17 July 2017
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
[Details of events during the summer of 2017 are welcome for
22-23 July Llangollen
Railway 1960s weekend
22-24 July Penrhyn
Quarry Railway Celebration of five
years of running
Sunday 23 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company North Wales Coast Express Liverpool - Holyhead
Tuesday 25 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company The Welsh Mountaineer
Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog
25-28 August Bala Lake
Railway Steam Gala
Friday 1 September Clwyd
Railway Circle Dave Walters 'Railway Memories' The
first half of the programme will feature images from John
Dickinson, sadly no longer with us taken from 1970’s to 1989
in North Wales and other areas. The second half features
images from Pat Webb taken from 1949/50 to the 80’s and 90’s
mostly in black and white.
1-3 September Welshpool
and Llanfair Railway Gala Weekend
15-17 September Welsh
Highland Railway Super Power Weekend
16-17 September Penrhyn Quarry
Railway Special event
Saturday 23 September Welshpool and
Llanfair Railway Diesel day
23-24 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel Weekend
Friday 6 October Clwyd
Railway Circle Les Nixon '55 Years of Railway
Photography - Part 3' A selection of railway pictures which
include genuine BR steam, a wide variety of mainly older
modern traction along with industrials, some preservation
and brief visits, worldwide, to nearly 20 countries.
6-8 October Ffestiniog
Railway Victorian Weekend
13-15 October Llangollen
Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Friday 3 November Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Snowdon Mountain Railway' A
presentation given by Mike Robertshaw Msc IEng MIED, Senior
Engineering Manager of the railway.
Saturday 18 November Steam on the Coast Steam
Dreams Cathedrals Express London Euston - Llandudno
for the Christmas Market. 46233 Duchess of
Sutherland: Crewe - Llandudno and return
Friday 1 December Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Members Night & Christmas
Celebrations' Members are invited to give a 15 minute
presentation of their choice (any format). FREE tea/coffee
& festive treats during the interval. Contact David
Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.
Friday 5 January Clwyd
Railway Circle Mike Blackburn 'The Welsh Highland
Railway (NWNGR)' A history of the North Wales narrow gauge
and Croesor Tramway and the linking to form the Welsh
Highland Railway, restoration and building of the new.
Friday 2 February Clwyd
Railway Circle John Sloane 'From Vulcan Foundry to the
Khyber' British built steam at work in Pakistan, It includes
pictures taken on the spectacular line up the Khyber Pass to
the Afghan border.
Friday 2 March
Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed
by “Film Shows - Railways Past and Present”.
Friday 6 April Clwyd
Railway Circle John Cashen 'North West & North
Wales Reminiscences In The 1960s' The presentation will
cover from Liverpool to Liverpool within an area bounded by
Southport, Burscough, Standish, Warrington, Crewe,
Whitchurch, Chester, Holyhead, Barmouth, Aberystwyth,
Shrewsbury, Wrexham, the Wirral, Chester, Northwich and
The Retro Railtours 'Welsh Dragon 2' ran from Huddersfield
to Cardiff and Swansea via the Marches line on 15 July,
hauled by two Direct Rail Services (DRS) Class locomotives
37 602 and 37 606. The charter was photographed by Robert
Meredith on a wet morning passing the foot crossing
off Queen's Drive, Nantwich heading south; 57 306 Her
Majesty's Railway Inspectorate 175 was attached to the
rear of the train.
Penrhyn Quarry Railway Closes
We are sorry to hear that the Penrhyn Quarry
Railway heritage operation at Felin Fawr near
Bethesda, revived over a short length of the original
Penrhyn line in 2012, has been closed down , and the locos
and equipment are being moved elsewhere, possibly to other
sites including the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. The
gala planned for 22-23 July is cancelled along with all
In a statement to the Daily Post Penrhyn Rail Ltd
director Ellis Griffith Morey said: It is true the Penrhyn
team are moving from Felin Fawr, the railway is not being
evicted. Over the past few weeks it has become clear the
railway could not continue at Felin Fawr due to
circumstances beyond our control.'
Mr Morey did not elaborate on the reasons but enthusiasts,
expressing their disappointments at the news on social
media, suggested there had been a number of break-in at the
premises which had forced their hand.
An evening outing - with Mark Youdan
I had a wander out on Monday evening, 10 July, as the flasks
had run to Valley and the Royal Scotsman was paying its
annual visit to North Wales. Firstly I went to Hargrave to
get (above) 68 016 Fearless and 68
028 on the returning flasks ...
... then a bimble to Dunham-on-the-Hill for the evening
loco-hauled train from Manchester to Llandudno which was 67
Then back to Hargrave for 66 746 and 66 744
Crossrail heading for Gloucester from Bangor. [Is the
name Belmond Royal Scotsman painted on the side a loco name
or a branding?]
Last shot of the day was 221 107 Sir Martin
Frobisher and 221 102 John Cabot on a
London Euston to Chester train.
Crewe and Chester, 11 July - with Martin Evans
67 020 stabled in Platform 8 at Crewe, 13:545, 11
13:45, and Class 40 D345 waiting to return to
Castleton from Crewe after returning 47 712 and 47 192 to
the Heritage Centre from Bury(East Lancs Rly)
DRS locos 37 059, 57 308 and 57 306
waiting the road at Chester with a Gresty Bridge - Gresty
Bridge working. The departure was delayed by flooding at
57 308, now carrying the name Jamie Ferguson,
in memoriam to a recently-deceased DRS staff member.
DRS are holding their Charity
Open Day at their Carlisle depot on Saturday 22 July.
Recently, we have been hearing that Arriva crews and others
have been spreading the word that there is going to be a
two-year complete closure of Barmouth Bridge.
However, conversations with insiders at Network Rail suggest
that there is no such plan. What is definitely happening is
that work on the River Artro timber bridge at Pensarn
between 27 October and 6 November will require bus
replacement north of Barmouth, and during both weekends in
this period the block will be extended for work on the
longitudinal timber work of Barmouth Viaduct.
It is true that there is further maintenance work planned on
the viaduct (if funds are allocated) in the next five-year
'control period' from 2019 to 2024, including grit-blasting
and painting of the metal spans, but we are assured that
there will be no 'huge blockades.'
Gobowen station on 14 July.
Colas 67 027 on the rear of Network Rail track
recording train 1Q55 Tyseley - Derby RTC, with 67 023
leading, await the road to Wrexham, where the train was to
reverse and head back towards Shrewsbury ...
... and John Mathers captured it again passing
southbound at Vauxhall foot crossing near Ruabon, with 67
023 now on the rear.
Freightliner have taken over (how long for we are not sure)
the Margam - Dee Marsh steel trains, starting with the 6M30
Margam - Dee Marsh on 16 July, pictured by John
Mathers passing Yew Tree Farm foot crossing between
Penyffordd and Hope with 66 517 in charge.
68 016 Fearless (a song by Taylor
Swift, apparently) and 68 027 with the 6K41 Valley
to Crewe flasks on 17 July (Rowan Crawshaw)
Greg Mape's picture from 12 July shows a Liverpool -
Drax biomass train at Brooks Drive on the Baguley -
Timperley border, hauled by GBRf 66 711 Sence.
The loco appears to be in a matching livery to the wagons,
but this is a coincidence: the loco colours are those of
Aggregate Industries, and the river Sence flows near their
Bardon Hill stone quarry.
Class 86 50+ years on - by Phil Clarke
As I stepped off the train at Hartford on 15 July, I saw
preserved class 86 electric loco, 86 259 Les
Ross (above) approaching with the regular
'Cumbrian Mountain Express' excursion which it will have
taken over from a steam loco for the run back to London; I
just managed to get my camera out in time.
The class 86s are over 50 years old now, but a few are still
in use on the West Coast Main Line nearly every day. On 12
July 86 639 and an unidentified 86 head the Crewe
Basford Hall to Coatbridge intermodal through Acton Bridge.
All the stations visits North Wales
Readers may have heard of the 'All the Stations' project in
which Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe are spending the summer
visiting every station on the National Rail network and
making mini documentary videos. Thir edited adventure
in North Wales is now available on YouTube and worth a
watch in our opinion, as is the whole
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