North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 27 May 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

  03 June 2024

Found in the waiting room:

A conditions of carriage poster dated 1963 ...

... and a Motorail poster from, after a bit of research, discovered is from 1968 (so steam days!)

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.

June 2024

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

We are away this this week, so I for a change I have prepared a 'special issue' based on current events and recent contributions by Eryl Crump and Jim Scott. I have also  included some images from the website archive.  I hope you find this interesting. Comments, Comments and Additions welcome. The next update will be on Tuesday 12 June- Charlie

Notes on Ty Croes

Ty Croes station on Anglesey has been in the news recently, as the press disclosed that its very low platform in the Bangor direction has been rebuilt to standard height, afer pressure from the local MP and Councillors.  Initially it was thought that a so-called a short length, known as a 'Harrington Hump' after the station in Cumbria which was the first to have one.  Nearby Valley station has already received one.

The station, in its rural surroundings, is not a busy one, with officially 4882 passengers  recorded in a recent annual list.  It will be interesting to see if usage increases now access has been improved. The building is Grade Two listed.

In fact, most of the length of the platform has been raised, an operation which is said to have cost a million pounds (!), and required passengers from the station towards Bangor to travel by replacement bus between the stations either side, Rhosneigr and Bodorgan. YouTuber Jen-on-the-move  experienced this journey - the only passenger on a large coach along the narrow Anglesey roads.

The picture above, by Chris Morrison, shows the station in 2013. The signal box, with its unusual attached waiting room and ticket office dates from 1872, a brick building in early LNWR style with Saxby and Farmer equipment.  The signalman is seen opening the gates after the passage of a train. 

The improvement was certainly needed: the London and North Western Railway favoured these very low platforms, with trains fitted with double steps on each coach.  The trains which serve the line today have their engines unrer the body, requiring a higher door level that would otherwise be needed. Meanwhile, other companies are buying Swiss-designed trains which have the engine inside the body in a separate section which avoids the problem.

Platform 2, for Holyhead, seen on the right in Chris Morrison's view of 175 110 passing, has had its platform raised many years ago, but passengers towards Bangor had to make do a set of wooden steps which had to be dragged to match a train door.  These were quite common on LNWR small stations; there cannot be many still in service. The station, in its rural surroundings, is not a busy one, with officially 4882 passengers  recorded in 2022/23, an increase from the year before.  It will be interesting to see if usage increases further as access has been improved.

This picture from the Manchester Locomotive Society archive dates from the post-1992 Regional Railways era, judging from the sign, which features the RR 'logo' and gives the name as TyCroes. The workers appear to be repairing the old-style shelter, and the fence and platform edge have been recently painted, but the platform itself badly needs weeding.  There's no sign of the moveable steps. 

Before: Mind the gap!

After: Platform 1 has, in addition to the increased height, has all the current safety requrements,  a yellow line you have to stand behind and the tactile paving for passengers with reduced vision.

The platforms are 'staggered' either side of the level crossing, a common feature on stations with a level crossing as it allows passengers and vehicles to cross behind a train standing on the platform.  In 1988 its 'block signalling' function was removed. It now only controls the hand-worked level crossing gates, protected by single distant and home signals in each direction.  As a result of this economy, a train cannot pass Valley signalbox until the previous train has passed Gaerwen 15 miles away.

A view from the road. The stripes of light-coloured brick are a feature of LNWR architecture. Was there once a window on this side of the signalbox level?

The station has not had a ticket office since 1969. Trains stop by request on roughly two hour intervals, mostly long-distance services to various destinations.   Until the 1990s there were local services operated by class 101 diesel units which called at all stations from Holyhead to Llandudno, reversing at Llandudno Junction. After privatisation,  Northern Rail abolished this, and at the same time removed a peak-time service from the timetable of the Llandudno - Blaenau Ffestiniog service so that it could be operated by one unit all day.


Ty Croes - or Tŷ Croes, or Tycroes, or Ty-croes - station, opened in 1848 shortly after the completion of the North Wales line, took its name from a nearby farm; it was originally been called Llanfaelog, after the nearby village. Ty Croes once had a goods facility in the shape of a double-ended loop on the Up (towards Bangor) side, with cattle pens, a crane and a small goods shed. A house, which still stands, was provided for the Stationmaster.

In more recent years the Station House was usually occupied by a signalman. The last signalman to live there died in the the early 1980s,  his widow stayed there until she recently moved in to a care home aged 95.  Her grandchildren have carried out internal refurbishment and repainted the exterior,  it was reported sold in 2023.

This map extract shows the area in around 1900.  The Post Office was opened in 1888 after pressure from the locals.

Two miles away, by the sea shore, a military camp was established in 1942  on the site for testing anti-aircraft weapons. It was, for a short time, the home of No. 144 Signals Unit RAF, an RAF Strike Command mobile radar reserve.  Around 1959, further emplacements were installed for Thunderbird and Bloodhound surface-to-air missiles. Since 1997 it is a popular motor racing circuit. Ty Croes farm now has a camp site.

Otherwise, the station has a quiet life. One exception occcurred on 1 October 1861 involving the 9am Irish Mail, running three hours late 'having earlier collided with a goods train near Rugby'. Near Ty Croes a wheel tyre on one of the coaches broke, and the rest of the train derailed.  It seems that this was a common accident at the time; such an incident in near Abergele 1863 result in  the death of 32 cows and a pile of wreckage 40 feet high.

An event also involving cattle occurred much later in on bonfire night in 1974, and made the national newspapers. Below is the Daily Mirror's  headline.

'Militant farmers' blocked the level crossing with 20 vehicles in protest about beef prices and the importation of Irish cattle. After 'more than 12'  trains had been affected, police arrived, moved the vehicles, and patrolled nearby crossings to prevent and further blocking.  The Holyhead cattle trains were the last such trains to operate in the country, the last train ran   1975.

The station survived the 'Beeching' era, although like many small stations around the country it ceased to handle freight traffic, probably by that time an odd wagon of coal or cattle feed,  after January 1964.

Inside the booking office

In the course of the recent relaying of track in the area, GBRf train driver Jim Scott had some time to wait at Ty Croes station. With help from the crossing-keeper he obtained the keys to the abandoned ticket office and waiting room.

Jim writes: 'The building is solid (and well secured) and has working lights. It looks to have been used until fairly recently as a workshop of some sort as well as a storage facility.'

A final look

2016 with 67 029.

The view of Snowdon from the Down platform. Pictures by the late Jim Johnson.

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