Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

07 August 2017

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

[Details of events are welcome for this space]

August 2017

25-28 August Bala Lake Railway Steam Gala

September 2017

Friday 1 September Clwyd Railway Circle Dave Walters 'Railway Memories' The first half of the programme will feature images from John Dickinson, sadly no longer with us, taken from 1970’s to 1989 in North Wales and other areas. The second half features images from Pat Webb taken from 1949/50 to the 80’s and 90’s mostly in black and white.

1-3 September Welshpool and Llanfair Railway Gala Weekend

Saturday 09 September Steam at Chester West Coast Railways 'The Cheshireman' Norwich - Chester 70013 or 60009: Norwich - Chester - Norwich

Thursday 14 September Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Dave Southern:  Wrexham Railways   

15-17 September Welsh Highland Railway Super Power Weekend

16-17 September Penrhyn Quarry Railway Special event Cancelled as the Railway is closed

Saturday 23 September Welshpool and Llanfair Railway Diesel day

23-24 September Llangollen Railway Diesel Weekend

Saturday 30 September Steam at Chester Vintage Trains 'The Shropshire Express'  Tyseley Warwick Road - Chester. 5043: Tyseley - Wolverhampton - Crewe - Chester - Wrexham - Shrewsbury - Birmingham New St - Tyseley

October 2017

Friday 6 October Clwyd Railway Circle Les Nixon '55 Years of Railway Photography - Part 3' A selection of railway pictures which include genuine BR steam, a wide variety of mainly older modern traction along with industrials, some preservation and brief visits, worldwide, to nearly 20 countries.

6-8 October Ffestiniog Railway Victorian Weekend

Thursday 12 October  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Julian Birley MBE:  The Bala Lake Railway        

13-15 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam Gala

Saturday 14 October Railway and Canal Historical Society Clinker Memorial Lecture in Manchester 2:00 pm, Mechanics Conference Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD. William Fairbairn, the experimental engineer - a study in mid-nineteenth century engineering. Admission free to all. More information (PDF)

November 2017

Friday 3 November Clwyd Railway Circle 'Snowdon Mountain Railway' A presentation given by Mike Robertshaw Msc IEng MIED, Senior Engineering Manager of the railway.

Thursday 9 November  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  AGM /  Clive Evans  Memories of North Wales steam and beyond in the 1950s 

Saturday 18 November Steam on the Coast Steam Dreams 'Cathedrals Express' London Euston - Llandudno for the Christmas Market.  46233 Duchess of Sutherland: Crewe  - Llandudno and return

Saturday 25 November Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company 'The Christmas Cheshireman' 
Bristol - Chester 70013 / 45305: Bristol - Hereford - Wrexham - Chester and return

Saturday 25 November Steam at Chester UK Railtours 'The Chester Chirstmas Cracker'
London Euston - Chester 60163: Euston - Chester and return

December 2017

Friday 1 December  Clwyd Railway Circle 'Members Night & Christmas Celebrations' Members are invited  to give a 15 minute presentation of their choice (any format). FREE tea/coffee & festive treats during the interval. Contact David Jones 01244 537440 to book a slot.

Thursday 14 December  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Xmas Social / Bill Rogerson: Roaming the Rails with Bill  

January 2018

Friday 5 January  Clwyd Railway Circle Mike Blackburn 'The Welsh Highland Railway (NWNGR)' A history of the North Wales narrow gauge and Croesor Tramway and the linking to form the Welsh Highland Railway, restoration and building of the new.

Thursday 11 January  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society   Ron Watson Jones:  Rails to Roads

February 2018

Friday 2 February Clwyd Railway Circle John Sloane 'From Vulcan Foundry to the Khyber' British built steam at work in Pakistan, It includes pictures taken on the spectacular line up the Khyber Pass to the Afghan border.

8 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society    Ellis Morey: The Penrhyn Railway

March 2018

Friday 2 March Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting followed by “Film Shows - Railways Past and Present”.

Thursday 8 March     Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  John Cashen RCTS:  North West & North Wales Reminiscences in the 1960s    

April 2018

Friday 6 April Clwyd Railway Circle John Cashen 'North West & North Wales Reminiscences In The 1960s' The presentation will cover from Liverpool to Liverpool within an area bounded by Southport, Burscough, Standish, Warrington, Crewe, Whitchurch, Chester, Holyhead, Barmouth, Aberystwyth, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, the Wirral, Chester, Northwich and Speke

12 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Members Evening            

May 2018

10 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  W. Gordon Davies:  A taste of Japan 

Waiting in the Tunnel ... Picture by Jim Johnson.

This week's star loco ... 37 254

On Wednesday 2 August, Colas loco 37 254 Cardiff Canton appeared on the North Wales Coast scene with a Network Rail train, to the enjoyment of our contributors. Above, the 10:41 Crewe - Bangor via Chester - Wrexham - Shrewsbury -Wrexham - Chester passes Milepost 209 at Rhyl. Picture by Roly High.

Llandudno Junction (Peter Lloyd). The train ran to Llandudno and back before proceeding to Bangor.

Arriving at Bangor at 18:32 after being held  at signals  in the tunnel. The first of a sequence of views, all taken from legal positions,  by Jim Johnson.

Drawing forward into Belmont tunnel ...

... back into the sidings where the points are hand-worked, giving the driver some exercise in setting the road for the old Platform 4 line ...

... a quick word with the signalman ...

...and the train is safely settled for the night.

Next day, Thursday 3 October, and the train leaves Bangor at 13:34 for a trip to Blaenau Ffestiniog, then back to Chester then Warrington Bank Quay, Chester and Crewe. Picture by Rowan Crawshaw.

Blaenau Ffestiniog, after a planned break at North Llanrwst to pass the 14:57 Blaenau - Llandudno (Dave Sallery).

Betws-y-Coed from the Railway Museum (Jack Bowley).

Next day, 4 August, and the plan was Crewe - Middlewich - Altrincham - Stockport - Altrincham - Chester - Middlewich - Crewe - Stoke - Derby. Greg Mape's photograph shows the train passing the well-preserved station at Hale.

Looking back with Barrie Hughes: The Brymbo branch

In the days before 'Real Time Trains' and in the absence of a copy of the Working Timetable, finding freight trains to photograph operating on branch lines was like finding gold dust. So it was that on 20 October 1980 I managed to acquire local knowledge about the freight trip to Blodwel Quarry seen on this website earlier this year. Imagine my pleasure when returning via Croesnewydd Yard to find a freight being prepared for Brymbo Steelworks with loco 25 166. This set of slide scans follows that train to Brymbo in rather misty autumn weather. Much of the area, including both Croesnewydd Yard and Brymbo, is now unrecognisable due to housing development. Above, the 25 prepares a rake of empty wagons in Croesnewydd Yard for the steelworks.

Passing the site of the ex-GWR Brymbo Station with the newly extended steelworks in the background.

25 166 shunts back from the Minera Branch across Mount Hill level crossing with the steelworks in the background. It appears there may have been four tracks across this level crossing at one time. A yellow works shunter is visible in the background.

Shunting in the Tan-y-Fron Yard, newly built with a grant from the EU (EEC as it then was). This money was largely wasted as the works was to close in 1990 following privatisation by Mrs. Thatcher's Tory government of the day and the special steels equipment was stripped from the works and, it is reputed, moved to the USA.

25 166 re-merges from the new Tan-y-Fron Yard past the steelworks loco shed with empty coal and bolster wagons. Two yellow works shunters are in view.

Standing on the Minera Branch (closed 1972) after running around the train at Brymbo Middle signal box, before setting off south for Croesnewydd. The Brymbo branch closed on 29 September 1982 with traffic diverted to road, and the rails were pulled up a few years later.

Further information about Brymbo's railways, including detailed maps, images and even film, can be found at the Disused Stations website.

John Hobbs honoured - report by Charles Allen

In a project co-ordinated in secret by Ian Whitley, Publicity Officer of the North Cheshire Rail Users Group (NCRUG) - with the help of the Group committee, backing of Arriva Trains Wales and support from many other partners, a plaque to recognise the incredible contribution made by long-standing member John Hobbs was unveiled at Runcorn East railway station on 27 July.

Runcorn East has benefited from his passion and determination and while his biggest challenge to tackle was the restoration of regular passenger services on the Halton Curve, the station seemed the most appropriate place for the plaque. Colleagues, friends and family gathered at Runcorn East to witness the unveiling. John was modest when Mark Warren, NCRUG chairman spoke about his service and achievements praising the team but we can all agree he deserves the recognition. Above, left to right:  Ian Whitley (NCRUG), Margaret Benson (Arriva Trains Wales Station Manager) with John and his wife Kathleen.

Colleagues, friends and family members group photograph.

The plaque in detail. John's railway work is extensive. He has campaigned with NCRUG for services over the Halton curve, coordinated the adoption and projects at Runcorn East and has been an active volunteer on the East Lancashire Railway both on the footplate and at an organisational level.

[John will be well-known to regular readers for his fine contributions to our website: we sincerely echo the sentiments above.- Charlie]

Middlewich diversion - report by Phil Clarke

The weekend of 5-6 August saw Virgin's trains between North Wales and London diverted via the Middlewich route due to engineering works. The picture from 6 August shows one of the diverted London to Holyhead Virgin Voyagers crossing the Trent and Mersey Canal at Whatcroft on the normally freight-only Sandbach to Northwich 'Dodger' line. Very near to this spot, HS2's new confirmed route will cross this line, which is already on an embankment, to cross the canal. Also in this area HS2 has to cross over the unstable land with the many salt cavaties below. Very controversial.

New book: History of Chester Leadworks - review by Tony Robinson

The latest offering by Geoff Pickard is an excellent (if A tad pricey at £25) treatise covering the well known Chester works from its inception in the early 19th Century to the present day. An Illustrated History of Chester Leadworks is published by Lightmoor Press
Geoff joined the works straight out of university as a Metalurgist in 1968 and rose to become works manager before leaving the industry in 1982. Some excellent shots of the station area for  railway enthusiasts from around the beginning of the 20th century are to be found within. The works of course predates the railway and originally received its raw material by river and the adjacent canal.  Geoff's previous works were Railways around Saltney and Crichton's Shipyard jointly with John Dixon.

Liverpool feedback

Referring to our item in the last issue about the planned changes at Liverpool Lime Street, and in particular out statement that ' ...the station platform and entrance throat [will be] totally revamped and extended to 11 platforms (rather than current 9)', Doug Birmingham writes: 'Lime Street Station is only being increased to 10 platforms in total from the present 9. The current Platform One have its tracks lifted and be no longer accessible. Current Platform Two will then become Platform One, so on and so forth with the Current Platform 9 becoming Platform 10. Yes two new platforms are being built (between the existing 7 and 8) and they will become Platforms 7 & 8. These new platforms will be accessed by a single line from the throat of the station and will travel under the single arch of the over bridge at the end of the station.' A report in the Liverpool Echo refers.

Also, thanks to the readers who answered the question about services which terminate at Liverpool South Parkway. It has totally escaped us that Northern's service to Preston currently starts and terminates at Liverpool South Parkway hourly from 11:03 - 17:03.


68 027 and 68 016 Fearless with the 6K41 Valley to Crewe flasks on 26 July (Rowan Crawshaw).

68 030 leads 68 018 Valiant on 2 August with the Valley to Crewe flasks, passing Talybont, a few miles east of Bangor (Alan Crawshaw).

67 016 on the WAG

A change of loco on the Cardiff express: On Thursday 3 August 67 016 waits to depart Llandudno Junction heading to Holyhead working the 17:16 'Premier Service' from Cardiff Central. This view  faces Colwyn Bay with 67 016 providing the power from the rear. Picture by Gethin Jones.

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