Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

26 November 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

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.

New-liveried 175 107 at Chester working the 16:07 Llandudno - Manchester Piccadilly, 20 November. Picture by Martin Evans.

Trouble with leaves

Transport for Wales are experiening something of a 'baptism of fire' thanks to the Autum leaf fall season, with (reportedly) 36 units out of traffic with damaged wheels. There's a downloadable timetable amendment which applies 'until further notice' and includes complete bus replacement of the Conwy Valley service and only a two-hourly train on the Borderlands line, plus a number of cancellations on the main line. One interesting piece of advice is that the '20:23 Crewe – Chester will be cancelled. Customers should travel on 20:48 Chester - Crewe' (not that we are in a position to laugh at typing errors...)

RHTT views

As the Rail Head Treatment Train season nears its end, Bob Greenhalgh ventured out on the 'dark, damp, miserable afternoon' to bring us these views very dirty 56 094 ...

... and 56 087 in action near Beeches Farm.

The TfW Roadshow - report by George Jones

Found on the concourse on 21 November, a TfW-liveried cabin promoting the future of rail transport in Wales and the Borders. Essentially, promotion of the all the new trains and services in the previously-published Customer Report wish list as might be delivered over the next five years using bullet-point headlines and a video display.  A bilingual brochure was available along with a capsule of Smarties.

The brochure  Transforming Wales / Trawsnewid Trafnidiaeth / The Journey begins / Dechrau'r daith - lists the top ten improvements as a time line 2018-2024;  details what the future holds in terms of new trains, more capacity, new jobs and apprenticeships, investment in stations, half price travel for 16-18 year olds, 95% travel on new trains in five years, use of renewable energy, 50% of new trains assembled in Wales with the slogan: I BobolI Gymuned I Gymru / For People For Places For Wales.

All this might leave a portion of English travellers in the Borders feeling left out. I wonder how well the message goes down in Chester, Shrewsbury and far away Manchester? Writers of this stuff in Cardiff could be accused of a blinkered approach to the entire network they now manage. A supplementary brochure extols exploring Wales and the Borders where at least Chester gets a favourable mention amongst a select few other places.

On hand was North Wales stakeholder manager Ben Davies and some young ladies who had been with the show the day before at Llandudno and onward the next at Shrewsbury.
Items of add-on interest revealed were; the five class 230 units will be coming next year to be based in Wrexham using the bay platforms as their depot - one unit despatched to Llandudno Junction each week for the Conwy Valley;  Lifts are to be installed at Ruabon; as a special concession, the bus stop at Ruabon station would be provided with a Bus Timetable by Wrexham Borough Council - the rest of Wrexham's bus stops can 'go hang'.

Some 158s will be serviced at Chester and when the 175s depart the depot will be maintained by TfW. We shall see how it all pans out given time.


TfW have published this entertaining time-lapse video of the vinyl experts transforming a Class 175 in Chester depot.

Locomotive images - by Martin Evans

A trio of DRS locos were noted at Crewe in Platform 8 on 20 November at 10:10 waiting for the road, the locos being 37 259 ...

... 68 033 and 68 001 Evolution.

66 017 in DB red livery powers through Stafford with the Dollands Moor to Ditton service at 10:40 on 20 November.  Readers may recognise the wagons as the same type of ferry van which were used to carry aluminium from Holyhead to Austria via the Channel Tunnel before the Aluminium plant closed. They are in aluminium traffic today, hauling aluminium ingots created by a recycling plant at Latchford to a plant in Germany where they are rolled into coils and returned in the same wagons to Ditton for distribution by road.

66 097 enters Leamington Spa on the through road with containers from Southampton to Birch Coppice on 20 November at 14 10.

Chester at 16:55 on 20 November, with 68 004 Rapid and 68 002 Intrepid on the Valley - Crewe flasks.

Looking back with Barrie Hughes - Borderlands 1980

My latest offering is from 1 August 1980 during a family visit to Buckley. I’d always wanted to get a picture of freight on the Ffrith viaduct just south of Cefn-y-bedd station, one of the major structures on the Borderlands line. So, in the days before Realtime Trains and the ready availability of Working Timetables I had to stake out the viaduct sitting on a public footpath in a field!

Above, an unidentified Class 25 (best guess 25 161) hauls a southbound rake of Presflo cement wagons from Pen-y-ffordd cement works towards Wrexham. It appears that there has been a recent spillage of lime at this location possibly by the derailment of a Minera lime works working if they used this route to Shotton steelworks. If it was 25161, it was withdrawn just a year later on 31/5/81 and, after a short period of reinstatement, was finally withdrawn 28/11/84 and cut up at Vic Berry’s Leicester scrapyard on 30/3/88. 

25 152 shunts brake vans from the spare brake van siding at Croesnewydd Yard. This loco survived until withdrawal 26/1/84 and was disposed of at BREL Swindon  a year later on 7/2/85. In the background is a Ministry of Supply depot built between the 1930s to a common design and normally provided with siding access where possible, though there is no evidence in this case. This area is unrecognisable now as Wrexham Maelor hospital has extended. I do recollect steam engines being stored with dustbin lids on their chimneys in the sidings in the mid 1960s when visiting the hospital to see my Uncle who was ill.

25 106 at Croesnewydd south yard with a northbound mixed freight with some wagons containing sheeted loads is seen at Croesnewydd South fork junction. 25 106 was withdrawn on 9/10/83 and cut up at BREL Swindon on 4/2/84. While the south fork bridge under Ruthin Road is still there, Morrison supermarket has occupied most of the site of Croesnewydd depot. the north curve saw stabling of diesel locos for many years into the 1980s after the closure of the steam shed on the site.

Magazine watch

Tony Robinson writes to let us know that the December issue of BackTrack magazine, now available, includes his article about the Prestatyn - Dyserth branch.

In other magazine news, the current issue of Today's Railways UK has three articles of interest.
A review of ATW era; Optimism for TfW; and Northern's new trains - their depots and possible routes.

It's a Wonderful Life

Part of the script of the classic Christmas film It's A Wonderful Life will be painted on the platforms of stations as part of a Virgin Trains campaign. Starting at Euston station, the script from Frank Capra's 1946 film is being painted in stations from London to to Glasgow, which will be reached on 13 December. The script will painted overnight in Crewe on 3 December, Warrington on 4 December and Liverpool Lime Street on 5 December; it will measure 7.5km in total.

The initiative has been developed with Virgin Trains’ charity partner, Rethink Mental Illness, in recognition of how difficult the festive period can be for some, and the positive impact simple acts of kindness can have. The campaign will direct customers – via a URL embedded in the script – to information, advice, and support around mental health.

North Wales Coast home page | Archive | Previous Notice Board