Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

October 2014

October 2014
Thursday 9 October Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society The Railways of Wirral Dave Southern

Friday 10 October   Altrincham Electric Railway Society  Dr Michael Bailey MBE "The Archaeology of Early Steam Locomotives". Digital Presentation.

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.

Thursday 30 October  Merseyside Railway History Group  Graham Whitehead   'Engine Sheds'

Friday 31 October Great Western Society North West Branch Under and Over and on Top, by Gwynne Parry.

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 publicly 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

Friday 14 November   Altrincham Electric Railway Society Paul Shackcloth "A Photographic Tribute to Tom Lewis". Main line steam across Great Britain from 1948 with many scenes in the North West.  

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

Thursday 27 November  Merseyside Railway History Group   Geoff Holmes 'Railway Shipping'

Friday 28 November   Great Western Society North West Branch Five Men who made St Helens, by Joe Cowley.

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     

Friday 12 December  Altrincham Electric Railway Society Peter Fitton "The Railways of the Fylde from 1961". Colour slide presentation.

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

Thursday 18 December  Merseyside Railway History Group   Keith Maxwell  'Film Evening & The Old Buffers'

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

Friday 9 January  Altrincham Electric Railway Society   John Hobbs "A Circular Tour of North Wales 1966-1980". Colour slide presentation.       

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

Thursday 29 January 2015 Merseyside Railway History Group  Brian Roberts 'Merseyside Connections 1973 - 85'

Friday 30 January  Great Western Society North West Branch 50 Years of Railway Photography, by Colin Ellis.

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

Friday 13 February  Altrincham Electric Railway Society David Young "A Further Selection of Slides from the Manchester Locomotive Society Collection". Colour Slide presentation.     

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.

Thursday 26 February  Merseyside Railway History Group  Trevor Gauntlett  'The Halton Curve'

Friday 27 February  Great Western Society North West Branch Group Annual Meeting

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 

Friday 13 March  Altrincham Electric Railway Society   John Sloane 'Chinese Steam in the 80s'. Colour Slide Presentation.      

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

Thursday 26 March  Merseyside Railway History Group  AGM Members Slides

Friday 27 March  Great Western Society North West Branch Liverpool's Disused Tunnels, by Paul Wright.

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

Friday 10 April  Altrincham Electric Railway Society   Alvin Barker "A Selection of British Transport Films from the Steam Era". Digital presentation.    

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.

Friday 24 April  Great Western Society North West Branch Standard Gauge Railways of France and Germany, by Barry Rushton

Thursday 30 April    Merseyside Railway History Group  Geoff Coward  Quiz and informal evening

May 2015

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

The Llangollen Railway's DMU event on 4 October saw trains running west of Bonwm to Colomendy Curve short of Corwen East station which is not quite complete. Picture by George Jones.

Note: additional items added to this issue at 13:00 Tuesday 7 September.

Railcars to Colomendy Curve - report by George Jones

With a half-hourly Llangollen Railway service on offer for the Railcars 60th anniversary event, there was likely to be plenty of opportunity to capture trains west of Bonwm as they ran to Colomendy Curve short of Corwen East. The overnight rain having cleared North East Wales, the sun came out and produced another blue sky day with excellent visibility and rhe autumnal tones just being to show.

By taking the route 5 hourly bus to Powys Country House at Bonwm, I used the opportunity to walk along the A5 to Corwen and photo the trains in action on the straight stretch - a long felt need and the opportunities spread over 90 minutes exceeded expectations. At Bonwm Gates (above) where the autum shadows now grow long, the Wickham unit came through.

 A 'forced march' to a location past bridge 28 secured shots of the return trip.

The rail replacement bus X94 from Wrexham to Barmouth/Abermaw, now operated by GHA, passes ... without the train in sight - it would have made a nice contrast.

I walked on to region of bridge 28A, where the class 104 then appeared and provided 'in the landscape' shots ...

... before the return working was captured from the overbridge.

Finally, after walking into Corwen for a chip buttie, a further walk got me back to Colomendy in time to see the mixed formation 127/108 reverse from the stop point.

Then a walk back into Corwen for the route 5 bus took me back to Berwyn (above) in time to see the 127/108 set on its return to Llangollen, the bus having beaten it by a 'short head'.

My use of public transport for this sortie worked out as planned and allowed for the car to be left at home. Relying on the bus gave me some flexibility, and exercise, without having to worry about where to park the car to access the footpath along the road. The road was certainly busy at times as the traffic comes by in 'flights' due to the traffic lights outside Corwen and at Llangollen which store up the flow.  The comments on the Corwen archive pages of the LR website regarding need for care of this section of the road are very appropriate:

'The view of the railway between Carrog and Corwen will allow for some excellent photography. A word of warning, however. The A5 is narrow and fast with very few spaces for parking. It will be best to leave the car in the ample parking area at Corwen and walk the mile or so to the viewpoint near bridge 28A.'

Organiser Evan Green-Hughes says: 'We are well pleased with the support given to the event when passenger numbers exceeded expectations and feel the anniversary occasion was celebrated in good style. The fish-and-chip special train on Saturday evening was particularly successful keeping the Signalbox Cafe at Llangollen station busy with assorted orders for everthing with chips prior to the trains departure.'

At Llangollen on the same day there were 47 delegates at the Annual Railcar Convention from heritage railways across Britain who also operate diesel units alongside steam. Delegates shared their experiences of railcar operations and developments on the lines on which they operate. The photographic exhibition celebrating 60 years of operations in the railway's convention coach proved popular with visitors, many of whom did not realise the diesel powered vehicles had been around for so long. Also popular was a a railcar cinema show with the screening of British Transport Films from the 1950s about the introduction of railcars and training for drivers to adapt to the new trains.
This was the first of two national events to be held at Llangollen Railway during October with the annual Carriages Convention to be held on 18/19 October when delegates will attend to consider how heritage railway coaching stock can be best restored and maintained. These occasions keep Llangollen Railway in the top pecking order among the many heritage railway in Britain which all contribute to the tourism in their regional economies.

'The Madcap Looper' 22 November 2014 - by John Mathers

We are pleased to announce a private tour of the Bala Lake Railway network on Saturday 22 November, including lines not normally used for passenger workings, provisional details are as follows:
The use of diesel loco Lady Madcap has been requested, very rare traction on a passenger working and those in the know suggest it to be many years since its last passenger outing if ever. The route requested includes Bala and Llanuwchllyn loops which are not in normal passenger use; 
Llangower loop which is rarely used; Use of one of the carriage shed roads up to the shed doors.
A run up to the stop block near to the caravan park at Bala and past the water tower at Llanuwchllyn.

The private train will consist of the Penrhyn Quarryman's coach and the yellow Dinorwic truck -  please note that this is open stock so wrap up warm.  Tickets for this trip are limited and are priced at £20.00 per person with no reductions and are only available on a first come first served  basis, so we suggest you make your booking as soon as possible. Anyone wanting to express interest please email

stating your name / address / contact number /  email address / number of tickets required and the names of all passengers  in the party. Note that tickets can only be allocated once a cheque for £20 per  person is received as soon as possible.

All tickets will be issued as an e-ticket via email. Tickets are available only from the above address and not through the Bala Lake Railway. A provisional start time at the railway of 11am has been  requested and will be confirmed closer to the date.  You will be required to make your own transport arrangements to / from  the railway. If the required numbers in order to run this trip are not reached, the tour will be cancelled and all cheques will be returned to the original sender.  No refunds for any on the day no-shows.  The organisers cannot be held  liable for any delays, cancellations, alterations to traction / route, mishaps or other events that may arise on the day which are beyond their control.

Picture news

On 6 October Network Rail loco 97 304 John Tiley was running from the Class 97/3 depot at Coleham (Shrewsbury) - Bidston - Wrexham - Bidston- Coleham, to enable the staff to refresh their route knowledge for the autumnal Rail Head Treatment Trains. Andrew Vinten's picture above shows it at Heswall on the Wirral returning to Coleham in the late afternoon sun.

On 30 September, eastbound flask train 6K41 leans into the curve at Talybont, 56 minutes early - photographed by Peter Basterfield (from the right side of the fence.) 37 601 and 37 194 were the locos in charge, with three FNA wagons in tow.

On 3 October the 'Northern Belle' train ran from Lincoln via Nottingham, Derby, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury to Chester, returning after a five-hour stay in Chester via Warrington, Manchester Victoria, Stockport, Stoke-on-Trent , Derby and Nottingham. Quite a tour. Martin Evans photographed the train at Gobowen, slowing for a signal check as it was following an Arriva Trains Wales late-running Holyhead service.  47 790 Galloway Princess leading ...

... and 47 828 on the rear (Martin Evans).

47 790 makes its way across the Roodee Viaduct into Chester  (Bob Greenhalgh).

Green Lane crossing, south of Saltney Junction on the Wrexham line, still awaits its enhancement to double track on 1 October as 66 148 passes with the New Cumnock to Padeswood cement works (Penyffordd) coal train (Bob Greenhalgh).

66 118, in new DB Schenker livery, passes from the Derby line at Crewe over to the through road with a consist of empty steel wagons on 2 October (Martin Evans).

A curious sight at Crewe on 2 October as Network Rail Driving Van Trailer 82111 arrives at Crewe at 16:10 with a Northampton to Derby Rail Technical Centre working. Arriva Trains Wales class 67 67 003 is tucked inside ...

... with DVT 82145 on the rear. Pictures by Martin Evans. This was a driver training run in preparation for use of these Driving Van Trailers onthe new 'Plain Line Pattern Recognition' (PLPR) trains which can take a high-definition video at high-speed, which is then processed to automatically flag up and defects in the track. The PLPR coach itself was not in the formation. Note the backs of lights of the nose to illuminate the track ahead for better video. The usual power will be a Class 67 for its high maximum speed, with a camera-fitted DVT each end. 82111 / 82124 / 82129 / 82145 are now owned by Network Rail for use in thes trains.

Ride the 'Pretendolino' - with Railway Magazine

At the end of October Virgin Trains is standing down its  ‘Pretendolino’ set of Mk3 coaches, returning it to the leasing company. To mark its farewell in style, and as previewed in the October edition of The Railway Magazine, the set will work one final enthusiast charter train on 25 October,  and you can be part of what will be a charity special, as proceeds from the event will go to the Royal British Legion – an appropriate cause in this the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The Railway Magazine has joined forces with both Virgin Trains and DRS to promote this farewell train which will be called ‘The Welsh Warrior’, and will traverse some unusual track. Starting from Crewe (approx 08.20/08.30), the charity charter will run to Holyhead and back in top-and-tail mode throughout, with a pair of DRS Class 37s at the standard class end, and a Class 57 at the first class end. One of the 37s is expected to be No. 37 409, and the 57 is likely to be No. 57 301.

The route (subject to final confirmation by Network Rail) will be: Crewe, Gresty Green, then with the 37s leading via Crewe independent lines, Sandbach, Northwich, Chester (pick up), Bangor (set down outward, pick up return) to Holyhead, where there will be a 40 minute break. The train will return along the North Wales coast line with the Class 57 leading to Llandudno Junction, where a short trip will be made down the Conwy Valley branch to North Llanrwst (subject to gauging), before returning to the ‘junction’ and heading to the popular resort of Llandudno for a break of at least two hours.

From Llandudno, the excursion will run east to Chester, then reverse direction, and with the pair of Class 37s leading will attack the four miles of 1-in-82 gradient up Gresford bank on its way to Shrewsbury, returning to Crewe via Telford, Bushbury curve and Stafford. Expected time back at Crewe is 20.30/21.00.

Bookings for this special are now open and can be made by calling the Railway Magazine’s customer services team on 01507 529529. Lines will be open 8.30am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 12.30pm Saturday. We regret that due to the time-scale there is no facility for postal bookings.

Ticket prices are £65 standard class and £100 first class – which will include a cooked breakfast plus a light bites snack box in the afternoon. All seats will be allocated at the time of booking, and the maximum number of seats per booking will be eight.  The closure date for bookings is 17.00 on Friday, October 17 (or earlier if all tickets are sold). This is to allow for delivery of tickets and final itinerary. There will be some disabled seating, but this is very limited due to the internal seating formation.

The train’s buffet will be open for most of the journey offering tea, coffee, soft drinks and hot and cold snacks. There will also be a trolley service of refreshments.

During the journey, there will be a raffle for some unique prizes including a cab ride in a DRS locomotive, a session in a Virgin Pendolino driver simulator, a headboard from the special, model railway items and magazine subscriptions. All monies from the raffle will be added to the ticket money being donated to the Royal British Legion.

Wirral Bus and Tram show, 5 October - report by George Jones

The annual show at Birkenhead Woodside on 5 October produced a fine assembly of vintage transport with reps from all over the North West and beyond. For me the star attraction was the line up of Liverpool Corporation Passenger Transport vehicles in their green and cream liveries at Pacific Road. Early on (picture above), this featured AEC Regent III A36, 'Baby Grand' tram 245 and AEC Regent IV A267 as examples from my schooldays...

... later joined by Atlantean L501 and the Guy overhead line maintenance vehicle, all well remember from 50-60 years ago. Sadly, the 'Baby Grand' tramcar was not operational with several snags still to be sorted and 60 hours of running-in before it is commissioned - however it was great to see the car outside with its bus associates, even if they did see the trams off the road in the late 50s.

Elsewhere. the tramway was operating with Liverpool 762 and Wallasey 78, plus Lisbon 730 (see left column) and the two Hong Kong-built trams, although Birkenhead No.20 was sidelined with a fault. A good crowd was in attendance.

Plenty of favourite buses, including some Crosville examples from North Wales. Above, ERG52 (UFM 52F) dual-purpose ECW-bodied Bristol RELL6G built in 1968, as well as the two Bristol L-series buses KW 172 and KW 229 which have featured many times on these pages.

Bury Corporation 201 (GEN 201), showing a famous Bury destination, is Leyland PD3/6 with Weymann H41/32RD body built in 1958.

Salford City Transport PD2/40 179 (WRJ 179) came with its own bus stop - your website editor remembers these buses well adding a touch of green to the 1960s Manchester city centre, and a forward entrance which seemed very odd to those used to rear open platforms.

50 Years of Duchesses - by John Hobbs

46254 City of Stoke on Trent passes Crewe Coal Yard, on 30 August 1964 with the Sunday 'Mid Day Scot' 12.15 Euston to Glasgow which was booked to be steam hauled. Was it steam the following Sunday, the last day of the summer timetable, does anybody know?

46256 Sir William A. Stanier FRS passes Crewe North Depot and heads down the Independent Lines to Salop Junction with train 3A34, the 12:10 Holyhead to Euston to  Willesden empty vans on Saturday 5 September 1964; was this the last "Princess Coronation" pacific to leave Holyhead,  does anybody know?

46240 City of Coventry enters Crewe station with the 8.20 am Carlisle and 8.50 Barrow-in-Furness to Birmingham (New Street) on Saturday 5 September 1964. These locomotives were now banned from working south  of Crewe so it was removed here and ran to the shed light-engine.

The classic platform view as 46256 waits at Crewe to depart with 'The Scottish Lowlander' on 26 September 1964, a tour organised to mark the final days of the Duchess pacifics. Who would have thought that 50 years later such a trip could be repeated; do we realise how lucky we are with our modern railway that such things can take place.

The train ran to Carlisle behind 46256, where 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley took over for a record-breaking climb over the Waverley Route. It is seen amongst the crowds at Hawick, in the days when such mass trespass was permitted by the authorities; nowadays such activities are prohibited.

The 1965 Scottish Lowlander again,  this time with 60009 Union of South Africa, which had taken over the train at Niddrie West Junction on the outskirts of Edinburgh before heading for Carlisle via Glasgow and the Glasgow and South Western route.  This is Kilmarnock in the days when photo opportunities were more frequent.

Here is 46233 Duchess Of Sutherland, cosmetically restored for display at Heads Of Ayr Holiday Camp, outside the Crewe Works Paint Shop on 30 August 1964. The purchase of the locomotive by Butlins accidentally made possible its restoration to working order some years later.

50 years later and the 'Scottish Lowlander' took to the rails again in commemoration. Above, 46233 Duchess of Sutherland leaves Carlisle Citadel, after a photo opportunity which required several platform alterations to accommodate the normal train service, all of which was much appreciated by the tour participants on 27 September 2014.

46233 & 60009, which took the train on a circular tour via the West Coast Main Line (The Waverly line having closed in the late 1960s) and the Glasgow and South Western, pose together on the return at Carlisle; on this day however no alighting was permitted between departure and return to Carlisle. The 'Duchess' was 'nursed' on her section of the tour due to a suspect right-hand side driving wheel bearing; the A4 however was rather sprightly on several occasions with speed in the high seventies.

45699 Galatea replaced the ailing Duchess at Carnforth for a sparkling run to Crewe which finished off a grand day with three steam  locomotives which was a stunning effort by West Coast Railways and the Railway Touring Company.

Bangor Duchess

Inspires by our feature in the last issue, Denis Bates sends this picture taken at Bangor in May 1960 featuring 46241 City of Edinburgh looking very smart, but possibly not in great technical condition, as Denis recalls a locomotive change was in progress. Close inspection of the picture confirms this: the shunter (or fireman?) can be seen on the ground between the loco and Mk 1 brake-second coach M34097, and one can just make out the 'calling-on' signal arm cleared for 46241 to draw forward as far as the next signal. The replacing loco looks like a rebuilt 'Royal Scot' with a regimental nameplate. Can anyone cast any light the event?

Rogues Gallery - a comment by Charlie Hulme

While on the topic of 'Duchesses' we might mention that the subject of mis-behaving photographers, something that we have raised in the past has reared its head again. The owners of Duchess of Sutherland have been prompted to add to their website a 'rogues gallery' of pictures showing people who have blatantly gone beyond the platform end to get a picture, some with their backs to approaching trains on the adjacent track. One of them had even equipped himself with a 'monopod.' Clearly, whatever was normal in the 1950s (see above) is not acceptable to Network Rail or British Transport Police today, and following on from the total steam ban recently imposed on steam by NR's London North Eastern management due to fire risk, nobody wants another reason for the rail authorities to ban steam. Nobody wants to watch the death of a photographer, either. Needless to say, present-day pictures taken in this way, even from the platform ramp, are not welcome for this site; fortunately we seldom see any, as our contributors have more sense. It seems that there is a class of steam enthusiast who indulges in this irresponsible wandering, and of course this makes 'ordinary' passengers think it is OK to join in.

Of course, there is a great paradox involved with these steam specials: commonly the people who pay the rather high fares are unable to get a decent photograph or just a view of the locomotive in action; for that it is necessary to chase the train by car, bike, or service train which contributes nothing to the upkeep of the loco. This is particularly true at stations - Llandudno Junction for example - where the length of the train means that the front of the loco is off the platform. 'Runpasts' for photographer passengers used to be more common than they are today, even though in many cases a diesel loco is on the rear which could drag the train back. It seems that some effort was made at Carlisle on the Scottish Lowlander, but unlike steam workings in mainland Europe, such things now seem to be deprecated in Britain, even on heritage railways. What is the answer? I have no idea.

'Over by Christmas' - part 2

The 'Over by Christmas' choral tour of Cheshire area stations in commemoration of the centenary of World War I deserves a second look. On 19 September. after the shows at Helsby and Frodsham the 'Theatre in the Quarter' (TiQ) road show moved to Runcorn East by train; quite a logistics exercise for Arriva Trains Wales,  although there was a backup bus available as well.

Above, representatives of Halton Borough Council wait with Dr Peter Waterman, representing the Queen in his capacity as a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire  (he is also Cheshire Ambassador) await the arrival of the Theatre in the Quarter at the entrance to Runcorn East station.

Performers gather on the platform during the performance.

The complete cast with local children, from surrounding schools,  who supported TiQ with their own songs; the station formed a natural amphitheatre for the performance which was supported by the British Legion, Richard Cooke (the Railway Chaplain), and the Irish Guards Singers while Dr Peter Waterman and the Mayor gave addresses. Later the audience and cast moved to Murdishaw Community centre for further performances and refreshments.

On 25 September three performances took place on the concourse at Manchester Piccadilly station, to the great interest of passengers, including those in the First Class Lounge (top left).

Views could also be obtained from the upper level of the concourse, and the performers made use of the added dimension; the sounding of 'The Last Post' by a bugler high above the station entrance at the end of the show was particularly poignant.

On the Cambrian

Locomotives are currently extremely rare on the Cambrian system, with only Network Rail's occasional workings to attract the attention of our contributors. A run with Track Recording Coach (TRC) 999550 powered by a pair of Class 97/3 locos took place on 23 September, photographed northbound near Fairbourne by Ian Wright. Ian tells us that Fairbourne station house is sold again (see 16 September 2013 issue), it appeared in the local paper with price reduced to £67,450 for a completion before Christmas.

Northbound at Porthmadog, train 1Q75 Machynlleth-Derby via Pwllheli with 97 304 John Tiley leading. Picture by Ken Robinson.

Southbound, 97 302 near Minffordd on some of the wooden-sleepered bullhead track which remains in use on parts of this line despite recent re-laying in some areas (Ken Robinson).

The view from Arthog on  Radio Survey Train heads back towards Machynlleth (Kate Jones). No excursions have run on the Cambrian lines recently, following refusal of Network Rail to allow West Coast Railways staff to drive their 97/3 locomotives which are the only ones allowed on the line because of their ERTMS signalling; however West Coast are now having Hitachi ERTMS equipment (recently fitted to one of the 97/3s) fitted to two of their 37s, a contract having been signed with Network Rail in August for completion in August 2015. However there appears to have been little progress in returning steam-hauled excursions to the area unless trains are piloted by a Class 37 which would seem ridiculous.

At Caersws station, a café known as the Way Out Café now operates in the original Cambrian Railways station building.  According to their publicity, this is a unique and quirky space offering tasty treats such as toasties, delicious local cake, specialist smoothies, pancakes, pizza and much more. Bob will make sure you have what your want.' Bob also operates the the 'Off the Rails' hostel within the building. Picture (from the train) by Richard W. Jones.  The wooden 'lean-to' was possibly built to house the single-line token instruments, which in Cambrian days were not placed in the signalbox; a practice which was a contributory cause of a disastrous collision on this line near Abermule station in 1921.

Caersws station's volunteer adopters won a 'Keep Wales Tidy' award in 2013.

South Manchester Scenes - by Greg Mape

Some views from 22 September. Above: Contrast in public transport: Northern Rail 'Pacer' 142 039 heads along the Manchester Airport branch as an A380 airliner (its wings constructed at the Broughton factory) on the Dubai service comes in to land.

Daytime testing, which begain on 15 September, on the new Manchester Airport Metrolink line at Wythemshawe Town Centre station. Car 3086 was at the time newly-delivered and not yet in passenger service. The more recent cars have come slight differences from the early examples of the 3000 series, notably a 3-way split in part of the vertical grab pole in the vestibules. Public opening is expected before Christmas.

A roaming supermarket trolley intrudes on the rural scene at Cheadle Heath: the Westbury - Tunstead empty cement train has just crossed the bridge over the M60 motorway, and is approaching the site of the former Cheadle Heath station with a Freightliner 66 in charge.

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