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22 August 2011
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Tuesday 23 August Conwy Valley Steam: Railway Touring Company, 'The Welsh Mountaineer' Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.
27, 28 & 29 August –August Bank Holiday Weekend Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Fun Whatever The Weather!
'Who cares if it rains over the Bank Holiday? We’ve organised a special fun weekend, including chance to win a prize if you find the Welsh Dragons hiding in the Engine Sheds.'
9 - 11 September Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Friday 9 September Clwyd Railway Circle Edgar Richards: Railways of the North East, 1965 onwards (part 1). After recovering from an injury sustained in 2010, our top link speaker is back. This time Edgar takes us on a journey from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Durham.
Saturday 10 September Steam to Chester The Cathedrals Express London Euston - Chester. Steam Dreams 60163 Tornado: Euston-Chester and return
Saturday 10 September – Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Lace on the Train. 'It’s National Lace Making Day, and a team of master lacemakers will be travelling on the train demonstrating the art of making lace with pins and pillows.'
Saturday 17 September – Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Cob 200. 'The Great Embankment which allowed Porthmadog to be built was completed 200 years ago this weekend. Two centuries on, The Cob is still there and still doing its job. We’re planning a day of celebrations as part of the festivities going on in town, including a visit from the man who built The Cob – William Madocks himself.'
Monday 19 September RCTS Chester Bob Casselden: Teenage Memories Of The Early 1960s. A digital presentation of some of Bob’s black and white pictures from the 1960s. Bob’s home town of Yeovil will feature as well as faraway places such as Carlisle and Sunderland. His presentation will cover steam, diesel and electric traction with some of his early photographs which were taken with his ‘Box Brownie’ camera and have now been scanned for this presentation.
Saturday 24 September - Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog – Railways on the Air. Railway enthusiasts get together with amateur radio enthusiasts to broadcast around the globe from our station at Pen-y-Mount, and celebrate the 200th birthday of the Cob. Listen out for call sign GOWHR.
Wednesday 5 October Excursion Compass Tours - from Holyhead (dep. 07:30) and stations to Crewe, to Bath or Salisbury, 'Western Cathedrals Express'
Friday 7 October Clwyd Railway Circle Larry Davies: Railway Wanderings in North Wales. A collection of slides around North Wales presented by a great favourite with our members.
Monday 17 October RCTS Chester Brian Stephenson: Great Railway Photographers. Brian visits us from Ashford to give a digital presentation from about 10 individual photographers of the last 90 years. The show will include the work of W.J.V. Anderson, O.J Morris, T.G. Hepburn, F.R. Hebron, P. F. Cooke, Kenneth Field and C.R.L.Coles. Also included will be a selection of Brian’s own photographs from 50 years of railway photography.
Darkness falls as the return Holyhead - Liverpool North Wales Coast Express excursion calls at Chester on Sunday 21 August (Picture: Geoff Morris). See report below.
Large amounts of people alighting at Conwy from 158 837 on the 0909 Birmingham international - Holyhead on 20 Aug. Judging by the usage seen this year, perhaps more trains could call and its request stop status could be changed? (Chris Morrison)
The amusingly-named 'Limestone Cowboy' railtour run by UK Railtours on 20 August from London (with Class 92 haulage south of Crewe) featured some very interesting non-passenger lines, including the Middlewich branch, where it was photographed above by Steve Morris, and - very unusually - the line from Buxton to the lime works at Hindlow. It's a real shame that the Hindlow line cannot see more passenger use at weekends, and it gives access to the walking and cycling trails on the old trackbeds to the south.
The Cambrian lines saw loco haulage on 18 August in the shape of an Aberystwyth to York and Durham excursion arranged by Cheshire Cat Tours. The previous day, 17 August, the rolling stock was taken from Riviera Trains depot in Crewe to Aberystwyth by 97 302 and 97 303, pictured above at Hadnall by Stavros Lainas.
On the day, 97 303 and 97 302 took the train as far as Crewe, where they were removed as planned ...
... and replaced by DRS machines 37 059 and 37 218. Pictures by Andrew Royle.
Here's the 'Northern Belle' with its matching DRS locomotive 47 790 Galloway Princess, seen at Mickle Trafford on 17 August heading for the York race meeting (Stavros Lainas).
Arriva Trains Wales ran one of their Saturday 'Rugby Specials' from Holyhead to Cardiff on Saturday 13 August, using an augmented rake of the weekday express coaches. seen above heading out across Anglesey past the Valley triangle with 57 316 leading. (M.Lloyd Davies).
The North Wales Explorer, 20 August
Great Western 'Castle' locomotive 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe visited North Wales with the Tyseley - Llandudno Junction 'North Wales Explorer' charter operated by Vintage Trains on Saturday 20 August. Robert Darlaston was at Crewe to take the above portrait. Note how the high gloss of the paintwork acts as a mirror, even on the inside of the cab roof. The Vintage Trains locomotive crew look to be younger than some other steam crews seen on our line.
Departure from Crewe (Robert Darlaston). The Class 57 in the siding is most likely waiting to haul the Pendolino from London to Holyhead.
Above: the train fortuitously runs into a patch of sunshine while passing the Roodee after departing Chester on the outward leg. (Geoff Morris).
Earl of Mount Edgcumbe heads for Valley to turn on the triangle, passing Conwy Castle: two castles together (Chris Morrison).
Pass Llandegai en route for Valley (Rowan Crawshaw),
The passengers on the open-top bus get a good view of Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, checked at a signal on the approach to Llandudno Junction, on the return from Valley (Chris Morrison). The train terminated at Llandudno Junction, where passengers could catch a service train to Llandudno, or partake in organised road excursions to the Welsh Highland or Ffestiniog Railway. It's interesting that the Vintage Trains management do not believe in the 'diesel loco on the back' system common on other excursions.
The return 17:34 Llandudno - Tyseley pictured at Colwyn Bay (Greg Mape).
The classic view east of Colwyn Bay (Greg Mape). Coastal defence works are progressing in the background.
Rhyl (Chris Morrison).
Holywell Junction (Glyn Jones).
Passing Beeches Farm bridge near Hawarden, just as the whistle was blown - and 'before the sun was switched off - well it felt like that!'. (Dave Jackson)
Gloomy conditions prevail as 5043 passes Rowton (Geoff Morris).
60 049 on the Dee Marsh steel train heading south on 15 August passing Dorrington, Shropshire very early at 09:57 (Stavros Lainas)
Andrew Vinten writes: '60 065 has been working out of Peak Forest for the past couple of weeks in between its periods of store. I went to Mobberley on 20 August to capture 6F05 from Tunstead to Oakleigh and 60065 turned up as a bonus when we were expecting 60 040.'
The Penmaenmawr - Guide Bridge train carrying stone ballast for the Manchester Metrolink expansion has run several times recently. Jack Bowley's picture above from 9 August shows the train just arrival at the quarry sidings (approx. 11:50). Freightliner's Bardon Aggregates-liveried 66 623 Bill Bolsover was in charge of the train. It ran again on 10 August with 66 614 and 12 August with 66 511, but has not been seen again since; the wagons are still in the sidings at Guide Bridge alongside a large stack of ballast on 18 August.
Meanwhile, on the sea, the Cemex-owned Raynes Jetty at Llanddulas still sees regular traffic. A visitor on 20 August was the UK-registered (Cardiff) Celtic Carrier. Her destination with 3000 tons of stone was Dagenham (Nick Gurney)
Martin Evans arrived at Shrewsbury on the afternoon of 19 August at 16:50pm to find 66 744 running round on the Ribblehead - Chirk empty log wagons. As we understand it, this is the loco formerly known as 66 843, a regular performer on these trains, which has been renumbered into the GB Railfreight company's series even though it still carried full Colas livery. GB Railfreight is now owned by Europorte, a subsidiary of Eurotunnel. Are you following this?
Darren Durrant's on holiday in Northern France, the place to see exotic traction such as ... DB Schenker 66 045.
Llangollen Transport Weekend