Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

02 January 2017

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue.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

Winter Warmer: D5310 and 7822 Foxcote Manor at Berwyn, 30 December. Picture by Martin Evans.

Ohio to North Wales - by Andrew Easom

I was recently in a position to take a two week break from work and make trip on 30 December 30th from Cleveland Ohio (where I live) to visit my parents who live near Caernarfon. My journey started on the Cleveland RTA Red Line from W117th St station(above)  to Cleveland Hopkins Airport on car numbers 313 & 190.

These trains are operated by stainless steel-bodied railcars built by the Tokyu Car Corporation in

My first flight is to Atlanta Hartsfield on board a Delta Airlines Boeing 717 (tail number N977AT for the aviation buffs). Once at Atlanta I had a 1 hr 25min connection onto the Virgin Atlantic flight to Manchester on an Airbus A330 (G-VINE).

I had pre-booked my train tickets in the states and allowing for customs and luggage collection was booked on the 10:11 to Crewe; however the plane landed 34 minutes early and I was down on the station platforms in time for the 08:11 Crewe train! (Through North Wales services were not running over the Christmas period.) My first train was to Crewe on 323 238, seen above at Manchester Airport station.

I haven't been to Crewe for many years, it's not changed too much from what I remember. The only locomotive I saw was 57 307 near platform 12 (and it still has the pink Lady Penelope nameplate).

Next was 175 109 (above) on the 09:23 shuttle to Chester, then 175 116 on the 09:55 Llandudno service which I took to Llandudno Junction,giving me time for a cuppa and a sausage roll before getting 175 112 on the 11:13 Holyhead train as far as Bangor. Great to be back on the
Coast, albeit not behind a 37.

Class 442s - could it happen?

I appears that the idea of using ex-South West Trains Class 442 units as hauled stock on the North - South Wales or Manchester - Cardiff  services is being taken seriously in political circles.
At present there are a dozen or more Class 442s, each of five MK3 cars - with powered doors -  sitting idle near Ely, Cambridgeshire. Roger Carvell took this picture of a 442  on its way to Ely in October 2016, hauled by Devon and Cornwall railways loco 31 452, passing over the Hitchin flyover and heading east towards Cambridge, for Ely. The coaches are in Gatwick Express colours from the class's short-lived reign on that line after being replaced in the south west.

Cambrian thoughts - by Chris Magner

Let us hope that as the Cambrian Coast Line has been named in a survey as one of the top ten railway journeys in the World every effort will be made to celebrate its 150 years of service on 10 October: 1867 to 2017.  No JCBs for Thomas Savin and his men in the 1860s:  what an amazing railway.

Also every effort has to be made to restore excursion trains to Pwllheli in 2017 now West Coast Railways have two Class 37s fitted with the necessary equipment.  So far, however, none are planned.

(Picture by Charlie Hulme)

Winter Warmer at Llangollen

A novel feature of the Llangollen Railway's end-of-year gala was the appearance of 0-6-0T Jennifer on passenger service. George Jones explains:  the Railway was short of engines for the gala, as 5199 wasn't ready with new valves, so the former industrial tank engine Jennifer was rolled out, presenting the footplate crew with a challenge to take a three-coach train up to Berwyn. But it got to Carrog and back on 30 December - and operated successfully on Saturday 31st when it attracted a lot of interest.

This was the first time this loco, although based at Llangollen, has seen use on service trains as it is normally away on hire to other railways, notably Epping & Ongar from whence it returned for repairs last autumn. It was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1942 (works no. 1731) and employed by Samuel Fox and Co in Sheffield as their no.20 - which explains the name on the water tanks whereas as the nameplate Jennifer is a small one above the cab.

Jennifer arrived at Llangollen in 2002, and last appeared in these pages in 2008 when it had completed restoration from what was described as a 'kit of incomplete parts': seen in this picture from our archive is Llangollen resident Matthew Leman-Lawrie whose father Mark played a major role in getting this engine back into action. Matthew was just home from a tour with the Army in Afghanistan and this was his 21st birthday.

The 'Winter warmer' gala  was a great success judging by the number of our contributors who attended. There follows a selection of their pictures...

30 December - by  Jim Ikin

I spent the afternoon 30 December at the Winter Warmer which appeared to be well attended judging by the number of passengers and, as always, visitors to the café on Berwyn station. Above,  80072 running into Carrog with the suburban set.

Warming the mince pies, Llangollen style.

Jennifer – number 20 -pulls out of ‘Lapland’ aka Carrog -see box nameplate ...

... and makes a fine sight drifting off down the valley.

After pulling its train into Carrog the Manor ran round, shunted two vans (provided by a DMU) on to the train ...

... and returned to Llangollen - seen at Berwyn on the return trip.

Friday 30 December - by Lee Davies

7822 shunting vans at Carrog.

Jennifer at Berwyn.

Jennifer near Glyndyfrdwy.

31 December - by Martin Evans

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 loco Jennifer at Llangollen.

80072 approaches Llangollen with the 10:30 from Carrog.

31 December - by Ken Robinson

80072 at Carrog with the first down working of the day on Saturday - could almost be 1964?

One interesting working was having two vans behind the DMU (class 104 + class 127/108 units) - seen here being shunted by the class 08 shunter 13265 at Llangollen for the 13:15 working.

There were also several mixed traction workings during the gala, as seen here with D5310 and 80072 at Carrog having worked the 14:45 from Llangollen.

31 December - by Alan Crawshaw

7822 approaching Berwyn.

DMU at the same place, Class 104 unit leading.

Portrait of Class 26 (Birmingham RCW type 2)  D5310 at Llangollen.

Jennifer at Llangollen. The resemblance to the Manchester Ship Canal's fleet of Hudswell Clarke locos, some of which are preserved, is clear.

New Year's Eve on the Welsh Highland - Pictures by Charles Allen

The Welsh Highland Railway operated a service between Dinas and Beddgelert on 31 December. Here are some impressions from the day from the day.

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