Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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 known).

'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 Morris)....

... 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 distance apart.

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 vehicle, 17159.

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. Maybe the truncated visit was more to to with train length, or a scheduling issue?

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 detached here...

 ... and shunted into platform 2 before following the train to Llandudno.

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 original one.

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 special headboard.

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, and indeed direct from publishers Oakwood Press.

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 eventual demolition.'

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.

Under a 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.

Steam miscellany

46233 Duchess of Sutherland passes Acton Bridge station, 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 (Peter Basterfield).

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 Pilkington).

A view of the recently completed work at Porthmadog Harbour (Ian Pilkington).  The fine replica semaphore signal enhances the scene.

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.

45600 Bermuda, 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 by Paul 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 after arrival.

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 passing Rhosrobin at the top of Gresford Bank where fortunately the train was going rather slowly in the gloomy light.  Both pictures by John Cowlishaw.

Holiday snaps

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 centre and café.

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