Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

 10 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 - 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

As 158 820 passes with the 07:24 Pwllheli - Machynlleth on 6 July,  the first of the new girders for the metal end of Barmouth bridge are unloaded. Picture by Kate Jones - more below.

News pictures

66 301 reversing into Llandudno Junction compound, after bringing in the 4D59 Wellingborough  slate waste empties  on 3 July ...

... and 70 811 passing with the return 6M33 Penmaenmawr to Longport stone service (Garry Stroud).

Passing through Colwyn Bay's 'Concrete Canyon' (Peter Basterfield).

The train was 50 minutes late through Flint due to sigalling trouble at Prestatyn (Stephen Dennett).

On 4 July, sister loco 70 812 passes Helsby with 6J37 Carlisle Yard to Chirk Kronospan logs (Stephen Dennett).

Also at Helsby on 4 July, West Coast Railways 37 706 with 1Z53, the returning Dalesman from Carlisle to Chester...

... 45 245 on the rear (Stephen Dennett).

'Merchant Navy Class' 35018, British India Line comes past Acton Bridge with 5Z80 Carnforth Steamtown to Southall Light Engine move on 6 July (Stephen Dennett)

On 7 July,  56 090 and 56 113 6J37 Carlisle to Chirk lods cross the Weaver Navigation Canal at Frodsham. The boat is the steam tug Daniel Adamson (Peter Basterfield).

Borderlands: the five commandments

As mentioned previously, TfW have announced five ways in which they will improve the service on the Wrexham - Bidston service. The full document can be read on their website at this link  - scroll down to 'Notes for Editors'.  In brief, No. 1 is to allocate a 'senior professional' for three months to sort out the situation. 2. Make the Class 230 trains work properly, including 'improving driving styles'. 3. 'We commit to keep all rail replacement to a minimum.' 4. 'Review our timetable with customers at the forefront'. 5. Sort out the compatibility of 'mobile tickets' between TfW and Merseyrail, and 'Partnering with Pay Zone to explore opportunities for people to buy a physical rail ticket in a local business.  This gives added confidence in buying before you board and will also be an economic boost to local shops. '

That last idea is also proposed by Northern as part of their plan to close nearly all their ticket offices, but will it work with the UK's  complex web of ticket types and fares?

TfW in Manchester - by Charlie Hulme

While changing trains at Manchester Piccadilly on the morning 6 July I was surprised to see a pair of three-car Class 177 units arriving into Platform 10. As I had a train to catch I grabbed the above image. It turned out to be 197 110 and 197 117 3Z77 Crewe-Manchester and 3Z78 return - clearly a trial run with a view to the use of such a formation on the Manchester - South Wales service as planned to operate alternate hours with the loco-hauled sets.

Later, I found myself at Manchester Airport station to travel to Piccadilly in the 15:25 to Llandudno, worked by 197 018.  The inward working had left Llandudno Junction ten minutes late, and arrived at Manchester Airport 13 minutes late at 15:25 (picture above).  After quick work by the crew, we departed at 1528½, and the train eventually arrived at Llandudno two minutes early.

The train in platform 4 is the 15:29 Manchester Airport - Barrow formed of 195 103  and 195 115 which was able to get away just one minute late.  It's easy to see how lateness can be passed on at this busy station.  This diesel train would spend 69 minutes of its 98-minute journey running under electric wires.

At Manchester Piccadilly I was able to photograph clean-looking 67 008 awaiting departure from Platform 10 with the 16:30 to Swansea.

Welsh Highland Centenary - pictures by Ian Pilkington

David Lloyd George & Merddin Emrys head the 15:10 Portmadog - Rhyd Ddu over the Aberglaslyn Bridge on Friday 23 June.

Welsh Pony heads through the Aberglaslyn Pass with the 11:35 Porthmadog-Beddgelert on Saturday 24 June.

Simplex Mary Ann heads away from Pont Croesor with the 17:05 to Porthmadog on Saturday 24 June.

Merddin Emrys approaches Rhyd Ddu with the 15:10 Dinas-Porthmadog on Sunday 25 June.

NG130 & NG143 approach Pitt's Head Summit with the 15:35 Porthmadog-Dinas mixed train on Sunday 25th.

Lyd & Russell approach Rhyd Ddu with 16:55 Caernarfon-Porthmadog on Sunday 25 June.

After a short stop at Rhyd Ddu, the train continues past Pitt's Head Summit.

Action at Sutton Bridge Junction - report by Graham Breakwell.

Some images from the Sutton Bridge Junction and Coleham areas of the Aberystwyth log train 6C65 returning to Chirk on Saturday 8 July. An interesting move took place to attach an empty log wagon and 56 078 that had been stabled in the Sutton Bridge headshunt, possibly taken off the down train the night before.   Above, 97 303 and 37 405 bring the train off the Cambrian before coming to a halt after passing the signal box.

56 078 and an empty log wagon at the far end of the SBJ headshunt.

37 405 and 97 303 propelling the log train into the headshunt.

97 303 and 37 405 setting off from SBJ for Chirk with 57 078 and the wagon in tow.

56 078 dead on the rear, passing 97 302 at Coleham depot.

Normally the service runs from Shrewsbury to Chirk via Crewe, Chester and Wrexham to reverse into the Kronospan factory but on this occasion it went to Chester via Wrexham where 97 303 and 37 405 were removed and the service reversed with 56 078 powering on to Chirk.

West Coast Railways 5Z65 Carnforth Steamtown to Coleham , seen at Sutton Bridge  on 9 July.  The consit is 37 706 ...

... and inspection saloon 999506.

The saloon is to run from Shrewsbury to Barmouth every day of the week beginning 10 July, and will be stabled at Coleham each night. The schedule from Monday to Friday is :-

2766, 0815 Shrewsbury to Barmouth
2Z67, 11.58 Barmouth to Machynlleth
2Z68, 14.45 Machynlleth to Shrewsbury

Reportedly these excursions are for 'people involved with the East Coast Main Line's ERTMS signalling project to understand the Cambrian's implementation.' This will require a Class 97/3 loco to work the train.

Train 1Z89, the 09: 55 Edinburgh to Cardiff Central operated by West Coast Railways. 57 314 Conwy Castle leading past the signalbox with 47 804 on the rear on 10 July (Graham Breakwell).

[The naming by West Coast Railways of 57 314, last year escaped our attention.]

Cambrian Corner: Barmouth Bridge - report by Kate Jones

Two pictures from 1 July to show the preparation of the work compound for the building of the new Barmouth viaduct metal section. The rails are going down which will carry the bogies for the new metal section of the viaduct to be put together.

When fully assembled it will be put onto the railway and taken into position within the old metal frame work. The old metal will be removed and the new bridge will be extended widthways to fit the original bridge size. The electric cables it would have had to pass under will be removed and put underground.

The first girder swings over towards the prepared rails...

... and put in place. There's an interesting article about the work on Rail Engineer.

A closer view. Saturday 2 September to Friday 24 November and Saturday 25 November to Saturday 2/Sunday 3 December. See Network Rail information.

From Dave Sallery's archive

40 150 approaches Abergele with ferrywagons, 12 January 1984.  In the background is Gwrych Castle, since made famous on reality TV.

40 150 abd 47287 headwest at Prestatyn, 21 October 1984.

40 015 in Rhyl yard on a Sunday afternoon in October 1983. Now the site of a Morrisons store.

97 406 at Mostyn, 21 August 1985. Formerly 40 135 and now preserved on the East Lancashire Railway.

Looking Back: Buxton lime part 6 - by David Pool

Loadhaul liveried 60 070 is approaching Hindlow on 4 August 1997 with a train of Buxton Lime Industries hoppers., having just passed Harpur Hill.

On 9 May 1998 a Transrail 60 096 had just left Dove Holes tunnel on the approach to Peak Forest.  At the time I was unable to be sure of the reporting number or other details of these trains.

In Peak Forest sidings on the same day there was an interesting selection of locomotives.  The mainline liveried 37 274 was not a rarity, but 08 925 was out of the ordinary, and very clean for a shunter in that district. 

The late 1990s were certainly interesting in the variety of liveries to be found.  At Peak Forest on 26 June 1999 60 078 and 60 007 were awaiting their next duties. 

By 2000 Class 59/2s were in EWS livery, and could be seen regularly at Peak Forest.  On 17 August 2000 59 205 was in the siding.  This was of course originally in National Power livery, and on 18 April 1998 it had been on the Railtour to Trawsfynydd, being featured in many NWCR Notes such as the issue on 8 November 2021.

The locomotive behind 59 205 was 56 127.  On 13 November 1991 it had been in Railfreight Coal livery, and was passing through Haltwhistle with loaded MGR wagons heading for Carlisle.  I wasn’t able to identify the working – it was 12:45 if anyone has information on these MGR trains. The station had suffered with the closure of the Alston branch in 1976, but the footbridge and signal box had survived.

60 026 was in the first version of the EWS livery (E W & S) on 28 June 2000, and is at Harpur Hill, heading for Hindlow with MEA box wagons.

On 12 November 1993 I had photographed 60 026 at Holme Lane, between Furzebrook and Worgret Junction on the Swanage branch.  It had just left the Furzebrook oil terminal and was heading for Avonmouth.  The Wytch Farm oilfield is apparently the largest onshore oilfield in Western Europe.  The Swanage Railway is now running a regular dmu service to Wareham on this line, the oil trains having been replaced by a pipeline.  The latter has also been in the news following the oil leak into Poole Harbour in March 2023, and not surprisingly there has been much local concern.

The Longsight Eagle

Thanks to everyone who wrote on the subject of the  bird symbol seen on the Class 08 on duty in Peak Forest.  This seems to have arisen when other depots began to sport symbols such as the Stratford Cheeky Cockney and and the Eastfield terrier. The Freight sector made this official, but Longsight were not included as it was mainly a passenger depot.

Image above from the Manchester Locomotive Society collection.

But why an eagle?  One explanation involves the local pigeons, but a former worker at the depot explains that the eagle has good eyesight to catch its prey at long distances - hence Long - Sight!

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