Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

 03 July 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.

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 History of The Internal Railway at Shotton Steelworks and its Links with the Main Line. Glyn Jones

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

16-17 September : Bala Model Show Ysgol Godre'r Berwyn School, Ffrydan Road, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7RU
10.00-16.00 both days
Approximately 20 layouts, half standard gauge, half narrow (including live steam).

October 2023

Friday 6 October  Clwyd Railway Circle A Year in the Life of an International Train Spotter  - Part 2. Phil Thomas

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

Another load of stone from Penmaenmawr to Longport passes Bagillt wildflower meadow on 20 June. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Some items have been held over to the next issue, as I try to catch up after the holiday. Thanks as always to all contributors. - Charlie

Passenger news

67 017 leads the 1W96 17:14 Cardiff Central to Holyhead past Mostyn on 26 June; at present this and the Holyhead - Cardiff working  are the only loco-worked passenger service on the Coast line.

197 019 1W95 15:22 Cardiff Central to Holyhead through Conwy on 24 June.  197s are now common on this working, but it really needs a pair of units (Tim Rogers)...

... but it was still  necessary to use 150 259 on 1W91 07:22 Cardiff to Holyhead (Garry Stroud).

197 002 departs Penmaenmawr station for Holyhead in wet conditions, 3 July (Greg Mape).

Changing at Chester - by Roger Smith

I was passing through Chester Station on Monday, 26 June. I took a number of photographs while I waited for my connection. The following may be of interest. I list them in chronological order.

Passengers on Platform 4a at Chester Station wait to board the Transport for Wales (TfW) 07:53 (1H82) Chester to Manchester Airport service. The consist is two, two-car units.  197 017 is farthest and leading, and 197 019 is closest. The scheduled time to the airport was 79 minutes. The train arrived one minute early.

"Let There Be Light But No Service"

Class 150 Sprinter 150 146, a Northern two-car unit, standing beneath the canopy in bay Platform 6 at Chester Station. Its lights had just been set to white from red in preparation for the 07:56 (2H34) Chester to Manchester Piccadilly service. However, it was to go nowhere. The preceding 07:12 (2H33) Chester to Stockport service, operated by 150 129, had failed at Mouldsworth, the first station on the line, blocking the line. Service 2H34 was cancelled. The failed service eventually resumed at 08:56, 85 minutes' late.

"Northern Blue"

A driver stands beside her train checking her roster. Her hair colour matches the livery of the company she works for. Could this be the setting of a new trend? Beside her is  195 119, a Northern three-car unit. The train departed bay Platform 5 at Chester Station with the 08:21 (1E54) Chester to Leeds service.

"Attractive Coupling"

197 008 (left), a Transport for Wales (TfW) two-car unit, easing its way into bay Platform 1 at Chester Station with the 08:21 (1D52) Crewe to Chester service. Before releasing its passengers it is about to couple with No. 197 002, another two-car unit. 197 002 had arrived as empty coaching stock from the Chester DMU depot. An orange-topped member of the station staff looks on, as do passengers drawn in when they realised what was happening. The coupled consist subsequently formed the 08:53 (1K33) Chester to Crewe service.

Class 230 promise

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO visited the area recently and told the press:  “We understand the frustrations of passengers using the Wrexham to Bidston line over the past few months. First the line lost its train service due to a safety issue with engines on our trains and this resulted in replacement buses running. Following that, we introduced our refurbished Class 230 trains to the line and unfortunately, we’ve experienced teething problems and technical issues. However, I’m happy to announce today that we now have a 5-step improvement plan in place that will focus on stabilising the reliability of our new trains and improving the service. "

He doesn't say what the five steps are, but mean while Mr Price has also written a letter to Mark Isherwood MS which is well worth reading.

Freight scenes

66 733 Cambridge PSB approaches Llandudno Junction  on 19 June with empty slate waste wagons (Gary Thomas).

66 733 prepares to leave the Junction with the 6G59 loaded wagons, initially for Bescot sidings Down Side.

70 811 with  6M33 14:00 Penmaenmawr Quarry Colas to Longport Lr Colas. Loaded JNA wagons (Tim Rogers).

Beacon blue 66 791 at Slack Lane bridge between Hawarden and Buckley with 6V75 Dee Marsh to Margam morning steel train (Stephen Dennett).

70 811  passing Dwygyfylchi, heading for  Penmaenmawr to Longport with stone empties on 22 June  (Peter Basterfield).

Loading at Penmaenmawr (Garry Stroud).

70 811 with the Penmaenmawr to Longport loaded stone on 22 June passes Old Colwyn  (Gary Thomas).

Returning loaded past Dwygyfylchi.

Appraching Chester at Beeches Farm (Stephen Dennett).

Gary Thomas travelled south to Glandyfi on the Cambrian line on 23 June to capture the Aberystwyth - Chirk log train hauled by 97 303 and 37 405.

Now with 56 078 in charge,  the log train passes Balderton crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).

John Oates writes: An unusual sight at Hereford on the afternoon of 22 June was Colas 56 051 Survival on the Baglan Bay to Chirk logs.  According to Real Time Trains this was the previous day's 6Z51 16:01 Baglan Bay to
Chirk passing Pontrilas 2 minutes late at 19:00, then Tram Inn at 21:06 (122 late) and terminating for the day at Hereford at 21:39 (148 late).  In the picture in the distance can be seen a wagon of logs deposited in the sidings the other side of the shed.  Colas staff were present checking the couplings on the train and carrying out other tests. 

RTT shows the train departing Hereford on 22 June (1 early) at 19:10 before arriving in Chirk Kronospan at 22:33 (79 early).  The traditional nameplates on 56 051 look recently polished and the loco very clean.  The green lettering reads "This locomotive runs on Green Fuel for a Greener Future.  ACT now for a sustainable future". [There is some information about this on this link.]

Train 4D59 on 26 June, bringing  empty slate waste wagons from Wellingborough to Llandudno Junction,  passing Prestatyn (Ivor Bufton).

66 777 Annette moves onto Conwy Cob before reversing into Llandudno Junction yard bringing in the 4D59 empty slate wagons from Wellingborough. Monday 26 June (Garry Stroud). In the foreground, Maritime 21 class boat Loose Canon.

70 811 was back again at Penmaenmawr on 3 July, seen entering the sidings in story conditions (Greg Mape).

From Dave Sallery's archive

37 414 leaves Christleton tunnel on a service to Crewe, 13 June 1996. The tunnel goes under the Shropshire Union Canal.

37 420 alongside Pigeon House Lane East of Chester on a Bangor service, 20 May 1995.

37 421 near Beeston Castle on a Crewe to Bangor service, 13 June 1996.

Looking in the opposite direction sees 37 422 on a Crewe bound service, 13 June 1996.

Looking Back: Buxton Lime Part 5 - by David Pool

On 31 May 1996 Transrail 37 073 Fort William/An Gearasdan and 37 509 were working 7H52, the Northwich to Tunstead empty hoppers,  The shunter in the Peakstone sidings was 08 915

I had photographed 37 073 previously on 4 September 1991, when it was in Railfreight Distribution livery and leaving Beattock with an unassisted freight, possibly heading for Mossend.

37 509 had been in Railfreight grey on 9 July 1994 when it had been again on the Tunstead to Oakleigh hoppers, on this occasion paired with 37 675 at New Mills. 

I had not paid much attention to the class 08, but a few years later later on 9 May 1998 I took a closer shot of 08 915 at Peak Forest and noticed an emblem (presumably unofficial) on the side, which seems to be a hawk or similar bird of prey. I have not been able to discover the story behind this – any ideas? 

37 509 had been a regular performer on the North Wales coast, and featured in my shot at Llanfairfechan, which was on the NWCR webpage of 13 September 2021 (repeated here).

I waited for the return working of 37 509 and 37 073 on the 7F50 to Oakleigh, and the image shows some details which have provided me with a challenge.

The Transrail Class 60 in the shot was clearly 60 005 Skiddaw, but the Intercity Mainline class 37 in front of a Snowplough has been much more difficult to identify.  Looking more closely, the absence of “Intercity” on the side and the appearance of a nameplate were pointing me towards one of the Tinsley “Volcanos”- but which one?  I found a slide of 37 426 I had taken at Edale on 13 August 1992, before it received the unofficial name Mt. Vesuvius in 1993. 

I was able to eliminate 37 416 Mt. Fuji and 37 419 Mt. Pinatubo, which were not in the Peak District in May 1996, leaving 37 415 Mt. Etna as the other possibility.  A photo on Dave Sallery’s website shows 37 415 at Mold Junction in April 1996, and another on a Mark Burrows website shows 37 426 and 37 415 near Tunstead in June 1996, so the search was narrowing.  Finally I came across a photo on Flickr taken by Varleyroger2002 on 13 May 1996, which showed 37 426 pretending to be a volcano at Peak Forest.  The need for some attention by a fitter may be why it was dumped at the end of a siding on my visit a fortnight later. The last piece of evidence came from my image, which showed a long name on the locomotive – not Mt. Fuji but very likely Mt. Vesuvius.

37 426 was one of those locomotives which has worked throughout England, Scotland and Wales.  In large logo blue livery it was Y Lein Fach/Vale of Rheidol, based at Cardiff and often used on Railtours.  On 9 April 1988 it was on the “Morecambe Bay Marauder”, a Pathfinder Railtour from Swindon to Morecambe, Heysham and Barrow in Furness.  I photographed it approaching Morecambe.

The weather deteriorated at Heysham, but there was some sun at Whalley Viaduct.  I don’t know where the crime was committed, but someone hung a block of concrete from a bridge, and 37 426 was taken off at Bank Quay with a cracked windscreen.   By 1997 37 426 was in EWS colours, and on a misty morning of 9 April it was passing Greenfield with the 09:17 Crewe to Bangor. The lineside forests were starting to appear here, having just taken over the slow lines! 

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