North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 15 April 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

  15 April 2024

 Grand National 1955-style

(Mark Hambly collection)

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.

April 2024

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

Thursday 18 April Midland Pullman Wolverhampton - Chester - Carlisle - Aviemore

May 2024

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

Wednessay 15 May  Snowdonia Statesman, Chesterfield to Blaenau Ffestiniog and return.

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

Wednesday 19 June Statesman  Cardiff - Blaenau Ffestiniog

Friday 21 June Northern Belle 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

Saturday 6 July Railway Touring Company North Wales Express London Euston  - Llandudno (Steam Crewe - Llandudno)

Tuesday 16 July Midland Pullman  Holyhead - Paignton

Wednesday 17 July Statesman Chester-le-Street - Blaenau Ffestiniog

Saturday 27 July    Midland Pullman    Crewe -  Paignton      

August 2024

Wednesday 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

Wednesday 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

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

Saturday 28 September UK Railtours London - Chester 'Our tour takes an interesting route from London to Chester and Llandudno Junction where we plan to access the Glan Conwy freight sidings.'

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

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

805 010 on trial passing Pensarn, 11 April. Picture by Gary Thomas.

News Pictures

Passing through a deserted Crewe on 5 April - a strike day - was 47 848  with a West Coast Railways empty stock train from Carnforth  to Norwich.

...and 'Black 5' 44871. The  following day the pair was to work a Norwich to Worcester (Richard Snook).

Captured at Crewe, 37 800 Cassiopeia hauling Merseyrail units 507 031 and 507 020 from Crewe South Yard to Sims Metals at Newport for scrapping. (Richard Snook).

On 11 April, new Avanti unit 805 010 on test passing Gwrych Castle ...

... and near Penmaenmawr (Greg Mape).


Late in the evening of 13 April, and driver Jim Scott waits with his loco 67 766  Gail Richardson and 21 JNA 'Falcon' wagons. There's another 66 790 on the other end ready to move to the work site. These Network Rail wagons are designed to carry new ballast or spoil; 555 of them were built in Romania and delivered in 2003/4. Traditionally, engineers' wagons carried codes relating to fish or other sea creatures. Maybe they run out of those and started on birds?

In the worksite at 2am having the ballast unloaded onto the renewed Down line. Driver Jim notes:' Here it was an almost a mile walk to the access gate in a bitterly cold wind, was glad to get into the car home!'

Sleepers (the rails had already been delivered) had been brought to the site by another GBRf loco, 66 742  seen passing  Dwygyfylchi (Gary Thomas)...

... and Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud).

10 minutes at Shrewsbury, 15 April  - by  Graham Breakwell

67 013 leading 1V37, the 08:30 from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff, a five coach train with an unidentified DVT.

Closely followed by 37884 Cepheus on the front of 5W78, the 08:51 from Crewe Gresty Green to Landore TMD, with an unidentified Class 175 sandwiched between Rail Operations Group barrier vans...

... With 37 901 Mirrlees Pioneer on the rear as 197 107 passes with 1W54, the 05:45 from Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly. 

Easter in Tywyn - recorded by Richard Putley (part 2)

Return to Chippenham - Monday 1 April 2024

A punctual start with the 09:27 from Tywyn to Birmingham International with 158 838 plus a sister unit which joined us at Machynlleth. On arrival at Shrewsbury I photographed the contrasting front ends of 158 838 and one of its successors, 197 111. Also there was 150 245 in Platform 5 forming a service for the Heart of Wales Line. This had departed by the time the 11:44 to Cardiff arrived (formed by 197 015 / 195 047).

Although the 11:44 had also arrived on time, we got signal-checked at both Sutton Bridge Junction and Dorrington as 150 245 was in front of us. Once it got out of our way at Craven Arms progress was a lot faster. Just outside Newport I saw 67 022 heading north on a Black set of Mk4s.

A 7-minute late arrival at Newport did not prevent me catching the 13:44  to Portsmouth.  This was a pair of GWR 158s (158 750 / 158 771) and they certainly didn't hang around! Arrival at Filton Abbey Wood was 4 minutes early so we waited there until our booked departure time of 14:09. The Portsmouth train arrived on Platform 11 and it was a short walk to Platform 13 for the 14:30 to Paddington, which was a 9 car IET. So ended a pleasant Easter weekend and an equally pleasant return journey.

Out and About - with Greg Mape

A Railway Touring Company railtour day 2, Cheltenham Spa to Lancaster with 44871 and 45407 passing Galgate south of  Lancaster on 14 April.

13 April and a visit to the  the Statfold Barn Railway's Model Railway Exhibition. Jack Lane is a modern "Quarry Tank" built by the Hunslet (Steam Company) Ltd., at Graham Lee's premises at Statfold Barn. It carries the Hunslet Engine Co builder's number 3904 of 2005.

'Galloping Goose' was the nickname name given to a series of seven railcars built in the 1930s by the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. The 'goose' is a replica, using a Morris Commercial chassis.

This tram, built in 1906, has a remarkable history involving a garden shed, and a life in the USA.

12 April and the Llangollen Railway's 'Branchline Gala'.  Above, the railway's Class 108 railcar in Llangollen station. 

GWR 2-8-0 3802 back in steam for the first time in 2½ years.

Austin 1  was a short train of brake vans, which passengers could travel in.  The loco has been at the LR for 50 years (not counting some periods of hire to other lines) and was the very first steam locomotive to work the line.

Other locos used over the weekend were Great Western pannier tank No 7754 which will be formally rededicated to traffic, Austerity loco 68067 operating its last trains with us before heading back to her home railway following an 18-month stay, and diesel loco D5310. Trains will be running at weekends through the summer, with more dates in the semmer season.

The 2024 Timetable is here.

Larry Davies

For anyone wishing to attend the funeral of Larry Davies, It will be at the Colwyn Bay Crematorium on Wednesday 1 May at 11:00.  Afterwards there will be refreshments available at the Deganwy Quays Hotel.

As Community Rail Officer for the Conwy Valley line, Larry worked tirelessly to promote the line, including the provision of LNER-style benches at each station. It would be a fitting tribute to him if a small tablet in his memory would be attached to one of the benches. Perhaps the recently-appointed Community Rail Officer, Karen Williams who now also covers stations from Llandudno Junction, could arrange funding if approached by local residents.

Trip on the Welshpool and Llanfair - related by Paul Hajdasz

On Friday 5 April I decided to take a trip on the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, taking the one o’clock service from Llanfair Caerenion. When I arrived I observed number 7 Chattenden (built by EE Baguley at Burton-on-Trent in 1949) moving a surplus carraige from my train (above).

Number 17 (built in Germany in 1979) carrying the Diema trade name was stabled outside the shed. It was delivered new to the sugar factory at Sanhua in Tai-nan County, Taiwan.

The engine I was due to travel with was ZB2 Zillertal  built in 1900 by Krauss & co for the opening of the Zillertalbahn in Austria.

The 45-minute journey was fairly comfortable on the wooden seats in the carriage as cushions were provided. Once we arrived at Welshpool Raven Square station, the engine detached and spent about 15 minutes having a fill up of water before running around the loop to attach back onto the trai -front. I sat on the other side of the train for the return journey to take in different scenery. It was an enjoyable trip, particularly as I was able to purchase a return ticket for £5.75 using my Heritage Railway Association privilege pass.

From Dave Sallery's archive

31 546 and 31 232 on an up ballast passing Colwyn Bay, 22 November 1990.

37 420 The Scottish Hosteller passes Abergele on a Crewe - Bangor service, 27 June 1998.  37 420 was cut up at Hull's Rotherham on 16 February  2008.

37 421 at Bodorgan with the 'Irish Mancunian', 13 May 1994.  The two Bodorgan tunnels can be seen in the background.

47378 passes through a deserted Rhyl station on 1 July 1988 with the Speedlink service to Warrington.  Quite a few of the wagons will be dropped off at Crumps, Connahs Quay for repair or scrapping.   On the left what is now Morrisons supermarket takes shape on the former goods yard site.

777 012 and 507 021 at New Brighton in March 2024 - 'Changing Trains'

Looking back: RER at Liverpool Garden Festival  - by David Pool

The International Garden Festival in Liverpool in 1984 had a 15 inch gauge miniature railway, the locomotives and some rolling stock being provided by the Ravenglass & Eskdale and Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railways.  On the opening day of 2 May the Royal Train brought the Queen and Prince Philip to the event, and I was able to photograph them as they left Lime Street Station.  The Royal Train had been hauled by 47 555 The Commonwealth Spirit

The IGF railway seems to have been designed without serious thought of how it might be operated by steam locomotives, in that the original proposal was to have a main terminal station connected by a single track to a tortuous two mile circuit around the site.  The need to turn locomotives or run round trains was not considered.  The outcome was the provision of a diesel unit shuttle from the terminal station, connecting to locomotive hauled services on the circuit.  In practice the majority of the passengers travelled from the station on the circuit nearest to the Fulwood entrance of the Festival.  I had volunteered to help at this station, where the task was to empty and fill trains every five minutes or so.  Fortunately travel was free, so no tickets were involved, and the passengers were very happy with the arrangements.  If locomotives had to be coaled or watered, they would be exchanged when the train passed the depot.

The RH&DR had sent No.11 Black Prince, the coaching stock being mostly provided by the Festival and sponsored by National Westminster Bank.  The double track sections were between loops on the circuit, and all steam locomotives ran chimney first.  Level crossings were manned at road crossings on the site.  This and the next two photographs were taken on the opening day.

The R&ER provided the diesel haulage, and Shelagh of Eskdale was used on the main circuit.

A shuttle service was provided for the branch line to the terminal station at the Herculaneum entrance on the Marine Esplanade.  This was worked by the R&ER’s three car unit Silver Jubilee, now painted in a pseudo BR Inter City livery. 

On the main circuit. RH&DR’s No.6 Samson was at work on 18 May, being very capable of tackling the gradients on the system.  The full size Devonian headboard looks rather out of place, and I haven’t been able to work out the meaning of the T&N and LLS branding. 

The other eight coupled locomotive was River Irt, from the R&ER, also photographed on 18 May, at the interchange station for the branch.  The footbridges and walkways were designed to fit the rustic nature of the Festival. 

I had been looking forward to seeing the other visiting locomotive, The Bug, which had been originally used during the construction of the RH&DR, being brought out only on special occasions.  Built by Krauss in Munich in 1926, it was not suited for the RH&DR’s service trains.  Perhaps not surprisingly it was found to be underpowered for the Festival’s requirements, and was out of sight in the locomotive shed for most of the time.  I was very grateful to get permission to see The Bug on 11 August, when it was brought out of the shed and posed for my photographs.

Over three million visitors came to the Festival between May and October 1984, and with access encouraged to many exhibits it was not easy to get photographs – rather like the problems at Railway exhibitions!  After waiting patiently I eventually got my shot of the Yellow Submarine without the usual crowd on the conning tower or surrounding John Lennon’s statue.

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