12 November 2018
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
Monday 19 November RCTS
Chester "Through Kirton Tunnel" Stephen Gay
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'
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
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
Saturday 15 December Steam on the Coast Pathfinder
Tours 'The Chester Chuffer'- Salisbury-Chester with
60163 Tornado: Bescot - Crewe - Chester - Wrexham -
Monday 17 December RCTS
Chester "The Fate of The Irish Mail" Tony Griffiths (A
film which relates the story of the Abergele disaster in
Saturday 22 December Pathfinder
Tours 'The Festive Frolic' Diesel-hauled excursion
from Birmingham to Chester and back including some unusual
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)
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
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
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 two-car version of the Transport for Wales Class 175
livery has not appeared here before. Ian Henderson's
picture taken from Shrewsbury Castle on 7 November shows 175
003 (we think - part of the number is missing)
arriving with the 09:21 Cardiff - Holyhead, unusually (?)
coupled to another unit.
was prepared in advance as we are away for a few days.- Charlie
Tim Rogers' view - Bangor, 5 November
A selection of everyday scenes at Bangor station by Tim
Rogers. Above, at 12:00 158 830 arrives
working 1G40 11:27 Holyhead to Birmingham International
12:04 - Regular loco 67 020 brings in 1D34 09:53 Manchester
Piccadilly to Holyhead ...
... departing at 12:06 with Driving Van Trailer 82308 on the
12:13 - 221 110 James Cook arrives with 1D82
08:10 London Euston to Holyhead, 49 mins late after being
stationary at Crewe for some reason.
12:22 - hard on the heels of the 08:10, 221 117
& 221 143 Auguste Picard departs with
1D83 09:10 London Euston to Holyhead
12:33 - 56 078 on the front of the 3S71 21:20 (previous
night) Shrewsbury Coleham sidings to Shrewsbury Coleham on
its final leg from Holyhead via Chester and Crewe.
A closer look at the train: 56 078 ...
FEA-F bogie flat wagons 642027 ...
... 642045 ...
... and 642016. Versions of the FEA wagon are in use by
several freight companies. Network Rail procured 50 of the
FEA-F version (642001 to 642050), fitted specifically for
this usage with spray units control cables allowing the
operator to control the high-pressure water jets from the
loco cab. Outside the Autumn season, the wagons are store.
On some routes two-wagon formations are used, but ours needs
three for an adequate supply of water
56 087 on the rear. The real loco catches most of the
stirred-up dirt, but this diagram has several reversals.
Once clear of the platform the water cannons are turned on.
12:34 - 158 824 forms 1D12 09:10 Birmingham
International to Holyhead.
A sign of the times.
15:31 - 68 033 & 68 017 Hornet working
the Valley -Crewe flasks, with FNA wagons 550048,
550059 and 11 70 9229 001-6.
15:33 - 175 109 is 1W93 11:21 Cardiff Central to
Conwy Valley interruption
The Conwy Valley branch was closed, with bus replacements,
on 8 and 9 November, not due to flooding but due to 'an
issue with the train crew' on Thursday and 'more
trains than usual needing repairs' on Friday. Transport for
Wales have some work to do to achieve a good service, it
Seen on 8 November - by Martin
DVT 82307, with remembrance poppy on display, approaches
Wrexham General on 8 November with the Holyhead to Cardiff
loco-hauled service at 07:42 running 10 minutes late.
Former Wrexham and Shropshire loco 67 014
Crewe at 09:20, 56 078 on the rear of the Rail Head
Treatment Train, with 56 087 on the front as usual.
Warrington Bank Quay at 17:22. The Wigan Springs
Branch-based RHTT waits before travelling to Chester,
Birkenhead and the Wirral lines. The service is in the hands
of Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPV's) DR98903 and DR98853.
East Lancashire DMUs - pictures by Greg Mape
The East Lancashire Railway indulged in a DMU (Diesel
Multiple Unit) weekend on 3-4 November, and Greg Mape was
there on 4 November re-living his childhood. Built from 1954
to 1960, mostly to replace steam trains on regional
services, these trains gave many years of service, and some
still make themselves useful on many heritage lines at quiet
times. On the ELR they are cares for by the ELR Diesel Group.
See above are (left) Class 105 'Cravens' unit 51485 / 56121
and Class 104 'Birmingham' unit 50455 / 50517.
The 105 carries the destination 'Blaenau Ffestiniog' but
we'd be surprised to hear that any of these units actually
reached that station.
On the other hand, 'Disley' - an intermediate station on the
Stockport - Buxton line - on the 104 recalls a service
fondly recalled by your compilers from the days of Greater
Manchester Passengers Transport Executive in the late 80s,
when two morning Down trains and two evening Up services ran
between Disley and Manchester, running non-stop between
Davenport and Piccadilly.
Class 25 D7629 was built in 1965 by Beyer Peacock in
Manchester, one of the last batch of locos to be constructed
there. Withdrawn in 1987 it was rescued for
preservation and ran on the Llangollen Railway until
Also in traffic was 55001, one of the single-unit cars built
for Western Region branch line service and affectionately
known as 'bubble cars.' In the 80s a couple were transferred
to Longsight depot for use on the Stockport - Stalybridge
The Class 110 units were an improved version of the 104s,
also built by the Birmingham Carriage and Wagon company,
with more powerful engines for use on hilly long-distance
route, notably the Calder Valley line from Manchester to
Leeds via Rochdale and Hebden Bridge. E51813 and E51842
started their life in preservation at the East Lancashire
Railway, arriving in March 1990, first used for passenger
traffic on March 2nd 1991. The TSL centre car, 59701, was
acquired in 1994, a rare survivor as most of these were
withdrawn in 1982.
The Class 117 unit, 51339 and 51382, is one of the builds of
DMU designed for high-density commuter use, originally
three-car sets, on the London Paddington suburban services
and in Cornwall.
From Dave Sallery's archive
One DMU class that has not survived into preservation
(except for a one centre coach) was the Class 120
'cross-country' type, photographed by Dave passing Holywell
Junction in Summer 1979. These trains were very
comfortable, and included a small buffer counter but
underpowered for their weight. Originally built for the
Western and Scottish regions, some migrated to the London
Midland over time, including some at Chester depot; the last
was withdrawn in 1989.
Some time after this scene - in which there is almost
nothing still in existence in 2018 except some of the track
- the centre trailer cars of surviving units were replaced
by lighter ones from Class 101s. The Railcar
Association website has much detail.
Flickr site is recommended for fans of railway
On the Cob at Porthmadog
Ffestiniog artistry by railway volunteer Michael Baker.
Crossing the 'Cob' at Porthmadog on 30 October were David
Lloyd George on the 15:50 from Porthmadog and...
... Prince and Blanche on the 15:05
from Blaenau Ffestiniog.
On 6 November a one-off train ran from Tuebrook Sidings,
Liverpool to Doncaster Roberts Road, Electro-Motive Diesel's
maintenance depot, formed of 60 085, 66
770 and a wagon. Although the 60 is in Colas livery,
both locos are now part of the GB Railfreight fleet. Perhaps
the 66 was in need of repairs. 60s are now regulars
again on Buxton area stone trains. Picture by Les Burton.
66 183 round the curve at Skelton Junction with a
load of Merseyside refuse containers from Knowsley to
Wilton (Greg Mape). The line to the left is the stub
of a line which once continued to Glazebrook on the
Manchester - Liverpool route. More recently terminated at
some industries in the Partington area, and is now
'mothballed' beyond a short length used as a shunting neck.
Last year there were suggestions that a local wealthy
businessmen wanted to re-open it as a heritage line,
including the high bridge over the Ship Canal which alone
would cost millions to restore to usable condition. Irlam
station could only be reached by a reversal, and there's no
obvious place for a station at the the Timperley end.
Little has been heard about this proposal since the rush of
publicity, with the help of Michael Portillo, in spring
Looking the other way from the same bridge we see 142
040 making its way from Manchester to Chester. Lost in
the trees to the right of the train is a goods loop.
Overcrowding on platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly
has reached such unsafe levels, even after all the waiting
rooms and have been removed, that a new red line has been
added to the platforms, beyond which you must not pass until
a train has stopped and passengers of alighted. Automatic
announcements confirm this, abetted by a member of platform
staff who is required to shout (without electronic
assistance) to people to get back.
Meanwhile, at Oxford Road, the small office where people
could ask staff for help has been converted to small Costa
Coffee establishment, seen under installation on 18 October.
On Manchester Metrolink, customers are being irritated by
all-over adverts such as the ones for easyjet (above, with
the Midland Railway's splendid hotel) and some video game
(below). Pictures by Greg Mape.
One can see out in a rather distracting manner, but
sometimes it's actually helpful to be able to see in.
And the visual effect is ugly.
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