Cambrian Heritage Railways acquires two Class 144 Pacers

HY_4273

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Llanigraham

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They are intended for use on the planned shuttle service between Oswestry and Gobowen, but I haven't heard if they have yet found a safe and acceptable way to operate the northern level crossing on the Oswestry Bypass
 

yorksrob

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That's a good idea. Oswestry's a big town that's currently off of the network.

Good choice as well - nice trains the 144's.
 

Sulzer:1999

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Can anyone here please explain what the Cambrian Railways preservation projects aims are? They seem to be split into three different sites ( but reasonably close to each other). There seems to have been great plans talked about for years, but just these smaller projects at the different sites.
I’ve tried to make sense of it through Wikipedia, OS maps & You-Tube, but I can’t quite see just what they are all about. Thanks!
 

fgwrich

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Can anyone here please explain what the Cambrian Railways preservation projects aims are? They seem to be split into three different sites ( but reasonably close to each other). There seems to have been great plans talked about for years, but just these smaller projects at the different sites.
I’ve tried to make sense of it through Wikipedia, OS maps & You-Tube, but I can’t quite see just what they are all about. Thanks!
I took a look at the Wikipedia entry earlier. From what I can make out of it, the three various sites started off largely as two to three different organisations, which have come together to form the Cambrian Heritage Railway. They aim to run between Owestry & Gobowen providing a commuter service (which the 144s will come in handy for) eventually heading south to link up with the other two sites. However, unless they can team up with Tarmac I can't see much purpose for the Quarry route (for which the track still exists from Gobowen to there).
 

Sulzer:1999

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I took a look at the Wikipedia entry earlier. From what I can make out of it, the three various sites started off largely as two to three different organisations, which have come together to form the Cambrian Heritage Railway. They aim to run between Owestry & Gobowen providing a commuter service (which the 144s will come in handy for) eventually heading south to link up with the other two sites. However, unless they can team up with Tarmac I can't see much purpose for the Quarry route (for which the track still exists from Gobowen to there).
Thanks for the info.
I believe that short heritage services have ran at the three sites (Oswestry, Gobowen & Llynlyncs) at various times, with both steam & DMU at the latter.
However I’m curious about the status at Llynlyncs, recent You-Tube videos show the site rapidly returning to nature & track with maturing trees growing through the sleepers.
Still the very best of luck to all these projects on these challenging times.
 

MarlowDonkey

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but I haven't heard if they have yet found a safe and acceptable way to operate the northern level crossing on the Oswestry Bypass
I've driven along that road. It's bizarre when you are driving along a near motorway standard road to encounter a level crossing. Presumably the railway line wasn't completely closed at the time the road was planned, but an over bridge or under bridge were considered too expensive.
 

fgwrich

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I've driven along that road. It's bizarre when you are driving along a near motorway standard road to encounter a level crossing. Presumably the railway line wasn't completely closed at the time the road was planned, but an over bridge or under bridge were considered too expensive.
Apparently the TWAO stipulated that the line can be re-opened to Owestry if a bridge was built for the road to cross the railway in two locations - this being part of the transfer of ownership from Network Rail to the CHR.
 

Waldgrun

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Having read the postings here,I believe that I can throw a little light on some of the matters raised.

1) The track was left intact after B.R. ran the last trains from Nantmawr Quarry in 1988! So it does need some slight work to get it back to standard! (Joke). Also metal faeries removed some track between Llynclys and Blodwell a few years back, I don't know if this has been replaced.
2).When the network was privatized, the fact the line was "mothballed" caused many problems, not least because the line was not assigned to any body. So no one could say that they have the right to permit works etc. The level crossings being a particular headache. The crossing on the A483 still advises drivers to contact B.R. in case of problems.
3). Marlowdonkey refers to the roads being near Motorway standards, I think some explanation could help. The North crossing on the A5. is situated on a single carriageway stretch of road, so subject to a 60 M.P.H. limit. The individual lanes of the road are quite wide and seem to encourage some to dodge down the center of road in order to overtake, at high speeds! This crossing is sited about a 1/4 of a mile south of a roundabout, the road to the south is fairly straight, (a fast stretch of road)!
4). When the line was open, the crossings where controlled by the standard "wig-wag" lights, and only two full barrier style
arms which only stretched halfway cross the road, like an A.H.B.
5). The line is now owned by Shropshire County Council and leased to the Cambrian Railway

In normal times this https://ilvaporista.blogspot.com is a good place for information.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Cambrian Heritage Railways has acquired two Class 144 Pacers.

Read the full story on The Railway hub at: https://www.therailwayhub.co.uk/11694/pacers-delivered-to-gobowen-for-cambrian-heritage-railways/
"Cambrian Heritage Railways (CHR) has acquired a pair of Class 144 Pacer diesel railbuses from Porterbrook leasing. Nos. 144006/7 travelled under their own power by rail to Gobowen from the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway on Friday, May 22, saving four separate lorry moves."
In normal times, that would have been a good ride from KWVR to the Cambrian, how long was the journey?
 
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paul1609

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I took a look at the Wikipedia entry earlier. From what I can make out of it, the three various sites started off largely as two to three different organisations, which have come together to form the Cambrian Heritage Railway. They aim to run between Owestry & Gobowen providing a commuter service (which the 144s will come in handy for) eventually heading south to link up with the other two sites. However, unless they can team up with Tarmac I can't see much purpose for the Quarry route (for which the track still exists from Gobowen to there).
Running a "commuter service" would be a paperwork nightmare, as I dont believe you could operate as a heritage railway under ROGs.
 

Waldgrun

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Can anyone here please explain what the Cambrian Railways preservation projects aims are? They seem to be split into three different sites ( but reasonably close to each other). There seems to have been great plans talked about for years, but just these smaller projects at the different sites.
I’ve tried to make sense of it through Wikipedia, OS maps & You-Tube, but I can’t quite see just what they are all about. Thanks!
Sulzer, as no one has come back to answer your questions, I will try to answer. The aims of the project has changed over the years, but at present the 1st aim seems to be the establishment of a Heritage/Tourist operation between Owestry and Weston Wharf (about 1& 1/2 Miles), although there was never a station at Weston Wharf there was a goods yard with a freight platform which will enable a station to be built. Weston Wharf is next to Stonehouse Brewery, which is a visitor attraction in its own right.
The 2nd aim seems to be establishing a community service on the old G.W.R. section between Owestry and Gobowen 2½-mile , via Park Hall Halt which is a short hobble from the world famous, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. So could be a major source of traffic, if those pacers can be accessible. This is the section of line which crosses the A5, with all that entails.
The 3rd aim would be an extension of tourist services South of Weston Wharf, one option is to use the old Tanant Valley route north of Llynclys to Blodwell junction to connect with the group that have taken on the Nantmawr branch, the other option is to continue south to LLynclys south and connect with the line there. Although there is a problem with the fact that original Llynclys station is private hands.
It has to be said that Llanymymech would make a good destination, with its heritage area etc. But, I believe that part of the trackbed is blocked, but due the complex railway history of the area, it could be possible to run via Blodwell Junction if time and money are no problem!
Hope this helps!
 

WestRiding

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Where are the Pacers now, Gobowen or Oswestry? If at the latter how did they get there, is the line still connected to Network Rail?
 

AndyW33

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Having read the postings here,I believe that I can throw a little light on some of the matters raised.
3). The individual lanes of the road are quite wide and seem to encourage some to dodge down the center of road in order to overtake, at high speeds!
That's the legacy of the 1950s-1970s configuration of the A5 and some other trunk roads. Much of it was laid out with three lanes - one for each direction plus a central overtaking lane that was available for traffic going in either direction. As traffic increased this became known as the "suicide lane" because inevitably head-on crashes got more and more frequent, especially in a pre-breathalyser age. Gradually the lane markings were changed to have just the two wide lanes that you see today
 

clagmonster

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Where do they stand with PRM compliance for the units. Obviously with the heritage operations to Weston Wharf they will be fine, but if and when they come to operating regular services between Gobowen and Oswestry, this will be effectively a privately operated service train, hence PRM compliance will be required. Is this potential for e-pacer conversions? Clearly there are other obstacles, namely the two crossings, to be overcome before operations to Gobowen can start.
 

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