Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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

Train 1H87, 11:44 Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly, passes Bagillt on 16 October, formed of 158 828. Picture by Tim Rogers.

14 October movements - pictures by Tim Rogers

Above, on 14 October, the second day of this autumn's Rail Head Treatment Train programme, 97 302 and 97 304 John Tiley pass Rhyl Marine Lake on the eastbound leg to Crewe, high-pressure water jets in operation clearing leaf slime from the rails. The yellow of the locos suffers from the inevitable effects of working these trains in 'top-and-tail' mode.

This year the train (3S71) departs from its base at the old Crewe loco depot at 18:43 Sundays - Thursdays and visits Machynlleth, Craven Arms and Bidston during the night, then back to Crewe (07:46 to 08:18) before setting off via Chester (09:00), Holyhead (10:46 - 12:01) and back to Crewe. Thus it visits the North Wales Coast on Mondays - Fridays. It appears that the train crew have the option to forego their lunch break at Holyhead and head home straight away: the train shown passed Rhyl at 12:22 instead of the 'booked' 13:21.

On the same day, viewed from the new cycle bridge at Llandudno Junction, the last-built 3-car 'Coradia' unit, 175 116 on 1H89, 13:31 Bangor to Manchester Piccadilly.

With the unmistakable backdrop of the castle and bridges at Conwy, 37 609 and 37 608 bring train 6K41, 14:58 Valley to Crewe flasks, towards Llandudno Junction at 14:23, 113 minutes early. On the rear of the train, on its first outing, is one of the ten new flask wagons built by the W.H. Davis company. These can be distinguished from the existing fleet by their blue livery and the somewhat different shape of the sides. They have been given numbers in the international series: 11 70 9229 001 to 010.

Past Times with Dennis Kerrison - Rhyl Departures

Captions by John Hobbs

Hughes/Fowler 'Crab' 2-6-0 42878 (above) leaves the down main platform at  Rhyl, sometime in the late 1950s. It is carrying the old-style reporting number and the train is a nice rake of LMS stock; the turnout for Rhyl shed fills the foreground.

'Patriot' Class 4-6-0 45527 Southport leaves Rhyl on Wednesday 31 January 1962.  It is a fine day and the sun quite high, for the winter,  so it must be mid-day. This could well be the 12.10 Crewe to Bangor; effectively the winter 'Irish Mail' , which had connections from Euston at 08.20 via a Liverpool train. This was on one of the first trains to go over to EE Type 4 haulage (later Class 40) ; Dennis may have been keen to see a new diesel on this turn but would have been  disappointed when 45527 appeared!

'Princess Royal ' Pacific 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught leaves Rhyl on Saturday 18 February 1961; this could be the 9.20 Crewe to Holyhead; the locomotive would not see the year out as it was withdrawn that Autumn.

BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73043, a Patricroft engine around this time, leaves Rhyl during the summer with train 'W191A' circa 1957; the loco has the large 'Cycling Lion' totem on the tender,with  nice LMS stock in 'Blood & Custard' livery. Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 0-6-0's can be glimpsed in the background on Rhyl shed.

BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73130 leaves Rhyl on 26 July 1966; nearly 10 years later than the previous view. The new 'British Rail' order is represented by a blue-and-grey liveried vehicle which leads the maroon rake of stock, Rhyl shed is shut, and the loco has a home made number plate; in less than a year steam will have finished on the North Wales Coast. The loco would last until January 1967.

End of Mold Junction shed?

On hearing a rumour that the former Mold Junction locomotive shed, now part of the site of Dobbins,  scrap merchants, may be vacated soon, Roly High went along to the adjacent Saltney Ferry Road bridge to take some pictures for us. Opened in 1890 by the London and North Western Railway, primarily to house freight locomotives for the Chester area, along with the adjacent marshalling yard, it closed in 1966.

However, possibly the last loco to leave the site was a Peckett 0-4-0 saddle tank which had worked at the now-vanished Courtaulds textile factory. It was replaced by a diesel and donated to the Llangollen Railway in 1974. However, a few years later it found itself owned by Dobbins and languishing in the disused sidings outside the shed. It was rescued in 1986 and returned to steam, and now can be found at the Stainmore Railway heritage site.

This map is from 1911. The houses in Ewart Street,  named to commemorate Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone who lived in nearby Hawarden, were built, along with the school and reading room,  for the railway workers, and are still there, although obscured from view by trees. The turntable from Mold Junction found a new home some years after the shed closed, at Rowsley South on the Peak Rail heritage line. A curious feature on the map is the short siding, served by a wagon turntable, to the back of the houses - a sewage disposal system?

The roof of the shed, originally of the sawtooth 'north light' style, was replaced in the 1930s, but as the pictures show it is now it poor condition.

Some very interesting stories have been written about Mold Junction and its shed. Its history and some workers' memories feature in two recent books: The Chester to Denbigh Railway by Roger Carvell (Irwell Press, 2009) and  Dad Had an Engine Shed by Anthony J. Robinson (Oakwood Press, 2010) whose father John Robinson held various railway posts in North Wales before becoming shedmaster at Mold Junction. Both authors are good friends of our website and their books can be obtained by following the links from the titles above.

Alongside the shed was a small station, accesses from the road bridge, latterly known as 'Saltney Ferry (Mold Junction)' which was opened around the same time as the shed and must have been popular with the workers. Served mostly by trains on the line to Mold and Denbigh which branched off the Coast route west of the station, it closed in 1962, along with the whole passenger service on the Denbigh line.

Recycling at Tywyn - pictures by Ian Wright

Ian visited the Tywyn area of the Cambrian Coast line on 29 September. Above The bridge over the Dysynni river north of Tywyn, and the new cycle/pedestrian bridge alongside.

Where the line was breached by the January 2014 storms, old concrete sleepers have been used as part of the reinforcements of the repaired trackbed.

Compare the views from September (above) and from our 13 January issue (below).

Picture by Mark Kendall.

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