Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

28 February 2017

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This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived issue.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

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.

3-5 March  Llangollen Railway Spring Steam Gala

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. This meeting only, the venue will be Menai Bridge 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 years.'

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 

37 610 and 37 716 pass Holywell Junction with the Valley - Crewe flasks, 20 February. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Society announcements
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.'

Storm Doris

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 mascot.

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.

Flasks etc

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 purchased online.

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 Weekly News.

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 little subdued.

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 of others.

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 Cenotaph.

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 vinyls.

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 release)

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 alterations.

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

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 weekend.

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