Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

26 December 2016

A reminder to New Year revellers, created by Arriva Trains Wales, 2008.

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue.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

67 003 calls at Chester with train 1W96 17:16 Cardiff - Holyhead on 19 December (Michael Pearson).

Just a short issue today due to mince pies, etc. - Charlie

Christmas Northern Belle

The Belmond Northern Belle train was busy in the week leading up to Christmas, complete with up-to-date DRS power in the shape of 68 016 Fearless and 68 023 Achilles. It would seem that the two specially-painted Class 57/3 locos have been retired from this high-profile work; will be see 68s in Pullman-livery?

On December 20  the train picked up passengers at Crewe, Chester, and Liverpool Lime Street, for a round trip travelling on the outward leg to Preston, routed via Blackburn, Hellifield, and Carnforth, returning via Crewe, Chester, and Liverpool Lime Street. Robert Meredith photographed (above)  the train approaching the site of the former Beeston Castle and Tarporley Station heading towards Chester, with 68 016 leading.

Chester (Michael Pearson).

The following day, 21 December, the same formation was out again, starting from Preston and calling at Bolton and Manchester Victoria for a run via Stoke-on-Trent to Derby, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Preston (reverse), Bolton and Manchester Victoria.  Peter Cross was on hand at Stockport in wet weather  to capture 68 023 leading on a non-stop pass through Platform 1.

68 016 following the rear (Peter Cross). Both locos were declared a 'cop' by several enthusiasts present. The skyline behind the train has undergone much change: around 1980 the station goods yard was abolished and replaced with some 'leisure facilities' - nightclub, bowling alley, pub, cinema, swimming pool. The is the only building with a secure future; all the rest have gone except the cinema which will vanish soon. Left to right in the picture above are the new hotel, a new office building which will soon have a 'Sainsburys Local' store on the ground floor, and the rusty steel block lump that is the multi-storey car park.

In the New Year...

The Branch Line Society are organising a railtour to North Wales on 22 April 2017; we don't have details yet, but no doubt it will include some rarely-used track. We understand that Pathfinder Tours also have an excursion to Holyhead planned on that day, so it should be a busy day for photographers. We also hear that the Class 40 Preservation Society are planning a tour to North Wales behind loco D345 (40 145) on 10 June, which should be popular as Class 40s took over from steam on many North Wales expresses.

The West Coast Railways programme has two diesel-hauled trips from the North Wales coast announced so far:  15 March from Bangor to Edinburgh via Chester, Frodsham and Warrington and 3 May Holyhead to Windsor. And in their 'Spirit of the Lakes' Pullman series: 1 May Skegness to Llandudno for Victorian Day and 13 May St Neots to Betws y Coed.

On the freight side, Penmaenmawr quarry sidings are currently being 'fettled up' and having lighting installed for a new flow of roadstone from the quarry in 2017. We don't know any more, such as the destination or start date - can anyone help?


The Coast line sees many moves of 'On Track Plant' at the moment. Above, on 19 December Plasser & Theurer Tamper DR73935 passes Beeches Farm working from Rhyl to Coleham on 19 December (Bob Greenalgh).

On 21 December, the shortest day of the year, 66 133 on  the Killoch to Penyffordd coal train is passing Penyffordd's semaphore signals (Bob Greenhalgh).

The Holyhead - Cardiff  'Premier Express' at prepares to depart from Platform 3 Chester on 20 December (Michael Pearson). These trains reverse at Chester, so it's not always obvious whether a train is northbound or southbound.

Llangollen news

With the 'Santa Special' season ended, Boxing Day saw the start of the 'Mince Pie Special' season at Llangollen. Above, 'Standard Tank' 80072 running round at Llangollen ready to take the 15:10 out for the final run of the day to Carrog, a.k.a. Lapland at this time of the year (George Jones).

The Llangollen Railway's 'Winter Warmer' two day event on 30 & 31 December 2016 will feature an intensive timetable, authentic cameos and a Real Ale Bar, providing lots of variety and interest for everyone. Services will be in operation between Llangollen and Carrog (the temporary platform at Corwen East being closed over the winter period as part of the new Corwen Central station works) and will feature a combination of steam, diesel and DMU traction.

Discounted advance fares are available through the Railway's website:  with an adult day rover being just £16 (£18 on the day) and just £9 for children. Senior and family discounts are also available.

Looking ahead, the railway's 'Along Birkenhead Lines Gala will be taking place over three days from Friday 3 March to Sunday 5 March 2017, Featuring an intensive timetable of both passenger and mixed traffic trains, a great collection of historic steam locomotives and special attractions taking place along the line, the Spring Gala has something for all railway enthusiasts and families alike.

The weekend marks the 50th anniversary of two significant events: the last steam-hauled 'Cambrian Coast Express' and 50 years since the last through working from London Paddington to Birkenhead (Woodside). Work is in hand to make this Gala one of the most historically accurate and authentic steam events yet achieved. Expect to see cameos, displays, recreations and all the appropriate paper ephemera.  In addition to the railway’s home fleet, the gala will feature a number of special visiting steam locomotives – details of which will be announced very soon.

An Advanced Information booklet for all the latest news on the gala is available to download.

More about Linotype Specials - by Ian Bowland

I was interested to read the article (5 December) by Jim Ikin with mention of his father working at the Linotype factory in Broadheath and the annual trips out.

My grandfather worked at the 'Lino' (as it was known) for many years and he took me on a few of the excursions.  Twice we went on the Royal Iris from Liverpool out to the Mersey Bar then back up the river, I don’t know how far but I do remember seeing the shipyards as we sailed past.  One other trip I remember was to Blackpool. We boarded the special train each time at Broadheath station (closed to passengers 1962) which would tie in with Jim's memories of boarding at Baguley i.e. via Skelton Junction.

(1960s picture of a Jubilee-hauled excursion at Skelton Junction by Peter Michie, Manchester Locomotive Society collection.)

My grandfather’s house in Houldsworth Avenue backed onto the line out of Skelton Junction and I would spend hours on the embankment watching the Summer Saturday specials, often Jubilee hauled.  One attraction was to watch the 'Super D' 0-8-0s slogging up the bank while hauling freight, failing, then dropping back to take another run at the gradient.  This would happen a couple of times before they waited for the next train to bank them.  Some nefarious individuals would urinate on the rails at Skelton to improve the 'slip factor', the belief being that the contents of one’s bladder also contained fats.  However, not being of medical persuasion I can’t substantiate the theory. Happy days!

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