03 June 2019
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Tuesday 6 June Steam on the
Coast: West Coast Railways: London Euston - Holyhead.
Steam Crewe-Holyhead and return
Sunday 21 July Steam on the
Coast: West Coast Railways. Liverpool-Holyhead.
45690: Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Jn - Holyhead -
Tuesday 23 July: Steam
on the Coast: West Coast Railways, Welsh Mountaineer:
Preston-Blaenau Ffestiniog 48151 or 45600:
Preston-Manchester-Chester-Llandudno Jn-Blaenau and return
Saturday 3 August Steam on the Coast: UK Railtours, 'The
Irish Mail' London Euston - Holyhead
34046, 46100 or 70000 Crewe - Holyhead and return
Not North Wales, but we can't resist Greg Mape's
picture from 25 May of the 'Retro Devon Seasider' excursion
from Huddersfield to Paignton (A very long day out) calling
at the very basic Reddish South station with plenty of
passengers in view. The locos are 37 407
(leading) and 37 059. See also 'Class 37
activities' at the end of this issue.
Greg Mape on the Coast
On 27 May, 67 014 beings the 09:53 Manchester -
Holyhead alongside the North Wales Coast path towards
28 May at Llandulas Viaduct, with 88 005 Minerva
and 88 003 Genesis in charge of the Crewe -
One of the TfW-liveried 175s on the daily 08:30
Llandudno - Cardiff service. The website of Aura
Graphics, the company who apply the new scheme, tells
us that 3M’s new Non-PVC film 480mC. Ameliorate is
used, making it TfW the first rail operator to use this
sustainability-focused self-adhesive graphic film.
On 29 May, seen from Cadnant Park bridge, 67 014
emerges from Conwy Tunnel, working train 1D34, 09:53
Manchester - Holyhead.
A few minutes later, A view from the opposite parapet of the
bridge, showing the rear end a pair of Voyagers forming the
08:10 London Euston - Holyhead. The Railhead Treatment
Train will be very much needed at this spot in the autumn.
Next day, 30 May: with the Valley Family Air Display
in full swing in the background, 67 014 passes with the
Manchester - Holyhead.
The Blades Aerobatic Display Team were among the performers.
Unfortunately the weather rather spoiled the show.
New-livery 158 826 made an appearance.
On 31 May, the Crewe - Valley flask train near Abergele with
68 016 Fearless and 68 003 Astute.
175 007 on 1V92, the 06:28 Holyhead - Cardiff, passes
the 'Christmas Tree' which has been a feature of this
location for some time.
Running five minutes late on 31 May, the 09:10 from London
Chester to Liverpool, 1974 - by John Cowlishaw
Discussing the new Chester - Liverpool (via Helsby) service
I was informed that such services last ran in 1974 and so
dug out my timetable from that year in the roof, with Table
82 being the one in question. (Download PDF) This table has the caveat
that the services from Chester and Runcorn via Helsby may be
withdrawn during the currency of the timetable, even though
I believe they were withdrawn at the end of that timetable
i.e. 4 May 1975.
The table shows departures from Chester to Runcorn at 07:18,
08:38, 10:46 (from Llandudno to Liverpool SO), 13:40
(from Bangor to Liverpool SO), 16:20, 17:41 (ex
Helsby), 18:35 (ex Helsby), 20:20 (in winter) and 21:40 with
no Sunday services. Runcorn departures were at 08:03,
09:44 (Liverpool to Bangor Summer SO), 11:56 (Liverpool to
Llandudno Summer SO), 17:00, 18:13, 19:29, 22:25. The
new hourly timetable is far superior; neither were any
of the original services extended through to Wrexham.
Perhaps the other thing noteworthy from that timetable was
that the Liverpool-Euston services at Runcorn (some named
'The Liverpool Pullman' were shown as pick-up only on the Up
services and set-down only on the Down services.
[Note: John was the photographer of last month's heading
picture, not as shown in an early version.]
The 'Curvy Weaver' at Mouldsworth - pictures by
The 'Curvy Weaver' (not 'curly' as we initially wrote!) on 1
June was a 'Forgotten tracks' tour from London visiting some
rare track in the North West. Bob Greenhalgh
travelled to Mouldsworth to record its passage. Above, 66
83 leading ...
... and on the rear 66 078 looking very freshly repainted.
Note that DB number their locos with a space after the class
number, as is normal in Germany and (in our view) should
still be normal here.
The full route was London Euston, WCML, Crewe, Warrington
Yard, Latchford Sidings, Halewood Reception Sidings,
Liverpool South Parkway area, Up & Down Garston Chord,
Garston Freightliner Terminal, Ditton, Frodsham Curve
(southbound), Chester, Mouldsworth, Hartford West Junction,
Hartford North Junction, Winnington branch, Hartford North
Junction, Hartford East Junction, Middlewich, Sandbach,
Crewe, WCML, Euston.
Of particular note was the Winnington branch to Oakleigh
sidings which has seen no trains since the chemical plant -
once served by the famous 'hoppers' from Tunstead - closed.
Network Rail had to clear much vegetation before it could be
The 15:02 Chester - Manchester called just before the
passage of the special. As is all-too-common, a single Class
142 Pacer (142 009) was working the diagram; the plan
by Northern to remove all these from traffic by the end of
2019 seems to have become rather flexible.
A nicely-painted seat. The colours look odd, but an authoritative
website tells us that 'The Cheshire Lines Committee
had their own colour scheme of light stone (similar to the
GWR colour) and a mid brown which was used on all structures
including signal boxes'.
Dave Sallery's Archive Spot
On 24 Octoper 1983, 47 555 The Commonwealth
Spirit, someehing of a favourite with North Wales
enthusiasts at the time, valls at Llandudno Junction with a
train from London.
Holyhead on 3 March 1991, and 47 841
Instititution of Mechanical Engineers departs with a
mixed rake of coaches including a brake van borrowed from
the Parcels sector.
31 May 1998, and there's a shortage of Class 37/4
locos so freight loco 37 191 finds itself on a
passenger train, seen departing from Rhyl.
Many more like this on Dave's
A visit to Bala - with Jim Ikin
Visiting Bala for the model railway exhibition on Saturday
25 May we took advantage of the free bus service with 1964
built Bristol Lodekka up to Lake Celyn for a ten minute stop
before returning to Bala ...
... and on to the Bala lake Railway.
We were pulled by Winifred down to
Llanuwchllyn, Alice returning the train back
Whilst at Llanuwchllyn a visit was made to the new - opened
in April – Heritage Centre containing historic items
and rolling stock relating to North Wales slate.
Entry is free but donations are most welcome.
In the centre is a new boiler, built at Bridgnorth and
destined for Alice at the end of the 2019 season.
George B arrives at Llanuwchllyn.
Class 37/4 activities
23 years ago this website was inspired by the Class
37/4-hauled trains on the Coast line, which ceased regular
operation at the end of 2000, but somehow we have just
carried on ... and so have Class 37/4s, experiencing a
passenger revival in the last few years in Cumbria and
Norfolk. Cumbrian Coast operation ended at the end of
2018, but the services from Norwich to Lowestoft and Great
Yarmouth carried on, supposedly until the end of the winter
timetable on 18 May 2019, when they would be replaced by new
We decided to have a few days in Norwich around that
weekend, which would include a Class 37 day as well as a
bird-watching day. Friday 17 May was the Class 37 day - We
found the train top-and-tailed by 37 405 (above,
... and 37 716, seen at Great Yamouth, one of the
freight versions with no train heating facility.
Another change is in progress on these lines: the
replacement of semaphore signalling. At Acle, the new signal
stands to tale over from the tall semaphore protecting the
single-line section ahead.
Platform lengthening in progress at Brundall ...
... one of the new remaining places where full-sized gates
are moved across by hand.
37 405 'on the blocks' at Lowestoft.
Back at Norwich, 37 423 Sprit of the Lakes was stabled in
the sidings ...
...later joined by recently-overhauled 37 409 Lord
Hinton. The following day, Saturday 18 May, a
farewell railtour for charity ran to Liverpool Street, on
what would have been, but wasn't, the final day, as it was
announced that there would be 'a few more weeks.'. The
special was top-and-tailed by 37 405 and 37 409.
One of the new Stadler bi-mode units, 755 410,
on a test run at Norwich.
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