Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

03 April 2017

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April 2017

Tuesday 4 April    North Wales Railway Circle Change of Speaker due to illness: Dave Walters will give a slide show of miscellaneous Circle outings and activities.

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  Change of Speaker: Richard Sant from the LMS Patriot Project to tell us all about the undertaking to build a new Patriot Class Loco.

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 

Praise Be! The double-track section between Saltney Junction and what is now known as Rossett Junction finally opened on at 05:00 on 1 April. Peter Neve's picture is from that historic day at Broad Oak Crossing, now with its full-width barriers and obstacle-detection equipment; with Network Rail people on hand in case of problems.

Evening Lark

The 'Evening Lark' excursion was the first of three trains run by Pathfinder Tours collectively christened 'Everywhere Again' over two days, 31 March and 2 April. It was described by the organisers this: 'After the Derby pick-up at 16:30 we travel via Uttoxeter to Crewe (18:00 pick-up) for a whiz around Cheshire and Merseyside via the Chester Triangle, Hooton Long Siding and the Frodsham Chord to Liverpool Lime Street. Then via the CLC line to Manchester Piccadilly and Styal before the return to Crewe at 2230.' James Shuttleworth photographed the train on the approach to Chester from Crewe, with DRS loco 37 716 leading.

A little further on, as the train passes the site of Chester Midland shed (Bob Greenhalgh). 37 069 was on the other end of the train.

As usual with Pathfinder Tours, traversing 'rare track' was an essential ingredient, so from Chester the train took the North Wales line for a short distance to beyond Chester South Junction where it reversed, then with 37 069 leading took the 'Up and Down Fork' line, then the Down Goods Loop, where it was photographed by James Shuutleworth using a telephoto setting ....

... from Bache station where James took this more conventional view a few minutes later as the train headed along the Birkenhead line to Hooton where it use the 'long siding' to reverse again. It then took the Ellesmere Port line to Helsby and the 'Halton Curve' to Runcorn and Liverpool Lime Street (reverse) before heading in the darkness to Manchester Piccadilly, the Styal Line and Crewe, where the train became the second tour, 'The Night Owl' which rambled around the Midlands, arriving back at Crewe at 08:35 on 1 April, to become (after a two-hour break) 'The Round Robin'  which headed for the storage site at Long Marston with a 'journey around the 2 mile loop of the private rail site behind their own locomotive' by which time participants in all three sectors would be on a journey by the Land of Nod Railways.

Some recent thoughts from readers: our thanks to everyone who takes the time to respond to our items. Firstly: we had a feeling that our claim that the recent appearance of 46115 Scots Guardsman was the first visit for a 'Royal Scot' loco to Wrexham in the preservation era would raise a response, and so it proved. Gareth Hopwood writes to remind is that 46100 Royal Scot  ran through with its support coach on 26 July 2016 on the way from Bristol to Crewe. It had been at Bristol to work a 'Torbay Express' excursion to Kingswear on 24 July, but failed to pass its 'fitness to run' examination and passengers enjoyed a run behind diesel 66 093 instead.

The subject of the 'Last Class 60 along the coast before the recent Colas appearance' (see the 20 February issue) may not yet be finished, as Peter Chapman writes to say 60 063 worked the Holyhead Aluminium train to Warrington on 27 June 2009 with seven vans ... and indeed it did, because we reported it at the time with the above picture by Marc Jones.  Oddly, this run seems to have been missed from an article by Steve Morris that we published in November 2009, which states that the last 60 was the April case we claimed in February.

The Aluminium smelter closed down at the end of September 2009, but production of ingots continued; the Saturdays-only train of wagons for Braunau am Inn continued into October, usually with 66 power but with a memorable run by 37 401 on 10 October and an even more memorable one by 37 425 and 37 401 on 31 October.

Peter Chapman also sends this view of 60 026 at Helsby with a Chirk Log train on 4 June 2016.

Mike Sheridan sends another of his uncle's views of the specials that ran to Birkenhead Woodside on 4 March 1967. Passing under the impressive LNWR signal gantry, past a selection of first-generation DMUs in Chester depot, Standard 4-6-0 73035 is returning special 1X82 'The Birkenhead Flyer' to Chester where it will be taken over by 'Castle' Class 4079 Pendennis Castle for the run to Didcot.

DMUs at Rhyl - pictures by Roly High

Views taken on 31 March. Above, A 4-car formation with 158 841 leading, and 158 822 at the
rear arrives at Rhyl on the ex 13.08 from Birmingham International to Holyhead. The front portion will detach at Llandudno Junction to carry on to Holyhead,the rear portion will then work back to

150 257 pressed into service on the 14:36 from Manchester Airport to Llandudno.

175 113 departs with the 16:07 from Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly.

158 823 departs from Rhyl with the 15:30 Holyhead to Birmingham international, which in fact got turned back at Birmingham New Street 'due to a signalling problem (track circuit failure)'.

Freight selection

66 129 waits in the recently-reinstated 'middle road' at Shrewsbury with the loaded steel from Margam to Dee Marsh at 16:25pm on 28 March. Picture by Martin Evans.

Colas-operated train 6C47 Basford Hall - Dee Marsh stands at Upton, Wirral where track renewal work is taking place. Locomotives involved were 56 096 (see here) and 60 076 on the other end of the train.The relaying has nearly reached Bidston; it is unclear whether the other line (Wrexham-bound ) will be replaced yet. Picture by Andrew Vinten.

66 745 Modern Railways approaching  Regents Road Level Crossing on 31 March with 4F24, 14:45 empty hoppers from Tuebrook Sidings to Liverpool Biomass terminal, which will, when loaded, form 6E24, 18:21 to Drax Power station (Les Burton).

The Valley - Crewe flasks at Beeches Farm on 3 April, with 37 602 and 37 606 (Bob Greenhalgh).

On 3 April 60 095 brings a load of logs for Chirk along the re-laid track at Saltney (Bob Greenhalgh.)

Freight train afficionados might enjoy a report I wrote recently for the Manchester Locomotive Society website.- Charlie

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