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
Charter trains, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
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
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
Saturday 30 April Vintage
Trains North Wales Coast Express
Class 20 x 2: Tyseley Locomotive Works - Llandudno &
Saturday 30 April Northern Belle: 'Conwy' WCRC Class
47/57 York - Llandudno Junction & return
Friday 13 May Pathfinder
Tours Cambrian Coast Express. Oxford -
Friday 20 May
Tours Cambrian Coast Express Bristol-
Friday 27th May Vintage Trains
Cambrian Coast Explorer 1
(diesel) Dorridge - Pwllheli
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 www.rail-ale.com.
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
Tuesday 19 July Railway
Touring Company. The Welsh
Mountaineer Steam Preston Blaenau
Ffestiniog and return.
30-31 July : Welsh Highland Railway Centenary and
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.
Friday 12 August Pathfinder
Tours Cambrian Coast Express
Cardiff - Pwllheli
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)
Tours Cambrian Coast Express. Oxford -
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
Friday 4 November Clwyd Railway Circle: “A trip by
Norwegian Railways to Hell (and back).” Geoff
Railway Ride the Rocket Firework Train
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.
Calendar page for meeting venues)
North Wales Coast Railway website created and
compiled by Charlie
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
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.
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
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.
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
We've been asked how these box wagons get unloaded at their
destination: the answer is by a mechanical grab.
A article on the RailFreight.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 www.statfold.com
Three specials at Acton Bridge - pictured by Stephen
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
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
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
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
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 (www.llangollen-railway.co.uk)
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
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
A Network Rail Helicopter Lifting off from City Airport
(a.k.a. Barton Aerodrome) on 10 March (Greg Mape).
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