19 December 2016
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived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.
Saturday 4 January. N Gauge Society North Wales Group Model
Railway exhibition. St Michaels Church Hall, Rosemary Lane , Conwy LL22
8HF. Opening Times 10:00am - 4:00 pm.
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
Best wishes for the Christmas season to all readers, contributors
and railway staff.
Manchester Metrolink tram crossing the Manchester Ship Canal at Pomona
on misty 19 December. Picture by Greg Mape.
No Festive Manchester Locos
Above, 67 010 passes West End (Colwyn Bay) working 1H34
Manchester - Holyhead on Wednesday 14 December. Picture by Jack
This sight will not be possible in the near future: there are many
engineering works taking place over the Christmas period, and one that
has already begun is the 'blockade' between Deansgate and Salford
Crescent stations related to the construction of the new 'Ordsall
Chord' line, which means that trains from to and from Manchester
Piccadilly cannot serve the the Bolton line or the old Liverpool and
Manchester route to Eccles and beyond. Services from North Wales will
be turning back at Warrington Bank Quay, running empty the short
distance to the the station to Dallam to reverse and return west, there
is with a bus link to Manchester. Those workings normally covered by
the DfT loco-hauled set are being worked by Class 158 units so the
driver can change ends through the carriages without climbing down from
the train. (At Manchester the Longsight 'excursion platform' is
The bus from Warrington to Manchester Piccadilly serves Earlestown and
Newton-le-Willows and is scheduled 75 minutes from Warrington to
Manchester. North Wales line passengers for Manchester and Manchester
Airport can, take a train to Crewe and change there, or for Manchester
Piccadilly use the Mid-Cheshire line from Chester.
Santa and Ale at Llangollen
Some seasonal photographs taken by Peter Dickinson at Llangollen on
Sunday 11 December. Above, 13265 is shunting the 'Real Ale Train stock
out of platform 1...
... while 7822 Foxcote Manor heated the Set 2
stock for the 11.45am and 2.30pm 'Santa' departures.
13265 is one of the 996 English Electric-designed 350 HP shunters
procured by British Railways (BR) in the 1950s and early 60s, later
referred to as Class 08. This one, which spend its BR life in South
Wales, was built by British Railways' own works at Derby in 1956,
according to the builders' plate on the cab side. When formed in 1948,
BR decided that diesel locos, new or from any of the
pre-nationalisation railways, should be painted black, and be numbered
in the 10000-19999 series. The 13000 series was allocated to BR-built
shunters like this one. In 1957 when building of main line diesels
began in earnest, it was decided that BR standard diesels should be
re-numbered in a 4-digit series prefixed by a 'D' and that they should
be green, so this 1956 example typifies the early condition of these
locos. The last one to receive black from new, was, according to fleet
list prepared by railway-centre.com, 13336.
It would have become D3265 after 1957. Later, when the current
numbering scheme appeared, it was decided to reorganise the numbering
of the class by type of diesel engine fitted, and this one ended its BR
service as 08 195, and was withdrawn 1983.
Winter Warmer at Llangollen
Details of the two-day event at the Llangollen Railway on Friday 30
& Saturday 31 December are now
available. It is planned to put out three steam locos (7822, 5199
& 80072) with diesel D5310 and a DMU set to provide a 45-minute
interval service between Llangollen and Carrog in the winter scenery.
Just the job for those fed up with turkey and mince pie.
RHTT Curtain Call
The final act of the 2016 Rail Head Treatment Train brought a curtain
call for all three of this season's players, seen above on their way to
Holyhead with 56 105 and 56 078 leading (Picture by Alan
Crawshaw). The audience on platform 1 are waiting for the 11:07 to
Llanelli, though we'd be surprised if any of them were going all the
On the rear, 56 087 (Alan Crawshaw).
For the return working, 56 105 ran round at Holyhead, and was leading
again, coupled to 56 087, with 56 078 on the tail (Jim Johnson).
Presumably, 56 105 was being tested after repairs.
56 078 catching the low winter sunshine, as 158 822 emerges
from Bangor Tunnel with train 1D12 09:10 Birmingham International -
Holyhead (Jim Johnson).
It was a murky and misty afternoon as the train passed Beeches Farm (Bob
More about Mostyn
Dave Sallery writes: The work in progress at Mostyn is to
create a new run-round loop to access the docks. This will be
connected to a bi-directional loop on the Up side, east of the
signalbox. When the box is removed the track will be realigned
for faster running. When this is done (and signalled - which may
take some time) Holywell Junction signabox and loops will be
Some unplanned disruption to services through Mostyn. The following
report is by Stuart Samuel:
I intended to travel on 14 December, with an advance ticket from
Rhyl to Manchester Piccadilly on the 1412 service, and was
looking-forward to sampling the loco-hauled stock. I arrived at the
station in good time at 13:45, to find the 12:40 [1G40] to
Birmingham International still in platform 1, as the Up line had been
closed due to 'problems at Mostyn'. That eventually left 67
minutes late at 13:47. Next in was the 13:12 [1H88] to Manchester
Airport, and, as it was then 13:55, and I wasn't sure where my
intended 14:12 was, I asked the conductor if I could use my Advance
ticket on his train, and he readily allowed me on.
We travelled slowly towards Mostyn. I overheard staff on the
train claiming that when excavating the ground for the ballast for the
new loop, they had dug too closely to the Up main, causing the line to
fracture, and that there was a 5 mph emergency restriction placed at
the site. We stopped just before Mostyn, and then proceeded very slowly
indeed over the affected stretch, and as I was sitting over one of the
bogies, did notice a slight bump.
We eventually arrived at Piccadilly at 15:49, almost 1 hour late, where
we were terminated in platform 13, to form the 15:52 return service. So
I arrived into Manchester at the same time as I expected, but without
my ride on the loco-hauled service.
Incidentally, on later checking Real Time Trains,
I discovered my intended service had arrived at 16:25, 34 minutes late,
which would have been too late for me. So I was fortunate, unlike those
on the 12:52 Virgin train from Holyhead to Euston, which was terminated
at Milton Keynes, to form its return working at 17:41, which meant the
17:10 from Euston was cancelled. I pity those intending to use that
service, as in my experience, it has usually been packed.
Colas Rail Tamper DR 73935 prepares to depart from Rhyl
Engineer's Sidings for Shrewsbury on 19 December (Roly High).
Crewe 'Thunderbird' loco 57 307 Lady Penelope waits her
next duty on 15 December at 12:45 (Martin Evans). '20 years of
DRS' vinyls appeared last year in place the 'Cable thieves' message
formerly carried. Originally owned by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd.,
ownership of DRS passed in April to the Nuclear Decommissioning
Authority, which itself is stare-owned: DRS is the only train operator
owned by the UK government, although there are several owned by foreign
governments, including Arriva Trains Wales.
Inspired by our recent feature on Arriva's 47-hauled trains, Ken
Robinson offers this view of 'Retro' liveried 47 853 (D1733) Rail
Express at the head of 1H52, the 13:35 Holyhead-Manchester
Piccadilly on 7 February 2005, seen between Bangor and Llandegai
tunnels. The loco was owned by Riviera Trains at the time; it
later passed to DRS, and still exists, but in storage.
Bangor on 2 December: 37 059 and 37 610 on the Valley -
Crewe flask train (Alan Crawshaw). 37 610 is one of the four
ex-Eurostar locos recently advertised for sale by DRS, along with 37
601, 37 607 and 37 612, as well as 'heavyweight' 37s 37 667 and 37
688. Emailed bids are acceptable by 13th January 2017, 12:00,
according to the Invitation
'Black 5s' 44871 and 45407 passing through Hartford on 16 December
making their way back to Fort William in readiness for The Jacobite
Santa Specials. Picture by Phil Clarke.
That picture the watcher on Deansgate platform always hopes for but
seldom achieves: 66 030 brings the Trafford Park - London
Gateway intermodal across Castlefield Junction as an inbound Metrolink
tram passes on 15 December (Charlie Hulme).
Llandudno Adopters' events - report by Larry Davies
I'm pleased to say that the work of the Llandudno Station Adoption
Group saw the group secure
second place in the 'Keep Wales
Tidy' National competition and I enclose a shot of three of our
members receiving the award in Cardiff Bay by the Welsh Rugby legend
On 13 December the Group welcomed their counterpart station adopters
from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llandudno station where the youngsters from
Maenofferen School having visited the town and Library to see all
things Christmas, performed a carol/song concert to entertain
passengers and onlookers before they headed home on the afternoon
train. The event was attended by both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor
Conwy Model Railway exhibition 2 January 2017
The N Gauge Society North Wales Group are holding an exhibition on 2
January at St Michaels Church Hall, Rosemary Lane , Conwy LL22 8HF.
Opening Times 10:00am - 4:00 pm Admission :- Adults
:- £2.50 Under 16s & OAPS £2.50, Under 5 years old
accompanied with an Adult, Free. All proceeds to be
donated to a local charity.
Group Chairman Gareth Minords writes: 'The group meets
every first and third Monday at St Michaels Hall, Rosemary lane, Conwy,
approx. 19:00 start. All are welcome to our small but highly dedicated
band ... Oh, and a sense of humour is a must. For further
details contact the Secretary, Steve Monaghan at
Tram and Train assortment - pictures by Greg Mape
Among the many and various disruptions faced by Manchester Metrolink
are scenes like the above on 2 December at Baguley, with tram 3076
and an unsuitably-parked Nissan Micra.
3054 with a sister unit looking festive while on a Bury direct working
on 7 November. The full fleet of 120 trams is now in stock, but 3001 -
3060 are the only ones allowed on the Altrincham - Bury axis as they
are the only ones fitted with both old and new signalling systems, the
old system still being in use at both extremes of the route. In other
news, the 'Second City Crossing' line between Exchange Square and St
Peters Square is now finished and live, with overnight test runs in
progress ready for opening in January.
Over-window adverts like this show little respect for the passenger,
even though it is just about possible to see through it.
A couple taken from Park Road Bridge Timperley on Thursday 15 December
within a minute. A train of new MMA wagons loaded with stone from
Dowlow headed for Theale, with 66 035...
... and empty refuse containers from Runcorn to Brindle Heath (with a
portion for Dean Lane) hauled by 66 512.
On 17 December, new-livered 66 528 Madge Elliot MBE -
Borders Railway Opening 2015 on the Folly Lane - Northenden empty
On the other side of the canal from our page header view, GBRf 66
735 heads for Trafford Park with a couple of spare container
carriers on 19 December.
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