Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

25 August 2014

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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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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.

September 2014

Friday 5 September Clwyd Railway Circle Working Steam in the 21st Century: James Shuttleworth

Sunday 7 September  Steam on the Coast. Railway Touring Company. North Wales Coast Express Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Warrington Bank Quay (Note change of route) and Chester to Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead. Diesel-hauled Crewe - Manchester. Cancelled.

Monday 8 September  Wrexham Railway Society: Scottish Branch Lines: John Ryan

Thursday 11 September Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Disappearing slides:  Larry Davies   

Monday 15 September   RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: All the Colours of the Rainbow.  David Walker

Saturday 20 September Steam on the Coast. Steam Dreams: Cathedrals Express. London - Holyhead.

October 2014
Friday 3 October Clwyd Railway Circle Dinorwic Slate Quarries - The Lower Levels - Part 1: Dave Sallery

Thursday 9 October Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society The Railways of Wirral Dave Southern

Monday 13 October Wrexham Railway Society:The Railways of Wirral: Dave Southern

Saturday - Monday 18-20 October Land Cruise Compass Tours  Autumn Highlander. Holyhead, Llanfairpwll, Bangor, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Flint, Chester, Delamere, Northwich, Knutsford, Altrincham, Stockport, Manchester Victoria, Bolton, Preston, & Carlisle to Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh. A 3-day weekend break by rail to the Scottish Highlands, inclusive of two nights stay in quality hotel accommodation at Inverness. From £329.00 each.

Monday  20 October  RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: Railways in a Yorkshire Landscape.  Stephen Gay. Stephen joins us again with his latest slide show of his railway rambles with his faithful German Shepherd dog Wrawby, this time in his native Yorkshire

November 2014

Saturday - Sunday 1/2 November Wirral 2014 Model Railway Exhibition at Mosslands School, Mosslands Drive, Wallasey, Wirral CH45 8PJ . 18 layouts, 13 traders, demonstrators and Society stands, refreshments, free vintage bus rides.

Friday 7 November Clwyd Railway Circle German Mainline Steam: Ian Mainprize

Monday 10 November  Wrexham Railway Society: 'Fun With Southern Steam In The 60's : Malcolm Garner

Tuesday 11 November Shrewsbury to Chester Rail Users Association  public meeting  featuring guest speaker Professor Paul Salveson MBE. The meeting will be held at the Church Hall of All Saints' Church, Chirk Road, Gobowen, Shropshire SY11 3LL. Access is from the rear off Old Chirk Road. It's 5-10 minutes' walk from Gobowen Station, depending on the fitness of the walker. The start time is 19:30 which allows time to connect with trains arriving at Gobowen from Chester and Shrewsbury directions.

Paul's presentation to our meeting is titled 'A Peoples Railway for Wales & the Borders' . This will look at his 2013 publication 'Rail Cymru - A Peoples Railway for Wales' which examines the case for a publically run 'not for dividend' rail franchise for Wales & the Borders.

Thursday 13 November   Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society   AGM Members Evening   Keith Jones/Bob Barnsdale/Llew Groom

Monday 17 November  RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: Scottish Steam in the 1960s.  John  Cashen

December 2014

Friday 5 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members Night & Christmas Celebrations

Monday 8 December   Wrexham Railway Society: Annual General Meeting

Thursday 11 December   Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society   Xmas Social/ Arriva Trains Wales: the first 10 years & the future: Ben Davies                

Monday 15 December  RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: Steam Sheds through the years: Part 1.  John Sloane

January 2015

Thursday 8 January    Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society   The Corwen Extension - Llangollen Railway:  Steve Jones

Friday 9 January Clwyd Railway Circle Severn Valley Railway - Past, Present and Future: Nick Ralls

Monday 12 January  Wrexham Railway Society: Phil’s Quiz: Phil Davies
Monday 19 January  RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: Branch A.G.M followed by members slides and digital presentations

February 2015

Friday 6 February Clwyd Railway Circle A Year in the Life of an International Train Spotter: Phil Thomas

Monday 9 February  Wrexham Railway Society: Rossett – Saltney Junction Re-doubling: Speaker from Network Rail

Thursday 12 February Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society A black & white circle of North Wales:  John Hobbs

Monday 16 February RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: Welsh Wanderings in the1980s".  Geoff Morris. A trip through Wales in a decade during which livery variations started to appear and steam reappeared on a scheduled basis along the Cambrian & North Wales Coasts.

March 2015

Friday 6 March Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed by an illustrated talk entitled Back to the ‘60s by Geoff Coward

Monday 9 March  Wrexham Railway Society: A view from a signal box window:  Adrian Bodlander       

Thursday 12 March Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society A view from a signal box window:  Adrian Bodlander        

Monday 16 March RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: A History of Railway Preservation in Britain. Robert Gwynne .Bob is the Associate Curator Rail Vehicles at the NRM in York

April 2015

Thursday 9 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Railway enthusiasm - international: Phil Thomas    

Friday 10 April Clwyd Railway Circle The View From a Signalbox Window: Adrian Bodlander

Monday 13 April  Wrexham Railway Society: Back to the ‘60s :Geoff Coward

Monday 20 April RCTS Merseyside & North Wales: 21st Century Steam in China.  Geoff Coward. Geoff presents video and stills from his visit in 2002.

May 2015

Thursday 14 May    Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 6G locomen: personal reminiscences by A Guest Panel

48151 approaching Blaenau Tunnel on the climb from Roman Bridge on the outward journey of the 'Welsh Mountaineer' excursion from Preston, 19 August. Picture by Ian Pilkington.

Trains return to Pwllheli- report by Ken Robinson

The first test train over the new rail bridge at Bont Briwet ran on 19 August, in the shape of locomotive 97 303. - The picture above shows the return working from Pwllheli making its way across the bridge.

The same train passes the new re-located Llandecwyn Halt.

97303 at Porthmadog having made another journey, this time from Harlech to Porthmadog and back (in sun!)

Driver refresher trains ran between Harlech and Pwllheli with a class 158 unit on 22 and 23 August. Here is the 5Z26 14:50 from Pwllheli on 23 August arriving at Porthmadog.

The same train ready to leave Porthmadog, as seen from the level crossing. Many passengers waiting for the bus replacement service nearby were bemused to see a train entering the station and thought 'why can't we get on it?'

Llangollen Black 5  - report by George Jones

A 'Black 5' 4-6-0 is now available for service again on the Llangollen Railway. 45337 was pictured at Llangollen on 20 August by George Jones.

In the yard at Llangollen, also on 20 August, Ivatt 2-6-0 46521 visiting for the forthcoming steam gala.

Newport Transporter Bridge - report by Alan Crawshaw

I've been wanting to visit the Newport Transporter Bridge for years, but access to the upper walkway was restricted to infrequent open days. This year, it's open from Wed to Sun until late September so Rowan and I rose early on Wednesday to catch the 06:00 Arriva premier service, hauled by 67002 to Chester and pushed the rest of the way. Since our last visit, Newport station has been refurbished, the old footbridge decommissioned and a new one installed (above). While we were figuring out how to get to platform 1 for the sun to be behind us, 56 113 passed and then a class 60 which was obscured by a unit.

A local told us how to get to platform 1 and that 70 803 was on its way so we dashed across just in time for a shot.

We'd chosen a Wednesday to fit in a ride on the Dean Forest Railway so caught the Cheltenham service and alighted at Lydney for the short walk to the railway's Lydney Junction terminus where we learned that the incoming train was very late. It's a sparse service on the main line too, so we deliberated whether or not it was worth risking a ride which could result in insufficient time to visit the bridge. When an industrial 0-6-0 saddle tank turned up instead of the hoped for GWR pannier, we returned to the main line station for the next train back to Newport but not before a shot of Charlie the diesel shunter [Great name.- Ed.].

A brisk walk down Commercial Road and Alexandra Road brought us to the bridge where we paid our £2.75 to ascend the 270 steps and ...

 ... walk to the other side ...

... pausing to watch the gondola far below traversing the river Usk with its cargo of vehicles. After descending, we rode back. The bridge is illuminated at night but we had to return to the station for our loco-hauled ride home. A 60/66 combination passed through as we approached the station but the only freight we saw while waiting for our train was the return of 56 113.

67002 had been swapped for 67001 which deposited us punctually at Bangor.

A brief history of the Newport Transporter Bridge can be found on the Newport Museums website. It's a long way to go but well worth it.

The Welsh Mountaineer 

On the return journey crossing the Afon Conwy near Llanrwst (Ian Pilkington).

Storming past the Belgrano Foot Crossing, Pensarn (Ian Pilkington).

Flint (Glyn Jones).

Approaching Helsby Station (Ian Pilkington).

Chirk developments - repory by George Jones

I looked in at Chirk on 17 August and found work under way on the provision of the ramped footbridge for disability access. Unlike previous suggestions for a mighty assembly at the south end, the structure is going in at the north end opposite the Cadbury factory. The structure is expected to be completed by end of 2014. The picture shows the preliminary work now under way on the down side (Chester platform).

The bilingual notice promoting access to the world heritage site at Pontcysyllte via the canal which runs behind the station on the route through to Llangollen and the Horseshoe falls. Similar boards are provided at Ruabon.

The floral displays at Chirk are  a credit to the local volunteers Friends of Chirk Station who maintain the gardens and look after the station which receive favourable comment from many visitors and awards.

Past Times with John Hobbs - Last Castle to Chester 

On 8 May 1965 I was leaving Chester on the 8.55 Birkenhead to Paddington and passed Castle 5042 (formerly Winchester Castle) on the morning parcels from Southall. This was quite something, especially as it was a Gloucester engine. There were still four 'Castles'  in Capital Stock. One of these was in store, one was a bit of a pet (7029), destined for preservation and kept for special duties, such as  the Last steam train'   from Paddington on 16 June. They were all subsequently withdrawn from service at the end of June, so this visit to Chester was a bit of a swan song. In 1964 Castles were still working to Chester on a few occasions but by 1965, the words Hens teeth' come to mind.

Not a very good picture (above) but I had little time to get the camera out and take a grab shot as it passed, I had seen it coming of course across the curve as we left behind 45429 heading for Shrewsbury.

I knew 5042 would work back on the 11.10 Saltney (Green Lane) to Banbury freight, this diagram would alter at the timetable change which was imminent (but unknown to me at the time); so I decided to wait at Wrexham for it to work back past me. 5042 is seen passing Croes Newydd & Watery Lane Yard and is in very poor condition shorn of its former GWR regalia, no number plates, name plate or even safety valve bonnet.

Final view of former GWR glory passing into history. A pannier tank flies the GWR flag in Watery Lane Yard, also in Wrexham that day was a 'Grange', 38XX, 56XX and more Pannier Tanks, so five GWR types in steam on a May day in 1965 was quite a good tally.It's only with hindsight and the study of the Railway Observer that I realised just how close to the end of GWR Express steam it was.

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