Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

22 November 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.

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)

The Jolly Slateman from Derby arrives at Blaenau Ffestiniog on 20 November (Ken Robinson).

The Cheshireman

Steam reached Chester on 20 November, in the shape of the Railway Touring Company's 'Cheshireman' from London to Chester.  60163 Tornado had been advertised as traction, but in the event, 'Black 5' 44871 worked the train. Geoff Morris was on hand to watch events at Chester.  Geoff writes:

Most unusually the complete train, rather than the loco plus support coach only, was being turned so I  went to Brook Lane to get a shot of the empty stock being hauled out to turn on the triangle. It’s quite a tight curve out to Chester North Junction and the loco put up a fine vocal effort with excellent exhaust. 57 316 can just be seen at the rear of the train.

As the train was reversing around the triangle towards Chester South Junction, 508 128 passed and it was too good an opportunity to miss to get the steam loco and EMU in the same photo.

Two views of the train by George Jones ...

... the loco is in very fine condition. As an aside, the curious name of the train is a reference to the days when there would be summer holiday services, hauled by pairs Class 20s, from Derby to Skegness. They gained the unofficial name 'The  Jolly Fisherman',  alluding to the character in the famous on railway poster with is slogan 'Skegness is  So bracing'.

In passing, George Jones notes:  'the renovated box girder structure for platform 4  has had a coat of paint recently and looks better for it - a long felt need in my view.'

Arrving from Crewe ...

... it was busy at Chester with enthusiasts and travellers. The veteran of many “Jacobite” seasons looked in fine condition (Stephen Dennett).

The Jolly Slateman

The 'Jolly Slateman' excursion on 20 November from Derby to  Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno Chester Locks. The main attraction on this Locomotive Services operation was haulage by a pair of the recently- acquired Class 20 locos,   D8107 (20 107) and D8096 (20 096). Picture by  Chris Morrison.

Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh).

Bagillt footbridge made a good viewpoint to see the Class 20s ...

... and for a good look at D6851 on the rear (Stephen Dennett).

Rhyl (Roly High).

Pensarn westbound with D8107 leading D8096 ...

... and D6851 on the rear (Gary Thomas)

The 20s run round the train at Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud).

Ready for departure (Ryan Lloyd).

Heading for the branch at Llandudno Junction (Gary Thomas).

Passing Glan Conwy (Garry Stroud).

North Llanrwst (Rowan Crawshaw).

Betws-y-Coed (Gary Thomas).

Blaenau Ffestiniog arrival (Gary Thomas).

Almost ready to depart Blaenau Ffestiniog, a few minutes late, having just called everyone aboard! (Ken Robinson).

Arrival at Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud).

Flopsie was detached and ran light engine to Llandudno platform 1 to await the arrival of the Class 20s  with the train. (Garry Stroud).

Arrived at Llandudno (Chris Morrison).

Llandudno (Ryan Lloyd).

The passengers were allocated two hours to visit the Victorian Weekend festivities, while the 20s were run round the train using the Cae Mawr sidings. At departure time, the 20s hauled the train to Llandudno Junction, followed shortly afterwards by the 37 which was then attached to the rear.
See also a YouTube video by Phil Clarke.

D8096 and D8107 pass Colwyn Bay with the 16:49 Llandudno to Derby return trip.  37 667 / D6851 was out of sight on the rear (Chris Morrison).

Looking back:  Steam and Diesel 1998 part 2 - by David Pool

The last fuel from Trawsfynydd left in 1997, so the flask trains on the coast in 1998 were only from Wylfa, and a single locomotive was usual at this time.  On 28 August 1998 the “Dutch” liveried 31 306 was used for the 7C40 1502 Valley to Sellafield, and is passing Roodee Junction with two FNA flask wagons and three RNA runner wagons.

Shortly after the flasks had passed, the sun appeared, and a clean 56032 in the latest EWS livery was running light engine towards Saltney Junction. 

On 5 September 1998 I returned to the Chester Walls, and the 08:50 Holyhead to Euston was headed by the usual Class 47, on this occasion 47 818 in the attractive Intercity livery.  I later photographed this particular locomotive many times when it was repainted in Virgin Trains red.  Subsequently it was acquired by DRS,   and is still in service today.  

The Welsh Highland Railway’s Enthusiasts’ Weekend on 20 September 1998 brought some visitors to Dinas.  Palmerston came from the Ffestiniog Railway, and the de Winton vertical boilered Chaloner came from the Leighton Buzzard Light Railway.  The latter is featured in the NWCR Notice Board of 11 January 2021, relating the story of its memorable trip over the WHR in 2011. 

I never saw a “Kalahari”NG15 in steam in South Africa, so the restoration of No.134 on the Welsh Highland Railway has been of particular interest to me.  Although it featured in the NWCR Notice Board of 28 December 2020, I thought another shot of No. 134 at Dinas on 20 September 1998 was appropriate now that the rebuilding progress is gathering pace.  The full boiler overhaul has now started, and progress on the restoration is reported on the website.  

Saturday 17 October 1998 was a busy day for me.  The first of two Railtours in North Wales was “The Blackpool Five”, a Pathfinder tour from Coventry to Blackpool South, steam hauled by 45110 from Shrewsbury to Blackpool.  I had wanted to try a shot of a Northbound train on the Chirk Aqueduct, but the sun was not in the best position and the wind was blowing the exhaust across the train.

I headed for the A5 to get to Blaenau, and called in at Berwyn on the Llangollen Railway, where another Black Five 44806 was in service.  This locomotive had come to Llangollen for restoration in 1993 after an early retirement at the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, where it received the name Magpie after an ITV  children's programme, and subsequently visited several museums, including the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.  It is currently part of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway fleet.  

My remaining objective of the day was to photograph the final “Last Train to Trawsfynydd” Railtour, appropriately called “The Trawsfynydd Lament”.  As explained in the NWCR Notice Board of 8 November, this turned out to be a Railtour with problems.  The train was top and tailed by 56 108 and 47 785, and was over an hour late leaving Trawsfynydd.  I managed to get a shot at the location of Teigl Halt, which was fortunate as the train was subsequently held outside Blaenau for three and a half hours, having missed its path on the branch.  The weather was suitably miserable to match the occasion, and the Railtour Files webpage recounts the story. 

Last week's issue

Kevin Melia writes: 'Having seen the attached picture and caption on your page (last issue - repeated above)  I can answer it hopefully. 47 810 had a safety-related fault of some kind (perhaps the speedo or wipers but can't recall what exactly) so 47 016, one of the last series parallel wired 47s in traffic, was dispatched light engine early on the Saturday morning to Holyhead to work the train piloting 810.

'My notes show I had done 47 807 Crewe to Bristol on 1V26 (a holidaymaker overnight from Manchester to Paignton) but already been alerted to 47 146 working alone on 1M02 ex London Paddington so alighted for the first HST to Didcot. Having left the RFD 47 at New St we had learned of 47 016 on 1A49 which we reached at Chester via a few units changing at Crewe. Both 47s powered to Crewe. The fun continued as 1O16 from Glasgow to Poole was then allocated 47 016 alone from Preston to New St via Bolton, Manchester and Stoke. 47 807 then reappeared to work forward so I took that to Basingstoke for a friend's house overnight in Farnborough. They were the days. Ironically 47 016 then had it when it worked to Paignton on Cross Country twice on summer Saturdays that year among other bits and pieces. Managed to go to the Riviera twice with after initially thinking I'd not have it more than 21 miles from Chester that first day.'

Regarding the long formation of DMus seen in the same item, Barry Taylor writes: 'With regards to the picture featured, the train when I was a driver at Chester would split at Warrington Bank Quay on a Saturday only during the summer months I believe it was for holiday makers from Ireland. The remainder of the train would continue to Stockport.'

From Dave Sallery's archive (and present day)

A Perfectly restored Cravens class 105 at the East Lancs DMU Gala. Ramsbottom, 13 November 2021.

One of the turns was covered by 33 109 assisting a class 104. Seen here running around at Rawtenstall.

The driver of 86 419 could be remembering former times as he watches 50009 and 50036 enter Crewe on 14th May 1988. The train is the "Hoover Dambuster" run by Traintours - Details on The Railtour Files.

Freightliner Crew Training Runs

On 17 November  70 014 enters Llandudno Junction from Holyhead; a quick cab change on platform 3 and the 70 was on its way back to Holyhead (Garry Stroud).

On 18 November,  after arriving at Llandudno Junction, 66 506 makes its return journey back to Holyhead over Conwy Cob.

Standard Tank progress at Llangollen - by George Jones

At the AGM of the Llangollen Standard 4 Trust on 14 November last Sunday members got a chance to see their loco, 80072 on shed.

The engine is being prepared for the taking off the water tanks following the earlier removal of the bunker ( 14 June 2021 issue ) which will allow the lifting of the boiler in 2022. In the meantime, the attached pic shows the front end steps have been removed. A press statement will follow once the tanks are off to consider the way forward for financing the overhaul and chart the options for the tanks and the bunker.

Those weren't the days

Rhyl engineers' sidings are apparently a last outpost of long-lost organisation Railtrack (Roly High).

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