Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

20 January 2020

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

(see our Calendar page for venues)

January 2020

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 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)

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 Stanley.

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 Holyhead

Avanti 221 112 calls at Flint with 1D88 14:10 London Euston to Holyhead, 18 January. Do we still call them 'Voyagers'?

175 101 1H91 at Flint with 15:44 Llandudno to Manchester Airport, with modern-day 'gricers'  (?) on the bridge.

Magazine watch:
Tony Robinson writes to tell us that the February issue of Backtrack magazine 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 website.

Cement trains

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 Porthmadog departure.

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 Rochdale Canal.

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 affect timekeeping.

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 London.

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