Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

25 September 2017

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

September 2017

Thursday 28 September Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Andy Barclay: Tramway slides from the Peter Fox Collection (1970s to 1990s plus the last weeks of Sheffield trams in 1960).

October 2017

Wednesday 4 October   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales  LIVERPOOL  Barry Shore – “Had Bike will Travel 1961 - 1963”

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)

Monday 16  October    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Les Nixon – “55 Years of Railway Photography, Part 1”

Thursday 26 October  Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Robert Pritchard: Tramways of the Czech Republic & Slovakia: Part 1 Bohemia – Prague, Plzen, Most-Litvinov & Liberec

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

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

Monday  20  November    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    John Day – “UK Railways – Beyond the Blue”

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 Christmas Cracker'
London Euston - Chester 60163: Euston - Chester and return

Thursday 30 November Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Bob Bracegirdle: The Belgian Vicinal and its raison d'être.

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.

Wednesday 6 December   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    LIVERPOOL    Tom Heavyside – “BR in the North West”   

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

Monday 18  December    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Bob Barnard – “The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway“

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

Monday  15 January    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    AGM, followed by John Cowlishaw – “The End of the Line, Part 1 (Non-members are invited to attend from 20.15 hours)

Thursday 25 January Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) Tony Young: The Tramways of Bury

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.

Wednesday 7  February   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Doug Birmingham – “Rail Reflections in Merseyside”

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

Monday 19  February   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     CHESTER    Ian Pilkington – “Steam and Diesel in the Northern Fells”

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   

Monday 19  March   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Peter Berry – “The Robert Whitfield Collection, UK Steam 1948 - 1958”

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    

Wednesday 4  April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Alan Moore – “The Railways of St. Helens”

Monday 16 April    RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Brian Armand – “Railway Roundabout”      

Thursday 26 April Brian Yates: Light Rail Transit Association (Manchester) The Tramways of Berlin, Potsdam, Lyon and Grenoble.

May 2018

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

67 015 at Rhyl 06:38 Friday 22  September with train 1V91, Holyhead - Cardiff Premier Express. Picture by Ivor Bufton.

Llangollen Diesel Weekend

The Llangollen Railway diesel gala, as seen on 23 September  Above, Brush Type 4 diesel 1566 entering the well kept-station at Glyndyfrdwy with its first working - the 10:20 from Llangollen.  Picture by Ken Robinson, who writes: 'The weather wasn't too good, but it was a great day out! The diesel group work very hard to get these things going. I believe 1566 had problems later on in the day which had been rectified by Sunday morning.'

Llangollen station in the rain with English Electric shunter 13065 departing on the first of three brake van trips into Pentrefelin siding where participants got a different lineside view of the passing service trains. On the right D5310 is having problems with the first coach which had to be detached resulting in a 20-minute delay to the 12:55 departure (Ken Robinson).

English Electric Type 3 6940 at the rear of the delayed 13:36 from Carrog to Corwen (Ken Robinson).

Three main line diesel locos were in action, plus the class 104 Railcar, to offer a frequent service along the line. With top-and-tail running to Corwen East the loco change-overs were undertaken at Carrog. Starting things off at 09:45 the class 26 assisted the 104 to Carrog where the loco came off to await the next train.  Above, the view from the DMU (George Jones).

D5310 unhooks at Carrog (George Jones).

The second train was headed by the class 47 1566 and became the most powerful locomotive to bring a service passenger train to Corwen, with the class 26 on the rear (George Jones).

George Jones pictured 1566's data panel and writes:  'With a Tractive Effort of 60,000 lb, D1566 was the most powerful locomotive to haul a passenger service train into Corwen (discounting previous test runs). An Ian Allan ABC gives 62,000 lb.  It's challenging to compare the power of diesels vs steam. but in terms if Tractive Effort the 47 beats all comers according to published figures for the likes of 'Black 5', West Country, 28XXs 2-8-0s - open for debate ...  so far I have found no one who disagrees.  [Watch this space.- Ed.]

'The third train was headed by the class 37 with the class 47 on the rear and as such must have been the most powerful combination of locos on a train between Corwen and Carrog.
Nothing like this in BR days prior to closure.

Club 55

Just a reminder that the Arriva 'Club 55' offer for passengers aged over 55 is open until 1 November. Subject to various conditions, it's possible to travel to the far-flung outposts of the Arriva Trains Wales network for as little as £26. Traveller's Tales welcome.

TransPennine Express have a similar, but more complex, offer.

Llandudno Lifeboat

Enormous crowds gathered outside the new lifeboat station at Llandudno on Sunday 24 September  to see the arrival of the new £2.2million Shannon class lifeboat William F Yates.

Above the old lifeboat Andy Pearce and William F Yates pass each other (Jim Ikin).

The lifeboat trailer has a turntable on it. Above, we see it turning around the boat, which arrives forwards, gets hauled onto the trailer then turned ready for its next launch (Greg Mape).

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution always welcomes donations. We have texted RNLI to 70300 to donate £5, why not follow suit?

Peter Basterfield's view

Arriva trains Promotion of 'The Big Ticket' re-located to Bangor after it's official opening ceremony at Llanfair PG.

18 September's flask train (6K41) at Llanfair PG - between a cup and the station with the longest name. Locomotives 68 033 and 68 002 Intrepid.

20 September, and  6K41 at Wig Crossing with 68 002 now up-front and 68 033 as the train loco.

22 September's 6D43 at Malltraeth's 19-arch viaduct with 68 033 upfront and 68 002 again.

Picture desk

66 710 Phil Packer on a loaded Drax-bound biomass service approaching Altrincham Station on 6 September (Greg Mape). Major Phil Packer MBE is an army officer who was seriously injured while on operational duty in Basra in February 2008. He is noted for gruelling physical challenges to raise money for  his charity British Inspiration Trust, which aims to support young people facing adversity.

Track inspection unit 950 001 visited he Conwy Valley line on 19 September, and - we understand - found a fault inside Ffestiniog tunnel. This caused the 13:08 to Blaenau to terminate at and restart from North Llanrwst. The test unit left Blaenau at 16:00 after the fault in the tunnel was fixed, it should have left at 12:09. Dave Sallery took the picture at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Salford Central station in late afternoon can be a good place to see some freight trains. The three pictures here passed in a 20-minute period. 66 605 (above) was working a new flow of stone from Tunstead to Brindle Heath (Pendleton).

A 'binliner' train to and from Runcorn Folly Lane serves both Brindle Heath and Dean Lane refuse terminals.  Half the empty containers on their wagons are left at Bridge Heath, the loco then taking the remainder to Dean Lane, an interesting location as the Network Rail siding runs alongside the single-track Metrolink line to Rochdale through Newton Heath station. 66 523 is on this later duty. In the background, the delayed 15:24 to Peak Forest stone empties awaits a path at the exit from Hope Street sidings.

After waiting for a passenger service, 66 074 emerges from Hope Street over the crossover to pass through Victoria station, then via Guide Bridge, Stockport, Hazel Grove and Chinley to Peak Forest.

On the 'Liverpool line' which passes behind Salford Central without any platforms (yet) 319 450 is see from behind as it passes on a Liverpool - Manchester Victoria service. The tracks here have been relocated slightly to allow for the new 'Ordsall Chord' line.  Most of the 319s transferred to Northern and the 319/3 sub-class, which has been altered from the original design by the addition of a first-class section and some standard-class 2+2 seats. Northern are, we believe reverting them to the original high-density layout.

 A look at the Duke of Lancaster - pictures by Greg Mape

On 22 September our intrepid contributor Greg Mape found his way down the path to the resting place of former British Railways ship Duke of Lancaster (a.k.a The Fun Ship) which has been a landmark on the North Wales line since 1979. He timed his journey to photograph the loco-hauled service, only to find a Class 175 substituting.

The Wales Coastal Path comes this way, deviating from the shore to pass under the railway and alongside the stream to cross by the main road, and back again to the shore along the other side.

Earlier this year the ship, which had been covered in artistic graffiti by permission of the owner, was painted black, apparently by persons unknown. It seems that a second coat has been begun at the bow of the ship.

We recommend a read of the Funship story written by the owner on the Duke of Lancaster website
which tells how the ship arrived there and what's happened since.  One thing we noticed is that the owner writes that the ship is not set in concrete, as often claimed by writers, but bedded in sand.

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