Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

09 February 2016

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February 2016

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.

Saturday 13 February Railway and Canal Historical Society North West Branch - From Pit to Market: Moving Cheshire Minerals by Rail & Water by Paul Teather.  This illustrated talk will describe how industrial railways were used to move minerals (coal, salt, stone, clay, etc) extracted in Cheshire to either a processing plant, canal or a main line railway.  The review starts with the 18thC tramway & canal era and then through the period when narrow & standard gauge systems served the national rail network to their demise (at Winsford) some 200 years later.  This journey in time will be illustrated with analysis, maps, contemporary photographs and some views of what can be
seen today.

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.

Saturday 12 March Railway and Canal Historical Society North West Branch - The London & Dublin Railway: Surveys & Parliamentary Influences by Derek Cobby & Brian Dotson. Realisation of the inadequacy of the port of Holyhead and the increasing pressure for improvements coincided with the development of railways.  Plans prepared for the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway included a route from Worcester to Porth Dinllaen on the Llyn Peninsular.  Vignoles and Brunel favoured developing Porth Dinllaen route rather than Holyhead which would avoid crossing the Menai Straits.  Vignoles direct route on standard gauge to connect with the Grand Junction Railway did not attract sufficient finance leaving Brunel's second broad gauge direct scheme as an alternative to
developing the route to Holyhead.

Monday 14 March  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.

Saturday 9 April Railway and Canal Historical Society The Presidential Address: The LMS
School of Transport, Derby by Graham Wild. The speaker will  tell the fascinating story of the school. The talk starts with the reason for the building and its location, moving on through a description of the building to the successful fight to save it and subsequent developments with what is now a
listed building.

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    

Full house at Llandudno Junction, 6 February; picture by Peter Lloyd.

Here are just some of the pictures we have received of the run by 46100 on 6 February: we have tried to include at least one by everyone who took the time to write. As always, please let us know of any errors in the text. Thanks to you all, and also the operators of the train which ran without any sort of hitch.

Thanks also to everyone who has sent other items. We definitely will catch up next week! - Charlie

The North Wales Coast Express, Saturday 6 February

The first main line excursion after its recent return to steam by ex-LMS 4-6-0 46100 Royal Scot was 'The North Wales Coast Express' on 6 February. The train ran from Carnforth (not Liverpool as originally announced) to Holyhead, the steam loco taking over the haulage from Crewe.  Despite the appalling weather on the day, our contributors were out in force with their cameras.  John Hobbs was aboard the train, and took the above view of the train curving out of Crewe on to the Chester line.

A spectacular passage of Roodee Junction, west of Chester (Anthony Thomas).

Murky weather at Beeches Farm (Bob Greenhalgh).

Mold Junction (Jeff Albiston). The last time this locomotive passes this point, a busy locomotive depot and marshalling yard would have been in the view.

Shotton (Tim Rogers).

Umbrella to the fore at Flint (Paul Boot).

Flashback: 46100 was never allocated to a depot in our area - did it ever visit? -  although members of the class were frequently seen. Above: 46148 The Manchester Regiment leaves Prestatyn on 30 December 1963, with the 08.10 Holyhead to Crewe and London (Euston), in less than ideal weather conditions; just like Saturday the 6th February 2016. This train conveyed a portion from Birkenhead (Woodside) from Chester and combined with a Blackpool to Euston train at Crewe (John Hobbs).

Back in the present, as proved by the folorn Rhyl No.2 signalbox and the new surgery building to the left which adds little to architectural beauties of the lineside, the North Wales Express passes Rhyl, four minutes early at 10:34 (Chris Morrison).

Abergele (Ian Pilkington).

The bridge at Abergele made a useful shelter for the photographers (Roly High).

Colwyn Bay (Peter Basterfield)

Approaching Llandudno Junction (Larry Davies)

Crossing to Platform 1 at Llandudno Junction where the water supply would be replenished  (Ian Pilkington)

Sometime 'WAG Express' loco 57 315, its drab West Coast Railways colour scheme matching the day's weather, travelled on the rear of the train, as seen during the water stop  at Llandudno Junction by Peter Lloyd.  Demolition appears to be under way at 'Moore's Motor Engineers' in the background. Does anyone know the history of those buildings?

Passing through Conwy town walls, via Robert Stephenson's Gothic arch (Larry Davies).

Dwygyfylchi (Ian Pilkington).

'North Wales Costa Express' ... picture by Peter Basterfield.

Bangor (Rowan Crawshaw). There's always someone who thinks there's a better shot from off the platform end, isn't there?

Arriving at Bangor (Peter Hanson). The legend of these locos is that the Directors of the LMS railway wanted a big impressive loco to rival those of the other three big companies, and ordered their  chief mechanical engineer Henry Fowler to do something about it quickly. After being 'shown the door' by the Great Western, Fowler managed to borrow from his Southern Railway counterpart Mr Maunsell the technical drawings of the 'Lord Nelson' class 4-6-0. A design was developed from this with the help of the North British Locomotive Company who built the first examples, the first - the original 'Royal Scot' - entering service in 1927. The name 'Royal Scot' was also given to the LMS company's prestige London - Scotland train, which ran in competition with the LNER's 'Flying Scotsman'. There was a 'Royal Scots' regiment, so the name also matches the regimental names of other class members.

At Llandudno Junction, a chance for the paying passengers to get a picture (and get wet). The deployment 'Not to be moved' flag  during the water stop would not meet with their approval; perhaps it is a reaction (enforced or otherwise) to recent criticism of train company West Coast Railways following some well-publicised problems.  The device may be required by the rules in situations where the loco or train is receiving attention, but it has not been seen before in these circumstances.

Rain continues to pour as the return train arrives at Bangor (Richard Fleckney).

The wet weather enhances the steam effect on departure from Bangor (Richard Fleckney). The new building on the former cinema site identifies this as a modern view, but 'Royal Scot' class locos were regular performers on this line in their heyday, no doubt accounting for the interesting being shown by local enthusiasts.

Blasting out of Conwy Tunnel and through Conwy Station - picture by Larry Davies who writes: 'This is where I saw my first Scot in the mid 1950's - I feel my age!'

Llandudno Junction  (Roger Carvell). Again we see the 'Not to be Moved' flag.

Headboard - with in-joke mascot (is that a fez) - at Llandudno Junction (Roger Carvell).  The headboard looks cluttered with the word 'The' prefixed. It's always a challenge to pedants and librarians to debate whether 'The' at the beginning of a name or title is part of it, but it is a fact that when this train name was invented for the steam specials run by British Rail in the 1989 period, there was no 'The'.  A useful feature when trying to date old photographs, perhaps?

The classic view of Holyhead after the loco has been to the Valley triangle and back to turn (John Hobbs). A great deal has changed in this scene since 'Royal Scots' were seen here on regular trains.

How much longer will this semaphore signal adorn the view? Clearly shown are the 'back-light blinders' which, when the signal is cleared, move to cover a small lens on the back of the signal lamp. These are fitted if the signabox is behind the signal, and in the night-time enable the signaller to tell that the arm has actually moved. The loco and stock of the Cardiff Express can be seen stabled for the weekend in the sidings

Llandudno Junction (Greg Mape).

1Z78 15:00 Holyhead - Carnforth leaving Llandudno Junction in torrential rain ... but what a departure. Masterful driving and a Scot in her best voice! (Larry Davies).

Rhyl (Roly High).

Arrived at Chester four minutes early (Jeff Albiston).

Crewe (Roger Carvell).

Crewe, and a last view of the train (Roger Carvell).

The additional plate under the name tells its own story: 'Prior to conversion this locomotive with the Royal Scot train was exhibited at the Century of Progress Exposition Chicago 1933, and made a tour of the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America. The engine and train covered 11,194 miles over the railroads of the North American continent and was inspected by 3,021,601 people. W. Gilbertson - Driver,  T. Blackett - Fireman,  J. Jackson - Fireman, W.C. Woods - Fitter.' Picture by Anthony Thomas.

This locomotive was built at Derby in 1930 as 6152 The King's Dragoon Guardsman, but when it was decided to send a train to America in 1933, it was decided that it would swap identities with 6100 Royal Scot, and the change became permanent. In 1950 it was rebuilt with a new-style tapered boiler, and the words 'prior to conversion' were added to the plate.

Archive corner

A couple of episodes from 46100's colourful past, from the archives of the Manchester Locomotive Society. Above, after withdrawal in late 1962, the loco was taken to Crewe Works where Graham Neve photographed it on 23 March 1963.

Cosmetically restored to LMS livery (which it never carried in this form) at Crewe Works for sale to Billy Butlin, it was transferred to his Skegness holiday camp later in 1963 where it stayed as an static exhibit until 1971 when it was transferred to Bressingham Steam Museum in Norfolk where it was returned to steam  for use on the short length of track there, as photographed by Harold Bowtell in 1972, in company with 6233 Duchess of Sutherland, another former Butlin loco which can now be seen on the main line. Since 2009 it has been owned by the Royal Scot Trust.

In other steam news...

Also on 6 February, the re-born 60103  Flying Scotsman made its first passenger run on the main line, upstaged by 46100 as far as our contributors were concerned, but Ian Pilkington did photograph it on its loaded main line test run on the Carnforth - Hellifield line at Docker on Thursday 4 February.

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