Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

07 February 2022


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, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation or postponement.

February 2022

Thursday 10 February Shropshire Railway Society Stevens' wanderings with a camera 1954 - 2004 Berwyn Stevens

Monday 21 February RCTS Chester Martyn Hilbert “Network North West”

Thursday 24 February Shropshire Railway Society My early years photographs  - Ken Hayward

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)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

Convoy at Chester - see below. Picture by Geoff Morris.

News Pictures

37418 hauling  97 304, 97 302 and 97 303 at Rhosymedre just outside Ruabon working Shrewsbury Coleham Depot via Wrexham and Crewe return on 3 February. Why, we have no idea; the locos were needed for Cambrian engineering works at the weekend, maybe the run to Crewe was some sort of test. The train is seen on the outward working to Chester. Martin Evans writes: 'The picture was taken by an enthusiast who  has given permission for me to forward it'.

Geoff Morris writes: 'On Thursday 4 February two trips from Coleham were scheduled but in the event only one of them ran. This was a return trip to Crewe via Chester. I went to Chester walls for the outward leg and this time encountered a convoy of 4 class 37s with 37 418 at the head of 3 of the 4 Network Rail’s Class 97/3s (02/04/03 in that order).

On Wednesday 2 February there was a return trip from Derby RTC to Coleham (via Crewe & Chester).  I went out for the return leg which was running an hour early. It turned out to be a light engine, Colas-liveried 37 219, fitted with cameras on one end. I went to the Walls and the cameras were fortunately fitted on the leading end. It passed at the exactly the  same time as a pair of class 197/0s headed towards Llandudno Junction but unfortunately this occurred directly underneath the Walls and so I couldn’t get a photo of the two trains together.'

66 788 was active in Shrewsbury on 3 February. Firstly as 0Z65, a light engine trip from Bescot Junction to Shrewsbury station to reverse, then back to Wolverhampton station as 0Z66 to reverse again for a run to Wellington. After a  final reversal there Donnington freight terminal was reached where the loco took on 6Z85, the scheduled 16:23 to Kineton MOD, actually departing 68 minutes early. Another run to Shrewsbury saw the loco run round its train in Coton Hill sidings before heading back east to the freight only line from Walsall through Sutton Park, avoiding Birmingham.   Picture taken at Monskmoor bridge, Shrewsbury, and notes by Graham Breakwell.

GB Railfreight 66 788 was named Locomotion on 21 September 2019 as part of the celebrations to mark a decade and a half since the National Railway Museum opened its outstation in Shildon, County Durham.

Kate Jones writes: '97 304 and a Tamper passing the Barmouth viaduct compound on its way to Pwllheli, Monday 7 February just before 11am. It's good to have the train service back again although the footpath is still closed.

The 10:40h Daventry DRS Tesco to Wentloog was diverted on 5 February from its usual route around the eastern suburbs of Birmingham, Gloucester and Severn Tunnel Junction to run via Crewe, Shrewsbury and the Marches line. 66 432 with some 30 containers is seen here pulling away from Sutton Bridge Junction, Shrewsbury ...

... and about to pass between all that remains of the former Shropshire and Montgomery Railway bridge in Belle Vue (Graham Breakwell).

Cut-down cabs, etc. - by Mark Hambly

Just by way of feedback on David Pool's recent contribution, I'd suggest that in the picture at Fishguard (reprised above) D2120 has a standard height cab, i.e. prior to being cut down for use on the BP&GV line. I'd suggest that the clearest angle from which to establish whether or not an 03 has been cut down is on the front of the cab, overlooking the bonnet - if a loco has been cut down then the proportions of the windows are noticeably different, with the height at the inner edge (closest to the horn) reduced so that it is similar to the width at the lower edge (above the running plate).

Incidentally, in the most recent (November 2021) issue of the Welsh Railways Archive, the journal of the Welsh Railways Research Circle, there is an article by Dr Martin Connop Price about a couple of freight train trips he made in South Wales in March 1973, including a trip over the BP&GV line with D2142 and D2145.

Rolling stock notes

Transport for Wales  have deferred (again) the entry to service of the Class 230 Vivarail sets to the May 22 timetable change.  Meanwhile, the program begun in 2019 to refurbish and re-livery all the Class 175 sets has been completed, even though their life with TfW has not long to go - it's unusual for trains to be refurbished when the replacements - Class 197 - are already running on trials and staff training.  There's little chance of the 175s finding work with other operators, even though they only entered service in 2000.

Work on the 150s, 153s  and 158s, also to be replaced by new stock, continues.  The 158s, at least, might find work with Northern. TfW and Scotrail are now the only operators of the Class 153 single-car sets, Northern having withdrawn all their remaining examples.

From  Dave Sallery's archive

A Euston bound HST leaving Chester on 20 May 1995.

37 673 on test from Crewe passes Kinmel Bay on 12th June 1987.  37673 was cut up by EMR, Kingsbury, May 2008.  37 673 spent a number of years on china clay workings in Cornwall ...

... Here it is, now in Transrail livery at Burngullow coming off the line from Parkandillick on 6th August 1997. The main line to Penzance is on the left and after a foolish economy measure it has since been restored to double track.

Penmaenmawr to Crewe, 1987 - by Barrie Hughes

The morning of 11 July 1987 started a little dull;  150 122 in the new Provincial livery is on an eastbound working at Penmaenmawr. Intriguingly, just beyond the green starter signal there appears to be a freight shunted into the yard with a load which could be aluminium extrusions? Looking at the pointwork the train cannot have accessed the siding from the Up line without reversing.


The next call was Llandudno Junction where three freights were present in the yard. On the extreme left is a rake of freight wagons carrying steel I beams. The Rail blue Class 47/0 47 144 is on the Amlwch Bromine tank empties. This loco was withdrawn on 25/8/98 and scrapped that summer at Booth's, Rotherham. The Railfreight Class 47 is 47 365 ICI Diamond Jubilee (named 20/9/86) and was cut up at Booth's Rotherham by 31/10/2007. This train appears to be the Llandudno Junction - Holyhead trip working; the first wagon appears to be a Tunnel Cement tank for the terminal at Bangor.


The next stop was Abergele where a succession of trains were noted as the sun slowly emerged. Here the old order was still in service with a Class 101
DMU taking the Up loop on a train bound for Crewe.

A short while later the sun finally came out and 47 441 was seen taking the through line at Abergele with an 11-coach rake for London containing a mix of blue and grey and Intercity sectorised livery coaches. 47441 never carried a name and was withdrawn 3/94 and cut up at Old Oak Common depot 6/97. The train would probably change to electric traction at Crewe.


This was followed by 47 450, also in large logo BR livery, this time calling at the Up platform, with a rake of mostly Intercity coaches, on a Crewe working. 47450 was withdrawn 15/12/92 and cut up at Booth’s Rotherham 2/93. The loco briefly carried an unofficial Tinsley depot name BLACKBUCK from 17/7/90.

Finally 47441 was noted returning from Crewe at Chester on a Euston-Holyhead working with the well liked Mk1 buffet car looking a little out of place in the largely aircon rake of Mk2d/e coaches. The loco had been detached at Crewe from the Up working noted earlier at Abergele.

Looking back : BPGV part 2 - by David Pool

The last issue of the Notice Board showed the Class 03 locomotives on the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Line in South Wales.  My next visit was on 9 October 1986, when the line to Burry Port had been closed, and a connection had been made from the main line to Kidwelly Junction, thus allowing main line locomotives to pick up trains at Coed Bach Washery.  Meanwhile the 03s had been replaced by 08s, which also had been modified with cut down cabs for working to Cwmmawr.  At Kidwelly sidings, 08 663 and 08 992 illustrate the cab differences.

It was difficult to get access to the Washery and see 08 992 pick up its train, so I headed up the line to Pontyates and then to Pont Henry, where I got a reasonable shot of 08 992 with the empty HTV hopper wagons. 

At Pontyberem I photographed the interesting nameplate.

The first two 08s to be used on the line were 08 991 Kidwelly and 08 992 Gwendraeth, both having vacuum brakes only. Apparently 08 992 was not the most reliable of locomotives, and eventually it was withdrawn and cut up. The next 08 was 08 993, which was dual braked, followed by 08 994 and 08 995 which were air braked only. By 1994 the trains were all air braked HEA hoppers, 08 993 had acquired the name Ashburnham, while 08 994 had become Gwendraeth and 08 995 Kidwelly.  On 10 October 1994 I was at Pontyberem, and photographed 08 993 as it reached the stop sign at the crossing. At that point it appeared to have failed, and the expectation was that nothing would move for a few hours, so I abandoned photography  for the day. 

Two days later I returned to try again, and with some sunshine forecast I headed for Cwmmawr, which was the loading point for the Anthracite coming from the open cast mining in the district.  In the distance I could see 08 995, and this was now in Railfreight two tone grey with Coal Sector branding.

I reckoned the best shot would be at Pontyberem, and after waiting patiently I was rewarded by sunshine on 08 995, giving me a memorable end to my visits to the line. 

The preservation movement was eventually in a position to acquire unwanted locomotives, and when the BPGV line closed, followed by the Washery in 1998, 08 993, 08 994 and 08 995 were fortunately saved for new work.  08 994 was the shunter at Peak Forest on 1 September 2006, with the unofficial name Scuba's. It is now at Barrow Hill, to the best of my knowledge.

From 2001, Cardiff Canton depot formed a mobile team of fitters who maintained the Class 08s at their working locations to avoid returning then to Canton for attention.  They left their mark by applying unoffically the names or nicknames of team members to the locos. Scuba's was for George Mabbat,  a retired fitter who was a scuba diving fanatic. (Information from a website by Martin Bray).

08 993 has been seen more often.  It was at Bury on 6 June 2007, having been hired for work on the Manchester Metrolink network.  60 083 was another visitor to Buckley Wells sidings on the East Lancs Railway, while 'Jinty' 47324 was in steam.  08 993 has now moved on, and has been enjoying the scenery on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

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