Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

November 2014

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

Saturday/Sunday 6-7 December Bala Lake Railway Santa Specials.

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

Steam trains passing at Chester, 22 November 2014 (Picture by Anthony Thomas). See report below.

A Day in the Life: All the items below are from one day, 22 November. Many Thanks to everyone who has contributed. Tune in on Friday 28th for an extra with the usual mixture. - Charlie

Bittern on the Cathedrals Express

Train 1Z85 was the London Euston-Chester 'Cathedrals Express' charter, hauled by A4 pacific 4464 Bittern in its striking Garter Blue livery as used by the London and North Eastern Railway for this class from 1937, seen near Beeston Castle between Crewe and Chester (Ian Pilkington).

Another view near Beeston (Eric Scott).Designer of the A4s, Sir Nigel Gresley, was a hobby ornithologist, and chose the names for birds for several of the A4s, including Bittern and Mallard. Sadly, some of the other names were later removed, mostly in favour of names of LNER company directors, such as 'Walter K. Wigham' in place of 'Sea Eagle.'

Roly High's telephoto view illustrates the changes in gradient as 4464 approaches Chester station, passing 158 832 on the Chester - Crewe shuttle service.

Arrived at Chester (Anthony Thomas). Bittern (60019 in British Railways numbering) holds the record for the highest speed for a preserved steam locomotive, having had special permission to run at 90 mph on some special trains in 2013. Plaques on the side of the boiler, in the same style as those on sister loco Mallard which holds the all-time world record for steam, commemorate this event.

The whole train headed out of Chester to turn on the triangle west of Chester station. (Peter Basterfield).

Returning to the station (Anthony Thomas). Any future installation of overhead electric wires at this point will find the Hoole Road bridge a serious obstacle.

The angle of the sun at Chester was such that cast shadows of enthusiasts appeared (as one onlooker described) as 'terracotta anoraks' (Larry Davies).

Departure from Crewe with the return 17:10 Chester- Euston 'Cathedrals Express' (Chris Morrison).

A quick move to Stafford by train by Chris Morrison secured a second shot of Bittern on the fast line through the station. The ability of modern digital cameras to take pictures of this kind would amaze the photographers of the 1930s.

The Christmas Cheshireman

Train 1Z92 on 22 November was the 'Christmas Cheshireman' excursion from Bristol Temple Meads to Crewe via Chester. The advertised traction was 'Battle of Britain' pacific 34067 Tangmere but this was unavailable so Ian Riley's stalwart 'Black Fives' 44871 and 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier stepped into the breach. We pick up the journey at Hereford (above) where Richard Putley was observing events.

The train arrived at Hereford at 09:43 and had to stand on the Down Goods line while the locos uncoupled; this meant the tour passengers could not get out. The locos ran light engine to the north end of the Up Goods Line, then wrong line along the Up Passenger line and into Platform 4, the north-facing bay platform from where fire engines were deployed to fill up their tanks.

While this was going on Richard  walked out of the station and along to a bridge near the site of the old Brecon Curve junction, where the former Midland Railway line to Brecon used to diverge. A
short stub remains in situ as far as the Bulmers Cider Works but it is now disconnected. The tour then departed at 10:43; notice that the tenders and not exactly piled high with coal.

Approaching Ruabon (Martin Evans). On this occasion a diesel locomotive on the rear of the train was considered unnecessary.

Wrexham General (George Jones). The train passed 20 minutes late after delays in taking water at Chirk where the two locos had to be served from one fire service tender.

Passing Chester the racecourse (Peter Basterfield).

Chester (Larry Davies).1Z92 0731 Bristol Temple Meads to Crewe with Black Fives 44871 and 45407

The Lancashire Fusilier (Anthony Thomas).  45407, built by Armstrong Whitworth in 1937, is, with 44871, owned by the Ian Riley company, based at Bury, home of the Lancashire Fusiliers museum, and the name was bestowed on the loco to mark the connection.

Departure for Crewe (Roly High).

Near Beeston Castle between Chester and Crewe (Ian Pilkington).

The return train, photographed at Wrexham by George Jones, also ran late...

... but at least the enforced stop at Wrexham waiting for a passenger train, the 17:45 departure from Wrexham, to reach Gobowen allowed for a good picture. It was later reported running 81 minutes late at Craven Arms, but this was reduced to 52 minutes late on the final approach to Bristol Temple Meads.

More night moves - pictures by Chris Morrison

46233 Duchess of Sutherland rolls into Birmingham International with a return charter from London Euston to Sheffield on 22 November.

The Duchess powers away from Birmingham International.

RHTTs recorded

The Rail Heed Treatment Train curves into Chester station on the return journey from Crewe, 22 November  (Peter Basterfield). 97 303 leads, with a newly-cleaned 97 304 on the rear.

Arriving on the through line at Chester station (Anthony Thomas).

'After the Lord Mayor's show comes the muck cart' as the old saying goes. As Bittern brings its train back into Chester station (see above) steam-minded photographers are probably hoping not to include 97 304 as it pauses on the through line (Roly High).

It's a a busy moment at Chester: 97 303 waits as 175 104, working the 12:50 Manchester - Llandudno, uses the mid-platform crossover to get past an eastbound 175 standing at the far end of Platform 3 (Larry Davies).

The view from the bridge as 175 104 has collected its passengers and gets the 'right away.'

 The same train near Beeston Castle on 22 November. (Ian Pilkington).

Also to be seen at Chester is the Wirral lines RHTT, formed of Network Rail paired MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) DR 98902/98952 (Larry Davies), seen pausing in the sidings at 11:55 on 22 November before heading home to its base at Wigan.  Northern Rail 'Pacer' 142 055 in bay Platform 6 is the 11:57 to Manchester via Northwich.

DR 98952 looks much cleaner than its sister (Roly High).

Diesel passenger news

The excitements at Chester on 22 November seem to have overshadowed some events elsewhere, such as a Holyhead - Cardiff 'Rugby Special' using the Premier Express stock with Driving Van Trailer 82307 ....

... and Chiltern Railways locomotive 67 013, now nameless following the theft of one of its nameplates. Pictures by Jack Bowley on the approach to Colwyn Bay.

Hereford (Richard Putley).

The freight train was the Saturdays only Alexandra  Dock - Bescot china clay working,  booked to layover here at lunchtimes. Locomotive is 66 024 (Richard Putley).

Manchester area enthusiasts (and normal passengers) were treated to the first Saturday of pre-Christmas Saturday loco-hauled specials on the Manchester Victoria - Preston line as forecast in the last issue, where timings are listed. Above, 48 818 on the rear of the 13:52 Manchester Victoria - Chorley departing from Victoria. On the front was Northern Belle-liveried 47 790 Solway Princess. Note the overhead line gantries now in place on this section (Charlie Hulme).

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