19 March 2018
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Friday 23 March Shropshire
Railway Society Chris Banks, Too be announced
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
Thursday 12 April Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Members
Friday 13 April Shropshire
Railway Society Mervyn Pritchard, Swiss Alps and
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
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
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.
Tuesday 8 May North
Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic
Thursday 10 May Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society W. Gordon
Davies: A taste of Japan
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
Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and
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
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
Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company
Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton
- Chester - Peterborough
29 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel gala
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
BETWEEN SHOTTON (LOW LEVEL) EXCL AND LLYSFAEN EXCL
FROM 0400 HOURS MONDAY 26 MARCH 2018
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
Abergele signalbox nears the end - pictures by Peter
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
6D43 Crewe - Valley flasks passing the (soon to be
redundant) semaphore on the same day with 68 001 Evolution
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
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
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
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
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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