19 December 2022
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are welcome, although they may not always be used, due to
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name convention given on the Contributions
Charter trains, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
Friday 6 January Clwyd Railway Circle The
Railways and Tramways of Blaenau Ffestiniog Dave
Friday 13 January. Altrincham
Railway Society "Built in Britain: The Independent
Locomotive Manufacturing Industry in the Nineteenth Century"
by Dr Michael R Bailey MBE.
Friday 3 February Clwyd Railway Circle Annual
General Meeting followed by Chairman’s Choice. David
Friday 10 February . Altrincham
Railway Society "Steam in North Wales and the Borders
since 2010 - Main Line and Narrow Gauge" by Ian Pilkington.
1 March: Saphos Trains St David's Day Welsh Marches
Express Holyhead - Cardiff, steam from Crewe to
Friday 3 March Clwyd Railway Circle
Travelling Around Britain by Train. Bill Rogerson
Saturday 4 March Railway Touring Company Steam
'The Cheshireman' London Euston - Chester
Friday 10 March. Altrincham
Railway Society "Colour-Rail" by Paul Chancellor
Friday 1 September Clwyd Railway Circle A Year
in the Life of an International Train Spotter - Part 2
Friday 6 October Clwyd Railway Circle A History of
The Internal Railway at Shotton Steelworks and its Links
with the Main Line
Friday 3 November Clwyd Railway Circle The Railway in
Conway. Larry Davies
Friday 1 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members Night
Presentations. Members are invited to give a 15-minute
presentation of their choice.
Calendar page for meeting venues)
North Wales Coast Railway website created and
compiled by Charlie
A quiet week (not surprising with sub-zero weather), so
here's look at 60 096 putting the power on and
making smoke on a Liverpool-Drax biomass train through
Baguley, 5 December. Picture by Greg Mape.
for some technical problems with the images in the last
update, I still don't know what caused the problem but it
seems OK now .- Charlie
197s spread their wings
George Jones writes: 'My arrival at Liverpool
South Parkway at midday for the 12:07 LNW train into Lime
Street I just happened to coincide with the departure of the
Chester bound TfW train formed with 197 010, as
captured from the footbridge. 197s spreading their wheels to
new pastures. At least one train working on a day when
many were cancelled by ice and snow. '
The frosty scene at Allerton Junction is in view.
Also, a 197 appeared on 19 September in the form of 197
006 working one of the diagrams on the Llandudno -
Manchester Airport service in place of a 175.
Loco Worked news
There are now five diagrams for loco-worked sets, with the
introduction of the Manchester - South Wales axis. There is
a summary on our For Railfans
page. However, things seem not to be going well; Graham
Breakwell offers a summary of the 19 December services:
Diagram 1, 05:33 ex Holyhead – cancelled and the three other
services run with 175108.
Diagram 3 (there is no 2). 150 229 in charge of all four
Diagram 4. 175 107 and 175 110 sharing the four services.
Diagram 5. 175 108 on the first service but the other two
Diagram 6. 153 323 and 153 968 on two services with, (at
last!) 67022 on the 17:14 Cardiff-Holyhead, albeit running
46 minutes late.
About Real Time Trains quirks - by Simon Cross
Regarding the item by Eli Jones in a recent issue showing an
image from Real Time Trains 153 unit coupled to a 175, I can
offer some background.
A common belief, on platform ends and internet forums, would
be that RTT is wrong. Not correct: they are only a
third part distributor of real time information held by
Network Rail, and whilst their interpretation is getting
better, it is an upstream issue which presents these types
of abnormalities to the outside world when once they would
In this case, having seen previous examples in work and
compared them to external websites, the Train Company has
failed to amend the unit diagram correctly, in WebGemini or
whatever system they are now using and shown both units
working the full service instead of splitting the
schedule/diagram to show what is happening on the ground.
Although I noted the contributor comments it was corrected -
suggesting that it had been noted in Control.
As explained they knew this to be wrong as the units cannot
couple, but had the information was correctly input would
have been displayed like this example I found below:-
1H87 Llandudno - Manchester Airport. Set Swap at
Chester from 150 281 to 175 003+175 006 with 003 (Coach 1)
the leading set. Although this maybe misleading. it
requires not only the units to be allocated to the service,
but in the correct position within the train in
If you search around you can see how other operational
activities are shown in the graphs box in RTT Schedules:-
Schedule for 1P94 Scarborough to Manchester Airport
indicates service booked to run via Milford Junction,
Castleford to Leeds, reverses to depart via Dewsbury and at
Manchester Piccadilly reserves again for the Airport.
1E74 Chester to Leeds. Booked to reverse at Bradford
1R25 Holyhead - Crewe. Shown to attach to another set at
Chester for Crewe. This would suggest that 221 112 would be
on the platform for 109 to attach at the
37s at Coleham - by Graham Breakwell
Some images taken on 13 December at Coleham where all the
regular 37s and ex-37s were present plus two
visitors. Abve, 97 302 standing in front of
the Network Rail test train that had arrived from Derby at
01:45 in this morning – no further action due to the strike
37 175, motive power for the test train (with a
Driving Coach at the other end) and 97 304.
37 405, still awaiting attention, and 97 303
with engine idling – the only sign of action - next to the
Rail Head Treatment Train wagons, ready to be put away for
The test train under the Coleham depot floodlights after
being repositioned for 37 405 to be despatched to
Leeds Midland on 15 December for tyre turning as 0Z40 the
07:41 from Coleham ISU to Leeds Balm Road Loco (Freightliner
A recent article on the
ITV website tells of a 'drag entertainer' who paid
£589 for a First Class return from London to Bangor
where he was to give a performance, only to find his chosen
Avanti train having no 'Christmas dinner' service on
the outward journey, and on returning on Sunday
the 10:05 departure from Bangor was cancelled
(it ran empty to Crewe - staff shortage again, presumably)
and the next train was at 13:19. Not surprising in the
present situation, but it got him a little publicity. At
least he got home, and a full refund will surely be made.
A look on BRfares.com
reveals that the open first class return fare is actually
£489 - still not cheap!
A visit to Mold Junction shed - report by Tony Robinson
I visited the remains of Mold Junction loco shed on 14
December. The Dobbins scrapyard manager Aaron
was welcoming and was most interested in seeing the photos
in my book depicting the shed in its operational days. Of
course he doesn't remember the operational shed as he wasn't
even born then! I took the liberty of taking some
photos of the still extant part of the shed interior, what
part of the roof remains is deemed to be relatively safe.
Aaron brought out an old "Paybook Ledger" and looking
through it revealed it not to cover the MPD but what would
appear the be the the staff employed by the Yardmaster
for "Saltney and Chester". The dates covered were
between 1945 and and 1959 and there were only up to
about a dozen employees listed, basically the same ones on
every page with minor adjustments here and there.
It's a bit perplexing as "Saltney" was not described as
Saltney Ferry and the former was the name of the GWR yard a
couple of miles away. "Chester" didn't have a marshalling
yard as such unless the name was meant to describe the Goods
yard adjacent to the station!
As the two sample pages show, each page was hand written
very neatly in ink, so typical of the way things were done
all those years ago. However the main "give away" was the
number of employees, as Mold Junction had over two hundred
men on their books during the period covered. That would
include Footplate and Shed Staff along with Supervisory
Do readers recognise any of these workers from 1953?
From Dave Sallery's archive
47 101 passes Shotton with a block oil train from
Herbrandston (Pembrokeshire) to Courtaulds, Holywell
Junction, 30 July 1985.
Remodelling at Rhyl on 18 February 1990 with 47 187
47 195 Muricidae backs coil carriers
into Mostyn sidings on 31st May 1989. These had arrived due
to a strike in Scottish ports and the steel was to be
exported through Mostyn. [The strange names for petroleum
trains are the names of various types of sea shells - the
customer was the Shell refinery. This one refers to 'large
and varied taxonomic family of small to large predatory sea
Empty sidings as 47 107 brings the trip working from
Llandudno Junction into Mostyn on 8 May 1991. The tank
wagons were from Hull and were for Warwick Chemicals, a
company which has recently closed its Mostyn works.
Looking Back: Diesels 2010 part 4 -
by David Pool
On 1 May 2010 1Z47 06:26 Cleethorpes to Llandudno was
passing through Mold junction, Headed by 47 804 and
47 786, both in West Coast Railways maroon livery.
This was my first use of Fuji Velvia film, Kodachrome having
47 804 was originally D1965, which I photographed at
Inverness on 31 May 1972, with 1M36, the 11:50
Inverness to Newton le Willows Motorail service. This
was very convenient for returning home after holidaying in
the far North of Scotland, since the M6 terminated at
Carlisle in 1972.
Subsequently D1965 became 47 265, then 47 591 before its
first outing as 47 804. For a time it ran as 47 792,
appearing on the North Wales coast at Shotton on 23 March
2004 in EWS livery with a rake of First Great Western Mk2
coaches on the 10:30 Crewe to Holyhead.
There was a Bank Holiday Extravaganza at Llandudno on 3 May
2010, and an excursion from Euston was headed by 66 108
and 66 168, passing Bagillt on the return journey.
66 108 was one of the regular locomotives on the Rail Head
Treatment Train in2010, but 66 168 was a rarer locomotive
for me. My only photograph of it previously was
on 21 September 2000 at Tytherington quarry near
57 311 Parker with Pendolino 390 045
was passing through Shotton on 15 May 2010 with the 14:36
Holyhead to Euston. At the same location today the
nearside track is obscured by vegetation!
On 17 May 2010 the Chirk logs were in the charge of DRS
Class 66 418. 6J37, 12:51 Carlisle to Chirk
was passing the Roodee and approaching the Dee Bridge.
The original cast iron bridge collapsed in 1847, causing
five passenger fatalities in five coaches which fell into
the River Dee. The failure was due to inadequate
design, aggravated by the additional load of five inches of
ballast recently added.
The Channel Tunnel Class 92s were being used on the Stobart
Intermodal trains in 2010. On 22 May 92 019 Wagner,
with an EWS vinyl branding, was heading through Winwick with
4S43, the 07:22 Rugby to Mossend. Images of Northbound
trains on the outside of the curve are best in early
morning, before the position of the sun makes photography
Llangollen Railway news - by Terry Pickthall
Llangollen Railway Santa Specials got off to a great start
over the weekend of Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, with
all trains now completely sold out. The above picture by
George Jones shows Llangollen station thronged with
passengers enjoying their visit on 3 December. A small
Christmas Market offers temptation on the station, but
visitors are also being encouraged to make a trip into
Llangollen for a spot of Christmas shopping or something to
eat, supporting the High Street and the railway's
neighbouring local businesses.
This drone photo by Howard Pearson shows the first
Santa train of the year making a spirited departure from
Carrog with a healthy plume of steam.
With such heavily-loaded trains to work on icy, slippery
rails at this time of year, the Railway are taking no
chances with delays in reaching Lapland (otherwise known as
Carrog station), with visiting saddle tank steam locomotive
No 68067 being supported by resident Class 26 diesel
locomotive No 5310, with one engine at each end of the
train. Using a smaller steam and diesel locomotive also
reduces coal consumption, whilst retaining the special
sight, sound and smell of an historic steam locomotive. All
the railway's stations have been festively decorated with
lights and trees, with visitors commenting on how
atmospheric the railway feels at this time of year,
especially when the lights are wreathed in steam whilst
their train > waits in the station.
As reported earlier in the autumn, the Railway has been
appealing for new volunteers to support this busy end to the
season. The recruitment drive has been successful, with
healthy numbers of dedicated existing and new volunteers
coming forward to help make the Santa specials a success.
Although all Santa Special trains are sold out, those
hankering for a festive trip on a steam train should look no
further than the LR's Mince
Specials , which will be running on 27, 28 and 29
December, with trains departing Llangollen at 11:00, 12:50
and 13:10. Tickets can be booked online via the LR website
or purchased on the day. Adults will receive a mince pie and
festive tipple, with children enjoying a sweet treat and
drink. These heated trains provide the chance to relax and
take in the spectacular winter Dee Valley Scenery in a cosy
vintage carriage. The more adventurous can also opt for a
brisk (or gentle!) walk from one of our stations for some
much-needed fresh air after Christmas indulgence.
The Santa and Mince Pie specials conclude what has proven to
be a very
successful year for the railway after all its recent
troubles. In a briefing
to staff and volunteers, Llangollen Railway Trust Finance
Director & Board > Member Phil Freeth
reported "Results from 2022 have exceeded expectations and,
despite long overdue investment in the railway's track,
coaching stock, and the engine shed and yard, our cash
resources remain buoyant. Financially, we are in an
incredibly strong position. Long may that continue after the
challenges we have faced over the last couple of years.
Looking ahead to 2023, we expect the challenging economic
climate that the country faces will require us to continue
to act cautiously, but we are already well-prepared for this
and will start the year from a far stronger position than we
have for many years".
Talyllyn wins award - from a press release
The Talyllyn Railway is thrilled to have won a National Rail
Heritage Award for the reconstruction of the original
locomotive watering point at Tŷ Dŵr. The Railway was jointly
awarded the Hendy and Pendle Trust Volunteers Award by HRH
The Duke of Gloucester at a ceremony held in London on 6
December 2022. The picture shows the first train to use it,
in March 2022. Locomotive No.4 Edward Thomas, the
last known locomotive to use the old watering point, became
the first locomotive to use the re-creation.
The watering point was originally installed when the Railway
was built in 1865 and transferred water from a nearby
waterfall to the site of the Railway’s first locomotive shed
by a series of troughs supported on slate columns. This was
situated on what was then the mineral extension between
Abergynolwyn station, the original passenger terminus, and
what is now Nant Gwernol station.
After the Railway was preserved in 1951 the watering point
feel into disuse and in 1954 it was demolished so that the
slate could be used to help build a retaining wall following
a landslip near Dolgoch. However, it has been long-held
ambition to see it rebuilt.
In 2019 the first steps were taken for the reconstruction.
Unfortunately there are few photographs of much of the
structure, and some of the remains had been obliterated when
passenger services were extended along this portion of the
line. Therefore, some archaeology was necessary to dig out
what remains had survived after which the new recreation
could be designed.
Following a successful appeal, and sponsorship from PTG
Tours, local contractors were employed to rebuild the slate
columns while volunteers constructed the new water troughs
from locally sourced larch. It is not intended that regular
passenger trains will use the reconstructed watering point,
but it will be available for special trains and charters.
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