NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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31 January 2022
68 001 and 68 002 head for Llandudno Junction, 27 January. Picture by Gary Jones.
Flask train 2022
DRS run a (very) occasional trip to and from Valley to maintain familiarity with the line even though the power station has had all its fuel rods; the final loaded train ran in September 2019. The previous train ran on 2 April 2021. On 27 January 2022 68 001 Evolution and and 68 002 Intrepid did the honours, pictured travelling west at Pensarn (Gary Thomas).
Returning past Rhosneigr (Gary Thomas).
Close-up of 68 001 at Bagillt (Tim Rogers). DRS certainly keep their locos in clean condition.
11 70 9229 029-7 is one of batch of ten FNA flask carriers built in 2014.
Ready for the snow
Geoff Morris writes: 'On Tuesday 25 January my wife and I were out for a walk and while we were crossing Hoole Lane bridge a very unusual sight coincidentally (and unexpectedly) appeared. A pair of Independent snowploughs were leaving on the Crewe line with 66 434 & 66427 sandwiched between them. Notice the curved bats on the top of the ploughs to clear any icicles inside tunnels.
The ploughs appeared to be in ex-works condition and I assume that they were on a 'shakedown' run following an overhaul. A perusal of Real Time Trains showed that this was a return trip between the DRS depot at Gresty Bridge and Chester, running over 2 hours late.
A different version on 27 January was a test run of a pair of the smaller type of indepdent snowploughs from DRS Crewe Depot to Chester and back featuring one-time Coast favourite 37 425 Concrete Bob ...
... and 37 716, photographed in difficult lighting conditions outside Chester by Bob Greenhalgh (Note the HST-worked measurement train on the other line). These ploughs are, we believe, built on bogies from withdrawn Class 40 or 45 locos. These units are only suitable for smaller snowdrifts, and have no icicle breakers, but the train crew have a better view than the large version. Use of these on the Stockport-Buxton line in 2018 resulted in a broken front window on the loco.
HST measurement train
Yet more interest on 27 January was the HST-based measurement train working along the Coast. Gary Thomas captured it in the gloaming at Rhosneigr heading back to England.
The working was 1Q30 10:55 Derby R.T.C.(Network Rail) to Crewe C.S. (L&NWR Site) via Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Crewe and Liverpool Lime Street. Chester and Holyhead. The pictures were taken at Flint station at 17:22 (Tim Rogers).
Tim Rogers records for us the consist of the train. All the coaches are the mark 3 type previously used in passenger HSTs, except 975814 which as 11000 was part of the prototype HST.
Class 43, 43 290;
975984 Network Rail High Speed Track Recording Train coach, Formerly Laboratory 15 Argus and later Test Car 4.(Ex 40000);
975814 Network Rail High Speed Track Recording Train coach. Formerly
Test Car 10 (Ex 11000);
977993 Network Rail High Speed Track Recording Train coach (Ex 44053);
977994 Network Rail High Speed Track Recording Train coach (Ex 44087); 977984 Network Rail High Speed Track Recording Train coach (Ex 40501);
Class 43, 43 299.
67 017 passes Rhosneigr propelling the 11:22 Cardiff - Holyhead on 27 January (Gary Thomas). Recent magazine articles have discussed the changes needed to make the 67s able to be controlled by the driving trailer.
The Mk4 carriages, like their Mk3 predecessors, were fitted with 'time-division multiplex' which can send a number of control signals along a limited number of wires running through the train; the early versions of this used the trains' existing lighting circuit, but this was abandoned due to interference. The 67s for TfW are fitted with the American AAR wiring system, noticeable by an extra socket on the front of the cab which connects a cable with many wires. All the Mk4 coaches and Driving trailers have had to be converted to this system, and the same work will be needed on the additional vehicles acquired from Grand Central.
In addition it has been decided to equip the coaches with selective door operation so that trains can safely call at stations with short platforms.
Last week's heading picture caption (above) should have read '67 017 propelling 1V96 11:33 Holyhead - Cardiff Central.'
From Dave Sallery's archive
37 080 with a heavy load of Penmaenmawr's finest ballast passes Holywell Junction, 4 October 1994. 37 080 was cut up at Cardiff Canton in May 1997.
37 077, in Mainline livery, with empties for Penmaenmawr on 19 March 1998 again passing Holywell Jct. This loco met its end at CF Booth in Rotherham.
A visit to Acton Bridge - with Greg Mape
A trip to Acton Bridge on the West Coast Main Line on 26 January to see 87 002 Royal Sovereign, on a charter from to Euston - Glasgow. It got stuck for 45 minutes at the signal outside Acton Bridge station with a technical problem, luckily it was repaired and carried on.
I managed to get an LNWR unit, 350 251 and a Cement train Clitheroe-Avonmouth with 66 773 at the front, all all next to 87002 at the signal.
88 008 Ariadne passed with a Tesco train Daventry - Mossend.
57 307 Lady Penelope, the only Class 57 still retaining Virgin's 'Thunderbird' theme, Crewe to Crewe via Liverpool Lime Street.
Something different: the BP and GV line, Part 1 - By David Pool
The North Wales Coast Railway Notebook on 27 August 2018 contained an item by Barrie Hughes on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley line in South Wales, which he visited in 1983. I first visited the line in 1975, and my starting point was the Yard at Burry Port, where loaded trains arrived from Cwmmawr and departed to Coed Bach Washery. On 9 September 1975 03 145 was picking up a brake van prior to going onto the rear of a train to Coed Bach.
Two more 03s, 03 120 and 03 144, were stabled in the Yard, and illustrated the cut down cabs which were necessary due to low bridges on the line, part of which was once a canal. The cab roof heights had been reduced by 4.5 inches.
Eventually a train was ready to leave, and I made my way to one of the several overbridges in Pembrey. The train was headed by 03 119 and 03 142 (the 03s had been modified to permit multiple working) and comprised a long rake of empty 16 ton wagons plus a shorter rake of loaded hoppers. It was difficult to get a good shot of the two 03s approaching, but the shot (above) of 03 145 on the rear was more successful. I was not able to discover why the train had both loaded and empty wagons.
The next overbridge gave me the picture I wanted of 03 119 and 03 142. The washing on the lines added a little colour and interest to the scene.
My final shot of 03 145 was in more rural surroundings. I believe this was the section of the line which was prone to flooding, and which led to the choice of the Class 03s in 1965 when steam workings ended. It appears that the more powerful Class 08 locomotives had some electrical equipment at a low level, which would not cope with flooded track. This difficulty was overcome when the line to Burry Port Yard was closed in 1984.
Looking through my slides of Class 03s, I found that I had photographed 03 120 on 30 August 1969, when it was the shunter at Fishguard Harbour, and numbered as D2120. This presented a problem. It does not appear to have a cut down cab, and is fitted with a bell on the cab front. The first cut down 03s were introduced in 1965, so perhaps D2120 was modified in a second batch. If anyone knows of a photo of D2120 on the BPGV line before it was renumbered in 1974 I should be most interested. These 03s were based at Landore, so presumably it would be easy to use them on other duties if needed.
Six of the BPGV Line 03s have been preserved. On 6 June 1993 D2119 (03 119) was in pristine condition on the Dean Forest Railway at Norchard Low Level.
More Recently, 03 119 moved to the Epping Ongar Railway, joining 03 170, which had the normal cab. The difference in heights is apparent in this image from 9 September 2012, but has not helped me to confirm whether D2120 at Fishguard had been modified!
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