06 May 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
Charter trains, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
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
The Scene at Kidderminster shed, 27 April (Greg Mape).
This is an
extra catch-up edition: the next normal issue will be on
the evening of Tuesday 10 May. - Charlie
Apology: last issue's heading caption should have read '47
815 Great Western passes Rhyl on 30 April
with the 'Northern Belle'.
An Interesting Website
YouTube has several video channels covering North Wales
events; one which recently came to our attention is
Prestatyn-based 'RWH Trains' which, as well as tiocal
run-bys at foot crossings, delves into historical subjects,
other tyoes of transport, and also visits to heritage
Ffestiniog event - report by Jim Ikin
The weekend of 29 April/1 May was a members' event on the
Ffestiniog Railway where two visiting engines from
the private Richmond Railway in Kent, and the FR’s
Britomart ran shuttles in between the FR and WHR services to
Pont Croesor and Minffordd. Above, Richmond Railway's
Bagnall-built Sybil of 1906 at Porthmadog, once a
Dinorwic quarry loco.
Dr Edwina Bell,who has been appointed Heritage Project
Manager at Boston Lodge, gave an detailed in-depth talk on
plans for the works during a tour.
Keep up to date with developments at nlhfproject.festrail.co.uk.
Elin of 1899, once a Penrhyn quarry loco, now also at
the Richmond Railway, which had done only fifty miles after
a total rebuild, at Porthmadog.
FR resident Britomart at Porthmadog.
Elin at Pont Croesor - Britomart is on the
Sybil at Minfford – once again Britomart was
on the rear
The dog kennel on the Victorian brake van.
Sybil and Elin leaving Porthmadog.
The forge at Boston Lodge,which was originally horse
stables,has had a lot of work carried out.
Boston Lodge works.
Chronicling the Cambrian - book review by Charlie Hulme
Chris Magner has produced a new edition of his book Cambrian
Coast Line: the Railway Line that refused to die,
first published in 1986, with additions up to 2017. In
Chris's usual format, A4 in a comb binding, he chronicles
the life and times of the line year by year from 1963 to
2017, along with the activities of the Cambrian Coast Line
Action Group which did much to save the line from closure.
It costs £16.50 including postage from Chris Magner at 21
Dunval Road, Bridgnorth WV16 4NA.
In addition to Chris's text, he compiles extracts from other
sources, and collaborators to tell the full
story. The line has seen many interesting events over
the years, and they are all here in the book's 117
pages. The fight to save the line in the 1970s and the
public enquiries that ensued; the special trains to Tonfanau
for Ugandan refugees; the great storm of 1976 and other
floods; trains stranded overnight in snow; Barmouth Bridge problems; the many railtours; and
much more, including a selection of pictures. A final
section has some memories by users and supporters of the
line. It's a reference book that you can also dip into and
find interest in every page if you are a lover of this
unique line, like myself.
Don't expect a glossy presentation, just simply presented
stories and information about a line which saw my first
unaccompanied week's holiday in 1966, my honeymoon in
1985, and many subsequent holidays, mostly at Llanaber
with its tiny halt. As Chris says, it is an inspiring
A missed connection - by Stuart Broome
I had occasion to travel from New Mills Central to Valley on
April. I caught the 10:02 to Manchester Piccadilly formed of
195 005. The train was clean with good information screens
and we were on time at Piccadilly. Next was Avanti 390
005 which departed 22 minutes late to Crewe due to a door
fault in coach E. We arrived at Crewe still late and I saw
my intended train depart; another 30 seconds and I would
have got it! However it was not to be so. Above,
the missing roof at the south end of Crewe station.
With some 50 minutes to wait I put my time to good use. 57
Ferguson was parked near platform 12 so I
ambled over to get a photo.
At the south end of the station was 197 003, my first sight
of the class, on driver training. Back at the North
end my train to Chester arrived -
153 303 and 153 909. The 153/9s have a disabled
toilet, hence the
change of number.
Arrival at Chester on time gave me the opportunity to
photograph 158 830 on a southbound working.
153 921 ...
... and 197 002 in the westbound bay.
The 197 looks a bit odd close up due to the extended
corridor connection when photographed!
However 175 004 came in with my train to Llandudno
Junction (above). As my phone was low on power I
connected to the seat sockets only to them not working. A
very kind lady who was travelling to Abergele lent me her
mini powerbank, so it got me up to 26% which was a great
help. Arrival at the Junction was on time.
Wooden sleepers on the re-opened sidings at Llandudno
Behind 175 004 was 197 002 from Chester on driver
training. It stopped at
the platform end in order to return to Chester, so a quick
quick for me at 74 years old) enabled me to photograph it
again. I also
saw DR 73935, a Colas Rail tamper parked under the
158 828, and 153 921 seen in the bay at
Chester, came in on my train to Valley arriving at
15:35. The missed connection at Crewe turned out to be a
most interesting day.
Looking back : Log train trial 2005 - with Eryl Crump
Mention of a trial run carrying logs from Aberystwyth to
Kronospan Chirk reminded me of a similar experiment in
November 2005 when an NR Multi-purpose vehicle (DR98916 &
DR98919) was split and seven log carrying wagons inserted.
They were loaded with timber in the Aberystwyth station yard
and then ran east. It chugged through Machynlleth (note the
old semaphore signalling in pre-ERTMS days) and was able to
stay ahead of a service train as far as Talerddig.
It waited at Talerddig for a train from Shrewsbury (158
830 in W&B silver and 158 847 in Central
green) to cross then continued on its way to Chirk.
I don't think the service ran again with some suggesting the
loading of the timber at source and the unloading/loading of
the material at Aberystwyth made it too time-consuming
Ultrasonic 37 - feedback
In the last issue we wondered why the Ultrasonic test train
did not cover the Bangor - Holyhead section. Andrew
Royle, expert on such matters and author of the book Yellow
Trains: ten years of testing suggests an explaination.
The Ultrasonic Test Train needs to operate at 30 mph when
doing its monitoring of the rails, and the sparse signalling
provision on Anglesey means that it is hard to find a path
for it during the day. On the other hand, if the train runs
overnight, to cover the Llandudno branch Deganwy and
Llandudno stations have to be staffed...
The last regular Aberystwyth freight
The last regular freight service (other than the the
railway's own traffic) to operate on the Cambrian system was
the Wednesdays-only train of fuel tanks from Stanlow to a
terminal (since demolished) adjacent to Aberystwyth station.
The final working of this train was hauled by 37 418 Pectidinae
on 28 April 1993, amid protests by local residents about
resulting increase in road traffic, including an 'Early Day
Motion' in Parliament:
That this House notes the increase of between 50
and 100 per cent in freight rates charged by British
Rail Trainload Petroleum; regrets the decision by Shell UK
to transfer the transportation of oil from Stanlow
Refinery in Cheshire to Aberystwyth in Dyfed from rail to
road, and the increase in heavy tanker traffic on the
country roads of Wales which will occur as a result;
further regrets the terrible effect this increase will
have on the Welsh environment; deplores the danger that
the increase in heavy tanker traffic will cause to
pedestrians and motorists alike; and urges the Government
to intervene to ensure that rail freight prices do not
force customers to use other means of transport and to
ensure that Shell UK continue to use rail rather than
Like most such motions, this had no effect at all. At least,
enough infrastructure was retained to allow a possible
log train. The end of this service has been
documented, but it's not clear when it started.
At its peak, the consist was ten TTA four-wheeled tank
this Youtube video) although a photograph
from March 1993 shows just two.
Until 1983 the tanks arrived in the general wagonload
service, latterly the 04:23 from Shrewsbury Coton Hill
sidings which, ran three times per week. This ceased
to run in 1983, replaced by the weekly train dedicated to
Shell traffic. A Class 24 or 25 diesel was the
normal choice of traction for the Wednesday-only services:
indeed it was 25 035 on this train in March 1987. that was
the the last visit of a 25 to the Cambrian lines before the
class became extinct on BR.
Later, pairs of Class 20s appeared, as seen in Paul
Shannon's pictures from 6 April 1988. Above, the locos, 20
040 leading, run round the train at Aberystwyth
before shunting it into the siding.
The empties returning near Ynyslas, with 13
wagons. When Railfreight was 'sectorised' the
working was allocated to the Petroleum Sector, which mainly
used Class 47s, but for workings such as this one they
obtained a small fleet of Class 37/4 locos which were
thought to be no longer needed for passenger service.
The situation changed in 1993, of course, when 37/4s took
over North Wales trains and eventually inspired the creation
of this website.
In recent times, 37 418 has been seen on the Cambrian Lines
again, working for Colas on infrastructure services (always
with a Class 97/3 for company).
Severn Valley Enterprise (1) - images by Roly High
A Saphos Trains excursion, The Severn Valley
Enterprise ran from Llandudno Junction via Kidderminster to
Bridgnorth on the above-mentioned railway on 27 April.
Above, the train makes makes an early morning call at Rhyl
with 47 593 Galloway Princess leading and 47
501 Craftsman at the rear (Roly High).
At Crewe 47 593 was detached ...
... and 70000 Britannia with its support coach backed on (Roly
Upon arrival at Kidderminster the loco was uncoupled from
its support coach. This image illustrates an interesting
feature of many BR-era coaches. To couple to a loco or other
vehicle with screw couplers, the buffers are held in the
extended position by a removable 'cuff' which fits over the
buffer shank. When coupling to a coach with 'buckeye'
couplers the cuff is lifted out of the way and the couplers
and the gangway connections meet.
The ground signal 'comes off' for 70000 to be turned on the
turntable (originally installed at Fort William) to haul the
train tender-first to Bridgnorth, where there is no
47 501, wearing its original number D1944 and livery as
applied by Locomotive Services, 'on the blocks' at the rear
of the train.
34027 Taw Valley, apparently soon to be renamed Queen
Elizabeth II, has been given a purple makeover
in honour of the impending Royal celebrations.
Comparison of front ends: very similar as the ex-Southern
Railway 34027 is one of those which was re-built by British
Railways in the 1950s by the designers as the Britannia
class. The most obvious difference is that 34027
retains the 'Bulleid Firth Brown' disc wheels.
Severn Valley Enterprise (2) - Images by Greg Mape
70000 passes Stourbridge Junction.
70000 was turned at Kidderminster.
Arriving at Bridgnorth. This type of British Railways tender
was designed to offer some view while travelling
tender-first, but much leaning out is still required.
While at Stourbridge Junction, Greg took a ride on the
'People Mover' to Stourbridge Town.
Bala at 50
On Saturday 30 April at the Bala 50 celebrations Bob
Greenhalgh was rostered as Maid Marian's
driver for the day. Before the first train left a track
laying train ran topped and tailed by diesels Lady
Madcap and Chilmark.
After a speech by Dafyd Gwyn, Bala company chairman, Maid
Marian left for Bala. There were two traction engines,
a steam lorry and model railway also present.
Driver's view at Llangower passing loop.
There were plenty of passengers enjoying a busy timetable
with Quarry Hunslets Maid Marian, George B
(above) and replica Wren class loco Jenny working
the trains. We were blessed with great weather. The book
Bala 50 is highly recommended and is available via the Railway's
Sunday - by Jim Ikin
Maid Marian which at Easter 1975 was the first
Hunslet on the line.
Maid Marian leaves Llanuwchllyn image taken through
the Heritage Centre opened in 2019.
Visiting Jennie, from the Amerton Railway,
built in 2008 by Statfold Engineering, is an almost exact
copy of the Kerr Stewart design - the last of which was
built in 1941.
Jennie and resident George B leave
More coaches for TfW - pictures by Graham Breakwell
On 4 May (at 20:14 according to platform indicator)
Rail Operations Group 37 884 Cepheus in
Europhoenix livery passed through Shrewsbury with a set of
five unbranded ex-Grand Central Mark 4 coaches and Driving
Van Trailer 82220. Running from Eastleigh the train stopped
briefly for crew purposes before departing for Crewe
Carriage sidings via Chester.
These coaches, originally built for the East Coast Main
Line, are part of a 'job lot' obtained after Grand Central
belatedly decided not to run a London - Blackpool service
after all. At Eastleigh they are, we believe,
undergoing wiring changes to allow them to work with TfW's
Class 67 locos; the intention is to introduce loco-hauled
trains on the Manchester - Swansea route, but there will be
testing and training to be done, as well as re-liverying.
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