Steam Collections





April 30th 2019.

Nicely restored BR Standard 5MT 4-6-0 73156 slowly approaches its train for the run back to Loughborough, on the
Great Central Railway, on April 24th 2019. This is the scene at Leicester North.

 Mid-week running puts a lot of demands on volunteers and staff but a great turn out even if loadings, for this last run of the day, were light.

 73156 actually started its life on the old Great Central main line at Neasden depot in 1957. Ten years later, after several shed
 transfers I found - and copped 73156 - at Bolton shed, its last allocation, on Oct 26, 1967.
 I cannot find any reference to it in my logs to seeing it along the North Wales coast.

 Despite Patricroft having a big allocation of BR Standards, 73156 never went there. By Dec 1967, the engine was withdrawn and joined a
 line of other condemned engines earmarked for South Wales breakers.

Luckily 73156 went to Barry Docks!


January 21st 2019.

I thought it was time to pass on another Llandudno branch photo. I bought this one from the excellent Roger Carpenter stand at the
recent Chiltern Model Railways exhibition, held at the Gordon Craig Theatre at Stevenage, just a stone's throw from the ECML.
 The photo is not credited to a photographer but comes from the Roger Carpenter Collection.

BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73044 (Patricroft) is crossing the road at Deganwy, running tender first, light engine, to, at a guess, pick up
 its return working from Llandudno. I expect the engine went on shed at the Junction, earlier, for servicing.

73044 was new to Patricroft in 1953, and stayed there for ten years before, surprisingly, transferred to Exmouth Junction, then on the Western Region.
 A surprise move, considering that the WR was pushing hard to dieselise in the west of England.
73044 was only there for a year before moving on Oxford, and lasting barely a month before being withdrawn in
 January 1965, Cashmores of Tipton reducing her to scrap by March that year.
A tragic waste of a modern locomotive that lasted  just over eleven years.

There is a wealth of detail in this picture: everything looks spick and span, fresh paintwork, gas lamps, perhaps converted to
electricity by 1957, and the crossing gates are well reinforced with steel to repel itinerant motorists!
There are small boys on the footbridge, intent on train watching, while the fireman keeps an eye out for the road ahead, perhaps not
 noticing the smart young lady watching 73044 pass by. Who was she? The photographer's wife? Lucky chap!


January 8th 2019.

Roger Carvell
I have just managed to unearth a pic I took of 6233 leaving Llandudno Junction, back in 2002 (shown below) when HM Queen was in the area and left
for Crewe and home by steam!

I had driven up from Hitchin in our previous car, a VW Golf Mk2 automatic, and have to admit to burning some rubber up the M1 and M6!
At Chester I picked up my old spotting pal. Peter, now living on Wallasey, and we went at quite a rate along the A55 to the Junction to await the
return of 6233 to 6G. Perfectly timed, and we snapped away from the road bridge as the Royal Train rolled in.

Then we had a quick brew in Macs and then went up on to the embankment for the departure. There was so much goodwill among the crowds and
Gwynedd police simply had to stand to ensure nobody did anything silly. An increase in helicopter activity had us all reaching for our
cameras (all film, even in 2002) and 6233 duly departed, a magnificent sight, one I thought I would never see - a 'Semi' at Llandudno Junction in 2002!

Then it was back over the bridge for a quick pint before we left to retrace our steps by road. I dropped Peter off at Chester General.
 While saying our goodbyes, a familiar, local to me voice, shouted over from a Euston-bound train on the London platform.
It was my commuting chum Andy Lickfold, who used to be an Eastern Region press officer, based at Liverpool Street, but living in Hitchin.
 He must have used his First Class BR staff private pass to get to '6G' for nothing!
He had moved on to EWS in Doncaster after privatisation but commuted daily from Hitchin by GNER,  as it was then. He has a fund of stories
about the railway but is reluctant to go into digital words which is a pity.

I didn't offer him a lift home- he'd have been alright and I needed a bit of peace and quiet after a long day on the
motorways but seeing 6233 in North Wales was worth the spent petrol and worn rubber!

Things we do!


November 17th 2018.

Webb 'Cauliflower' 0-6-0 No.39 takes water as the fireman pulls hard on the water tank chain at Llandudno Junction, at an unknown date.
 Despite its goods engine looks, this engine is lined out, as the class was considered a passenger locomotive as well as hauling goods trains.
Well away from home is a South East and Chatham Railway open goods wagon in the background, of a type with distinctive rounded ends, a design
 feature that disappeared  by the 1930s.

The photographer is unknown, but thanks to the LNWR Society for airing this photo.


November 13th 2018.

I have just found this splendid photo of 'Problem' or 'Lady of the Lake' class 2-2-2  No.111 'Russell' standing in Llandudno station.

What a superb looking Victorian locomotive.  It was built in 1860, rebuilt in 1897 and broken up in 1906. This Ramsbottom design was designed specifically for
running the Irish Mail service when the LNWR took over the newly completed Chester and Holyhead main line.

There were 60 engines built, none with consecutive numbers as was Crewe's method of accountancy as new replaced old.
These engines would have had open cabs when first built- engine crews demanded it, no creature comforts then to diminish the standing of the new age technocrats!



October 18th 2018.

I was fortunate to win three photographs on Ebay recently, taken by Herbert Gordon Tidey, and they are shown below.
H.G.Tidey was a photographer from London who took a week off each year, from his business of estate agency, to visit different parts of the country photographing trains.
Most of his vast collection of railway images is now owned by the NRM.

These three photographs are originals and have a written manuscript entry on the reverse, by the photographer, giving date, location and his reference number.

6G Caprotti Black Five, 44750, waiting to leave Llandudno Junction station with a Holyhead train in 1961.

Black Five 45449 leaving Llandudno Junction in 1961.

Unidentified Black Five with a short goods train passing through 6G in 1961.

The following detail was taken from Wikipedia.

H. Gordon Tidey
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Herbert Gordon Tidey (1879-1971) was an English railway photographer. Described as "one of the fathers of railway photography" he was
 active from the 1890s through the 1950s.

Writing in 1954, he described the background to his work as follows:

From about 1900 onwards, I have made a point of giving a week annually to a tour devoted entirely to Railway Photography, on some occasions by
 car, but, when long distances were involved, by train... During these 54 odd years I suppose I must have covered a large part of England and Scotland.
 I visited many interesting districts on several occasions – with a few years' gap between – and therefore was able to record the
 changing outline of the locomotives on the important trains.

Oxenholme station is an example of a favourite location, but Tidey did indeed range widely, and it is estimated that he took around 6000 photographs.
 Characteristically he took ¾-front views of mainline steam trains in action, taking care to include the complete train in the
 composition, favouring a high viewpoint when he could obtain one, and sometimes deliberately choosing to shoot from the
 shadow side of the line. By the middle of his photographic career he preferred to use a Delnollo Nettel focal plane press camera taking glass plates.

His work was published in The Railway Magazine from 1902; in the Interwar period "he often attained the place of
 honour – the full page frontispiece." However, from 1910 to 1919, his work appeared instead in The
 Railway Magazine's rival, Railway and Travel Monthly, which also sold his work as prints.

At times in his career he sold postcard prints of his photographs himself or through Oldlands of Palmers Green or "B[rightman] & R[ushton]" of London.
 He suspended photographic activity during World War II; afterwards copies of his pictures were sold by Real Photographs Co., Ian Allan and
 Lens of Sutton. Most of his glass plates are now with the National Railway Museum, York;[5] some are held by RAS Publishing.[3]

By profession he was an estate agent in North London, also contributing photographs to the local Southgate Recorder newspaper and being an amateur musician.


October 8th 2018.

Martin Hearne sent in these four shots from the Great Central Railway Autumn Gale of October 7th 2018.

Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73156, immaculately turned out, is at the head of a freight train passing through Quorn and Woodhouse during the GCR Autumn Gala, 7th October 2018.

Great Central did themselves proud, with a very busy timetable, and 9 0r 10 engines in steam.

Ever-popular Jinty Class 3F 0-6-0T  47406 at the platform, Quorn and Woodhouse Station, at the head of a southbound passenger train.
 The ease with which she took that train away from the station was truly remarkable. I hope I am half as lively at her age!

Here is Thompson B1 4-6-0 1264, renumbered 1251 and named Oliver Bury to commemorate the latter’s participation in the Interchange Trials 70 years ago.
 As one of the star guests of the Great Central Autumn Gala, she is seen taking a substantial rake of goods vehicles through Quorn and
 Woodhouse (possibly not the highest honour given to a star guest, but she came racing through later in the day with the Travelling Post Office).

Here is the Thompson B1 at Loughborough last Friday October 5th 2018, taken on black-and-white film with my old steam-driven Canon F1n.


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 photo
 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 resort.

The other feature of the pre 20th century are the telegraph poles, with differing lengths of crossbar, said to help the wires from
 touching each other in bad weather or high winds.


August 4th 2018.

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!


July 25th 2018.

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 forgotten
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 tender locomotive.

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 Llandudno Junction.


July 23rd 2018.

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 the smokebox.

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.


June  30th 2018.

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.


June 26th 2018.

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 cauliflower!
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 brake equipment.

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 examples allocated.

An interesting feature is the elliptical raising of the running plate over the 5ft 2in driving wheels, not really for style but to enable
the driver to easily oil the crank pins when the coupling rod is at top dead centre, or tdc! An early example of unintentional ergonomics.

The photo is credited to the S.V Blencowe Collection.


June 18th 2018.

Dave Wood caught this double - headed Lakes Express at Winwick on the WCML today.
45212 and 60103 with the London Victoria - Carnforth special.


June 12th 2018.

Dave Wood got this nice shot of 45690 with the York - Carlisle "Dalesman" on Tuesday June 5th 2018 at Helwith Bridge.



June 9th 2018.

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.


Tuesday 17 April 2018

LNER A3 Class 4-6-2 no 60103 Flying Scotsman on a Castleton - Acton Reception sidings - Southall, taken at Winwick by Dave Wood.


April 2nd 2018.

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.



March 25th 2018.

Dave Wood caught this unusual movement at Parkside Junction on March 12th 2018.

Monday 12th March 2018

LMS Jubilee Class 6P 4-6-0 no 45690 Leander and LMS Class 5MT 4-6-0 no 45407 (as 45157) at the rear with this
Bury, East Lancs Railway to Carnforth movement (5Z66).


March 20th 2018.

Another Ebay 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 external state.

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)


March 6th 2018.

Dave Wood caught this shot of Black Five 45212 (5Z15) at Parkside Junction with an East Lancs Railway to Southall movement earlier today.


March 3rd 2018.

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 "Oliver Cromwell".
 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


February 28th 2018.

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
and onto the Llandudno branch. This is a view taken from the then signalbox which guarded the level crossing on the main road from Conway.

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 big letters.

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.

allocation records it was never shedded in North Wales.


February 23rd 2018.

Yesterday's Butterley - Carnforth movement (5Z34) captured by Ieuan Wood at Winwick.
6201 "Princess Elizabeth" is piloted by 37668 and 37669 on the rear.


February 13th 2018.

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.

(See more details on the filming of above on the STEAM DAYS page.)



January 4th 2018.

Dave Wood caught Black Five 45407 at Preston station, this morning, with a Carnforth Steamtown - Castleton Hopwood GF movement.


December 11th 2017.

Martin Hearne was up early to catch the outward leg of this special,  pulled by 'Castle' 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, on December 9th 2017.

The locomotive was hauling a special from Tyseley to York, and came off the curve at Sileby under full steam on a crisp, frosty morning.
It really was a majestic sight.




November 25th 2017.

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 outward leg.

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 picture).

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.


November 25th 2017.

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.


Event Details

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.

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 sights 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.


November 23rd 2017.

Roger Wakefield 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 background.

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 Black Fives.

 The mogul was introduced in January 1934 at Crewe and initially numbered 13268 but renumbered late 1934 as 2968 and then again in 1948 as 42968.

Roger Carvell 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 photographer.

'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.



Saturday 18 November 2017

LMS Jubilee Class 6P 4-6-0 no 45699 Galatea.

45699 replaced 46233 which failed last Thursday.

The Jubilee was a fine replacement and I watched the train at several locations and some of the estimated speeds were astonishing.

The first photo shows the Jubilee approaching Tan y Bryn bridge at Mochdre.
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 to agreed.


November 14th 2017.

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.


November 4th 2017.

Flying Scotsman at Sileby.

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.


October 23rd 2017.

“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 Leicester North.
 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!
Martin Hearne.


September 26th 2017.

Roger Carvell was a lucky bidder on EBAY recently when he won an auction for the rare photo below.

Black 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.

45257 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.

By February 1966 it was on the scrap heap at Cashmores, Great Bridge.
 The engine displays the lowered top lamp position to stop firemen
getting too near the 25kV.


September 24th 2017.

Railway Touring Club


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 Junction.
 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.


September 23rd 2017.


Saturday 16 September 2017, LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 no 60163 Tornado.

Dave Wood sent in this shot of the A1 at Winwick with the above train on the outward morning run.


August 28th 2017.

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.

On 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 tender tank.

Also in 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.
was a glorious day at the seaside and this pic of D1661 could have been taken in the 1960's!

A 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.


August 4th 2017.

 An interesting piece of nostalgia by Roger Carvell.

40155 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.

English 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.

From then on, 40155, as it had now become, alternated between Healey Mills and Gateshead (Newcastle) depots until withdrawn as 'surplus to
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.

A backlit headcode panel was installed. When signallers were no longer required to see train headcodes from power signal boxes, the loco
 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.


August 1st 2017.

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 day.

 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 1965
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 coast.

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 through to
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!


July 25th 2017.


Tuesday 25 July 2017

LMS Royal Scot Class 4-6-0 no 46115 Scots Guardsman

Crossing the River Weaver, with the homeward leg, after taking water at Frodsham.

Dave Wood took this black and white shot of the above train at Frodsham with the homeward leg.

This shot, by Alan Roberts,  shows the train approaching Glan Conwy station en route to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The train is on the homeward leg here at Abergele.


July 23rd 2017.


Sunday 23 July 2017

LMS Jubilee Class 6P 4-6-0 no 45690 Leander.

An early morning shot by Ieuan Wood of the Jubilee at Leech Lane footbridge, which is between Lea Green and St Helens Junction.

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.


July 22nd 2017.


Saturday 22 July 2017

LMS Coronation Class 8P 4-6-2 no 46233 Duchess of Sutherland

Ieuan Wood was out early this morning to get this powerful shot of the "Duchess" with today's outward leg of the CME on the
four track section at Huyton Station.


July 18th 2017.

Martin Hearne sends in this shot of "Scotsman" at Sileby Leicestershire on July 1st 2017.

The old 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 tender.
 The train came across to the Midland Main Line from Melton Mowbray.


June 13th 2017.

Dave Wood went out for "Scotsman" tonight - the movement was 5Z72 - 17.06 Chester to Carnforth Steamtown.
 The photo was taken at Winwick at 18.30  (27 minutes Late)


June 10th 2017.


Saturday 10th June 2017.

LMS Jubilee Class 7P 4-6-0 no 45690 Leander

Steam hauled: Liverpool-Scarborough-Milford Lp
Load: 10 coaches+diesel

Dave Wood was up early this morning to catch Leander, at a very wet Whiston at 05.54, with the outward leg of the above train from Liverpool.


June 5th 2017.

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 Conwy.

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.




Saturday 27 May 2017

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 Penmaenrhos tunnel.

This shot below shows the Castle at Beeston with the outward leg.

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 diesel 47773.



 May 18th 2017.

Dave Wood caught 60103 "Flying Scotsman" passing Winwick, on the West Coast Main Line, with the evening return of the Cathedrals Express on May 16th 2017.