05 November 2018
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
Tuesday 6 November North
Wales Railway Circle Illustrious local photographer
Barry Wynne assisted by Steve Morris.
Friday 9 November Altrincham
Electric Railway Society. Steam through Skelton
Junction and Timperley Junction 1955-1968. A digital
presentation by Tony Martin.
Monday 19 November RCTS
Chester "Through Kirton Tunnel" Stephen Gay
Sunday 2 December Steam on the Coast Saphos
Trains 'The Welsh Borders Explorer' Crewe to Crewe via
Chester, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton with 34046, 46100
or 70000. (Fully booked).
Tuesday 4 December North
Wales Railway Circle Christmas Social & Members'
Wednesday 5 December RCTS
Liverpool "BR in the North West" Tom Heavyside
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.
Saturday 8 December. Annual Charity Model Railway
Exhibition organised by Rhyl & District Model
Railway Club. Venue: Prestatyn Parish Church and Community
Hall, High Street, Prestatyn,
Denbighshire, LL19 9AR. Show open 10.30am - 4.00pm. Adult
£3.50. One Child (5-15yrs) free entry with each Adult.
Additional Accompanied Children £1.50 each. Around 12+
layouts booked in the popular scales, from "micro" layouts
to '0' scale Tinplate and 'G' Scale ; Trade Stands;
Demonstrations & Displays. Light refreshments available.
Proceeds this year to be split between Ty Gobaith Childrens
Hospice (Conwy) and Pet Rescue Welfare Association
Friday 14 December Altrincham
Electric Railway Society. People & Places 3.
images of railway staff, enthusiasts, the general public and
the steam railway. A digital presentation by Paul
Saturday 15 December Steam on the Coast Pathfinder
Tours 'The Chester Chuffer'- Salisbury-Chester with
60163 Tornado: Bescot - Crewe - Chester - Wrexham -
Monday 17 December RCTS
Chester "The Fate of The Irish Mail" Tony Griffiths (A
film which relates the story of the Abergele disaster in
Saturday 22 December Pathfinder
Tours 'The Festive Frolic' Diesel-hauled excursion
from Birmingham to Chester and back including some unusual
Friday 4 January Clwyd
Railway Circle “West Country Memories” An illustrated
talk which includes all the branch lines of Devon and
Cornwall. Dave Southern
Tuesday 8 January North
Wales Railway Circle (Speaker to be announced) The
Bala Lake Railway
Friday 11 January Altrincham
Electric Railway Society. Journeys through Wales
during the 1960s including narrow gauge railways A colour
slide presentation by Bill Chapman.
Monday 21 January RCTS
Chester AGM, followed by "A Photographic Tribute to
Edgar Richards"( Non-members are invited to attend
from 20.00 hours)
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
Tuesday 5 February North
Wales Railway Circle [To be announced]
Friday 8 February Altrincham
Electric Railway Society Steam and Diesel in the
Northern Fells 2010-2016. A digital presentation by Ian
Wednesday 6 February RCTS
Liverpool "North West & North Wales Reminiscences
of the 1960s" John Cashen
Monday 18 February RCTS
Chester "A Taste of Japan" Gordon Davies
Tuesday 5 March North
Wales Railway Circle Humph Davies with mostly
narrow-gauge archive material.
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 8 March Altrincham
Electric Railway Society. The Glorious Steam Railways
of India. Steam across India from 1976 to the early 1980s. A
digital presentation by John Sloane.
Monday 18 March RCTS
Chester "55 Years of Railway Photography, Part 2" Les
Tuesday 2 April North
Wales Railway Circle Gareth Haulfryn Williams,
archivist and author, on 'Rails to/from Bethesda.'
Wednesday 3 April RCTS
Liverpool "Manchester to Liverpool by CLC" Ken
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
Friday 12 April Altrincham
Electric Railway Society Great Western and Southern
Steam in the West Country. A colour slide presentation by
Monday 15 April RCTS
Chester "Steam on the North Wales Coast" (Video
Presentation) Ron Watson Jones
Tuesday 7 May North
Wales Railway Circle AGM and Members' Photo.
Rail Head Treatment Train at Llanfairfechan, 27 October, 56
078 leading. Picture by Rowan Crawshaw.
Mishap at Dee Marsh Junction
A Branch Line Society charter on Sunday 4 November,
tastefully named 'The Ruby Vampire', set out from Crewe with
the intention to visit some 'rare track' on the way to
various destinations in Merseyside. It called at
Wrexham to pick up passengers, then on to Gobowen via Croes
Newydd Up Goods Loop. The train was top and tailed by West
Coast locos 33 025 and 47 826. Above, 33 025
leads at Balderton Crossing (Bob Greenhalgh).
Leaving the double track section at Rossett (Roly High).
Money Raised from the tour supported the Merseyside and Cheshire
Blood Bikes charity. The onboard raffle raised £1,000
alone. The 'Ruby' related to the 40th anniversary of
Arriving at Wrexham (George Jones).
West Kirby is not a common entry on the Wrexham train
Back at Wrexham after reversal at Gobowen (George Jones).
West Kirby was to be reached by a reversal at Bidston,
including a trip to the stabling siding there.
33 025 on the rear as the train takes the curved to the
Borderlands line. The train had to be short because of the
some of the limitations of the route.
Included in the itinerary was a visit to the sidings at Dee
Marsh Junction, which serves the steel traffic from South
Wales, on the way to Bidston, but it was there that the
plans went awry. One axle of one of the coaches derailed
while on the siding. It was decided to ferry
passengers back to Wrexham in batches, using the Class 33
and its adjacent coach, but only one return run was made
before the coach was re-railed by a Network Rail team, and
removed from the train to another siding, and the train
(minus the errant coach) set off for Crewe at 17:05, six
hours after arriving, so the exotica of Merseyrail must wait
for another day.
The coach (4940) was still there on 5 November when
photographed by Ian Henderson from a passing train.
The steel train from South Wales was cancelled on 5
November, and may not run the next day.
Looking back with Barrie Hughes - Cambrian lines
37 430 Cwmbran in Large Logo livery climbs
the final section of 1 in 52 to Talerddig with a rake of
Intercity air-conditioned coaches. The train is
crossing Bell’s Bridge over the A470, probably on an
Aberystwyth - London working at 15:59 on 13 April 1989. This
loco had been renumbered from 37 265 on 25 March 1986; it
survived in service until 1 March 2000 and was cut up at EMR
(Kingsbury) on 1 May 2008.
Later the same day 37 430 was stabled at Shrewsbury along
with 37 271 in the south west bay, platforms 1/2,
which cross the River Severn where the steel platform wall
is seen between the two locos. Platforms 1-3 were rarely
used. Platform 3 at this time was essentially a parcels
platform with all trains using the through platforms 4 and 7
and the Cambrian Coast and Central Wales services starting
from bays 5 and 6 at the south end of those.
In addition to these residual 'Cambrian Coast Expresses'
there were Butlins Pwllheli Saturday loco-hauled workings.
At one time two Saturday loco-hauled trains operated to
Pwllheli, one to take campers home and a second to take the
new campers there. The first stabled overnight on Shrewsbury
curve, effectively an empty stock service but advertised for
public use. The Pwllheli trains ran from the mid 80s through
to the early 90s using blue and grey Mk I stock. At first
they were hauled by 37/0s, then 37/4s and finally 31s.
The overnight service from London on Friday night returned
from Pwllheli early Saturday morning taking campers home.
This crossed with a daytime train to Pwllheli taking the new
campers. I used to catch the morning up working and then
pick up the midday down working from Newtown / Welshpool. It
was reduced to one train in the final years 1991 - 1993 when
the 31s were running.
During the 1989 Summer season the chalets at Butlins
Pwllheli were damaged by a tornado and the 3,500
guests present had to leave. The estimated £2 million damage
was a contributing factor in the later transfer of the camp
to the Haven brand. After being taken over by Haven
Holidays, Butlins Pwllheli was renamed Hafan-y-Môr (Sea
Haven) and the focus of operations was transformed from
predominantly chalet accommodation to mostly static caravan
accommodation. Most of the attractions were also removed
including the chairlift, miniature railway (1953-96), roller
coaster and funfair, though some of the original Butlins
buildings remain. Trains now call at the associated
Pen-y-chain halt, just west of the former Afon Wen junction,
by request only, though it retains its large covered waiting
Llangollen scenes - and a last train
Martin Evans travelled on the Llangollen Railway on 3
November. Above, 2-8-0 3802 waits to depart from Llangollen
with the 10:40 service to Corwen East.
Martin walked to the Corwen Central site to capture the
new-build water tower and the GWR signalbox on its new base.
The signalbox came from Weston Rhyl between Chirk and
Gobowen. Weston Rhyn station there closed in 1960, and the
signalbox in 1991; after that date the block section became
Gobowen to Croes Newydd. The signalbox was transported to
Carrog soon after the closure, along with its lever frame,
and has been store there ever since. The Disused
Stations website tells the full story. Picture by Martin
Sunday 4 November was the last day of operation of normal
passenger services (i.e. not Santa specials etc.) for 2018,
and the final day of the temporary station at Corwen East.
3802 was in service again, photographed by George Jones
passing the site of Bonwm Halt on the 13:00 from Llangollen.
The return working, with the propelling control coach
The last public service train of the 2018 season featured
a commemorative bilingual headboard and flags to mark
the end of four years of successful operations to the Phase
1 temporary platform at Corwen (George Jones).
The last arrival at Corwen East. Fittingly, 3802 performed
the honours as it did with the first train on 22 October
2014 - even the same three Welsh flags were re-used and
Harry Barber was the same driver. This time the train was
not topped and tailed as in 2014, and 3802 performed the
final propelling move back to Carrog with a select passenger
complement of members and others on board (George Jones).
A fortunate spell of blue sky for the 15:40 arrival
brightened the occasion when station staff were on hand with
others to mark the occasion. The bilingual station name
board is now a museum piece (George Jones).
Technical problems with the Class 56 locos on 31 October led
to the Rail Head Treatment train being hauled on the North
Wales leg by 97 304 John Tiley. Rowan
Crawshaw's picture was taken at Llanfairfechan.
1 November saw top-and-tailed 97 304 and 97 303 in action,
the 56s were suffering from wheel-flats, one the things the
trains is supposed to protect against (Andrew Vinten).
175 114 rounds the curve from the Llandudno branch
into Llandudno Junction, 3 November (Greg Mape)
The 09:10 London Euston to Holyhead departs Llandudno
Junction, 3 November (Greg Mape).
150 250 between Abergele & Pensarn and Rhyl today at
approximately 15:00, on a service to Crewe, 30 October (Alan
All the stations with Gerald
Arriva Trains Wales, in their last days, generously invited
'All the Stations' video-bloggers Geoff Marshall and Vicky
Pipe to a ride on the Premier Express. Their video is now on YouTube.
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