NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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08 November 2021
D345 and D213 at Chester on the morning test run on 27 October to check their multiple-working circuits ready for the railtour to Plymouth. (See last issue.) Picture by David Wood who writes 'I was wondering when did Chester station last see a pair of Green 40s ?'
We'll start this page with some interesting items which I failed to add due to accidentally re-starting after the holiday at the wrong place in the email list. - Charlie
Coast favourites in action - by Dave Plimmer
At the start of October there were two opportunities to see 3 preserved
locomotives in action which were frequent visitors to the North Wales Coast line in the 1970s. A dig into my slide collection, provided the opportunity for some "then and now" shots. Above: At the Severn Valley Diesel gala on Friday 1 October, 24 081 is seen at Highley working the 08:30 from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth. This was a seven coach load on the first train of the day on a damp morning.
In contrast, on Bank Holiday Monday 29 August 1977, 24 081 only has three coaches to haul on a short working from Llandudno to Llandudno Junction, where it would hand over to 25 074. This was a return Shoppers Special to Holyhead for day-trippers from Ireland.
Also at the Severn Valley gala on Friday 1 October, 40 106 worked the 13:50 Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, seen here arriving at Hampton Loade.
Despite its celebrity status, 40 106 also found that it was not easy being green, as here it is on the 8 July 1980, shunting coal wagons in Bangor Yard, before continuing to Amlwch on Trip 46.
I failed to get a picture of 24 081 and 40 106 together at the Severn Valley to contrast with this shot of 4 September 1979 at Bangor. 40 106 is running round the stock of the 07:45 from Manchester before returning as the 11:30 from Bangor. 24 081 is on the Amlwch tanks in Platform 1 - not their usual location. My assumption here is that the tanks were left here earlier in the day, possibly when the loco working the morning trip from Amlwch had been commandeered to rescue another train. 24 081 had been sent out from Llandudno Junction to retrieve the tanks and work them back to the Junction.
The final North Wales Coast stalwart in action was 47 449 at the Llangollen Railway on Sunday 3 October. Running with its pre-TOPS number of 1566, 47 449 made its first outing for 2 years, on the loco-hauled diagram starting with the 10:30 Llangollen to Carrog, seen here approaching Llangollen Goods Junction with the 5-coach suburban rake.
The contrast shot is of 47 449 working the Crewe to Holyhead portion of the 13:00 from Euston on the curve onto the Britannia Bridge on 27 September 1976.
All shot from public locations (even the 70s ones!) apart from the one at Llangollen Goods Junction which was taken from the signal box where I am an authorised person (well, a trainee authorised person at the moment, but I was rostered to be there).
Ffestiniog & WHR 'Bygone Times' Weekend - by Ian Pilkington
Lyd heads the 15:35 Beddgelert-Porthmadog through the Aberglaslyn Pass on Friday 8 October.
A gravity slate train passes Penrhyn on Sunday October,
Welsh Pony passes Penrhyn with the 11:05 Porthmadog-Tan-y-Bwlch on Sunday 10 October.
Palmerston heads a Rhiw Goch-Porthmadog demonstration goods onto the Cob on Sunday 10th.
The rare sight of a loaded Garratt-hauled train on the Cob, as 87 heads the Boston Lodge-Beddgelert leg of a members' special on Sunday 10th.
David Lloyd George heads the 15:35 Beddgelert-Porthmadog near Pont Croesor with Cnicht in the background on Sunday 10th.
87 heads the members' special back to Porthmadog away from Pont Croesor.
The Great Orme Tramway - visited by Martin Evans
On 8 October I was in Llandudno. I ventured to the Tramway and found it
operating. Although time was short I managed to ravel to the summit and back. Above: Tram No 6 approaches the summit while Tram No 4 waits in the loop just below the summit and Halfway station.
Tram No 4 has returned to Llandudno and has finished for the day.
Chasing the Test Train, 3 November - by Stephen Dennett
I had a good day on 3 November following the Test Train in the Llandudno and Conwy area.
This was the Ultrasonic / Structure Gauging train which did a circuitous route from Crewe to Bangor, with a return the following day.
It comprised Class 37/6 37 612, which is on loan from the Harry Needle Co, Ultrasonic Test Coach 999602, Structure Gauging Coaches 977985 & 977986, Brake Force Runner 96604 (converted from a Motorail Van), and DBSO 9708.
Always great to see a Class 37 anytime!
I also managed to see another Freightliner Class 66 doing more runs from Crewe to Holyhead. [Editor's note: these runs are definitely training for engineering trains: the stone trains from Penmaenmawr will, we understand, be worked by GBRf locomotives.
The estuary walk from the Conwy RSPB site to the Conwy approach road is a really fine viewpoint for trains coming across Conwy Cob to and from the Castle arch.
It was my first time there, having seen excellent photos by other contributors in the past. The Voyager, the unique-liveried 221 101, was one of the other trains I saw, working the 12:53 Holyhead - Crewe. I was hoping for the RHTT but it was very late back from Holyhead that day; it appears to have been having problems after leaving Crewe westbound, but continued its itinerary and finally arrived back at its Shrewsbury depot 146 minutes late.
Some questions we have been asked recently.
1. Why is the now-disused platform at Holyhead set into a concrete base? After consulting some experts, we believe this was done so that the toilets of sleeping cars could be emptied in to a drain provided. Is this correct? Apparently this arrangement sometimes caused problems with the signalling system, due to false activation of the track circuits.
2. Are there still emergency signals controlled from the control tower on the line, passing Valley airfield, as there are at Broughton? It seems that signal technicians had to enter the no-go area of the tower to maintain the equipment.
3. Can readers recommend a useful 'app' for railway enthusiast new to smart-phones?
Test Train assortment
More views of 37 612 and its Ultrasonic Test Train on 3 November. Above, arriving at Llandudno (Ryan Lloyd).
Baldeerton Crossing (Bob Greenhagh).
On 4November it was the turn of a PLPR train to take to the North Wales rails, powered by 43 274 ...
... and scruffy-looking 43 290 on the rear, past Dywgyfylchi (Gary Thomas).
The next day, 5 November 37 612 returned after spending previous day at Bangor. This is Pensarn (Gary Thomas).
Cambrian Corner - by Kate Jones
Three pictures of work ongoing, night and day, all weathers except for
the recent high winds, on the Barmouth viaduct refurbishment. I take my hat off too them!
Pictures taken this morning 3 November 2021.
I can't wait for the access to Barmouth to be open again, scheduled for 13 December. The 45-minute bus rides round via Dolgellau on these twisting narrow roads are not for travel-sick people like myself!
From Dave Sallery's Archive
Class 37 rebirths:
37 667 Meldon Quarry Centenary at Chester on a ballast from Penmaenmawr, 22 October 1997. A rare beast at the time, 37 667 is now with Locomotive Services and repainted into original green livery as D6851.
37 116 Sister Dora approaching Rhyl on the evening of 8 June 1996 on a Crewe - Bangor working in its unique Transrail livery. 37 116 was originally withdrawn in February 2007 and sold to the Chinnor & Princess Risborough Railway. It was later re-sold to Colas and reinstated on 31 December 2014. It is now in Colas livery.
Another view of 37 116 on test from Crewe works on 17 March 1992 approaching Prestatyn. It is in large logo livery and named Comet. I have been asked, in the past, if the test train was really a secret troop train for Northern Ireland and if the first coach had SAS soldiers in it. There was plenty of misinformation about before the internet!
Looking back: Class 59 to Blaenau - with David Pool