Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

05 January 2015

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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

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 generator coach.

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 Durrant.

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 Junction to Manchester Piccadilly.

67 029 again on 1K51 12:22 Holyhead to Crewe passes Sandycroft on 31 December.

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 Robinson).

D5310 entering Glyndyfrdwy with the 12:20 ex-Llangollen parcels train (Ken Robinson).

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 Robinson).

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 January.

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 operations.

Saturday 3 January

D5310 enters Glyndyfrdwy station with a special parcels working (Martin Evans).

'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 Evans).

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 bridge...

... 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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