North Wales Coast
December 2000-2

 So we head for the last week of scheduled operations for the Class 37/4 locomotives on the North Wales Coast trains. It seems barely credible that the same was being said at this time last year yet these veterans of the modernisation programme have survived another 12 months. There have been casualties along the way with several Coastline stalwarts heading for the scrapyard, the latest to be withdrawn being 37413 and for the second time. One week in which to ride and photograph before locomotive haulage of the aging Mk1 and Mk2 carriages ceases and they are all confined to history. How depressing.

Crewe platform 12 and 37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol" is still going strong on 1G96 the 8.53 Holyhead-Birmingham. 23/12/2000

Can you spot the class 37/4?

Correct! It is 37401 "Mary Queen of Scots" arriving with the 11.15 from Crewe to Holyhead. 23/12/2000

Growling away...23/12/2000

....and gone. 23/12/2000

Can you believe it! 57007 is named "Freightliner Bond" - get it? 23/12/2000

The penultimate week of scheduled class 37/4 operations on the coast line and 37401 "Mary Queen of Scots" was in charge of 1K57, the 7.49 Holyhead-Crewe. 22/12/2000

After the train had emptied the lights were extinguished and all doors and windows closed for the train to leave for the carriage sidings. The locomotive later returns the diesel depot and, of late, has run into bay 8 before crossing over to the depot. Today, because I waited in bay 8 to photograph it, it ran straight across to the depot! 22/12/2000 

Platform 5 saw the arrival of "Royal" class 47 number 47796 "Prince William" with an ecs working of "Northern Belle" stock. The train later left for Manchester. 22/12/2000

37421 arrived on time and ran into platform 12 with 1G96, the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham. 22/12/2000

37401 "Mary Queen of Scots" had arrived with 1K57 the 7.49 from Holyhead and deposited its stock at the carriage sidings. It then entered bay 8 before running out to enter the diesel depot from the South. 21/12/2000

37702 "Taff Merthyr" arrived in charge of the Middlewich-Warrington Enterprise train. It came in from Middlewich with salt hoppers and one acid tanker. When it returned to run North it had dropped off the tanker. 21/12/2000

1G96 the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham arrived behind 37426 and was running some 50 minutes late. 21/12/2000

37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol" arrived at Crewe on 1G96 for Birmingham. 20/12/2000

Crewe's platform 12 and 47780 stands at the head of a Serco test train waiting to leave South.....

......while at the rear was 47781 "Isle of Iona". 19/12/2000

37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol" again arrived on 1D71 the 12.07 Birmingham-Holyhead. 37421/37421/37426 were on the Diesel Depot yard all lined up and nowhere to go! 19/12/2000

The class 50 diesels are known as "hoovers" but really the class 92 electric locomotives deserve the nickname more, they are very noisy when the coolers switch in. This example is 92030 "Ashford" 18/12/2000

Minutes later 47810 "Porterbrook" left with a Virgin train. 18/12/2000

Crewe Diesel Depot yard contained 37426 (pictured) together with 37421 and 37428 "Midland Railway Centre". 18/12/2000

1D71 the 12.07 Birmingham-Holyhead arrived 20 minutes down behind 37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol". 18/12/2000

...and left shortly afterwards. Platform 12 is quite a distance to cover when there is only a short stay between arrival and departure and then you have to hold the camera steady! 18/12/2000

Crewe station was virtually deserted at 15.00hrs but a maintenanvce train did arrive behind "shed" 66196. 37421 and 37426 were waiting for work on the Diesel Depot. 17/12/2000

..and the front end. 17/12/2000..

Merchant Navy class 35005 "Canadian Pacific" pulling away from platform 12 with the "Chester Chuffer". 16/12/2000

Heading for the Chester line. 16/12/2000

While I stood on platform 12, Royal Class 47 number 47798 "Prince William" crept into platform 5 with "Northern Belle" stock. It later left on the Manchester line. 14/12/2000

I heard the plaintiff and off-key note of a 37 (is this all 37's or just the /4 sub class?) and a few minutes later 37428 "The Royal Scotsman etc." came through on the Middlewich-Warrington Enterprise trip. I still have to catch this train on the Middlewich branch and what a coup this would have been. 14/12/2000

The train I had come to see, reporting number 1G96 the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham, arrived in platform 12 behind 37426......

...and left again soon afterwards just a few minutes down. 14/12/2000

Sat in the Diesel depot yard, not dead (yet!) but merely sleeping, were 37426(L) and 37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol". 14/12/2000

37895 passed through LE on the centre loop. 14/12/2000


175003 arrived from Birmingham to form the 11.15 for Holyhead and what a fight to board! 14/12/2000