Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

03 May 2022


Images by George Jones

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.

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

47 815 Great Western passes Rhyl on 30 April with the 'Northern Belle'. Picture by Roly High.

Thanks to everyone for all the reports this week: too many to prepare in the time available, so we'll have an extra issue on Friday evening.- Charlie

A tale of three charters

Saturday 30 April was a busy day on the North Wales line, with three charter trains, a bonus for our contributors.  We may not include every single image below, but everyone should get a look in. The sequence may be rather random, but never mind.

Above, 20 189 and 20 142 pass Chester on the through line with the 07:55 Tyseley - Llandudno (Chris Morrison).

47 614 leads Class 47 501 Craftsman  through Deganwy Station with the "Llandudno Victorian Statesman" from Ely (Stephen Dennett).

BR green liveried 47 815 Great Western heads the 07:05 York - Llandudno Junction 'Northern Belle' passing Rhyl (Chris Morrison)...

... and Waits at Llandudno Junction while its passengers depart, presumably for a coach trip to Conwy Castle and Bodnant Gardens (Ryan Lloyd).

Rhyl (Roly High).

The class 20s arrive at Llandudno (Garry Stroud).

Full house at Llandudno. 20 189 and 20 142 with stock for the 16:28 to Tyseley on Platform 2,  with 47 501 and 47 614 on platform 3 with the stock for the 16:55 return 'Statesman' to Ely and TfW 175 111 departing platform 1 with the 14:38 to Llandudno Junction (Chris Morrison).

Portrait of the two 'Choppers' at Llandudno. 20 142 Sir John Betjeman gained London Transport livery some years when it was used on a number of specials on London Underground surface lines (Stephen Dennett).

 20 189 wears the British Rail blue livery, a restoration of its as-built appearance as built in 1967 as D8189, with the addition of a railfreight depot plaque. The 'Westie' icon belonged to Eastfield depot in Scotland.

20 142 and 20 189 pass a drizzly Deganwy on the return trip to Tyseley (Chris Morrison).

47 613 and 47 501 Craftsman  pass Deganwy with the return Statesman to Ely (Chris Morrison).

The third train, the West Coast Railways 'Northern Belle' from York, set down its passengers at Llandudno Junction,  and ran empty to Holyhead and back for servicing.    In Stephen Dennett's picture above, the Holyhead - bound train disappears through the archway of Conwy Castle led by 47 815 with 47 854 Diamond Jubilee at the rear.  47 815 now named Great Western was previously Lost Boys 68-88 in the Rail Operations Group fleet.

The return train to Tyseley passes Chester (Geoff Morris).

47 854 leads the return Northern Belle through the woods near Mostyn  (Tim Rogers).

The Statesman heading home (Tim Rogers).

Two Jubilees

Geoff Morris writes: '27 April saw two Jubilees 45596 Bahamas and 45690  Leander  in charge of the leg of the 'Great Britain XIV' railtour from Carnforth to Cardiff. This was booked for a two-hour stop for servicing at Chester providing an ideal chance to get a couple of photos of this relatively rare occurrence on the main line. 

'I decided to go for side-on shots to emphasize the use of two locos and cycled out to Bridge Trafford for my first shot. I got there c.15 minutes before the train was due to pass but, after parking my bike and lining up the shot, a quick glance at Real Time Trains showed the train to be running nearly 15 minutes early and almost the next moment it was passing me. The photo shows the lead loco (producing little from the chimney) passing over the bridge over the River Gowy on the approach to Mickle Trafford signalbox. Rather a close-run thing.

'For the second shot my wife and I walked out to the city walls alongside Chester Racecourse. The train left on time and this time both locos were working and produced a fine  head of steam. The trees that line the racecourse alongside the railway viaduct have been growing steadily and now are starting to obscure the view, so I was particularly  glad to get this view.'

More Jubilee views:

Frodsham (Stephen Dennett).

Arriving  into Platform 4 at Chester to pick up  passengers for their ongoing trip to Cardiff (Stephen Dennett).


... where the train had a booked stop to await a path onward (George Jones).

Ruabon (Martin Evans).

Aberystwyth Timber Trial - pictures by Paul Shannon

As mentioned in the last issue, a trial train ran on 29 April to evaluate a possible log-carrying services from Aberystwyth to the Kronospan factory at Chirk. Paul Shannon was on hand to photograph the movement. Above, the train passes Borth station with 97 304 and 97 303 in charge.

Aberystwyth. The loco shed behind is being transformed to a museum by the Vale of Rheidol company.

Loading in progress. The requirement for the 97/3 locos on the Cambrian is likely to be an issue if this train becomes a regular service. There are only three of them, and they might be need for other duties.

Graham Breakwell was at Sutton Bridge Junction, Shrewsbury observing the change of locos. He writes: '97 304 and 97 303 with 10 fully laden log carriers arrived at the junction 25 minutes early at 22:50 and after a  Cardiff to Chester passenger train had passed, the locos  drew forward as far as the signal box, uncoupled and proceeded into the Coleham depot. 56 113, which had brought the empty carriers from Kronospan as far as Shrewsbury that morning then coupled up and set off at 23: 42. All in all quite a slick operation, filmed by some staff in the depot entrance.'

Class 67 diary - report by Mike Stone

67 017 calls at Bangor with the 11:33 Holyhead - Cardiff, 29 April. (Picture by Charlie Hulme)

28 April: 67 017 seems to have managed a full day, but 67 015 looks to have failed at Canton this morning and 67 010 worked the 1716 tonight, presumably having run as 0Z10 from Crewe Electric Traction Depot. 67 014 and its set were on the siding alongside the Stoke line at Crewe Carriage sidings this evening. 67 008 with an ex-Grand Central reported to have been doing 120 mph (10mph overspeed) tests on the Great Western mail line  last night and tonight.

27 April: I'd initially planned to catch the 05:33 from Holyhead at Salop this morning but failed - just as well as it only ran Chester - Salop as a 158. 67 015 and set appear to have been revived for the 16:36 tonight - but weirdly it's on Journey Check as not calling Abergavenny due to "resource availability" - of all its stops that seems a weird one to require extra staff? Here's hoping 67 017 doesn't come to grief as I'm just arriving at Hereford for it!


66 177 arrives at Helsby one and a quarter hours early with the sand train from Ince and Elton Encirc Works to Arpley Sidings. Taken at Helsby on 27 April.

66 753 EMD Roberts Road heads away from Shrewsbury through leafy Cherry Orchard with 4Z85 the 04:37 London Gateway to Donnington RFT on 27 April. Another train of containers, over 60 in all – passing a pair of West Midlands Train 170s heading to their destination on the 12:00 from Birmingham New Street.  (Graham Breakwell).

66 432 heading the Daventry to Wentloog Tesco service, diverted via Crewe and Shrewsbury on 2 May, see here passing the back of the Shrewsbury Sainsbury supermarket illustrating how to remove 35 trucks off the roads! (Graham Breakwell).

60024 passing through Timperley on 2 May with a Tunstead - Lostock
Works limestone train (Greg Mape).

Win a ride in Caroline

Model company Revolution Trains are raising money for charity, offering the chance to bid for a seat on 975025 'Caroline' on an outing 'Sweet Caroline' planned to run on 11 May  from Derby to Derby via Stoke, Crewe, New Mills, Edale, Chesterfield and Toton with 37 418 being lined up to provide power. For further information about this and how to bid for a seat, follow this link.  (Bidding closes on Wednesday 4 May at 12:00).

Interestingly, this item reveals the reason for the name: Caroline was a member of Network Rail staff who died of cancer, and the funds raised will go to Cancer Research UK.

Looking back: Steam, Diesels and Electrics 2003 Part 3 - with David Pool

Pathfinder Railtours ran an excursion to North Wales on 5 May 2003, headed by D1015 Western Champion.  1Z31 was the 07:05 Castle Cary to Llandudno Junction, and was photographed at Wrenbury. This may have been the first time a Western diesel ventured into North Wales, but D1015 subsequently operated Railtours throughout the UK, including a return to the North Wales coast in 2008 and a visit to Blaenau Ffestiniog in 2009. 

In conjunction with the Open Weekend at Crewe Works in 2003, a series of steam hauled “Chester shuttles” was run on 31 May, carrying “The Legend” headboards.  I intended to photograph Stanier 8F 48151 emerging from the tunnel at Christleton with the 2T62 11:40 departure, but I wasn’t expecting the smoke  which obliterated the background.

The afternoon trains were being worked by 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, and the 2T64 14:52 to Crewe was much more environmentally friendly at Hargrave. 

The event at Crewe has been featured on many websites, particularly showing the collection of LMS Pacifics and the Royal Train 47 799, but on 1 June 2003 I was more interested in seeing the less well known locomotives, such as the Porterbrook purple liveried 87 002.

The 08 shunter of the LNWR Heritage company was 08 830, looking immaculate in its gloss black livery. Photographing a black locomotive is always tricky when there are other items in the picture which need different exposures.  In this case the image of Virgin 57 301 Scott Tracy is too faded and DRS 37 038 suffers from reflections in the gloss finish.

Rather overlooked by those attending the display of locomotives, the London Midland Region General Manager’s Saloon 6320 was another interesting exhibit.  Rebuilt from a 1927 LMS corridor Brake on the underframe of a BR suburban Brake, it was fitted with B4 bogies and permitted to run at 100mph.

The prototype Class 37 appeared in 1960, numbered D6700.  It became 37 119 under TOPS, then was regeared and fitted with CP7 bogies, as a Class 37/3 37 355.  On withdrawal in 1998 it was acquired by the National Railway Museum, and has since operated on several preserved railways and attended many events.  It is currently at the Great Central Railway, where it will be overhauled and operated on loan. 

The most popular exhibit with the younger attendees was probably the Harry Potter celebrity locomotive 5972 Olton Hall, also known as Hogwarts Castle.  On this occasion the tender had a Hogwarts Railways emblem, and 5972 had a Wizard Express headboard.  I assume the 10A shedplate signified Carnforth, where it was based at the time for working trains over the Settle to Carlisle line. 

From Dave Sallery's archive

A classic traction line-up at Arpley stabling point, Warrington on 3 April 1997, with 31 308, 37 212 and 37 051 Merehead doing the honours.

156 401 has stopped at the Maes level crossing near Criccieth after going through the closed level crossing gates. 15th August 1997.  The mangled gates can be seen at the lineside. The gates were manually worked by a crossing keeper but today are automatic barriers.  A breakdown in communication perhaps?

A Cross Country class 120 leads a 3-unit train at Prestatyn, 24 June 1985.  Such long 'lash ups' were common in the past.

31 456 pushes an inspection saloon for Trawsfynydd into Blaenau Ffestiniog, 10 February 1994.

Llangollen scenes

GWR 0-6-2T 5619 is the current regular steam loco on the Llangollen Railway, seen here at Llangollen on 30 April ...

... departing ...

... and running round its train at Carrog (Martin Evans).

B&R Tamper DR73309 has been transported to the Llangollen Railway and visited the Corwen station site on 26 April when it packed and aligned track in the station loop.

The picture by Paul Reynolds shows the tamper stopped alongside the Corwen East siding with the pointwork ahead. The exercise found a need to increase the level of the ballast for the trackwork and a further drop of stone was arranged for 27 April. Prior to this the machine tamped the track renewal work undertaken at Deeside and in Llangollen station.

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