Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

12 December 2016

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Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue. For full information visit our Calendar page.

December 2016

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 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 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.

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 Barry Wynne's Steam Odyssey.

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 

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 of Bellshill. 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 contract 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 people.

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.

Freight scenes

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 Valley-Crewe flasks.

Cambrian Corner

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.

Passenger pictures

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 Morrison).

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 following day.

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 1935 ...

... 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 Junction 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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