North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 20 November 2023


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

20 November 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

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

Very new meets very old: Class 805 on trial passes the LNER-built crane and Conwy Castle, 15 November

Peter Basterfield's view

On 15 November the Westbound Rail Head Treatment Train passes Penmaemawr Quarry, with 70 816 in the sidings.

70 816 runs round the first portion of the train to load of stone to Longport. A freight train at last!

56 049 leads the RHTT towards Conwy station through Robert Stephenson's modification to the town walls.

Amid the foliage on the approach to the Britannia Bridge on the return from Holyhead.

70 816 crosses the old road bridge at  Morfa Conwy...

....and approaches Morfa Conwy.

News pictures

56 113 and 56 051 formed the RHTT on 17 November, seen passing Llandudno Junction Eastbound. Not only do the rails get a shower, Junction station does as well!

Ell Jones writes: ' While in Chester a few days ago I noticed that  777 004 was on P7B but I also noticed 507 029 arriving in the distance so went to investigate, and for the first time as far as I’m aware, both old and new units were together in the platform, this might be one of the last time this happens!
Have they ever shared platforms at Chester before?'

The 10:52 Cardiff - Manchester calls at Stockport on 15 November - an all-black combo.

The end of the line for the TransPennine loco-hauleds on 8 December draws near. 68 029 Courageous awaits departure at Manchester Picccadilly with the 15.35 to Scarborough ...

... with enthusiasts in attendance.

Ivor Bufton's view

I decided, as 15 November was a fairly decent day weather wise I would do a spot of photography.   First target was 3Q71 11:06 Holyhead to Crewe .one of the mileage accumulation workings for Class 197s...

... Passing Prestatyn station.

Next target was the RHTT which so far has seen four different Class 56's sharing the work, 56049, 56 051, 56 078 and 57 113.

On 15 November 56 113 and 56 051 Survival are seen between Rhyl and Prestatyn working 3S71 21:13 (14 November) Coleham LMD to Coleham LMD.

My 3rd and final target was the Penmaenmawr to Longport stone train, on 15th November 70816 was the loco and is seen here passing Rhyl with 6M33 15:00 Penmaenmawr to Longport, it had been signal checked at the station and made an impressive sound restating its 23 wagon load.

Rhodri the Rambler:  Whilst at Prestatyn Station I photographed the wooden statue of a rambler carved by Simon O'Rourke, which has now been at the station for over two years; a naming competition was held at Ysgol Penmorfa, Prestatyn and was won by Jonah Gallego.


Prestatyn was the first town in Wales to be officially designated a 'Walkers
are Welcome' town.

On Your Bike

Today's Railways reports that Transport for Wales are to convert six ex-Northern Class 153 units into 'archive travel' coaches by removing some of the seats to create a space for cycles. They are to be used on the 'Heart of Wales' line, presumably coupled to a normal 153.  Hopefully they will reach the stopping Crewe - Shrewsbury as well.  Anyone who has tried to store two bikes in the bike 'space' in the normal 153 will certainly welcome this.

Scotrail have pioneered this idea, but adding a 153 to the four-coach class 156 units in used, dividing at Crianlarich, creates platform-length issues.  This should not be a problem in the TfW case,  but the 153s will surely not be around for long, and the 197s won't couple to the new 197s.

Borderlands troubles

The Class 230s on the Bidston - Wrexham line have been causing trouble again, with services reduced to hourly, and a bus replacement which takes twice as long and is overtaken by the hourly train. It would appear that all the five 230s are out of traffic.

TfW say: “Recognising the impact of rail replacement on rural north Wales and the challenges this creates for customers, we commit to run a rail service wherever we possibly can. When there are shortages of fleet in other areas, we will consider very carefully the impact of reallocating trains and will only do so in exceptional circumstances. Our Route Officer will be walking in the shoes of customers to understand the impact of cancellations.”

Elsewhere, we read that 'Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has met with the chief executive of Swiss train manufacturer Stadler to demand “‘immediate improvements’ to its battery-powered Merseyrail trains. Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has met with the chief executive of Swiss train manufacturer Stadler to demand “‘immediate improvements’ to its battery-powered Merseyrail trains.

Shrewsbury scenes - by Graham Breakwell

97 303 and 37 405 pass the signal at Belle Vue on 11 November with the Aberystwyth to Chirk lod train. The signal, operated by Sutton Bridge Junction, is the only one on the Cambrian lines, which are works by ECTS cab signalling.

66 786 Cambridge University Railway Club passing through Shrewsbury station’s platform 4 with 4J44 from Wellingborough to Coton Hill.  Diverted from its scheduled route on the down main line the train ran past platform 4 creating some concern for passengers waiting there for the late-running Cardiff –Manchester service, wondering if they really were expected to travel in the wagons!

A quick search on the web  reveals “Founded in 1911 from the Cambridge University branch of The Railway Club, Cambridge University Railway Club (C.U.R.C.) is now the second oldest railway enthusiast club in the world. Today its members’ interests cover the whole of the railway scene, both in Britain and throughout the world. The club is primarily run by students and staff of Cambridge University.”

A few minutes later though their train appeared, hauled by 67 020 with 82200 on the rear.  

66 786 waits at Coton Hill while its train is loaded with stone. Note that the nameplate has a 'Cambridge Blue' background.

On 16 November 97 304 stands alongside Coleham Depot, having returned there on 31 October with 37 175 as 0Z97 from Derby RTC to Shrewsbury Coleham after repairs at Loram. 371 75 then took 97 302 away as 0Z98 from Shrewsbury Coleham to Nottingham Eastcroft.  The question is where has 304’s John Tiley nameplate gone and why? 

From Dave Sallery's Archive

20 057 and 20 140 back a loaded train out of Point of Ayr colliery sidings, 20 March 1991.  Point of Ayr colliery closed on 23 August 1996 having outlived every other colliery in the North West of England.

20 059 and 20 195 pass the closed Connahs Quay power station on 4 July 1991. At this time all the coal went to Fiddlers Ferry power station although Connahs Quay was originally built to be supplied by Point of Ayr.

The only passenger train known to have visited the colliery was a special train organised by the Institution of Mining Engineers (South Staffs and South Midlands Branch) on 27 March 1993.  The train was topped and tailed by 47 300 and 47 821. This tour also went to Coventry Colliery, halfway up the Littleton Colliery line, Runcorn Folly Lane, and Gladstone and Seaforth Docks. 47 300 is seen here in the colliery itself.

The new track layout featuring a facing crossover is seen here as 20 104 and 20 190 on the Llandudno - Derby train pass 20 154 and 20 186 backing a newly painted rake of empty hoppers into the colliery on the 9th July 1991.  A new road bridge leading to the gas terminal obscures this view now.  The LNWR built Talacre signalbox remains although out of use.


Many thanks for the answers to questions in David Pool's last contributions.

Dave Sallery writes: '47 765 is still on the East Lancs Railway, and in working order, seen earlier this year in Scotrail livery.  I can't help with when it might be seen again.

From Mark Doran: 'Freight train 8G80, pictured at Winwick Junction was the 06:00 Carlisle - Bescot wagonload service, which called at Arpley Yard where I worked.'

Looking back: Lancashire Lines Part 4: 1970-72 - by David Pool

On 22 August 1970 the Class 40s could be seen on the inter city trains on the London Midland Region. Still in green livery, 287 is heading the 10:50 Glasgow to Birmingham New Street and passing through Wigan North Western station.  The D prefix has been removed from the number, being not required after the end of steam in 1968, but most green locomotives would have carried the prefix. 

The  Manchester to Bury electrics were still in service in the 70s, although frequent bus services took much of the passenger traffic, and surplus units could not be used on other electrified lines due to the unusual side contacts with the conductor rails and the 1200 volt DC supply needed.  On 5 August 1971 two 2-car Class 504 units M77171/M65450/M77176/65455  have left Bury and are passing Bury South box.  The site of Buckley Wells depot for the East Lancashire Railway of today is in the distance beyond the footbridge, while the lines from Heywood are on the left.  The line was reconstructed in 1991, becoming part of the Metrolink electrified network, with a new Bury interchange terminal built in the town centre. 

In BR days Milnrow was a typical small station, with few passengers to be seen except in the peak periods.  A Cravens Class 105 unit M50772/M50805 forms the 09:55 Rochdale to Manchester Victoria.  The diesel services via Oldham Mumps eventually ceased in 2009, and the route also became part of the Metrolink network, with trams running to Rochdale in 2013. 

Another branch which is still in use today is between Kirkham and Blackpool South, serving the coastal districts of Lytham St Annes and Lytham, although the direct line had been closed in 1964.  The area around Blackpool Central had been taken over for development, and the line truncated at Blackpool South.  The intention was to encourage rail traffic to Blackpool North, via the third line from Kirkham via Poulton.  Today there are still developments in hand at Blackpool North (now just Blackpool) since a tramway branch to the station is nearing completion.  A 3-car Class 104 unit M50471/M59179/M50523 from Newton Heath was working the 11:30 Blackpool South to Kirkham on 12 March 1972 and was approaching Lytham station.  The white stripe on the blue coaches denotes bogie modifications to improve the ride quality. 

I wanted to get a shot at Salwick station, between Kirkham and Preston, but the island platform and the position of the afternoon sun made things difficult.  The 15:30 Blackpool North to Euston was headed by 448, but the background scenery was more photogenic than the train. 

Seventeen years later 448 was 50 048 Dauntless in Network South East livery, following a period when it had been in large logo blue.  On 15 June 1989 it was leaving Exeter Central with a train for Waterloo, which had started from Exeter St Davids at 12:28.  I photographed it again at a Plymouth Laira Open Day in 1991, but it was then withdrawn and scrapped one year later.

The viaduct and bridge over the River Irwell at Summerseat is hardly recognisable as the familiar location today on the East Lancs Railway.   An unidentified Class 105 unit has just left Brooksbottom Tunnel with the 10:05 Rawtenstall to Bury Bolton Street on 18 March 1972. 

On Saturday 15 April 1972 there were diversions on the Chat Moss line between Manchester and Liverpool. The 09:52 Newcastle to Lime Street had somehow reached St Helens Shaw Street, presumably having been up the West Coast main line from Parkside to Bamfurlong Junction.  The arrangement of the signals on the cantilever gantry by the signal box is unusual.   The Brush Class 47 1862 became 47 212, but was never further renumbered and was scrapped by 2004. 

Home page | Archive  | Previous Notice Board