 passenger workings in North Wales.

Llandudno Junction sidings

Two views from 2 September by John S. of the unearthed sidings at Llandudno Junction.

Llandudno Junction, c.1992 - Amlwch trip stabled in the sidings.

Graham Breakwell's view

The 'Welsh Dragon' Day 1 on Arrival at Shrewsbury.  47 245 VE Day was on the rear.  The plan for Day 2 (and possibly a main reason why some people booked for the tour) was a one-way trip to Pwllheli where hotels were booked for a choice of road excursions before return from via the North Wales Coast line on 8 September.

However, on  the morning on 1 September, a lorry ran into the girder bridge over the A487 road with its tilting  section raised, and caused damage. Network Rail  allowed Class 158 trains to pass on just one of the two tracks on the bridge the same day, but are clearly not willing to allow the heavy Class 97/3 locos to pass, thus putting paid to both the routing of the Welsh Dragon and also the Pathfinder Tours train planned for 8 September which has been postponed.

The 47 and coaches spent the night in Coton Hill sidings, the passengers in otels in Shrewsbury and 61306 and support coach at Crewe Heritage Centre. The passengers on the 'Welsh Dragon' were treated to a circuitous scenic trip hauled by 47245 to Crewe via Gloucester and Birmingham, what happened next is unclear. The picture above shows the train southbound from Shrewsbury and Meole Brace.

Catching up on earlier events: DRS 37 716 taking six matching DRS Mk2 coaches (5971, 6001, 6117, 6122, 5995, & 6008) from storage  at Motherwell  to Cardiff Canton sidings on 26 August. seen here just south of Shrewsbury with Shrewsbury Town FC ground in the background.   It is rumoured that these coaches, which saw service on the  Cumbrian Coast line from 2015 to 2018, are  to be used by Network Rail for further use on loco-hauled test trains.

The Daventry Tesco DRS service to Wentloog Freightliners was diverted from its usual route via Birmingham and Gloucester on 28 August, and ran via Crewe, Shrewsbury and Hereford. This is 66 091 leading the 1219 from  Daventry,  a train of some 25 Tesco containers, through Church Stretton.

45690 Leander with one service coach is seen here passing through platform 2 at Church Stretton on 28 August with 5Z45, the 10:16 from Carnforth Steamtown to Bishops Lydeard (West Somerset Railway). 175 011 is on 1V59 Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly picking up passengers on platform 1.   Leander was scheduled to haul the Taunton to Plymouth and return sections of “The Royal Duchy” Slough to Par excursion the following day.    

30 August, and 66 091 on the Tesco again, seen at Meole Brace running an hour late.

Lunchtime action on 2 September on the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton line in the leafy Shrewsbury suburb of Belvidere. This is the 12:12 round trip from Crewe Gresty Bridge (DRS), out via Shrewsbury and back via Telford, Bushbury Junction and Stafford. Regional Railways liveried 37 425 Sir Alfred McAlpine is on the business end trailing clouds of fumes with 37 407 Blackpool Tower in BR large logo livery and 66  426 in tow.

Shortly afterwards 158 836 and 158 824 bring the 12:06 Birmingham International to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli into Shrewsbury.

Greg Mape's view

Two  specials and a freight through Reddish South on 28 August.  Above, Retro Railtours 'Cumbrian Coaster 2' from Chesterfield to Workington with 37 800  Cassiopeia and 37 501 Orion, tailed with 57 312 on the rear. This train stopped to pick up passengers, normally only 1 passenger train stops each way on Saturdays only.

A Bescot to Tunstead empty stone train with GBRf 66 772 in charge.

Cumbrian Mountain Express on a Crewe - Carlisle service with 47 746 on the
front and 47 848 on the rear. A steam loco is attached at Carnforth.

An early start on 1 September produced this picture of the Holyhead-Cardiff
service with a 67 on the front passing over Llanddulas viaduct.

Navigation Road on 5 September with 66 198 on a ballast train. The line to the right is for Metrolink trams.

Class 153 watch - with Rhodri Williams

153 369 at Holyhead, 1 September. Impressive scaffolding work in evidence.

153 926 (non disabled-passenger features version) attached to a 158 at Ty Croes, a station rarely featured in our pages.

Looking back: Steam and Diesel 1994 - with David Pool

Greater Manchester unit 150 222 is approaching Mouldsworth with the 14:54 Chester to Southport on 17 September 1994.  The freight line between Mouldsworth and Helsby West Cheshire Junction is now out of use and overgrown.  

I was waiting at Mouldsworth to photograph the Pathfinder “Lancastrians” Tour 1T70 from Crewe to Blackpool, which had 20 131 and 20 128 on the leg from Manchester to Warrington via Chester.  The Class 20s were in the British Rail Telecommunications grey livery. 

Having turned on the Chester triangle, the two 20s were passing through Helsby on the way to Latchford sidings.

Form Latchford to Lime Street via Fiddlers Ferry it was the turn of 60 085 Axe Edge and 60 082 Mam Tor.  60 085 later acquired the name Mini – Pride of Oxford.  The 60s were passing the site of Widnes West Deviation Sidings. 

On 25 September 1994 there was much activity on the track at West Kirby, where new ballast had been laid beyond the end of the platforms.  Class 31s 31 130 and 31 319 had been on ballast train duties.  

Christmas Eve at the Llangollen Railway in 1994 saw the usual Santa Special trains, one of which was headed by LMS 4422 (BR 44422), here having just passed the Llangollen Goods sidings.  Unfortunately the weather was not ideal for photography, but possibly to be expected in December.  The track on the left is from the yard at Pentrefelin, and not to the same standard as the main running line. 

Back in Llangollen Station, the next Santa Special was headed by 7822 Foxcote Manor.  The child on the platform seems concerned about the steam leakage! 

The weather had not improved much by New Year’s Eve 1994 in Blaenau Ffestiniog, where I had gone to see the afternoon flasks from Trawsfynydd.  Eventually the train appeared, but with no flasks.  Apparently the crane at the railhead had broken down, so nothing could be loaded.  31 418 and 31 255 are passing Teiliau on the branch.

Llangollen news

After several weeks encased in scaffolding, the external repairs and repaint of the Berwyn station house have been completed and the scaffolding has come down.  As seen from the DMU service on Saturday 4 September, the station is once more revealed in all its black and white mock Tudor splendour with internal redecoration also completed to allow for letting as popular holiday accommodation.

Station master Ben Jackson sees away the 12:10 departure for Carrog.

On 25 August the work of spray can-wielding criminals was dicovered on the railway's Class 108 Diesel railcars. We won't show the picture, that's what the vandals want.

'John Joyce, head of railcars, writes "Following the discovery of the mindless vandalism volunteers set about removing the graffiti the same day. Experimentation with different methods revealed that it could be removed with relatively little damage to the paintwork underneath, although some repairs will be needed once the running season is finished.'

'The railcars affected are once more available for passengers to enjoy their panoramic views of the Dee Valley scenery as Summer turns into Autumn over the coming weeks. We have been heartened by all the support shown to both the railcar department, and the Railway as a whole, including some very generous offers of assistance and donations.'

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