17 December 2018
A new book by Richard Billingsley
, a long-time
supporter of our site, out now from Amberley
direct at just £11.24.
234 x 165 mm, 96 pages, 180 captioned colour
images taken of the coast line since 2009, two per page,
covering every sort of location and train to be seen over
Contributions and comments are encouraged: see the Contributions Page
Saturday 22 December Pathfinder
Tours 'The Festive Frolic' Diesel-hauled excursion
from Birmingham to Chester and back including some unusual
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)
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
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
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
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
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
Friday 12 April Altrincham
Electric Railway Society Great Western and Southern
Steam in the West Country. A colour slide presentation by
Monday 15 April RCTS
Chester "Steam on the North Wales Coast" (Video
Presentation) Ron Watson Jones
Tuesday 7 May North
Wales Railway Circle AGM and Members' Photo.
In the Christmas Spirit, an image of 47 971 Robin
Hood descending the bank from Sharnbrook Summit on the
Midland Main Line in the snow sometime around 1990-93 with a
Derby Railway Technical Centre test train of departmental
coaching stock. Originally 47 480 then 97 480, the loco was
named Robin Hood in 1979. The loco survived until April 1998
and was cut up at EMR Kingsbury in November 2001 (Barrie
Chester Christmas Chuffer
Saturday 15 December saw some foul weather, amid which the
Pathfinder Tours 'Chester Chuffer' excursion made its way
from Salisbury (dep. 06:46) to Chester (arr 13:29 on
time) behind Lord Dowding, 34046
masquerading as 34052. Understandably, our contributors had
some trouble recording the passage of this train, but Jim
Ikin was at Tilstone bank near Beeston in the wind and
Approaching Chester (Bob Greenhalgh).
Chester (George Jones).
Nameplate study (George Jones). The change of name
from Braunton also confusingly changed the class of
the loco from 'West Country class' to 'Battle of Britain'
class as the only difference between the two was the naming
theme. Lord Dowding (Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding) was
Air Officer Commanding RAF Fighter Command during the Battle
of Britain in 1940.
Martin Evans found 68 022 Resolution,
resplendent in TransPennine livery, paused in Platform 10 at
Crewe on 17 December, apparently engaged in driver training
runs between Crewe and Wavertree Junction in preparation for
test running with the new Mk5 coaches, the exercise is to be
repeated for the rest of the week. These new loco-hauled
trains are now expected to enter public service on the
TransPennine route in May 2019.
Saturday 15 December was the 40th day of the Northern
conductors' strike action, with no sign of any resolution.
Transport for Wales took the opportunity to hire from
Northern to work on the Llandudno to Manchester Airport
axis: 150 211 and 150 268. Ian Henderson
photographed the combo at Chester. The locomotive-hauled
'Premier service' set was also in action working extra
trains: 1T50 14:12 Holyhead - Manchester, 1T51 17:22
Manchester - Chester, 1T52 19:15 Chester - Manchester and
1T53 20:20 Manchester - Holyhead.
On the evening of strike-hit 8 and 15 December, TfW very
helpfully used one of their units between scheduled services
to run two specials to Stockport when crowding at Manchester
Piccadilly station was reaching danger levels.
All the above diagrams are planned to be repeated on 22
December. Watch our Twitter
feed for confirmation.
Looking back with Barrie Hughes - North Wales 1991
On 29 March 1991 47 851 on a Euston - Holyhead
service passed Bates Mill Road bridge near Beeston Castle 45
minutes late at 12:55. The loco was previously numbered 47
064 / 47 639 and had recently been painted into Intercity
livery from green when it was first renumbered as 47 851. At
this time it did not carry a name but it had previously
carried Industry year 1986 until removed in July
1988. It later carried the name Traction Magazine
for a while. This loco is still going strong in the West
Coast Railways fleet in their rather dull maroon livery
after several repaints into Virgin/Virgin BR two tone green
Tyseley-based Class 117 DMU set T303 (cars 51364, 59516 and
51406) passes over the Northgate Locks on the same day as
seen from Chester Walls on the Up Fast line. The rear
destination blind is set to Chester.
150 125 was on a Bangor working and was a sign of
things to come. This Provincial-liveried example of a next
generation DMU provided poor seating and even poorer views.
The unit is on the Down fast approaching Roodee Junction as
seen from Chester Walls. [This unit has been used by various
train companies over the years, most recently by Great
Western; all their 150/1 units are destined for a new life
with Northern, but this one and 150 126 remain with Great
Western at the time of writing.]
47 972 in large logo livery appears out of the mist at
Roodee junction on the Up Fast. This loco was renumbered
from 47545 into a series of six 47/9s. This loco survived in
traffic until December 98 when it was marked for parts
recovery. The loco was cut up March 2010 at Booth’s
Rotherham after a period stored by Fragonset.
Holiday snaps - By Charlie Hulme
Some images from our recent short stay in the Cheltenham
area. Above, 60 017 passes through Gloucester station on 7
December with empty oil tanks from Westerleigh oil terminal
to Robeston Sidings near Milford Haven, a former refinery
which closed in 2014 and is now used as a storage and
distribution facility by Puma Energy.
At Worcester Shrub Hill on 9 December, 150 126 (see
note above) after arrival at Worcester with the 10:20 local
train from Gloucester.
I was surprised to see that semaphore signals are still
serving Worcester Shrub Hill, just as the were the last time
I was there ... in 1968.
New 'IET' electro-diesel (or bi-mode in current parlance)
units are now common on longer-distance workings in the
area. This one has arrived at Cheltenham Spa at 17:55 as the
15:36 from London Paddington. The numbering of these
units is a little confusing. The power car carries the
number 800 316, is the unit number; the other
also have individual six-digit numbers, a break from the
tradition of five-digit numbers for coaching stock.
These trains have gained a reputation for hard 'ironing
board' seats, which in our opinion has some justification.
The reservation indicators are rather neat, although they
make the view down the coach look like Blackpool
Ready for the snow?
Martin Cleverley sends this picture taken on 6
December in March, Cambridgeshire, of one of Network Rail's
'independent snowploughs' - it looks like one which was
fitted with an icicle-breaking rail for use in the Peak
District tunnels - a feature which might have
prevented the braking of a cab window of a Class 56 earlier
this year when propelling the lower snowplough units made
from Class 40/45 bogies. These units come in pairs, what's
happened to its twin?
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