Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

10 January 2022


Contributions to the Notice Board are welcome, although they may not always be used, due to time constraints, especially if they don't follow the file name convention given on the  Contributions Page.

Forthcoming events

Charter trains may be subject to cancellation or postponement.

Thursday  13 January Shropshire Railway Society Steam in Indonesia – last glimpses on PJKA and steam in industry - Lionel Price

Monday 17 January    RCTS online Zoom    Professor Stuart Cole    “Rail Policy in Wales”

Thursday 27 January  Shropshire Railway Society A Celtic journey, North Wales coast to Ireland  -  Rob Smout

February 2022

Thursday 10 February Shropshire Railway Society Stevens' wanderings with a camera 1954 - 2004 Berwyn Stevens

Monday 21 February RCTS Chester Martyn Hilbert “Network North West”

Thursday 24 February Shropshire Railway Society My early years photographs  - Ken Hayward

March 2022

Wednesday  2 March RCTS Liverpool Paul Shackcloth “L & Y Engines At Work, Part 1”

Monday 21 March RCTS online Zoom Geoff Plumb “The Wrexham & Shropshire Railway”

April 2022
Monday 25 April RCTS Chester David Powell “Merseyrail Fleet Replacement”

(see  our Calendar page for venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

On 9 January, 70 810 working the 10:29 Chirk Krononspan to Carlisle Yard empty log wagons, after running round its train of 21 empty log carriers in platform 4. Picture by Graham Breakwell.

News pictures

Friday 7 January saw  a Colas-powered track recording train head down the Coast with 43 251 leading ...

... and 43 272 on the rear in Bob Greenhalgh's pictures. Under the bridge is the vehicle once known as test coach Mentor,   said to stand for  'Mobile Electrical Network Testing, Observation and Recording'. It was rebuilt from a Mk1 passenger coach in 19t3.

Gary Thomas writes:  'I ventured out yesterday to see the Colas HST s with the non-NMT track recording train at Pensarn. It was dark, windy, rainy and freezing cold!

'I had to crank the ISO up to silly numbers (32,000) to get a half decent shot.'

A sunny interval on 5 January encouraged Greg Mape to pay a visit to the bridge over the ex-Cheshire Lines Committee Hazel Grove - Northenden line on the B5095 Manchester Road near Cheadle.   60 044 was on the 09:30 Warrington Arpley - Tunstead empty hoppers.

The station, today housing the 'Cheshire Lines Tavern', closed in 1964. It is some distance from the centre of Cheadle;  another closed Cheadle station, on the ex-LNWR line in the town centre, on the Stockport - Northern section, is currently proposed for re-opening to serve Manchester - Chester service.

Looking the other way from the bridge, Greg captured 66 732  on the 08:32 Hindlow  to Small Heath stone train making its way through  a small forest.

Against  the winter sun at Sutton Bridge Junction on the rear of the 13.30 Manchester Piccadilly to Swansea with 150 285 leading 158 836, 9 January (Graham Breakwell).

Job done for another season, 15 RHTT tanks are stabled at Coleham depot, with 97 302 and 97 303 – newly named Dave Berry - just visible behind.

From Dave Sallery's archive

31 407 with a short train for reloading at Penmaenmawr. This was the only 31 in Mainline blue livery,  12 June 1997.  It was common for loaded wagons to appear on westbound trains, as the wagons would be for a particular work site which needed toping up. There were no 'virtual quarries' until later.

DMU Set 920, 55966 & 55967. They are former Bedford-St Pancras Class 127 Driving cars with roller shutter doors fitted for parcels and newspaper services. Seen at Stafford, 31 May 1988.

Looking back: Diesels 2000 part 1 - by David Pool

On 23 January 2000 the line between Helsby and Chester was closed due to engineering work, and trains were being diverted via Hooton, where they reversed.  This was not much of a problem for the DMU  passenger workings, and two Class 156 units (156 426 and 156 459) with the regional green stripes were passing through Capenhurst with the 11:12 from Manchester Piccadilly to Chester. 

The triangle at Valley is recognisable in this shot of the 13:34 Holyhead to Euston on 25 February 2000.  The power cars 43 195 and 43 197 are still in InterCity livery, while the coaches are in Virgin Trains red.   The bridge under construction is of course now part of the rerouted A55. 

This next image has led me to delve into the history of this interesting locomotive   It was photographed in Chester on 4 March 2000, but was stabled and apparently to be used only in the event of a locomotive failure on the coast.  47 705 Guy Fawkes still had the Waterman Railways nameplate, designating it to be in the Heritage Class. The logo on the cab shows it had been assigned to the London & North Western Railway Company, but it now had a new owner, Riviera Trains. More detailed information on this complex situation can be found on the Flickr website in an article by Adrian Nicholls, who had also photographed 47 705 at Chester. 

A little more research showed this locomotive was originally D1957 and then 47 554.  I never photographed it as D1957, and my first shot of 47 554 was taken on 25 August 1975 at Southport, which was the August Bank Holiday Monday.  Three Class 47 hauled excursions had arrived from Burton on Trent, Lincoln and Beeston (Notts), the latter two using the Excursion Platforms. 47 184 was on 1Z76, returning to Lincoln, while 47 554 was showing 1Z70 and heading back to Beeston.

In the 1980s  47 554 had become 47 705, having been fitted with TDM push-pull equipment and long range fuel work the Edinburgh to Glasgow trains, but it then  moved to Network South East territory, and on 26 September 1992 it was working the 09:15 Waterloo to Exeter through Gillingham (Dorset).  It was usual to have bi-directional working through the station on this single line, so that a train not scheduled to stop could take the straight ahead route and not be switched into the Down platform. 

47 705's final change was to 57 303 Alan Tracy , when it was refurbished and fitted with Dellner retractable couplings to enable it to haul Pendolinos on non-electrified lines or act as a rescue locomotive (known as a “Thunderbird”, taking the name from a popular Children’s TV Series).  On 3 September 2005 it was at Prestatyn hauling the 08:45 from Euston to Holyhead, which comprised a Driving Van Trailer 82 101 and a rake of Virgin Mk 3 coaches.

Still 57 303, but now owned by Direct Rail Services, on 18 June 2017 it was paired with 57 304 to operate 1Z39, a Northern Belle excursion from Manchester via Preston.   57 303 is leading as the train comes down from Copy Pit summit and is crossing the county boundary as it approaches Portsmouth.  The village once had a station called Portsmouth (Lancs), as it was formerly considered to be part of Lancashire, but a boundary change in 1918 put it clearly in West Yorkshire.  The station retained the “Lancs” in its name until it closed in 1958.

Another Class 47/7 locomotive bought by Waterman Railways was 47 701 Waverley, having been rebuilt for the push-pull services in Scotland.  This was then sold to Fragonset Railways, who were acquiring a large number of locomotives to be hired out as needed,  Virgin Trains were using 47 701 on the 0919 Holyhead to Euston on 9 September 2000, and this view at Pensarn returns to the theme of the North Wales Coast Railway in the year 2000. 

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