North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 26 February 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

26 February 2024


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, society and tour operator details.

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 Change of Speaker: John Sloane : "BR Steam: The Splendid Years 1959 to 1962".

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

21 March  Statesman Chester - Windsor and Eton Central. Pickups in North Wales borders.

April 2024

Thursday 4 April Pathfinder Reading - Pwllheli via Crewe

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

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 - Aviemore

May 2024

6 May  Statesman   Woking - Llandudno  via Bath Spa and Crewe for Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza

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

Saturday 25 May Railway Touring Company     Manchester Piccadilly  -  Llandudno and Holyhead Steam: 5596 Bahamas 

June 2024

8 June Vintage Trains     Dorridge - Blaenau Ffestiniog  Steam and 47 773  via Crewe. Diesel on Blaenau branch

21 June Northern Belle -  Crewe     Two tours - lunch and afternoon tea.  Round trip from Crewe via  pickups at Chester and Wrexham.

Saturday 22 June Midland Pullman Holyhead - Carlisle

Saturday 22 June  North West Rail and Transport Collector's Fair, Crewe Alexandra Football Club 10:00 - 3:30

Thursday 27 June Midland Pullman  Crewe - Chester - Wrexham - Paignton

July 2014

Tuesday 16 July Midland Pullman  Holyhead - Paignton

27 July    Midland Pullman    Crewe -  Paignton      

August 2024

14 August    Statesman    Telford Central - Carlisle
pickups Shrewsbury, Gobowen, Chirk, Wrexham General, Chester, Frodsham, Warrington BQ

September 2024

4 September  Statesman High Wycombe -     Blaenau Ffestiniog

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

12 September   Pathfinder  Cambrian Coast Express Cardiff Central  - Pwllheli

Sunday 15 September Steam Dreams 'Welsh Dragon' steam-hauled London Paddington - Shrewsbury, then diesel through to Pwllheli.  For more on this and this and the next two entries see the Steam Dreams website.
Wednesday 18 September  Steam Dreams 'Welsh Dragon' steam hauled Bangor - Crewe, then diesel to Cardiff via the Heart of Wales line
Thursday 19 September - Steam Dreams 'Welsh Dragon'  steam hauled Cardiff to London Paddington via Gloucester and the Golden Valley line

21 September - Northern Belle    Telford - Carlisle pickups Shrewsbury,  Wrexham General, Chester.

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

On its way back from Holyhead to Oxley after being used for staff training (presumably) at Holyhead, 805 005 passes Rowton between Chester and Crewe on 23 February. Picture by Paul Shannon.

News pictures

40 013 (D213) Andania passes Lancaster on a Crewe - Inverness charter (Greg Mape).

On 26 February 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley with its companion coach about to go under Hoole Lane bridge and into Chester on Crewe - Chester test run (Bob Greenhalgh).

On 22 February the itinerary for the Network Rail Ultrasonic Test train included the Blaenau Ffestiniog branch. Ken Robinson ventured to record the event.  Above, the train arrives, headed by Colas loco 37 254 Cardiff Canton (a loco bought by Colas from a preservation group)  ...

... and on the rear, 37 612. Currently on hire to Colas from the Harry Needle company, is one of the locos which would have worked Channel Tunnel services on non-electrified lines, and later owned by DRS.

Heading back to Chester at Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh).

On 23 February, the same pair pass Mouldsworth while working Chester - Stockport - Chester - Northwich - Crewe (Bob Greenhalgh).

The 'classic' New Measurement Train consist passing through Shrewsbury on the approach to Sutton Bridge Junction on 1Q20 the 04:52 round trip from Derby RTC to Newport on 23 February.  43 063 John Armitt seen here on the rear with 43 013 Mark Carne CBE leading (Graham Breakwell).

69 001 Mayflower passes Stockport, working 0Z10 10:40 Crewe to Doncaster. GBRF have recently been operating route training either Doncaster or Wakefield Kirkgate Whithams Cobra siding to Marsden,  sometimes running to / from Crewe using class 69 locos. They have run on 26 February Wakefield Kirkgate Whithams Cobra siding to Crewe.

Withdrawn 175 114's stay at Barton-under-Needwood (or Central Rivers for short) was brief: it returned to Holyhead on 21 February, sandwiched between 37 884 Cepheus,  and 37 510Garry Stroud captured it at Llandudno Junction.  What was that all about, we wonder?

The 'Translator' vehicles allow locos to couple to the various kinds of multiple units, or coaches which don't have the traditional coupler. Both are converted from Mk1  coaches: 6340 (above, picture by Tim Rogers) was corridor brake composite 21252 - you can make out the original window position.  
The composite coach, of which 239 were built in the 1950s,  provided first and second class seating, luggage compartment and guard's compartment. It was useful for trains which divided for multiple destinations. For example, Buxton had a 'through coach' from  London, detached at Millers Dale. If necessary, a one-carriage train can be formed. Today a number are still in use, on heritage railways or as support coaches for steam locos.

Noted at Crewe on 9 February was LNER livery DVT 82220 with two Mk4 coaches brought from Landore by ubiquitous loco 37 800 Cassiopeia...

... the photos show the ensemble waiting to move to Crewe South yard for temporary storage. Pictures by Richard Snook.

Paul Hajdasz writes: 'I arrived at Wellington station about 9:30am on 22 February expecting to go on a West Midlands day ranger only to be told that no trains would be moving between Shrewsbury and Wellington for the foreseeable until the flood water had receded...

... 'I managed to take these photos before I left. 196 110 is standing in platform one, not going anywhere soon!'

67 action:  67 025 departs from platform 9 Manchester Piccadilly with the 12:30 to Cardiff on 22 February ...

... later that day, 67 022 awaits departure with the 16:30 to Swansea, yet again (see last issue) in reverse formation.  Surely it is possible to avoid this? I travelled on this train as far as Stockport; Standard class was very busy, with no pairs of seats to be had. I stood in the vestibule along with a couple and small child. Those extra coaches are really needed.

70 802 on 6K33 13:57 Penmaenmawr Quarry Colas to Longport passing Beeches Form 25 minutes late (Tim Rogers). This is the only one serving Penmaenmawr quarry at present.

A new book by Garry Stroud

Our regular contributor's  second book under the Rail Scene heading, North Wales Rail Scene 1970s to 1990s focusses on North Wales. It is in the same format same format as Garry's Swindon Hydraulics publication with nearly 190 colour images from the early 1970s to 1990s, including views from Holyhead in the west to Wrexham in the east, not forgetting the Blaenau and Llandudno branch. The northern section of the Cambrian also features between Pwllheli and Machynlleth.  From 01s in Holyhead breakwater shed to Class 60s up Gresford bank, some of the views are on a 'before and after' format, noting the change that has taken place, especially where the A55 dual carriageway has been constructed.  Class 40, 45, 25, 37, 47 and first generation DMUs are comprehensively covered.

Published  by Amberley Publishing, the book is available from National and independent book shops, the Conwy High Street bookshop is highly recommended and has stock. Price £15.99.

Barmouth aftermath - report by Kate Jones

On 15 February I took these two pictures of the work going on to take away the hard core and concrete surfaces laid on what was originally a flood plain, to take all the necessary equipment for the last three years of the refurbishment of the Barmouth viaduct. The machine in the foreground is breaking up the concrete and removing the metal which the second machine further back is using a magnet to pick up the metal and put it in the truck.

Obviously recycling is key. Most of the cabins have gone just a few removed to the road entrance of the site for the current works. There is still some scaffolding around the metal part of the bridge and pontoons on the water.

From Dave Sallery's archive

25 191 leads 25 296 and 45 146 up through Prestatyn, 5 September 1985.

25 229 is on the Speedlink to Arpley as it awaits departure time, 22 August 1984.

25 316 passes Ffynnongroew on the afternoon Speedlink to Warrington Arpley, 23 September 1985.

25 902 and 25 910 arrive at Warrington Arpley with OTA empties from Shotton Paper, 28 April 1986.  At the end of 1985 twelve of the remaining Class 25/3 locomotives were designated as 25/9 in anticipation of them having a longer life.  Unfortunately this did not happen.

Looking back: 19th Century Steam part 3 - with David Pool

The Stroudley “Terriers” were – and are – exceptional locomotives.  Fifty were built between 1872 and 1880, and ten survive today, most of which are expected to run for many more years.  Although the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway decided most were surplus to requirements after only 25 years in service, their ability to work on branch lines and lightweight track, coupled with their reliability and fuel economy, is the reason why so many have survived.

Terriers were originally Class A1, but the LB&SCR added an X when a locomotive was rebuilt, and from 1911 onwards almost all the survivors were Class A1X.  The outward appearance was largely retained, the changes being in the cylinder diameter, new boilers and extended smokeboxes.  An earlier change had been the removal of feedwater heating equipment.   The Stroudley copper-capped chimney was sometimes replaced, and the rear coal bunker was enlarged for Isle of Wight locomotives.

My first sight of a Terrier was on 12 July 1961, when 32662 was on shed at Brighton.  This particular locomotive was unusual in that it had remained on the mainland and had always been owned by the mainline Companies (LB&SCR, Southern Railway and BR).  On withdrawal in 1964 it had run 1.5 million miles in service.  After preservation at Butlin’s Heads of Ayr Camp, it went to Bressingham in 1971, where it is now operational. 

The Hayling Island branch was never very profitable for the Southern Railway and for BR, since the traffic was sparse away from the Summer peak season.  The wooden construction of the Langstone Bridge required constant attention and was restricted to all but the lightest locomotives.  Accordingly a number of Terriers were based at Fratton to work this branch.  The opening of a new road bridge in 1956 was one factor in the decision that the branch line would close in November 1963, so on 18 May 1963 I made my only visit to the branch, photographing 32646 as it left Langston station.  Note the spark arrestor on the chimney – a requirement for any steam locomotive using the Langstone bridge. 

Stroudley’s description of the colour he specified as “Improved Engine Green” has generated many comments and theories.  He clearly wanted to make a change from the green livery which LBSCR passenger locomotives had previously carried, and the golden yellow ochre was certainly that.  An early arrival at the Bluebell Railway was 55 Stepney, sold in 1960 when it was BR 32655.  As usual, this Terrier had travelled widely in the South of England, notably on the Lee and Solent Light Railway during its short existence, and of course on the Hayling Island branch.  On 19 May 1963 it was running at Sheffield Park in its 1875 colours, although in the 1912 A1X rebuild condition.

The first Terrier to enter traffic in 1872 was 72 Fenchurch. After 25 years in South London working the suburban services for which the Terriers were intended, it was bought by the Newhaven Harbour Company, whose locomotives were in need of replacement.  After the Grouping, the Southern Railway took control at Newhaven, and Fenchurch became SR B636, then 2636 in 1935 and 32636 in BR ownership, still at Newhaven. 

[The coach behind the loco is one of the LNWR observation cars used on the Conwy Valley line.]

Things changed in 1952 when the Centenary of Brighton Works saw 32636 working trains to Kemp Town, having just come from the Kent and East Sussex Railway, where it had assisted with the hop pickers trains.  It was then in demand for various Steam Specials, spending time at Newhaven and again visiting the K&ESR until the final runs on the Hayling Island branch. In 1964 it moved to the Bluebell Railway, where it was photographed on 28 June 1969.  At that time it displayed Fenchurch on one side tank and Newhaven Harbour Company on the other. 

Delivered in 1872, 70 Poplar was the last of the six Terriers built in that year.  It was in service until 1901, when it was sold to the Rother Valley Railway, which was renamed the Kent and East Sussex Railway in 1904.  No.70 became K&ESR 3 Bodiam, remaining on the line until it was taken over by the Southern Region of BR in 1948, when it became 32670 and was then used for a variety of duties on the South Coast, including Special workings on the K&ESR before closure.  Withdrawn after the final trains on the Hayling Island branch, it was sold to the group wishing to reopen the K&ESR.  My visit to Rolvenden on 25 May 1969 showed it as K&ESR 3, stored with the nameplates removed until the line could reopen.  The GWR Railcar in the background was W20W.

32646 had been built in 1877 as LB&SCR 46 Newington, but in 1903 it became 734 of the LSWR, and was sent to the new Lyme Regis branch.  The sharp curves were not suited to six coupled locomotives, and it was moved to other duties.  A new boiler in 1912 was not a success, but in 1913 the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway took it on loan and then bought to become FY&NR 2.  By 1932 it was under Southern Railway ownership as W8 Freshwater, used mostly on the Ventnor West branch.  It received British Railways lettering in 1949, and returned to the mainland as 32646, finding work at a variety of locations and eventually for the last years of the Hayling Island branch, after which it awaited restoration.  For 13 years it was displayed outside the Hayling Billy public house as 46 Newington, then returned to the Isle of Wight, as W8 Freshwater on the Wootton to Smallbrook Junction line of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. On 27 September 1992 it was photographed at Ashey, clearly in excellent condition. 

We should be grateful to Billy Butlin for saving three Terriers at his Holiday Camps, but they tended to be overshadowed by the accompanying main line locomotives, and were painted to attract the younger campers.  The pair at Minehead on 28 April 1973 were 78 Knowle (32678) and 6229 Duchess of Hamilton.  The condition of 6229 is not quite accurate, in that the locomotive was streamlined in LMS days, and had a smokebox with a sloping end (the nickname “Semis” for the Class referring to “Semi-streamlined”). 

When the streamlined casing was removed in 1947, 6229 was in LMS wartime black livery, and then gained smoke deflectors in the early days of BR as 46229.  In 1957 a non-streamlined smokebox was fitted, and retained until 2006, when it was decided to refit the streamlined casing.  A sloping smokebox was then fitted at Tyseley, together with the streamlined casing and the LMS livery, and in 2009 6229 went on display at York Museum. 

The Terriers seldom ventured to the North of England, either in pre BR service or in Preservation, so the recent visit of Knowle to the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway was another of those not to be missed occasions.  On 26 June 2021 it was in Southern black livery, numbered 2678, and photographed at Draughton.  It was once an Isle of Wight locomotive, and was often used on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, where it is now based. 

A full history and details of each of the fifty Terriers are given in the book “Stroudley and his Terriers” by Tom Middlemass, published by Pendragon in 1995. 

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