North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 29 April 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

  29 April 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.

May 2024

4-6 May Bala Lake Railway Steam on Road and Rail

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

1-2 June Llangollen Railway Diesel / Industrial Heritage Gala

Saturday 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 -  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

Thurday 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)

6-7 July Llangollen Railway Classic Transport Weekend

6-7 July Talyllyn Railway 'Anything Goes Gala'

Tuesday 16 July Midland Pullman  Holyhead - Paignton

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

Saturday 20 July Northern Belle Hull to Llandudno Junction with off train options to Llandudno, Bodnant Gardens and the Penderryn Distillery.

20-21 July Talyllyn Railway Awdry Extravaganza

Saturday 27 July    Midland Pullman    Crewe -  Paignton      

August 2024

3-4 August Llangollen Railway 1960s Weekend

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

24-26 August Bala Lake Railway August Steam Gala

24-25 August   Model Railway Exhibition  in Machynlleth in support of the Corris Railway

30 August - 1 September - Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway -  Steam Gala with model railway exhibition

September 2024

Wednesday 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

14-15 September Welsh Highland Railway Super Power Weekend celebrating the successful restoration of the NG15 locomotive.

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.

21-22 September Bala Model Railway Show Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn Secondary School, Ffrydan Road, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7RU. 10:00 - 16:00 (Bus link to Bala Lake Railway station)

Opening times: 10.00-16.00 on both Saturday and Sunday.10.00-16.00 on both Saturday and Sunday.

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

4-6 October  Ffestiniog Railway Bygoneds weekend

5-6 October Llangollen Railway Heritage Railcar Weekend

November 2024

Friday 1 November Clwyd Railway Circle  Chinese Steam in 2001 and 2003  - Phil Thomas

December 2024

Tuesday 10 December  Midland Pullman from Holyhead to Edinburgh Waverley - Edinburgh Christmas Pullman

14-15 December Manchester Model Railway Society -  The Christmas Model Railway Show. The Sugden Centre, Sidney Street, Manchester

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

67 013 is lit by a brief burst of sunshine as it waits at Stockport on 1V42 12:30 Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff on 24 April. Picture by Stuart Broome.

News Pictures

On 22 April 37 901 seen on the rear with 37 611 leading passing  the recently- renovated station building at Penmaenmawr with the 5W40 06:23 Derby to Holyhead to collect 175 103 - see item below (Garry Stroud).

805 008 arriving at Llandudno Junction on a Crewe - Holyhead test run on 24 April ...

... followd by the Ultrasonic rail test train seen at Llandudno Junction with 37 175 leading and 37 219 on the rear (Greg Mape)...

... Returning from Llandudno at Deganwy with 37 219 leading (Garry Stroud).

Green Lane Crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).

66 732 approaches Penmaenmawr, with the 6G70 08:30 Crewe to Bangor engineers service carrying new ballast. Something of a 'coals to Newcastle' situation...

...and  66 777 Annette approaches Llandudno Junction on 13:26 with the 6G71 11:43 Crewe to Bangor engineers' service delivering sleepers on Saturday 27 Apri 

Sunday 28 at Shrewsbury. 70 804 arrives on the down main line as 0Z33, Bescot Up Engineers Sidings to Longport ...

... waiting to be overtaken by 1W56, the 10:32 from Swansea to Manchester Piccadilly -  a service scheduled to be loco hauled with five coaches but formed by 153 367 and 153 361, full and standing on departure...

... Shortly afterwards  37 884 Cepheus passes through as 0N38, Derby RTC to Birkenhead North EMUD, for another Rail Operations move of redundant stock to Simsgroup in Newport Dock next morning (Graham Breakwell)

As planned 37 884 passes Penyffordd hauling 507 021 and 507 014  as 5Q78 06:11 Birkenhead EMUD to Newport Docks on 29 April  (Bob Greenhalgh) ...

... with 507 014 trailing (Ivor Bufton) A class 37 gets contributors out of bed, it seems!

Shrewsbury golf course (Graham Breakwell).

66 724 is seen passing Rhyl whilst working 6G72 19.50 Bangor to Crewe Basford Hall on 28 April (Ivor Bufton).

What's in a Name?

TfW have named two 197s in honour of the two men who own Wrexham football team, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The names are Philadelphia Robin and Vancouver Red Dragon. The two were at the naming in the form of cardboard cut-outs. Anyone know the numbers of the units?

Another recent naming is Carew Castle Express.

Trouble with couplings - report by Stuart Broome

A visit to Holyhead produced two 37s with barrier vehicles to take 175 103
away to Barton Under Needwood depot.  Above, 37 611 Denise and 37 901 Mirrlees Pioneer arriving on 5W40 06:23 Derby RTC to Holyhead.

The locos arrived arrived complete with barrier vehicles.

37 901  was one of the locos re-engined with an engine built by the Mirrlees company at Hazel Grove as part of a project to build a fleet of new medium-power locos which was never followed through.

It was interesting that 175.103 came out of the sidings under her own power, before shutting down. It begs the question, why don't they just run under their own power rather than being towed?

There was a cold North Easterly wind whistling down the platform while a fitter attempted to fix the coupling to the barrier vehicle.  The coupler comes in two large pieces which seemingly need to be attached with a number of bolts, which took some time to do. 220 103 runs past. There was a lot of faffing about while I got colder and colder taking pictures and videoing. About two and a half hours later the job was done.

175 103 is propelled back under the road bridge by 37 901 in order to couple to the rear barrier vehicle.

 Approaching Valley as 5Q60 13:48 Holyhead to Barton under Needwood.

Corrections and Comments

In the 15 April issue we copied from a press release the statement 'The loco has been at the Llangollen Railway for 50 years'. Andrew Macfarlane writes: 'It is not true to say that Austin No.1/Burtonwood Brewer has been at Llangollen for 50 years. It has had spells at the Churnet Valley Railway, Chinnor and Midsomer Norton.'

Mark Hambly writes regarding the above 15-inch gauge loco, reprised from David Pool's item in the last issue:

' It is a bit of an odd beast, isn't it? I'd say that as pictured it looks like a Coronation Pacific but, has a number which one would think belongs to a Jubilee. But then some of the features differ from being scale-ish representations of a Coronation, such as the diameter of the smokebox door in relation to that of the smokebox, and the height of the chimney. Interesting that it was at Carnforth but presumably under different ownership to the majority of the 15 inch  equipment there, as it obviously didn't get shipped to California, I've asked a miniature railway 'expert' contact what PTKR stood for and will share anything I learn.'

Phil Atack writes regarding the smokebox shed code 65J which we said was for Stirling, when it should be the more appropriate Fort William.  These shed codes are are a 'minefield' for the railway writer as they could
 change meaning when there is some kind of reorganisation.  A list in Wikipedia tells us that Fort William was 65J from 1950 to 1960, but 63B from 1960-1970. Stirling was 65J for a while. I'll stay away from Shed Codes in future!

Phil also writes: I travelled from Frodsham into Chester on unit 197 118 on Friday afternoon.  It had turned at Piccadilly rather than Airport because of some problem [with the track, in fact - all airport trains were being turned back].  This display above kept appearing as we sped towards Chester.

Heart of Wales Circular - by Paul Hajdasz 

I went on a 'Heart of Wales Circular day ranger' on Wednesday 24 May, which cost £29.70 with a Senior Railcard. I started my journey from Church Stretton where I caught TfW service 1V33 06:27 Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff Central. I boarded 67012 on time at 08:00. On my way to South Wales I passed track machine DR73920 stabled at Hereford (above). 

I arrived at Cardiff about 5 minutes late.

Whilst waiting for the next leg of my trip I saw both old and new units in use with 150 278 and 231 008.

I caught 1V35 07:30 service from Manchester Piccadilly to Carmarthen, which arrived at platform 4a approximately 10 minutes down. I alighted from 197 120 at Swansea, where a GWR service to London Paddington was waiting with 800 029.

I spent a few hours in the town and also visiting the beach before making my way back to the station, where a single car TfW unit 153 353 was already waiting at platform 1 in readiness for my 2M10 14:18 service to Shrewsbury. 153 909 was also ready to leave in the adjacent platform for the Pembroke Dock service.

After managing to take a photo whilst waiting at Llanelli I arrived back at Church Stretton on time.

On (with) your bike

On the subject of the Heart of Wales line, work isnow  underway to modify six 153 units (four ex-Northern units and two from the TfW fleet) to remove some seats and create space for 10 bicycles. They are to be used on the Heart of Wales line, where trains will run as one converted 153 to coupled to a normal one as trains are restricted to two coaches in the line. A 'design consultant' has been engaged to lay out the space - it is to be haped that some cycle users have also been consulted.

It is a shame that such trains cannot run on the North Wales Coast line, which has a cycle route running parallel.  People who are not Tour de France standard can take their bike on the train to Llandudno or Bangor and cycle back. But of course they will not be compatible with class 197s so they couldn't be coupled to a normal train.

From Dave Sallery's archive

37 405 Strathclyde Region leaves Prestatyn on a Crewe - Bangor working, 23 June 1995. Today it belongs to the Harry Needle company, and has been very useful on the Cambrian line where a 37 can work 'inside' one of the 97/3 ERTMS units.

37 421 on the down fast line through Rhyl, 31 March 2000.  Somebody looks happy!

37 421 again, this time in Regional Railways livery, named The Kingsman, and with mini ploughs, passes the Roodee Racecourse in Chester, 20 May 1995.

Scotrail livery 47 704 Dunedin  approaches Rhyl having taken on 1D48 11:25 Euston - Holyhead from Crewe, 6 July 1991.  It seemed that this task was given to any Class 47 that's on hand: a few days later it was observed working London - Oxford trains. London The down slow line at Rhyl had been taken out of use by this time.  47 704 met its end at Ron Hull Jr, scrapyard in Rotherham in June 2006.

Looking Back: Ravenglass and Eskdale part 5 - by David Pool

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Gala weekend in May 2018 featured the naming of their new locomotive Whillan Beck, but as usual there were many other locomotives in service.  On 6 May Northern Rock was approaching Irton Road, the black lambs in the field seemingly unconcerned.  The first coach was decidedly unusual, and I have been unable to find out its history.  It had the appearance of LT Tube stock, with LT type roundels, but was decorated with images of an R&ER train occupied by a variety of cartoon animals.  No doubt somebody will be able to explain what this was all about! 

At the other end of Irton Road station, Lady Wakefield was arriving from Dalegarth.  The radio control system would not require tokens to be exchanged at the passing loop in the station. 

The naming of Whillan Beck had taken place on the previous day, 5 May 2018.  This locomotive was built by Krauss (Munich) in 1929 for an exposition in Seville, where it ran for a few years before being stored.  After several abortive schemes to run it on other railways in Spain, it was purchased by the R&ER Preservation Society in 2015.  After a major overhaul and with a new tender it entered service at Ravenglass in 2018.  On 6 May passengers seemed more concerned to board their train than to admire the new arrival. 

In the afternoon Whillan Beck was paired with Northern Rock, and photographed at The Green station in Eskdale, the peculiar coach still prominent on the train.

The next train to leave The Green for Dalegarth was hauled by River Mite, which was photographed tackling the 1 in 62 gradient on the way to the passing loop and station at Fisherground.


The sun was again shining on the following year’s Gala at the R&ER on Sunday 4 May 2019, when the diesel Douglas Ferreira was on an early morning train alongside the estuary of the River Mite near Ravenglass.  This has been a very successful diesel hydraulic locomotive built by TMA Engineering (Birmingham) in 2004, powered by a turbocharged Perkins engine, and named after a deceased General Manager of the R&ER.

Normally resident in the Ravenglass Museum, Katie was allowed to take a full two coach train to Dalegarth on the Sunday, and was approaching the platform at Muncaster Mill.  The ER on the front buffer beam presumably refers to the Eaton Hall Railway, for which it had been built in 1896. 

The visitor to the Gala in 2019 was The Bug from the RH&DR, having also been built by Krauss in Munich three years earlier than Whillan Beck.  It was now in a Brighton Umber livery instead of the green livery seen when it was at the Liverpool Garden Festival.  On 4 May it was in charge of a four coach train to Dalegarth, and photographed at my favourite location near Eskdale Green. 

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