Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

30 October 2017

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Forthcoming events

This list may be out of date if you are reading an archived page. For the current list visit our Calendar

November 2017

Tuesday 7 November North Wales Railway Circle Dave Rapson, who gave an excellent and very popular show of the Bidston line, returns with more of his quality entertainment.

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 Chirstmas 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'ętre.

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.

Tuesday 5 December  North Wales Railway Circle Christmas Bash. A free buffet is provided this evening and members are invited to bring their own slides/digital pictures and videos to entertain

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

Saturday 9 December Rhyl & District Model Railway Club annual Model Railway Exhibition. Venue: Prestatyn Parish Church & Community Hall, High Street, Prestatyn, LL19 9AR.  10.30am - 4.00pm. Featuring around a dozen layouts in scales "Z" to "G", trade stands, displays and light refreshments. In aid of Ty Gobaith Young Peoples Hospice (Conwy) and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd
Cardiology Trust Fund.

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.

Tuesday 9 January  North Wales Railway Circle Speaker to be announced                                                            
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.

Tuesday 6 February  North Wales Railway Circle Barry Wynn, assisted by Steve Morris, presents more of his work.  A superb collection of photographs depicting British Railway practice going back to steam days.           

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”.

Tuesday 6 March  North Wales Railway Circle North to South. North Wales Railway Circle member Ken Owen returns with a pictorial journey north to south over the British Rail network.

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

Tuesday 3 April  North Wales Railway Circle Tony Griffith returns with two presentations.  The Dyserth Branch and an historic shipping disaster off the North Wales Coast.  
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

Tuesday 8 May  North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition  
Thursday 10 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  W. Gordon Davies:  A taste of Japan

68 016 Fearless and 68 034 Victorious head towards Belmont Tunnel on 23 October with the two bridges over the Menai in the background. Picture by Peter Basterfield.

Alstom Widnes - report by Mike Campbell

I had the opportunity on 30 October to join a group of fellow railway professionals for a visit around Alstom’s new Widnes facility. Built with the aid of a Ł6million grant, the factory, which had its official opening in June is part of the wider Mersey Gateway regeneration which also saw the new Mersey crossing opened at nearby Runcorn in September.

Alstom’s decision to build this facility in the UK is part of their strategic decision to have a visible UK presence for both current and projected new orders. The factory takes up a massive 13,000m˛  and there are already plans to expand for phase 2 and 3, if Alstom secure the contract to build new rolling stock for London Underground Deep Tube project and HS2.

For now though, the factory has the Ł25million contract to complete the mid-life corrosive protection work (that’s painting to you and me) of the Virgin trains Class 390 Pendolino fleet. The first unit to be painted was 390 010 followed by units 006, then 390 009 which is pictured here. The plan is to complete all 56 sets in the fleet, with each unit being repainted on a two-week turnaround.  Shunter 08 721, transferred here from Longsight depot, was on hand outside.

Also housed at the site is a new training academy and Alstom have taken on several apprentices to support the 390 project.

[Note: Mike assures us that participant were encouraged to take and share pictures.]

Arriva give up on Wales

It appears from press reports that Arriva has told the Welsh Government that it will be no longer participating in the Wales and Borders [franchise] competition', adding it had 'not been an easy decision.'

Arriva Trains Wales run the franchise since 2003; there are three remaining bidders - Abellio (Netherlands Railways), French public-private consortium Keolis, who recently won the Manchester Metrolink franchise, and MTR, operators of the Hong Kong rapid transport system.

Responsibility for the process of finding a company to run the services from 2018 is devolved to the Welsh Government, and the decision is supposed to be made by the end of this year.  It's not clear what the WG is requiring of the new franchise holder, although it stated publicly that there will be no move to driver-only operation.  Many ATW trains serve important places outside Wales, of course; it was being said back in 2015 that services 'primarily serving English markets' might be re-allocated to English-based franchises, but it's not clear how this could be done without losing important through connections for Welsh passengers to English cities. As for rolling stock for possible improved services, the only plan we know of is an order for some of the 'Class 769' electro-diesel units being converted from Class 319 EMUs.

Arriva's Northern company are promising to run a service on the Manchester - Warrington Bank Quay route from May 2018, but it appears that this will be a 'Northern Connect' semi-fast service no stopping at Runcorn East, Frodsham or Helsby which are currently served only by ATW. Any reader who knows what's actually likely to happen is welcome to comment.

Severn Valley Saturday - with Jim Ikin

Some Severn Valley Railway scenes from 28 October. I don’t think I've trains so crowded on a standard timetable day on any preserved railway - although there was a Halloween event on that night. Above: the state of progress with the 'new-build' Class 3 2-6-2T.

The replica of the 1808 Richard Trescothick Catch-Me-Who-Can locomotive, under construction in the SVR workshops, not far from to Rastrick and Hazledine's foundry in Bridgnorth where the original was made.

43106, one of the first locos to run on the restored Severn Valley line, on the LNER Gresley set of teak-bodied coaches.

1949-built pannier 1501 enters Bridgnorth ...

... and runs around the train.

Departing Highley for Kidderminster.

The low autumn sun offers artistic opportunities.

34027 Taw Valley on shed

Pannier tank 7714 takes on water at Bridgnorth.

Clarifications from last issue

We've been asked to mention that the steel doors for the Corwen Central subway were a donation to the railway,  were modified in-house by Llangollen Engineering, rather than made as suggested by our item, and hung on Saturday, 21 October to secure the access to the subway.

Tony Robinson's memories of Vulcan works caused some reader comment. Class 50 diesels, intended originally for the London Midland region and later transferred to the Western, would have been under construction on his visit to the works in 1968, but the order for 'Deltic' locos, although built there, was completed some years earlier, around 1962. Could one have been present at the Vulcan works in 1968, for overhaul or repair perhaps? Or maybe the last of the Class 37s.

Locomotive variety

67 018 Keith Heller crosses the bridge by the Carreg Bran Hotel with train 1D34 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead on 27 October. Picture by Peter Basterfield.

60 076 Dunbar stands at Mostyn in the early hours of 30 October on an engineers train to Crewe Basford Hall, with 60 085 on the rear; picture by Colas driver Jim Scott. The clock on the 'last 60 on the Coast' challenge needs re-setting!

Another much-photographed -and soon to be lost - signal, at Holyhead on 30 October, with 56 096 at the head of the Rail Head Treatment Train (Steve Morris).

66 716 Locomotive and Carriage Institution passes Stoney Bridge, Timperley on 2 November with another load of wood pellets for Drax power station.

68 029 and 68 001 Evolution pass Bagillt with flasks on 25 October (Tim Rogers).

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