Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

15  May 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.

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

197 010 crosses Llanddulas Viaduct on 13 May with the 09:25  Manchester Airport. (Greg Mape).

Busy week - chronicled by  Gary Thomas

A busy week on the Coast as we had three LSL charters and largely excellent weather. On Wednesday (above) we had a Statesman charter from Chesterfield to Blaenau Ffestiniog, with 47 712 and 47 593, seen passing Rhyl.

On Friday we had the 'Emerald Isle Express' return to Holyhead to pick up returning passengers off the ferry. Again with 47 593, seen at Valley.

On Saturday we had the Midland Pullman from St. Albans to Llandudno. The view from Old Colwyn shows the out-bound working.

Returning through Deganwy. Unfortunately this train was stopped at Chester and evacuated while the Fire Brigade dealt with overheated batteries under one of the coaches and clear the smoke. The passengers were transferred to coaches, according to an LSL staff member.

Finally a photo of 66 755 Tony Berkeley OBE with 6M76 03:07 Llanwern to Dee Marsh.

Eurovision 777 - by George Jones

Merseyrail ran 777 013 to Hooton platform 2 for a photo-opportunity on Tuesday 10 May. At 12.30 there was myself and one other to take it in ...

... and enjoy an exclusive inspection of the four coaches in colourful livery ...

...including look in the modern drivers cab.

Platform  2 is in the process of being  extended with buffer stop moved to match.

The expected VIPs hadn't shown up by the time Ian Henderson left some time  later.

Miscellany - pictures by Stephen Dennett

73 963 Janice  arrives at Penyffordd with 1Q41 Derby RTC to Derby RTC Network Rail test train.

... 73 962 Dick Mabbutt on the rear.

37 418 An Comunn Gaidhhealach speeds through Acton Bridge with 6Z38, DB Cargo Fan A&B Sidings to Walton Old Junction yard on 9 May.  It was pulling 30+ JNA wagons, and returned light engine later from Walton via Chester to its base at Derby Railway Technical Centre.

60007  Sir Nigel Gresley at Shrewsbury having arrived with Saphos Trains' "The Welsh Marches Express" from Paignton on 10 May...

... It was an hour late arriving due to trespassers on the line, which played havoc with all the services from the south.

47 593
Galloway Princess comes past Beeches Farm on 12 May with 1Z47, the Holyhead to London Euston return leg of the "Emerald Isle Express".

Report from the Borderlands  - by Alastair Graham

230 010 approaches Buckley at 16:21 on the late running 15:38 from Wrexham Central, 4 May.

Saturday 13 May saw Saturday trains running on the Bidston - Wrexham line for the first time in more than 10 weeks! Well, most of the day until the last return from Wrexham was cancelled due to a bridge strike. No information provided as to any replacement bus service passengers seemed left to fend for themselves with a couple of girls having to pay £40 for a taxi to Shotton from Bidston. In the event of cancellations there has to be better communication especially at almost 11pm!

On 10 May 12:58 Shotton to Wrexham cancelled: next available train was not until 15:56. On 11 May service seemed to be running OK. On 12 May  the 16:48 and 17:51 from Neston to Wrexham were cancelled so after the 15:47, the next train was not until 19:02.

There have been problems caused by both the Class 150 which works the odd hours service from Bidston and the 230 which works the even hours departures. One train seems to run later and later presumably with a fault of some nature and he following one is delayed also and TfW end up cancelling two services to get back on time but leaving up to four hours with no trains running. Sunday is usually OK as there is recovery in the timetable due to the one-and-a-half hour pattern.

Below: a few pictures taken at Bidston on 12 May.

508 127 departs Bidston for Liverpool Central.

230 009 crosses to the Down line towards Birkenhead North depot.

507 002 approaches Bidston from Liverpool Central.

A visit to Shrewsbury - Charlie Hulme

67 013 leaving Shrewsbury on the 14:30 Manchester Piccadilly - Cardiff Central, 8 March.

We travelled First-Class from Stockport to Shrewsbury - some very cheap advaced fares can be had.  Obviously our trip was too short for a meal, and we did get a free hot or soft drink - but a biscuit or cake, as on TransPennine,  would have been nice. If they are available, the jolly steward didn't offer them. The catering contractor, 'Blas' (English, 'Taste') seems to have a rather informal style. They, and TfW, seem to have adopted an all-black 'uniform' - maybe to match the coaches, with very small logos on the shoulder.

197 042 at Shrewsbury on 11 May, presumably a training run.

And 'Grumpy Old Man' says: Why are trains laying over in platforms have to leave the engines running? It must waste fuel, and makes a thunderous noise.  We sat on a platform waiting for our train home (67 012) and a WMT 196 pulled in to Platform 6 and was left snarling away. A few minutes later, another 196 arrived on a training run, and its crew walked off,  leaving the engine running and duet of noise. I know that on the old DMUs this was done because if they switched off they may not start again, but surely this cannot be true of the latest high-tech stock?

News pictures

Within the Shrewsbury to Machynlleth possession on last week and this, here this afternoon, Monday 15 May from the "virtual quarry" east of Abermule is Colas Rail 56 049 Robin of Templecombe hauling a ballast train in the direction of Newtown with 56 105 bringing up the rear.


The use of a non-ERTMS loco is allowed because the line is closed to normal traffic. Pictures taken by John Oates  from a lay-by west of Abermule alongside a busy A483.

An old friend of the Coast Line,  37 418 bringing a rake of 30 new JNA wagons from Wembley to Warrington Old Junction Yard taken at Weaver Junction on 9 May.

The 'Midland Pullman' starts back from Llandudno to St Albans on 13 May ...

... passing Llandudno golf course. Sadly the train never reached St Albans (see above). Picture by Greg Mape.

Sir Nigel Gresley
taken on 9 May  passing through Wrexham with support coach (Anthony Thomas).

Balderton (Bob Greenhalgh).

70 812 and the Carlisle to Chirk logs on May 12 powering through Ruabon (Martin Evans).

D1062 at Bridgnorth, Severn Valley Railway on 6 May, Western Courier's 60th birthday.

From Dave Sallery's archive

Following on from the naming of 47645, menioned last time, two  photos of the naming of 37 422 as Robert F Fairlie on 3rd May 1993.  One taken near Roman Bridge...

....  and the other at Blaenau. Note: regarding the previous naming, the Ffestiniog loco present was Earl of Merioneth.

47 347 has just emerged from the tunnel into daylight at Blaenau on June 27th 1993 with a charter from Kings Cross.  There were two private sidings at the tunnel entrance, on the left serving Oakely Slate Quarry and on the right Llechwedd.  As shunting them required the steam locomotive to remain in the tunnel for a lot of the time it was not a popular duty. The famous Slate Caverns tourist attraction is located higher up on the right hand side.

The Ffestiniog Railway had a branch to Llechwedd which passed under the standard gauge line here and accessed the quarry by a gravity incline behind the building.  The building housed a small hydro electric power station which supplied Llechwedd quarry.  Subsequent road improvements have considerably reshaped the area around here.

Looking back:   The Rylstone branch  part 1 (Railtours) -by David Pool

When I visited Swinden Quarry on 18 August 1979, the track beyond Cracoe to Grassington had been lifted, and parked at the siding buffer stop was an ex Southern Region Class 12 Diesel, This was based on the LMS designed Class 11 shunters, but was lighter with a higher maximum speed.

An opportunity for me to see passenger trains on the branch arose in 1983, when a Class 101 diesel unit was chartered by the Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum to run trips between Skipton and Rylstone. The line out of Skipton was not the easiest to photograph, so I chose a view from the B6265 Grassington Road, to the South of Rylstone. The 1245 from Skipton on 12 June 1983 was formed by M54070 / M53227 .

The level crossing at Rylstone village was a head on shot, but it illustrates the headboard “The Dalesrailwayman”.

On the return journey, the unit passed Embsay Junction, where the line to Embsay and Bolton Abbey came in on the right. At that time, the Yorkshire Dales Railway was hoping to get access from Embsay to Skipton, but the need to ensure the freights from Swinden Quarry were not hampered by the restrictions placed on Preserved Railways led to the Junction being severed a few years later, and the Yorkshire Dales Railway put their efforts towards reaching Bolton Abbey, with the new name Embsay and/Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.

Pathfinder Railtours 1Z38 0625 Swindon to Rylstone on 27 November 1990 (“The Rylstone Cowboy”) was a popular attraction for rail photographers, and the use of Tamworth Castle 25 322 added to the interest. On the same day a Cumbrian Mountain Express was to be hauled by 6201 Princess Elizabeth from Skipton, so I headed for Skipton to see what was happening there. I was surprised to see a couple of Class 31s running round a train of Tilcon hoppers, and this gave me the opportunity to see them arrive later at Swinden Quarry with the empty hoppers. I returned to Skipton, where 6201 was waiting in a siding at the station. The CME soon arrived behind 47 517,  6201 departed with the lengthy train. It appears there were adhesion problems on wet rails, and 47 517 on the rear had to assist on both the outward and return journeys on the S&C.

Having photographed the Class 31s earlier, I did not try to get another shot after they came back to Skipton to pick up the Railtour and take it towards Swinden Quarry. The weather was deteriorating, and it got progressively darker as we waited a few miles from Rylstone. Eventually Tamworth Castle appeared ... with 31 327 on the rear. Note the cars parked on the B6265!

It was even gloomier at Skipton when the train arrived there – an exposure of one thirtieth of a second was needed, but I got a tolerable shot. The train went forward to Heysham, losing more time, and arriving there almost two hours late. With a booked arrival back in Swindon after midnight, it will have been a long day for all involved! 

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