Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

28 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 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”

Saturday 26 March Vintage Trains Steam (7029) The Chester Venturer Tyseley - Chester

April 2022

Monday 25 April RCTS Chester David Powell “Merseyrail Fleet Replacement”

Saturday 30 April Vintage Trains North Wales Coast Express
Class 20 x 2: Tyseley Locomotive Works - Llandudno & return

Saturday 30 April Northern Belle: 'Conwy'  WCRC Class 47/57 York - Llandudno Junction  & return

May 2022

Friday 13 May  Pathfinder Tours Cambrian Coast Express.  Oxford - Pwllheli

Friday 20  May    Pathfinder Tours Cambrian Coast Express Bristol- Pwllheli

Friday 27th May  Vintage Trains Cambrian Coast Explorer 1
(diesel) Dorridge  - Pwllheli   and return

July 2022

Saturday 2 July  Vintage Trains Cambrian Coast Explorer 2 (Vintage Trains) (diesel) Stratford-upon -Avon - Aberystwyth and return.

2 -3 July Llangollen Railway Classic  Transport Weekend

Sunday 17 July 2022  Railway Touring Company.Steam  The North Wales Coast Express  Liverpool -Holyhead and return.

Tuesday 19 July   Railway Touring Company.  The Welsh Mountaineer Steam  Preston  Blaenau Ffestiniog  and return.

August 2022

Friday 12 August    Pathfinder Tours  n>Cambrian Coast Express Cardiff - Pwllheli

September 2022
3-4  September Llangollen Railway   Diesel Weekend

Saturday 3 September Railway Touring Company : 'The Cheshireman'  steam  (6233) Norwich  - Chester and return (diesel Peterborough - Norwich)

Friday 9 September  Pathfinder Tours Cambrian Coast Express.  Oxford - Pwllheli

October 2022

8-9 October Llangollen Railway  DMU railcar weekend

November 2022

Saturday 5 November Llangollen Railway Ride the Rocket Firework Train

(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

90 039 leads a Liverpool South Parkway football special past Acton Bridge, 27 February. Picture by Stephen Dennett.

After you, sir  - report by Geoff Morris

On last week's Notice Board one of my photos showed a class 197/0 on the slow line at Chester Locks and I commented that this appeared to be an unusual occurrence.

On Friday Feb 25th I noticed an 'STP' from Crewe to Llandudno Junction that was scheduled to wait at Roodee Junction from 10:05 to 10:40 and decided to go and see if this happened in practice. As I walked over the line on the inner ring road I could see 197 002 already parked on the slow line (above). 

As there are a number of TfW and  Avanti services scheduled to pass during this period I headed to the Walls to get some shots of different units (which only have a limited time left in the area) passing the 197.

The first to pass was the 08:05 Holyhead – Cardiff which was operated  by a 5-car class 175 formation (175 008 + 175 115) although the leading 2-car unit was only added (according to Real Tine Trains) at Llandudno Junction and subsequently detached at Chester. 

As this was about to pass out of view the 09:51 Crewe – Holyhead Avanti service appeared, worked by 221 116,  and so I was fortunate enough to (just) get a photo showing the ends of all 3 units together.

I also managed to get photos of  other class 175s and 221s passing the 197 before it departed west about 5 minutes early.

Bala Lake awakes

On 22 February Martin Evans travelled to Bala for Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid as services had recently commenced for 'Half-Term' with Quarry Hunslet Maid Marian in operation, seen above running around at LLanuwchllyn before leaving with the 11:30 service...

... running around at Bala ready to depart for LLanuwchllyn at 12:10...

...  and being coaled and watered at Llanuwchllyn before leaving with the 13:30 service to Bala.

On Sunday 27 the Railway ran St. Davids Day special trains. The loco was Quarry Hunslet 680 of 1898  George B which was suitably decorated with daffodils for the occasion. Even the footplate staff, driver Peter Heywood and Fireman Bob Shell, had a daffodil pinned to their jackets. The photo shows the loco on Llanuwchllyn shed prior to the running of the first train.

The next trains will run on 2 April, Inaugurating the line's main season. Details on the BLR website.

Seen at Craven Arms - pictures by Chris Morrison

DRS 66 426 heads the 4V38 Daventry-Wentloog Tesco's train past the semaphores at Craven Arms on 26 February. The train was diverted due to track work in the Water Orton area.

EWS liveried 67 020 heads the 15:29 return UK Railtours charter from Hereford to Stevenage seen north of Craven Arms on 26 February.

Aluminium traffic recalled - by Chris Jones-Bridger

Within the collection of David Pool's pics from 2001 (last issue, repeated above)  4M50 is featured arriving into Basford Hall Yard including 37 603 dead in train. Thanks for another opportunity to test the memory!

Part of the traffic portfolio Freightliner was hauling at privatisation was aluminium ingots and paper rolls from Fort William. This traffic was conveyed on Freightliner flats and destined to Pengam Freightliner terminal. The West Highland trips ran to and from Coatbridge Freightliner terminal connecting into 4V63 southbound and out of 4S81 northbound.

BR had diagrammed RETB-fitted class 37s to West Highland Line services which became part of the Transrail fleet inherited by EWS. In the early days of privatisation the status quo prevailed covered by an inter-company contract resulting in hired in EWS 37s working Freightliner services.

In the new competitive world Freightliner were free to review traction arrangements and a deal was struck to hire in the class 37/6's from EPS (European Passenger Services), which were surplus due to the cancellation of the Channel Tunnel sleeper project, for the West Highland Line. So the presence of 37603 in 4M50 was probably part of a repositioning move.

In addition to the West Highland requirement Freightliner did also make short term hires of EPS 37s depending on fleet availability. I recall a weekend diagram between Leeds & Southampton for two hired-in EWS 37's. I think the EPS 37s featured on this diagram before Freightliner were able to rediagram from their own fleet.

Initially the aluminium & paper flows justified a daily northbound and southbound service of up to 8 wagons between Fort William and  Coatbridge. However the aluminium traffic was lost to EWS,  being hauled by Enterprise services to Wolverhampton for forward delivery to Alcan Cardiff by road.

With just the paper flow left Freightliner adjusted the service to run
three days a week southbound MWFO & northbound TThSO. These were covered by a single hired in 37/6. This arrangement continued until Freightliner found it more economical to discontinue the West Highland rail service & use road haulage between Coatbridge & Ft William.

While the Fort William aluminium smelter still receives raw material by rail
the finished ingots now leave by road as recently featured on one of
Portillo's Great Coastal Railway Journeys programmes.

A Footex day - pictures by Stephen Dennett

Some shots of the Football extras passing Acton Bridge on Sunday 27taking Liverpool fans to the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley. LS and DB both provided a train with the interesting variety of locos as shown. Plenty of enthusiasts were out taking photos as a result.

67 006 Royal Sovereign leads the empty stock from Crewe Down Refuge Sidings to Liverpool South Parkway ...

... With 90 039 on the rear.

67 006 returns on the rear from 10:35 Liverpool South Parkway to Wembley, Central.

The 09:50 Liverpool Lime Street - Wembley Central featured 90 002 (above)...

 ... and 47 810 on the rear.

From Dave Sallery's archive

47 440 shortly after leaving Colwyn Bay on an up service on 14 July 1979; a view lost forever by construction of the A55 expressway. The open air swimming pool at Rhos-on-Sea is just another memory as well.

25 190 on ballast empties is about to back over the crossover to access the Penmaenmawr quarry sidings, 29  August 1985. A movement now longer required thanks  to the A55 and the ensuing new track layout.

40 057 ready to leave Preston on a Barrow train, 21 August 1984. I wonder if he's still got that tape recording over 37 years later?


Bob Greenhalgh writes: 'Thanks to posts on the Wrexham-Gen news group I was able to photograph 37 688 Great Rocks as it returned to Chester from Warrington. It had done Crewe - Chester - Warrington - Chester - Warrington - Chester. I don't know if it's crew training or route learning.'

Graham Breakwell writes: 'Regarding  the very interesting piece on missing trains and the train in question working, the 07:20 from Penmaenmawr to Westbury on 13 February, I captured it passing through Shrewsbury, led by 66 418 Patriot.

Looking back: Diesels 2001 part 2 - by David Pool

The crossing barriers have lifted quickly at Croes Newydd, and traffic is already flowing as Central Trains 170 503 leaves Wrexham with the 1128 Chester to Birmingham on 5 May 2001.

In the late afternoon of 8 May 2001 the 1S96 mail train from London to Shieldmuir was on the bidirectional line at Winwick, headed by the Belgian liveried 90 028 Vrachtverbinding.  This was previously classified as a 90/1 (90 128) for freight duties, and had been named and repainted by Railfreight Distributions to celebrate their “Freightconnection” event. By 2001 it had reverted to its original number. 

There would be no need to ask a supporter of Liverpool FC what occurred on 12 May 2001.  Wembley Stadium was being reconstructed, so the FA Cup Final was being held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  Regional Railways seized the opportunity to run three extra trains form Lime Street to Cardiff, two of which were double headed by a pair of Class 37s.  The first to leave was 1Z10 at 0834, and is approaching Whitchurch behind DRS locomotives 37 612 and 37 609.

Soon after this, 1Z85 followed with RES liveried 47 734 (the 09:04 departure) and finally 1Z12 (the 09:19 departure) with 37 029 and 37 038.  In those days the signalling systems and section lengths permitted more closely spaced trains! The coaching stock was an interesting assortment of Mk1s and Mk2s from a variety of operators. There would no doubt have been celebrations on the returning trains...

West Coast Railways today has 57 601 in its fleet, and this locomotive is often seen on the North Wales Coast.  In 2001 it carried Porterbrook livery, and a holiday in Devon gave me the opportunity to see it working between Paddington and Plymouth.  On 12 June it was rostered for the 0920 from Plymouth, and the sea wall at Dawlish has to be one of the best locations for railway photography.  The train has just passed the part of the seawall path which dropped down to beach level, and which has recently been raised in conjunction with Network Rail’s major project to strengthen the sea defences in this area.

While in Devon, a visit to Plymouth North Road on the following day enabled me to photograph the short-lived NAA Propelling Control Vehicles used on EWS mail trains for reversing short distances at Royal Mail terminals.  These had been converted from Class 307 driving trailers.  There would be a PCV at each end of a rake of four RES vehicles, with a Class 67 or 47/7 providing the haulage on the main line.  NAA 94317 was on the rear of a rake in a siding, with 67 010 at the other end. When EWS lost the mail contract in 2004, the PCVs were no longer needed, but two vehicles are now preserved. 

A return to the usual footbridge in Whitchurch on 20 Jul 2001 saw 153 305 rather out of place with a “Heart of Wessex Line” advertising livery. It had travelled North with 158 828 on the 09:45 Cardiff to Manchester, then came off at Crewe to form the 14:47 Crewe to Shrewsbury.

Going back to Croes Newydd on 22 August 2001 gave me a nice shot of the early morning train from Margam (6M84 0550 to Dee Marsh Junction).  60 033 Tees Steel Express was in Corus silver, having previously been in British Steel blue.

Borderlands 1996 - pictures by Barrie Hughes

On 19 October 1996 60 065 Kinder Low in the short-lived Transrail livery takes the Borderlands Line connection at Wrexham. Many of these locos were named after mountains, replacing the Class 44 in that respect. (Many will remember 60 007 Moel Fammau which became the Hornby model.) The loco was later named Spirit of Jaguar, later gained EWS livery and more recently became owned by DB Cargo and now carries DB motifs. It is still in traffic though some sidelined 60s are now being cut up at Toton.


56 070 in Transrail livery on the now abandoned Shotton logs takes the connection onto the Borderlands Line at Wrexham as seen from the footbridge extension to the former Wrexham Exchange station.

I headed for Pen-y-ffordd hoping to catch the Class 56 again there and saw 153 310 in the then-new Regional Railways livery departing towards Buckley summit. The crossover for the former Mold curve is visible in the foreground.


56 070 appeared shortly afterwards heading for Shotton Paper Mill and revving up for the steep gradient up to Buckley summit. This loco was scrapped at Thompson’s Stockton yard in February 2011.


The following day, 20 October 1996, I headed to the Llangollen Railway to see their Diesel Gala which featured Deltic No. 55 015 Tulyar. The railway was known for attracting interesting locos to its line and was not wedded to the dreary two tone green that some seem to prefer. The Deltic is seen leaving Llangollen on a train for Glyndyfrdwy from the former excursion access ramp from Green Lane bridge. The loco was withdrawn on 2 January 1982 along with other members of the fleet. 55 015 is currently under restoration at Barrow Hill depot and is repainted in the original two tone green livery. It is one of four locos owned by the Deltic Preservation Society.

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