CREWE - CHESTER - BANGOR - HOLYHEAD
North Wales Coast
January 2001 Part 2


 The last day of January and 37415 was lying dead on Crewe Diesel Depot yard. There were very few trains while I was on the station just light engines. I had to photograph something so here is 67020 entering bay platform 8 for its daily siesta. 31/01/2001

 90026 ran in from the South, parked for a while and then ran back out and onto the Diesel Depot. 31/01/2001

 86424 ran through and out onto the Chester Line presumably to the IEMD because the wires don't go very far on that route. I may have to go to Chester to stand and look at 37038 just to remember what 37's look like. 31/01/2001

 A gloomy day at Crewe in more ways than one. 37415 was parked dead with nothing to do and there were only five trains showing on the TV screen at 11.15. To the left of the 37 is 47758 "Regency Rail Cruises" with an unidentified "60" (R) in Loadhaul livery and 60050 to the fore. Further down the yard 37704 was lit up with its engine running. 28/01/2001

 No coastal growling today with 37415 dead on the diesel depot yard, has 429 gone to Cardiff? The only active 37 I saw was 37682 "Hartlepool Pipe Mill" stopped between platforms 5 and 6 before heading off South. 25/01/2001

 87025 "County of Cheshire" was running DIT at the rear of a London bound Virgin train with 90004 "City of Glasgow" at the head.

 Above is a panoramic view of Crewe Diesel Depot earlier today with the sad sight of 37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol" on the scrap line. Hopefully this was simply a parking problem as the usual "standby" spot was taken by several class 47 locomotives. 23/01/2001

 A different angle shot of 429 with, to its left, former Coastline loco 37407 "Blackpool Tower" awaiting its fate on the scrap line. 23/01/2001

 It's back! 37429 "Eisteddfod Genedlaethol" has returned to the North Wales Coast Line after two false starts from its "B" exam. When 37415 was drafted in from Scotland I thought we had seen the last of the only operational "Regional "Railways" liveried locomotive. This shot shows 429 running towards Colwyn Bay with the 12.07 Birmingham - Holyhead with the Colwyn Bay Hotel up on the cliff top. 20/01/2001

 Flashing past with the sun behind it before stopping at Colwyn Bay station. I had left home early today and had no idea if a 37 was out or not. Circumstances allowed me to be at Colwyn in time to see 1D71. I wanted to take this shot from one of my favourite places on top of the embankment but the frost was too hard for safety and the sun was too bright into the lens so a ground shot it was. 20/01/01

 Having seen that the locomotive was 37429 I had to make the effort to photograph it "through the arch" at Conwy station - something I have never managed to do before because the only spot was always taken. I arrived at 16.10 and the light was very good but by the time 1K73 arrived from Holyhead it was 16.40 and the light had virtually gone. This shot shows the train entering Conwy station. 20/01/2001

 I knew that the train is scheduled to stop at Conwy which meant that I could try for a few stills - my digital camera is 2 million pixels definition but is still unable to take anything moving and struggles in poor light, I therefore rely on software to enhance such shots. Some passengers arrived on the platform so I knew I was in with a chance before the train left for Crewe. 20/01/2001

 Gotit! The arch, the loco and even the nesting seagull on the top. I really wanted the loco in the centre and will return to try again before the 37's finally go - this was one of the few occasions when I wished I had had my 35mm with me. Still, at least I was there and very grateful that the 37's are still operating so let us all enjoy it while we can. 20/01/2001

 The growl goes on as 37415 approaches Crewe with 1G96 the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham. 19/01/2001

 Passing through into the mid morning mist despite the bright sunshine. 19/01/2001

 Later, 86242 in RES livery propelled its train South for London Euston. 19/01/2001

 AC electric 87005 "City of London" eases its train over the crossovers en route for Liverpool. 19/01/2001

 Talking of wheel flats, if a carriage wheel is (say) 30 inches in diameter it will revolve 672 times for each mile travelled. If the journey from Crewe to Holyhead and back is 212 miles then the wheel will hit the track 142,500 times during that return journey. Similarly, if Crewe to Birmingham and back is (say) 100 miles the flat will hit the track 67200 times. Therefore, on the current 37/4 diagram, a vehicle with a flat will strike the rail top over 352,200 times a day. The train I rode today had two flats which means that the track was hit over 700,000 times during the day's operations. How do track and bearings tolerate such wear?

 37415 out on the coast again and seen here racing out of the low lying mist and across the Cheshire plain towards Chester. Hauling 1D71, the 12.07 Birmingham-Holyhead, the locomotive was photographed from a bridge at Worleston which is near to Aston Juxta Mundrom - and you thought Welsh was difficult! 17/01/2001

 Under the road bridge, past the old station house and back into the ether. Note the fields white with frost - the temperature was hovering around minus 2 degrees centigrade so I was pleased that the train was on time. There was absolutely no noise and, having heard the loco being wound up for several minutes on the approach, I was treated to the bump, bump, bump of the wheelflat as the train receded into the distance. Sound travels well in the cold, dense air.17/01/2001

 So here we go with 415 entering Crewe's platform 11 on 1D71 and all aboard for Holyhead. Please click the photo for more of the day's events. 16/01/2001

 First shot of the day as 37415 arrives at Crewe ahead of time with 1G96 the 8.47 Holyhead-Birmingham. I hope to catch it on its return westbound for Holyhead. 16/01/2001

 I received a call from the Prestatyn Observer this morning to say that "something loud" had run West in the dark on a short train. It just had to be a 37 out on the coast again and, as I just happened to be going Bangor way later in the day, I managed to call in and catch 37415 on its return to the coast. Presumably 415 was here to cover for 37429 after its double failure. The sunny day and cloudless blue sky resulted in a bright evening and the shots were quite good - THE GROWL GOES ON........

 37415 on 1K73, the 15.58 Holyhead-Crewe, exiting the tunnel at Bangor and carefully crossing over to the platform. 13/01/2001

 It seems to blend with the building splendidly - much better than "Hippos". 13/01/2001

 Posing in the evening Winter sunshine. 13/01/2001

 Green is offered and it's away to Crewe - I cannot believe my luck, the 37's made it into the new (real?) millennium. 13/01/2001

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