NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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14 July 2022
Northern unit 150 127 departs from Helsby, while working the sparse service from Ellesmere Port on 5 July. PIcture by Stephen Dennett.
The 197 'launch'
We were not invited to the recent 'launch' press event of the Class 197 at Chester, and probably wouldn't have gone anyway, but TfW in their wisdom invited well-known railway 'YouTuber' Glovestrains, who has recently been engaged in visiting and filming every station in North Wales, after having done the same to a large number of Northern Trains stations. She made a decent job of viewing the interior of the unit - take a look at this address.
It's clear that there has been a revival of interest in trains by a new generation. Some seem to make a hobby of encouraging the drivers of passing trains to play 'tones' on the loco horn. Everyone to his or her own, perhaps.
East London Express
David Pool in the last issue referred to the apparant absence of the name allegedly on loco 66 522. It certainly was there, although not in the usual format. Jack Bowley's picture shows the loco at Stafford on 29 May 2008.
The Class 40 Preservation Society's 40 145 (D345) was out on the line on 5 July with 'The Dalesman' excursion from Chester to Carlisle, seen above departing from Chester (Bob Greenhalgh)
The return approaching Daresbury (Dave Jepson).
Helsby station. Picture by Stephen Dennett, who notes: 'I nearly got 'bombed' by the simultaneous arrival of the Wrexham to Liverpool Lime Street which pulled in just as the excursion approached, which meant a dash across the footbridge, and a more close-up shot than I intended!
'37 706 on the rear. Nice to see a 40/37 combo.' The Hellifield, Settle-Carlisle, Carlisle-Carnforth section was steam hauled.
Seen at Llangollen
On 3 July, the Sunday of the Llangollen Railway's Vintage Gala, the superbly preserved DMU 56171/50416 awaits departure time at 10:20 from Carrog with the first train of the da. (Larry Davies).
Ex GWR 0-6-2T 5619 prepares to run round at Llangollen having brought in a lunchtime service from Carrog. (Larry Davies)
Leaving Llangollen, 7 July (Greg Mape).
A 31 at the end of the drive! (Greg Mape)
10 July: Gary Thomas writes: 'I thought I'd share my favourite photo of class 26 no. 5310 as it runs around its train to take the last service of the day to Carrog'.
Stephen Dennett writes: 'The Dee Marsh-Margam steel finally has a different loco, so I went down to Penyffordd just in time to see it.
'Christopher Hopcroft MBE was GBRf Train Manager when he retired in 2019. 66 749 is one of the locos originally built for Crossrail AG in the Netherlands.'
[At the time of the naming in December 2019 it was suggested that there should be either an apostrophe or the word 'of' after 'Years' but it hasn't been changed.]
From Dave Sallery's archive
60 044 and 60 061 pass Mostyn, Railfreight Coal Day, 11 August 1991. See Dave's website for the full story of this unique event.
A busy day at Barmouth in July 1984.
47 787 and 47 704 on an up test train returning to Crewe, 24 November 1995.
Looking back: Class 47 Diesels, 2005 Part 3
On 9 July 2005 47 841 had been failed, and 47 811 in Great Western green with Freightmaster branding was dragging it and DVT 82136 at Mold Junction on the 09:14 Holyhead to Euston.
The lane to the John Summers sports ground at Shotton is one of my favourite locations for photographing trains from the coast, and on 10 July 2005 the 16:07 Holyhead to Euston was being hauled by a Direct Rail Services locomotive, possibly one of its first workings on a scheduled passenger train. 47 802 was dragging 82101 and the rake of Virgin Mk3 coaches. Today it is operated by West Coast Railways.
A week later at the same location with the same train, although this time 82101 was on the rear, it was the turn of another DRS locomotive 47 501, again one of the first scheduled passenger train workings for this locomotive. At this stage it had not been renamed Craftsman. 47 501 had started life as D1944 (and has reverted to this number today with Locomotive Services at Crewe).
Fourteen years earlier, on 3 August 1991, I had got up early and travelled to Scotland to photograph a train on the Maxwelltown branch, this being all that was left of the line from Dumfries to Stranraer. The Branch Line Society Railtour “The Northern Explorer” had started from Crewe at 07:38, and was on the branch at 2pm, where I photographed 26 041, with 31 312 on the rear, at the site of Maxwelltown station, which had been closed in 1939.
I saw the Railtour again at Armathwaite, where 47 971 was on the front, then made my way to Padiham, where the Railtour was due at around 6pm. The train had reversed at Rose Grove, and the leading locomotive was now 47 501 Craftsman, then in Rail Express Systems red. The train was due to go next to the Burn Naze branch, but I felt that heading for home was the sensible option for me!
In 2009 the DRS Class 47s were being used on trains from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft on Summer Saturdays. Another encounter with 47 501 was on 13 June 2009, when it was working 1V26, the 1418 Norwich to Great Yarmouth, here photographed near Acle, dragging 90 005.
Returning to Shotton on 7 August 2005, the 16:07 Holyhead to Euston still had DVT 82101, but the Class 47 on this day was a Cotswold Rail liveried 47 828. This had been named Joe Strummer by his widow Lucinda a few months earlier.
47 828 was originally D1966, becoming 47 266. It was then modified as a class 47/4, and numbered 47 629. On 14 March 1992 it was in Intercity livery, and had worked the Pathfinder Railtour “The Mersey Weaver” 1Z17 from Reading to Lime Street. The train was being hauled to Latchford by 20 094 and 20 059, having 47 629 on the rear, and would later visit Oakleigh sidings at Winnington and the Silverdale branch. 47 828 is today another in the Locomotive Services fleet.
The last days of Mold Junction shed - report by John Carden
I was saddened to see, on the most recent edition of North Wales Coast Railway, news of the start of demolition of the main 6B Mold Junction Engine Shed, building after surviving for just over 56 years, since closure on 16 April 1966. As an avid local 15 year-old trainspotter at that time and a weekly visitor to the shed throughout the early 60's, my final visit being a couple of days before it closed, I decided that, for old times sake,to pay the shed a final visit on 6 July, before it disappeared forever in a cloud of demolition dust as opposed to steam!
So, armed with my trusty compact camera and accompanied by a member of P. Dobbins staff, I was allowed access to the front half of the shed where the reinforced concrete roof and wall sections had been removed. The rear half of the shed was fenced off and still intact but the area was cleared and devoid of all fixtures and equipment.
On chatting with the staff member I was told that the reason for the demolition was that the building had been condemned, as the new owner of the site did not wish to carry the repairs to the life expired smoke vents and glass panelled roof lights in order to make the structure safe for further use. Apparently the new owner has appointed architects to design industrial units, with a roof design sympathetic in appearance to that of the former shed building.
The plan is for the first of these units to be built on the already cleared area and be used by the present site occupiers, P.Dobbins, scrap merchants. When this phase is complete, P. Dobbins will demolish and recycle the rear section of the shed , then new units will then be built on this area.
Whilst I was there, I enquired if there were any railway salvage items available for purchase, but he said not, as the shed had been pretty well stripped of such items upon its closure. He did however, show me a 6B shedplate, which he was going to display in the new unit; also, he had a hard-backed staff wages ledger for the post-war years up to 1955. I advised him that if he wasn't going to keep it, to enter it into a railwayana auction.
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