13 November 2023
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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.
Charter trains and meetings may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
Saturday 25 November Railway Touring Company 'The Christmas
Cheshireman' steam hauled Bristol - Chester and return
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
Friday 12 January. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation
Society Simon Temple on "South Asian Steam in 1982" -
features India, Pakistan and Nepal.
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
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.
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.
Calendar page for meeting venues)
North Wales Coast Railway website created and
compiled by Charlie
Avanti 805 007 visits Holyhead, 9 November. Picture
by Jim Scott: more below.
Contributions from the actual
North Wales Coast have been sparse recently; not surprising
given the weather conditions and the short daylight. But
there may be other reasons. Freight traffic has dried
up - why is this? - while the loco-hauled sets are
almost all working on the Manchester - Cardiff axis.
More and more passenger trains are formed of the
not-very-interesting 197s ... better time ahead, perhaps? -
Class 175 news
Ivor Bufton writes: 'There were some movement of
empty 175s along the coast on 9 November. I am told
175 006 and 175 113 went Chester to Holyhead and 175 003
returned from Holyhead to Chester (see above picture); being
such a miserable day I settled for some shelter at the
railway station. '
Collaboration at Coton Hill - report by Graham Breakwell
On 8 November 66 792 Collaboration arrived
light engine from Cardiff Tidal dead on time at 07:02
to collect some of the steel wagons stabled at Coton Hill
following the uncoupling incident last month.
After depositing the rear 4 wagons 66 792 returns with one
It then reverses to couple to the three wagons positioned in
a neighbouring siding, before departing as 6Z75 to Llanwern
Another 805 emerges
This last week Real Time Trains showed paths for test runs
between Oxley and Holyhead for the new class 805 sets.
They were scheduled for 7 to 9 November but the run on the
7th was cancelled. Geoff Morris went out
to photograph it passing Chester Locks on the 8 November run
and found brand-new 805 007 was being used. It
was still in white livery without any Avanti branding
and looked “out of the box”. This must have been
one of its first outings since delivery from Hitachi.
Ivor Bufton captured the unit passing Prestatyn on 8
November running from the Avanti depot at Oxley to Holyhead.
A report from the cab - by driver Jim Scott
The 805 unit ran from Oxley to Holyhead on
Wednesday-Friday, I was on it Thursday and Friday,
getting in at Crewe (above) taking over from another driver
who didn’t sign the route, and doing tests at various
stations en route, Wednesday was a straight run to Holyhead
and back, I had the same unit both days, brand new 805 007,
only delivered a couple of days before
Chester with a 777 unit in platform 7.
Friday was a similar run but it also went into the depot at
Holyhead for fuel and equipment tests to check various pipes
would reach etc., it was the first 805 onto the depot.
I had 20 minutes in Llandudno Jn so walked over to the other
platform for some pictures.
In Holyhead depot (1).
In Holhead Depot (2).
Then we went into the station for an hour before heading
back toward Crewe.
Sunset at Chester.
Cheshire Lines selection - by Greg Mape
Some Scenes on windy 13 November at the point by the A34
road where single lines from Northenden Junction go under
the road. Above, the 05:21 Small Heath to Hillhead
sidings stone empties hauled by 66 737 Lesia
passes at 10:13, running 48 minutes late.
A load of stone on the 08:29 Hindlow to Small Heath,
with 66 305 in charge, passes at 11:02, 30 minutes late.
09:30 Arpley sidings to Tunstead empties from Lostock
works, 60 062 in its dramatic 'Steel' livery
passing at 11:05, again half an hour late.
The 11:10 Manchester Piccadilly - Chester, 150 128.
Let's hope that the Rail Head Treatment Train can keep this
The view from Sutton Bridge Junction - with Graham
Firstly, two images of 97 303 and 37 405
with 6C55 the Aberystwyth to Chirk Kronospan ...
... passing through Belle Vue on the approach to Sutton
Bridge Junction on 11 November,
Nearby, alongside the track, the rear garden of a clearly
dedicated railway enthusiast!
Some very slick work saw the lengthy train reverse into the
SBJ shunt neck, 97 303 and 37 405 move onto the Coleham
depot and 56 096 be attached ready to take the train
on to Chirk, all in a space of just 10 minutes. The
footbridge visible above 56 096 once provided the perfect
viewpoint but was closed for safety reasons some 15 years
And two scanned pictures from the days when the bridge was
open, showing 33 026 on 25 May 1985 on a Crewe to
Cardiff service ...
...and a pair of Class 25’s about to take the Cambrian line
with a train from London.
From Dave Sallery's archive
40 012 on the crossover at Mostyn, 4 May 1984.
Returning to Llandudno Junction after bringing in sulphur
hopper empties from Amlwch.
40 163 passes Old Colwyn with ballast empties, 24 May
1983. In the foreground are the early scratchings of what
will become the A55 expressway.
97 408 at Holywell Jct on an up ballast, 3 July
1985. One of a number of locos re-numbered to assist
with the Crewe remodelling. Originally D318 / 40118 it
is currently being restored at Tyseley. There's a Class 47
in the down loop in background and stabled Merry-Go-Round
hopper wagons on the Up side.
D228 Samaria heads south at Acton Bridge
Looking back: Lancashire lines Part 3 (1969) - by
After the end of steam on British Railways in August 1968
there was a ban on the movement of steam locomotives on BR
lines, with the exception of Alan Pegler’s 4472 Flying
Scotsman. Not surprisingly it attracted an
audience wherever it appeared, and on 1 June 1969 it was
working 1Z36 08:15 Doncaster to Carlisle, returning via
Newcastle. It was photographed approaching Lostock
Junction, near Bolton, running with the additional tender
The Class AL6 electric locomotives were built with the
intention of being able to haul either passenger or freight
trains. By 1969 they would be seen on many of the West
Coast main line services, and on 19 July 1969 E3138
was working the 0755 Lime Street to Euston (The Liverpool
Pullman). At Halewood another AL6, E3198, was
ready to leave Ford’s siding with the 08:10 to
Dagenham. A problem was developing with track damage
arising from the unsprung mass of the axle-hung traction
motors, which would later be rectified by the fitting of
flexicoil springs to all the AL6 locomotives.
Winwick Junction was very photogenic in 1969, with semaphore
signals and a signal box controlling the Junction. On
17 July D423, one of the new Class 50s built at
English Electric’s Vulcan Foundry in the background of the
photograph, was on freight duties with a head code 8G80,
which I was unable to identify. When the West Coast
electrification was completed, the Class 50s moved to the
Western Region for the remainder of their working lives,
D423 becoming 50 023 Howe.
We were very pleased to hear that British Railways had made
an exception to the end of the steam ban by allowing the
movement of three steam locomotives from Tyseley to Allerton
on 26 July 1969 for an Open Day at the Depot. Of
course this was not to be missed, and on arriving at the
Depot I was pleased to see the Cowans Sheldon 30 ton
Breakdown Crane RS1091/30 in a siding away from the
crowds. This had previously been at Edge Hill, moving
later to Chester, and eventually was scrapped at the Severn
Valley Railway when it was no longer needed there.
LMS Black 5 5428 Eric Treacy was one of the
visiting locomotives. If you were one of the
youngsters in the shot please let me know! I assume
that Tyseley would at that time have been discouraged from
letting it retain British Railways livery after it had been
withdrawn, and it arrived with an LMS support coach.
Similarly the Jubilee 5593 Kolhapur was in
LMS livery, while 7029 Clun Castle was in
GWR green, a livery it would never have carried, since it
had been built in 1950. The double chimney was also a
BR feature, having been fitted in 1959. Photography
had been difficult with the number of visitors, but
eventually the locomotives were being made ready to leave,
and I managed to get a reasonable shot with a telephoto
The three locomotives were in light steam, and dragged back
to Tyseley with their support coaches by a Class 47 diesel,
D1643. I don’t remember exactly where I stood
for my photograph, but my notes indicate it was Speke
Junction. D1643 became 47 059, 47 631 and finally 47
765. I have never photographed it since, even when it
attended an East Lancs Diesel Gala. If anyone can
confirm where it is now and when it might be seen again I
should be grateful for the information.
The gloom of Oldham Werneth Station was not ideal for
photography, but on 2 August 1969 I particularly wanted a
shot of the gradient post at the top of the incline from
Middleton Junction, which indicated a gradient of 1 in
27. Although the Mersey Railway has a similar gradient
on the line under the Mersey, it was one of the steepest
gradients on British Railways. The Class 104 DMU was
working the 17:30 from Manchester Victoria to Oldham Mumps,
which would have come via Hollinwood, the line from
Middleton Junction having been closed to passenger trains in
1958 and to freight trains five years later.
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