NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY :NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
21 April 2023
45596 Bahamas passing Llanfairfechan 16 April. Picture by Alan Crawshaw.
This an extra issue: the next update will be on the evening of Tuesday 25 April.- Charlie
Steam Special: The Great Britain XV comes to the Coast line
In this fifteenth in a series of such events, customers could tour Britain, mostly by steam, from 15-23 April; the North Wales line featured on the second and third trains, with a rest day in Llandudno between. (Fares from £2765). I hope that the images are in correct order and we have included work by all readers that sent contributions. If not- apologies!
Friday 14 April: Preparations
On Friday 14 April 45596 Bahamas and support coach worked 5Z96, the 09:34 from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, bound for Bristol St Philips Marsh depot in readiness for day two of the tour. Seen at Sutton Bridge, Shrewsbury, by Graham Breakwell.
Sunday 16 April: Bristol - Holyhead
The Bristol Temple Meads to Llandudno leg of the “Great Britain” tour arrived at Hereford (above) a few minutes early at 10:20. It parked on the Up (Northbound) Through Line for an hour. This meant the passengers could not alight. The loco and support coach uncoupled, ran forward and then backed into Platform 4 so that the loco could take on water from a road tanker ...
... Meanwhile the support diesel loco , 47 802 ran through the station 'Wrong Line' on the Down Main (Platform 2) though this line is now bi-directional signalled. This enables trains arriving from either Shrewsbury or Worcester to turn round in Platforms 1 and 2 and return whence they came from ...
... The watering completed, “Bahamas” re-coupled to the coaches and proceeded north a few minutes ahead of time. (Richard Putley). This punctuality was not to last, however, reportedly due to a trepass incident which added half an hour.
Sunday 16 April and 47 802 on 0Z16 08:37 Bristol Temple Meads to Holyhead passes Shrewsbury Golf Course and is about to enter the Sutton Bridge loop...
...followed shortly after by 45596 on 1Z16 approaching Sutton Bridge Junction and about to pass 47 802 which continued on its way minutes later (Graham Breakwell).
North of Gobowen (Ian Pilkington)
Ruabon station (Dave Jepson).
Wrexham General ...
... running late, passing at 13:56 and narrowly missing a camera clash with the late running 13:49 to Birmingham (George Jones).
Murky conditions at Green Lane Crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).
Crossing the Dee (Dave Jepson).
Turning the train at Chester: Geoff Morris writes: 'A most unusual consequence of this itinerary was that the when the loco was turned on the Chester triangle it would have to run “boiler first” over the spur between Chester North and South Junctions whereas almost all steam loco workings are propelling the support coach along this section of track. There is a restricted view of this piece of line from the car park at the Northgate Arena and my photo shows the loco exiting the triangle at Chester South Junction before reversing to Chester station to attach to the coaches and continue to Holyhead.'
Deep in the woods near Shotton (Alastair Graham).
Rhyl Marine Lake (Gary Thomas)
Abergele (Jim Ikin). The coaches are a mixed bag, including some of the 'genuine' Pullman cars built by Metro-Cammell for East Coast Main Line Pullman services.
Llandudno Junction (Jim Ikin). The code 9B on the smokebox celebrates Stockport Edgeley loco shed, where Bahamas spent its last days in British Rail service begore being purchased by the Bahamas Locomotive Society in 1967. Its history is related on the British Preserved Steam website.
Upstaged by Stoneblower DR 80302 stabled in the 'Tamper Siding' (Geraint Williams).
On the rear, West Coast Railways 47 802 (Geraint Williams).
RAF Valley (Gary Thomas).
Returning past Dwygyfylchi in the setting sunlight sun with 47 802 leading (Gary Thomas).
After its successful journey from Bristol Temple Meads to Holyhead, Bahamas was at the rear of the train and came off at Llandudno Junction, travelling to Crewe Heritage Centre for servicing.
Larry Davies writes: 'Long after the viewing crowds had gone home and the empty stock was on route to Carnforth, four of us vintage '6G lads' stayed behind on Queens Road bridge and we were rewarded by the superb sight and sound of 45596 running round its support coach prior departing for Crewe. We all reminisced to that summer of '66 where from that same Bridge we witnessed the last few of Farnley Junction's Jubilees work the SO 1M48 09:15 Leeds - Llandudno every Saturday.'
On Monday 17 April the participants enjoyed a 'free day' in Llandudno.
Tuesday 18 April
The train returned to Llandudno on 18 April. 45596, with its support coach, was seen passing Prestatyn tender first on the morning of 18 April 2023 working 5Z20 05:20 Crewe Heritage Centre to Llandudno, 82mins late (Ivor Bufton)
Above, 47 802 passes Deganwy with the empty stock (Gary Thomas).
Heading for England, passengers aboard (Ken Robinson).
Passing Rhyl Marine Lake (Gary Thomas).
Passing Rhyl No.1 signalbox (Roly High). Why the name Bahamas? It was one in a series of names of British Empire territories, celebrating the silver jubilee of King George V. Examples from sister locos: Bechuanaland, Palestine, Sarawak ... list here.
Prestatyn: another 'near miss' for the photographers as 150 285 passes with the 08:25 Manchester Airport to Holyhead, a booked variation in the 197-operated Airport trains. (Ivor Bufton).
Stephen Dennett writes: 'My companions on the footbridge at Ffynnongroyw included four men from Tokyo. Always expect the unexpected when out shooting trains! '.
The 'shadow' (Stephen Dennett). Why run this separately, using up a signalling block section?
The next leg of the tour was to Edinburgh. Bahamas worked this to Carnforth where 46115 Scots Guardsman took over, only to be failed at Lockerbie (problem with a tender axle apparently); the diesel took the train on to Edinburgh, where Bahamas, having been hastily prepared for more work, came to the rescue and took the train on to Aberdeen.
Finally here's a view of Bahamas at Stockport shed in 1966, having been cleaned by volunteer labour (picture by Wallace Sutherland, Manchester Locomotive Society). It spent a long time in preservation in a crimson livery, but has recently been repainted in the green used by British Railways for express locos. The 'double chimney' was an experiment in 1961 to increase the performance of the boiler, but few 'Jubilees' received it.
The yellow stripe on the cab prohibited the loco from running under the overhead wires south of Crewe, due to clearance issues. Presumably this no longer applies?
North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board