Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

19 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

A quiet week (not surprising with sub-zero weather), so here's look at  60 096 putting the power on and making smoke on a Liverpool-Drax biomass train through Baguley, 5 December. Picture by Greg Mape.

Apologies for some technical problems with the images in the last update, I still don't know what caused the problem but it seems OK now .- Charlie

197s spread their wings

George Jones writes: 'My arrival  at Liverpool South Parkway at midday for the 12:07 LNW train into Lime Street I just happened to coincide with the departure of the Chester bound TfW train formed with 197 010, as captured from the footbridge. 197s spreading their wheels to new pastures.  At least one train working on a day when many were cancelled by ice and snow. '

The frosty scene at Allerton Junction is in view.

Also, a 197 appeared on 19 September in the form of 197 006 working one of the diagrams on the Llandudno - Manchester Airport service in place of a 175.

Loco Worked news

There are now five diagrams for loco-worked sets, with the introduction of the Manchester - South Wales axis. There is a summary on our For Railfans page. However, things seem not to be going well; Graham Breakwell offers a summary of the 19 December services:

Diagram 1, 05:33 ex Holyhead – cancelled and the three other services run with 175108.
Diagram 3 (there is no 2). 150 229 in charge of all four services.
Diagram 4. 175 107 and 175 110 sharing the four services.
Diagram 5. 175 108 on the first service but the other two cancelled.
Diagram 6. 153 323 and 153 968 on two services with, (at last!) 67022 on the 17:14 Cardiff-Holyhead, albeit running 46 minutes late.

About Real Time Trains quirks - by Simon Cross

Regarding the item by Eli Jones in a recent issue showing an image from Real Time Trains 153 unit coupled to a 175, I can offer some background.

A common belief, on platform ends and internet forums, would be that RTT is wrong.  Not correct: they are only a third part distributor of real time information held by Network Rail, and whilst their interpretation is getting better, it is an upstream issue which presents these types of abnormalities to the outside world when once they would be hidden.

In this case, having seen previous examples in work and compared them to external websites, the Train Company has failed to amend the unit diagram correctly, in WebGemini or whatever system they are now using and shown both units working the full service instead of splitting the schedule/diagram to show what is happening on the ground. Although I noted the contributor comments it was corrected - suggesting that it had been noted in Control.

As explained they knew this to be wrong as the units cannot couple, but had the information was correctly input would have been displayed like this example I found below:-

1H87 Llandudno -  Manchester Airport. Set Swap at Chester from 150 281 to 175 003+175 006 with 003 (Coach 1) the leading set. Although this maybe misleading.  it requires not only the units to be allocated to the service, but in the correct  position within the train in upstream systems. 

If you search around you can see how other operational activities are shown in the graphs box in RTT Schedules:-

Reverse move:

Schedule for 1P94 Scarborough to Manchester Airport indicates service booked to run via Milford Junction, Castleford to Leeds, reverses to depart via Dewsbury and at Manchester Piccadilly reserves again for the Airport.

Reverse move:

1E74 Chester to Leeds. Booked to reverse at Bradford Interchange.


1R25 Holyhead - Crewe. Shown to attach to another set at Chester for Crewe. This would suggest that 221 112 would be on the platform for 109 to attach at the

37s at Coleham - by Graham Breakwell

Some images taken on 13 December at Coleham where all the regular 37s  and ex-37s were present plus two visitors.  Abve, 97 302 standing in front of the Network Rail test train that had arrived from Derby at 01:45 in this morning – no further action due to the strike action?

37 175, motive power for the test train (with a Driving Coach at the other end) and 97 304.

37 405, still awaiting attention, and 97 303 with engine idling – the only sign of action - next to the Rail Head Treatment Train wagons, ready to be put away for another year.

The test train under the Coleham depot floodlights after being repositioned for 37 405 to be despatched to Leeds Midland on 15 December for tyre turning as 0Z40 the 07:41 from Coleham ISU to Leeds Balm Road Loco (Freightliner depot).

Poor performance

A recent article on the ITV website tells of a 'drag entertainer' who paid £589  for a First Class return from London to Bangor where he was to give a performance, only to find his chosen Avanti train having no 'Christmas dinner'  service on the outward journey, and  on returning on Sunday the  10:05 departure from  Bangor was cancelled (it ran empty to Crewe - staff shortage again, presumably) and the next train was at 13:19. Not surprising in the present situation, but it got him a little publicity. At least he got home, and a full refund will surely be made.

A look on reveals that the open first class return fare is actually £489 - still not cheap!  

A visit to Mold Junction shed - report by Tony Robinson

I  visited the remains of Mold Junction loco shed on 14 December.  The Dobbins scrapyard manager Aaron  was welcoming and was most interested in seeing the photos in my book depicting the shed in its operational days. Of course he doesn't remember the operational shed as he wasn't even born then!  I took the liberty of taking some photos of the still extant part of the shed interior, what part of the roof remains is deemed to be relatively safe.

Aaron brought out an old "Paybook Ledger" and looking through it revealed it not to cover the MPD but what would appear the be the the staff employed by  the Yardmaster for "Saltney and Chester". The dates covered were between  1945 and and 1959 and there were only up to about a dozen employees listed, basically the same ones on every page with minor adjustments here and there.

It's a bit perplexing as "Saltney" was not described as Saltney Ferry and the former was the name of the GWR yard a couple of miles away. "Chester" didn't have a marshalling yard as such unless the name was meant to describe the Goods yard adjacent to the station!

As the two sample pages show, each page was hand written very neatly in ink, so typical of the way things were done all those years ago. However the main "give away" was the number of employees, as Mold Junction had over two hundred men on their books during the period covered. That would include Footplate and Shed Staff along with Supervisory staff.

Do readers recognise any of these workers from 1953?

From Dave Sallery's archive

47 101 passes Shotton with a block oil train from Herbrandston (Pembrokeshire) to Courtaulds, Holywell Junction, 30 July 1985.

Remodelling at Rhyl on 18 February 1990 with 47 187 in attendance.

47 195  Muricidae backs coil carriers into Mostyn sidings on 31st May 1989. These had arrived due to a strike in Scottish ports and the steel was to be exported through Mostyn. [The strange names for petroleum trains are the names of various types of sea shells - the customer was the Shell refinery. This one refers to 'large and varied taxonomic family of small to large predatory sea snails']

Empty sidings as 47 107 brings the trip working from Llandudno Junction into Mostyn on 8 May 1991. The tank wagons were from Hull and were for Warwick Chemicals, a company which has recently closed its Mostyn works.

Looking Back:   Diesels  2010  part 4 - by David Pool

On 1 May 2010 1Z47 06:26 Cleethorpes to Llandudno was passing through Mold junction, Headed by 47 804 and 47 786, both in West Coast Railways maroon livery. This was my first use of Fuji Velvia film, Kodachrome having been discontinued.

47 804 was originally D1965, which I photographed at Inverness on  31 May 1972, with 1M36, the 11:50 Inverness to Newton le Willows Motorail service.  This was very convenient for returning home after holidaying in the far North of Scotland, since the M6 terminated at Carlisle in 1972. 

Subsequently D1965 became 47 265, then 47 591 before its first outing as 47 804.  For a time it ran as 47 792, appearing on the North Wales coast at Shotton on 23 March 2004 in EWS livery with a rake of First Great Western Mk2 coaches on the 10:30 Crewe to Holyhead.

There was a Bank Holiday Extravaganza at Llandudno on 3 May 2010, and an excursion from Euston was headed by 66 108 and 66 168, passing Bagillt on the return journey.

66 108 was one of the regular locomotives on the Rail Head Treatment Train in2010, but 66 168 was a rarer locomotive for me.   My only photograph of it previously was on 21 September 2000 at Tytherington quarry near Bristol. 

57 311 Parker with Pendolino 390 045 was passing through Shotton on 15 May 2010 with the 14:36 Holyhead to Euston.  At the same location today the nearside track is obscured by vegetation!

On 17 May 2010 the Chirk logs were in the charge of DRS Class 66 418.  6J37, 12:51 Carlisle to Chirk was passing the Roodee and approaching the Dee Bridge.  The original cast iron bridge collapsed in 1847, causing five passenger fatalities in five coaches which fell into the River Dee.  The failure was due to inadequate design, aggravated by the additional load of five inches of ballast recently added. 

The Channel Tunnel Class 92s were being used on the Stobart Intermodal trains in 2010.  On 22 May 92 019 Wagner, with an EWS vinyl branding, was heading through Winwick with 4S43, the 07:22 Rugby to Mossend.  Images of Northbound trains on the outside of the curve are best in early morning, before the position of the sun makes photography difficult here.

Llangollen Railway news - by Terry Pickthall

Llangollen Railway Santa Specials got off to a great start over the weekend of Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, with all trains now completely sold out. The above picture by George Jones shows Llangollen station thronged with passengers enjoying their visit on 3  December. A small Christmas Market offers temptation on the station, but visitors are also being encouraged to make a trip into Llangollen for a spot of Christmas shopping or something to eat, supporting the High Street and the railway's neighbouring local businesses.

This drone photo by Howard Pearson shows the first  Santa train of the year making a spirited departure from Carrog with a healthy plume of steam.

With such heavily-loaded trains to work on icy, slippery rails at this time of year, the Railway are taking no chances with delays in reaching Lapland (otherwise known as Carrog station), with visiting saddle tank steam locomotive No 68067 being supported by resident Class 26 diesel locomotive No 5310, with one engine at each end of the train. Using a smaller steam and diesel locomotive also reduces coal consumption, whilst retaining the special sight, sound and smell of an historic steam locomotive. All the railway's stations have been festively decorated with lights and trees, with visitors commenting on how atmospheric the railway feels at this time of year, especially when the lights are wreathed in steam whilst their train > waits in the station. 

As reported earlier in the autumn, the Railway has been appealing for new volunteers to support this busy end to the season. The recruitment drive has been successful, with healthy numbers of dedicated existing and new volunteers coming forward to help make the Santa specials a success.
Although all Santa Special trains are sold out, those hankering for a festive trip on a steam train should look no further than the LR's Mince Pie
, which will be running on 27, 28 and 29 December, with trains departing Llangollen at 11:00, 12:50 and 13:10. Tickets can be booked online via the LR website or purchased on the day. Adults will receive a mince pie and festive tipple, with children enjoying a sweet treat and drink. These heated trains provide the chance to relax and take in the spectacular winter Dee Valley Scenery in a cosy vintage carriage. The more adventurous can also opt for a brisk (or gentle!) walk from one of our stations for some much-needed fresh air after Christmas indulgence.


The Santa and Mince Pie specials conclude what has proven to be a very
successful year for the railway after all its recent troubles. In a briefing
to staff and volunteers, Llangollen Railway Trust Finance Director & Board > Member Phil Freeth reported "Results from 2022 have exceeded expectations and, despite long overdue investment in the railway's track, coaching stock, and the engine shed and yard, our cash resources remain buoyant. Financially, we are in an incredibly strong position. Long may that continue after the challenges we have faced over the last couple of years. Looking ahead to 2023, we expect the challenging economic climate that the country faces will require us to continue to act cautiously, but we are already well-prepared for this and will start the year from a far stronger position than we have for many years".

Talyllyn wins award - from a press release

The Talyllyn Railway is thrilled to have won a National Rail Heritage Award for the reconstruction of the original locomotive watering point at Tŷ Dŵr. The Railway was jointly awarded the Hendy and Pendle Trust Volunteers Award by HRH The Duke of Gloucester at a ceremony held in London on 6 December 2022. The picture shows the first train to use it, in March 2022. Locomotive No.4 Edward Thomas, the last known locomotive to use the old watering point, became the first locomotive to use the re-creation.

The watering point was originally installed when the Railway was built in 1865 and transferred water from a nearby waterfall to the site of the Railway’s first locomotive shed by a series of troughs supported on slate columns. This was situated on what was then the mineral extension between Abergynolwyn station, the original passenger terminus, and what is now Nant Gwernol station.

After the Railway was preserved in 1951 the watering point feel into disuse and in 1954 it was demolished so that the slate could be used to help build a retaining wall following a landslip near Dolgoch. However, it has been long-held ambition to see it rebuilt.

In 2019 the first steps were taken for the reconstruction. Unfortunately there are few photographs of much of the structure, and some of the remains had been obliterated when passenger services were extended along this portion of the line. Therefore, some archaeology was necessary to dig out what remains had survived after which the new recreation could be designed.

Following a successful appeal, and sponsorship from PTG Tours, local contractors were employed to rebuild the slate columns while volunteers constructed the new water troughs from locally sourced larch. It is not intended that regular passenger trains will use the reconstructed watering point, but it will be available for special trains and charters.

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