North Wales Coast
December 2000-3

The final curtain? - as 37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol" takes the encore at Crewe after, fittingly, bringing home the last North Wales Coast line passenger train scheduled for class 37/4 haulage. Bitter sweet memories for all of the several hundred enthusiasts who graced the six coach train out to Holyhead and back. The loco performed faultlessly despite being high on engine hours and its reward will probably be one-way trip to Wigan and a few bottles of gas! CLICK to see more 30/12/2000

The day was foggy and the temperature was hovering around the -6 degrees mark hence the misty photos. 67018 had been buzzing about all morning and it finally ran through the station with 86401 in tow. 29/12/2000

47793 "Saint Augustine" arrived with a Rail Trail Tours special destined for the Settle and Carlisle route. The train was running over three hours late due to a frozen brake pipe. 29/12/2000

The lads at Crewe once again solved the problem and off she went.

37216 passed through on the Middlewich-Warrington Enterprise. 29/12/2000

37401 had been sat dead in the depot yard. It was later started and ran out through platform 6 onto the Manchester line. 29/12/2000

66140 ran through the station light engine heading North. 29/12/2000

175010 left platform 10 destined for Holyhead. 29/12/2000

I hadn't expected 1G96, the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham, to arrive at all having heard on the radio that the West Coast Main Line was closed and the heaviest snow falls had been in North Wales. The fears proved unfounded and 37421 (what else?) appeared running 20 minutes down. 28/12/2000

The stock was quite heavily iced up. 28/12/2000

Freezing cold, blue sky, bright sunshine and no wind! What else could you hope for but a steam engine - when 60800 "Green Arrow" reversed into platform 11 it came as a complete surprise. 28/12/2000

I stopped at Prestatyn to photograph 37421 on 1D71 the 12.07 Birmingham-Crewe having seen the locomotive at Crewe earlier in the day heading South on 1G96. It was very late and while waiting I photographed "Hippo" 175110 which left for Crewe with a distinctive wheel flat sound. 27/12/2000

This was followed by 156466 en route for Manchester Piccadilly. I was surprised at how many people were using these trains. 27/12/2000

37421 eventually arrived some 35 minutes down and pulled to a halt. 27/12/2000

The driver anxiously waited for permission to leave. 27/12/2000

Which he duly received and the train set off at a pace. The loco could be heard for several minutes in the freezing, still Winter air, growling away into the distance and next stop Rhyl. Another day gone! 27/12/2000

The deserted bays at platform 12, Crewe station - freezing cold but sunny. 27/12/2000

37421 arrived in platform 12 with 1G96 the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham train. It was running about 15 minutes late with a heavy passenger load. The train comprised 5 Riviera "GWR" liveried stock. Not an "RR" unit to be seen. 27/12/2000

The train had stopped much further down the platform to accommodate the extra coach......

....which allowed a full side shot, rarely possible in platform 12. 27/12/2000

The train left shortly afterwards but the plan was to catch this locomotive and stock again as it returned along the coast. 27/12/2000

Christmas Eve, cold wet and miserable, only a fool would be found on Crewe station photographing 37/4's - yup, that's me. I wanted to see the last Sunday scheduled working before Armageddon and arrived to see stock waiting for green at the South end of platform 12. I ran to catch it expecting the green but it didn't come and I was able to photograph it with ease - I assumed it was the stock from the 10.00 Holyhead-Crewe which had arrived early. 24/12/2000

Goodness it was cold and shortly after I took this shot the train left and I assumed that was that, history now. However as I trudged towards the stairs I heard the distinctive tickover of a 37. I walked back to the signal to see 37401 sat in platform 6 disgorging passengers - it was the 10.00 train from Holyhead, so what was 37421 doing? 24/12/2000

24th December 2000 and the last scheduled Sunday working for a 37 hauled train on the coast route. Having seen 37421 on ecs and assumed it was the 10..00 Holyhead-Crewe, I was not ready for it and, unusually for the coastal trains, it appeared in platform 6 with 37401, "Mary Queen of Scots" in charge. 24/12/2000

It departed as ecs shortly afterwards and rode off into history - only 4 operating days to go to oblivion. 24/12/2000