19 November 2018
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
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.
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.
Not a railway view, but we like it - Jim Ikin
captured this scene at Llandudno on 11 November.
week, but contributors have been 'out and about'. If you
missed the last update because it was unfortunately a day
late, it's still around.- Charlie
All change at the Vale of Rheidol - report by Denis
Sunday 11 November saw the last use of the former Carmarthen
line platforms as the Vale
of Rheidol Station. The train was the 11:00 departure for
Devil's Bridge ...
...and its return at 15:00, with No.8 as the
locomotive. Construction of the new platform is
already under way alongside the 1930s GWR engine shed; they
should be ready for use by mid-February, when trains are set
to resume. Meanwhile there will be no Santa Specials.
A VoR press release explains that the new station will be
part of an attraction, created with the help of the EU,
called 'Wales to the World' which will see the
terminus at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth transformed into an
authentic Great Western Railway 1930s style station with a
multifunction display and entertainment facility and new
café within the former steam locomotive shed.
'Alongside these developments, a new carriage storage shed
will be built allowing the priceless collection of historic
railway carriages to be stored in a protected environment
and aid their long term conservation. Since the
1980s, the railway has been collecting steam locomotives
from around the world. This collection is unrivalled
containing many locomotives which are now lost elsewhere.
These locomotives have never been on public display.'
175 107 over the years - pictures by Greg Mape
Same unit, three liveries. Above, de-branded First North
Western in 2006 at Abergele ...
... Arriva Trains Wales in 2012 ...
TfW at Manchester Piccadilly, 2018.
Two-car unit 175 003, which also now carries TfW livery, was
in 2005 the subject of an experimental application of the
short-lived 'ghostly' version of the Arriva livery, although
only 175 008 and 175 110 carried that livery in public
Dave Sallery's Archive spot
With Point of Air colliery prominent in the background,
Toton based 45 007 heads along the Dee estuary past
Ffynnongroew on an up spoil train on 15 October 1986.
These locos, while common enough on Freightliner trains,
were very rare on lowly workings such as this.
Bristol and Cardiff scenes - by Richard Putley
Recently Arriva Wales borrowed Arriva North Class 150s on a
number of occasions. But did you know that this summer GWR
acquired 150 207 from Northern? For several weeks it's been
running around the West Country still sporting Northern
livery. But last week it was called to Doncaster
Works for repaint so the picture I've attached which I took
on 7 November was its last day in service in Northern
Livery. [This transfer is part of a series of moves
resulting in all the Class 150/1 units being in the Northern
fleet rather than have a solitary one left with GWR.
Unfortunately, this means that most Northern's of 4-car
Class 150 combinations have no way for the conductor to pass
through the train.]
A number of TfW trains have been adorned with remembrance
poppies. Here's 150 279 in Cardiff on 10 November.
GWR 150 224 arriving at Cardiff, 10 November.
66 105 passes through Cardiff Central with steel
Looking back with Barrie Hughes - North Wales locos,
Some views of North Wales taken on 10 August 1982. Above, 40
033 with painted on nameplate ‘Empress of England’
awaits departure eastbound at Chester. The nameplates on
these locos had been removed as there fears they would be
stolen by ‘collectors’. This loco lasted another two years
being withdrawn 3/9/84 and cut up 1/3/85 at BREL Doncaster.
The visible gap in the platform awnings caused by the 1972
disaster has still never been repaired.
40 197 is recessed at Llandudno Junction with fuel
tanks, presumably from Holyhead depot. This loco lasted a
year and was withdrawn on 18/9/83 before being broken up at
Doncaster BREL 1/5/84.
47 476 on an eastbound service at Bangor. The loco
appears to have been involved in a shunting accident
witnessed by the dent on its cab front! It was withdrawn
28/2/2004 and cut up at Booth’s Scrapyard Rotherham
40 168 shunts onto its next departure at Holyhead.
There is a Class 08 in the depot, one of three allocated to
Holyhead for Freightliner and carriage siding shunting. The
original level station site and erstwhile cattle loading
dock (closed 30/11/75) to the right remained in use at this
time for wagon storage. 40 168 was withdrawn on 29/11/84 and
cut up at BREL Crewe 1/11/86.
08 746 shunts stock from Platform 1. Ro-Ro ferry
St Columba waits in the passenger berth. This part of
the dock is now inaccessible to ferries following the
building of the Celtic Gateway footbridge across the harbour
in 2006 (and the ferry terminal bridge earlier), which
itself replaced a footbridge across the carriage sidings
(with no lift!) that remains today little used. 08746 was
withdrawn 31/8/2003 and cut up at Booth’s scrapyard
Rotherham 1/1/2004. St Columba, new to Sealink in
1977, eventually ended
up as a Red Sea ferry in 2016!
Finally, a look at Birkenhead. 03 189 and 'reach
wagon' was used as depot pilot at Birkenhead North as the
inside of the shed was not electrified with third rail.
Depot staff were always happy to provide a guided tour to
enthusiasts. This loco was withdrawn 16/3/86 and preserved
not far away at Ribble
Steam Railway, Preston, after a period of storage at
Errata: Ham-fisted work by your editor led to
incorrect dates appearing on some of Barrie's recent
contributions. In the 5 November update the pictures were
taken on 13 August 89, not 13 April.
The shot looking down on Conwy Morfa sidings in the 29
October update was taken on 1 April 1988 not 1 January
(As Barrie notes, a rather unlikely cold day for a family
walk on Penmaenbach mountain).
Looking very smart in SB Rail's livery at Chester on 13
November, DR 72804 James Watt, a Plasser
& Theurer 08-32-RT plain line tamper. Picture by Geraint
The end of Corwen East - report by George Jones
As of Saturday 17 November rapid progress had been made at
removing the palings from the platform rear and the access
ramp in preparation for the dismantling of the scaffolding.
The picture shows the temporary platform sans
On a point of historical accuracy, the last train at Dwyrain
Corwen East was a special private charter for a Wedding
Belle on 10 November when 3802 again provided the
motive power. With the Inspection saloon attached for the
happy couple at the rear, the final propelling move by
driver no. 2 was from the comfort of the driver's position
as he remained in radio contact with the footplate for the
return to Carrog. Picture by Ian Macer-Wright.
News of new-build steam
Several new steam locos to old designs are currently being
created at sites around the country. Progress on one of them
was on display at the Crewe Heritage Centre over the weekend
of 10-11 November, appropriate dates as the name chosen for
the new LMS 'Patriot' class loco 5551 is The Unknown
Warrior, and 11 November marked a hundred years since the
end of the First World War. Picture above by Jim Ikin.
Picture above courtesy of the LMS-Patriot Project.
Falklands veteran Simon Weston was on hand to unveil a crest
above the nameplate. The loco was at the centre for a trial
fitting of the newly-built boiler, which still requires its
fixtures and fittings. If readers want to help the
project and at the same time get a 'stocking filler' for an
LMS steam fan, the project has a rather nice 2019
Calendar for sale online.
The following weekend, 17-18 November at Didcot
Railway Centre, it was the turn of the new Great
Western 'Saint' class 4-6-0. Richard Putley was
there to see the loco on display. It is planned that it will
run with a 'new' name and number of 2999 Lady of
Legend in GWR Green. But for this one weekend
only it would be displayed in BR Black with the different
names and numbers on each side. On the right hand side it
was 2983 Redgauntlet, one of a batch that
were named after characters in Sir Walter Scott's novels. On
the other side it was 2908 Lady of Quality.
Also on display were 4-6-0s 6998 Burton Agnes
Hall and 6023 King Edward II, as well
as 2-6-0 5322. As none of these locos were in steam, Class
08 604 moved them about the yard so they could be
photographed in different places. The Saint was also turned
on the turntable at least twice.
As the Saint
Project Website explains, this is not truly a
'new-build' project but a conversion of a 'Hall' class loco
(no. 4942), a type which was originally developed from the
Merseyrail 777 - report by George Jones
Merseyrail's new Class 777 EMU design mock-up has been on
show recently, as seen on 11 November at Liverpool Lime
Street station, Lord Nelson Street entrance. The replica is
of the driving car of the intended 4-car articulated set and
a visit provided photos inside and out. Externally the
platform level access is noteworthy and the front end
emergency exit door is to the left of the driver's cabin,
not so noticeable as on the current units.
Internally the design has created more space with bays of 4
seats being reduced and airline style seating introduced in
places, and more space for standing and wheelie options.
Some will be looking for to 2020 and the introduction of the
new units whilst others might mourn the passing of the
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