Rheilffordd arfordir gogledd Cymru: Hysbysfwrdd

06 January 2020

Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page

Forthcoming events

(see our Calendar page for venues)

January 2020

Tuesday 7 January North Wales Railway Circle NWRC committee member and Coast Railway website contributor Peter Basterfield. Home & Away.

Friday 10 January Clwyd Railway Circle “Railways Around Holywell Part 1' Ray Bailey

Friday 10 January Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Locomotive Sheds of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway. a digital presentation by Noel Coates.

Monday 20 January RCTS Chester AGM , then John Cashen will do a whistle stop tour throughout Britain of photographs he took in the 1960s and 1970s (Change of speaker)

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

Tuesday 4 February North Wales Railway Circle Robin Humphrey-Davies ('Humph'). The route of the Welsh Highland Railway, Part 2, Rhyd Ddu to Porthmadog.
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.

Friday 7 February Clwyd Railway Circle 'Rheilffordd Talyllyn Railway' David Murphy

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

Friday 14 February Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society People and Places 4. Images of the pre-1968 steam railway including trains and railway staff, enthusiasts or the general public. a digital presentation by Paul Shackcloth.

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
Friday 6 March Clwyd Railway Circle Annual General Meeting - followed by a Film Show

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

Friday 13 March Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Wheels on Reels. Transport Films – taken with a cine camera and shown using a cine projector. Geoff Lomas presents a selection of his Films in the traditional manner.

Tuesday 3 March North Wales Railway Circle Barry Wynne and Steve Morris. Another show from Barry's superb collection.

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.

Friday 3 April Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society Great Named Trains. (note: first Friday) featuring postcards of named trains and video of the engines which hauled them and survive in preservation. a digital presentation by Society President Nick Dodson

Tuesday 7 April North Wales Railway Circle Richard Sant, Secretary of the LMS Patriot Company. Progress on The Unknown Warrior

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
Tuesday 12 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Photo Competition.

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)

175 004 at Flint, 4 January. Picture by Tim Rogers.

Avanti scenes

221 117 calls at Flint. working 14:10 London Euston to Holyhead on 4 January. Picture by Tim Rogers.

221 101 awaits departure at Chester as the 16:35 to London, 30 January, with its Avanti West Coast name mysteriously obscured on the end. Picture by David Harrison. who notes: 'Interesting that the on board Wi-fi has not been completely re-branded, nor the train identification number (still VT4590 or whatever) but at least those dreadful "talking toilets" have gone, along with the more patronising of Virgin's on-train announcements.

Class 37 on tour

An Ultrasonic Test Train spend three days in North Wales and around at the start of the year, worked push-pull by 37 219 Jonty Jarvis. We pick up the train at Rossett at 12:15 on 2 January (Tim Rogers).

Ruabon at 12:21 on 2 January (Martin Evans). This loco has had a varied career; built in 1964 as D6919 and mostly used for freight in its early years,, it was sold to preservationists in 2005 and worked on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, and the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway,  Mid Norfolk Railway  and the Pontypool and Blaenavon line before being sold, along with 37 421, to Colas.

Chester at 12:41 on 2 January (Jack Bowley).

Behind driving trailer 9702  is former Caledonian Sleeper Mk2 BUO (Brake Unclassified
Open) carriage which used to be the seated coach for the sleeper trains, but now all withdrawn from use following the introduction of the CAF Mk5 carriages (Jack Bowley).

The train was stabled overnight at Bangor, photographed by Jim Johnson on 3 January.

Action at Bangor on 3 January as 175 110, deputising for the loco-hauled set, departs as 1H89 13:07 Holyhead to Manchester Piccadilly, while  175 008 arrives as 1W92 09:22 Cardiff Central to Holyhead.

37 219 takes its train into Belmont Tunnel from the old Platform 4 siding ...

...  before propelling through the up loop, en route to Crewe. It was held for a few minutes, awaiting the 1A43  double voyager to clear the section. 

175 008, now  as 5H91 14:21 Holyhead to Chester empty stock, held on the up main,
awaiting the NR train to clear section, as 150 264 arrives as 1D13 11:10 Birmingham International to Holyhead.

Blaenau Ffestiniog, 3 January (Ken Robinson).

Middlewich at 11:44, 4 January (Greg Mape).

Mouldsworth, 4 January  at 14:41 (Bob Greenhalgh). 37 219, now with Colas,  carries the name Jonty Jarvis, formerly on DRS 37 229. Jonty, son of a Network Rail manager, died in 2005 from meningitis.

9702 at Mouldsworth, with  adornment by the station friends in the foreground (Bob Greenhalgh).

Near Mickle Trafford at 14:51 on 4 January (John Cowlishaw).

Near Middlewich at 16:11 on 4 January (Greg Mape).

Happy New Year

On New Year's day a Network Rail train ran from Derby to Carlisle via Chester where Bob Greenhalgh was waiting with his camera.  The train was top-and-tailed by 37 059 (above) ...

... and 37 259.

On the Footplate - report by Ian Henderson

Thanks to a privileged footplate pass, I had the opportunity to experience the journey from Llangollen to Carrog on 1 January 2020 with 7822 Foxcote Manor on the 10:40, first train of the day. Fortunately the day was mild and offered good light values for photos.

The crew: fireman Matt (left), driver Paul and guest Ian  (George Jones).

Suitably togged up, I was initiated onto the footplate by driver Paul and fireman Matt and given the left hand side fireman's seat.

This would be my first footplate experience since an occasion at Chester nearly 60 years ago when I had a ride on a Croes Newydd Mogul around the west curve.

Right-away on time, we headed under Green Lane bridge with a minimum of fuss, then a slight slip on damp rail, expertly controlled, as we approached Goods Junction box. Then the sight of the approach to Dee Bridge and the C&W works at Pentrefelin, before the 1 in 80 climb to Berwyn with the fireman feeding the firebox to provide the steam - three shovelfuls to the left, three to the right three down the back and three down the front. A sequence which keeps the fireman busy, and calls for an interchange between him and the driver.

Stopped at Berwyn, the view back over the tender and the pile of Northumbrian coal likely to be consumed in the source of the day.

Onward towards Berwyn tunnel where the gradient eases and once inside the firebox provided the illumination, as well as the heat with the steam and smoke flowing over the top of the cab and past the tender.

The summit is reached just beyond the tunnel exit and then the line is relatively level with sweeping curves through to the approach to the crossing at Glyndyfrdwy. 

Onward to journey's end at Carrog after an exhilarating ride on a Manor which brought back many memories from childhood. Good to see the footplate techniques are still practised today.

It was back on the cushions to Llangollen and the sight of 7822 running round on the last day of Mince Pie Specials, ready to take the 13:00 out in a repeat journey for the crowd waiting to travel down the Dee Valley.

Those wanting to sample the footplate might consider booking a driver experience course .

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