NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY :NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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26 December 2022
66 749 with stone from Penmaenmawr, Beeches Far,. 21 December. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.
A short Boxing Day issue compiled between bouts of eating. I hope readers and contributors have had a good Christmas. - Charlie
Gary Thomas writes: 'It's been pretty quiet on the Coast this week. The main highlight was 197s (in pairs) debuting on Llandudno to Manchester Airport services on Wednesday 21st. Above, 197 006 and 197 003 returning past Pensarn on their first revenue-earning run to Manchester Airport.
Greg Mape captured the first run at Gatley ...
... and the return at Heald Green.
The Class 67 “WAG” diagrams have been pretty unreliable, often running with a motley selection of 150/2, 153s or 175s. If indeed they do run. Avanti West Coast launched a new timetable with more direct services to London Euston, but this has been a shambles to with many cancellations. 67 022 was on the midday loco-hauled to Cardiff, passing milepost 213½ about 40 minutes late on 21 December. (Gary Thomas).
Balderton crossing. on 21 December 67 029 Royal Diamond heads an empty stock working from Landore to Crewe. The reason why the first days of the new timetable is that the coach sets have been at Landore works in Swansea for the installation of a 'Selective Door opening' system to allow for short platforms, and the work is taking longer that expected. Meanwhile, people with first class tickets have found themselves in a 175, or even a 153 or 150. The Manchester - Cardiff loco-hauled is planned to start on 9 January.
Also on 20 December, 66 749 Christopher Hopcroft MBE on the Penmaenmawr to to Tuebrook sidings stone (Gary Thomas).
Garry Stroud pictured 66 749 with its train at Penmaenmawr on 21 December ...
.... and a flashback to 2014 when 66 749 was unusually seen in grey undercoat before painting of the yellow cabs and sides, seen here approaching Copmanthorpe south of York, with a southbound load of 'biomass' to Drax power station. Monday 30 June 2014.
66 756 Royal Corps of Signals Arriving at Llandudno Junction on 19 December with the 6Z58 07:44 stone empties from Hexthorpe yard to Llandudno Junction sidings...
... and reverses into the yard. The loaded train of limestone brought by road from Llandulas quarry travels overnight to Walsall Freight Terminal where the stone is added to a large pile. These trains are run as one-offs at present, indicated by the 'Z' in the headcode.
197 021, which we believe to be the highest-numbered unit to be seen on the Coast so far, prepares to depart Llandudno Junction with the 3Q12 11:33 test run to Chester on 22 December (Garry Stroud).
Readers may recall our coverage of the movement by loco 37 418 of Network Rail Multi-Purpose Vehicles from the East Lancashire Railway. We gave no information at the time about why the MPVs were there, but thanks to Simon Cross we know the reason, which is of considerable interest.
Simon has sent these images taken of the train arriving at Bury after testing.
They had arrived at the ELR in October to participate in testing that took place on the Broadfield and Summerseat sections of a proposed alternative way of clearing leaves from the line. Two ideas were tested, one using lasers and the other using plasma. A Network Rail video explains.
From Dave Sallery's archive
59 205 at Tal y Cafn working the "Roman Nose" rail tour to Trawsfynydd, 18 April 1988.
101 685 "Daisy" is ready for another trip up the valley at Llandudno, 7 August 1994.
31 439 and 31 119 North Yorkshire Moors Railway on a ballast working at Llandudno Jct, 10 July 1995.
Looking back: Steam, diesels and tramcars - by David Pool
“The Scenic Settler” Pathfinder railtour on 22 May 2010 was 1Z66, 06:40 Bristol Temple Meads to Carlisle via the S&C. It was passing through Winwick with 56 312 Artemis and 66 148. The Class 56 was in the Devon and Cornwall Railways fleet, and the unusual livery was soon to be replaced by the more familiar grey. It had been one of the Romanian built locomotives (56 003) and following further changes of ownership it is currently intended to be a donor for a new Class 69, probably 69 013.
Also on 22 May 2010, Steam Dreams ran “The Cathedrals Express” railtour from Euston to Chester via the West Coast Main Line, with 60163 Tornado throughout. The return journey was 1Z63, 16:30 Chester to Euston, and is passing Rowton.
The Great Orme is rightly one of the most popular tourist attractions in North Wales, and the Tramway is the means of ascent for the majority of the visitors. It was originally opened by a tramways company, and later was considered to be a railway, finally reverting to the Tramway name in 1977. There is similar confusion as to what it is.
The best description is a Funicular Tramway, since the crucial feature is that pairs of cars operate in a counterbalanced mode, attached to cables and electrically powered winding drums. Sometimes the Great Orme system is described as being Cable Cars, but these are something different. Cable Cars originated in the America in 1873, the first use being in San Francisco. The crucial point is that Cable Cars are not permanently attached to the cable, which is continuously moving. A Cable Car has to grip the cable in order to move, and release it when stopping.
On 3 June 2010, Great Orme car 6 was leaving Halfway Station, heading for the Summit. On this Upper Track the winding drums are in Halfway Station, so there is a cable connecting the cars which goes round a pulley at the Summit Station, and cables which go from each car to the winding drums at Halfway. Viewing a moving car you see one cable moving with the car and another moving in the opposite direction. One of the curious features of the Great Orme cars is the provision of two Trolley Poles, one at each end on each car. Communications with the winchmen in the Halfway Winding House were originally by telephone or telegraph, using overhead telephone lines and Trolley Poles on the cars. In 2001 a system using trackside induction cables was installed, making the trolley poles redundant, and the overhead wiring was removed.
Meanwhile car 7 was descending from the Summit, and was crossing St Tudno’s Road. The Aerial Cableway provides an alternative means of reaching the Summit, although perhaps not for the faint hearted.
It was the Great Orme Railway on 8 May 1962, when cars 4 and 5 were passing in Ty-Gwyn Road. The cars are in the all over blue livery, and the Conductor in car 5 appears to be keeping the tension on the rope to the Trolley Pole. The Lower Track is single track below this point, and gauntleted track above.
On the Upper Track, there are only single tracks above and below the crossing point. On 27 March 1970 cars 6 and 7 have been brightened up with cream surrounds to the windows and white roofs, but are still showing Great Orme Railway. The Trolley Poles are also in use. I am not sure why the point levers are caged - presumably to deter vandals or animals.
Back to 3 June 2010 and on the Lower Track car 4 was above the crossing point, and the absence of the overhead wires and supporting columns has enhanced the view. The Attendant seems thoughtful – he is not the Driver, since the movement of the car is under the control of the Winchman at Halfway Station. The livery has been brightened further, with ornate lining and now Tramway branding.
The Cable Cars in San Francisco are also 3 foot 6 inch gauge, but the cables are running continuously at around 5 mph. The cars run independently, gripping the cable when they need to move. The Gripman in the cars has a skilful and responsible job, particularly when the car is accelerating or braking. On some sections the cars coast downhill between cables, and where cables cross at right angles at road junctions. Not surprisingly the Gripper teeth have a life of only a few days.
Some cars are double ended, not needing to be turned on turntables at the end of lines, but the popular Line 60 from Powell to Hyde (on the waterfront) uses single ended cars. On 8 April 1978 car 13, built by Carter in 1893, is in Hyde Street, with the island of Alcatraz in the background. The passengers outside are avoiding the usual crush inside the car! Note the Pickup on the left which has its front wheels angled to the kerb – a legal requirement when parking on hills in this city.
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