NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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18 April 2022
14 April at Rhosneigr, with 43 049 substituting for the 'Midland Pullman's unavailable blue loco. Picture by Gary Thomas.
Steam and a 'Pullman' - by Geoff Morris
I noticed early in the morning of Thursday 14 April that 70000 Britannia was scheduled to do a test run around the Coton Hill circuit and so made my way to Chester Northgate Locks to photograph it.
When I got there two narrow boats were in the locks descending towards Tower Basin where they were to join 20+ boats congregating there prior to sailing to the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port for the Easter gathering of historic narrowboats.
Luckily an Avanti service from Crewe to Holyhead with 221 114 passed while they were in the Locks but unfortunately they had disappeared from view when 70000 came past.
Later in the day I headed to the Northgate Arena car park for the Midland Pullman’s empty-stock return from Holyhead to Crewe. I’d not been aware of its empty run to Holyhead on Tuesday and unable to see the actual trip from Bangor to Kingswear on Wednesday, but had noticed from Web postings that one of the blue-liveried power cars had been substituted by Inter City liveried 43 049 which would be heading the train towards Crewe.
I particularly wanted to have the remaining blue power (43 046) prominent in the photo and so chose the Arena car park which could only give a view of the train from the rear. By the time that the rear power car same into shot the lead power car had just disappeared around the curve and so the resulting image was very pleasing to me.
Blue Pullman, now and then
Locomotive Services ran an excursion on 13 April from Holyhead to Kingswear in Devon using their 'Midand Pullman' train which uses HST locos and Mk3 First Class coaches painted in the 'Nanking Blue' livery of the original train of the 1960s . On 12 April the train ran empty as the 11:30 from Crewe to Holyhead in preparation, captured by Roly High at Rhyl with 43 046 Geoff Drury 1930-1999: Steam Preservation and Computerised Track Recording Pioneer leading ...
... and 43 049 Neville Hill on the rear. (The excursion the next day traversed the Coast line in darkness, departing Holyhead at 05:15 and arriving back at 23:50. )
Gary Thomas photographed the 12 April working at Pensarn ...
... and Dwygyfylchi.
A couple of images from the collection of the Manchester Locomotive Society of the original 'Midland Pullman', seen above passing Cheadle Heath in 1965 (Wallace Sutherland) ...
... and in 1968 at Bristol Temple Meads after the two Manchester-based sets were transferred to the Western Region and fitted with multiple-working cables. The train is the 13:15 to Paddington on 29 November 1968 (Graham Neve).
Seen at Chester, 12 April - pictures by Tim Rogers
Chester, with 67 015 on 1V98 16:36 Holyhead to Cardiff Central, 12 April
153 333 and 153 906 departing with the shuttle to Crewe.
508 115 makes a wet arrival with 2C14 08:30 Chester to Chester via Liverpool Central.
150 109 and 105 129 stabled in Platform 5.
195 103 on the 10:25 to Leeds via Manchester Victoria.
158 837 and 158 831 on 1D33 08:30 Manchester Airport to Holyhead.
In and around Shrewsbury - with Graham Breakwell
On 11 April, 67 015, still in DB livery, with 82226 leading through Bayston Hill on the 1V96 11.33 Holyhead to Cardiff Central.
On 12 and 13 April GBRf ran a route learner from Cardiff Tidal to Shrewsbury and back, with a return trip from Shrewsbury to Hereford in between on each day. This is 66 761 passing Sutton Bridge Junction signal box with the 11:55 to Hereford.
On 13 April Locomotive Services ran 'The Statesman' luxury Pullman service to Windsor and Eton Riverside, setting out from Shrewsbury at 06:05 and arriving back at 22:51. With less than three hours spent at the destination and over 14 hours on the train the passengers had plenty of time to enjoy the sumptuous service!
47 593 Galloway Princess led the return run with D1935/47 805 Roger Hosking MA 1925 - 2013 on the rear, seen above in platform 4 awaiting the signal to head back to Crewe.
Over on platform 5 and in sharp contrast were 150 237, 153 303, 150 217 and 153 367.
From Dave Sallery's archive
31 462 at Bangor on a service to Crewe, 29 July 1995. This was surely the dreariest livery ever. Much improved by the addition of the "Dutch" yellow stripe, as seen below on 31 556.
A colourful combination of 31 556 and 37 713 on the Holyhead - Immingham empty petroleum coke hoppers near Mostyn, 13 October 1995.
47 848 on a cross-country service for Penzance arrives at Liskeard, 28 September 1996. These semaphores are the first you pass on a service from Paddington or probably a lot longer if on a cross-country service.
Cambrian Heritage extension - report by George Jones
Two weeks after the official opening, I found time on 16 April to visit Oswestry to sample the track to Weston Wharf. The pictures show the highlights of a visit when a rover ticket provided for runs behind electro-diesel and steam.
The 12 noon departure from Oswesry was behind class 73 E6036 City of Winchester hauling a suburban coach and two Open second coaches.
The one mile extension is covered in ten minutes mainly through the urban sprawl of the expanded town until green fields are found in the approach to the terminus...
... where the 73 ran round beneath the Morda road bridge.
The line's two 'Pacer' units were found here expecting an evening jaunt later on the day. The highlight of the site is access to the Stonehouse brewery. Credit must be given for the creation of a platform and loop alongside the old goods shed.
Back at Oswestry steam came on with the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST, on loan from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, for the 1pm departure, seen later running round at Weston wharf where refreshments might be had in the buffet coach.
A pleasant occasion when some new track was experienced and the assorted passengers included enthusiasts and families enjoying the travel option with hopes for a further extension to Llynclys.
Looking Back: Diesels 2003 part 1 - David Pool
There was no regular log train from Carlisle or Scotland to Chirk in 2003, and Warrington Arpley was used as a hub. Passing Winwick on 3 January, 4M63, the 0810 Mossend to Arpley, comprised OTA timber wagons hauled by 92 022 Charles Dickens in Railfreight Distribution livery.
I had never taken much interest in the yellow rail vehicles which sometimes appeared on main lines, but having bought the book “On –Track Plant 2003” by Roger Butcher I gained a better understanding of the various equipment being used, and realised that not all were Tampers! On 3 January at Winwick a Stoneblower DR 80207 headed North, returning a little later, presumably from Wigan or Preston. I had not appreciated the capability of its State of the Art measurement of track alignment (accurate to half a millimetre) and the technique of injection of small stones into the ballast to correct any deficiencies, with sleepers being lifted and adjusted as necessary.
At Winwick on 31 January 2003 there was more On-Track Plant to be seen. A Cowans Sheldon Ballast Regulator DR 77401 appeared before I had time to change lenses, so it was a hurried shot. These are used to place ballast prior to tamping, and to clean up afterwards, and the mechanisms are relatively simple in comparison with a Ballast Cleaner.
There are many varieties of Tampers, many of which were designed for specific work, such as on points and crossings, but the Unimat 08-RT series was designed to be a standard vehicle to meet various requirements. A Tamper DR 73914 operated by First Engineering (Plasser & Theurer 08-4x4/4S-RT) was also passing through Winwick on 31 January 2003.
The England versus Wales Rugby match at Cardiff on 22 February 2003 gave rise to three special trains from London and three from Crewe. 1Z37, the 1220 departure from Crewe, was of particular interest, since it featured two Class 37s plus a 47 for train heating, and was photographed at Wrenbury.
The leading locomotive 37 197 was one I had not previously seen, even when it ran on the East Lancs Railway in 2002. It had been built as D 6897 in 1964 and renumbered to 37 197 ten years later, retaining this number until it was eventually scrapped in 2012. The second loco 37 038 was to join the DRS fleet, and was frequently photographed. On 15 June 2018 it was on holiday in East Anglia, visiting the North Norfolk Railway and hauling a demonstration freight past Dead Man’s Hill near Weybourne.
The 47 for train heating was 47 839, another locomotive which became more familiar in the 2000s, although it was scrapped in 2013. Built as D 1728, it became 47 621 and then 47 839. In 2002 it was briefly named Pride of Saltley, and later was used by Virgin and Riviera Trains. On 18 October 1993 it was in Intercity Swallow livery, approaching Teignmouth with the 1144 Plymouth to Lime Street.
From Wrenbury I moved on to Basford Hall, where a colourful Class 170 unit 170 399 was working the 13:41 from Lime Street to Norwich. I am puzzled by the appeals to “be inspired”, “be in Brighton” and perhaps even more so by “be in Birmingham”, but Central Trains certainly had an eye-catching unit.
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