28 February 2017
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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived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.
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
3-5 March Llangollen
Railway Spring Steam Gala
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. This meeting only, the venue will be Menai
Memorial Hall, Water Street, Menai Bridge, LL59 5BT (opposite the
Auckland Arms pub.)
Wednesday 8 March Welsh
Highland Railway North Wales Group compilation from John Wooden
(The Ff&WHR DVD man) of the various
events, special trains and ordinary trains that he has filmed over the
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
37 610 and 37 716 pass Holywell Junction with the
Valley - Crewe flasks, 20 February. Picture by Tim Rogers.
A couple of late changes to forthcoming events.
North Wales Railway Circle Jim Johnson writes: On Tuesday,
7 March, this meeting only, the venue will be Menai Bridge Memorial
Hall, Water Street, Menai Bridge, LL59 5BT (opposite the Auckland Arms
pub.) This is due to unavailability of the room at the Victoria Hotel.
All subsequent meetings will be in the Victoria, as usual. Tony
Griffiths will give a talk on the Abergele Accident. that
occurred on 20th August 1868.
Welsh Highland Railway North Wales Group John Wood writes:
'There is a slight change to the programme for Wednesday evening next
week, 8 March. Unfortunately Gareth Haulfryn Williams is not able to
give his talk about the Vale of Rheidol Railway, however we will have a
compilation from John Wooden (The Ff&WHR DVD man) of the
various events, special trains and ordinary trains that he has filmed
over the years. So the show goes on as usual, Mountain Rangers Social
Club, Rhosgadfan 19:30 on Wednesday 8 March. Real ale, sandwiches and
the raffle with much sought after prizes.'
The storm of 23 February caused problems around the country, not least
on the Conwy Valley line ...
... as these pictures taken by driver Iestyn Roberts show. The
line is still closed as we write this on 28 February, as an unstable
rock face was discovered during the clearance work.
Here's what happened that day at our own local station, Davenport: the
top half of a large horse-chestnut tree bow sits on the roof of the
waiting room. The building seems to have stood up to the extra weight,
thanks to its 1970s design features, but there'll be some
head-scratching about how to remove the tree. Directly behind are the
gardens of the nearby flats.
Bangor Scenes, 22 February - by Jim Johnson
Views at very rainy Bangor on Wednesday 22 February 2017. Network Rail
train 3Q82 had arrived in the early hours from Crewe, via Holyhead. It
was parked up in the old Platform 4 all day, until departure for
Cardiff Canton Pullmans at 21:18. Colas loco 37 116 was at the Holyhead
end, with DBSO 9703 at the Chester end. The view above was taken
through the reinforced glass of the overbridge, just before 09:00.
Slightly later, from ground level.
Having shunted across from the siding, arriving into the up loop
(Platform 1) just before 21:30.
The driver attaches the tail lamp.
Departure at 21:33 featuring our contributor Peter Basterfield, with
The flasks ran that day too, hauled by 66 301 and 66 421,
running through at 09:12 as 6D23...
...and returning through at 14:41 as 6K41.
175 105 forms 1K20, the last Up train of the day, 20:32
Holyhead-Crewe, arriving at 21:01.
Shrewsbury revival - report by Peter Lloyd
It's Nice to see the centre road open for traffic again: Ian
Richardson's picture from 20 February shows 66 185 on a
steel train for Dee Marsh using the reopened section of track.
A 'before' picture showing the gap which has existed for some time,
pending strengthening work on the bridge over the River Severn on which
supports the station at this point.
Bob Greenhalgh photographed 37 218 and 37 612
passing Beeches Farm on the Valley - Crewe Flasks, 24 February ...
... just after Airbus wing transporter 'Beluga 1' had landed at
Broughton. Notice the Russian MIGs which have been languishing there
since the Class 37 era.
Abergele and Colwyn Bay changes - report by Jim Ikin
Work on the widening of the platform carries on apace at Abergele, the
current target for trains to call again is 12 March. As can be seen the
end or the widened platform stops adjacent to the signal box;
contractors' staff told me that new drains are being put down inboard
of the new platform edge as the station is below sea level. The old
points, by all accounts, will be left in place until later in the year.
Unfortunately the station ticket machine has been unavailable during
this work, causing problems for those wishing to collect tickets
The sorry state of Colwyn Bay pier after its partial collapse during
'Storm Doris', the second collapse in a month. It is to be taken down
piece by piece and stored according to an article in the North Wales
Yards away new construction of Phase two of the sea-front project
carries on regardless.
Six Nations Special - report by Robert Meredith
On 24 February (above) DRS 68 024 Centaur passes
through the Parish of Rope and will be shortly approach and pass their
DRS Depot at Gresty Bridge Crewe, with the Pathfinder Tours 'The Six
Nations Welsh Rugby Supporters Train 2017' from Carmarthen to
Edinburgh, for the Scotland v Wales RBS International played at
Murrayfield (Edinburgh) on Saturday 25 February. The train was
scheduled to stop at Crewe to pick up passengers/supporters from the
North Wales connections.
The return working passing Willaston on 27 February heading towards
Nantwich. Following the result of Saturday's match against Scotland
where Wales were beaten 29-13, no doubt the returning supporters were a
Bala Lake update - by Martin Evans
The Bala Lake Railway has recently commenced its 2017 operations with
Quarry Hunslet loco No 3 Holy War in charge of
operations on 21 February.
Also undergoing maintenance on shed at Llanuwchllyn were Hunslets Winifred,
Alice and George B. Hunslet Maid Marian
has been stripped down for a major overhaul.
The Ordsall 'big lift' - report by George Jones
I took a trip to Deansgate, Manchester on Tuesday 21 February to see
the 'big lift' operation to move the bowstring girder into place on the
Irwell river bridge of the new Ordsall chord line, as I guess did lots
I was late for the actual lift but within the limits of the
ground-level viewing points captured something of the occasion.
Fortunately Network Rail did a better job, providing a video sequence of
the lift. This bridge is what is described as a 'network arch
bridge' which has inclined hangers which cross each other at least
twice; the first on the Network Rail system, apparently. The disused
Water Street bridge in the foreground is an early 20th-century
replacement for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway bridge of 1830
which featured ornate cast-iron columns.
However, using the Museum of
Science and Industry as an initial grandstand, the visit did allow
me to witness the steam experience train with loco Agecroft No.1
in action. It reminded me that the last day at that former power
station was some 36 years ago. On the left is the original 1830 goods
warehouse, and on the right the original station departure building.
The boundary of the museum site restricted viewing of the bridge
operation. The old railway bridge beyond might yet see some extension
of the Museum track, some say - or the location from which passing
trains on the new chord might be seen to advantage from the footsteps
at the west end of the 1830 station platform.
Metrolink Second City Crossing - pictures by Derick Norman
Metrolink opened their short, but significant 'Second City Crossing'
between Exchange Square and St Peters Square via Cross Street on 26
February. Derick Norman was there on the first day and sends
this selection of pictures. Above: 3073 arriving at St. Peter’s
Square with a service to Rochdale via Exchange Square.
3073 entering Princess Street, crossing with 3083 on an East
Didsbury service.The area to the left is home to the re-located
3083 using the new outbound platform at St. Peter’s Square, meeting 3001
heading from Eccles to Ashton. Behind is the new office building known
as '1 St Peters Square'.
3070 arriving at St. Peter's Square with a service to
Rochdale via Exchange Square. In the background (left to right) the
Midland Railway's hotel, the 1930s Central Library (well worth a visit
for its new exhibition area) and the 1930s Town Hall Extension.
3070 at Exchange Square continuing its journey to Rochdale.
A close-up of the vinyls attached to 3111 to celebrate the
opening of the Second City Crossing.
3111 leaving St. Peter’s Square showing the full application of the
Although welcome, this new line does not quite remove all possible
points of congestion, as a short length in Lower Moseley Street and a
longer section between Deansgate-Castlefield and Cornbrook will
eventually need to handle eight (or more) trams per twelve-minute cycle
in each direction.
Network Rail speaks about their £50m improvement plan (press
Network Rail has started work on a £50m North Wales rail upgrade which
includes a new signalling system on the line between Shotton and Colwyn
Bay. The project is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan and
includes upgrading track layout to increase the reliability of the
railway in North Wales. Work on the project started in January and is
set to finish by the summer of 2018, with commissioning of the new
signalling equipment in March 2018.
The upgrade also includes enhancements at Abergele and Pensarn station.
Platform one is being extended and is temporarily closed whilst this
work takes place. A new LED lighting system is being installed at the
station, along with work to improve the drainage and track layout
Kevin Roberts, senior project manager for Network Rail Wales said: 'The
North Wales Railway Upgrade Project will provide greater resilience and
reliability on the railway, all part of our plan to provide a bigger
and better railway for the growing number of passengers.
Network Rail is working in partnership with Arriva Trains Wales and
Virgin Trains to minimise disruption during this programme of upgrade
works. The major track and signalling works at Mostyn are being carried
out during weekends and replacement bus services are in operation
between Chester and Llandudno Junction until April. passengers are
advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Bus services will run between Chester and Llandudno Junction on Sunday,
March 5, Sunday, March 19, Saturday, March 25, Sunday, March 26, and
Sunday, April 2. Passengers are advised to check late services the day
before or very early morning services the morning after as bus services
may also be running. On Saturday, March 25, the bus service will run
between Chester and Rhyl. Extra buses will also be on standby over this
home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board