NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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14 August 2017
The view from Shrewsbury Castle as a Virgin Class 221 departs with the 15:24 to London Euston on 13 August. Picture by Richard Putley,
Duchess in action
Steam Dreams - 'Cathedral Express' on Sunday 13 August was diesel hauled from London Paddington to Cosford (for the RAF Museum), Shrewsbury and Crewe where steam pacific 46233 Duchess of Sutherland was attached for the return run. One-way steam is becoming a trend in the operation of this kind of excursion. Above, West Coast Railways 47 746 Chris Fudge 29.7.70 - 22.6.10 brings the train into Shrewsbury, photographed from the castle by Richard Putley.
42633 emerged from Crewe Heritage Centre to take over the return train from Crewe (Phil Clarke).
An impressive machine (Phil Clarke)....
... if rather smoky (Phil Clarke).
Duchess of Sutherland is seen passing through Wrenbury heading towards Shrewsbury to pick up the passengers, with West Coast Railways 47 746 Chris Fudge 29.7.70 - 22.6.10 attached to the rear of the train (Robert Meredith).
The return leg of the tour arrived with the Duchess on time at 17:30 and departed right time at 17:40 (Richard Putley).
Malgorithms (as Private Eye might say)
Above is an extract from the departure sheet at Chester station. Note 'b' means 'change at Crewe' but where are all the Arriva Trains Wales direct trains which run from North Wales to Manchester Airport? The explanation must be that the computer thinks it is slightly quicker to go to Crewe and change to a Northern train, but who would choose to have to shift all their giant suitcases over from Platform 9 at Crewe to Platform 1 when they could go direct in a comfortable Class 175? Surely the passenger should be given the choice, especially since Arriva had to overcome objections to get their trains to the Airport in the first place?
Welsh Highland Heritage Railway - with George Jones
A trip to Porthmadog allowed for a visit to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway on Thursday 10 August to see how things were progressing at the site adjacent to the mainline station.
The service train comprised three coaches and a guard's van hauled by Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST "Gertrude" which was captured backing on to the 13:15 departure after the lunch time break (above).
The loco's works plate gives the details of date: built 1918 and works number 1578.
One of the coaches in use was original Welsh Highland Railway Buffet Car after it was recovered as a split-in-half garden shed and heavily rebuilt, along with No.9, in former North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway colours, making a colourful consist.
Family groups find the short ride to Pen y Mount an attractive option in terms of time and cost, coupled with the opportunity to take in the museum and running shed with its hands on entertainment and historical summaries of the area. The Porthmadog bypass road intrudes on the journey and these days splits the line into two parts on the trip out to the Pen y Mount terminus.
Above, Gertrude at the head shunt against the classic view of Cnicht in the Moelwynion background. This is the limit of the WHHR's line where there is a connection with the WHR's mainline. Housing the ground frame is the structure originally intended to guard the Welsh Highland Railway flat crossing with the main line.
After watching the loco run round, the return train stops over at Fferm Gelert to allow half-an-hour for a look around and a ride on the miniature railway.
Inside the museum the Pecket 0-4-2T Karen remains a static exhibit, with the frames of Lady Madcap demonstrating the basis of another Hunslet ex quarry loco restoration project as described in the notice.
In the running shed the other operational steam engine, the surviving original Welsh Highland Ralway loco Russell (Hunslet 901 of 1906) was on display ...
... along with several of the large Romania-built ex-PKP diesels (Polish State Railways) of which only No.60 is operational on special events due to its high running costs.
Modern day Hunslet diesel 'EMMA' was outside ready to provide an off-peak non-steam service.
A line up of industrial Simplex rail motors illustrates aspects of narrow gauge workings and includes the ghostly Rushton & Hornsby type 48DLG restored in an all white scheme and named 'Berwyn' in recognition of its one time service at Gresford colliery, near Wrexham, from 1963 with a period at Point of Ayr 1968-1973. see pic.
The current commemoration of aspects relating to the first World War is catered for by a display of equipment, including Simplex 264, as used in the area supplying the trenches and an imaginative recreation of the Easthock District Traffic Control Office, near Ypres, which shows how the War Department supply trains were organised.
Back at the Porthmadog terminal the static tank wagon for Purple Moose Brewery is a colourful backdrop to the station scene and may offer a close encounter with a passing Arriva Trains Wales on the Cambrian line. A visit to the WHHR remains an entertaining interlude within its parameters, aided by the splendid bookshop with its many attractive new titles for sale.
On 13 August, 150 236 departs from Shrewsbury as the 16:18 to Cardiff Central via the Heart of Wales line (Richard Putley). The semaphore signal was installed in 2010 when it was decided to bring Platform 3 in to more regular use, and allows passenger trains to depart to the south, a move which was previously controlled by a ground signal, meaning only trains without passengers were allowed to pass. In practice it sees little use, and appears not to lift by quite the standard angle.
On 8 August a working from Bury (East Lancashire Railway) to Lydney is seen passing the foot crossing off Queens Drive Nantwich, with West Coast Railways 57 315 towing 31 466 and 73 001 returning the two Dean Forest Diesel Association engines from the East Lancashire Railway back to the Dean Forest Railway.
73 001, formerly E6001, built in 1962 is of historic interest as the the national rail network's first (?) 'bi-mode' traction unit - a concept which has recently become popular in Government circles as a way to avoid the expense of extending the electrification of main lines Both pictures: Robert Meredith.
On 13 August, The diverted 10:03 from Crewe to Holyhead passes Cuddington on the Mid-Cheshire line, worked by 221 106, still sporting its 'Festival No.6' vinyls. The choice of unit for this role was no coincidence! Virgin is the 'official travel partner for the fourth year running of the festival, which takes place at Portmeirion on the Cambrian Coast - home of the cult TV series 'The Prisoner' who was referred to throughout as 'Number 6' . See the Virgin website for details of the advance fares to Bangor for the Festival, which takes place this year from 7 to 10 September.
On 12 August, a Big Dog eyes up our reporter Greg Mape as 'Daisy' makes her way into Berwyn station, Llangollen Railway during the Day Out with Thomas event.
Stabled At Chester on 9 August, Network rail rebuilt Class 73s 73 952 Janis Kong and 73 951 Malcolm Brinded (Eurwyn McMahon). We believe they will be testing the electrical current in the 3rd Rail between Chester and Rock Ferry at some stage. Not the most inspired body design, one might opine.
70 on the Logs
The 11:59 6J37 Carlisle - Chirk log train has recently switched from Class 60 to Class 70 traction. 70 804 passes Chester locks on 8 August (Paul Shannon).
Heading for Chester on 9 August (Andrew Vinten).
Llanbedrog Tram survivor - report by Jim Ikin
Whilst on a day out on 11 August we happened on this horse drawn tram at Plas Glyn-y-Weddw at Llanbedrog. It is the only surviving horse-drawn tram of the Pwllheli and Llanbedrog 3’ gauge tramway, found on a farm in 1967 being used to store animal feed. The tramway was built from Pwllheli to Carreg y Defaid in 1894 by Solomon Andrews to carry stone to build the sea wall at Pwllheli. Much of the line was destroyed by a storm and rebuilt further inland at which time it also carried passengers.
The line was extended to Llanbedrog in 1898 when Solomon bought the mansion Plas Glyn-y-Weddw which can be visited to this day, just up from the beach. During a storm in 1927 the track was washed away between Carreg y Defaid and Pwllheli but the tram ran over a shorter route until the end of 1928. The carriage was completely rebuilt at Steamport, Southport in 1986.
Talyllyn and Corris scenes - by Martin Evans
Three narrow-gauge scenes from 8 August. Above, Talyllyn Railway No.7 Tom Rolt prepares to depart from Tywyn Wharf with the 11:40 service to Nant Gwernol.
Talyllyn Railway 2 Dolgoch arrives at Abergynolwyn with the 12:15 service from Tywyn Wharf.
Kerr-Stuart type loco 7 (Tattoo Class) prepares to depart Corris station with the late running 3pm service to Maesporth. [Our first-ever Corris Railway picture, we think.]
On the Gwili Railway
The Gwili Railway, which uses part of the former Aberystwyth to Carmarthen Railway, opened a new extension in July; Richard Putley visited on 8 August. Above, a view of the depot at Bronwtdd Arms station.
Rural scene at the northern terminus, Danycoed Halt. The locomotive is 71516, a War Department 0-6-0 saddle tank built in 1944 by Robert Stevensons and Hawthorns, works number 7170.
The new southern terminus at Abergwili Junction. Passengers cannot join or alight here: all journeys start from Bronwydd Arms.
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