Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

04 August 2015

Last issue


RSS feed RSS

Link to this issue

Share this issue

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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

The North Wales Coast Express of 2 August at Helsby (Greg Mape).

Don't miss our extra issue of 31 July. Now for some Steam ...-Charlie

North Wales Coast Express

The 'North Wales Coast Express' from Liverpool to Holyhead on 2 August passes the historic station at Edge Hill, hauled by 46115 Scots Guardsman. Picture by Clare Davies.

On the newly quadrupled track at Huyton (Ian Pilkington).

Dunham-on-the-Hill (Tim Rogers).

Looking remarkably like a scene on a model railway, this picture by Bob Greenhalgh shows 46115 passing Beeches farm west of Chester.

Flint (Glyn Jones).

Rhyl (Roly High).

47 760 on the rear (Roly High).

Taking water in platform 1 at Llandudno Junction. Picture by Larry Davies, who writes: 'It is over 50 years since Llandudno Junction lost its last allocation of Royal Scots with the demise of 46148.  Many of us of a certain vintage have lived in hope that one day we would hear and see a Scot once again at the Junction.  Well the wait for us was over today with the appearance of 46115 on the Liverpool to Holyhead steam charter.'

Departing Llandudno Junction (Larry Davies).

Heading into the Conwy Tubular Bridge (Clare Davies).

Passing Conwy Castle (Clare Davies).

Storming past Conwy Morfa (Ian Pilkington).

Steve Jones, on duty as Crossing Keeper at Llanfair PG, captured the view from his cabin as 46115 passed.

After leaving its train at Holyhead and turning on the triangle at Valley, the Scot gets the 'dolly' (ground signal) to return to Holyhead (Ian Pilkington).

46115 heads away past Valley with the return working to Liverpool, in fine evening light (Ian Pilkington)

The view from safely behind the crossing gates, with the signalbox, which now only controls the level crossing, in view (Steve Jones)

Llandudno Junction (Larry Davies).

Towyn (Tim Rogers).

Holywell Junction (Ian Pilkington). How much longer will these semaphore signals remain?

The return working seen from Beeches Farm bridge (Bob Greenhalgh).

Approaching Chester at Roodee Junction (Anthony Thomas).

Diesel Interlude

Train 1A35, 11:05 Holyhead to London Euston on Sunday 2 August, passes Delamere, diverted Northwich and Middlewich to Crewe due to engineering works on the normal route (Picture by Greg Mape. ) The Middlewich line has a severe speed restriction: 68 minutes was allowed between Chester and Crewe, and this train took 10 minutes longer.

67 022 arrives at Llandudno Junction with the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead, 4 August (Alan Crawshaw).

The Track Recording Train ran to Holyhead on 3 August, powered by 67 014 and 67 016. Peter Lloyd photographed it awaiiting the signal for the return trip ...

... departing Holyhead with 67 016 on the rear. Coach ADB975091, with its pantographs on the roof for checking the overhead line,  is a veteran member of the Network Rail fleet, having been created from a 1955-built Mark 1 coach in 1973. It originally carried the name 'Mentor'  - see ther marvellous Train Testing website for the full story.

[Other contributions on current traction held over until next week.]

The Welsh Mountaineer

The Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog 'Welsh Mountaineer' of 4 August hauled by 'Black 5' 45231 (above) nearing Chester station as seen from Hoole Lane bridge in Bob Greenhalgh's photo. Chester LMS loco shed would have been on the right of the photo, now a housing estate.

Roodee Junction west of Chester (Anthony Thomas). The loco has been turned on the triangle at Chester so as to be chimney-first up the Conwy Valley.

Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh).

Flint (Glyn Jones). Built in 1936 by Armstrong Whitworth, 45231 was never named in British Railways days. In 1976, while on the Great Central heritage line, it gained the unwieldy name 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. The current name The Sherwood Forester dates from 1997. (The original Sherwood Forester was a 'Royal Scot', 46112.)

Rhyl (Roly High).

The excursion was held in the slow line at Rhyl to allow the 08:50 train from Manchester Piccadilly, formed of 158 818 and 158 839, to overtake (Roly High). [Normally this train divides at Chester, the first two coaches running non-stop to Llandudno Junction, then on to Bangor and Holyhead, while the second unit follows soon afterwards as the 10:02, calling at all stations to Llandudno. It appears that another unit formed the Llandudno service on this occasion.

Running round the train at Llandudno Junction (Peter Lloyd).

Alan Crawshaw writes: 'Living near Bangor, my only opportunity of a steam Conwy Valley ride is to ask the Train Manager at Llandudno Junction for a fare to Blaenau, which I've done a few times. Last year the Train Manager was all too pleased at additional revenue, asked me if we wanted singles or returns and offered a return for £40 each which we accepted, not unreasonable but hardly a bargain. On this day I got a patronising "These trains cost a lot to hire you know, couldn't do it for less than £50 each" which I declined. So that's an additional £80 they turned down, equivalent to one full return ticket from Preston.'

Unfortunately, the train never reached Blaenau Ffestiniog, as the loco was unable to keep the train moving on the curved gradients in the Pont-y-Pant area with wet rails; not the first time a steam excursion has met such a fate.  According to a report on the North Wales Trains News group, the loco slipped to a stand on the 1 in 47 reverse curves in driving rain. The train set back to the viaduct, sanding all the way, and tried again, but didn't get much further before the same happened again. Set back to Betws-y-Coed, and then to North Llanrwst. The driver handled the slips very well, but the  weather conditions were against him and the loco, especially with six coaches. More about these events in the next update.
In past years, class 8F 2-8-0s with their smaller wheels have proved equal to the task; more recently 61994 The Great Marquess, a loco designed for the ardous Mallaig line, has appeared, and had problems on one run in 2014, but did manage to reach Blaenau.

We understand that the train returned to North Llanrwst, and started its return journey from there at the booked time. Meanwhile, a road coach had to be summoned by Arriva Trains Wales to replace a the service train between North Llanrwst and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Glyn Jones photographed the return train at Flint.  And so ended this year's steam season on the Coast, with the 'Welsh Mountaineer' run planned for 25 August cancelled due to lack of bookings, and no more North Wales Coast Expresses this year. 2015 has not been a good year for main line steam, or indeed for the West Coast Railway Company and its clients.

WAG Charter

It's reported elsewhere that Arriva Trains Wales are planning to utilise the Premier Express set with Class 67 loco for a private  charter on 10and 12 August by the Welsh Rugby Union. (Subject to  Welsh Government Approval.)

Monday 10 August, 1W77 09:40 Cardiff Central-Colwyn Bay 13:15 (Timings)

Wednesday 12 August, 1V77 14:10 Colwyn Bay-Cardiff Central 17:55 (Timings)

To permit this, the usual WAG service will be altered as follows;

On Monday 10 August, the 67 and coaches form 1V90 04:25 Holyhead-Cardiff Central; and on Wednesday 12 August, 1W97 18:21 Cardiff Central-Chester  via Crewe. The usual Premier Express trains should be DMU operated on these dates.

Perhaps there is some connection between this plan and the time-wasting platform trials at Ruabon (and Chirk) we have reported previously? (27 July issue)

North Wales Coast home pageArchive | Previous Notice Board