Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

27 January 2020

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

(see our Calendar page for venues)

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)

67 010 at Llandudno on 26 January, having arrived with the 16:50 from Manchester Piccadilly. It will return propelling the 19:35 to Crewe. Picture by Ryan Lloyd.

In Limbo
The North Wales Coast railway seems to have entered a quiet period in which we wait for things that were supposed to happen. At the time of writing: no Mk 4 coaches on the loco-hauled trains, no Class 230 units on the branch lines, ans no sign that the new freight flows from Penmaenmawr (stone) or Llandudno Junction (slate waste)  that we were told about  last year.   Does anyone know if anything's happening?

Update 28 JanuarySomething has happened: 67 025  came out on a 'proving run' from Crewe to Holyhead with the first Mk4 set. Geoff Morris photographed it leaving Chester.

Coast views, 24 January - by Ian Wilson

As planned , Class 153 units have taken over the Conwy Valley line until such time as the promised Class 230 units materialise. (All five units were promised to be in traffic by May 2019.) On 24 January, 153 327 approaches well-kept Glan Conwy station headed for Llandudno.

A raised section of platform has been provided here, but there's still a horizontal gap to the train.

From a vantage point at Llandulas, Ian photographed the 09:53 Manchester - Holyhead approaching from Pensarn with 67 010 leading ...

... and crossing the low bridge at Llandulas. A view at its best  in the winter with no leaves on the trees.

Decision time for Northern

Amid press speculation concerning part nationalisation of the Arriva Northern Franchise, sets 195 103 and 150 150 wait at Chester at 15:10pm for their next duty. (Picture by Martin Evans). Some newspapers seem to believe that nationalisation is already decided, but Northern's official position is as below.

'We expect an announcement by the end of January 2020 on whether Arriva will continue to operate the Northern franchise under a short term Direct Award, or whether an Operator of Last Resort will be appointed by the Department for Transport. I can assure you that whatever the result my team and I remain committed to the programme of transformation to improve rail services across the north.'

Meanwhile, Northern's Class 142 'Pacer' units are now hard to find, and only allowed to run in service if coupled to a unit equipped with the required disability features.  Several have already been dispatched to scrap yards.

North Wales classic video

Chris Jones-Bridger writes to tell us that Alan Snowdon, well known to Swiiss Railways fans for his videos if that country, is releasing his UK films on YouTube, in particular an item called 'Holyhead 1961 Port and Rail Action' but there are an number of other North Wales films on his Channel. Not HD, by any means and silent exceot for commentary, but well worth investigating.

From Dave Sallery's archive

For a period in the 1980s there was a daily Cardiff - Rhyl service, worked by Class 33 diesels originally built for Southern Region use. Here's 33 029 at Prestatyn on 24 June 1985, in the days before the track layout was reduced. 'Bashers' in the front coach enjoy the journey.

In the first summer of the Class 37/4 era in North Wales, on 3 June 1993,  37 418 Pectinidae departs from Rhyl, still in its Petroleum sector colours and Pectinidae nameplate hauls a rake of Mk 2a coaches, mostly hand-me-downs from Network South East, mostly with the red band repainted blue in advance of the application of full Regional Railways livery.

The loco, which later gained the 'E W & S' maroon of the freight sector's American buyer,  is in 2020 in peak-hour service on the Cardiff - Rhymney service.

9 April 1986 at Prestatyn: 47 644 on a test run after overhaul at Crewe Works. On entering traffic it was named The Permanent Way Institution. In 1990 it became 47 756 Royal Mail Tyneside and was withdrawn in 2005 and scrapped.

Chester and Llandudno 26 January - images by Ryan Lloyd

Northern 150 122, still in de-branded Great Western blue, stands in Platform 6 at Chester awaiting departure for Manchester Piccadilly via Northwich.

175 007 calls at Platform 4.

Later in the day, 156 427  in Platform 6.

221 117 after arrival in platform 1 from London.

175 112 on Llandudno to Manchester Piccadilly duty.

158 819 in Platform 2, the Wrexham bay.

158 821 shows off the new livery.

67 010 at Llandudno.

Out and about with Greg Mape

A UK Railtours excursion on 25 January from London Euston - York ('Robert Burns)  passing through 'two trains a week' station Reddish South. 67 013 was leading withArriva blue  67 002 at the rear.

Also earlier in the day 35018 British India Line  passing Kearsley Station on the Manchester - Bolton line with  a Manchester Victoria - Carlisle railtour.

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