Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

07 December 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
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)

56 096 passing Shotton hauling 'dead' 67 008 through Shotton on 5V96 after 67 008 failed at Rhyl on 1V96 11:33 Holyhead to Cardiff. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Tuesday 7 December: Transport for Wales have responded to an adverse weather forecast by cancelling all west of Chester in advance. Avanti West Coast appear to  trying to continue - the 06:55 Holyhead to Crewe left on time but was 13 minutes late by Bangor..

Problem afternoon on the Coast - report by Mark Enderby

On 2 December I decided on a quiet trip out to Chester to visit friends ...

...  arriving  at Chester at 15:02 to find 67 015 on 1W93 11:22 Cardiff Central - Holyhead  still in plaform 3B. The Rail Head Treatment Train was parked without a loco. Then I noticed a rail replacement bus to Manchester  outside.

197 001 was waiting to head up the coast for a test run.

Crossing the Hoole Way bridge, it all became clear, 67 008 on 1V96 11:33 Holyhead - Cardiff Central had expired at Rhyl and 56 096 had gone to rescue it.

The ensemble arrived at 15:40 - the 56 then presumably resumed its diagram. 1W93's diagram was cancelled and it proceeded to Llandudno Junction as empty stock.

Services gradually sorted themselves out before I needed to go home. 67 008 was still there at 20:52 but apparently it got to Crewe by 23:00. Too much excitement!


It's often that all three active 97/3s are at rest and at their “home” – Coleham ISU, Shrewsbury, but here they are on 3 December. Left to right, 97 304 John Tiley, 97303 and 97302 Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways with a short train of Rail Head Treatment Train wagons. All three are looking relatively clean, specially 303, considering it’s well into the RHTT season.

66 547 passes Pensarn with the first of Sunday afternoon's (5 December)  return engineering trains to Crewe (Gary Thomas).

45690 Leander passing near to Manchester City's Football ground on 4 December in wet weather on a Railway Touring Company trip from Liverpool to York via Manchester Victoria and Chinley (Greg Mape)

From Dave Sallery's archive

An 8F 2-8-0 and a 9F 2-10-0 at Speke Junction (8C) shed on a Sunday afternoon in 1967.

Blaenau Ffestiniog hosted two excursion trains on 25 May  1993. So with the platform loop line occupied 47 603, with its Manchester Executive Pullman train, was stabled on Manod viaduct beyond the station on the Trawsfynydd line.

Barmouth  re-opening delayed

A letter from Network Rail:

Bahamas update

This image by David Pool appeared in our 20 July 2020 issue: the caption read: ' The Jubilee 45596 Bahamas is on a Welsh Marches Express on 15 June 1991, having come on the train at Crewe.  One report suggested it was going to Newport, but I have not been able to confirm this.'

Len Chard has discovered this in our Archive, and writes:

'In the text you say you believe the loco came on at Crewe and was destined for Newport. I was on that train from Shrewsbury and after all these years I can't actually remember if the train came in with 45596 or not - my main reason for being in the area was the 'Cambrian Limited' the next day.

'But I can tell you that 45596 came off at Hereford where the train reversed and the return journey was hauled by (4)6201 Princess Elizabeth. I got off at Shrewsbury and cannot recall if the loco continued, but I assume so.
The photo taken at Hereford showing both 45596 and (4)6201 in shot.'

Looking back:  Steam and diesels 1999 - by David Pool

There was always a Class 08 shunter working in Warrington Arpley yard, but they were not a popular subject for photographs.  On 2 January 1999 it was 08 701 The Sorter in Royal Mail Parcels red livery.  This was one of the few named Class 08s at that time. 

By 1999 the Class 66s had taken over many of the freight workings, and on 7 January 1999 66 033 was running through Arpley towards the reversing sidings at Latchford, with a long train of over 30 Merry-go-round wagons for Fiddlers Ferry.  It is interesting to note how busy the yard was, being the freight hub for much of the North West.

The Notice Board of 29 November 2021 included an image of the acid tanks returning to Sandbach from Sellafield.  On 8 January 1999 the Northbound 6C20 13:30 from Sandbach was headed by a pair of DRS Class 20s, 20 305 and 20 301 and photographed entering the loop at Middlewich.

The severe speed restrictions on the branch meant that I had plenty of time to get to Northwich and see the train coming off the single line. 

I was making the most of my then recent retirement, and was able to return to Middlewich on 22 January to see DRS 37 610 on the 6F20 08:25 Sellafield to Sandbach, with three NACCO bogie tanks.  The platform edges of Middlewich station are visible.  Just maybe there will be passengers again in the not too distant future. 

The following day 23 January was not sunny, but nothing could have stopped me going to Hargrave to photograph 6024 King Edward I on the “Lein Amlwch Venturer” Railtour to Gaerwen and Holyhead.   I had seen it on the Settle and Carlisle the previous year, but its impressive appearance makes it very high on the list of my favourite locomotives.  It didn’t disappoint me at Hargrave, but I needed full aperture at 1/125 second exposure! 

The limestone trains to Lostock Works in Northwich are often photographed, but in 1999 there was a train of oil tanks between Northwich and Thameshaven, running as 6L55 14:50 from Lostock Works. On 5 February 1999 I managed to get a shot of 37 100 leaving the site and disturbing the seagulls!  I took more shots on the curve between Northwich East and South junctions, but there it was difficult to see much more than the nose of the locomotive. 

One week later I returned to the branch, intending to photograph 6K15, the salt wagons from Arpley to Middlewich.  The first movement at Middlewich was a Northbound Class 37, but a Class 31 was visible in the distance beyond the passing loop, and had apparently failed with 6K15.  After a short while, 37 379 coupled to 31 427, and the train proceeded to its destination South of the station.  

Santa at Llangollen - report by Peter Neve

The Santa Special season at the Llangollen Railway commenced on Saturday 4th December with GWR 2-8-0 3802 in charge of a rake of six Mark 1 coaches taking excited children from Llangollen to Lapland (Carrog). 3802 was photographed entering Glyndyfrdwy station on the last train of the day and suitably adorned with festive decorations, including two illuminated reindeer secured in front of the smokebox. The Santa Specials will be running for the next two weekends and then on 22 December, 23 December and 24 December (assuming there are no Covid restrictions imposed during that period).  Follow this link to book your place.

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