NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY:NOTICE BOARD
Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd
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29 February 2016
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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 Peninsula. 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.
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
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.
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
Sunny Llanfair PG, 26 February, with 67 001. Picture by Richard Fleckney.
Conwy Valley re-opens
Following repairs to damage caused by severe weather throughout December 2015, the line between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog re-opened on Monday 22 February. However, For safety reasons, trains are restricted to 20 mph over a 6-mile section of track until further works can be carried out. An amended timetable has been in operation to allow for the longer running times, with some bus replacements.
Another Llandudno Junction interlude - with Larry Davies
At Llandudno Junction, passengers on 150 253 forming the 13:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Llandudno approach journey's end on Wednesday 23 February. The two-hour journey must have been a test of endurance on such a unit. On the same evening the 16:50 ex Piccadilly, normally loco hauled stock was formed of 158 825 and 150 235.
Sad to see the neglect on the holding sidings at Llandudno Junction as nature claims back what probably was once its own! Hardly a show-piece for Network Rail.
The Network rail HST Measurement train passes Llandudno Junction on 23 February en route from Holyhead to LNWR Crewe. 43 014 The Railway Observer nearest the camera.
The 'Irish Mancunian'
The 09:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Holyhead loco-hauled service is not officially dubbed 'The Irish Mancunian' although it should be, as it is the clear successor to the 'boat train' of that name which ran behind Class 37 power in the 1990s. It runs with the locomotive leading, and at a time very suitable for pictures, so here are some examples featuring the current regular loco, 67 001. Above: Llandudno Junction, 15 February (Peter Lloyd).
Storming through Valley, 23 February (Richard Fleckney).
Warrington Bank Quay (Tim Rogers).
67 001 on the rear of the return working, 13:01 Holyhead - Manchester at Bangor, 16 February (Peter Lloyd)
Rhyl on 29 February: the 13:01 from Holyhead with the Driving Van Trailer 82307 leading (Roly High).
As spring is now with us, pictures of the same train on the 16:50 Manchester - Llandudno become feasible, and soon, hopefully, the other loco-hauled turn, the Premier Express. We look forward to seeing some.
Penyffordd's past - by Barrie Hughes
A recent item about Penyfford (15 February issue) mentioned the 'switchback nature of the line' near that station, as seen in John Mathers' picture, repeated above. This is is due to the line rising to go over the former Chester-Mold line. Hope Exchange platforms existed at the High and Low level at that point: see the Disused Stations website for details and maps.
The line then dropped a bit for the Cement works turnout then finally rose to Buckley Junction where the original Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay railway ran to the short-lived Buckley station at Drury. When the Hawarden Bridge line opened the passenger service to Buckley was closed, although the small platform and station building was visible when I was a teenager. Penyffordd (or Pen-y-ffordd) was originally known as Hope Junction due to the possibility of interchange traffic with the Chester-Mold line.
The recent removal of the crossover at Penyffordd (and presumably the siding access to the left in the image) cuts off the former direct route from Wrexham to Mold. Upon opening the Wrexham to Buckley line on 1 May 1866 an excursion to Rhyl and the North Wales coast ran over the chord to the Mold line (reversing at Denbigh) on 29 August 1866. Regular passenger services never ran over the chord despite the pretensions of the WM&CQ to have Mold in its title.
The south-to-west chord was used for the residual freight traffic from the Jones Balers works (makers of agricultural machines) at Mold, and finally only the Synthite chemical works. The small yard on the curve was used for storage of Castle Cement 'Presflo' wagons in the 1960s and regularly shunted. Above, in April 1979, a class 47 climbing out of the Mold Curve at Pen-y-ffordd with Tunnel Cement empty wagons from the storage sidings. Also visible is the now long-removed siding on the opposite side whence sprang the south-to-east curve., reached by a second trailing crossover and a single slip. It was all go that afternoon as a Synthite working followed up the Mold branch.
A never-completed north-to-west curve at Pen-y-ffordd is visible. An east-to-south chord was completed and one track laid of a proposed large yard early in 1888 then abandoned when Piercy, the railway’s owner, died later in 1888. The fourth side (north to east) was never planned. The Ffrith Branch, Coed Talon to Padeswood section, was closed on 29.7.34 after a freight train derailment at the foot of the 1 in 40 bank from Coed Talon down to Pontblyddyn.
Padeswood and Buckley station closed from 6.1.58, the Hope Exchange stations closed from 1.9.58 and the Chester-Mold passenger service closed from 30.4.62.
One day in August 1978 I followed the progress of the Class 25-hauled freight trip to the Synthite works, which was just west of Mold. Above, it is heading west past the site of Padeswood & Buckley station on the former Chester-Mold branch. The trackbed of the former Ffrith branch junction can be made out on the right. This steep freight branch came down from Coed Talon but was replaced by a Coed Talon - Mold branch after frequent runaways and accidents. Following the closure of Mold Junction to Hope junction on 2.2.1970 all traffic to Mold, including this train. had to travel via the Penyffordd curve from Wrexham.
This is Llong level crossing, next to the station of the same name. All level crossings were operated by the second-man except for the Automatic Half Barrier crossing on the A541 Mold Bypass just west of Mold station.
This is Mold station (my only picture with a train) - the site is now a Tesco. I had managed a steam hauled brake van ride there in 1965/6 in a GWR van during a shunt ... sadly no camera. Notice the similar brickwork to Rhyl station. The sidings visible beyond the station feature a substantial yard which once handled coal traffic from the Coed Talon branch and Jones Balers.
Here the Class 25 shunts wagons in the Synthite sidings as seen from the A541 road bridge. This was the end of the operational branch with a run round loop on which a steam loco derailed onto its side in the mid-60s. The end of the weed-killed section is clear. Track beyond to Rhyd-y-mwyn had been used until 1974 for deliveries of pipe for the now disused Rhosgoch tank farm (Anglesey) - Stanlow oil pipeline that passed along the Wheeler/Alyn Valley. When the line from Rhyd-y-mwyn to Mold Synthite was pulled up, demolition wagons left for the weekend ran downhill to Mold and almost reached Llong, demolishing the automatic level crossing in Mold!
The class 25 returns light engine to Wrexham passing Penyffordd box. [The Synthite works, which produces Formaldehyde, still flourishes, but ceased to use rail transport in the early 1980s and the line was abandoned. An interesting aerial view appears on the Britain from Above website.]
Footnote: On 23 February 2016, DB Schenker loco 66 145 failed at Hawarden Bridge which hauling freight train 6V75, 09:30 Dee Marsh Junction to Margam. A rescue loco 66 105 was sent to the rescue, and in consequence of the recent removal of of the crossover at Penyffordd it had to travel on 'wrong line' or 'bang road' in railway slang - all the way from Wrexham to attach the the front of the train, which eventually passed Penyffordd at 13:29, 226 minutes late. The 09:31 passenger from Bidston was trapped behind the failure; passenger service did not re-start until the 14:31 from Bidston, and the 15:32 from Wrexham.