Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

December 2014

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

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 Bangor.

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 for Barmouth.

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 November 1964.

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 for details.

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 Wigan. 

Visitors will be most welcome to attend on donating £2 to help defray meeting expenses and further details can be obtained by telephoning 0151-608 4296.

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 painted blue.

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).

News pictures

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 Jubilee.

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 under DRS 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 Durrant).

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 foreground.

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 175 004.


The Liverpool Pipes entertain passengers and shoppers in the new reception hall.


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 student accommodation).

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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