NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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31 October 2022
67 029 Royal Diamond on train 1V96 11:33 Holyhead to Cardiff Central passing Abergele, 20 October. Picture by Tim Rogers.
26 October events
60 026 Helvellyn crossing Conwy Cob with the Penmaenmawr to Tuebrook stone (Gary Thomas)
Flint (Stephen Dennett)
Passing Beeches farm in beautiful sunshine (Bob Greenhalgh).
67 014 passing the new "forest" on approach to Llandudno Junction with the mid-day Holyhead to Cardiff Central (Gary Thomas)
Flint (Stephen Dennett).
97 302 making an usual appearance on the rear of the return RHTT with 56 049 leading at Dwygyfylchi (Gary Thomas).
230 009 approaching Hope with a Bidston to Wrexham General proving run. Picture by Gary Thomas who notes: 'If I were a passenger I would be slightly annoyed though, as timetabled trains had been cancelled around this movement!'
The subject of the 230s raises its head again in the current Modern Railways magazine. TfW are determined to run a two-trains per hour service on the Borderlands line, suggesting that the 230s were bought specially for this line, and cannot be used elsewhere. Did they not suggest that they could also work the Chester - Crewe line and the Conwy Valley? Of course this idea faded away when Birkenhead North depot was chosen as their base and the idea of increasing the Borderlands service was mooted. It does appear that they will enter service soon, with one 230 sharing the diagram with one Class 197.
Network Rail continues to insist that a half-hourly service is not practical, with additional cement trains from Penyffordd on the cards. The situation is not helped by the fact that the cement trains have to travel to Dee Marsh Junction for the loco to run round. There is also concern about congestion at Bidston station, where the Borderlands trains terminate in a platform used by the four trains per hour Merseyrail service to West Kirby. The debate continues.
An icon restored
It's good to see that the replica sign on the wall of Chester station, made many years ago by the artisans of Chester wagon repair works, and replaced some years ago by a replica, is being kept in good condition, which is more than you can say about te surrounding brickwork.
Shrewsbury scenes - by Graham Breakwell
The TFW training run with ex-Grand Central Mk4s and a DVT from Crewe to Hereford via Chester and back. This is the 13:54 returning from Hereford on 25 October past Belle Vue, Shrewsbury with 67 025 up front ...
... and 82227 on the rear.
Also on 25 October Colas Rail 56 105 is seen leading the RHTT into the Sutton Bridge head shunt neck for 56 049 Robin of Templecombe to take the rake into the Coleham depot at the end of another circuit....
......where 56 105 gets a quick wash and brush up of the front end while 97 302 has its sandboxes refilled.
The same consist on 27 October near Shrewsbury Golf Course.
Following on from the item in the last issue, we understand that Class 67 repaints from now on will be 'TfW black'. The decision appears to have been made at TfW HQ that the existing coaching sets will be painted black to match the Grand Central coaches they've acquired, as those have been heavily overhauled in a black livery (interiors also). A stripe will go down the side, presumably as Grand Central had theirs, but red.
A return of the LNWR pre-1923 'blackberry black' perhaps? Surely the locos at least should display some colour? There's no real reason why they should be the same colour as the coaches.
Francis Bourgeois: celebrity trainspotter
Readers may have heard of the fellow who goes by the name Francis Bourgeois, and has somehow made a career out of his enthusiasm for trains expressed on social media such as Tik Tok, while mingling with other celebrities. He has now written a book, which has caught the attention of Guardian readers with an interview in a recent issue.
Amongst this adventure into his happy world, we are pleased to see that he is a Class 37 fan, and his favourite loco is 37 418. And he was born just as the 37 era in North Wales was ending.
28 October scenes
By 28 October, with 56 105 was taken off the RHTT service and a second appearance by 97 302, 56 094 was the replacement. Here it is seen approaching Penmaenmawr, on its outward run to Holyhead. 56 094 is at the rear of the service looking rather clean compared to 56 049 at the front which has worked the service since it started (Garry Stroud).
Approaching Abergele (Greg Mape).
60 096 Impetus (formerly named Ben Macdui) worked the Penmaenmawr stone service, seen in the yard during loading and forming ...
... the 6D90 11:56 return departure to Hunslet Tilcon (Garry Stroud).
A test run of three 2-car Class 197s (197 018, 197 015, 197 009) in the late afternoon seen at Llandudno Junction working from Chester to Llandudno Junction and back to Crewe. In the distance, a Holyhead - Birmingham service with 158 820 (Greg Mape).
The threesome passes Beeches Farm (Stephen Dennett).
150 278 was in charge of normally loco-hauled 1V96 as far as Chester, where 67 013 and set HD01 took over, much to the relief of any long distance travellers I’m sure! (Stephen Dennett).
175 114 comes past Beeches Farm with 1H87, the Llandudno to Manchester Airport service (Stephen Dennett).
Birkenhead Dock lines - report by Oliver Hambly
The end of an era for the Dock lines in Birkenhead, as with track clearance prior to lifting was in progress on 28 October.
Here are a few pictures of the initial track clearance speaking to the contractors on site they indicated that the track and rail lifting will talk place the first week of November.
This phase one will see a tree lined walkway and cycle path on the Beaufort Road; phase two will then see the clearance of the trackback up Corporation Road to Duke Street.
37 710 stabled in Rhyl on 8 March 2001
37 066 approaches Prestatyn with loaded ballast hoppers, 22 November 1994.
37 188 passing Abergele on a long ballast train from Penmaenmawr, 2 May 1995.
37 612 in Eurotunnel livery on an up ballast at Prestatyn, 20 February 1996
Looking back: Steam and Diesels 2009 part 2 - by David Pool
The 16:18 Cardiff to Holyhead on 13 May 2009 was the usual loco hauled Arriva set, and 57 315 was photographed at Sandycroft.
On the Welsh Highland Railway, Garratt 87 was running in a grey undercoat, and on 14 May 2009 it was entering Beddgelert, at that time the limit of passenger train working from Caernarfon. The Plasser KMX Tamper was being used on the track through the Aberglaslyn Pass which was under construction.
Pont Cae’r Gors is usually a good location for a photograph, although more difficult on a sunny day. The clouds were down as 87 returned to Caernarfon, and the gradient ensured a nice exhaust.
The other train on that day was diesel hauled, and Vale of Ffestiniog was tackling the final climb towards Pitt’s Head summit. For once there was no traffic on the A4085 to detract from the view of the train!
Salem, near Betws Garmon, is not one of my regular choices for photography, as the power lines are very difficult to obscure. Otherwise the river gives a pleasing foreground, and the passengers in the newly built Pullman carriage 2100 will have enjoyed the outward journey.
A few days later on 18 May 2009 it was another of those “must see” occasions. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton had been restored to its streamlined condition at Tyseley, and was returning to York Museum. Since it would be traveling by rail, perhaps the only chance to see a streamlined “Princess Coronation” on a main line, this was not to be missed. On the same day, Tornado was due to be travelling South from York, so Colton Junction was the place to be. 6229 was not due to arrive until late afternoon, so I first headed for Cliffe, near Selby, to photograph Alstom unit 180 110 in First Group livery, acquired second hand from the Western Region, working the 1245 Hull to Kings Cross.
At Colton Junction a number of photographers were gathering, and we got shots of National Express and Grand Central HSTs, plus a 66/7 on a freight from Drax to Tyne Dock. Eventually the Duchess arrived behind a green 47 773. Mission accomplished!
The icing on the cake was the sight of 60163 Tornado heading South on the East Coast main line to 'The Cross', 1Z40 16:36 from York. It was in the early BR apple green and carrying a headboard “The Coronation” – perhaps a reminder that 6229 had been renumbered 6220 and renamed Coronation when it went to the USA in 1939, having temporarily swapped identities with the original 6220. The whistling was more appreciated by sound recordists than by photographers!
End of season steam at Llangollen - report by George Jones
The half term weekend saw the J94 in action on a timetable 'A' three trains service to Carrog. Despite the dismal weather on Saturday, the trains were well loaded as they need to be given the expense of turning out a steam loco for the services. Above: 68067 taking water at Llangollen prior to taking out the 12:50 departure for Carrog.
The austerity loco coped well with a 5-coach load producing some great sound effects on the climb to Berwyn and through the tunnel to the summit of the line despite the damp conditions. Upon return at 14:45 the J94 ran round with the steam adding to the atmospheric effects.
Steam continues on the weekend of 5/6 November after which the railway is closed for Maintenance and Santa trains preparations.
At Llanfairfechan on 25 October an RAF A400m Airbus doing a very low flypast (Greg Mape) .
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