Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

14 May 2020


Forthcoming events

(see also our Calendar page for venues)

Note:  we have removed all entries up to the end of May as the events are cancelled.

June 2020

Saturday 27 June Steam at Chester The Cheshireman (Railway Touring Company).    60163 London Euston - Chester and return.

July 2020

Sunday 19 July Steam on the Coast North Wales Coast Express (Railway Touring Company)  Liverpool - Manchester - Holyhead (15:05 - 17:40).

Tuesday 21 July Steam on the Coast The Welsh Mountaineer (Railway Touring Company) Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog and return

August 2020

September 2020

Saturday 5 September Steam at Chester 'The Cheshireman' (Railway Touring Company). Norwich to Chester. Loco 6233 for part of the journey.


A Kingfisher Railtours Peterborough to Blaenau Ffestiniog railtour 'The Welsh Mountaineer'  passing Abergele with 37 401 and  37 417 Richard Trevithick on 31 May 2008.  As so often happened at the time, a group of passengers risk life and limb to  make unwanted appearance in the photograph.  Picture by Chris Taylor.
(Thanks to Six Bells Junction for railtour information in this issue.)

This is an extra issue: next update on the evening of Tuesday 19 May. Thanks to all for the continuing flow of contributions. - Charlie

Peaks on the Coast - pictures by Trefor Thompson

The 1980s saw Class 45 'Peak' locos working both freight and passenger trains on the Coast line. Above,  45 108 passes another at Bangor, both on Freightliner traffic from  and to Holyhead's Irish ferries.

45-hauled passenger trains appeared in the scene when regular through trains to North Wales from the Trans-Pennine line were initiated. This is Llanfairfechan in March 1984.

The street side of Llanfairfechan station in March 1984 with a selection of classic cars. The building was demolished in 1987 to make way for the A55 road.

Archive miscellany - by Richard Spruce

03 073 - I vaguely remember this being stabled around Chester and Birkenhead
docks. They were some of the last surviving class 03s left at the time. Coupled to it is M53431 of disbanded unit CH218 which had earlier been Buxton-based unit BX484, and retained the white cab roof that was that depot's 'trademark'.

31 324 and another 31 - The 'flasks' were always one of my favourites to photograph at Helsby. 

31 970 - I think I only ever saw this loco once.  A small group of friends and I used to take regular trips out to Crewe (and elsewhere) in the very late 80s/early 90s and this pulled into platform 11, possibly on a Cardiff-Liverpool service. The livery was that of the Derby Technical Centre.

37 201 and another 37 on the Shotton - Ravenscraig(?) steel coil empties returning through Helsby; not the usual 37/7s which tended to run at the time.  It looks a pretty wet and miserable day but that didn't stop me - I obviously didn't have any homework to do.

56 133 Crewe Locomotive Works - This was another service that was one of
my favourites - the Blyth-Ellesmere Port 'Cawoods' coal.  At the time, 56s only visited Helsby on this service and it always timed itself nicely in the slot between after school and tea.

CH378 - The 'heritage' DMUs, such as this Class 108, tended to get used on the half hourly Helsby - Hooton - Ellesmere Port shuttles so it was unusual by this time for them to get a run out on the North Wales Coast services, which is probably why I took the photo.  This too was formerly Buxton-based as BX379 (Thanks to for DMU information.)

Steam Selection 3 - by David Pool

The 'Welsh Dragon' was a push-pull train shuttling between Llandudno and Rhyl, with an Ivatt class 2MT as the motive power.  41216 is approaching Colwyn Bay on 12 September 1955.

On the following day, I spent some time at Llandudno Junction.  Class 2P 40548 was heading for Betws-y-Coed, running tender first.  I don’t think it was continuing to Blaenau Ffestiniog, and I wondered if trains to Blaenau would normally have run chimney first in view of the gradients.

'The Irish Mail' was regularly worked by a Britannia in 1955, and 70047 was the locomotive on this occasion.  By the time I changed to colour film in the early 1960s, the Irish Mail was hauled by a 'Royal Scot' or a pair of 'Black Fives', and I had to wait 37 years before I saw a Britannia again with an Irish Mail headboard.

70000 Britannia was the visitor to North Wales on 5 July 1992.  I didn’t make a note of the train, but it would have been one of those regularly advertised as a North Wales Coast Express.  I believe they started form West Hampstead Thameslink, and steam was provided between Crewe and Holyhead.

Fast forward nineteen years, and 70013 Oliver Cromwell has a crowd of admirers at Llandudno Junction, having arrived from Liverpool Lime Street with 1Z54 to Holyhead.  I wonder how many of the spectators remembered the Britannias in the 1950s at the Junction?

Back to the 1960s, Class 4MT 75013 is near Bodfari with the 10:25 from Chester to Ruthin on 10 February 1962.  I was heading towards Colwyn Bay for a friend’s wedding, but the opportunity for a railway photograph couldn’t be missed!   I noted that this was on my first Kodachrome II film – goodbye to the 10ASA Kodachrome I had been using until then.

A few months later I was visiting the Ffestiniog Railway, and Minffordd was the location for 82020, with the 10:25 Pwllheli to Aberystwyth on 9 May 1962, and an interesting industrial background.

I seem to have had a busy day on 9 May, since I called in at Llandudno Junction on the way home.  It was by then getting late, but when Coronation 46240 City of Coventry  was rostered for the 19:05 Llandudno Junction to Holyhead – and in maroon livery – I was glad to have the higher film speed of Kodachrome II.  46240 was withdrawn three years later.

The view from Station Cottage (part 2) - by Graham Breakwell

More images from 1988 when Graham was living at Station Cottage, Baschurch on the Shrewsbury - Chester line.   Above, 45 052, with unofficial name Nimrod, passes with the return leg of the Pathfinder 'Peak-n-Sea' railtour from Swindon to Buxton on 14 May.

12 June 1988 and 47 489 passes with a diverted Lancaster to London service.

On 22 May 1988, a diverted Liverpool - Poole train passes what remained on the station. Baschurch station opened with the line in 1848; it closed in 1960, before the arrival of Beeching. Ten years ago there was a local campaign for its re-opening, but nothing has transpired.

The HST sets were still classified as diesel-electric multiple units when  253 045 passes with a diverted train, probably a London - Holyhead train judging by the Mk3 coaches.

Four tracks at Rossett - by Peter Neve

I present a number of photographs taken at Rossett in 1985 when the two loops were still extant, giving the impression of a four track railway. Above,  on 19 July 1985 an unidentified Class 33 approaches the level crossing and signal box at Rossett with an Up passenger train bound for Shrewsbury. The lamp hut and goods warehouse are still intact and a P-Way trolley has been discarded to the side of the track. I am indebted to the signalman on duty, Mr. Adrian Bodlander for permission to take the photograph from the signal box steps.

A ground level view looking north towards Broad Oak crossing showing the (now replaced) lattice footbridge, crossover, Up and Down loops and a fine array of GWR lower quadrant signals, some of which were eventually relocated to the Llangollen Railway.

From the vantage point of the overbridge, a view looking north towards Broad Oak crossing where the white crossing gates are evident and the keepers cottage still in use. To the east of the Up loop lies an abandoned stop block at the end of a recently removed siding.

A view from the overbridge looking south with much of the railway infrastructure still in place, although the station building has already been demolished. Sleepers from the recently lifted siding are stockpiled and awaiting removal. The former goods shed was being used by a contractor (Bernard H. Barkley) for the supply of animal feedstuffs and agricultural services.

By way of comparison to my previously submitted photographs of Rossett in 1985, Castle Class 4-6-0 7029 Clun Castle approaches the replacement footbridge at Rossett with the return leg of the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza on 4 May 2019. The modern day barriers at Broad Oak crossing are just visible in the distance.

7029  catches the fading sun as it approaches the site of the former signal box and level crossing at Rossett on  the return journey to Dorridge. The view is barely recognisable from the 1985 photograph, with nothing remaining to give any hint that there was once a station and goods yard here. 7029 is back on “home” (GWR) territory and is no stranger to these metals.

A day on the Ffestiniog Railway, 6 May 2001 - with Tim Rogers

Porthmadog Harbour station: Double Fairlie, 0-4-4-0T No.11 Earl of Merioneth, Built 1979, Boston Lodge.

0-4-0ST Lilla Built 1891, Hunslet Engine Co.

Single Fairlie, 0-4-4T  No.9 Talesin,  replica Single Fairlie locomotive built at Boston Lodge works in 1999.

Blaenau Ffestiniog:  Class 150 142 15:04 Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llandudno.

Double Fairlie, 0-4-4-0T No.12 David Lloyd George Built 1992, Boston Lodge.

North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board