04 January 2016
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Tuesday 5 January North
Railway Circle Member Clive Evans starts 2016 with a show of his
own work starting back in the sixties.
Friday 8 January Clwyd
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
Monday 11 January Wrexham
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
Valley Railway Society Dave Southern: Chester -
Pwllheli - days long gone
Monday 18 January RCTS:
Merseyside, Chester and North Wales Branch. BRANCH
A.G.M followed by Back to The 60s with
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.
Tuesday 2 February North
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
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
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
Western's line to Birmingham Snow Hill, also the West Coast, Midland
and Great Central lines.
Thursday 11 February Llandudno
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
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
Friday 26 February Great Western
Society NW Branch Group Annual Meeting, afterwards possibly
Friday 4 March Clwyd
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
Tuesday 8 March North
Circle 'Railways of Ontario' Chairman Brian Bollington shows a mix
slides and video he has taken of the railway scene in Ontario and
Quebec, Canada. Including main lines, short lines, preserved
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
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
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:
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
Circle Denbigh Film Club. Railway Enthusiasts Film Night. A night
nostalgia and fun with a selection of films old and new to end our
season in great style.
Tuesday 5 April North
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
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
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
Friday 29 April Great
Branch A tribute to Tom Lewis,
Railway cameraman 1947-1970, Paul Shackcloth.
Tuesday 3 May North Wales
Circle AGM and Photographic Competition.
Thursday 12 May Llandudno
Valley Railway Society Ray Bailey: Steam into
6430 arrives at Berwyn with a 'Winter Warmer' train on 2 January.
Picture by George Jones.
Strike ... not so happy New Year for passengers
Sad - and slightly un-grammatical - sight at Rhyl station on 4 January (Roly
ASLEF drivers at Arriva Trains Wales voted overwhelmingly for strike
action, claiming that management reneged on an agreement:
81.7% of ASLEF members voted Yes, and 18.3% voted No, on a turnout of
just over 80%, and the one-day strike duly went ahead on 4 January. No
Arriva services ran at all, as far as we can tell. No replacement buses
were on offer, either, or even an agreement with Arriva Bus Cwmru to
accept tickets, although passengers were allowed to travel on other
train companies' trains if appropriate. An ATW manager told the
BBC that the two sides are 'not a million miles apart' - but if
no agreement is reached, there will be continuing disruption due to an
George Jones went to Wrexham General in the hope of
photographing the steel train, but that was cancelled as well.
George writes: 'The deserted view of Wrexham General as seen from the
south at Watery Road level crossing sums up the situation, although the
vegetation clearance on the left shows an improvement to the station
approaches, and a housing development on the right offers rail-side
views for any occupants who might be train fans. The vegetation
clearance does not mean the former carriage sidings here are making a
Llangollen Winter Warmer - report by Jim Ikin
Saturday 2 January was a wet and quite gloomy - and indeed dark later
on - day for the Llangollen Railway's 'Winter Warmer' event, but it
appeared to be a well-attended. Above: D5310 / 80072
leave Llangollen with the 12.25 to Carrog,
Left: Prairie 5199 after arriving with the 12.20 from Corwen East.
Right:Pannier 6430 after arriving, double headed with 5199 from Corwen
5199 ready to leave with the 1pm to Corwen, 6430 to position for the
1.30pm to Carrog.
Apparent flood damage at the Chainbridge Hotel.
80072 awaits departure from Glyndyfrdwy with the 2.46 to Llangollen
after the arrival of the Wickham diesel railcar
5199 and 6430 at Llangollen.
Being watered before leaving with the 4.10pm departure.
Late wet winter afternoon at Llangollen station.
Christmas Present ... and Past at Holyhead - notes by Dave
Stabled at Holyhead on the Christmas Day close-down of 2015 were: 175
101, 175 109, 175 011, 175 004, 221 109, 67 022 & 82308.
This prompted me to look through my records for some earlier 25th
Decembers at Holyhead depot
1980: 47 492, 40 079, 47 471, 08 814, 47 453, 08 907, 47 561, 08 746,
47 448, 47 194 & 40 131.
1981: 56345+51194, 51565+50925, 08 814, 47 492, 47 438, 47 476, 47 445,
40 157, 08 746, 47 199, 25 214, 47 437 & 08 907.
1982: 56336+51196, 47 203, 47 537, 08 843, 08 814, 47 441, 47 488, 47
439, 08 746 & 47 531.
1983: 47 459, 47 417, 47 085, 47 318, 53940+54273, 47 029, 47 455, 47
555, 08 906, 47 444, 25 057, 47 284, 53208+54060.
1984: 51183+54344, 47 529, 47 624, 47 320, 08 843, 47 475, 47 597, 08
788, 47 409, 45 104, 47 247 & 47 200.
How the traction has changed on our railways.
Cambrian Heritage Railway extends - from the 'Shropshire Star'
One of the county’s heritage railways is looking to start the first
major extension of its running track – 50 years after the line was shut
down in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. Cambrian Heritage Railway,
which runs in Oswestry and Llynclys, is breaking out of its short run
at Oswestry station to extend its line to Weston Wharf, next to the
Stonehouse Brewery and Weston Pools.
Rob Williams, 36, chairman of the railway, says the expansion is likely
to be completed by the start of the 2018 running season, but passengers
should expect to see trains running over longer sections of the track
as work is done towards the new stop. 'We’re looking at the work in
stages, he said. A major milestone would be to reach Gasworks Bridge,
at Shrewsbury Road, and we hope to be there for the early part of next
'The work that needs to be done is mostly refurbishing what’s already
there, replacing rotten sleepers and levelling the track. That part of
the track will also run alongside the new greenway that Shropshire
Council is planning to build as a new footpath and cycle way. The
second stage will be to work with Shropshire Council to sort out
Gasworks Bridge. At the moment it’s got a lot of scaffolding underneath
it and there isn’t enough room to pass a train through, so Shropshire
Council will need to look at what work needs to be done there. Then the
third stage will be Gasworks to Weston, which is more refurbishment
work. We have a lot of materials ready to do the work and we’re looking
at possible grants to pay for machinery hire to speed up the work.'
Once the track reaches Weston Wharf, the plan is to work with the
brewery to create a tourist attraction where people can ride the train
from Oswestry to Weston, get off and enjoy a tour of the brewery, then
ride back to Oswestry.
November 5, 2016 will mark 50 years since the last passenger service
from Oswestry to Gobowen. Mr Williams says the anniversary year was a
good time to push the heritage railway forward more.
' It’s particularly important that we’re now expanding, 50 years on,
with the first large change to the line really since we started
running. We’ll start our 2016 season at Easter running south from
Oswestry for as far as we’ve got track down, so if people have visited
us before they might want to come back again and see how far we’ve got
Looking back: North Wales 1964 -
pictures by J.W. Sutherland
In July 1964 the late J.W. Sutherland spent a couple of days
exploring Chester and the North Wales line, with a colour slide film in
his camera. We present the pictures here by courtesy of the Manchester Locomotive Society
collection. Above, at Chester on 2 July 1964 ex-GWR 4-6-0 6915
Mursley Hall arrives at Chester with a train from
Birkenhead to London Paddington which will reverse here. Is that
clock still there?
'Jinty' 47669 on station pilot duty shunts a Southern Railway
'Castle' 4-6-0 5063 Earl Baldwin in the sidings at
Chester. This loco was re-named in 1937 after just a few weeks as Thornbury
Castle, to recognise Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister from
1923-1924, 1924-1929 and 1935-1937, who on leaving office was created
Earl Baldwin of Bewdley.
5063 again. Someone has 'bulled it up' with white buffers, but it still
manages to look a mess.
Fairburn 2-6-4T 42213 of Chester (6A) shed at Chester on the
5.08pm to Birkenhead, calling at Hooton, Bebington and Rock Ferry.
The next day, Friday 3 July 1964, Mr Sutherland travelled to Llandudno
Junction (above) on the 09:25 Crewe - Holyhead, hauled by celebrity
4-6-0 45552 Silver Jubilee, still carrying its unique
stainless steel cabside number.
Rhyl on 3 July 1962, with 45268 on 'down' special.
Another 'Jubilee', 45726 Vindictive on a Manchester
train at Rhyl.
LNWR signals at Chester frame 7023 Penrice Castle. The
water town in the background is about the only thing in this scene
still identifiable today.
Blue diesels at Bitton - report by Richard Putley
I visited the Avon Valley
Railway on 3 January and saw their latest acquisition, resplendent
in BR Rail Blue, 08 202, seen here with D5518 (31 101)
similarly adorned and class mate 31 130 Calder Hall Power
Station in Railfreight Coal livery as seen on flask trains before
Also in blue is the AVR's class 07, 07 010.
Passenger trains were being hauled by GWR 'Small Prairie' L150
whilst stabled on shed was J94-style 0-6-0ST 15 Earl David.
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