Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

13 December 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

December 2010

Tuesday 14 December. 8E Association AGM followed by Jon Penn: Chester Black & White Part 2.

Tuesday 14 December North Wales Railway Circle Christmas 'Do': Members Photos etc.

January 2011

Friday 7 January   Clwyd Railway Circle  Tony Harrison: Trains Around the World. - Since retiring in 2000, Tony has travelled extensively around the world in pursuit of steam. This is his first visit and his presentations have received impressive reviews from other railway societies. 

Friday 14 January Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society
50 YEARS OF THE CRICH TRAMWAY MUSEUM a colour slide presentation by Mike Crabtree
Monday 17 January  RCTS Chester Tony Icke: WESTERN & WESSEX WANDERINGS. A slide show mainly from the 1960’s from 
Crewe to the Isle of Wight via western  routes, Swindon and the S&D.

Thursday 27 January  Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Pickard: Railways around Saltney

See the Calendar page for more details.

60039 with 6H03 Oakleigh - Tunstead empties passes a frosty scene at Plumley, 7 December (Andrew Vinten)

The Train of Hope

Five drivers employed by Virgin Trains are working to raise funds for the
company's adopted charity Clic Sargent which cares for children suffering from cancer. The culmination of the fund raising will be a rail tour operated by West Coast Railway Company hauled by 46115 Scots Guardsman to  Carlisle via Shap returning over the Settle & Carlisle. In the meantime there will be  auctions of various donated items, including some railway and aviation orientated. The first auctions are now live, please go to eBay seller trainofhope2011 for the current items. including a framed, signed print of a painting by Brian Jones, depicting 40 145 at Spring's Branch depot in BR Blue.

Future items will include a day on Virgin Trains Pendolino simulator at Crewe with hotel accommodation. A detailed, renumbered Hornby model of 46115, with certificate, will appear in the future.

The organisers would appreciate donations suitable for auction or raffles.
Please contact them via

Freight scenes

Seen from the passenger seat of a car on the A55 at 15:45 on 6 December, 37 607 and 57 009 are working the flask train between Mochdre and Rhos-on-Sea (Darren Durrant)

A filthy 66 412 in its unique Malcolm Rail livery coupled to 57 009, both locos shut down at the flask loading point at Valley on 10 December (Nick Gurney).

Not Coupling at Crewe

The Saturday Pendolino didn't reach Holyhead on 11 December, as a problem occurred when attempting to couple the Class 57 locomotive on the front end at Crewe. A Voyager unit - 221 105 - was found from somewhere to take the passengers on to North Wales, but 57 314 had to go to Holyhead anyway as it was required to take over the next week's duties on Arriva's Cardiff express. It is seen above heading through Llandudno Junction as train 0D83; the '0' is for a 'light engine', whereas the normal code for the London - Holyhead train would be 1D83, '1' being an express passenger train. The 'D' signifies a destination of Chester or North Wales, although it can have different meanings elsewhere on the network. The return 14:36 Holyhead - London is 1A55, the 'A' traditionally meaning destination London, although these days it can refer to other places including Manchester Airport.

The lunchtime scene at Holyhead (Corrie)

Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society

Report by Larry Davies

It is very pleasing to report that following a packed extraordinary Annual
General Meeting on 9 December this Society, which has a strong affinity with, and support to, the Conwy Valley line, has a new Chairman who is a former loco man at 6G Llandudno Junction motive power depot.  Bob Barnsdale joined the railway in the closing years of steam at The Junction and was there when the curtain fell in October, 1966;  he then transferred to Chester.  The new Vice Chair is the local Community Rail Officer, Larry Davies and they are supported by a strong committee drawn from varying walks of life.  Following the official business of the evening the members and quests were entertained to a walk down memory lane with an illustrated talk on "Llandudno Junction - days gone by."  

Two views reflecting that closing year of steam at the Junction are
enclosed. Top:  Redundant Class 8F 2-8-0s 48269 and 48345 share the back road with Class 5 45345 as they await their fate on 6G on 18 April 1966. Above:  Black Five 44964 storms out of the Junction and under Queens Road Bridge with the 17:55 to Manchester Exchange on 17 June 1966.

The Society welcomes new members and visitors to their meetings at the
Llandudno Junction Sports and Social Club, Victoria Drive, Llandudno
Junction.  The next two sessions are:-

Thursday 13 January  "Railway Photography - a Press Photographer's view" - Gwyn Roberts

Thursday 10 February "Arriva Trains Wales 2011 - The Way Forward" - Ben Davies, ATW Stakeholder Manager.

In the interim, members and friends will enjoy a day out on the Conwy Valley and Ffestiniog Railway on Tuesday 28 December.

Mawddach winter - pictures by Ian Macer-Wright

Snow on the mountains as a Class 158 makes its way over Barmouth Bridge.

No train on this view towards Barmouth, it was too cold to wait for one...

Looking across the old station site at Penmaenpool towards the road toll bridge which crosses the Mawddach. The preserved signal by the George III hotel here has lost its 'home' arm, despite the Danger notice on the signal ladder which warns 'survivors will be prosecuted.' (See picture in left column)

In sunny Cardiff

The scene at Cardiff Central on 9 December as 57 315 departs with the carriages from the Holyhead - Cardiff 'WAG Express' for servicing at canton depot prior to the return journey. (Picture by Andrew Vinten.)  It would appear that the haulage of the train will soon be taken over by Class 67 locomotives, as Holyhead-based drivers are being trained on the type. Will they be painted blue? (The locos that is, not the drivers.)

On the same day, 66 152 Derek Holmes, Railway Operator passed through on an empty steel train (Andrew Vinten) This was the first ex-EWS loco to receive the Deutsche Bahn livery of new owners DB Schenker, and remains the only Class 66 to have been treated.

In a ceremony at Euston station on 23 March 2010, 66 152 was named  in recognition of a lifetime of service to the railway by Mr Holmes who had died earlier in the year. Robin Gisby, Network Rail's Director of Operations and Customer Services, said: "Wise, insightful and courageous with a passion for railways that is unsurpassed in an industry full of people who are passionate about the job sums up Derek for me.  He will be sorely missed by me, Network Rail and the industry as a whole - we have lost a true gentleman and a great ambassador of everything that's good about Britain's railways."

Air Service to continue

A deal has been done to secure the air link from Anglesey to Cardiff. Now carrier, with its partner FLM Aviation, will provide the service for the next four years with a £1.2m a year subsidy from the Welsh Assembly Government. The company has been running two flights a day in each direction from Monday to Friday on a temporary basis since May after the inaugural operator Highlands Airways collapsed. The new contract starts on December 13, with seats on sale via’s website.

Since the intra-Wales air service began in May 2007, more than 40,000 passengers have used the flights. Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones old the press: This air link joining North and South Wales has proved itself to be an efficient, reliable and popular service. Since they stepped in to cover the flights earlier this year, Manx2 has proved that it can provide value for money and can provide the kind of service we are looking for. We have been determined to maintain this important connection which has proved very popular with passengers and has contributed to linking up the country with both social and economic benefits.”

The link has proved controversial with some, critics labelling it ‘Ieuan Air’ because it links Mr Jones’ constituency with Cardiff.

Away Day with a Railway - by Charlie Hulme

Your editor was pleased to take part in the charity model railway exhibition organised by the Rhyl Model Railway Club; it was good to meet some of our contributors for the first time, and to receive such kind comments from readers too. Above is a picture by Richard Billngsley (who also suggested the title for this item) of my H0e Austrian layout 'Grabental' doing its stuff, and below a selection of views by Richard Fleckney showing the fine variety of other exhibits.

Vintage Tinplate O gauge.

'Wild Creek' - American logging narrow gauge in 0 scale.

O gauge BR  with green DMU.

'Sea Bank'  G scale.

A display by the  Colwyn Bay Boat Club. 

Thanks are due to the organisers, including the catering volunteers, to Dave Sallery who helped operate my layout, and also to the rail staff who got me there and didn't ask what was in my very odd piece of luggage!

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