North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 30 October 2023


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

30 October 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 advice and 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.

November 2023

Friday 3 November Clwyd Railway Circle The Railway in Conway.  Larry Davies

Friday 10 November. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Paul Shackcloth "People and Places 2". Images of the steam railway with at least one person visible.

Saturday 25 November Railway Touring Company 'The Christmas Cheshireman' steam hauled Bristol - Chester and return

December 2023

Friday 1 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members Night Presentations.  Members are invited to give a 15-minute presentation of their choice.

Saturday 9 December Pathfinder Tours 'The Chester Christmas Cromptons.'  WCRC Class 33 locos Eastleigh - Chester & return

January 2024

Friday 12 January. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Simon Temple on "South Asian Steam in 1982" - features India, Pakistan and Nepal.

February 2024

Friday 9 February.  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society  John Hooley. "Euston and Destinations: the Potteries
and the North West". Steam in action on passengers and freight.

March 2024

Friday 1 March (note the first Friday of the month). Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Dennis Flood. "Edge Hill Motive Power Depot". Dennis will entertain us with tales from his career on the footplate in the 1960s.

April 2014

Friday 12 April. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society David Beilby. "Transport around the World by GEC and its predecessors". A joint meeting with the Irish Railway Record Society Manchester branch.

(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

On 20 October at Holyhead: two lines of two 175/1 sets, the leading units being 103 and 112. Picture by Alan Crawshaw.

News pictures

A few days later on 23 October there were only three sets, now in line with 112 at the front (Alan Crawshaw).

Train 1V46, the 14:30 from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff Central calling at Ludlow on Saturday 28 Oct led by 82229 and powered by 67 022. Picture by Graham Breakwell, who notes:   'A welcome change from the 150s and 153s that have degraded the TfW service since the demise of the 175s.'

The 3S71 RHTT circuit on 26 October only managed to run from Coleham to Machynlleth and back before failing. After much attention to 97 302 on 27 October from the Coleham depot staff, including repeated firing up, hard revving and shutting down, all to no avail, 56 049 was brought out to shunt 97 302 out of the way and reassemble the train with 56 078 at the opposite end...

... Passing by - also in trouble, running 102 minutes late: 197 011 on 1V38, the 09:30 Manchester Piccadilly to Carmarthen, insult adding to injuring with the service cancelled from Cardiff due a points failure (Graham Breakwell).

On Sunday 29 October, 508 139 leads 508 141 through Bache for Chester and the start of the Branch Line Society  '5.08 Sunset'  railtour to celebrate the approaching demise of the class.

Three 'Fairlies' being lined-up for a photo shoot at Porthmadog station, Ffestiniog Railway on 27 October, including the new one, James Spooner (right). Picture by Greg Mape.

In other narrow-gauge news, it's been announced that 'The Vale of Rheidol Railway (VoR) is pleased to announce it is in negotiation for the acquisition of the Brecon Mountain Railway (BMR). This merger represents an historic milestone for both railways and safeguards the future of the BMR for future generations to enjoy.'  Some years back, It was the BMR who bought the VoR from British Rail.

175 Afterlife - report by Geoff Morris

Class 175 units, which are no longer in the TfW fleet, are still visible in and around Chester with units appearing and  disappearing on the depot from time to time since they were taken “off lease”.  I believe that units stored at Crewe South are periodically run to Chester, presumably to keep them “warm” and maybe for fuelling. [Could this mean that the leasing company hopes to find a buyer?]

On 26 October 175 105 was in the yard at Chester Depot conveniently positioned  for photos alongside 197 020. Another (unidentified) 175/1 was inside the depot  on the fuelling road.  A new Merseyrail unit 777 018 then appeared and was held  at the signals alongside to allow 508 131 to vacate platform 7 with the 15:15  service to Liverpool. This gave the opportunity for a photo giving side-by-side   “Old and New” units from two different operators.

28 October saw 175 105 still on the depot, having shunted to another road, and it had been joined by 175 009.  This was the first time that I’ve seen one of the 2-car sets in the depot since they were taken off-lease.  The photo shows the two sets sandwiching 175 108.

Update from Larry Davies:  On 30th October 175 007 worked 5Q75 10:44 from Landore depot, Swansea to Holyhead maintenance depot. After a significant delay at Crewe and further delay on the coast due to barrier problems at Tyn'y morfa, the unit sped through Llandudno Junction 87 minutes down at 17:20. It's not quite clear whether she was for storage or for removal of sister units still at Holyhead to an alternative location.

Transition at Chester - report by George Jones

The news that TFW has withdrawn the 175s caused me to look again at pictures taken on my return from Headbolt Lane on 10 October. I arrived at Chester at 14:45 on 508 139 and wondered if it had been a final ride on the type on the Chester line.

Whilst waiting to see what came in on the next Merseyrail service, I was surprised to find 175 110 coming off the depot onto the siding: a final viewing it now seems.

When Merseyrail arrived at 14:57 it was 777 002 as my first sighting of such in Chester on the day when I had noted four of the new  type passing me on the way down from Rock Ferry. I rode 508 103 on the way up to Liverpool.

The new train demonstrated its flat access steps as parked in Chester's platform 7.   One on board announcement which I did note on 777 148 I rode to Kirkby was 'to have you tickets ready for inspection' - not that anyone bothered but I hear that the 'grippers' were abroad on other trains.

So a day when the scene was in transition unbeknown to the casual observer as 197s dominated the TFW scene at Chester/ Sic transit gloria - again!

Colours of the Class 175

The 175s were first turned out in First Group's blue-and-purple livery, with 'North Western' on the side of each car, as seen here on 175 111  in Llandudno Junction in May 2005. North Western Trains initially operated in Northern England in addition to North Wales (Charlie Hulme).

Arriva took over the North Wales part of the franchise in 2003, and removed all the wording, as seen on  175 001 and 175 110 on the 14:16 Manchester Piccadilly – Llandudno between Sandycroft  and Shotton on  20 June 2005.  For a while, 175s continued to work the northern England lines, on hire to Arriva. Picture by Geoff Morris.

A 'ghost' version of the livery was designed for the repainting from First colours.   175 008, seen leaving Prestatyn on the 10:44 Llandudno – Manchester Piccadilly on 25 January 2006, was the first to receive it - without any logos. (Geoff Morris). This loco later caught fire, and after a long time in works  was repainted in the standard livery.

175 110 at Beeches Farm on a Press special from Holyhead to Cardiff after being unveiled to the public on 8 December 2005 to publicise the new timetable.  It was the second and last to have this scheme (Geoff Morris).

Instead, Arriva repaints featured the simple blue and cream colours which matched their buses. 175 105 was pictured at Manchester Piccadilly on 25 August 2008 (Charlie Hulme).  The 175s never received the two-tone blue which was applied to 158s, 150s and loco-hauled trains under the Transport for Wales umbrella.

The final TfW livery,  seen at Manchester Piccadilly on 175 107 in 2018 (Greg Mape).

From Dave Sallery's archive

Before the Class 175s...

37 142 passing Llanfairfechan with the up Irish Mancunian, 20 July 1996.

37 420 leaving Conwy for Bangor, 31 May 1996.

37 425 passing Penmaenmawr, 18 August 1997. A class 31 is under the loading hopper.

37 429 rushes past Penmaenmawr on a down service, 15 July 1996.

Looking Back: Lancashire Lines Part 1 1960-65 - By David Pool

Before the Boundary changes in 1974, Lancashire stretched from North of the Mersey into what now is Cumbria, so my inclusion of images from Liverpool, Southport and Grange-over-Sands were actually taken in Lancashire at the time! The New Year was superb for photography on 5 January 1960 at Southport Chapel Street, where L&Y tank 50781 was acting as station pilot.  50781 was withdrawn the following month. 

The line from Southport Chapel Street to Crossens was electrified at that time, and on 18 April 1960 an ex LMS unit comprising M29898M, M29592M and M28365M was approaching the junction at St Lukes with the 11:35 to Crossens.  Southport shed 27C is in the background.  The yellow warning panels had not yet appeared, and an oil lamp was being carried on the front of the train. 

The branch from Hunts Cross to Aintree Central was still in use, but by 18 October 1963 the passenger services from Liverpool Central terminated at Gateacre.  A Class 108 unit M56256/M50973 was waiting to leave with the 0943 to Liverpool Central.  It had arrived at the opposite platform, and then used the crossover beyond the station. 

The Liverpool University Public Transport Society arranged a number of Railtours in the 1960s.  On 13 June 1964 “Jinty” 47487 hauled a Railtour around Liverpool and the suburbs, using mostly freight lines.  The terminus of the CLC line through Walton on the Hill was Huskisson, but this was on the landward side of the main line from Exchange Station, and not adjacent to Huskisson Dock. In those days the participants of Railtours usually wore ties!  The train later went on the CLC line to Otterspool, where it reversed and returned to Edge Hill via Garston Dock. 

Although many of the electric trains used the bay platform, the main lines through Ormskirk station were electrified for some distance beyond.  On 27 August 1964 the 11:52 Preston to Liverpool Exchange was arriving behind 75046, while the 11:45 electric from Liverpool Exchange (M28316M) had gone into the bay platform.  Today the lines through Ormskirk have been singled, with no connection between the Liverpool and Preston lines.

Later that day I continued to Hesketh Bank, on the direct line between Southport and Preston, which was to close the following month.  42369 was on the 14:16 from Preston to Southport.  This is today the location of the narrow gauge West Lancashire Light Railway. 

Grange-over-Sands was always a good place for railway photography, with footpaths alongside the Cumbrian Coast line.  The infamous Class 28 Co-Bo diesels could be seen here, and on 16 April 1965 D5706 was passing the camping coaches, probably on a train from Workington to Carnforth.  The low speed two stroke V8 Crossley engines were always problematic.  The sole surviving Class 28 D5705 is currently on the East Lancs Railway undergoing a lengthy restoration. 

The Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham electrics were still operating in 1965, but the Beeching Plan would result in changes to the lines through Lancaster.  Although the electrified route between Lancaster and Morecambe was direct, the need for trains from Lancaster Castle station on the main West Coast line to reverse at Lancaster Green Ayre station was inconvenient, and the longer non-electrified route to Morecambe via Bare Lane was chosen to survive, while the line through Green Ayre was to be closed. 

Leaving Morecambe on 20 April 1965, M29022M was the driving trailer of a three car Class AM1 unit converted from 1914 stock, and forming the 11:10 Morecambe to Lancaster Castle.  The line had been converted to 6.6kV 50Hz AC operation in 1953, being a test bed for the forthcoming West Coast Electrification, and the Class AM1 units were also testing various electrical features.  I am confused with the Set numbers, in that M29022M has been listed as being in Set 20, whose power car was M28220M, which was fitted with a diamond pantograph. 

As far as I know, the only power car with a single Faiveley pantograph was M28221M (Set 21), which I photographed earlier that day.  Can anyone clarify the composition of the Sets in 1965? 

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