Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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            

Friday 9 October Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "More British Transport Films from the Steam Era" a digital presentation by Alvin Barker.

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.

Friday 6 November (note the first Friday in November)  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Great Western Steam in South Wales and the South West in the 1950s and 60s" a colour slide presentation by Alf Storey.

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 40s 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

Friday 11 December  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Steam in Spain and Italy" a colour slide presentation by John Sloane. The slides were taken by John in the 1960s and 70s.

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 Daves fascinating journey around the quarry.

Friday 8 January  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "The History and Development of the National Tramway Museum" a colour slide presentation by Mike Crabtree.

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 1990s   

Friday 12 February  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Prince of Wales, Britain's most powerful steam locomotive. The Project to build a new P2 Locomotive" a digital presentation by Graham Nicholas.

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

Friday 11 March  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "A Photographic Tribute to Alan Gilbert. Steam on the main line in the 1950s and 60s" a digital  presentation by Paul Shackcloth.

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.

Friday 8 April  Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society "Steam in the North West of England and Scotland in 1965" a digital presentation by Noel Coates.

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           

The Class Forty Preservation Society's  40 145 (345) at Manchester Piccadilly with train 5Z91 13.42 Castleton - Longsight Wheel Lathe Monday on 14 September, bringing six coaches to have their tyres re-profiled. Picture by David Wood. This loco and many others will be in passenger action at the East Lancashire Railway's Autumn Diesel Gala on 26-27 September.

Still many more items in the inbox - look out for an extra issue at the weekend.- Charlie

Incident at Holywell

221 117 The Wrekin Giant , lead unit of train 1R24, 05:51 Holyhead to London Euston, stands at Prestatyn on 14 September after being turned back from Holywell Junction where it a person was threatening to jump off a bridge. It eventually departed Prestatyn 174 minutes late at 09:52 and subsequently cancelled on arrival at Crewe. Other services were severely affected: the 06:55 Holyhead - London was terminated at Llandudno Junction.  Picture by Jim Coates.

Conwy Valley Explorer

West Coast Railways had advertised a 'Conwy Valley Explorer' excursion from Sheffield to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 9 September, and a second one from Scarborough on Saturday 12 September. In the event, there was just one train, from Scarborough via Sheffield on 9 September. Power was provided by 47 854 Diamond Jubilee and 47 802.

The train avoided Manchester by the freight-only line from Hazel Grove High-Level Junction to Northenden Junction, then down the sharply-curved connection from Skelton Junction to Deansgate Junction and on to Chester via Northwich. Greg Mape's picture shows 47 802 leading down the curve from Skelton.The Up line, which is still old-style bullhead rail has a checkrail round the curve, whilst the Down line, being used by the train, had been relaid in modern flat-bottom rail, doesn't.

Rhyl (Roly High).

Arrival at Llandudno Junction (Jim Johnson).

Use of 47 854 was appropriate on the day that the Queen achieved the longest reign of any British Monarch, which she celebrated with a steam trip on the Borders line in Scotland which re-opened on the same day. Stalwart of The Junction Rodney Fitzgibbon shows us the single-line token for the Conwy Valley line. He started work on the railway in 1964, so has passed his Golden Jubilee as a railwayman (Jim Johnson).

The Driver has changed ends and accepts the token, in its leather pouch - which authorises him to proceed to North Llanrwst where it will be exchanged for a North Llanrwst - Blaenau Ffestiniog token (Jim Johnson).

The train came to an abrupt stop just after rear loco 47 802 had cleared signal LJ66, for reasons unknown to us. One of the crew visited the cab of 47 802 to investigate (Jim Johnson). Mercifully, the train was under way again after a few minutes; unfortunately, not before it had caused a slight delay to 1D83 09:10 Euston - Holyhead as it had blocked the points when it stopped.

Betws-y-Coed where passengers could alight if they wished (Dave Sallery).

Stabled in the loop Blaenau Ffestiniog (Dave Sallery)

Earl of Merioneth at Minffordd (Dave Sallery).

Linda at Minffordd, empty stock to Tan-y-Bwlch to take the West Coast excursioners back to Blaenau after a trip on the Ffestiniog Railway (Dave Sallery).

The return train at Skelton Junction (Greg Mape).  Vegetation is encroaching on to the Down Goods Loop.

The Cheshireman

The Sherwood Forester worked a Bristol - Chester excursion on 12 September, dubbed 'The Cheshireman'.  A planned water stop at Chirk seems to have gone a little awry, as the steam loco ran past the station platform which is normally where water is provided, and the train came to a stand with the rear-end diesel, 47 746, in the platform, as pictured (above) by Anthony Thomas.

Or was this an intentional plan? Either way, the fire engine providing the water relocated itself to the Industrial Estate on the other side of the line; Anthony Thomas took this picture through the fence.

The approach to a rainy Saltney Junction, photographed by Bob Greenhalgh from the footbridge which replaced a level crossing years ago.

Arriving at Chester (Roly High).

Picture by Roly High.

Checking the valve gear (Roly High).

The train has shunted to the sidings, loco and support coach have been uncoupled, and a crewman works the hand points to allow the loco to reach the siding with the water supply (Roly High).

'I think there's a tap here somewhere, Sid!' ... or, waiting for the water tanker (Roly High).

On the rear, 47 746 (Roly High). Contrary to our previous remarks about Mr Fudge, he was a railwayman, latterly working for Arriva.

Chester racegoers in party mood as 175 109 arrives in platform 7.

45231 storms past Hargrave with the return 'Cheshireman' to Bristol (Ian Pilkington).

Cambrian development

Richard W. Jones writes: 'On Wednesday night 9 September, West Coast loco 37 668 got 'dragged' to Machynlleth by 97 304, and in the early hours the following day (10th), tests were started on its ERTMS compatibility. This is the first non 97/3 and non-158 piece of rolling stock to work under ERTMS conditions here. All tests take place in the early hours of the morning, and other than at Machynlleth, in complete darkness.' The project to equip West Coast Railways locomotives is doubling as a test-bed for Hitachi-made ERTMS equipment. Wider application of the system will require equipment to be sourced from a variety of suppliers; the 158s are fitted with Ansaldo STS equipment.

See Richard's Rail Pics for many more Cambrian scenes

RCTS meeting

The Railway Correspondence & Travel Society (RCTS) holds its first meeting of the season at the Town Crier opposite Chester railway station on Monday 21 September at 7.30 p.m.

Saughall member John Feild is showing a colour slide presentation of his favourite scenes of locomotive types that were part of the former LNER and consequently of BR. There are likely to be views of some of these at the fondly remembered Chester Northgate station.

Visitors will be most welcome to attend on donating 2 to help defray meeting expenses.

The Branch will have a stand at the 'Chester 175 day' at Chester station on 23 September and our first 2 p.m. afternoon meeting in Liverpool. at the Palatine Hotel in Garston is on 7 October.

Locomotive collection

60 087 Clic Sargent emerges from Crosby Garrett Tunnel, Settle-Carlisle Line, with 6J37 Carlisle-Chirk logs on Tuesday 8 September (Ian Pilkington).

Train 1D31, 17:50 Manchester-Llandudno at Helsby on 10 September, with loco 67 014 (Andrew Vinten).

A Network Rail train arrived at the old Platform 4 at Bangor in the early hours of 10 September, from Derby RTC.  Jim Johnson photographed it 10:30. Composed of 97 303, a test coach, and driving trailer 9701, it sat there all day and departed for Derby at 21:21.

In the evening, the train is being prepared for operation (Dave Sallery).

Galas galore - part 1

The Llangollen Railway's 'Along Branch Lines' Steam Gala on 11-13 September aimed to re-create the kind of trains that would have been found on branch and secondary lines such before the days of diesel railcars, and succeeded admirably. Above, pannier tank 6430 leaves Llangollen with the first train of the Gala, the 09:30 to Carrog on 11 September. Picture by Martin Evans.

Taking water at Llangollen, 'Small Prairie' 5542, visiting from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, bears a version of the 1930s 'shirt-button' logo of the GWR.

Above, Ex-GWR 2884 Class No 3802, now in its last few weeks before its boiler 'ticket' (insurance certificate) expires, is seen with the 10.40 service to Corwen at Garth-Y-Dwr on Friday 11 September. Picture by Jeff Albiston. The loco is carrying a 'Talyllyn Railway Special' headboard as well as the Z85 train code.  After the four-character headcode system was standardised by British Railways in 1960, the Western Region often used its existing three-character headboards to show the last three characters; the code 1Z85 was used for the Talyllyn Railway AGM specials from London in September 1962 and again in 1963. The original trains were double-headed over this section by 'Manor' class locos, but the 2014 version certainly captured the atmosphere.

Ex-GWR 'Large Prairie' No 5199 with the 11.00 freight at Garth-y-Dwr on 11 September (Jeff Albiston). It's good to see a 'demonstration freight' formed of the right sort of wagons rather than the odd-ball selection of engineers' wagons and rarities seen on some lines.

6430 with the 13.40 service to Carrog on 11 September, seen from the new viewing area near Berwyn tunnel (Jeff Albiston).

Ex-LMS Jinty 47406, visiting from the Great Central Railway, arriving at Carrog with the 11.25 service on 12 September, formed of the line's non-corridor 'suburban' coaches (Jeff Albiston).

On 12 September 5542 is seen from the A5 road with the 14.00 Autotrain service to Corwen (Jeff Albiston).

5199 recreates the Branch Line days of yesteryear, arriving with a two- coach local into Carrog (Jeff Albiston).

3802 at Llangollen on 12 September adorned with a 'SLS Special' headboard recalling the very many rail tours to exotic locations operated by the Stephenson Locomotive Society in the 1950s (Alan Crawshaw).

6430 at Llangollen on 12 September (Alan Crawshaw).

The view of 3802 from the Inspection Saloon, a Great Western vehicle built in 1948. Picture by Alan Crawshaw, who writes: 'The highlight was the superb observation car, enjoying a great view back down the track in a luxurious armchair.'

Arrived at Llangollen behind 5199 (Alan Crawshaw).

47406 approaches Berwyn on 12 September (Alan Crawshaw).

Berwyn chain bridge, now fully refurbished (Alan Crawshaw).

3802 heads the 13:05 Llangollen - Corwen away from Glyndyfrdwy on 12 September (Ian Pilkington). In the centre of the train, with white roof,  is 'lounge buffet' 1706, built by the LNER in 1947 for the 'Flying Scotsman' service.

Sunday 13 September, and Visiting 'Jinty' 47406 awaits departure from Llangollen with the 11.00 demonstration freight for Carrog, calling at Glyndyfrdwy only (Glyn Jones).


'Large Prairie' 5199 has the coal trimmed in its the bunker prior to the 11.25 departure for Carrog (Glyn Jones).

5542 departs Llangollen with the two autocoach set, all stations to Corwen at 11.50 (Glyn Jones).

Pannier tank 6430, minus its tank-side emblems, approaches the station at Llangollen with the 12.02 inspection saloon from Carrog (Glyn Jones).

47406, having returned to Llangollen at 12.53 on 13 September, pauses by the station's immaculate running in board prior to running around its stock (Glyn Jones). The van behind the loco had the vertical white stripes which indicated a wagon fitted with 'shock-absorbing' equipment to protect fragile goods in 'rough shunts'. The body was able to move for a short distance along the underframe, controlled by springs.

3802 runs round its train at Carrog (Peter Dickinson).

3802 arriving at Llangollen tender first with its five coach Mk 1 set - including the 'Propelling Control Vehicle' used on trains to and from Corwen - at 12.28 on 13 September. Many more views of the 'Along Branch Lines' gala below. Picture by Glyn Jones.

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