North Wales Coast
August 2001 Part 1

 A trip to Sandbach in the fading light to record the return of 1Z11 the 17.38 footex from Cardiff to Manchester. It was, of course, late but only circa 30 minutes so a few practice shots. This is 323231 leaving for Manchester - not very good at night these digital cameras. 12/8/2001

 I used black and white setting to reduce the amount of light needed but the shutter speed is still too slow. This is an unidentified class 86 in Inter-City livery heading for Crewe. 12/8/2001

 I saw it's headlights in the distance and slowly the growl got louder and louder. I don't know what speed it was travelling at but it was absolutely fearsome as it passed me.....

 .......going like the proverbial bat it was! 37038 was leading 37029, and were they both working? - I haven't a clue! What a remarkable sight. 12/8/2001

 The first of the specials was a cavalcade of class 150's from Llandudno Junction led by 150148 then 150207 and 150205. The train was stopped in the station where the driver spoke to the signalman, apparently to be advised that his was the first train of the day after the line had been closed all night. 12/8/2001

 The next train was loco hauled and the "Growlers" could be heard growling in the distance as they charged through the quiet Cheshire countryside en route for Cardiff. 12/8/2001

 I had not been aware that this was a fast stretch of track and fully deserving of the super elevation on the track...

 ...the consequential lean on the curve was quite pronounced as DRS machines 37608 and 37609 thundered past. 12/8/2001

 The growl had hardly died down in the distance when the crossing alarms sounded again to announce the arrival of 1Z12 from Manchester and this time there was a blue locomotive leading....

 ....37029 had obviously been repaired overnight after its coolant failure the day before and today it had been entrusted in the pilot role with 37038 inside. Once again the pronounced lean can be observed at this point. 12/8/2001

 Over the road crossing and past the signal box towards another road crossing only a few hundred yards down the track. This crossing always carried a "whistle" board on the approach but recently this seems to have disappeared. Not required now or added to someone's collection? Certainly there was no hooter sounded on the approach to either crossing. 12/8/2001

 37038+37029 approaching Nantwich en route for Cardiff with 1V77 the 8.33 Manchester-Cardiff football train. 11/8/2001

 Entering the station...

 ....and passing the semaphore signal and ornate footbridge. Tim Rogers via the Class 37 E-Group advises that 37029 failed at Church Stretton with a coolant leak. 37038 continued with 029 dead in train. 11/8/2001

 87016 "Willsden Intercity Depot" brought 1D87, the 8.00 London-Holyhead, from the Capital to Crewe. 11/8/2001

 At Crewe the Class 87 was replaced by 47749 "Atlantic College" for the journey on to Holyhead. 11/8/2001

 The train left platform 11 and headed west for Holyhead. 11/8/2001

Driving past Sandbach station revealed a class 37 parked in the avoiding loop so a quick about turn and there against the platform was 37419. I only managed to photograph this engine once while it was on the N.Wales coast and that was at Holyhead some years ago. Nice to see it around. 8/8/2001

 The other end, looking less damaged. 8/8/2001

 A Crewe Cavalcade. 66053 leads 66043, 47767 "Saint Columba" and (I think) 47770. 7/8/2001

 Colwyn bay and 47767 "Saint Columba" powers out of the sun with 1A65 the 16.13 Holyhead-London. 5/8/2001

 An unidentified class 175/1 entering Conwy Castle tubular bridge. Sad to see how many cars are on the A55 on a Summer Sunday and how few trains there are during the day. 5/8/2001

 43089 + 43xxx approaching Conwy station with 1A61 the 13.45 Holyhead-London. 5/8/2001

 175110+175106 passing through Conwy.....

 ...and leaving through that archway. Do these 6 car trains REALLY have 6 x 14 litre diesel engines underneath?

 A Crewe surprise as 37038 waits for green in platform 12 with 4 Riviera coaches in tow. 3/8/2001

 Heading for the carriage sidings. 3/8/2001

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 Part 2