04 April 2022
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are welcome, although they may not always be used, due to
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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.
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)
Friday 9 September Pathfinder
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
3-car 197 101 passes Bagillt, 29 March. When
will we get a chance to experience the stiff suspension of
the new Spanish train? Picture by Stephen Dennett.
A long haul on a class 150: 150 262 passing
Colwyn Bay ...
... en route from Llandudno Junction to Cardiff on 2
April , still in old colours (Greg Mape).
Stephen Dennett writes: 'On Monday 28th March the
Margam/Dee Marsh/Margam steel ran to an altered schedule,
which meant I didn’t have to get up too early to see 66
039 on the return train through Buckley!'
Another convoy of Colas power, this time returning to
Westbury as the 11:23 from Crewe Basford Hall, comprising 66
848, 70 809, 66 850 David Maidment
OBE and 70 808. Seen here at Shrewsbury Golf
Course on 4 April (Graham Breakwell).
Yet another bridge bash
Barrie Hughes writes: 'The Borderlands Line was blocked from
mid morning on 30 March awaiting structural engineer
inspection following yet another bridge bash. A lorry
carrying a pile of skips had hit the overbridge near
Cefn-y-Bedd station, apparently a regular occurrence. The
A541 was also closed for some hours. Freight services were
cancelled but some of the passenger trains operated at
reduced speed over the bridge, with others cancelled. Is
there no end to this madness?
On the Welsh Highland - pictures by Greg Mape
Not long out of Caernarfon on 3 April, Loco 130 with
the 11:30 'Gelert Explorer' to Beddgelert races a pair of
cyclists. This year the railway's offer takes the form
of a range of named packages, as explained on
This section of line was originally part of the
standard-gauge Caernarfon - Afon Wen line of the London and
North Western Railway, closed by British Railways in the
1960s, breaking the link between the North Wales Coast and
Cambrian Coast routes.
Corris Railway news - press release
Another significant step in the revival of the narrow gauge
Corris Railway in Mid Wales was achieved on Saturday.
A new traverser at Corris station was used for the first
time to allow an engine to run round a set of
passenger carriages. This will be a regular feature from the
Easter weekend when the line begins its 2022 passenger
services.The traverser, constructed by Statfold Engineering,
will allow locomotives to be at the head of their
trains in both directions on the railway for the first time
since 1948 when the original line closed.
The first locomotive to be moved on the traverser was the
Ruston and Hornsby four-wheel diesel hydraulic number
6, which already holds a place in the railway’s
history as having worked the initial passenger trains after
re-opening between 2003-05.
Further progress will require considerable funds to be
raised via donations and grants. Donations can be made
online via www.corris.co.uk
or cheques, payable to Corris Railway, can be sent to
Corris Railway, Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, SY20 9SH.
Picture selection - by Alastair Graham
150 281 comes off Hawarden bridge ...
... and 150 257 on the approach viaduct, 31 March.
A Carlisle to Longport Colas freight paused at Warrington
Bank Quay on 25 March, with 70 809 and 56 302.
The load is waste spoil and ballast for recycling.
Runcorn station on 25 March: the 12:52 Chester to Liverpool
Lime Street formed of 153913 and 153 325 ...
... and the 13:30 Runcorn Folly Lane to Northenden empty
refuse containers with 70 020 in charge
emerges from the Folly lane branch.
197 010 on test passes Rhyl on 28 March ...
... where new security gates with cameras and keypads are
being installed at the engineers' sidings (Roly High).
Cambrian re-opening (1)
The Shrewsbury - Machynlleth line has fully reopened. 'Storm
Franklin' in February, caused washouts in 33 different
locations over half a mile on the Newtown side of Welshpool
The extensive repair work has included the removal of 3000
tonnes of debris, 4000 tonnes of new ballast being laid,
three tamping shifts to realign and level the track, 800
metres of double track replaced, new hedgerows planted,
clearing of 11 culverts and installation of new fencing and
In March, Network Rail announced millions of pounds in
emergency funding to further protect this section of the
line. Engineers are currently working on a resilience
solution for this section of railway which will see rock
armour installed along the embankment.
Cambrian re-opening (2)
The first day of April saw the official opening to
passengers of the Oswestry station - Weston Wharf section of
the former Cambrian Railways main line, now operated by the
Heritage Railways. The current running section
is two miles long, but there are plans for further
Cambrian archaeology - unearthed by Graham
Spotted alongside the dynamic loop about three miles south
of Welshpool station, is this a dilapidated piece of
Cambrian line heritage?
Any thoughts about the cast iron equipment behind the plant
pot? It seems to have a moving pointer below the numerals
6,5,4,3,2,1,0. The crossing leads to farm fields only
alongside the River Severn.
From Dave Sallery's Archive
Push-pull fitted 47 702 Saint Cuthbert on
test from Crewe works at Prestatyn, 30 January 1987. Later
renamed County of Suffolk on transfer to Network South east,
it was cut up at Toton in January 2005 by which time it was
in Virgin livery.
In the early weeks of the Class 37/4 era, 37 422 Robert
F Fairlie passing Talacre signal box, 19 June 1993.
The train is the 10:15 Blackpool - Holyhead.
Behind are the buildings of Point of Ayr Colliery, which
closed in 1996; there is little of no trace of the colliery
56 091, 37 162 and 37 521 in the
former banker siding at Manchester Victoria, 25 April 1992.
In the distance, the coaches of a loco-hauled 'club
train', an idea of the above-mentioned Stephen
Cornish. Visit Victoria today and weep!
On Barmouth bridge - images by Kate Jones
Four pictures, the first two show the bad state of surface
of Barmouth viaduct ...
... and the improved state.
Then two showing safety measures introduced to the track at
each end of the wooden structure.
Work is still on going; I hope the metal replacement
goes well this autumn.
Valley works - report by Stuart Broome
On my way to Valley 'boot sale' on Saturday 2 April (which
is next to the line), I saw a track blower slowly going
through the station. Network Rail Switch and Crossing
Stoneblower DR 80301. Its name is Stephen Cornish who
I knew when he was Buxton Area Manager . [His autobiography,
Day Return: The Railway Career Of A Career Railwayman
is recommended.- C.H.]
I returned on Sunday to take some shots in the sun, and
noticed the road was closed to traffic.
Part of the level crossing missing, the parts stacked in the
A prelude to the re-laying of the track through this
Looking back: Steam and Diesels 2002 part 4
– by David Pool
The Rail Express Systems liveried 47 757 Restitution
was a familiar sight in 2002 on the North Wales Coast with a
rake of ex First Great Western coaches. On 29 May 2002
it was between duties at Chester. It was originally D1779,
then 47 184 County of Cambridgeshire, based at
Stratford and embellished with the silver roof as
On 1 June 2002 the celebrity Class 46 46 035 Ixion
was working a Pathfinder Railtour from Yeovil Junction to
Holyhead. The returning train 1Z47, 15:17 from
Holyhead, is passing Beeches Farm. The headboard shows
“Bertie’s Birthday Bash”, but I’ve no idea who Bertie
was! Ixion was previously 97 403, and is currently
preserved as D172 on Peak Rail.
47 757 Restitution was passing Shotton on 2 June
2002 with the 14:05 Holyhead to Birmingham, and a matching
set of Mk 2 First Great Western Coaches. It was soon
to gain EWS livery, and the name Capability Brown,
but unfortunately it did not survive many more years, and
was cut up in 2006.
The Queen was visiting North Wales on 11 June 2002, and the
Royal Train was being used. With the usual security
associated with Royal Train movements, it was not easy to
find information on timings or routes. The only
published information was that she would be leaving
Llandudno Junction by train in the late afternoon, having
been travelling by road to other appointments.
I wanted particularly to photograph the Royal Train coaches,
so it seemed best to plan to see the empty stock working to
Llandudno Junction from Holyhead. The obvious location
to choose would be the Conwy Cob, as there would be no
crowds and no closure of footbridges and lineside access
points. Eventually I got the shots I wanted, with a
nice background of Conwy Castle. The sun was not out,
and the Royal Purple of the coaches looked rather dull, but
6233 Duchess of Sutherland hauling the Royal
Train was a special occasion.
On the rear of the Royal Train was 47 787 Windsor
Castle, looking immaculate as might be expected.
This locomotive is now part of the West Coast Railways
fleet, but currently stored. (dp38193).
I reckoned that I had time to get a final shot after the
train had left Llandudno Junction, so I hurried on the old
road to Abergele as far as Penmaen Head, where there was a
convenient lay-by at what used to be the site of Hotel 70
Degrees. 6233 made a nice picture as it climbed
towards Llysfaen. I was surprised to see relatively
few cars keeping pace with the train, with overtaking
traffic perhaps unaware of the occasion.
I was photographing at Casey Lane (Basford Hall Junction) on
22 August 2002 when something unusual approached on the Down
Slow line. Seeing a Class 66 (66 166) with a couple
of coaches and a wagon. I realised that it was a nuclear
flask train, so I got a few shots and noted what numbers I
could. At the time I was more familiar with Inspection
Saloons, and recognised DB 999509 and DM 45020. The
flask wagon was one I had not seen before, and I didn’t get
With the information now available on the Internet, I have
learned that this was one of two wagons built by Bombardier
in 1994 for nuclear loads, replacing previous wagons which
had been subject to a 35mph limit. The new wagons had
four bogies each, and were designed to run at speeds up to
60mph. They were numbered in the MODA series as 95782
and 95783, and were classified as KXA in the TOPS
system. These were clearly successful, and Bombardier
built two more similar wagons to a modified design in 1997,
now familiar to Railway Modellers as the Accurascale KUA
wagons 95770 and 95771. In 2002 there were a number of
trains between Devonport and Sellafield as nuclear
submarines were being decommissioned, and all four
Bombardier wagons were used. The 1994 wagons lasted
until around 2010, but the 1997 wagons are still in use.
The current plan on the Severn Valley Railway to paint steam
loco 34027 in purple livery to celebrate the Queen’s
Platinum Jubilee is not universally applauded, but a purple
Deltic may have set a precedent. On 23 September 2002
9016 Gordon Highlander was taking 1Z55, the
08:15 Newtown to Carlisle, and is at Croes Newydd. It
appears to have been a Pathfinder tour, running via the
Settle and Carlisle line.
Diesel gala at Chinnor, 3 April - report by Richard
The diesel gala at the Chinnor and
Princes Risborough Railway was the first Gala I've
been to this year and it had some North Wales connects.
After all, Princes Risborough is on what was the GWR's
“Northern Line” to Chester and Birkenhead. Plus classes 37s
and 50s, which featured in this gala also have connections
with the region.
I drove to Chinnor, arriving at 10:05 where I was greeted by
the sight of 37 227 on their set of Chocolate and Cream BR
Mk1's. Behind it you can see the body of a former Cambrian
Railways coach which in more recent times has served as a
Buffet, but not at the moment. The 37 than ran into the
sidings behind me in the photograph. (I'm looking north,
towards Princes Risborough).
Out of the yard then came 50 008 Thunderer
now wearing Hanson and Hall grey livery, hauling 3 -CEP EMU
I travelled on the CEP to Princes Risborough. After watching
it run round, I photographed it depart back for Chinnor. The
vehicle nearest to Princes Risborough sports the short lived
'Jaffa Cake' livery of circa 1985.
At Princes Risborough, they provided Brake Van rides with
Network South East liveried 08 825 in between trains. This
gave a chance for a run up the Headshunt at the London end
of the station.
Parked in one of the sidings is an old coach. I gather it
was ordered by the LNWR before the grouping, but delivered
in 1923. It used as a mess coach by C&PR staff at the
I then photographed 37 227 arrive at Princes
Risborough with the Mk1s. The track to the left at the
moment is just a siding. But plans are afoot to extend it
and provide a second line into the station. This will avoid
using a siding that belongs to Network Rail and the
consequent access charges!
Incidentally they occasionally have open days where you can
visit Princes Risborough North Signalbox, part of which they
plan to turn into a working museum along similar lines to
Exeter West which you can visit at Crewe Railway Heritage
Centre. The next such open day will be Saturday 7 May.
On my return to Chinnor I found that visiting HST Power Car
43 066 had been couple ot the opposite of the CEP
from the 50. So I had another trip to Princes Risborough and
back so I could be hauled by it. I believe it had come with
another ex East Midlands Railways Power Car and a Mk3
coach, but I could not see them anywhere.
I did have a wander along the road which runs parallel to
the sidings beyond Chinnor station. But a tall fence makes
photograph difficult apart from at the gate at the far end.
There I spied a GWR Autocoach (not listed on the C&PR's
official website) and Class 122 'Bubblecars' W55023 in green
and W55024 in maroon.
Having had all the diesel locos that were running for
haulage, I decided to return home after an enjoyable day.
'Driver for a Fiver' and Berwyn Shutles at Llangollen -
A 66 year-old shunting locomotive that can usually be found
doing unglamorous jobs like moving locomotives and carriages
around in sidings will take centre-stage at the Llangollen
Railway this Easter. The Class 08 diesel-electric Shunter No
13625 will be allowing visitors to fulfil childhood
dream by trying their hand at being a train driver and for
just £5 a go!
The diesel-electric shunter, affectionately nicknamed
“Gronk” due to the distinctive noise made by its 350hp
English Electric diesel engine, was built in 1956 at Derby
Locomotive Works. The 08 will also be working a new and
shorter shuttle service between Llangollen and Berwyn
will run in-between the three daily steam and diesel trains
that run between Llangollen and Carrog.
The Driver-for-a-Fiver experience will run in Llangollen
station and allow those over 12 (under 16s must be
accompanied by an adult) the chance to drive the locomotive
for a short distance along the platform and back.
Driver-for-a-Fiver is available between 11:20-12:05,
13:15-14:15 and 15:35-
16:15. Tickets can be purchased on the day.
With a return journey time of 50 minutes, the Berwyn Shuttle
allows those looking for a shorter trip the chance to travel
to the beautiful Berwyn station in the scenic Dee Gorge.
There is a station tearoom and it is also possible to take a
walk to the Chain Bridge or nearby Horseshoe Falls and
return back to Llangollen on a later train if desired.
Departures from Llangollen are 10:20, 12:15, 14:30 &
16:30, with returns from Berwyn at 10:50, 12:16, 12:45,
14:26, 15:00, 16:31 & 17:00. Tickets cost £8.50 for
adults, £5 for a child and £7.50 for seniors, purchasable
from Llangollen station on
The rolling stock the shuttle will use is also interesting
and quirky (see picture above), adding a bit of character to
the experience. There is a converted open freight wagon,
which has seating and a canopy. Travelling in this is a real
outdoor experience and you’ll be able to hear the river as
well as see it. There is covered accommodation for the less
adventurous – a converted LNER pigeon van, which is fully
enclosed but with nice, large windows. This vehicle is
nearly 100 years old and was built to carry racing pigeons
around the country.
The events will run in April on Sat 9th & Sun 10th, Sat
16th, Sun 17th & Mon 18th, Sat 23rd & Sun 24th and
Sat 30th. In May they will run on Sun 1st & Mon 2nd.
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