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21 November 2011
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Thursday 24 November Merseyside Railway History Group Iain Henshaw West Highland Rail Part 2
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 Change of programme due to illness: John Hilton will be showing his black and white pictures (in digital format) of steam at work in the Manchester and Stockport areas in the 1950s.
Saturday 10 December Rhyl and District Model Railway Exhibition, annual charity exhibition, to raise funds for Ty Gobaith Childrens Hospice. Held at Parish Hall, top of Central Car Park, Prestatyn, a short walk from the station.
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.
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
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, initially 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
A deep blue sky complements the Arriva livery of 57 314 passing Abergele with the (SO) 08.50 Euston-Holyhead on 12 November (Larry Goddard)
Units to the fore
A look at some of the Diesel Multiple Unit trains which are the mainstay of North Wales passenger services, but often get overshadowed in these pages by the few locomotive-hauled workings. Above, on 17 November, 175 111 passes Bagillt as the 10:33 Holyhead - Cardiff (Tim Rogers).
Refurbished 158 820 arrives at Bangor with the 11:23 Holyhead to Birmingham International on 19 November (Rowan Crawshaw).
Unusually pressed into service on a long-distance journey, 150 253 departs Bangor with the 05:10 Cardiff to Holyhead on 19 November (Rowan Crawshaw).
Direct Rail Services loco 66 416 accelerates away from a signal check at Abergele with a mid-afternoon ballast working from Penmaenmawr on 18 November (Larry Goddard).
While Abergele was bathed in sunlight, the view eastwards wasn't so bright as Abergele's signalman turns out to watch the progress of the train (Larry Goddard).
The scene at Penmaenmawr quarry on 26 October as 66 953 takes its train through the loader (Eifion Hughes).
A telephoto view of the same scene, also by Eifion Hughes, who tells us he has not been well enough to get out and about recently: we wish him all the best.
The Bala Lake Railway will be running 'Santa Trains' on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, promising 'push-me-pull-you' steam engines on a trip to the Lake of Serenity to visit Santa at his Grotto. There's a present for every young child, and mince pies and drinks for everyone else. Full details on the railway's web site.
The fire in 175 110 - update
In the first version of our last issue we suggested, based on comments from the local fire brigade, that the cause of the fire under 175 110 on 10 November at Manchester Piccadilly was due to a leak of hydraulic fluid, similar to the fire in 175 008 at Preston in 2004, but this is not so; following that incident the hydraulic pipework around the gearbox was modified on all units so that if it became pierced there would be no oil spray.
Investigation of the fire in 175 110 have found that a component failure caused a small fire confined to the area between the belly pan and the engine block. Early suggestions are that the train will be back in use in a few weeks.
Getting the Treatment
The Rail Head Treatment Train, headcode 3S71, with its pair or Class 97/3 (alias Class 37) locos is popular with our contributors. Here's another selection of the work. Above, 97 302 heads the train through Valley on 31 October (M.Lloyd Davies) ...
... with 97 304 John Tiley on the rear (M.Lloyd Davies).
1 November, and the train is seen on the Stanley Embankment connecting Holy Island with the Anglesey mainland (M.Lloyd Davies).
The high-pressure water jets are in action as the train starts the climb out of Holyhead on 5 November (M.Lloyd Davies).
Llanfairyneubwll, 5 November (M.Lloyd Davies). See the left column for a close-up from this view.
On a very murky, dank 16 November, 97 302 leads the RHTT towards Chester at 12:08 past Beeches Farm (Bob Greenalgh)
Passing Bagillt on Thursday 17 November at 12:06 (Stavros Lainas)
97 303 and 97 302 pass Bangor on the way to Holyhead, 19 November (Rowan Crawshaw).
The return train on 19 November, with 97 302 leading, passes Menai Bridge (Rowan Crawshaw).
Only a few more weeks left now with the RHTT, which normally runs until the timetable change in early December. The Autumn colours are really beginning to show now, making photography just that little bit more colourful, as 97 302 with 97 303 on the rear passes Llandudno Junction with the return 3S71 Holyhead to Crewe Saturday 19 November (Garry Stroud).
Beating Beeching at Llangollen
Details are to hand of two forthcoming 30-minute programmes of interest on BBC TV Wales, entitled 'Beating Beeching.'
Programme 1, 'Beating Beeching - A Passion for Steam' will be shown on Tuesday 6 December at 19:30 on BBC 2 Wales (duration 30 mins.) 'The steam railways of Wales seemed lost forever with the Beeching cuts of the 1960s but this series celebrates their revival with wonderful colour archive film combined with the memories of passengers and railwaymen from the age of steam. This week we meet a schoolboy driver, station master, firemen and holidaymakers who share a passion for steam with the volunteers at Llangollen Railway.'
Programme 2, 'Beating Beeching - Steam's Glorious Past' is on Tuesday 13 December at 19:30 on BBC 2 Wales (duration 30 mins.) 'The steam railways of Wales seemed lost forever with the Beeching cuts of the 1960s but this series celebrates their revival with wonderful colour archive film combined with the memories of passengers and railwaymen from the age of steam. This week we meet a schoolboy driver, station master, firemen and holidaymakers who share a passion for steam with the volunteers at Llangollen Railway.'
Viewers outside Wales and its immediate borderlands will be able to watch these shows on the iPlayer, or via Sky, but sadly not on Freeview or Virgin Media cable channels. (Bob Hargreaves adds: this programme will be available on Freesat and other free to air transmissions from Astra 28.2. For freesat outside Wales just put in any Welsh postcode, Free to Air is always available.)
Holyhead views - by M. Lloyd Davies
Some views from the Holyhead area taken on 31 October, the day 67 030 worked to Holyhead with Pathfinder Tours' 'Majestic Snowdonian' from Bristol.
After a quick run round ...
... 67 030 was ready to take the stock out of Platform 1 for servicing ...
... and for its own refuelling ...
... at the Holyhead stabling point.
Collecting the coaches, as a Virgin train to London formed of two 'Voyager' units stands in Platform 1.
At the Cardiff Conference - report by Bob Hargreaves
I went to the event in Cardiff on 3 November organised by
The Association of Community Rail Partnerships – ACoRP which included the six rail partnerships in Wales. there was a mixed feeling at the event which ran from 11:30a.m. to around 1.00 p.m. The Minister for Wales Rail, Carl Sargent, attended and visited the six stands, however he did not make the key note speech on the agenda we all expected, and left after 20 minutes.
Among other attendees, were Senior Managers of ATW and The Community relations Director/Executive of Network Rail. Although all AMs had been invited to the event, the only two who turned up to support were both North Wales AMs Mark Isherwood and Aled Roberts.
I am afraid confusion remains, but I did hear that ATW were given disposition by National Rail, to delay the Dec 2011 timetables, due to further delay in preparation of the "Strategic Review of Transport for Wales" being undertaken by the Minister. This review was due in Autumn, has this review is considering the future of the Open Access 'WAG Expresses their fate remains unknown, hence the timetable delay. [We understand that since the meeting it has been agreed that the timetable change will go ahead as planned, with the same Government-sponsored services as in 2011 - C.H.]
I travelled down to Cardiff on ''WAG1 Gerald" from Chester, after almost an hour on Chester station, as the only connection is the 06:04 from Wrexham for the 07:09 Cardiff Express. As usual the train emptied of the majority of passengers at Crewe, and after Shrewsbury the standard three coaches were half-filled, with only two in First. which I counted when visiting the buffet. I Noted the 06:30 Virgin train to Euston was full out of Chester, and the unit to form the 07:00 Wrexham - Euston voyager passed through Chester at 06:35, stopping on platform 3 to pick up another staff member who got into the rear cab.
My return was the 14:50 two-car 175 towards Manchester Piccadiily, full on arrival, and standing to Newport, the look of dismay can be seen on passengers' faces when a two car turns up. After a 40-minute wait at Shrewsbury, I caught the 17:24 three-car 175 for Holyhead as far as Wrexham.
Adieu to Cargo-D
As reported here previously, the Cargo-D company, hirer of coaches and operator or railtours, has been closed down by administrators who are hoping to dispose of the company's assets, which include a fleet of Mk 3 and Mk2 coaches, mostly ex-Virgin Trains painted in British Rail's blue and grey livery. A number of these vehicles appeared in the 'Three Peaks by Rail' charity special of 23 June 2011, and were photographed by M. Lloyd Davies at Holyhead. The company owned one Mk3 sleeping car, 10588, seen above, which was used for staff accommodation.
One of the fleet of Mk 3 vehicles, which were often see at one time on the trains of Wrexham & Shropshire, another company now vanished.
This Mk 1 kitchen car became notorious as 2011 wore on, as problems with it ('awaiting repair') were blamed for the cancellation of several 'Rail-Blue' railtours for which tickets had been sold, as the company slid in to debt. Among the trains cancelled was one intended as a memorial to the company's founder Mark Honey, who died in 2010.
One vehicle owned by Cargo-D at one time was Mk 2 coach 6124 which was bought from Arriva Trains Wales as a source of spares, having been damaged in the mishap at Rhymney in 2005 which also signed the death warrant of popular loco 37 408 Loch Rannoch.
The following fleet-list has been recovered from the Google cache of the Cargo-D website: the site itself has now been taken down. MkIII TSO 12014, 12038, 12043, 12053 and 12119. MkIII FO 11064, 11065, 11071, 11079, 11083, 11084, 11086 and 11089. MkIII RFM 10202, 10242, 10245 and 10246. MkII FO 3232, 3312, 3366 and 3374. MkII TSO 5787, 5810, 5815, 5866, 5876, 5901, 5906, 5919, 5925, 5958, 5971, 5995, 6001, 6008, 6046, 6064, 6113, 6117, 6122, 6168 and 6173. MkII BSO 9497, 9506, 9508 and 9525. Mk1 RK 80042. Mk1 RBR 1657 MkII RFO 1252, 1253 and 1254.
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