NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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01 November 2021
The 'Devonian Double' at Bristol Temple Meads, 30 October. Picture by Steve Morris.
Note: Contributors can help by adjusting the clocks in their cameras to GMT if necessary, so we can check the details on images in case of doubt. - Charlie
Coast Line scenes, 28 October - by Tim Rogers
Three views at long-abadoned Bagillt station: 197 001 working 3Q12 11:37 test (or mileage accumuilation?) run, Llandudno Junction to Chester.
Avanti 'voyager' 221 111 is 1D84 11:48 Crewe to Holyhead.
175 008: 1H87 11:41 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly. It's a strange thought that these will almost certainly be sent for scrap when the 197s take over. This website recorded their problematic introduction in 2000.
Greenfield, Milepost 195: 67 014 leading the 1V96 11:33 Holyhead to Cardiff Central.
Locos old and new(er) - by Geoff Morris
On 27 October I looked at the Real Time Trains schedule for Chester and saw that Locomotive Services were making two test runs between Crewe and Chester using class 40s D213 & D345 prior to their use on a railtour on 30 October. I saw this too late to see the morning run but after an early lunch I walked down to Chester station to photograph the afternoon one.
I was a bit surprised when D213 turned up alone as D345 had been with it in the morning. I don’t know what had happened but it obviously wasn’t anything serious as it ran as booked on 30 October. The loco was routed into the old parcels platform line adjacent to platform 1 (above) which wasn’t ideal for me as I was standing on this platform, which has the advantage of being accessible without going through the ticket barriers. Simultaneously, 175 001 arrived with the 12:35 Manchester Airport - Chester. The return run wasn’t scheduled to leave until an hour or so after the arrival and indeed the crew transferred their belongings to the other cab, turned the loco off and walked off (so no early departure).
The loco was parked at the buffers ...
... and fortuitously in a position that I was able to get a “different” photograph of one cab framed by the archway giving access to the platform. [Notice the variery of brickwork styles and the remains of another arch behind.]
I didn’t wait for the return run but instead walked down to the Chester Locks to photograph one of the loco-hauled sets on a Cardiff – Holyhead service. 67015 led from Cardiff with DVT 82229 in charge from Chester to Holyhead (this is the DVT that carries vinyls giving advice as to how to float). I chose a couple of different vantage points for the photos, with the inward service 'going away' under the ring road flyover and entering Northgate Tunnel ...
... while the other shot is taken from that flyover showing the class 67 powering away at the rear of the train after the Chester reversal.
The Devonian Double - report by Steve Morris
I had a great day out on 30 October behind 40 013 Andania (D213) and 40 145 (D435) heading the "Devonian Double" tour from Preston to Plymouth and back: the first time a pair of 40s has operated a passenger service since December 1984. Above, ready for departure from Preston at 06:35 with driver Chris Page.
A 15-minute leg-stretching break break at Pontypool & New Inn station.
All went to plan despite a 60-minute delay at Bristol Temple Meads (above) whilst we waited permission to proceed due to flooding between there and Bridgewater ...
... which resulted in a late arrival in Plymouth (above) and late return although a 64 minute delay in departure had been reduced to 17 by the time I got back to Crewe where I left the train. Ex-North Wales driver John Humphries who is now employed by Locomotive Services took charge for the section from Bristol to Plymouth and return, something that he really enjoyed! Arrival at Preston was at 22:26 just 12 Minutes late.
Graham Breakwell took this one at 08:30 under overcast skies between Meole Brace and Bayston Hill on the outward journey over the Welsh
Marches route, the return being via Birmingham. 47 828 was on the rear of the train, presumably to provide power for heating and lighting the Mk3 coaches.
From Dave Sallery's archive
On 9 June 1993 at Llandudno 37 421 - minus its Petroleum sector name Strombidae but before receiving Regional railways livery and the name The Kingsman - is about to back its arrival from Birmingham out to the carriage sidings to run around the stock. The loco remains in service today for Colas.
On 16 March 1993, 37 107, seen passing Prestatyn, is on test and returning to Crewe. I seem to recall this was one of a batch overhauled by Railfreight Distribution. They were intended to haul freight from the continent via the Channel Tunnel.
Rail Head Treatment corner
Colwyn Bay, 26 October (Greg Mape).
Steve Morris writes: I went out to photograph the RHTT returning from Holyhead on 27 October. The main reason was that long-standing North Wales Driver Mike Lunn is now driving for Colas and was spending the week back on his old patch in and out of Holyhead. Here he is with 56078 up front and 56 094 on the rear on the return working from Holyhead on the final approach to Crewe passing Dairy Lane bridge. A lifelong rail enthusiast, Mike is well known to many across The Coast.
28 October near Abergele: for some reason worked by the Network Rail Class 97/3 locos that usually only work the Cambrian section. 97 304 leading (Greg Mape).
Returning near Penmaenmawr after being terminated at Bangor, possibly due to flooding of the line beyond (Greg Mape).
Abergele, 30 October (Greg Mape).
Looking back: Diesels 1997 - with David Pool
In 1997 Warrington Arpley was a busy hub for freight trains. I had photographed 56 039 Southbound at Winwick on 19 April with 6M63, the 06:29 from Mossend to Arpley. There were logs on the train, and I guessed they would be going forward to Chirk or Shotton, so I made my way to Rossett. Sure enough, the logs appeared behind 56 039, at that time in Load Haul livery.
The Euston trains from Holyhead were either worked by an HST or 'dragged' by a Class 47 to Crewe for ongoing electric haulage. A Rail Express Systems liveried 47 501 was dragging DVT 82 105 on 18 May 1997, and I was lucky with a patch of sunlight at Roodee Junction.
Engineering works on the Wirral lines of Merseyrail often involved Class 37s, and a major track renewal at New Brighton on 3 August 1997 saw a pair on ballast workings. 37 051 will soon be departing with spent ballast. Another 37 is behind the Plasser and Theurer Heavy Duty Diesel Hydraulic Crane.
Locomotives would appear in a variety of liveries at that time, and another shot at Roodee Junction on 30 August shows 56 068 in a grey undercoat with empty log wagons. I recorded this as 6F45, 17:23 Dee Marsh Junction to Arpley, so the wagons would have come from Shotton Paper Mill. This plant has apparently been sold in 2021 to a British subsidiary of a large Turkish paper producer.
Pathfinder Railtours could be relied upon to provide interesting haulage, and the “Crompton Culminator” on 6 September 1997 was no exception. 1Z66 from Salisbury to Holyhead ran with 33 051 and 33 030, the former running as D6569 in blue, while 33 030 was in “Dutch” livery. The train is leaving Wrexham with D6569 leading. Sadly, D6569 has not survived, but 33 030 was acquired by DRS, although currently not in use.
On 18 October 1997 I was at Earlestown, waiting for a Railtour heading for Lime Street. Trains between Chester and Lime Street at that time went through Warrington, and Pacer 142 051 in Regional Railways Merseyrail yellow was working the 12:21 from Chester.
The distinctive sound of a Deltic brought back memories of the prototype Deltic on the 'Merseyside Express' in 1956 and the 'Manxman' in 1957, but now it was D9000 Royal Scots Grey, which had left Kings Cross on 1Z49, the “Trans Pennine Deltic” railtour, organised by the Deltic Preservation Society. The Railtour Files webpage describes the journey, during which the performance of the locomotive in regaining lost time seems to have resulted in excessive fuel consumption, such that part of the return journey used a Class 47 to conserve what fuel remained in the tank of D9000! This locomotive has now been acquired by Locomotive Services Limited of Crewe, where it is being repaired. It was previously 55 022 in BR blue, but it would not surprise me if it appeared as D9000 again.
In 1997 the HSTs working between Holyhead and Euston were almost all in InterCity livery, and generally ignored by photographers, who favoured the many trains hauled by a 37 or 47. I was at Llanfairfechan on 26 October 1997, when the day was overcast and not really suitable for photography. The 13:35 from Holyhead was approaching, then I realised that it was the elusive 43 028, which had an unusual livery, having been partially repainted somewhat like an Irish diesel. I never got the full story of how this had happened, and this was the only time I managed to get a photograph of this rarity.
Llangollen news - by George Jones
Halloween weekend and there was a two train diesel service operating at LR with loco 31 271 on the suburban stock and the 104/108 hybrid DMU providing the travel option.
This past season since July has seen the Llangollen Railcars group providing the mid week services and offering the LRT a lifeline in difficult times with a economical train service which has found favour with the public. With just a few more operating days to go, the total number of train diagrams operated will reach 83, involving 3400 miles of running and carrying over 22,000 passengers.
On trial on Saturday, 30 October was a Berwyn Belle shuttle, comprising the Class 08 08 13265 propelling the Toad brake, van, the former disabled coach and an open wagon to offer a novel train experience for family groups with little time and limited cash for the short journey from Llangollen up to Berwyn and back. The open wagon proved popular in the autumn sunshine and the results of the trial will be assessed to see how it might be marketed more often next year. The intention is to provide some activity in the station whilst the main train service is down the line and hence attract passing trade to the station.
The DMU will operated on 3, 4, 6 and 7 November. Meanwhile 2-8-0 3802 is back at Llangollen and will provide a final steam service on 13/14 November pending Santas in December.
Happily, the railway has managed to regain their rightful web address where details of the festive trains can be found:
A visit to the Ffestiniog, 27 October - with Tim Rogers
Porthmadog: L&B, 2-6-2T, 190 Lyd, built at Boston Lodge works in 2010 as a replica of the Manning Wardle locomotive Lew built for the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway in 1925. Working 14:20 Porthmadog to Tanybwlch & return.
2-4-0ST+T Blanche on a Porthmadog bound service at Tanybwlch.
Originally built 1893 by the Hunslet Engine Co. Originally an 0-4-0ST
running on the Penrhyn Quarry Railway, hired by the Ffestiniog Railway in
1962, and purchased in December 1963.
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