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03 October 2016
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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
Wednesday 12 October Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Ron Watson Jones - More Steam on the North Wales Coast
Thursday 13 October Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society 6 G - Fifty years by the Committee
Friday 14 October Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture The West Somerset Railway – A Personal View by Walt Denning. One hundred slides and a video
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.
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
Wednesday 9 November Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Mike Walker - TRAWS LINK CYMRU - Restoring the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen Rail Link
Thursday 10 November Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM and Members Miscellany
Friday 11 November Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture Trams in Alicante and tramway developments in Mallorca and Bratislava (Slovakia) (all in 2016) A digital presentation by Martin Arthur
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
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.
Friday 9 December Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture Steam in colour on the Somerset & Dorset Railway and the Great Central main line. A colour slide presentation by Alf Storey
Wednesday 14 December Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Julian Birley - Double Bill - The Bala Lake Railway Extension + The Repatriation of Penrhyn Quarry Loco ‘Winifred’
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.
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
Wednesday 11 January Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Dr. Dafydd Gwyn - The First 80 Steam Locomotives.
Friday 13 January Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture Steam in the North West of England and Scotland in 1965 (Part 2). A digital presentation in black and white by Noel Coates
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
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 traveling via his present home Redhill to Eastbourne and Margate on the South Coast.
Wednesday 8 February Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Gareth Haulfryn Williams - The Vale of Rheidol Railway.
Thursday 9 February Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society Snowdon Mountain Railway, by Mike Robertshaw
Friday 10 February Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture The Splendid Years of BR Steam 1959-1963. A digital presentation by John Sloane
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
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.
Wednesday 8 March Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Speaker to be confirmed
Thursday 9 March Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society ... And we run trains too! Clare Britton (Ffestiniog Railway)
Friday 10 March Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture Eric Lomax, Railwayman of War and Peace. Images of steam in the UK before and after the Second World War with a few taken in India during the war; featured locos are a mixture of industrial and main line, mostly in Scotland A digital presentation of black and white images by Dr Michael Bailey
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)
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.
Friday 7 April (note: first Friday of the month) Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Lecture The Last Years of British Trolleybuses A colour slide presentation by Brian Yates
Wednesday 12 April Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Norman Kneale, Renowned railway photographer.
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)
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.
Wednesday 10 May Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group Group’s AGM + John Ellis Williams - The Continuing Story.
Thursday 11 May Llandudno & Conwy Valley Railway Society A tribute to the late David Jones, by John Myers
Welsh Highland Railway Garratt loco 87 leaves Porthmadog on the 14:05 to Caernarfon and crosses the main road, 29 October. Picture by Larry Davies.
Thanks for the kind comments about our 20th anniversary. This week, a Narrow Gauge catch-up collection. Those Quarry Hunslets certainly get around! Standard-gauge events will appear in (another) special Friday-evening update. - Charlie
Penrhyn Re-directed- report by Stephen Hughes
The Penrhyn Quarry Railway held their most successful weekend event on 17/18 September. In unusually dry and pleasant conditions (the rain arrived early on the Sunday evening) there certainly appeared to be more visitors to the embryonic railway than on previous steam days. This time there were four visiting steam locos, all in steam, with two Penrhyn locos returning to Bethesda for the first time in preservation: Hunslet 'Winifred' and Kerr Stuart 'Stanhope', and one Avonside 'Marchlyn' on her second visit. Above, St Ann's Halt with a train ready to return to Coed y Parc with Winifred, while Marchlyn will lay over in the short siding awaiting the next train.
The fourth was Hudswell Clarke No. 19 from the Statfold Barn Railway (ex Sugar plantations in Fiji).
With the four engines busily pulling trains, shunting, giving footplate rides and generally providing a steamy atmosphere (together with a Garrett Traction Engine) and access to the working shed where there were stalls and a model railway, the future certainly looks promising.
For me, and for a number of others I would imagine the return of 'Stanhope' steaming along the main line was a real memory trip, anyone who saw the famous 'scrap line' at Coed y Parc in the 1950's and 1960's would have seen 'Stanhope' rusting away...as I did, firstly in 1964 and also the following year. 'Stanhope' is the first of the loco's on that scrap line to return to Bethesda, hopefully the others will be able to come home at some point in the future.
In the evening, Martyn Ashworth gave an illustrated talk on another seemingly unlikely event, the repatriation of Quarry Hunslets (and others) from the United States. Unfortunately due to other commitments and late running we sadly missed it but I gather that the setting of the shed provided a fitting backdrop for Martyn, one of the leading lights behind the return of these engines, to tell the tale.
The railway was promoting its plan to continue laying track 'under the bridge' towards the Quarry (and zip wire) as the prospect of rebuilding towards Tregarth and Bangor is severely hampered by the lack of a road bridge across St Ann's Road.In the picture above 'Stanhope' appears to emerge from under the bridge, hopefully a portent of the future as it is from this direction that the railway will extend.
Winifred in the shed at the end of the day on Saturday.
A day at the Penrhyn Quarry Railway - report by David Parry
On Friday 16 September, the day before the public event reported above by Stephen, I joined a 30742 Charters event at the Penrhyn Quarry Railway Our day featured three smartly-liveried Penrhyn survivors. Above, Winifred, a Hunslet 'port class loco, repatriated from the USA and visiting from the Bala Lake Railway, shown here outside Felin Fawr, a former slab mill.
Stanhope, a Kerr Stuart 'Tattoo' class loco, visiting from Apedale, Staffordshire, here receiving care on a newly laid siding outside the works.
Marchlyn, an Avonside Engineering Co product, visiting from Statfold Barn and shown in a familiar task of propelling slate wagons past the former stable block from the Penrhyn’s horse-drawn days.
A 'phoenix from the ashes' shot of all three survivors close to the location of the famous Penrhyn scrap line. Thanks to Martin Creese and all at the Penrhyn for a great day.
Llanberis Lake Shareholder Day - report by Jim Johnson
On 17 September the Llanberis Lake Railway held its first-ever Shareholders' Day, which gave us a chance to meet the Directors in a setting more informal than AGMs etc., have a round trip on the railway by special train (no public services this Saturday), visit the workshops, and partake of a splendid buffet lunch. Around 60 shareholders and partners/companions attended, and it was a very successful occasion, enhanced by excellent weather. Above, our loco for the day, Elidir (originally Enid then Red Damsel) crosses from the locoshed/workshops to the station at Gilfach Ddu.
Our driver for the day was Hefin, an occasional contributor to the North Wales Coast Railway site.
Here he rakes the fire, prior to the trip, at Gilfach Ddu.
Running-round the train at Llanberis terminus.
The train pauses in the sylvan setting of Cei Llydan.
Close-up of worksplate.
From Cei Lydan could be seen a Snowdon Mountain Railway steam-propelled service at Hebron passing-place.
Pleasure craft Seren yr Wyddfa potters by on Llyn Padarn.
After arrival back at Gilfach Ddu. In the foreground is a sectioned boiler of a Quarry Hunslet, most informative to those unfamiliar with how a steam loco works.
Elidir propelling the stock back to the carriage shed.
A trip to Tywyn - with Richard Putley
On 14 September decided I would take a trip to Tywyn and in order to get a good ticket deal I decided to drive to Leominster after having found that an Advanced Purchase Ticket would be £14 cheaper than one from Great Malvern where I was spending my week's holiday. I caught the 08:06 to Shrewsbury from Leominster which was on time. I then caught the 09:30 from Shrewsbury to Tywyn. This too was punctual and I was able to take a picture of 97 304 John Tiley stabled at Coleham depot near Sutton Bridge Junction.
Arrival at Tywyn at 11:27 enabled me to photograph 158 837 (above) on the 11:27 to Machynlleth.
I had plenty of time to walk round to the Talyllyn Railway and catch their 12:15 train to Nant Gwernol. It was hauled by Number 6 Douglas. We passed another train (above) hauled by Number 7 Tom Rolt. I elected to travel as far as Abergynolwyn. This enabled me to photograph Number 4 Edward Thomas which was pulling a Driver Experience Special with the original Talyllyn coaches.
On the return journey I photographed Tom Rolt again and Edward Thomas with diesel loco Number 5 Midlander at Pendre Sidings. Back at Tywyn I photographed the two trains passing on the Cambrian Coast Line, 158 830 was on the 15:24 to Pwllheli and 832 on the 15:24 to Machynlleth and beyond.
Above, the signalman at Tywyn TR collects the Single Line Token as Tom Rolt returns at 16:24. I then had a walk round the town before returning to the main line station. Although the 17:27 to Machynlleth was showing 'on time' I was concerned to see that the 17:27 to Pwllheli was showing as 14 minutes late. Would managed a 10 minute connection at Machynlleth? The Pwllheli train arrived 12 minutes late and we set off. The guard told us all to change at Dovey Junction.
Myself and everyone else bound for stations beyond Machynlleth alighted at Dovey Junction. But there was no sign of a train in the Aberystwyth Line Platform. The monitors were not working. I looked at Real Time Trains. It seemed to think the 18:05 had gone. The train from Pwllheli had left as soon as we'd all got off. Would we have to wait an hour for the next Up Train at Dovey Junction?
Shortly afterwards I saw the headlights of an approaching train. Evidently the 18:05 was also delayed but we didn't mind. I had a 30 minute connection at Shrewsbury so breather a sigh of relief. The run to Shrewsbury was uneventful. The 19:56 to Carmarthen was also delayed by 10 minutes so I had plenty of time there. So ended a very enjoyable day out.
Dinorwic in Cornwall - report by Peter Dickinson
Last week I visited the Launceston Steam Railway, with Lillian (above) built in 1883 by the Hunslet Engine Company (works number 317) for the Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales ...
... and Dorothea in steam. She is an 0-4-0ST Quarry Hunslet built by the Hunslet Engine Company as No. 763 in 1901. Her working life was spent at the Dorothea Slate Quarry in North Wales, where she worked until around 1942.
At Launceston is one of the three Dinorwic Quarry 'Yellow Trucks', built for a visit by Queen Victoria, and subsequently used by later Royals.
The Statfold Barn Railway - report by Vince Chadwick
We enjoyed a damp day at Statfold Barn Railway on 10 September, where there are lots of ex-Welsh quarry engines. It is a delightful two-foot gauge private railway near Tamworth, Staffordshire, located on a working farm and has a run of about three miles, with a tear-drop loop to return and a separate (but connected) garden railway.
It also has a large roundhouse where locomotives are stored, and extensive workshops which support a locomotive restoration business. It is not usually open to the public, but three times a year open days are held for invited guests.
The railway has always intrigued me and when I read of the open days we decided to apply to attend the 10 September event, and almost by return we received our invitations. So did a couple of thousand other enthusiasts, it seems from the numbers attending. As we drove there, and the further south and east we travelled the worse the weather got. It was raining when we arrived and it never really cleared. But it didn't really matter, and the damp atmosphere allowed
plenty of visible 'steam' as the sixteen locomotives in steam worked the trains. Above: Damp, drizzly, misty - Quarry Hunslet Sybil Mary, retired from Penrhyn Quarry in 1955 and returned to steam in 2013.
No.3903 Statfold is a new build undergoing a ten year boiler rebuild. It's possible to see how slim the boilers are on Quarry Hunslets when one sees one with the saddle tank removed. Statfold and open-footplate version of this locomotive Jack Lane were both built at Statfold in 2005.
Ex-Penrhyn Quarry Avonside, Ogwen, exported to Indiana and recently repatriated.
Ex-plantation engines supplement the ex-quarry engines at Statfold. Here's Saccharine, a Fowler built in 1914 for a sugar plantation in South Africa.
Kerr Stuart 'Wren' class 3128 Roger, originally from Avonside smelting works, was working on the garden railway.
The other locomotive working in the garden was this new-build vertical boilered locomotive.
Marchlyn and Sybil Mary rest between turns. Full report with more pictures on Vince's blog.
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