06 January 2020
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
(see our Calendar
page for venues)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Tuesday 12 May North Wales Railway Circle AGM and Photo
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
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
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
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
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
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
experience course .
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