Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

02 November 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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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.
November 2015

Tuesday 3 November North Wales Railway Circle Brian Pearce, Sugar Railways of Java

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.

Saturday 21 November Steam to Chester. Steam Dreams 'The Cathedrals Express' London - Chester.

Friday 27 November. Great Western Society NW Branch. John Hobbs. A Black & White presentation, North Wales Circular  1963  - 66  (Steam)

Saturday 28 November Steam to Chester Railway Touring Company 'The Christmas Cheshireman' Bristol - Chester via Shrewsbury

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.

5-6 December Llangollen Railway 'Santa Specials'

Tuesday 8 December North Wales Railway Circle (note: second Tuesday) 'Christmas Bash' The informal evening includes a free buffet and members are invited to bring their own slides and videos to entertain.

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.

5-6 December Llangollen Railway 'Santa Specials'

5-6 December Cambrian Heritage Railways 'Santa Specials' (Sarurdays at Oswestry, Sundays at Lynclys)

6 December Llanberis Lake Railway 'Santa Specials'

12 December Llangollen Railway 'Real Ale Train' 6.30pm departure from Llangollen Station 'Step onboard and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying the Real Ales on offer at our well stocked bar.  Double return journey – arrive back approximately 9.30pm.  Ticket price includes a free glass and pint for all pre-booked tickets.'

12-13 December Llangollen Railway 'Santa Specials'

12-13 December Bala Lake Railway 'Santa Specials'

12-13 December Llanberis Lake Railway' Santa Specials'

12-13 December Cambrian Heritage Railways 'Santa Specials' (Sarurdays at Oswestry, Sundays at Lynclys)

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

19-20 December Talyllyn Railway 'Santa Specials'

19-20 December Llanberis Lake Railway 'Santa Specials'

19-20 December Cambrian Heritage Railways 'Santa Specials' (Sarurdays at Oswestry, Sundays at Lynclys)

19-22 December Rhyl Miniature Railway 'Santa Specials'

20 December Llangollen Railway 'Santa Specials'

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.

22-24 December Llangollen Railway 'Santa Specials'

24 December Talyllyn Railway 'Santa Specials'

26-29 December Llangollen Railway 'Mince Pie Specials'

January 2016

2-3 January Llangollen Railway 'Winter Warrmers'

Tuesday 5 January North Wales Railway Circle Member Clive Evans starts 2016 with a show of his own work starting back in the sixties.

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. 

February 2016

Tuesday 2 February  North Wales Railway Circle 'The First Penrhyn Railway' Dafydd Gwyn, industrial archaeologist, author of The Slate and other publications and fireman on The Bala Lake Railway will be talking about the first tramway that served Penrhyn Quarry.

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.

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.

Tuesday 8 March North Wales Railway Circle 'Railways of Ontario' Chairman Brian Bollington shows a mix of slides and video he has taken of the railway scene in Ontario and Quebec, Canada.  Including main lines, short lines, preserved lines with steam and museums. Due to Saint David's Day bookings this meeting has been arranged for the second Tuesday of the month.

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.

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.

Tuesday 5 April North Wales Railway Circle 'All Steamed Up' Mr Barry Wynne presents a selection of his work from his vast catalogue of phtographs.

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.

May 2016

Tuesday 3 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Photographic Competition.

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

Two types of Arriva transport, seen from Conwy town walls on 26 October. Picture by Greg Mape.

Barmouth bridge protest - report by Kate Jones

I took this picture from the Fegla bank on 31 October as the wave of walkers came over the Barmouth viaduct in support of keeping the bridge open for the public to use, as Gwynedd Council wish to stop paying Network Rail money to keep it available to the public. The walk was  supported by walkers and cyclists.  See also the BBC report and the petition on the subject which has now past 42,000 signatures.

People use this bridge to travel to work at unsocial hours when public transport is not available,
they would lose their jobs should this main artery for the area close. The bridge was very busy all day just with members of the public passing across for their various reasons. A very calm, slightly misty and atmospheric day.

Class 37s galore

RHTT at Old Colwyn, 27 October (Greg Mape).

Penyffordd on 27 October: 97 301 leads a Network Rail measurement train (Bob Greenhalgh).

27 October: Rail Head Treatment Train eastbound at Llandudno Junction with 97 302 leading (Peter Lloyd).

28 October: Network Rail Ultrasonic Test Train passing Rhyl with 37 604 on the front, 37 667 on the rear (Roly High).

28 October: Rail Head Treatment Train westbound at Llandudno Junction with 97 303 leading (Peter Lloyd).

Beeches Farm on 29 October: The Valley - Crewe flask train with 37 612 and 37 602 double-heading one wagon (Bob Greenhalgh).


In the first version of last week's update we said that the 'Pilotman' required during temporary single-line working, has to be a Signaller. Mike Stone writes to point out that although this may usually be the case, the Rules do not require it.

Beside Bala Lake - with Martin Evans

Bala Lake Railway on 26 October: Above, Quarry Hunslet Maid Marian of 1903 running round at Llanuwchllyn having brought the 12:05 service in from Bala (Penybont).

Sirdar 0-4-0 Diana in the shed having recently arrived from the Vale of Rheidol Railway after overhaul. She will enter service during the 2016 season after gauging adjustments to the platform at Llanuwchllyn and other areas.

Alice, Hunslet Works no 780, stabled at Llanuwchllyn.

The final runs on the Bala Lake line for this year - the normal season is now finished - will be the Santa Specials in December, for which booking is now open.

[We have now updated our Forthcoming Events column (left) with entries for Santa Specials in our reporting area - do write if you know of any others]

Llangollen report - by Peter Dickinson

Over the past few weeks, volunteers have been working to clear the vegetation off the Dee Bridge beside Pentrefelin yard at Llangollen. Here are some photographs taken during one of the working parties on 18 October. 5199 (above) was out working the Timetable 'A' service, involving three return trips between Llangollen and Corwen.

The Class 108 was out on driver experience courses and is seen crossing over the Dee Bridge.

Once the Class 108 had returned to Pentrefelin, the opportunity was taken to rearrange the DMU fleet in preparation for the following weekend's 'Day out with Thomas' weekend.

On the East Lancs - with Ken Robinson

I visited The East Lancashire Railway's Autumn Steam Gala on Saturday 17 October. There was a good variety of engines present - some with North Wales connections. Firstly, 6430 and its auto-train from the Llangollen Railway - the photo shows the train forming a Bury-Heywood shuttle on the Saturday morning leaving a smoky Bury Bolton Street station.

Secondly 80080 at Ramsbottom with the 14:00 Bury-Rawtenstall train. This loco (nowadays based at Butterley I believe) was allocated to Croes Newydd shed in the early 1960s (from 1962-1965).

Lastly, 'Crab' 13065 (a.k.a 42765) at Rawtenstall during a rare patch of sun. This engine was never based in North Wales - I've included it to provide a bit of colour! Did it ever work along the Coast?

20 years of Severn Dee Travel - report by George Jones

At a luncheon occasion in Gobowen on Friday 16 October, invited guests, community leaders, reps of the rail industry and supporters celebrated the past 20 years since Severn Dee Travel was set up in the booking office at Gobowen.

Reviewing the origins, chairman Malcolm Kimber recalled the early work of the late David Lloyd when, as a geography teacher at Moreton Hall school in 1986, he organised the girls to train tickets. The operation moved into the station in 1992 when British Rail pulled out of staffing Gobowen station and it went on to be formalised as Severn Dee Travel. Today it is a not-for-profit company and agency for Arriva Trains Wales. The company is administered by volunteer directors and specialises in arranging group travel for schools and colleges in Great Britain.

A stalwart among the directors is Sheila Dee who is also Community Rail Officer for the line, very active in promoting services and seeking improvements. In reply Neil Buxton, general manager of ACORP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships), said the facility at Gobowen was something that many towns and villages yearned for and something the Department for Transport was keen to promote.

A display of photos recorded past occasions at Gobowen. Lunch was served by the staff and pupils of Derwen College, who also made a special cake for the occasion.  A 20th anniversary plaque was presented to Mr Kimber, sponsored by the Oswestry-based British Ironwork Centre.

Today the station sees an hourly train service on the Shrewsbury to Chester line, much improved over what was on offer in 1986.

The bay platform awaits the resumption of a connecting service to Oswestry - the long-term aim of the Cambrian Heritage Railways -  whilst the former coal yard has been given over in part to a housing development.

Arriva via Altrincham - pictures by Greg Mape

18 October saw Arriva's Manchester - North Wales trains diverted via Altrincham and the Mid-Cheshire line due to engineering work on the normal route. Above, 175 111 passes Altrincham station heading for Manchester. The station has been re-worked as part of the new Transport Interchange, but the railway part has been a long-drawn out process. The new footbridge, seen in the picture, opened some months ago, and soon afterwards its floor tiles and stair facings started to come loose. The lifts, which were supposed to be available from 'early 2015', stood disused for months, but were finally brought in to use in October 2015.

175 005 passing Navigation Road station heading for Chester. The track on the left carried Metrolink's trams.

175 005, seen from the bridge near Heyes Grove Tennis Club, Timperley. The Down Goods line, on the left, is disappearing into the undergrowth.  In the distance is Skelton Junction.

Manchester Moments

The rush hour is getting under way on 15 October as 67 014 departs from Manchester Piccadilly over the London Road bridge with the 16:50 Manchester - Llandudno. The building behind, once British Telecom offices, is now a hotel (Charlie Hulme).

The Arriva loco-hauled trains to Manchester, unlike the railcar versions which use 'Mayfield Loop', stable between runs in the former 'Excursion Platform' of the long-lost Longsight station which closed in 1960.  A change for driver Eurwyn McMahon to stretch the legs and take a picture for us. Why an excursion platform in such an inner-city place? It was handy for the famous Belle Vue amusement park, zoo and circus complex, now just a memory.

Over at Victoria station, the re-birth of the concourse area is now more or less complete; the former buffet is now transformed into a 'Beer House Bar and Kitchen' which should please the Real Ale fraternity.  In the background is the stadium which is above the through platforms.

The Metrolink station (Charlie Hulme). We understand that the first short section of the new 'second city crossing' line, from here to Exchange Square, will be opened to traffic in the next few weeks, and used to terminate an additional service from Shaw on the Rochdale line.

Metrolink currently are operating 15 trams per hour in each direction with three routes -  Eccles, East Didsbury and Altrincham  each running every 12 minutes - along the temporary single-line section through St Peter's Square. This is done by sending them through in 'flights' of three, one for each route. Andy Hyde observed the operation  while attending an afternoon Mozart concert at the Bridgewater Hall on 2 November: above, three trams heading for the city centre: the middle one is entering the single line. The Midland Hotel forms the backdrop to the scene.

The orange-suited 'signalman' in his 'box' prepares to show the single-line token to the driver of 3034, the first of a group of three.  St Peters Square station itself remains closed while it is being rebuilt.

The Bridgwater Hall, which is built on the site of the former Lower Moseley Street bus station, stands on rubber dampers, designed to isolate it from the vibrations caused by passing trams.

North Wales Coast home pageArchive | Previous Notice Board