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12 October 2015
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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.
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. 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)
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
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.
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.
Friday 29 January Great Western Society NW Branch W.J. Denning: The West Somerset Railway, a personal view.
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.
Friday 26 February Great Western Society NW Branch Group Annual Meeting, afterwards possibly Members slides.
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.
Friday 25 March Great Western Society NW Branch Railway Images, Thirty Miles around Warrington, Barrie Rushton.
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.
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.
Friday 29 April Great Western Society NW Branch A tribute to Tom Lewis, Railway cameraman 1947-1970, Paul Shackcloth.
Thursday 12 May Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Ray Bailey: Steam into Holywell
The Conwy Valley Explorer seen from the river bridge at Tal-y-Cafn. Picture by Greg Mape.
Conwy Valley Explorer
The West Coast 'Conwy Valley Explorer' excursion on Saturday 10 October ran from Hereford (dep. 06:00) to Blaenau Ffestiniog, picking up additionally at Ledbury, Great Malvern, Worcester Foregate, Droitwich, Barnt Green, Walsall & Wolverhampton. Above, 47 851 leads the outbound train, 1Z10, through Rhyl. Picture by Roly High.
47 802 on the rear at Rhyl (Roly High).
Preparing to depart for Blaenau Ffestiniog, with 47 802 now leading (Peter Lloyd).
Tal-y-Cafn level crossing (Greg Mape).
66 174 powering through Ruabon on 8 October with the evening steel coils for Shotton. Picture by Martin Evans.
The 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead passes Llanfair PG with 67 014, on 8 October (Richard Fleckney).
Train 1H89, 13:01 Holyhead - Manchester, departing Llandudno Junction on 8 October with 67 014 on the rear. Picture by Peter Lloyd, who writes: 'I will send another shot in a few weeks to see the full autumn colour change ... and possibly also a change in loco colour.'
Two 125mph machines on shed at Holyhead, in the early hours of 8 October, photographed for us by someone permitted in the area: 67 014 on the Manchester coaches is visiting for fuel.
The Premier Express set, with loco 67 001, was brought out on the morning of Sunday 11 October to work an 09:25 Holyhead - Cardiff special for the World Cup rugby match, arriving at the capital 30 minutes late. Greg Mape was on hand with his camera at Abergele. Gwrych Castle still slumbers in the background, but there are signs of life: volunteers have been working on the restoration of the Gardener's Tower, and there a plans for visitor centre, with funds available from the offshore wind farm projects.
Heading past Abergele station (Greg Mape).
The 15:37 Pwllheli - Birmingham International makes its way across Barmouth Bridge on 9 October, seen from the footpath near Morfa Mawddach by Ian Wright.
The Rail Head Treatment Train re-appeared on the scene with the autumn timetable change, again worked by Network Rail Class 97/3 locos as its route includes a trip to from Shrewsbury to Machynlleth and back requiring ERTMS signalling capacity. Above, the first RHTT of the year heads west past the former Mold Junction loco shed on 7 October with 97 302 leading and 97 303 on the rear. Top-and-tail working is used because of the number or reversals required in the itinerary:
Crewe depot (d. 19:40) - Shrewsbury - Machynlleth (23:24 - 23:34, reverse) - Shrewsbury (01:10 - 01:28, reverse) - Craven Arms (02:25 - 02:31, reverse) - Shrewsbury - Wrexham - Bidston (05:15 - 05:20, reverse) - Wrexham - Shrewsbury (06:50 - 07:27, reverse) - Crewe (07:45 - 08:07) - Chester (09:26) - Llandudno Junction (10:25 - 10:45), Bangor (11:11), Holyhead (11:13 - 12:11, reverse), Chester (14:09), Crewe depot (arr.15:01)
Unfortunately, 97 303 failed at Valley on the morning of 7 October, and the train, with 97 302 on the other end, was 'dumped' in the sidings at Holyhead, and spent the night there, as seen above.
Richard Fleckney photographed the train at noon on the next day, 8 October, approaching Llanfair PG, having been restarted from Holyhead with 97 303 shunted 'inside' for the journey to Crewe ...
... and slowing for the single line across the Britannia bridge.
The next day's train, overnight 8/9 October, did not run, for a reason given as 'due to a problem with rail adhesion' - surely that's what the train is meant to solve? Not that there are many falling leaves around just now. One way to check the RHTT's running on a given day is to use the address
Replacing 'yyyy' with the year, 'mm' with the month and 'dd' with the day of departure from Crewe, i.e the day before it is due on the North Wales coast line.
RHTT underground - by John Hobbs
I 'fell over' this Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) at Liverpool James Street on 8 October at around 10:20, it stayed all the time I was there before returning under the river, and assume this will apply every day it operates. I have been using James Street for over 60 years; originally as a route home from Liverpool Exchange Station, having been waiting for a 'Clan' to arrive from Glasgow; but it usually turned up with a rotten old unnamed 'Patriot' with a parallel boiler!
In all that time I have only ever seen electric trains at James Street, even though, they were of course of several generations, going back to the Westinghouse trains of the old Mersey Railway. However in all that time I have never seen anything other than electric traction in the tunnels under Liverpool.
The formation of the train is 'Multi Purpose Vehicles' DR98902 & DR98952 working the 04:20 Wigan - Chester - Birkenhead Central - Chester - James Street - New Brighton - James Street - West Kirby - James Street - Helsby - Hooton - Chester - Wigan.
See 'Real Time Trains for timings. On the principle described in the previous item:
Just to add a bit of nostalgia: a couple of Mersey Railway tickets. The Mersey Railway existed until nationalisation on 1 January 1948, when it became part of British Railways; a few tickets like these survived into the 60s for issuing at various Booking Offices but definitely not for use to travel (well not by me anyway!). These two were issued in 1967.
Possession on the Chester to Birkenhead - pictures by Roly High
During an engineering possession on 20 September, one of Network Rail's mobile flash-butt welding units was deployed on the Birkenhead side of Capenhurst station. Network Rail now has several of three machines, which greatly speed up the welding together of railways, previously done by the slow manually-controlled process of Thermite welding.
In flash-butt welding, the rail ends are forced together and an electric current passed across the joint; electrical resistance at the joint creates heat which melts the metal and fuses the two rails together, all in two minutes. The process is explained in a very interesting video made by Rail Engineer magazine.
Although a 'road-rail' machine, the unit was brought from York on this road vehicle.
Further along the line, on the Birkenhead side of the old Upton-by-Chester station, tree cutting and chipping were under way.
Victorian Ffestiniog - Pictures by Alan Crawshaw
Some views taken on 10 October, on the occasion of the Ffestiniog Railway's Victorian Weekend. Above, a curiosity: wind power.
Linda and Blanche double-heading at Tan-y-Bwlch.
Prince at Dduallt with crew in Victorian garb.
The legend of 37 422