Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

Our meetings are held at The Old Church Rooms, Park Road, Radyr, CF15 8DF
Doors open 19:00, meetings start 19:30.

Walking directions from Radyr Railway Station.
Driving directions from M4 Junction 32

Entrance is FREE for RCTS members and a donation of £2 is requested for non members.

Tea and coffee is provided

A Wheelchair Friendly venue.


BRANCH MEETING REPORT
14 FEBRUARY 2018
‘GREAT RAIL JOURNEYS: GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND INDIA’ BY ALEX GREEN

COMPILED BY STUART WARR

On St Valentine’s Day, we were fortunate to see and hear a presentation by Alex Green; it was entitled ‘Great Rail Journeys: Germany, Switzerland and India’, Alex is a former career railwayman who, following retirement, became a tour manager with Great Rail Journeys, he has led over 70 tours on their behalf. Our show was about hill railways, we started with a tour and history of the Harz Mountains railways and learned many facets of both railway and geographical interest. We then moved on to the Brienz Rothern Bahn in Switzerland, again we learned much before moving to India, where we saw and heard about the Shimla, Darjeeling and Ooty lines. Alex showed many images taken during his visits, we learned of the history of these areas of India and of the individual railways. His show concluded with a look at everyday life in the sub-Continent, featuring many remaining British influences; Alex has a superb way of telling his story in both a humorous and informative way, the attention of the large audience was gripped throughout. Your reviewer is somewhat parochial where railways are concerned, but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and would recommend to any branch wishing to see something a little bit out of the ordinary.


PROGRAMME FOR  2018


Wednesday 14th March 2018

Stephen Gay – Railways in the Cornish Landscape Part 2

"Railways in a Cornish Landscape" An illustrated slide show presented by Stephen Gay.

“Railways in a Cornish Landscape”
An illustrated slide show presented by Stephen Gay.

” Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again …”. That classic opening line from REBECCA the romantic suspense novel by Daphne DuMaurier ”

Last night I dreamt I went on the sleeping car train to Penzance again …”.
The opening line from RAILWAYS IN A CORNISH LANDSCAPE a slide show by Stephen Gay .

Join Stephen and his faithful German Shepherd dog WRAWBY on their journeys and adventures exploring the railways of Cornwall .

Stephen Gay and his faithful German Shepherd dog WRAWBY

Stephen Gay and his faithful German Shepherd dog WRAWBY

Using recently taken slides , this presentation will also include historical information , a few poetry readings and many laughs along the way !


Wednesday 11th April 2018

Tony Moon – “Rhondda Valley Tunnel” followed by Dixe Wills – Tiny Stations

Tony Moon – “Rhondda Valley Tunnel”

***

Dixe Wills – Tiny Stations

"This station is a Request Stop. If you want to get on the train here you must give a clear signal to the driver. Please make sure that the driver can see your signal, but do not stand too close to the edge of the platform."

“This station is a Request Stop.
If you want to get on the train here you must give a clear signal to the driver.
Please make sure that the driver can see your signal, but do not stand too close to the edge of the platform.”

Dixe Wills presents a whistle-stop tour of some of Britain’s most interesting railway request stops – the stations where trains will only come to a halt if you hail them – from the far west of Cornwall to the far north of Scotland.

Altnabreac railway station is a rural railway station serving thAltnabreac railway station is a rural railway station serving the area of Altnabreac, in the Highland council area of Scotland; a settlement in which the station is itself the main component. One of Britain's most isolated stations, it is a request stop used almost solely by walkers and those who enjoy visiting obscure locations.(Source Wikipedia)e area of Altnabreac, in the Highland council area of Scotland; a settlement in which the station is itself the main component. The station is on the Far North Line, within the former county of Caithness, 23 miles (37 km) as the crow flies west of Wick (27½ route miles by rail[2]). One of Britain's most isolated stations, it is a request stop used almost solely by walkers and those who enjoy visiting obscure locations. (Source Wikipedia)

Altnabreac railway station is a rural railway station serving the area of Altnabreac, in the Highland council area of Scotland; a settlement in which the station is itself the main component. One of Britain’s most isolated stations, it is a request stop used almost solely by walkers and those who enjoy visiting obscure locations.
(Source Wikipedia)

The presentation is based on his bestselling book Tiny Stations, which spawned the popular Channel 4 series Paul Merton’s Secret Stations. Often a pen-stroke away from closure – kept alive by political expediency, labyrinthine bureaucracy or sheer whimsy – these half-abandoned stops afford a fascinating glimpse of a Britain that has all but disappeared from view. The journey includes a station where only Commandos may alight; a station built as a personal halt for a haunted castle owned by a Victorian drugs baron; and a station served by a single train once a week in one direction only but which has its own fan club to maintain it.

Llandanwg Station is an unstaffed halt on the Cambrian Coast Railway with direct passenger services to Harlech, Porthmadog and Pwllheli to the north and west, and Barmouth, Machynlleth, Shrewsbury and Birmingham to the south and east. (Source Wikipedia)

Llandanwg Station is an un-staffed halt on the Cambrian Coast Railway with direct passenger services to Harlech, Porthmadog and Pwllheli to the north and west, and Barmouth, Machynlleth, Shrewsbury and Birmingham to the south and east.
(Source Wikipedia)

The talk concludes the chilling tale of an encounter near Scotland’s remotest station in which a bizarre situation spiralled so completely out of control that Dixe seriously wondered whether he would ever see the light of day again.

Dixe is the author of ten non-fiction books, many of which are genre-bending travel works, including Tiny Islands, Tiny Histories and At Night. He also writes travel articles for The Guardian and a host of other newspapers and national publications.

Dixe is the author of ten non-fiction books, many of which are genre-bending travel works, including Tiny Islands, Tiny Histories and At Night. He also writes travel articles for The Guardian and a host of other newspapers and national publications.

 


*Saturday 14th April 2018
Observations at Basingstoke – 0730 from Cardiff Central to Salisbury then to Basingstoke


Wednesday 9th May 2018

Brian Ringer – Strictly Freight Only Part 2


*Saturday 12th May 2018
Weymouth-Bournemouth-Southampton using Severn & Solent Railcard
Depart on 0730 from Cardiff Central changing to 0839 Weymouth at Temple Meads


Wednesday 13th June 2018

Brian Arman (RCTS President) – Broad Gauge Part 2


Contact

Chairman : Peter Fortune
Branch Secretary: Stuart Warr
email: southwales@rcts.org.uk or peter.fortuneuk@gmail.com
tel:07963 439903

http://www.rcts.org.uk/branches/south_wales/index.htm

We have a free e-mail mailing list, which contains items of railway interest, relevant to South Wales.

fb_icon_325x325http://www.facebook.com/RCTSSW/

Find Us

The Old Church Rooms, Park Road, Radyr, CF15 8DF, are an 11 minute walk away from Radyr Railway Station, from where there are frequent  trains.

The nearest bus stop is immediately outside the Old Church Rooms.

If travelling by car, the Old Church Rooms has its own car park.


PAST EVENTS


 

 

Wednesday 13th September 2017

Tim Maynard -“The Best Way to See Snowdonia” – Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

David Lloyd George at Dduallt Tank Curve

Welsh Highland Railway train hauled by an ex South African 2-6-2 + 2-6-2T Garratt with Llyn Cwellyn in the background

ex South African 2-6-2 + 2-6-2T Garratt with Llyn Cwellyn in the background

ex South African 2-6-2 + 2-6-2T Garratt with Llyn Cwellyn in the background


BRANCH MEETING REPORT
14 JUNE 2017
‘SOUTH WALES STEAM IN THE 1960’s’
COMPILED BY STUART WARR
Prior to his death, Alan Jarvis donated his extensive photographic collection into the care of the SLS, Gerry Nicholls has been scanning and captioning the collection and came to Cardiff to show (basically) two lines with some tangential deviations.
The show was entitled ‘South Wales Steam in the 1960s’ and it acted like a honeypot for bees attracting 31 members and 26 visitors, and what a show it was!
The first ‘line’ viewed was known as the ‘JB Auto’ referring to the Penarth to Pontypridd service and the second being Newport to Brecon.

The JB Auto service from Penarth to Pontypridd

All images were taken during the final couple of years of existence of these lines in their entirety as some sections still exist; Alan used 25ASA colour film, so required good light to crisply capture images.
Your reviewer was amazed at views of stations some 55-years ago, how big they were, how much trackwork abounded and sadly, how few passengers travelled.
Some very interesting sights included first generation DMUs with the yellow ‘whiskers’ on the front, the number of wooden bodied freight wagons and one working in particular grabbed the attention, a Barry Island Banana train.
An image of a failed ‘Hymek’ on an express passenger working being hauled by a couple of Severn Tunnel Junction’s tank engines raised a bit of a cheer from the audience.
Local knowledge from within the audience added to Gerry’s records, one such example being local passenger service with a stores van as the leading vehicle, an attendee advised that such things happened only on (every) Thursday.

42xx Ely 11M60 TN
Alan Jarvis

This was a fine show, a truly excellent way in which to conclude the 2016/2017 indoor fixtures season.

Wednesday 8th March 2017

David Maidment
“A professional railwayman in South Wales in the 1960s”

David Maidment was appointed Stationmaster Aberbeeg after training as a WR ‘Traffic Apprentice’ in May 1964 during the changeover from steam to diesel traction, and moved in 1965 to be Area Manager Bridgend which included the Tondu and Llantrisant valleys as well as the main line.

4273 leaving Aberbeeg on a freight for Ebbw Vale, June 1964

In 1967 he acted for short periods as both District Terminals and then Operating Officer at Swansea and was then four years as Divisional Train Planning Officer for the Cardiff Division.

4243 with a coal train from the Garw Valley for Margam, at Tondu Junction, 1964

He later moved on to work at both WR and BRB HQ as Head of Productivity Services before becoming Chief Operating Manager LMR in 1982, the BRB ‘s first Reliability & Quality Manager in 1986 and Head of Safety Policy in 1990 after the Clapham Junction accident developing BR’s proactive safety management systems.
He will give an illustrated talk, concentrating in particular on the South Wales elements of his work, although putting this in context of his overall career.

A general view of Aberbeeg Junction station taken in June 1964

David founded the Railway Children charity in 1995 and will bring some of his self-published and ‘Pen & Sword ‘ books he has authored, and will offer these at 20% discount with all the profit being donated to the charity.

http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/search/author/maidment
https://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/railwaychildren


Wednesday 8th February 2017

BRANCH MEETING REPORT – 8 FEBRUARY 2017 – ‘REMEMBERING THE WITHERED ARM’
COMPILED BY STUART WARR

An excellent attendance of 48 (including 23 visitors) thoroughly enjoyed Nigel Wassell’s illustrated presentation entitled ‘Remembering The Withered Arm.’ It was illustrated with a mix of personal images showing some modern views combined with commercially produced pictures going back as far as 1949. Nigel has demonstrated in all presentations to this branch the level of detail and research he does to put together something that will remain in our memories for a long time; added to this he brings some humour and many interesting anecdotes. Our journey started with a shot of the Atlantic Coast Express departing from Waterloo hauled by a Merchant Navy and terminated in Padstow, the farthest west the ACE train worked. By far the majority of images seen were devoted to Devon and Cornwall and it was of interest to all to see the ‘then and now’ pictures proving how much has changed, particularly at locations such Barnstaple Junction. I counted locomotives (etc) totalling 31 different classes (both steam and diesel) from SR, WR, LMR and BR plus some industrials. Nigel read from a couple of books about the area as he showed images to match; to summarise I would say that this was a very well researched and detailed presentation given by someone who certainly knows his subject.