NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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06 july 2022
Blue Pullman at Helsby on 2 July. Picture by Stephen Dennett.
Due to Holidays the next update will be on the evening of Tuesday 12 July.
Class 230 / 197 saga continues
Friday 1 July saw an the 'unveiling' of the Class 197 train to the media at Chester Station. We were not invited, did any reader witness the event? The associated press release included a one-line note that the 197s would be working on the Wrexham - Bidston line by the end of the calendar year. Needless to say, this was taken to mean that the Class 230 units would be delayed again, or perhaps even abandoned.
The Wrexham.com website of 4 July relates an interview with Alexia Course, Director of Transport Operations at TfW, in the hope of clarification. She appears to contradict the original statement, claiming that TfW hope to have the 230s running by the end of the year, when the 'thermal incidents' are caused by an inadequate 'bit of kit' and a new version has been ordered which will solve the problem.
From this we gather that the batteries, which work with the diesel engine, have been overheating and the 'bit of kit' as failed to intervene. However, an additional problem is that “We trained all our drivers ready for May 2022 but then obviously the thermal event incident happened, It’s been too long since they did their driver training, so they have got to completely redo their driver training.”
The training was facilitated by removing two lunchtime services every from the timetable and replaced them by a bus. Will this now happen again? An will be see 197s as a stop-gap, especially since two Class 150 units are out of action after the fire at Craven Arms? Who knows?
A Greg Mape selection
60 076 with a load of biomass passes the well-preserved Cheshire Lines station at Hale.
Three trains from three companies at three bridges on 27 June along the Altrincham - Northenden Junction - Stockport/Hazel Grove line around Baguley. Above, 66 014 on Wembley to Peak Forest stone empties, picture taken on Brooks Drive Bridge ...
... 66 797 on Liverpool to Drax. Picture taken on Southmoor Road Bridge ...
... and 70 017 on Runcorn - Northenden Waste terminal. Picture taken on Butcher Lane.
68 031 was visiting the East Lancashire Railway on 29 June for the Diesel Gala, with 40 145 in tow.
The 40 was detached and the 68 waited in the platform and then went on a
The North Wales Coast (blue) Pullman
The 'North Wales Pullman' excursion of 2 July offered a very long day trip from Perth departing 06:15 (and stations south) to Llandudno and back, a journey of 334 miles each way. Above, the outbound train approaching the former Mold Junction (Bob Greenhalgh). The rolling stock was the 'Midland Pullman' set which tries to look like one of the original 'Midland Pullman' diesel sets of the 1960s by painting an HST set (itself dating from the 1970s) set to resemble the 'Nanking Blue' and white original.
In 2020 Two locos, 43 055 and 43 046 Geoff Drury 1930-1999, and a rake of Mk3 coaches, received the heritage livery. Unfortunately, not long afterwards 43 055 suffered damage to its fibreglass 'nose cone' in a shunting mishap at Crewe depot, and has recently been understudied by 43 049 Neville Hill which is in 'Inter-City Swallow' livery. 43 049 is seen on the on the rear of the outbound train passing Beeches Farm (Stephen Dennett).
Westbound at Bagillt (Russell Withington). This end of the former island platform is now a jungle, and trees are waiting to shed their leaves on the rails when autumn dawns.
Returning through Bagillt (Russell Withington). This end of the platform site is more open.
Helsby (Stephen Dennett). Stephen writes: 'I really like to travel back in time at 'Helsby Junction'. I always get a friendly greeting from the signal box.'
Trouble at Crewe
Mike Stone writes: 'Due to damage to a set of points at Crewe a couple of weeks ago trains from Chester can only arrive at platforms 6 or 9. The estimate for repair is 12 weeks. I knew platform 10 was out of use but only found out why on 29 June after having to sit on the 20:59 from Chester until the 21:36 to Holyhead left from Platform 9.'
Chester 1972 - by Barrie Hughes
Here is one of my archive shots from Easter 1972, now identified as D218 / 40 018 by web experts, passing Chester General (or just plain Chester as Chester Northgate had closed 2½ years earlier) probably on a Holyhead - Euston or Llandudno - Manchester working. That's Chester No.3A signalbox on the platform. At this time there were still four tracks between the two main platform faces.
Mold Junction shed
The buildings of former Mold Junction Motive Power Depot (6B) are in the process of demolition (picture by Bob Greenhalgh). The shed ceased to operate in 1966, and since has been used by a scrap metal merchant. This was a very large and busy depot, with its associated marshalling yard.
The shed is well commemorated by the book My Dad Had an Engine Shed, by Tony Robinson, whose father was Shedmaster. A comment on the publisher's website catches our attention: 'Who today could imagine someone in charge of over 200 men and 60-odd locomotives living in a council house and going to work on a bicycle!'
From Dave Sallery's archive
08 585 looking very lonely in the closed Freightliner depot at Holyhead, 5 May 1993. The loco was receiving attention at the wheel pit.
37 079 arriving at Mostyn with the acetic acid tanks from Saltend, Hull, 13 April 1992.
37 509 unusually hauls the flasks from Wylfa through Penmaenmawr, 12 May 1995.
Looking back: Steam and Diesels 2005 Part 2 - by David Pool
40 145 (D345) was the first Class 40 to be preserved, being acquired by the Class 40 Preservation Society in 1984. It was mainline certified in 2002, and on 4 June 2005 it was on a Pathfinder Railtour, “The Whistling Slater”, running as 1Z51 05:36 Bristol Temple Meads to Blaenau Ffestiniog and thence to Holyhead. It was photographed at Chester South Junction.
It was an exceptionally busy day for steam visitors to Chester on 4 June, and another train from Bristol Temple Meads was the “Welsh Dragon”, 1Z54 06:25 Bristol to Holyhead. This had been steam hauled from Crewe by 6233 Duchess of Sutherland, carrying a nice headboard, and was passing Mold Junction box. The original “Welsh Dragon” was the shuttle between Llandudno and Rhyl, as featured in my 1955 image of 41216 in the NWCR Noticeboard dated 20 May 2020.
A Steam Gala at Llangollen on 5 June 2005 brought a number of visiting ex GWR locomotives, including 3440 City of Truro, which had an admiring audience as it passed the loco sheds. The “Cornishman” headboard was more decorative than strictly authentic, being more appropriate for the trains from the Birmingham area to the West Country in the 1950s and 1960s. The first versions of the “Cornishman” were trains between London and Penzance at the beginning of the last century, so the famous performance of 3440 on the “Ocean Mails” special between Plymouth and Paddington in 1904 was on the route of the “Cornishman” at that time. The “Cornish Riviera Limited” then took over the role of the flagship GWR express.
Modified Hall Class 6959 7903 Foremarke Hall was another visitor to Llangollen on 5 June 2005, joining the then resident 7822 Foxcote Manor. The Modified Halls were not seen on most GWR branch lines due to their higher axle loading, but the power classification of the Halls and the Manors was the same.
6233 Duchess of Sutherland returned to the North Wales coast on 18 June 2005. I have not been able to confirm details of the route and timings, but it was approaching Promised Land Lane at Rowton in the evening, heading for Crewe. The matching maroon Mk1 coaches made a pleasing shot, even though the sun’s position was not ideal.
The 10:32 from Wrexham, the usual Class 150, had just arrived at Bidston on 20 June 2005. 150 282 was in the colourful Arriva Trains Wales advertising livery.
In 2005 there was a freight flow from Penmaenmawr, probably to Crewe, which was worked by a variety of Freightliner Class 66 locomotives. The morning train on 28 June featured the first of the “Low emission” Class 66/9 variants, 66 951, here passing Rhyl Marine Lake.
On 5 July 2005 the morning train from Penmaenmawr was hauled by the celebrity 66 522 in the unusual Freightliner/Shanks livery, passing Roodee Junction. This locomotive was apparently named East London Express while in the Shanks livery, but I have not seen any photographs of these nameplates.
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