Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

01 October 2019

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

 October 2019

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.

Thursday 10 October  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society End of the Lines: A tour of railway terminals. John Cowlishaw

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  North Wales Railway Circle Dave Rapson. A digital presentation of all sorts.

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

Thursday 14 November  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Railway Signalling    Gareth Parry

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

Tuesday 3 December  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

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

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.

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

Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Trams in Llandudno (Including L & CBER and Great Orme Tramway) John Davies

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 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)



An echo of the 1980s as DRS locos 37 403 Isle of Mull and 37 402 Stephen Middlemore, recently relieved of duty in the Norwich area by new Class 755 units, pause in Chester station on 27 September 2019  after making a run from the DRS depot at Gresty Bridge to Chester and back. Picture by David Harrison.  Could they be destined for Railhead Treatment Train work?

Llangollen's Diesel Weekend 28-29 September

Saturday of the two-day event produced some marvellous autumnal lighting with a low set sun and the rain stayed away. With three locos and a railcar, the timetable provided for a range of train options and a frequent service down the line to Carrog. Some of the group that organised the loan and transport for the visit of the class 25 loco D7535 from the South Devon Railway lined up with the loco at the start of the day - thanks to their efforts before and on the day, the finance to pay for the heavy load was raised, with the loco staying on until the Autumn steam gala on 12-13 October when it will feature alongside 7822 Foxcote Manor. Picture and information by George Jones.

The star of the show: class 25 D7535 at Carrog having just arrived with the 10:50 from Llangollen formed of the lines four 'suburban' - i.e. non-corridor - coaches (Ken Robinson).

As the 25 passed  Llangollen Goods Junction the 0-6-0 diesel shunter Davey emerged from Pentrefelin with an unusual formation as a vegetation control train when parked up in the 'back road' for a volunteer party to cut back the boundary hedge (George Jones).

The Class 25 romped up to Berwyn with its four coaches. The verdant foliage showed little sign of autumnal tints so far (George Jones).

At  bucolic Deeside Halt the passing of the class 47,  1566 was seen, the crew exchange exchanging the token as is needed when the frequency of the service requires the signalbox to the manned for the passing loop (George Jones).

D7535 arrives at Glyndyfrdwy (Martin Evans)....

... where it crossed the 10:45 from Carrog worked by 1566 (Martin Evans).

Entering Glyndyfrdwy work on the signalbox was evident as the timbers received attention after the roof had been repaired (George Jones).

At Carrog the train terminated in platform 2 whilst the mixed freight got away with 31 271; brake van experiences for some provide a fund-raising opportunity (George Jones).

Class 104 DMU at Glyndyfrdwy on the 13:10 from Carrog, with an appropriate destination (by  request of photographer Ken Robinson.)

View from the DMU as the crew of 31 271 Stratford 1840-2001 deposit the token for the section from Deeside (George Jones).

D7535 again, this time on the mixed train (14:10 from Carrog) approaching Llangollen station (Ken Robinson).

George Jones writes: 'End of the day for me as the four suburbans await their 16:05 departure with 31 271 at Llangollen. Great occasion when things went to plan while I was attending, and thanks are due to the operating staff for putting on the event and running all those trains to a near half-hourly interval.'

The Autumn Highlander

The 04:23 Paignton - Carlisle on 27 September was Pathfinder Tours special which was routed via Worcester and then Wolverhampton to visit the Marches line on day one of a four-day 'Autumn Highlander' tour, final destination Aviemore. Martin Evans photographed the train (above) in dull and wet weather passing Gobowen.

Wrexham (George Jones). The loco was 68 017 Hornet. A hint for Real time Trains users is that excursions hauled by DB or DRS traction will be shown as 'ZZ' as if they were freights, while Locomotive Services (LS) and West Coast (WR) have their own code.

Broad Oak crossing, near Rossett (John Cowlishaw). Another planned unusual working on 27 September was  the second instalment of the Ford vans from Bridgend to Ellesmere Port which had caused so much interest back in July.  However it was cancelled at Shrewsbury, although no doubt it will continue at some stage.

Balderton crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).


Colas Rail 70 815 brings the Carlisle - Chirk logs past Balderton Crossing on 27 September (Bob Greenhalgh). As the days shorten, this view will soon be hard to obtain.

A last farewell to the Valley flask train, as 68 005 and 68 033 head east from Llandudno Junction on 18 September (Ryan Lloyd).

The evening Llandudno - Crewe service passes Deganwy on 16 September ...

... with 67 010 propelling from the rear (Ryan Lloyd).

The TransPennine loco-hauled services are getting into gear - Dave Sallery's photos from 26 September at Liverpool Lime Street show 68 025 Superb ...

... and 68 027 Splendid.

Class 153 news

Staff familiarisation on Class 153 continues, but TfW unit  153 369 had to return with flat batteries, and a unit was borrowed from Northern in the shape of 153 316 John "Longitude" Harrison - inventor of the Marine Chronometer.

The pictures were taken by Barry Taylor while stopped at Prestatyn for conductor refresh in door operation.

Coast excursions

57 601 Windsor Castle leads 1Z25 “Northern Belle” Holyhead to Lincoln Central, 6 September (Ryan Lloyd)

57 313 approaching Llandudno Junction with the 'Belle' on 28 September working 06:42 Gloucester - Llandudno Junction (Greg Mape).

Llandudno Junction panorama, 28 September. 175 004, 150 245, 57 313 (Greg Mape).

Close-up of 57 313 on the Northern Belle at Llandudno Junction, 28 September (Ryan Lloyd).

Also making its way along the coast on 28 September was a 'Statesman' excursion from Holyhead to Appleby, with two class 47s, D1924 double-heading 47 614.

Rhyl (Roly High).

On 29 September, the empty stock from the previous day's trip pass Bangor on the return to Crewe (Rowan Crawshaw).

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