09 October 2018
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
Friday 12 October Altrincham
Electric Railway Society Steam archive around Chester
General from 1950 onwards. A digital presentation by Jon
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
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
Tuesday 4 December North
Wales Railway Circle Christmas Social & Members'
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
Monday 17 December RCTS
Chester "The Fate of The Irish Mail" Tony Griffiths (A
film which relates the story of the Abergele disaster in
Friday 4 January Clwyd Railway
Circle “West Country Memories” An illustrated talk
which includes all the branch lines of Devon and Cornwall.
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday 12 April Altrincham
Electric Railway Society Great Western and Southern
Steam in the West Country. A colour slide presentation by
Monday 15 April RCTS
Chester "Steam on the North Wales Coast" (Video
Presentation) Ron Watson Jones
Tuesday 7 May North
Wales Railway Circle AGM and Members' Photo.
The new livery makes an appearance at Shrewsbury on 8
October in the shape of 175 107 working the 15:10
Milford Haven - Manchester. Picture by Charlie Hulme.
(We noticed that the station staff also had their cameras at
holiday - thanks as always for the contributions; some
items have been held to next week due to lack of time.- Charlie
Transport for Wales livery
The re-liveried 175 made its debut on the Coast on 9
October, as seen above at Llandudno (Gary Jones).
Close-up of the logo (Gary Jones). The 'T' is vaguely
reminiscent of the Transrail freight company of the 1990s.
Attracting attention at Llandudno Junction (Chris Coxon).
Passing Marion Road, Prestatyn, 9 October (Dave Sallery).
The yellow end panels have been retained, as it appears that
only new stock can run without them.
Near Hawarden, working the 14:40 Llandudno - Manchester on 9
October (John Cowlishaw). 175 107 is the unit that
caught fire at Deganwy earlier this year.
Chester (Geraint Williams).
Missing from the new livery are these 'helpful' seat
position indicators. How many fellow-sufferers have failed
to realise the significance of the little triangle and
thought that seats 1-20 were at this end of the carriage?
The Rail Head Treatment Train season is upon us again. An
already dirty 56 087 heads the RHTT towards Holyhead
past Beeches Farm on 2 October with 56 078 on the
tail. Picture by Bob Greenhalgh.
The Merseyrail system also has its RHTT. Picture by Chris
Coxon, who notes: 'Autumn brings out Network Rail’s Rail
Head Treatment Trains and the Wirral Lines of Merseyrail are
served by the 04:20 from Wigan L.I.P. making a convoluted
journey with reversals at Chester, Birkenhead Central, West
Kirby, New Brighton, Hooton, Helsby and Liverpool James
Street (thrice). The train is seen in action passing Eastham
Rake station for the fourth and final time consisting of MPV
Multi Purpose Vehicles) DR 98901 and DR 98951 on 3 October.
'Merseyrail had announced two days previously that many of
its trains will be running on different timetables, leaving
earlier and arriving later, until the end of the year as a
consequence of the Autumn leaf fall, which the Train Company
said was "difficult for the railway" and means that trains
on the Liverpool Loop, Chester and Ellesmere Port Lines will
be subject to changes seven days a week.'
North Wales Report - by Barrie Hughes
With the midday sun angle rapidly decreasing during the
solstice this may be the last shot of the year at
Llanfairfechan before Transport for Wales take over on 14
October. Here is the Manchester - Holyhead approaching
Llanfairfechan as seen from the A55 footbridge. 67 013
seems to have been the regular performer over the last few
weeks and the DB red makes a nice contrast with the ATW blue
livery of the coaches. Photo taken 11:59 on 27 September
showing 1D34 the 09:53 Manchester-Holyhead.
The DVT end seen from the same footbridge as the train heads
through Llanfairfechan station on a brisk breezy but sunny
afternoon. Problems with loco-DVT connections occasionally
have caused cancellation of this train and substitution with
DMU stock, much to the chagrin of passengers on 1D31 the
16:50 Manchester-Llandudno, which is basically a commuter
working and full and standing to Warrington, something a DMU
cannot hope to cope with.
67 013 again on 1D34 passing Valley at 12:34 on 28 September
with the signalbox box in a dilapidated green and white
livery, something that may not be recognised by LNWR, LMS or
LMR staff! DRS staff say they expect the nuclear waste
traffic to continue for a further six months contrary to the
Wylfa management who said last year that de-fuelling would
be complete in late 2018.
Rather than run round in Valley station (with just a
trailing crossover) the method of working sees the empty
flasks propel into the Valley Nuclear Electric siding. Once
the flasks are loaded the locos draw them forward onto the
north to east curve then run round them via the triangle and
finally propel them out onto the main line. Above, 68
017 Hornet and 68 003 Astute
waiting for their path to propel the two flasks out of the
siding on 28 August at 13:35.
68 003 completing the propel move with the ground signal
visible giving permission to proceed on the Up Valley
platform line through the level crossing. The train then
departed a few minutes later as the 15:06 Valley to
Crewe Coal sidings DRS working.
These may be the final freights on the North Wales Coast
until Wylfa B (aka Wylfa Newydd if it ever gets built!)
needs fuel rods removed in 10 years time? To think once
there were four daily Freightliners to Holyhead, not to
mention the Penmaenmawr stone, the Anglesey Aluminium, the
Amlwch chemical traffic and Speedlink wagonload workings.
[The new owners of the Aluminium smelter site are saying
they will use the sidings there for container traffic, but
time will tell. - C.H.]
Class 40 through Tiviot Dale
On 4 August 1979 Ken Millward photographed 40
170 passing the remnants of Stockport Tiviot Dave
station (closed 1967) with what many North Wales Coast will
recognise as the distinctive custom-made hopper wagons of
the Immingham - Anglesey Aluminium flow of petroleum coke,
which ran, usually weekly, from 1971 to 2001. The
presence of the train here suggests that it had travelled
via the Woodhead tunnel route.
The railway here was retained as a freight line until 1980
when the tunnel which the train is approaching was
accidentally damaged by construction work for the adjacent
M63 (now the M60) motorway. The line was 'temporarily'
closed to traffic, but never re-opened and much of the route
has been destroyed by building work, removal of bridges, and
filling of cuttings.
The Holyhead train was diverted to run via Manchester
Victoria station; 40 170 was withdrawn in 1983, having
donated its engine to celebrity preserved loco D200. almost
none of the structures visible in the photograph, except the
old river bridge and Pear Mill in distant Bredbury, have
since disappeared without trace.
Bala Lake visit - with Martin Evans
On 25 September, Hunslet loco no 780 Alice being
prepared on shed at the Bala Lake Railway before departing
for Bala with the 11:30 service. Built in 1902, Alice
is the sister engine to Holy War (No. 779). She worked at
Dinorwic until about 1960. She was then used for spare parts
at the quarry and purchased as a source of spare parts by
the then owner of Holy War.
Alice being checked at Bala before running round
before departing for Llanuwchllyn with the 12:05
In 1977 her remaining parts were gathered together at the
Bala Lake Railway and in 1987 these remains were purchased
by BLR volunteer worker Chris Scott & work started on
restoration. The remains were later moved to the owner's
garage, the Ffestiniog Railway and onto the Leighton Buzzard
Railway who agreed to finance the new boiler. Alice
returned to steam in 1994, having been rebuilt in the style
of quarry locomotives - cab-less and with dumb buffers made
from large lumps of timber. The locomotive moved back to the
Bala Lake Railway in 2003 and was purchased by Julian Birley
Winifred, Hunslet works no. 364, undergoing maintenance
at Llanuwchllyn shed on September 25th
Winifred was built in 1885 by the Hunslet Engine Company for
the Penrhyn Slate Quarry. She spent most of her working life
at Port Penrhyn where she sorted wagons of slate ready for
loading onto ships for transport all over the world. She
then spent the last ten years of her life working in the
quarry itself. When the quarry decided to change to diesel
locomotives she was sold and transported to America where
she spent the next 50 years in a museum store out of sight.
She was purchased by Julian Birley in 2012 and brought home
to Wales. Following completion of an extensive overhaul in
our own workshops Winifred returned to steam in the spring
Sugar Loaf shambles - report by Jim Ikin
We were booked on the Pathfinder Tours 'Sugar Loaf
Mountaineer,' sponsored by Arriva Trains Wales to
commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Central Wales line,
on Sunday 23 September.
We’d been told beforehand the original destination of
Carmarthen was off and although one could get off at
Llandovery -to be met by Huw Edwards! – or Llandeilo, we
decided to go to the final destination of Bynea.
We joined at Wolverhampton (an hour late due to late arrival
of the stock from Bescot) to be told by a fellow passenger
that the Class 5 steam loco 45231 which was due to take over
at Shrewsbury hadn't been available for some time and
instead 37 605, seen above at Shrewsbury,
would take the train all the way. The idea had been to use
the triangle of lines at Carmarthen to turn the steam loco,
but this was precluded by engineering work.
The coaching stock was hired from the Scottish Railway
Preservation Society and had to be brought from Scotland
before the tour.
A visit to Welshpool
On Sunday 7 October we travelled from Shrewsbury to
Welshpool on the first train of the day - 10:55. On the main
line, Shrewsbury to Hereford was 'bustituted' for
engineering work, and 150 213 had arrived on the
first train of the day from Manchester ...
Downstairs we found this scrum of passengers - someone had
decided they all had to put their tickets through the
barriers to reach the replacement coaches.
158 434 arrives at Welshpool with the 10:30
Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury. Although trains in both directions
are timetabled to meet here, double track extends for some
distance towards Newtown, so westbound trains don't have to
wait in the station for eastbound ones to arrive.
The 13:00 from Llanfair Caereinion arrives at Raven Square
station with Countess in charge.
We travelled on the 14:05 from Welshpool, It's always a
pleasure to ride this line, especially as it recalls some of
our favourite Austrian lines, and you can ride on the
The old lady was having ash removed from her smokebox before
the 15:30 return departure, while Joan, in light
steam, stood by. while we replenished ourselves with some
delicious home-make cake from the café. The train left a
little late, and became even later when an extra stop was
made further down the line to attend to the smokebox again -
inferior coal, perhaps? Happily, despite arrival at
Welshpool at 16:40 instead of 16:15, we walked across town
just in time to catch the 16:55 back to Shrewsbury, despite
the long walk over the ramped footbridge.
Corwen from above - pictures by Dewi Davies, text by
Llangollen Railway volunteer Dewi Davies launched his
drone to obtained the aerial views of the Corwen Central
station works site, showing recent progress and the
remaining challenges to provide the basic terminal for
opening in 2019. Above, the The west end of the site looking
towards Green Lane and the loop line stop block with the end
of platform 2 in view and the emergency exit ramp below the
railings in the foreground.
The view of the island platform area from overhead the
subway access showing the infill in place between the
platform walls where the tractor is located. Funds from the
for a Tonne' Appeal are helping with the costs of this
work which is bringing in several hundred tonnes of spoil to
be compacted to create the base for the platform area which
will need to be paved prior to use.
The view from the East end looking at the water tank. The
area in the foreground will be the location of the points
for the loop and siding. Installation of this trackwork is
pending the importation of the signalbox cab which will be
located on the base off to the right of the pic. The
alignment of this track will determine the final position of
the remaining construction for the platform 1 wall in the
area behind the right of the water tank - all jobs for the
The overhead view of what will be the final challenge - the
Gap, as originally created in the embankment to service the
Welsh Water Treatment Plant. Currently it serves as the
access for delivery of materials to the works site, but will
be infilled early in 2019 to allow the track to be laid to
connect the rail head at Corwen East with the loop line - a
matter of 150 yards - when everything is ready. The current
terminal Dwyrain Corwen East is behind the trees top centre.
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