Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

27 September 2022



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.

September 2022

24 September  Trailffest Half Marathon : An Event Train will be provided by the Ffestiniog Railway 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.

24-25 September  Bala Model Railway Show (organised by the Bala Lake Railway).
Venue: Ysgol Godre'r Berwyn, Ffrydan Rd, Bala. Open 10.00 – 16.00 both days.  At least twenty layouts will be on display in a range of standard and narrow gauges. There will also be at least nine trade stands. A vintage bus will be running between the show venue and the Bala Lake Railway.

October 2022
Friday 7 October Clwyd Railway Circle: 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

66 705 Golden Jubilee enters Llandudno Junction on 26 September with the 6Z58 slate waste empties from Wellingborough. Picture by Garry Stroud.

Freight action

66 725 Sunderland at Penmaenmawr loading the return 6F22 loaded stone service to Tuebrook sidings, 26 September (Garry Stroud).

Departing  Llandudno Junction at Pabo Lane (Garry Stroud)

Gary Thomas avoided the clouds at Dwygyflychi to capture the loaded stone train on 26 September.

66 705
Golden Jubilee shunting at Llandudno Junction on 26 September with the 6Z58 slate waste empties from Wellingborough (Garry Stroud).

Rolling stock notes

Currently there appears to be a problem with the TfW Class 175 units, with a number noted apparently out of service at Chester depot, which is now operated by CAF, makers of the new 197 sets which are now planned to replace them in December. Is there a policy not to spend money on the 175s?

The ex-LNER Mk4 coaches may be in passenger service soon: it's been reported that they will take over on Holyhead-Cardiff service from the existing sets which will be needed to be sent away to be fitted with selected door opening (SDO) equipment - rather surprisingly in the new timetable this is needed because Nantwich and Wem retain calls by the forthcoming Manchester-Cardiff trains. This would perhaps explain the test run to and from Holyhead reported in the last issue.

[Sideline: Northern's CAF 195 and 331 units have automatic SDO which seems rather sluggish. Scenario: Train stops in station. Indicator on nearest door tp passenger shows 'Door Not in Use'. Nervous passenger runs off to find a workable door. Door light goes to green. ]

Of the four ERTMS-fitted Class 97/3 locos, only three (302, 303, 304) ever seem to be present at the Coleham depot.  It is out of traffic at Derby Railway Techical Centre, as seen on this Twitter link. Cefn Willis writes: 'I asked a railway contact if he knew 97 301’s status - he replied that there did appear to be efforts ongoing to return her to service (she was apparently load-bank tested earlier in 2022). However those appear to have ground to a halt recently. Hopefully she’ll be back in Wales soon and I can catch up with her - she was a favourite of mine and my late father in her previous guise of 37 100, ever since first catching her at the old Severn Tunnel Junction in 1982'.

On the same topic: Two West Coast Railways Class 37s, 37 668 and 37 669, were equipped for ERTMS in 2005-7 using Hitachi equipment  - apparently commissioned by Great Western Railway. As far as we know the equipment has only been used on a few test runs.  Waste of money?

68067 at Llangollen - pictures by Martin Evans

On 17 September  Martin Evans went to Llangollen as Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 68067 (works no WD75091) was in traffic . Above 68067 runs around from Plat 2 at Llangollen before setting back in Platform 1 to form the 11am service to Carrog.

Having arrived at Carrog it waits to run around ready to form the 11.50 am return to Llangollen. The number and livery are fictional, the loco never worked for British Railways.

Back  at Llangollen as it prepares to take on water.


950 001 did a trip from Longsight to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 27 September, then back via Bangor to Crewe (Gary Thomas).

'Deltic' D9000 Royal Scots Grey on a test run at Chester, 22 September (Bob Greenhalgh).

The Bala lake railway on Sunday 25 September at Llangower Station with Maid Marian...

... Crosville Bristol bus KG 147 (built 1950) worked the shuttle service to the model railway show.

Cambrian scenes - by Barrie Hughes

The 'Snowdonian Statesman' crosses Barmouth bridge on 11 September,  the last day before the line was closed again for work on the bridge. Network Rail  state that work on rebuilding the bridge will now extend to a third season in 2023,  and work this Autumn is split over two periods with the line being reopened for four weeks during the Half Term Holiday period.
(See Network Rail information)

Approaching Barmouth harbour: a surprise for people on the beach.

Arriving at Porthmadog with 97 302 John Tiley wearing a wreath out of respect to Her Majesty who had dies a few days before.

On the rear at Porthmadog, 97 302 Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.

A reminder of the 1986 re-opening of Barmouth Bridge to loco-hauled trains after the Teredo worm debacle.  This was administered from Barmouth Station Booking Office.

[Note the involvement of SuperTed and Spotty Man - this historic detail had escaped me until now.- C.]

From Dave Sallery's archive

37 219 on the trip freight to Warrington Arpley, 26 July 2000.

47 217 with logs for Shotton Paper at Wrexham General, 28 September 1992.

56 010 on empty coils for South Wales at Shotton High Level, 21 April 1995.

Sometime Conwy Valley celebrity  101 685 looking rather tatty on a Bidston - Wrexham service at Gwersyllt in July 2001. This unit was among the last few first generation units, finally working out of Longsight depot until December 2003. It was saved into preservation, and has worked on a number of heritage lines; today it is on loan to the North York Moors line.

Looking back: Steam and Diesel 2007 Part 3 - by David Pool


Several images of the Steam Steel and Stars event on the Llangollen Railway in 2007 appeared in the Notice Board for 1 March 2021.   One locomotive which was very familiar to me in BR days was 1450, which regularly worked the trains from Exeter to Tiverton and Dulverton before the line closed in 1963.  On 20 September 1963, a couple of weeks before closure, 1450 was on the 10:25 Exeter St Davids to Dulverton, and was photographed at Stoke Canon, having just left the main line and taking the branch towards Tiverton. 

In preservation 1450 went to the Dart Valley Railway, and although it was fitting for it to remain in Devon, its limited power required some assistance when it was working the longer trains on the tourist railway.  1450 is leaving Staverton Bridge on 23 April 1973, double heading with 4555, which was out of sight on the train.

Another visitor to Llangollen in 2007 was 5224, which had spent most of its working life on freight in the Cardiff and Newport districts.  Not surprisingly it ended up at Barry, eventually going to the Great Central Railway in 1978.  By 1984 it had been restored, and worked on the GCR for many years, occasionally visiting other Preserved railways. It was bought by Pete Waterman in 1998, and after continuing to visit Preserved railways it moved to his facility at Crewe.  When this closed, 5224 went to Peak Rail, where it is currently stored awaiting overhaul.  On a frosty 27 December 1993 it was on the East Lancashire Railway, and is leaving Irwell Vale. 

Yet another ex GWR locomotive at Llangolllen in 2007 was Prairie Tank 4160.  This particular locomotive had also been based in the Cardiff area, although nine locomotives of this class were at Birkenhead in the 1950s, and used on the Hooton to West Kirby branch.  4160 has just left Llangollen on 20 April 2007.

The history of 4160 in Preservation illustrates the difficulties encountered by the smaller organisations with limited funds and the larger groups with many more personnel, but often with conflicting opinions.  After withdrawal from BR in 1965 it was rescued from Barry in 1974, being sold to Tyseley, from where it went to the Plym Valley Railway.  Finances were not available to do much restoration, and so the locomotive was moved to the West Somerset Railway, where it would be a very useful addition to their motive power, but remaining in private ownership. 

After some issues with the quality of the restoration carried out by a group at the WSR, the problems were addressed and 4160 entered service in 1993.  It was photographed near Crowcombe on 30 April 1994, and although I had expected the cows to react when the train approached, they refused even to look at it.  Maybe the lined black livery on a GWR passenger locomotive was not to their liking?

Arriva Trains Wales 158 829 is entering Whitchurch on 21 April 2007 with the 08:35 Manchester to Cardiff.  Two features are unusual, the first being the chevron bars on the bottom edge at the front of the unit, and the second is the corridor connection face which is partly white.  On coaches these were sometimes painted with one half black and the other half white, so it may be that a coach connection was fitted to this unit and the white half had not been fully covered with black paint.

Work on the Manchester Metrolink system resulted in engineering trains using the East Lancs Railway at Bury (Buckley Wells) to access the Metrolink track. EWS 60 002 was photographed coming off the “Ski Jump” at Bury with 6P25, the 10:15 Bury to Arpley, on 25 April 2007.    Metrolink's contractors ordered ballast from Penmaenmawr quarry.

Ten days later, on 5 May 2007, 60 002 was on the North Wales coast, working 6F18, the 14:50 Holyhead to Arpley.  The footbridge at Bagillt is deservedly popular as a photographic location, but for a change I chose to try a little further north, where the line is visible from the main road.  With a clear view of the track, it should be possible to get a reasonable photo, but my shots there tend to have been disappointing – possibly due to the expanse of mud in the foreground which is difficult to ignore. The heavily weathered Cargowaggons, which I think are coded IZA, are conveying Aluminium.  They are bound, via the Channel Tunnel for an aluminium works near Braunan am Inn in Austria.

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