NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY :NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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18 June 2023
70000 Britannia passing Penmaenmawr station on 15 June (Scott McGahey). The signalbox (built 1952, windows altered later ) is a year younger than the locomotive (completed 1951). The signalbox replaced an earlier one in a different position following a serious accident which was partly blamed on the poor sighting from the box.
Class 175 in decline
Geoff Morris writes: 'Walking on Hoole Road, Chester, on 14 June I found there was a traffic hold-up. This turned out to be a pair of Allely’s Heavy Haulage vehicles (plus escort vehicles) carrying the two fire-damaged class 175 cars away from Chester depot. I only had my mobile with me but was able to grab some photos as they moved off. Presumably they were going for scrap as a large amount of the underfloor equipment had been removed (they were too high up to see inside) as can be seen in the photo. The lead vehicle was carrying 79708 (from 175 008) ...
... while the second carried 50751 (from 175 101). I’ve no idea of their destination but they were presumably heading towards the M53 motorway'.
175 general notes:
175 007, the third fire victim, has been repaired and is back in traffic, but a number of 175s have now been returned to the leasing company Angel Trains, including 101 and 108 (see above), as well as 002, 005, and also 175 111 which has been used as a source of spare parts at Longsight depot for some time. An item in Rail Express magazine includes a surprising statement that a new operator [yet to be revealed] has been lined up for the fleet.
66 302 at Llandudno Junction with empties to Penmaenmawr, 12 June (Gary Thomas)...
... and at Waverton (Stephen Dennett). 66 302 is one of the batch for Fastline, and later used by DRS. These keep their original numbers; there are no 66 7xx numbers left!
66 740 Sarah at Penyffordd with the Dee Marsh to Margam steel train 12 June. Picture by Stephen Dennett who writes 'the train was 15 minutes late , having to wait for the late Bidston-Wrexham service and the Class 230 empty stock from Birkenhead North, which was also 15 mins behind time. Not an unusual occurrence I’m afraid.'
66 740 Sarah again at Croes Newydd heading for Dee Marsh with loaded steel-carriers from Margam, 14 June (Gary Thomas).
67 010 with the southbound 'WAG' to Cardiff passing Croes Newydd - at 07:55 on 14 June (Gary Thomas). This and its evening counterpart are the only loco-worked service on the Coast line at present.
70 806 passes Rhyl Marine Lake on 15 June with another load of stone for Longport (Gary Thomas). Note: there is an article about the Rhyl Miniature Railway in the current (July) issue of Today's Railways UK magazine.
The occasional Aberystwyth-Chirk log train was meant to run on 16 June afternoon / evening but was delayed by about 10 hours. The the locos ran round the train at Chester at 07:00 on 17 June. Harry Needle's 37 405 is leading 97 303 Dave Berry (Paul Shannon). The 97 is required to lead from Aberystwyth for the Cambrian lines' signalling system.
Northbound trains from the south heading for the factory siding at Chirk have to run past Chirk and reverse, as there is no connection to the siding northbound line there. Chester is a convenient place for the reversal. Picture by David Harrison.
Steam power was provided for the first leg on 15 June 2023 from Crewe to Bangor, of this year's "Three Peaks Challenge by Rail" Charity Railtour. Scott McGahey photographed it at Bunbury, between Crewe and Chester. The sixth coach is Restaurant/Buffet E1666, inherited by LSL with the Steam Dreams fleet . BR blue/grey seems to be a new livery for LSL stock (so far).
On a truly gorgeous evening 70000 Britannia heads the special as it approaches Beeches Farm bridge on its way to Bangor (Bob Greenhalgh).
Steaming past Bagillt footbridge (Stephen Dennett). 47 593 Galloway Princess was on the rear.
Abergele (Gary Thomas).
Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud). The participants, from the railway industry, were required climb up and down Snowdon in the dark before rejoining the train heading for Ravenglass (for Scafell Pike) and then Fort William (for Ben Nevis).
Dwygyfylchi (Ian Pilkington).
47 853 travelled to Bangor ahead of the main train, as seen at Conwy by Garry Stroud. 47 583 was on the rear of the train from Crewe.
Britannia turned on the Valley triangle ...
... and headed back to her home at Crewe (Pictures by Peter Basterfield). the rest of the intinerary was entrusted to top-n-tail 47 593 and 47 853, also from the Locomotive Serviproviding traction for the other legs of the challenge.
Donations to the Railway Children charity are always welcome.
How do we quote a locomotive's number in in a caption? This is always a problem with privately-owned locos. Locomotive Services seem to enjoy using their locos to recall liveries and numbers carried in the past. An example appeared recently when 47 853, as it is known by Network Rail's 'Tops' system appeared on the Coast in original BR blue with the number 47 614 which it carried from 1984 to 1989 when it became 47 853. In future we will use the format '47 853 (as 47 814)' on the first mention in an item.
Steam locos, and 'heritage' diesels owned by preservation groups raise an even more difficult problem: Network Rail give steam a number in a 98... series vaguely related to what might be painted on the side of the loco. Nobody wants to use that. Some steam locos often receive a change of number/name and 'painted number' to masquerade as another member of the class. But we do then? Use in brackets the number they had at the time of Nationalisation, perhaps; example 45699 Galatea (as 45562 Alberta). Who knows ...
Collectors Fair news - from Oliver Hambly
Just a reminder of the North West Rail and Transport Collectors Fair at Crewe on 24 June (Crewe Alexandra Football Club. Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe CW2 6EB (5 mins walk from Crewe Station) 10.00am - 3.00pm).
David Maidment OBE the founder of the Railway Children Charity , while the class 66 carrying his name will not be at Crewe , David himself will be . He will be promoting the Charity, and sharing his story with all; he will also have a selection of the Charity's publications and products , so get your railway themed Christmas Cards early and be supporting a very good cause. A percentage of every door admission will also be donated to the Railway Children, so just by coming along you will be helping the cause .
Michael Dunn, a well known Railway Author will be launching his latest book - Caledonian Railway Miscellany, And last of all, MDS Books and Publishing have confirmed that they will have all of their North Wales and North West titles presented for sale.
And to keep everyone happy its just been confirmed that bacon butties will be available along with Tea and Coffee from 10am doors opening and through the day .
From Dave Sallery's Archive
47 704 Dunedin in Scotrail livery approaches Rhyl on 1D48 11;25 Euston-Holyhead from Crewe, 6 July 1991. These push-pull locos were made redundant by the introduction in September 1990 of Class new 158 units on their Scottish operations, and were transferred south. 47 704 met its end at Ron Hull's Scrapyard, Rotherham in December 2006.
47 325 with empty hopper wagons from Amlwch to Mostyn passing Prestatyn, 29 June 1988. The train carried sulphur which arrived by ship, and used as part of the Octel factory at Amlych. The 'vanfit' behind the loco was for the wagon sheets which covered the wagons when loaded to stop the sulphur blowing about.
47 330 on a down Freightliner for Holyhead at Holywell Jct, 2 May 1989. Three air-braked coal hoppers stand on the adjacent goods line.
The demolition of the Courtaulds factory continues in the background. The company's North Wales factories produced fibre viscose rayon, made from cellulose derived from imported wood pulp or cotton waste, claimed to be a substitute for silk. Courtaulds had three factory sites in Flint, Aber Works, Deeside Mills and Castle Works, and two rayon production facilities at Greenfield. At its height, the company employed over 10,000 people in Flintshire, but all closed by the 1980s.
47 513 Severn at Rhosgoch on the Amlwch branch on with the Mabinogion railtour on 16 October 1993. On the other end were 37 218 and 37 261.
Peak Forest Sentinels
In the last issue David Pool asked if anyone could indentify thes two Sentinel locos at Peak Forest. Thanks to those who have offered information and hints; the following by Martin Weeks answers the question in detail.
'With reference to the image of two locos taken on 28 March 1997: The blue one with side panels missing is Rolls Royce engined Sentinel S10107 of 1963. I am virtually certain that the similar blue loco in the other picture, taken on 15 April 1989, is the same loco. It was still working at Peak Forest at least until 2014. This loco is still extant at Ed Murray of Hartlepool, they are a heavy haulage company who also spot hire shunting locos. It may have been rebuilt at Hunslet in 1989 but I can find no positive confirmation of this. I’m led to believe it is now called ‘Charlie’ very appropriate!
'The red one in the same picture is S10186 of 1964 rebuilt by Hunslet (their works number 6459 issued in 1989). The photo is dated after that so is definitely the Hunslet rebuild. This loco is now owned by Harry Needle Rail Company. I saw it at Nemesis Rail Burton on Trent in 2015 but it could now be at Worksop. Both locos had been at Peak Forest for a long time, certainly since the 1970s and maybe from new.'
Also to mention, the diesel loco RS 8, rebuilt from a steam loco, spent time at the Dinting Railway Centre when first withdrawn by ICI.
More from David Pool in the next update.
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