Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

27 May 2022


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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 27th May  Vintage Trains Cambrian Coast Explorer 1
(diesel) Dorridge  - Pwllheli
  and return Cancelled

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. 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 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

A classic image:  The returning Statesman excursion to Swindon on 25 May near Dolgarrog (Gary Thomas).

Another 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 use.

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 suspended.

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 Dennett).

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 late 1980s. 

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 Corona​tion 46252 City of Leicester "running in" after overhaul at Crewe.  This diagram was regularly used for the purpose.'

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 by
Freightliner's Heavy Haul division as part of the contract with Network
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 employees?

Thanks to Mike Stone for help with this.

Statesman Tour

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 Llanrwst ...

... and after receiving the single line token,  departing.

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 Swindon.

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!

Loco assortment

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 Breakwell).

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 May 2019.

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 fleet.

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 wheelset.
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