Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

19 November 2018

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

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.

Not a railway view, but we like it - Jim Ikin captured this scene at Llandudno on 11 November.

A quiet week, but contributors have been 'out and about'. If you missed the last update because it was unfortunately a day late, it's still around.- Charlie

All change at the Vale of Rheidol - report by Denis Bates

Sunday 11 November saw the last use of the former Carmarthen line platforms as the Vale
of Rheidol Station. The train was the 11:00 departure for Devil's Bridge ...

...and its return at 15:00, with No.8 as the locomotive.  Construction of the new platform is already under way alongside the 1930s GWR engine shed; they should be ready for use by mid-February, when trains are set to resume. Meanwhile there will be no Santa Specials.

A VoR press release explains that the new station will be part of an attraction, created with the help of the EU, called  'Wales to the World' which will see the terminus at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth transformed into an authentic Great Western Railway 1930s style station with a multifunction display and entertainment facility and new café within the former steam locomotive shed.  

'Alongside these developments, a new carriage storage shed will be built allowing the priceless collection of historic railway carriages to be stored in a protected environment and aid their long term conservation.   Since the 1980s, the railway has been collecting steam locomotives from around the world. This collection is unrivalled containing many locomotives which are now lost elsewhere. These locomotives have never been on public display.'

175 107 over the years - pictures by Greg Mape

Same unit, three liveries. Above, de-branded First North Western in 2006 at Abergele ...

... Arriva Trains Wales in 2012 ...

TfW at Manchester Piccadilly, 2018.

Two-car unit 175 003, which also now carries TfW livery, was in 2005 the subject of an experimental application of the short-lived 'ghostly' version of the Arriva livery, although only 175 008 and 175 110 carried that livery in public service.

Dave Sallery's Archive spot

With Point of Air colliery prominent in the background, Toton based 45 007 heads along the Dee estuary past Ffynnongroew on an up spoil train on 15 October 1986.  These locos, while common enough on Freightliner trains, were very rare on lowly workings such as this.

Bristol and Cardiff scenes - by Richard Putley

Recently Arriva Wales borrowed Arriva North Class 150s on a number of occasions. But did you know that this summer GWR acquired 150 207 from Northern? For several weeks it's been running around the West Country still sporting Northern livery. But last week it was called to Doncaster
Works for repaint so the picture I've attached which I took on 7 November was its last day in service in Northern Livery. [This transfer is part of a series of moves resulting in all the Class 150/1 units being in the Northern fleet rather than have a solitary one left with GWR. Unfortunately, this means that most Northern's of 4-car Class 150 combinations have no way for the conductor to pass through the train.]

A number of TfW trains have been adorned with remembrance poppies. Here's 150 279 in Cardiff on 10 November.

GWR 150 224 arriving at Cardiff, 10 November.

66 105 passes through Cardiff Central with steel coils.

Looking back with Barrie Hughes - North Wales locos, 1982

Some views of North Wales taken on 10 August 1982. Above, 40 033 with painted on nameplate ‘Empress of England’ awaits departure eastbound at Chester. The nameplates on these locos had been removed as there fears they would be stolen by ‘collectors’. This loco lasted another two years being withdrawn 3/9/84 and cut up 1/3/85 at BREL Doncaster. The visible gap in the platform awnings caused by the 1972 disaster has still never been repaired.

40 197 is recessed at Llandudno Junction with fuel tanks, presumably from Holyhead depot. This loco lasted a year and was withdrawn on 18/9/83 before being broken up at Doncaster BREL 1/5/84.

47 476 on an eastbound service at Bangor. The loco appears to have been involved in a shunting accident witnessed by the dent on its cab front! It was withdrawn 28/2/2004 and cut up at Booth’s Scrapyard Rotherham 1/5/2004.

40 168 shunts onto its next departure at Holyhead. There is a Class 08 in the depot, one of three allocated to Holyhead for Freightliner and carriage siding shunting. The original level station site and erstwhile cattle loading dock (closed 30/11/75) to the right remained in use at this time for wagon storage. 40 168 was withdrawn on 29/11/84 and cut up at BREL Crewe 1/11/86.

08 746 shunts stock from Platform 1. Ro-Ro ferry St Columba waits in the passenger berth. This part of the dock is now inaccessible to ferries following the building of the Celtic Gateway footbridge across the harbour in 2006 (and the ferry terminal bridge earlier), which itself replaced a footbridge across the carriage sidings (with no lift!) that remains today little used. 08746 was withdrawn 31/8/2003 and cut up at Booth’s scrapyard Rotherham 1/1/2004. St Columba, new to Sealink in 1977, eventually ended up as a Red Sea ferry in 2016!

Finally, a look at Birkenhead. 03 189 and 'reach wagon' was used as depot pilot at Birkenhead North as the inside of the shed was not electrified with third rail. Depot staff were always happy to provide a guided tour to enthusiasts. This loco was withdrawn 16/3/86 and preserved not far away at Ribble Steam Railway, Preston, after a period of storage at March.

Errata: Ham-fisted work by your editor led to incorrect dates appearing on some of Barrie's recent contributions. In the 5 November update the pictures were taken on 13 August 89, not 13 April.  
The shot looking down on Conwy Morfa sidings in the 29 October update was taken  on 1 April 1988 not 1 January (As Barrie notes, a rather unlikely cold day for a family walk on Penmaenbach mountain).

Bright tamper

Looking very smart in SB Rail's livery at Chester on 13 November, DR 72804 James Watt, a Plasser & Theurer 08-32-RT plain line tamper. Picture by Geraint Williams.

The end of Corwen East - report by George Jones

As of Saturday 17 November rapid progress had been made at removing the palings from the platform rear and the access ramp in preparation for the dismantling of the scaffolding. The picture shows the temporary platform sans fencing.

On a point of historical accuracy, the last train at Dwyrain Corwen East was a special private charter for a Wedding Belle on 10 November when 3802 again provided the motive power. With the Inspection saloon attached for the happy couple at the rear, the final propelling move by driver no. 2 was from the comfort of the driver's position as he remained in radio contact with the footplate for the return to Carrog. Picture by Ian Macer-Wright.

News of new-build steam

Several new steam locos to old designs are currently being created at sites around the country. Progress on one of them was on display at the Crewe Heritage Centre over the weekend of 10-11 November, appropriate dates as the name chosen for the new LMS 'Patriot' class loco 5551 is The Unknown Warrior, and 11 November marked a hundred years since the end of the First World War. Picture above by Jim Ikin.

Picture above courtesy of the LMS-Patriot Project. Falklands veteran Simon Weston was on hand to unveil a crest above the nameplate. The loco was at the centre for a trial fitting of the newly-built boiler, which still requires its fixtures and fittings.  If readers want to help the project and at the same time get a 'stocking filler' for an LMS steam fan, the project has a rather nice 2019 Calendar for sale online.

The following weekend, 17-18 November at Didcot Railway Centre, it was the turn of the new Great Western 'Saint' class 4-6-0. Richard Putley was there to see the loco on display. It is planned that it will run with a 'new' name and number of 2999 Lady of Legend  in GWR Green. But for this one weekend only it would be displayed in BR Black with the different names and numbers on each side. On the right hand side it was 2983 Redgauntlet, one of a batch that were named after characters in Sir Walter Scott's novels. On the other side it was 2908 Lady of Quality.

Also on display were 4-6-0s 6998 Burton Agnes Hall and 6023 King Edward II, as well as 2-6-0 5322. As none of these locos were in steam, Class 08 604 moved them about the yard so they could be photographed in different places. The Saint was also turned on the turntable at least twice.

As the Saint Project Website explains, this is not truly a 'new-build' project but a conversion of a 'Hall' class loco (no. 4942), a type which was originally developed from the 'Saints'.

Merseyrail 777 - report by George Jones

Merseyrail's new Class 777 EMU design mock-up has been on show recently, as seen on 11 November at Liverpool Lime Street station, Lord Nelson Street entrance. The replica is of the driving car of the intended 4-car articulated set and a visit provided photos inside and out. Externally the platform level access is noteworthy and the front end emergency exit door is to the left of the driver's cabin, not so noticeable as on the current units.

Internally the design has created more space with bays of 4 seats being reduced and airline style seating introduced in places, and more space for standing and wheelie options. Some will be looking for to 2020 and the introduction of the new units whilst others might mourn the passing of the 507/508s.

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