Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

12 November 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

November 2018

Monday 19 November RCTS Chester "Through Kirton Tunnel" Stephen Gay

December 2018

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' Evening.

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 (Dyserth).

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 Shackcloth.

Saturday 15 December Steam on the Coast Pathfinder Tours 'The Chester Chuffer'- Salisbury-Chester with 60163 Tornado: Bescot - Crewe - Chester - Wrexham - Worcester.

Monday 17 December RCTS Chester "The Fate of The Irish Mail" Tony Griffiths (A film which relates the story of the Abergele disaster in 1868)

Saturday 22 December Pathfinder Tours 'The Festive Frolic' Diesel-hauled excursion from Birmingham to Chester and back including some unusual routes.

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

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)

February 2019

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 Pilkington.

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

March 2019

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 Nixon

April 2019

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 Grainger

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 Carlisle.
John Cashen

Friday 12 April  Altrincham Electric Railway Society Great Western and Southern Steam in the West Country. A colour slide presentation by Alf Storey.

Monday 15 April RCTS Chester "Steam on the North Wales Coast" (Video Presentation) Ron Watson Jones

May 2019

Tuesday 7 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Members' Photo. Competition.

The two-car version of the Transport for Wales Class 175 livery has not appeared here before.  Ian Henderson's picture taken from Shrewsbury Castle on 7 November shows 175 003 (we think - part of the number is missing) arriving with the 09:21 Cardiff - Holyhead, unusually (?) coupled to another unit.

This page was prepared in advance as we are away for a few days.- Charlie

Tim Rogers' view - Bangor, 5 November

A selection of everyday scenes at Bangor station by Tim Rogers. Above, at 12:00 158 830 arrives working 1G40 11:27 Holyhead to Birmingham International

12:04 - Regular loco 67 020 brings in 1D34 09:53 Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead ...

... departing at 12:06 with Driving Van Trailer 82308 on the tail.

12:13 - 221 110 James Cook arrives with 1D82 08:10 London Euston to Holyhead, 49 mins late after being stationary at Crewe for some reason.

12:22 - hard on the heels of the 08:10, 221 117 & 221 143 Auguste Picard departs with 1D83 09:10 London Euston to Holyhead

12:33 - 56 078 on the front of the 3S71 21:20 (previous night) Shrewsbury Coleham sidings to Shrewsbury Coleham on its final leg from Holyhead via Chester and Crewe. 

A closer look at the train: 56 078 ...

FEA-F bogie flat wagons  642027 ...

...  642045 ...

... and 642016. Versions of the FEA wagon are in use by several freight companies. Network Rail procured 50 of the FEA-F version (642001 to 642050), fitted specifically for this usage with spray units control cables allowing the operator to control the high-pressure water jets from the loco cab. Outside the Autumn season, the wagons are store. On some routes two-wagon formations are used, but ours needs three for an adequate supply of water

56 087 on the rear. The real loco catches most of the stirred-up dirt, but this diagram has several reversals.

Once clear of the platform the water cannons are turned on.

12:34 - 158 824 forms 1D12 09:10 Birmingham International to Holyhead.

A sign of the times.

15:31 - 68 033 & 68 017 Hornet working the Valley -Crewe flasks, with FNA wagons 550048, 550059 and 11 70 9229 001-6.

15:33 - 175 109 is 1W93 11:21 Cardiff Central to Holyhead.

Conwy Valley interruption

The Conwy Valley branch was closed, with bus replacements, on 8 and 9 November, not due to flooding but due to 'an issue with the train crew' on Thursday and  'more trains than usual needing repairs' on Friday. Transport for Wales have some work to do to achieve a good service, it seems.

Seen on 8 November - by Martin Evans

DVT 82307, with remembrance poppy on display, approaches Wrexham General on 8 November with the Holyhead to Cardiff loco-hauled service at 07:42 running 10 minutes late.

Former Wrexham and Shropshire loco 67 014 propelling.

Crewe at 09:20, 56 078 on the rear of the Rail Head Treatment Train, with 56 087 on the front as usual.

Warrington Bank Quay at 17:22. The Wigan Springs Branch-based RHTT waits before travelling to Chester, Birkenhead and the Wirral lines. The service is in the hands of Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPV's) DR98903 and DR98853.

East Lancashire DMUs - pictures by Greg Mape

The East Lancashire Railway indulged in a DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) weekend on 3-4 November, and Greg Mape was there on 4 November re-living his childhood. Built from 1954 to 1960, mostly to replace steam trains on regional services, these trains gave many years of service, and some still make themselves useful on many heritage lines at quiet times. On the ELR they are cares for by the ELR Diesel Group.

See above are (left) Class 105 'Cravens' unit 51485 / 56121 and Class 104 'Birmingham' unit 50455 / 50517. 

The 105 carries the destination 'Blaenau Ffestiniog' but we'd be surprised to hear that any of these units actually reached that station.

On the other hand, 'Disley' - an intermediate station on the Stockport - Buxton line - on the 104 recalls a service fondly recalled by your compilers from the days of Greater Manchester Passengers Transport Executive in the late 80s, when two morning Down trains and two evening Up services ran between Disley and Manchester, running non-stop between Davenport and Piccadilly.

Class 25 D7629 was built in 1965 by Beyer Peacock in Manchester, one of the last batch of locos to be constructed there. Withdrawn in 1987 it was rescued for preservation and ran on the Llangollen Railway until 1997.

Also in traffic was 55001, one of the single-unit cars built for Western Region branch line service and affectionately known as 'bubble cars.' In the 80s a couple were transferred to Longsight depot for use on the Stockport - Stalybridge service.

The Class 110 units were an improved version of the 104s, also built by the Birmingham Carriage and Wagon company, with more powerful engines for use on hilly long-distance route, notably the Calder Valley line from Manchester to Leeds via Rochdale and Hebden Bridge. E51813 and E51842 started their life in preservation at the East Lancashire Railway, arriving in March 1990, first used for passenger traffic on March 2nd 1991. The TSL centre car, 59701, was acquired in 1994, a rare survivor as most of these were withdrawn in 1982.

The Class 117 unit, 51339 and 51382, is one of the builds of DMU designed for high-density commuter use, originally three-car sets, on the London Paddington suburban services and in Cornwall.

From Dave Sallery's archive

One DMU class that has not survived into preservation (except for a one centre coach) was the Class 120 'cross-country' type, photographed by Dave passing Holywell Junction in Summer 1979.  These trains were very comfortable, and included a small buffer counter but underpowered for their weight. Originally built for the Western and Scottish regions, some migrated to the London Midland over time, including some at Chester depot; the last was withdrawn in 1989.

Some time after this scene - in which there is almost nothing still in existence in 2018 except some of the track - the centre trailer cars of surviving units were replaced by lighter ones from Class 101s.  The Railcar Association website has much detail.

Dave's Flickr site is recommended for fans of railway photographs.

On the Cob at Porthmadog

Ffestiniog artistry by railway volunteer Michael Baker. Crossing the 'Cob' at Porthmadog on 30 October were David Lloyd George on the 15:50 from Porthmadog and...

...  Prince and Blanche on the 15:05 from Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Mid-Cheshire moves

On 6 November a one-off train ran from Tuebrook Sidings, Liverpool to Doncaster Roberts Road, Electro-Motive Diesel's maintenance depot, formed of 60 08566 770 and a wagon. Although the 60 is in Colas livery, both locos are now part of the GB Railfreight fleet. Perhaps the 66 was in need of repairs.  60s are now regulars again on Buxton area stone trains. Picture by Les Burton.

66 183 round the curve at Skelton Junction with a load of Merseyside  refuse containers from Knowsley to Wilton (Greg Mape). The line to the left is the stub of a line which once continued to Glazebrook on the Manchester - Liverpool route. More recently terminated at some industries in the Partington area, and is now 'mothballed' beyond a short length used as a shunting neck. Last year there were suggestions that a local wealthy businessmen wanted to re-open it as a heritage line, including the high bridge over the Ship Canal which alone would cost millions to restore to usable condition. Irlam station could only be reached by a reversal, and there's no obvious place for a station at the the Timperley end.  Little has been heard about this proposal since the rush of publicity, with the help of Michael Portillo, in spring 2017.

Looking the other way from the same bridge we see 142 040 making its way from Manchester to Chester. Lost in the trees to the right of the train is a goods loop.

Manchester Miscellany

Overcrowding on platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly has reached such unsafe levels, even after all the waiting rooms and have been removed, that a new red line has been added to the platforms, beyond which you must not pass until a train has stopped and passengers of alighted. Automatic announcements confirm this, abetted by a member of platform staff who is required to shout (without electronic assistance) to people to get back.

Meanwhile, at Oxford Road, the small office where people could ask staff for help has been converted to small Costa Coffee establishment, seen under installation on 18 October.

On Manchester Metrolink, customers are being irritated by all-over adverts such as the ones for easyjet (above, with the Midland Railway's splendid hotel) and some video game (below). Pictures by Greg Mape.

One can see out in a rather distracting manner, but sometimes it's actually helpful to be able to see in.  And the visual effect is ugly.

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