Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

20 September 2016

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue. For full information visit our Calendar page.
September 2016
Monday 19 September RCTS Chester   Barry Shore Diesel Diary - The Sixties. Barry lives on the Wirral and his thoughtful presentations are always looked forward to. He is a long standing Branch member.

Friday 30 September Great Western Society North West Branch. Steam in Black and White. Peter Spilsbury.

October 2016

Tuesday 4 October North Wales Railway Circle Slate Railways of North Wales.  David Gwyn, industrial archaeologist, author of The Slate and other publications and fireman on The Bala Lake Railway returns to The Vic by popular demand with a further offering "New research on the slate railways of North Wales 1796-1848"

Wednesday 5 October   RCTS Liverpool Stephen Gay - Railways in a Cornish Landscape. Stephen is from Sheffield and a celebrated photographer. He returns to the Branch to give one of his presentations based on his walking tours covering the past and present railway scene.
Friday 7 October Clwyd Railway Circle Ron’s Wanderings for Main Line Steam. A collection of film clips covering main line steam and preserved lines by Ron Watson-Jones

Thursday 13 October Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society 6 G - Fifty years by the Committee

Monday 17 October RCTS Chester John Sloane:  Sheds Part 2. John, from Parbold, is a member of the Lancs & North West Branch and is also the LCGB North West Branch Chairman. His nostalgic shed shots are accompanied by an insight into how each shed operated.

Friday 28 October Great Western Society North West Branch. Railway Personnel. Paul Shackcloth.

November 2016

Tuesday 1 November  North Wales Railway Circle North Wales Steam Days and Early Diesels.      
Prolific local railway photographer Barry Wynne presents a selection of photographs from his vast archive that he took in steam days in North Wales and also covers first generation diesels

Friday 4 November Clwyd Railway Circle Development of German Electric Locomotives. An illustrated description of the principal designs from the Siemens Demonstrator of 1879 to the latest members of the Eurosprinter & TRAXX families, covering their inception, technical features and service history by Ian Mainprize

Thursday 10 November Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM and Members Miscellany       

Monday 21 November RCTS Chester Revd. Canon Brian Arman: Railway Roundabout. Brian, the Society’s President, is from Bristol and another man of the cloth who is a railway enthusiast. His presentation starts and finishes in Gloucester via Bristol, Bournemouth, London and Birmingham.

Friday 25 November Great Western Society North West Branch. GW Steam in S. Wales and S West. Alf Storey

December 2016

Friday 2 December Clwyd Railway Circle Members' Night & Christmas Celebration

Tuesday 6 December  North Wales Railway Circle Christmas Bash. A free buffet is provided this evening and members are invited to bring their own slides/digital pictures and videos to entertain

Thursday 8 December Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society Christmas Social / An evening with Norman Kneale        

Wednesday 7 December RCTS Liverpool Paul Wright: The 8D Association. Paul is Editor of the Association’s Journal.

Monday 19 December RCTS Chester John Hobbs:  North Wales in Black & White.John lives in Warrington and is well known for his presentations covering the final years of steam in North Wales and around the north west. He is a member of the Branch and is actively involved in railway preservation.

January 2017

Tuesday 3 January  North Wales Railway Circle Secretary’s Evening. North Wales Railway Circle Secretary, Peter Hanahoe, presents a selection of his vast catalogue of photographs he has taken on the international railway scene.

Friday 6 January Clwyd Railway Circle The Ffestiniog Railway. A short history featuring FR steam locomotives and a trip up the line using photographs from the 60's onwards. By Geoff Coward

Thursday 12 January Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society My favourite memories of preserved steam on the Coast by Ron Watson Jones

Monday 16 January RCTS Chester AGM - Followed by John Feild with a slide presentation Non-members are welcome after 20.15 hours for John’s presentation which will
cover our Branch’s 2016 outdoor visits and other topical items. He is a long standing RCTS member and now President of the Branch.
Friday 27 January Great Western Society North West Branch. North of Preston Barrie Rushton

February 2017

Wednesday 1 February  RCTS Liverpool  Mark Youdan. North West Railway Photography, 1995-2015. Mark, a Branch member, is a Driver/Trainer for Arriva Rail North and held the same position with Northern Trains.

Friday 3 February Clwyd Railway Circle BR Steam - The Splendid Years (1959-65 in B&W) Steam around the regions in the early 60’s by John Sloane.

Tuesday 7 February     North Wales Railway Circle Birkenhead to The Coast. North Wales Railway Circle life member Ken Owen entertains us with a selection of pictures starting in Birkenhead, visiting his home town of Wrexham and travelling via his present home Redhill to Eastbourne and Margate on the South Coast.

Thursday 9 February Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society Snowdon Mountain Railway, by Mike Robertshaw

Monday 20 February RCTS Chester Fred Kirk: Leicester Area Steam Days. Fred, from Leicester, spent a lot of his time bicycling around with his camera at the ready to various locations on all the main lines within reasonable reach of his home.

Friday 24 February Great Western Society North West Branch. Group AGM

March 2017

Friday 3 March  Clwyd Railway Circle Amlwch Branch Line and Annual General Meeting Chairman of the Lein Amlwch - Central Anglesey Railway Company, Walter Glyn Davies  will give a presentation on the progress of the lines revival. The talk will be followed by the Annual General Meeting.

Tuesday 7 March   North Wales Railway Circle The Abergele Accident. Tony Griffiths gives a talk on the accident that occurred on 20th August 1868 at Abergele involving the Irish Mail and a part of a goods train that was being shunted.

Thursday 9 March  Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society    ... And we run trains too! Clare Britton (Ffestiniog Railway)

Monday 20 March  RCTS Chester    Paul Chancellor. A Colour-Rail Presentation. Paul, from Bromsgrove, is owner of Colour-Rail and will highlight the work of many fine railway photographers covering the better part of 70 years. He is also the RO Editor for the ‘Preservation and Other Railways’ section.

Friday 31 March Great Western Society North West Branch. (To be announced)

April 2017

Tuesday 4 April    North Wales Railway Circle Bangor to Hong Kong by Rail. Adam Fetherstonhaugh gives an account of his epic journey by rail from Bangor to Hong Kong via Beijing and then on to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Wednesday 5 April RCTS Liverpool David Rapson. Railways - The Digital Effect David, who lives in Connah's Quay, has worked on the railways for many years spending a lot of his life in Control positions and now works for West Coast Railway Company. He is also a Branch member and for those who read Rail Express will be aware of his contributions.

Friday 7 April Clwyd Railway Circle Railways of North Cheshire in Early BR Days Being a Manchester lad, Russell Hatt was able to capture the busy scenes around his home area.

Thursday 13 April Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society An evening with Barry & Steve  - BarryWynne and Steve Morris

Monday 24 April   RCTS Chester   George Jones : Onwards to Corwen.George lives in Wrexham and for many years has been an important publicist for the Llangollen Railway and certain of its locomotives. He will cover the railway’s reinvigoration of the line to Corwen and look at its future prospects.       

Friday 28 April Great Western Society North West Branch. (To be announced)

May 2017

Tuesday 2 May   North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition.  The Annual General Meeting of The North Wales Railway Circle will be followed by the annual photographic competition.  Members are invited to submit their work in three categories, prints, slides and video.  Video to be kept reasonably short, approx. 5 mins.  In line with Circle rules all work should have been taken in the last 12 months.

Thursday 11 May   Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society   A tribute to the late David Jones, by John Myers 

On 17 September 158 828 passes through Abergele & Pensarn on the Down Fast Line with the 09:10  Birmingham International to Holyhead. Picture by Roly High.

Don't miss our extra update from 16 September

Norwich to Blaenau

On 17 September, excursion train 1Z84 from Norwich to Blaenau Ffestiniog, with West Coast Railways 57 316 leading, passes Abergele (Roly High).

47 826 was on the rear (Roly High)

57 316 at Llandudno Junction on the return from Blaenau Ffestiniog (Peter Lloyd).

Peter Basterfield's view

150 264 seen through the bridge at Llanfair PG on 7 September. It had Chester on the front, working 1G40 11:27 Holyhead - Birmingham which is pathed as a 158 - possibly a replacement for a faulty unit.

On Wednesday 7 September, and 6D41 flask train heads back onto the double track on the approach to Llanfair PG.

Madryn foot crossing at Llanfairfechan for the returning 6K41.

8 September, and 68 005 on Test Train at Bangor.

I was waiting for red 67 015 at Bangor station on 8 September and it stopped exactly right for an 'arty'  photo as I sat on the steps.

The real 80043 - by John Hobbs

Following on from the recent appearance of a loco posing as 80043, I though readers might like to see the real thing in action on the Somerset and Dorset. Above, BR standard Class 4 2-6-4T 80043 stands at Templecombe with the 07.35 to Bournemouth West, 80037 is at the far end will take the train to Templecombe No 2 Junction; before uncoupling before 80043 heads south to Bournemouth West on 29 July 1965.

80043 stands at Blandford Forum with the 07.35 Templecombe to Bournemouth West on the same day.

I started work in September 1964,  at the De Havilland's Factory in Broughton.  My first holiday with some money of my own, in 1965 and a railway theme, was to journey to the Isle of Wight via the Somerset & Dorset Railway. I wrote to the stationmaster at Templecombe and requested information on local accommodation; he kindly provided & organized for me B&B at a farm to the rear of the engine shed and I duly purchased a ticket from Prestatyn to Evercreech Junction. I went to Highbridge on the way to Templecombe and the next day set out for Bournemouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight via Evercreech Junction, Highbridge and Templecombe.  However; I did ride all of the S&D; and here is the evidence to prove it!
I rode to this location via Birmingham & Bristol not realising that I could have travelled to Bristol all the way with steam via Crewe the Pines Express to Birmingham (Snow Hill) and the GWR steam via Stratford to Bristol.

Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T 41291  rests at Evercreech Junction with the 19.10 from Highbridge on 28  July 1965. The train comprised two vehicles:  a Southern Railway design PMV (Parcels and Merchandise Van' for the fruit traffic and a passenger brake coach of GWR ancestry. 41291 had only arrived at Templecombe depot from Exmouth Junction an few weeks earlier, and was condemned in spring 1966 when the whole S & D network closed.

Welsh Highland Superpower Weekend

The Welsh Highland Railway's  'Super Power - Great & Small III'  even over the weekend of 9 - 11 September 2016, based at Dinas Station, produced some fine photographic results for our contributors, including guest appearances of small locos from other railways. Below is a selection of those received.

10 September - by Rowan Crawshaw

Velinheli arrives at Caernarfon from Dinas with a shuttle service, top-and-tail with Linda.

Velinheli at Caernarfon being watered between trips.

Linda at Caernarfon.

Lilla at Dinas with quarrymen's coaches.

Lautoka Sugar Mill No. 19, a visitor from the Statfold Barn line, at Dinas.

10 September at Dinas - by Jim Ikin

A warm Saturday at Dinas provided a good value for money (£6) event with plenty of loco movements and superb model railways. Above, Hugh Napier – and volunteers – helping to raise funds - £30 for an hour's driving/shunting experience.

The timetable provided a meeting of ex-South African Railways 1958 Beyer Peacock-built 138 with a freight/passenger formation, Linda and also ex-SAR 1937-built 87.

No.87 leaves Dinas with a passenger train to Porthmadog.

A wander around the workshops (with stewards) provided an interesting look at the frames for the latest observation coach and ongoing work on the Garratts.

Prince giving footplate rides at Dinas.

Sunday 11 September - by Larry Davies

Britomart does some shunting at a somewhat deserted Caernarfon.

Linda, visiting from the Ffestiniog section,  departs Caernarfon with the 12.20 to Dinas.

The Yard at Dinas as one of the Quarry locos gives cab rides.

Garratt 87 leaves Caernarfon with the 14.15 to Porthmadog - now that is superpower!

Britomart with a beautifully finished guard's vehicle at Caernarfon.

Prince and crew rest at Dinas.

11 September - impressions by Greg Mape

Dinas in monochrome ...

... Hugh Napier shunting.

Some classic rubber-tyred vehicles were in attendance, including DCC 125, a Bedford SBG with Duple  Super-Vega C38F body, new in June 1955 to famous local operator O.R Williams, 'Whiteway' of Waunfawr.

[The late Bill Rear, railwayman, railway author and college lecturer, was employed at one time by the company and wrote a small history of the firm: Whiteway of Waunfawr: Rural North Wales Bus Company: Whiteway of Waunfawr: A Rural North Wales Bus Company published by Gwynedd Archives Service in 2001.]

'Steam Finale' - book review by George Jones

This autumn will mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Great Western steam at Croes Newydd shed, Wrexham. A year later will see a similar anniversary at the former Birkenhead shed at Mollington St when standard gauge steam operations bowed out from everyday use in November 1967.

That doyen of rail affairs on the Wirral and throughout North East Wales, Christopher Magner, has worked hard to produce another of his limited edition publications recording the latter day life and times of both sheds which provided so much interest in the region during the mid 1960s. The 76 pages of his closely typed composition brings together his personal records and memories, and those of fellow enthusiasts and former BR staff, to present a detailed review of train workings, locomotive allocations and enthusiast trips starting from 1958 through to 1967, and beyond as industrial steam is included, as well as latter day diesel operations to bring the story to a conclusion in 1990 when dock traffic at Birkenhead finally ceased. The illustrations come from private photographic collections and are unlikely to have been published previously; indeed some are technically less than perfect and would be rejected by any commercial publisher,but find their worth here to show what the rail scene really was like around 50 years ago.

Those who were around then, and need reminding of the era,will find much of interest in this new title.  Steam Finale: The last years of steam workings in the Wirral, Chester and Wrexham areas
is produced as an A4 document with spiral binding, costing £10 including postage. Available from: C J Magner, 21 Dunval Road, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4NA.

Cambrian beach scenes

Two pictures taken by Ian Wright on 12 September from Llwyngwril beach as the 158 forming the Pwllheli portion of the 14:09 from Birmingham International, three-and-a-half hours into its journey, climbs to Friog summit. The houses are in the small settlement of Gwastadgoed.

Heading up the 1 in 50 towards the notorious section where twice in history trains have been derailed by falls from above. Barmouth Bridge can be seen in the distance.

Zooming in on the second picture reveals a cpuple of interesting items. On the left, a speed restriction sign on white on a black background with a red circle, which colours indicate that the speed is in Kilometres per Hour, as standard on this line since the European standard ERTMS signalling has been in use. Above, in the lay-by with its vertiginous path to the beach, two people who are either photographing the train or possibly bird-watching.

Ian comments that Class 158s are all that can be seen today, so we have recovered a June 1985 picture from our old slide box showing another beach view, this one from Harlech beach, showing a Class 108 and one the much-missed 3-car Cross-Country units which were comfortable, but lacking in power-to-weight ratio.

Perhaps now that West Coast Railways have two ERTMS-fitted Class 37s available we will see more loco-hauled specials to break the routine.

Steam reprise - pictures by Ian Pilkington

A glance back at steam events reported in recent issues. Above, the North Wales Coast Express of 4 September, with 46115 Scots Guardsman passing Valley on the return journey, with, as Ian writes, 'Messrs Kelly and Chippendale providing plenty of clag.'

The magnificent sight of 6201 Princess Elizabeth  passing Stokesay on 10 September with the London -  Shrewsbury 'Cathedrals Express'.

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