Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

12 March 2018

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Forthcoming events

March 2018

Monday 19  March   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales    CHESTER    Peter Berry – “The Robert Whitfield Collection, UK Steam 1948 - 1958”  Because of delayed start of renovations the Society will now be able to hold the meeting at its usual venue, The Town Crier, Station Road, Chester (opposite  the station).

Friday 9 March Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Trains of Thought. Includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the US and the UK. a digital presentation by Bob Avery

Friday 23 March  Shropshire Railway Society Chris Banks, Too be announced

April 2018

Tuesday 3 April  North Wales Railway Circle Tony Griffith returns with two presentations.  The Dyserth Branch and an historic shipping disaster off the North Wales Coast.  
Wednesday 4 April   RCTS Merseyside Chester & North Wales     LIVERPOOL    Alan Moore – “The Railways of St. Helens” This meeting will now take place at The Queen Hotel, Station Road, Chester.

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

Thursday 12 April Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  Members Evening  

Friday 13 April  Shropshire Railway Society Mervyn Pritchard, Swiss Alps and Railways

Friday 13 April Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Navigation Road and All That.The show includes scenes at Navigation Road, Ashley, Cinderland Crossing, Dunham Massey and other locations in the Altrincham area. Ted Buckley shows pictures (mainly of steam) taken by his late father Bill in the 1960s.

13-15 April Llangollen Railway End of Steam gala 3802 expected back in traffic otherwise further attractions yet to be announced.

Saturday 14 April Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000. Special introductory fares from £45.

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.

Friday 27 April  Shropshire Railway Society AGM, followed by Member's talk

Saturday 28 April Steam on the Coast UK Railtours  Ynys Mon Express. Leicester - Holyhead  60163 Tornado  Derby - Holyhead - Derby.

May 2018

Tuesday 8 May  North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Annual Photographic Competition  

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

June 2018

Saturday 2 June Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains. Crewe - Holyhead and return. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

2-3 June  Llangollen Railway Heritage railcar gala

30 June Llangollen Railway Classic transport

July 2018

Sunday 22 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express
Liverpool - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Holyhead and return. 45690

Tuesday 24 July Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company Welsh Mountaineer Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog. 45699 or 48151: Preston - Chester - Llandudno Junction - Blaenau and return

August 2018

Saturday 4 August. Steam on the Coast. Saphos Trains.  Bangor (07.00/22.15) Llandudno Jct (07.25/21.55) Colwyn Bay (07.35/21.45) Rhyl (07.50/21.30) Prestatyn (08.00/21.20) Flint (08.10/21.10) Chester (08.30/20.50) Crewe (09.30/20.00) Stafford to Stratford-on Avon. 46100, 34046 or 70000.

September 2018

Saturday 8 September Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company Norwich - Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton - Chester - Peterborough

29 September Llangollen Railway Diesel gala

October 2018

12-14 October Llangollen Railway Autumn Steam gala

Friday 19 October Steam on the Coast Golden Eagle Luxury Tour (Day 5 of 12) (Provisional)  Chester - Blaenau Ffestiniog 46100: Llandudno Junction - Blaenau Ffestiniog, Holyhead - Crewe

Nostalgia: 37 418 East Lancashire Railway passes Talybont on 12 May 1995, working a Bangor to Crewe service. (Picture from Dave Sallery's Archive.) Purchased by a private owner after withdrawal by EWS, it worked on the East Lancashire Railway, with a period out of use due to engine problems, but has since been taken on (leased?) by Colas Rail and is undergoing overhaul at Barrow Hill.  Perhaps we will see it back on the Coast working test trains.

Chester Sojourn - with Charlie Hulme

On Monday 5 March 158 833 stands in the sidings  at Chester, possibly visiting for tyre-turning following the discovery of damaged wheels on several trains, related in the last issue. To their credit, were running an almost normal service, 5 days after the mass withdrawals. We understand The misplaced check rail at Maindee West Junction (due to a broken bolt) had been doing its damage for about five weeks. There would have been several routine track inspections during that period, but from a photo we have seen, the slight movement of the check rail would not have been easy to spot. Finding its location under a layer of snow was even harder.

221 107 Sir Martin Frobisher ready to start at 14:35 from Platform 4 with the 12:52 Holyhead - London Euston.  Buying a ticket seems to have its problems at Chester, especially when using a self-service machine. A hand-made notice on the machine tells users that the cheapest off-peak return ticket to Liverpool is not any of the prices listed under 'Liverpool' (unless you have a railcard presumably) but a £5.20 all zones day saver, and offers instructions about what to type to bring it up. An interesting feature, in that most ticket machines installed by other train companies do not offer purchase of day saver/day ranger-type tickets requiring a destination to be entered. This is a problem in terms of revenue collection from unstaffed stations, as anyone stopped without a ticket can simply say that he wanted to buy a Day Ranger.

175 007 making a shunt move to the depot. Another quirk arouse when we wanted to buy tickets, the machine produced a display with three boxes, roughly like this:


I made my way to the ticket office, where the friendly clerk sold me the tickets and said 'oh yes, we have told them again and again about this, you have to press the one with the dot if you want an Anytime ticket.'

Our journey was planned to include a run on the loco-hauled train to Manchester, which departs Chester at 14:47, seen arriving with driving van trailer 82308 leaving and 67 016 on the rear.

Royal Scot 2018 - pictures by Phil Clarke

Two views of 46100 Royal Scot at Crewe with a Locomotive Services training run on 7 March, showing just how much ironwork there is on today's electrified railways.

Royal Scot mishap 1963 - remembered by Peter Neve

Bob Greenhalgh’s photograph of 46100 Royal Scot passing the site of the former Chester (6A) MPD in the 6 March issue reminded me of an incident which occurred in the summer of 1963 at the same location and involving a Royal Scot class locomotive. The 'Big Freeze' of 1962/63 was a fading memory and the summer specials to the North Wales coast holiday resorts were just starting.  I was a 12-year-old trainspotter at my usual location at Hoole Lane bridge on the day in question. Royal Scot Class 46110 Grenadier Guardsman stopped at the home signal (above) on the approach to Chester General station even though the signal was off. I was told that she had a hot axle box on the centre driving wheel set and was removed from the train.

I happened to have a borrowed, second-hand Kodak Brownie 127 camera (single shutter speed and aperture setting!) with me and took this of photographs. Grenadier Guardsman has been removed from the train and has been parked on the coaling road. Stanier Black 5 45427, recently transferred from Willesden MPD, is being prepared to take over the stricken train, which stands on the down line from Crewe into Chester General station.

45427, complete with headboard, backs on to the coaches of train 1Z83 special train and will continue the journey to the North Wales coast. This photograph is not particularly good as there is an element of 'ghosting' apparent. Nevertheless, I thought they may be of some interest, especially to those who might have worked at 6A. The entire incident took about 90 minutes to resolve, which I think is a credit to all concerned.

[Can anyone offer details of the working and date?]

Coast line assortment

On a beautiful sunny frosty morning, 9 March,  68 025 Superb and 68 016 Fearless with two flasks for Valley passing through Chester station (Bob Greenhalgh).

A class 158 makes its way across Llandulas viaduct on 10 March (Greg Mape).

175 107 arrives at Abergele on 10 March (Greg Mape). The signal, along with the signalbox, will be taken out of use two weeks from now; a replacement LED signal awaits unveiling on the left; the points to the former platform line are locked out of use and will be removed in due course.

Regarding our recent report that the line beyond Colwyn Bay will not be transferred to control from Cardiff, but simply have some of its signals upgraded, correspondents tell us that this is old news; a memo suggesting this has apparently been in circulation among rail staff for some time.

FR from above

The original Harbour station at Porthmadog from an unusual angle, 6 March (Martin Evans).

A visit to the Llanberis Lake Railway - with Martin Evans

I visited Llanberis on 7 March. The 1pm train is seen about to depart Gilfach Ddu.

The loco in traffic on the Lake Railway was No 3 Dolbadarn, Hunslet Works no 1430, Built for the Dinorwic quarry in 1922.

Also noted at the National Slate Museum was diesel loco No 7 Topsy, Ruston Hornsby 4wDM    Works no 441427 Built for Bestwood Colliery in 1961.

Finally I noted another Quarry Hunslet on display: Una Hunslet  873 of  1905.   Built for the Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry, it is now in the National Slate Museum, with which the Llanberis Lake Railway shares premises.

Class forties in the eighties - pictures by Barrie Hughes

Above, on 25 October 1982,  40 174 stands with its train in the Greater Manchester Council waste transfer terminal, seen from the Reliance Street bridge in Newton Heath, Manchester.  Allocated at the time to Wigan Springs Branch depot, the  loco was withdrawn on 24 May 1984 and broken up at Swindon by the end of that year.  The adjacent line at that time was part of the Manchester - Oldham route.

The terminal still operates, run by the Viridor company for the the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, but the railway scene has changed; the former 'Up' line on the far side is a single-track section of the Metrolink Oldham and Rochdale line, the 'Down' line being retained by Network Rail to allow locos to run round waste trains. On Mondays to Fridays a train of empty containers hauled by a Freightliner 66 runs from the 'energy from waste' plant at Runcorn to Brindle Heath waste terminal in Salford, where part of the train is detached, the loco and the remaining wagons running to Dean Lane, scheduled to load there from 16:51 to 18:39 before returning to Brindle Heath and Runcorn.

Viewed from the depot footbridge at Manchester Longsight (with a permit) on the same day, 40 055 with a full set of discs on display. This loco was withdrawn from Springs Branch on 14 November 1982 and also broken up in Swindon by mid-1983. In the early 80s Class 40s could still be found double headed on the 'Irish Mail' ,' Emerald Isle Express' or Freightliner workings to Holyhead.

Votes for Women

Metrolink tram 3080, Celebrating International Women's Day, leaving the Northen Moor Stop, crossing Sale Road while heading for Victoria. Purple, green and white were the colours of the Suffragette movement, of which Manchester was a stronghold.  Purple for loyalty and dignity, white for purity, and green for hope. Picture by Greg Mape.

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