27 October 2014
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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
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:
Tuesday 11 November Shrewsbury
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
Thursday 13 November Llandudno
Valley Railway Society AGM Members
Evening Keith Jones/Bob Barnsdale/Llew Groom
Friday 14 November Altrincham
Paul Shackcloth 'A Photographic Tribute to Tom Lewis'. Main line steam
across Great Britain from 1948 with many scenes in the North
Monday 17 November RCTS
Wales: Scottish Steam in the 1960s.
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
Friday 5 December Clwyd Railway
Circle Members Night & Christmas
Monday 8 December Wrexham Railway Society:
Thursday 11 December Llandudno
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
Wales: Steam Sheds through the years: Part
1. John Sloane
Thursday 18 December Merseyside Railway
History Group Keith Maxwell 'Film Evening &
The Old Buffers'
Thursday 8 January Llandudno
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
Monday 12 January Wrexham
Society: Phil’s Quiz: Phil Davies
Monday 19 January RCTS
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.
Friday 6 February Clwyd Railway
Circle A Year in the Life of an International Train Spotter: Phil
Monday 9 February Wrexham
Society: Rossett – Saltney Junction Re-doubling: Speaker
from Network Rail
Thursday 12 February Llandudno
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
Monday 16 February RCTS
Merseyside & North Wales: Welsh Wanderings in the1980s'.
Geoff Morris. A trip through Wales in a decade during which livery
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
Friday 6 March Clwyd
Circle Annual General Meeting followed by an illustrated
talk entitled Back to the ‘60s by Geoff Coward
Monday 9 March Wrexham
Society: A view from a signal box window: Adrian
Thursday 12 March Llandudno
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
Thursday 9 April Llandudno
Valley Railway Society Railway enthusiasm - international:
Friday 10 April Clwyd
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
Monday 13 April Wrexham
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
Thursday 14 May Llandudno
Valley Railway Society 6G locomen: personal reminiscences
by A Guest Panel
22 October: 45337 brings the second arrival of the new era into
the temporary station at Dwyrain Corwen East: a great occasion for the
Llangollen Railway. Public services began on 27 October for the
half-term week. Picture by Ken Robinson.
The loco thus became the first 'Black Five' to have visited Corwen, the
type never having made it in British Railways or LMS days (so far as is
'Pretendolino' on the 'Welsh Warrior'
The 'Welsh Warrior' excursion of 25 October, seen above makings its way
along the Middlewich branch behind 37 682 and 37 419 (Steve
... with 57 302 on the rear (Steve Morris). Extreme telephone
shots can be unkind to the state of the track - and the two signals
which seem adjacent are actually a distant and home signal, some
Mold Junction (Bob Greenhalgh). In 2008 in the wake of the
Grayrigg accident of 2007 which resulted in the total loss of one Class
390 Pendolino train, Virgin Trains decided to lease a rake of the Mk3
Coaches (including a Driving Van Trailer) which had been the mainstay
of their West Coast fleet before the 390s took over. The intention was
to use it as a standby set, with a regular duty on a Friday evening
extra service out of Euston.
Rhyl (Roly High). In 2009 it was given a full refurbishment,
including a red and silver livery based on that of the 390s - hence the
name 'Pretendolino; by which it became know to enthusiasts and rail
staff alike. It was also made available for charter trains; some of the
coaches were used by Northern Rail for extra accommodation during the
Tour de France stages in Yorkshire in Summer 2014.
Bangor (Ken Robinson). An electric locomotive to haul (and push)
it was hired as needed from one of the freight companies. Recently, a
Class 90 was painted in DRS livery to be the regular power for the
train, but a few months this been organised than Virgin Trains decided
they no longer needed 'set WB64', as it was officially known, after
Autumn 2014 and it would be returned to the leasing company.
Bangor (Richard Fleckney).
As a farewell to this much-admired train, which some people thought was
more comfortable that the modern Class 390 (noted for its
inward-sloping sides and cramped standard class seating) an excursion
from Crewe to North Wales was organised, to raise money for charity, in
conjunction with The Railway Magazine. The chosen charity was
Royal British Legion – an appropriate cause in the centenary year of
the outbreak of the First World War; the train was christened 'The
Welsh Warrior' and a traditional headboard made, as well as a poppy
wreath for the front of the train.
Bangor (Richard Fleckney). DRS provided the diesel traction: 37
682 and 37 419 Carl Haviland (a former North Wales
passenger loco) at one end and 57 302 Chad Varah on the
other. The Driving Van Trailer was replaced by a DRS Mk2d brake-first
Bangor (Richard Fleckney). The interesting itinerary, including
some non-passenger lines, was Crewe - Gresty Green Up Loop (reverse) -
Down Manchester Independent line avoiding Crewe station - Sydney Bridge
Junction - Sandbach - Middlewich - Northwich South Jc - Northwich
West Jc - Chester - Holyhead (reverse) - Llandudno Jc - North
Llanrwst (reverse) - Llandudno (reverse and break to visit the town) -
Llandudno Jc - Chester (reverse) - Wrexham General - Shrewsbury -
Stafford Rd Jc - Bushbury Jc - Stafford - Crewe.
37 682 on the rear at Talybont (Peter Basterfield).
Glan Conwy (Greg Mape).
North Llanrwst (Greg Mape).
Mk 3 Coaches are, it would seem, not permitted between North Llanrwst
and Blaenau Ffestiniog, as the Pretendolino's last visit to the Conwy
Valley in September 2011 (see our 5 September 2011 special
issue). And yet, Mk3 Coaches have been to Blaenau in the past, in
the form of a High Speed Train in 1993 - Immortalised on the Penmorfa website -
and more recently the Arriva Trains Wales 'premier express' train made
the trip, preceded by a special gauging run which we recorded in our 16 September 2013 issue.
length, or a
Comparison of front-ends (Roly High). The 37/4 and 37/6 classes
were both created from later-built Class 37s without end-doors; they
differ in that the 37/4s were built for passenger work and have
connections for train-heating, whilst the 37/6 types were intended for
freight and have additional ballast for adhesion purposes.
Arriving back at Llandudno Junction (Peter Lloyd). 37 682 was
... and shunted into platform 2 before following the train to
At Llandudno, some shunting took place: 57 302 and 37 682 stand in
Platform 2 (Peter Lloyd).
57 302 leading on the return journey near Pensarn, with Gwrych
Castle in the background, where after a long period of
dilapidation, some restoration work is now taking place.
Wrexham General (George Jones).
Cardiff Canton book reprinted - by Steve Morris
I published the first edition of this book some eight years ago, it
seems more recent than that! This sold out quite quickly and since then
there have been a number of requests for a copy. With the 50th
anniversary of opening the depot this year I have decided to re print a
small number of copies and provide an update on the current situation
with regard to the site. This has resulted in a couple of pages being
amended. In addition I have taken the opportunity to update some of the
captions, tidy up a few parts and correct some minor faults that were
present in the original version. To avoid any confusion, this is not a
completely new book, it is a revised and updated version of the
Comprising 96 pages with over 160 images, the majority in colour, this
book covers the history of Cardiff Canton Diesel depot since opening in
September 1964 right up to the present day following over 50 years
continuous service. There have been a number of changes since then with
ownership starting under British Railways through the Transrail days
then EWS and finally Pullman Rail Ltd.
Split into a number of sections the publication covers the day to day
operation of the depot, "special occasions" resulting in namings etc,
prototype locomotives such as 47901 and the 37/9 sub class as well as
1200 "Falcon", incidents and withdrawals and the duties carried out by
each class of locomotive allocated to the depot during its 40 years use
as a loco maintenance facility. Finally there is a section covering the
people who worked there and made "Canton" what it was, the Premier
Diesel Depot in the UK!
I will be taking delivery of the copies on Thursday 30 October and it
will be listed on eBay from then on should anybody be interested in
obtaining a copy. Alternatively it will be available in all good
railway bookshops or via the Class Forty Preservation Society.
Corwen Revival - report by George Jones
On Monday 27 October the Llangollen Railway started normal public train
services to Corwen (above). 'Black 5' 45337 was rostered on the four
coach set which now features a Corridor Brake Second coach modified as
a PCV (Propelling control vehicle) which allows the reversal between
Corwen and Carrog.
The rear end of the train with the PCV. The interior of the PCV has a
control position within the rear corridor connection of window,
windscreen wiper, brake setter (inset) and horn - simple but effective.
The train featured another new headboard - The Corwen Revival - to mark
the return of trains to Corwen, nearly 50 years since train services
were suspended by British Railways as of 12/13 December 1964. Above, 45337
departs Llangollen with the 15:10 last train of the day. Good crowds
turned out to support the trains on the extension and numbers of people
proceeded into Corwen and others joined from Corwen.
After reversal back to Carrog the locomotive run-round took place
there: this will be the normal mode of operations, unless a railcar is
rostered, or, on rare occasions, topping and tailing will feature on
five-coach trains. To overcome this operational restriction the need is
to progress to the phase 2 terminal station as a priority and the
volunteer workforce begins preparation of the station site as of next
week, although funding for this final stage of the project will be
necessary if all the development issues are to be overcome.
A VIP visitor was local Assembly member Ken Skates, seen sampling the
Return to Mold Junction
Apologies are due to Anthony Robinson: by linking to the Transport
Diversions website we inadvertently gave the impression in the last issue that Tony's
book Dad Had a Loco Shed was out of print. Apparently the owner
of Transport Diversions is 'winding down' his stock. The book is
still very much available from good bookshops, from Amazon,
Anthony sends us a telephoto view of the front of the shed taken on 25
October, and notes: 'The situation is that for some time now the roof
has been unsafe and most of the scrapyard items stored under it have
been removed outside. Indeed when we enquired in 2010 about taking in a
party from the London and North Western Railway Society we were told by
Dobbin's (the owners) that due to concrete crumbling after a heavy
frost that previous winter, their own people had to wear hard hats when
working in the building and the public weren't allowed in under any
circumstances. One sadly assumes this is the prelude to its
Railhead Treatment Train scenes
Looking quite clean on 16 October, 97 301 and 97 303 take the 3S71
18:43 [previois night] Crewe T.M.D. (E) to Crewe T.M.D. (E) via West
& North Wales Rail Head Trratment Train trough Bagillt, 55 mins
early. Reference to Real Time Trains is essential is you want to
capture this train which seldom sticks to its 'booked' times on the
return from Holyhead. PIcture by Tim Rogers.
stormy sky at Sandycroft on 17 October, 97304 John Tiley
leads 97 303 running 118 minutes early - the high-pressure water
jet can be seen in action cleaning the rails of any leaf matter.
Picture by Tim Rogers.
Video from 18 October by Phil Thomas.
The 'leaf-buster' on 24 October finds few leaves in this cutting
at Talybont, as Network Rail have removed the trees from the cutting
sides. Picture by Peter Basterfield.
Bangor, 25 October (Ken Robinson).
Clean me! (Richard Fleckney).
Shrewsbury Voyager Trial
We hoped someone would photograph 18 October's gauging run to
Shrewsbury by a Virgin Trains Class 221 Voyager in preparation for the
start of the through trains to London in December, and here they are,
with many thanks to Mike Jones, signaller at Abbey Foregate. Above, it
is heading for bay platform 5 after checking for fit, platform edges
and 'S stop' sign placement.
Departing from the bay.
It crossed over at Abbey Foregate up main to down main to gauge and
mark out platform 4. then shunted towards Coton Hill and back through
platform 7, then off home to Wolverhampton.
46233 Duchess of Sutherland passes Acton Bridge
working from Crewe to Appleby with the Derby - Appleby 'Appleby
Explorer' excursion on 25 October. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.
60009 Union of South Africa on the East Lancashire
Railway, 18 October (Peter Basterfield).
Sylvan autumn scene on the East Lancashire Railway, with 2-6-4T 80080
The ELR autumn gala included a night photography event, on 17 October.
Above, 60009, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and 61994
The Great Marquess (Peter Basterfield).
Welsh Highland Railway loco 143
stands at Porthmadog
Harbour with the 10:45 to Caernarfon on Thursday 16 October (Ian
A view of the recently completed work at Porthmadog Harbour (Ian
Pilkington). The fine replica semaphore signal enhances the
Past Times with John Hobbs - Llandudno. 19 June 1965
'Jubilee' 45632 Tonga
shunts stock off train 1D02, from
Rochdale, at Llandudno; note the use on non-corridor stock. The loco
would last until October although it would move from Stockport to
Newton Heath in August.
, another Newton Heath stalwart,
also shunting; this time past the Signalbox, which is still with us for
the present. The stock is off 1D01, an excursion from Middleton;
this was, according to the book The Manchester Jubilees
Shackcloth, one of the locomotive's last workings and was a unique
event as no other visit of a Jubilee to Middleton is known!
Again, the non-corridor stock still in use, on both such, excursions at
such a late date.
Two Jubilees together at Llandudno was quite an event, even
in 1965. Here ID01 & 1D02 stand side by side in the train shed
Ivatt 2-6-2T 41233
undertakes station pilot work at Llandudno,
this too was a novelty by this time. Observe the goods depot in the
background and the LMS coaching stock. [41233 was one of four of the
type transferred to Stockport Edgeley shed in 1966.]
Northern Belle newcomer
The Northern Belle made its way up the Marches Line on Friday 17
October with 57 305 Northern Princess at the northern
end and 47
790 Galloway Princess at the southern end. The yellow
bag over the Dellner coupling looks very strange on 57 305, which is
now branded with DRS markings. Picture The outward service was the
06:45 from Swansea seen passing Wrexham South Fork ...
... and the return service was the 16:45 from Chester seen
Rhosrobin at the top of Gresford Bank where fortunately the train was
going rather slowly in the gloomy light. Both pictures by John
Some views from our short holiday on the South Coast. Although nearly
all the trains encountered south of the Thames are of very modern
construction, some older specimens linger on the fringes. Above, 313
201 arrives at Portsmouth & Southsea station with the
'Coastway' local from Littlehampton. There is little to show it after
their recent refurbishment for Southern Railway, but these units
started their careers about 37 years ago on London suburban services
from Moorgate along the East Coast Lain Line, where they replaced the
loco-hauled non-corridor trains on the national network. They were
built as dual-voltage units but the pantographs have been removed from
the Southern sets. The family resemblance to the slightly-newer
Merseyrail units is evident.
The 313s are, however, almost new in comparison to the trains in use by
South West Trains on the Ryde - Shanklin service on the Isle of Wight,
which were built for the London Underground in the late 1930s. Above,
on 19 October 483 006 arrives at Brading, where the station
building is now an excellent volunteer-run visitor
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