NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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18 July 2022
No steam on the North Wales Coast Line on 16 July, but on the next-door line, Rhyl Miniature Railway 4-4-2 102 Railway Queen built in 1921 by Albert Barnes and Company was in action. The loco name comes from its time at the Belle Vue pleasure grounds, Manchester. Picture by Gary Thomas.
Some items have been held over to next time, due to impending heat exhaustion. - Charlie
The North Wales Coast express
The Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' steam excursion from Liverpool to Holyhead on 17 July did not go according to plan. Roly High, who travelled on the train, reports:
37 706 (above) arrived at Liverpool Lime Street's Platform 6 sans train.The 37 should have dragged the train into Lime Street, and, because of the fire risk steam loco 35018 British India Line was substituted with diesel 47 804, which was declared a failure due to a compressor fault. The 47 should have become the lead loco to take us to Holyhead, so therefore, the 37 had to run round the train to become the lead loco. Unable to do this at Lime Street as there are no release points, the train was stopped at Edge Hill Sidings, the 37 detached, sent down into Lime Street's Platform 6 to switch tracks, then head back to Edge Hill. All of us waiting on Platform 6 were told the train was cancelled and,to make our way down to the Merseyrail Platforms to take a train to Chester to join the charter there.
37 706 after arrival at Holyhead's Platform 1.
47 804 came along for a ride at the back, as seen at Holyhead. WCRC staff managed to repair the loco for the run back to Liverpool.
Hats off to the staff at West Coast Railways for fixing the problem with the 47, seen here waiting for the road back to Lime Street at Holyhead. Also thanks to the staff of The Railway Touring Company,for making the best of what could have been a bad day.
[The Tuesday Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog steam excursion, which usually follows on in the week after the Holyhead train, is this year cancelled. A few years ago these trains would run up to four times in the summer: now punters are no even guaranteed a steam loco.]
Below are some lineside images from our contributors.
Beeches Farm (Stephen Dennett).
Passing Rhyl ...
... and the Marine Lake (Gary Thomas).
Dwygyfylchi (Gary Thomas).
Returning through Flint (Glyn Jones).
Seen at Crewe - report by Stephen Dennett
I went to the DRS Open Day at Crewe Gresty Bridge on Saturday 16 July.
I arrived at Crewe Just in time to see “The Duchess” leaving for Chester with “The Cheshireman” from London.
At the Open Day, which was really well attended ...
... I took lots of photos of my first love, the Class 37s. 37 419 now features the 'InterCity' livery as seen in the ealy 1990s. Great to see 37s, 57s, 66s, 68s and 88s at close quarters. It's a pity there are no 20s there any more.
Back at Crewe, I waited for what turned out to be 35018 British India Line, which would overnight at Crewe Heritage Centre in preparation for hauling “The North Wales Coast Express” the following day. Or so we thought!
Hauling fresh air
Gary Thomas sends this image of 67 025 at Pensarn on the weekly stock-swap empty stock train, 09:51 from Holyhead to Crewe on Saturday 16 July 2022.
Gary writes: 'I feel quite strongly about this working, the previous train was full to standing and as it was formed of 158s was no doubt warm as the hopper windows were open due to non-functioning air conditioning. Why cold this train not carry passengers? When will Transport for Wales and for that matter Avanti West Coast decide that it is better to run trains for the benefit of passengers than their own operational convenience. It is as if the rail industry is immune to climate change and the cost-of-living crisis.'
[In previous years a loco-hauled set was used on a Holyhead - Crewe working on Saturdays in the holiday time - and why not?- C.H.]
Another Railway Touring Company special, on 17 July, 'The Cheshireman' from London to Chester and back, hauled throughout was most successful.
Tony Robinson climbed the hill up to Beeston Castle to achieve aerial views ...
... while 'more sensible enthusiasts' including a team with a camera pole waited by the lineside!
Northbound approaching the site of Tattenhall Junction (Dave Jessop).
Approaching Chester (Bob Greenhalgh).
Leaving the sidings after coaling and watering (note stored 197 units awaiting entry to service) ...
... backing into the station.
Emerging from Christleton Tunnel on the return (Dave Jepson).
Looking back: Diesels and Electrics 2005 Part 4 - with David Pool
Ince and Elton station does not attract many photographers – or passengers! – and the growth of lineside vegetation can be a problem, but on 17 August 2005 it was a good place to photograph Freightliner 66 616 with the 6F02 12:13 Ellesmere Port to Fiddler’s Ferry.
It was more difficult to photograph the returning train at Ellesmere Port, as it made its way from Ellesmere Port station to Manisty’s Wharf. 66 622 was the locomotive on 22 August, and is on Manchester Ship Canal territory just off Merseyton Road.
Looking through my slides, I couldn’t at first identify where I had photographed 57 303 Alan Tracy on 3 September 2005 – in my opinion this is one of the criteria needed for a good picture. I should have recognised the signal, which appeared in most of my photographs taken at Prestatyn from the A548 road bridge in the shot. The train was the 08:45 from Euston, and the DVT was 82101.
Yes, Winwick Junction is not on the North Wales Coast line, but who could resist a shot of a Western in full cry – much appreciated by the Pathfinder Tour participants on 3 September 2005. The Railtour Files website gives two rave reviews of this trip to Carlisle from Bristol, and D1015 Western Champion made it an unforgettable day for all involved.
By comparison, the train leaving Chester on 10 September was another Pathfinder Railtour, but the destination of Crewe for the “Great Gathering” was the attraction, rather than the motive power used on the . journey. Fragonset locomotives 33 103 Swordfish and 33 202 Meteor had been provided for the 1Z45 06:25 Salisbury to Crewe, which had continued to Chester as an add-on trip for anyone who would like five hours there, and was returning empty stock to Crewe.
I chose to go to Crewe on the second day of the event (11 September), getting there early to avoid the crowds, and I was able to get a good number of shots without too many spectators. The popular exhibits were the many steam locomotives, but on this occasion I was more interested in the diesels and electrics, some of which were in unusual liveries. An example was 86 401 Northampton Town in Network South East colours. This was the only Class 86 in this livery, and was previously Hertfordshire Rail Tours.
Another celebrity electric locomotive was 87 002 The AC Locomotive Group, in the distinctive Porterbrook livery, which was different on the two sides of the locomotive. It looks as though it would have benefited from a visit to the Washing Plant! Unfortunately there was not a clear shot on the other side of 87 002, and the dull weather did not help.
A Simplex (Motor Rail) locomotive was on display at Crewe, carrying the fictitious number 15100. It all started soon after the end of the First World War, when three Simplex petrol locomotives were built, and became LNER Class Y11, eventually becoming BR 15097, 15098 and 15099. Photographs of 15097 and 15099 show that there were differences in the bodies fitted. All three were reputedly scrapped in the 1950s.
The story now gets complicated, since in recent years two Simplex locomotives of the same general design were obtained from industrial use and restored to resemble the long gone Y11 locomotives. These were Motor Rail Works Nos. 1930 and 2026, and the latter has become 15099 Morris. The locomotive 15100 at Crewe apparently had a diesel engine to replace the original petrol engine, and had never been in BR service..
I assumed the locomotive at Crewe was Motor Rail 1930 (built in 1919), but an online search showed a very similar locomotive numbered 15097, with the name Ubique. This had been photographed at Beamish and had been listed on the Chasewater stock list, together with 15099 Morris. So was 15100 at Crewe the same locomotive as 15097 at Beamish and Chasewater, and where is it now? Incidentally, the name Ubique was appropriate for a Y11 locomotive, having the least restrictive Route Classification (RA1).
From Dave Sallery's archive
This permanent way hut is on the closed line between Bala and Trawsfynydd. Despite the line closing in 1961 the hut is still keeping the sheep out of the rain! The mountain in the background is Arenig Fawr 854m, 2802 ft.
47 798 Prince Henry passes Roman Bridge on a returning excursion in 2005.
31 224 and 31 134 await permission to enter Blaenau with flasks from Trawsfynydd, 25 July 1994.
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