31 July 2023
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are welcome, although they may not always be used, due to
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Charter trains, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
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
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).
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
Friday 3 November Clwyd Railway Circle The
Railway in Conway. Larry Davies
Friday 1 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members
Night Presentations. Members are invited to give a
15-minute presentation of their choice.
Calendar page for meeting venues)
North Wales Coast Railway website created and
compiled by Charlie
67 025 at Flint on 11 July with 1W96 17:14 Cardiff
Central to Holyhead. Picture by Tim Rogers.
With the view from the end of platform 4 at Llandudno
Junction station now clear towards Queens Road bridge in the
distance, after recent undergrowth clearance, 66 734 Platinum
Jubilee approaches with the 4D59 slate empties from
Wellingborough, Monday 24 July...
... 66 734 shows off its special livery, as it
reverses the empties in Junction yard (Garry Stroud).
4D59, 09:11 Wellingborough to Llandudno Junction passes
Prestatyn, 31 July, loco 66 749 (Ivor
Bufton). This is one of three locos imported from
Belgium, which ran in a grey livery for a while. It's
now Christopher Hopcroft MBE.
Crossing the road in Porthmadog, 25 July, Welsh Highland
Railway 143 (Greg Mape).
197 017 at Blaenau Ffestiniog on 25 July (Greg
Part of the disused viaduct in Castlefield, Manchester has
been taken over by the National
Trust as a garden. An interesting view can be
obtained of trains approaching Deansgate station: the
Ordsall Chord viaduct is in the background. The three-car
197 is working the Chester - Manchester Airport service on
18 July (Joanna Hulme).
Seen passing Cadnant cutting, Conwy, 150 285 was in charge
of the 1W90
05:12 Cardiff to Holyhead service on 26 July (Garry
70 810 approaching Abergele with empties for
Penmaenmawr Quarry on 26 July, Note the 'Blimp' on the
... it will rise 400ft above Rhyl, with passengers in a
basket below the balloon. Originally advertised to begin
operations in March 2022, it was postponed due to a
'manufacturing issue' (Greg Mape).
Out on the Line - report by Stephen Dennett
On Thursday 27 July I travelled between Chester, Crewe and
Shrewsbury, and return. Before I left Chester I photographed
newbie 197 047 (above) stabled at Chester awaiting
trial runs to Shrewsbury ...
... three-car 197 104 ...
... and 197 110, which took me to Crewe. This was
the first time I had been on a 197. It was lightly loaded,
and arrived at Crewe on time.
As it came in on Platform 12, it gave my the chance to see
the Blue Pullman on manoeuvres over in the LS depot. I
photographed some Class 325 mail trains, 67 025 on the
Manchester Piccadilly loco hauled, a Colas Tamper arriving
from Preston ...
... and 197 002 on a test run from Shrewsbury.
I had earmarked 1V40, the Manchester Piccadilly to
Carmarthen service, as the most convenient train to get me
2-car 150 241 turned up, 11 minutes late already
with standing room only. I managed to squeeze in near the
toilet in the front car, and was glad my journey was only 35
minutes. There were lots of tourists with luggage on board.
Not TfW at its best! We arrived at Shrewsbury 15 mins
down. I learned later it had reached Carmarthen 32 mins
behind time. People and luggage trying to squeeze on and off
At Shrewsbury I saw 67 017 on the Cardiff-Manchester,
22 minutes down at the time, although it did recover 11
minutes before Manchester.
Then came 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley on another
“Welsh Marches Express”...
... with 47 712 Lady Diana Spencer on the
other end ...
... but my personal highlight was beautifully
turned out 37 405.
The 196s are now a familiar sight on the Birmingham New
I took the local 'stopper' back to Crewe, with lightly
loaded 197 004 in charge. I enjoyed the journey back from
Shropshire into Cheshire with train announcements in Welsh
to the fore. Who knew Nantwich was Yr Heledd Wen?
I was reunited with 197 110 from Crewe back to Chester,
again lightly loaded, just in time to see 70 810
waiting for the road with the Pen Stone. 197 047 was still
waiting for a test run, and 197 112 turned up with the
Manchester Airport to Llandudno. I’ll reserve judgement on
the 197s, but dare I say it, the 175s seem a smoother ride.
I sent in a complaint form to TfW about their continuing use
of 2-car 150s on long distance routes. I await a reply. What
the bemused tourists thought of it I couldn’t begin to
Our latest Hitachis
Wednesday 26 July saw the first test run of the new Avanti
West Coast Class 805 units on the North Wales Coast main
line in the form of 5Q35 09:29 Crewe to Llandudno Junction
(signal 109) formed of 805 001 and 805 003. Seen
passing Rhyl (Gary Thomas)
Llandudno Junction (Larry Davies). Thirteen of these
5-car units have been ordered to replace Avanti's fleet of
20 5-car 221s, two of which have already been taken out of
Old (221 108 and 221 109) and new (805
001 and 805 003) at Llandudno Junction,
26 July. Picture by Garry Stroud. These are
'Bi-mode' units, fitted with diesel engines as well as
overhead-wire electric traction, very useful on trains
from London to Chester / North Wales, as there is no
overhead wiring beyond Crewe; also from London to
Shrewsbury, and to Wrexham. Diversions, such as Glasgow to
London via the Settle-Carlisle line, might be feasible.
Returning past Pensarn (Gary Thomas). The coaches are
longer that those of the 221s, 26 metres as against 24
metres. They don't have the 'tilting' feature of the class
Returning past Rhyl (Roly High). Basically they are
the same trains as used by Great Western, TransPennine, and
LNER, which have been criticised , especially regarding
seating, and the 'butchers' hook' cycle storage.
Near Prestatyn (Ivor Bufton). The Newton Aycliffe
factory in Durham is building these trains, using
ready-made bodyshells sent from Hitachi in Japan.
Barmouth bridge progress - pictures by Kate Jones
Three more pictures of the progress in the Barmouth viaduct
I understand the second set of metal work to match the first
will be some
weeks away yet.
Also not related to railways at all but it did land near to
the old Arthog railway station! The Chinook helicopter which
had to do an emergency land in the field in Arthog which
made the news recently. It was still there awaiting repairs
as of Sunday morning.
Porthmadog moves - by Ken Robinson
On Saturday (unusually) 29 July 2023, a light engine move
saw 97303 arrive at Porthmadog from Coleham late morning, to
pick up a tamper from the siding there.
Here are three sequenced shots showing the ensemble leaving
the head-shunt, and then at the station, (down platform -
... before departing on time at 13:08 back to Coleham.
From Dave Sallery's archive : The life and times
of 37 191
D6891, Swansea High Street, May 1966. D6891 is double
heading with another of the class on an afternoon Swansea -
Paddington service. Although it's not clear in this
view the coaching stock is the XP64 set of Mark 2's, then
newly introduced to regular traffic. D6891 was one of
a small group of 37s, D6875 to D6892, which were passed for
100 mph running from Paddington to Bristol and
Swansea. This trial only had a short life as after
1966 these services were worked by a single 47 at
D6891 became 37191 and was scrapped in January 2001. I only
have two photos of it on the coast. Above, passing Abergele
on 30-05-1998 on a Crewe to Bangor service...
and passing a less than sunny Rhyl the following day, again
on a Crewe - Bangor train.
The line to Gateacre - by Tony Flusk
After reading David Pool’s excellent article on Class 40s
(more please David), I can hopefully add some information to
the image of 291 at Hunts Cross on a Garston FLT to Trafford
Park FLT working.
The lines on the right did indeed go to/from Gateacre, but
remained open as a single line from Hunts Cross East Jct
after services ceased to Gateacre, to serve the NCL
(National Carriers Limited) depot at Huskisson, now the site
of the Wellington employment park, and the signalling
control centre at Sandhills for the Merseyrail network. The
line remained open to the depot until 17th June 1975, with
the branch being lifted by early 1979.
There is an excellent
image of one of these working at Knotty Ash
(Hopefully with no subsidence to the track formation caused
by the Jam Butty mines)!
Looking Back: Class 40s and the DVLR - by David
One of the now preserved Class 40s, 40 106
(originally D306) was built by Robert Stephenson and
Hawthorns in Darlington in 1960, and was photographed at
Shipley on 4 May 1974. It has the disc codes for a
Class 8 freight (not fully fitted), and has come from the
Leeds direction, heading towards Skipton. The station
platforms are on the lines to Bradford Forster Square, on
Whenever I visited Yorks in the 1970s I would usually have a
look at the Foss Islands branch, to see if there was any
activity. I was lucky on 26 September 1974 to find 40
014 in the sidings, although there were no signs that
it was about to move. The branch on the left led to
the Layerthorpe station on the Derwent Valley Railway, which
originally went to Cliffe Common, near Selby. This
area of York has had an interesting history, in that it was
in the floodplain of the River Foss, which once contained a
number of small islands. The freight yard was the main
feature in the 70s, but since then there has been massive
development, and no signs of the railway remain today.
The following year on 23 May 1975 there was some movement at
Layerthorpe, where Derwent Valley Railway No.1 was in the
station. This was previously D2298, a Class 04, which
has been preserved today at Quainton Road, carrying the name
Another Class 04 diesel owned by the DVR was No.2,
previously D2245. This was at Layerthorpe on 17 May
1976, where there were a number of freight wagons but no
sign of any impending movements.
The owners of the Derwent Valley Railway (which had always
been an independent line) decided to enter the tourist
market in 1977, in order to bring in some more
revenue. The only section of the line then in use was
to Dunnington, where the Grain Driers still used rail
transport. The preserved LNER Class J72 69023 Joem
was acquired, together with some Mk1 coaches. On a
rather dull 24 September 1977 Joem was preparing to leave
The sun had come out by the time the train arrived at
Dunnington, but it had to be a rather close up shot of Joem
in order to show the buffer stop and the station building in
Some grain wagons were in the siding at Dunnington, together
with a Fowler diesel Churchill, Works No. 4100005
(1947). This traffic ceased in 1981, resulting in the
Derwent Valley Railway owners closing the line and disposing
of much of the rolling stock. The steam worked
passenger trains were not resumed after the 1979
The connection to the Foss Islands branch from the main York
to Scarborough line had been at Burton Lane Junction.
The branch also served the Rowntree factory, which had a
passenger service from Rowntree Halt until 1988. A
footnote in the BR Passenger Timetable for 1987 showed a
single departure from the Halt to Sheffield on weekdays at
16:37, and on 13 August I photographed the Class 101 unit
going onto the branch.
The line to the Halt was subsequently lifted and is now a
cycle track. There is no possibility of trains
returning to Layerthorpe, but the DVLR still exists in
Preservation as a short line in Murton Park, together with a
collection of mostly diesels, many of which used to work on
the line. A visit is on my Bucket List!
Visitors to Murton Park should be aware that there is a £14
entry fee for adults, but this includes entry to the Living
Museum and other attractions, with no additional charges for
rides on the railway.
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