24 July 2017
Yet another trespasser spotted on a steam train day (Picture
by Roly High).
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
[Details of events during the autumn of 2017 are welcome for
25-28 August Bala Lake
Railway Steam Gala
Friday 1 September Clwyd
Railway Circle Dave Walters 'Railway Memories' The
first half of the programme will feature images from John
Dickinson, sadly no longer with us taken from 1970’s to 1989
in North Wales and other areas. The second half features
images from Pat Webb taken from 1949/50 to the 80’s and 90’s
mostly in black and white.
1-3 September Welshpool
and Llanfair Railway Gala Weekend
15-17 September Welsh
Highland Railway Super Power Weekend
16-17 September Penrhyn Quarry
Railway Special event
Saturday 23 September Welshpool and
Llanfair Railway Diesel day
23-24 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel Weekend
Friday 6 October Clwyd
Railway Circle Les Nixon '55 Years of Railway
Photography - Part 3' A selection of railway pictures which
include genuine BR steam, a wide variety of mainly older
modern traction along with industrials, some preservation
and brief visits, worldwide, to nearly 20 countries.
6-8 October Ffestiniog
Railway Victorian Weekend
13-15 October Llangollen
Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Friday 3 November Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Snowdon Mountain Railway' A
presentation given by Mike Robertshaw Msc IEng MIED, Senior
Engineering Manager of the railway.
Saturday 18 November Steam on the Coast Steam
Dreams Cathedrals Express London Euston - Llandudno
for the Christmas Market. 46233 Duchess of
Sutherland: Crewe - Llandudno and return
Friday 1 December Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Members Night & Christmas
Celebrations' Members are invited to give a 15 minute
presentation of their choice (any format). FREE tea/coffee
& festive treats during the interval. Contact David
Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.
Friday 5 January Clwyd
Railway Circle Mike Blackburn 'The Welsh Highland
Railway (NWNGR)' A history of the North Wales narrow gauge
and Croesor Tramway and the linking to form the Welsh
Highland Railway, restoration and building of the new.
Friday 2 February Clwyd
Railway Circle John Sloane 'From Vulcan Foundry to the
Khyber' British built steam at work in Pakistan, It includes
pictures taken on the spectacular line up the Khyber Pass to
the Afghan border.
Friday 2 March
Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed
by “Film Shows - Railways Past and Present”.
Friday 6 April Clwyd
Railway Circle John Cashen 'North West & North
Wales Reminiscences In The 1960s' The presentation will
cover from Liverpool to Liverpool within an area bounded by
Southport, Burscough, Standish, Warrington, Crewe,
Whitchurch, Chester, Holyhead, Barmouth, Aberystwyth,
Shrewsbury, Wrexham, the Wirral, Chester, Northwich and
45690 Leander storming past Ffrith Crossing,
Prestatyn on 23 July. Picture by Ian Pilkington.
North Wales Coast Express
The only Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast
Express' running this summer, from Liverpool to
Holyhead and back, operated on Sunday 23 July. Locomotive
allocated was 'Jubilee' 45690 Leander. The
day before, Saturday 22 July, Kyle Holland
photographed the loco and support coach at Crewe reversing
to the Crewe heritage centre, where it was making an
appearance as part of the celebration of the 30th
anniversary since the opening of the Centre, before working
the 'NWCE' on the Sunday.
Sunday morning and the excursion approaching Huyton on the
recently-quarupled section of the Liverpool and Manchester
main line (Ian Pilkington).
Frodsham Viaduct (Phil Clarke).
Hapsford, south of Helsby (Phil Clarke).
Approaching Colwyn Bay (Greg Mape).
Approaching Llandudno Junction station through the thinner
jungle by Queen Road bridge (Brian Jones).
Entering platform 1 of Llandudno Junction station (Brian
Approaching the footbridge at The Waen, Conwy Morfa (Brian
Passing Conwy Castle (Ian Pilkington). The
third carriage is the Premier Class Pullman; always handy to
confirm in which direction the train was travelling when
Rowan Crawshaw travelled to Anglesey to capture the
train on Malltraeth viaduct.
Coming off the Cob to enter Llandudno Junction station on
the return run from Holyhead (Brian Jones).
Pensarn (Greg Mape).
Passing Abergele on the return run to Liverpool. (Brian
The return train had an interrupted passage through Rhyl.
Above, comes to a second stand, in the station, after
already being checked at the 'H' bridge because the signals
were not clear (Roly High).
On the move, only to be checked again at the starter
signal (Roly High). The 18:25 Holyhead -
Birmingham International Class 175 ahead departed Rhyl 9
minutes late at 19:52, with the next signals at Prestatyn 6
minutes normal running time away, but the special was not
allowed to depart until 20:07. Prestatyn box closes at
18:00 on Sundays and Talacre at 19:00, creating a very
long section: the train had to wait until the 175 passed
Holywell Junction before it could proceed.
Halton Curve special - by George Jones
There will be a Special 'Parliamentary' Train from Chester
to Liverpool South Parkway on Saturday 29 July. Helsby and
Frodsham lost their direct link to Liverpool in 1975, and a
direct service is expected to be restored in December 2018.
Normal fares apply on this special train so why not join
Northern and the North
Cheshire Rail Users Group for a journey over forgotten
tracks. Return via the Wirral Line or Warrington. Spend the
day in Liverpool, visit the shops, the docks and museums,
take a ferry across the Mersey.
The train will depart Chester on Saturday 29 July at 07:53,
calling at Helsby 08:02, Frodsham 08:06 and Runcorn
(Mainline) 08:17 , arriving Liverpool South Parkway 08:25.
As the work of re-instating the Halton Curve has already
commenced and all is going to plan, this is probably the
last 'Parliamentary' train to run on this line. (This
service was originally planned for 22 July but has been put
back a week because of the Open Golf Championship at Royal
Birkdale on that weekend.)
Green steam miscellany
Ivatt 2-6-0 46521 runs around at Leicester North
station on 18 July before departing with the 13:05 Great
Central Railway service to Loughborough.This loco was
'shedded' at Oswestry, and later Machynlleth, during its
British Railways days before withdrawal in 1966. I carries
an 89C (Machynlleth) shed code. Picture by Martin Evans.
Pacific 46233 Duchess of Sutherland at
Liverpool Lime Street on 22 Julty after working the Cumbrian
Mountain Express. Picture by Phil Clarke.
Brymbo Railway revival
On Saturday 29 July there will be an open day at the Brymbo
Mineral Railway, a 2ft-pgauge line which is being
established on the old steel works site, accessed from the
B5101 west of Wrexham.
It will feature the vertical boiler loco Iorwerth
built by Adam Barber. George Jone's picture shows their
display at Glyndyfrdwy station on the Llangollen line.
Details are on the Brymbo
Hertage Project's Facebook page.
A Short trip on the Heart of Wales line – Monday 3 July
by Richard Putley
Thanks to an article in the Summer 2017 issue of “Hereford
Hopvine”, the Herefordshire branch of the Campaign for Real
Ale's newsletter, I became aware that the Hear of Wales Line
Travellers' Association is planning a series of trails that
you can walk between various stations on the line.
The ultimate aim is to create a series of walks covering the
whole length of the line between Craven Arms and Llanelli.
One of the first to be set up covers the six miles between
Craven Arms and the first station at Broome and it is this
walk that the article described.
So I decided to have a go at this walk. As I wasn't sure how
long I'd take I decided to drive to Craven Arms and park at
the railway station. I arrived there in time to see 175 001
heading north on the 12:24 to Manchester Picadilly which
starts back from Fishguard!
In due course 153 320 (above) arrived from the Heart
of Wales line with the 13:01 to Shrewsbury. It returned on
the 14:33 to Swansea ...
... which I took to Broome (above). I was amazed to
see that a Buffet Trolley Service was provided!
From Broome station I walked past the very forlorn looking
Engine and Tender pub which has been closed for a number of
years. Alas it's now bereft of its sign, which I recall
depicted an early London and North Western Railway steam
loco, but alas I cannot remember what class.
The Kangaroo Inn in the neighbouring village of
Aston-on-Clun is still open but not until 6pm on Mondays so
I was unable to patronise it. The ship depicted on the sign,
the SS Kangaroo was an iron hull steam ship launched in
1859. Sadly she floundered off Anglesey 3 years later with
the loss of 13 live. What her connection with Aston-on-Clun
is no-one seems to know. I did however purchase some
refreshment at the village shop which is run by the
community and is adjacent to the village hall and green.
The walk takes you up to Hopesay Common from which you can
look down on Craven Arms. I took a picture (above) of a
3-car class 175 DMU on a northbound service. Descending past
Sibdon Castle, a 17th century manor house...
I arrived back in Craven Arms in time to see another Class
153 arrive with the 17:58 from Swansea to Crewe that runs
via the Heart of Wales line.
After some fish and chips from the chip shop by the junction
of Station Road and the main A49 road, I photographed the
northbound Cardiff - Holyhead 'WAG Express'. Despite having
clear signals it passed through the station very slowly. I
thought it was going to stop even though it's not booked to.
A Driving Trailer was on the front with 67 029 Royal
Diamond providing the motive power.
Finally I photographed 150 285 on the 18:54
departure to Swansea via the Heart of Wales line. This train
continues from Swansea to Cardiff Central. After that I
decided to call it a day and return home. A very enjoyable
day out, helped by excellent weather.
Garratt for the Vale of Rheidol
Aberystwyth’s Vale of Rheidol is pleased to announce the
arrival of NG G13 Beyer Garratt locomotive No. 60
video of the loco in action in Switzerland
Arrival of the locomotive this week signalled the completion
of 3 years of careful negotiations and an 800 mile journey
from Switzerland to Mid Wales. The move started on 12 July
including a police escort through the centre of Basel,
continuing through Germany over night arriving at Antwerp on
Friday ready to board a ferry. The locomotive arrived in
Hull at 7.00am on Saturday before continuing to Birmingham
then onto the Vale of Rheidol arriving on Monday 17th.
The locomotive is privately owned but is to be on loan to
the railway for a prolonged period of time. After some
restoration work, No.60 will be available to bolster the
operational fleet if required, offering extended service
periods for the current locomotives. Vale of Rheidol is
rightly proud of the reliability of its steam engines and No
60 will only enhance this offering new opportunities.
No 60 will not be replacing the iconic Rheidol tanks but
just spreading the load on the existing fleet. Many readers
will be aware the Vale of Rheidol has an extensive museum
collection consisting of a variety of steam locomotives from
all over the world. It is most likely No 60 will operate
some heavy summer trains and special charter trains.
Vale of Rheidol
web page will include updates and news on the
restoration progress. The first chance to see the locomotive
on display will be at the railway’s Roaring 1920’s and 30’s
weekend on 14-15 September.
Robert Gambrill, CEO Vale of Rheidol Railway writes : 'A
very big thank you is in order to firstly the guys at Schinzacher Baumschulbahn
who have helped in every way, especially Urias von Meyburg
who really has gone the extra mile to make sure everything
went to plan. Our Haulage contractors Allelys have proved
brilliant at organising and faultlessly executing the move
of the engine to the UK. I am only too aware just how tricky
this was especially with the Swiss road authorities! Finally
the team at the railway who have safely landed the engine on
the railway. All have worked really hard to see No 60
welcomed to the UK. We are now all looking forward to seeing
her climb the 1 in 40 to Devils Bridge enabling everyone to
enjoy the spectacular views from our railway. Offering yet
another excuse to come and see us if one was needed!'
Coast home page | Archive
| Previous Notice