Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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.

Thursday 10 September Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Larry Davies/Philip Evans: Llandudno Junction: a railway town

Saturday 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 14 September Wrexham Railway Society, No Meeting

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

Friday 2 October Clwyd Railway Circle Tony & Barbara Griffiths The Fate of the Irish Mail.  This is a presentation in pictures, music and film, telling the story of the Abergele rail disaster of 1868.

Thursday 8 October Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society W Gordon Davies:  American Wanderings:- heading East            

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

Monday 12 October Wrexham Railway Society, Diesels In The 1960's by Barry Shore, looking at those rarely photographed trains and engines in the
1960s, those other than steam including the numerous and mostly very unsuccessful types of the new motive power.

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

Friday 6 November Clwyd Railway Circle John Hobbs: A Black & White Circle of North Wales during 1963 - 66. A journey commencing in Chester and continuing to Holyhead before retracing our steps to Caernarvon, Afonwen, Morfa Mawddach, then a brief visit to Bala Junction before continuing through Dovey Junction to Shrewsbury & Wrexham.

Monday 9 November  Wrexham Railway Society, Building a Grange with Quentin McGuinness, Chairman of the 6880 Betton Grange Society describing the enormous work being undertaken to produce a new locomotive of the Great Western Grange class at Llangollen, looking at the build so far and their Steel, Steam & Stars fundraising events.

Thursday 12 November Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Ron Watson Jones    AGM Class 40’s remembered              

Monday 16 November  RCTS: Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. LNER, an appreciation by John Feild. 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

Friday 4 December Clwyd Railway Circle  Members Night & Christmas Celebrations. Members are invited to give a 15 minute presentation of their choice (any format). FREE tea/coffee & festive treats during the interval.
Contact David Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.

Thursday 10 December Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Xmas Social / Christmas Treats and Bob Barnsdale: a Local Tribute

Monday 14 December  Wrexham Railway Society, Annual General Meeting and Rail Review Entertainment, a mixture of members' slides, DVD's and other
interesting items.

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

Friday 8 January Clwyd Railway Circle Dave Sallery Dinorwic Slate Quarries - Part 2 This is the final part of Dave’s fascinating journey around the quarry.

Monday 11 January Wrexham Railway Society, Woodhead - The Lost Railway by Stephen Gay describing the former Great Central main line from Manchester to Sheffield across the Pennines via the Woodhead tunnel closed in 1981 with  photographs along the route of the former railway.

Thursday 14 January Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Dave Southern: Chester - Pwllheli - days long gone                    

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

Friday 5 February Clwyd Railway Circle John Sloane: Chinese Steam in the 1980's This is drawn from the first part of a tour in the winter of 1986/87 and centres on railways in what at one time had been the Japanese occupied area known as Manchuria in the north east of China. This was still a busy steam operated railway with plenty of variety and steam locos were still being built at that time.

Monday 8 February Wrexham Railway Society, Steam in the East Midlands in the 1950's by Fred Kirk. Local Member and keen cyclist looks back at
previously unseen pictures of those main lines accessible from his home city of Leicester ranging from the East Coast Main Line at Stoke to the Great
Western's line to Birmingham Snow Hill, also the West Coast, Midland and Great Central lines.

Thursday 11 February Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Geoff Morris: Welsh Wanderings in the 1990’s   

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

Friday 4 March Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed by: Dave Southern, A journey from Chester to Pwllheli in colour looking at the closed lines both standard and narrow gauge including closed steam sheds and some goods yards.

Thursday 10 March Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Alan Roberts: Railway signalling in the Conwy/Llandudno area

Monday 14 March 2016 Wrexham Railway Society, Railways Of Wales in the 1980's - Geoff Morris describes a trip through Wales in a decade during which livery variations started to appear and steam re-appeared on a scheduled basis along the Cambrian & North Wales Coasts

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

Friday 1 April Clwyd Railway Circle Denbigh Film Club. Railway Enthusiasts Film Night A night of nostalgia and fun with a selection of films old and new to end our season in great style.

Monday 11 April 2016 Wrexham Railway Society 'Days Gone' A Nostalgic Look Back at the 1960-90's by Larry Davies, looking at the enormous changes which have taken place on the railways in North Wales during the last four decades of the last century illustrated, mostly by Larry's own work.

Thursday 14 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    1960/70s North Wales Railway Recollection Barry Wynne/Steve Morris

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

Thursday 12 May   Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Ray Bailey: Steam into Holywell           

Since another 62 people have followed our link to the 'keep the Barmouth Bridge path open' petition, here's a fine view taken from Barmouth of a 158 crossing the bridge on 5 September. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Some items have been held over to next time due to time pressures.- Charlie

Festival No.6 - fun at Portmeirion

In connection with this year's  musical 'Festival No.6' at Portmeirion (the name alluding to the cult TV series 'The Prisoner' filmed at Portmeirion), Virgin Trains ran special shuttles from Crewe too Bangor on Thursday, Friday and Monday, 3, 4 and 7 September. The trains in question were

1T21 10:15 Crewe-Bangor.
1T22 12:18 Bangor-Crewe.
1T23 14:13 Crewe-Bangor.
1T24 15:54 Bangor-Crewe.
1T25 17:36 Crewe-Bangor.
1T26 19:49 Bangor-Crewe.

All to be operated, appropriately, by Voyager 221 106, decked out in Festival No.6 livery. Special buses, provided by a variety of local operators, picked up festival-goers from the new car park at Bangor, for onward travel to Portmeirion. A temporary portacabin was in place, acting as a box office for the festival, and selling shuttle-bus tickets.

Crowd control barriers were in place, and numerous stewards and British Transport Police to assist (Jim Johnson).

The loadings on the special trains was very high for the first two days, and all the normal service trains were also packed with festival-goers. Only special ticket holders can use the extra trains, which, on the first couple of days, ran virtually empty to Crewe. Picture by Jim Johnson.

The picture at the top if this item shows 221 106 Willem Barents at Bangor with 1T21 10:15 Crewe-Bangor, the first of the specials (Jim Johnson).

221 106 has crossed over to the up loop, as 1T22 12:18 to Crewe. 67 014 leads 1D34 09:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Holyhead (Jim Johnson)

Coach RE54 JAK of Clynnog and Trefor on shuttle duty is a Volvo B12B with Van Hool body, which seems to have gained the registration mark from another coach, perhaps part of a series of swaps to get Northern Ireland non-date-specific marks on the company's prestige vehicles (Jim Johnson).

Close-up of the special vinyls (Jim Johnson).

Festival-goers and staff (Jim Johnson).

1T26, the last of the day, leaving on the Up Main, 41 minutes early (Jim Johnson).

Picture by Jim Johnson.

Picture by Roly High.

Picture by Ian Bowland.

Runcorn to Halton branch events - Pictures by Mark Barber

Engineering work is under way on the little-used line from Frodsham Junction to Halton Junction. Above, on 3 September an excavator is engaged on clearing the trackbed of the former second track.

The access to the line which has been created, as seen on 5 September.

Ballast being unloaded from a train worked by 66 549, 3 September.

On 5 September, the final Northern Rail Saturdays-only Chester to Runcorn passenger service for 2015, formed of 156 468 (amusingly displaying the destination 'Buxton') makes its way past drainage pipes waiting to be installed. Is this in preparation for the promised improvements to the line?

Prestatyn now and then - by John Hobbs

67 014 on  20 August 2015 at Prestatyn with the 16:50  Manchester to Llandudno; considerable  changes have taken place here with the new shopping centre occupying parts of the old Prestatyn Goods Yard  but the old Francis Thompson-designed Station and matching goods shed will look on the scene for a while longer.

LMS-built Class 5 4-6-0 45395 also at a somewhat different Prestatyn, on 29 June 1964. The old ground frame in the coal  yard still existed at this time and the yard is in use for wagon storage; four tracks of main line are sustained by the summer traffic. Unfortunately I did not record which Down train it was working but it is in the early evening  as with the Class 67 above.

Rail and Sea on 5 September - pictures by John Eyres

67 014 at Dwygyfylchi on Saturday working  1D40 11:33 Chester - Bangor, another weekend extra outing for the 'DfT' set.

Preserved passenger vessel MV Balmoral was in action on this day through the Menai straits on a cruise round Anglesey from Llandudno and Menai Bridge (above) piers.

Passing Port Dinorwic.

Approaching Menai Bridge again. There are more North Wales sailings on 8 and 10 September: see the Balmoral website.

Back on shore, 67 014 again, now leaving Rhyl with 1D50 15:58 Crewe - Llandudno.

Freight report

On 31 August 66 077 Benjamin Gimbert GC crosses the bridge at Shotton with train 6M86, 09:23 Margam to Dee Marsh steel train (Tim Rogers).

6M86 again on 1 September, with 66 094 and a different view of the bridge (Tim Rogers).

Hawarden station on the evening of 2 September, with 66 148 on the Margam - Dee Marsh steel ...

... and  66 193 on the empty coal wagons from Penyffordd cement works (Bob Greenhalgh).

Green Lane Crossing, Saltney at 18:45 on 3 September: 60 087 Clic Sargent pilots 60 085 (reported as suffering a water leak) on the Carlisle - Chirk log train (Bob Greenhalgh).

The only freight along the North Wales coast at present is the occasional flask train to and from Valley: on 2 September 6K41 14:58 Valley Nuclear Electric to Crewe Coal Sidings passes Holywell Junction running 46 minutes early with 20 305 and 20 308 in charge (Tim Rogers). The train is not running 'wrong line' - the westbound line can be glimpsed on the left of the view. The line on the right of the train is a fragment of the former Up Slow line from four-track days which has been retained and renamed the Up Goods Line. It sees occasional use, usually when something has gone wrong.

'Along Branch Lines'  gala at Llangollen 11-13 September - press release

This year marks three major anniversaries for the Llangollen Railway, being 150 years since the line between Llangollen and Corwen officially opened, 50 years since the line’s closure and 40 years since the preservation society was first formed.

And to mark that fact, the Llangollen Railway’s Along Branch Lines weekend not only aims to celebrate these major milestones, but also to stir up memories of the way the region’s railways once looked by running a mixture of unusual trains, ranging from short pick-up goods trains to four and five coach passenger trains in authentic liveries.

The three-day weekend event from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September is steam operated with an intensive timetable featuring a variety of different types of trains, including an ‘auto train’. The auto train is most often associated with Great Western branch line services and would usually consist of just one or two coaches worked in push-pull mode by a small steam engine.
Locomotives are confirmed as follows (all subject to availability):
5542, GWR 'Small Prairie' 4575 Class 2-6-2T. Courtesy of Locomotive 5542 Limited and the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway
47406, LMS 'Jinty' Class 3F 0-6-0T Courtesy of Great Central Railway and Mr Roger Hibbert
3802, GWR 'Heavy Freight' 2884 Class 2-8-0 - Making its final gala appearance before major overhaul. o. 3802 was one of a class of 83 2-8-0 tender locomotives built between 1938 and 1941. Their daily task was to haul heavy freight trains at modest speeds, particularly coal trains from the South Wales valleys.
5199, GWR 'Large Prairie' 5101 Class 2-6-2T. No. 5199 was one of a class of 209 ‘Large Prairie’ locomotives built primarily for suburban and local passenger services all over the Great Western Railway system. Prairie refers to the locomotive’s wheel arrangement, with two leading wheels, six coupled driving wheels and two trailing wheels. No. 5199 was built at Swindon in 1934 and spent most of her GWR and BR working life based at several sheds, primarily around the Birmingham area. 

6430, GWR 64XX Class Pannier Tank 0-6-0PT. No.6430 was built by the Great Western Railway at Swindon Works in 1937. It was one of a class of 40 locomotives built for use on auto train and light passenger workings. The class was ‘auto-fitted’, meaning that they were equipped with the remote control equipment needed for working auto trains. The small wheels of the 64XXs made them particularly suited for working in hillier locations.
Attractions include goods trains, photographic displays celebrating the first 40 years in preservation, cameos along the line, with  loading and unloading of parcels and milk churns at intermediate stations,  locomotive support groups and sales stands at Llangollen.  Experience the panoramic view of the line from the luxury of the 1948-built Hawksworth Inspection Saloon, and autotrains with 5542. Visit the new lineside viewing area at Berwyn Tunnel

Along the Line: At Llangollen station, The Station Café Bar will be open serving hot meals & snacks along with a wide selection of alcohol including Real Ale. Tea rooms will be open at Berwyn, Glyndyfrdwy and Carrog stations throughout the weekend serving a variety of freshly made snacks and homemade cakes, as well as tea, coffee and soft drinks. A real ale bar is also available at Glyndyfrdwy station.


46233 Duchess of Sutherland passing through platform 6 at Crewe station on 2 September  having left the Heritage Centre.  Picture by Ian Bowland who notes: 'It was an unusual movement for Crewe, the platform 12 UD loop being the normal route.  We were treated to a long blast on the Stanier hooter as the engine passed through en route for Rugby in advance of hauling 'The Cathedrals Express' to Bath and Bristol the next day.'

67 003 passes Bagillt on 2 September propelling Mk2f, (Ex TSO) Plain Line Pattern Recognition vehicle "PLPR2" 5981 and Mk3b, DVT 82145 as track recording train 1Q30 10:55 Derby R.T.C.(Network Rail) to Crewe C.S. (L&NWR Site) via Holyhead, having been sent back from Rhyl due to a problem with the DVT (Tim Rogers).

67 014, working 16:50 Manchester - Llandudno on 4 September, passes an as-yet un-rebuilt footbridge east of the Prestatyn, which appears in need of a new coat of paint (Tim Rogers).

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