12 March 2018
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Monday 19 March RCTS
Merseyside Chester & North Wales
CHESTER Peter Berry – “The Robert
Whitfield Collection, UK Steam 1948 - 1958” Because
of delayed start of renovations the Society will now be
able to hold the meeting at its usual venue, The Town
Crier, Station Road, Chester (opposite the
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
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” This meeting will now take place at
The Queen Hotel, Station Road, Chester.
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
Thursday 12 April Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society Members
Friday 13 April Shropshire
Railway Society Mervyn Pritchard, Swiss Alps and
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
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
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.
Tuesday 8 May North
Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic
Thursday 10 May Llandudno
and Conwy Valley Railway Society W. Gordon
Davies: A taste of Japan
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
Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring
Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and
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
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
Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company
Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton
- Chester - Peterborough
29 September Llangollen
Railway Diesel gala
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
Nostalgia: 37 418 East Lancashire Railway
passes Talybont on 12 May 1995, working a Bangor to Crewe
service. (Picture from Dave
Sallery's Archive.) Purchased by a private owner
after withdrawal by EWS, it worked on the East Lancashire
Railway, with a period out of use due to engine problems,
but has since been taken on (leased?) by Colas Rail and is
undergoing overhaul at Barrow Hill. Perhaps we will
see it back on the Coast working test trains.
Chester Sojourn - with Charlie Hulme
On Monday 5 March 158 833 stands in the
sidings at Chester, possibly visiting for tyre-turning
following the discovery of damaged wheels on several trains,
related in the last issue. To their credit, were running an
almost normal service, 5 days after the mass withdrawals. We
understand The misplaced check rail at Maindee West Junction
(due to a broken bolt) had been doing its damage for about
five weeks. There would have been several routine track
inspections during that period, but from a photo we have
seen, the slight movement of the check rail would not have
been easy to spot. Finding its location under a layer of
snow was even harder.
221 107 Sir Martin Frobisher ready to start
at 14:35 from Platform 4 with the 12:52 Holyhead - London
Euston. Buying a ticket seems to have its problems at
Chester, especially when using a self-service machine. A
hand-made notice on the machine tells users that the
cheapest off-peak return ticket to Liverpool is not any of
the prices listed under 'Liverpool' (unless you have a
railcard presumably) but a £5.20 all zones day saver, and
offers instructions about what to type to bring it up. An
interesting feature, in that most ticket machines installed
by other train companies do not offer purchase of day
saver/day ranger-type tickets requiring a destination to be
entered. This is a problem in terms of revenue collection
from unstaffed stations, as anyone stopped without a ticket
can simply say that he wanted to buy a Day Ranger.
175 007 making a shunt move to the depot. Another
quirk arouse when we wanted to buy tickets, the machine
produced a display with three boxes, roughly like this:
|VIRGIN TRAINS WEST COAST
|NORTHERN VIA ALTRINCHAM
I made my way to the ticket office, where the friendly clerk
sold me the tickets and said 'oh yes, we have told them
again and again about this, you have to press the one with
the dot if you want an Anytime ticket.'
Our journey was planned to include a run on the loco-hauled
train to Manchester, which departs Chester at 14:47, seen
arriving with driving van trailer 82308 leaving and 67
016 on the rear.
Royal Scot 2018 - pictures by Phil Clarke
Two views of 46100 Royal Scot at Crewe with
a Locomotive Services training run on 7 March, showing just
how much ironwork there is on today's electrified railways.
Royal Scot mishap 1963 - remembered by Peter Neve
Bob Greenhalgh’s photograph of 46100 Royal Scot
passing the site of the former Chester (6A) MPD in the 6 March issue reminded me of an
incident which occurred in the summer of 1963 at the same
location and involving a Royal Scot class locomotive. The
'Big Freeze' of 1962/63 was a fading memory and the summer
specials to the North Wales coast holiday resorts were just
starting. I was a 12-year-old trainspotter at my usual
location at Hoole Lane bridge on the day in question. Royal
Scot Class 46110 Grenadier Guardsman stopped
at the home signal (above) on the approach to Chester
General station even though the signal was off. I was told
that she had a hot axle box on the centre driving wheel set
and was removed from the train.
I happened to have a borrowed, second-hand Kodak Brownie 127
camera (single shutter speed and aperture setting!) with me
and took this of photographs. Grenadier Guardsman has
been removed from the train and has been parked on the
coaling road. Stanier Black 5 45427, recently
transferred from Willesden MPD, is being prepared to take
over the stricken train, which stands on the down line from
Crewe into Chester General station.
45427, complete with headboard, backs on to the coaches of
train 1Z83 special train and will continue the journey to
the North Wales coast. This photograph is not particularly
good as there is an element of 'ghosting' apparent.
Nevertheless, I thought they may be of some interest,
especially to those who might have worked at 6A. The entire
incident took about 90 minutes to resolve, which I think is
a credit to all concerned.
[Can anyone offer details of the working and date?]
Coast line assortment
On a beautiful sunny frosty morning, 9 March, 68
025 Superb and 68 016 Fearless
with two flasks for Valley passing through Chester station (Bob
A class 158 makes its way across Llandulas viaduct on 10
March (Greg Mape).
175 107 arrives at Abergele on 10 March (Greg Mape).
The signal, along with the signalbox, will be taken out of
use two weeks from now; a replacement LED signal awaits
unveiling on the left; the points to the former platform
line are locked out of use and will be removed in due
Regarding our recent report that the line beyond Colwyn Bay
will not be transferred to control from Cardiff, but simply
have some of its signals upgraded, correspondents tell us
that this is old news; a memo suggesting this has apparently
been in circulation among rail staff for some time.
FR from above
The original Harbour station at Porthmadog from an unusual
angle, 6 March (Martin Evans).
A visit to the Llanberis Lake Railway - with Martin
I visited Llanberis on 7 March. The 1pm train is seen about
to depart Gilfach Ddu.
The loco in traffic on the Lake Railway was No 3 Dolbadarn,
Hunslet Works no 1430, Built for the Dinorwic quarry in
Also noted at the National Slate Museum was diesel loco No 7
Topsy, Ruston Hornsby 4wDM Works no
441427 Built for Bestwood Colliery in 1961.
Finally I noted another Quarry Hunslet on display: Una
Hunslet 873 of 1905. Built for the
Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry, it is now in the National Slate
Museum, with which the Llanberis
Lake Railway shares premises.
Class forties in the eighties - pictures by Barrie
Above, on 25 October 1982, 40 174 stands with
its train in the Greater Manchester Council waste transfer
terminal, seen from the Reliance Street bridge in Newton
Heath, Manchester. Allocated at the time to Wigan
Springs Branch depot, the loco was withdrawn on 24 May
1984 and broken up at Swindon by the end of that year.
The adjacent line at that time was part of the Manchester -
The terminal still operates, run by the Viridor company for
the the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, but the
railway scene has changed; the former 'Up' line on the far
side is a single-track section of the Metrolink Oldham and
Rochdale line, the 'Down' line being retained by Network
Rail to allow locos to run round waste trains. On Mondays to
Fridays a train of empty containers hauled by a Freightliner
66 runs from the 'energy from waste' plant at Runcorn to
Brindle Heath waste terminal in Salford, where part of the
train is detached, the loco and the remaining wagons running
to Dean Lane, scheduled to load there from 16:51 to 18:39
before returning to Brindle Heath and Runcorn.
Viewed from the depot footbridge at Manchester Longsight
(with a permit) on the same day, 40 055 with a full
set of discs on display. This loco was withdrawn from
Springs Branch on 14 November 1982 and also broken up in
Swindon by mid-1983. In the early 80s Class 40s could still
be found double headed on the 'Irish Mail' ,' Emerald Isle
Express' or Freightliner workings to Holyhead.
Votes for Women
Metrolink tram 3080, Celebrating International
Women's Day, leaving the Northen Moor Stop, crossing Sale
Road while heading for Victoria. Purple, green and white
were the colours of the Suffragette movement, of which
Manchester was a stronghold. Purple for loyalty and
dignity, white for purity, and green for hope. Picture by Greg
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