08 December 2014
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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
On 2 September, 950 001, the track recording unit built on the
Class 150 production line in the 1980s, toured North Wales on 2
December, running from Crewe to Longsight depot, Manchester via
Chester, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Holyhead, Llandudno and return via the
Mid-Cheshire line. Peter Basterfield photographed it at Talybont near
50 Years Ago, with John Hobbs - Ruabon - Barmouth's last days
Ivatt Class 2 2-6-0 46509 from Chester (6A) shed
runs into Ruabon, past the large 'Running in Board', with the 8.45 am
Chester to Pwllheli on 21 November 1964. It was a foul day and I do
wish I had gone there again after this, in better weather, as the line
was beached by flooding shortly after and my rumour mill said it was
closed. Unbeknown to me there was a bus from Llangollen to Bala and a
train from there to Barmouth until 16 January 1965.
An unidentified Ivatt 2-6-2T (possibly 41241) waits patiently at Bala
Junction, on the goods line (donated by the ring on the signal arm),
with the connecting one coach train to Bala Station, the connection off
the 8.45 am from Chester. The other line was the passenger line; how
strange! Tickets could not be purchased to Bala Junction and the only
times given in the public timetable were times at Bala; there was no
public access to Bala Junction.
BR Std Class 4 4-6-0 75023 waits at Drws-y-Nant with the 10.20 Barmouth
to Chester, while 46509 runs in with the 8.45am from Chester.
Another Ivatt 2-6-0 46520, waits at Dolgellau in the "Up" loop, with
the stock for the 1.41 pm Dolgellau to Barmouth, while 46509 departs
Even at this late date GWR 2251 Class 0-6-0 2236 was working at
Morfa Mawddach, here departing light engine to Barmouth having turned
on the triangle to pick up a failed BR Standard. Class 4 4-6-0 75021
from Barmouth. Sister loco 3208 was also getting some mileage in, and
worked 10.25 Pwllheli to Machynlleth on the same day.
46520 arrives at Barmouth with the 1.41 Dolgellau to Barmouth; the
weather was not getting any better.
46509 runs into Morfa Mawddach with the 2.55 pm Barmouth to Chester;
while the crew exchange the staffs for the single line sections.
46509 stands at Llanuwchllyn, on the same train, while the
crew wait patiently for me to capture my final shot of the day: 21
50 years later: Advent on the Ruabon - Barmouth
It's pleasant to be able to record that train travel can still be
enjoyed on parts of the former Ruabon - Barmouth line. Peter
Dickinson has sent us four pictures from the first weekend of this
year's 'Santa Specials'. Above: On Saturday 6 December, LMS Black 5 No.45337
worked the 11:00 and 13:35 departures from Llangollen ...
... and as can be seen, it struggled during its departure on the 11 am.
Newly restored 5199 worked the 11:55 and 14:30 Llangollen
departures without any problems.
5199 at Glyndyfrdwy.
On Sunday 7 December, 5199 worked the 11:00 and 13: 35 departures
from Llangollen, with 45337 working the other two. Santa returns
a number of days leading up to Christmas: see www.llangollen-railway.co.uk
Santa found time in his busy schedule to also call in an another
revived section of the line, the Bala Lake Railway, which lives on in
narrow-gauge form. The railway's Santa Special weekend on 6-7 December
was a great success, with with over 640 happy and satisfied people on
the trains. The photo shows Holy War, built by Hunslet in 1902 for the
Dinorwic Quarry, driven by Ben Barnes on the 11.10 Santa's Halt to
Llanuwchllyn on Saturday 6 December. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.
The Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RCTS) holds its next
meeting at the Town Crier opposite Chester railway station on Monday
15th December at 7.30 p.m. The colour-slide topic is Steam sheds
through the years part 1 presented by John Sloane from Parbold near
Visitors will be most welcome to attend on donating £2 to help defray
meeting expenses and further details can be obtained by telephoning
Valley views - pictures by Jim Johnson
A few stills from a video of 37 609 and 37 059, looking
ex-works in the new version of DRS livery, at Valley on Thursday 4
December with the flasks about to depart from the triangle, just after
13:00 in nice winter sunshine.
All views are taken from the public footpath adjacent.
The classic view of a flask wagon. The white box is not the actual
flask, it is a removable cover.
A view for numberplate connoisseurs. Several batches of 550xxx
wagons in this general style have been delivered over the years to
replace the very earliest flask carriers which were modified from
'Flatrol' wagons originally intended for general oversized loads such
as transformers. Some 1970s-built examples had sides which sloped
down towards the ends; none are now in service. Later examples, built
at BR works and later by Procor Engineering like these two, have the
straight sides, although differing in other details.
The area around the nameplate is a clue to the fact that the bodies are
stainless steel and were originally un-painted. The brown appearance is
purely due to dust from brake blocks and general grime - what Humbrol
paints call 'Track Colour.'
Over the last year a new batch of wagons has been built by the WH Davis
company. These differ in that the sides have outside ribbing; they are
37 059 entered service as D6759 on 12 October 1962 at Thornaby depot.
It worked for British Rail(ways) and later their freight successor EWS,
until placed in store in 1998, allocated for 'component recovery'.
However it survived to be sold on to DRS in 2002. DRS placed it in
store in 2012, but in October 2014 it emerged from an overhaul at RVEL
Derby looking 'as good as new.' (Thanks as ever to the Class 37 loco group for info).
Les Burton was at the little-served station of Denton in the early dawn
(07:45) of 3 December to observe the call being made there Compass
Tours' charter from Buxton to Edinburgh, headed by 47 853 Diamond
47 804 on the rear of the train. Congratulations to
Compass Tours for running an excursion for Buxton line residents: the
first for some years.
On the cold and frosty morning of 3 December, track recording unit 950
001 continued from its work of the previous day (see heading picture)
from Longsight depot, heading for Derby via Altrincham, Chester,
Shrewsbury and back via the Altrincham-Stockport line again. Greg
Mape photographed it in the morning passing the site of Baguley's
Cheshire Lines station (closed in 1964).
The Dee Marsh to Margam empty steel wagons with 60 071 Ribblehead
Viaduct still in old EWS livery passing Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury at
11:00 on 3 December (Stavros Lainas).
Walcot on the Shrewsbury-Wolverhampton line at 13:26 on 3 December,
with the 'Northern Belle' running a circular tour from Coventry to
Coventry via Shrewsbury, Wrexham and Chester. 47 790 Galloway
Princess was leading with 47 818 on the rear passing me at 13:26 (Stavros
Lainas). Although the name Galloway Princess fits in to the
style used by DRS, it was originally applied to this loco back in 1983
when it was numbered 47 593. After periods as York Intercity Control
and Saint David / Dewi Sant, the original name re-appeared
auspices in 2009.
The Rail Head Treatment Train with 97 303 and 97 304
passes through Bangor with probably the last train of the season, on
Thursday 4 December, although there are paths provided for a further
week (Peter Basterfield).
On 6 December, Chiltern-liveried 68 014 passes Sandbach pulling
'The Yuletide Yorkshire Explorer' from Newport to Leeds (Darren
Recently Virgin have put new vinyls on 390 112 and called it a
'Traindeer' as seen at Acton Bridge on 6 December (Darren Durrant).
37 612 and 37 425 Sir Robert McAlpine /
Concrete Bob and Class passes Acton Bridge with a Flask and a
container wagon (Darren Durrant).
Conwy Valley News - by Larry Davies, Community Rail Officer
Over the last few days Network rail contractors have been installing
humps at Tal-y-Cafn and North Llanrwst stations, bringing to an end the
use of the old steps for passengers to get on and off the trains.
Above, the completed hump at Tal-y-Cafn - 'the old order' in the
The completed hump at North Llanrwst on the Blaenau-bound platform.
Contractors working on the Llandudno Junction bound platform on 5
December. [Note the use of traditional brickwork rather than the
fibreglass structures which have been used at some English stations.]
On Friday 5 December, 2014 the children of Maenofferem School in
Blaenau Ffestiniog who are the joint adopters of the stations braved
the elements of cold wind and had an enjoyable half hour after their
nativity play, planting bulbs for a Spring display at the station. The
planters have been provided by Arriva Trains Wales and the Ffestiniog
Railway provided the compost. They were joined at the event by their
colleague adopters from the town.
The marvellous message (also printed in Welsh) from the children to
those whom use or pass along the platforms; we have had isolated
incidents of vandalism/graffiti at the station of late so we hope their
work will be left alone. Partnership working can be so rewarding.
On 6 December Arriva Trains Wales and Conway Valley Rail Partnership
participated with the Llandudno Town Council in the staging of their
annual Christmas Parade, with the new station and car park area being
the starting point for this year's excellent event. Father
Christmas arrived by train to a waiting audience and then headed the
Parade through the town which included a
selection of vintage buses, a steam traction engine and the ghost of a
former tram from the area's much loved and long lost tramway.
Father Christmas arrives from Lapland on the 15:40 arrival, formed of 175
The Liverpool Pipes entertain passengers and shoppers in the new
Old and new - the old tram peeps at the newly refurbished station.
Bangor Railway Institute - report by Jim Johnson
The former British Railways Institute club in Euston Road, Bangor,
(known colloquially as the 'BRI') sadly closed its doors for good
earlier this year. It is now up for auction, with planning permission
for demolition and construction of new dwellings (more than likely more
Although now very run-down and looking very scruffy, it is, in my
opinion an attractive building of great character. Sadly, it is not
listed, so it would appear that its fate is sealed.
Built by the LNWR in 1898, with an extension in 1905, it still displays
a LNWR monogram in masonry above the old main entrance, along with
construction dates (see attached photos.)
If any readers have any notions of how this lovely building might be
saved at this late stage, it would be nice to hear.
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