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Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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03 April 2023
Monday 3 April we were honoured to have 66 779 Evening Star working the 6Z58 Wellingborough to Llandudno slate empties. Picture by Larry Davies.
The big news on 3 April is that a Class 230 unit has finally carried paying passengers (assuming they knew about it) on the Borderlands line, starting with the 07:31 and at two-hourly intervals using 230 010, with one out and back runs cancelled. It seems that 230 008 was to run the alternte trips, but this didn't happen. Unfortunately, 230 010 on the 17:40 Wrexham-Bidston suffered 'problems with the traction equipment' and was cancelled at Shotton after arriving 59 minutes late. Wisely, the replacement bus service had been retained in parallel.
008 and 010 coupled together made some test runs on 31 March: Ian Henderson captured them at Heswall.
Bob Greenhalgh writes: Monday 27 March was the first time this year I was able to photgraph the Carlisle to Chirk logs, after British Summer Time came into force. 70 810 was delaying a bus at Balderton Crossing.
Measurement unit 950 001 was around the Chester area on 28 March. Bob Greenhalgh photographed it from Morrison's car park in Saltney.
Seen passing Cadnant cutting, Conwy, 43 290 heads the 1Q30 10:55 Derby to
Holyhead measurement train, 23 March (Garry Stroud).
66 779 Evening Star on slate waste duty passes Abergele, 3 April (Greg Mape). This loco was the last Class 66 loco to be built, and GBRf named it in analogy with BR's last-built steam loco 92220 which carried the same name.
After a gap of almost three weeks due to a problem at Penmaenmawr quarry, traffic resumed on 3 April in the form of 4Z33 14:30 Mountsorrel Tarmac Colas sidings hauled by 70 810 seen shunting its train in the quarry sidings as the sun sets over Anglesey (Larry Davies).
Class 67 gallery
67 020 propelling 1W93 Cardiff Central to Holyhead loco-hauled service past Balderton Crossing, 22 March (Stephen Dennett).
67 020, seen on the same Cardiff - Holyhead service, was repainted in black to match the former Grand Central coaches. Unfortunately the coaches are in TfW colours and not in the matching black livery (Geoff Morris).
... and again at Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud).
67 020 again, at Llandudno Junction on 31 March (Geraint Williams).
On 31 March, 67 012, still in Wrexham and Shropshire colours, calls at Wrexham General on the 11:33 Holyhead-Cardiff (Geraint Williams).
67 014 arriving at Llandudno Junction with the 11:24 Cardiff-Holyhead, 3 April (Greg Mape).
67 014 passes Cheadle Hulme at speed on the 14:30 Manchester PIccadilly - Cardiff Central, 29 March.
Seen at Crewe Heritage Centre - by Russell Withington
As an HST fan (I’m a member of 125 Group) I’d be planning on visiting Crewe Heritage Centre for a while, and the combination of the weather stopping me doing the gardening I needed to do and the fact that there was something else on tempted me to go on Sunday 26th March (despite what the rather smart ticket says). Upon arrival I was warned that the visiting locomotives would be ‘leaving early’ and it was recommended that I go and look at these first, so I did exactly that - the "Modern Image O Gauge” exhibition would just have to wait.
From the gate 47 712 Lady Diana Spencer was visible...
... and parked up next to it the full-size 37 401 Mary Queen of Scots.
The final visiting locomotive was 88 001 Revolution, which a number of the attendees at the exhibition were either measuring or taking significant numbers of detailed photographs.
I then visited the exhibition and thought that it would be rude not to photograph the rather smaller version of 37 401 which was running on one of the layouts. I then did a pit-stop for lunch, and while I was eating overheard a couple of DRS drivers discussing the fact that they’d be able to return the locomotives to the depot after Royal Scot had returned. Which is exactly what happened - just after 13:30 46100 ran past the heritage centre on a positioning move back from Carlisle and the area around the three locomotives was fenced off, and they were started up one by one, 37 401 being filmed by quite a few of those present - it certainly did make a fair racket!
As to the Class 43s I managed to get some good photographs of W43018, which was open, but 43081 had been shunted down by the signal box to make way for the visitors - I’ll just have to go back to get some better photographs of that one.
Llanberis Lake Railway
Martin Evans visited the Llanberis Lake Railway on 21 March. The loco in steam was Hunslet No 3 Dolbadarn and is shown ready to depart Gilfach Ddu with The 13:30 service to Cei Llydan via Llanberis...
... Departing ...
... and returning from Llanberis for Cei Llydan.
From Dave Sallery's archive
37 174 seen along the Dawlish sea wall on an engineers train, 23 August 1999.
A GW livery 47 heads west at Teignmouth in August 2002.
47 817 in its unique (thankfully) Porterbrook livery at Truro on 27 September 1997.
An Up HST passes Lostwithiel on 18 September 1996.
Looking back: South Wales in 1991 part 4 - by David Pool
July 28 1991 will be remembered by many Merseyside enthusiasts as the date for the Pathfinder Railtour 1Z81 0623 Lime Street to South Wales, the “Vulcan Valley Venturer”, which arrived back into Lime Street nineteen hours later! I was on holiday in South Wales at the time, and decided to follow it from Tondu, which was one of my favourite locations for photography. A pair of Class 20s had brought the train to Cardiff, where 37 201 and 37 138 top-and-tailed the train around the coast to Bridgend, then headed for Maesteg. 37 201 was leading at Tondu.
I photographed it just after leaving Maesteg Castle Street, heading for Llynfi Junction, where the branch from Maesteg Washery comes in.
About 15 minutes later it came back with 37 138 now leading.
The signalman at Tondu box came out to collect the token, the signal indicating it was to take the line to Margam.
The platform for the Margam line was out of use for passengers, although a solitary spectator watched 37 201 on the rear of the train. By now it had lost more time on the journey to and from Llynfi Junction, and was running 35 minutes late according to the timings on the Railtour Files webpage.
At Margam Abbey the pair of Class 20s would replace 37 201 on the rear, and the train would head for Swansea Burrows sidings, where it would reverse. 20 113 and 20 106 then taking the Railtour via Jersey Marine and the Neath & Brecon line to Onllwyn. I waited for the train at Seven Sisters, about a mile from Onllwyn, as it came out of the valley.
My next shot was a view from the main road looking towards Onllwyn, where the train had stopped some distance from the loading sidings.
Nothing seemed to be happening, and I was able to get nearer ...
... and obtain shots of 20 113 and 20 106 in both directions.
I waited for some time, and with no signs of any imminent departure I decided to abandon any plans to try for more shots later. The Railtour Files show the train left Onllwyn one hour late, the 20s apparently having failed, and further time was lost at Swansea and Newport, the train being hauled by 37 138 alone at that stage. At Birmingham another pair of 20s took over, and Lime Street was eventually reached at 1.21am - exactly 2 hours late. I hope the Tour participants managed to get home somehow, as did the Pathfinder volunteers!
Llangollen news: Corwen revealed
The scaffolding was removed at the new Corwen station in the week ending 31 March, and the detail of the canopy and platform waiting room was revealed.
Above, the western gable end over the subway access with heritage columns ex-Blackfriars station SECR as recycled.
The east end of the waiting room with down spouts in position. The volunteer work force have the doors and windows of the waiting room in place and installation of toilet furniture is proceeding. A series of gauging trains can be expected during April, leading to public services in June.
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