Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

10 September 2019

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Thursday 12 September Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society 'Roaming the Rails'.    Larry Davies
Monday 16 September RCTS Chester "Northern Rails – West Of The Pennines". Steve Armitage. Steve from Leeds will show a wide range of railway images from the LNWR/MR pre-grouping era to BR in North West of England and North Wales. 

 October 2019

Wednesday 2 October RCTS Liverpool "To Hell And Back " Bevan Price. Bevan, a Branch member for 60 years, presents his photographs during his 50 years of rail travel throughout Britain and Europe.

Saturday 5 October Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Bob Gwynne, Associate Curator, National Railway Museum ‘Snow White to Stephenson’. This is a story about the search for strategic minerals, climate change, religious conflict, immigration, integration and innovation. Overall a very modern story, although this one starts over 400 years ago and from it emerges the technology we call railways.

Thursday 10 October  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society End of the Lines: A tour of railway terminals. John Cowlishaw.

Saturday 12 October Steam at Chester. Vintage Trains 'Cheshire Venturer' Dorridge - Chester.

Saturday 12 October UK Railtours The Snowdon Panorama (diesel) London - Llandudno Junction

Monday 21 October RCTS Chester "South Wales Railways since the 1970s " Stuart Warr. Stuart from Cardiff will look back at the changing face of railways across South Wales since 1973, featuring steam and diesels working all manner of services with a few rare views.

 November 2019

Saturday 2 November Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Geoff Stocker
‘Rebuilding the Welsh Highland Railway’ An illustrated presentation of the stage-wise re-construction of the WHR (closed 1936) on the abandoned trackbed, from 1995 to completion in 2010 & subsequent developments - including locos and rolling stock.

Friday 8 November Steam on the Coast Railway Touring Company North Wales Coast Express  London - Holyhead, Flying Scotsman Crewe - Holyhead - Crewe.

Thursday 14 November  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Railway Signalling    Gareth Parry

Monday 18 November RCTS Chester "Railway Safety" David Maidment. David Maidment will discuss the change in railway safety management systems and safety culture from his experience in South Wales in the 1960s, as Regional Operating Manager of the LMR in the 1980s.  Also as Head of Safety Policy at the BR Headquarters in the 1990s

 December 2019

Wednesday 4 December RCTS Liverpool "Liverpool And Its Railways " John Ryan. A look at the varied railways of Liverpool and its surrounding over many decades by former British Rail civil engineer.

 Saturday 7 December Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. At Sale United Reformed Church lounge, Montague Road, Sale M33 3BU Including seasonal refreshments!
Owen Russell ‘Memories of the Woodhead Line’ The Woodhead line linked Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and London. As there were shorter routes to London, express trains often comprised only 5 or 6 coaches. The line was a good place to see a variety of GC and, later, LNER engines, which had to work hard on the notorious gradients. Like many steam routes, Woodhead was a line of contrasts.

Thursday 12 December  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society A railway pictorial of steam Barry Wynne (Special Christmas meeting with quiz)

Saturday 14 December Steam at Chester UK Railtours 'The Christmas Chester Chuffer' London - Chester. Steam  Bescot - Chester - Crewe.

Monday 16 December RCTS Chester "1960s Southern  Branch Lines" David Miller. A 1960s archive of black and white photographs mainly of Southern branches but also from further north, with some interesting diversions.  Images never seen before.

Thursday 19 December Steam at Chester Railway Touring Company 'The Chester Christmas Express' Stevenage - Chester. Loco 6233.

 January 2020

Monday 20 January RCTS Chester  AGM followed by "The Ffestiniog Railway" Geoff Coward. After 20.15 hrs Geoff will take a look at the steam loco’s of the Ffestiniog Railway, past present and future. Then a trip along the line from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, looking at each station, maintenance facility and scenery

 Saturday 25 January Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Centre AGM (brief) followed by: Christian Wyatt ‘21st Century signalling Control Centre – The Manchester Rail Operations Centre’ Christian Wyatt, a career railwayman with 38 years’ service, started as a signal box lad at Manchester Victoria and is now Project Operations Interface Manager for the London North Western route. One of his key responsibilities is the development of the Manchester Rail Operations Centre. Christian will describe the MROC from its build in 2012 to its present operational status.

February 2020

Wednesday 5 February RCTS Liverpool "The Black & White Collection Of Bill Ashcroft " John Sloane. Bill Ashcroft was a well-known name in Lancashire steam railway circles and John Sloane from Wigan will present some of his large collection of monochrome pictures from the steam era.

Thursday 13 February  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Llangollen Railway    Dave Southern   

Monday 17 February RCTS Chester "The Unknown Warrior – The Patriot Rebuild" John Hastings-Thomson. The LMS Patriot project are rebuilding a Patriot, ‘The Unknown Warrior’ and this presentation will describe the huge amount of work and money involved to build a new steam locomotive.

 Saturday 22 February Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Tony Wright
‘Aspects of the Origins & Development of Monorails including Behr, Lartigue and the Manchester to Liverpool Lightning Express Railway’ You may remember Tony’s excellent presentation on Mayfield Station. Don’t miss this intriguing meeting.

Tuesday, 25 February  18:30 Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre. Joint meeting with the Newcomen Society, Location to be confirmed. Bob Gwynne, Associate Curator, National Railway Museum ‘Sticking with steam – an examination of why Britain’s railways stuck with steam into the space age’ This talk examines some of the complex history behind moving on from the steam age on Britain’s railways and attempts an answer as to why the UK’s love affair with the steam hasn’t ended.

March 2020

Thursday 12 March    Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society  plan to have a visit from a representative   from Transport for Wales. More details later

Monday 16 March RCTS Chester "The Lever Brothers Railways Of Port Sunlight" Mike Lister Telling the story of Levers’ railways.  The soap factory was constructed in 1888 and its railways covered 54 track miles and the talk will describe the railway within the soap factory and other factories at Bromborough.

Saturday 21 March  Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre.  Melvyn Roberts
‘Indian Summer of the Somerset & Dorset Railway’ The S & D was (and still is) many enthusiasts’ favourite cross-country railway. We will hear about its unusual history, but the main feature will be a slide show of its operations in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

April 2020

Wednesday 1 April RCTS Liverpool "L&Y Engines At Work" Paul Shackcloth. Paul Shackcloth is the photographic historian for the Manchester Locomotive Society who have a large collection.  This talk will show Lanky locomotives at work over the whole of the ex-L&Y network, including Liverpool Exchange.

Thursday 9 April  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Trams in Llandudno (Including L & CBER and Great Orme Tramway) John Davies

Saturday 18 April Stephenson Locomotive Society. Manchester Centre.  Tim Owen ‘The activities of the Furness Railway Trust’ The Furness Railway Trust has a collection of six steam locomotives, including Furness Railway No. 20, plus historic carriages. The illustrated talk will cover the work of the Trust over the past 30 years..

 Monday 20  April RCTS Chester "Another Colourail Journey" Paul Chancellor

A Ninth Colour-Rail Journey will again trawl this vast collection of images for both views from across the country and through time, so expect both steam and modern traction to appear with may be the odd bit of infrastructure thrown in for good measure.

May 2020

Thursday 14 May  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society Evening Train Trip to Betws-y-Coed, where we will spend an hour in the Gwydyr. (Times will be confirmed later)

67 010 calls at Llandudno Junction with the 09:53 Manchester - Holyhead on 6 September.  Picture by Tim Rogers: for a bumper selection of Tim's Coast views, see our 9 September special.

Roaming the Rails

On Thursday 12 September the  Llandudno and Conwy Valley Railway Society welcome Larry Davies, a  long-time supporter of our website and former Community Rail Officer,  who will present an illustrated talk 'Roaming the Rails'.    The venue is The Sport and Social Club, off Victoria Drive, Llandudno Junction starting at 19:30;  visitors are welcome.

Day of the 'Dog-box'

Transport for Wales is short of of available rolling stock for its South Wales services, and have decided to replace  the Class 150 units which currently work the Conwy Valley and Wrexham - Bidston services with Class 153 single-car units, of which additional examples have been obtained from Great Western Railway. On 9 September,  ex-GWR unit 153 369 (Still in First Group blue) arrived on the Coast for staff training purposes, and running from Chester to Holyhead and back to Llandudno Junction. 153s have been used on the branches before, but several years have passed since they appeared. They do have 2+2 seating, if rather cramped; no doubt they will be adequate for the Conwy Valley winter.

This only seen as a temporary measure, as the two branches are to be a stamping ground of the Class 230 units, rebuilt from London Underground stock, one of which appears to be under construction.  It remains to be seen how they perform on the hills of North Wales; the three which took over the Bletchley - Bedford service earlier this year seem to have been having some teething troubles.

Cambrian Corner

Sunny Porthmadog on 8 September - 158 833 (above) formed the 11:28 Pwllheli-Machynlleth.

TfW-liveried 158826 is seen departing with the 10:10 Machynlleth - Pwllheli .Like last summer, two trains pass at Porthmadog at midday on Sundays - an infrequent occurrence. Pictures by Ken Robinson.

There was "trouble on't line" on 2 September when a Class 97/3 loco heading from Shrewsbury to Tywyn, probably to collect a track machine following engineering work, failed between Talerddig and Machynlleth. To rescue a 97/3 within the Cambrian's 'ERTMS' signalling area, another 97/3 is needed, and the nearest one of the four locos was in Derby, whilst the nearest ERTMS-trained driver was in Shrewsbury ... a replacement coach service was implemented between  Machynlleth and Newtown, but unfortunately some passengers were told to alight at Shrewsbury, leading to some angry scenes.

Looking back with Barrie Hughes - Shotton paper mill

Shotton paper mill was built in 1983 on the site of the Shotton steelworks blast furnaces. A branch line led from the former Shotwick Yard into the paper mill which produced newsprint for use at Irvine, Scotland. After the closure of the Mickle Trafford to Hawarden Bridge route on 20 April 1984, loaded log trains from Scotland came via Wrexham (reverse).

56 047 is seen here (photographed, with permission, from Penyffordd signalbox steps) in the short-lived Transrail branding superimposed on BR’s engineering sector ‘Dutch’ livery  with a loaded train of OTA wagons on  27 July 1996. The loco lasted until 31/10/2003 and was cut up by Harry Needle just five  weeks later.

Another member of the class, 56 033,  was named Shotton Paper Mill on 18/12/95. The mill, originally owned by UPM,  saw traffic from 1986 but this dwindled away around 2000 with a brief flurry again in 2008-10. It does not currently receive logs by rail despite having a capacity of 260,000 tonnes/annum; a Materials Recovery Facility form domestic refuse has been built alongside the mill, providing some of the input to the paper mill

Club 50

TfW have introduced the 'Club 50'  ticket as successor to Arriva's Club 55 but available to passengers ages 50 and above , travel from until  24 November, return by the eighth day. It is for any return journey on Transport for Wales services, after 0930 Mon to Fri, anytime at weekends, for £29 (no discounts for railcards). Full details are at

The ticked reproduced here was issued to George Jones, who writes: 'A £29 Club 50 ticket as used on 3 September from Wrexham to get to South Wales at Newport on the 09:42. Compared with what I paid in July, this was a saving of £21 on the Anytime fare to Newport at Senior Railcard  rate.

'From there on in, my wanderings were catered for a 3 in 7 days Freedom of the South West ticket which can be good value and allows for travel after 0900 across a wide area on trains of your choice.'

Dave Sallery's archive spot - Conwy Valley  47s

47 347 in Railfreight Metals livery was hauling a Pathfinder Tours excursion from Kings Cross, seen at Tal-y-Cafn on 26 June 1993.

47 854 on a return working to Carnforth seen at Betws-y-Coed on 25 June 2005. Wales' only electric railway can be seen on the left.

47 821 Royal Worcester at Dolwyddelan on a NENTA excursion from Norwich, 24 April 1993.


The 'Orange Army'  conduit-ing at Pensarn, 2 September (Alan Martin).

On 6 September Locomotive Services Limited Stanier 'Black Five' 45231 The Sherwood Forrester and support coach seen passing the site of the old footbridge and London North Weston Railway Signal Box at Willaston level crossing, Nantwich, on  route from Crewe to Shrewsbury where the locomotive was stabled overnight.  (Robert Meredith).

The following day the engine worked the Pathfinder Tours 'The Sugar Loaf Mountaineer II' which was steam hauled from Shrewsbury to Carmarthen and return. Martin Cleverley's picture is from 07:18 at Shrewsbury.

To make way for a housing estate, shops 9 (Diesel & Electric loco repairs). 10 (Power unit repairs) and 11 (main machine shop) of Crewe Works being demolished on 7 September.   Just power bogie repairs going on now in 5 and 6  shops under Bombardier, just how long for though?  (Tony Robinson)

A couple of shots of the return Belmond Pullman empty stock, 5Z24 16:15 Holyhead to
Llandudno Junction, running through Bangor on Friday, 6 September. 57 601 Windsor Castle leading ...

 ... 57 313 on the tail. This then formed the 1Z25 17:45 return to Lincoln Central (Jim Johnson).

John Wilkinson writes: 'I was very interested in the  Notice Board showing the superb working model of 1079 at Llandudno. There is still one piece of this loco still in existence: the only smokebox plate I bought direct from Crewe in 1962/3 was from the same loco, BR number 52119.  The pictures shows the plate with a photo above of the loco being cut up.'

A Network Rail  train passes Buckley on 3 September, 37 521 on the rear (Bob Greenhalgh). The September issue of Railway Magazine has an article on these trains written by Andrew Royle, former test train operator and occasional advisor to our site.

Ken Robinson writes: 'I visited The Llangollen Railway for a return trip with 31271 on 1 September and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Above,  arrival at Carrog with the 10:00 from Llangollen ...

' ... 31 271's visit reminded me of the 31s that we had on the Cambrian Coast on Summer Saturdays in the early 90's. The trains were worked with multiple locos, but on a few occasions it was a single loco like this shot shows, 31 147 taken near Afonwen on 21 June 1992.'

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