Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

23 January 2023

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.

February 2023

Friday 3 February Clwyd Railway Circle  Annual General Meeting followed by Chairman’s Choice.  David Jones

Friday 10 February . Altrincham Electric Railway Society "Steam in North Wales and the Borders since 2010 - Main Line and Narrow Gauge" by Ian Pilkington.

March 2023

1 March:  Saphos Trains St David's Day Welsh Marches Express Holyhead - Cardiff,  steam from Crewe to Cardiff.

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 Electric Railway Society "Colour-Rail" by Paul Chancellor

April 2023

Sunday 16 April Railway Touring Company The Great Britain XV: Day 2. Steam: Bristol - Shrewsbury - Wrexham - Chester - Holyhead.  WCRC Class 47/57 Holyhead - Llandudno Junction

June 2023

Saturday 24 June North West Rail and Transport Collectors' Fair.  Crewe Alexandra Football Club
Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe CW2 6EB
(5 mins walk from Crewe Station) 10.00am - 3.00pm
Admission - £2 Adults, Children Under I6 Free

September 2023

Friday 1 September Clwyd Railway Circle  A Year in the Life of an International Train Spotter  - Part 2 Phil Thomas

October 2023

Friday 6 October Clwyd Railway Circle A History of The Internal Railway at Shotton Steelworks and its Links with the Main Line
Glyn Jones

November 2023

Friday 3 November Clwyd Railway Circle The Railway in Conway.  Larry Davies

December 2023

Friday 1 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members Night Presentations.  Members are invited to give a 15-minute presentation of their choice.

(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

197 013 on the 08:35 Blaenau Ffestiniog - Llandudno arrives at Llandudno Junction, 17 January.

News pictures (1)

221 101 (on the 8.53 Holyhead - Euston) at Llandudno Junction, 17 January (Gary Thomas).

66 736 Wolverhampton Wanderers approaches Helsby with 6Z58 Wakefield Kirkgate to Llandudno Junction empty slate wagons, 16 June (Stephen Dennett).

Passing Rhyl Marine Lake  ...(Gary Thomas)

... Backing into the loading point (Garry Stroud).

66 719 Metro-Land with stone from Penmaenmawr passing Pensarn on 19 January. Picture by Gary Thomas who notes: 'Not the best weather, but a record nevertheless'.

Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud).  This loco a few years ago worked on a contract to provided materials for Transport for London, and was given a special livery.  It has been returned to GBRf standard but retained the name...

... Bagillt (Stephen Dennett) ...

... Approaching Chester (Bob Greenhalgh).

Chester station developments

A Network Rail press release tells us:
Plans have been lodged for a major revamp of Chester Railway Station.
Network Rail has submitted a proposal to Cheshire West and Chester Council to carry out a number of changes and improvements due to some parts of the Grade II* listed station being "in a poor state of repair". The plans include a new customer information and ticket desk, customer information screens, ticket machines, a changing places toilet, concourse seating and signage.

Also proposed is the refurbishment of the platform 4/7 toilets and waiting room as well as the concourse toilets. A new concourse clock and CCTV would be installed along with new benches across platforms 3, 4b and 7, a water refill unit in the toilet lobby area, and cycle locking stands and repair station located to the western concourse entrance.
We have placed here a copy of the 'Design and Access Statement' for more detail.  For even more detail, go to the Council's planning database. It's interesting that Network Rail are leading the project; the last 'revamp' with its strange verdigris structures was done by Arriva after they obtained the franchise. The worst aspect of the current station is the location of the  Ticket/Information office away from what is now a 'Costa' down an alley from the concourse, hopefully this wil be remedied.

There seems to be no plan to remedy any major problems, such as the inadequate protection from the weather on platforms 2,5 and 6.

197 launch

There is to be a "launch" of the 197 at Llandudno on Thursday 26 January with a naming of one of the units.  The train will arrive in Platform 1 at 10:30, and proceedings should start around 11:30 with a Welsh Government  Minister and Chief Executive of TfW in attendance for the usual 'photo op'.  The train will depart for Chester at 14:26

News Pictures (2)

Bangor to Holyhead section was closed over the weekend, leading to quite a few units at Holyhead on 22 January...

... No Class 67 in view ... and sure enough, passengers  expecting  first class and restaurant service on 23 January sampled 150 255 on the 05:33 to Cardiff. (Gary Thomas)

A chilly scene at Wrexham Central on 18 January, with a short rake of cement tanks from Penyfford to Avonmouth (Martin Evans).

Different 197s are now starting to appear on the Chester - Liverpool: 013, 007, and 004 in the past 7 days. Above, 197 013 leaves Helsby with IF97, the Chester to Liverpool Lime Street via Halton Curve service. Taken at Helsby on 16 January (Stephen Dennett).

News from Coleham Depot - by Graham Breakwell

A stranger at Coleham on 17 January – what appears to be a stray wagonload of logs from Aberytswyth that didn’t quite make it to Kronospan in Chirk. Realtime Trains  records a light engine movement from Tywyn to Aberystwyth Run Round Loop followed by a trip to Coleham on 13 January which probably accounts for it being there.

The full schedule, courtesy of

  97302 0Z39 08:17 Coleham - Newtown (Powys)
  0Z40 10:42 Newtown - Tywyn
  6J39 13:48 Tywyn - Aberystwyth Run Round Loop
  0Z41 16:00 Aberystwyth Run Round Loop - Coleham Isu (Ce)

Also seen at the depot are 97 302 and 97 304 with 175 104 passing on the 10:30 Manchester to Cardiff.

37 405 moved off from Coleham to spend a few days around Westbury, Bristol, Swindon and Oxford returning on 13 January ready for its inaugural trip down the Cambrian on 16 January with 97 302 leading.

Brassey celebration

Chris Coxon has kindly forwarded a copy of the Thomas Brassey Society newsletter.  Brassey (1809-1870)  was a contractor whose firm specialised in railway-building;  his work in Cheshire included the construction of the Chester and Crewe railway (1839), the Chester and Holyhead railway (1845), the Shrewsbury and Chester railway ( 1846), the Birkenhead and Chester junction railway (1847) and Chester Station (1848).

To celebrate the great man in grander style than the present small plaque, and to mark the 175th anniversary of the station, the Society plan to commission a 1¼-scale bronze statue to stand outside Chester station.  They are well on the way to their £100,000 target.  Fo more information visit the Society website.

Steam - out and about

44932 approaches Newsholme in the Ribble Valley with the Manchester Victoria-Carlisle "Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express"  on Saturday 21 January (Ian Pilkington).

With 158 857 at Kirkby Stephen (Greg Mape).

After taking water at Hellifield, 44932 passes Blea Moor on the Settle-Carlisle Line (Ian Pilkington).

777s are go!

From Monday 23 January,  Merseyrail's new Swiss-built trains will commence operation,  having reached an agreement with the railway unions.  The Kirkby line is the first to receive the new stock, with others to follow during the year.

The trains are full of clever ideas:
The vehicles are a tram-style fixed formation of four articulated cars, offering air conditioning, large vestibules, wide aisles and open gangways enabling easy movement throughout the unit. Each vehicle will be equipped with three motorised Jacobs bogies [each bogie supports the end of two adjacent carriages] and two trailer end bogies.

Intelligent sliding steps that are able to detect all various platform positions by means of ultrasonic sensing equipment close the gap between entrance doorstep and the platform edge, minimising the gap to the platform and providing unassisted access at all entrances for all passengers, including those with buggies, luggage and bikes.
It will be interesting to see how well the 'intelligent steps' perform in daily service.

Remembering John Hobbs

Bangor on 8 March 1976 with 24052 shunting the yard (John Hobbs)

Readers will recall the many contributions to the site of the late John Hobbs. His son, Richard Ellis Hobbs, will be presenting a selection of John's pictures on the theme 'North Wales and the Cambrian Coast' at the Irish Railway Record Society meeting in Manchester.  on Thursday 9 February. Richard writes 'There'll be lots of 70s diesels, and a sprinkling of 60's steam, 80's diesels too...'

Meetings are held at the Waldorf Pub in central Manchester,  not far from Piccadilly station  – 18:00 for an 18:30 start with the aim of concluding by 21:30. Entry is £3 for IRRS members and £5 non-members. The non member fee is refunded if you join the society on the night.

From Dave Sallery's archive

47 564 passes Chester locks, 28 August 1993.  The train is a Nottingham to Llandudno excursion for the John Player Railway Club.

47 763 with the Crewe - Holyhead empty mail train, 2 May 1994.  This was the Monday working, as on the other weekdays it was only formed of one vehicle.

47 799 Prince Henry (a man in the news lately!) on a 'Northern Belle' passes Prestatyn, 22 June 2001. This loco has a remarkable number of identities: D1654,
47 070, 47 620, 47 835, and finally 47 799. It was moved to the Eden Valley heritage railway in 2011  and, as far as we can discover, it is still there.

Looking back:  Steam and Diesels  2010  part 9 - with David Pool

I was on holiday in East Anglia on 25 September 2010, and photographing the “drags” between Norwich and the coast.  The 1200 from Liverpool Street to Great Yarmouth was headed by 47 832 Solway Princess dragging 90 015, with DVT 82121 on the rear.  The train is leaving Brundall, which has an interesting platform layout. 

Staggered platforms are not that unusual, but I have yet to find a convincing explanation of the benefits.  Allowing passengers to cross tracks behind a train or allowing road traffic to cross after the trains have arrived is not applicable to this arrangement of the stagger.  I suspect it is more to do with the land available, since there is a boatyard on the left hand side of the track beyond the footbridge, opposite the station house.  Any ideas? 

47 832 was previously 47 560, a frequent visitor to North Wales.  It had been built as D1610, becoming 47 031 before it was fitted for electric train heating and renumbered as a Class 47/4.  On 14 February 1989 47 560 was leaving Rhyl with the 0857 Holyhead to Euston.  The impressive signal gantry is nearing the end of its life.

Spent fuel from the decommissioned Sizewell A Nuclear Power Station was still being moved in 2010, so a shot of the flask loading facility was obtained on 27 September.  37 510 and 37 259 were the locomotives assigned to convey a single flask to Willesden on 6M69, the 1534 departure.  Sizewell B stores spent fuel on site, so currently very few trains use the branch from Saxmundham.  Rail traffic may resume if the Sizewell C project continues. 

Before becoming one of the DRS Class 37s, 37 510 had been in Intercity livery, and on 9 April 1997 it was passing Winwick with 6E05, the 1524 Stanlow to Humber freight. 

A few years later on 1 October 2002 37 259, the other Class 37, was in DRS livery, and was photographed near Basford Hall Junction behind Fragonset 47 709 Dionysos on an unidentified light engine movement.

I was saddened to look at this shot of the Rail Head Treatment Train at Mold Junction on 4 October 2010, with 66 108 and 66 105 on the 1201 Holyhead to Crewe.  If only such a photograph were to be possible today!  Yes, it might have been early in the season when the tanks and locomotives were clean, but the background of Autumn colours is particularly nice, in stark comparison with the forest of overgrown saplings which now obliterates the view at this location.

 It was another fine day on 9 October 2010 for the Autumn Gala on the Ffestiniog Railway.  “Spooner’s Boat” was in use, and making good speed through Penrhyndeudraeth under gravity power.  The lack of wind would mean that it would not be able to cross the Cob under sail on this occasion.

After purchasing a signed copy of Railway Walks from the visiting celebrity Julia Bradbury in Harbour Station, I moved on to the Cob to photograph Moelwyn on a demonstration freight.  The signal is showing its age, and might be considered inappropriate for the railway, but somehow it looks more in keeping than the more modern version which has now replaced it. 

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