Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

21 August 2017

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

[Details of events during the autumn of 2017 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

The 16:50 Manchester Piccadilly - Llandudno at Abergele on 21 August, hauled by 67 022. Picture by Greg Mape.

Rather a 'holiday' feel to this week's update. Hope you enjoy it.- Charlie

Alan Crawshaw's North Wales

Pictures from a morning visit to the seaside, 18 August. Above, 68 017 Hornet leads 68 024 Centaur through Colwyn Bay with the Crewe to Valley flasks ...

... and 67 022 arrives at Llandudno Junction with the 09:50 Manchester to Holyhead.

The same train prior to departure from Bangor. The driver is looking back while the train despatcher aids a passenger who got into a tizzy about the doors.

On 21 August, While waiting for the flasks at Llanfair PG, we photographed 1A23 08:55 Holyhead to London Euston. You may be wondering why there's a huge ticket on the fence; it seems Arriva have had the idea of using the station's name, which attracts throngs of tourists, to advertise their cheap advance rates.

It shows an advance single cost of £26.50 from Cardiff. Looking at a random Wednesday a month hence, you could travel for even less, £21.20.

The flasks soon arrived behind 68 025 Superb and 68 004 Rapid.

On the Great Orme - with Martin Evans

Great Orme Tramway tram no 5 departs Llandudno for Halfway station on 17 August. The new Halfway Station opened in 2001, an elegant slate-roofed rotunda topped by a glass dome. It houses the Tramway’s winding gear, which you can see through a glassed-in viewing area as you walk through to resume your journey on one of a second pair of trams. It also has a fascinating exhibition on the history of the Tramway.

Tram no 7 departs the summit station. Conditions were very windy which had resulted in the cable car to the Orme being closed. Over 115 years on since it opened in 1902, the Tramway is as popular as ever, carrying visitors of all ages and nationalities the mile journey up the Great Orme so visitors can still experience the same unique journey as our ancestors all those years ago. The Tramway carries approximately 160,000 passengers a year and will continue to do so into the next century and beyond.

Scenes from 18 August

68 017 leading 68 024 with three flasks heading for Valley passing Abergele on 18 August (Greg Mape).

67 022 brings the 09:50 Manchester - Holyhead on to the Britannia Bridge on 18 August, as seen from the public footpath (Greg Mape).

175 112 arrives at Rhyl with the  06:50 from Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno Junction (Roly High).

On the Welshpool and Llanfair - with Greg Mape

On 20 August I had a pleasant ride with my family on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. Above, original Beyer-Peacock-built 0-6-0T locomotive Countess takes water at Welshpool station, carrying its Great Western Railway livery and number 823.

Shunting move at Llanfair Caereinion with Countess and Superb. The W & L shares its track gauge with many narrow-gauge lines of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, whence have come mich of its preserved era rolling stock, including the Hungarian bogie coaches and four-wheeled Zillertalbahn vehicles seen above (although the latter may be a recently-built replica).

Superb is a summer visitor from the only other operating  2'6" gauge passenger line in the UK,  the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway in Kent. An 0-6-2T Built by Bagnall in 1940, it is one of the fleet operated on the SKLR when it was the industrial railway of the Bowaters Paper Works.

The Welshpool and Llanfair line is holding its 2017 Steam Gala on 1-3 September.

On the Welsh Highland - with Michael Baker

On 3 August NG/G16 No. 138 brings the 13:00 from Caernarfon around Tro Fridd.

On the same day NG/G16 No. 143 brings the 12:55from Porthmadog out of Rhyd Ddu...

... and round Tro Fridd.

On 8 August NG/G16 No. 138 brings the 12:55 from Porthmadog through Betws Garmon...

... and NG/G16 No. 143 takes the 15:40 from Porthmadog across Pont Croesor.

On the Isle of Man - with David Hennessey

Between Wednesday 26 and Sunday 30 July 2017, the annual Manx Transport Festival took place on the Isle of Man's rail and tram systems. The 2017 event marked two significant anniversaries; 60 years since the Manx Electric Railway was nationalised, and 50 years since the Isle of Man Railway reopened under the 'Lord Ailsa' banner. Throughout the five days of the festival (plus a few activities prior to the main festival taking place), various activities occurred on the Steam, Electric and Groudle Glen railways, as well as the horse trams in Douglas and the 'Great Laxey Mines Railways. What follows is a comprehensive day-by-day record of what went on.

Tuesday 25 July - The day before the festival began, the Isle of Man 50 Group had their annual 'Tram Tuesday'; a day where three tram and trailer sets are hired to work three return trips from Douglas Derby Castle, to Groudle, Laxey and Ramsey. Car 1 and trailer 43 was on the Groudle run, car 7 and trailer 48 went to Laxey, and car 6 and trailer 60 headed for Ramsey. The latter destination is presently about to undergo a great deal of change; the track inside the station appears to be worn out, and the complex will gradually be turned into a tram/bus interchange, subject to planning and funding.

As of Summer 2017, a temporary terminus was set up near the site of the now demolished car shed; passengers could still buy their tickets from the station building, but had to cross over the road to gain access to the trams.

Wednesday 26th July - This was the day when the festival got going, with events taking place on the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, and the Groudle Glen railway. The latter was operating a rare daytime service (the 2ft line that 'goes uphill to the sea' usually operates on Summer Wednesday evenings and Sundays), and featured the veteran Bagnall 2-4-0 tank Sea Lion, seen above at Sea Lion Rocks, with the 2014-built carriages 3 and 1 in tow

On the horse tramway, the Isle of Man 50 Group hired 'double decker' car 18 and two horses, for two separate runs from Derby Castle to the Sea Terminal and back. This was supposed to have taken place in the morning, but had to be postponed to the afternoon due to poor weather (rain at first, clearing by midday). William and Douglas the horses had the honour of hauling the double deck car along the promenade. (See heading picture).

In the evening, the horse tram stables were open to the public; visitors had a chance to get up close and personal with the friendly 'Clydesdale' horses, in the place where they come to be rested, fed and watered.

(In July 2017, plans were approved in Tynwald, the Manx government, for the redevelopment of the Douglas Promenade. As part of the work, the horse tramway between Villa Marina and the Sea Terminal is to be downgraded to single track working, with a passing loop somewhere between Villa Marina and Loch Promenade. The redevelopment is set to begin in late 2018, and will take around two to three years to complete.)

Thursday 27th July - On the Manx Electric Railway, the 'Nationalised Navigator' tour was run. This was a special charter day organised by the railway's  administration team and featured 'Crossbench' Car 32 recently repainted into late 1950's green and white livery. The whole day was spent with this vehicle, as it made various photo stops along the route, and featured wagon 10 in a few places as well. In the picture, it poses for photographs near Bulgham Head, on the return from Lewaigue to Douglas.

Later, a trip to Port Erin was made on the steam railway, with the museum at Port Erin hosting an 'open evening'. A photography exhibition was being held, as well as an opportunity to admire the regular exhibits outside normal opening hours.

Friday 28 July - A morning trip to Snaefell summit (above, with car 5) was made, as well as a visit to the Great Laxey Wheel (or 'Lady Isabella'). Following this, it was back to Douglas Derby Castle, for a tour of the electric railway's workshops and car sheds. Afterwards, a quick ride on the steam railway was made. I travelled up to Castletown, changed trains and went back to Port Soderick. I jumped out there and took the 4 mile 'Marine Drive' walk back to Douglas, retracing the route of the former Douglas Southern Electric Tramway.

Saturday 29th July - On the electric railway, the 'Back in the Red' charter day occurred. This was again organised by the admin team, and featured car 6 with trailer 60, plus car 16; with tower car 1, and solo. Car 16 and trailer 60 were also recent repaints; having spent 19 years in green and white, they were finally returned to the 'uniform' red and white colours earlier in 2017.

In the evening, the steam railway held a 'photography' event at the station, along with a 'hog roast' and an hour long talk about the current affairs of the island's transport. Four of the railway's stalwart Beyer Peacock 2-4-0 tank engines were lined up at various vantage points around the station, to enable rare photographic opportunities to be snapped up (if you'll excuse the pun!). No.8 Fenella, No.10 G.H Wood, No.12 Hutchinson and No.13 Kissack all took part; Hutchinson and Kissack then left with an evening train to Port Erin, while G.H Wood shunted Fenella back into the engine shed.

(Note: track level photography was permitted under staff supervision, as part of the event.)

At Laxey on the Great Laxey Mines Railway, replica Lewin 0-4-0 loco Ant waits for more passengers.

Sunday 30 July - The final day of the festival, and an intense timetable on the electric railway. This involved nearly every active car and trailer in service between Douglas, Laxey and Ramsey. Trailers 62 and 63 were making a welcome return to active service; they had been in store for a few years, awaiting repair work to bogies and axles. Trailer 62 was repainted in white and green, while 63 was simply smartened up.

The Groudle Glen railway was also kept busy, with most of the active fleet taking turns to haul trains from Lhen Coan to Sea Lion Rocks. Sea Lion, Annie (a 1922 built 0-4-2 Bagnall), Walrus and Dolphin (a pair of Hudson Hunslet 4 wheel diesel locos), plus battery powered Polar Bear were in traffic.

[More pictures on David's Flickr site.]

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