Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

18 January 2016

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Forthcoming events

January 2016

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 1990ís   

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.

Rare this winter so far -  a snow scene. On Sunday 17 January  175 107 working a Chester - Manchester train crosses  the Timperley / Baguley border, having been diverted over the mid-Cheshire line due to engineering work on the Warrington Bank Quay route. Picture by Greg Mape.

Late news, 19 January: Flying Scotsman will not work a main line trip on 23 January.

Conwy Valley problems continue

The flood damage repairs in the Conwy Valley are taking longer that first estimated.  Road transport replaces trains until further notice, due to flood damaged track; Network Rail's pictures above show some of the damage. Replacement buses are running, and Network Rail are now saying the line will remain closed until at least Mid-February 2016 at the earliest.

Unfortunately, the Dolgarrog Railway preservation group's site was also severely affected by the flooding, as can be seen from a report on the group's website. They'll need all the help they can get to restore the place: new members can get details from their 'How to Join' page.

Rhyl Footbridge

The 'unsafe' condition of the footbridge at Rhyl station, which was discovered on 11 January and resulted in platform 2 being closed to passengers who had to travel by coach to or from Colwyn Bay (see last issue) was resolved the next day, the 15:50 Manchester - Llandudno being the first train able to call.

The events a chance to have a general moan on social media about the station, which underwent a '£2.5m make-over' with a new booking office, customer information point and enlarged waiting area, but 'still has no toilets or refreshments' and is a 'crumbling Victorian relic.'

Rails on the move

Sunday 17 January saw a trainload of long-welded rails hauled by Colas Rail loco 70 804 from Network Rail's Hinksey Yard near Oxford to Crewe Basford Hall Yard, travelling via Wolverhampton Shrewsbury and Chester.  Bob Greenhalgh photographed the train from behind the fence at Green Lane Crossing, Saltney, Milepost 211   ...

... and John Mathers from the bridge a little to the north of the crossing. Rails have now been 'dropped' ready for installation as replacements for the existing rails at various locations along the North Wales line: Abergele, Aber to Llandigai, Gaerwen and Ty Croes.

Peter Basterfield's view

It's a dark morning at Bangor on 15 January as 37 716 and 37 609 pass Bangor at 07:44 with three flasks for Valley.

The sea wall at Penmaenmawr is doing its job later in the day at 15:15 as train 1V97 14:34 Holyhead - Cardiff passes 1W93 11:21 Holyhead - Cardiff.

Half an hour later, conditions are dire as the return flask train passes.

Chester Forum

Chris Matheson, Member of Parliament for the constituency of City of Chester, is hosting a Rail Users' Forum, on Friday, 22  January, at the 'Town Crier' pub, opposite the railway station. All are welcome.

Greg Mape's view

DB Schenker route learning for the planned Knowsley - Wilton refuse trains continues. On 14 January a class 67 was used, in the shape of 67 008, seen in the rural surroundings of Ashley on the Mid-Cheshire line.

Ashley station still has some of the traditional 'country station' look as 150 144 calls with the 14:59 Chester - Manchester Piccadilly.

Sunday 17 January on the East Lancashire Railway: 34 092 City of Wells, approaching Bury from Heywood,  breasts the summit of the 1 in 36 climb to the bridge over the Metrolink line at Bury: a tram can be glimpsed below.

'Crab' 13065 going the other way.

Cambrian memories - with Trefor Thompsom

Having had a post-Christmas look through some of my earlier photos I thought this scene (above) at Dovey Junction in May 1977 would be of interest following on from the 1970 photo in the 7 December noticeboard. A busy scene with the Pwllheli train (a Park Royal Class 103 set) on the right, Shrewsbury train on the left with the Aberystwyth train behind which had just set back having run through the loop. This manoeuvre often caused much panic amongst passengers bound for the Pwllheli service and I well recall seeing at least one person try to get off by jumping down onto the track while the Aberystwyth train was stationary at the loop signal.

The daily Cambrian Coast freight in July 1971 crossing the Dysynni bridge between Tonfanau and Towyn. The locomotive is 25 032, and the consist of the train is four 21 ton coal hoppers (where from?), one gunpowder van from the works at Penrhyndeudraeth, and two 16 ton mineral wagons probably also in domestic coal traffic.

More Flying Scotsman

The famous newly-restored loco Flying Scotsman ran sold-out specials for a second weekend on 16-17 January. Anthony Thomas went to Heywood for a closer look at the celebrity machine in its temporary 'wartime black' livery.  Note diesel loco 31 466 behind, as the previous weekend,  to provide braking assistance due to a minor technical issue.

The loco confusingly carries three identifying numbers: British Railways 60103 on the front, 502 on the right side of the cab (carried for a few months in 1946 apparently) and 103 (1946-47) on the left. The number everyone knows, 4472, is conspicuous by its absence at present, as the loco nameplate.

23 January was to see the 'Scotsman' on the main line, with a 'Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express' from Manchester Victoria to Carlisle and back. However, the organisers announced on 19 January that due to attention being needed to the loco's on-going brake problem, a pair of 'Black 5s' will substitute.

... in other steam news

The first steam-hauled 'North Wales Coast Express of 2016 runs on Saturday 6 February, and is planned to be the first passenger outing on the main line of 46100 Royal Scot since withdrawal in 1963. It was sold to Butlin's for display at the Skegness holiday camp, and then at Bressingham Steam Museum in Norfolk, where it was returned to steam for a while within the confines of the museum site.  Sold to the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust  in April 2009, it was returned to steam in 2015. The train starts from Carnforth; the steam loco will be attached at Crewe (09:31) for a run to Holyhead (12:32 - 15:00) and back.

Another Railway Touring Company steam trip of interest, on Sunday 14 February, is the amusingly-named 'Tin Bath' which runs with steam  Preston - Manchester Victoria - Sheffield - Penistone - Copy Pit line - Manchester.  It is intended that this will be double headed by two 'Jubilee' class 4-6-0s, 45690 Leander and 45699 Galatea.

Virgin in trouble

On 15 January the 08:10 London - Holyhead suffered some sort of train fault and was terminated at Llandudno Junction running 38 minutes late at 11:43. It was still standing at Platform 3 (above, foreground), when the next Virgin service, the 09:10 from London, arrived on-time at 12:00 as seen in the picture by Peter Lloyd. It eventually returned empty to Crewe at 14:56.

Transport Hub for Wrexham? - report by George Jones

The Wrexham Leader reports:
Work has started to look at ways of significantly improving transport links in Wrexham and the surrounding areas.The Welsh Government  has agreed to fund and commission an independent review of a NR report on timetabling and capacity between Wrexham and  Chester. Grant funding is available for Wrexham  Council to undertake a study into the feasibility of developing a transport hub at Wrexham General station.

The recommended independent report and study by Wrexham Council will enable further consideration of rail improvements for North East Wales, where Network Rail is aware and has indicated there are a number of infrastructure and timetabling issues.

The WG's £44m redoubling of the line between Rossett and Saltney is nearing completion following an unwelcome delay.  Local AM Lesley Griffiths said 'This announcement is a vital step forward. I have (of course) continually campaigned for infrastructure improvements in Wrexham. I am delighted this work is being undertaken. It is important relevant bodies work together in order to ensure the best possible outcome for Wrexham.'
It would be useful to find the Welsh Government report and see exactly what it says; I have searched but found nothing online. Given the nature of the Wrexham General area following sell-off of railway land, the options for a hub would appear limited or expensive. The last attempt at running buses in and out of Station Drive didn't last long, although the bus stop is still there unused and confusing strangers as to the on-going travel options.

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