Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

04 January 2016

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Forthcoming events

January 2016

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.

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 High).

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 overtime ban.

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 come back!'

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 East.

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 Trains

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
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 year.

'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 by then.'

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 parcels van.

'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 privatisation.

Also in blue is the AVR's class 07, 07 010.

Passenger trains were being hauled by GWR 'Small Prairie' L150 (5521)...

whilst stabled on shed was J94-style 0-6-0ST 15 Earl David.

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