Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

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 Dave’s 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 1990’s   

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           

View from a Welsh Highland Railway train approaching Rhyd Ddu on 14 September. Picture by Alan Crawshaw.

This is an extra issue: don't miss the 14 September edition. Next update, evening of Tuesday 22 September.

LMS parade - pictures by Graham Bond

In the space of just over an hour and a half on 17 September, three types of classic LMS motive power passed Daresbury. Duchess (a.k.a. Princess Coronation) class 4-6-2 46233 Duchess of Sutherland and Jubilee class 4-6-0 45690 Leander were on a positioning move (5Z56) with their support coaches from Carnforth to Barrow Hill.

Royal Scot class 4-6-0 46115 Scots Guardsman was on the returning 'Lakes Express' to Euston. The train, organised by 'Steam Dreams' had travelled north from London to Penrith on Monday 14 September behind 46233, and had been advertised to return on 17 September with 6201 Princess Elizabeth, the passengers enjoying three nights in the Lake District. However it appears that substitute 46115 was late leaving Carnforth and the train was actually started from Oxehholme, (having travelled empty-stock north to Tebay loop to reverse) with some of the passengers travelling there on a service train, while others would have been had their Penrith-bound road coaches from the hotels diverted.

It appears that the train headed south without a standby diesel on the rear, but after its booked stop of two hours at Crewe it lost time due to loco problems, and 46115 was declared a failure at Rugby. Diesel 47 760 was sent from West Coast's Southall base to take the train forward to Watford Junction it was terminated, before running empty-stock to Southall. 46115 was left at Rugby and returned to Carnforth the following day; its problems were variously ascribed to a hot axlebox, a problem with the ash pan, and/or shortage of water.  An excursion it was to work on 19 September from London to York was cancelled; one wonders whether Railway Touring Company managed to tell all the passengers in time.

Stone Age to Steam Age at Holywell

'Stone Age to Steam Age' is the title of a one-day exhibition on Saturday 26 September showing both Stone Age technology and today’s computer technology. There will be a 'time line' with information, demonstrations, and artefacts, models, film, etc. showing 250,000 Years of our Heritage and History.

Stone Age cutting edge technology was Flint Knapping, turning flint into tools such as axes, scrapers and knives. Flintshire’s answer to Time Team's Phil Harding is Holywell's own Howard Green, who has actually worked alongside Phil. He will be giving flint knapping demonstrations during the day. (There will also be a display of these tools).

Today's computer technology will be featured in a computer-generated trip on a steam train, from Holywell Junction Station, on the branch line that ran up the Greenfield Valley, to Holywell Town Station around 1950. This amazing film was created over many months by member Vic Jones. 
Still on the Railway theme we have two wonderful working model railway layouts, owned and built by Martyn Wyld and Michael Williams, who are both from the Rhyl Model Railway Club. Incidentally there will be original artefacts from the railway on display, some of which are from the Abbey Farm Museum in the Greenfield Valley.

Another first is a replica of an anglo-Saxon sword; the original was found by Don Jones in Bagillt in 1947 as a young lad. It was so rusted, it disintegrated on the spot! It made such an impression on Don that when he was older he actually made this replica that can be seen in the exhibition.
Other items will include Bronze Age flour making, Historic Woodcrafted plaques by The Carmel and Holywell Woodcraft Society, A magnificent model of Basingwerk Abbey, and much more, all of which will be accompanied by Holywell’s own Historic Brass Band.

The exhibition is being organised and carried out by The Holywell & District Society for the Holywell History day. It is at the Holywell Youth and Community Centre. (Nr. Library & Leisure Centre - CH8 7TQ) on Saturday 26 September. 10a.m. to 3p.m. Admission Free.

D5310 to star at Llangollen

To mark the 6th anniversary of her first public working on the Llangollen Railway, heritage diesel locomotive D5310 (pictured above by Peter Dickinson) will be in operation on Saturday 26 September.
D5310 is a Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon (BRCW) Sulzer Type 2 locomotive built at Smethwick in 1958 and entered traffic in January 1959. It was designed as a mixed traffic diesel-electric locomotive as part of British Railway's Modernisation Plan. The loco was renumbered as 26 010 in BR days and withdrawn in December 1992. Bought for preservation in 1995 and at one time intended for the intended for the Waverley Route Heritage Association, the Class 26 arrived at Llangollen on September 9 2009 and has proved to be a very reliable performer. 
D5310 will be in operation alongside one of the railway's DMU fleet on the day and will work the 10:40, 13:00 and 15:10 departures from Llangollen.

Past Times with John Hobbs - 45231

As we have recently had a visit from an immaculate 45231, here are two images of it from times gone by, in typical workaday condition. The loco arrived from Rugby shed and was at Chester (6A) from June 1963 to March 1967 when it went to Speke Junction where it survived to the end of steam in August 1968.
Picture above: In the last century, 45231 leaves Wrexham (General) on 19 March 1966, with the 14.30 Chester to Paddington, which was formerly  known as 'The Inter City a form of branding which later changed the face of British Railways in the later half of the 20th Century.  Behind the loco is a GUV parcels van.

Steam power had less than a year to go this axis, with timetable downgrading after March 1967, and a close escape from closure. Only now, 50 years later, are normal levels of service and infrastructure being restored at great cost. I had travelled from Chester with the train and made a hasty exit from the station to obtain a leaving shot; I was much fitter then!

In the background, people are filing across the road bridge towards Wrexham FC's Racecourse Ground. Thanks to the extensive football detail to be found on the Internet we can tell you that Wrexham played Bradford Park Avenue in a Fourth Division league match that day, and won 3 - 2.

45231 scuttles through Prestatyn on the Up Slow line on 28 December 1963. Frost is still visible on the sleepers and the Royal Victoria Hotel can be seen on the skyline. There was normally a mineral train at this time; but as it was the Christmas period no doubt there was a lack of traffic for this return working of the locomotive. 45330 would follow shortly with the 08.10 Holyhead to Manchester, on this cold December day.

Those Chester 2000 pictures

In the 31 August issue we asked for help in dating a series of pictures taken at Chester by the late Peter Michie. As so often on such occasions, driver Dave Trains came to our aid, and offers the following:
Checking my records and photographs, I can say that I worked 1A23 05:43 Holyhead to Euston on  5 May 2000 with 43 180, and 43 014 on the rear - they were still together on the 7 May. By 16 May, the the next time I worked a HST, 43 014 had been swapped out for 43 157.

Class 47 workings on 1A46 09:19 Holyhead - London Euston for that week were:
1 May: 47 844
2 May: 47 812
3 May: 47 818
4 May: 47 814
5 May: 47 818
Now 60 053 could have been working the 6P22 11:00 Penmaenmawr to Crewe Basford Hall stone train and 60 020 could have been working the 6D25 11:36 Fridays Only (it also ran on a Tuesday or any other day when required) Guide Bridge to Penmaenmawr empty stone train.Also looking at the new leaf growth on the bushes and trees this may be more evidence to suggest the first week in May.
Looking into the clue of the red-backed nameplate on the Class 47 (picture repeated above), it seems certain that it was 47 814 Totnes Castle, from which we can deduce that the day was in fact Thursday 4 May 2000.

From the marvellous Class 37 Data Site we can find that:
37 429 hauled the 10:07 Birmingham - Holyhead 
37 426 was on the 10:48 Holyhead - Birmingham
37 415 worked the 12:51 Holyhead - Crewe.
37 429 returned on the 14:23 Birmingham - Holyhead.
Does anyone have notes from 4 May 2000 to confirm or deny the above identification? We have delved into our archived back issues for that very interesting period, but nobody recorded 4 May in detail, although we do know that 175 004 was engaged in driver training along the coast around that time. The open box wagon behind the loco of the Chirk log train also remains a puzzle.

Cambrian Coast Extra

Here's a bumper selection of Cambrian Coast pictures. Above, Dyfi Junction on 8 September, with the 13:38 Pwllheli to Birmingham International departing. Note that the Aberystwyth line in the foreground is double track, a recently-reinstated passing loop on the single line, although there is no platform on the right-hand line. Picture by Trefor Thompson

Soon afterwards, the  15:30 Aberystwyth to Birmingham International approaching Dyfi Junction on 8 September (Trefor Thompson). Only one line comes into this end of the platform; the points for the passing loop are part way down.

The sign explains that this allows trains in either direction to serve the single platform, even if they are passing each other here, a move which is now common since the enhanced service to Aberystwyth began earlier this year (Trefor Thompson).

158 841 demonstrates the manœuvre on 10 September, about to call at Dovey Junction while working train 1J25, 18:31 Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Connections between the Aberystwyth and Pwllheli lines are better now than they have been at times in the past. For example, on 1J40 12:30 Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury (158 825 in the 10 September view above) departs Dovey Junction at 12:57 and 1J11 10:09 Birmingham International to Pwllheli (158 822, seen arriving) departs at 13:00. Picture by Tim Rogers.

On the subject of Dovey Junction, the people at the nearby Dyfi Osprey Project have created a page on their website called Well Trained to 'answer' five of the most often asked questions all about ospreys and trains'. The ospreys have now left on their annual migration, but the live webcam - using facilities donated by Network Rail - is still running.

158 832 working the 09.34 Pwllheli to Birmingham International approaches the new station at
Llandecwyn on 9 September with Cnicht and Moelwyn Mawr in background on 9 September.
Photo from Llandecwyn platform by Trefor Thompson. Note the newly-built traditional slate wall.

Interesting news about the Class 158 fleet is that 158 834 has been chosen by leasing company Angel Trains for a six-month trial fitted with the Voith DIWARail transmission -  based on an application originally developed for buses - in place of the original 1990s equipment. A PDF presentation about this project can be found online. Fuel savings of up to 10% are promised.

According to a driver, the only difference you'll notice on the platform is that the engines do not 'rev up' as normal as drive is taken immediately at notch one on the power handle; the gearboxes are four-speed automatic self-changing type. Inside the saloon you'll notice a change in engine sound and a slight jolt/clunk as acceleration. Under full power this apparently happens at 29, 39 and 49 mph; acceleration is slightly quicker.

158 832 at Pwllheli on 10 September. Originally this was an island platform, cut in half after the decline of steam to allow the construction of a supermarket (Tim Rogers). Fortunately, it still retains the facility to run a locomotive round a train: hopefully to be used again in the not-too-far future.

The other end of the coast routes, Aberystwyth, on 10 September with 158 825 (Tim Rogers).

Sharing Aberystwyth station with Arriva Trains Wales is the Vale of Rheidol line; 2-6-2T locomotive No. 9 Prince of Wales looks good in pre-1922 Cambrian Railways livery (Tim Rogers). For many years, writers have described this as one of the line's original locos, built by Davies and Metcalfe of Romiley, in contrast to its two sisters 7 and 8 built by the Great Western Railway after it took over the line (with the rest of the Cambrian Railways) on the 1920s. However, we are now told by experts that this is not the case at all, and all three are Swindon products based on the original design. The naming of the locos is a British Railways 1950s adornment.

Further to the photo and article on 'Cambrian Developments' in the last issue, here is the return test run of West Coast Railways ERTMS-fitted 37 668 coupled to 97 304 John Tiley on the afternoon of 15 September. photographed from the gate of the platform-end foot crossing by Ken Robinson.

Galas Galore Part 2 - Welsh Highland

On September 11 - 13  the Welsh Highland Railway staged their 'Welsh Highland : Great & Small II' event, centred around Dinas Station. There will be a wide selection of model railway layouts, all with a Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway connection.  Below, a selection of views by two of our contributors of this very photogenic weekend.

Saturday 12 September - by Jim Ikin

Hugh Napier, a Penrhyn  'quarry Hunslet'.

Jack Lane, built in 2006 and named for the Hunslet company's former works in Leeds.

Little Britomart, often seen at Ffestiniog events, is also a Hunslet product, built in 1899 for Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry.

Lilla, delivered new in 1898 by Hunslet to Cilgwyn quarry but bought by Penrhyn quarry in 1928, and later bought by preservation pioneer the late Bernard Latham, who originally restored her in his garden. The coaches are Ffestiniog quarrymen's transport.

Lyd, built in the Ffestiniog Railway workshops and completed in 2010, is based on a Lynton and Barnstable Railway loco. The family resemblance to the Vale of Rheidol locos is noticeable; both were based on a concept by the Manning, Wardle company.

A model Garratt on one of the layouts.

Hugh Napier as pie-warmer.

Sunday 13 September - by Alan Crawshaw

ex-South African Diesel Caernarfon Castle at Waunfawr.

New Ffestiniog Railway observation car 150.

Ffestiniog stalwart Linda at Dinas.

Lyd with two original Ffestiniog coaches, restored to the green-and cream livery of early preservation days.

Lyd in model form.

Prince, an original Ffestiniog Railway loco from the 1860s, and the first to be re-activated in the preservation era, re-entering service in 1955.

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