Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

27 July 2015

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Northern Belle, 24 July

Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

August 2015

Sunday 2 August Steam on the Coast. Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express. Liverpool - Holyhead and return

Tuesday 4 August Steam on the Coast. Railway Touring Company. Welsh Mountaineer. Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Sunday 16 August Stockport Railshow, Stockport station.

Sunday 16 August Excursion West Coast Railways Holyhead, Llanfairpwll, Bangor, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Flint, Chester, Frodsham, Warrington, Preston, Lancaster & Oxenholme to Edinburgh.

Tuesday 25 August Steam on the Coast. Railway Touring Company. Welsh Mountaineer. Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog.

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

September 2015

Wednesday 9 September Excursion West Coast Railways   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 West Coast Railways 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.

Monday 21 September RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. LNER an appreciation by John Feild. Local member and keen follower of anything LNER John takes a look back at locomotives of that company and of its predecessors including some of them at Chester Northgate station

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

October 2015

Saturday 10 October  Excursion West Coast Railways  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.

Monday 19 October  RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. Aspects of the Chester & Birkenhead Line by John Ryan To mark the 175th Anniversary of Railways across Cheshire former BR Civil Engineer and local rail historian John looks at the more recent rail aspects of this line

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

November 2015

Monday 16 November  RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. Northern Delights by Steve Batty. Steve our RO Branch News Editor and railway author from Selby reviews modern traction in Northern England 2002  2009.

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

December 2015

Monday 21 December  RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. Arriva Trains Wales. Last 10 years going forward with Ben Davies. This is an opportunity to hear about more about one of our local Train Operating Companies from one of its locally based officers.

January 2016

Monday 18 January  RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch.  BRANCH A.G.M  followed by Back to The 60s with Geoff Coward. Geoff highlights photographs in various locations of the last few years of steam (1964-1968), including early diesels, mostly in the North West of England.

February 2016

Monday 15 February   RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch."American Wanderings - Heading East" by Gordon Davies. Gordon, our RCTS National Chairman gives a digital presentation showing the American railroad scene in the eastern states depicting diesel locomotives working passenger and freight trains as well as electric locomotives, light rail and preserved steam in operation on preservation lines.

March 2016

Monday 21 March   RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. "20 Years Of The Privatised Railway - What Does The Future Hold?" by Bob Casselden. Bob, a retired former B.R. manager looks at the changes to Britain's privatised railway over the last twenty years and reflects on what the future might bring.

April 2016

Monday 18 April  RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. One Mans Rubbish is Another's Treasure by Russell Hatt. Russell presents a selection of historic railway photographs that whilst too poor for publication are of interest to the railway historian.

May 2016

June 2016

On Friday 17 July David Lloyd George, looking resplendent in the morning sunshine, awaits to start the 11.35 to Blaenau Ffestiniog.  The station, train and surroundings all looked pristine and are a credit to the hard-working staff of the railway. Picture by John Roobottom.

It seems like we will need a Friday extra issue again. Look out for Cumbrian and Cambrian items.-Charlie

News Miscellany

On 24 July, Network Rail Stoneblower DR 80211 made its way from Rhyl Engineers' Siding to Walsall. Having left the Engineer's siding at Rhyl, then travelled wrong line up the Down Fast line (above) and held there ...

...  while 175 116 passed working the 10:44 Llandudno - Manchester....

... and then  crossed to Platform 1 before heading towards Chester.

Unfortunately the journey was not without incident, as the machine suffered a problem and came to a stand at Shotton, eventually reaching Chester 97 minutes late, while Holyhead - Llanelli and Llandudno - Manchester trains behind were terminated at Rhyl.  We understand that the Crewe-based Class 57 'Thunderbird' was summoned, but there was some delay in sourcing a driver.

The Valley - Crewe flask train re-appeared on the scene on 27 July: 6K41 passing Llandudno Junction at 16:02 with 20 305 and 20 308 (Peter Lloyd).

The '1960s Weekend' at the Llangollen Railway on 25-26 July turned into something of a 'wet weekend' - picture of pannier tank 6430 on push-pull train at Glyndyfrdwy on 26 July by Ian Wright.

Ex-DRS 47 712 now in Scotrail livery, and DRS 37 401 Mary Queen of Scots in Large Logo blue (the stags were later removed) stand proud in the Cumbrian sunshine at the DRS 20th anniversary event at Kingmoor Depot on 18 July (Darren Durrant). We understand that DRS will be retaining the 'heritage' (1985-style but incorrect number font) livery applied while 401 was in the care of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society. On the other hand, it has been reported that 57 307 is to lose the 'Lady Penelope' names as DRS have to pay a royalty to the owners of the Thunderbird franchise.

46233 Duchess of Sutherland heads south through Lancaster on 18 July with the Combrian Mountain Express (Darren Durrant).

The 'Northern Belle' from York to Bangor heads west past Abergele's very rusty Up Dstant signal on 24 July. Locomotives 57 306 and 57 305 Northern Princess. Picture by Greg Mape.

With the aid of a ladder, John Hobbs photographed 156 429 on the summer Saturday-only 07:53 Chester to Runcorn service leaving the single line from Frodsham Junction at Halton Junction on 11 June.

Bob Hargreaves

Bob Hargreaves of Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham, one of the most active rail campaigners in the area, a stalwart member of The Shrewsbury - Chester Rail Users Association, and a frequent correspondent to our website on Wrexham line matters, died on 18 July. We send our condolences to his widow Janet and their family.

A Tim Rogers Gallery

The view from Balderton Crossing on 22 July as 150 251 passes on train 1G50 13:24 Holyhead to Birmingham International, normally booked for a Class 158.

Northbound at Balderton, Inspection Saloon 975025 Caroline propelled by 47 818, as 2Z02 10:04 London Marylebone to Liverpool Lime Street, 51 minutes early

Croes Newydd on 22 July.  66 176 is 42 minutes early with 6E41 empty MEA wagons 16:56 Penyffordd Cement Sidings to Belmont Down Yard after delivering coal for the cement plant.

Cefn Mawr viaduct on 23 July. 158 836 makes its way across the elegant structure on the 1D15 15:09 Birmingham International to Holyhead.

A wider view of the structure, with 60 024 Clitheroe Castle on 6M86 loaded steel train, 09:23 Margam T.C. to Dee Marsh Reception Sidings.

The same train passes Hope on the Borderlands Line.

On 24 July 2015, at Penmaenmawr, 67 022 passes with 1D34 09:50 Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead.

With the Great Orme on the skyline, 57 306 and 57 305 Northern Princess head past Penmaenmawr with the Northern Belle, 1Z16 06:48 York to Bangor luxury excursion.

At Helsby later in the day, 67 022 departs at 17:49 on 1D31 16:50 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno ...

... with Driving Van Trailer 82308 trailing.

The time is 17:26, and 60 087 CLIC Sargent with another load of logs, 6J37 12:58 Carlisle Yard to Chirk Kronospan via the Settle & Carlisle line.

At 19:07, 57 305 and 57 306 return with the Northern Belle, 1Z18 17:37 Llanfair PG to York.

WSMR nameplates raise 15,000

The results of the sale by auction of the Wrexham & Shropshire locomotive nameplates, mentioned last time, raised a significant sum for Chiltern Railways' chosen charities.

67 015 David J. Lloyd was the first to be sold and fetched 1400; 67 014 Thomas Telford 3600;  67013 Dyfrbont Pontcysyllte 2900; and the star of the show, 67 012 A Shropshire Lad 7100, second only in this auction to the 15,000 made by a plate from GWR steam loco Lydford Castle.

The story even made the BBC News website.

Saturday loco-hauled? Report by Eddie Knorn

At Ruabon station on the evening of Tuesday 21 July, I was slightly taken aback to see the 'Premier WAG Express' 17:16 Cardiff - Holyhead (which is not booked to call here, but does on Saturdays when a Class 175 is used) stationary at the down platform. I took a stroll to the station and saw a couple of staff (I think) rummaging on the overgrown part of the Wrexham end of the down platform, whilst the guard had alighted from the guard's door of the DVT at the rear of the train. The train undertook a controlled movement of a few feet further down the platform and stopped again.

At this point, the train was in such a position that all passenger doors of the coaches and the guard's door of the DVT were on the "live" part of the platform, i.e. the tarmac covered section between the metal railings across each end. The DVT luggage doors were obviously alongside the overgrown area under the station footbridge.

The train guard would not enlighten me as to what was going on, but he appeared to be conversing with a 'manager' who was in the DVT. There was something said about moving the signage on the metal railings at the Wrexham end to assist visibility. I took a walk to the loco end (67 002) and a member of train crew suggested something about the train stopping there 'from Saturday. The train departed around 20.06, at which time it is normally due away from
Chester and reached Holyhead 34 minutes late.  There was some comment about deliberately delaying a service train made ...

One of the coping stones in the overgrown part at the Wrexham end of the down platform has had the vegetation scraped off and "LS" marked on it: presumably 'Loco Stop'. Can anyone enlightened us?

Galatea, part 2

More pictures of 45699 on the ill-fated 'North Wales Coast Express' run of 19 July flowed in after we had 'gone to press' a little earlier than usual. Here's a selection, with thanks as always to our loyal contributors. Peter Hanson captured the loco looking good passing Whiston station between Liverpool and Earlestown.

The next station east from on the historic Liverpool & Manchester Railway route is Rainhill, where John Hobbs photographed the train passing under first ever 'skew bridge' designed by George Stephenson. There was some controversy over the materials used to raise the height of the bridge parapets to meet safety requirements on electrified lines, but Network Rail say they have used the same type of stone, which will weather to match the existing bridge.

Crossing the Weaver at Frodsham (John Hobbs). Galatea was standing in for 45690 Leander which was failed at Carnforth before setting off the previous day and was already substituting for 46233 Duchess of Sutherland which had been declared to be 'out of gauge' at Frodsham.

45699 making a great noise as it approaches Dunham-on-the-Hill between Helsby and Chester; notwithstanding the diesel on the back (John Hobbs).

Crossing the  Weaver Navigation Bridge at Frodsham (Ian Pilkington).

Abergele (Ian Pilkington).

Colwyn Bay (Darren Durrant).

'Limping' home to Carnforth, 45699 passes Flint tender-first with support coach, after being removed from the train at Llandudno Junction with an overheated axlebox (Darren Durrant)

Llandudno Junction (Jim Ikin).

Investigating the problem at Llandudno Junction (Jim Ikin).

Picture by Larry Davies.

The train continued behind the accompanying diesel loco; above, 45699 and support coach run back through Platform 3 after being detached from the train (Jim Ikin).

'Jubilee' postscript

Glyn Jones writes: 'Thank you for including my picture of 45699 Galatea (last issue). As you say, apart from the livery, it could well have been mistaken for a view taken some 60 years ago.

After closer study, if one has sharp eyes, in the top right hand corner of the picture you can just see the cladding of the British Telecom building which I don't think was there in the 1950s. Accordingly, I have brushed it out and converted the picture to black and white. I couldn't manage to remove the modern lamp!'

One of a number of photographs taken on or around Flint Station given to Glyn Jones many years ago by a photographer now long departed.  45586 Mysore, built in 1934 by the North
British Locomotive Co. Glasgow, taken about 150 yards nearer than the one above and heading a
'down' express with a shed code 6G Llandudno Junction. The picture can be fairly accurately dated as it was allocated to the 'Junction' for a short period - From February 1960 to September 1960.

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