Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

24 October 2016

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Forthcoming events

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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
Change of speaker: Sixties Steam on Shed, with Barry Shore. A digital presentation based on Barry's monochrome negatives of the 1960s, obtained during his travels around various sheds and depots all over the Britain, concluding with the final days of steam on British Railways at Lostock Hall and the other last sheds.

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 

67 003 passes Rhosneigr, 19 October. Picture by Alan Crawshaw.

Castle to Chester

On 22 October, as the morning mist begins to fully clear, GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe with the 1Z34 Tyseley Steam Trust to Chester excursion passes Chorlton near Crewe 'under the wires'. Picture by Robert Meredith.

West of Beeston Castle between Crewe and Chester (Ian Pilkington).

Arriving at Chester (Bob Greenhalgh). The parcels van carries a supplementary water supply.

Chester sidings (Phil Clarke).

From the footbridge at Rossett on the return run just before sunset (Steve Bratt).  The newly reinstated Up line still awaits commissioning, perhaps some time in 2017.

Rossett foot crossing. Picture by Mike Campbell, who writes:  'I’m quite pleased with how this turned out, given that I was holding up an over-excited 2 year old grandson in my left arm while being slowly strangulated by my camera strap as I tried to compose, focus and take the picture with the camera in my right hand!'

Climbing Gresford Bank (Anthony Thomas). Oddly, the Rail Head Treatment Train does not cover this section of line.

Wrexham General (Peter Hanson)

Ruabon (Martin Evans).


Martin Evans photographed Devon & Cornwall Railways loco 31 452 with a rake of three coaches at Crewe on 18 October. Does anyone know what movement this was?

66 708 Jayne leads the Liverpool - Drax biomass train through Baguley on 20 October (Greg Mape). There has recently been a change in the working of these trains: the load train still travels via Altrincham, Stockport and Thorpes Bridge Junction to avoid the climb westbound out of Manchester Victoria, but the empties now travel a more direct route through Manchester Victoria.

Altrincham on 11 October, with 66 129 on the Knowsley to Wilton refuse containers (Greg Mape).

Travelling to a Sheffield model railway exhibition on 8 August, we chanced upon Porterbrook's 'Evolution Pacer' prototype refurbishment of a Class 144, 144 012, which the company hopes will enable them to have a longer life. It is in use with Northern at present, but there is little chance that Northern will order any as their Franchise agreement virtually forbids it. Will we see them in Wales, we wonder. Picture at Darnall station by Charlie Hulme.

A glimpse of the interior.

Fifty Years of 6G shed - event report by Larry Davies

Both the commemorative events organised to mark 50 years after the closure of Llandudno Junction loco shed went off very well with a good number of the former loco shed staff and enginemen of the old shed meeting for coffee at the Queens Hotel, Llandudno last Tuesday morning. All those present were presented with a copy of the commemorative limited edition postcard (above) which I produced featuring photographs by Norman Kneale and myself. 

Similarly all members and guests at Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society commemoration night were also given a copy for posterity. The old shed and its men and locos were indeed fondly remembered on both occasions ...

... and so the world moves on, and I enclose a shot of today's modern power in 6G land as 68 003 Astute and not-so-young 37 602 head the flasks through at speed on Friday 14 October. As D6782. 37 602 was already almost four years old, and working on the Eastern Region when 6G shed closed.

RHTT pictorial

With his modeller's eye, Tim Rogers photographed the wagons of the Rail Head Treatment Train passing Bagillt on 16 October. Above, 642027.

642045. The train consists of a series of modules mounted as required on what are basically standard container-carrying wagons. 50 examples, 642001 to 642050, were built in 2005. Unlike the many other FEAs in use on freight traffic, they are fitted with multiple-working cables to allow to--and-tail loco working, and spraying equipment on the underframe.

642016. Note the flexible water pipe linking the tanks.  The wagons have no other use: they are stored for the rest of the year.

Slightly scruffy 56 113 waiting in platform 4 at Llandudno Junction for a  Holyhead service to pass. 18 October (Peter Lloyd).

Rhosneigr, 19 October (Alan Crawshaw)

21 October's Rail Head Treatment Train leans to the curve at Colwyn Bay (Jack Bowley). The 'Croeso' sign looks in good condition.

The RHTT and some of the organisms that require its attention, near Fflint on 21 October (Chris Taylor).

Late in the evening of 21 October, while starting its next run at 21:15, the train is reported to have derailed on a set of points at Coleham depot. The overnight part of the diagram was omitted while the problem was dealt with, finally departing soon after 08:00 and running to Holyhead and back.

A Cambrian camping coach - notes by Stephen Hughes

I've recently found this attached photograph. Something stirred a memory, I seem to recall that it might have been taken by a school friend of my father's who lived in Criccieth, which makes me think that it was taken on the Cambrian Coast in the early 1930's. There are no notes attached to it, but a quick look through a couple of books I have on the Cambrian make me think that it was taken at Talsarnau. A picture in Bill Rear's 'The Cambrian Coast Railway' taken in 1955 shows a later Camping Coach in a very similar position, and another shows an identical six wheel clerestory coach at Barmouth Junction (Morfa Mawddach). It is noted that the six wheelers were replaced by larger coaches at some point, but no date is given. Any information on the provenance of this coach would be of interest.

A Flask week

37 259 leading 37 606 on the Flask train at Talybont, Monday 17 October (Peter Basterfield).

The westbound flask train for Valley, train 6D43, passing Llandudno Junction at 08:57 on 19 October with 37606 leading 37 259.

Return flasks on 19 October at Saltney (Tim Rogers).

Arriving at Valley on 21 October (Alan Crawshaw).

Slightly faded sign at Valley station (Alan Crawshaw)

The eastbound flask train with 37 603 and 37 605 approaching Colwyn Bay on 21 October, on the section that was re-located in the 1980s to make room for the A55 road (Jack Bowley).

Passenger mix

175 105 passes Bagillt on 17 October, working 1H88 12:53 Llandudno Junction to Manchester Airport (Tim Rogers).

67 003 near Rhosneigr on 1D34 Manchester - Holyhead, 21 October (Peter Basterfield).

175 103 on the 12:32 Holyhead to Maesteg approaching  Fflint on 21 October (Chris Taylor).

221 113 calling at Fflint whilst working the 12:52 Holyhead to London Euston on 21 October (Chris Taylor).

East Lancs Scotsman - report by Stephen Hughes

I headed to the East Lancs Railway on Thursday 13 October, as extra trains were running on a weekday because of the second visit of Flying Scotsman, which was scheduled to work four non-stop trains on the Bury-Rawtenstall section. Three were completely sold out with a few remaining unsold on the last departure of the day at 17:00. The cost of £25 was roughly double the usual price but didn't seem to deter the adoring public (above). Hopefully 'Flying Scotsman' is proving to be a money spinner!

The other two engines working the service trains were 'West Country' 'City of Wells' and the Aspinall 0-6-0 12322, incongruously carrying a 'Flying Scotsman' headboard. Returning to Llandudno Junction on the evening loco-hauled train, 16:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Llandudno behind 67 003, it was evident that the four coaches were necessary as there were standing passengers at various times between Piccadilly and Chester. Fewer passengers along the coast, but nevertheless a good non-stop run from Chester to Prestatyn, and a slightly early arrival at the Junction. Since I last travelled on this service station dwell times seem to have improved, are passengers now managing to close the door behind them?

On the Brecon Mountain Railway - with Ken Robinson

We visited the Brecon Mountain Railway on 11 October, and had a great day out. We were blessed with good weather.  The loco that day, No.2 (above) was a Baldwin 4-6-2 built in 1930 - it is now back in service after a long rebuild.

Following a trip up the 4½ mile line to Torpantau (which used to be one summit on the old Brecon and Merthyr Railway) the train returned to Pontsticill where passengers were given 35 minutes to look around and visit a café and a small 'Steam Museum'. This contained locos with North Wales connections: Sybil (above left) a Hunslet 0-4-0 built in 1903 and sister to Una which is on the Llanberis Lake Railway Like Una, she was used at Pen-Yr-Orsedd Quarry at Nantlle, and was purchased in 1963 and rebuilt, hauling the first trains on the BMR in 1980. The loco was fully restored in 2012, but only appears these days at special events.

Redstone (above right) is an 0-4-0 vertical boiler loco. Based on other locos at Penmaenmawr Quarries, this loco was built in 1903 by Mr Redstone, a foreman fitter at Penmaenmawr Quarries, for the garden railway of the Darbishire family, owners of the quarry. (An article about it from the Industrial Railway Record can be read online.) The loco then saw work at Trefor Quarry in the 1920s. Purchased and put into store in 1973, its restoration was completed in 2012. There is  another De Winton vertical boilered engine on site, called Pendyffryn)

The views from the train are quite spectacular, especially in fine weather.

Filming at Llangollen - report by Robert Meredith

During the weekend of 8/9 October, a local film company from Cheshire - Ed Stephenson Productions - were film making at the Llangollen Railway.The five-minute film entitled 'Burning Grief', is based on three sisters handling the sad loss of their father in different ways, and carrying out his last wishes of interring his ashes into the firebox of a steam locomotive. The film will be shown on the International Film Festival Circuit, and is due for release in early 2017. Above: the cast and film crew getting in position to film the 15:10 departure for Corwen on 8 October.

The cast and crew were very appreciative of the assistance and co operation they received from all the staff and volunteers at Llangollen Railway over the weekend, in the making of the film. The three stars too the time to pose for us.

On the Cumbrian Coast - report by Charlie Hulme

A few days' stay at Arnside offered the chance to take a look at the Northern Rail Class 37 operations in the area. On 14 October we travelled from Arnside to Ravenglass, leaving Arnside on the 10:04 Preston - Barrow. Normally a change of trains at Barrow with a 7-minute collection is needed from this train to another, but on this day the conductor told us the same train would be going through to Barrow at the scheduled time; just enough time to take a picture of the locomotive, 37 402 Stephen Middlemore in its rather nice large-logo livery....

... complete with 'Westie dog'.  The consist was 5787, 6064, 5810 and driving trailer 9705.

In the carriage sidings at Barrow was sister loco 37 403 Isle of Mull

From Ravenglass we enjoyed a ride in a 'literally' open coach to Dalegarth and back behind diesel loco Lady Wakefield.  Through books are available from Northern Railway stations, and Northern's conductors are very keen to sell them.

Coming off the turntable at Dalegarth. We were very impressed by the running of this line; although 15" gauge, it is no 'toy railway'.

Also in traffic was steam loco River Irt, interesting in that it was rebuilt from one of Sir Arthur Heywood's pioneer 15" gauge locos, dating from 1894.

Arnside with its estuary bridge offers some fine view of the trains, although there is only one out-and-back locomotive working per day on the Preston - Barrow section.

We should have seen a steam-hauled 'Cumbrian Coast Express' on the afternoon of 15 October, and some locals had gathered on Arnside pier to watch, but in true West Coast Railways style this had suffered a change of route at short notice and returned via Shap because loco 45690, which has replaced un-available 46115, could not run this way due to 'gauging issues.'  Is a 'Jubilee' bigger than a 'Scot' ?

The bridge, seen from Arnside Knott at 500 feet. The Class 185 crossing is on a Northern service although the train is a TransPennine one.  This oddity is the result of the recent franchise changes, bringing First Class travel options to the Northern network. The bridge deck was completely renewed in 2011.

Semaphore signalling is a pleasant feature of the Cumbrian system; 185 123 - in the new TransPennine livery - comes off the bridge on 16 October and passes Arnside's Furness Railway signalbox.

On 17 October - the 60th anniversary of the official opening by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 October 1956 of the World's first nuclear power station, Calder Hall - slightly unkempt 37 409 Lord Hinton was in charge of the 10:04 Preston - Barrow train, seen at Arnside passing a Northern 156.

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