NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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22 November 2021
The Jolly Slateman from Derby arrives at Blaenau Ffestiniog on 20 November (Ken Robinson).
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.
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