18 February 2019
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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
Tuesday 5 March North
Wales Railway Circle 'Next Train's Gone!'..Humph
Davies with an illustrated historical survey of the route of
the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway & Successors, Part
1. Caernarfon -Rhyd Ddu.
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.
45596 Bahamas crosses Lunds Viaduct on the
Settle- Carlisle line, 9 February; see items below.
Picture by Peter Basterfield.
Tim Rogers' coast line, 11 February
A series of views taken at Sandycroft. Above, 158 820
works 1G50 13:24 Holyhead to Birmingham International.
221 103 Christopher Columbus and 221 104
Sir John Franklin are 1A48 13:58 Holyhead to London
158 833, coupled a rather less-suitable unit for
long-distance travel, 150 283 formed 1D14 13:08
Birmingham International to Holyhead.
175 113 is 1H90 14:40 Llandudno to Manchester
Piccadilly. It might have been expected that Transport for
Wales would apply some temporary branding to their trains
but it seems that this is not considered advisable these
Electro-diesels 88 003 Genesis and 88
005 Minerva haul he eastbound flasks with FNA
wagons 550060, 550032 and 550044 running 48 minutes early as
Llangollen season begins - report by George Jones
services for half-term began at Llangollen on Monday
18 February with the class 104 railcar running to
Carrog (Corwen awaits an opening later in the season).
The 10:40 departure attracted a goodly load of families
taking advantage of the half-term special offer fares for
first and second children with a fare paying adult. In warm,
late winter sunshine they enjoyed the trip down the Valley
for a 40-minute stop-over at Carrog. The tearoom here is now
volunteer manned in preparation to the eventual change in
operating when trains will run through to Corwen. Time to
take a walk down the lane to the bridge over the river Dee
or a longer stretch of the Dee Valley way perhaps.
Winter time management of lineside vegetation has seen
improvements to the views at Penfrefelin where the approach
to Dee bridge is more obvious and a long stretch on the
approach to Deeside loop opens up views of this remote area
of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Steam will operate Wednesdays to Sundays during half term
with BR 4MT 80072 rostered.
In a change to the published timetable, the railway will now
offer a heritage railcar service, Tuesdays - Fridays, during
March to cater for the older generation intent on getting
out into the countryside in early spring.
Llangollen Museum events - organised by Peter Dickinson
Museum has kindly invited me to host a special Railway
Exhibition which will focus on railwayana and displays
relating to the former Ruabon to Barmouth line. This will be
located upstairs in the Museum from Monday 18 February until
Saturday 30 March, with entry being free each day. I
am hoping to be able to display the original BR Closure
Notices for the Ruabon to Barmouth and Bala to Blaenau
routes together for the first time. Other items will cover
the line's history right the way back to its inception in
the 1850s, with many having not been seen in public before.
Following on from the successful reception of my first talk
back in September, I have been invited to give a follow-up
talk at the Museum in a few weeks' time. This will be
entitled "Rails to the British Tyrol" and focusses on the
history of the Llangollen & Corwen Railway, featuring
WWI graffiti, Royal visits and some of the tragic accidents
along the line. The talk will be taking place in the Museum
on Wednesday 27 February, with doors opening at 7pm for a
7.30pm start. There will also be opportunities to view
the display. Admission is £3 per person, which includes
tea/coffee and biscuits. Tickets can be bought on the door.
All monies raised are in support the Museum.
'Bahamas' then and now - by Jim Ikin
During the mid-sixties. every Sunday I took part in cycle
'shedding' expeditions around the Manchester area starting
at Patricroft and finishing at Stockport and Heaton Mersey.
45596 Bahamas was more often than not present at
Stockport Edgeley. Having been a follower of Bahamas
for many years, especially during the loco's recent overhaul
at Tyseley, we decided to dip into our holiday fund and book
premier dining seats for the inaugural run to Carlisle from
Oxenhope on Saturday 9 February. The picture above was taken
on the Friday, with 45596 receiving last-minute
cleaning at Haworth.
Saturday started with torrential rain and wind at Oxenhope
with Keighley's own 37 075 (above) on the rear; it
was changed to West Coast Railways 37 669 at
Keighley. A tree on the line near Skipton delayed our
departure for half an hour but the train arrived in Carlisle
just two minutes late.
The skies brightened and after taking water in Hellifield
loop we arrived in Appleby for a twenty minute stop ...
... taking on more water before carrying on up
the 'long drag'.
45596 is the only survivor of four 'Jubilee' class
locos fitted with a 'double chimney' in 1961 as an
experiment, which was said to be successful in reducing coal
consumption and increasing power, but by then steam was on
its way out. We understand that the chimney is a newly-cast
replica of the original.
The classic view from Appleby footbridge. The line diverging
to the right connects to the Eden Valley Railway
heritage line, a fragment of the former line from Barnard
Castle to Penrith.
A superb performance by the loco took us to Carlisle.
A cold two and a half hour break was had in Carlisle whilst
the train was turned. Above, 37669 passes 66 713 while
taking the train to be turned.
57 308 Jamie Ferguson on 'Thunderbird' duty
at Carlisle. It was re-named in 2017 after the DRS
Signal Engineer who died in a sea-fishing accident in 2016
The return route was back over the Settle-Carlisle with a
water stop at Appleby (above) and on to Keighley where
we changed to another train, hauled by 45212, which returned
us to Oxenhope. I hope it won’t be too long
before we see 45596 on the North Wales Coast.
About Bahamas - by Charlie Hulme
'Jubilee' class 4-6-0 45596 Bahamas has for many
years been a favourite locomotive of enthusiasts in the
Manchester area, especially around Stockport where it was
much photographed both on trains and 'on shed'.
Some images from the Manchester Locomotive
Society archive recall the period. Above, in its
last days in BR service at Stockport Edgeley shed in 1966,
showing the effect of semi-official cleaning by local
enthusiasts. The yellow stripe was applied to locos which
were banned from operating on the main line south of Crewe
which had less clearance than earlier electrification
schemes. Picture by J.W. Sutherland.
Edgeley shed closed to steam in spring 1968. On
29 May that year, 5596 and 4472 Flying Scotsman
were present between railtour duties and the public were
invited to view them. (J.W. Sutherland).
Built for the LMS Railway by the North British Locomotive
Company in 1934, after withdrawal by British Railways in
1966 it was bought from BR by a specially-formed Bahamas
Locomotive Society and, after overhaul at Hunslet, kept at
the much-missed Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop. It was
given LMS 'crimson lake' livery and its original number
5596, and made a striking sight.
In 1972 it was one of the first preserved steam locos to
return to the main line, but the following year it had to be
withdrawn due to a need for repairs. The picture by H.D.
Bowtell shows the scene at Dinting Railway Centre
soon after opening in 1968. It was a static exhibit at
Dinting until 1980 when an overhaul began, taking eight
years to complete. It was back on main line excursion work
from 1989, restored to authentic British Railways green
livery; it saw service on the regular North Wales Coast
Expresses which were run by British Rail in that period.
From 1994 to 1997 it worked on heritage lines until its
boiler certificate expired and it became a static exhibit
When Dinting Railway Centre closed in 1991 (evicted for a
building development which never took place), the group
re-located its base to Ingrow West on the Keighley and Worth
Valley Railway. Peter Hutchinson photographed
it in action at Keighley c.1995.
In 2013 a lottery-funded overhaul began, leading to
the events of 9 February.
Cambrian corner: Class 31s - by Ken Robinson
Further to the interesting item (last
issue) on the Class 31 locos working on the
Cambrian in 1992. These came down to Pwllheli on summer
Saturdays, following a ban on class 37s after the
unfortunate derailment of 37 421 on the wooden bridge near
Dovey Junction on 24 August 1991. The 31s were used usually
in pairs but sometimes - not very often - as a single
31. The picture from 1992 shows 31 147 on a such a
service, near Afonwen.
[Are we right in saying that the Regional Railways-liveried
coaches had been previously used with Class 47s on the
Cheshire freight - pictures by Greg Mape
Three view from Stoney bridge, Timperley on the Stockport -
Altrincham line, taken on 15 February. Above, at
12:15, Fiddlers Ferry - York Yard coal empties with 66
The Runcorn - Brindle Heath and Dean Lane empty refuse
containers pass at 12:35 with 66 510.
At 12:50, a GB Railfreight loaded Liverpool - Drax
biomass train pulled by 60 096, still in Colas
colours but with the Colas name removed leaving just 'Rail
freight'. It seems that 'unofficial' loco naming, as
once practised by Tinsley depot, is back - this one has the
vinyl name Impetus applied.
On 10 February at the site of the former Baguley station, 60
026 Jupiter. Other names recorded
on various forums include 60 002 Tempest, 60 021 Bustler,
and 60 087 Bountiful. These names are those of
various naval tugboats - an allusion to the enthusiast 'tug'
nickname for class 60s.
As promised, the Airbus Beluga XL (F-WBXL) visited the
Hawarden factory on 14 February - the same day that
Airbus announced that they will be winding down production
of the large A380, whose wings are too large even for this
beast. The Beluga XL is designed to carry two wings for the
A350 airliner instead of the one carried by the existing
Belugas. It can carry a load of up to 50.5 tonnes. Picture
by George Jones.
By way of contrast, a much older form of transport, the
canal, is receiving attention at Northgate Locks,
Chester using this specialised crane. A sign there advises
an open day on 2 March. There is scaffolding down into the
lock suggesting will be able to go down into the bottom of
How did they get the crane into position? Pictures by
68 002 Intrepid and 68 004 Rapid
pass Northgate Locks with the flask train on 13 February (Bob
On 8 February the flask train is seen from above Bangor
Tunnel, with the first and last in the class, 68
001 Evolution up front and 68
034 Victorious behind (Peter Basterfield).
The Bethesda branch junction was here; the branch curved
away to the right of the ivy-covered tree.
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