Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

05 November 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

November 2018

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

Sunday 2 December Steam on the Coast Saphos Trains 'The Welsh Borders Explorer' Crewe to Crewe via Chester, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton with  34046, 46100 or 70000. (Fully booked).

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.

Saturday 8 December. Annual Charity Model Railway Exhibition organised by Rhyl & District Model
Railway Club. Venue: Prestatyn Parish Church and Community Hall, High Street, Prestatyn,
Denbighshire, LL19 9AR. Show open 10.30am - 4.00pm. Adult £3.50. One Child (5-15yrs) free entry with each Adult. Additional Accompanied Children £1.50 each. Around 12+ layouts booked in the popular scales, from "micro" layouts to '0' scale Tinplate and 'G' Scale ; Trade Stands; Demonstrations & Displays. Light refreshments available. Proceeds this year to be split between Ty Gobaith Childrens Hospice (Conwy) and Pet Rescue Welfare Association (Dyserth).

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.

Saturday 15 December Steam on the Coast Pathfinder Tours 'The Chester Chuffer'- Salisbury-Chester with 60163 Tornado: Bescot - Crewe - Chester - Wrexham - Worcester.

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)

Saturday 22 December Pathfinder Tours 'The Festive Frolic' Diesel-hauled excursion from Birmingham to Chester and back including some unusual routes.

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.

Rail Head Treatment Train at Llanfairfechan, 27 October, 56 078 leading. Picture by Rowan Crawshaw.

Mishap at Dee Marsh Junction

A Branch Line Society charter on Sunday 4 November, tastefully named 'The Ruby Vampire', set out from Crewe with the intention to visit some 'rare track' on the way to various destinations in Merseyside.  It called at Wrexham to pick up passengers, then on to Gobowen via Croes Newydd Up Goods Loop. The train was top and tailed by West Coast locos 33 025 and 47 826. Above, 33 025 leads at Balderton Crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).

Leaving the double track section at Rossett (Roly High). Money Raised from the tour supported the Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes charity. The onboard raffle raised £1,000 alone. The 'Ruby' related to the 40th anniversary of Merseyrail.

Arriving at Wrexham (George Jones).

West Kirby is not a common entry on the Wrexham train indicator.

Back at Wrexham after reversal at Gobowen (George Jones). West Kirby was to be reached by a reversal at Bidston, including a trip to the stabling siding there.

33 025 on the rear as the train takes the curved to the Borderlands line. The train had to be short because of the some of the limitations of the route.

Included in the itinerary was a visit to the sidings at Dee Marsh Junction, which serves the steel traffic from South Wales, on the way to Bidston, but it was there that the plans went awry. One axle of one of the coaches derailed while on the siding.  It was decided to ferry passengers back to Wrexham in batches, using the Class 33 and its adjacent coach, but only one return run was made before the coach was re-railed by a Network Rail team, and removed from the train to another siding, and the train (minus the errant coach) set off for Crewe at 17:05, six hours after arriving, so the exotica of Merseyrail must wait for another day.

The coach (4940) was still there on 5 November when photographed by Ian Henderson from a passing train. The steel train from South Wales was cancelled on 5 November, and may not run the next day.

Looking back with Barrie Hughes - Cambrian lines

37 430 Cwmbran in Large Logo livery climbs the final section of 1 in 52 to Talerddig with a rake of Intercity air-conditioned coaches.  The train is crossing Bell’s Bridge over the A470, probably on an Aberystwyth - London working at 15:59 on 13 August 1989. This loco had been renumbered from 37 265 on 25 March 1986; it survived in service until 1 March 2000 and was cut up at EMR (Kingsbury) on 1 May 2008.

Later the same day 37 430 was stabled at Shrewsbury along with 37 271 in the south west bay, platforms 1/2, which cross the River Severn where the steel platform wall is seen between the two locos. Platforms 1-3 were rarely used. Platform 3 at this time was essentially a parcels platform with all trains using the through platforms 4 and 7 and the Cambrian Coast and Central Wales services starting from bays 5 and 6 at the south end of those.

In addition to these residual 'Cambrian Coast Expresses' there were Butlins Pwllheli Saturday loco-hauled workings. At one time two Saturday loco-hauled trains operated to Pwllheli, one to take campers home and a second to take the new campers there. The first stabled overnight on Shrewsbury curve, effectively an empty stock service but advertised for public use. The Pwllheli trains ran from the mid 80s through to the early 90s using blue and grey Mk I stock. At first they were hauled by 37/0s, then 37/4s and finally 31s.

The overnight service from London on Friday night returned from Pwllheli early Saturday morning taking campers home. This crossed with a daytime train to Pwllheli taking the new campers. I used to catch the morning up working and then pick up the midday down working from Newtown / Welshpool. It was reduced to one train in the final years 1991 - 1993 when the 31s were running.

During the 1989 Summer season the chalets at Butlins Pwllheli  were damaged by a tornado and the 3,500 guests present had to leave. The estimated £2 million damage was a contributing factor in the later transfer of the camp to the Haven brand. After being taken over by Haven Holidays, Butlins Pwllheli was renamed Hafan-y-Môr (Sea Haven) and the focus of operations was transformed from predominantly chalet accommodation to mostly static caravan accommodation. Most of the attractions were also removed including the chairlift, miniature railway (1953-96), roller coaster and funfair, though some of the original Butlins buildings remain. Trains now call at the associated Pen-y-chain halt, just west of the former Afon Wen junction, by request only, though it retains its large covered waiting shelter.

Llangollen scenes - and a last train

Martin Evans travelled on the Llangollen Railway on 3 November. Above, 2-8-0 3802 waits to depart from Llangollen with the 10:40 service to Corwen East.

Martin walked to the Corwen Central site to capture the new-build water tower and the GWR signalbox on its new base.

The signalbox came from Weston Rhyl between Chirk and Gobowen. Weston Rhyn station there closed in 1960, and the signalbox in 1991; after that date the block section became Gobowen to Croes Newydd. The signalbox was transported to Carrog soon after the closure, along with its lever frame, and has been store there ever since. The Disused Stations website tells the full story. Picture by Martin Evans.

Sunday 4 November was the last day of operation of normal passenger services (i.e. not Santa specials etc.) for 2018, and the final day of the temporary station at Corwen East. 3802 was in service again, photographed by George Jones passing the site of Bonwm Halt on the 13:00 from Llangollen.

The return working, with the propelling control coach leading.

The last public service train of the 2018 season featured a  commemorative bilingual headboard and flags to mark the end of four years of successful operations to the Phase 1 temporary platform at Corwen (George Jones).

The last arrival at Corwen East. Fittingly, 3802 performed the honours as it did with the first train on 22 October 2014 - even the same three Welsh flags were re-used and Harry Barber was the same driver. This time the train was not topped and tailed as in 2014, and 3802 performed the final propelling move back to Carrog with a select passenger complement of members and others on board (George Jones).

A fortunate spell of blue sky for the 15:40 arrival brightened the occasion when station staff were on hand with others to mark the occasion. The bilingual station name board is now a museum piece (George Jones).

RHTT variation

Technical problems with the Class 56 locos on 31 October led to the Rail Head Treatment train being hauled on the North Wales leg by 97 304 John TileyRowan Crawshaw's picture was taken at Llanfairfechan.

1 November saw top-and-tailed 97 304 and 97 303 in action, the 56s were suffering from wheel-flats, one the things the trains is supposed to protect against (Andrew Vinten).


175 114 rounds the curve from the Llandudno branch into Llandudno Junction, 3 November (Greg Mape)

The 09:10 London Euston to Holyhead departs Llandudno Junction, 3 November (Greg Mape).

150 250 between Abergele & Pensarn and Rhyl today at approximately 15:00, on a service to Crewe, 30 October (Alan Martin).

All the stations with Gerald

Arriva Trains Wales, in their last days, generously invited 'All the Stations' video-bloggers Geoff Marshall and Vicky Pipe to a ride on the Premier Express. Their video is now on YouTube.

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