21 August 2017
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
[Details of events during the autumn of 2017 are welcome for
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
Saturday 09 September Steam at Chester West
Coast Railways THE CHESHIREMAN
Norwich - Chester 70013 or 60009: Norwich - Chester -
Thursday 14 September Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Dave
Southern: Wrexham Railways
15-17 September Welsh
Highland Railway Super Power Weekend
16-17 September Penrhyn
Quarry Railway Special event
Cancelled as the Railway is closed
Saturday 23 September Welshpool and
Llanfair Railway Diesel day
23-24 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel Weekend
Saturday 30 September Steam at Chester Vintage
Trains 'The Shropshire Express' Tyseley Warwick
Road - Chester. 5043: Tyseley - Wolverhampton - Crewe -
Chester - Wrexham - Shrewsbury - Birmingham New St - Tyseley
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
Thursday 12 October Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society
Julian Birley MBE: The Bala Lake
13-15 October Llangollen
Railway Autumn Steam Gala
Saturday 14 October
Railway and Canal Historical Society Clinker
Memorial Lecture in Manchester 2:00 pm, Mechanics
Conference Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD.
William Fairbairn, the experimental engineer - a study in
mid-nineteenth century engineering. Admission free to all.
Friday 3 November Clwyd
Railway Circle 'Snowdon Mountain Railway' A
presentation given by Mike Robertshaw Msc IEng MIED, Senior
Engineering Manager of the railway.
Thursday 9 November Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society AGM /
Clive Evans Memories of North Wales steam and beyond
in the 1950s
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
Saturday 25 November Steam at Chester Railway Touring
Company 'The Christmas Cheshireman'
Bristol - Chester 70013 / 45305: Bristol - Hereford -
Wrexham - Chester and return
Saturday 25 November Steam at Chester UK
Railtours 'The Chester Chirstmas Cracker'
London Euston - Chester 60163: Euston - Chester 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.
Thursday 14 December Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society
Xmas Social / Bill Rogerson: Roaming the Rails with
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.
Thursday 11 January Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Ron
Watson Jones: Rails to Roads
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.
8 February Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society
Ellis Morey: The Penrhyn Railway
Friday 2 March
Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed
by “Film Shows - Railways Past and Present”.
Thursday 8 March Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society John
Cashen RCTS: North West & North Wales
Reminiscences in the 1960s
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
12 April Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Members
10 May Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society W. Gordon
Davies: A taste of Japan
The 16:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Llandudno at Abergele on
21 August, hauled by 67 022. Picture by Greg Mape.
'holiday' feel to this week's update. Hope you enjoy it.-
Alan Crawshaw's North Wales
Pictures from a morning visit to the seaside, 18 August.
Above, 68 017 Hornet leads 68 024 Centaur
through Colwyn Bay with the Crewe to Valley flasks ...
... and 67 022 arrives at Llandudno Junction with
the 09:50 Manchester to Holyhead.
The same train prior to departure from Bangor. The driver is
looking back while the train despatcher aids a passenger who
got into a tizzy about the doors.
On 21 August, While waiting for the flasks at Llanfair PG,
we photographed 1A23 08:55 Holyhead to London Euston. You
may be wondering why there's a huge ticket on the fence; it
seems Arriva have had the idea of using the station's name,
which attracts throngs of tourists, to advertise their cheap
It shows an advance single cost of £26.50 from Cardiff.
Looking at a random Wednesday a month hence, you could
travel for even less, £21.20.
The flasks soon arrived behind 68 025 Superb
and 68 004 Rapid.
On the Great Orme - with Martin Evans
Great Orme Tramway tram no 5 departs Llandudno for Halfway
station on 17 August. The new Halfway Station opened in
2001, an elegant slate-roofed rotunda topped by a glass
dome. It houses the Tramway’s winding gear, which you can
see through a glassed-in viewing area as you walk through to
resume your journey on one of a second pair of trams. It
also has a fascinating exhibition on the history of the
Tram no 7 departs the summit station. Conditions were very
windy which had resulted in the cable car to the Orme being
closed. Over 115 years on since it opened in 1902, the
Tramway is as popular as ever, carrying visitors of all ages
and nationalities the mile journey up the Great Orme so
visitors can still experience the same unique journey as our
ancestors all those years ago. The Tramway carries
approximately 160,000 passengers a year and will continue to
do so into the next century and beyond.
Scenes from 18 August
68 017 leading 68 024 with three flasks heading for Valley
passing Abergele on 18 August (Greg Mape).
67 022 brings the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead on to the
Britannia Bridge on 18 August, as seen from the public
footpath (Greg Mape).
175 112 arrives at Rhyl with the 06:50 from
Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno Junction (Roly High).
On the Welshpool and Llanfair - with Greg Mape
On 20 August I had a pleasant ride with my family on the Welshpool & Llanfair
Light Railway. Above, original Beyer-Peacock-built
0-6-0T locomotive Countess takes water at Welshpool
station, carrying its Great Western Railway livery and
Shunting move at Llanfair Caereinion with Countess
and Superb. The W & L shares its track gauge
with many narrow-gauge lines of the former Austro-Hungarian
Empire, whence have come mich of its preserved era rolling
stock, including the Hungarian bogie coaches and
four-wheeled Zillertalbahn vehicles seen above (although the
latter may be a recently-built replica).
Superb is a summer visitor from the only other
operating 2'6" gauge passenger line in the UK,
the Sittingbourne &
Kemsley Light Railway in Kent. An 0-6-2T Built by
Bagnall in 1940, it is one of the fleet operated on the SKLR
when it was the industrial railway of the Bowaters Paper
The Welshpool and Llanfair line is holding its 2017 Steam
Gala on 1-3 September.
On the Welsh Highland - with Michael Baker
On 3 August NG/G16 No. 138 brings the 13:00 from Caernarfon
around Tro Fridd.
On the same day NG/G16 No. 143 brings the 12:55from
Porthmadog out of Rhyd Ddu...
... and round Tro Fridd.
On 8 August NG/G16 No. 138 brings the 12:55 from Porthmadog
through Betws Garmon...
... and NG/G16 No. 143 takes the 15:40 from Porthmadog
across Pont Croesor.
On the Isle of Man - with David Hennessey
Between Wednesday 26 and Sunday 30 July 2017, the annual
Manx Transport Festival took place on the Isle of Man's rail
and tram systems. The 2017 event marked two significant
anniversaries; 60 years since the Manx Electric Railway was
nationalised, and 50 years since the Isle of Man Railway
reopened under the 'Lord Ailsa' banner. Throughout the five
days of the festival (plus a few activities prior to the
main festival taking place), various activities occurred on
the Steam, Electric and Groudle Glen railways, as well as
the horse trams in Douglas and the 'Great Laxey Mines
Railways. What follows is a comprehensive day-by-day record
of what went on.
Tuesday 25 July - The day before the festival began, the
Isle of Man 50 Group had their annual 'Tram Tuesday'; a day
where three tram and trailer sets are hired to work three
return trips from Douglas Derby Castle, to Groudle, Laxey
and Ramsey. Car 1 and trailer 43 was on the Groudle run, car
7 and trailer 48 went to Laxey, and car 6 and trailer 60
headed for Ramsey. The latter destination is presently about
to undergo a great deal of change; the track inside the
station appears to be worn out, and the complex will
gradually be turned into a tram/bus interchange, subject to
planning and funding.
As of Summer 2017, a temporary terminus was set up near the
site of the now demolished car shed; passengers could still
buy their tickets from the station building, but had to
cross over the road to gain access to the trams.
Wednesday 26th July - This was the day when the festival got
going, with events taking place on the Douglas Bay Horse
Tramway, and the Groudle Glen railway. The latter was
operating a rare daytime service (the 2ft line that 'goes
uphill to the sea' usually operates on Summer Wednesday
evenings and Sundays), and featured the veteran Bagnall
2-4-0 tank Sea Lion, seen above at Sea Lion Rocks, with the
2014-built carriages 3 and 1 in tow
On the horse tramway, the Isle of Man 50 Group hired 'double
decker' car 18 and two horses, for two separate runs from
Derby Castle to the Sea Terminal and back. This was supposed
to have taken place in the morning, but had to be postponed
to the afternoon due to poor weather (rain at first,
clearing by midday). William and Douglas the horses had the
honour of hauling the double deck car along the promenade.
(See heading picture).
In the evening, the horse tram stables were open to the
public; visitors had a chance to get up close and personal
with the friendly 'Clydesdale' horses, in the place where
they come to be rested, fed and watered.
(In July 2017, plans were approved in Tynwald, the Manx
government, for the redevelopment of the Douglas Promenade.
As part of the work, the horse tramway between Villa Marina
and the Sea Terminal is to be downgraded to single track
working, with a passing loop somewhere between Villa Marina
and Loch Promenade. The redevelopment is set to begin in
late 2018, and will take around two to three years to
Thursday 27th July - On the Manx Electric
Railway, the 'Nationalised Navigator' tour was run.
This was a special charter day organised by the
railway's administration team and featured
'Crossbench' Car 32 recently repainted into late 1950's
green and white livery. The whole day was spent with this
vehicle, as it made various photo stops along the route, and
featured wagon 10 in a few places as well. In the picture,
it poses for photographs near Bulgham Head, on the return
from Lewaigue to Douglas.
Later, a trip to Port Erin was made on the steam railway,
with the museum at Port Erin hosting an 'open evening'. A
photography exhibition was being held, as well as an
opportunity to admire the regular exhibits outside normal
Friday 28 July - A morning trip to Snaefell summit (above,
with car 5) was made, as well as a visit to the Great Laxey
Wheel (or 'Lady Isabella'). Following this, it was back to
Douglas Derby Castle, for a tour of the electric railway's
workshops and car sheds. Afterwards, a quick ride on the
steam railway was made. I travelled up to Castletown,
changed trains and went back to Port Soderick. I jumped out
there and took the 4 mile 'Marine Drive' walk back to
Douglas, retracing the route of the former Douglas Southern
Saturday 29th July - On the electric railway, the 'Back in
the Red' charter day occurred. This was again organised by
the manxelectricrailway.co.uk admin team, and featured car 6
with trailer 60, plus car 16; with tower car 1, and solo.
Car 16 and trailer 60 were also recent repaints; having
spent 19 years in green and white, they were finally
returned to the 'uniform' red and white colours earlier in
In the evening, the steam railway held a 'photography' event
at the station, along with a 'hog roast' and an hour long
talk about the current affairs of the island's transport.
Four of the railway's stalwart Beyer Peacock 2-4-0 tank
engines were lined up at various vantage points around the
station, to enable rare photographic opportunities to be
snapped up (if you'll excuse the pun!). No.8 Fenella,
No.10 G.H Wood, No.12 Hutchinson and No.13 Kissack
all took part; Hutchinson and Kissack then
left with an evening train to Port Erin, while G.H Wood
shunted Fenella back into the engine shed.
(Note: track level photography was permitted under staff
supervision, as part of the event.)
At Laxey on the Great Laxey Mines Railway, replica Lewin
0-4-0 loco Ant waits for more passengers.
Sunday 30 July - The final day of the festival, and an
intense timetable on the electric railway. This involved
nearly every active car and trailer in service between
Douglas, Laxey and Ramsey. Trailers 62 and 63 were making a
welcome return to active service; they had been in store for
a few years, awaiting repair work to bogies and axles.
Trailer 62 was repainted in white and green, while 63 was
simply smartened up.
The Groudle Glen railway was also kept busy, with most of
the active fleet taking turns to haul trains from Lhen Coan
to Sea Lion Rocks. Sea Lion, Annie (a 1922
built 0-4-2 Bagnall), Walrus and Dolphin (a
pair of Hudson Hunslet 4 wheel diesel locos), plus battery
powered Polar Bear were in traffic.
[More pictures on David's
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