05 January 2015
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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
60 092 brings the 'Tugging Shedmaster' into Chester, 3
January: see reports below. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.
Club 55 offer is back
Arriva Trains Wales 'Club 55' cheap fare for people 55 years old and
older has re-appeared for another stint, until 28 February, with all
travel to be completed by 7 March. The
information on the website is just as muddled and ambiguous as
usual (and the link on their email advert goes to a non-existent page),
but it does appear that a ride on the new loco-hauled train from
Manchester to Holyhead and back, or from Llandudno Junction to
Manchester and back, is quite feasible, and the return fare for Senior
Railcard holders (not Fridays) is just £22, or £23 without
Senior Railcard. On payment of a supplement it is also possible to
travel to London Marylebone on Chiltern's loco-hauled service.
As ever, reports on interesting adventures with the offer are welcome.
Chester, Saturday 3 January - pictures by Roly High
As part of Pathfinder
Tours' railtour 'The Tugging Shedmaster' from
Stafford via Birmingham, Bescot traction depot, Crewe and Chester,
'track bashers' were treated to a visit to the 'Up and Down Goods' line
alongside Chester station where the train reversed. Use of this line by
a train carrying paying passengers is certainly an uncommon event'
although it is fully signalled in both directions. Above, 60 092
brings the train into Chester. The name of the train refers to the
nickname 'Tug' used by some enthusiasts for the class 60 locomotive.
The Riviera Trains coaches displayed a motley collection of liveries:
Virgin Trains, Anglia Railways, and a buffet car in Riviera's
interpretation of Great Western chocolate and cream, as well as a blue
The train comes to a stand as Merseyrail unit 507 011 arrives
from Liverpool Lime Street.
On the rear, 67 016 which we understand replaced a Class 66
loco at Crewe in order to provide heating power for the train following
a fault with the generator coach.
The Arriva Trains Wales shuttle from Crewe enters Platform 1; the 158
looks a lot more travel-stained than the 150 unit it is coupled to.
With 67 016 now the lead loco, the train heads on to the Manchester
line for the next stop on the tour, Latchford Sidings in Warrington.
Following the Tugging Shedmaster...
The 'Tugging Shedmaster' railtour passes Frodsham on the way to
Warrington and Latchford, with 67 016 leading. Picture by Darren
67 016 heads across the Mersey bridge and under the
semaphores controlling access to Latchford Sidings, Warrington on 3
January (Chris Morrison). This stub of the former line towards
Skelton Junction and
Stockport survives to facilitate the reversing movement requires by
trains to and from Fiddler's Ferry power station.
DB Schenker shunter 09 106 (one of the few still in service
with DBS and no doubt a rare treat for 'haulage' fans) pilots 60 092
with 67 016 on the rear with 'The Tugging Shedmaster' at Latchford
Sidings (Chris Morrison). The train returned via Stafford
to visit Toton traction
depot - in the darkness - before returning to Stafford.
60 100 departs Latchford with a returning Fiddlers Ferry -
Liverpool Bulk Terminal coal train (Chris Morrison).
60 062 brings a Fiddler's Ferry-bound coal train round the
curve towards Latchford where it will reverse (Darren Durrant).
The railtour, now running late, passes Acton Bridge (Darren Durrant).
Compass Tours (update)
We've been asked to mention that, contrary to the first version of last
week's episode, Compass Tours has not - 'ceased to trade', but has been
purchased by a group which includes West Coast Railways. The last
independent Compass Tours trip was in fact the 19 December 2014
Hereford - Edinburgh 'Festive Scotsman. Founder of Compass Tours Kevin
Melia will still be involved with the Compass Tours operation, which is
now operating from the Carnforth offices of West Coast Railway.
There may, we are told, be other uses for Frodsham and Helsby in
2015 away from the Compass brand.
End of the Year on the Coast - pictures by Tim Rogers
30 December at Bagillt: 175 114, 1H88 12:53 Llandudno Junction
to Manchester Piccadilly.
67 029 Royal Diamond & Mk3 DVT 82306, 1K51
12:22 Holyhead to Crewe.
31 December, at Sandycroft: 158 823 passes with 1D13
11:09 Birmingham International to Holyhead,
175 116 passes Sandycroft with 1H88 12:53 Llandudno
67 029 again on 1K51 12:22 Holyhead to Crewe passes Sandycroft on 31
Llangollen's 'Winter Warmer'
Just a selection of the pictures received of the Llangollen Railway
Winter warmer weekend. Thanks to all who have sent pictures.
Friday 2 January
D5310 runs round at Llangollen station during the Winter Warmer Gala,
having arrived from Corwen at 15 20pm, it will depart at 4.20pm for
Carrog (Martin Evans).
D5310 entering Carrog with the 10:27 ex-Corwen on 2 January (Ken
D5310 entering Glyndyfrdwy with the 12:20 ex-Llangollen parcels train (Ken
D5310 entering Carrog with the same train, and 45337 in the siding
behind ready to take the train back to Llangollen at 13:30 (Ken
45337 in full winter sun at Carrog (Ken Robinson).
A notable feature of the even was the first public passenger train
worked by a Diesel Multiple Unit ever to serve Carrog. Ian Henderson
photographed the train, formed of Class 104 50528 and 50454, on the
very first arrival, a short working from Carrog. from Llangollen on 2
Previous visits by railcars in Llangollen Railway days have been
engineering or staff route-learning trains, and British Railways never
provided a DMU passenger service on the line, it being steam-worked to
the end. Visits to the line by DMUs in the 1960s were excursions
running through to the coast (organised by BR Stoke division).
The DMU arrives at Carrog on 2 January (George Jones). The
headcode B3 is appropriate for a train on the Buxton branch which was
operated by this type of unit, although the typeface of the numbers at
this end of the train has an un-authentic look.
Crossing at Glyndyfyrdwy (George Jones).
View from the café at Berwyn as the approaches with the 14:00 from
Llangollen and the train destination board announces the new era of
Saturday 3 January
D5310 enters Glyndyfrdwy station with a special parcels working (Martin
'Black 5' 45337 Ayrshire Yeomanry enters Carrog with the 11:45
service from Llangollen (Martin Evans).
50528 and 50454 await to depart from Llangollen on the 11 20am service
to Corwen in heavy rain (Martin Evans).
By way of a contrast, on a blustery bright and cold 2 January, a narrow
boat traverses the Llangollen Canal two miles east of the town (Martin
News from Northenden Junction - pictures by Greg Mape
The Real Time Trains website has been a real 'boon' to train
photographers, as it offers the chance to know when freights and other
unusual trains are on the way, a very useful for locations such as
Northenden Junction where Greg Mape captured these scenes on
Saturday 3 January. In the picture above, a Network Rail measurement
train, top-and-tailed by 37 259 and 37 612,
working from Derby to Wigan via the lines in the Peak District, arrives
at Northenden over the single-track freight line from New Mills South
Junction, prior to reversal to continue via the passenger line to
Stockport, and waits for the passage of the 12:59 Chester - Manchester
Piccadilly train formed of 142 052.
37 259 then brings the train over the junction ...
... and over the crossover, as seen from the other side of the road
... before heading off towards Stockport and Manchester Victoria.
A little later, and a train of empty refuse containers from Runcorn
Folly Lane has arrived at the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal depot,
35 minutes early, behind 66 604; and the loco has been detached
and waits for the passage of 142 058 working the 14:17
Manchester - Chester. The 'trap points' in the foreground protect the
passenger line against any rogue movements out of the sidings.
It should be noted that these 'binliner trains' do not always run as
scheduled, or indeed run at all, and the 'activated' flag on Real Time
Trains is not a sure guide, especially if the time shown is exactly two
hours before the departure time.
Altrincham station on the previous day, 2 January: 66 607 heads
for Folly Lane. The new footbridge can be seen in the background.
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