Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

14 March 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. See our Calendar Page for Club and Society details.

March 2022

Monday 21 March RCTS online Zoom Geoff Plumb “The Wrexham & Shropshire Railway”

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

Saturday 26 March Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways - start of operating season
April 2022

Friday 1  April Clwyd Railway Circle:
“Roaming the Rails of Great Britain” Bill Rogerson

Saturday 23 April Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways:  'The Snowdonian'  an 80 mile round trip over the whole railway with a variety of motive power.

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

June 2022

10-11 June
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways ‘Cwrw ar y Cledrau’ returns in 2022 with a vibrant mix of Real Ales, Steam Trains, and Live Music. Regular steam-hauled trains will also be running throughout the weekend.  Updates will be posted on

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 CompanyThe Welsh Mountaineer Steam  Preston  Blaenau Ffestiniog  and return.

30-31 July :  Welsh Highland Railway Centenary and Celebrations:
A weekend of heritage trains operating between Dinas and Rhyd Ddu (as South Snowdon is now known) to celebrate the reopening of this section of line.

August 2022

Friday 12 August   Pathfinder Tours  Cambrian Coast Express Cardiff - Pwllheli

September 2022

Friday 2 September Clwyd Railway Circle: “The Greatest Railway Builder in the World” A 60 Minute Talk on the Life and Times of Thomas Brassey by Peter Bolt

3-4 September Llangollen Railway   Diesel Weekend

Saturday 3 September The Cheshireman  steam  (6233) Norwich  - Chester and return (diesel Peterborough - Norwich)
Friday 9 September  Pathfinder Tours Cambrian Coast Express.  Oxford - Pwllheli

24 September  Trailffest Half Marathon : An Event Train will be provided to take the competitors from the event centre at Porthmadog to the start of the race in Tanygrisiau, the cost of which is included in the entry fee.

Friday 7 October
“Fond Memories” A look back over 70 years of Railway interest by Larry Davies

7-9 October: Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways: Vintage weekend.

8-9 October
Llangollen Railway  DMU railcar weekend

November 2022

Friday 4 November Clwyd Railway Circle: “A trip by Norwegian Railways to Hell (and back).” Geoff Morris

Saturday 5 November
Llangollen Railway Ride the Rocket Firework Train

December 2022

Friday 2 December Clwyd Railway Circle: “Members Selections & Christmas Celebrations” Members are invited to give a 15-minute presentation of their choice (Any format). Contact David Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.

(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

60 026 Helvellyn 6K22 14:56 Penmaenmawr Quarry to Tuebrook Sidings, Loaded JNA wagon, 11 March. Picture by Tim Rogers.
197 move - report by Martin Weeks

On delivery through Shrewsbury at 11:10 on 14 March was 197 011. This was being conveyed from Donnington Rail Freight Terminal FT to Crewe L&NWR by Freightliner  66 572 with 8 former coal wagons in the consist for brake power.

This unit had been in store at Donnington since mid February and at least 6 other class 197 units are in store there, some without numbers.

Coal Correction

In the last issue we described Gascoigne Wood sidings as an former opencast site.  Mark Hambly explains: Iit was not an opencast site but the point at which coal from the various pits of the Selby Coalfield (or Selby 'superpit') was brought to the surface via a drift (i.e. as opposed to being wound up a vertical shaft) and the railhead for loading it for onward transport by rail to various power stations.'  Today it is operated by MCL Rail as a high-security storage site for trains, with 6500 metres of storage tracks, and also facilities for maintenance and painting.

Tim  Rogers' view from Bagillt, 11 March

221 107, 1A48 13:57 Holyhead to London Euston

175 003 & 175 005,  1H90 14:52 Llandudno Junction to Manchester

158 826 & 158 836,  1D14 13:06 Birmingham International to Holyhead.

158 818, 1V97 14: 34 Holyhead to Cardiff Central.

Picture News

A pairing of 197 002 and 197 004 on training runs between Crewe to Llandudno Junction on Tuesday 8 March, pictured at Saltney Ferry (Greg Mape).

Unusual to find a train from the new London Gateway hub (on the north bank of the Thames) in our area. This is 66 748 West Burton 50 on 4Z85,  the 04:37 London Gateway GBRf to Donnington RFT, a lengthy train of containers, some on low-height wagons, leaving Shrewsbury at Abbey Foregate on 10.  No doubt a movement involving  what is sometimes euphemistically known as 'Government stores'. Image by Joe Breakwell.

The 06:45 Holyhead - Cardiff passing the rather shabby station at Valley on 9 March ...

... with 67 025 propelling (Greg Mape).

66 741 Swanage Railway worked the 08:36 Crawley New Yard empty stone wagons to to Coton Hill sidings on 3 March 2022, seen here after running round. Despite the very heavy rain the yard staff still felt the need to turn on the sprayers while they loaded the wagons with aggregate!

The train had taken a circuitous round around south and west London through Streatham, Brixton, Clapham Junction, Kew, Acton and Neasden to join the Midland main line as far as Wigston, onto the Leicester to Nuneaton route, going from there to Wolverhampton via Water Orton and the freight only line through Sutton Park. The loaded train formed the 1958h to Wellingborough.

We've been asked how these box wagons get unloaded at their destination:   the answer is by a mechanical grab. A article on the website  shows the operation in action at Hanson's Tuebrook Sidigs terminal.

Coton Hill sidings action on 8 March, this time a train from Tinsley Yard hauled by 66 785 being loaded before departure to Wellingborough, where there are facilities for dropping the load through bottom doors. These were opened around the country in the days when grants were available from the Government for their construction (Graham Breakwell).

In other news: Network Rail have completed a £65,000 restoration of Helsby signalbox: see their YouTube page.

Interesting news for modellers and model collectors is that some is finally to make a mode of the Class 175 units which have plied the North Wales Coast for 22 years ... and soon to be scrapped.  Taking the plunge are Revolution Trains.

From Dave Sallery's Archive

Mention of Channel Tunnel 37s has caused me to submit this photo of 37 612 in modified Channel Tunnel condition.  It is passing Prestatyn with an up ballast on 20 February 1996 - the only time one worked down the coast in that condition I believe.

37 612 and 37 608 at Blaenau on the premature 'Farewell to the 37s' tour of 20 May 2000. 37s of course ran until the end of the year but it was still a grand day out!

37 610 spent a day coupled to failed 37 414 on a Crewe - Bangor diagram, it is seen at Chester on 6 May 1998.

Penrhyn at Statfold - report by Mark Hambly

Memories of the end of steam on the Penrhyn Quarry Railway were evoked at Statfold Barn on Sunday 13 March when the first appearance in steam of Martyn Ashworth's Avonside 0-4-0T (2066 of 1933) as Ogwen was celebrated. Following completion of the restoration last year the loco had run in its original Durham Water Board condition as their No.81 Durham, prior to being lined-out in Penrhyn blue and red and having Ogwen nameplates applied over the winter.

Martyn began the event with an outdoor talk (above) on the circumstances of the export of a number of Penrhyn (and Dinorwic) locos to North America in the mid-1960s and their subsequent repatriation in the 21st Century; a process in which he was one of the key negotiators.

Also in steam were Ogwen's Statfold-based sister locomotive Marchlyn (AE 2067/1933) and the first Hunslet 'Quarry' 0-4-0ST Gwynedd (HE 316/1883) visiting from Bressingham. On static display as 'props' to assist Martyn's storytelling were ex-Penrhyn Andrew Barclay Cegin (AB 1991/1931) and new build Hunslet Jack Lane (HE 3904/2006).

A pair of Avonsides: Marchlyn in the platform road and Ogwen in the loop.

After the formalities several passenger trains ran headed by Marchlyn, with most piloted by either Ogwen or Gwynedd, alternating with a short rake of slate wagons hauled at different times by Ogwen and Gwynedd (see above).

Ogwen, Gwynedd, Marchlyn and Cegin will all be in service again at Statfold's "Last Days of Penrhyn Steam" event on 19 and 20 March, along with Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0WT 1631 of 1930 GP39, which was known as Bronllwyd at Penrhyn and when initially preserved at Bressingham prior to joining the Statfold collection.

Tickets are still available at

Three specials at Acton Bridge - pictured by Stephen Dennett

Three northbound specials in half an hour at Acton Bridge on Saturday morning 12th March. Plenty of people on the platforms, and the sun in the wrong place, did not make it easy to get decent shots, which meant I was “on the move” when firing them off!

Statesman Rail "West Highland Statesman" Day 1: Milton Keynes to Fort William Double-headed by Locomotive Services locos 47 583 and 47 501 Craftsman.

Vintage Trains "Settle & Carlisle" from Tyseley to Carlisle pulled by 47 773.

BR Electric Blue 86 259 Les Ross / Peter Pan brings the "Cumbrian Coast Express" from London Euston to Carlisle through Acton Bridge.

Looking back: Diesels 2002 part 1 - by David Pool

It is a cold New Year’s Day in 2002 and the bilingual Caernarfon Castle/Castell Caernarfon is approaching Dinas with the first train from Caernarfon.

 The other diesel Upnor Castle would not be the first choice for passenger trains, and is parked at Dinas with a selection of ex South African Railways wagons in the background. 

Moving on to Porthmadog, Welsh Pony looks deceptively in good condition after some cosmetic restoration.  We knew it was some way down the queue for complete rebuilding, but it would be eighteen years before it joined the operational fleet.

The Penrhyn Ladies were in charge of the trains on the Ffestiniog Railway on that day, and the photo at Porthmadog illustrates the differences between two similar locomotives, particularly in respect of the tenders.

Linda and Blanche made a spirited departure along the Cob, and the lighting conditions and steam effects could not have been better. 

On 16 January 2002 I was at Chester, where another of the special liveried Class 47s was in action with the 0919 Holyhead to Euston.  47 826 was in Intercity colours, and dragging DVT 82139. 

A few days later on 22 January, 6K32, the 11:00 Penmaenmawr to Crewe was headed by a Freightliner 66/5.  The weathering on 66 510 was useful in preventing what might have been unwanted reflections off the side of the locomotive. 

On 28 January 2002 passengers on the 09:19 from Holyhead to Euston had the honour of haulage by a Royal Train locomotive.  47 799 Prince Henry was looking decidedly cleaner than had 47 798 Prince William, when I photographed the latter in October 2001 at Ffynnongroyw with the Northern Belle. The DVT behind 47 799 was 82146.

Llangollen Railway and Russian coal: Press release

The Llangollen Railway currently holds good reserves of coal which were delivered before the hostilities began in Ukraine. Our stocks are sufficient for around 30 days of steam operation. Further stocks of Russian steam coal are still available in the UK, however we do not feel it would be ethical to purchase any more given the horrific situation unfolding in Ukraine.

The situation is very challenging.  As well as coal supply, diesel prices are also vastly inflated, making operation of our diesel railcars and diesel locomotives more expensive too.  As a result, the current plan is to revise our timetable for at least the Spring months, reducing both the number of trains we operate and how frequently we use steam locomotives. We will be sure to publicise these changes well in advance so that customers hoping for a steam-hauled train can still travel on one. We do however expect demand to be high, so advanced booking is recommended, which can be made via our website ( and office (01978 860979). Our diesel-hauled and diesel railcar trains also offer the chance to enjoy the Dee Valley's wonderful scenery.

Alongside carefully managing our coal stocks, we are looking at alternative fuel sources, including a British-made processed coal known as "ovoids", which may offer us a viable alternative. We are also looking into the very limited remaining coal supplies from South Wales and whether these may be able to offer us a supply. Clearly Welsh coal used to fire steam locomotives in Wales would be a great way of sourcing fuel from a more ethical supplier as well as having reduced transport miles which lowers the overall carbon impact.

In a time where the use of fossil fuels is quite rightly being challenged, the Llangollen Railway is carefully considering the environmental impact alongside our objective of telling the very important story of our industrial and transport heritage, in which coal played such a huge part. The 150 or so UK Heritage Railways would welcome the support of both the UK and Welsh Governments in being able to source a limited but sustainable supply of British coal. Our industry support body, the Heritage Railway Association, is actively involved in discussions as to how this may be facilitated.


A Network Rail Helicopter Lifting off from City Airport Manchester
(a.k.a. Barton Aerodrome) on 10 March (Greg Mape).

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