20 January 2020
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
(see our Calendar
page for venues)
Monday 20 January RCTS Chester AGM , then John Cashen will
do a whistle stop tour throughout Britain of photographs he
took in the 1960s and 1970s (Change of speaker)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Tuesday 12 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Photo
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 (temporary) new order on the Chester - Crewe shuttle.
153 323 and a class-mate await the departure time to
work the 16:55 to Crewe. This service is earmarked for the
Class 230 ex-London Underground units, but like
various other rolling stock changes, but the five three-car
units on order have yet to materialise. Picture by Shaun
Tim Rogers' View
Bagillt (above) on 16 January. Driving Van Trailer 82306
leads the 13:07 Holyhead - Manchester Piccadilly formed of
three Mk3 coaches, 12182 / 84 / 85 ...
... and 67 012 propelling from the rear. Locomotive
working on this diagram seems to have been somewhat
on-and-off as well as push-and-pull.
175 005 passes Bagillt with 1W93 11:24 Cardiff Central to
Avanti 221 112 calls at Flint with 1D88 14:10 London
Euston to Holyhead, 18 January. Do we still call them
175 101 1H91 at Flint with 15:44 Llandudno to
Manchester Airport, with modern-day 'gricers' (?) on
writes to tell us
that the February issue of Backtrack
the next in his series of 'Forgotten North East
Wales Branch Lines', The Holywell Town
Branch - what became one of the steepest standard
gauge adhesion-worked passenger railways in the
UK. More details from the Backtrack
The new cement traffic from Penyffordd (Padeswood cement
works) to Avonmouth is getting into its stride. We
have kindly provided with two pictures taken on the morning
of 18 January following the cancellation of the previous
day's departure. Above, 66 771's train is the
subject of some discussion.
Also on site under the loading equipment, was celebrity
loco 66 779 Evening Star, the final 66
to be built, sporting its US-style bell and heritage
shed-allocation plate 82F, Bath (Green Park) which was
the stable of the last steam loco built for British Rail,
92220 Evening Star.
On Sunday 19 January, 66 771 departed with a load
for Gloucester New Yard, where the train is to be recessed
before proceeding to Avonmouth , photographed at Buckley in
difficult light conditions by Bob Greenhalgh.
Joining the Chester - Shrewsbury line at Wrexham General ...
... with six bogie wagons in tow (George Jones). The
route to Gloucester is via Hereford, the Severn Tunnel and
Bristol Parkway. The final leg to Avonmouth involves a
return through Bristol Parkway.
Cambrian corner - with Ken Robinson
This last week saw 97 303 come up the coast to
Porthmadog via Tywyn and Barmouth with a Network Rail
Stoneblower. Things went well on 14 and 15 January as
the train got to Porthmadog more or less on time.
The return journey was quite different - supposed to depart
Porthmadog for Coleham depot Shrewsbury at 09:10 on Friday,
17 January, the train was delayed by several 'issues' at
Porthmadog, and as a result did not depart until
approx.11:15! Two passenger trains were cancelled, and
all Coast trains were delayed for the rest of the day. 97
303 eventually got back to Coleham at 18:25, over 5 hours
late! Needless to say I did not hang around to wait for the
I also missed the incoming working on Wednesday 15 January,
however, a friend, Martin Pritchard took the above
photo of 97 303 arriving at Porthmadog with the
Stoneblower that morning (only 20m late)
Manchester area views -
by Greg Mape
Three views taken on 17 January from the bridge linking
Deansgate station to Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop. Above,
a TransPennine bi-mode class 802 unit working from the North
East to Manchester Airport,
Ex-London Northwestern 150 105 and another 150 cross the
With yet another town block sprouting in the background, an
East Midlands Railway Liverpool - Norwich service, with a
153 at the front which will be detached at Nottingham. 153s
appear often in this role since the timetable change; in the
past the formation would be two 158s of sometimes a 156s on
the front. Only 158s are allowed to reach 90 mph, the
others are limited to 75, although this doesn't seem to
Contrast of front ends: 185 101 and a Transport for
Wales 175 at Manchester Airport, 18 January.
A visit to the rural station at Styal in freezing fog on
Sunday 19 January, when various engineering works led to the
line through Stockport being unavailable, hence the
appearance of a Cross-Country Voyager ...
... 158 825 on a Manchester - Chester service, which will
reverse at Crewe ...
... and an Avanti West Coast Pendolino, 390 152, heading for
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