Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

14 September 2020


Forthcoming events

(see also our Calendar page for venues)

Note:  we have removed all entries relating to meetings as the events are cancelled.

The Clwyd Railway Circle has informed us that all their dates for the 2020=21 season, previously listed here, have now been suspended.


Northern 195 123 at Guilden Sutton on 9 September, working the 15:42 Leeds - Chester service. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Tim Rogers' View

Guilden Sutton, 9 September.  70 810 with 6J37 12:58 Carlisle to Chirk Kronospan .

Cefn Mawr viaduct, 9 September. 66 015 with 6M86 10:27 Margam T.C. to Dee Marsh . Loaded steel.

66 763 Severn Valley Railway passes Buckley with  6V41 17:08 Penyffordd Cement Avonmouth, loaded to 13 wagons, on 10 September.

From Dave Sallery's archive

60 002 High Peak at Penmaenmawr  quarry, 10 May 2000.  Trains should be seen there again soon, with a new flow of granite to  Derbyshire in preparation.

On 9 June 1986, 47 706 passes Prestatyn with a test train after overhaul at Crewe works, during which its Strathclyde nameplates were removed.

Often, such test trains ran with another loco 'inside' in case of problems.  On 17 July 1996,  47 846 Thor, still in undercoat, is coupled to 47 530.  In 2003, 47 846 was chosen for a rebuild as Class 57/3 57 308 Tin Tin.  Today it works for DRS, named  for  Jamie Ferguson, a Carlisle-based railway signal engineer, who died aged 42 in 2016.

A Week in North Wales, 12- 18 September, Part 1 - by Richard Putley

Having a week off work I booked a four-night stay at The Fleece in Tremadog. I also arranged to spend Saturday and Sunday nights at a friend's house in< Huyton, Merseyside. On  Saturday 12 September I drove up to Huyton, pausing at Gobowen to photograph the two "Pacers", 144 006/7 that the Cambrian Heritage Railway have recently acquired.  I also saw 175 009 (above) heading north with the 13:44 to Holyhead ...

...  and 175 106 on the 13:50 to Shrewsbury.

On Sunday a friend and I journeyed from Huyton to Wrexham Central taking in the Borderlands line from Bidston. Our service from Huyton to Liverpool Lime Street was a class EMU 319 378 which was very full. No social distancing possible on that service!

At Lime Street we saw brand new Northern DMU 195 020.

Merseyrail 507 021 did provide the stock for the 14:03 from Lime Street to< West Kirby.  By contrast it was only a third full. Our journey out to Wrexham , the 14:57 from Bidston was punctual and uneventful, 150 283 doing the honours.  Likewise the return working at 18:33 from Wrexham Central. But on arrival at Bidston we found due to a trespass incident involving some drunks who'd taken it upon themselves to walk the line from Meols to Bidston, no Merseyrail trains were running to/from West Kirby. So we ended up getting a taxi back to Huyton.

Looking Back:  Fairbourne (Part 1) - with David Pool

 On 17 July 1965 the Fairbourne Railway was 15 inch gauge, and their most recent steam locomotive  Sian, built for the railway by Guest Engineering in 1963, was about to leave for Barmouth Ferry.  On the right is the diesel outline Sylvia, also built by Guest (in 1961) and fitted with a petrol engine.

Having been built by Guest Engineering for Dudley Zoo Railway in 1950, Ernest W. Twining was photographed on 4 April 1969.  After running for 23 years at Fairbourne, it was exported to Japan in 1987, and is believed to be in store there. 

Another mainstay of steam operations at Fairbourne was Count Louis, built by Bassett Lowke in 1924, but stored in the shed on 27 August 1973.  It is now in private ownership, and has appeared as a visitor on several miniature railways in the UK, such as at Ravenglass in 1981.

A view of Fairbourne station on 27 August 1973 shows Ernest W. Twining departing, with Sylvia in front of the shed on the left.  Since then, the platform has been moved and the track layout substantially changed.

In 1984 the Railway had new owners, who planned to reverse the decline experienced in the late 70s.  It was proposed to convert the track to 12 ¼ inch gauge, and replace the rolling stock.  At that time, a railway of this gauge had just closed in Brittany, and four locomotives were obtained for the new Fairbourne Railway.  No.5 Elaine had been built by Milner Engineering in 1979, based on a Leek and Manifold Railway 2-6-4T, and on 14 July 1984 it was being stored until the track gauge had been changed.  Subsequently it was decided to rebuild the locomotive to resemble the preserved Welsh Highland’s Russell – even though the latter is a 2-6-2T. In my opinion it looked better as the Leek and Manifold version!

Meanwhile passenger services continued on the 15 inch gauge, and  another Guest Engineering locomotive Katie, built in 1954 was also seen on 14 July 1984.  It had been renamed Shon for some reason – possibly because the original Katie built in 1896, still existed, and is still with us today.  Shon has now reverted to Katie, and may be found at the Kirklees Railway.

Another  acquisition from Brittany was David Curwen, soon to be renamed Beddgelert, built by David Curwen in 1979, based on a North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways 0-6-4T locomotive which ran on the Welsh Highland Railways, mostly on the Bryngwyn branch, until it was scrapped in 1906.  It too was awaiting the gauge change at Fairbourne.

The final discovery during my visit on 14 July 1984 was this American outline locomotive No.362. Perhaps not surprisingly it was not what it seemed, and turned out to be a rebuilt Sian, renamed Sydney and based on a Rio Grande narrow gauge design. It was no coincidence that 362 happened to be the last three digits of the Fairbourne Railway’s telephone number!   When the 12 ¼ inch gauge track was completed in 1986, No.362 was sold and eventually yet again rebuilt to the shape of the original Sian, reclaiming its name.  It joined sister Katie at Kirklees in 2018, but its present location needs to be confirmed. 

Corwen progress - report by Peter Neve

Considerable progress was made in recent days  at the Llangollen Railway's Corwen Central station site. A Wrexham company (Barnett Engineering) has fabricated and erected the internal steelwork for the on-platform building, which will house the toilet block and waiting room. The steel structure (bolted down to a very large concrete foundation) is necessary to support the canopy and to counteract the substantial wind forces that will cause a degree of “lift” in this elevated and exposed location. The steel frame will eventually be clad in brickwork on the outside and breeze block on the inside (photograph from 9 September above).


A day later (Tuesday), Wrexham Paving were engaged in laying the platform surface using block paving. This work is ongoing at the time of writing.


The finished surface looking east towards Llangollen. Note the Herringbone pattern used in the centre section of the platform.


On Saturday, volunteers from the Signal and Telegraph team bolted the Ground Frame down to its concrete foundation and connected up most of the rodding to the crossover at the eastern end of the station. Final connection to the Facing Point Lock (FPL) and the point blades will be made once the track has been ballasted, lifted to the correct height, and tamped. The photograph shows one of the volunteers, Hugh Parker, testing the levers.

Out and about with Greg Mape: Long Preston

On 11 September, 37 667 near Long Preston with the Rail Charter Services Appleby - Skipton 'Staycation Express'  on 11 September.

47 712 Lady Diana Spencer on the rear of the  train which ended its season on 12 September.  This service is an excellent idea: let us hope it returns next summer.

66 773 Pride of GBRf near Long Preston with the 09:34 Carlisle - Clitheroe Castle Cement empties, 11 September.

66 221 with empty wagons from Newbiggin Gypsum to Tees Dock.

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