Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

06 March  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.

March 2023

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

221 102 approaches Cadnant cutting, Conwy, with the 1A26 08-53 Holyhead to Euston service, 27 February. Picture by Garry Stroud.

Welsh  Marches Express

On St David's Day 1 March Sophos Trains ran a  'Welsh Marches Express' Holyhead - Cardiff, hauled outward by Class 40 D213 from Holyhead to Hereford, then steam to Cardiff. Ivor Bufton captured the outbound train at Prestatyn, with 'The Irish Mail' headboard.

At Hereford, 46100 Royal Scot took over (D213 returned to Crewe to wait for the return), and on the approach to Newport the train  visited the East Usk Branch (a location not named on the Platform 5 track atlas) to reverse.  D1935 (47 805) on the other end then led to Cardiff, this ensuring that 46100 would lead the train back as far as Crewe from where D213 worked forward to Holyhead. 46100 enters Platform 3 at Cardiff with the empty stock from Canton Sidings.

Ian Henderson writes: 'Bitterly cold, grey windy day, perishing on the road bridge south of Hereford station was the place to be. For the locos performed as a wonderful spectacle with as much smoke and steam as you like. Coupled to the class 40 sounding magnificent, and the chorus of horn and whistle which sadly cannot be recorded on still images. Arrival time was 10.18 but it was nearly 10.50 before the special arrived. '

Phones at the ready as 46100 enters Platform 3 at Cardiff Central with the empty stock from Canton Sidings (Roly High).

46100's claim to fame (Roly High).

The owner's tribute to his late father (Roly High).

On the return run at Dwygyfylchi 47 805 leading (Gary Thomas).

On 2 March the train returned empty to its base at Crewe, with D1935 Leading ...

 ... and D213 on the rear. Pictures by Garry Stroud.

Fire down below

There's something very wrong with the maintenance of the class 195 units. Following on from the fire near Wrexham involving 175 008 that we have reported recently, there have been two further incidents, both at Wilmslow. On 22 February 175 101 had to be evacuated at Wilmslow station while working 1W64 16: 06 Carmarthen - Manchester and the fire service called.  The unit was eventually shunted into the reversing sidings by another unit.  Then on 1 March 175 007 suffered a (reportedly smaller) fire in the early morning while on the 06:29 Crewe - Manchester, resulting a morning's cancellations and diversion of long-distance trains via Styal until it was able to move  with the engine on the other car and returned to Crewe.  (Information from Railway Forums: any corrections welcome.

By 3 Match TfW had temporarily withdrawn some 175 trains from service due to safety concerns while “enhanced maintenance” is carried out. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​ The deopt in Chester has changed hands from Alstom to CAF, makers of the new 197s, but this doesn't reall explain the events - the workers are sill the same.

Wikipedia offers the interesting fact that Class 175 units have caught fire in 2004 at Preston (175 008), 2009 at Prestatyn, 2011 at Manchester Piccadilly, 2017 both at Shrewsbury (175109) and between Chester and Crewe, 2018 at Deganwy, and in 2019 both near Pontrilas (175 107) and at Gowerton (175 102).

A brief look at Manchester on 2 March - by Charlie Hulme

The 12:30 to Cardiff in Platform 5 at Manchester Piccadilly, a long walk down the platform are there were two other trains in the platform. 150 281 is maybe 'Better than no train at all' but a poor substitute for a loco-worked service.

Later, at Deansgate, 175 115 (in TfW livery contrary to the image on Real Time Trains) gets away after a wait the signal on the 13:06 Holyhead - Manchester Airport amid Manchester's Manhattan-like skyline.

The 15:25 Manchester Airport - Llandudno calls, worked by 197 021.

For comparison, Northern 195 102 heading 195 108 on the 15:29 Manchester Airport - Barrow-in-Furness.  Notice the couplers are different, apparently due to the need for a gangway connection on the 197.  This seems unfortunate, as there are routes such as this where the two types share the same route. Can they couple in emergency? For much of its journey (70 miles out of 98), the diesel-only 195 will be running under overhead electric wires which it cannot use.

The Cheshireman, 4 March

4 March saw the Railway Touring Company 'The Cheshireman' London Euston - Chester and return, steam-hauled by 45699. Ian Pilkington photographed the train near Beeston Castle.

Christleton (Greg Mape).

Arrival at Chester (George Jones).

47 802 on the rear (George Jones).

After reversing on the triangle (George Jones). Confusingly the loco - actually 45699 - carried nameplates and smokebox plate for 45627  Sierra Leone with cab side numbers from 45662 Alberta. [Why do people enjoy this name-swapping?]

Possession at Llandudno Junction - by Driver Jim Scott

On Friday night 3 March I worked train 6G70 from Basford Hall to Abergele for a possession at Llandudno Junction, the train was top and tail 66 703 Doncaster PSB and 66 751 Inspiration Delivered with 25 ‘lobster’ (MXA) wagons, seen above ready to depart from Basford Hall.

I took it to Abergele arriving at 02:30 where it entered the possession, once in there  I had to travel at 15mph to the worksite just outside Llandudno Junction where drainage work was being carried out.

The morning after - pictures by Garry Stroud

With bus replacement in place and the line closed between Rhyl and Llandudno Junction  on 4 and 5 March, Engineers were working at Pabo Lane just outside Llandudno Junction, seen here on Saturday morning. The work involved digging out ballast and earth from the side of the line, and tipping into the wagons.  In the distance are wagons containing new ballast.

A look at 66 751. The MXA wagons were converted from redundant steel-carrying 'bogie bolster'  wagons. The name 'lobster' continues a long-standing tradition (possibly started by the Great Western Railway) of using sea-related names to types of engineers' wagons.


Garry Stroud writes: Having taken thousands of images in over 50 years of railway photography, it is always a bonus when luck or being in the right place at the right time produces rewards. Such was the case on Monday 27 February at Llandudno Junction station: the two main freight flows along the coast appearing in the same image.

66 718 Sir Peter Hendy CBE reverses the empty wagons into Llandudno Junction
loading sidings after arriving with the slate waste empties from Doncaster (Garry Stroud).

70 814 powers under the Castle walls at Conwy with 4C33 Longport - Penmaenmawr empties on the 27  February (Larry Davies).

Loading at Penmaenmawr on 28 February (Gary Thomas).

New to service 197 017 departs Deganwy with the 2D14 10:20 Llandudno to
Blaenau Ffestiniog service, 27 February (Garry Stroud).

DRS 88 002 powers through Stafford with a Mossend to Daventry intermodal service, 28 February (Martin Evans).

66 747 passes Stafford on 28 February with a Felixstowe to Trafford Park Freightliner service, this was running nearly 4 hours late when it came through at 12:22 originally booked for 09:28 (Martin Evans).


Colas 37 421 stabled at Chester on 28 February with a Network Rail test train, this was due to leave for Longsight at 22:18.

North Wales Metro

Attached to a large article about South Wales in the current issue of RAIL magazine is a small item about the Welsh Government's plans for the so-called 'North Wales Metro', which tells us that:
For the first time in generations, direct services between North Wales and Liverpool have been reinstated, with active travel routes opened that are helping to connect locals to bus and rail stations in Flintshire, Wrexham and Gwynedd. Plans are being  put in place to improve connections to bus and rail stations near Bangor,  Flint,  Holyhead,  Llandudno Junction,  Llandudno,  Colwyn Bay,  Shotton, Deeside, Rhyl, and Prestatyn. Work is also under way to progress a masterplan for Holyhead.
To understand statements like this you have to understand the term 'active travel' - it's walking or cycling.   We can't find any details of these plans. The direct service between North Wales and Liverpool comprises the 06:20 and 19:16 Wrexham -  Liverpool and the 17:47 Liverpool - Wrexham. All the other hourly Liverpool services start and end at Chester.

There are, of course, other plans for North Wales, including doubling the Wrexham-Bidston service, a Liverpool - Cardiff service. New stations are proposed at Greenfield, Deeside and Broughton although only Deeside seems definite. There's full information on the TfW web pages.

Llangollen Saturday - report by Michael Baker

Classic DMU action on 4 March: the Class 108 at Llangollen ...

... approaching Berwyn ...

... and at Carrog.  Trains are running every weekend in March with steam on 11-12 and 25-26  March, DMU on 18-19 March. See the Timetable for details.

From Dave Sallery's archive

Six withdrawn class 25s at Gresty Road, Crewe, 2 October 1985.

25 232 with Freightliner flats for repair on the low level line at Warrington Bank Quay, 22 July 1983.

25 212 and 81 009, Warrington Bank Quay, 18 July 1984. In the background is the long demolished Thames Board Mills.

25 265 with the Llandudno Junction to Arpley daily Speedlink working at Mostyn, 7 January 1987. The first van is one of the 400 train-ferry air-brake fitted vans built by Pressed Steel  from 1962. It seems that few were ever used for their intended purpose.

Looking back - Dinting Part 3 - by David Pool

One of the visiting locomotives at Dinting on 2 May 1981 was the Somerset and Dorset 8F 2-8-0 53809, running as LMS 13809.  It was due to work its first Railtour in Preservation, and having reversed out of the site it was heading for the Dinting triangle and the main line, picking up the Railtour at Guide Bridge.

1Z33 was the Railtour from Leicester and 13809 would be taking it to York.  I headed for Chinley, where I thought it would be working hard up the 1 in 90 gradient, but 13809 was clearly struggling and down to almost a walking pace.  The Railtour Files webpage gives the explanation – an inexperienced fireman who had smothered the fire with too much coal.  The headboard “The Pines Express” is interesting, as it never would have been carried by any of the ex LMS locomotives in normal service on the S & D.  A rectangular headboard was briefly used on the Southern Region’s “West  Country” Pacifics, but the curved London Midland type headboard was as far as I can ascertain only carried by  92220 on the last day of “The Pines Express” in 1962.

Returning to Dinting, the LNWR ”Coal Tank” 1054 (58926) was giving rides on 2 May 1981 with a Southern Railway “Queen Mary” Brake Van 56287.

The “Coal Tank” 58926 was famously rostered for the last run over the Abergavenny to Brynmawr line in 1958 with a G2a 49121.  The occasion was remembered on 12 February 2012,   when the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway ran 58926 with G2a 49395, the only one of this Class to be preserved.  The snowy conditions resulted in a pleasing shot as the train left Haworth. 

On 3 October 1982 there was an Open Day at Dinting, and the LNWR “Improved Precedent” Class 790 Hardwicke was outside the Shed, but not in steam.  A black locomotive may not be everyone’s favourite, but I think a lined black locomotive looks superb if it is kept clean, and I understand why the LNWR insisted on this colour.  The history of this locomotive is confusing, due to the LNWR’s policy of recycling an old locomotive rather than calling it a new build.  It appears that 790 was built as a 'Precedent' Class locomotive in 1873, then rebuilt at Crewe as an 'Improved Precedent' in 1892.  How much of the 1873 locomotive was used in the rebuild is not clear.

I had previously seen Hardwicke in steam at Carnforth in 1976, when it was working a number of Steam Specials.   On 1 May 1976 there was a Steam Special from Carnforth to the Settle & Carlisle, commemorating the Centenary of the line, with the advertised motive power of Midland Compound 1000 plus Black 5 44871.  Neither was available on the day, so the replacements were Hardwicke and Flying Scotsman – a rather strange combination!  I photographed the pair leaving Carnforth, admired by the driver of 40 104 on the freight line alongside.  I don’t know whether the train travelled beyond Hellifield to Carlisle.

On 3 October 1982 the star attraction in steam at Dinting was the A2 LNER Pacific 532 Blue Peter, which had been restored by 1971, partly thanks to the publicity afforded by the BBC TV’s Blue Peter programme. It was a pity that the smokebox carried a large board with the TV Blue Peter logo, and I had difficulty in getting anything much better than a side view. 

My disappointment when trying to photograph Blue Peter at Dinting was certainly forgotten when I saw it at Mallerstang on the S & C on 21March 1992 with the North Eastern Railway Preservation Group’s Railtour returning from Carlisle to Leeds, York and Newcastle.  In BR livery as 60532, with a matching rake of maroon coaches, it made a memorable sight.

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