Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

23 September 2019

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

 October 2019

Tuesday 1 October North Wales Railway Circle  NWRC Secretary Peter Hanahoe. Photos from 2009.

Wednesday 2 October RCTS Liverpool "To Hell And Back " Bevan Price. Bevan, a Branch member for 60 years, presents his photographs during his 50 years of rail travel throughout Britain and Europe.

Saturday 5 October Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Bob Gwynne, Associate Curator, National Railway Museum ‘Snow White to Stephenson’. This is a story about the search for strategic minerals, climate change, religious conflict, immigration, integration and innovation. Overall a very modern story, although this one starts over 400 years ago and from it emerges the technology we call railways.

height: 2px;">Thursday 10 October  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society End of the Lines: A tour of railway terminals. John Cornishaw

Saturday 12 October Steam at Chester. Vintage Trains 'Cheshire Venturer' Dorridge - Chester.

Saturday 12 October UK Railtours The Snowdon Panorama (diesel) London - Llandudno Junction

Monday 21 October RCTS Chester "South Wales Railways since the 1970s " Stuart Warr. Stuart from Cardiff will look back at the changing face of railways across South Wales since 1973, featuring steam and diesels working all manner of services with a few rare views.

 November 2019

Saturday 2 November Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Geoff Stocker
‘Rebuilding the Welsh Highland Railway’ An illustrated presentation of the stage-wise re-construction of the WHR (closed 1936) on the abandoned trackbed, from 1995 to completion in 2010 & subsequent developments - including locos and rolling stock.

Tuesday 5 November height: 2px;">North Wales Railway Circle Dave Rapson. A digital presentation of all sorts.

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Friday 8 November Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express  London - Holyhead, Flying Scotsman Crewe - Holyhead - Crewe

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height: 2px;"> height: 2px;">Thursday 14 November  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Railway Signalling    Gareth Parry

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Monday 18 November RCTS Chester "Railway Safety" David Maidment. David Maidment will discuss the change in railway safety management systems and safety culture from his experience in South Wales in the 1960s, as Regional Operating Manager of the LMR in the 1980s.  Also as Head of Safety Policy at the BR Headquarters in the 1990s

height: 2px;"> Tuesday 3 December  height: 2px;">North Wales Railway Circle   Christmas Bash - as usual please bring any items of interest with you.

Wednesday 4 December RCTS Liverpool "Liverpool And Its Railways " John Ryan. A look at the varied railways of Liverpool and its surrounding over many decades by former British Rail civil engineer.

Saturday 7 December Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. At Sale United Reformed Church lounge, Montague Road, Sale M33 3BU Including seasonal refreshments!
Owen Russell ‘Memories of the Woodhead Line’ The Woodhead line linked Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and London. As there were shorter routes to London, express trains often comprised only 5 or 6 coaches. The line was a good place to see a variety of GC and, later, LNER engines, which had to work hard on the notorious gradients. Like many steam routes, Woodhead was a line of contrasts.

Thursday 12 December  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society A railway pictorial of steam Barry Wynne (Special Christmas meeting with quiz)

Saturday 14 December Steam at Chester UK Railtours 'The Christmas Chester Chuffer' London - Chester. Steam  Bescot - Chester - Crewe.

Monday 16 December RCTS Chester "1960s Southern  Branch Lines" David Miller. A 1960s archive of black and white photographs mainly of Southern branches but also from further north, with some interesting diversions.  Images never seen before.

Thursday 19 December Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company 'The Chester Christmas Express' Stevenage - Chester. Loco 6233.

 January 2020

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Tuesday 7 January  North Wales Railway Circle NWRC committee member and Coast Railway website contributor Peter Basterfield.   Home & Away.

Monday 20 January RCTS Chester  AGM followed by "The Ffestiniog Railway" Geoff Coward. After 20.15 hrs Geoff will take a look at the steam loco’s of the Ffestiniog Railway, past present and future. Then a trip along the line from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, looking at each station, maintenance facility and scenery

Saturday 25 January Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Centre AGM (brief) followed by: Christian Wyatt ‘21st Century signalling Control Centre – The Manchester Rail Operations Centre’ Christian Wyatt, a career railwayman with 38 years’ service, started as a signal box lad at Manchester Victoria and is now Project Operations Interface Manager for the London North Western route. One of his key responsibilities is the development of the Manchester Rail Operations Centre. Christian will describe the MROC from its build in 2012 to its present operational status.

February 2020

height: 2px;">Tuesday 4 February North Wales Railway Circle Robin Humphrey-Davies ('Humph'). The route of the Welsh Highland Railway, Part 2, Rhyd Ddu to Porthmadog.

Wednesday 5 February RCTS Liverpool "The Black & White Collection Of Bill Ashcroft " John Sloane. Bill Ashcroft was a well-known name in Lancashire steam railway circles and John Sloane from Wigan will present some of his large collection of monochrome pictures from the steam era.

Thursday 13 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Llangollen Railway    Dave Southern   

>Monday 17 February RCTS Chester "The Unknown Warrior – The Patriot Rebuild" John Hastings-Thomson. The LMS Patriot project are rebuilding a Patriot, ‘The Unknown Warrior’ and this presentation will describe the huge amount of work and money involved to build a new steam locomotive.

Saturday 22 February Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Tony Wright
‘Aspects of the Origins & Development of Monorails including Behr, Lartigue and the Manchester to Liverpool Lightning Express Railway’ You may remember Tony’s excellent presentation on Mayfield Station. Don’t miss this intriguing meeting.

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Tuesday, 25 February  18:30 Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Joint meeting with the Newcomen Society, Location to be confirmed. Bob Gwynne, Associate Curator, National Railway Museum ‘Sticking with steam – an examination of why Britain’s railways stuck with steam into the space age’ This talk examines some of the complex history behind moving on from the steam age on Britain’s railways and attempts an answer as to why the UK’s love affair with the steam hasn’t ended.

March 2020

Thursday 12 March   Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  plan to have a visit from a representative   from Transport for Wales. More details later

Tuesday 3 March North Wales Railway Circle Barry Wynne and Steve Morris.  Another show from Barry's superb collection.

Monday 16 March RCTS Chester "The Lever Brothers Railways Of Port Sunlight" Mike Lister Telling the story of Levers’ railways.  The soap factory was constructed in 1888 and its railways covered 54 track miles and the talk will describe the railway within the soap factory and other factories at Bromborough.

Saturday 21 March  Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre.  Melvyn Roberts
‘Indian Summer of the Somerset & Dorset Railway’ The S & D was (and still is) many enthusiasts’ favourite cross-country railway. We will hear about its unusual history, but the main feature will be a slide show of its operations in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

April 2020

Wednesday 1 April RCTS Liverpool "L&Y Engines At Work" Paul Shackcloth. Paul Shackcloth is the photographic historian for the Manchester Locomotive Society who have a large collection.  This talk will show Lanky locomotives at work over the whole of the ex-L&Y network, including Liverpool Exchange.

Tuesday 7 April North Wales Railway Circle   Richard Sant, Secretary of the LMS Patriot Company.  Progress on The Unknown Warrior
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height: 2px;">Thursday 9 April  height: 2px;"> Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Trams in Llandudno (Including L & CBER and Great Orme Tramway) John Davies

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Saturday 18 April Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre.  Tim Owen ‘The activities of the Furness Railway Trust’ The Furness Railway Trust has a collection of six steam locomotives, including Furness Railway No. 20, plus historic carriages. The illustrated talk will cover the work of the Trust over the past 30 years..

 Monday 20th April RCTS Chester "Another Colourail Journey" Paul Chancellor

A Ninth Colour-Rail Journey will again trawl this vast collection of images for both views from across the country and through time, so expect both steam and modern traction to appear with may be the odd bit of infrastructure thrown in for good measure.

May 2020

Tuesday 12 May height: 2px;">North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Photo Competition.

Thursday 14 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Evening Train Trip to Betws-y-Coed, where we will spend an hour in the Gwydyr. (Times will be confirmed later)



The last Wylfa flask train makes its way to Valley past Penmaenmawr on 19 August.  Picture by Peter Basterfield.

We are on our travels again - next update will be on  Tuesday 1 October. - Charlie

Last week of the flasks

The nuclear flask trains taking away the fuel elements from the closed Wylfa power station have ceased to tun, their task completed. The penultimate train, on 16 September,  was entrusted to a pair of Class 88 electro-diesels,  88 002 Prometheus and 88 009 Diana., photographed by Tim Rogers approaching Mostyn.

The last westbound train, captured by Ian Wilson near Rhyl.

Near Penmaenmawr (Peter Basterfield).

At Wylfa, the staff gathered in front of the last flask on its road transporter. Not all the staff will be made redundant at this stage, there is more work to be done. Picture courtesy of Magnox Ltd.

The last train heads east at Llandudno Junction (Andrew Bridle).  The driver gave a solemn  wave as the train passed.

Tim Rogers photographed the train near Abergele. Wylfa  was the largest and last Magnox site to be built in the UK, operating from 1972 until 2015 and generating  232 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity – enough to power 1.1 million homes per year for 44 years.  The 87,890 fuel elements, which measure 43 inches in length, would stretch for 17½ miles if placed end to end.

More about Wylfa and Magnox on the Magnox and BBC websites.

Some adventures of 67 010

67 010 has been on the Manchester loco-haled turn for some weeks now: Above, it is passing over the River Mersey in Walton, Warrington with 1D31 16:50 Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno on 16 September. Picture by Peter Laithwaite.

The 09:53 Manchester - Holyhead among the trees near Shotton on 17 September (Tim Rogers).

Tim Rogers was up early on 18 September to photograph 67 010 leading  1D51 07:11 Crewe to Chester.

Abergele, 18 September (Tim Rogers).

The 13:07 Holyhead to Manchester Piccadilly passes Deansgate station and the latest skyscraper on 19 September, our wide-angle lens giving the building a threatening look ...

... and a little further on, amid buildings of different styles.

Llangollen diesel weekend approaches

The weekend of 28-29 September sees the Llangollen Railway's Diesel Weekend (see the Llangollen Diesels website, and as is the custom, there will be a guest loco in action, this time Derby/Sulzer loco D7535 (25 185). Martin Evans was waiting for a bus in Trevor on 19 September when the Class 25 passed by on its heavy-duty road trailer.

D7535 was built at Derby Works in 1965, one of the later examples with a tidied-up front and no train-heating facility. It worked from a variety of London Midland Region depots, before being withdrawn at Crewe depot in 1984. In 1982 it made some appearances on the Cambrian line's London trains, according to the excellent Derbysulzers website. It is currently based at the South Devon Railway.

Twenty minutes later, preparing to back into the Llangollen yard. Moving locos around the country is an expensive operation;  we understand that the cost of the movement was raised by members of the Llangollen  Diesels group in association with an online appeal for contributions.

Steam scenes - by Peter Neve

Stanier Black 5 4-6-0 No. 45231 approaches Broad Oak crossing on an empty coach test run from Coton Hill to Crewe on Tuesday 17 September (with Class 37 diesel on the rear).

Threading its train through the encroaching vegetation, 45231 storms Gresford Bank with a Crewe to Coton Hill test run on 18 September. The sound from the exhaust was awesome.

Corwen Central progress - report by George Jones

Work on the Llangollen Railway's Corwen project made significant progress on 16 September,  with a series of four engineering movements on the extension west of Carrog to bring supplies of ballast in from the mound at Bonwm. The Class 08 shunter 13265 (08 195) is seen propelling two loaded 'Mermaid' side-tipping wagons through the site of the former Dwyrain Corwen East platform onto the extended railhead ...

  ... to drop the stone on the trackside.

Once off-loaded, the gang of volunteers was busy preparing the stone for ...

 ...  movement by JCB on to the site of the infilled gap as they need to raise the level of the line to connect through to the site of the crossovers at the link into the platform loop. This on-going effort  is manpower-hungry.

Continued working of the ballast across the site of the former gap  provided the base for the opportunity to set out the pointwork. As of Saturday 21 September,  all the earlier planning and drawings for the set of points into the platform loop was translated into ground work. Volunteers were able to set out the crossover assembly for the right-hand point on the main line, aligned to the railhead further east and the Down side loop. It was essential to get this right if the rest of the point work is to follow in good order.

The completion of the point and its partner to the up loop and siding, will be a further challenge for the project members during the coming month. The picture above shows the length for the siding, on the right in front of the container.

The past summer has seen work concentrated on the platform area, now that the infill between the two walls is complete.

At the subway entrance four of the restored  columns, which formerly supported the canopy at Blackfriars station in London,  are in situ,  and the access to and from the station waiting room/booking office is now ramped and fenced.

Inside the stairwell a chairlift has been provided for wheelchair users.

The new facility for the mobility-impaired was commissioned when project treasurer Paul Bailey rode the lift on 3 August. Picture by Wayne Ronneback.

Seen on a trip to Doncaster - by Martin Evans

GBRf  66 762 brings the Tees Port to Doncaster Iport  intermodal service through Doncaster station on 17 September.

On the other side of the Pennines - Freightliner  70 006 powers the Trafford Park to Southampton Docks service through Platform 13 at Manchester Piccadilly.

New Northern EMU 331 104 waits at Doncaster for its next outing, while being used for training staff on the units.

Mid-Cheshire scenes - pictures by Greg Mape

On 6 September, the 13:30 Runcorn Folly Lane - Northenden waste terminal has arrived at Northenden Junction, and sets back over the crossover before drawing forward into the terminal

In the terminal sidings the loco runs round  the train and  waits while the containers are unloaded and full ones loaded, departing for Runcorn at 19:10.

Navigation Road station can be a busy place, as this sequence from the afternoon of 20 September illustrates. Above, at 16:08, 2H39 15:02 worked by 150 121  (missing its Northern branding) on Chester - Manchester Piccadilly calls.

16:12: 150 102 calls on 2D77 15:41 Manchester Piccadilly - Chester, as Metrolink 3003 departs for Bury. The station has separate single-line sections though the station, and working is further complicated by a level crossing at the platform end which sees two Northern trains and t5en trams each hour as well as freights. A recent timetable change, which has trains arriving at the single-line section just  few minutes apart,  seems certain to cause delays.

16:18: Freightliner 66 607 on the 10:00 Hardendale Quarry to Guide Bridge (railway ballast?) , and Metrolink 3049. There are 147 trams in the Metrolink fleet at present, but only 3001 to 3060 retain the dual signalling system necessary to travel the Network Rail-controlled section from Timperley to Altrincham.

16:22: 60 007 The Spirit of Tom Kendell passes with the 14:18 Peak Forest Cemex Sidings to Dallam Freight Depot, Warrington limestone train, formed of MMA bogie box wagons, made in Romania, and delivered from 2016 onwards.

New GBRf intermodal service

GBRf have started an new service of container trains between Trafford Park and Southampton to add to their long-standing Felixstowe service.: 4O23 03:11 southbound, and 4M52 14:23 from Southampton (arriving Trafford Park 23:27). Not easy to photograph in our area, but GBRf driver Jim Scott has sent us these excellent images. Above, Basford Hall sidings at 21:19 on 18 September.

Manchester Oxford Road at 22:43.

Trafford Park at 23:48.

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