Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

09 October 2020


Forthcoming events

(see also our Calendar page for venues)

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


66 778 Cambois Depot 25 Years passes Penyffordd station on 4 October with 12 wagons forming the 12:51 Penyffordd Cement Sdgs to Avonmouth Hanson Sidings.

This is a small catch-up extra update. More to come on the evening of  Tuesday 13 October.- Charlie

Tim Rogers' view

Bagillt on 2 October:  221 101 working 1Z44 12:53 Holyhead to Crewe.

175 108 is 1W93 13:27 Shrewsbury to Holyhead.

56 113 ...

... and  56 096 with FEA 642027, FEA 642045, FEA 642016 forming 3S71 02:46 Rail Head Treatment Train, Shrewsbury Coleham to Shrewsbury Coleham, via the Cambrian, Bidston, Holyhead & Crewe.

Rolling stock update

The third Vivarail set, 230 008,  has been test running in the West Midlands, and is expected to be delivered to TfW shortly, leaving just 009 and 010 awaited.

 67 008 is reported to be the fourth 67 to receive TfW colours. 

All the Class 158s and 2-car Class 175/0s are now in TfW livery;  the refurbishment project continues on the 175/1 version. (Several units are running with coaches originally part of other sets) .  There are no 153s still in Arriva livery, although some still retain East Midlands or Greater Anglia colours. As yet, no class 150s have been re-liveried except by removal of branding;  write of you know different!

There is a video walk-through of a refurbished 158 on YouTube.

Looking back - with Tim Rogers

66 108 running solo with the westbound Railhead Treatment Train, seen near Mostyn, 9 October 2009.   Running the loco round the train at Holyhead avoided the filthy appearance seen today; note that the train is shorter than the rake used today, as seen above.

Al;so looking smart in the early Arriva livery, 175 105 working 13:35 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly on the same day.

Steam section

A steam locomotive not seen along the North Wales Coast for many years (was the 10 October 1993 one of the last runs?)  Stanier Jubilee 4-6-0 45596 Bahamas arrives at Crewe for a water stop on 6 October (Jim Ikin).

Heading away from Crewe station, 45595 passing under the footbridge at Chorlton in a heavy downpour of rain.  This was a positioning move from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway to Alton on the Mid Hants Railway, in preparation to take part in their (sold out) Autumn Steam Gala on October 16 - 18.

The following day , 7 October, Jim Ikin  was lucky enough to travel by Crewe based pacific 34046 Braunton to the Severn Valley Railway.  An 06;40 start from Crewe ...

 ... and a water stop by tanker at Bescot yard. This is the loco that recently masqueraded as 34052 Lord Dowding.

At Kidderminster we changed over to SVR-based sister loco 34027  Taw Valley.

At Bridgenorth Taw Valley goes 'on shed', sporting Golden Arrow insignia. Unfortunately Braunton was failed with a hot 'little end' so we were pulled back to Bewdley by Taw Valley and then back to Crewe by Locomotive Services Class 47 diesel  D1935, arriving back (on time) at midnight.

Valley box facelift - pictures by Stuart Broome

The Grade II-listed signalbox is undergoing a thorough overhaul...

.... perhaps because there is not no prospect of the signalling on the Llandudno Junction - Holyhead section being modernised. PIctures by Stuart Broome.

Looking back: Welshpool and Llanfair Part 2 (and Rhiw Valley) - with David Pool

Welshpool and Llanfair Railway No.14 (previously Sierra Leone Railway No.85) is crossing the Banwy bridge with a Santa Special on a misty 12 December 1987.  It was built by Hunslet in 1954, and rescued for preservation when the SLR closed in 1975.

A year later the Santa Special on 17 December 1988 was hauled by No.2 Countess.  It is about to leave Toyland (usually known as Cyffronydd) , Santa and his Elves having distributed the presents on the train.

Another locomotive from the Chattenden and Upnor Railway is Chevallier, built by Manning Wardle in 1915.  It ran on Bowater’s Railway for a time, then on the railway in Whipsnade Zoo until 2006, when it was sold into private ownership. I believe it is currently at the Flour Mill workshop in Gloucestershire (does anyone know theplans for its future?).  Heniarth is the location for the photo on 31 August 1991 during a W&L Gala.

No.8 Dougal is at Llanfair on the Gala day in 1991.  This was built by Andrew Barclay in 1946 for the Provan Gasworks in Glasgow, where the limited clearance under the Retort Houses required the locomotives to be cut down.  The resulting compact appearance is a credit to the designers.  I sometimes wonder if there were any height limits for the footplate crew at the Gasworks!


The manufacturers of Parry People Movers were always looking for opportunities to demonstrate their products, which use flywheel energy storage.  A small diesel or petrol engine powers the flywheel, and the final drive is by an electric motor. On 4 September 1994 a demonstration narrow gauge Parry People Mover was giving short rides at Welshpool.  It appears that the Golfa Bank was rather a challenge, and the diesel engine struggled to power up the flywheel between the journeys.  It would be interesting to discover the subsequent history of this narrow gauge vehicle.  The standard gauge Class 139 PPM at Stourbridge is clearly very successful, well suited to the line on which it operates.

This was a particularly interesting double header leaving Welshpool on 4 September 1994.  The leading locomotive is No.105 Siam, built by Henschel in 1956 for a sugar cane railway in Thailand.  It was then used to haul timber trains on a logging railway, also in Thailand.   It now resides at the Bredgar and Wormshill Railway, which is 2 foot gauge, so being 2 foot 6 inch gauge it is essentially a museum exhibit there. The train locomotive was W&L No.10 Sir Drefaldwyn, the Austrian 0-8-0T.

The Rhiw Valley Light Railway is less than three miles to the south-east of Llanfair as the crow flies, best reached by taking the B4389 and then the B4390 towards Berriew.  The 15 inch gauge railway was built by the late Jack Woodroffe in 1970 at Lower House Farm, and is owned by the Woodroffe family.  It would normally be open to the public for one weekend on each of the Summer months, but is currently closed due to the Covid situation.  There are two steam locomotives available, Jack and Powys, and the line makes a pleasant circuit alongside the river and back to the farm.  Jack, the green 0-4-0 locomotive, was designed by Jack Woodroffe and Neil Simkin and built by Jack Woodroffe and TMA Engineering, while Powys, the black 0-6-2 locomotive, was designed by David Curwen and built by Severn Lamb.  Both locomotives were in service on 5 September 2015.

Following our enjoyable first visit to the RVLR in 2015, we returned two years later, and Jack was pleased to see his namesake in steam again on 2 September 2017.  He remembered that the safety valve tended to lift quite frequently, so was more prepared for the noise this time!

Anglesey Memories - with Trefor Thompson

An up Class 101 DMU approaching Bodorgan tunnels, 20 March 1986.

57 305 with a London to Holyhead train, Bodorgan station, July 2006.

71000 Duke of Gloucester heading Steamy Affairs 'The Irish Mail' through Bodorgan on 7 May 2005 .

4936 Kinlet Hall heading a charter to Holyhead.  The photo is dated July 2006.  Any more information about this private charter would be welcome.

158 819calls at Bodorgan with an up stopping service; passings board at the raised section of platform. The train is in Ginsters livery. July 2006.

Soon after the above image, 158 840 hurries through Bodorgan.

40 028 with the down 'Menai Marauder' railtour at Llanfair PG on 3 July 1983.

When the Coast line was still First North Western territory, 156 428 passes through Bodorgan on 12/3/1998.

North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board