Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

04 November 2019

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

November 2019

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.

Friday 8 November. Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Steam in the 1950s and 60s across the UK. a digital presentation by well-known photographer Martin Welch.

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

December 2019

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.

Friday 6 December Clwyd Railway Circle ' Member's Selections & Christmas Celebrations' Members are invited to give a 15-minute presentation of their choice (any format). Contact David Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.

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)

Friday 13 December Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Steam across South Africa in 1973 Part 1. a digital presentation by John Sloane, who visited the country when many of the older classes of steam locomotive were still in service.

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.

Friday 10 January Clwyd Railway Circle “Railways Around Holywell Part 1' Ray Bailey

Friday 10 January Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Locomotive Sheds of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. a digital presentation by Noel Coates.

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.

Friday 7 February Clwyd Railway Circle 'Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway' David Murphy

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

Friday 14 February Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society People and Places 4. Images of the pre-1968 steam railway including trains and railway staff, enthusiasts or the general public. a digital presentation by Paul Shackcloth.

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

Friday 6 March Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting - followed by a Film Show

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

Friday 13 March Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Wheels on Reels. Transport Films – taken with a cine camera and shown using a cine projector. Geoff Lomas presents a selection of his Films in the traditional manner.

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.

Friday 3 April Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Great Named Trains. (note: first Friday) featuring postcards of named trains and video of the engines which hauled them and survive in preservation. a digital presentation by Society President Nick Dodson

Tuesday 7 April North Wales Railway Circle Richard Sant, Secretary of the LMS Patriot Company. Progress on The Unknown Warrior

Thursday 9 April 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 20 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)


66 027 approaches Buckley on the way from Margam to Dee Marsh with steel carriers on Sunday 3 November.  The working was a special following the closure of the Marches Line by flood damage.  Picture by Peter Basterfield.

Contributors are enouraged to check that their camera's clock has been set back an hour to GMT, as the date of the picture can be useful to us when captioning the images. - Charlie

North Wales Metro

Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport, has issued an update on progress of the planned 'North Wales Metro'.  It appears from the document that Mr Skates likes to use the word 'metro' than is normally understood:
'A successful Metro will require a full integration of transport modes and highways will need to play an important part of the mix providing access to Deeside Park for freight, buses and for trips that are not possible by alternative modes. The A55/A494/A548 Flintshire Corridor Improvement scheme is a key element of the Metro multi-modal integrated transport system'.
The railway element of the plan is explained:
Currently only a very small percentage of people travel to work to Deeside by train. We want to change this. Through the Wales and Borders franchise service frequency on the Wrexham to Bidston line will be doubled to two trains per hour from 2021. Building on this we are developing schemes for an integrated Shotton station, making it easier for people to interchange between the North Wales Coast and Wrexham and Bidston line and for a Deeside Parkway station serving employment on Deeside Industrial Park and served by the Shuttle bus service. Together these schemes will also improve access to the strategic rail network for the residents and businesses of Flintshire and Wrexham.
The rest of North Wales does get a mention:
Having focused initially on the delivery of the Metro integrated transport hub approach in Deeside, we now intend to roll out this concept to other key employment hubs across North Wales including Wrexham, Rhyl / Prestatyn / St Asaph / Abergele, Colwyn Bay / Conwy / Llandudno and the Menai area.
So the Deeside station on the Borderlands route will be the only new station opening in North Wales in the near future, and there's no mention of re-opening of  stations between Chester and Flint,  with a local train service, has been mooted in the past. A re-opening to Llangefni on Anglesey is not to proceed.  Didn't Conwy station have a frequent shuttle service when first opened?

In Mid Wales, on the Cambrian line,  a station at Bow Street on the Aberystwyth line is under construction, and the proposal to re-open Carno is still under consideration. The residents of Carno had an idea to re-locate the Talerddig passing loop to Carno station, which does seem worth consideration.

All White (or grey) - pictures by Charlie Hulme

A sign of the times:  390 040 at Manchester Piccadilly  on 31 October, shorn of all branding in advance of the handover to the new operator next month. (Not a special ghostly livery for Halloween.)

350 403, seen at Piccadilly on 17 October, has lost its TransPennine livery ready for the transfer of TPE's 350s to the West Midlands, replaced by new stock ...

... such as this Class 802 bi-mode unit, awaiting its TPE vinyls on the same day. The working is from Liverpool to Newcastle, seen at Stalybridge.

Tim Rogers' view

1 November,  Greenfield:  175 104 is 1H88 12:54 Llandudno Junction to Manchester Airport.

Rail Head Treatment train with 56 087,  FEA wagons 642027, 642045, 642016
and 97 304 Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway / Rheilffuordd Ffestiniog  ac Eryri. Train 3S71 21:20 Shrewsbury Coleham to Shrewsbury Coleham via Welshpool, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Bidston, Wrexham, Shrewsbury, Crewe, Holyhead & Crewe.

56 087 in close-up.  The red diamonds on the end are part of a code indicating the type of connections for double-heading with a single driver. Most classic BR diesels use a different system, indicated by a blue star; only the now-withdrawn Class 58 locos could work 'in multiple' with a Class 56. The wagons are fitted with the necessary wiring to control a loco at the other end of the train, but can a 56 control a 97.3?

97 304 on the rear. This location will definitely need the attention of the high-pressure water jets quite soon.

1D13 11:10 Birmingham International to Holyhead, with 158 826.

2 November, Shotton: 150 213 working 2J53 08:31 Bidston to Wrexham Central.

175 103 on 1H84 08:45 Llandudno to Manchester Airport.

97 304 leading the RHTT through Shotton Low Level, still jetting on the non-platform side. 56 087 on the rear.

2 November, at rainy Rawtenstall, East Lancashire Railway:  'West Country' 4-6-2, 34092 City of Wells preparing to depart with the 13:00 Rawtenstall to Heywood. Note the 'golden arrow' decoration which was one carried by the loco (usually a more powerful but similar-looking member of the 'Merchant Navy' class) of the eponymous luxury train service between London and the Channel Ports.

A 'heritage' diesel multiple unit lash-up was in traffic, comprising Class 122 single-unit W 55001...

... and a 2-car Class 104, M50517 and M50455, forming the 13:55 Rawtenstall to Heywood. Like the 122, this should perhaps have blue squares at the ends, to signify the multiple-working system common to most of these 'heritage' units.

A Greg Mape Miscellany

97 304 on Llandulas viaduct, 31 October (Greg Mape).

Holyhead  on 31 October; 67 012 and its Premier Express stock head off to Cardiff due to a blockage of the line due to flood-water damage between Abergavenny and Hereford. The line re-opened on 2 November.

175 103 crosses the A55, 1 November (Greg Mape).

Bala Lake Railway end of season

Bob Greenhalgh writes: 'My last footplate turn of the year at the Bala Lake railway was Friday 1 November, the day before the season ends. The engine for the day was Maid Marian and she was in good form. The footplate was shared with trainee drive Nick Talbot. The day was most enjoyable with no rain! Apart from the Santa Specials on 7 / 8 December there are no trains till 2020.

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