Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

25 October 2021


Contributions to the Notice Board are welcome, although they may not always be used, due to time constraints, especially if they don't follow the file name convention given on the  Contributions Page.

Forthcoming events

Charter trains may be subject to cancellation or postponement.

October 2021
Sunday 17 October: Bala Lake Railway  'Diesel Day'

Monday 18 October  RCTS Chester Mike Lister. The Railways Of Port Sunlight

November 2021

Wednesday  3 November RCTS Liverpool Paul Wright Goods Depots Around Liverpool, Part 1 – The Docks

Saturday 13 November The Cheshireman (Railway Touring Company) Steam: 60163 Bristol -  Hereford - Shrewsbury - Wrexham General - Chester (break) and  return

Monday 15 November Online Zoom RCTS David Postle Kidderminster Railway Museum

Saturday 20 November The Cheshireman (Railway Touring Company) Steam: 60163 London Euston -  Crewe - Chester and return

December 2021

Monday 6 December Chester Christmas Market (Spirit Of The Lakes (West Coast Railways) Diesel: Skegness  - Chester and  return

Saturday 11 December The Northern Belle: Christmas Lunch Diesel
Crewe  - Chester  - Liverpool Lime Street and  return

Saturday 11 December The Christmas Chester Cracker (Pathfinder Tours)  Eastleigh -  Gloucester - Newport - Maindee Junction - Abergavenny - Shrewsbury - Crewe - Chester and return

Monday 20 December RCTS Chester Dave Southern Chester To Pwllheli

January 2022

Wednesday 5 January    RCTS Liverpool    AGM    followed by: Paul Chancellor    ColourRail - 9th Journey   (Non M,C&NW Members and Non-RCTS Members will not be able to take an active part in the AGM) 

Monday 17 January    RCTS online Zoom    Professor Stuart Cole    Rail Policy in Wales

February 2022

Monday 21 February RCTS Chester Martyn Hilbert Network North West

March 2022

Wednesday  2 March RCTS Liverpool Paul Shackcloth L & Y Engines At Work, Part 1

Monday 21 March RCTS online Zoom Geoff Plumb The Wrexham & Shropshire Railway

April 2022

Monday 25 April RCTS Chester David Powell Merseyrail Fleet Replacement

(see  our Calendar page for venues)

 56 094 in the usual filthy condition brings the RHTT past Dwygyfylchi, 21 October (Gary Thomas).

Buckley station and the 230s - by Stephen Dennett

 A view of the continuing training runs of the Class 230 on the Borderlands Line. 230 008 and 230 006 were both out on the 19th October.

This is 230 008 stopping very briefly at Buckley.

A long lens reveals the up and down nature of this part of the line.

The 3-car units mean that the 'Car Stop' signs are positioned at the very limits of Buckley’s short platforms.

As previously reported, Tfw have moved the date for delivery of 2 trains per hour on the Borderlands from Dec 2021 to - May 2022, although they are quoted as saying “from December customers will see a mixture of trains being used on the Wrexham to Bidston line for the current timetable”  Watch this space, I guess.

23 October 21 at Shotton - pictures by Tim Rogers

150 257 working 2J53 08:33 Bidston to Wrexham General.

158 819, 1I08 07:15 Holyhead to Shrewsbury.

3S71 21:13 Shrewsbury Coleham to  Coleham  via Bidston, Crewe, Chester & Holyhead Rail Head (not 'heat' as we accidentally wrote in an earlier piece!) Treatment Train .   56 096 leading ...

... and 56 094 on the rear.  There was no spraying on the Cambrian section that night.

Points from last update

Here's the picture by Tim Rogers of 37 116 at Hope with a Network Rail ultrasonic test train that went 'AWOL' from the last issue.

On the subject of Network Rail train, our thanks to Andrew Royle who writes to tell us that we (not the contributors) mis-named the HST-worked version seen last week:  ' It is PLPR1, a plain line pattern recognition) not  the New Measurement Train  (which was stood down for maintenance that week).  I expect a number of people see the power cars and think it's the NMT but the monitoring coach in the set shown is 72631 (PLPR1). It is monitoring coaches 977993 and 977994 which constitute the heart of the NMT.  You will see phrases like 'Network Measurement Train' or 'Network Monitoring Train' used by people sometimes. Wrong! 

Also, the picture of  56 078 (above) with a Rail Delivery Train (RDT) set, not a long-welded rail train; these sets are specially designed to carry several banks of new rail and then deliver them onto the track side, ready for installation at a later date.'

This from Graham Breakwell: 'It seems my search for 197’s at Donnington failed to reveal one that must have been lurking out of sight! On 19 October an 11:23 Donnington to Crewe moved an unidentified 3-car unit, as usual in the middle of a train of hoppers hauled by a Freightliner 66. I was only able to catch the move from a distance so I don’t have any more details than that.'
Can anyone confirm the number.

Finally,  the Hastings diesel units are Class 201, not 210 as we originally wrote.


221 118 working the 11:50 Holyhead - Crewe service on Sunday October past Gwrych Castle, Abergele which is now famous as the home of the TV programme "I'm a Celebrity get me out of here". Picture by Greg Mape.

Progress at Wrexham Central:  the platform extension, complete if not in use until the 230s arrive. 150 257 awaits Sunday departure at 1601 to Bidston. 
If Merseyrail 777 on batteries ever get this far, the platform will likely need a further extension (George Jones).

Three for the price of one on this loco pasing Romiley, Stockport on 24 October:  45 699 Galatea, with cab-side number/nameplate 45562 Alberta and nameplate/smokebox number from 45627 Sierra Leone (Jim Ikin).

The 12:31 Manchester Piccadilly - Milford Haven service with 175 003 passing  at speed through Wem, Shropshire on the  on  21 October (Greg Mape).

56 096 on the rear of the RHTT at Dwygyfylchi, 21 October (Gary Thomas).

From Dave Sallery's archive

31 439 and 31 465 at Prestatyn after giving us a sparkling run from Chester, 9 August 1995.

37 409 on test from Crewe works after conversion on 17 September 1985.  It is passing under the still-impressive gantry at the east end of Rhyl station. On the left is the carriage shed which had been trackless for many years. Two permanent way sidings now occupy this site. I believe 409 is one of the few 37/4s which never worked a passenger train on the coast. It  is now in use with DRS who have reinstated the 'Large Logo' livery. Many more images at Dave's Flickr site.

Looking back: Heart of Wales diversion 1997 - with David Pool

The Western Region main line through Cardiff was closed for Engineering Works on Sunday 30 March 1997.  The steel freights between Margam and Llanwern, which ran on a daily basis, were diverted over the Heart of Wales line, reversing at Craven Arms to travel South, and this route was used for other trains in the opposite direction.  This would provide some very unusual photo opportunities, so I set off for Llandrindod Wells to meet the 6Z87, 0900 Margam to Llanwern.  The station is on a curve, and it was difficult to get a good shot, so I headed up the line to Pen y Bont, conveniently just off the A44.  The two 37s, Trainload Coal 37 894 and EW&S 37 704, arrived as the sun was breaking through.

Beyond the station, the train enters one of the few tunnels on the Heart of Wales line, the others being at Sugar Loaf and Llangunllo.  The steel slabs on the wagons are interesting, in that most of the freight traffic to Llanwern would normally be iron ore. 

It was not difficult to reach Knighton ahead of the train, where it was due to cross a passenger working, and the two 37s made a very pleasing shot.  

After another photo a few miles beyond Knighton, I arrived at Craven Arms in time to see the train coming off the single track and onto the main line.  It would pass through the station and on to the siding on the East side of the main line, the locos using the main line to run round. 

A freight to Dee Marsh hauled by a Class 60 went North, and then the two 37s set off South on the main line to Llanwern.

The next arrival was 6Z86 from Llanwern to Margam, comprising empty steel carrying wagons.  The two locomotives were in Transrail livery, 56 115 and 56 053 Sir Morgannwg Ganol / County of Mid Glamorgan.

I decided to photograph the 56s further down the Heart of Wales line, and found a nice location at Bucknell, although the only identifying feature was the Platelayers’ Hut.

There were no other freights due, so it was time to head for home.  At Hopton Heath, on the way back to Craven Arms, the sun was not in an ideal position, but it was worth getting a shot of 158 883 on the ECS working 5Z73, 1317 Llandore to Canton.  Altogether a very satisfying day’s photography. 

While putting together this selection of images, I found online an excellent video of these trains taken by the late Mike Price, and compiled by Mike Wilcock.  If you search for “Heart of Wales line 1997, double headed class 56s and 37s” or follow this YouTube link, you will find half an hour of pure joy for lovers of Grids and Growlers!

Llangollen Railway news - by George Jones

Monday 25 October saw a delivery of ballast to the Cowen extension. The four loaded ballast wagons were propelled into the station area by the 08 shunter 13265 and dropping commenced on the area of the points adjacent to the signalbox then leading into the Up platform.

The 08 was marshalled between the 'Shark' plough van the LMS guards van photo 2 and the consist made several runs on and out of the area to deliver upwards of 100 tons of stone. The plough on the Shark was dropped to spread some of the stone but the bulk was the dropped stone was left to the p-way gang to shovel between the sleepers.

The delivery from the 'Dogfish' wagon.

A close-up of the operation.

This much anticipated operation which will take many more drops to ballast the platform area and head shunt.

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