[The Saphos Trains excursion from Bangor to Stratford on 4
August was cancelled due to the ban on steam working during
the dry weather.]
Friday 7 September Clwyd
Railway Circle “North Wales, the Future”. With
Arriva's withdrawal from the next Wales and Borders
franchise, what will this mean for passengers and staff? Our
speaker will be able to bring us up to date with the latest
news; Ben Davies - Arriva Trains Wales, Stakeholder Liaison
Saturday 8 September Steam at ChesterRailway Touring Company Norwich -
Chester. 60009: Norwich -Peterborough - Nuneaton - Chester -
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 November 2018
Friday 2 November Clwyd
Railway Circle “The Development of Railways in the
UK”A look at rail development from Trevithick through to the
23,000 miles of railway in the UK by 1921. Mike
December 2018 Friday 7 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. January 2019
Friday 4 January Clwyd
Railway Circle “West Country Memories” An illustrated
talk which includes all the branch lines of Devon and
Cornwall. Dave Southern February
Friday 1 February Clwyd
Railway Circle “The Glorious Steam Railways of India”
The images were taken when it was a fully steam worked
system, with a variety of steam across four different
gauges. John Sloane March 2019
Friday 1 March Clwyd
Railway Circle “Annual General Meeting” followed
by “Chairman’s Choice” A night of self indulgence from the
retiring chairman, David Jones
Friday 5 April Clwyd
Railway Circle "Scotland in the 1960s" The talk
covers the whole of Scotland - going up the west side to
Wick and Thurso and returning down the east side from/to
175 105 passes Llandudno Junction on 3 August with
1D38 13:37 Manchester Airport to Llandudno. Picture by Tim
Saturday loco-hauled - report by Barrie Hughes
The loco-hauled Saturday train mentioned in the last issue
is timetabled to run on other Saturdays in August (but not
18 August as there are . Barrie Hughes
photographed 67 013 in Platform 3 at Holyhead on 4
August. On the skyline is the Captain
The workings, using the 'Premier Express' stock, were:
At Crewe, ready to depart at 13:45 (Barrie Hughes).
There's a 19-minute stop at Chester, so you could nip off
there and take a picture there too.
Back at Crewe in the evening, now in Platform 9. On 4 August
the train was briefly in the Merseyrail platform 7.
Views from a bridge - by Greg Mape
On Wednesday 1 August I revisited (on my bike - recommended)
the bridge on the A34 near East Didsbury that spans the
Northenden - New Mills freight line and the road also runs
next to the Styal line, and saw some interesting trains in
just 35 minutes Particularly notable was the sight of
a DB Cargo Class 60, 60 059, working empty stone
hoppers from Warrington Arpley sidings to Tunstead.
A Llandudno - Manchester Airport service (other Styal
line trains also passed) ...
... and 70 005 on a Southampton - Trafford
Park intermodal. [Freightliner's Class 70s are not a common
sight either these days, as 12 of the 20 locos are out of
service, including 70 012 which was dropped while being
unloaded from a ship on 2011, was sent back to the US and
has never returned.]
News from Oswestry - report by Martin Evans
On 4 August the Cambrian
Heritage Railways at Oswestry were
running steam so I took the opportunity to travel from
Oswestry station to the extended line to Salop Road
Bridge. The loco in steam was Barclay 0-4-0 saddle
tank, works no. 2216 built in 1949, seen above arriving at
the station ready for the first train of the day.
A closer view of the loco.
The recently refurbished signalbox at Oswestry (see
a 'before' picture), a classic Cambrian box built by
their signalling contractor Dutton & Co.
0-4-0DM, built by Vulcan in 1955, No.295 was used to shunt
A view from the present end of the line at Salop Road bridge
showing the relaying being undertaken which will lead to the
Stonehouse Brewery site which will increase the line by
about half a mile. Completion is expected by early 2019 if
matters go to plan.
158 841 arriving at Pwllheli on 3 August with the
0809 from Birmingham International (Ken Millward).
40 145 runs light through Acton Bridge on 2 August,
returning light engine from Kidderminster to the East Lancs
Railway at Bury passing Acton Bridge, about 18:50, having
travelled the other way earlier in the day delivering sister
loco 40 106 to the Severn Valley Railway (Greg Mape).
60 021 passes Wrexham General on 30 July with 6J37
12:58 Carlisle Yard Colas Rail to Chirk Kronospan Colas Rail
via Settle (Tim Rogers). According to a report in the
railway press, Colas are selling their class 60 locos to GB
68 034 and 68 004Rapid pass
Llandudno Junction on 3 August with a flask for Crewe (Tim
Manchester has placed over 100 of these decorated bees (the
bee is featured on the city's coat of arms, and has been
seen a lot since last year's tragic event) all round the
city; they will be there until 23 September - see the Bee in the City
website for everything about this.
Welsh Highland Railway Garratt 138 negotiates the
Aberglaslyn pass, 25 July (Jim Ikin).
Siôn Aled Owen sends this picture of a passenger at
Bangor endangering herself and setting the kids a terrible
example. Fortunately the resident British Transport Police
officer had been alerted and appeared moments later to give
the lady some health and safety advice which she rather
disdainfully accepted. Some young people seem oblivious to
possible danger: we once saw someone slip while getting up
from such a position, while a train was appraching, and
scramble to safety at the last second.
Loocomotives at Bangor, 27 July. Video by Rhodri
Michael in action on the RMR - report by Martin Evans
Miniature Railway on 27 July, with Michael.
This loco spent the first part of its life in Rhyl with the
other three locomotives Joan, John (103), and Billy. When
the Railway closed, Michael spent a number of years
in store, before returning to re-open the railway in 1978.
It worked at the RMR and at the Dudley Zoo Railway until
1994 when Michael was placed on static display in
the Pringle store at Llanfair PG on Anglesey. It returned to
Rhyl in 2007. In 2008 it was decided to restore Michael to
operation, and an order was placed for a new boiler from TRS
Boilermakers. Over winter 2009-2010 a lot of work was
carried out on the chassis and tender by the RMR volunteer
team led by Pat Kelly. The wheels all went to Acme Precision
Engineering near Wrexham where the driving wheels were
re-tyred. The chassis was then built back up with new
springs being put in place similar to those now on Joan.
Great care has been taken to get the finish of the
locomotive as near as possible to its 1960s appearance. The
new boiler was delivered to RMR on 11 September 2010 and on
16 December 2010 the locomotive was trial steamed, its first
day in steam since 1992. Michael re-entered full service in
Easter 2011. The restoration of Michael to working order has
been supported financially by the Communities First Trust
Behind the screens at Bangor
Readers will have noticed that Network Rail contractors are
busy renovating the historic station building at
Bangor. Eryl Crump, on behalf of the Daily
Post, was recently invited to see what is going on,
and has shared with us these pictures..
Up on the roof.
Carefully-restored chimney-pots being re-installed. The
building was designed, like the line's other original
stations, by Francis Thompson and completed in 1848.
Looking back with Barrie Hughes - Wales and South West
Some 'blue and grey' views (and a mustard shot) from 10
August 1983 - Back to Aberystwyth on Summer Holidays again
eight years after leaving the university in 1974. The
Wednesday Stanlow - Aberystwyth tanks were shunting in the
yard with 25 212 and 25 231 in charge. The
train might be have been more heavily loaded in the summer
due to the holiday traffic. 25 212 was withdrawn two years
later on 21 May 1985 and scrapped at Vic Berry’s Leicester
in October 1987. 25 231 also survived a further 2 years
being withdrawn on 23 August 1985 and cut up at the same
scrapyard in April 1987.
No.9Prince of Wales in its unique mustard
... departs from the former Manchester & Milford
platform for Devil’s Bridge.
No.9 arriving at Devil’s Bridge from the footpath footbridge
just west of the terminus.
At Devil’s Bridge No.9 shunts back into train at Devil’s
Bridge. By now GWR chocolate and cream Heritage livery had
displaced the British Rail blue livery adopted in 1968 and
reprised earlier this year by the Welsh Highland Heritage
Railway on the restored VoR brake van to celebrate 20 years
since the demise of BR.
We then drove down to Fishguard and just managed to get a
photo of the Boat Train. 47 490 departs Fishguard
Harbour station with the daily train to Paddington. This
loco was withdrawn on 1 July 2000 but survived the cutter’s
torch to be preserved and is currently stored unserviceable
at West Coast Railway’s Carnforth depot. The 1974-built Stena
Normandica towers over the station with its forward
visor up to allow car access. The ship was on hire to
Sealink, but was bough later that year and became the St.
Brendan. In 2018 as the Moby Vincent it
works between France or Italy and the island of Corsica.
Cardiff depot had started putting unit numbers on DMUs,
though they often ran with substituted vehicles making a
mockery of the 'unit' concept. Here is Unit C330 departing
Haverfordwest. The station had clearly seen busier days in
the past but was deserted other than the passing DMU.
Another Cardiff unit C802 starts from the terminus at
Pembroke Dock. This town has a ferry service to Rosslare in
Ireland but with the station being 1 km from the harbour
transfer is difficult. Nevertheless summer Saturday HSTs
have run for many years to this terminus.
To travel between these two locations I must have used the Cleddau
toll bridge which collapsed during construction a few
A North West Holiday - with Richard Putley
On Monday 16 July I left my friend’s house at
Stockport and drove to Ravenglass, stopping on the way at
Oxenholme The Lake District. Some trains on the Windermere
line were still replaced by buses, but 153 363 + 156 463
formed the 12:06 service from Oxenholme to Windermere. I
arrived at Ravenglass in time for the 14:50 to Dalegarth.
The incoming service was hauled by 0-8-2 River Irt but it
departed with 2-8-2 River Esk hauling it. At Irton Road we
passed the 14:50 from Dalegarth, hauled by “La’al Ratty”’s
“train from Spain”, a German built 4-6-2 resplendent in
I then drove to Carlisle. After checking in to my guest
house, I ventured into the city for a meal. After that I saw
a number of trains at Carlisle station, including 86 609/10
hauling a southbound container train, followed by 88 007 Electra
hauling a Tesco container train.
Tuesday 17 July: Drove over to Alston in time for the
first train on the South
Tynedale Railway at 10:45. Motive power was a Battery
Electric loco “Newcastle”. I rode behind to their newly
opened extension to Slaggyford. The signalman invited me in
the new ‘box there. It’s on the site of the original but is
larger. It has a 28 lever frame of which 25 levers will
ultimately be used when the line is extended further north
and Slaggyford becomes a passing place.
After lunch I visited the Eden Valley Railway.
They seem to have a couple of ex Southern Region 4-CEP
Electric Units whilst motive power of the day was a Southern
diesel-electric unit, 205 009. I then headed over to Appleby
where I learnt a steam special was expected early that
evening on the Up. It was hauled by 8F 48151 with diesel
loco 47 237 coupled inside and doing a big share of the work
due to the dry weather.
In the evening I saw a number of freights including a
Northbound flask train with 68 034 / 004 and Colas 37
116 was stabled on a Network Rail train (above). Also
there was 57 307Lady Penelope.
Wednesday 18 July: At Carlisle I saw the New
Measurement Train HST head south through the
station just as I got there. I caught the 09:46 to Newcastle
then took the Metro to South Shields where I had a ride on
the 9˝” gauge Lake Shore
Railroad. This is twinned with the Downs Light Railway
in Colwall. The loco running was their American outline
Pacific Mountaineer which I had seen at Colwall
last November; the driver was one of their group who had
come down with it.
Afterwards I returned to Newcastle where I spent an
afternoon watching trains. Freight trains I saw included GB
Railfreight 66 737 on a Biomass train, Colas 70 809 on a
Cement Train and DRS 88 009 Diana on a ballast
train. 67 028 (above) was towing a Virgin East Coast HST.
Thursday 19 July: In the morning I drove over to the Blyth
and Tyne line to photograph the signalboxes on it. Saw a
southbound empty biomass train hauled by 66 706. Returned to
Carlisle in time to see a Green Freightliner 90 double
heading with Grey 90 044 on a Northbound Container train. In
due course 37 425Concrete Bob arrived with
the 17:30 from Barrow, which then forms the 17:45 return.
Then 68 003 Astute and 68 017 Hornet topped and tailed the
18:10 arrival from Barrow which then ran empty to Kingmoor
Friday 20 July: I bought a Cumbrian Coast Day Rover ticket.
I started out on the 09:03 to Barrow which was 37 425. I
took this as far as Whitehaven, so that I could then catch
the other loco- hauled trainset, the 09:18 Barrow – Carlisle
back to Carlisle. So I was disappointed when the service was
formed by Northern liveried 156 472. I decided to take it as
far as Workington where I thought I would catch the 11:03
from there to Sellafield. In the event a late arrival at
Workington meant I could not get the 11:03. I contented
myself with photographing the two 156s side by side; the one
on the 11:03 was in the old Northern Livery. So I caught the
11:57 from Workington to Sellafield. This was worked by 156
480 which has received a special paint job to mark the
Centenary of the RAF. Quite appropriate then that this
service goes through to Lancaster!
Alighting at Sellafield, I saw 37 402 Mary Queen of Scots
arrive light engine from Barrow. It ran into the Up
Platform, reversed and stabled on one of the Up Loop Lines.
When the 12:08 from Carlisle to Barrow arrived, I was
pleased to see it hauled by 68 017 with 68 003 on the rear.
I took this service to Barrow, where I managed to get a shot
of 37 425 and its coaches stabled.
I then re-traced my steps with 68 003 / 17 on the 14:52 from
Barrow to Carlisle as far as Workington (above). Waiting
there for 40 minutes – long enough to pop into town for some
Fish and Chips ...
... I then took the 15:31 from Barrow which was
worked by 37 425 back to Carlisle. So ended an enjoyable
week in Carlisle, where I had stayed at the Arkale Lodge guest
house. A mere ten minutes walk from the railway
station and city centre, I’d certainly stay there again.
Saturday 21 July: I returned south. But having been
assured by the South Tynedale Railway on Tuesday that
0-6-2ST Barber would be running I decided to pop
back. No sooner had I arrived than Barber steamed
into the station so I decided to have a ride.
Afterwards I drove south to Rawtenstall on the East Lancashire
Railway, arriving there in time for the 14:30 train to
Heywood. Motive Power was 6990Witherslack Hall.
At Ramsbottom we passed D9537 and then at Bury 40 106Atlantic Conveyor arrived so I decided to catch it
back to Rawtenstall. So ended a very enjoyable week in the
The new Liverpool Lime Street - report by George Jones
On 30 July, all was well at the station as it re-opened for
services. In the southern train shed Virgin was operating
their Pendolino from the new platform 9 and East Midlands
Trains was using 10. LNW's Birmingham service was in 7 but
local services were using 6 (the former 7 and long the
preserve of London trains.) The northern shed is now
labelled 1-5 but on the day only 2-5 was accepting trains
with work still in process on the extended length of
The TPE Scarborough service with 185 118 (above) was
at platform 3.
Despite the influx of 319s by Northern, the Pacer remains
with us in decreasing number (at least at Lime St). In
platform 7 & 8 LNW 350 129 contrasts with 142
Using the LNW 13:04 service from platform 7 I travelled out
to Liverpool South Parkway noting the new trackwork in the
cutting up to Edge Hill. Returning on the 14:07 local
Northern service a better appreciation of the station throat
as it serves 9 & 10 was apparent as the class 150
terminated in platform 8 where one can see that the two
squeezed in platforms 7 & 8 share a single lead through
the arch which once provided a short bay. Whilst ten
platforms is seen as some expansion, there are those who
remember Lime Street with eleven platforms before Red Star
Parcels claimed the space and perhaps even thirteen in the
dim and distant past. Above, 390 125 stands in
The old platform 1 is now labelled 0 (every new station must
have one?) and is devoid of track with a notice displayed as
regards restricted access. [We understand that this platform
is not to have any track.]
Transport Museum Re-opens - report by George Jones
The Wirral Transport Museum in Birkenhead has re-opened
after an extended period of closure. My visit to Birkenhead
on Saturday 4 August found the Wirral Transport Museum in
Taylor Street open for visitors following its revamp to make
better use of the space within the building (which was never
intended for its current purpose!). It now offers disability
access, new toilets and heating, as well as a new lighting
A formal foyer entrance for visitors is now guarded by one
of the well-remembered former Woodside Ferry ticket booths
and turnstile, although entrance is free. Inside, the
displays have been altered and now includes a small cafe, as
well as the model railway and automotive miscellany. Steps
lead up to a gallery where once there was a workshop and
provide the high level view of the tramcars in their stable.
On the higher level at the rear are assorted buses from the
Wirral area including Birkenhead and Wallasey types as well
as Crosville to offer a diverse selection of interest to the
general public as well as transport fans. It is a tight fit
for all the tramcars in the fleet and ease of circulation is
made possible by having two cars outside - Wallasey 78 and
Liverpool 245. Birkenhead car No.20 has gone to Blackpool
for renewal of the wheel sets as part of a loan deal.
Above, the high level view of Lisbon 730 alongside Liverpool
762 with Birkenhead No.70 beyond.
Hong Kong-built Birkenhead 69 obscures the early Birkenhead
horse car No.7 - a remarkable survivor now back on display
after years in storage.
Liverpool 'Baby Grand' car 245 was on the service to
Woodside and its streamlined looks continue to belie its 80
years of age.
The tramway and its associated museum offers an unusual
visitor attraction in a dockside area of former industrial
activity which some might say is suited to the Tramway Age.
The Museum and Tramway remain volunteer operated and a great
credit to the band of enthusiasts in the Merseyside Tramway
Preservation Society who have defied the odds to restore and
maintain the assorted tramcars of local long lost systems.
The Tramway has a Heritage Day planned for 8 September and
the 21st Annual Bus and Tram Show is on 7 October.