North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 27November 2023


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

27 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

The 'Christmas Chesterman' at Shrewsbury, 25 November. Picture by Greaham Breakwell.

Peter Basterfield's view

24 November, Penmaenmawr quarry.

A high-level view of Shotton High Level on 25 November, with 150 213 calling.

44871 meets a 777 at Chester, 25 November.

56 113 at Gypsy Corner, 21 November.

Afon Ogwyn viaduct, 22 November.

Dwygyfylchi, 24 November.

56 051 at Bangor, 25 November. First time the RHTT has run in the dark, I think!

197s in action

The new order at Chester with class 197s predominant.  197 015 was stabled adjacent to platform 1 where 197 112 waited with the 14:54 to  Crewe with 197 101 in platform 3A on the 13:25 Manchester Airport – Llandudno (Geoff Morris).

197 047 at Chirk, 16:00 on 25 November with the 13:22 Cardiff - Holyhead. 197 044 was scheduled to be attached at Chester (Martin Evans).

Craven Arms mixture - by Garry Stroud

I spent a crafty hour at Craven Arms station on Tuesday 21 November, witnessing four different services and motive power. First up was special livery 66 747 Made in Sheffield, passing with the 09:31 Dee Marsh to Margam freight.

Second was 150 217 approaching with the 07:58 Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly service. [Not much fun for the passengers!]

Third was 197 112 on the 1V94 08:05 Holyhead to Cardiff service. The lower-quadrant semaphore signals add to the atmosphere.

Fourth and last  was 153 906 and 153 303 with the 2V08 11-22am Shrewsbury to Swansea service...

...  the 'feather' on the signal tells the driver that the points are set for the Heart of Wales line. All this in the space of about 45 to 50 minutes.


Geoff Morris writes: 'On 23 November I saw a strange path on RTT (2Z04) and went down to  Brook Lane in Chester  to see what it was.  Its route was Crewe – Rock Ferry – Helsby – Runcorn – Lime St – Bootle Branch – Southport – Wigan – WBQ – Crewe. 

I’d no idea what would appear and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be Inspection Saloon 975025 (Caroline) being propelled by 37418 An Comunn Gaidhealach.'

Bache (Bob Greenhalgh)

Barmouth update - by Kate Jones

Workmen are on the bridge day and night at the moment, I assume trying hard to complete ready for the opening beginning of December. What an amazing feat Griffiths and all sub contractors have achieved over the last three years. I do wonder how did they manage the original one without any of todays modern equipment!

Pictures show the compound filling up again with all the supporting metal work now not in use, plus the road/rail vehicle and trailers which is running too and from the bridge transporting all the necessary items. I for one cannot wait to walk back over the viaduct to Barmouth again.

RTT at Holyhead - by Ken Robinson

On 21 November, I took a few shots of the Rail Head Treatment Train featuring 56 113 (front to Holyhead) and 56 051.

Here are two, showing the 'ensemble' parked outside the signal box for the duration of its stay (not sure if this is the normal procedure these days? was there a problem perhaps, hence the orange jackets?)

Steam assortment

Geoff Morris writes:  'on 24 November  06:42 departure to Paddington was hauled by Royal Scot 46115 Scots Guardsman (a late substitute for the scheduled Black 5 44932) with 47 804 on the rear.  The early departure resulted in the locos and coaches being moved from Carnforth to  Chester on the Friday, with the Royal Scot in charge, arriving in Chester around  lunchtime. 

The Royal Scot was then shunted off to stable in the siding adjacent to the power box for the night while the coaches and class 47 remained on one of
the goods loops.

'Later in the day a charter from Bristol Temple Meads arrived behind Black 5 44871.  This returned later in the afternoon and I photographed it crossing the Dee viaduct adjacent to the racecourse.'

46115 at Wrexham on 25 November (Anthony Thomas).

44971 passes Ruabon on 25 November (Anthony Thomas).

44871 at Shrewsbury with the 'Christmas Cheshireman'. The train from Bristol to Chester, passed through Shrewsbury station 24 minutes late but having made up time from leaving Hereford 53 minutes late thanks to avoiding a planned layover at Sutton Bridge Junction. A scheduled stop of 18 minutes at Chirk was omitted too with arrival at Chester just 5 minutes late (Graham Breakwell).

44871 at Green Lane Crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).

44871 at Chester. George Jones writes:  'The special was reported 63 minutes late at Abergavenny:  a planned 13:07 arrival at Chester became 13:30 on RTT, so I delayed getting the bus to Chester, arriving 13:12 just as the special pulled into platform 4.'

The 'tail-end Charlie', 47 746 Colin Fudge, captured at Gobowen (Martin Evans)

The return train to Bristol passes Chirk (Martin Evans).

From Dave Sallery's archive

31 296  Amlwch Freighter / Trên Nwyddau Amlwch ', Manchester Victoria, 15 November 1988. The loco was named in September 1986 at the Associated Octel Plant in Amlwch, which was, I believe, the last time the loco visited the line.  31296 was withdrawn from service on 1 December 1993. The loco was stored for a further 11 years before cutting up at Crewe LNWR during January 2004.

The nameplates were later transferred to 47 330 seen here passing Helsby on log empties from Shotton Paper, 17 April 1991. 47 330 was later rebuilt as 57 312 'The Hood' and is now with DRS.  Along the way the Amlwch nameplates have been removed.

60 062 waits to head South at Hawarden Bridge with steel empties in August 1994.  This loco is now in 'Steel on Steel' livery.

101 676 is on a Bidston service at Hawarden in July 1992.  The unit was in traffic until December 2003 and took part in the 'Class 101' Farewell Tour on 21 December 2003

Photography from the footbridge or level crossing at Hest Bank was not ideal, since it was difficult to show an interesting or identifiable background.  Just leaving Hest Bank North Junction on 16 September 1972 was 371, a Class 40, with headcode 4S33.  The train seems to be formed with empty Cartic 4 wagons, so it may have been returning to the Rootes car factory at Linwood in Scotland. 

Dr Peter Beet was a lifelong railway enthusiast who purchased withdrawn steam locomotives with a view to running them on a privately owned railway.  Carnforth MPD was one of the last steam depots on British Railways, and had been extensively rebuilt towards the end of the 1939-45 War, so was the ideal base for his steam operations.  The MPD was available to be purchased, and arrangements were made to purchase the branch line from Plumpton Junction (Ulverston) to Lakeside which had finally been closed in 1965.  Unfortunately these plans were thwarted by road improvements at Haverthwaite, which severed the line. 

Several of the people involved in the Carnforth MPD project then decided to operate independently as the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, using some locomotives previously at Carnforth.  Meanwhile more steam locomotives were being purchased by Dr Beet and could be seen at Carnforth, by then open to the public.  In 1970 a French locomotive was acquired, having been moved by road and ferry from France, being outside the loading gauge for transit on British Railways.  On 5 May 1973 SNCF 231K22 had been overhauled and repainted, although it was not able to operate outside the depot.  This was originally built for the PLM railway in France in 1912, and later rebuilt in 1937 following the success of other locomotives rebuilt by André Chapelon.  The Class K and other four cylinder compound locomotives regularly worked the expresses between Calais and Paris. 

In 1966 Calais depot had 32 steam locomotives, but with the end of steam working of trains such as the Flèche d’Or (Golden Arrow) in 1969 there was a rapid decline in numbers.  On 25 May 1971 I had taken a day trip from Dover to Calais, and of course I had to seek out Calais depot, where I was surprised to see 231K82 in steam, painted with white wheel rims.  I wasn’t able to find out when it worked a special train, but I gather it was the last working steam locomotive in the Nord Region.   231K82 is now one of SNCF’s preserved locomotives, and is currently undergoing maintenance, while the Carnforth locomotive 231K22 is displayed at the Bahnpark in Augsburg, Germany. 

The facilities at Carnforth include a 70ft turntable, able to accommodate the largest passenger locomotives.  On 5 May 1973 it was being used to turn 45407, the Black 5 built by Armstrong Whitworth in 1937.  When steam on BR ended in 1968 it was at Lostock Hall, and was then bought for restoration at Carnforth.  Later it was sold to Paddy Smith and subsequently ran on the main line and on many preserved railways   The current owner is Ian Riley from Bury, and 45407 was used on the Jacobite steam trains in 2023. 

There was an exhibition of locomotives at Morecambe Promenade station on 12 August 1973, most of which were based at Carnforth.  On display at a surprisingly deserted platform were 4771 Green Arrow, 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley, E3006 (Class AL1 then Class 81), and a Class 25 7551

The next occasion I photographed 7551 was on 1 April 1978, when it had become 25 201 and was working the Wirral Railway Circle’s “The Hundred of Wirral” railtour.  It is about to leave a rather damp New Brighton with 25 294 on the rear. 

4771 Green Arrow had been in steam at Morecambe, and drew out of the station to reverse into a siding, giving me the opportunity for a shot with better lighting.  I particularly liked the background with the impressive Midland Hotel, which was built by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1933 in the Streamline Moderne style of Art Deco.

The Carnforth turntable was again in use on 1 May 1976, when 790 Hardwicke was being used on a number of railtours in that month.  The departure from Carnforth on 1 May with 4472 Flying Scotsman was illustrated in the Notice Board of 6 March 2023

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