28 August 2017
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
[Details of events during the autumn of 2017 are welcome for
Friday 1 September Clwyd
Railway Circle Dave Walters 'Railway Memories' The
first half of the programme will feature images from John
Dickinson, sadly no longer with us taken from 1970’s to 1989
in North Wales and other areas. The second half features
images from Pat Webb taken from 1949/50 to the 80’s and 90’s
mostly in black and white.
1-3 September Welshpool
and Llanfair Railway Gala Weekend
Saturday 09 September Steam at Chester West
Coast Railways THE CHESHIREMAN
Norwich - Chester 70013 or 60009: Norwich - Chester -
Thursday 14 September Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Dave
Southern: Wrexham Railways
15-17 September Welsh
Highland Railway Super Power Weekend
16-17 September Penrhyn
Quarry Railway Special event
Cancelled as the Railway is closed
Saturday 23 September Welshpool and
Llanfair Railway Diesel day
23-24 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel Weekend
Saturday 30 September Steam at Chester Vintage
Trains 'The Shropshire Express' Tyseley Warwick
Road - Chester. 5043: Tyseley - Wolverhampton - Crewe -
Chester - Wrexham - Shrewsbury - Birmingham New St - Tyseley
Friday 6 October Clwyd
Railway Circle Les Nixon '55 Years of Railway
Photography - Part 3' A selection of railway pictures which
include genuine BR steam, a wide variety of mainly older
modern traction along with industrials, some preservation
and brief visits, worldwide, to nearly 20 countries.
6-8 October Ffestiniog
Railway Victorian Weekend
Thursday 12 October Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society
Julian Birley MBE: The Bala Lake
13-15 October Llangollen
Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Saturday 14 October
Railway and Canal Historical Society Clinker
Memorial Lecture in Manchester 2:00 pm, Mechanics
Conference Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD.
William Fairbairn, the experimental engineer - a study in
mid-nineteenth century engineering. Admission free to all.
Friday 3 November Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Snowdon Mountain Railway' A
presentation given by Mike Robertshaw Msc IEng MIED, Senior
Engineering Manager of the railway.
Thursday 9 November Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM /
Clive Evans Memories of North Wales steam and beyond
in the 1950s
Saturday 18 November Steam on the Coast Steam
Dreams 'Cathedrals Express' London Euston - Llandudno
for the Christmas Market. 46233 Duchess of
Sutherland: Crewe - Llandudno and return
Saturday 25 November Steam at Chester Railway Touring
Company 'The Christmas Cheshireman'
Bristol - Chester 70013 / 45305: Bristol - Hereford -
Wrexham - Chester and return
Saturday 25 November Steam at Chester UK
Railtours 'The Chester Chirstmas Cracker'
London Euston - Chester 60163: Euston - Chester and return
Friday 1 December Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Members Night & Christmas
Celebrations' Members are invited to give a 15 minute
presentation of their choice (any format). FREE tea/coffee
& festive treats during the interval. Contact David
Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.
Thursday 14 December Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society
Xmas Social / Bill Rogerson: Roaming the Rails with
Friday 5 January Clwyd
Railway Circle Mike Blackburn 'The Welsh Highland
Railway (NWNGR)' A history of the North Wales narrow gauge
and Croesor Tramway and the linking to form the Welsh
Highland Railway, restoration and building of the new.
Thursday 11 January Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Ron
Watson Jones: Rails to Roads
Friday 2 February Clwyd
Railway Circle John Sloane 'From Vulcan Foundry to the
Khyber' British built steam at work in Pakistan, It includes
pictures taken on the spectacular line up the Khyber Pass to
the Afghan border.
8 February Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society
Ellis Morey: The Penrhyn Railway
Friday 2 March
Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed
by “Film Shows - Railways Past and Present”.
Thursday 8 March Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society John
Cashen RCTS: North West & North Wales
Reminiscences in the 1960s
Friday 6 April Clwyd
Railway Circle John Cashen 'North West & North
Wales Reminiscences In The 1960s' The presentation will
cover from Liverpool to Liverpool within an area bounded by
Southport, Burscough, Standish, Warrington, Crewe,
Whitchurch, Chester, Holyhead, Barmouth, Aberystwyth,
Shrewsbury, Wrexham, the Wirral, Chester, Northwich and
12 April Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Members
10 May Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society W. Gordon
Davies: A taste of Japan
Barmouth, 16 August. Picture by Greg Mape.
On 25 August, the Voyager-worked 1A23 08:55 Holyhead to
London Euston passes Llanfair PG. Pictire by Alan
The Flasks at Llanfair PG on 25 August, hauled by 68 017
and 68 024. The giant ticket advert (see last
issue) has been removed, together with the wooden poles used
to fix it to the fence ... and is now at Bangor station,
covering the original slate station sign (Alan Crawshaw).
An unusual sight on 20 August at Chester: 67 015
with Mk3 TSO 12178 in tow heading empty-stock from Crewe to
Cardiff at 15:30 (Eurwyn McMahon).
Bala Gala 25 August - report by Martin Evans
The Bala Lake Railway staged their annual
Steam Gala from 25 to 28 August, with five 'Quarry
Hunslets' in steam, including latest addition to the
fleet, George B. Above, 0-4-0STs Alice
and Maid Marian wait to depart Llanuwchllyn with
the 11:50 service to Bala.
Visiting ex-Dinorwic Quarry Hunslet Hugh
Napier, which is owned by the National Trust,
arrives at Llanuwchllyn with a rake of Dinorwic slate
wagons. Hugh Napier is an 0-4-0ST Hunslet quarry
tank (855 of 1904) which worked at Penrhyn Quarries, where
he was part of the 'Large Quarry' class. He weighs around
7½ tons and is owned by the National Trust, whose aim is
to have him publicly available, so he mostly resides as a
guest at the Ffestiniog Railway.
Resident Bala Lake railway Hunslet Winifred waits
to depart Llanuwchllyn with a rake of Penrhyn slate wagons
Resident Bala Lake Railway Hunslet Holy War
runs around at Llanuwchllyn preparing to depart with the
13:30 service to Bala.
Then and now - with Jim Ikin
The original entrance road to Abergele &
Pensarn station, in a postcard posted in 1905, Of note is
the Railway Hotel displaying the sign for Alsops Ales on
the gable end with cattle pens to the front; the
partially-built (now much changed) semi-detached houses to
A present-day view. Note the alteration to the houses to
allow light into attic rooms. The pub is still in business
as 'The Yacht'.
Old Colwyn just short of the original Colwyn Bay station.
In 1929 a pleasure boat is about to depart. Penmaen Head
is still in one piece with its quarry jetty. The path can
be seen leading directly from the beach to the platform
and to the underpass which is still in use today.
Later additions have included an increase in the
height of the sea wall and the introduction of the
A beautiful scene from the 1940's coach tours and
teas are available. One of Colwyn Bay Borough Council's
Guy Wolf buses, mainstay of the fleet from 1934 to 1960,
collects passengers. Penmaen Head is much reduced and the
waiting room of Old Colwyn station (closed to passengers
in 1952) can be seen.
Today: the nearest legal view with the Rainbow
bridge in the distance.
As an aside, the new flats being built atop
Penmaen Head, at the very edge of the former Hotel 70°
site,will severely restrict photography of the main line
from the lay-by.
Ian Wright writes: 'I recently took a walk out onto
the sands to see how the timbers of Barmouth Bridge which
were replaced after the fire are weathering.'
By way of contrast, Ian offers this view taken during a walk
up Diffws on 15 August, with a class 158 crossing the
The view from the bridge footpath, which remains open
despite the recent threat of closure (Greg Mape).
Talybont, between Barmouth and Harlech, on 16 August with 158
826 heading for Pwllheli (Greg Mape).
A rare picture of 37 428's naming David Lloyd
George at Pwllheli on 16 May 1987. The ceremony was
attended by many important people including Dafydd Wigley,
the then local MP, and also several local councillors.
The ceremony itself (see picture) was carried out by Lloyd
George's daughter, Lady Olwen Carey-Evans who was well into
her 90's, and a young relative of hers, and also David
McIintosh, Provincial Manchester (North and Mid Wales) and
lastly Len Humphreys (who lived at station house, Harlech) -
Area Supervisor, Cambrian Coast Line. Following the naming
ceremony, 37 428 departed with the 08:00 Pwllheli - London
The picture, which is strictly copyright, was taken by Nigel
Hughes of Porthmadog, proprietor of Nigel Hughes
Photography, 120 High Street, Porthmadog. Our thanks
to regular contributor Ken Robinson for bringing this to our
37 428 was one of the small batch of 37/4 conversions
allocated to Cardiff depot for Cambrian and Manchester -
Cardiff services, on which it worked for several years from
1986 before being transferred to Scotland in 1991, losing
its name and later receiving a special maroon livery
to match the 'Royal Scotsman' train. In 2000, still in the
maroon livery, it came south to the North Wales Coast for
the last months of our 37/4-hauled services, then from 2001
worked on the Cardiff - Rhymney line for a while before
returning to Scottish duties later that year, including the
Edinburgh - Fort William portion of the Caledonian Sleeper.
in 2003 it was put in storage, languishing at Tonal and
later Margam for several years before being sold for scrap.
(Thanks as always to the Class 37
Chris Magner writes: 'David McIntosh was the manager
who brought Cambrian steam back in 1987. He had been a
Fireman at Wrexham Rhosddu and Croes Newydd and eventually a
driver on the Ffestiniog Railway. Other achievements
were steam to Skegness with 80xxx 2-6-4T's One
of his finest driving turns was in September 1986 when he
drove FR loco Mountaineer on the 'Night Rheidol'
working during the Vale of Rheidol Railway Enthusiasts
Weekend at Aberystwyth.'
Bargain of the Week - report by Richard Putley
On Saturday 26 August 2017, I decided I would photograph 60009
Union of South Africa hauling the Railway Touring
Company's Cotswold Venturer Charter from London Paddington
to Worcester Shrub Hill. From looking at its schedule I saw
that it was booked to stop at Moreton-in-Marsh between 11:30
and 11:44. So I looked up times and fares from Malvern on
National Rail Enquiries and found that the fare quoted,
£15.40 for an Off-Peak Day Return; I thought this was just
about acceptable, But when I arrived at the ticket machine
at Malvern Link station and it offered me a Super Off-Peak
Day Return for the princely sum of £3.70 I couldn't believe
This is cheaper than an Off Peak Day Return to Worcester
which costs £5.80. So I duly purchased a Super Off-Peak Day
Return to Moreton-in-Marsh and boarded the 07:48 to
London Paddington. I took this train as far as Worcester
Shrub Hill as I'd seen on Real Time Trains that a West Coast
Railways Wolverhampton to Kingswear charter was due to call
there at 08:44.
A punctual arrival at Shrub Hill enabled me to have a cooked
breakfast at the excellent Cafe Loco on Platform 1. Very
good value at £4.60. The West Coast Charter was top and
tailed by 57 601 (above) and 57 313 and was
formed of 'The Statesman Pullman set.
I noticed a new signal was under wraps at the south end of
Platform 1. I assumed this would be a colour light
replacement for the existing semaphore starting signal. But
when I set off for Moreton-in-Marsh on the 09:02 from Shrub
Hill to Paddington I saw the post also held a semaphore disc
signal so may be it will be a new semaphore.
Moreton-in-Marsh station is now the only place apart from
Worcester where semaphore signals can still be found on the
North Cotswold line. On Saturdays it now enjoys an hourly
frequency with most trains worked either by HSTs or Class
166 “Turbo” DMUs. I was thus surprised to see that the 11:02
to Great Malvern was worked by an “Adelante” DMU, 180 106 as
I thought GWR didn't use them at weekends. This unit must
have made two round trips between the Capital and Malvern as
later on it worked the 17:45 from Worcester Foregate
Street to Malvern.
It wasn't long after 180 106 had gone that the
signalman at Moreton lowered the signals for the steam
special which arrived a few minutes early behind 60009.
Departure was right time; likewise the 12:02 to Hereford
which I took to Worcester Foregate Street.
After meeting a friend for lunch, I saw 60009 running over
the Worcester Viaduct in order to turn round. I then walked
out to near the Metal Box factory (which until recently
received its raw materials by rail; the last factory in
Worcester to do so) to photograph 60009 on its return.
The sidings are still in place and are beneath the
undergrowth in the picture of 60009 in Shrub Hill station.
Finally I bade my friend farewell and returned to Malvern on
the 17:45 from Worcester. I still do not know if I had the
record ticket. It definitely said 'Adult' on it but as
no-one of the guards on any of the trains I travelled on
checked it I can't be 100% certain. But I shall remember to
buy another one if I can the next time I pop into Worcester!
[Editor's note: It seems from the brfares.com
website that this £3.70 fare, curiously known as
'SUPER OFF-PEAK DAY XMAS08 GWR' is a temporary fare 'From
Sun 21 May 2017 until Sat 15 Jul 2017' and is only valid in
the evening. Why it was offered by the ticket machine in the
morning is a question only GWR can answer.]
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