North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 04 December 2023


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

04 December 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.

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

Amid an array of gantries and signals,  197 017 arriving at Manchester Piccadilly on Thursday 30 November on the the 14:25 Manchester Airport to Llandudno. Picture by Chris Taylor.

News pictures

Friday 1 December saw a light loco move from Clitheroe cement to Penyffordd cement, 66 722 Sir Edward Watkin seen at Balderton crossing (Bob Greenhalgh). 

The stone trains from Penmaenmawr to Longport have resumed: on 29 November 70 017 passes Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh),

The other type of Rail Head Treatment Train, the Mon-Fri run from Chester to Wrexham and back, seen here at Green Lane crossing on 29 November, DR93951 leading (Bob Greenhalgh).

On 30 November the New Measurement Train with  43 277 leading (43 013 on the rear) enters Llandudno Jcn, with the 1Q30 10:55 Derby to Holyhead run (Garry Stroud).

67 014 departing on the 14:30 Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff on
30 November: departed 2 minutes late having arrived from Cardiff
10 minutes late.

Picture by Chris Taylor, who comments: 'I fail to see how Cardiff and the Welsh Government manage to screw-up such a service other than it is mostly in England - is this deliberate?  On 30 November the 12:30 Piccadilly to Cardiff was a single 2-car 197 (instead of a 67), and  the 13:30 was the same: both trains left Piccadilly with passengers standing. On the previous day the 12:30 from Piccadilly was three 153s. Is it not about time the ORR and the UK government took Transport for Wales to Task?'

On the Dee Marsh Steel - by Driver Jim Scott

On Monday 20 November 66 792 Collaboration on the Dee Marsh steel train in the arrivals siding at Shotton steelworks. 

Waiting for the signal at Hawarden Bridge.

Hereford with a 197 heading north.

Tuesday saw a loco swap for ‘celeb’ 66 747 in NWT livery named Made In Sheffield,  again in the arrivals siding.

Waiting at Hawarden Bridge again, plenty of time to get a photo from the other platform.

Waiting in Shrewsbury.

Thursday morning in Hereford, Chirk to Baglan Bay logs waiting to head south.

Steelworks ‘internal shunter’ 08 823 Gavlar coming to pick up the inbound wagons from the exchange sidings to take them into the works.

A visit to Cardiff - by Graham Breakwell

Firstly, two from the roof garden of the Jacobs building with its panoramic view over the station and the complex of overhead wires. New FLIRT 231 003 is departing on a Penarth to Ystrad Mynach service...

... Followed by 153 362 on a Radyr to Coryton trip with 150 255 entering the station with an Aberdare to Barry Island service.

Old and new, 150 217 in platform 7 and alongside in platform 8 FLIRT 231 003 on a Rhymney to Penarth run.

TfW are building up their fleet of Stadler FLIRT Class 231s (Fast, Light, Intercity and Regional Train), with the 11 four-car trains now all in service, with another 24 class 756 tri-mode units to follow. I was very impressed with the quality of the ride, comfort, spaciousness, rapid acceleration and step-free access with the platform.

The power pack of four diesel engines are housed in a short centre vehicle, two on each side of the narrow corridor running through the middle.

The articulated bogies at each end connect with the adjacent passenger coaches with the end seats mounted on a raised platform to provide clearance for the wheelsets. 

Santa special

Bob Greenhalgh writes: On Saturday I ventured out to see the 14:00 Llangollen departure Santa train, seen above an Berwyn with D5310 topping and pannier tank 7754 tailing but pushing hard. Next weekend it's the Bala Santa trains, all fully booked: as the website says, cannot wait!

Borderlands news

From the start of the new timetable, from 11 December, the Wrexham - Bidston trains will run on a 45-minute frequency, operated with two Class 197 units and one Class 230.  Later, it is hoped that there will be two 230s and one 197.  The trouble with such a system is that passengers will have to consult the timetable for every journey unless they have a very good memory for numbers.  Looking at Real Time Trains, the number of train departures each day in the new timetable appears be the same, and turnround at each end is still four minutes but the trains should be able to run to time.

Out and About - with Stephen Dennett

A selection of my photos from the last fortnight. More variety of engines on the “steel” these days, as seen on 22 November at Buckley with 66 747 ,,,

 ....and 28th at Buckley and Penyffordd.

Royal Scot Class 46 115 Scots Guardsman charges through Helsby station on 24 November with empty stock from Carnforth to Chester ready to form "The Capital Christmas Express" from Chester to London on the following day.

Scots Guardsman rests at Chester having arrived from Carnforth to Chester with ecs, ready to form "The Capital Christmas Express" from Chester to London on the following day.

70 817 at Chester with 6M33, Penmaenmawr Quarry to Longport LR. Taken at Chester, also on 24 November...

...and very grimy 56 051 and 56 113 leave Chester with the daily RHTT circuit from Coleham.

Black 5, 44871, stalwart of the 'Jacobite' at Chester ready to return with "The Christmas Cheshireman" to Bristol on 25 November.

777 011 arrives at Capenhurst with a service from Liverpool Central to Chester. Taken at Capenhurst on 25 November.  The new 777s are now well established on the Chester circuit from Liverpool.

67 005 Queen's Messenger passes Beeches Farm together with 67 020 running as 0M57 Holyhead to Crewe depot. 28 November.

On 28 November 43 277 leads the New Measurement train through Flint station running as 1Q30 Derby RTC (Network Rail) to Derby RTC (Network Rail).

197 043, 1 197 new to me, leaves Flint with 1H88, the Llandudno Junction to Manchester Airport service on 30 November.

A Day Rover - report by Paul Hajdasz

I decided to go on a North Wales day rover on 30 November as it was sunny day. I started off at Shrewsbury station where I purchased my ticket ( costing £26.40 with a Senior railcard). A single car TfW unit 153 369 was stabled in platform 3. (above).

I caught 1W91 06:48 Cardiff - Holyhead, which should have been loco-hauled, but one of the new 197 units arrived instead - 197 051. I alighted at Wrexham General as I wanted to do the Wrexham Central to Bidston line.

However, when 2F58 9:35 eventually arrived approximately 12 minutes late with 230 007 it was announced that it would not be calling at Wrexham Central. By the time it reached Bidston it was 15 minutes behind schedule. I got back to Wrexham General platform 4 still 15 minutes late and, again not going forward to Wrexham Central.

I then made my way to platform 2 at Wrexham where I caught 1W92 12:06 to Holyhead, made up of two car 158 840.

At Holyhead I decided to catch Avanti super voyager City of Bangor 221 116 which was awaiting departure from platform 1 on the 1A62 14:49 to London Euston.

The nameplates applied by Virgin have been retained by Avanti.

There was a single 175 unit stabled in the sidings at Holyhead awaiting its fate.

I alighted at Chester and just made the TfW 1V97 14:33 Holyhead to Cardiff with 158 840 again. My journey ended at Shrewsbury and I had enjoyed the day out at a reasonable cost.

From Dave Sallery's archive

37 707 passing Ffynnongroew with the petroleum coke empties to Immingham, 24 April 1994. The signal gantry was dismantled after resignalling.

40 031 is on a train of spoil wagons on  3 April 1984. Presthaven Sands holiday complex is in the background.

45 058 passes Prestatyn on an up ballast on 20 August 1986.

47 228 on the Trafford Park - Holyhead freightliner is just about to pass 47452 on the Holyhead - Crewe service.  Both services are typically well loaded.  Photographed near Abergele on 4 May 1984.

Looking back: Lancashire Lines part 6 -  by David Pool

The line between Colne and Skipton had closed in February 1970, so Colne station became a platform at the end of a single track branch line from Gannow Junction in Burnley.  On 16 March 1975 a Class 105 Cravens unit M50768/M50801 formed the 13:15 Colne to Preston.  In the background can be seen the road bridge over the trackbed of the line to Earby, where a branch from Barnoldswick joined the line to Skipton.  The scheme to reopen the line from Colne to Skipton is gradually gaining support, and the trackbed is still relatively free from obstructions. 

Few railway enthusiasts will have known that Liverpool Corporation owned two diesel locomotives.  These were supplied by Drewry in 1954 (Works Nos 2505, 2506) for use in Kirkby Industrial Estate.   No.3 (2505) was photographed on 10 December 1975, shortly before rail traffic at Kirkby ceased.   Very few firms on the Estate were using rail transport by that time, and the tracks were little used - a few years earlier I had enjoyed a cab ride across the site to pick up a solitary tank wagon.  Today the connection to the main line at Dale Lane is now used by trains serving the new Knowsley Freight Terminal. 

Another interesting line was the Willis branch from the main line at Huyton Quarry.  By 1976 the only traffic was from Cronton Colliery, and on 24 August the 17:00 departure from Cronton Colliery (probably to Fiddlers Ferry) was approaching the junction at Huyton Quarry behind 25 318.  I don’t know what the gradient was at this point, but the Class 25 was working hard!  The Colliery closed in 1984, and the line was lifted in 1991. 

4472 Flying Scotsman was still in demand for excursions in 1978, and on 11 July was on the outward journey of the Cumbrian Coast Express from Carnforth to Ravenglass, passing Grange over Sands.  A short while later 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley followed the train, running tender first and carrying another Cumbrian Coast Express headboard for use on the return journey from Ravenglass.  I assume 4472 returned later to Carnforth tender first. 

I have always been glad that I got to Bickershaw Colliery before steam operation there ceased.  It was a grey and misty day on 20 February 1979, but this produced some memorable shots of the “Austerities” hauling trains up to the exchange sidings.  It was not possible to identify the individual locomotives as they passed, but I am reasonably sure that the pair in my shot were Hunslet 3823 (1954) and 3776 (1952).

A preserved locomotive which has not been seen often is No 5 Cecil Raikes, built by Beyer Peacock for the Mersey Railway.  There is some confusion regarding the build date.  Eight locomotives were ordered, and the railway opened in 1886.  The Museum of Liverpool, where the locomotive is currently stored, quotes a build date of 1885, then shows 1892 in some descriptive text, which seems to be incorrect.  It was at Steamport (Southport) on 6 October 1979, but was not ideally placed for a photograph. 

Ormskirk was no longer seeing trains passing through in 1980, since trains from Preston terminated there, and passengers for Liverpool Central would continue on the Merseyrail electrics.  On 1 March the latter service was being provided by unit 507 028, supplied new by British Rail a couple of years earlier.  The station was looking rather neglected, and the other platform appeared to be abandoned, the Preston trains using the North end of the main platform. 

In 1980 the Class 507 and 508 electrics were now providing the services across the Merseyrail network, and the displaced Class 502 and 503 electrics were rapidly being withdrawn.  Some Class 502 units were being used for Departmental duties, and a two-car unit was earmarked for preservation by British Rail.  This latter unit M28361/M29896 was to be kept at Steamport for a while, but on 31 March 1980 it was parked in the sidings at Southport station.  The Class 502 units differed from the 503s in that they had buffers and no emergency doors on the unit ends, were slightly longer and had more powerful motors. A three-car class 503 unit was preserved, and at one stage the separate cars were with different owners, but the unit has been reformed and is being housed at Margate by Locomotive Storage Ltd.  The two-car Class 502 is now in the care of the Class 502 Preservation Trust at Burscough, where it is being restored.

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