NORTH WALES COAST etc.
CREWE - CHESTER - BANGOR - HOLYHEAD
JUNE 2003
- PART TWO

 4F 44422

Churnet Valley 

Link to June 1

 More of 6201 "Princess Elizabeth" as it thrashes out of Crewe past the VW/Bentley factory (formerly Rolls Royce). The sight, the sound and the smell were incomperable on this, the longest day of the year! The line runs East-West so it was a telephoto straight into the sun, not the best but it portrays the scene well. 21/6/2003

 37896 brought 47780 and 47759 out of Crewe Diesel Depot and parked them both down the yard. 17/6/2003

 37669 brought 92017 down the WCML and ran South through the station. It then reversed and PUSHED the 92 back through the station and out onto the Chester line, presumably onto the IEMD. 17/6/2003

 47786 "Roy Castle OBE" was in charge of the 10.21 Birmingham-Holyhead. 17/6/2003

 The occasional Class 86 can still be seen at Crewe. This is 86212 "Preston Guild" pushing South to London Euston with a diverted manchester train. 17/6/2003

 Llysfaen in North Wales and 47810 "Porterbrook" feels its way round the curves towards Penmaenhead tunnel with the 07.45 London-Holyhead. 14/6/2003

 It was Princess Elizabeth day on the North Wales Coast but things were running late. The 10.21 Birmingham-Holyhead should have run behind the charter but, thanks to the Prestatyn Observation Crew, I was in position to catch 47737 "Resurgent" as it raced across the viaduct at Llanddulas. 14/6/2003

 Waiting for charter trains can be a time consuming occupation but when it's Summer on the Coast waiting can be a pleasure especially when sat looking at the sea. Even this Cormorant was asleep in the warm sunshine. Then I got the call from Prestatyn.....it was on its way. 14/6/2003

 The class 47 took about 15 minutes to reach the viaduct from Prestatyn but there is a stop at Rhyl to contend with. The Stanier Pacific took barely 10 minutes and was going some as it approached. Sitting on the embankment at Hartford (Cheshire) in the 1950's, the heyday of steam for me, I would see the whole range of ex LMS locomotives in their various forms and liveries but the events that linger in my memory most is the sight and sound of a Princess Royal coming round the curve South of the station. Having left Crewe I would guess that the speed was around 80 mph by the time Hartford was reached and they would still be working hard. The exhaust beat produced a cross between a rapid clicking sound and a harsh purr - the double chimney of the Coronations softened the beat so it was only the PR's that produced it. The class was small so there were not too many opportunities to hear it but I will never forget it and it was reproduced on the Coast on Saturday! What more can you say? 14/6/2003

 The usual stop at Llandudno Junction gave me the chance to overtake the train and await its passing elsewhere. This time I chose the Conwy Estuary Nature Reserve and was again given plenty of warning of the train's approach due to the exhaust. It appeared from behind the trees to access the cob, the driftwood on the stones indicates wetter days from the past. 14/6/2003

 Conwy Castle rarely fails to impress as a backdrop and, today, the light breeze was coming from behind the engine, taking the steam vertically from the chimney and against the Castle ramparts. No noise, just the gentle barking from Lizzie as it eased towards the Castle tunnel - a mournful burst from the Stanier hooter and it disappeared into the town. 14/6/2003

 A hot Summer day in North Wales and plenty of time to hang around before the return trip. Here the locomotive has just left Penmaenhead tunnel and was really working hard as can be seen from the exhaust against the cliff face. Speed was quite low and I thought the train was in trouble but maybe the regulator was closed down while passing through the tunnel because in the few hundred yards to pass me, the speed had picked up considerably. 14/6/2003

Accelerating away, 6201 "Princess Elizabeth" passed through Llysfaen, East of Colwyn Bay with the Colchester-Holyhead "Irish Mail" on its return leg. The pier in the background is used by boats loading stone from the nearby quarry and the bridge over the rear of the train carries the feed conveyor.14/6/2003

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Link to June 1