Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

30 September 2013

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Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

October 2013

Friday 4 October   Clwyd Railway Circle   Ian Mainprize  'Narrow Gauge Railways of the Harz Mountains' The talk comprises a section by section description of the narrow-gauge system, each section being illustrated by a map followed by photographs taken by Ian during the early 1990's. The history, infrastructure, rolling stock and locomotives are covered, and the railways are placed in context with regard to the history, geography and people of the area.

Saturday 5 October Steam at Chester West Coast Railway Company 'Welsh Borders Steam Special.' Cleethorpes - Shrewsbury and return. Steam-hauled Crewe - Chester - Shrewsbury - Whitchurch - Crewe by 44932, 45699, 46115, or 48151.

5/6 October Manchester Model Railway Society Exhibition Armitage Centre, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6ZT.

Sunday 6 October  Wirral Bus and Tram Show: A four-tram service will be in operation for most of the day. Highlights include the appearance of the Frodsham Silver Band on an open top tram. Some 45 visiting buses will be in the Cheshire Lines car park with around 40 classic cars on show at Woodside. A free heritage bus service will be in operation, travelling to parts of Wirral including New Brighton and around the dock area. Sales stalls, exhibits and refreshments will be available at the Transport Museum in Taylor Street.

Thursday 10 October Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Wrexham – Bidston Line' Dave Rapson

Friday 11 October Altrincham Electric Preservation Society TRAINS IN THE SNOW By Dr Les Nixon. Over 60% UK including much pre-1968 steam, 20% foreign including South Africa, Turkey and Peru.

Saturday 12 October Llangollen Railway Real Ale Train evening

Monday 14  October  Wrexham Railway Society. Allan More, The Railways of the St Helens  area, a presentation showing the history of railways there.

Monday 21 October RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ’Banished to the Tropics’ by Les Nixon.Well known photographer travels from Sheffield to present an account  of his life as a railway enthusiast working in Sri Lanka in the early 70s. Lots of good old colonial British railwayana with plenty of steam e.g. narrow-gauge  railcars and Garratts. All backed by two salaries – no income tax – free accommodation – free car etc but no film available locally. He to take out enough to keep him going for well over two years! 

Saturday 19 October Steam at Chester West Coast Railway Company 'The Cheshireman' Cleethorpes - Chester. Steam-hauled by 70013: Cleethorpes - Doncaster - Sheffield - Altrincham - Chester - Doncaster.

19-20 October Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

Thursday 24 October  Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Noel Coates "The L&YR in B R Days"

Friday 25 October Great Western Society North West Branch The Corris Railway by David Coleman.

26-27 October  Llangollen Railway Days Out with Thomas

Wednesday, 30 October   Ffestiniog Railway Society Dee & Mersey Group Birkenhead Tramways & The Wirral Tramway by Rob Jones

Thursday 31 October  Llangollen Railway Ghost Train evening

Thursday 31 October  Richard Sant  Merseyside Railway History Group 'Building the new Patriot engine'

November 2013

Friday 1 November   Clwyd Railway Circle  Paul Davies   'The Buckley Railway and the Industries it served' The talk celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the railway.     

Saturday 2 November  Llangollen Railway Murder Mystery evening

Saturday 2 November  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. 

Sunday 3 November Llangollen Railway Ride the Rocket evening

Friday 8 November  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society FREIGHT AROUND THE WORLD by John Ryan. Presentation is 90% steam

9-10 November Llangollen Railway Remembrance Weekend

Monday 11 November   Wrexham Railway Society. John Fry, North West Electrification, speaking on the electrification of a large number of secondary lines in the northwest these and the forthcoming initial phase of the work across Chat Moss in particular.

Thursday 14 November Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM 'American Wanderings Part 1' Gordon Davies

Monday 18 November  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘Circular tour of North Wales from 1966 to 1980’ by John Hobbs. 

Thursday 21 November Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Steve Fort "Carlisle to Crewe " - mainly steam scenes

Wednesday, 27 November   Ffestiniog Railway Society Dee & Mersey Group George England Locomotives, by Chris Jones

Thursday 28 November  Geoff Morris   Merseyside Railway History Group 'The Many Varied Railways of Australia'

Friday 29 November  Great Western Society North West Branch Railways of the Iberian Peninsula, by Barry Rushton.

Saturday 30 November Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

December 2013

1 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Friday 6 December   Clwyd Railway Circle   'Members Night & Christmas Celebration' 
Members are invited to give a 15/20 minute presentation of their choice (any format). This will be interrupted by festive treats (all high calories). Members must book their slot no later than 16th November by telephoning David Jones.

7-8 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

7 December Llangollen Railway Real Ale Train evening

Monday 9  December    Wrexham Railway Society. Stephen Gay, Railways in a Yorkshire Landscape,  from Sheffield, he specialises in researching and photographing railways, particularly the old lines and former features alongside current routes all over Britain by walking along them in the company of his dog.  He is a Yorkshireman and his presentation will be based on his home county, including the beautiful Settle to Carlisle line.

Thursday 12 December  Merseyside Railway History Group Geoff Coward 'Europe & The Old Buffers'

Thursday 12 December Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Xmas Social/ 'All Change at the Junction'  Local Speakers                   

Friday 13 December  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society STEAM SHEDS ACROSS THE YEARS By John Sloane

14-15 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

Monday 16 December  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘Early Days’ by David Maidment, Formerley Operations Manager BR London Midland Region David  presents his early days at Swindon and commuting on the Southern and around the UK in the early 60s

Thursday 19 December Locomotive Club of Great Britain  John Ryan "Various Gauges in France and Spain 1966 to 1973"

20-24 December Llangollen Railway Santa Specials

26-31 December  Llangollen Railway Mince Pie Specials.

January 2014

1 January 2014 Llangollen Railway Mince Pie Specials.

Friday 3 January   Clwyd Railway Circle  David Rapson  'Wrexham to Bidston Line' A history of the route illustrated with pictures covering the last 70 years.

Thursday 9 January  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'From a Driver’s point of view' Dave Trains

Friday 10 January  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society HISTORY OF BOLTON TRAMWAYS by Derek Shepherd (Vice-Chairman, Heaton Park Tramway)

Monday 13 January   Wrexham Railway Society. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND RAIL REVIEW ENTERTAINMENT Annual General Meeting will be followed by various  members’ own presentations.

Monday 20 January  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales BRANCH A.G.M  Followed by Alan Donaldson ‘Around Britain 1983 to 2010’

Thursday 30 January  Merseyside Railway History Group   David Rapson 'Seacombe to Wrexham'

February 2014

Friday 7 February    Clwyd Railway Circle   Brian Bollington & Peter Hanahoe  'Polish Steam' The presentation is a mix of slide shows and video showing steam on the national network, including shed scenes, taken in the 1990’s.  

Monday 10 February   Wrexham Railway Society. Fred Kirk,  A Scottish Trip 60 Years On. The results of  a week long trip to Scotland, shed bashing previously not seen, black and white images of long gone shed scenes, Princes Street station etc.

Thursday 13 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'A short history of Crosville & my time with it' Clive Myers                        
Friday 14 February  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society A JOURNEY FROM MANCHESTER TO EASTLEIGH WORKS IN 1910 By Mike Hayward (Secretary, Manchester Locomotive Society)

Monday 17 February  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales Barry Shore ‘BR freight in the post steam era 1967 to 1979’

Thursday 20 February Locomotive Club of Great Britain  John Sloane "BR Scenes from the 60s”
Thursday 27 February  Merseyside Railway History Group Allan Lewis 'Union Pacific Steam'

March 2014

Friday 7 March    Clwyd Railway Circle    The Committee & David Southern AGM followed by the talk 'Railways of the Wirral'    After the formality is over, we can look forward to Dave sharing his railway experiences of 60 years living on the Wirral.

Monday 10 March   Wrexham Railway Society. Geoff Morris- Railways of New Zealand a digital presentation based on two steam-hauled trips around New Zealand in 2011 & 2012 including both preservation activities and the rapidly-changing current railway scene on the other side of the world.

Thursday 13 March Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Dinorwic Quarry Railway & its locomotives' Eric Lander

Monday 17 March  RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘The Ugly Duckling’: Bob Casselden looks at the transformation of B.R.’s ‘Other Provincial Services’ via ‘Regional Railways’ into today’s privatised railways
Friday 14 March  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society A Selection of Doug Darby's UK PHOTOGRAPHS by Paul Shackcloth (Photographic Officer, Manchester Locomotive Society)

Thursday 23 January Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Neville Bond “From Sea to Shining Sea” 30 years of North American scenes

Thursday 20 March Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Dr Michael Bailey "The Manchester Ship Canal Railway"

Thursday 27 March  Merseyside Railway History Group AGM & Members Slides

April 2014

Friday 4 April    Clwyd Railway Circle   Ron Watson-Jones   'The Irish Mail Train Crash at Penmaenmawr Aug 1950' Ron’s account of the accident on 27th August 1950.

Thursday 10 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'Welsh Wanderings in the 1980’s & 90’s' Geoff Morris   

Thursday 10 April  Merseyside Railway History Group Ted Lloyd 'Quiz and informal evening'

Friday 11 April  Altrincham Electric Preservation Society Slides from the Manchester locomotive society collection by David Young.  Mainly steam locomotives taken 1950s and 1960s

Monday 14 April   Wrexham Railway Society. Jon Penn.   Railway Pictures From the  1960’s –scanned black and white negatives and vintage colour slides, favouring the Cheshire and surrounding areas.

Monday 28 April RCTS Merseyside, Chester & North Wales ‘South of the Border steam in the 50s and 60s’ by David Kelso, David travels from Kent to present a follow up to his  earlier North of the border presentation, including a period when he was resident in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Thursday 17 April Locomotive Club of Great Britain  Norman Matthews "Steam in Central America"

May 2014
Thursday 8 May Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'The Deganwy Dock Story' Eric Smith

Thursday 15 May Locomotive Club of Great Britain  AGM and Members/Visitors Slides & Digital Photos.

It's a splendid morning on 28 September at the Conwy RSPB Nature Reserve as the All-Wales Express (a.k.a. 'Gerald') rolling stock, led by DVT 82307 and propelled by 67 001, arrives at Llandudno Junction at about 08:50 to reverse in order to travel into Llandudno to collect the delegates from the previous day's ACoRP awards ceremony for their outing to Porthmadog. See report below. Picture by David Parry.

Club 55 is back

The Arriva Trains Wales 'Club 55' offer for people over 55 years old has made a re-appearance, starting on on 1 October and available until 30 November. The flat fare for a return ticket anywhere on the ATW network is a little higher than before at £23, but still worthwhile for a day out, on weekends at least. See the Arriva website for details. It should be noted that is not valid before 09:30 on Mondays - Fridays on many parts of the Network, including Manchester - Llandudno Junction, Chester - Crewe and all of Manchester - Swansea via Crewe, making some long-distance day trips on weekdays impractical.  For example,. it is not possible to reach Shrewsbury (except from the Cambrian line) in time for the 09:28 Cambrian departure or the 09:00 Heart of Wales train. In the latter case, the next departure is not until 14:05.

A similar offer is available on TransPennine Express, but expires on 16 November.

Community Rail treat

The empty stock for the 09:33 Llandudno - Blaenau Ffestiniog special, en route from Holyhead where it normally spends the weekend,  passes Maesdu Golf Course outside Llandudno on the way to collect its passengers (Garry Stroud).

At Llandudno station, with the new car park taking shape behind the oddly-shaped new wall (Peter Lloyd).

View from the train during its call at Llandudno Junction showing 150 763 stabled in the tamper siding: see report below. Picture by Peter Lloyd.

Passing Dolgarrog station on the Conwy Valley line (Darren Durrant).

67 001 on the rear at Dolgarrog (Darren Durrant). This may be the first time pictures of Dolgarrog station have appeared in these pages.

Singe-line tokens are exchanged at Llanrwst (Greg Mape).

North Llanrwst station (Greg Mape).

Crossing the Conwy south of Llanrwst (Garry Stroud).

Approaching Roman Bridge station (David Parry).

The train approaches Blaenau Ffestiniog in some sun! (Ken Robinson)

Looking back from almost the same position as above, with 67 001 at the rear (Ken Robinson). Arriva Trains Wales are to be congratulated for making this contribution to the Llandudno event, and pleasing local rail enthusiasts too.

Greeted at Blaenau Ffestiniog by former Penrhyn Quarry loco Hugh Napier (Ken Robinson).

After unloading its passengers, the train set back to shunt into the loop so that the service train from Llandudno could arrive (Ken Robinson).

Hugh Napier at Blaenau (Garry Stroud). The loco, Hunslet 855 of 1904, belongs to the National Trust. and was displayed at Penrhyn Castle, until it was restored to working order in 2011-12 at the Ffestiniog Railway's Boston Lodge works.

67 001 at Blaenau (Garry Stroud).

Merddin Emrys has arrived with a Ffestiniog Railway train from Porthmadog, and 150 230 forms the normal train from Llandudno (David Parry).

Three very different types of traction (Dave Sallery).

Merddin Emrys has run round and awaits departure with the service train, also carrying the passengers from the Arriva special train (Garry Stroud).

Headboard on Merddin Emrys (Dave Sallery).

Hugh Napier heads back to Boston Lodge (Dave Sallery). Hugh Napier Douglas-Pennant (1894-1949)

Lyd on a service train at Tan y Grisiau (Dave Sallery).

... arrived at Blaenau Ffestiniog (Garry Stroud).

The guest returned to Blaenau in a  special train of vintage carriages provided by the Ffestiniog Railway: above, Palmerston and Taliesin prepare to couple to the train - seen in the background - at Porthmadog Harbour station (Larry Davies).

The Vintage Train at Dduallt (Dave Sallery).

67 001 passes the £500,000 station house at Roman Bridge with the return 16:11 Blaenau Ffestiniog - Llandudno Junction Community Rail Awards special  (Chris Morrison).

The return train crossing the river near Llanrwst (Garry Stroud).

At 17:12, the return rail tour approaches Glan Conwy, as viewed from the Nature Reserve, some of whose avian visitors are identifiable. A grey heron stands on the left (David Parry).

At 17:27, the empty stock approaches the Conwy tubular bridge on its return run to Holyhead (David Parry).

First Great Western to Llandudno

Another 'first' in conjunction with the ACoRP event was the operation of an Exeter - Llandudno train by First Great Western for the benefit of the Community Rail delegates from the south-west. The train travelled north to Llandudno on Friday 27 September, stabled overnight at Llandudno Junction and returned the next day. The train ran via Wrexham, as seen the picture above by George Jones.

The northbound train ran late due to a freight locomotive failure at Hereford earlier in the day; instead of the planned 20-minute stopover the train ran straight through Wrexham General at speed, no doubt anxious to get ahead of the following 15:00 service. The first 'Great Western' train in the former Great Westeern Railway Wrexham General station since nationalisation in 1948, one might suggest.... The building in the background is the nearly-complete Premier Inn hotel due to open in October.

Above, the westbound train passes Colwyn Bay (Darren Durrant). 158 763 was the choice of traction.

Llandudno (Larry Davies).

The 'Local Lines' version of the FirstGroup corporate livery has the lines formed from the names of interesting tourist destinations served (somewhat distantly in the case of the island of Tresco) by First Great Western services (Larry Davies).

Delegates were met outside Venue Cymru in Llandudno, where the ACoRP Awards were being held on Friday evening 27 September, by vertical-boilered loco Leary, an 0-4-0 vertical boiler tank locomotive, built in Nelson, Lancashire, in 2010 along the lines of the nineteenth century products of De Winton in Caernarfon as used in local slate quarries. Note the water supply and box containing team-making materials including Yorkshire tea. Picture by Larry Davies.

The train rests in the Tamper Siding at Llandudno Junction, the only siding now available for use there (Garry Stroud).

A sister unit from the Arriva Trains Wales fleet calls at Llandudno Junction on a normal service (Darren Durrant). The Arriva units are the Perskins-engined version of the type, whilst 158 763 has the more common Cummins engine. It is quite unusual, however, in being two-car, as all  but two of First Great Western's small 158 fleet are three-car units.

First Great Western had this special window label printed for the occasion, which will no doubt become a collector's item (Ivor Bufton).

On Saturday 28 September, 158 763 drifts past Abergele with the 11:30 Llandudno - Exeter St Davids special conveying delegates back to the Western Region from the ACoRP Community Rail The undergrowth seems to be getting a bit dense between the lines (Chris Morrison).

Prestatyn (Jim Coates). Sadly the Western contingent were not able to participate in the Conwy Valley trip as the train had get through the Severn Tunnel before it closed for overnight engineering work.

See also a Youtube video by Matthew Travis.

A brief visit to Wem - with David Parry

Answering our Editor’s call to photograph the semaphore signalling system on the Crewe – Shrewsbury line while there is still time, I chose Wem as my destination  on 26 September 2013 as I was aware from trips on the 'Gerald'  that there was still a signal box controlling the busy road crossing. After checking with Google Images, I knew that the remaining semaphores were somewhat remote, but I felt the location had still some heritage worth capturing.  I decided that a lunchtime trip would be most productive, with potentially two freights within less than two hours.

As I arrived at about 12:30, a Manchester – Carmarthen fast flew through, with a Shrewsbury – Crewe local calling shortly afterwards. This cluster of potential photographic subjects was continued shortly afterwards by the crossing gates falling to allow another southbound train, which turned out to be a Freightliner Fiddlers Ferry - Stoke Gifford empty coal hoppers, behind 66 566, pictured above. This was running only three minutes late at 12:45, despite reported as leaving Fiddlers 44 minutes late.   This recovery appears to have been achieved by omitting a 43 minute stop at Crewe.

The modified London and North Western Railway (LNWR) signal box is unfortunately looking rather shabby.  Apart from the signal box, the other station buildings are modern, the platform shelters representing a great improvement on the types the railway placed at unstaffed stations in the 1970s and 1980s. There was a steady flow of passengers for the local service, which I saw calling on three occasions during my brief visit.

As an expected second freight, from Donnington to Arpley, did not materialise, I took some photos of the passenger trains, trying to get at least some suggestion of the semaphores.  The local train was the same unit, 153320, running between Crewe and Shrewsbury to serve the local stations on a two-hour cycle, much like a rail motor of 100 years ago.   Above, it is arriving at Wem at 13:54.

Editor's note: There has been considerable disgruntlement among residents of Wem regarding the planned removal of the signal box. Firstly, its location near a crossroads raised safety fears, and then, heritage-minded locals hoped to save the box as a museum and/or cafe, but it is not 'listed' and Network Rail are adamant that it will be demolished once it becomes redundant after mid-October. 

In this picture, 153 320 is leaving Wem towards Shrewsbury through the reverse curves. (I have exercised some digital license to fill in the end of the signal board otherwise obscured by vegetation.)

In the next picture, 175 106 passes Wem 'right time' at 14:09 as the 09:10 Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly express.

Shortly afterwards, 175 105 approaches Wem level crossing at 14:36 with the 13:30 Manchester Piccadilly to Tenby express.  The laser detector for low-level obstructions can be seen, bottom right, and the radar reflector and signs to the left.

At 14:39, 153 320 arrives back at Wem as the Crewe local.

Past times with John Hobbs - Britannia Parade

Above, 'Britannia' Class 4-6-2 70045 Lord Rowallan leaves Rhyl, on a damp morning,  with the 08.10 Saturdays Only Holyhead to Crewe; the signal gantry still in all its glory and the carriage shed still in use on the left.

An equally grubby 70027 Rising Star  leaves Prestatyn with the 14:45 Llandudno to Crewe on 2 May 1964.

70026  Polar Star roars through Connah's Quay, at Rockcliffe Hall, with the 12 noon Manchester (Exchange) to Holyhead on 4 May 1964.

Galatea visits Chester

On 28 September, 'Jubilee' 4-6-0 45699 Galatea, recently returned to the main line, worked an 07:25 Carnforth - Chester charter for the Lune Rivers Trust. Andrew Vinten photographed the train (above) near Helsby (Andrew Vinten).

Arriving at Chester (Roly High). The livery looks rather incongruous, as only Pacifics received this British Railways version of LMS colours, but of course the owners can paint it any colour they fancy.

The loco and support coach head for the triangle west of Chester station to turn (Roly High) ...

... returning to Chester station after turning on the triangle of lines in preparation for the 16:15 return trip. This train had no diesel loco attached as is sometimes the case so Galatea had to do her own shunting (Roly High). An excellent site for information about these locos, by the way, is run by Simon Robinson.

The return train crosses the junction at Helsby station (Bob Greenhalgh). Galatea is a character from ancient mythology, but the name of the loco, which was built in 1936,  comes via the warship of the same name, one of a series of warship names (5687 to 5730) which followed on from series of naval heroes and naval battles. Several Royal Navy ships carried this name over the years; the last was  HMS Galatea, an Arethusa class light cruiser commissioned in 1935 and sunk by a U-boat in the Mediterranean in 1941, resulting in the death of 22 officers and 447 other crew members.

However, the name is perpetuated by THV Galatea, a lighthouse tender operated by Trinity House.

Busy Day at Chester: a selection of pictures by Roly High (on YouTube)

Final farewell to BR

BRB (Residuary) Ltd, the company formed at the time of privatisation to continue the few functions of British Rail that had not been sold, including some which appear to have been forgotten about at the time, has been abolished from 30 September 2013. The Government announcement of this tells how its functions have been divided, although it does not say who we need to ask for permission to reproduce BR publications, as we have spoken to that body in the past.

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