27 May 2022
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are welcome, although they may not always be used, due to
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Charter trains, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
Friday 27th May Vintage Trains
Cambrian Coast Explorer 1
(diesel) Dorridge - Pwllheli and
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. Cancelled
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
A classic image: The returning Statesman excursion to
Swindon on 25 May near Dolgarrog (Gary Thomas).
extra issue, still not caught up! Next update will be on
the on the evening of Tuesday 31 May. - Charlie
197 for Borderlands?
A 'compatibility run' of a Class 197 unit on the Bidston -
Wrexham line on 24 May has led to speculation as to whether
the type is to take over from 150s on the line, perhaps
temporarily until the Class 230 trains are ready for public
TfW had hoped to bring the Class 230 units into operation on
the Wrexham to Bidston this month but a according to a press
report, a further battery-related ‘thermal incident' in
April has led to their implementation programme being
The official reason for the run is that 'To give
maximum fleet flexibility, our appointed manufacturer CAF is
contractually committed to ensuring the Class 197s are
capable of operating on all TfW routes – with the
exception of the Core Valley Lines in South Wales –
and therefore a run was carried out on Tuesday to confirm
compatibility on the Wrexham – Bidston route.'
North West Rail and Transport Fair, Crewe, 25 June
Crewe on 25 June will be a bit of a 'enthusiast's haven'
with this inaugural event at the football ground , and
also a unique one-off one day only Virgin Rail 25 year
exhibition at the Heritage Centre complete with a couple of
guest locos and a nameplate show. (See left column)
Organiser Oliver Hambly writes: 24 Different traders
from around the UK are all booked in for the Collectors Fair
, covering every aspect of Railways and Transport , even
better just come for a cup of tea a cake and a chat .
Parking at the Collectors Fair is Free and a heritage bus
link to the Heritage Centre is being planned.
Sir Nigel rides again
Arriving at Chester with support coach, 16 May (Stephen
At Chester, 16 May (Stephen Dennett).
The loaded test train on 17 May,which in Chester,
Shrewsbury, Telford and Stafford, as seen by Ian
Pilkington approaching Chester...
... Near Rossett...
... and at Walcot, Shropshire.
Wrexham (George Jones)
Wrexham with photographer (Jim Ikin).
Balderton crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).
Backing in to Crewe H.S. at the end of its test run .
17 May (Stephen Dennett).
Powering through Acton Bridge with the return A4 Locomotive
Society Members Trip from Carlisle to Crewe. Taken at Acton
Bridge on 21 May (Stephen Dennett).
Several readers have written regarding items in the last
issue. Firstly, our guess at the age of the Mileage
sign at Chester was way off the mark. It was
That sign in Chester, which was made an the wagon repair
shop which existed near the station, was an initiative
of the then Area Manager, Chester - Eric Roberts, in the
He also arranged for the trees to be planted in the Chester
triangle. The footbridge at Wrexham General to the
Bidston line was another of his achievements, as were
gardens on the island platforms and between the tracks where
a line has been removed . They may seem trivial things
but money was so tight on BR that such local initiatives
took some doing.
Mark 3 coach ban on the Conwy Valley:
This arose in recent times following an accident to someone
leaning out of a window. They are longer than earlier types,
to the ends will swing out more on curves. Exact details of
the incident are somewhat obscure.
Platform Numbers at Llandudno Junction: There
has never been an actual Until the rationalisation of 1967/8
Platform 1 was the same as today with the three through
platforms being 2 : Up main (3 today), 3: Down main (4
today) and 4: Down slow (defunct today).
The station also had four bay platforms - those at the west
end (now just one, numbered 2) serving the Llandudno
branch. At the east end, 3A and 4A served Conway
Valley. There were also busy Up and Down avoiding lines.
(The recent naming of a bus stop on the platform 1 side of
the station as 'Platform 5' surely goes against logic. )
Larry Davies writes: 'I enclose a young memory - taken with
a 'Box Brownie' in 1958 - of that once-busy platform 4 at
Llandudno Junction with the 09:25 Crewe - Holyhead awaiting
departure at 11.16 with Coronation 46252 City
of Leicester "running in" after overhaul at
Crewe. This diagram was regularly used for the
The engineering train behind 66 511 in David
Pool's image at Winwick was For information the Freightliner
hauled engineering train shown at Winwick Junction is a
long welded rail delivery train. It would have been operated
Freightliner's Heavy Haul division as part of the contract
Rail. It may have been from the rail welding depot at
Castleton; the train appears loaded, so it may have
originated there and heading towards Basford Hall sidings
and subsequent deployment to Network Rail instructions.
Still not answered is the reason for the currently bagged-over
signs being erected at platform ends at many stations
including the Chester - Cardiff section. Are they for the
Class 197 units, or maybe preparation for the addition of an
extra coach to the Loco-hauled sets?
Thanks to Dave Sallery , Chris Jones-Bridger, and Larry
Davies for information used above.
Cambrian Coast express extra
Some more views of the 20 May Cambrian Coast excursion.
Above, about to pass Llandecwyn halt ...
... and crossing Brewit bridge, rebuilt from a wooden
structure in 2014/5 (Greg Mape).
A sequence of images of the return train by Ian Wright.
Above, heading towards Barmouth bridge ...
... crossing ...
... starting the climb to Friog rocks ...
... and high above the beach. This section is notorious for
rock falls from the road above, landslips due to former
mining operations, and erosion by the sea. Twice in the
line's history trains have derailed on rocks from above and
fallen down the cliff; near the site of Ian's image there is
a length of stone-built 'avalanche shelter' protecting the
line at a particularly vulnerable area.
Postscript (1) The LSL 'jolly'
In our report on Mr Hosking's train ride we failed to notice
some interesting facts. The tour actually continued after
arriving at Crewe, finishing on 24 after
visiting the Central Wales line and Weymouth. During the
section we reported, the train reversed by means of the
triangle of lines, at Shrewsbury, requiring a movement
normally only allowed with a locomotive or driving cab at
each end of the train if passengers are aboard.
There was some delay in platform 7 at Shrewsbury -
perhaps the signallers seeking authority - and presumably
did the same at Chester? Were there any actual
passengers on the train, or just Locomotive Services
Thanks to Mike Stone for help with this.
Wednesday 25 May saw another LSL operation, a Statesman Tour
from Swindon to Blaenau Ffestiniog, seen above westbound
along the Coast at Pensarn ...
... and Llandudno Junction (Gary Thomas). Haulage was
by D1935 (47 805 ) Roger Hosking MA and D1944
(47 501) Craftsman.
Photographed by Garry Stroud arriving at North
... and after receiving the single line token,
At Blaenau Ffestiniog, ready for return departure (Gary
Thomas). Gary writes: Having run well for most
of the day I understand that both locomotives had problems
on the return to Crewe and were both substituted for 47 810
and 47 853 which recovered some time on the way back to
Postscript (2): The log train - by Barrie Hughes
An interesting feature of the second log train trial which
escaped us was that instead of changing locos at Coleham and
running to Wrexham, running round, going back to Chirk to
propel into Kronospan, the Class 97s remained with the train
the whole of the loaded run.
The return route was via Crewe, Chester, Wrexham and Chirk.
They arrived 6
minutes late at 00:01, an hour after the Carlisle empties
had left and a
couple of hours before the Baglan Bay empties left. Maybe
the operation was a bit cheaper doing it this way as no loco
change, no running round etc, though greater mileage!
67 014 on 1V98 16:36 Holyhead to Cardiff Central near
Mostyn, 19 March (Tim Rogers).
47 813 at Bagillt, 19 May (Tim Rogers).
70 008 at Ruabon 27 May (Martin Evans).
97 303 crooses Barmouth bridge on the way to collect
a Tamper from Porthmadog, 20 May (Kate Jones).
Looking very smart, 37 425 Concrete Bob at
Bristol, 24 May (Richard Putley).
66 567 in the loop at Severn Bridge Junction, 22 May (Graham
Llangollen Diesel Group news - by Tez Pickthall
Our Class 47 diesel-electric locomotive will be working on
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29th May at the Llangollen Railway.
Whilst looking for a photo or two of her for social media
posts, I realised there was 40 years between the two shots
I’d chosen – and both show her working in North Wales.
The earlier shot was taken by Kevin Lane in June
1979 and shows 47 449 (her later British Railways
TOPS number) making her way alongside the cars of the day on
the A547 towards Llandudno Junction with the magnificence of
Conwy Castle in the background.
The other, taken by myself, shows her sat in Llangollen
River Sidings and waiting to work the day’s trains back in
Some interesting background on the Class 47:
Our loco, also known as a Brush Type 4 (Brush in
Loughborough built all her electrical equipment and Type 4
is the British Rail notation for a diesel locomotive with an
engine rated at over 2,000hp), was a regular performer on
the North Wales Coast line and spent a good proportion of
her working life at Crewe Diesel Depot between 1973 and
1990, just a mile or so from where she emerged brand new
from Crewe Works in March 1964.
Moving south to Old Oak Common London in 1990, 47 449 ended
her 29 year British Rail career working semi-fast passenger
trains between London Paddington and Oxford, before being
withdrawn in March 1993. After being saved from scrapping by
the renowned music impresario and railway enthusiast Pete
Waterman, 47 449 was purchased by the Llangollen Diesel
Group in 1996 for use on the Llangollen Railway, where she
has been ever since. 47 449 has now been preserved at
Llangollen for nearly as long as she spent working for
British Rail! With the exception of a few years out of
traffic for repairs to her bodywork, engine and cooling
system, the loco, currently running with her early 1970’s
era number of 1566 in British Railways blue livery, has been
a very useful and active member of the Llangollen Railway
She is powered by an 83 litre, 2580hp 12 cylinder twin bank
Sulzer LDA28C engine. Sulzer are a Swiss Engineering
business, but the engines for the 47s were all built in
England under licence by Vickers at Barrow in Furness using
a factory built in the early 1950s to produce submarine
engines in large quantities in anticipation of an escalation
of the war in Korea, which was never required. The diesel
engine drives a Brush TG160-60 Direct Current generator
which in-turn drives 6 traction motors, one for each
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