Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

19 February 2018

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Forthcoming events

February 2018

Friday 23 February Shropshire Railway Society Andrew Charman: Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

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   

Friday 9 March  Shropshire Railway Society George Jones: Onward to illustrated review of the Llangollen Railway's extension to Corwen

Monday 19  March   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Peter Berry – “The Robert Whitfield Collection, UK Steam 1948 - 1958”  Because of renovations the Society will not be able to hold the meeting at The Town Crier, Station Road, Chester and the meeting will now take place nearby at The Queen Hotel, Station Road, Chester (opposite  the station).

Friday 9 March Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Trains of Thought. Includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the US and the UK. a digital presentation by Bob Avery

Friday 23 March  Shropshire Railway Society Chris Banks, Too be announced

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  

Friday 13 April  Shropshire Railway Society Mervyn Pritchard, Swiss Alps and Railways

Friday 13 April Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Navigation Road and All That.The show includes scenes at Navigation Road, Ashley, Cinderland Crossing, Dunham Massey and other locations in the Altrincham area. Ted Buckley shows pictures (mainly of steam) taken by his late father Bill in the 1960s.

13-15 April Llangollen Railway End of Steam gala 3802 expected back in traffic otherwise further attractions yet to be announced.

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.

Friday 27 April  Shropshire Railway Society AGM, followed by Member's talk

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.

2-3 June  Llangollen Railway Heritage railcar gala

30 June Llangollen Railway Classic transport

July 2018

Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and return. 45690

Tuesday 24 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company Welsh Mountaineer Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog. 45699 or 48151: Preston - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Blaenau and return

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.

September 2018

Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton - Chester - Peterborough

29 September Llangollen Railway Diesel gala

October 2018

12-14 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala

Friday 19 October Steam on the Coast Golden Eagle Luxury Tour (Day 5 of 12) (Provisional)  Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog 46100: Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog, Holyhead - Crewe

6430 runs round its train at Carrog, 17 February. Picture by Martin Evans.

Club 55 tickets

A reminder that Arriva Club 55 tickets, offering cheap travel to anyone aged over 55, are on sale until 3 March.

Peter Basterfield's view

On Monday' 12 February flask train 6D43 negotiates Pen-y-Clip with 68 018 Vigilant leading 68 017 Hornet.

The second is the 08:55 Holyhead - London featuring 221 106 the 'No6 Prisoner' set used for the Portmeirion Festival. I had to  include a 'Pandrol Clip' at Pen-y-clip (!) This ingenious device for quickly fixing rail to sleepers was invented in 1957 by a Norwegian Railway engineer Per Pande-Rolfsen, also known as a PRclip.

Wednesdays Valley - Crewe flasks, 6K41 runs through Bangor station (currently undergoing a facelift) with 68 017 leading 68 018.

Thursday 15 February's 'Piccadilly Pusher' (13:07 Holyhead - Manchester) with 67 015 at Talybont.

Crewe and Shrewsbury, 19 February - with Martin Evans

Pausing at Crewe on 19 February was an unusual train comprising West Coast Railways locos 37 669 and 37 668 towing just one vehicle, 96175, which is a former 'General Utility Van' fitted with two tanks inside which can carry 3000 gallons of water to enable steam locos to travel further without stopping to take water. There are two of these vehicles; 96100 works with Vintage Trains' GWR locos, but this West Coast Railways one, converted in 2010, has not appeared so often on our pages.

The train was running from Carnforth to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley. 37 669 ...

... and 37 668 are of interest as they are the two locomotives fitted with the Hitachi version of the ERTMS signalling equipment required for the Cambrian lines to Pwllheli and Aberystwyth. Some of the equipment is in the box seen under under the body next to the fuel tank (read more on the Vossloh website). However, although test runs were made in 2015, neither loco has seen much use on the Cambrian, although they have worked some railtours elsewhere.

Virgin Pendolino 390 009 in the new livery departs Crewe for London Euston at 13:32 with a service from Manchester Piccadilly. According to Virgin, the livery is 'named "flowing silk" and builds on the iconic Virgin brand, adding curves, shapes and dynamism, with the flow across the train taking its main inspiration from the natural world ...the wind.'

At Shrewsbury, Virgin Voyager 221 113 was pictured at 12:52pm arriving with train 9J14, 10:23 from London Euston. For some reason the schedule requires this unit to run empty back to Wolverhampton where it spends 10 minutes before returning to Shrewsbury to form the 15:24 to London.

Welsh Slate shipments clock up the miles (press release)

The UK slate manufacturer’s shipments continue to evolve. Shipments of decorative aggregate within Europe are continuing to grow and evolve for leading UK manufacturer Welsh Slate, part of the Lagan Group.

A total of seven shipments totalling almost 14,000 tonnes were made in 2017 from Port Penrhyn at Bangor, near to the manufacturer’s main Penrhyn quarry at Bethesda in North Wales, to feed the continuing demand for decorative aggregates. There had been four shipments in 2016 – three to Redsun Garden Products, one of the largest producers of precast products in Germany, and one to UK distributor Long Rake Spar via Rye in East Sussex.

Historically, Welsh Slate has been shipped out of Port Penrhyn since the 14th Century and by the 19th Century Welsh slate was being shipped to all the major UK ports as well as western European destinations. The worldwide use of slate from the 18th Century onwards followed the trade routes of the major British shipping lines, complementing the import of cotton from America and wool from Australia, when roofing slates were used as ballast in the ships.

And the journey for Welsh Slate aggregates does not just stop at the overseas ports. For Redsun, the material is typically reloaded onto two barges at Rotterdam and transferred to Zand and Grindelwald at Waalwijk in the Netherlands. Half is then taken by road to Redsun at Kevelaer in Germany for distribution throughout mainland Europe.

Redsun took two shipments of approximately 1,650 tonnes each in 2017 while five shipments of approximately 1,360 tonnes each went to a little nearer home for [aggregate suppliers]  Long Rake Spar. And Long Rake Spar has already booked five deliveries for 2018, to supply a Tarmac project for DIY giant B&Q, thus continuing to reinforce the growing importance of this element of Welsh Slate’s business.

These deliveries bring 2017’s total of shipments to a record-breaking seven and shows how Welsh Slate’s shipping heritage has evolved to contemporary use to meet the ever-growing requirement for decorative aggregates.

North Wales comes to Kings Cross - report by Roger Carvell

To coincide with half term week, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways arranged for their
annual 'roadshow' to appear at London King's Cross station once again, and what a success
it has been, attracting family groups going up to London for sightseeing and museum visiting. Even hard-bitten Great Northern commuters probably stole at least a glance as they hurried by at peak hours.

FR and WHR volunteers arrived at King's Cross late on Sunday 11 February to lay temporary
track over the King's Cross concourse, with the locomotives, Velinheli and Hugh Napier, Hunslet standard quarry locomotives arriving separately by low loader, together with the rebuilt
Ashburys coach No.10.

Hugh Napier belongs to the National Trust at Penrhyn Castle, while Velinheli now hails from the Launceston Steam Railway in Cornwall. Both will head back to Porthmadog from Sunday 18 February. Hugh Napier is in full working order while Velinheli requires re-boilering at Boston Lodge.

A visitor asked if a 'Garratt' could be displayed next year. Alas, its much heavier weight would see
it descending to Northern or Piccadilly Line levels! The Hunslet engines are lighter and easier to push in, said a FR volunteer. A very enjoyable spectacle and a pleasure to see a little bit
of North Wales in the capital.

Linda on engineers duty - pictures by John Fry

These pictures taken by Ffestiniog Railway permanent way volunteer John Fry were taken on 5 February and show Ffestiniog Railway locomotive Linda, (Hunslet Engine Co 1893) shunting a spoil train at Moelwyn Tunnel (south portal).

The train contains spent ballast and spoil which was being removed from the tunnel as part of the winter track renewal work. The reason for a steam locomotive being used, we understand,  was because of lack of availability of suitable diesel motive power.

Ruabon to Llangollen relics - explored by Martin Evans

While walking from Trevor to Llangollen on 12 February I took a couple of pictures of the former Ruabon to Llangollen section line which I hope may be of interest. This section of the Ruabon to Barmouth route closed to passengers in January 1965 and to goods in 1968. The view above is to Sun Bank Halt which was the scene of a terrible accident in 1945 resulting in one fatality - driver D. Jones - and two persons injured, after the canal bank gave way in the early hours of the morning and the floodwater breached the line below. Unfortunately the block and telegraph cables remained intact, and the 3.35 am Chester to Barmouth main and parcels, with 2-6-0 loco 6315 proceeded into the section and the locomotive fell down the embankment.

The second picture shows the bridge over the canal at Bryn Howel. Unfortunately there is little prospect of this section re-opening under Llangollen railway auspices to connect to the main line at Ruabon in the near future.

Logs for Chirk - pictures by Eryl Crump

Colas Rail 60 096 heading Carlisle - Chirk logs on 5 February through Armathwaite.

What the picture can't convey is the wonderful smell of cut timber as the train whizzed through the station. It seems a pity to chop em up and turn them into chipboard products.

The shape of the ends of these wagons are a clue that they started life as Cargowaggon ferry vans.

The scene in video.

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