Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

09 October 2017

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

October 2017

Thursday 12 October  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Julian Birley MBE:  The Bala Lake Railway       

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. More information (PDF)

Monday 16  October    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Les Nixon – “55 Years of Railway Photography, Part 1”

Thursday 26 October  Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Robert Pritchard: Tramways of the Czech Republic & Slovakia: Part 1 Bohemia – Prague, Plzen, Most-Litvinov & Liberec

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

November 2017

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

Monday  20  November    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    John Day – “UK Railways – Beyond the Blue”

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 Christmas Cracker'
London Euston - Chester 60163: Euston - Chester and return

Thursday 30 November Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Bob Bracegirdle: The Belgian Vicinal and its raison d'être.

December 2017

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.

Wednesday 6 December   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    LIVERPOOL    Tom Heavyside – “BR in the North West”   

Thursday 14 December  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Xmas Social / Bill Rogerson: Roaming the Rails with Bill 

Monday 18  December    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Bob Barnard – “The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway“

January 2018

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

Monday  15 January    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    AGM, followed by John Cowlishaw – “The End of the Line, Part 1 (Non-members are invited to attend from 20.15 hours)

Thursday 25 January Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Tony Young: The Tramways of Bury

February 2018

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.

Wednesday 7  February   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Doug Birmingham – “Rail Reflections in Merseyside”

8 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Ellis Morey: The Penrhyn Railway

Monday 19  February   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     CHESTER    Ian Pilkington – “Steam and Diesel in the Northern Fells”

March 2018

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   

Monday 19  March   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Peter Berry – “The Robert Whitfield Collection, UK Steam 1948 - 1958”

April 2018

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 Speke

12 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Members Evening    

Wednesday 4  April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Alan Moore – “The Railways of St. Helens”

Monday 16 April    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Brian Armand – “Railway Roundabout”      

Thursday 26 April Brian Yates: Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) The Tramways of Berlin, Potsdam, Lyon and Grenoble.

May 2018

10 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  W. Gordon Davies:  A taste of Japan

68 017 Hornet and 68 032 on 6K41 Valley - Crewe flasks at Llanddulas. Picture by Jack Bowley.

Additional items uploaded Tuesday 10 October start below

Barmouth 150

Over the weekend  of 14-15 October Barmouth will be celebrating 150 years of the Cambrian Coast line. There will be several attractions put on by the local council including a light and laser show on the bridge and surrounds, a children’s competition in the town and an exhibition in the leisure centre with a railway theme including a static exhibit in the form of Barrie Kelsall's 0 gauge model of Barmouth Bridge. More details can be found on Facebook: as so often these days, the organisers appear to believe that everyone reads that so no other on-line publicity is needed.

On Tuesday 10 September a diesel-hauled excursion is visiting the line: photographs welcome.

RHTT time

It's the autumn leaf season again, and the Rail Head Treatment Train made its first appearance on 9 September. Bob Greenhalgh gets the credit for the first picture received, showing 56 105 passing Mold Junction with 56 096 on the back. It's always good to see locomotives, but contributors could bear in mind that we may have to choose  the most interesting RHTT views...

Notes from a wet weekend - by Barrie Hughes

I stayed in North Wales for two weeks from mid September.  On 15 September I sampled the 'Irish Mancunian' service by travelling from Llandudno Junction to Holyhead, Holyhead to Manchester and Manchester to Llandudno Junction; the loco on duty was 67 018 Keith Heller, seen above at Holyhead.

At Manchester Piccadilly later, 67 018 propels its empty train to the nostalgically-named Longsight Excursion Platform opposite Longsight depot, where it will return to form the 16:50 to Llandudno, a peak service which was 'wedged' as far as Chester.  Passengers  must be very disappointed when a short railcar turns up in its place.

Here are 68 033 and 68 002 Intrepid hauling flasks on 22 September passing through Bangor on the through line, an hour early just after the Virgin London train. One wagon had a bad 'wheel flat'.

68 034 and 68 016 Fearless on flasks at Penmaenmawr, seen from the from the footbridge by the rest stop on 25 September. Again, the train ran an hour ahead of its booked time. The reopened Puffin Café here provides a nice retreat from the weather. It rained almost every day of the two weeks ... no Indian Summer this year!

Loco haulage of the Manchester diagram was a bit hit-and-miss in late September with DMU substitution on at least 20, 22 and 25 September. Finally on a very squally day I managed to catch 67 016 at Pen-y-clip on 29 September on the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead ...

I beat a retreat from the squalls to the the relative comfort of Llanfairfechan station to see the return working ...

... with 67 016 on the rear as usual.

The flasks ran as usual an hour early through Llanfairfechan, after the Virgin London train, hauled by 68 016 and 68 034.

Then and Now: Conwy - with Jim Ikin

An LNWR publicity card published in January 1905 and posted in 1907 showing the ‘Entrance to  Tubular Bridge’ at Conway – note the platelayer. The signals are also of interest: the home and distant signal has its lamps at a lower level than the arms, and the distant (with its fishtail end)  appears to be red like the home; yellow was not standardised until the 1920s. The ground signal for the exit from the goods sidings is the rotating type.

The nearest one can legally get to the same position today.The siding and headshunt are no longer present and the track has been realigned.

ATW notes

Recently we had a chance to sample the Wireless internet connection now being installed on Arriva Trains Wales Class 175 units. It's free but you need to register with your email address; the suppliers have applied an interesting technique to prevent hogging of bandwidth by people streaming music, folks, etc. The download speed will be 'throttled' once you have downloaded 20 Megabytes of data - you'll still be able to get a connection for email and simple websites. And this did appear to happen when I tried it. 20 MB is not really much these days when a single digital picture from a fancy camera can be that size, and it's not even enough to download a half-hour BBC radio show.

On another topic, thanks to Adrian Dykes writes to tell us that the link we gave to buy Arriva Club 55 tickets 'only works via a web browser and not on a mobile device. It's possible to access these tickets using their mobile ticket browser on a mobile device (not the app) and  you simply insert ATWCLUB into the promo section.'  It's also worth pointing out that unlike ordinary off-peak returns which are valid for a month, Club 55 tickets are valid for just eight days.

Gobowen freight - report by Martin Evans

On Tuesday 26 September I photographed the late running 6V75 Margam steel empties with Freightliner 66 567 in charge at Gobowen, this appeared at 12:20pm two hours late. Apparently on the incoming working the consist was headed by 66 509 and 66 567, however, 66 509 remained behind at Dee Marsh.

Whilst at Gobowen I noticed that the steps to the signal box  had been replaced recently, however, they certainly do not look aesthetically pleasing.

Bridge 148, Talybont - pictures by Peter Basterfield

Wednesday 27 September: in the rain at Talybont, Bridge no. 148, 68 017 Hornet and 68 032

Thursday 28 September: in the sun, with 67 016.

Flask events

It's been quite some time since the flasks run comprised four wagons. On 29 September 68 016 Fearless and 68 034 head through Bangor with 6K41 Valley-Crewe at 14:42...

... three of the four wagons are of the recently-built batch. Pictures by Jim Johnson.

Friday 6 October at Beeches Farm: 68 034 and 68 016 again (Bob Greenhalgh). Apparently the locos for TransPennine are to be 68 019 to 68 032, so the final two of the current order, 033 and 034 have received DRS livery. Re-liverying of the TPE machines has begun: a picture of 68 019 Tireless have appeared in the press. It does not have a yellow front panel: this is no longer required if the marker lights meet current specification.

Narrow-gauge scenes - report by Ian Pilkington

Former Dinorwic Quarry loco Dolbadarn (Hunslet 1922) approaches Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis Lake Railway on Monday 2 October.

Snowdon Mountain Railway no 5 Moel Siabod (SLM 1896) rests on shed at Llanberis on Monday 2 October, after working a single unadvertised round trip, steam operations supposedly having finished for the season two days earlier. (Picture taken with permission.)

Earl of Merioneth arrives at Porthmadog with the stock for the 11:25 Ffestiniog Railway service to Blaenau on Wednesday 4 October.  The locomotive, built in the Ffestiniog Railway's Boston Lodge workshop in the 1970s will be permanently withdrawn on expiration of its boiler certificate (due March 2018) and replaced eventually by a new-build replica of Fairlie James Spooner.

A trip from Scarborough

Wednesday 4 October saw a West Coast Railways excursion from Scarborough (dep. 06:00) to Blaenau Ffestiniog (arr 13:03) make its way across Britain. Bob Greenhalgh was on the footbridge near the Roodee Viaduct as the train crossed the River Dee out of Chester with 57 315 leading.

At Blaenau Ffestiniog  57 315 stands on the rear whilst Ffestiniog Railway Earl of Merioneth backs on to work the 13:40 to Porthmadog. Passengers had time for a trip to Tan-y-Bwlch and back and a look around the town before heading for home at 16:10 (Ian Pilkington).

47 760 reverses the excursion stock out of the station past Earl of Merioneth before stabling in the loop. (Ian Pilkington, taken with permission).

Cumbrian Coast expedition - with Alan Crawshaw

Monday 2 October saw Rowan and I in Preston for the 10:04 loco-hauled service to Barrow. While we were waiting, the City of Bangor Pendolino passed through to make us feel at home.

It's always a relief when a loco-hauled diagram doesn't disappoint with a DMU substitution so we were very pleased to see former North Wales Coast regular 37 422 roll up with the early morning run from Carlisle, currently sporting a plain blue livery. As always, we enjoyed the scenery despite the grey gloom. We were a few minutes late into Barrow for the five-minute connection onto the other locomotive turn so there was no time for a photograph.

Turnround is only eight minutes at Carlisle so we were soon heading back to Barrow. 37 403 provided some much needed colour to the drabness and we had time for a quick photo (above) before the large-logo loco took us north as far as Ravenglass where we spent the night.
We ate at the 'Ratty Arms' which faces the platform so we could enjoy the sight and sound of 37 422 passing. It's a strange pub with an elderly clientele and a life-size cardboard cutout of the queen.

We'd originally intended a ride on the Ravenglass and Eskdale but Tuesday had been declared a day of industrial action with a restricted service and besides it was another drizzly day. We opted instead to visit the 'Brief Encounter' café on Carnforth station, where there was only one other customer so we could take plenty of unobstructed photos. A few more people arrived later. With a gap of over three hours between trains, we took the bus to Lancaster for the train to Warrington Bank Quay. The freight traffic was disappointingly sparse so we were glad when 67 016 turned up to take us to Llandudno Junction for a twilight shot (above) before boarding a Voyager to take us on to Bangor.

FR-WHR Victorian Selection

A few of the many pictures received from the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways' 'Victorian Weekend.' Above, Taliesin and Merddin Emrys at Porthmadog in murky weather on 7 October (Jim Ikin).

Victorian travellers in place (Jim Ikin).

Merddin Emrys in the Aberglaslyn Pass (Jim Ikin).

Palmerston in black and white (Greg Mape).

Lyd heads out into the street at Porthmadog (Greg Mape).

Reflection on a Garratt (Greg Mape).

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