Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

01 October 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

October 2018

Tuesday 2 October North Wales Railway Circle   John Cashen with North West and North Wales
Reminiscences of the 1960s.

Wednesday 3 October RCTS Liverpool "Liverpool Exchange Station" Paul Wright

Friday 5 October Clwyd Railway Circle “Snowdon Mountain Railway”A presentation given by Mike Robertshaw  Msc IEng MIED, Senior Engineering Manager of the railway. Mike Robertshaw

Sunday 7 October Bus and Tram Show in Birkenhead organised by The Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society.

Friday 12 October  Altrincham Electric Railway Society Steam archive around Chester General from 1950 onwards. A digital presentation by Jon Penn.

12-14 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala

Monday 15 October RCTS Chester "Rails to Bala" Dave Southern
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

November 2018

Friday 2 November Clwyd Railway Circle “The Development of Railways in the UK”A look at rail development from Trevithick through to the 23,000 miles of railway in the UK by 1921.  Mike Blackburn

Tuesday 6 November North Wales Railway Circle Illustrious local photographer Barry Wynne assisted by Steve Morris.

Friday 9 November  Altrincham Electric Railway Society. Steam through Skelton Junction and Timperley Junction 1955-1968. A digital presentation by Tony Martin.

Monday 19 November RCTS Chester "Through Kirton Tunnel" Stephen Gay

December 2018

Tuesday 4 December North Wales Railway Circle Christmas Social & Members' Evening.

Wednesday 5 December RCTS Liverpool "BR in the North West" Tom Heavyside

Friday 7 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.

Friday 14 December  Altrincham Electric Railway Society. People & Places 3. images of railway staff, enthusiasts, the general public and the steam railway. A digital presentation by Paul Shackcloth.

Monday 17 December RCTS Chester "The Fate of The Irish Mail" Tony Griffiths (A film which relates the story of the Abergele disaster in 1868)

January 2019

Friday 4 January Clwyd Railway Circle “West Country Memories” An illustrated talk which includes all the branch lines of Devon and Cornwall. Dave Southern

Tuesday 8 January North Wales Railway Circle (Speaker to be announced) The Bala Lake Railway

Friday 11 January Altrincham Electric Railway Society. Journeys through Wales during the 1960s including narrow gauge railways A colour slide presentation by Bill Chapman.

Monday 21 January RCTS Chester AGM, followed by "A Photographic Tribute to Edgar Richards"(  Non-members are invited to attend from 20.00 hours)

February 2019

Friday 1 February Clwyd Railway Circle “The Glorious Steam Railways of India” The images were taken when it was a fully steam worked system, with a variety of steam across four different gauges. John Sloane

Tuesday 5 February North Wales Railway Circle [To be announced]

Friday 8 February  Altrincham Electric Railway Society Steam and Diesel in the Northern Fells 2010-2016. A digital presentation by Ian Pilkington.

Wednesday 6 February RCTS Liverpool "North West & North Wales Reminiscences of the 1960s" John Cashen

Monday 18 February RCTS Chester "A Taste of Japan" Gordon Davies

March 2019

Tuesday 5 March North Wales Railway Circle Humph Davies with mostly narrow-gauge archive material.

Friday 1 March Clwyd Railway Circle  “Annual General Meeting” followed by “Chairman’s Choice” A night of self indulgence from the retiring chairman, David Jones

Friday 8 March Altrincham Electric Railway Society. The Glorious Steam Railways of India. Steam across India from 1976 to the early 1980s. A digital presentation by John Sloane.

Monday 18 March RCTS Chester "55 Years of Railway Photography, Part 2" Les Nixon

April 2019

Tuesday 2 April North Wales Railway Circle Gareth Haulfryn Williams, archivist and author, on 'Rails to/from Bethesda.'

Wednesday 3 April RCTS Liverpool "Manchester to Liverpool by CLC" Ken Grainger

Friday 5 April Clwyd Railway Circle  "Scotland in the 1960s" The talk covers the whole of Scotland - going up the west side to Wick and Thurso and returning down the east side from/to Carlisle.
John Cashen

Friday 12 April  Altrincham Electric Railway Society Great Western and Southern Steam in the West Country. A colour slide presentation by Alf Storey.

Monday 15 April RCTS Chester "Steam on the North Wales Coast" (Video Presentation) Ron Watson Jones

May 2019

Tuesday 7 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Members' Photo. Competition.

33 102 at Glyndyfrdwy, 29 September. Picture by Dave Sallery.

Next week's update will be a day later than usual due to holidays. - Charlie

Steam and diesel, 22 September - report by Alan Crawshaw

On 22 September Rowan and I visited the East Lancashire Railway's Diesel gala. Our change of trains at Crewe perfectly coincided with the Flying Scotsman's dwell time, we arrived as 67 005 Queens Messenger was being detached, with crowds lining the business end of platform 12 anticipating 4472.

The famous Pacific backed on to the stock just in time for a quick shot before catching our Pendolino to Manchester and the tram to Bury.

At Bury the Ramsbottom shuttles had been cancelled because of a shortage of guards. Above, 31 109 in action at Bury.

'Warship' D832 arrives at Irwell Vale.

We enjoyed a few runs but were very surprised how few people attended, the photo shows the end two coaches as D832 left Irwell Vale at around 14:00, empty apart from us. This carriage, M4937, was in the consist of the famous '15 guinea special' at the end of British Railways mainline steam on 11 August 1968.

Mostyn views - pictures by Greg Mape

Two Class 221 Voyagers pass Mostyn on 25 September, working the 13:58 Holyhead - London service.

175 116 - denuded of all Arriva branding - working the 14:41 Llandudno - Manchester passes Mostyn. Note the new 'Goods Loop' at Mostyn on 25 September. This loop connects to the currently-unused dock sidings, but cannot be used by passenger trains, such as for a fast train to overtake a slow one,  as it is not provided with suitable signal protection.

Present in the dock, the vessel Ciudad de Cadiz which carries the wings for the Airbus A380 airliner to France after transfer from the Broughton factory by barge. Also on hand at Mostyn that afternoon according to were some smaller vessels: the tug St David and two boats engaged in the servicing of the offshore win farms, the Msl Excalibur and the Holyhead Bay. Traditional cargo traffic is rarely seen at Mostyn.

On the subject of Mostyn, the Mostyn History Preservation Society has uploaded to YouTube some interesting film of the flooding which overcame the area in 1990, leaving the signalbox and station buildings surrounded by water.

Llangollen diesel day

At Corwen East station on 29 September George Jones captured the visiting Class 33 loco 33 102 (from the Churnet Valley Railway) at the temporary platform.

It is named Sophie - allegedly after a character in the Australian soap 'Home & Away'. The name was applied unofficially at Eastleigh depot c. 1991 before the loco was withdrawn from national network service in 1992. The official-looking nameplate has been applied by the Churnet Valley staff. 33 102 was moved to the CVR in 1993 and was finally returned to traffic there in 2012 (George Jones).

Departing in propelling mode under the control of driver 2 in the rear coach. Picture by George Jones who writes: 'This operation will come to an end when Corwen East closes on Sunday 4 November - the last public train to Llangollen is due to depart at 15:40 at the conclusion of the summer season timetable. If the propelling movement has not been sampled by readers, the experience may be gained in the next few weeks and during the autumn steam gala 12-14 October. Once operations commence at the new Corwen Central terminus in 2019 locos will run round the train during the stop-over at the island platform.'

Later 33 102 was seen at Carrog with a 'Channel Islands Boat Train' identifier (George Jones). These trains were particularly interesting as they were hauled by a Class 33 along the Weymouth Quay tramway.

Propelling is nothing new for this machine as its 33/1 series number reveals that it was one of the locos modified for push-pull operation of though coaches to Weymouth which was at the time beyond the third-rail electrified area. The 'rubbing plate' between the buffers was deigned to contact the corridor connection of the modified Mk1 coaches.  Picture at Carrog by Ken Robinson.

With the rostered class 37 6940 declared a failure and under investigation for a fix, the other trains in the timetable were provided by the class 47 (Brush Type 4) 1566 (above, pictured at Glyndyfrdwy with the 11:13 ex-Corwen by Ken Robinson) ... 

... and the class 104 DMU (Ken Robinson) ...

... until late in the day when the 37 emerged and ran double headed with the class 33. The pair are seen entering Carrog at 16:15 (George Jones).

The Autumn Steam Gala on 12-14 October will have a Cambrian theme, including a visit by Class 2 2-6-0 46521, once a Cambrian line regular.


70 811 passes Garsdale on the Settle and Carlisle line with the Carlisle - Chirk logs on 27 September (Dave Sallery).

37 611 Pegasus at Crewe on 24 September after working an 08:00 Old Dalby Test Track  - Crewe Carriage Sidings formed of a Class 345 Aventra unit built by Bombardier and destined for London's Crossrail (Elizabeth Line). The loco, formerly D6871, 37 171 and 37 690, belongs to the Europhoenix company, part of the Rail Operations Group. It is one of the group's 37s fitted with couplers and brake controls allowing it to haul the Class 345 units at up to 90 mph without the use of 'translator' vehicles.

At Shrewsbury on 24 September 170 507 and 170 503 in the new West Midlands Railway livery, await departure with the 12:47 stopping service to Birmingham. These units were built in 1999, at the Derby works which is building the 345s. West Midlands Railway and London North Western Railway are brand names used by franchise holder West Midlands Trains. (Confusing.)

SB Rail tamper 73804 James Watt in Rhyl's Engineers Sidings, 22 September (Roly High).

Halton Curve service delayed

The new Wales and Borders franchise bidder had suggested that the planned service between Chester and Liverpool via the newly-improved Frodsham - Runcorn Link would start in December 2018, but Transport for Wales are now telling us that:

We’re working to introduce new services from May 2019 between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street and also extending two of these services to serve Wrexham. The services between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street were originally intended to be introduced from December 2018, however due to rolling stock availability issues we’re now planning to introduce these and the extended services from May 2019.  We’re working with the industry to ensure that rolling stock is available and that the timetable can accommodate these extra services.

Wirral Show

Sunday 7 October is the date for the 21st Annual  Bus and Tram Show in Birkenhead organised by The Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society. There will be an intensive service of trams on the Birkenhead Tramway, as well as vintage bus rides, old cars, displays in the Pacific Road museum, refreshments and other attractions. Easiily reached by the Mersey Ferry or from Birkenhead Hamilton Square station.

Tyseley 50 Open Day - report by Jim Ikin

Although the event at on 29 September was to celebrate the 50th anniversary  - to the day - of Tyseley Locomotive Works, for me the 'star' was 1960s Stockport Edgeley depot resident -  and hopefully in the not to distant future North Wales Main Line running - 'Jubilee' 4-6-0  45596  Bahamas.

This was the first public steaming of the loco after a long overhaul. 45596 looked absolutely superb and is a credit to everyone who has worked on the loco over the years.

Nose to nose with another double chimney-ed loco, 7029 Clun Castle.

Inside the cab, which is fitted with all the modern electronic equipment required for main line running.

The LMS railway named a series of these 'Jubilee' locos, built in the 1930s, after states and countries of the British Empire.

Eagle. the Kitchen-First Pullman featured in the recent TV series 'Great Rail Restoration'; the coach also featured in a 'Made in Birmingham' garden at the NEC and BBC Gardeners World Live. The coach was built by the Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon Works, Saltley in 1960.

34070 Manston awaits its turn in the works.

Line up of 4965 Rood Ashton Hall, 7029 Clun Castle, 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and 5080 Defiant.

Editor's footnote: Among the visitors to see Bahamas was a group of former loco crew from Stockport Edgeley depot, closed in 1968.

Stockport to Altrincham line scenes - by Greg Mape

Afternoons are busy for freight train watchers at Baguley between Stockport and Altrincham. On 27 September, 66 764 was on the 11:11 Liverpool Bulk Terminal - Drax Power station.

66 601 with empty hopper wagons from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station to Tunstead Sidings.

A train of empty refuse containers was held for some time waiting to enter the Northenden refuse depot, as 150 102 passed with a Manchester - Chester service.

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