North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 04 March 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

04 March 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

Smart-looking 37 611 Doris on 28 February. Picture by Tim Rogers - see below.

On 28 February another 175, 175 112 was towed to Central Rivers 5Q69  to and-tailed by 37 608 Andromeda and 37 611 Denise Wetton seen passing along the Mostyn sea wall (Tim Rogers) ...

... and Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh), The trips to Central Rivers are apparently to get the 175s in condition for a further use with another operator. We understand that the trips are attention to the wheels and bogies.  Other movements have been going on: two-car sets have been taken to the sidings at Ely. Rumours are flying about regarding future use - Great Western seems a  possibility, as they have experience with the similar class 180s, but it all seems doubtful.

These 37/6 locos were converted from standard for towing Eurostar units, and also to work through trains to the Tunnel from the un-electrified West of England service. Here's a picture of 37 608 and 37 604 at Stockport with a pair of translator wagons having deposited a Eurostar at its depot at Longsight, some time in the 1990s - can anyone give a date? Of course, the planned Manchester - Paris never started, the locos were sold to DRS, and  the depot is used for something else.

The new order

197 043 at Flint on 08:25 Manchester Airport to Llandudno, 2 March (Tim Rogers).  All the two-chack units are in service now, except the 022 - 041 to be fitted with ERTMS for the Cambrian line. Several of the latter are already built, and stored either at Telford Railfreight or Crewe LNWR.

197 120, seen an Crewe on 23 February, has been chosen for a 'made in Wales' celebration. The CAF Newport factory work with bodyshells made in Spain, but that's just a large component - Newport adds very many others to finish the job (Richard Snook).

Gary Thomas's view

37 884 Cepheus drags 507 032 and 507 013 from Birkenhead to Sims, Newport for scrapping passing Bayston near Shrewsbury.

70 802 on the return Penmaenmawr stone to Longport at Towyn, 21 February

37 254 on the Ultrasonic test train to Blaenau near Roman Bridge ...

... and at Roman Bridge station with 37 612. What's going there, you might ask - a car park? Well,  when I posted the picture on Facebook I got a message from a fellow called Keith Roberts who worked on the job. He said: "Ah there is our nice flood defences and drains we put down a year ago at Roman Bridge, took us a month and a lot of the time it was about -11 degrees".

Another new 805 for Avanti, 805 008, is now testing along the coast. Here it is on 1 March at Dwygyfylchi ...

... and Llanfairfechan.

Seen at Crewe - by Richard Snook

Touring the North West, the Ultrasonic test train with 37 254 and 37 612, reversed at Chester on 23 February.   A chance to capture 37 612 in its plain livery.

On test for the LSL company, 60007 working Crewe - Chester and return on 26 February.

Taking water.


Class 40 action - pictures by Gary Thomas

47 805 (D213) on arrival at Inverness on the InterCity 'Whistling Highlander' railtour,  24 February.

47 805 (D1935) during a break at Aberdeen on the return to Crewe. Gary notes: As ever this LSL operated tour ran really well, with great running, good rolling stock and excellent time keeping.

The Transport Commission reports

The final report of the North Wales Transport Commission is now available to download. George Jones comments:  'Given the sums of money involved in this catalogue of good ideas, it seems unlikely much will be achieved in the short term. However there are interesting comments for the Borderlands line and Shrewsbury to Chester with associated costs. The Welsh Government response will be of interest. - worth a read.' [If you read it - comments welcome!]

Meanwhile, on 7 December it was announced that funding would be available for North Wales as sugested by a body known as the 'Union Connectivity Review.'  It seems to envisage some kind of express service for people who need to commute from North Wales to Manchester or Liverpool. The layout of Chester station will be needed, faster line speeds which will need changes to the Coast line signalling, and electrify from Crewe to Holyhead.  The aim is five trains per hour, including one express - but which towns will be served by the express? Shades of the old 'Club Train.

Llandudno Junction and Bangor would get extra platforms - that should be easy enough as non-passenger platforms still exist.  A figure of a billion pounds is mentioned, starting with £700,000 for TfW to consider how to do it all. But the Welsh Government has 'Lukewarm Interest'  according to a writer in Rail magazine. The UK Government appears to be finding the Billion pounds from the money saved by cancelling HS2 to Manchester.

Chester Steam - by Geoff Morris

Although the weather yesterday on 2 March in Chester was pretty dire, a break in the rain encouraged me to venture out to see 44871 working the return leg of its special from Euston.  I arrived at the Hoole Lane bridge just as the loco started to shunt the empty stock from the goods lines to the platform via a reversal on the Manchester line at Chester East Junction.

195 117 had to wait to enter the station on a service from Leeds at the start of this shunt, which coincided with a short spell of sunshine and a dramatic background dark grey sky.  Unfortunately, the sunshine had been replaced by clouds by the time 44871 departed, on time,  but the damp weather produced some dramatic smoke effects.

From Dave Sallery's archive

101 694
in Strathclyde Transport livery is on a Bidston service at Penyffordd in August 2000. A number of these units were rendered surplus in Scotland and transferred to Longsight depot, Manchester where they saw out their final days on lines such as Wrexham to Bidston.

56 025 is a rare sight on empty ballast hoppers to Penmaenmawr at Prestatyn on 29 May 1996.

59 205 near Tal-y-Cafn on 18 April 1998. It was working Hertfordshire Railtours 'The Roman Nose' from Euston to Trawsfynydd.  37 098 and 37 377 were on the other end of the train.

60 095  Crib Goch at Llandudno Jct on 12 June 1992 working the Hope Street Salford to Penmaenmawr stone empties.

Looking back: 19th century steam Part 4- by David Pool

When the three Lyme Regis branch “Radial Tank” locomotives were withdrawn in 1961, the Bluebell Railway decide to purchase one.  Twenty two locomotives had been built to the Adams LSWR design between 1882 and 1885, but only two survived in Southern Railway ownership at the end of the 1939-1945 war.  A third locomotive had been sold to the East Kent Railway in 1919, and this was returned to the Southern Railway in 1946, becoming SR 3488 and later BR 30583.  On 12 July 1961 I happened to be in Brighton, and was very surprised to see a Radial Tank in steam outside the loco shed.  The BR emblem and numbers had been painted out, and the smokebox number had been removed, but 488 was on the bunker, so it was the former 30583.  The locomotive reversed into the station then headed North on the main line.  It would have taken the Horsted Keynes branch after Haywards Heath to reach the Bluebell Railway.  There may have been other occasions when a locomotive sold by BR was allowed to run unassisted to its new home, but I am not aware of any! 

Steam on the BR Isle of Wight services had ended in 1966, the last trains through Newport being those between Cowes and Ryde.  On 26 September 1970 the sole surviving Class O2 W24 Calbourne was at Newport, before moving to Haven Street and subsequent operation on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. W24 had been built for the LSWR in 1891 as 209, becoming E209 on the Southern Railway before being shipped to the Island in 1925.  The Class O2 locomotives were ideally suited to the Island lines, and W24 had been retained for engineering work until electrification was completed in 1967.

The LSWR Class T9 “Greyhounds” were very familiar to me in the early 1960s when I was on holiday in Bournemouth, and I was very pleased that the National Railway Museum decided to preserve the last T9 in service.  BR 30120 had been built in 1891 as one of the first batch, and had been withdrawn in 1963.  It had then been stored at various locations, before it was eventually returned to steam on the Mid Hants Railway in 1983. On 2 July of that year I photographed it at Ropley.  Since then it has run on several preserved railways, notably the Bodmin and Wenford Railway and the Swanage Railway, where it is currently stored awaiting a return to steam. 

At first sight this looks to be just another “Jinty”, but the number 41708 shows it was one of the earlier Midland Railway designs, built at Derby in 1880, although rebuilt with a Belpaire boiler in 1926.  On 29 August 1987 it was working a demonstration freight at the Midland Railway Centre, approaching Swanwick Junction.  It usually has a half cab, but on this occasion the removable rear cab section was fitted.    It has run on many preserved lines.  Now owned by Barrow Hill Roundhouse, it has moved to Tyseley for a major overhaul and return to steam.

No.1 is the only survivor of the seven Metropolitan Railway’s E Class locomotives used on the Baker Street to Verney Junction services.  The last locomotive built at Neasden in 1898, it became L44 on the London Transport numbering system, and was used on the last LT service on the Chesham branch in 1960 and the final LT steam working in 1961.  Bought for preservation as L44, it was at Quainton Road (now the Buckingham Railway Centre) for some years, then restored as Metropolitan No.1 and returning to London Transport tracks with a series of “Steam on the Met” events between 1989 and 2000.  It has visited several preserved Railways, being photographed at Keighley on 10 April 1994, and was on the Llangollen Railway in 2008.  It is currently at Quainton Road awaiting an overhaul. 

The Class B4 tank engines on the LSWR were designed by Adams, and No.96 was built in 1893.  They were used for dock shunting and could be seen on light duties at Motive Power Depots such as Bournemouth.   As part of the events marking the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, 96 Normandy (previously BR 30096) was in Southampton Eastern Docks on 5 June 1994.  It has been suggested that Normandy had been due to run a special train to Salisbury on the previous day, but the train from Salisbury I photographed on 4 June was headed by SR 828, and another to Salisbury on 5 June had 777 Sir Lamiel.  Any clarification regarding the movements of Normandy in June 1994 would be welcomed. .

Taff Vale Railway 85 was built by Neilson Reid in 1899, and became GWR 426 at the Grouping, but was sold in 1929 to Lambton Colliery in County Durham, where it was renumbered 52.  Its working life ended in 1968, at which time it was NCB 52, and it was then purchased for preservation, arriving at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in 1970.  After a rebuild to the original Taff Vale condition, 85 finally entered service in 2000, and was photographed leaving Keighley on 13 May of that year.  A later rebuild in 2016 restored the full lining out in Taff Vale livery. 

The East Lancs Railway has a number of Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway locomotives, and two heading  a demonstration goods train on 15 October 2021 were photographed at Summerseat.  The pilot loco was 51456, originally built as a tender engine L&Y 752 by Beyer Peacock in 1881, but rebuilt as a saddle tank in 1896 at Horwich.  In LMS ownership it became 11456, and was then sold in 1937 to a colliery in Coppull, eventually becoming an NCB locomotive and then purchased for preservation by the L&Y Trust.  In 1976 it moved to the KWVR, and featured in the Rainhill celebrations in 1980. 

Two years later it was taken out of service, but serious progress with a major overhaul was not achieved until an agreement was reached with the ELR to complete the restoration.  752 now carries the BR number 51456, although of course it never was owned by British Railways.   The second locomotive in the photograph was built for the L&Y at Horwich in 1895 with the number 1300, becoming LMS 12322 after the Grouping.  Withdrawn in 1960 as BR 52322, it was partially restored at Horwich in 1962, then moved to Carnforth, where further restoration was carried out.  It moved to the East Lancs Railway in 1995 and was purchased by Andy Booth in 2003.   After returning to steam on the ELR in 2008 there have been a number of boiler problems, but 52322 has since appeared on several preserved railways in the North of England, often as L&Y 1300. 

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