Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

13 September 2010

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This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and supporters, and especially the all rail staff of North Wales.

Forthcoming events

September 2010

Tuesday 14 September. 8E Association Glynn Parry: Under, Up & Over. Merseyrail, Overhead & Snowdon – A Connection?

Saturday 18 September North Wales Coast Rail Users’ Group. Public Meeting. Flint Town Hall, starting at 2pm. An opportunity to ask questions about your local train services and to make suggestions for improvements. The speaker will be Ben Davies, Stakeholder Liaison Manager. Arriva Trains Wales.

Tuesday 21 September North Wales Railway Circle Garry Hughes: Wartime Locomotives, courtesy of B & R Videos.

Wednesday 22 September Compass Tours excursion: Burnley Manchester Road, Rose Grove, Accrington, Blackburn, Cherry Tree, Bamber Bridge to Blaenau Ffestiniog.  Class 47 Diesel throughout.  [This Tour is now fully booked.]

Thursday 30 September Merseyside Railway History Group Alisdair McDonald: Ramblings on Rail

October 2010

Friday 1 October   Clwyd Railway Circle    Edgar Richards: Freight in North Wales and the North West. A combined collection of slides taken by Dave Airey and our well respected speaker.

Friday 1 October Compass Tours excursion from Llandudno Jct, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Flint and Chester to Pitlochry and Aviemore.

Saturday 2 October Compass Tours 'The Snowdonian Explorer'   
Shrewsbury, Wellington, Telford Central, Codsall, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Cannock, Hednesford, Rugeley Town & Stafford to Betws-Y-Coed or Blaenau Ffestiniog with optional extra Steam Excursion.  Class 66 Diesel to feature throughout.

2-3 October. Llangollen Railway Diesel weekend. Intensive service by the mainline diesels supported by one of the railcars.

Sunday 3 October: The annual Tram and Bus show at Pacific Road Birkenhead

Monday 4 October:    RCTS Port Sunlight   Harry Madden: MERSEYSIDE TRANSPORT. A miscellany of trains, trams, buses and shipping from both sides of the River Mersey.

Tuesday 5 October North Wales Railway Circle David Lindsay: Statfold Barn Railway visit.

Friday 8 October Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society A TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICAN RAILWAYS IN THE EARLY 1970S (INDUSTRIAL AND MAIN LINE STEAM) a colour slide presentation by Alan Gilbert

Monday 11 October. Wrexham Railway Society Preserved Steam on Video - the 2010 mainline steam action with PSOV.

Tuesday 12 October. 8E Association Charles Roberts (RCTS): 80s and 90s Irish Railways.

Saturday 16 October Llangollen Railway: Growler Group Members' Day. 6940 (37 240) will be making six return trips between Llangollen & Carrog. Tickets are available for non-members of the Group.

Monday 18 October   RCTS Chester   Tony Keeley: 50 YEARS BEHIND THE LENS. Tony’s presentation covers his career working for Beyer Peacock in South America and Europe through to the present day.

Tuesday 19 October  North Wales Railway Circle Bill Rogerson :Sardinia Railways.

23-31 October. Llangollen Railway Day out with Thomas. the half term event featuring No.1.

Thursday 28 October Merseyside Railway History Group Keith Crabtree: Tornado, a steam locomotive for the 21st Century

29 - 31 October Merseyside Model Railway Society exhibition at the Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead. Trams will be in operation on the adjacent tramway.

November 2010

Monday 1 November  RCTS Port Sunlight   Steve Ollive:  PLANDAMPF 94 Featuring standard and narrow gauge in East Germany and organised trips around  Dresden and the  Thuringer Forest

Tuesday 2 November  North Wales Railway Circle Paul Hardy: Wait and See (a secret location?)

Friday 5 November  Clwyd Railway Circle  Gordon Davies -  American Wanderings. - A selection of slides showing diesel, electric and steam trains in the USA working passenger and extremely long freight trains from the East to the West coast, photographed in the last 16 years.
Friday 12 November Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society
16MM CINÉ FILMS FROM THE 1970s a miscellany by Richard Greenwood

6-7 November. Llangollen Railway Poppy Train Service as part of the Remembrance festival - special guest engine possible.

Tuesday 9 November. 8E Association Chris Simon: ‘The Examination Quiz’.  

Monday 15 November RCTS Chester Keith Crabtree: 60163 Tornado.Keith is from the A1 Steam Trust and will be giving a Power-point presentation on the history, building and operation of Tornado.

Tuesday 16 November  North Wales Railway Circle Steve Morris: Brake Trials

Thursday 25 November Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Morris: Steaming through the gauges in the 21st Century

See the Calendar page for more details.

46115 Scots Guardsman passes Dunham-on-the Hill with an excursion from Carnforth to Chester on 4 September 2010. This fine view by Stavros Lainas is a rare one in which there is nothing (at this reproduction size at least) to show that the date is not September 1960. The coaches and loco are in appropriate colours, the track looks neat and tidy, and even Network Rail's high-security lineside barriers have yet to spoil the scene.

Llanfair PG views - by Richard Fleckney

Above, 37 059 and 37 218 with two flasks from Valley head east on 31 August.

Saturday 4 September, and  57 309 Brains passes 'the station with the long name'  with the London - Holyhead service

Saturday 11 September, and it is the turn of 57 316 to haul the Saturday Pendolino.

The same day, 11 September, saw an excursion from East Anglia to Holyhead, 'The Great Orme Explorer' with 47 804 leading (above) ...

... and recently-overhauled 47 500 at the other end.

Greg Fox

News reaches us of the death at the age of 67 on 6 September, after a long illness, of Gregory Kirkham Fox, publisher of the long-running 'Foxline' series of illustrated books which includes many titles covering our area, as well as being the joint author with V.R. Anderson of a number of large-format books in the 1980s including that essential North Wales railway book A Historical Survey of Chester and Holyhead Track Layouts and Stations (Oxford Publishing, 1984) which is always near to hand here at the Website desk.

Greg, who lived in the Stockport area, worked for the engineering department of British Rail before leaving to devote more time to writing publishing. The first Foxline book Scenes from the Past 1: Railways around Stockport published in 1986 was followed by over fifty titles in the series. These books brought to the public many railway pictures and stories which would otherwise never seen the light of day, and he will be much missed.

Gerald at Sunset

1 September, and a smart-looking 57 314 leads the evening Cardiff - Holyhead 'WAG Express' past Llanfairfechan. The sun was below the horizon at 20:00, signifying that there soon will be few opportunities to photograph this train as it heads along the Coast. (Gareth Minords)

There have been rumours around that this train will cease to run as loco-hauled from December 2010, but it's hard to believe that the train will be withdrawn as the Welsh Government seem very proud of it. Time will, as always, tell. 

LEV1 - a hideous contraption

These rare pictures kindly supplied by Phil Shaw show prototype Leyland National  railbus LEV 1 (a.k.a. RDB 975874) seen at Betws-y-Coed in August 1981 while being tested on the Conwy Valley line.  The design was basically a forced marriage between a Leyland National bus and a long-wheelbase wagon underframe; the ancestor of the 2-car Class 142s which still run today.

1981 is the date on the slide although some usually-reliable sources (e.g. claim it was in the United States from early 1980 to 1986.  Perhaps there are those of greater knowledge out there?  This vehicle (LEV - Leyland Experimental Vehicle 1) still exists, and is currently on the North Norfolk Railway on long term loan from the National Railway Museum. It has recently been returned to running order.

Club 55 returns return

Are you 55 years old or over? If so then you can travel anywhere on the Arriva Trains Wales Network for just £15 return (£13 for Senior Railcard holders and Disabled railcard holders over 55), between 6 September and 11 December (except 6, 13, 19 and 27 November to Cardiff) and anytime at the weekend and on any train Monday to Friday apart from those arriving into Cardiff Central, Birmingham New St, Manchester Piccadilly or Liverpool Lime St / Central before 9.30am. All you need is proof of age - you need to buy the ticket from a station on an ATW train if you board at an unstaffed station. You cannot buy online, but there is a sales phone number 0870 9000 773. There are also 'add-on' fares available to allow you to travel to some points beyond the ATW network. For full details of this rather good offer, see the ATW website. It should be noted that the various FirstGroup train companies, including TransPennine Express are also running a similar offer, although with different start (20 September) and end dates. If we understand rightly, extending your journey from Arriva on to TransPennine stations is only an extra £10 for each of TransPennine's 'zones' making the return fare from anywhere in Wales to Edinburgh, for example, just £35 return.

The Cambrian in view

Seen from the road to the beautiful Cregennan lakes, 'Black Five'  44871 is seen making its way across Barmouth Bridge with one of this summer's Cambrian steam excursions. (Ian Macer-Wright)

 The northbound train enters Porthmadog on 27 August (Larry Davies)

A close-up of the loco refuelling in the Network Rail compound. Picture taken (with permission) by Larry Davies.

Steaming well through the halt at Abererch on the return run from Pwllheli (Larry Davies).

This year's Cambrian ran for the last time on 30 August. The following day, Stavros Lainas photographed West Coast Railway Co's standby diesel 33 207 Jim Martin hauling the coaches, and on the tail, the loco 44871, northbound through Wrenbury on the way to Crewe.

Above, 44871 being watered in Platform 12 at Crewe while the empty stock departs (at right). The loco went direct to York to do the next day's 'Scarborough Spa Express'. (Tim Fenton)

Steam variety

An unusual visitor to Crewe: rebuilt Bulleid 'Mercant Navy' pacific 35028 Clan Line, which has had trouble with its injectors recently, arrived at Crewe on 22 August, to visit the Heritage Centre, presumably for repairs. (Tim Fenton)

The 2 pacifics normally based at Crewe Heritage Centre this summer have been covering the 'Cumbrian Mountain Expresses' and the Fridays-only 'Scarborough Flyers' as well as the 'North Wales Coast Express.' On 27 August for the first time in this season the 'Flyer' ran in bright morning sunshine, as seen here roaring through Holmes Chapel  behind 6201 Princess Elizabeth  a few minutes behind time at 07:33 (John Beresford)

The same scene a week later, 3 September: 6233 Duchess of Sutherland passes Holmes Chapel with the penultimate Crewe - Scarborough 'Scarborough Flyer' of the summer (John Beresford)

On 4 September 46115 Scots Guardsman worked a special for the Lune Rivers Trust from Carnforth to Chester. Above, it is seen arriving at Chester (Tim Fenton)

Princess Elizabeth Part 2

22 August was a particularly photogenic sort of day, so here's a further selection of pictures of the 'North Wales Coast Express', hauled that day by 6201 Princess Elizabeth. Here she is (above) near Frodsham; on the
footplate behind the driver is a Frodsham lad, Colin Worrall, who has been a member of the loco's support team for many years. (David Jackson)

Passing the old Bagillt station site  (David Smith)

Outward on Llangaffo Bank, west of Gaerwen. (Ian Pilkington)

Ty Croes (Stavros Lainas)

Return from Holyhead at RAF Valley. (Ian Pilkington)

Passing the Deganwy distant signal on the evening return from Llandudno. (Ian Pilkington)

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