Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

11 April 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.

April 2022

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

Among the weeks at Penmaenmawr, 8 April. Picture by Greg Mape.

Stone trains

On 8 April, 60 026 Helvellyn was out on the North Wales line.  In the morning it brought empty wagons from  Tuebrook Sidings to Penmaenmawr Quarry, seen passing Llandudno Junction (Greg Mape).

Crossing Conwy Cob. Picture by Garry Stroud, who notes: 'Unfortunately the tide was out, as it would have made a better composition with the boat nearer to the embankment, but at least it wasn't raining!'

Departure mid-afternoon back to Tuebrook sidings (Greg Mape).

The train ran again on 11 April, as seen at Dwygyfylchi, 11 April (Gary Thomas).

Pensarn, 11 April  (Gary Thomas)

Engineering trains

Track relaying work produces loco-hauled trains:  Saturday 9 April, 70 801 passes Shotton Low Level with wagons for loading with spoil (Bob Greenhalgh)...

... and passes Pensarn  (Gary Thomas).

66 543 passes Shotton Low Level with load of new ballast (Bob Greenhalgh) ...

... Flint (Stephen Dennett)...

...then  Pensarn (Gary Thomas).  The destination was Llandudno Junction LJ260.

Taken from Morrison's car park in Saltney,  66 557 with a load of sleepers (Bob Greenhalgh)...

... and at Flint by Stephen Dennett.

66 567 with box wagons passes Morrison's Car Prak, Saltney (Bob Greenhalgh).

Sunday 10 April, with 66 568 on the rear of a top-and-tailed train “wrong line” at Conwy (Gary Thomas).

On the Ffestiniog / WHR - with Jim Ikin

Wednesday 6 April started off very wet and cold but the rain stopped in time for the arrival of the 'Mountain Spirit' hauled by Merddin Emrys at Tan y Bwlch.

After watering carrying on to Blaenau. Several dying ash trees have been removed from behind the water tank allowing a much better view up Creuau bank.

Next up was Blanche hauling the Woodland Wanderer to Tan y Bwlch for a layover before returning to Porthmadog. Both trains were fully booked.

The sun came out resulting in a beautiful day although it was bitterly cold and very windy as Merddin Emrys made its way back along the Cob.

Later on Blanche passed Boston Lodge on her way back up to Tan y Bwlch - it was noted outdoor seating was unused!


Greg Mape writes 'Not a good experience travelling from Abergele to Chester on Saturday morning 9 April. Only 2 cars (175 004); standing room only at Abergele when we got on. The train had started from Llandudno Junction. Not at all Covid safe [especially since few people were wearing masks]. After Rhyl, people were stopped from boarding the train.

'This is not a good advert for public transport. The response from TfW was the standard corporate response.'

The situation reached national TV on Monday morning when host Gethin Jones referred to his crowded journey from Cardiff to Manchester.  What is creating this apparent shortage of rolling stock?

Freight selection

Saturday 9 April 2022,  Shotton High level station: 66 127 heads the Dee Marsh to Margam steel train (Bob Greenhalgh).

On 6 April, scruffy-looking 70 812 passes Balderton Crossing with the Carlisle - Chirk (Kronospan works)  log train.

The 04:37 4Z85 London Gateway GBRF to Donnington RFT service ran on 5 and 6 April, conveying over 60 containers.  Above, 66 733 Cambridge PSB, approaching Belvidere Bridge, east of Shrewsbury.

The  bridge itself is of interest: the plaque reads 'Cast at Coalbrookdale Foundry 1848'.  

Later 66 733 returned with the empty wagons as 4Z87, the 17:21 to Bescot via Shrewsbury and Crewe, seen here at Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury.

66 763 Severn Valley Railway brought another 63 containers from London Gateway, on 6 April, all of which were removed from the wagons at the Ministry of Defence depot. The unloaded train returned as 4Z87, the 17:21 to Bescot. Pictures by Graham Breakwell.

Fron Junction

In Graham Breakwell's item in the last issue he mentioned 'Fron Junction' on the Cambrian Main Line south of Welshpool. A reader wrote to question this name which couldn't be found in historical records.

The reason is that Fron Junction is very much a 21st century creation, making the point where the extension of double track to form a Dynamic Loop,  designed to reduce delays to trains and eventually allow a greater frequency. It is named for the nearby farmhouse and hamlet. It is a timing point, which can be found on the Real Time Trains system.

The diagram above is an extract from the Network Rail 'Sectional Appendix'.  Notice that the line speed restrictions on this line are shown in Kilometres per hour, presumably to match the line's ERTMS signalling. The distances are still in traditional miles and chains.

Pullmans under Warrington

An oddball empty-stock working happened on 9 April, from Runcorn to Warrington Arpley Yard via the site ofWarrington Bank Quay low level station, then the train reversed into Arpley yard for servicing.

The train, topped and tailed by 67 005 Queen's Messenger andTfW-liveried  67 014, featured the Belmond Pullman coaches. The train was bringing punters to the Aintree Horse race meeting from London Victoria and the passengers alighted at Runcorn. The return leg was timetabled from Liverpool Lime Street.

Passing the site of Warrington Bank Quay Low Level station. This line is apparently earmarked to be part of a high-speed 'Northern Powerhouse' route from Liverpool to Manchester, to be complete some time around 2040.

Its main use in recent times has been to supply coal to Fidler's Ferry power station, which is now closed.

Chester and Ruabon, 5 April - pictures by Martin Evans

DVT 82226 prepares to depart Chester at 10:10 with the 06:45 Cardiff - Holyhead service...

... 67 025 was powering the service from the rear. The 'Loco Stop' refers to a Class 57/390 formation - not many of those these days! What's covered up at the top of the post?

197 101 stabled at Chester between test runs at 10:15.

Also in the sidings, 230 007.

175 111 departs Ruabon for Holyhead at 11:59.

From Dave Sallery's archive

In the days before ferry foot passengers were concerned with buses, 37 408 Loch Rannoch is running round the stock of the boat train to Manchester. In the background is the Saint Columba, just arrived from Dun Laoghaire.  10 June 1993.

56 111 and 56 112 near Mostyn on Railfreight Coal day, 11 August 1991.  Wouldn't it be good for something similar to be held for Ukraine?

Up and down ballast trains cross at Prestatyn hauled by 47 334 and 37 417 respectively, 17 May 1994.

Looking back:  Diesels 2002 part 5 - by David Pool

37 695 was a locomotive I had not often seen  It was briefly on the North Wales coast in July 2000, but does not seem to have had many passenger workings.  On 3 October 2002 it was allocated to Toton, and leaving Romiley with 6M23, 12:34 Toton to Castleton.

The second Merseyrail yellow livery had no black and light grey stripe, and I found it less distinctive than the first version.  507 012 had left New Brighton for Liverpool, and was photographed at Harrison Drive on 23 October 2002.

4M87, the 12:49 Ipswich to Trafford Park, was headed by Freightliner 86 612 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and 86 621 London School of Economics as it approached Basford Hall Junction on 25 October 2002. The first Class 86 still survives with Freightliner, although stored, but 86 621 was scrapped in 2013.

The Autumn of 2002 saw the arrival of MPVs on Merseyrail for Sandite duties, being based at Springs Branch, Wigan.  On 26 October DR 98904/98954 had just left Hooton on the way to Chester and Wigan, and is captured on a small patch of sunlit track.

The weather was much better on 24 November 2002, when a visit to Ordsall Lane, Salford, resulted in a nice selection of shots.  Transpennine Express unit 158 812 was first to appear, heading for Liverpool on an unidentified working. 

The Sunday diversions were routing trains from Lime Street to Euston via Manchester, and the 11:55 from Lime Street was headed by 47 786 Roy Castle OBE dragging 87 017 Iron Duke .  47 786 is now in the West Coast Railways fleet, while 87 017 went to Bulgaria.   There is an interesting item about 47 786 on the Class 47 website.  Apparently it was being used as a Thunderbird locomotive on the East Coast main line, and in 2001 rescued a failed GNER Eurostar “White Rose”.  I was curious to discover how this was done, but found images on the web   showing the Scharfenberg coupling attachment being fitted to a Class 67 at Stevenage in similar circumstances in 2003.

Another Class 47 now in the West Coast fleet as D1916 is 47 812 Pride of Eastleigh.  Also on 24 November 2002 it was dragging 87 001 Royal Scot on the 09:30 Milton Keynes to Preston.  Photography from Ordsall Lane in the days before overhead wires was so much more rewarding! 

On 30 November 2002 there was a Pathfinder Railtour from Birmingham to Holyhead – “The Christmas Cracker IV”- even though it was November!  It was run in conjunction with the Class 40 Preservation Society, and had D345 (40 145) as the motive power.  Running as 1Z45 between Birmingham and Holyhead, it is arriving at Chester on a rather dull day.  The “East Lancs Venturer” headboard presumably refers to D345’s operating base. 

175 twilight

A class 175 slowly approaching Ty Croes on a service from Holyhead to Crewe at twilight on March 23. Picture by Eryl Crump, who asks: 'What will happen to this class once the 197s are accepted into service? They are, after all, the most modern in the TfW fleet.'

As far as we know, despite recent refurbishment the 175s, which entered service in 2000 after some trials and tribulations, are destined to be sent to the scrapyard for recycling.

North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board