Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

22 June 2015

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page. For the current list visit our Calendar.

July 2015

Friday 3 July Excursion Compass Tours by West Coast  The Conway Valley Explorer Via the Scenic Conway line (with Ffestiniog Railway option). From Grantham, Peterborough, Stamford, Oakham, Melton Mowbray, Leicester, South Wigston, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Tamworth, Lichfield TV, Rugeley TV & Stafford to Betws-y-Coed & Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Saturday 4 July Excursion Compass Tours by West Coast  The Conway Valley Explorer From Lincoln, Newark NG, Grantham, Bottesford, Bingham, Radcliffe, Netherfield, Nottingham, Tutbury & Hatton, Uttoxeter, Blythe Bridge & Stoke to Betws-y-Coed & Blaenau Ffestiniog. (with Ffestiniog Railway option).

August 2015

28-30 August. Bala Lake Railway: 'Winifred' gala.

September 2015

Wednesday 9 September Excursion Compass Tours by West Coast  The Conway Valley Explorer
Via the Scenic Conway line (with Ffestiniog Railway option) Sheffield to Betws-Y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog. From Sheffield, Rotherham Central, Swinton, Moorthorpe, Normanton, Shipley, Keighley, Skipton, Hellifield, Carnforth & Lancaster.

12 September  Excursion Compass Tours by West Coast  The Conway Valley Explorer Via the Scenic Conway line (with Ffestiniog Railway option) Scarborough to Betws-Y-Coed & Blaenau Ffestiniog. From Scarborough, Seamer, Malton, York, Wakefield, Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden & Rochdale.

Friday 25 September. Great Western Society NW Branch. P. Spilsbury. Steam Miscellaneous.

October 2015

Saturday 10 October  Excursion Compass Tours by West Coast  The Conway Valley Explorer
Via the Scenic Conway line (with Ffestiniog Railway option) Hereford to Betws-Y-Coed
Departs From Hereford, Ledbury, Gt Malvern, Worcester FS, Droitwich, Barnt Green, Walsall & Wolverhampton.

Friday 30 October. Great Western Society NW Branch. Mike Kenwright. Cutting of the Manchester Ship Canal.

November 2015

Friday 27 November. Great Western Society NW Branch. John Hobbs. A Black & White presentation, North Wales Circular  1963  - 66  (Steam)

67 022 passes Abergele hauling train 1D34, 09:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Holyhead on 5 June. Picture by Ken Robinson.

This is a pre-prepared 'holiday' issue: we'll have a big catch-up on already-received items items next week.- Charlie

Northern Belle in Northern Wales

On 12 June the Belmond 'Northern Belle' luxury dining train top-and-tailed by 57 305 Northern Princess and 57 310 Pride of Cumbria made its way to North Wales as 1Z31 08:04 Cardiff Central to Bangor (Gwynedd). Roly High photographed the westbound train at Rhyl (above).

Four pictures of the westbound train by Tim Rogers, first from the Queens Road bridge on the approach to Llandudno Junction with 57 305 leading ...

... then 57 310 on the rear as the train rolls in for a 16-minute pause ...

... during which Tim made his way to the hill overlooking Conwy to capture the train departing across Conwy Cob ...

... and through Robert Stephenson's Conwy Tubular bridge, now the only one of this design in the world. The picture shows the two parallel tubes for the up and down lines, and the cast-iron supporting columns which were added in 1899 to reduce the load on the tubes and allow heavier trains.

Peter Lloyd photographed the return service at Llandudno Junction with 57 310 leading. The 'Northern Belle' headboard which adorned the Class 47s on this duty is not carried by the 57/3s which have replaced them, perhaps because the large retractable coupler makes fitting it difficult.

Views from a bridge - by Greg Mape

Two pictures taken during a lunchtime 'butty stop' around mid-day on 12 June near where the Cheshire Line route crosses the West Coast Main Line near Acton Bridge, while on a bike ride from Baguley to Shotton (using the old Mickle Trafford to Dee Marsh line). Above, the Mossend - Daventry Malcolm Logistics intermodal, hauled by DB Schenker locos 90 028 and 90 035.

A northbound (London - Glasgow?) Virgin Trains Pendolino heads away from the camera. It's quite common now to see the coupler doors open on these sets.

Log train views

60 087 Clic Sargent's appearances on the Carlisle to Chirk log train are attracting attention: Ian Pilkington's picture from 10 June shows it passing Mallerstang on the Settle-Carlisle line.

Later that day, the train passes Dunham-on-the-Hill heading for Chester (Stavros Lainas).

The following evening, 11 June, near Helsby (Stavros Lainas).

On 12 June it had run via the West Coast Main Line when captured by Tim Rogers at Guilden Sutton east of Chester.

Llangollen Diesels - pictures by Ken Robinson

Sunday 14 June at the Llangollen Railway where Class 37 diesel 6940 (37 240) was back in action after repairs.Above, a 'BR blue' shot of 6940 working the 13:50 ex-Corwen East passing the Class 104 DMU at Glyndyfrdwy.

6940 after arrival at Llangollen. The 37 sounded great with its load of 4 coaches.

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland notes - by John Roobottom

The operatives of the weed-killing train seem to be enjoying the ride back to Boston Lodge Works in lovely sunshine on 8 June, having just crossed Britannia bridge in Porthmadog.

Princess (built in 1863) is just a museum piece now but looks impressive after the cosmetic makeover for the Ffestiniog's 60-years of preservation celebrations.

A couple of images of Welsh Highland Railway Garratt NG/G16 87 were taken at Pont Croesor station on the same day.

The Osprey viewing site adjacent to this station is now open again following its handover by the RSPB to a community group, Glaslyn Wildlife.

Manchester Metrolink developments

The Metrolink station at St Peter's Square, seen above on 13 June, at the heart of Manchester's tram system, closes on 28 June for at least two months while the station is enlarged and relocated. During this time there will be no tram access from Piccadilly or Victoria stations to or from the Altrincham, Eccles or East Didsbury lines, with a replacement bus running between Deansgate-Castlefield station and Piccadilly.

This artist's impression shows what the final layout will be like, looking towards Piccadilly. The station will be nearer to Piccadilly than the present one; the building with the fancy end wall is just beginning construction. The stone cross, which was originally placed there in 1907 when St Peter's Church was pulled down, will be retained.

The rebuilding of Deansgate-Castlefield station, seen here, is now more or less complete, with a third track to allow trams to terminate. The framework on the left will eventually house a lift shaft.

Some good news is that the footbridge between Deansgate rail station and the tram station is now open again, although not quite complete on 13 June. The old and unpleasant plastic tube that was within the geodesic steel frame has been removed and replaced by an open walkway.

Out and about

The class 180 units, faster cousins of the 175, are currently in use with several companies. Greg Mape photographed 180 114 at Bradford Interchange on 4 June, and made the three-and-a half-hour journey to London Kings Cross....

... long enough for a game of Monopoly? (Greg Mape)

At King's Cross, Virgin's newly-won East Coast Main Line franchise was to be seen on HST loco 43 307. Electric 91 014 still carries the colours of the previous incumbent. Picture by Greg Mape.

Huyton station, on the 1830 Liverpool and Manchester Railway route, now electrified, has been rebuilt as a four-platform station, seen on 4 June with two Class 319 'Northern Electrics' (Charlie Hulme).

142 039 departs from Huyton on a Liverpool - Blackpool service. The track on the left ends abruptly because there is a piece of land ahead which Network Rail is still in the process of purchasing (Charlie Hulme).

Following 'Mayflower' - with Richard Putley

On Sunday 7 June, I drove to Moreton-in-Marsh in order to see LNER B1 4-6-0 61306 Mayflower hauling a Cathedrals Express excursion from London Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill. The special arrived at 13:15 and had a photo stop for 15 minutes.

While it was there, on the Up Line a civil engineers train hauled by 66 130 [an anagram!] ran through on the Up Line. According to Real Time Trains it was bound for Hinksey Yard at Oxford, conveying old track and ballast from Abbotswood Junction near Worcester.

After the steam special departed I followed it to Worcester. By the time I got to Worcester Shrub Hill the passengers had alighted and the special was stabled on the depot. But I got there just in time to see 70 805 arrive with another engineers train.

After 61306 had been coaled and watered, they ran her round the triangle in order to turn her. I took a photograph of her crossing the Birmingham and Worcester Canal.

The special ran into Shrub Hill station at 17:30.

As departure was not until 17:48 this gave me time to drive from where I had parked to the bridge over the line by the former Metal Box factory from where I photographed Mayflower again.

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