11 April 2022
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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
Charter trains, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation
or postponement. See our Calendar Page
for Club and Society details.
Saturday 23 April Ffestiniog
and Welsh Highland Railways: 'The
Snowdonian' an 80 mile round trip over the whole
railway with a variety of motive power.
Monday 25 April RCTS Chester David Powell “Merseyrail
Saturday 30 April Vintage
Trains North Wales Coast Express
Class 20 x 2: Tyseley Locomotive Works - Llandudno &
Saturday 30 April Northern Belle: 'Conwy' WCRC Class
47/57 York - Llandudno Junction & return
Friday 13 May Pathfinder
Tours Cambrian Coast Express. Oxford -
Friday 20 May
Tours Cambrian Coast Express Bristol-
Friday 27th May Vintage Trains
Cambrian Coast Explorer 1
(diesel) Dorridge - Pwllheli
10-11 June Ffestiniog
and Welsh Highland Railways ‘Cwrw ar y
Cledrau’ returns in 2022 with a vibrant mix of Real Ales,
Steam Trains, and Live Music. Regular steam-hauled trains
will also be running throughout the weekend. Updates
will be posted on www.rail-ale.com.
Saturday 2 July Vintage Trains
Cambrian Coast Explorer 2 (Vintage Trains) (diesel)
Stratford-upon -Avon - Aberystwyth and return.
2 -3 July Llangollen
Railway Classic Transport Weekend
Sunday 17 July 2022 Railway
Touring Company. Steam The
North Wales Coast Express Liverpool -Holyhead and
Tuesday 19 July Railway
Touring Company. The Welsh
Mountaineer Steam Preston Blaenau
Ffestiniog and return.
30-31 July : Welsh Highland Railway Centenary and
A weekend of heritage trains operating between Dinas and
Rhyd Ddu (as South Snowdon is now known) to celebrate the
reopening of this section of line.
Friday 12 August Pathfinder
Tours Cambrian Coast Express
Cardiff - Pwllheli
Friday 2 September Clwyd Railway Circle: “The Greatest
Railway Builder in the World” A 60 Minute Talk on the Life
and Times of Thomas Brassey by Peter Bolt
3-4 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel Weekend
Saturday 3 September The Cheshireman steam
(6233) Norwich - Chester and return (diesel
Peterborough - Norwich)
Friday 9 September Pathfinder
Tours Cambrian Coast Express. Oxford -
24 September Trailffest Half
Marathon : An Event Train will be provided to take
the competitors from the event centre at Porthmadog to
the start of the race in Tanygrisiau, the cost of which
is included in the entry fee.
Friday 7 October “Fond Memories” A look back over
70 years of Railway interest by Larry Davies
7-9 October: Ffestiniog
and Welsh Highland Railways: Vintage weekend.
8-9 October Llangollen
Railway DMU railcar weekend
Friday 4 November Clwyd Railway Circle: “A trip by
Norwegian Railways to Hell (and back).” Geoff
Railway Ride the Rocket Firework Train
Friday 2 December Clwyd Railway Circle: “Members
Selections & Christmas Celebrations” Members
are invited to give a 15-minute presentation of
their choice (Any format). Contact David Jones
01244 537440 to book a slot.
Calendar page for meeting venues)
North Wales Coast Railway website created and
compiled by Charlie
Among the weeks at Penmaenmawr, 8 April. Picture by Greg
On 8 April, 60 026 Helvellyn was out on the
North Wales line. In the morning it brought empty
wagons from Tuebrook Sidings to Penmaenmawr Quarry,
seen passing Llandudno Junction (Greg Mape).
Crossing Conwy Cob. Picture by Garry Stroud, who
notes: 'Unfortunately the tide was out, as it would have
made a better composition with the boat nearer to the
embankment, but at least it wasn't raining!'
Departure mid-afternoon back to Tuebrook sidings (Greg
The train ran again on 11 April, as seen at Dwygyfylchi, 11
April (Gary Thomas).
Pensarn, 11 April (Gary Thomas)
Track relaying work produces loco-hauled trains:
Saturday 9 April, 70 801 passes Shotton Low Level
with wagons for loading with spoil (Bob Greenhalgh)...
... and passes Pensarn (Gary Thomas).
66 543 passes Shotton Low Level with load of new
ballast (Bob Greenhalgh) ...
... Flint (Stephen Dennett)...
...then Pensarn (Gary Thomas). The
destination was Llandudno Junction LJ260.
Taken from Morrison's car park in Saltney, 66 557
with a load of sleepers (Bob Greenhalgh)...
... and at Flint by Stephen Dennett.
66 567 with box wagons passes Morrison's Car Prak,
Saltney (Bob Greenhalgh).
Sunday 10 April, with 66 568 on the rear of a
top-and-tailed train “wrong line” at Conwy (Gary Thomas).
On the Ffestiniog / WHR - with Jim Ikin
Wednesday 6 April started off very wet and cold but the rain
stopped in time for the arrival of the 'Mountain Spirit'
hauled by Merddin Emrys at Tan y Bwlch.
After watering carrying on to Blaenau. Several dying ash
trees have been removed from behind the water tank allowing
a much better view up Creuau bank.
Next up was Blanche hauling the Woodland Wanderer to
Tan y Bwlch for a layover before returning to Porthmadog.
Both trains were fully booked.
The sun came out resulting in a beautiful day although it
was bitterly cold and very windy as Merddin Emrys
made its way back along the Cob.
Later on Blanche passed Boston Lodge on her way back
up to Tan y Bwlch - it was noted outdoor seating was unused!
Greg Mape writes 'Not a good experience travelling
from Abergele to Chester on Saturday morning 9 April. Only 2
cars (175 004); standing room only at Abergele when we got
on. The train had started from Llandudno Junction. Not at
all Covid safe [especially since few people were wearing
masks]. After Rhyl, people were stopped from boarding the
'This is not a good advert for public transport. The
response from TfW was the standard corporate response.'
The situation reached national TV on Monday morning when
host Gethin Jones referred to his crowded journey from
Cardiff to Manchester. What is creating this apparent
shortage of rolling stock?
Saturday 9 April 2022, Shotton High level station: 66
127 heads the Dee Marsh to Margam steel train (Bob
On 6 April, scruffy-looking 70 812 passes Balderton
Crossing with the Carlisle - Chirk (Kronospan works)
The 04:37 4Z85 London Gateway GBRF to Donnington RFT service
ran on 5 and 6 April, conveying over 60 containers.
Above, 66 733 Cambridge PSB, approaching
Belvidere Bridge, east of Shrewsbury.
The bridge itself is of interest: the plaque reads
'Cast at Coalbrookdale Foundry 1848'.
Later 66 733 returned with the empty wagons as 4Z87, the
17:21 to Bescot via Shrewsbury and Crewe, seen here at Abbey
66 763 Severn Valley Railway brought another
63 containers from London Gateway, on 6 April, all of which
were removed from the wagons at the Ministry of Defence
depot. The unloaded train returned as 4Z87, the 17:21 to
Bescot. Pictures by Graham Breakwell.
In Graham Breakwell's item in the last issue he mentioned
'Fron Junction' on the Cambrian Main Line south of
Welshpool. A reader wrote to question this name which
couldn't be found in historical records.
The reason is that Fron Junction is very much a 21st century
creation, making the point where the extension of double
track to form a Dynamic Loop, designed to reduce
delays to trains and eventually allow a greater frequency.
It is named for the nearby farmhouse and hamlet. It is a
timing point, which can be found on the Real Time Trains
The diagram above is an extract from the Network Rail
'Sectional Appendix'. Notice that the line speed
restrictions on this line are shown in Kilometres per hour,
presumably to match the line's ERTMS signalling. The
distances are still in traditional miles and chains.
Pullmans under Warrington
An oddball empty-stock working happened on 9 April, from
Runcorn to Warrington Arpley Yard via the site ofWarrington
Bank Quay low level station, then the train reversed into
Arpley yard for servicing.
The train, topped and tailed by 67 005 Queen's
Messenger andTfW-liveried 67 014,
featured the Belmond Pullman coaches. The train was bringing
punters to the Aintree Horse race meeting from London
Victoria and the passengers alighted at Runcorn. The return
leg was timetabled from Liverpool Lime Street.
Passing the site of Warrington Bank Quay Low Level station.
This line is apparently earmarked to be part of a high-speed
'Northern Powerhouse' route from Liverpool to Manchester, to
be complete some time around 2040.
Its main use in recent times has been to supply coal to
Fidler's Ferry power station, which is now closed.
Chester and Ruabon, 5 April - pictures by Martin Evans
DVT 82226 prepares to depart Chester at 10:10 with the 06:45
Cardiff - Holyhead service...
... 67 025 was powering the service from the rear.
The 'Loco Stop' refers to a Class 57/390 formation - not
many of those these days! What's covered up at the top of
197 101 stabled at Chester between test runs at
Also in the sidings, 230 007.
175 111 departs Ruabon for Holyhead at 11:59.
From Dave Sallery's archive
In the days before ferry foot passengers were concerned with
buses, 37 408 Loch Rannoch is running round
the stock of the boat train to Manchester. In the background
is the Saint Columba, just arrived from Dun Laoghaire.
10 June 1993.
56 111 and 56 112 near Mostyn on Railfreight
Coal day, 11 August 1991. http://www.penmorfa.com/Archive/twelve.htm
Wouldn't it be good for something similar to be held for
Up and down ballast trains cross at Prestatyn hauled by 47
334 and 37 417 respectively, 17 May 1994.
Looking back: Diesels 2002 part 5 - by David Pool
37 695 was a locomotive I had not often seen It
was briefly on the North Wales coast in July 2000, but does
not seem to have had many passenger workings. On 3
October 2002 it was allocated to Toton, and leaving Romiley
with 6M23, 12:34 Toton to Castleton.
The second Merseyrail yellow livery had no black and light
grey stripe, and I found it less distinctive than the first
version. 507 012 had left New Brighton for
Liverpool, and was photographed at Harrison Drive on 23
4M87, the 12:49 Ipswich to Trafford Park, was headed by
Freightliner 86 612 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and 86
621 London School of Economics as it
approached Basford Hall Junction on 25 October 2002. The
first Class 86 still survives with Freightliner, although
stored, but 86 621 was scrapped in 2013.
The Autumn of 2002 saw the arrival of MPVs on Merseyrail for
Sandite duties, being based at Springs Branch, Wigan.
On 26 October DR 98904/98954 had just left Hooton on the way
to Chester and Wigan, and is captured on a small patch of
The weather was much better on 24 November 2002, when a
visit to Ordsall Lane, Salford, resulted in a nice selection
of shots. Transpennine Express unit 158 812
was first to appear, heading for Liverpool on an
The Sunday diversions were routing trains from Lime Street
to Euston via Manchester, and the 11:55 from Lime Street was
headed by 47 786 Roy Castle OBE dragging 87
017 Iron Duke . 47 786 is now in the West Coast
Railways fleet, while 87 017 went to Bulgaria.
There is an interesting item about 47 786 on the Class 47
website. Apparently it was being used as a Thunderbird
locomotive on the East Coast main line, and in 2001 rescued
a failed GNER Eurostar “White Rose”. I was curious to
discover how this was done, but found images
on the web showing the Scharfenberg
coupling attachment being fitted to a Class 67 at Stevenage
in similar circumstances in 2003.
Another Class 47 now in the West Coast fleet as D1916 is 47
812 Pride of Eastleigh. Also on 24 November 2002
it was dragging 87 001 Royal Scot on the
09:30 Milton Keynes to Preston. Photography from
Ordsall Lane in the days before overhead wires was so much
On 30 November 2002 there was a Pathfinder Railtour from
Birmingham to Holyhead – “The Christmas Cracker IV”- even
though it was November! It was run in conjunction with
the Class 40 Preservation Society, and had D345 (40
145) as the motive power. Running as 1Z45 between
Birmingham and Holyhead, it is arriving at Chester on a
rather dull day. The “East Lancs Venturer” headboard
presumably refers to D345’s operating base.
A class 175 slowly approaching Ty Croes on a service from
Holyhead to Crewe at twilight on March 23. Picture by Eryl
Crump, who asks: 'What will happen to this class once
the 197s are accepted into service? They are, after all, the
most modern in the TfW fleet.'
As far as we know, despite recent refurbishment the 175s,
which entered service in 2000 after some trials and
tribulations, are destined to be sent to the scrapyard for
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