NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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21 March 2022
Flint station on 15 March; a well-preseved example of Francis Thompson's designs for the Chester and Holyhead Railway, built in the 1840s. Picture by Tim Rogers
Wales on Rails
A new website called "Wales on Rails" has appeared on the scene. Its 'about' page tells is that:
This website is here to promote tourism by using public transport throughout Wales. The Great Little Trains Limited marketing group manages and promotes this website.A good idea, obviously, but they way they are going about it seems a little odd. The first option in their menu is 'Itineraries' which leads you to suggested choices: a five-day 'London to Llanberis', a four-day Manchester to Porthmadog, or a seven-day 'Manchester to Portmeirion'. You are invited to download 'cards' describing the various attractions once you arrive in Wales. Nothing about the actual route you would take to reach them. Early days perhaps, or maybe we are missing something.
There's a section on 'Rail Routes', using that irritating trick of only giving you a caption when your cursor is over the image, and one of 'Bus Routes' which only lists the Traws Cymru routes. Again there are cards to download giving brief information about attractions.
How the site actually encourages people to use trains to travel around Wales is far from clear in our opinion.
No steam on the Cheshireman - report by Stephen Dennett
West Coast Railways 47 804 leads "The Cheshireman" London - Chester excursion through Beeston on 19 March. The trip had been advertised as steam-hauled by 6233 Duchess of Sutherland; two diesels substituted. I’m sure the punters were disappointed about the “non-availability of support crew”, which meant “The Duchess” could not run.
33 025 brings up the rear. I decided to head to Beeston to photograph the two engines, both of which I had not seen before. It's always good to see a 33 still active.
Interesting camera-pole activity by another enthusiast, which can’t have been easy with a cross-wind!
Sutton Bridge scenes - by Graham Breakwell
Two images of a convoy of Colas Rail power from Westbury in the down goods loop at Sutton Bridge Junction, Shrewsbury on a sunny afternoon, 19 March. 70 811 leading 70 810, 70 801 and 70 808 ...
... with 56 113 on the tail, heading to Crewe Basford Hall. 70 801, 70 810 and 70 808 (top and tailed with 56 113) reappeared in the evening passing through Shrewsbury of three engineers trains heading down to Ashchurch and Cheltenham, via Wolverhampton.
Saturday afternoon 19 March on Montague Place bridge near Sutton Bridge Junction with 175 111 on 1V44, starting out from Crewe instead of Manchester and heading for Carmarthen, one of several services on Saturday turned around short due to delays.
Going the other way, 43 272 in LNER livery...
... and 43 274 in EMR livery, both sporting Colas logos, with two ex-DRS Mark 2 coaches, collected from Cardiff Canton and heading for Derby Rail Technical Centre.
Activity at Chester, 15 March - images by by Tim Rogers
508 128 2C31 12:45 Chester to Chester via Liverpool
230 009 parked in the sidings.
175 114 in platform 7 with 1H88 13:52 Chester to Manchester Airport
150 127 will be 2H35 13:02 Chester to Manchester Piccadilly
175 003 arrives with 1D36 11:35 Manchester Airport to Llandudno.
507 025 2C26 11:30 Chester to Chester via Liverpool
67 010 on 1V96 11:33 Holyhead to Cardiff Central, formed of TSOE 12217, KBS 10312, FOD 11325, TSO 12446 ...
... DVT 82216.
158 826, 1D13 11:06 Birmingham International to Holyhead.
195 012 1E64 13:22 Chester to Leeds.
Stone from Penmaenmawr, 18 March
Geoff Morris writes: 'Again hauled by 60 026, the Hanson train to Tuebrook sidings is seen above taking the Warrington line at Chester East Junction, running c.30 mins late. One thing that we noticed was that the rear three wagons (of the rake of 24) were empty. I don’t know whether this was due to the late running which prevented a full load or whether the full load would be too much for the schedule (RTT shows it as a freight of 2200 tons which I think is about the load of 21 fulls plus 3 empties).
'60 026 now carries the name Helvellyn which was originally carried by 'Peak' D2 (later 44 002) and subsequently by 60037. The 'new' nameplate is very reminiscent in style to those carried by the Peaks.' [Sister loco 60 021 Penyghent has a similar nameplate]
'One thing that we noticed was that the rear three wagons ( of the rake of 24) were empty. I don’t know whether this was due to the late running which prevented a full load or whether the full load would be too much for the schedule (RTT shows it as a freight of 2200 tons which I think is about the load of 21 fulls plus 3 empties).'
Passing Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh).
66 at Llandudno - report by Garry Stroud
A surprise visit to Llandudno of a Freightliner class 66, 66 571 , made it
on Tuesday 15 March, working the 09:40 Crewe Basford Hall yard to
Llandudno route knowledge working, seen above apporaching Llandudno Junction ..
... in Llandudno station ...
... and returning through Deganwy.
Three 'oldie' scans - by Terry Eyres
37 427, and 37 428 on the rear, at Tywyn in the middle of the night at 03:00
doing a Cambrian Coast ballast drop up by Friog cliffs, having run from Bescot to Morfa Mawddach on 10 August 2001. They came in double-headed but 428 was out of shot running round to work top and tail to Friog.
47 854 Womens' Royal Voluntary Service near Prestatyn at Ffordd Penrhwylfa bridge with 1A46 09:19 Holyhead - Euston, 15 July 2000.
A very backlit "Big T" liveried 37 413 Loch Eil Outward Bound at Beeches
Farm, Hawarden with 1K73 15.53 Holyhead - Crewe on 6 May 1996.
From Dave Sallery's archive
47 843 Vulcan in Virgin livery with a touch of Freightliner, on a Up ballast, 1 September 2004. A 'rare beast' at the time as the loco was usually used as the Basford Hall yard shunter. It later passed to Rivera Trains, then Rail Operations Group, who apparently are using it as a source of spare parts.
37 672 with loaded china clay hoppers for Fowey passes Golant, 30 September 1997.
Mainline liveried 37 248 passes Mostyn on a ballast train, 15 May 1998.
Looking back: Steam and Diesel part 2 - by David Pool
The Pathfinder railtour on 9 February 2002 was the “Mersey Yardmaster”. It had started from Cardiff, then travelled via Manchester to Edge Hill, and then via Hartford Junction to Oakleigh sidings. 56 109 was leading form Oakleigh to Sandbach, with 60 033 on the rear. The train is on the Middlewich branch at Rudheath.
On 2 March 2002 a Past Time Rail excursion, the “Liver Bird”, was steam hauled from Birmingham International to Lime Street by 60009 Union of South Africa. The nameOsprey carried by 60009 in 1990 and 1991 would perhaps have been more appropriate. It is approaching Ruabon, and the centrally mounted high power headlight is evident. Having been probably the locomotive with the highest accumulated mileage in the Preservation era, it is now planned for it to go into retirement.
The 6M84 07:20 Llanwern to Dee Marsh Junction was following the steam special, and on this occasion had two class 66 locomotives, 66 018 and 66 063. I am not aware of the reason for this double heading, which was rather unusual.
The new Power Station at Connah’s Quay is glistening in the background as 47 847 in large logo livery is in charge of the 09:19 from Holyhead to Euston and passing through Shotton on 7 March 2002. The DVT is 82110. I have always liked this livery, since identification of the locomotive is no problem, unlike some of the more recent multiple units, where the intention seems to be to make the set number as small and as unobtrusive as possible. The problems of old age!
On the same day at Basford Hall Junction I was lucky to see the Eurailscout GB Camera Unit. This was 977968, which before modification had been Class 121 55029. It has now been at Rushden since 2010, and after a start had been made on restoration it lay dormant for some years, but recently I understand the restoration has resumed.
The Wales and Borders franchise had just been formed, and on 13 March 2002 158 818 was on the Holyhead to Cardiff working at Llandudno Junction. The Provincial livery had received “Wales and Borders Railway” decals prior to a full repaint.
Heavy Haul Class 66/6 Freightliner locomotives were being used on the trains from Penmaenmawr in 2002. On 13 March it was 66 605 on 6K32, the 11:00 Penmaenmawr to Crewe, and the Conwy Cob must be one of the best photographic locations in the British Isles. The first wagon differs from the others, but I haven’t identified it.
I can understand the need to make people aware of the rules on and around the railway, and a police car parked at the side of the road is certainly noticed by motorists who may be speeding, but 47 829 is heading for Euston on the 09:19 from Holyhead on 28 March 2002, and is not likely to be seen as more than an advertisement for the British Transport Police. No doubt some intending passengers would be unsure if this was their train, and a Police helicopter would seem to be a more useful piece of crime fighting equipment!
[I recall that a 47 was originally given this scheme as part of a 'don't drink and drive' campaign, with a TV advert featuring the loco. C.H.]
Barrie Hughes writes: 'The F&WHR's Funkey-built diesel Castell Caernarfon is not named bilingually as stated in David Pool's recent article. It is named in Welsh only on both sides. In fact I have appealed several times for it to be made bilingual in line with the F&WHR's bilingual policy.
'The loco might appear in service later this year after being out of service for five years since May 2017. The rewire and new steel cab replacing the fibreglass cab should be finished this year as the Welsh Highland Railway is
short of a heavy duty diesel. The loco is liable to be outshopped in green
and - who knows - might finally appear named bilingually.'
More Eurostar 37s - by Charlie Hulme
The recent discussion about the Eurostar Class 37/6 locos prompts me to add some from my own collection. The first two are from the short time when they were actually working. Some time around 1999 (?), 37 608 and 37 604 paused at Stockport on the way south after delivering a Eurostar passenger set to the specially-built depot at Longsight.
The match vehicles were converted from coaches. The sidings between between plaforms 2 and 3, known as 'the slums', no longer exist.
Wales and Borders ran an evening loco-hauled service from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff during the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Loading was light on the night of 31 July when we took the chance for a trip to Cardiff. 37 612 is seen on arrival at the capital.
Porthmadog on 20 August 2009. 37 602 departs, propelling a Network Rail measurement train.
Steam at Llangollen - press release
We are very pleased to announce that 1925-built GWR 0-6-2T No 5619 will be visiting the Llangollen Railway for our 2022 season from its usual home at the Telford Steam Railway. The Collett-designed 5600 Class will arrive at Llangollen for completion of its winter maintenance and then undergo its annual examination. This work will be completed at Llangollen by our MPD Team. The loco will see use throughout the spring, summer and autumn before returning to Telford in time to haul their very successful Polar Express Christmas trains.
Tom Taylor, LR Trust Manager said '5619 should arrive with us before the end of next week (25th March) and we will pull out all the stops to have her ready to welcome steam back to the beautiful Dee Valley for Easter. We are very grateful to our friends at the Telford Steam Railway for offering this superb loco to us. Being a Great Western tank, it will look very much at home on our line, which was very much at the heart of GWR Country in its heyday. Tom added 'It is a big step forward to us to source a visiting steam loco as we currently have no serviceable steam locomotives. Later this year two of our Llangollen-based Great Western locomotives, 2-8-0 3802 and Pannier 7754 are expected to return to steam. The prospect of seeing three working GWR locos on the railway together is something to really look forward to and another clear sign that the LR is very much back on track'.
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