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August 30th 2018.
A very nice picture of a 'Jumbo' 2-4-0
leaving Llandudno Junction for Chester featured on the
L&NWR Facebook page. As quickly as it appeared, the
seemed to disappear again so I can't pass on the
details of the train, engine number or photographer.
Suffice to say, this view, attached was taken before the
quadrupling from Colwyn Bay to Llandudno Junction.
The engine is pulling quite a collection of differing
four-wheel coaching stock, some with differing height step
boards to cater for stations originally
built with low platforms and unaltered.
The substantial stone walls were well capable of keeping
livestock in harness but no match for the coming railway
builders, intent on easing
the bottleneck of just two tracks to four at a time
when Llandudno was increasing in popularity as a holiday
The other feature of the pre 20th century are the telegraph
poles, with differing lengths of crossbar, said to help the
touching each other in bad weather or high winds.
This weekend the Great Central Railway is marking the 50th
anniversary of the ending of steam-hauled passenger services
on British Railways.
The drought conditions have forced Great Central to cut
back on the number of steam services, and to terminate
steam-hauled trains at Rothley.
The photo shows Britannia Class 4-6-2 Oliver Cromwell at
the head of the lunchtime dining train, approaching the
station at Quorn and Woodhouse, on its
way north to Loughborough. As the train was not stopping
at Quorn, a smart step backwards was required!
Another great rarity from Roger Carvell
is shown below.
I was sorting through some old mags and books for the charity
shop and came across a published pic taken by Derek Cross in
August 1960, showing
a Derby-built dmu meeting an up short freight, consisting of
fish vans! It is running under express headlamps code too.
Now I come to the point I have missed years ago when I first
saw this picture published.
The Ivatt 2-6-0 is 46447 that came to the Junction for
the summer of 1960 before moving further west to Bangor. Later
it moved to Nuneaton and then
to Spring's Branch, Wigan before withdrawal in 1966.
After withdrawal it went to Barry for eventual scrapping which
never happened and for many years it was one of preservation's
locos, mouldering away, minus many parts, at Quainton Road,
the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, north of Aylesbury, on the
remaining stub of the Great Central Main Line.
Nobody seemed to notice 46447 much until the start of this
decade when, like a fairy waving a magic wand, restoration
happened very quickly!
46447 went to the East Somerset Railway for a major rebuild in
2012 and by 2014 it was steamed at Cranmore, where I
understand it was on loan before going
to the Isle of Wight, to be the island's first ever
So here is 46447, in an earlier phase of its BR life,
approaching Llandudno Junction with a 'train set' goods in the
summer of 1960.
Derek Cross was waiting for it, in a small hotel, near
Spent a great day with my grandson Jack following LMS Jubilee
Class 6P 4-6-0 No. 45690 "Leander" pulling the North Wales
Coast Express yesterday.
We started off in Colwyn Bay then caught her at Robert
Stephenson's Britannia Bridge. We then followed her to watch
her turn at Valley before
getting another superb view at Llanfair PG station with the
homeward leg. We then dashed back to Colwyn Bay to finally see
her at Mochdre.
The shot below shows the " Jub" passing one of the limestone
lions as the train crossed the Britannia Bridge with the
outward leg en route to Holyhead.
Although the train was the North Wales Coast Express for some
reason the tour operator displayed an Irish Mail headboard on
This shot, by Jack Poole, shows the engine backing onto the
main line after turning on the triangle at Valley before
returning to Holyhead
for the return journey of the NWCE.
Two shots of 60103 on today's Ealing
Broadway - York special by Martin Hearne are shown below.
The Scotsman was at the head of a charter special from Ealing
Broadway to York this morning.
Departure from Ealing was at 06.10, so definitely one
for early risers (or insomniacs!). I would guess the speed was
at least 60 mph.
She is just coming off the curve north of Syston, approaching
Sileby at speed, a fine sight on a perfect summer’s morning.
Three rare shots of 6G in the 1930's are
shown below, sent in by Roger Carvell.
The first view
shows Francis Webb's very first design, the '17in Coal Engine',
a numerous type of goods engine introduced in 1878.
This view, by a photographer uncredited, shows 8158 which lasted
an incredibly long time, being built in February 1878 and not
withdrawn until October 1949
at Shrewsbury. Despite nationalisation, it never gained its BR
number (a few others did) of 58334.
At the time of this 1937 photo, Bangor-allocated 8158 was
already 71 years old. Its only visible concession to modernity
was LMS type
buffers and Ross Pop safety valves, but it still had another 12
years to go! A remarkable career for an engine designed at Crewe
to be as
cheap as possible to build.
From the camera of W. (Bill) Potter, 'Webb 'Cauliflower', 8485
is being turned on the Llandudno Junction turntable
in August 1937, the fireman, left, controlling the table.
No.8485 was built at Crewe in May 1899 as LNWR No 378, becoming
8485 in September 1925. In May 1944 it became 28485 to avoid
clashing with the newer Stanier 2-8-0s being delivered to the
LMS, from '8000' upwards.
The 'Cauliflower' nickname came from their LNWR livery, lined
out, and showing the company crest on the centre wheel splasher.
From a distance the crest did indeed look like a
Despite their typical Victorian humble goods locomotive
appearance, these engines were considered not only to be express
goods engines, but also
passenger locomotives, hence their full lining out and vacuum
8485 never reached nationalisation in 1948, being withdrawn by
the LMS in May 1944.
Below is the third photo of an elderly Webb 0-6-0 at Llandudno
Junction, possibly in 1937.
It has not been possible to identify this engine, due to the
grime but in Dec 1937 '7A', as it was known then, had six 18in
Goods engines, 8337, 8385,
8401, 8503, 8521 and 8616 on its books.
This engine now sports a Belpaire firebox, an LMS
alteration, but otherwise little is changed
from the beginning of the 20th Century.
Other LNWR engines can be seen in the background but the new
Stanier order is beginning to establish
itself with Black Five tender visible, '7A' having thirteen
An interesting feature is the elliptical raising of the running
plate over the 5ft 2in driving wheels, not really for style but
the driver to easily oil the crank pins when the coupling rod is
at top dead centre, or tdc! An early example of unintentional
The photo is credited to the S.V Blencowe Collection.
Roger Carvell had a productive win on Ebay
recently as he acquired this rare shot shown below.
Some weeks ago a negative
of 6G's 44739 appeared on eBay. It was a modest starting price so I
banged in for it, and then left it to tick over until midweek when I
checked any rival bids. Nowt! So satisfied, I left it. Come the
following Sunday we stopped by with some family friends in St Albans for
afternoon tea and buns- plus something a little stronger. While the fun was
ongoing my mobile phone bleeped. Daughter Leah piped up, 'Dad, that's
your eBay'' (keeping up with the 21st Century again). 'Right, better make sure my
bid is ok' It wasn't! Two rival bidders were at work, and I recognised the partly
obscured user names.
A right pair! These
two, between them, had cleaned
out a large collection of very good negatives, on eBay,taken in Chester during the 1950s
and sold by the daughter of the deceased father who lived in Saughall.
The collection had been
interesting negs and photos (unpublished) because they featured the
CLC route into Chester Northgate and showed ER B1s,
B17s, GN K3s, Directors, and other Great Central lovelies, not often seen in Chester. Well,
these two, between them, got the lot- must have spent a fortune. One neg went for
nearly £90! That was the B17 Sandringham, buffered up and ready to
leave for eastern England with a horsebox special, in connection with
the 1953 Chester races. A B17 at Chester- rare!!
Well, back in St Albans, the
wine was doing its work, so I rashly launched a counter bid,
determined that neither of these two were going to get 44739. At the
very last second I beat them, cost me a packet! But hey, here it is,
photographer unknown. Victory at last!
Caprotti Black Five 44739
stands at the south end of Llandudno Jct shed in August 1962. 44739 was built in June 1948
and it, 44738 and 44740 were allocated there from new. A Caprotti threesome that
stayed loyal to '6G' for many years until the mid 1960s. 44739 was reallocated to '8C'
Speke Junction in Nov 1963 and was withdrawn in January 1965 and broken up by May
that year, presumably at Crewe Works.
No final cutting place is known so
far. Not the most pleasing looking of Black Fives and it took Robert Riddles to design
the neater Caprotti BR Standard Class Five with drop plate fronts
and high running plates to conceal the bulging steam pipes.
Alongside 44739 is
long-serving 'Junction' Fowler 4F, 44525, which eventually became the very
last working 4F, the last of a long, line of Derby designed Midland
Railway, freight engines.44525 ended its days as a works shunter at
Crewe and I saw it there in 1966, among the discarded
boilers of withdrawn engines.
Although not really local I thought this shot by Dave Wood
should be included, showing that we are really entering spring
at last after a long hard winter.
This is A1 'Tornado' 60163 at Summerseat crossing on the ELR
with the 10.23 train to Bury yesterday morning.
bargain purchased by Roger Carvell is shown below.
Webb 5ft 6in 2-4-2T 6669 stands outside the Llandudno
Junction carriage sheds
on August 24, 1937 with an ecs train. The fireman takes a breather. The engine is in as
built condition, Crewe 1894, but resplendent in fine, lined red, LMS livery. 6669 was
allocated to Denbigh at the time but I
suspect 6669 had recently visited Crewe for overhaul to judge from its beautiful
Junction, as a 'parent' shed, was responsible for 6669's
maintenance. The LMS six-wheel coach is of
comment - they would be increasingly rare, even by 1937- on excursion,
main line, work.
The coach, in LMS
livery, is a nice example of an ex Midland Railway six-wheeler, perhaps of Clayton design at Derby. The door drop lights are down,
and it must have have been fun for the occupants sampling the sea air en
route! Webb 2-4-2T 6669 managed to
reach nationalisation and spent its last days at Warrington in 1949.
Before that it had been stationed in the Warwick area, just after the second
world war and reportedly in poor condition, with holes in its chimney. (Photographer unknown)
A great snow shot by
Martin Hearne is shown below.
While much of the rail network has been creaking under
the Siberian blast, there was no stopping Britannia Class 4-6-2
The locomotive is seen at Sileby, at the head of The
Yorkshireman, this morning.
The 67-year-old locomotive was running about 5 minutes
behind schedule, and under full power creating a majestic visual
and aural spectacle.
A superb rare 'find' by
Roger Carvell is shown below.
A nice head-on of an LMS Jubilee at '7A'.
On May 21st 1936,
yet-to-be-named Jubilee 4-6-0, 5679 in LMS crimson lake
livery takes a rake of
pre-grouping carriages off the North Wales main
line and onto the Llandudno branch. This is a view
taken from the then signalbox which guarded the level crossing on the main road
5679 was later named 'Armada' in
the famous British admirals and naval battles series of Jubilees, stretching from 5639
'Raleigh' to 5686 'St Vincent'.
Thinking about it,
'Armada' seems a curious choice of name as it originates from the Spanish or Portuguese word
'Armada', meaning a fleet of armed ships. Perhaps Euston thought 'Spanish
Armada' was a bit un-pc, and with no wish to upset 1930s revolutionary
Spain; the naming committee settled on 'Armada'.
It might have been simpler to say 'Fleet' or 'Home Fleet' as that part of the Royal Navy,
guarding our close shores, did. But then, everyone who went to school remembered being
taught about the victorious defeat of the Spanish Armada, off our
shores by Sir Walter Raleigh.
The word 'Armada' is still used
by the Spanish Navy, especially on their naval aircraft, emblazoned in
5679 'Armada' later became
numbered 45679 and was an early Jubilee withdrawal after Christmas 1962; it
was taken out of service that year and scrapped = presumably at
Crewe - some months later in 1963.
records it was never shedded in North Wales.
Below is a photo of Lion at 7A in 1938, during the
filming of LMS loco power development, with the Precursor and
Coronation Pacific. This view surfaced on a Facebook
group site. No idea who the photographer is, but lovely
lighting. There's a Fowler 2-6-2T and
a Black Five behind. Busy place in those days.
LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 No. 60163 "Tornado" - London Euston -
Chester (Chester Christmas Cracker)
BR Britannia Class 7MT 4-6-0 No. 70013 "Oliver Cromwell"
Bristol Temple Meads - Chester (Christmas Cheshireman)
It's not very often that you get the chance to see two main
line engines together at a main line station, but that's
exactly what was on offer today.
Along with several hundred photographers and enthusiasts, who
took over Chester station for the day, my grandson Jack and
myself spent all afternoon watching these two
engines arriving , shunting and then leaving for home.
Below is a shot of Tornado arriving from Euston with the
Below is a shot of Cromwell arriving from Bristol Temple Meads
with the outward leg.
This shot shows some of the hundreds of photographers
clamouring for a good shot.
The two shots below were the only ones that I caught showing
the two engines together.
The A1 and support coach move away from the coaches in order
to reverse and fill up with coal while Cromwell takes
water provided by the local fire brigade (just out of
This shot, as well as showing the two engines together,
highlights the interest that was created by their visit to
Chester showing some of
the crowds of photographers and enthusiasts who seemed
to take over the station for the day. Most people were getting
worried here seeing the activity of the "Hi - Vis" vested
officials gathered around Cromwell as a rumour spread that the
engine had problems with the motion and had failed, but
thankfully the rumour was unfounded.
Roger Carvell has sent in this shot of 14XX Class No. 1450 at
the event shown below.
Saturday 25th November 2017 and Sunday 26th November 2017.
MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION
Visit the UK's Premier Model Railway Event, made extra
special this year by celebrating Warley’s Golden Jubilee show
and Silver Jubilee show at the NEC.
Over 90 layouts in gauges Z to 3 and above.
Over 150 trade stands.
Preservation and Specialist Societies.
Full size centrepiece locomotive display - 14xx class 1450
from the Severn Valley Railway
A Decauville replica narrow gauge loco.
See all the new releases from the leading model railway
A must for every railway enthusiast and a fantastic family
day out for all.
Come early, take the whole day and see the all the
at your leisure at the largest single hall model railway
exhibition in Europe. P.S. Sunday is always a
little bit quieter!
At the NEC it was nice to see 'Fiji', the Hudswell Clark 0-6-0T,
built for far east export in 1912 and brought home in 2004 for a
major rebuild at
Statfold Barn Railway, near Wolverhampton. I read that it
has worked on the FR and WHR in more recent times. I was
surprised that 'Fiji's' length didn't
require a supporting pony or trailing truck. Two photos below
show the engine described. ROGER CARVELL
sent in the shot below of Stanier Mogul 2-6-0 5F 2968 passing
Conwy with an undated down express to Holyhead.
Roger's aunt lived in Penmaen Road, Conwy, which is in the
This was the first
main line engine designed by William Stanier since leaving the
GWR. Only 40 were built as they were superseded by the superb
was introduced in January 1934 at Crewe and initially numbered
13268 but renumbered late 1934 as 2968 and then again in 1948 as
tells me that the Stanier Mogul made just one trip down the
coast while on a main line ticket.
On October 19th 1997 the engine pulled the 'Ynys Mon
Express' from Crewe to Holyhead and return.
That would tie in with the design of cars in the
background so could be the date of this photo by an unknown
'2968' appears to
have done 20 main line excursions, including specials on the
Metropolitan Line, with Amersham to Watford shuttles in 1998.
Thereafter the engine remained on the SVR until 2013.
42968 is now under a heavy overhaul again and will eventually
emerge with her first LMS number, '13268', as built in 1934.
As '42968' the
engine, (always an LM Western Lines locomotive) was based at
Mold Junction from July 1963 until June 1964, then moving to
Springs Branch, Wigan. Withdrawal came at year end, 1966.
The Jubilee was a fine replacement and I watched the train at
several locations and some of the estimated speeds were
The first photo shows the Jubilee approaching Tan y Bryn bridge
I have seen several steam locomotives at this location but
Galatea was powering through and I estimate her speed to be well
in excess of the normal 70 mph.
The two shots below show the engine turning on the Valley
triangle. The train was right time at all of the locations I
witnessed in North Wales.
A superb replacement for the "Duchess" and most watchers I spoke
Webb 2-4-2T 6666 stands at Llandudno Junction, undated,
while involved in pilot
duties. It looks well kept, for its age, even then, and looks in largely as delivered
condition from Crewe Works in June 1893. (Photographer unknown)
It is equipped for
pull and push working (in LMS parlance). Its original L&NWR number was
2146, before becoming LMS 6666 and then under BR, 46666 in 1948.
It was allocated to Rhyl (7D) in
December 1937 as the depot's sole 5ft 6in tank but by 1948, 6666 had
moved south and was stationed at Northampton (2C).
Withdrawal came in June 1954 after a lengthy 61 years in service, not a bad
investment way back in 1893.
The locomotive was hauling today's
National Railway Museum special, from Ealing Broadway to York.
Fortunately the heavy rain that had fallen earlier in the
morning had cleared away.
I would guess the speed was about 30-35 mph, and the
regulator was eased back approaching the station.
“92 Squadron” No. 34081, is taking
refreshments before going through the passing loop at
Loughborough Great Central Station and setting back on to the
4pm passenger train to Quorn and Woodhouse, Rothley and
This was during the Great Central Autumn Gala a couple of
weeks ago. Now that you mention it, she did slip her wheels a
bit leaving Loughborough!
Roger Carvell was a lucky bidder on EBAY recently when he won
an auction for the rare photo below.
Five 45257 of Chester (6A) has arrived at Llandudno Junction in 1964
with a secondary passenger train.
The photographer must have been up very early because
the sun is behind him, the shadow
of adjacent running in board falling across the platform.
was a Stoke (5D) engine for most of its career with forays away from time
to time. It had a short spell of one week at Llandudno
Junction in June 1963 before moving back to Stoke and then
west once more in June 1964 to Chester for three
months before returning to Stoke
again to finish its working life in October 1965.
February 1966 it was on the scrap heap at Cashmores, Great
The engine displays the lowered top lamp position to stop
firemen getting too near the 25kV.
Saturday 23 September 2017, LNER A4 Class
4-6-2 no 60009 Union of South Africa.
Martin Hearne sent in this nice
view of the above train at Sileby.
The A4 was hauling a steam special
from London Victoria to York yesterday. The train came across to
the Midland Main Line from Melton Mowbray, joining at Syston
I would guess the speed was 50-60 mph at Sileby. There was
a Class 47 at the rear, which I believe was due to haul the
train back from York.
Roger Carvell travelled to the West Somerset Railway (WSR)
this month and sends this report of his visit.
Attached are a
handful I took at Minehead on August 12th.
I was amazed to see BOTH SDJR 2-8-0s in steam at
the same time, both in late BR livery. It is
still a mystery why this design wasn't adopted by the LMS as a
standard heavy goods locomotive although one was tested on
the Midland main line in
1918, hauling coal trains. Restricted clearances on the Midland were one
reason while the Derby standard, undersized axle boxes, led to
overheating on longer
runs, problems that could be overcome.
We had to wait for Sir William Stanier's
magnificent-and modern- Class 8F 2-8-0 design in 1935.
August 12, 53809 sets off for Bishop's Lydeard with a rake
of chocolate and cream MK1s, standard livery on the WSR
while sister 53808 simmers quietly
at Minehead. The tender is a curious hybrid- a Deeley
tender chassis married to a shorter Fowler
Minehead was a steam special from Paddington, hauled as far as Bishop's
Lydeard by 'A4' 60009 Union of South Africa.
It didn't reach Minehead - well I
didn't see it - but preserved Brush Type 4 D1661 North Star was
there to head the train back along the
West Somerset Railway and on to Paddington.
It was a glorious day at the seaside and this pic of D1661
could have been taken in the 1960's!
non-steamer is GWR 2-6-2T 4110, awaiting its turn for a rebuild,
not having ever steamed since leaving Barry Docks.
The side tanks look badly corroded as you would expect
but the bunker area looks fine and the
boiler and chassis appear sound.
An interesting piece of nostalgia by Roger Carvell.
stands silent at the buffers of Platform Five, Llandudno, awaiting
release, when required, by the train crew, c1980.
No doubt this was an inter-regional summer working, for
NER Class 40s were common on the
North Wales Coast in the 1960s and 70s.
Electric Type 4 (Class 40),40155 was built as D355 by English
Electric at Vulcan Foundry and delivered new to York on
August 16, 1961.
It was always a North Eastern Region locomotive, moving to
Healey Mills (Wakefield) on October 8, 1966.
then on, 40155, as it had now become, alternated between Healey
Mills and Gateshead (Newcastle) depots until withdrawn as
requirements' on January 22nd, 1985.
40155 met its end at Crewe Works after storage, being cut up by
1988. The locomotive shows the neater finish of later build
Class 40s; gone are the
combined folding white disc and lamp headcodes and unused nose
doors, features always likely to collect dirt.
backlit headcode panel was installed. When signallers were no
longer required to see train headcodes from power signal boxes,
headcodes were abandoned, and wound round to a sullen
'0000', before later been given the neat 'domino'
treatment as seen
here but still retaining the back lights.
Roger Carvell paid a visit to the Swanage Railway last month and
here are two shots from him.
Here is 80104 (ex-Barry) masquerading as 80146,
at wonderful Swanage, departing with the last down
train of the day to Norden on July 20th 2017.
Battle of Britain Pacific 34070 'Manston'
stands over the inspection pit. It wasn't used that
On the following Monday, before public
service, these locomotives had a collision not far
from where I was standing.
It is now subject to a RAIB report, but damage
was minimal and no one was injured
I took a
trip to Corfe Castle behind 80104 which was one of
the ex-Cambrian lines tankies, based at Machynlleth until
then after a couple of months at Croes Newydd.
This engine was one of a batch that
was displaced to Mid-Wales from East London after the
Tilbury line went
full electric in 1962.
I can't find an allocation for 80104 on the North Wales
Llandudno Junction didn't have any 2-6-4Ts at all
although Bangor did.
A diesel service, presently using hired-in
WCRC 37517 and the stunning LT red 4TC set, runs
Wareham for connections into South West Train
services to and from Bournemouth.
WCRC 37518 arrives at Corfe Castle on July 21st
2017- a real tourist hot spot!
An early morning shot by Ieuan Wood of the Jubilee at
Leech Lane footbridge, which is between Lea Green and St
This shot, by Jack Poole, shows the Jubilee preparing to couple
- up with the ECS at Holyhead to shunt them into a sidings to
await the return trip.
Leander ran light engine to Valley, shortly after this movement,
for turning on the triangle before returning to Holyhead to
complete the run home.
Photographer Jack Poole becomes "driver" Jack Poole in this
footplate shot at Holyhead.
Grandson Jack and myself spent a great day on this train
starting at Warrington Bank Quay.
Martin Hearne sends in this shot of "Scotsman" at Sileby
Leicestershire on July 1st 2017.
girl was running under light steam at about 30-40 mph, hauling a
special from King’s Cross to York, with about 12 coaches behind
The train came across to the Midland Main Line from Melton
The photo below shows the old
Llandudno Junction level crossing in 1966, prior to it's closure
and the building of the flyover which now carries the A547 to
And below that, a photo taken from a similar position showing
what the site looks like today (May 2017).
The crossing was situated somewhere behind the white van and
under the new flyover.
On this modern view the road bending away to the right was the
old A546 to Llandudno and is now used as a
service road for the cottages, retail and factory units that now
exist and is named Glan Y Mor Road.
GWR Castle Class
4-6-0 no 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe.
The first photo shows the Castle approaching Colwyn Bay,
with the outward leg at Llanddulas, after running through
This shot below shows the Castle at Beeston with the outward
Here the Castle is seen returning from Valley with support
coach, after turning, passing Conwy Castle en route to
Llandudno Junction to
pull the train home to Nuneaton after the passengers spent the
afternoon in Blaenau Ffestiniog on the portion pulled by the