Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

27 November 2017

'The only model railway exhibition to be held in the centre of a major UK city ... Just three minutes' walk from Piccadilly station.' See the MMRS website for details.

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

November 2017

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.

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

Tornado arrives at Chester from London, 25 November. Picture by Peter Hanson.

Chester 'Christmas' Steam

Christmas comes early to main line steam operators. 25 November saw two steam trains making their way to Chester, featuring two locos not often seen on our line. Above 70013 Oliver Cromwell climbs Hencote Bank leaving Shrewsbury with the 07:04 Bristol Temple Meads - Chester 'Christmas Cheshireman'. Picture by Chris Morrison.

Arriving at Chirk, where water was to be taken (Anthony Thomas).

Despite leaving Hereford some 28 minutes late, Britannia class 4-6-0 No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell drifts into Chirk station only nine minutes down for its scheduled water stop. (Peter Neve).

Chirk (Anthony Thomas).

With steam from the cylinder drain cocks making life difficult for the photographers No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell restarts the The Christmas Cheshireman from Chirk station (Peter Neve).

A reminder of the important behind the scenes work that goes on to keep the steam engines supplied with water (Peter Neve).

After the brief water stop at Chirk, 70013 storms the up the 1-in-83 bank past Rhosymedre (Ian Pilkington).

North of Gobowen (Ian Pilkington).

Arrival at Chester (Jim Ikin).

End of the Rainbow at Chester (Sue Ikin).

Chester (Phil Clarke).

Ready for departure from Chester. Picture by Peter Hanson who notes: 'The British Transport Police officer on duty, considering the large number of rail enthusiasts present, handled the crowds very well. He was very friendly and gave the photographers permission to get their photos from the platform ends as long as they did not take too long. Full marks to him.'

47 580 County of Essex on the other end (Anthony Thomas).

'After the Lord Mayor's show comes the muck cart'  (Jim Ikin).

Why 42633 didn't appear

The owners of 46233 Duchess of Sutherland have issued an explanation of why the loco did not appear on last weeks steam train:

'We can now inform you that during an examination prior to last Saturday's planned tour to Holyhead it was discovered that the Duchess has a cracked large flue. During the past week our engineers, along with our volunteers, have removed the motion and on Monday of next week the locomotive will be towed back to the West Shed. The planned winter maintenance programme will
commence almost immediately which will include the fitting of new elements.

'The locomotive is now withdrawn from service until March 2018 at the earliest, but will return to service bearing her 1938 LMS livery.- Leslie E Truswell, PRCLT Ltd'

Flooding on Anglesey - report by Jim Johnson

A few pictures taken at Bangor on Friday, 24 November, just as the line across Anglesey was re-opening after the flooding caused by the biblical deluge on the Wednesday. All down trains had been terminating at Bangor (the first through to Holyhead was 1W92 09:21 Cardiff Central-Holyhead, 175 011 being the unit), resulting in some unconventional movements.

Normally 158 834, forming the 1G50 Bangor-Birmingham International, would have been held in Belmont Tunnel until train 1H89, 13:32 Bangor-Manchester Piccadilly, had departed and cleared the Up loop starter. However, 1W92 was due shortly on the Down line, working through to Holyhead, and 1750 01, working 5H91 12:40 Holyhead - Llandudno Junction Empty stock was due on the Up. Consequently, 158 834 was signalled into the up loop, to park up against 67 018 Keith Heller which was on the tail of the Manchester train.

Shortly after the Manchester's departure, 175 001 arrived on the up main, where it was held until the section ahead was clear.

175 001 departing at 13:41.

Eifion's Coaches T18 HEH has brought some passengers from Holyhead.

Diesel Loco pictorial

67 018 at Chester on 21 November with the 1D31 16:50 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno. Picture by Alan Crawshaw.

60 002 at Chester on 21 November with the 12:58 Carlisle to Chirk logs (Alan Crawshaw)

68 004 and 68 033 with the 6D43 Crewe to Valley flasks at Talybont near Bangor on 27 November (Rowan Crawshaw).

56 113 arrives at Bangor with the 3S71 Rail Head Treatment Train for Holyhead on 27 November (Rowan Crawshaw)..

56 105 on the rear. Plenty of leaves still to fall, but the train will cease to run at the 10 December timetable change if normal procedure is followed. (Rowan Crawshaw).
Tornado at Chester

After very dark skies and a heavy burst of rain, sunshine and blue skies ...

...  greeted Tornado on arrival Chester General from London Euston (Jim Ikin)...

... with the 'Christmas Cracker'. Picture by Jim Ikin.

In the sidings at Chester after reversal (Anthony Thomas).

The two locos: 70013 seems to be receiving some attention (Phil Clarke).

47 580 (Anthony Thomas).

Tornado passes Stafford with the return 17:38 Chester - London Euston  (Chris Morrison).

Rhyl work complete (almost)

We have received the following Network Rail press release:
Network Rail has thanked North Wales residents and passengers for their patience after completing essential upgrade work in Rhyl.

Normal Sunday service will resume for train passengers travelling between Llandudno Junction and Chester following the completion of track and signalling upgrade work, all part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better railway for passengers and businesses.

Engineers have been working on the railway in Rhyl since the end of October, replacing hundreds of metres of track as well as installing new signalling equipment. Whilst the bulk of the work is complete, engineers will carry out minor track work in the area overnight until January 2018. The new signalling equipment is set to go live in March 2018.

This latest phase of modernisation work forms part of the £50m North Wales railway upgrade project. Kevin Roberts, senior project manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: 'Our railway is vital to economic prosperity, linking people, businesses and communities. We would like to thank the local community for their patience during this improvement work, which will improve the resilience and reliability of the railway for passengers in north Wales. We have been working closely with our partners Arriva Trains Wales to keep passengers moving during the major upgrade work, and will keep passengers  and the local community informed as our upgrade work in north Wales continues.'

The North Wales Railway Upgrade project started in January 2017 and is set
to be completed by the summer of 2018.
Some may have formed the impression that the current project included closing all signalboxes on the Coast and controlling everything from Cardiff, but Llandudno Junction to Holyhead and Llandudno boxes will be with us for some time yet, possibly until 2020, albeit with their semaphore signals replaced earlier.

A Morning in Hereford, 25 November - with Richard Putley

As the weather forecast was largely good I decided to make an early start, catching the 07:44 from Great Malvern to Hereford. I'd looked at Real Time Trains which had told me that freight trains were due both Northbound and Southbound at 09:30. The 08:44 from Great Malvern would have got me there just in time (08:19) providing it was punctual. But I decided the 07:44 would give a greater safety margin.

In the event both trains were on time, but on arrival at Hereford I was surprised to see a Southbound Steel train, headed by 66 101, standing (above) on the Up Relief Line, which was normally used by Northbound freight trains!

I thought it would depart at 09:30 as The Railway Touring Company's “Christmas Cheshireman” was due to stand on the Up Relief between 09:44 and 10:30. Given the angle of the shadows after watching 150 236 depart with the 08:50 to Milford Haven (06:30 from Manchester Piccadilly) I decided to position myself on the south end of Platform 3, the Up (Northbound) Platform.

After I had photographed it I was surprised when instead of continuing south, the steel train reversed to the north of the station, at the site of the one time Brecon Curve Junction (where until recently a short stub of the old Brecon line was retained to serve the Bulmer's Works).

The sun was still shining as the steam special arrived with 70013 Oliver Cromwell on the front and 47 580 County of Essex on the rear and no doubt heating the train too. After parking on the Up Relief, the steam loco and its support coach uncoupled then reversed along the Up Main and into
Platform so the loco could take water from a waiting road tanker.

Meanwhile I left the station and walked to a road over bridge immediately north of it. From there I photographed the steam special departing. The steel train finally departed just before the steam special. By this time the weather had deteriorated so I made a beeline for the nearest Coffee

Cambrian Corner - with Ken Robinson

On 24 November I visited Penychain, a station which does not seem to get much attention these days, after hearing about vegetation clearance that had taken place there recently. I was not disappointed as the old Down side had been cleared, exposing the remains of the 10-coach length platform which was so busy during the 1950s and early '60s. The photo shows the 08:53 from Machynlleth slowing down for the request stop.

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