North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 24 December 2023


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

24 December 2023


Davenport station

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.

January 2024

Friday 5 January Clwyd Railway Circle  A Journey from Chester to Aberystwyth via Welshpool in the 1960s - Dave Southern

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

February 2024

Friday 2 February Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed by Chairman’s Choice. David Jones

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 Clwyd Railway Circle The Dockers Umbrella  The History of The Liverpool Overhead Railway. - Ken Pye FLHU

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.

Saturday 2 March Railway Touring Company The Cheshireman
loco 45596 London Euston - Chester

April 2024

Friday 5 April  Clwyd Railway Circle Fond Memories - featuring some of my favourite times on the railway over the last 60 years. - Larry Davies

Friday 5 April  Midland Pullman Plymouth to Llandudno

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.

Thursday 18 April Pathfinder Tours The Cambrian Coast Express East Midlands Parkway - Shrewsbury - Pwllheli

Thursday 18 April Midland Pullman Wolverhampton - Chester - Carlisle

Tuesday 23 April Midland Pullman Chester - Lockerbie

May 2024

Thursday 16 May 2024 Pathfinder Tours The Cambrian Coast Express Cardiff - Pwllheli

June 2024

Saturday 22 June Midland Pullman Holyhead - Carlisle

Thurday 22 June Midland Pullman  Crewe - Chester - Paignton

July 2014

Tuesday 16 July Midland Pullman  Holyhead - Paignton

August 2024

September 2024

Thursday 5 September Pathfinder Tours The Cambrian Coast Express Bristol - Pwllheli

Friday 6 September Clwyd Railway Circle The Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen Railway in the Vale of Clwyd -  Fiona Gale

October 2024

Friday 4 October Clwyd Railway Circle Wrexham’s Second Railway Mania -  David Parry

November 2024

Friday 1 November Clwyd Railway Circle  Chinese Steam in 2001 and 2003  - Phil Thomas
(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

66 301 passes Penyfford on 23 December. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.

As another year (our 28th, I think) comes to an end, best wishes for Christmas and New Year and thanks to all contributors, readers and especially all railway staff.   Next update, 1.01.24 - Charlie

Chester Scenes 15 December - by Roger Smith

Two three-car Class 175 'Coradia' units stabled in the sidings on the north side of Chester Station on 15 December. 175 101 is on the left and 175 110 on the right.

175 110 has an immaculate bogie, either new or having undergone heavy maintenance. Compare this with the rusty bogie of No. 175 101.  A third Class 175 is behind (I was unable to identify it). The view is from Platform 7a.

A Northern two-car Sprinter No. 150 134 standing beneath the annexe in bay Platform 6. It will shortly commence the 20:56 (2H37) Chester to Manchester Piccadilly service.

Transport for Wales (TfW) two-car Sprinter No. 150 258 standing beside the through Platform 7a at Chester Station. It is at the head of a four-car consist, the Express Sprinter No. 158 818 being at the rear. The train will shortly depart with the 20:52 (1H96) Chester to Manchester Airport service (it did so six minutes' late). It is interesting to compare the front of this Class 150/2 with the front of the Northern Class 150/1 (No. 150 134) in bay Platform 6 to the left.  The latter has no passenger gangway through the cab front. Another note of interest: each service will visit Manchester Piccadilly Station (the Northern service terminating there) but by a different route.

Clwyd Railway Circle

Meetings of the Clwyd Railway Circle commence on Friday 5 January with a presentation named 'A Journey from Chester to Aberystwyth via Welshpool in the 1960s'  by  Dave Southern. Meetings are at the Jubilee Community Centre, 45 Seabank Drive, Prestatyn, LL19 7PP.  Visitors are welcome - Admission £3.
Refreshments are available at 10:00 and the talks commence at 10:30 am.

Borderlands Birding - By Geoff Morris

We visited the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere on Friday 15 December and, while there, were able to view the new 45-minute frequency service on the Wrexham - Bidston line that started with the timetable change at the start of the week.   The timetable seemed to be working well with all trains passing within a few minutes (at worst) of their booked time and used 2 class 197/0 units (197015 & 197 050) plus 1 class 230 set 230 008 which was photographed from the main reserve when it passed on the 09:59 Wrexham Central - Bidston before it was changed (as booked) for 230 009 after its arrival at Bidston just after 13:00.

The railway splits the reserve site and so there are various views of the passing trains including one from an overbridge that spans the line near the north end of the long straight between Dee Marsh and Burton Point.  This view is interesting as although the line is straight it is quite undulating as can be seen in the photo of 197 015 on the 11:28 Wrexham Central - Bidston which has just passed crossover that accessed the siding to Shotton Paper Mill. 

This siding can just be made out in the photo of 197 050 on the 11:51 Bidston - Wrexham Central; the large stones on the footpath in foreground mark the England - Wales border.

A Day on Merseyrail - by Paul Hajdasz

On 21 December myself and my brother decided to take a day trip on the Merseyrail network to photograph some of the outgoing 507/508 units still currently running on these lines.  We started at Ellesmere Port (with convenient parking free parking) where we each purchased a Merseyrail All Zone day saver at a cost of £5.95. The ticket allowed us to travel anytime after 9:30am during a week day.

The first train we caught was the 09:39 circular route to Liverpool with one of the new 777 units 777 031 operating.

We alighted at Hamilton Square where we waited for the 10:25 to New Brighton. This time it was served by one of the old 507s. 507 017 brought us into platform 2.

A short while later we took another 507 unit 507 004 to Birkenhead North.

We then took the Wirral line to West Kirby with 507 032. 777 017 was stabled on one of the outlying tracks.

We had also made up our minds to go to Southport, so we caught the 12:26 to Moorfields on 507 033 ...

...  then transferred to the Northern Line to continue onto Southport which was served by 508 104. On arrival 507 011 was waiting to depart.

We spent an hour or so looking around the retail outlets in town before making our way back to the station just in time to get 507 001 to Moorfields.

This train looked nostalgic in its blue and grey British Rail livery with the wording “Proud to serve the Liverpool City Region for 46 years“ emblazoned on one of its carriages - a poignant reminder of the first 507 unit to be built

The final leg of the trip was back to Ellesmere Port on 777 002 - another sign of how Merseyrail is evolving.

Wrexham and Shrewsbury re-born?

Wrexham, Shropshire & Midlands Railway is a new "open-access" operator which aims to bring new services from Wrexham to London Euston, starting in 2025. It compares itself to other open-access operators in other parts of the country including Hull Trains and Grand Central, which run direct routes to London from Hull and Sunderland respectively.

The official application is for 'the operation of 5 new Open Access train services in each direction on Monday to Saturdays (EWD) and 4 on Sundays, between Wrexham General and London Euston. The train services shall call at the following intermediate stations - Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Telford Central, Wolverhampton, Darlaston, Walsall, Coleshill Parkway, Nuneaton, and Milton Keynes.'

This has been tried before, but was bought and closed down by Deutsche Bahn before it was able to gain enough passengers.  We await developments.

Shrewsbury selection - by Graham Breakwell

16 December: 56 094 at Coleham depot in the siding along with the RHTT stock at the end of the season....

... 197 105 passes the depot on 1V95, the 09:22 from Llandudno Junction to Cardiff.

66 790 Louise with 6V76, 23:25 (previous day) from Dee Marsh to Margam passing through Belle Vue in the morning sunshine on 16 December.

Driving Trailer 82226 leading 1W56 the 10.32 from Swansea to Manchester Piccadilly in platform 4 at Shrewsbury on 17 December, displaying its new Ambiwlans Awyr Cymru / Welsh Air Ambulance vinyls.

67 010 powering 1W56 away as 57 601 Windsor Castle approaches on the down main line with 1Z62, the Northern Belle charter from Coventry to Chester.  57 313 was on the other end.

97 301 and 97 302 bringing the Aberystwyth- Chirk logs through Meole Brace, running around 30 minutes early, on 23 December, increasing to 94 minutes  on departure from Coleham Shunt neck,  all cancelled-out by standing for two hours on the down main line in Shrewsbury station. the train arrived at Chirk 82 minutes late at 17:30.

[On the subject of this train's scaring Geese as mentioned last time - it appears that this story was written by a single newspaper reporter talking to a single RSPB member, and the RSPB authorities have said nothing about it.]

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