Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

15 January 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events
January 2018

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”  Note:  Changed venue for this meeting due to renovations: the Queen Hotel, opposite Chester station.

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

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

Thursday 12 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Members Evening  

Saturday 14 April Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000. Special introductory fares from £45.

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.

Saturday 28 April Steam on the Coast UK Railtours  Ynys Mon Express. Leicester - Holyhead  60163 Tornado  Derby - Holyhead - Derby.

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

June 2018

Saturday 2 June Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

July 2018

August 2018

Saturday 4 August. Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains.  Bangor (07.00/22.15) Llandudno Jct (07.25/21.55) Colwyn Bay (07.35/21.45) Rhyl (07.50/21.30) Prestatyn (08.00/21.20) Flint (08.10/21.10) Chester (08.30/20.50) Crewe (09.30/20.00) Stafford to Stratford-on Avon. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

Tram across the Mersey, between between Barlow Moor Road and Sale Water Park stops, Airport line. Picture by Greg Mape, 13 January.

No actual 'North Wales Coast Railway' items on hand this week - hope you enjoy these exotica. - Charlie

Sunday diversions - pictures by Greg Mape

North Wales - Manchester trains on Sunday 14 January were (mostly) running between Chester and Manchester only and diverted via the Mid-Cheshire line. Above, a Class 175 forming the 15:36 Chester - Manchester Piccadilly passes the decrepit building of Barrow for Tarvin station on the section between Mickle Trafford and Moldsworth which was singled in 1969.

Earlier in the day, 175 008 passes well-kept Northwich station.

Shipping on the Web

Dave Sallery has completed a new collection for his website with many excellent captioned pictures of ships around North Wales, the Manchester Ship Canal, and around the UK. Go to

A Northwich reminiscence - by Charlie Hulme

Greg's picture brings to mind my first visit to Northwich station. My father died at Christmas 1967, and one day in early January, a few days after the funeral, I felt able to have a train trip - my main weekend activity at the time. Vaguely aware that steam could still be seen at Northwich, where the shed was alongside the station, I travelled to Manchester and caught  a Chester-bound DMU - via Stretford and Sale in those days of course. When I got there it was dark, and very cold. I spent some time at the end of the platform keeping by the brazier attached to the water column; as far as I can recall I saw no trains at all until I headed home.

This picture by the late Harold Bowtell from the Manchester Locomotive Society collection shows the scene in August 1967; withdrawn steam locos dominate the view of Northwich (8E) from the platform. The water column can be made out at the end of the platform, in front of the Cheshire Line Committee-style semaphore signal. As Greg's picture shows, although the two goods lines behind the platform remain today, the shed site itself is occupied by a housing development known as Pullman Drive. It's pleasant that a railway connection has been retained, even if the name chosen has little connection with the place.

Relaying on Snowdon - pictures by Gary Jones

Track relaying work in progress on the Snowdon Mountain Railway on 11 January, with diesel loco no 9 Ninian in attendance.

The digger is not a road-rail vehicle, it travels by rail on a specially adapted wagon.

A completed section, which has been built still has to be aligned and bedded in. The Abt rack system differs from others in having two rack rails, set so that the teeth on one are opposite the trough on the other, giving a smoother traction.

These Y-shaped steel sleepers have been used on Swiss and German lines, but the SMR appears to be the first user in the UK. Unlike the pressed-steel normal sleepers in use on Network Rail, they have an I-section; various claims are made for the Y-shape idea, such as need for less ballast, and less tendency to move sideways on curves.

Ordsall Chord safari - by Charlie Hulme

On 4 January I took a walk to see what views of trains on the new Ordsall Chord line are available. An obvious one is from the old-style bowstring bridge carrying New Quay Street across the river Irwell, but this is a long way away from the railway bridge, so I walked down Water Street to see what could be seen. The area is still a work site, with riverside paths blocked off, but I did find a public location (above) behind the Marriott Hotel car park. The Class 150 unit is the 13:38 Manchester Oxford Road - Leeds.

I the made my way to the Museum of Science and Industry on Liverpool Road to see what can be achieved there. This view is from Liverpool Road outside the historic 1830 booking office of Liverpool Road station, with the long plate girder span carrying the new line across the road and the ramp which once led up to Liverpool Road station level. There was a ramp there in 1830, visible in old print, which was used by passengers arriving from Liverpool. The one seen now is a later replacement.

Within the museum site, the museum's own line on to the bridge over Water Street has been truncated, with much controversy, and barriers deny one an easy shot of the bridge, but there is a metal staircase and the end of the Museum buildings from which I was able to photograph the 13:18 from Leeds to Manchester Oxford Road, due to pass at 14:52. The unusual overhead gantries are a feature of this line.

There is a Model Railway Exhibition at the Museum on 28 April, incidentally.

From the Museum I followed the walking route to the lift (which wasn't working) and staircase leading to the level of Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink station. In the foreground is the re-creation of the Roman fort which stood here in Castlefield. The Scotland-bound Class 350 is taking the main line towards Ordsall Lane and beyond, passing the signals which govern the new Water Street Junction. The overhead of the new line can be seen curving to the right.

Changing scene at Bristol - report by Richard Neale

Here is my record of what I saw on a brief visit to Bristol on 4 January - mainly to see the changing scene with the new units there. Class 166 units, released by Thames Valley electrification work, are now common, and Class 800 express units have begun to replace the HSTs. The two prototype 150s, 001 and 002 (above) seem to be a common sight.

At Temple Meads station:
150 002 on 11.04 Taunton-Cardiff
150 127 on 12.47 Westbury-Gloucester (at 13.49) (travelled on this service to Bristol Parkway)
150 233 on 1041 Gloucester-Weymouth (at11.49)
150 266 into Temple Meads at about12.00 then shunted across to siding next to platform 1
166 203 arrived in platform 1 with 11.54 from Severn Beach
166 208 on 11.00 Cardiff-Taunton (at 11.52)
166 210 on 12.03 to Avonmouth (from platform 5)
158 950 on 09.23 Portsmouth Harbour-Cardiff (at 1154)
158 956 on 11.30 Cardiff-Portsmouth Harbour (at 12.21)
159 008 at 12.04 arrival from Waterloo then departing back at12.49 (still in old livery)
220 032 on 12.00 Bristol-Manchester
221 131 on 08.28 Penzance-Glasgow (at 12.30)
221 141 on 06.45 Newcastle-Plymouth (11.00 off Cheltenham)
221 144 on 09.07 Manchester-Bristol
43 004+43 047 on 12.00 to Paddington
43 009+43 140 on 12.00 Paddington-Bristol TM (at 13.50)
43 035+43 137 on 12.30 to Paddington
43 023+43 187 on 10.30 Paddington-Weston -super-Mare (at 12.13)
08516 parked outside at back of Arriva Train Care depot

Noted at Bristol Parkway were:
150 131 on 13.44 Westbury-Great Malvern
Unidentified 158? On 12.41 Great Malvern-Weymouth (at 14.31)
166 202 on 14.10 Weston-super-Mare-Bristol Parkway and awaited return at 15.12
166 206 on 14.12 for Weston-super-Mare
220 007 on 12.25 Plymouth-Glasgow (at 14.42)
220 028 on 14.00 Bristol-Manchester (at 14.10)
220 030 on 07.00 Glasgow-Plymouth (at 14.33)
221 125 on 11.07 Manchester-Bristol and 15.00 return (took this train at 15.10 from Parkway)
221 137 on12.07 Manchester-Exeter St D (at 14.57)
43 017+43 180 on 12.45 Paddington-Swansea (at 14.12)
430 25+43 193 on 13.29 Swansea-Paddington (at 15.03)
43 098+43 150 on 12.29 Swansea-Paddington (at 14.03)
800 008+800 009 on 13.56 Cardiff-Paddington (at 14.31)
800 012 +800 018 on 13.15 Paddington-Cardiff (at 14.45)
66 419 on 4O57 Wentloog - Southampton (saw this passing through when on footbridge – info from A. Turton)
66 511 / 545 / 556 in siding adjacent to platform 4.

800 012 + 800 018 on 13.15 Paddington-Cardiff at Bristol Parkway.

(Richard, now based in Cheltenham but for many years a stalwart of the RCTS in the North West area, adds: 'It was sad news to hear of Edgar Richards' passing recently, with his funeral being on 10 January in Birkenhead on what would have been his 95th birthday.  Edgar had over the years presented many fascinating railway evenings to groups on Merseyside and along the North Wales coast.')

Transpennine Deltic Lament - by Barrie Hughes

[Our New Year's Day issue included a report on the 'Transpennine Reprise' railtour which commemorated the 'Trans-Pennine Deltic Lament' -  actually a service train, the last to be hauled by a Deltic to Liverpool, not a charter -  which ran from York to Liverpool in December 1981. Barrie Hughes was at Liverpool to witness the event. We hope readers will forgive the use of camera flash on this old scene. Please don't do it today.]

Above is 55 009 Alycidon on the buffers at Liverpool Lime Street plastered with snow. The headboard appears to have been organised by depot staff at York along with the other adornments. The loco had taken over the Edinburgh - Liverpool working at York. Enthusiasts thronged around the loco taking pictures and touching the loco.

Enthusiasts were later surprised when the sound of a second Deltic reverberated through Edge Hill cutting. 55 015 Tulyar arrived on another Trans-Pennine passenger working, again plastered in snow; it was rare to have two Deltics in Liverpool Lime Street at the same time. Deltics had been relegated to second class and even parcels duties after being usurped form headline East Coast Main Line duties by HSTs. The final Deltic railtour in BR ownership was on 2 January 1982 between Kings Cross and Edinburgh.

55 009 ran round and was surrounded by enthusiasts at the country end of the platform. The driver is seen placing the special disc York - Liverpool - York. There was much sounding of its distinctive horn as the train left.

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