Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

03 October 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

Gary Thomas was at Conwy Morfa on 2 October to record the first Rail Head Treatment train of the season, heading back from Holyhead about 50 minutes early with 56 105 leading. 56 049 was on the rear.

Passenger news

An interesting event on 28 September was a test run of one of TfW's acquired  ex-Grand Central, ex-LNER mark 4 coaches from Crewe Carriage Sidings to Manchester Piccadilly booked to stop at Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Stockport. The train returned to Crewe at 11:21. Kevin Parkinson took these pictures at Stockport.

The formation was DVT 82200, coaches 11320, 10321, 12326, 12224 and
loco 67 008.

Also in action on 28 September was 67 015 with one of the original Mk4 sets, seen at Flint with 1V96 Holyhead to Cardiff Central service (Stephen Dennett). The set of coaches was HD03 - Real Time Trains now usefully includes this information as well as the loco number.

On 3 October Stephen Dennett recorded 67 029 at Helsby, working from Crewe to Longsight Excursion Platform (outside Manchester Piccadilly) and back, another trial run for the loco-hauled Manchester - Cardiff service.

Sideline: The Longsight Excursion Platform has an interesting history. As its name suggests, it was built for excursions to Belle Vue, an large amusement area close to the long-closed Longsight station. The excursion platform is the only part of the station remaining today, and it has recently been given a safety makeover; if a loco-hauled train from Piccadilly platforms 13 and 14 in push-pull formation uses the track to layover between journeys, the driver can move to the other end of the train without climbing down on to the trackside.

Freight scene

66 725 Sunderland comes through Flint station with 6D90 Penmaenmawr Quarry to Hunslet Tilcon on 28 September. The train was on the 'long circuit' to Hunslet, with Crewe Basford Hall being the first staging post (Stephen Dennett).

Peter Basterfield writes: ' I checked Checked Real Time Trains early on 30 September to find 66 725 and 66726 listed for a 6Z60 from Doncaster Decoy into Penmaenmawr, 66 725  leading on the returning to Tuebrook.

'They were top-and-tailed so ran straight in, thus eliminating the meed to split, run round, and reconnect the wagons.

'66 726 on the rear.  No sign of a 'Trainman' to reconnect so I suppose there was no need for a GBRf man to travel in -  Cost Saving? '

Night had fallen on 26 September when the loaded slate waste train, worked by 66 705, departed Llandudno Junction.  Peter Basterfield captured the train setting back through the old platform 4 line to the main line ...

... and in platform 1 setting sail for Wellingborough (Peter Basterfield).

Train 6V41 17:08 Penyffordd to Avonmouth Hanson cement heading to Dee Marsh to run round before heading back south at 18:25, worked by 66 719 Metro-Land. Approaching Buckley (above) ... 

 ...and heading away east (Alastair Graham).

On Thursday 28 September at Roodee Junction, 70 803 on the Carlisle to Chirk logs. In the background is ...

 ...  66 543 waiting on a Crewe to Dee Marsh ballast train (Bob Greenhalgh).

At Helsby on 3 October 37 610 was on a circuit from Derby to Warrington, presumably a route-learning job, taking in the Ellesmere Port branch from Helsby through to Hooton. The picture shows the 'tractor' at Helsby (Stephen Dennett).

Possession at Dee Marsh - report by driver Jim Scott

On Sunday 19 September I was asked to go to Wrexham to take a train back to Crewe at midnight arriving there for about 02:00; I contacted the signaller at Wrexham who informed me the train was still on site and was running ‘a bit late’.

I ended up going to Shotwick to relieve the other driver at midnight, it transpired the work was over running and the ballast hadn’t been dropped, as the train was quite away from the access point I had a ride in this mini road-rail people carrier.

Once I got to the train I discovered it was actually a Freightliner service with a couple of class 66s top-and-tail 10 autoballasters, 66 528 at one end.

The possession should have ended at 04:30 but I didn’t begin dropping the ballast until then before heading slowly back to Wrexham:  66 537 seen at the other end.

As the train was so late it went back via Chester instead of its booked path via Shrewsbury, arriving there some 6 hours late!

The possession overrun meant that no passenger trains were able to run to Bidston until around 10:30 from Wrexham.

Borderlands engineering - by Alastair Graham

The Borderlands line was closed on Sunday 25 September for engineering work. A class 70 was around at Dee Marsh area and there was drainage work being done on the north side of the line between Shotton (above) and Hawarden. A Freightliner 66 was under the A494 road bridge with ballast wagons .

Barmouth Bridge reopening 1986 - recalled by John Dawson

I was very interested to see the leaflet about the reopening of Barmouth Bridge to loco hauled train (last issue). At the time I was London Midland Region Public Relations officer responsible for the event.  The picture shows the reopening train (08:00 from Euston ) crossing Barmouth Bridge prior to breaking a banner at the station.

It took a considerable amount of shunting to get three Sprinter trains plus the loco-hauled train accommodated in the station area so that they could be  'watered’ by the fire brigade and form the afternoon special trains.

Incidentally, does anyone know what happened to the slate plaque which was unveiled on the same day and for many years was in Barmouth station Booking hall?

Royal Scotsman

The Royal Scotsman visited Chester and North Wales as part of a British  (rather than purely  Scottish) itinerary on Wednesday 28 September. That day’s itinerary had originated at Dundee and the train was booked to stop for Chester for around 3 hours before  continuing into North Wales. Above, the train after arrival in platform 3 at Chester behind  appropriately-liveried 66 746 with sister loco 66 743 (also in the matching livery) on the rear.

Unusually the train was booked to turn on the Chester triangle before stabling on the goods lines while the passengers enjoyed a tour of Chester. I assume that  this was to ensure that the observation coach remained at the rear when it  headed out of North Wales on Thursday.  As the continuation to North Wales was  scheduled to late around sunset I concentrated on photographing the train during  its traversal of the Chester triangle.  The picture above shows it passing the yard at Chester depot  which contained both “old & new” with class 175 & 197 units visible.

Exiting the Northgate cutting en route to stable on the goods lines with 66 743 nearest the camera.

Gary Thomas was  at Llandudno Junction to see the the  service arriving from Chester. The train had paused to allow the passengers to visit Gwyrch Castle for Dinner. It then went empty to Holyhead and back, stabling in platform 1, before the passengers returned for their overnight stay.

66 746 leading the empty stock from Holyhead to Bangor, where passengers would rejoin the train having spent the day in Caernarfon and on the Welsh Highland Railway (Gary Thomas).

From Dave Sallery's archive

and 20 195 pass the now-demolished Connahs Quay power station with coal from Point of Ayr to Fiddlers Ferry on 4 July 1991.

47 854 passes Betws-y-Coed with the returning 'Lancastrian' charter to Carnforth.  The tram on the left was, at the time, on the only electric railway in Wales;  25 June 2005.

31 301 passes Prestatyn on a down engineers spoil train, 14 January 1988.

Looking back: Steam and Diesels part 4 - by David Pool

The Pathfinder railtour on 19 May 2007 was “The Snowdonian”, 1Z37 06:00 Cardiff to Pwllheli.  Being before the days of requiring locomotives on the Cambrian line to be fitted with ERTMS equipment, it was hauled by 37 406 The Saltire Society and 37 410 Aluminium 100.   The train has just left Sutton Bridge Junction in Shrewsbury  The undergrowth on the right is concealing the trackbed of the old Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Railway from Shrewsbury (Abbey) station.

On the same day, the 07:05 Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly was being worked by 175 110.  This is passing Coleham Depot at Sutton Bridge Junction on the approach to Shrewsbury.  The signals show the influence of both London Midland and Western Regions in this district. 

The Standard Tank 80136 was to be seen on the Llangollen Railway on 17 August 2007, and is making a spirited departure from Berwyn.  A wide angle lens would have given a view of the Chain Bridge and the River Dee, but on this occasion I chose to focus on the steam exhaust and the Berwyn Station building. 

Double headed “Halls” would not have been seen regularly on the Western Region.  On the Devon banks the train engine would have usually been a “King” or a “Castle”, and a “Grange” or a Mogul would have more often been the assisting locomotive.  A single “Hall” was quite sufficient for normal operations elsewhere, but in the days of Preservation a second locomotive was an attraction and insurance.  4965 Rood Ashton Hall and 4936 Kinlet Hall are on 1Z91 at Hargrave on 18 August 2007.  The train was  08:25 'Cathdral Express' London Victoria to Chester; the steam locos has taken over from West Coast Railways 47 245 at Chester.

By 2007 the Merseyrail Electrics had all been refurbished at Eastleigh, so I cannot remember why a pair of Class 507 units had been away somewhere for attention.  Units 507 003 and 507 017 were being returned to Merseyrail on 10 September 2007, hauled by 47 802 with barrier coaches 977087 and 975875.  The train is at Rossett, on the way to Croes Newydd, where the locomotive would run round. 

After photographing the train at Wrexham, I was able to get to Bidston before it arrived.  It was a little surprising that the train was passing through Platform 2 and about to take the crossover towards Birkenhead North, rather than taking the Platform 1 route. 

The shot of 175 007 at Pensarn on 23 October 2007 with the 09:28 Holyhead o Crewe provides an interesting comparison with the photo of 175 110 at Shrewsbury featured earlier.  The “First” style on 175 007 is more traditional than the new Arriva style on 175 110, the latter showing that the era of adhesive vinyls had arrived.  While I appreciate some of the decorations applied today, there are others on locomotives in particular which seem to be mobile advertisements with little artistic merit. 

The Railhead Treatment Trains were running on 24 October 2007, and the North Wales coast was the territory of DRS Class 37s. 37 261 and 37 194 were passing Dwygyfylchi footbridge, and made a nice picture, although I would have like the sun to have moved round to give more light on the nose of 37 261.  The large-logo numbers were just visible under the grime, but I noted that the DRS branding on the cab sides had been kept clean! 

North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board