Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

17 October 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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue.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.

October 2016

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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 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

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.

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.  Birkenhead Joint Railway.  Paul Wright.

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.

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. The L&Y in BR days.  Noel Coates.

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.

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 

Railhead Treatment Train in the sunshine at Old Colwyn, 15 October Picture by Greg Mape.

56 on the RHTT

The reason for the recent route-learning runs by a Colas Rail Class 56 loco became clear this Autumn's Rail Head Treatment Train season commenced, and in place of last years DRS traction the train was top and tailed by brightly-coloured Colas 56s, 56 087 and 56 113. Roly High was at Abergele on 15 October to capture the first train.

The standard consist: two flat wagons carrying tanks of water and the control module (Roly High). The train is based this year at Coleham, the depot for the Class 97/3 ERTMS locos, one of which works the first part of the diagram from there to Machynlleth and back (see 'Cambrian News' below), then with the two 56s to Wrexham, Bidston, then back to Shrewsbury and them Crewe, Chester, Holyhead and back 'home' via Crewe.

56 087 storms past Llanfair PG signalbox on its way to Holyhead, not spraying at this point and running at line speed. The signal box dates from around 1870 and was long since downgraded to a level crossing keeper's hut. The top of the Marquess of Anglesey's column can be seen amongst the trees. This is a Greek doric column dedicated to Henry William Paget, the first Marquess of Anglesey, to commemorate his valour particularly at the Battle of Waterloo. The column is a privately owned Grade II* listed building but currently closed to the public on safety grounds (Alan Crawshaw).

The return run departing from Holyhead (M.Lloyd Davies).

Late running required a stop at Valley on the return working which enabled this shot to be taken by M.Lloyd Davies.

56 113 leads the RHTT through Ty Croes station on Anglesey on its return from Holyhead. Note the two redundant windmills visible between the locomotive and the signal post (Alan Crawshaw).

Bagillt (Russell Withington).

Chester (Picture by 'mike61958').

Passing Hargrave between Chester and Crewe. The train ran late due to various operating issues, but was something different to photograph (Andrew Vinten).

The return train on 17 October at Llandudno Junction (Peter Lloyd) ...

... and Bagillt (Russell Withington). The locos are starting to show signs of the coating of cludge that's applied to the rear loco as the high-pressure water jets get to work on the track...

... better seen in this action shot at Beeches Farm by Bob Greenhalgh

Note to contributors: The un-changing nature (except its dirtiness) of the RHTT makes it un-necessary to have a long photo feature every week, but 'creative', particularly scenic, or newsworthy ones will be included in a small selection. - Charlie

Cambrian news

97 302 sits at Machynlleth having arrived with the 21:20 3S71 Rail Head Treatment Train from Shrewsbury Coleham on its first night of operation during the 2016 season 14-15 October. The Machynlleth leg of the RHTT is the first in its long circuit covering North Wales and the Marches. Picture by Richard W. Jones, who writes: 'It's unusual for the train to enter the platform at Machynlleth, as the traincrew usually swap locos (when running in Top-n-Tail mode) well out of public view by the tank sidings. Because 97 302 worked the RHTT solo, it was necessary to enter the platform to run round. Note the new footbridge; though it's been completed for while, the lifts remain out of service. The Up platform it serves (platform 1) only sees seven trains a day, whereas the Down platform (platform 2) sees 43 trains a day.'

Ian Wright took another walk on the sands on 12 October to take a look at the temporary repair to Barmouth bridge following the recent fire. There looks to be an extra (metal) pile with jack on top and some scaffolding as bracing: not elegant, but presumably effective.

The 17:00 from Barmouth makes its way across the bridge on 12 October (Ian Wright).

Two views by Ian Wright taken at low ride on 15 October. The top of pier 80 (above) ...

... and the bottom, showing the casings applied to the piers after the discovery in 1980 of holes said to have been bored by Teredo navalis, the naval shipworm which resulted in an earlier ban on locomotive haulage.

North Wales Railway Circle

Peter Hanahoe writes to remind us of the next North Wales Railway Circle presentation. It will be entitled  "North Wales Steam and Early Diesels", a presentation by Barry Wynne (and his 'beautiful assistant', Steve Morris).  Pictures are from Barry's extensive and little-seen archive which has been featured recently in the Railway press. The even is on 1 November starting at 19:45 at the Victoria Hotel in Menai Bridge and there is a £2 admission fee payable at the door which includes entry to a free raffle.  Prizes aplenty!

The Alan Bullimore collection digitised

The name of Alan Bullimore will be familiar to many readers; he worked for British Rail, latterly as a senior operations manager, and since his retirement has been active on the signalling side of the Llangollen Railway. Our archive picture from 2008 shows him with the prestigious National Railway Heritage Award presented to the Llangollen volunteers for their work at Carrog station.

Alan took many photographs during his career, and work is now taking place, with the help of a fellow Llangollen volunteer, to digitise his collection and mount the images on the Flickr platform:  follow this link to reach the start page. Coverage of signalboxes and their equipment, in North Wales and elsewhere, is extensive and well worth a visit if you are interested in signalling matters.

Ffestiniog Railway Victorian weekend

Report by Alan Crawshaw

On 8 October, Rowan and I attended the Ffestiniog Railway Victorian weekend, our Day Rover ticket taking us to Beddgelert behind Palmerston (for a £5 supplement) as well as a run to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back. Not having had a taxing bike ride for a while, I rode over the Llanberis pass and on to Tan-y-Bwlch on Sunday 9 October where the railway's café provided some desperately needed cake ...

... then photographed some activity there, including Earl of Merioneth,  before ...

... moving on and up a track for a "train in landscape" view of David Lloyd George.

I reached Penrhyn in time for the 13:35 service train from Porthmadog. The crossing keeper very kindly suggested I stood in front of the hut for a foreground of flowers ,and both of us were surprised when post-Victorian diesel traction in the shape of Vale of Ffestiniog arrived in place of the rostered Earl of Merioneth.

Soon afterwards, Palmerston brought the demonstration goods train in the opposite direction and I set off for home.

Report by Dave Sallery

A loaded coal train - although not a very long one. On 8 October (above) Taliesin arrives at Minffordd with an empty South African bogie wagon from Porthmadog.  This is then backed into the yard, where coal deliveries arrive by lorry.

Taliesin then reappears a little later pushing two loaded coal wagons ...

... the train departs for Porthmadog a little later.

Palmerston at Minffordd on the demonstration goods train.

A week of flask trains

On Monday 3 October 6D43 Crewe - Valley flask train at a more sensible time, no early rise for Peter Basterfield and in the daylight.Mondays -approaching Glan-y-Mor Elias crossing at Llanfairfechan. Since the last visit a new 'safety' system has been installed -galvanised gates 8 metres back from the track and white  palisade fence to finish the edge back to the old wooden limit. 37 610 T.S (Ted) Cassady and 37 259 with two FNA wagons.

The train returned with three wagons, seen at Beeches Farm by Bob Greenhalgh.

On 5 October, 37 259 and 37 069  with one wagon come off Talybont viaduct on the approach to Llandygai tunnel with the return train (Peter Basterfield).

The same train passing Saltney (Bob Greenhalgh).

7 October's return train with 37 069 and 37 259 at Belmont, having shut off the power for the tunnel. They are passing 'George Crossing Cottage' which is currently for sale ...  the bay window is 6 feet away from the up line. Sale details from W. Owen of Bangor - offers over £299,950.

An hour at Stafford on 22 September - pictures by Martin Evans

66 056 brings the Dowlow Briggs Sidings to Southampton Up Yard stone train, formed of new MMA wagons through Stafford at 15:05. 90 of these wagons have been built in Romania for DB's new contract to deliver stone for construction from Dowlow (at the truncated end of the former Buxton - Ashbourne line) to a range of destinations around England as required.

66 177 brings the 13:17 Manchester Trafford Park to London Gateway intermodal through Stafford at 15:15. Loadings of this train are, it seems, not living up to DB cargo's expectations, although it does now run on most weekdays.

37 259 and 37 612 power a late-running Bridgewater to Crewe flask train through Stafford at 15:25.

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