Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

24  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.

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

197 008 departs Llandudno Junction with the return 3Q14 14:08 training run back to Chester, 17 October (Garry Stroud).

I'm uploading this page a day earlier than normal as we are away on Monday.  We'll catch up with items left behind next Monday.- Charlie

Peter Basterfield's view

'Thunderbirds are go ' - 67 014 rescuing the failed 67 015 on the 'WAG' seen at Gypsy Corner, Talybont, 12 October.

66 725 Sunderland on 14 October at Dwygyfylchi with the 134-minutes late running 6D60:  Opportunity at a sensible time!

RHTT at Malltraeth, 18 October, with 56 049, 56 105 and a heron ...

... and the 1W91 06:45 Cardiff Central - Holyhead on the viaduct with 67 029 Royal Diamond.

On 21 October, Penmaenmawr quarry with the RHTT and 66 769 Prostate Cancer.  My third attempt to get them side by side.

Two non-rail news items of interest

Plan for small scale nuclear project at Trawsfynydd

Sudden closure of Telford's Menai Bridge

Slate for Walsall - report by Andy Williams

For the last two weeks at least (Mondays 10 and 17 October) the Llandudno Junction  slate waste train has run to Walsall. The loaded train runs to Bescot, where it recesses overnight before proceeding to Walsall Freight Terminal early on the following (Tuesday) morning. Once unloaded the empties return to Wellingborough at lunchtime.

Walsall normally gets two trains a day, aggregates from Dowlow in the morning, a DB working. And cement from Hope in the afternoon, a Freightliner Heavy Haul job, Both trains normally run five days a week, with the Dowlow also running some Saturday mornings. During the last two weeks when the GBRf slate train has run it has replaced the Dowlow working.

The attached photos were taken on Tuesday 18 October, when 66 710 worked the train. They show various views of the aggregate facility at Walsall, essentially an unloading siding, some hard-standing, a mechanical grab to unload trains (this carries DB branding), and a mechanical shovel to load the lorries. The cement facility is more sophisticated, using the large silo in the background of the phots. Both facilities are busy, multiple lorries queuing to load much of the time.

Different grades of aggregate are kept in separate piles, with the new slate waste pile being significantly darker than the brown and grey stone that comes from Dowlow.

One interesting aspect of this working is that although Walsall Freight Terminal is only about 1.3 miles from Bescot Downside, the train runs all the way to Washwood Heath to run round so that it can approach the Freight Terminal from the Walsall station end. The resulting journey is about 34 miles long and is booked around 2.5 hours including the run-round at Washwood Heath.

I've also included a shot of 60 028 approaching the nearby Pleck Junction  with 6Z20 Chaddesden (Derby) - Willesden. This happened to pass after the two portions of the slate train had just been re-combined, and it was being shunted onto the unloading road so that the rear half could be dealt with.

On the Great Orme - with Martin Evans

On 10 October in glorious sunshine I travelled on the Great Orme Tramway.
Above, Tram No 4 waits to depart Llandudno station.

Tram No 6 descends from the summit to the passing point to allow our tram to pass.

A drivers eye view as he departs Halfway station for the summit. The tram runs daily from April to October. See the tramway's website for more details.

Two from 19 October - images by Geraint Williams

66 725 Sunderland passes Chester on 6D90 11:49  Penmaemanwr Quarry to Leeds Hunslet.

67 029 Royal Diamond at Llandudno Junction at  15.33, propelling the 11:22 Cardiff - Holyhead formed of set HD02.  This loco has recently been converted for use with the Mk4 Carriages;  the socket for the control cable is the newer-looking smaller one. 

Loco-hauled notes

We believe that the locos  now converted to work with the Mk4 coaches are 67 008, 67 012, 67 014, 67 017, 67 025, and 67 020 - which has been painted with black sides to match the ex-Grand Central coaches (really?).

RailUKforums reports that training runs for the guards on the operation of the selective door opening system:  3V78 10:24 Crewe - Hereford and  3W79 14:32 Hereford - Crewe as well as a Cardiff - Hereford and return.

Greg Mape's freight scene - 19 October

A few pictures from a hard to reach spot on the side of the A34 between Gatley & East Didsbury -  I get there on my push bike - but worthwhile. Above, DB cargo  60 044 on the Northenden - Hazel Grove single line with 6H02 09:30 empties Arpley Sidings to Tunstead Sidings.  [The modern version of the famous 'hoppers' working which has operated since the 1930s between the limestone quarries and the Northwich-area chemical works. Today only one plant, Lostock Works, remains in operation, the complex at Winnington closed some years ago.]

On the bridge is the 'Styal line' which allows Manchester - Crewe trains to by-pass Stockport;  a short branch, completed in 1993,  runs to  Manchester Airport.  TfW 175  114 is working the 10:35 Airport - Llandudno Junction service.

The  10:45 Manchester Airport - Blackpool North,  a pair of 3-car 331s,
 crossing the empty wagons pulled by 60 044.

Heritage-liveried 66 789 British Rail 1948-1997 on 4M18 02:59 Felixstowe North to Trafford Park intermodal.  [Shame about the incorrect number font.]

66 705 Golden Jubilee passes with 08:29 6G92 Hindlow GBRf - Small Heath (Birmingham)  aggregates train.

Re-locating to Navigation Road station, later in the day,  6D90 11:49  Penmaenmawr Quarry to Leeds Hunslet pass by headed by 66 725 Sunderland.  The level crossing here is one of the busiest in the country,  with Metrolink trams passing every six minutes (in theory) in each direction, plus the hourly Northern service and several freight flows. The Metrolink section here is controlled by Network Rail signalling, as shown by the signal on the right .

Navigation Road's two platforms are bi-directional.  The 'dbl' on the indicator notifies passengers who are 'in the know' that the service will be formed of two units.

From Dave Sallery's archive

47 849
Cadeirlan Bangor Cathedral, running round a Cross Country service at Reading, 8 June 2001.  47 849 met its end at at C.F.Booth, Rotherham, May 2002.

Peter Waterman's 47 710 Lady Godiva leads 47 519 on a test train at Rhyl. It was returning to Crewe Works. 16 August 1995.

47 466 waits to take us home to North Wales at Euston, 4 June 1988.

Six class 25s await their fate at Crewe, 2 October 1985.

Looking back: Steam and Diesels   2009  part 1

The GWR Prairie Tank 5526 is not one of the most familiar preserved steam locomotives, but has always been welcome to haul the lighter trains on various preserved railways.  It spent most of its working life in the West Country, and was almost 23 years in Dai Woodham’s Barry scrapyard before eventually returning to steam on the South Devon Railway, which is its home base.  Apparently it had run over a million miles in service by the beginning of 2022.  Visiting Llangollen for the 2009 Gala, on 22 April it was hauling two Autocoaches past the Fisherman’s Path crossing near Glyndyfrdwy. 

Two much better known locomotives were passing through Berwyn on the same day.  “Dukedog” 9017 and 3440 City of Truro were also visitors to Llangollen, but the most interesting item for me was the “Beaver Tail” Observation Saloon E1719E.

Observation Saloons were to be seen in Scotland in the 1960s, working on the lines to Mallaig and to Kyle of Lochalsh.  Two of the Observation Saloons which had been built in 1937 for the LNER’s prestige services have survived, 1719 and 1729.  On 24 June 1963 I was photographing D5358 (later 27 012) on the 12:30 Mallaig to Fort William as it approached the swing bridge at Banavie.  

The rear coach was clearly of interest, and I photographed SC1719E as it crossed the bridge.  In the 1960s the prefix to the coach numbers designated the region in which they operated (officially, the region responsible for maintenance), and the suffix denoted the pre-Nationalisation builder. 

The other Observation Saloons in Scotland in 1963 were those built for the 'Devon Belle' in 1947, using underframes which were originally LNWR coaches.  Numbered 13 and 14 in Pullman stock, they were taken over by the London Midland Region after the demise of the Devon Belle, becoming M280M and M281M. The former was used on Land Cruise trains in North Wales, and the latter was used for charter trains until both were transferred to the Scottish Region in 1961. 

On 26 June 1963 SC281 was being used between Oban and Glasgow, and was photographed in the Pass of Brander, hauled by D5355.  This location is known for the unusual arrangement for detecting avalanches which could reach the track.  A long series of trip wires are connected to signals which are normally in the “off” position, such that if any wire is broken the signal will go to the “stop” indication.  This particular Observation Saloon later accompanied Flying Scotsman on its adventures in the USA. 

Leaving Barry at the same time as 5526, but having arrived there one year earlier, 5199 is a 5101 Class locomotive, Collett’s development of the 45XX Class.  These locomotives were very versatile, and 5199 spent its working life in the West Midlands.   The headboard was surprisingly appropriate, since “The William Shakespeare” was a train which ran from Paddington to Stratford on Avon in 1951, and 5101 Class locomotives were known to have been used on the last leg of the journey from Leamington Spa.  5199 is approaching Glyndyfrdwy on 24 April 2009.

It is unusual to see a locomotive built by the GWR in 1938 having outside frames, but the 'Dukedogs' used frames from Bulldog Class withdrawn locomotives and boilers from a Duke Class.  Originally numbered 3217, it became 9017 in BR days, when it was to be seen on the Cambrian lines. Note the yellow spot code denoting  the Route Restriction, which allowed running on almost all the  GWR network.  The “Toad” Brake Van 35225 appears to be Swindon built to diagram AA23, but I have not been able to find more information.  9017 and the Brake Van are on a “Demonstration Goods” at the Gala on 24 April 2009. 

9017 regained its 3217 number for a number of years when the 2251 Class locomotive with this number was scrapped.  At this time 9017 was at the Bluebell Railway, having been one of the first locomotives purchased for preservation, being stored at Oswestry after withdrawal from BR. On 26 June 1983 it was photographed at Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway, running as 3217 Earl of Berkeley, and illustrating the difference in size between the GWR locomotive and the Stroudley “Terrier” Fenchuch hiding behind.

Llangollen news - by George Jones

On 22 October I  sampled the railcar service on the Llangollen Railway for what was the last Saturday of the summer season which for the DMUs ends on Friday 28 October.  On a bright and mild late-October day the train was formed of two units to cater for two separate coach parties and others taking in the autumnal colours through the valley, on a railway journey as things used to be ... and how it might have been if not closed in 1965.

On the return to Llangollen at 14:35 the BRCW class 104 posed in Llangollen station  in recognition of having clocked up 50k miles in preservation since 1993, a notable achievement for a unit built over 60 years ago.

The recently refurbished bodywork as seen close up at Carrog.  50528 carries the depot No. N669 to acknowledge its time at Newton Heath depot from 1965 until withdrawal from British Rail in 1989. In May 1989, by then renumbered 53528,  with its partner 53454 and intermediate trailer 59187 it took part in the 'Buxton 104 Farewell' event. [I was there!.-C.H.]

The 12:50 departure was headed by the Wickham class 109, always popular for its attractive bodywork, internal decor ... 

... and the front seats behind the driver are keenly sought after to view the line and train operation.

With only one train operating the token exchange was made before the crossing at Glyndyfrdwy as the driver drops one and picks up the other from the lineside whilst maintaining a modest speed.

All the units have variations dependent upon their builders and in the case of the 109 the driver's console is decidedly different.
Come the end of the season the railcars will retire to the works at  Pentrefelin with a major inspection due for the class 104 and various attention to the other class 108 and 109 units, as well as maybe some progress of restoration of the other vehicles in the care of the Llangollen Railcars group.

The next railcar operation will be in March 2023 by which time the timetable for 2023 suggests trains will run through to Corwen.  The units and group members have put in a tremendous effort to maintain the basic train service at LRT this summer as the economical option to which passengers have responded positively in these times of restraint and energy costs.  The following figures provided by Llangollen railcars demonstrate the achievement:
145 diagrams, 57 of them 4-car (so 198 unit diagrams)
Just over 9000 unit-miles on a 7.5 mile heritage railway
In the meantime, there are steam operations for the weekends of half term 29/30 October and 5/6 November before the Santa season and Mince Pie Specials in December. See the railway's website.

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