Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

19 March 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

March 2018

Friday 23 March  Shropshire Railway Society Chris Banks, Too be announced

April 2018

Tuesday 3 April  North Wales Railway Circle Tony Griffith returns with two presentations.  The Dyserth Branch and an historic shipping disaster off the North Wales Coast.  
Wednesday 4 April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Alan Moore – “The Railways of St. Helens” This meeting will now take place at The Queen Hotel, Station Road, Chester.

Friday 6 April Clwyd Railway Circle John Cashen 'North West & North Wales Reminiscences In The 1960s' The presentation will cover from Liverpool to Liverpool within an area bounded by Southport, Burscough, Standish, Warrington, Crewe, Whitchurch, Chester, Holyhead, Barmouth, Aberystwyth, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, the Wirral, Chester, Northwich and Speke

Thursday 12 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Members Evening  

Friday 13 April  Shropshire Railway Society Mervyn Pritchard, Swiss Alps and Railways

Friday 13 April Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Navigation Road and All That.The show includes scenes at Navigation Road, Ashley, Cinderland Crossing, Dunham Massey and other locations in the Altrincham area. Ted Buckley shows pictures (mainly of steam) taken by his late father Bill in the 1960s.

13-15 April Llangollen Railway End of Steam gala 3802 expected back in traffic otherwise further attractions yet to be announced.

Saturday 14 April Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000. Special introductory fares from £45.

Monday 16 April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Brian Armand – “Railway Roundabout”      

Thursday 26 April Brian Yates: Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) The Tramways of Berlin, Potsdam, Lyon and Grenoble.

Friday 27 April  Shropshire Railway Society AGM, followed by Member's talk

Saturday 28 April Steam on the Coast UK Railtours  Ynys Mon Express. Leicester - Holyhead  60163 Tornado  Derby - Holyhead - Derby.

May 2018

Tuesday 8 May  North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition  

Thursday 10 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  W. Gordon Davies:  A taste of Japan

June 2018

Saturday 2 June Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

2-3 June  Llangollen Railway Heritage railcar gala

30 June Llangollen Railway Classic transport

July 2018

Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and return. 45690

Tuesday 24 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company Welsh Mountaineer Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog. 45699 or 48151: Preston - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Blaenau and return

August 2018

Saturday 4 August. Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains.  Bangor (07.00/22.15) Llandudno Jct (07.25/21.55) Colwyn Bay (07.35/21.45) Rhyl (07.50/21.30) Prestatyn (08.00/21.20) Flint (08.10/21.10) Chester (08.30/20.50) Crewe (09.30/20.00) Stafford to Stratford-on Avon. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

September 2018

Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton - Chester - Peterborough

29 September Llangollen Railway Diesel gala

October 2018

12-14 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala

Friday 19 October Steam on the Coast Golden Eagle Luxury Tour (Day 5 of 12) (Provisional)  Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog 46100: Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog, Holyhead - Crewe

The weekend of 9-10 saw two ballast workings on the Cambrian main line (in the Aberystwyth area) both utilising Network Rail  97's resulting in 'bustitutions' between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth. The picture by Ken Robinson shows the second of these - train 6C71 - returning to Crewe Basford Hall sidings through Machynlleth with 97 304 and 97 301 on the Sunday morning.

Resignalling: Network Rail notice



The North Wales Re-signalling scheme will see the area between Shotton Low Level and Llysfaen re-signalled with control passing to a new workstation in the WROC at Cardiff called the Rhyl workstation. This will see the closure of Rockcliffe Hall, Holywell Junction, Talacre, Prestatyn, Rhyl and Abergele and Pensarn signal boxes.

Train detection in the re-signalled area will be by axle counters. Bi-directional signalling will be introduced between Flint Junction and Rhyl East on both lines. Tyn-y-Morfa User-worked  crossing will be converted to a CCTV crossing and supervised by the Rhyl workstation signaller.

Abergele signalbox nears the end - pictures by Peter Basterfield

On 14 March (above) 175 114 train 1D31 06:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Llandudno Junction heads past the redundant points due to be remove during a 'possession' of the line between Chester and Llandudno Junction with bus replacements operating.  Replacement track parts stand ready nearby.

6D43 Crewe - Valley flasks passing the (soon to be redundant) semaphore on the same day with 68 001 Evolution up front.

Friday's 6D43 with 68 026 crossing the points -  the last 'flasks' to do so. The signalbox - along with the buildings on both platforms -  is a Grade II 'listed building'. Here is the official description:
LNW Type 4 signal box built c1897. The timber framed box is set on a high red brick basement plinth with five small iron-framed windows each side. The box consists of 7 bays of alternate sliding and fixed windows overlooking the permanent way, returning by two and one bays at each end, below which is a bracketed walkway to facilitate window cleaning. Weatherboarding cladding between the windows and the eaves, and in both gable ends. Pitched slate roof with terminal finials. At the West end, a straight flight ladder with handrail provides the access to the half-glazed door. Iron framed boxes at ground level, now mostly blocked, allow the lever rods to emerge to the longitudinal signalling rods laid between the tracks. The box has a 60 lever frame, of Tumbler type, many are no longer in use.
All very well and good, but the building can only be reached by crossing the track: what possible future use can it have?  The redundant Holywell Junction, Talacre, Prestatyn and Rhyl boxes are also of the same LNWR style, not to mention the disused Rhyl No.2 box which has been standing unused for many years.

Prince on the Welsh Highland - report by Ian Pilkington

During the winter the Ffestiniog Railway has operated a shuttle over the Welsh Highland from Porthmadog to Hafod-y-Lyn. For the last week of the service, Prince provided the power for a seven-coach rake of Welsh Highland Railway stock including observation car; even allowing for the gentle gradients this was a considerable load for the FR's oldest working locomotive, built in 1863.

These images were taken on the final day, Thursday 15 March. Above: a view from the window of the morning train passing the site of Croesor Junction; the formation of the Croesor Tramway can be seen behind the gate, with Cnicht dominating the background.

A view from the train of the flat crossing over the Network Rail Cambrian Coast line looking towards Pwllheli with Porthmadog Station in the distance.

Prince rests between duties at Porthmadog Harbour ...

... departs with the afternoon train ...

... and crosses High Street.

Wrexham memories - with Barrie Hughes

These images are scanned from a set of slides taken at Wrexham, probably on 25 August 1978, on the indifferent and short-lived use of Dixons Colourslide film with its yellow cast (see history of processing). Another interesting website covers signalling in Wrexham and elsewhere including other North Wales & Borders locations. Above: 25 159 exits Croesnewydd Yard via the south curve as seen from Ruthin Road bridge. In the background is the North Folk curve. This Crewe Diesel (CD) loco was withdrawn on 2 November 1980 and scrapped at Swindon in March 1981.

Croesnewydd steam depot (6C - closed 5 June 1967) lay in a triangle formed by the Wrexham-Shrewsbury line and the branch to Brymbo. In the 1960s, after the end of steam, large numbers of redundant steam locos were stabled in Croesnewydd yard behind the Wrexham Maelor hospital. The depot was demolished but diesel locos were still stabled on the old steam depot site adjacent to the North Fork curve into the 1980s.

25 252 double heads with an unidentified class 25 passing the site of Croesnewydd depot on the left with a cement working, probably from Padeswood (as seen from Ruthin road bridge). In recent years a housing estate was built on the Watery Road Goods Depot opposite and a fence was put up by  Railtrack in such a hurry to dispose the land that track continued under the fence into the properties of Llys David Lord estate! This loco was withdrawn on 30 March 1980 and scrapped at Swindon in September 1981.

A class 47 driver (still wearing short-lived BR cap) converses with signalmen in the South Fork Signal Box which was situated on the east side of the line opposite the recreation ground.

A class 40 emerges from the single track South Fork curve under Ruthin Road as seen from the adjacent recreation field. Class 40s had been used to haul the Minera Lime traffic up the steeply graded branch to the quarries. I was present one day around 1968 when I encountered a Class 40 restarting the empties from every manual worked level crossing from Brymbo to Minera and was suitably impressed with the noise made on the steep gradient!

25 166 on southbound parcels train (with a widely travelled Southern Railway van leading) pulls up outside the South Fork Signal Box as seen from the recreation field to west of the line. This CD loco survived until 2 November 1980 and was scrapped at Swindon in July 1981.

Valley Flasks at Valley - pictures by Greg Mape

On 15 March, the flask train from Crewe has arrived at Valley, stopped beyond the station, and is setting back across to the Up line ...

... before passing through the station and into the flask loading siding ...

... and under the unloading gantry where the containers are transferred to lorries for the journey across Anglesey to Wylfa power station. There are no longer actual flasks on the train on arrival, as Wylfa has ceased generating; the grey containers are just covers. The trains running now are part of the de-fuelling process, carrying fuel elements to Sellafield.

Rhyl goods yard

We recently included a request about whether Rhyl goods yard was equipped with lights. This picture from Whitsun 1971 sent by Terry Mart suggests not. Taken from the the Vale Road bridge it shows English Electric type 4 no. 320, Brush type 4 1660 on an excursion, and a further unidentified Brush.

On 17 March, a 175 crosses Llandulas viaduct with a train for Llandudno which has started from Warrington Bank Quay rather than Manchester, as did all Manchester trains that day (Greg Mape).

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