Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

12 December 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, and meetings, may be subject to cancellation or postponement. See our Calendar Page for Club and Society details.

January 2023

Friday 6 January Clwyd Railway Circle  The Railways and Tramways of Blaenau Ffestiniog  Dave Southern

Friday 13  January. Altrincham Electric Railway Society "Built in Britain: The Independent Locomotive Manufacturing Industry in the Nineteenth Century" by Dr Michael R Bailey MBE.

February 2023

Friday 3 February Clwyd Railway Circle  Annual General Meeting followed by Chairman’s Choice.  David Jones

Friday 10 February . Altrincham Electric Railway Society "Steam in North Wales and the Borders since 2010 - Main Line and Narrow Gauge" by Ian Pilkington.

March 2023

1 March:  Saphos Trains St David's Day Welsh Marches Express Holyhead - Cardiff,  steam from Crewe to Cardiff.

Friday 3 March Clwyd Railway Circle  Travelling Around Britain by Train.  Bill Rogerson

Saturday 4 March Railway Touring Company Steam 'The Cheshireman' London Euston - Chester

Friday 10 March. Altrincham Electric Railway Society "Colour-Rail" by Paul Chancellor

September 2023

Friday 1 September Clwyd Railway Circle  A Year in the Life of an International Train Spotter  - Part 2 Phil Thomas

October 2023

Friday 6 October Clwyd Railway Circle A History of The Internal Railway at Shotton Steelworks and its Links with the Main Line
Glyn Jones

November 2023

Friday 3 November Clwyd Railway Circle The Railway in Conway.  Larry Davies

December 2023

Friday 1 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members Night Presentations.  Members are invited to give a 15-minute presentation of their choice.

(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

The 'Midland Pullman'  empty stock from from Holyhead to Crewe at Beeches Farm,  Sunday 11 December. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh, who writes: 'I had the pleasure of a Chester to Bath Spa on this train on Saturday. It was absolutely superb. Ride, food, staff every aspect was brilliant. Highly recommended. '

News Pictures

97 304 and 97 302 on a murky and damp Sunday morning 11 December, running an hour late on 6C70, the 08:20 Machynlleth to Bescot Up Engineers - returning with the empties having taken a load of long welded rails from Crewe the night before (Graham Breakwell)

Geoff Morris writes: 'The Blue Pullman's times at Chester (08:15 & 20:40) weren’t very helpful for photos. However the ecs from Holyhead back to Crewe wasn’t until the next day and a time of  c14:40 at Chester was much more inviting so here is going-away photo of it crossing the canal. The
power car in view is 43 055 with 43 046 out if sight at the  front. I noticed that the tree that had been growing steadily between the Up and Down main lines has (at last) been removed as have a few other pieces of nearby trackside foliage.'

Barrie Hughes writes: 'The Welsh Highland Railway's 10:00 Santa Special on 12 December emerging from Castell Cidwm Road bridge at 11:12, about 20 minutes later than anticipated after struggling on icy rail in several locations following an overnight snowfall . The train had diesel support from the newly refurbished WHR Funkey Caernarfon Castle/Castell Caernarfon which provided audible power on several occasions.'

Another look, by Ryan Lloyd,  of 66 796 working 6Z58 Hexthorpe to Llandudno Junction Traffic Centre with empties for the new limestone flow of liestone from Llandulas quarry on 5 December. It's great to see another new freight flow on the Coast.

As with the slate waste trains that are using the same terminal, complex shunting moves are needed  to divide the train for loading, and finish with the locomotive at the east end of the train ready for departure.

Seen at Llandudno Jcn on 1 December was this Road-Rail combo owned by Pod-Trak (99 709, 940552 and 940788) stabled in the Tamper siding (Garry Stroud). 

Rolling stock notes

We are informed that like the Bletchley - Bedford fleet, the Wrexham - Bidston Class 230 units have been taken out of traffic following the announcement of the Vivarail company entering Administration. The timetable has reverted to Class 150 operation.

At recent TfW Transport Liaison Group online meeting it was said that  introduction has now slipped back to "spring" with driver training hopefully resuming "in the early weeks of the New Year".  Although TfW own the units, their problem was that maintenance was contracted out to Vivarail. They are now arranging to do this "in house" still at Birkenhead depot where the required engineering staff are available.

12 December saw the appearance on the Real Time Trains display a first passenger-carrying run of a loco-worked TfW train from Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff. However this was later amended and a 175 appeared.  Several of the Manchester - Cardiff trains were worked by Class 150 trains on that day, the first day of the winter timetable ... and the only one for the rest of the week as strikes continue.

Scarborough to Manchester - with  John Oates

I had an interesting trip back from Scarborough on Tuesday 6 December taking advantage of TPE's Club 55 offer. After a good run on a class 68 propelled MkV set to York, sitting in platform 5 at York was the RHTT awaiting the road to Scarborough and in charge ex-North Wales celebrity  37 425 Concrete Bob in Regional Railways livery.

Once gaining the road, the driver was very enthusiastic opening up 425 ...

... with lots watching as the sound echoed around the trainshed and the train
departing with 37218 on the rear, the waterjets hissing loudly ...

... and even rail staff taking pictures/videos of it!

On arrival into Piccadilly (after a disrupted trip due to another of TPE's P-coded [pre-planned cancellation] trains), sitting in platform 7 awaiting departure was a "Grand Central" MkIV set with a 67 025 at its head on a further crew training/test run,  which had arrived from Shrewsbury as 5Z79 and and departed for Crewe at 5Z80.

Cambrian Corner - report by Ken Robinson

Cambrian Coast services, as readers will know, have been recently affected by ongoing work on Barmouth Bridge and track-work in the Tywyn area. A shuttle service was provided (by 158 829 + 158 830) between Pwllheli and Harlech and bus replacement services between Harlech and Machynlleth, over the period 19 November until 9 December, with a full Pwllheli - Machynlleth service due to re-start on Saturday morning, 10 December. In the event, 'due to overrunning engineering works' this did not materialise until late afternoon on the 10th. During this period, the 158 units were kept overnight at Pwllheli but usually fuelled at Porthmadog yard around once a week, the unit being fuelled travelling empty stock from Pwllheli to Porthmadog Yard late morning and returning to Pwllheli mid-afternoon.

158 829 at Harlech on 6 December 2022, having arrived a few minutes earlier as the 09:34 from Pwllheli, prepares to depart with the 10:26 return service to Pwllheli.

Porthmadog on 6 December, with 158 829 having just arrived from Harlech, whereupon passengers were told to change trains and walk from the down platform (left) to the up platform (right) to board 158 830 for the onward journey to Pwllheli. This was so that 158 829 could be taken forward to the yard at Porthmadog for fuelling - a change to the usual procedure described above. Apparently, this unit was fairly low on fuel compared to 158 830.

158 830 at Pwllheli on 6 December, about to depart with the 11:37 service to Harlech.

158 829 in the yard at Porthmadog, having just arrived as 5G00, the 10:20 empty stock working from Pwllheli on 22 November 2022. *This was on a different date to the above photos, but included to show a relatively rare 'empty stock' working on the Cambrian Coast.

From Dave Sallery's archive: Class 40s

40 001 on an Aston (Birmingham) to Llandudno advertised excursion approaching Prestatyn, 3 July 1984.

40 122
on engineering duties at Gronant, 15 April 1984.  The loco had just been released from Crewe works in original green livery. This loco was originally numbered D200, the first of the class, but when the 'TOPS' numbering scheme was instituted, the number 40 000 could not be used, so it was given the number 40 122 which was free.  It was given the 'heritage' colour scheme for special trains and eventual preservation from 1988 at the National Railway Museum where it remains.

40 194 (D394) on Sunday engineering works at Talacre, 23 September 1984. This loco had just a few more weeks in service, being withdrawn in January 1985.

97 407, formerly 40 012, and originally D212 Aureol, named for a ship compled in 1951 for the Elder Dempster Line, passes Prestatyn on an up ballast, 29 July 1985.

This locomotive was the third of the production English Electric Type 4s to enter service on British Railways (D200-D209 being prototypes).  Reprieved from Withdrawal in 1985, it was one of a number of the class allocated to the 1985 Crewe remodelling works and renumbered accordingly in the 'departmental' series, although retaining the previous number on an unofficial adornment on the front, along with the CD code for Crewe diesel depot. Withdrawn agin in 1986, it was saved for preservation  and in 1988 and survives today in working cared for by the 'Class 40 Appeal' group.

Looking back: Diesels  2010  part 3 - by David Pool

Fastline 66 434 was on 6C19, the 12:04 Chirk to Carlisle, passing through Chester on 15 April 2010.   This locomotive had been hired from Direct Rail Services, who later took it back and gave it a colourful “Malcolm” livery.  

The 14:26 Holyhead to Euston on 17 April 2010 was being hauled past Bagillt by a Class 57/3 locomotive as usual, but 57 313  was in the plain blue livery of Arriva Trains Wales. 

A few years earlier on 22 March 2006, 57 313, then Tracy Island, had been at Chester, top and tailing a set of Virgin Mk2 coaches with 57 307 Lady Penelope. This train had just come from the sidings, and had reversed into Platform 4.  It appears to have been a special excursion or charter, but I have no details of the working and there is no record of it in the website archive.

The Class 57/3 locomotives were of course modified Class 47s.  57 313 was originally 47 371.  Looking back through my records, I had previously photographed 47 371 at Millbrook on 7 October 1997.  At that time it was in Freightliner grey livery, and was leaving the Freightliner Terminal.  It may have been the 4S59 to Coatbridge, but I cannot confirm this. Today the container traffic is handled at the Southampton Maritime Terminal, on the opposite side of the main line. 

The footbridge at Millbrook Station was an excellent location for photography.  On the same day a Wessex Electric 2420 formed the 12:50 Weymouth to Waterloo.  These were well liked units, and it is unfortunate that they do not appear to be suitable for present day operations, in spite of some refurbishment. 

Following 2420 was the Liquified Petroleum Gas train from Furzebrook, 6V13 13:30 to Hallen Marsh (Avonmouth), hauled by 58 017 in Mainline grey with around 30 TTA tanks.   Furzebrook sidings are on the Swanage branch, and are planned to be used by the Swanage Railway, now that the Wytch Farm Oilfield sends its products by pipeline or by road.  I had not realised that this is the largest inland oilfield in Western Europe. 

Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a royal visit to North Wales on 27 April 2010, visiting Caernarfon, Bangor and Llandudno.  They were using road transport during the visit, but the Royal Train was being used for the overnight arrangements.  67 005 The Queen’s Messenger and 67 006 Royal Sovereign were the usual motive power, and were photographed at Holywell Junction, illustrating the variations between each of the coaches.

The roof details and window configurations are a headache for a railway modeller seeking accuracy, since the off the shelf models are generally poor representations of the actual coaches. 

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