North Wales Coast Railway Notice Board 08 July 2024


Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

  08 July 2024

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, society and tour operator details.

Sunday 14 July - The North Wales Coast Express. Liverpool Lime Street to Holyhead (via Warrington Bank Quay). Railway Touring Company, WCRC Steam TBC.

Tuesday 16 July Midland Pullman  Holyhead - Paignton

Wednesday 17 July Statesman Chester-le-Street - Blaenau Ffestiniog

Saturday 20 July Northern Belle Hull to Llandudno Junction with off train options to Llandudno, Bodnant Gardens and the Penderryn Distillery.

20-21 July Talyllyn Railway Awdry Extravaganza

Saturday 27 July    Midland Pullman    Crewe -  Paignton      

August 2024

3-4 August Llangollen Railway 1960s Weekend

Saturday 3 August - Rail Excursion to the City of Chester. Newcastle to Chester (via York). Bishop Trains. HST to be confirmed.

Wednesday 14 August    Statesman    Telford Central - Carlisle
pickups Shrewsbury, Gobowen, Chirk, Wrexham General, Chester, Frodsham, Warrington BQ

24-26 August Bala Lake Railway August Steam Gala

24-25 August   Model Railway Exhibition  in Machynlleth in support of the Corris Railway

30 August - 1 September - Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway -  Steam Gala with model railway exhibition

September 2024

Wednesday 4 September  Statesman High Wycombe -     Blaenau Ffestiniog

Thursday 5 September Pathfinder Tours The Cambrian Coast Express Bristol - Pwllheli

Friday 6 September Clwyd Railway Circle The Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen Railway in the Vale of Clwyd -  Fiona Gale

12 September   Pathfinder  Cambrian Coast Express Swindon   - Pwllheli

14-15 September Welsh Highland Railway Super Power Weekend celebrating the successful restoration of the NG15 locomotive.

Sunday 15 September Steam Dreams 'Welsh Dragon' steam-hauled London Paddington - Shrewsbury, then diesel through to Pwllheli.  For more on this and this and the next two entries see the Steam Dreams website.
Wednesday 18 September  Steam Dreams 'Welsh Dragon' steam hauled Bangor - Crewe, then diesel to Cardiff via the Heart of Wales line
Thursday 19 September - Steam Dreams 'Welsh Dragon'  steam hauled Cardiff to London Paddington via Gloucester and the Golden Valley line

Saturday 21 September - Northern Belle    Telford - Carlisle pickups Shrewsbury,  Wrexham General, Chester.

21-22 September Bala Model Railway Show Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn Secondary School, Ffrydan Road, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7RU. 10:00 - 16:00 (Bus link to Bala Lake Railway station)

Opening times: 10.00-16.00 on both Saturday and Sunday.10.00-16.00 on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday 28 September UK Railtours London - Chester 'Our tour takes an interesting route from London to Chester and Llandudno Junction where we plan to access the Glan Conwy freight sidings.'

October 2024

Friday 4 October Clwyd Railway Circle Wrexham’s Second Railway Mania -  David Parry

4-6 October  Ffestiniog Railway Bygoneds weekend

5-6 October Llangollen Railway Heritage Railcar Weekend

November 2024

Friday 1 November Clwyd Railway Circle  Chinese Steam in 2001 and 2003  - Phil Thomas

December 2024

Tuesday 10 December  Midland Pullman from Holyhead to Edinburgh Waverley - Edinburgh Christmas Pullman

14-15 December Manchester Model Railway Society -  The Christmas Model Railway Show. The Sugden Centre, Sidney Street, Manchester

North Wales Coast Railway website created and compiled by Charlie Hulme

44871 passing Rhyl returning from Llandudno on 6 July 83 minutes late- see below.  Picture by Ivor Bufton.


Our first image of a class 197 (197 003 which is ERTMS fitted? )on  the Cambrian line. Scheduled as 3Q53, the 10:17 from Crewe South Yard to Dovey Junction Down Loop on Tuesday 2 July.  The run was terminated short at Crewe Bank, Shrewsbury and returned to Crewe. It ran again on Wednesday 3 July this attempt making it to Dovey Junction and back to Shrewsbury with the plan being to make another run down as far as Newtown but instead it returned to Crewe (Graham Breakwell)

An unusal visitor to Coleham depot on 3 July: 67 023.  It wears Colas colours, but we understand that it has been sold (or leased) to GBRf for use on the Highland sleepers (Graham Breakwell).

Looking rather weather-worn. 37 421 resting at Bangor on 3 July with a Ultrasonic test train (Logan Humphreys).

Cambrian Heritage - report by Gareth Thomas

The Llynclys site was open on 6 July  so I decided to venture down in the morning. Guards van rides to the end of the line were on offer and I took a couple of rides.   Attached is a picture on leaving Llynclys. The recently-artived carriage from a Merseyside electric class 503 set is just visible; it's hiding behind other stock ...

... but here's one taken by Chris Magner on 27 June. There's a lot of work to be done. Apparently 507 001, the first of the next generation, is to be stored at Nant Mawr, the Cambrian Heritage Railways' other site.

The terminus at Penygarreg Halt.  The diesel is Telemon, a recent swap from the Oswestry end of the line.

Peak in action

On Thursday 4 July , 45 118 The Royal Artilleryman which is now operated by LSL, made a loaded test run around the Coton Hill circuit prior to its use on a railtour later in the month. It was hauling 10 coaches from the Statesman tour rake with 57 311, sporting its new L&NWR black livery,  at the rear.  Picture by Logan Humphreys.

Two views from the racecourse (Geoff Morris)

[When I saw the number on the email header I was expecting yet another 'Black 5'! Thats one reason why I always insert the space after the class number - Charlie]

Taken by Greg Mape on an earlier run on 4 July.

Balderton Crossing, 4 July (Bob Greenhalgh)

Steam Scene

The London - Llandudno excursion on 6 July ran well outward did not according to plan, but there was a problem on the return. Bob Greenhalgh captured 44871 on the rear of the train passing Saltney; 47 812 was on the front.

 Above,  47 812 (leading to Llandudno after a reversal at Chester) passing Prestatyn during a heavy shower (Ivor Bufton).  The train had been hauled by 86 259 Les Ross  to Crewe and steam 44 871 to Chester.

47 812 at Llandudno Junction, having arrived with the tour from London (Garry Stroud).  It arrived in Llandudno fine (though with diesel 47 812 leading rather than the steam loco which was expected to run tender first),

Smoky departure (Logan Humphreys)

A points failure between Llandudno Junction and Llandudno led to disruption in the early afternoon. As a result, the steam loco and its support coach which was at Llandudno Junction for water in the engineers' siding - picture by Logan Humphreys  - were unable to return to Llandudno to lead the train back to Crewe. Did the steam loco come light from Llandudno or come off at Llandudno Junction though we're guessing the latter.

In the end 47812 ran around the stock at Llandudno and having waited some time in the platform then Cae Mawr sidings for service trains to come and go left Llandudno some 59 minutes late. This increased to 81 minutes late with the steam loco now leading from Llandudno Junction. Arrival at Crewe was 94 minutes late, reducing to 29 minutes on arrival at London Euston by electric loco 86259 , which took full advantage of the available recovery time.

Deganwy on return (Gary Thomas).

Steaming past Pensarn (Gary Thomas).

Millennium memories - images by Tim Rogers

All captured at Bagillt on 29 June 2000.

150 222
  and 158 755: 1D35 09:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno

47 805
:  1A46 09:19 Holyhead to London Euston

150 139:  1D65 10:19 Crewe to Bangor

37 428: 1K61 09:50 Holyhead to Birmingham New Street

43 084 County of Derbyshire and 43069: 1D87 08:59 Milton Keynes to Holyhead

158 754: 1H38 10:43 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly

150 215: 1D38 10:17 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno

60 076: 6K22 11:00 MTWO Penmaenmawr to Crewe. Loaded JNAs

37 429 Eisteddfod Genedlaethol: 1D67 10:07 Birmingham New Street to Holyhead.

From Dave Sallery's archive

31 301 with an engineers' train past Prestatyn, 26 November 1992.

40 022 with the afternoon Speedlink to Warrington in Llandudno Junction yard, 24 October 1983.

Note the hand-painted nameplate Laconia, applied using stencils, by an enthusiast who regretted the loss of the 'ocean-liner' names applied to a number of members of the class in their early days.  He would do his work at Penmaemawr Quarry sidings while the loco was stabled between jobs. The full story was  revealed in the January 2024 issue of Railway Magazine.

47 270 is on test with 33 005 as train loco, leaving Rhyl on 29 May 1985.

56 135, the final 56 to be built, is on test with 47 465 at Prestatyn, 15 November 1984. 56 135 was the only one to appear in Railfreight grey from new; it had a relatively short live, being scrapped in 2013.

Looking Back: Southport Part 2 - by David Pool

The Granada Telethons were charity fundraising programmes hosted by ITV in 1988, 1990 and 1992.  Various events were held in association with the Telethons, and the Granada Telethon Pullman was a train which ran on 19 July 1992, starting at Lime Street at 09:00 and ending at Manchester Victoria at 22:05.  The route covered much of the North West, including Southport, Blackpool, Morecambe, Blackburn and Rochdale, and the motive power was provided by two Class 31/4s in Regional Railways livery.  The 1992 Telethon is reported as having raised over £15 million for charities.

The Pullman arrived at Southport behind 31 410 Granada Telethon, with 31 439 waiting to take over the next leg of the journey.  The Excursion platform and track is getting overgrown, but the Steamport Museum is still open.  On the skyline the distinctive Gasholder (84.5m tall) is still standing, although it was demolished in 2009 after a life of only 40 years. 

The footbridge near St Lukes Station (closed in 1968) has been repainted, but the track to Steamport is still visible as 31 439 heads back towards Wigan, with 31 410 now on the rear. 

Steve McColl was the head of BR’s Inter CIty Special Trains Unit, and previously manager of Lime Street Station.  In 1995 he organised two steam hauled trains between Liverpool and Southport, featuring Dr Peter Beet’s 46441.  On 19 March the outward journey was via Wigan, returning on the electrified line through Bootle.  The train had just arrived at Southport, and the locomotive was moving to the rear, setting back the coaches into Chapel Street Station. This was probably the only occasion an Ivatt Class 2P had carried a Merseyside Express headboard!  

Without any turning facilities at Southport in 1995, 46441 was running tender first through Hillside for the return journey, the headboard on this leg being The Flying Gerbil.  Note the high intensity light on the tender – can anybody explain the purpose of the adjacent tall red box?  

The next four shots were all taken from the long footbridge overlooking Chapel Street Station.  The development of the Steamport site into the Shopping Park is apparent.   On 19 June 2013 2Z02 was the 10:03 Carlisle to Manchester (Piccadilly), comprising DRS 37 419 Carl Haviland and 975025 Inspection Saloon Caroline.  It reversed in the Station and returned via Wigan.

In 2014 UK Railtours visited Southport from Euston on 18 September with “The Natterjack” – the rare toad to be found in sandhills near Southport.   67 017 Arrow had come on at Wigan South Junction for the leg to Southport, having been on the rear since Euston, behind 90 029, which was replaced by 60 065 at Warrington. 

The passengers were no doubt glad to be able to stretch their legs at Southport, but photographing 60 065 was proving difficult for them.  It would be a long walk from Chapel Street to the footbridge, but the train was on time and they had three hours to explore Southport.  I didn’t wait for the departure! 

Nothing much had changed at Southport in the next seven years in respect of the platforms or track layout, but the purpose of my visit on 27 May 2021 was to see the new Class 769/4 Bi-mode Multiple Units in the Northern fleet, converted from Class 319s.  769 456 was working the 14:15 Southport to Alderley Edge.  This had been 319 456, one of the first two units to be converted.   Other operators of Class 769 units have been Transport for Wales and Great Western, but these have now been withdrawn and returned to their owners Porterbrook .  There is a possibility that two of the GW units may be converted for freight use. 

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