12 December 2016
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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived
issue. For full information visit our Calendar page.
Wednesday 14 December Welsh
Highland Railway North Wales Group Julian Birley - Double Bill -
The Bala Lake Railway Extension + The Repatriation of Penrhyn Quarry
Monday 19 December RCTS
John Hobbs: North Wales in Black & White.John lives in
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
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
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
AGM. Followed by John Cashen with a slide presentation
Non-members are welcome after 20.15 hours for John’s presentation which
will cover his reminiscences during the 1960s.
Friday 27 January Great
Branch. North of Preston Barrie Rushton
Wednesday 1 February RCTS
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
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.
Wednesday 8 February Welsh Highland
Railway North Wales Group Gareth Haulfryn Williams - The Vale of
Thursday 9 February Llandudno
& Conwy Valley Railway Society Snowdon Mountain Railway, by
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
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
Branch. Group AGM
Friday 3 March Clwyd
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
of the lines revival. The talk will be followed by the Annual General
Tuesday 7 March North
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
Paul Chancellor. A Colour-Rail Presentation. Paul, from
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
Branch. Birkenhead Joint Railway. Paul Wright.
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
Wednesday 5 April RCTS
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
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
Thursday 13 April Llandudno
& Conwy Valley Railway Society Barry Wynne's Steam Odyssey.
Monday 24 April RCTS
George Jones : Onwards to Corwen.George lives in Wrexham and for
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
Friday 28 April Great
Branch. The L&Y in BR days. Noel Coates.
Tuesday 2 May North
Circle AGM and Annual Photographic
Competition. The Annual General Meeting of The North Wales
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
In line with Circle rules all work should have been taken in the last
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
Llangollen Railway 'Santa Special' at Berwyn, 4 December, second day of
the Santa Season. For full details of the service which runs on 17-18,
and 22-24 December see
the Railway's website. Picture by George Jones.
Coast line changes coming soon
Readers may have noticed that work has begun to create a new loop line
at Mostyn (picture above by Peter Lloyd). This is the start of
a project which will see several infrastructure changes on our line in
the coming months, involving much use of replacement buses at weekends
while the work is carried out.
Of particular note is that the Down Passenger Loop at Abergele &
Pensarn station will be taken out of use with effect from 9 January,
along with the signals controlling entry to and exit from it -
including the white-painted length of drainpipe which, the story goes,
was hastily purchased from a DIY store to link the two side-by-side
Down Home signals which they replaced the former bracket signal to make
it clearer to drivers that they represent a junction signal. Abergele
signalbox will remain in use for the time being, but passengers will to
be able to access westbound trains at Abergele until work is done to
widen the platform to reach the main line.
At Mostyn, also from 9 January, the signalbox will be closes
permanently, all its signals, the crossover, and the connection to the
harbour sidings taken out of use. The much-photographed gantry which
carries signal MN9 will be taken down.
Marches and Moors, 10 December
Above: UK Railtours 'Marches and Moors' charter
from London Euston to Preston (via Bescot, Wrexham, Chester, Manchester
Victoria, Rochdale and Blackburn) on 10 December was photographed at Wrexham
General by Martin Evans.
60 044 Dowlow was in charge (Martin Evans).
Green Lane Crossing , Saltney (Bob Greenhalgh). The
device on the right is part of the 'obstacle detection' equipment being
installed at the crossing.
At Chester (above) the train passed through
through Platform 4 (Roly High). The train was hauled from Bescot Yard
by 60 004
which had taken over there from electric loco 90 018 Pride
The return journey from Preston was on West Coast Main Line, again
behind 90 018, running via Crewe (Up and Down Potteries Loop - 'rare
track' no doubt) and Stoke-on-Trent.
60 044 was named Dowlow in September to mark the
signed between Hope Construction Materials and DB Schenker to deliver
stone from Dowlow Quarry to various locations around England. The
quarry is at the end of a freight-only branch from Buxton, part of the
former line to Ashbourne. climbing to around 1250 feet above sea level,
it is surely the highest railway in England. Picture by Roly High.
A class 60 is an odd choice to carry the name, and all Hope
Construction trains appear to be hauled by Class 66 locos, the Class
60s in the area being reserved for the trains from Tunstead Quarry
owned by rival firm Tarmac.
Heating power was provided by a diesel generator in the support coach,
like the rest of the consist provided by Riviera Trains (Roly High).
Chester RHTTs - pictures by Roly High
On 10 December, MPV unit DR 98951 / 98901 on Railhead Treatment duty,
come off the Wirral Line into Chester's reception sidings. RHTT working
normally ends at the December timetable change, and this
Wigan-based train does appear to have ceased for the year as it had not
run on 12 December
Five minutes before this photo, Chester's Platform 3 was a mass of
Another RHTT arrives,this time from down the coast with the usual Class
56s: this is 56 087.
Getting more grubby each passing day...
... presumably this is 56 078. This train did run again on 12
December, so it may continue for another week.
On 8 December, 60 066 passes Penyffordd with the Dee Marsh
Junction to Margam steel wagons (Bob Greenhalgh) Class 60s are
rare on these trains recently, 66s being more common.
The same train negotiates the connection to the Chester - Shrewsbury
line at Wrexham General (Martin Evans).
37 558 Avro Vulcan XH558 (a.k.a 37 424) and 37
218 wait for the road at Chester at 18:00 on 5 December with the
Ken Robinson writes: On Sundays there are just two trains
on the Cambrian Coast during the 'winter timetable', both of which are
normally formed of two 158 units. Presumably the second unit is taken
to Machynlleth for service/maintenance(?) Above is a photograph of
2G28, the 13:48 Pwllheli - Birmingham International, crossing the new
Bont Briwet on Sunday, 4 December. As a matter of interest, the return
working, again formed of two 158's, is 2J23, the 16:07 Birminghamham
International - Pwllheli.
Ian Wright went for a walk on the sand near Barmouth
Bridge on 4 December to take a look at the completed repair to the pier
damaged in the fire on the night of 3/4 October (see our 7 October issue). It's
good to see that care has been taken, in line with the 'listed
structure' status of the bridge. to replace the damaged timber to the
exact same design, including the concrete 'boot' add in the 1980s to
foil attacks by marine boring worms. In time the wood will weather to
match the rest.
A stock of the timber, imported from eastern Europe we understand,
awaits further use in a compound at Morfa Mawddach. Just one shipping
container remains at the former work base.
57 305 Northern Princess brings the Northern Belle
past Green Lane Crossing, Saltney on 9 December (Bob Greenhalgh). The
train is a luxury day excursion from Coventry via Shrewsbury and
Chester to Coventry.
Cumbrian Coast 37/4: 37 401 Mary Queen of Scots
prepares to depart from Grange-over-Sands with the 10:04 service from
Preston to Barrow in Furness.
In glorious windless conditions, 67 010 passes Penmaenmawr with
the 09:59 Manchester - Holyhead on 29 November (Susan Hart).
Despite the setting of its its indication, 150 255 is leaving
Wrexham General's Platform 4 (Formerly Wrexham Exchange) for Bidston on
5 December (Martin Evans).
Driving Van Trailer 82307 heads the 1V90 11:00 Holyhead - Cardiff
'rugby extra' formed of the 'premier express' rake including the
restaurant/first vehicle, with 67 022 providing the power,
passing Abergele on 26 November ...
... and heads east towards the familiar skyline of Rhyl (Chris
By way of a contrast, 150 260 takes the doomed platform loop
at Abergele on the same day with the 10:36 Manchester Airport - Bangor
on 26 November. The 10:44 Llandudno - Manchester Airport and 13:10
Milford Haven Manchester Piccadilly were also formed of a 150/2 instead
of the booked 175 (Chris Morrison).
Bala Santa success
The Bala Lake Railway's 'Santa weekend' on 10-11 December was judged a
great success, with all trains fully-booked: 13 trains over the weekend
giving a total of over 800 passengers and with this the railway passed
26,000 passengers for 2016. As a reminder of the efforts put in by
volunteers to run these events, Bob Greenhalgh's picture above
shows volunteer Rod braving the bad weather to put a warming fire in Alice
on Friday 9 December so she would be ready for the Santa trains the
Baguley then and now - by Jim Ikin
I sometimes see pictures of Baguley (CLC) station - between Stockport
and Altrincham - and the surrounding area on the Notice Board so I
thought a bit of 'then and now' may be of interest. My
connection with Baguley, when it was still a village station (it closed
in 1964 although the signal box lasted until 1972) is from the mid
1950s. My mother took me to 'watch the trains’ in my pram and I suspect
that this was the beginning of my life-long interest in railways and
particularly steam. The view above of the station front in the 1930s is
from a postcard in my collection.
The connection to Llandudno and North Wales comes from day trips which
originated there. My father worked for the Linotype works in Broadheath
and every year the company hired a whole train for a day trip – I can
only ever remember going to Llandudno but I suppose they must have gone
to other locations. An eight or ten coach train would have to draw
forward a couple of times to allow boarding on the island platform. My
love of North Wales also comes from my parents who honeymooned and
holidayed there – as did my wife’s parents - and my retirement several
years ago now allows me to spend most weekends at least in the area.
Baguley served an area famous for its market gardening -Timperley
rhubarb for instance – and served Timperley village, Baguley and later
with Northenden the great expanse of Wythenshawe. Opening in 1866
sidings were available for loading and unloading coal and market
produce and a loading dock was also in use in the 50's and early 60's.
Also under Baguley's control was a siding into Metrovicks (built in
1957) which allowed shipment of transformers built there.
These four views are from from Brooks Drive looking toward Stockport in
... 1980 ...
... 1990 ...
... and November 2016 respectively. Trees totally obscure the
view of more recent housing.
A picture taken in 1965 shows Shady Lane bridge and the signalbox, with
'Black 5' 45103 passing.
Three views taken from the Shady Lane bridge looking towards Skelton
in 1963 after the goods yard had been disconnected ...
... in 1966 with platform furniture and the footbridge disappeared ...
... and 2016. The large house seen in the 1990 picture has been
replaced by multiple housing units.
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