It is a seemingly
(and somewhat disturbingly) short period of time since First
North Western ran two charter trains to commemorate the passing
of class 37 diesel haulage on its network. The 37/4's had provided
some spectacular and varied entertainment over the years, particularly
along the North Wales Coast, working to and from a variety of
points including Manchester, Birmingham, Llandudno and Holyhead.
These journeys were pure magic to the enthusiasts who frequented
the services albeit sometimes to the detriment of "normal"
passengers, especially those who dared to enter the leading coach.
I have many happy memories of travelling in the somewhat dilapidated,
yet much missed, mark II coaches as they rattled along the coast,
windows open so as to allow that wonderful "growl"
to be savoured. Sadly such ventures are now confined to history
The two tours
were organised by First North Western and supported by Railway
Magazine. However, the events were also heavily promoted by Charlie
Hulme who had long been revealing he delights of coastal travel
via his dedicated web site. So it was to Charlie that I am indebted
for his work in advertising the events otherwise I would probably
have missed them.
Images of both
tours are to be found elsewhere on my site but I just felt that
the ten year anniversary was a good reason to revisit what went
on over those two memorable days. Today there is much improved
image processing software and web space is more available to
allow better portrayal so here goes but do remember that ten
years ago the digital camera was very much in its infancy..