Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

23 November 2015

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page.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

Thursday 26 November. Trakz local history talk at St Michaels Hall, Llandudno Junction. Admission £1

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

Thursday 3 December. Trakz local history talk at St Michaels Hall, Llandudno Junction. Admission £1

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'

5-6 December Manchester Model Railway Society annual exhibition. Barnes Wallis Building, former UMIST campus, near Piccadilly station.

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 on-board 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 Warmers'

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 photographs.

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.

B1 class loco 61306 Mayflower passes Stafford on the fast line with the London Euston - Chester 'Cathedrals Express' on 21 November. Picture by Chris Morrison.

Cathedrals Express

Approaching Bates Mill Lane bridge near Beeston (Peter Basterfield). Like some other late-LNER classes, 61306 was built with permanent electric headcode lamps in the four positions used in combination to indicate the type of train, e.g. one above each buffer for an express, just one below the chimney for a local passenger.  They were powered by a small steam-driven generator, although it seems they gave trouble and often staff reverted to traditional oil lamps. White discs were needed for daytime use, a further complication since the oil lamps didn't need them, being placed as required only in the right positions. One disc on 61306 appears to have a battery-powered lamp attached.

Arrived at Chester (Roly High). Note the weather protection for the crew.

47 746 Chris Fudge 29.7.70 - 22.6.10 was at the rear (Roly High).

61306 leaves Chester with the empty stock (Chris Morrison). Built as 61306 by the North British company to an LNER design a few months after nationalisation; the livery as carried since 2013 is how it would have looked when built, in LNER 'apple green' before British Railways standard colour schemes and the 'unicycling lion' crest had been devised. For such mixed-traffic locos, the chosen livery was a version of the lined black used by the London and North Western Railway ... British Railways senior engineers in 1948 just happened to to be former LNWR staff. Doesn't the green look good, though?

Having turned the whole train on the triangle at Chester, 61306 arrives back at Chester facing south (Chris Morrison). The name Mayflower, once carried by sister loco 61379, has been applied in preservation.

Manchester Model Railway Show

The Manchester Model Railway Society is this year celebrating its 90th Anniversary, and is celebrating by returning it to its traditional pre-Christmas date, and relocating from the out-of-town Fallowfield venue of recent years to the city centre: The Barnes Wallis Building on the former UMIST campus, alongside the railway between Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations. (Bounce along to the Barnes Wallis Building, say the posters - how many will see the allusion?). Opening times are Saturday December (10:00 to 17:30) and Sunday 6 December (10:00 to 16:30). See the MMRS website for full details.

Typing this item prompts distant nostalgic thoughts by your editor of the Christmas seasons of the 1960s when the show was in the Corn Exchange, not far from the Beattie's  (formerly Basset-Lowke) model shop which was in a now long-lost building on Corporation Street. Not many layouts from that era come to mind, except John Langan's 'Presson' with its Alex Jackson Couplings, and those large-scale trams which were a feature for many years. I do remember well George Slater demonstrating his 'Plastikard' and how to cut it by the scribe-and-snap method and stick it using MEK-PAK. 50 years later,  I must have used an acre of the stuff. I also recall Bob Symes - or Robert Symes-Schutzmann as he was then - and his Gauge 1 model of a 'Hymek' loco featuring a real diesel engine (single-cylinder intended for a model aircraft, quite smelly) and real hydraulic drive. At a later show a 'real' diesel-electric Class 47 appeared.

Shotton - help sought

Barrie Hughes writes: 'Can I have help from  the readership with the date of this picture, scanned from a slide, please. It is the reopening of Shotton Low Level in August 1972 (no exact date on any internet resources I can find) for which I was the only photographer present other than press/BR official photographers.
'The special working ran from Shotton Low Level to Chester. Local campaigns to reopen the station followed closure of  Shotton - Chester Northgate as services from Shotton High Level to Northgate closed presumably on 6.10.69 when Northgate itself closed.  In shot are the original low level platforms closed 14.2.1966. The temporary wooden platforms were replaced by a permanent structure in 2009/10.'

Recognise anybody? Rolleiflex cameras are to the fore, and a photographer in a trendy brown suit looking dubiously towards Barrie. One of the men with backs to us appears to be wearing a mayoral chain.


Yes, we have had some rain recently ...Taken in the pouring rain at the Beddgelert end of Rhyd Ddu station on 5 November, Linda and Blanche reverse past the water column (Stephen Hughes).

In clearer conditions, the view from the precipice walk above Dolgellau on 21 November. We don't know the train number, but it is definitely a 158! (Ian Wright).

37 601 languishes in the loop at Stockport on 18 November, having failed at Davenport on the evening of 15 November while working a Network Rail measurement train. Much disruption of Hazel Grove and Buxton line trains ensued until it was eventually rescued by the 'Thunderbird' loco which had to travel from its stand-by location at Preston, and left at Stockport. The next day, 19 November, it left Stockport in the morning with accompanying coach heading for base at Derby via Crewe, only to be put in the siding at Wilmslow for several hours before finally departing at 17:19 and making it to Derby at 19:32.

On the adjacent goods line on 18 November, Ultrasonic Test Coach 999605, reportedly banned from travel due to severe wheel flats.

The threat to remove the nameplates from 57 307 Lady Penelope to avoid licensing charges has clearly not been carried out, as she was noted in Chester station's parcels bay on 29 October, still with nameplate and a new decorative vinyl celebrating 21 years of DRS (Roly High).

Really, the whole loco should be pink for the best effect! (Roly High). The working was Crewe
Gresty Bridge - Chester - Warrington Bank Quay - Crewe, presumably crew training or route learning runs.

Autumnal call at Runcorn East, 29 October (Eurwyn McMahon)

Warrington Bank Quay, 29 October with 82307 and the soap powder works (Eurwyn McMahon).

Loco 67 001 has gained a new adornment for its duties on the Manchester loco-hauled service in the form of a British Rail-style depot code. Very neatly done, too.

The new 'picture lighting' fitted to new low handrails on the footbridge steps at Bache station on the Chester - Hooton line,  It has also been applied to the ramps to Morrison’s car park and Mill Lane on the Liverpool side. Picture by Robert Griffiths.

Cambrian nostalgia - with Barrie Hughes

Dated February 1970, this is my first 35 mm shot of trains after arriving at Aberystwyth University in 1969 and having a Christmas present of a Halina Paulette 35mm camera. In platform 2, then in regular use, is a Class 24 which possibly would haul the 1830 Aberystwyth-York mail train as far as Crewe. A Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. DMU rests in the sidings alongside the Excursion platform (p3) and behind that possibly some green camping coaches? At this time, as I recall, the green camping coaches were normally resident at Borth.
The former Manchester & Milford Carmarthen line platforms on the far left had only recently been occupied by the Vale of Rheidol Railway realignment for the 1969 season and the old GWR loco shed was in use by the Vale of Rheidol as their maintenance base. The VoR itself had been realigned all the way from Llanbadarn level crossing alongside the standard gauge tracks into the station.
The M&M is currently Phase 1 of TRAWS proposals for a reopened through Cambrian Coast route from Bangor to Carmarthen which would reverse at Aberystwyth. Facebook users can view details.

Longsight mystery ticket - by Philip Evans

Recent comment in the News Section regarding the stabling of Arriva's loco hauled set at the Longsight excursion platform prompted me recall a ticket I have from Mold.

This is a Special Day return in British Railways transitional format - LMSR style with British Railways (M) heading - so printed around 1949/50.  The interesting feature is that it is from Mold to Rhyl via Longsight.  At first glance this could be taken for a misprint but the ticket stock was probably intended for a round trip Mold to Belle Vue and then back to Rhyl for the late afternoon and finally home to Mold presumably via Denbigh.

Perhaps other readers have come across samples from other stations?

GWR Green at Worcester - report by Richard Putley

On 21 November I went to Worcester Shrub Hill to photograph the Vintage Trains 'Oxfordshire Explorer' special from Tyseley to Oxford which ran via Worcester and Evesham. Motive power was GWR 4-6-0 4965 Rood Ashton Hall.

It arrived a couple of minutes before it was due at 11:00, and waited in the station for half an hour before continuing on to Oxford.

But Rood Ashton Hall was not the only item of motive power I saw sporting GWR Green. Recently First Great Western have re-branded themselves as Great Western Railway and have started painting their trains Brunswick Green. While the steam special was held in Platform 2 at Worcester Shrub Hill the 10:50 Great Malvern – London Paddington service arrived formed by newly repainted 'Turbo Express' set 166 206. This departed on time at 11:06 and once it had cleared the section southwards to Norton Junction, the signaller at Shrub Hill cleared the signals for the steam special.

After watching the steam special depart I walked down into the city and then got to Foregate Street station in time to see the 12:06 service from there to Paddington leave, formed by 166 204, also newly repainted and named Norman Topsom MBE, the name applied to the leading car.

All this re-painting may explain why Great Western Railway are still hiring class 158 from rival operator South West Trains. The 12:41 from Worcester Foregate Street to Weymouth was formed of SWT 158 882.

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