Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

31 October 2011

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Forthcoming events

November 2011

Friday 4 November  Clwyd Railway Circle  Geoff Coward: The Worlds Last Real Working Steam – China 2002. The Ji-Tong line featured frequent 2300 tonne trains, 1 in 80 gradients, snow, mountains and huge steam locos. Other locations include coal trains, passenger services and a steelworks, all steam operated in November 2002, now all gone.

Saturday 5 November      Stephenson Locomotive Society     Mike Crabtree, I.Eng., M.I.E.T.    The Great Orme Tramway, Llandudno – a History of the Line . An illustrated talk describing the history of the line and a description of how the line has been rejuvenated to meet the challenges of operating in the 21st century.  Tuesday 8 November 8E Railway Association  Bill Andrews presents Life As An Engine Driver

Friday 11 November Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Locomotives Part 1" by Paul Shackcloth, Photographic Officer, Manchester Locomotive Society
Thursday 10 November  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Larry Davies    "Summer Holidays by Train"

Monday 14 November.  Wrexham Railway Society A Colour Rail Journey - The new proprietor of Colour-Rail Paul Chancellor will talk about the difficulties of dealing with old colour slides and will present a UK wide journey with illustrations taken over the past 60 years.

Tuesday 15 November  North Wales Railway Circle David Jones and Brian Bollington have put together an interesting show on the Penrhyn Quarry Railway. This will be of great interest to local people, many of whom will remember these workings.

Monday 21 November  RCTS Chester  Edgar Richards: North Eastern Part 1. Our very own Edgar Richards returns with views of the northern part of the former North Eastern Region.

Thursday 24 November  Merseyside Railway History Group  Iain Henshaw     West Highland Rail Part 2

December 2011

Friday 2 December  Clwyd Railway Circle  Xmas Celebration –
A film show to whet your appetite before our interlude of festive goodies.

Saturday 3 December     Stephenson Locomotive Society -  Malcolm Dickin            THE CHAIRMAN’S CHRISTMAS QUIZ   

Tuesday 6 December   North Wales Railway Circle  Mr Ted Jones of the Conwy Valley Railway Society and the Prestatyn Railway Society is to give a show in 2 parts: 1.  Cambrian Coast Express 2.  Swiss Railways

Thursday 8 December Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Members Night/Xmas Social

Thursday 8 December   Merseyside Railway History Group    Ted Lloyd  The Last Big Adventure – Social evening

Friday 9 December  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Current Developments on Metrolink" by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association

Monday 12 December. Wrexham Railway Society AGM and Rail Review with members' material on show

Tuesday 13 December   North Wales Railway Circle  Christmas Buffet, Members Film and Photo Night

Tuesday 13 December 8E Railway Association  AGM followed by Steam Around Chester by Jon Penn
Monday 19 December RCTS Chester    Members Evening:30 slides or digital images of your choice. Please advise Alan Donaldson if you intend to make a presentation and to what format you will be using.

January 2012
Friday 6 January  Clwyd Railway Circle  Brian Roberts: Reflections of the 1990s,  Brian’s presentation will visit many different locations across the national network, with some emphasis on the Merseyside area, in an attempt to portray a decade of considerable change.  Passenger operating companies will be reviewed, largely via their ever changing liveries, and there will be glimpses of some of our preserved lines. The freight scene will be recalled, too, not least by showing images taken on freight only lines, at industrial plants and at several collieries prior to closure.

Monday 9 January. Wrexham Railway Society The Many Varied Railways of Australia . Geoff Morris will show the great variety of rail action Down Under.
Tuesday 10 January 8E Railway Association  Karl Jauncey & Dave Richards from PSOV present Mainline Steam 2011

Thursday 12 January Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Society Tribute - the late Bill Rear       

Friday 13 January  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Steam Across Java in 1980" by John Sloane
Monday 16  January  RCTS Chester  Barry Shore: Terminus Part 3
Barry continues his Terminus series, this time off the Network, The Preservation Scene and offshore including the Isle of Man and Ireland.

Saturday 21 January    Stephenson Locomotive Society    Area A G M followed by:  Professor Colin Divall   - Down the American Road? Industrial Research on the LMS, 1923-1947 The Big Four are often criticised for an over-reliance on traditional forms of engineering. However by the late 1930s the LMS had developed a sizeable Research Department dealing with a wide range of technical problems. This talk examines the Department's origins and activities, and asks how successful it was.

Thursday 26 January     Merseyside Railway History Group            Allan Moore :  Lost Stations of St. Helens

February 2012

Friday 3 February  Clwyd Railway Circle  Geoff Morris: Australian Railways Today. A digital presentation of Geoff's visits to Australia in 2009 and 2010 featuring main line and preserved steam in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and also a look at the some of the modern scene.

Thursday 9 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Ron Watson Jones"Irish Mail Crash Penmaenmawr - Aug 50"/"A Ron Miscellany"   

Friday 10 February  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Great Western Railway Lines in South and Mid-Wales" by Tony Icke

Monday 13 February. Wrexham Railway Society Sixties Steam on Steam - Barry Shore will give a digital presentation based on his b&w negatives from the 60s with shed visits around the UK and the final days of steam at Lostock Hall.

Tuesday 14 February 8E Railway Association  Colin White from B&R Video presents Archive Cine Film from 50's & 60's

Saturday 18 February    Stephenson Locomotive Society   Bob Barnard  The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway – Then & Now. From 1898 this well-equipped 2 foot gauge line climbed into the foothills of Exmoor, intitially independent but later under the Southern Railway, until its sudden closure in 1935.  Since 2004, trains have run on a section again.  Bob Barnard, a local L&B enthusiast and North West group organiser, will tell the line's story in pictures old and new.
Monday 20  February RCTS Chester  Stephen Gay: Walking the line, discovering lost railways. Stephen travels from Sheffield with a slide 
show on walking old railways with his faithful  German Shepherd dog Wrawby. The show includes the S&D, Scarborough to Whitby, rambling in Scotland to glorious Devon plus a very varied local selection

Thursday 23 February   Merseyside Railway History Group     Graham Briggs:   Steaming Through Britain

As the leave prepare to fall, the Rail Head Treatment Train is ready with its water jets to blast their crushed remains the rails. Picture at Mold Junction on 26 October by Stavros Lainas. 97 303 leads.

Editorial thoughts

Something of a 'bumper picture special' this week, featuring a variety of trains, several of them yellow. If you picture is not included, bear with us!

One interesting piece of news which comes to light is that the Cardiff - Holyhead via Crewe express will continue to be 57-hauled after the December timetable change, but, also in December, training of drivers on Class 67s will commence with a view to the train being taken over by 67-worked push-pull trains in March 2012. The  so-called 'second WAG Express' which runs via Wrexham will, it appears, continue to be a class 175 railcar set, perhaps until the Welsh Government decides whether it should continue.

The engineering work on the Cambrian coast line over the half-term week seems not to have included any re-laying in the Tywyn area as we predicted; we hear that the planned work on Barmouth Bridge suffered a setback when contractors responsible for the erection of scaffolding on the bridge put it in entirely the wrong place, so it had to be taken down and put in the right place...

We're told that the smelly liquid that escaped into the passenger compartment of the Conwy Valley train (17 October issue) may not have been fuel, but engine coolant. 

Elsewhere, the Cargo-D company, whose fleet of BR-liveried coaches were much-used by Wrexham & Shropshire in its early days, and more recently has run railtours under the name Rail-Blue Railtours, has entered Administration and ceased to trade, following the cancellation of several advertised trains, many of whose prospective passengers have not received refunds. It's likely that the company's fleet of Mk2 and Mk3 coaches will appear on the market very soon.

Passenger assortment

Refurbished 158 833 crosses the road at Llanfair PG, 15 October (Richard Fleckney).

57 309 Brains westbound at Llanfair PG, 15 October with the Saturday 'Pendolino drag' of the 08:50 London - Holyhead. (Richard Fleckney).

57311 Parker heads 390 051 Virgin Ambassador westbound through a very dull Abergele on 29 October (Larry Goddard).

A ten-coach 'Voyager' formation speeds through clear signals at  Abergele with the midday London - Holyhead working on 28 October (Larry Goddard).

67 030 passes Llanfair PG with a Pathfinder Tours excursion, the 'Majestic Snowdonian' from Bristol Temple Meads to Holyhead with options to visit the Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog lines, 31 October (Richard Fleckney)

An early-morning scene at Chester station on 26 October, and 57 601, with 47 580 to the rear, about to depart, at 07:04, leading the Hooton to Carlisle, Compass Railtours 'Mid-Cheshire Moorlander' (Chris Coxon).

Revenue-earning freight

In a rather floral pose at Penmaenmawr, 66 953 loads up the 6H45 to Guide Bridge with track ballast stone for use on Manchester Metrolink, 26 October.

Later the same day, 66 953 powers the loaded train on the approach to Colwyn Bay (Jack Bowley). The concrete wall dates from the 1980s when the line was diverted to make room for the A55 road; let's hope some of those trees are evergreens...

37 608 leads 20 309 through Llanfair PG, with the Valley - Crewe flasks on 27 October (Richard Fleckney)

Approaching Colwyn Bay (Jack Bowley).

Measuring up (1)

Sprinter-based track recording train 950 001 heads towards Blaenau Ffestiniog, Llandudno and Bangor working 2Q08 test train on 27 October (Jack Bowley).

The unit heads west through Bangor station , 27 October (Richard Fleckney).

Returning through Bangor (Richard Fleckney).

Crossing with the Conwy Valley branch passenger train at North Llanrwst: the 'family resemblance' between the two is clear. Picture by Darren Durrant: a YouTube video by Darren is also available.

950 001 passes through Colwyn Bay heading back home (Jack Bowley).

Rail Head Treats

Llanfair PG, 15 October, with 97 304 John Tiley leading the Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) on the way back from Holyhead (Richard Fleckney).

Abergele, 21 October (M.Lloyd Davies).

Action shot of 97 302 from the public footpath at Colwyn Bay, 24 October (Darren Durrant).

97 302 in a lucky patch of sunshine at Beeches Farm, 25 October (Stavros Lainas). The blue tanks contain water: the high-pressure water jets are controlled remotely by an operator in the locomotive cab.

97 303 and 97 302 pass through a very wet Bangor on 26 October with the 3S71 RHTT back to Crewe (Jack Bowley).

I should be possible to get a 'reflection shot' here ...  a clean 97 304 heads the Up RHTT above the River Dulas on an overcast 27 October (Larry Goddard).

97 302 and 97 304 work the 3S71 Crewe - Crewe via Holyhead RHTT near Colwyn Bay, 27 October (Jack Bowley)

The driver of 97 304 John Tiley opens up for the cameramen on 28 October as the train passes Abergele & Pensarn with the return working from Holyhead. A mucky 97 303 brings up the rear (Larry Goddard).

Ffynnongroyw, 28 October, with 97 304 (Stavros Lainas)

The RHTT races ahead of the rain past Abergele & Pensarn station headed by 97 303, 29 October (Larry Goddard).

Passing Penmaenmawr, as a stone train with 66 554 loads in the quarry sidings, 31 October (Stéphanie Durrant)

All the pictures we've published before of the freight trains from Lynemouth (Northumberland) to the Anglesey Aluminium Metal works at Holyhead have shown the empty wagons being returned to Yorkshire. But M.Lloyd Davies was up very early at Holyhead on 11 October to see the loaded train arriving to to run the loco round the train before running the short distance back to the plant. Locomotive was 66 232.

One of the bogie-bolster wagons in close-up. The ingots were for re-melting to cast into smaller ones. Unfortunately, the aluminium smelter at Lynemouth is now under threat of closure (see a news report).

The first of these trains ran on 21 June, with 66 141, seen arriving at Holyhead in the summer morning light (M.Lloyd Davies.)

Each bogie wagon is loaded with five of the large blocks: two over each bogie pivot (the upper one support on wooden beams so the forks of the unloading vehicle can get under), but only one in the middle: even then the telephoto lens shows a certain amount of 'sag.' (M.Lloyd Davies)

Late season at Llangollen - report by George Jones

The half-term week 'Days Out With Thomas' event concluded with the 'Black 5' Donald going off to shed in the encroaching gloom on Sunday 30 October. The picture (above) was captured with my small Canon camera hand held which shows what digital is capable of, even in marginal lighting.

In preparation for the 'Poppy Trains' on 5-6 November,  a trial fitting of a Poppy Appeal headboard was tried out on 21 October on Black 5 44806.
The picture shows the design as supplied by the Royal British Legion in Wrexham. It also introduces our new member of the engineer staff, Lawrence Thistleton from Bwlchgwyn, who started his engineering apprenticeship on 31 October.
The three-train service on Saturday and Sunday 5 - 6 November is aimed at creating an awareness of the annual Poppy Appeal now marking its 90th anniversary. Representatives of the Royal British Legion are expected at Llangollen station to see the departure of the first train at 11am on Saturday.
The LMS-Patriot Project is arranging for access to the Llangollen Engineering works to see progress with the building of No.45551 The Unknown Warrior with escorted tours from Llangollen station at 12:40 and 14:40 on both days. Visitors should sign up at the station shop; maximum of 15 people per tour. All donations made during the day will go to the Poppy Appeal.

Wrexham footbridge news - report by George Jones

Work nears completion on the new footbridge and lift access to platform 4 at Wrexham General station. As seen in the attached image, the result is a masterful attempt at matching the new with the old. The brickwork is in Great Western Railway style and the foot bridge and stairs are a good representation of the original bridge using modern materials. The lift shaft also matches those on platforms 1 & 2/3 to maintain the architectural style of the station.
All that is needed now is clearance of the rampant vegetation at the south end to match the cleared ground at the north to improve visibility across the whole station site.

Measuring up (2)

31 106 stabled in Bangor station sidings on 26 October whilst running test trains during the night (Jack Bowley).

At the other end, DBSO driving trailer 9702 (Jack Bowley).

More Thomas views - by John Rutter

Pictures of the 'Days Out With Thomas' event taken on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October. Thursday was wet but Friday was sunny and warm. Above: The early morning crowd waiting on platform 2 for the special to Barmouth? No, they are waiting for Thomas to come off shed. Friday's first train went out full to capacity, as did the first train on Thursday

Friday - Thomas and Rickerty seen from the footbridge.

Scenes with 44806, temporarily 'faced' as Douglas, and Thomas himself.

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