Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

25 April 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.

April 2023

Saturday 29 April Statesman  Rail Llandudno Victorian Statesman   Didcot - Llandudno

May 2023

Monday 1 May    Midland Pullman  'Llandudno Victorian Pullman' Bournemouth - Llandudno      

Monday 1 May     Branch line Society 'Calan Mai'    Derby to Llandudno and Holyhead via goods loops: locos      50 008/2x20  Cancelled

Wednesday 10 May    Statesman Rail 'The Snowdonia Statesman'   Chesterfield - Betws-y-coed/Blaenau Ffestiniog.

June 2023

Wednesday 7 June    Statesman Rail The Snowdonia Statesman    Hull Manchester Victoria - Betws-y-coed/Blaenau Ffestiniog          LSL Pullman

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) |0.00am - 3.00pm
Admission - £2 Adults, Children Under 16 Free

July 2023

Wednesday 12 July     Statesman Rail  The Snowdonia Statesman    Kilmarnock IST Lancaster - Betws-y-coed/Blaenau Ffestiniog        LSL Pullman

August 2023

September 2023

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

Wednesday 13 September    Statesman Rail The Snowdonia Statesman    High Wycombe IST Birmingham NS - Betws-y-coed/Blaenau Ffestiniog          LSL Pullman

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

11 October   Statesman Rail The Snowdonia Statesman    Stevenage - Nuneaton - Betws-y-coed /Blaenau Ffestiniog       LSL Pullman

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

Now in its third week of operating the Longport to Penmaenmawr stone service, 70 810 is becoming a regular performer on the coast. Seen here on 21 April, it enters Llandudno Junction with the empties (Garry Stroud).

News pictures

Working the 6Z58 Wellingborough to Llandudno slate waste empties on 24 April, 66 717 Good Old Boy prepares to cross Conwy Cob, before reversing into the loading area (Garry Stroud).

Recently smartened-up 43277 Safety Task Force on the rear of 1Q30 10:55 Derby R.T.C. via Crewe, Holyhead and Liverpool Lime Street to Derby R.T.C. passing  Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud) ...

... and Mostyn on 20 April.  43 290 leading.

Seen at Mostyn on 20 April, 197 007 working  1L26 15:38 Holyhead to Birmingham International.  197s are still not in passenger use on the route beyond Chester,  passengers would be transferred to 158 836 onwards to Birmingham (Tim Rogers).

On 21 April, 67 010 on 1W93 11:25 Cardiff Central to Holyhead, passes Bagillt 18 mins late (Tim Rogers).

197 016 and 197 013 forming 1D38 13:25 Manchester Airport to Llandudno, 21 April (Tim Rogers).

Three 197s at Crewe, 21 April. Three-car 197 104 (centre) still with covers over its seats (Greg Mape). None of them were in passenger service, as far as we can tell.

197 045 was moved from Donnington RFT to Crewe Carriage Sidings on 13  April hauled by 66 587 As One We Can sandwiched between heavily graffitied hoppers,  Seen here near Abbey Foregate Signal Box on the approach to Shrewsbury station.

Stephen Dennettt writes: 'Penyffordd Station on a cold afternoon. 230 008 was running solo, which meant one train every two hours on the Borderlands Line today (24th). The rail replacement buses were doing the rest of the schedule again.

'The first time I had seen 66 756 Royal Corps of Signals on the Penyffordd cement, the real reason for my visit.

'It was 54 mins early, and had started unusually at Bescot Down Side.'

The Class 221 Voyager units are soon to be displaced on Avanti West Coast  services by a fleet of 13 Hitachi Class 805 five-car units similar to those on LNER, GWR, and TransPennine. They were planned to enter service in 'Spring 2023'  on the London - Chester/North Wales and Shrewsbury/Wrexham routes.  Test running is under way, but they have yet to try out the North Wales line.

With stoneblower DR 80302 in the engineers siding visible behind the
trees, 221 101 enters Llandudno Junction station with the 1A26 08:53 Holyhead to Euston service on 21 April (Garry Stroud).

Deltic 55 022 Royal Scots Grey leaving Crewe for Kings Cross on 21 April with
90 001 on the rear, to work  the 13:15  charter from Kings Cross to Edinburgh, one of its first runs since taken on by Locomotive Services. Unfortunately the trip did not go well, due to disruption caused by a fatality and problems with the Deltic, resulting in 90 001 helping from the rear for part of the journey.

Peter Basterfield's view

Welsh slate , just finished loading for Bescot Downside on 17  April as 6Z59 with loco 66 303.

The view from Station Road overbridge, now the lighter nights are here!

Merddyn Emrys at Tanygrisiau with the returning 'Mountain Spirit' for Porthmadog.

70 810 with 25 'Land Recovery' JNAs in tow approaching.the 'tunnel' under the A55 Puffin Island roundabout on 18 April.

The 6M33 return to Longport approaching the Grade II listed entrance to the 482-yard  Penmaen Rhos tunnel. 19 loaded and 5 empties, the quarry ran out of stone! The 14th wagon got left behind with a brake locked on - this would explain the 109-minute lateness as it would have to have been separated and pushed back into the siding. It was still there on Saturday 22 April.

Cambrian Coast Express

67 006 brought the train into Shrewsbury (Gary Thomas).

An excursion from Bristol to Pwllheli and back run by the Pathfinder company on 21 April,  For the Cambrian network an ERTMS-fitted loco such as 97 302. Normally, two 97/3s would be used, but the other two are out of action, so Colas 37 664 Cardiff Canton stood in. 

Machynlleth (Graham Breakwell).

Approaching Barmouth Bridge (Kate Jones).

Crossing the bridge (Kate Jones)

(Richard Putley)

Approaching Barmouth (Richard Putley).

Harlech ...

...  and Porthmadog  (Ken Robinson).

Running round the train at Pwllheli (Gary Thomas). The 97/3 had to lead in both directions.

The return leg, entering Porthmadog (Ken Robinson).

Return at Harlech, paused to operate the level crossing (Richard Putley)

Return over Barmouth Bridge: repair works to the bridge in view (Richard Putley).

Returning alongside the Dyfi estuary at low tide passing  Frongoch between Aberdyfi and Dovey Junction (Graham Breakwell).

Shrewsbury (Gary Thomas).

Possession at Chester - by Driver Jim Scott

On Sunday morning I worked a ballast train off site to Saltney Junction heading back to Bescot, it should have been empty after dropping ballast between Wrexham and Chester but due to a problem it wasn’t emptied and it returned loaded to Bescot .

Above, Waiting to leave the worksite at Saltney Junction, taken from a position of safety as the line was still under possession so no trains other than mine were present.

Once the possession was lifted I headed off and had to wait in Chester for about 10 minutes for the booked path to Crewe. The green-liveried loco is 'celebrity' 66 779 Evening Star, the last 66 to be built.

Talyllyn Diesels - report by Richard Putley

To mark the 40th Birthdays of their Baguley Diesels locomotives No 11
Trecwm and No 12 St. Cadfan the Talyllyn Railway had extra diesel hauled
services running had by these two and Hunslet No 9 "Alf". I arrived in time to catch the 09:45 from Tywyn to Brynglas hauled by No 12. It was not possible to alight there as the train did not run into the platform. Once the loco had run round it returned to Tywyn. Next No 11 took the same set of coaches out at 10:55 to Byrnglas.

After the same set of coaches was hauled by No 3 Sir Haydn to Nant Gwernol; I photographed No 3 at Abergynolwyn.

On the way back we passed No 9 Alf at Pendre; No 9 was hauling the 14:30 from Tywyn to Nant Gwernol. In addition to No 9, another loco running but which I did not manage to get hauled by was steam loco No 7 Tom Rolt.

Finally I photographed the two Baguleys,  Nos 11 and 12 double heading the 15:20 from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn.

From Dave Sallery's archive

The passenger services between Chester Northgate and New Brighton, and between Chester Northgate and Wrexham, were withdrawn on 9 September 1968.  The line remained open for freight services until 20 April 1984. However due to the idiotic decision to single track the line from Chester to Wrexham General and the resulting (predicted) congestion the line reopened on 31 August 1986.  A strict 20mph speed restriction was imposed.  This happy state of affairs continued until June 1992 when Ravenscraig steelworks in Scotland closed.  This left only a daily train of logs from Scotland which could be easily rerouted via Wrexham.

Above, 37 053 and 37 059 pass Sealand RAF base on 19 June 1992 on a train of logs.  This picture has a story.  We had already photographed this train at Mickle Trafford and decided on taking the next photo from the bridge carrying the A494 trunk road over the line at Sealand.  Knowing how slow train speeds were on that line we sauntered up to the bridge ready for a long wait and got our cameras out. 

Within a couple of minutes an unmarked van drew up nearby and two policemen got out and approached us.   They were Ministry of Defence police and demanded to know our business and informed us that the area was covered by the Official Secrets Act and that we had no business being there.  Any attempt at photography would be deemed an offence.  Knowing that the line was due to close that month we were determined to stand our ground.  We explained that we were there to photograph a train which would be along shortly.  They told us that the line had closed and no trains passed that way any more. 

After what seemed an age the headlight of 37 053 thankfully appeared in the distance and permission to photograph was grudgingly given but on no account should any buildings to our left be included.  I think that, looking at the photo, I complied with their demands!  Today the bridge we took the photo from has been demolished and a new bridge has been erected to carry the cycleway, which uses the former railway trackbed, over what is now three separate roads with 10 lanes of traffic.

Photo taken from the next bridge in the Chester direction of 31 116 on 22 May 1992. In former times this was the site of Saughall station.  The loco has passed earlier in the opposite direction with a long train of engineering wagons for the Merseyrail resignalling scheme.  Only one track was in use which varied between the up and down lines.  The line had a 20 mph speed limit and the 'variable' quality of the track can be seen!

Looking back: Freight in South Wales  1992 - by David Pool

After my visit to the South Wales freight lines in 1991, I returned the following year to explore a few lines I had missed.  Coal was now being brought to railheads by road, from where it was loaded into MEA wagons, which had been constructed from withdrawn HEA coal hoppers.  The destination would usually be Aberthaw power station.

Tondu was a good place to see what might be running, since it was the junction of the Bridgend and Margam Northbound lines, which went to Maesteg or Blaengarw railheads.  On 1 October 1992 the first train to arrive was from Margam, behind 37 899 Sir Gorllewin Morgannwg / County of West Glamorgan.  

After a Class 143 unit had come down from Maesteg, 37 899 went up the line to the trailing junction at Llynfi, beyond Maesteg, where it reversed into the loading area on the site of Maesteg Washery.  After some sunshine at Tondu, dark clouds appeared, and with some mist in the valley it was a rather grim setting. 

By the time the train had been loaded and returned to Tondu, the sun had reappeared as the signalman came out to talk with the train crew.  The signal indicates that the train would be going to Margam, or possibly it might be picking up the loaded wagon which it was passing in my earlier shot at Tondu.

After learning  that a train would be going to Blaengarw on the next day, I  made my way across to another freight line .  This was originally part of the Brecon and Merthyr line from Newport, and now there was a quarry operated by ARC at Machen, supplying ballast and aggregates by rail.  I took one shot of 37 264 heading for the quarry, but there would be no features in the shot which would identify the location, and I decided to wait an hour for its return, as I then could show it passing the remains of Church Road station in Lower Machen.

The weather could not have been better on the next day, 2 October 1992, when I returned to Tondu, where 37 899 appeared again from Margam, but this time taking to line to Blaengarw instead of Maesteg.  The only problem now was the low sun in October, which put much of the line in shadow, but approaching Pontycymmer there was a clear section, which gave a very pleasing shot. 

The loading point at Blaengarw was rather basic, but certainly more picturesque than Maesteg. 

The village of Pontycymmer made another nice background as 37 899 returned down the valley.  

Finally it arrived back at Tondu, where the signalman came out to pick up the token. I couldn’t have wished for a better shot to illustrate the changing scene of coal traffic in South Wales.

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