Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

30 December 2012

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News of updates

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

This site is dedicated to all our regular contributors and supporters, and especially the rail staff of North Wales.

Recent issues

17 December 2012
 Picture news
 Llandudno 1990
 Santa at Llangollen - report by George Jones
 On the Welsh Highland - with John Roobottom
 Advent on the Rhyl Miniature Railway - report by John
 Past Times - with John Hobbs
 Talyllyn progress - based on a press release
 More on Liverpool Road and the Ordsall Chord

10 December 2012

   Gobowen station Christmas Cafe
 Pendolino no more
 Princess Elizabeth visits Chester
 RCTS meeting 17 December
 Edinburgh Statesman
 Bala Santa
 Llandudno lifting - report by Peter Lloyd
 Loco-hauled for Christmas
 Rugby special
 High-speed train?
 Tunnel cannabis farmers charged
 Holiday Snap

03 December 2012

 Christmas is coming
 Past Times  - with John Hobbs
 A visit to Cardiff - report by Roly High
 The 'Rheidol Road' Special - report by Denis Bates
 Manchester Metrolink developments - pictures by Greg Mape
 A Winter outing - report by Martin Evans
 The Pannier Rambler - report by Richard Putley
 Llandudno station before improvement - pictures by Roly High.
 Video Corner
26 November 2012

 End of the Pendolino Drag?
 Looking back at the Dyserth branch - with John Hobbs
 To Birmingham for the Model Railway show - with Roly High.
 For Sale: Penmaenmawr station house
 Coal to Penyffordd
 Marches line resignalling
 Bangor Repair Shed - last days
 North Wales electrification?
 MOSI and the Ordsall Chord - report by Charlie Hulme

19 November 2012

 Bangor Shed mystery
 Network Rail assortment
 Christmas at Bala
 Hop on our 'Merry-Maker' - with Stephen Hughes
 About Mark 3 coach bogies
 Ayrshire Yeomanry at Llangollen - report by George Jones
 Club 55 to Barry - report by Richard Fleckney
 Christmas Reading
 Sandy Lane crossing - pictures by Roly High
 Bridges at Berwyn - report by George Jones

12 November 2012
 Saturday 10 November: Rugby Special etc.
 Timetable change looms
 Grinding in North Wales - pictures by Roly High
 Ffestiniog scenes - by Ian Pilkington
 Princess leaves Ffestiniog pub - report by Eryl Crump
 Mouldsworth to Helsby memories - by Dave Sallery
 Cambrian needs nine million pounds
 Come to sunny Rhyl
 Derbyshire in a day - with Alan Crawshaw
 Brush Corner
 The new coaches in close-up - pictures by M.Lloyd Davies
 Hawarden from the Air - report by George Jones

05 November 2012

 DB Schenker under fire
 Changeable weather on Saturday 3 November
 Double Grids on timber train - report by Mark Riley
 New carriages for Snowdon
 Remembrance at Llangollen
 Birkenhead Tramway troubles
 Picture miscellany

Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page. For the current list visit our Calendar.

January 2013

Thursday 10 January Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society “Early Railways of Gwynedd 1790- 1830’s”     Dr Dafydd Gwynn

Friday 11 January  Altrincham Electric Railway Society "Transport around Manchester from 1750" a colour slide presentation by Chris Makepeace.

Saturday 12 January   Railway and Canal Historical Society    Group Annual General Meeting commencing at 13:45 followed at 14:30 by "Members Choice".

Monday 14 January Wrexham Railway Society 'Railway Quiz' Phil Davies

Thursday 17 January LCGB North West Keith Naylor "Isle of Wight Railways"

Monday 21 January RCTS Chester Branch A.G.M. followed By British slides between 1983 & 2010 By Alan Donaldson.

Thursday 31 January Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Coward:  Northeast China Steam 2002
February 2013

Friday 1 February   Clwyd Railway Circle   Gordon Davies “American Wanderings 2, the Great Plains Drifter” - Recollections of Gordon’s trip in 2008, covering the largest open cast mine in Wyoming plus the world’s largest marshalling yard.

Friday 8 February  Altrincham Electric Railway Society "The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway" a digital presentation by Bob Barnard.

Saturday 9 February   Railway and Canal Historical Society   "The Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal, its history and restoration" by Dr. Paul Hindle.

Monday 11 February Wrexham Railway Society 'The Wrexham - Bidston Line' David Rapson.

Tuesday 12 February 8E Railway Association  Colin White (B&R Video): Archive Cine Film from the 50s & 60s

Thursday 14 February Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society “My Life in Crewe Works”         Arthur Jones

Monday 18 February RCTS Chester The Northern Hub. A Talk By Duncan Law, Senior Programme Development Manager, Network Rail.

Thursday 21 February LCGB North West Mike Taylor "Preston and North"

Thursday 28 February Merseyside Railway History Group Dave Southern:  Rails to Blaenau Festiniog

March 2013

Friday 1 March    Clwyd Railway Circle   The Committee & Larry Davies.  AGM followed by the talk “60 years ago – Diamond days” After the formality is over, we look forward to the talk by one of our favourite speakers.           

Friday 8 March  Altrincham Electric Railway Society "German Narrow Gauge Steam" a colour slide presentation by John Owen.

Saturday 9 March    Railway and Canal Historical Society   "Lost Canals of the East Midlands" by the Society's President, Dr. Wendy Freer
Monday 11 March  Wrexham Railway Society  'A Circular Tour Of North Wales'  John Hobbs

Tuesday 12 March  8E Railway Association  Tony Icke presents Decades of Change

Thursday 14 March Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society “Polish Steam”  Brian Bollington & Pete Hanahoe

Monday 18 March RCTS Chester B.R in the early 1980’s By Tom Heavyside.

Thursday 21 March LCGB North West Tony Harrison "The Dragon's Last Roar"

Thursday 28 March Merseyside Railway History Group AGM:  Members Slides

April 2013

Friday 5 April   Clwyd Railway Circle   Michael Murphy 'Liverpool Overhead Railway' To finish off the season, a highly recommended speaker known for his light-hearted style of presentation. The talk will be followed by film footage of the railway in its heyday.

Monday 8 April  Wrexham Railway Society 'The Railways Of Scotland' Les Nixon

Tuesday 9 April  8E Railway Association  Graham Nicholas presents Tornado

Thursday 11 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society “Chester to Holyhead English Electric traction 1984 – Present day”  Steve Morris

Friday 12 April  Altrincham Electric Railway Society "Current Developments on Metrolink" a digital presentation by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association.

Saturday 13 April  Railway and Canal Historical Society   "The General Strike & the Railways" by Dr. Robin Smith

Monday 15 April RCTS Chester Even Further Down Under: New Zealand In 2011 & 2012 By Geoff Morris.

Thursday 18 April LCGB North West John Sloane 'Steam Sheds and Diesel Depots'

Thursday 25 April Merseyside Railway History Group Richard Kells : Quiz and informal evening

Sat - Sun 9 -10 February Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

Fri - Sun 15-17 February Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

23 March  Llangollen Railway Diesel day

13 April  Llangollen Railway Real Ale train evening

19-21 April Llangollen Railway  Spring Steam gala with return of the steam Railmotor 93 and newly restored Auto Trailer 92

May 2013

Thursday 9 May Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society “The Buckley Railway”  Paul Davies

Saturday 11 May Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery

Tuesday 14 May 8E Railway Association   Presentation by Wayne Jones.

Thursday 16 May LCGB North West AGM and Members/Visitors Slides & Digital Photos.

Sunday 19 May  Llangollen Railway Teddy Bears Picnic

June 2013

1-2 June Llangollen Railway Day Out with Thomas weekend

8 June  Llangollen Railway Real Ale train evening

22-23 June Llangollen Railway Heritage Railcar Gala

67 001 at Shrewsbury, 18 December (Alan Crawshaw).

This is a much-updated version of the 24 December page : the next issue will be in the New Year. - Charlie

Irish railways in the 1990's

Dave Sallery writes: 'I have uploaded a new website featuring a selection of scanned transparencies of the railways of Ireland as they were in the 1990s, such the the above picture of loco 192 at Manulla Junction, County Mayo.  Following a massive investment programme in recent years, very few of these views are possible today.  All the photos were taken on day trips by ferry from Holyhead. The address is

Radio Survey 37s

18 December saw the welcome appearance of a pair of Class 37s on the Coast lines in the shape of DRS (ex-Eurostar) machines 37 603 and 37 607 with Network Rail's Radio Survey Train checking that reception of the National Rail radio systems is up to scratch at all all points, including the two branches. It's a murky morning as the train heads west through Bagillt (above), pictured by Tim Rogers.

A look at the two vehicles in the train. 6264, converted from Mk 1  bogie parcels van (BG) 80971. One of a class of four, 6261-4, it contains generators to power the equipment in ...

... the actual Radio Survey coach 977868, formerly Mk 2E standard class coach 5846. Two radio antennae can be seen on the roof. Both pictures by Tim Rogers.

Westbound through Llandudno Junction (Geraint Jones).

Crossing Conwy Cob towards the tubular bridge, at 12:14 (Garry Stroud)

Bangor (Richard Fleckney).

Class 37 fans at Bangor (Richard Fleckney).

The return working passes Llanfairynneubwll on Anglesey with 37 607 leading (M.Lloyd Davies).

About to receive the single-line token to proceed on to the Conwy Valley branch at 15:00 (Geraint Jones).

The sun had set by the time the train covered the Llandudno Branch on return from Blaenau Ffestiniog. 37 603 poses with a different sort of train - what's it's story? -  in Llandudno station at 17:40 (Garry Stroud).

Moonlight study at Llandudno (Jack Bowley).

The next day, 19 December, the train made another foray from Crewe, this time to Chester, then to Hazel Grove and Sandbach; it is seen above at Hargrave between Crewe and Chester (Tim Rogers)...

... and after reversal at Chester, 37 607 leads through Mouldsworth on the Mid-Cheshire line (Tim Rogers).

The other side of the survey coach has a blanked-out window (Tim Rogers). Sometimes, Network Rail measurement trains are worked push-pull using a 97xx-series Driving Trailer, we wonder why not on this occasion? Possibly one or more of the coaches does not have the appropriate wiring.

37 603 brings up the rear (Tim Rogers).

Relief on a Wet Day

1D04, the first train off Crewe, passes Colwyn Bay (Jack Bowley)

Arriva Trains Wales organised loco-hauled Christmas relief services on Saturday 22 December, mainly for ferry passengers, but also a chance for enthusiasts to see and/or photograph the new set of MK3 coaches used on the Monday-Friday Holyhead - Cardiff express Mk3  which currently traverses North Wales in the morning and evening darkness. The diagram was:

1K50 03:38 Holyhead-Crewe
1D04 08:37 Crewe-Holyhead
1K51 12:24 Holyhead-Crewe
1D01 14:27 Crewe-Holyhead
1K52 17:15 Holyhead-Crewe
1D03 20:44 Crewe-Holyhead

1D04 Arriving at Llandudno Junction - the picture speaks for itself (Larry Davies).

1D04 at Llandudno Junction (Peter Lloyd).

67 002 on the rear as Larry Davies gets wet for the sake of the picture ...

67 002 propelling from the rear passing Llanfair PG in murky weather (Richard Fleckney).

On Anglesey at Bodorgan 1D04 heads for Holyhead  (M.Lloyd Davies)

The stock in between workings awaiting the arrival of the ferry passengers. (M.Lloyd Davies)

 The 11:23 to Birmingham New St was also strengthened to 4 cars (M.Lloyd Davies).

1K51 12:24 TO Crewe awaits departure from Holyhead  (M.Lloyd Davies). Note that an additional coach has been included, fresh from refurbishment.

Setting off a few minutes late - still there was no let-up with the rain (M.Lloyd Davies).

Train 1D01, the service to Holyhead, alongside the A55 near Colwyn Bay ...  (Jack Bowley)

... and 67 002 on the rear. Your editor had planned to travel to Crewe to travel on this working, but was frustrated (fortunately before leaving home) when flooding between Crewe and Chester led to it being started from Chester (Jack Bowley).

After a full day's utilisation the previous day the set was as usual in Holyhead Carriage Sidings on Sunday before returning to its normal Monday - Friday duty (M.Lloyd Davies).

Driver Dave Trains enjoys the moment as 67 002 leading 1K52 Holyhead to Crewe stands at Llandudno Junction platform 1 at 18:05 on 22 December. This picture by Peter Lloyd.

Chester, 9 December - report by Roly High

Some scenes at Chester Chester station. Above, 221 115 Polmadie Depot in its special Bombardier livery, waits to couple to a train from Holyhead to form a 10-car unit to London Euston.

In the old parcels bay, Northern Rail 'Pacer' 142 005 and an Arriva Trains Wales Class 150 laid up.

A 175 unit moves out of the Alstom depot...

... as 22 1107 Sir Martin Frobisher rolls in from Holyhead.

It gently eases up to 221 115.


A 6-car Mersey Rail unit arriving from Liverpool.

A sorry sight - the Duke of Lancaster

Regular travellers will have noticed that the poor old ex-British Railways ferry Duke of Lancaster in its concrete mooring near the Coast line has recently been 'decorated' with graffiti-style designs, reportedly by artists who travelled from eastern Europe as well as some from Wales, apparently at the behest of the ship's owner who now lives abroad, and has repeatedly been refused permission to allow public events to take place aboard.  We've received a number of pictures of the result, which might have looked marginally more artistic if the ship had been given a new coat of white first; as it is, it looks so offensive to the editorial eyes that the view above (by Roly High) will have to do (sorry). If you want more, there is the BBC Wales website which appears to be impressed: 'it will make the Duke of Lancaster into a colourful addition to people starting out or finishing the coastal path.'


A musical slideshow of some recent events - pictures by M.Lloyd Davies.

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