Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

01 April 2013

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

Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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

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

Saturday 13 April  Llangollen Railway Real Ale train evening

Monday 15 April RCTS Chester Meeting has been moved to 29 April ( see below)

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

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

Saturday 20 April Steam on the Coast Steam Dreams Cathedrals Express 60163 Tornado London - Holyhead - Crewe.

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

Saturday 27 April Excursion UK Railtours Letchworth and London to the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway (Fully booked.)

Monday 29 April RCTS Chester Even Further Down Under: New Zealand In 2011 & 2012 By Geoff Morris.

May 2013

Friday 3  - Monday 6 May Ffestiniog Railway Steam 150: A Narrow Gauge Odyssey

Saturday 4 May Steam on the Coast Vintage Trains The Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza -
GWR 4-6-0s 4965 + 5043: Tyseley - Llandudno and return.

Saturday 4 May Excursion Statesman Rail 'Llandudno Victorian Statesman' Cambridge and stations to Nuneaton to Llandudno Junction and Llandudno.

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

Saturday 11 May Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery

Saturday 11 May As part of the Steam Dreams 8-day 'Cathedrals Explorer' a diesel (97/3) loco-hauled run from Shrewsbury to Porthmadog connecting with a special on the Ffestiniog. The journey continues on 13 May from Bangor to Newcastle-on-Tyne. Traction (steam?) to be arranged.

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

Saturday 18 May Excursion Compass Tours 'The Heart of Wales Scenic Rambler' Holyhead, Llanfair PG, Bangor, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Flint, Chester, Crewe, Whitchurch, Wem & Shrewsbury to Llandrindod & Cardiff.

Sunday 19 May  Llangollen Railway Teddy Bears Picnic

Saturday 25 May Excursion Statesman Rail 'Welsh Mountain Statesman' Saturday 25 May 2013 Hull,  Brough , Selby, Garforth, Leeds, Dewsbury,  Mirfield, Huddersfield,  Stalybridge, Stockport Wilmslow, Crewe (c. 09:00) to Aberystwyth for the Vale of Rheidol Railway. (Fully booked.)

Tuesday 28 May Talyllyn Railway Children's 'Duncan' Day.

Wednesday 29 May Compass Tours 'Ynys Mon Express' Southport - Holyhead. (Was to be steam, but has been changed to diesel due to 'loco availability issue.')

June 2013

1-2 June Llangollen Railway Day Out with Thomas weekend

Thursday 6 June Steam to Chester Railway Touring Company London Euston - Chester . 70013: Euston-Northampton-Chester and return

Saturday 8 June  Llangollen Railway Real Ale train evening

Saturday 8 June Wirral 0 Gauge Group Open Day,  Unit 7, The Odyssey Centre, Corporation Road,
Birkenhead  CH41 1HB British model trains running 13:00 to 17:00. Admission £2 - ample free parking. Nearest Station Birkenhead Park. Contact 0151 653 0637 or j.elliott37[at] for more information. 

22-23 June Llangollen Railway Heritage Railcar Gala

July 2013

Saturday 6 July. The Welsh N-Gauge Model Railway Show, organised by the N-Gauge Society North Wales Area Group.An exclusively N-Gauge Exhibition with layouts from the Group and visiting layouts in British and American outline. St Mary's Church hall, Rosehill Steet, Conwy LL32 8LD,10.00am to 4.00pm, adults £3.00  Children £1.50 Refreshments available. Hall fully disabled accessible - car parking, bus stops and rail station adjacent.Further information: 01492 572633.

Saturday 6 July Excursion Statesman Rail 'Welsh Mountain Statesman' Saturday 25 May 2013 Sheffield, and stations to Wolverhampton to Aberystwyth for the Vale of Rheidol Railway. (Fully booked.)

Saturday / Sunday 6-7 July Llangollen Railway Classic Transport Weekend

Saturday / Sunday 6 July Talyllyn Railway Garden Railway weekend.

Saturday 13 July Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery evening

Saturday 20 July Excursion UK Railtours Cardigan Bay Panorama London to Aberystwyth. Note: entirely First Class Dining, fare £169.

27-28 July Llangollen Railway July 1960s weekend

Sunday 28 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Liverpool - Holyhead - Liverpool. Loco 45305, 46233, 60009 or 70013.

Tuesday 30 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' 
Preston-Frodsham-Llandudno Jc -Blaenau Ffestiniog and return. Loco 45305 or 61994.

August 2013

3-4 August Llangollen Railway  Day Out With Thomas

Sunday 4 August Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe - Holyhead, steam-hauled Manchester Piccadilly - Altrincham - Chester - Holyhead and return by 45305/70013

8-11 August  Llangollen Railway Day Out With Thomas

Friday/Saturday 9 - 10 August Talyllyn Railway beer festival

Saturday 17 August Vintage Trains 'The Welsh Dragon' Tyseley - Llandudno Junction and return. Loco 5043

Sunday 18 August Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Liverpool - Holyhead - Liverpool. Loco 45305, 46233, 60009 or 70013.

Tuesday 20 August Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' 
Preston-Frodsham-Llandudno Jc -Blaenau Ffestiniog and return. Loco 45305 or 61994.

Thursday 22 August Talyllyn Railway Children's 'Duncan' Day

Saturday 24 August Wirral 0 Gauge Group Open Day,  Unit 7, The Odyssey Centre, Corporation Road,
Birkenhead  CH41 1HB American model trains running 13:00 to 17:00.  Admission £2 - ample free parking. Nearest Station Birkenhead Park. Contact 0151 653 0637or j.elliott37[at] for more information. 

30-31 August and 1 September  Llangollen Railway Steam gala

September 2013

Sunday 1 September Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe - Holyhead, steam-hauled Manchester Piccadilly - Altrincham - Chester - Holyhead and return by 45305/70013.

Tuesday 3 September Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'The Welsh Mountaineer' 
Preston-Frodsham-Llandudno Jc -Blaenau Ffestiniog and return. Loco 45305 or 61994.

Sunday 8 September Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company 'North Wales Coast Express' Crewe - Holyhead, steam-hauled Manchester Piccadilly - Altrincham - Chester - Holyhead and return by 45305/70013.

14 September Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery evening

21 September Llangollen Railway Diesel Day

North East Wales suffered some of the heaviest of the recent snowfalls. 175 111 arrives at Ruabon with the 12:45 departure for Cardiff Central. Our congratulations to Arriva Trains Wales staff who managed to run a service in these conditions.  Picture by Martin Evans.

Bank Holiday boat trains

It's good to see Arriva Trains Wales making good use of their loco-hauled trains when not in weekday Holyhead - Cardiff service. The 'Premium' service does not run on Bank Holidays, but a lot of ferry passengers to and from Ireland can be expected on Good Friday and Easter Monday, so it was decided to run the train from Holyhead to and from Crewe, using timings that have been used before, 12:16 Holyhead - Crewe arr 14:18 and Crewe 14:25 - Holyhead 16:25.  Fine weather brought out our contributors with their cameras on Friday, as these pictures testify. Above, Stavros Lainas was at Valley to see the train soon after leaving Holyhead, Driving Van Trailer leading.

Rhyl at 13:25 (Roly High). The train did not stop here, calling only at Bangor and Chester.

Soon after passing Rhyl with its distinctive church spire; the Driving Van Trailer 82308 (Ivor Bufton)....

... 67 002 propelling (Ivor Bufton).

Approaching Mostyn (Tim Rogers).

Passing Northgate Locks, Chester at 13:52 (Bob Greenhalgh).

The return train, 1D01 14:25 Crewe - Holyhead, at Shotton (Tim Rogers).

67 002 arrives at Bangor (Rowan Crawshaw).

Approaching Llanfair PG (Carwyn Jones)...

... and seen from the rear running through Llanfair PG station on the way to Holyhead (Carwyn Jones).

Rhosneigr, with a snowy Snowdonia in the background (Stavros Lainas).

Porthmadog Harbour station works - pictures by Dave Sallery

Some views from 25 March of the works in progress at Porthmadog Harbour station.  The intention is to create a separate platform and run-round loop for Welsh Highland Railway trains and thereby allow both Ffestiniog and and Welsh Highland trains to be in the station at the same time, as well as avoiding the reversal of Welsh Highland trains needed to reach the present station.

New turnouts in place out on the widened part of the Cob embankment. The new track plan can be found along with more picture and videos on the WHR Society website.

This will be a relay room containing equipment for the points and signals and associated interlocking.

All will be controlled from this new signalbox.

North Wales in Australia

Readers may recall our asking for pictures of Bangor to help Anthony Ashley, who is creating a North Wales Coast model railway in Australia. Anthony has also been in touch with our friend Geoff Poole who runs the '6G Llandudno Junction' website, and has now supplied him with some information and pictures of the planned N gauge layout, and the progress of construction so far. The model when complete will represent Conwy, Penmaenmawr and Bangor as they were in 1966. Follow this link to read the article.

Franchise Fudge

On 26 March  a 10-car Super Voyager consist, 221 115 Polmadie Depot in its Bombardier special livery leading, 221 107 Sir Martin Frobisher rolls into Rhyl on time (11.43) with 09:10 London Euston to Holyhead.

On the same day the government announced that Virgin Trains, who, following the franchise award fiasco last year was awarded a management contract to run the franchise until November 2014, have been given a further extension until April 2017. Extensions have also been granted to 13 of the 16 existing franchises, to avoid having to re-let more than three or four contracts per year. The East Coast Main Line operation, currently being run by a Government-owned company, will be returned to the private sector in 2015, and Virgin Trains have indicated that they will bid for that franchise as well.

Ruabon in the snow - pictures by Martin Evans

Having been snowed in for three days I escaped to Ruabon station on 25 March in order to travel to Wrexham and attach a few pics which demonstrate the recent wintry conditions. Above, 158 833 and 158 827 depart for Shrewsbury at 12:15.

Part of the Arriva gang endeavours to clear the platforms.

Locos lucky and not-so-lucky - report by Ken Robinson

Well done to the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Diesel Group and DRS for saving 37 401 Mary Queen of Scots from the scrap man. Above is a photo of 37 401 at Blaenau Ffestiniog on a Pathfinder railtour on 31 May 2008 (in the company of 37 417).

Not so lucky was 47 829 which was recently consigned to oblivion in February at Booth's scrapyard.
Introduced to traffic in September 1965, as D1964 in dual green livery, after several changes it appeared in its new 'Police' livery - part of a British Transport Police anti-trespassing campaign - at Birmingham International on 25 March 2002. The attached photo shows it passing Llanfair PG a few days later on March 28 2002 on the mid-morning Holyhead - Euston Virgin service. It made a number of appearances in North Wales at that period, while part of the Virgin Cross Country fleet.

Llangollen Railway back in business - report by Mark Riley

After the worst snowfall in 50 years and a gargantuan clear up operation, the Llangollen Railway was able to re-start public services on Good Friday, 29 March, with ex-GWR pannier tank 6430 seen here working the 11:00 Llangollen-Carrog, approaching the Goods Junction. Even a week after the last snow fell, there was still a huge volume of snow on footpaths, fields and hills, and even some minor roads, making for some stunning scenery.

Not surprisingly, there were minor delays, with frozen points at Carrog. 6430 is seen in the splendid snowy countryside with the return 12:15 Carrog - Llangollen.

Non-stop through Berwyn. There was still so much snow here that it was impossible to allow people off the train onto the platform, and just as impossible trying to get down onto the station due to the deep lying snow. This was a location too good to miss for a photo and I was lucky to be able to find a place to park nearby.

On 30 March, railcar transport was introduced in the form of Class 108 LO 262, seen here arriving from Pentrefelin to start the day's services.

Plenty of steam heat as 6430 waits to shunt the train from platform 2 to platform 1 for the 11:00 departure. Note that there are warnings with the train announcements not to lean out of the windows due to fallen trees and branches encroaching close to the line in places

Although platform 1 was largely clear of snow, on platform 2 was a different story. 6430 had arrived at the station with the 1215 at Carrog and there was a delay for passengers disembarking. 6430 was losing water on the return from Carrog, with a delay at Glyndyfrdwy whilst it was topped up. At Llangollen it immediately took on water again, but the position of the train and the snow on the platform meant it was unsafe for passengers to alight.

The solution was for the train to move far enough down to the cleared, covered area with no snow-meaning a trek from the rear of the train through to the first coach behind the loco. Then it was a single file walk through a cleared path to get off the platform! The photo shows the problem-the gap, and the platform edge being hidden from view This situation wasn't an issue on the previous day, with just one train running and using platform 1. A few grumbles from some passengers who would have soon complained if they'd fallen between train and platform getting off!

Two pictures by Martin Evans who writes: 'Arriving at Llangollen after a four mile canal walk (above) in the snow I was fortunate to catch the end of the days service.'

Pannier tank 6430 prepares to return to the shed after its stint of duty (Martin Evans).

Some passenger's-eye-views from George Jones who travelled on Good Friday. George writes: 6430 was early onto the train and by 11am passengers had joined and the promised trip into a winter wonderland didn't disappoint them. Despite the efforts to clear the platform at Berwyn the snow had drifted in again and a further platform clearance was in progress when the last train passed. The pannier manfully toiled up to the tunnel where evidence of fallen trees was obvious and through Deeside where the loop line is still buried in the snow. Beyond a pause outside Glyndyfrdwy when the signal would not come off, then off to Carrog for a pause during the run round.

The two trains at 1pm and 3pm on the Friday both attracted reasonable numbers with a party of French school children on the last one making a single journey. All the hard work to ensure the railway re-opened for Easter paid off and with a reasonable weather forecast and roads open we hope for more visitors over the rest of the weekend. Snow remains and it will take a while for it all to disappear, especially where clearance has resulted in large accumulations. In the meantime the scenes are something like a small scale Switzerland and Austria and worth a visit.

Sir Haydn's tour continues - Talyllyn Railway press release

The Talyllyn Railway’s locomotive No.3 Sir Haydn will be continuing its travels away from the railway this summer, as it is scheduled to make more appearances across the country. It will be visiting the Great Central Railway’s Swithland Gala between 26 and 28 April where it will be on display in the yard at Quorn and Woodhouse station for the three-day event.

Following its appearance at Quorn, the locomotive will travel a few miles north to the Great Central Railway - Nottingham at Ruddington. Here it will be on display during a number of events including the May Bank Holiday Gala from 4 to 6 May 2013. Sir Haydn will then remain on display at Ruddington until 21 June, when it will be on its travels again.

Sir Haydn will be a special guest at the famous Tyseley Works Open Days on 22 and 23 June, on display alongside Vintage Trains’ famous locomotive collection for what always proves to be a spectacular event. Once more the Talyllyn’s publicity and sales stand will be on hand to inform visitors not only about Sir Haydn but also the railway itself. The visit is being sponsored by Heritage Painting, founded two years ago by Ian Hewitt. They have recently been involved in painting the Gresley A4 locomotives No.4468 Mallard and No.6008 Dwight D. Eisenhower, in preparation for the National Railway Museum’s 'Mallard 75' events.

After its time at Tyseley Sir Haydn will be on the road again, and new venues where it will be appearing will be announced in due course. For further information call Tywyn Wharf on 01654 710472, or visit

Freight news

Newly refurbished 56 105, one of four 56s bought by Colas Rail from scrap metal company European Metals Recycling on its first loaded logs working, seen on the (completely snow-free) West Coast Main Line north of Wigan with 6J37 Carlisle - Chirk on Wednesday 27 March 27. Picture by Ian Pilkington.

A relatively unusual combination of locomotives on 27 March's flask train: snow is falling as 57 003 and 37 194 pass Holywell Junction. Picture by Tim Rogers.

The pair pass Beeches Farm bridge (Bob Greenhalgh).

66 181 approaching snowy Penyffordd with 6V75 09:30 Dee Marsh Junction to Margam empty steel carriers.

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