North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 6 November 2023


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

13 November 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 advice and 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.

November 2023

Saturday 25 November Railway Touring Company 'The Christmas Cheshireman' steam hauled Bristol - Chester and return

December 2023

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

Saturday 9 December Pathfinder Tours 'The Chester Christmas Cromptons.'  WCRC Class 33 locos Eastleigh - Chester & return

January 2024

Friday 12 January. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Simon Temple on "South Asian Steam in 1982" - features India, Pakistan and Nepal.

February 2024

Friday 9 February.  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society  John Hooley. "Euston and Destinations: the Potteries
and the North West". Steam in action on passengers and freight.

March 2024

Friday 1 March (note the first Friday of the month). Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Dennis Flood. "Edge Hill Motive Power Depot". Dennis will entertain us with tales from his career on the footplate in the 1960s.

April 2014

Friday 12 April. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society David Beilby. "Transport around the World by GEC and its predecessors". A joint meeting with the Irish Railway Record Society Manchester branch.

(see  our Calendar page for meeting venues)

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

Avanti 805 007 visits Holyhead, 9 November. Picture by Jim Scott: more below.

Contributions from the actual North Wales Coast have been sparse recently; not surprising given the weather conditions and the short daylight. But there may be other reasons.  Freight traffic has dried up - why is this? - while  the loco-hauled sets are almost all working on the Manchester - Cardiff axis.  More and more passenger trains are formed of the not-very-interesting 197s ... better time ahead, perhaps? - Charlie

Class 175 news

Ivor Bufton writes: 'There were some movement of empty 175s along the coast on 9 November.  I am told 175 006 and 175 113 went Chester to Holyhead and 175 003 returned from Holyhead to Chester (see above picture); being such a miserable day I settled for some shelter at the railway station. '

Collaboration at Coton Hill - report by Graham Breakwell

On 8 November 66 792 Collaboration arrived light engine from Cardiff Tidal  dead on time at 07:02 to collect some of the steel wagons stabled at Coton Hill following the uncoupling incident last month.

After depositing the rear 4 wagons 66 792 returns with one wagon.

It then reverses to couple to the three wagons positioned in a neighbouring siding, before departing as 6Z75 to Llanwern at 13:56.

Another 805 emerges

This last week Real Time Trains showed paths for test runs between Oxley and Holyhead for the  new class 805 sets. They were scheduled for 7 to 9 November but the run on the 7th was  cancelled.  Geoff Morris went out to photograph it passing Chester Locks on the 8 November run and found brand-new 805 007  was being used.  It was still in white livery without any Avanti branding and  looked “out of the box”.  This must have been one of its first outings since  delivery from Hitachi.

Ivor Bufton captured the unit passing Prestatyn on 8 November running from the Avanti depot at Oxley to Holyhead.

A report from the cab - by driver Jim Scott

The  805 unit ran from Oxley to Holyhead on Wednesday-Friday, I was on it Thursday and Friday,  getting in at Crewe (above) taking over from another driver who didn’t sign the route, and doing tests at various stations en route, Wednesday was a straight run to Holyhead and back, I had the same unit both days, brand new 805 007, only delivered a couple of days before

Chester with a 777 unit in platform 7.

Llandudno Junction.


Friday was a similar run but it also went into the depot at Holyhead for fuel and equipment tests to check various pipes would reach etc., it was the first 805 onto the depot.

I had 20 minutes in Llandudno Jn so walked over to the other platform for some pictures.

In Holyhead depot (1).

In Holhead Depot (2).

Then we went into the station for an hour before heading back toward Crewe.

Sunset at Chester.

Cheshire Lines selection - by Greg Mape

Some Scenes on windy 13 November at the point by the A34 road where single lines from Northenden Junction go under the road. Above,  the 05:21 Small Heath to Hillhead sidings stone empties hauled by 66 737 Lesia passes at 10:13, running 48 minutes late.

A load of stone on the 08:29 Hindlow to Small Heath,  with 66 305 in charge, passes at 11:02, 30 minutes late.

09:30 Arpley sidings to Tunstead empties from Lostock works,  60 062 in its dramatic 'Steel' livery passing at 11:05, again half an hour late.

The 11:10 Manchester Piccadilly - Chester, 150 128. Let's hope that the Rail Head Treatment Train can keep this line open.

The view from Sutton Bridge Junction - with Graham Breakwell

Firstly, two images of 97 303 and 37 405 with 6C55 the Aberystwyth to Chirk Kronospan ...

... passing through Belle Vue on the approach to Sutton Bridge Junction on 11 November,

Nearby, alongside the track, the rear garden of a clearly dedicated railway enthusiast!

Some very slick work saw the lengthy train reverse into the SBJ shunt neck, 97 303 and 37 405 move onto the Coleham depot and 56 096 be attached ready to take the train on to Chirk, all in a space of just 10 minutes. The footbridge visible above 56 096 once provided the perfect viewpoint but was closed for safety reasons some 15 years ago.

And two scanned pictures from the days when the bridge was open, showing 33 026 on 25 May 1985 on a Crewe to Cardiff service ... 

...and a pair of Class 25’s about to take the Cambrian line with a train from London. 

From Dave Sallery's archive

40 012 on the crossover at Mostyn, 4 May 1984.  Returning to Llandudno Junction after bringing in sulphur hopper empties from Amlwch.

40 163 passes Old Colwyn with ballast empties, 24 May 1983. In the foreground are the early scratchings of what will become the A55  expressway.

97 408 at Holywell Jct on an up ballast, 3 July 1985.  One of a number of locos re-numbered to assist with the Crewe remodelling.  Originally D318 / 40118 it is currently being restored at Tyseley. There's a Class 47 in the down loop in background and stabled Merry-Go-Round hopper wagons on the Up side.

D228 Samaria heads south at Acton Bridge during 1968.

Looking back:  Lancashire lines Part 3 (1969) - by David Pool

After the end of steam on British Railways in August 1968 there was a ban on the movement of steam locomotives on BR lines, with the exception of Alan Pegler’s 4472 Flying Scotsman.  Not surprisingly it attracted an audience wherever it appeared, and on 1 June 1969 it was working 1Z36 08:15 Doncaster to Carlisle, returning via Newcastle.  It was photographed approaching Lostock Junction, near Bolton, running with the additional tender for water.

The Class AL6 electric locomotives were built with the intention of being able to haul either passenger or freight trains.  By 1969 they would be seen on many of the West Coast main line services, and on 19 July 1969 E3138 was working the 0755 Lime Street to Euston (The Liverpool Pullman).  At Halewood another AL6, E3198, was ready to leave Ford’s siding with the 08:10 to Dagenham.  A problem was developing with track damage arising from the unsprung mass of the axle-hung traction motors, which would later be rectified by the fitting of flexicoil springs to all the AL6 locomotives. 

Winwick Junction was very photogenic in 1969, with semaphore signals and a signal box controlling the Junction.  On 17 July D423, one of the new Class 50s built at English Electric’s Vulcan Foundry in the background of the photograph, was on freight duties with a head code 8G80, which I was unable to identify.  When the West Coast electrification was completed, the Class 50s moved to the Western Region for the remainder of their working lives, D423 becoming 50 023 Howe

We were very pleased to hear that British Railways had made an exception to the end of the steam ban by allowing the movement of three steam locomotives from Tyseley to Allerton on 26 July 1969 for an Open Day at the Depot.  Of course this was not to be missed, and on arriving at the Depot I was pleased to see the Cowans Sheldon 30 ton Breakdown Crane RS1091/30 in a siding away from the crowds.  This had previously been at Edge Hill, moving later to Chester, and eventually was scrapped at the Severn Valley Railway when it was no longer needed there.

LMS Black 5 5428 Eric Treacy was one of the visiting locomotives.  If you were one of the youngsters in the shot please let me know!  I assume that Tyseley would at that time have been discouraged from letting it retain British Railways livery after it had been withdrawn, and it arrived with an LMS support coach. 

Similarly the Jubilee 5593 Kolhapur was in LMS livery, while 7029 Clun Castle was in GWR green, a livery it would never have carried, since it had been built in 1950.  The double chimney was also a BR feature, having been fitted in 1959.  Photography had been difficult with the number of visitors, but eventually the locomotives were being made ready to leave, and I managed to get a reasonable shot with a telephoto lens. 

The three locomotives were in light steam, and dragged back to Tyseley with their support coaches by a Class 47 diesel, D1643.  I don’t remember exactly where I stood for my photograph, but my notes indicate it was Speke Junction.  D1643 became 47 059, 47 631 and finally 47 765.  I have never photographed it since, even when it attended an East Lancs Diesel Gala.  If anyone can confirm where it is now and when it might be seen again I should be grateful for the information.

The gloom of Oldham Werneth Station was not ideal for photography, but on 2 August 1969 I particularly wanted a shot of the gradient post at the top of the incline from Middleton Junction, which indicated a gradient of 1 in 27.  Although the Mersey Railway has a similar gradient on the line under the Mersey, it was one of the steepest gradients on British Railways.  The Class 104 DMU was working the 17:30 from Manchester Victoria to Oldham Mumps, which would have come via Hollinwood, the line from Middleton Junction having been closed to passenger trains in 1958 and to freight trains five years later. 

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