NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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15 August 2022
A second load of slate waste ran on 10 August: 66 723 ZA723 Chinook hauled the Doncaster Decoy - Llandudno Junction - Wellingborough trip. The photo was taken by Gary Thomas from outside the yard and in a position of safety (behind a big fence!)
Camera, Hat and Sunglasses - report by Stephen Dennett
Brief ventures out this week to avoid the sunburn.
Double Class 68s: 68 025 Superb leading from Llandudno Junction to Preston having on started out from Walton Old Junction earlier in the day...
... 68 022 Resolution on the rear on 8 August. I had seen them at Walton Sidings from my Chester-bound train in the previous week.
43 290 leads the Network Rail Measurement Train on its circuit from Derby to Crewe past Bagillt footbridge, 11 August...
... and 43 299 on the rear of the Network Rail Measurement Train on its circuit. The HSTs could really do with a repaint. Very shabby LNER colours now.
In contrast, good looking 66 709 Sorrento in MSC livery with Container Ship image rolls through Buckley station with the morning return Dee Marsh to Margam Steel on 10 August.
66 749 Christopher Hopcroft MBE with the late running Llanwern to Dee Marsh steel train. Taken at Bannel Lane bridge on 12 August.
Two-car 197 010 on another training/mileage accumulation run from Chester to Llandudno Junction. Taken at Bagillt footbridge on 11 August. Rumour has it that some 197s might enter passenger service at the September timetable change. We are not holding our breath!
Bagillt footbridge is a favourite photo location for many readers; but why are the tracks widely separated? There was, of course, a station there until 1966 when Beeching's legacy led to the loss of a number of coast line stations. This old picture, looking towards Holyhead, offers a clue. It shows the station just before this section of line, from Muspratt's siding to Holywell Junction, was expanded from two running lines to four, completed in 1907.
The long footbridge is in place in the picture, as is the old signalbox, but the station is still a simple two-track affair, dating from 1871. The four lines were laid out with the two 'slow lines' which would be used by trains stopping at Bagillt, and the two 'fast' lines in the middle. The platform on the left was removed and a new one built on the far side for the 'Up slow' line. The space where the playform had been was used for a new signalbox, an LNWR standard building housing 72 levers, giving a good view of all four lines.
This map is from 1910. There's little left at Bagillt today: the former fast lines, the footbridge, and a derelict bit of platform. The station building, very large for some reason, has not survived in other use like some along the line, although the goods shed can still be seen.
The signalbox closes in 1973, but the signalman's toilet was still there in 2011! Picture by Glyn Jones.
Variety on the Coast - report by Gary Thomas
The Saturday empty stock from Holyhead to Crewe at new location (for me) at Dwygyfylchi with 67 008, on 6 August. Many trains on the Coast were full to standing and some people were turned away. Yet I hear that a guard is on stand-by to make the a service train but it rarely happens!
67 025 with the 11:33 Holyhead to Cardiff Central at Conwy Morfa on 8 August. Another new location for me (you can just about teach old dogs new tricks).
The highlight on the same day are TPE liveried 68 025 and 68 022 on a training run from Warrington to Llandudno Junction then back to Preston (at Pensarn) ...
... and Wrexham & Shropshire/Chiltern Railways Mainline liveried 67 012 at Rhosneigr with the 16:36 Holyhead to Cardiff Central.
A bit of narrow gauge taken at the Bala Lake Railway of Hunslet George B
and train heading back to Llanuwchllyn on Monday 22 August 2022. Picture by Alisdair Macdonald.
At Hereford on 3 August, a very clean 66 302 came through light engine on 0Z45 13:28 Pengam Reception Sdgs to Crewe Gresty Bridge. The 663xx batch, which originted with the short-lived Jarvis Fastline operator, are reported as transferring to GBRf.
221 104 passes Abergele on the 06:25 Holyhead - Crewe running 30 minutes late on 15 August. Avanti's emergency timetable due to staff unwilling to wrk overtime has only one through train to London, the 05:51 from Holyhead, and no through return service; other trains shuttle between Holyhead at Crewe or Chester. Picture by Greg Mape.
Northern 150s at Chester, 15 August. 150 140 has arrived on the 07:08 from Manchester Piccadilly and will work the 09:02 to Manchester 150 123 has arrived on the 06:51 from Helsby. The Manchester - Chester service is fraught with cancellations at present; on Sundays 7 and 14 August the last train of the day from Manchester, the 21:06 from Piccadilly, was cancelled due to lack of staff. Picture by Greg Mape.
Welsh Highland Railway Garratt no 87 after arrival at Caernarfon with the 'Gelert Explorer' from Beddgelert, 15 August (Martin Evans).
The temparature was well over 30 degrees when Stuart Broome was at Holyhead on 11 August to photograph the Network Rail measurement train awaiting departure in Platform 1.
Generator/messing vehicle 977984 carries a message to inform the public
about what Network Rail are doing. This Mk, 3 coach was once numbered 40501, the restaurant car of a passenger High Speed Train (Stuart Broome).
Hohead station is still a mass of scaffolding (Stuart Broome).
Rheidol Garratt: notes by Barrie Hughes
The VoR intended to operate its new red Garratt No.60 on 19 July on an inaugural passenger run after some tests conducted in the weeks beforehand. Unfortunately the day coincided with the extreme heat event in the UK and it was decided to cancel all services because of the risk of lineside fires. Photographers (such as me) who had journeyed long distances to cover the event were disappointed to find out on the day.
No.60 left Aberystwyth hauling its first official public passenger train on 26 July. The engine will be hauling the 10:30 and 14:00 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 1 September subject to availability.
From Dave Sallery's archive
37 426 prepares to leave Machynlleth as a new 150 arrives. The platform trolley was a rare survivor even then, 12 September 1987.
37 431 heads East on an intercity luxury tour at Cemaes Road, 12 May 1991.
156 402 arrives at Machynlleth from Aberystwyth in June 2000.
A Class 114 Derby 'Heavyweight' DMU at Shrewsbury, vehicle numbers 53019 and 54027, 24 May 1989.
And one which went astray from the last issue: 37 422 Robert F Fairlie entering Crewe on a train off the coast, 5 June 1996. Hired extra coach from Riviera Trains for extra summer traffic.
Looking back: Diesels and Electrics 2006 Part 3 - David Pool
The 'Blue Pullman' which was introduced in 2006 was a Class 47 hauled set of Mk2 coaches run by FM Rail under the Hertfordshire Railtours brand. On 15 July 2006 it departed from Euston at 07:30, heading for Holyhead, with 47 712 Artemis leading ...
... and 47 709 Dionysos on the rear. It was photographed at Rhyl.
The original Blue Pullmans were operated by British Railways, being introduced on the London Midland and Western Regions in 1960. There was already a Pullman train in Wales in 1960, the “South Wales Pullman”, hauled by a Castle Class locomotive with Pullman cars, which had been introduced in 1955 and ran between Paddington and Swansea. I photographed 7028 Cadbury Castle at Cardiff on 21 July 1960. It seems to have been a wet day, and I was using FP3 film instead of the 10ASA Kodachrome which I used in brighter conditions.
The first Blue Pullmans on the Western Region ran from Paddington to Wolverhampton and Bristol in 1960. On 1 September 1961 the down Bristol Pullman 8-car set was headed by power car W 60097, and was photographed leaving Bath.
A few years later the Western Region Blue Pullmans were running to Swansea, the steam hauled Pullman cars being used only when one of the usual 8-car sets was unavailable. Towards the end of the operating life of the Blue Pullmans on the Western Region, they had been repainted in a “reversed” livery of silver grey and blue, and following the demise of Blue Pullmans on the London Midland Region in 1966, several cars were transferred to the Western Region. On 22 September 1972 the up South Wales Pullman from Swansea was headed by W 60093, one of the ex LMR power cars fitted with jumper cables, while W 60095 was on the rear of the set. The train was photographed at Margam, the other locomotives in the shot being 6882 and 7097.
An indication of the shape of things to come was the sight of the prototype HST 41-002/41-001 on test runs at Darlington on 19 June 1973, the year in which the last Blue Pullman was withdrawn from the Western Region. The coaches are in the same “reversed” livery as the Pullmans, but with the now familiar coloured bars over the windows denoting first class and refreshments.
Returning to the year 2006, the 4M63 Mossend to Chirk logs were being hauled to Warrington by 92 007 Schubert, now with EWS branding on the Railfreight grey livery, and photographed at Winwick on 26 July.
On 15 August 2006 at Winwick a Southbound Intercity-liveried 47 826 Springburn was hauling the LMS Inspection Saloon 6320. The latter’s LMS body had been modified to fit a BR underframe, and with B4 bogies was suitable for 100mph running. 47 826 is now in the West Coast Railways fleet.
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