North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 27 May 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

  27 May 2024


See miscellany below.

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

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

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'

Sunday 14 July - The North Wales Coast Express. Liverpool Lime Street to Holyhead (via Warrington Bank Quay). Railway Touring Group, WCRC Steam TBC.

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

Saturday 3 August - Rail Excursion to the City of Chester. Newcastle to Chester (via York). Bishop Trains. HST to be confirmed.

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 Swindon   - 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

805 008 on a test run heads past the A55 near Colwyn Bay heading for Edge Hill sidings on 27 May. The 805s will start passenger service on 2 June. Picture by Greg Mape.

Seen and heard at Holyhead - by Stuart Broome

A visit to Holyhead station on 27 May, Bank Holiday,  produced a bit of interest. Talking to the driver of the Voyager,  he told me the from Sunday change to the new timetable the 805s will start taking over from the Voyagers, so I was pleased to photograph 221 107 in the sun and shade within the station working 1A50 12:48 to Crewe.

197 001 arrived on 1W91 07:17 from Cardiff ... ...

...  as did 805 008, my first sighting of one, just out of the box on test train 3D88 09:11 from Liverpool Edge Hill sidings.

175 114 is the only class member left in the sidings,  and was in the
company of DVT 82230.

[A list of the Monday-Friday diagrams can be found on this forum post. Six  of the 13 units should be in service.]


97 302 is seen here delivering a Network Rail track machine to Machynlleth as 6U21, the 12:13 from Coleham, speeding over the Meole Brace foot crossing. This crossing is very well used, linking Meole Village and its recreation park with sports fields and two large secondary schools on the other side and was upgraded recently with traffic lights, warning sounds and improved signage following a tragic fatal accident (See left column). Picture and text by Graham Breakwell.

Amnd the grassland near 197 125 on the 14:20 Crewe - Holyhead Llanfairfechan, 26 May (Greg Mape).

197 117, seen above at Stockport substituting for a loco-hauled service is one of the batch with 'Standard Plus' sections, which have 2+1 seating and rather pointless below the window - in fact the lights are the only indication from the outside at present,  and anyone can sit there. Will anyone pay extra for this, assuming the conductor can reach you?

The 14:41 Llandudno - Manchester Airport, formed of 197 115, passes some new-style 'lollipop' signals near Colwyn Bay on 27 May (Greg Mape). The passengers - some with large luggage for the airport - will have to change to another unit at Chester, if Real Time Trains is anything to go by. Why is necessary?

In less-than-pleasant weather, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley passes Helsby with a railtour on 23 May. The 'Stephenson Jubilee' headboard apparently refers to the 65th anniversary of the record speed achieved by this loco...

... on the same day, 66 103 hauls a rake of sand hoppers from Tilbury to the Encirc glass works past the well-restored Helsby Junction signalbox (Greg Mape).

Another test run for 70000 Britannia, pictured by Bob Greenhalgh on 22 May.

Weedkiller on the coast

The weed treatment train traversed the North Wales Coast on Sunday 19 May.   The train started at Coleham and travelled via Chester (reverse) to the North Wales line, destination Llandudno and then Roman Bridge. Bob Greenhalgh captured it at Green Lane crossing on the Shrewsbury - Chester section top and tailed by 66 307 Ipswich Town and  66 776 Joanne (above).

Ivor Bufton writes: 'At it passed through Rhyl (with 66 307) now leading) it came to a stop under the 'H' bridge and I am thinking this was to activate the sprayers as the line had previously been sprayed as far as Rhyl late evening on 10 May.  The destination this time was Roman Bridge (maybe the train is out of gauge for the tunnel to Blaenau), on the return it visited Llandudno, so a return is again needed to cover Llandudno Junction to Holyhead.  In the picture above, 66 307 is seen pulling away from Rhyl and about to pass Marine Lake Look carefully adjacent to the '40' sign and you can just see a side spray.'

66 776 brings up the rear passing the Marine lake (Ivor Bufton)

Arriving at Llandudno Junction (Garry Stroud)

Returning from Llandudno near Deganwy (Gary Thomas).

A little bit of colour on the Queens Road bridge:  66 776 leading, with 66 307 at the rear as they depart Llandudno Junction en route to Roman Bridge (Garry Stroud).

Arriving at Roman Bridge with 66 776 leading ...

... and departing with 66 307 leading (Ken Robinson).

Returning at Dolgarrog (Gary Thomas)...

... and Glan Conwy (Garry Stroud).

Ivor Bufton wires: 'To cover Llandudno Junction to Holyhead, a train ran in the early hours of Saturday morning along the coast although departure from Bescot had been at 22:08 (booked departure was 22:17), it travelled via Stafford to Crewe then headed for Chester and the coast, although only as far as Bangor this time. The return reversed at Chester and ran via Wrexham and Shrewsbury to Bescot. The engines this time were 66 306 leading to Bangor with 66 707 leading the return from Bangor.   So Bangor to Holyhead still requires a visit - unless it has slipped under my radar.'

How the weeds are controlled

Below is an extract from a GB Railfreight press release:
GB Railfreight (GBRf), one of the largest rail freight operators in the UK, is delighted to announce a landmark cooperation with Bayer Environmental Science, Network Rail, and a number of start-up companies, which will transform essential weed control maintenance on the UK’s railways. Introducing innovative technology, three new Smart Weed System trains are commencing service on the British railway network.

They will have the capability to eliminate potentially dangerous weed infestations with advanced precision. ... By detecting the weeds using cameras mounted on the trains, only the most appropriate herbicide will be used, thus improving the environmental footprint. The data generated will be uploaded to a cloud database using GPS software, which will enable weed control to be monitored and reported 24/7 from a central point. This innovative GPS tracking system will also automatically shut off spray nozzles when the train approaches a ‘Non-Treatment Zone’, such as a watercourse or bridge, a move which further enhances the environmental impact by adding a second layer of protection for the operators.
Impressive - in theory!  Elsewhere we read that it's possible to select different types of the different types of plant, but I'm not sure this train can do that. Hopefully they will stay away from plants provided by Staion Adopter groups!

Llangollen Gala 1-2 June

From a press release.

Hot on the heels of a very successful Spring Branchline Steam Gala, the Llangollen & Corwen Railway will hold our second large gala event of 2024 early next month. Our Diesel & Industrial Weekend takes place on 1-2 June and will see six diesel and steam locomotives along with an historic diesel railcar. The diesels are 5310, 47 440 and  31 271.  The 31, in 1980s Railfreight Construction livery worked the very last stone train out of Blodwel Quarry near Oswestry in May 1986, not too far away from our railway.  At the other end of the scale, 350hp Class 08 shunter No 08 202 will be hauling public trains on our railway for the first time after joining us on hire last month.

This weekend is all about celebrating the evocative era of diesel-hauled trains on Britain's Railways between the late 1950's and 1990's and the part that railways have played in industry.

To offer visitors the chance to see something different at the railway this weekend. As well as a busy timetable of diesel-hauled trains and railcars, we will have a 12-ton rail crane carrying out lifting demonstrations at Carrog station. An industrial steam locomotive from the old Austin car factory in Longbridge will also be giving short rides with brake vans. These attractions will give a glimpse of what moving freight around the railways was like for well over 100 years before road transport took nearly all freight traffic away from rural branch lines, many of which then closed - like our railway did in 1964.


Finally, there's a rare chance to see "Pilkington", a Yorkshire Engine Company locomotive that spent its working life shunting sand wagons at the world-famous Pilkington Brothers glass factory in St Helens. Affectionately nicknamed "Pilky", this chunky-looking little loco can usually only be seen at work around our motive power depot, which is off limits to the public.

We will also be running an evening "Landcruise" train on Saturday 1st June, leaving Llangollen at 19:10 and 20:40, which runs to Carrog station and back with a real ale bar on board.

The Railway is always  on the lookout for new volunteers in all areas and we are holding a recruitment open day on Saturday 8th June.

More details on the event and advanced tickets can be purchased from

From Dave Sallery's archive

An class 150 leaves Blaenau Ffestiniog on a Llandudno train in June 1985.

37 350 and 37 414 at Holyhead on 22 December 1993.  37 414 had failed at Rhyl and the nearest rescue loco was 37 350 - the first 37 built as D6700. This was stabled in Holyhead having arrived on the 'petroleum coke' train.  The pair remained on the diagram for the rest of the day.  A nice early Christmas present for me!

37 408 at Prestatyn on 12 August 1985.  This was its first run out after conversion at Crewe. This loco was based in Scotland, where it was named 'Loch Rannoch'  the winning entry in a magazine; in the 1990s it was transferred to England, initially hauling stone trains in Derbyshire, then passenger trains on the North Wales line where it became something of a 'celebrity', managing to retain the 'large loco' and name while others were repainted.

Another failure, this time of 37 422, saw this pair arriving into Rhyl on 31 October 1995, with 37 520 to the rescue.

Looking back: Clayton West part 2 - by David Pool

The Kirklees Light Railway had been operating regular services since 1991, but tended to use only a few of the locomotives available.  On 13 September 2015 I decided to revisit Clayton West on a Steam Gala day, when there would be the opportunity to see many more locomotives.  It was apparent that efforts had been made to attract families with young children, having a “ride on” miniature railway, and there were few spectators viewing the preparation of the locomotives for services which started in the late morning.  Once the trains were running, the display of motive power was well organised and memorable.  An example was the pairing of Hawk and Owl, these being based on Kitson Meyer and Heisler types respectively. 

Access to the lineside for photography was difficult away from the stations, and much of the line was in the shade of the trees lining most of the route, so most of my shots were taken at Clayton West or at Shelley, the terminus at the end of the line.  The diesel Jay is described on the KLR website as the workhorse of the railway, and since my previous shot in 1993 it had received a new Kubota engine, some minor modifications and a repaint. 

One of the visitors on 13 September 2015 was River Mite, from the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.  This was running with Badger, an 0-6-2ST based on a Kerr Stuart design.  The KLR locomotives all had short names with a countryside theme, each in a different colour, possibly influenced by the Thomas the Tank Engine popularity.

The oldest locomotive in the KLR fleet was Katie, built by Trevor Guest in 1954 and regularly running on the Fairbourne Railway in the 1980s, as described and illustrated in the Notice Board of 19 September 2020.  It had been restored at Windmill Farm and had just arrived at the KLR in 2015. 

Another familiar visitor in 2015 was Dr Syn from the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, carrying a “Romney Explorer” headboard. 

It was certainly easy to get good photographs of the locomotives after they had been turned and were about to set back onto their trains.  The V configuration of the cylinders and the compensated bogie suspension system are distinctive on Owl

The station at Shelley had fewer facilities than Clayton West, but most passengers would wish wish to return on their same train.  It should be mentioned that there is no vehicular access to Shelley station, and visitors to the KLR should go to Clayton West.  The locomotive PW3 Red Gauntlet was a petrol engined visitor from the RH&DR, where it was a Works shunter.  The second vehicle was KLR No.7, a “Toby the Tram Engine” reconstructed by Brian Taylor in 1991 from a platelayers trolley.  It was used for Works duties and platform rides for children, but not often on passenger trains. 

The view from the turntable at Shelley shows River Mite arriving, and Hawk about to be turned.  The yellow bar is for the manual operation of the turntable. 

In 2021 the Kirklees Light Railway was rebranded as the Whistlestop Valley family adventure park, which indicates the focus of the current owners.  The adventure park is now a popular venue for families with young children, the admission price including free access to the many attractions, one of which is the ride on a train to Shelley.  There is no reduction in the price for a train ride only, and you are asked to book the entry tickets on line, with an additional booking fee.  Unless the event is cancelled, tickets for events are non-refundable and non-transferable.  If you are wanting to visit the Kirklees Light Railway simply to see and enjoy the locomotives, I would advise going on a Steam and Diesel Gala day, which may be held annually, although there is no date listed for 2024 on the website.  Footplate rides may be booked for £60 on certain days.

The website’s listing of the KLR locomotives is rather lacking in engineering details, and any railway enthusiast seeking more information on the history and performance of the locomotives will find much more useful information on a website such as

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