Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

20 February 2023

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.

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

April 2023

Sunday 16 April Railway Touring Company The Great Britain XV: Day 2. Steam: Bristol - Shrewsbury - Wrexham - Chester - Holyhead.  WCRC Class 47/57 Holyhead - Llandudno Junction

June 2023

Saturday 24 June North West Rail and Transport Collectors' Fair.  Crewe Alexandra Football Club
Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Road, Crewe CW2 6EB
(5 mins walk from Crewe Station) 10.00am - 3.00pm
Admission - £2 Adults, Children Under I6 Free

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

67 020 arrives at Manchester Piccadilly on 14 February with the 10:52 from Cardiff. Picture by Greg Mape

News pictures

66 784 Keighley & Worth Valley Railway 50th Anniversary 1968-2018  comes through Frodsham with 6Z58 Doncaster Down Decoy to Llandudno Junction  empty wagons on 13 February.  This loco was formerly 66 081 in the DB cargo fleet.

Frodsham station is a good place to see the new 197s in action.  On 13 February, 197 004 calls at 16:42 with 1F97 Chester to Liverpool South Parkway ...

... and 197 012 arrives at 16:43 with 1D37, the Manchester Airport to Llandudno service (Stephen Dennett).

It's always good to see a Class 37 on the Borderlands: Colas Class 37/6, 37 607 nears Buckley station on 14 February with 3Q01 Shrewsbury to Taff Vale Sidings ultrasonic test test train.  This loco has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, having entered  service as D6803 in January 1963.Sine then it has been 37 103, 37 511 and finally 37 607 - the number showing that it was one of the 37s allocated for Eurostar duties  (Stephen Dennett).

Loco-worked doings

Saturday 18 February saw the introduction of Saturday locomotive traction on the Manchester -South Wales, and loco working beyond Cardiff to Swansea.

The plan was for two diagrams:

04:35 Cardiff - Manchester
08:30 Manchester -  Cardiff
12:52 Cardiff - Manchester
16:30 Manchester - Swansea

04:54 Crewe - Cardiff
08:49 Cardiff - Manchester
12: 30 Manchester - Cardiff
16: 50 Cardiff - Manchester

However, things did not go to plan. No train was available for the 12:52 from Cardiff - trouble with brakes apparently - and the train was started from Crewe, half an hour late,  only to be terminated at Wilmslow, and started from there to Swansea. We understand that this is the policy if a northbound train would be late departing back from Manchester. 

(Thanks to the wnxx Forum members for help with this item).

Logs  delay at Chester - report by Roger Smith

I passed through Chester Station on the night of Thursday 16 February. When I arrived by train just after 20:00 a Colas Class 56 log train was idling on the 'Down and Up Main' line opposite Platform 3. When I returned to catch my train at 22:15 the log train was still there.  The Realtime Trains web site indicated that the Carlisle-Chirk logs had not been activated that day, so it was not that which was running late.

This left the Baglan Bay-Chirk logs which was running considerably early. It was at least two-hours' ahead of its schedule when I first saw it. I cannot be more specific than this because the Realtime Trains record shows "No report" for the train's entire journey from Baglan Bay to Chester, including when it had arrived at Chester. It appeared at Chester as if by magic!  - the answer is that the train left Baglan Bay on the previous day before as the 16:02 to Chirk.  That departed 68 minutes late at 17:10, and was delayed at Sutton Bridge Junction for over and hour and again at Saltney Junction, finally reaching Chester at 01:16 on 26 February.  It was decided to stable the train at Chester, probably to relieve the driver; it was finally re-started at  22:39 arriving at 23:45 almost a day late.

56 049's cab and bogie details at its No. 2 end, its nameplate readily apparent. Background: Robin Gould began his career in 1955 at Templecombe Shed on the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, the crest of which is above the nameplate. He was the last ex-Templecombe employee to be driving on the main line when he retired in 2008, and he was called upon to name a locomotive in his honour, albeit a different locomotive, Class 47 No. 47 739.  Mr Gould passed away in 2013.

Bogie bulkhead stanchioned flat wagon No. 83 84 3523 011-8, full with timber. The '84' in the second position of the European Vehicle Number (EVN) indicates its country of registration to be the Netherlands and the 'Vehicle Keeper Marking' reveals that the owner is wagon leasing firm Touax.  [These 3523 wagons were converted from 'Cargowaggon' vans, retaining the original ends]. Some other wagons had "70" indicating British-registered stock.

Mystery message at Chester

Ell Jones writes: 'While I had some time to kill at Chester I decided to go and investigate a sign i'd seen a few weeks ago located in the old Mold bays, which is now the car park adjacent to Platform 2 and wondered if anyone would be able to read it better than I could?'

From the editor: This defeated me at first, but while editing the picture for the page I leaned back in my chair and suddenly realised the answer. See bottom of this page.

Bala Lake new season - report by Martin Evans

On 14 February I journeyed to Llanuwchllyn for the start of the 2023 services, Quarry Hunslet George B was the engine in service, seem above waiting to connect to the 11.30am service to Bala.

George B waiting to depart from Llanuwchllyn with the  13:30 service to Bala.

A view of the shed at Llanuwchllyn with  the boilers of Holy War and Alice undergoing overhaul.

Timetables on the railway website.

A Cambrian day trip

67 005 Queen's Messenger passing Abbey Foregate on 13 February with ex-London Region General Manager's saloon 6320, running as 5Z67, 15:15 from Tyseley Steam Trust to Coton Hill sidings, Shrewsbury...

... the saloon  then transferred to become to 2Z68, the 08:11 from Shrewsbury, 97 304 double-headed with 37 405 seen passing through Meole Village on the way to the Cambrian lines as 08:11 Shrewsbury to Barmouth (Graham Breakwell).  The purpose of this trip is likely to be to show to Network Rail managers and guests to see the delights of the Cambrian; the inspection saloon used for a previous trip was NR's own 'Caroline' -perhaps it was not available.

Crossing Barmouth viaduct ...

...  and approaching Barmouth (Gary Thomas).  37 405 was presumably there to provide a heating, etc. supply to the coach, for which the 97/3s are not fitted.

The return working, 2Z69 11:57 Barmouth to Machynlleth (Gary Thomas).

Leaving Barmouth tunnel showing bridge scaffolding in place ...

...and passing the works compound. The 97/3 had to be at the front both ways to operate the ERTMS signalling system.

Roaming 67

67 005 has been getting out and about; following its adventure with the inspection saloon (see above) it was spotted in the sidings at Peak Forest, shunting DB cargo wagons - perhaps wagons for repair?  Passing the signalbox is 60 017.

Peak Forest is a busy place these days: 66 780 The Cemex Express has arrived with a long train of empty hoppers from Bletchley for the Cemex quarry - an unusual example of a matching the loco with the customer.

From  Dave Sallery's archive

47 445
passes Bagillt on a Holyhead - Euston service. Courtaulds Greenfield works in background. 2 July 1984

47 471 at Chester on a service to Crewe. "Norman Tunna" was a coast regular for many years, 1 April 1996.

47 475 on a Holyhead - Birmingham service at Holywell Jct, 8 April 1989. This was the only 47 in Provincial Services livery.

47 621 on an Inter City service to Holyhead near Mostyn, 9 September 1988.  Duke of Lancaster in the background. The vessel arrived in 1979 and was formerly a BR ferry employed on the Heysham to Belfast service.

Looking back: Dinting, Part 1 - by David Pool

Dinting station was on the main line between Manchester and Sheffield via Woodhead, and Glossop was on a branch forming a triangular junction at Dinting.  The arrangement still exists, although with the closure of the Woodhead line the normal pattern of working comprises trains from Manchester going to Glossop and then reversing to Hadfield.  Trains from Hadfield to Manchester similarly reverse at Glossop. The platform normally used at Dinting is on the branch from Manchester to Glossop. Only one train per day is shown as going directly to Hadfield, and the platform used then at Dinting is on what was previously the main line.  All the lines today are single track.  On 29 November 1969 EM1 Electric 26057 was passing through Dinting with the 1445 Sheffield Victoria to Manchester Piccadilly.

Looking in the other direction from the main line platform, the view across Dinting Viaduct  is impressive, as EM1s 76 028 and 76 027 approach with a typical Merry-Go-Round freight on 5 May 1979. 

Having reversed at Glossop, Class 506 units M59606, M59506 and,M59406 formed  the 1515 Piccadilly to Hadfield on 10 April 1971.  The electrified line on the left is heading towards the triangular junction, while the line on the right leads to what was once the Locomotive Shed (9G) and yard.  Note the semaphore signals, which were not often seen on other lines with overhead electrification. 

In 1971 the Locomotive Shed had received a new lease of life.  As steam locomotives were disappearing very rapidly in the 60s, efforts were being made to save some for posterity.  The Bahamas Locomotive Society was formed in 1967 to save “Jubilee” 45596 Bahamas, and needed somewhere for a base.  The Dinting Shed site was obtained on a lease in 1968, and things began to happen.  Other groups were encouraged to use Dinting as custodians of their locomotives, and one of the first to arrive was a petrol engined shunter which had been working at Jacob’s Biscuit Factory in Aintree.  Built in 1916 by Baguley Cars Ltd, it carried a Works Plate McEwan Pratt No. 680. When built it was capable of running on paraffin also, but this option was later ended.  I understand it is now at Statfold Barn, but on 10 April 1971 it was giving rides at Dinting.

An even more unusual locomotive was nearby, but not receiving much attention.  This was once a Steam Tram, having been built by Beyer Peacock in 1886 for use in Oldham.  When the Dinting site was eventually closed and the stock transferred to Ingrow on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, the remains of the Steam Tram were included, and it may someday receive funds for its restoration. 

Amongst the first arrivals at Dinting were an “Austerity” tank WD150 Warrington, built by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn in 1944 for the Ministry of Defence, initially at Donnington, but later rebuilt by Hunslet with a Kylpor exhaust ejector system and sold to Dinting in 1969.  WD150 is currently based at Peak Rail, Rowsley.  Another early arrival was a Barclay Tiny built in 1949 for the Bradford Road Gasworks, Manchester, which is now at Ingrow.  Both were in steam during my visit in 1971. 

The star attraction in 1971 was Bahamas , having just been repaired by Hunslet for Bahamas Locomotive Society, and in LMS livery with the number 5596.  It could be criticised for this being an incorrect livery for a locomotive which had received a double chimney in BR days, but its future looks now to be secure. 

Bahamas had been repainted in BR green and renumbered 45596 by 16 September 1989, when it was chartered by The Southport Visitor newspaper to work an excursion from Manchester.  The train is passing Burscough Bridge Junction box, having just gone under the Ormskirk to Preston line.  There were previously junctions here, with chords connecting the two lines, and restoration of these links is frequently suggested but unlikely to happen in the present economic climate. 

Llangollen news - report by George Jones

Train service resumed at Llangollen, albeit only to Berwyn, with a push and pull 3-car suburban set and the J94 68067 for half term  weekends starting 17 February and 24 February.

Blue skies greeted the train at Berwyn on Friday where a 15 minute stopover allows time to take in the views, the outward journey being under control of Driver 2 in the end compartment of the brake coach in touch by radio with the  footplate crew.

Meanwhile at Pentrefelin the railcars await return to service at some weekends in March by which time completion of engineering work west of the tunnel may allow travel to Carrog.

The 2023 timetable is now on the Llangollen Railway webpage.

Meanwhile, as of 18 February, the roof cladding was complete and only ridge titles and gutters remain to be tackled , plus the western gable cladding.


North Wales Coast home page | Archive  | Previous Notice Board