The following photographs were all taken by John Hobbs. John was born in Prestatyn, his first memories of
steam trains were on the Dyserth branch, followed by busy summer Saturdays watching trains steam hard out of Prestatyn;
these trains were trying to gain speed to pick up water on the water troughs.
His hobby developed into ever increasing dashes around the UK until steam finished in 1968.

  Most images were taken with an Agfa Isoly 3 a 120 roll film camera which took "Superslide" pictures on 120 roll film, but some
were taken with John's Father's old 'Box camera' and a "Brownie"44a.

He served his apprenticeship with De Havillands and Hawker Siddeley Aviation at Chester followed by thirty five years
 in the Engineering Insurance industry at first inspecting machinery in the slate quarries and construction industry
in North Wales and later nationally based in Manchester while he lived in Warrington.

 His interest in steam railways continued at first with trips to France and Germany and later to
Switzerland, Eastern Europe, South Africa and China.

He started work on the East Lancashire Railway in 1994 where he still volunteers, amongst other jobs, as a Fireman.


Normal copyright rules apply.
John Hobbs holds the copyright to all of the following photographs on this page.
Please contact this website through the email link on the HOMEPAGE before any attempt
is made to copy or publish any image on this page.


A Welsh Mystery! (Or the Great Western Engines 3208 & 6604 at Llanduduno Junction 6G).

John Hobbs

Collett 0-6-0 3208

The way the history of the re-opening of the Trawsfynydd to Blaenau Ffestiniog (Central) line unfolded and how it impacted
 on the locomotives used is interesting, following the cessation of traffic from Bala to Trawsfynydd, on 27th January 1961.
 The stations between Trawsfynydd and Blaenau Ffestiniog (Central) remained open for 'Sundries' goods traffic and eventually
 the connection at Blaenau Ffestiniog was constructed to enable freight to work to Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power
 Station at Sidings near Trawsfynydd Lake Halt.

 The line then being closed between Trawsfynydd Lake Halt and Trawsfynydd and all the stations closed to 'Sundries' traffic, as
 by then the 'Beeching Cuts' were taking effect and the whole climate of rail/road freight had changed; so traffic
 could in any event be delivered by a road lorry from the former LMS Blaenau Ffestiniog (North) Station.

The locomotives of choice, for the Western Region, were 74XX, beyond Trawsfynydd with 14XX/58XX tanks
 also used, while 57XX were usually used on freight traffic, there were also 'Mixed' trains.
 Occasionally '2251' locomotives also worked to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
 The line has very sharp curves is steeply graded and has many bridges of light construction, part of it
 being formally a narrow gauge railway, from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Ffestiniog which
 had been converted to Standard Gauge.

The vital statistics of these locomotives is as follows:-

The 74XX - Weight 46 Tons 12 Cwt/Max. Axle Load 15 Ton 8 Cwt and 14ft 8 inch wheelbase/ 5ft 2 Dia.
 Driving Wheels - GWR Route Restriction Colour Code 'Yellow'.

14XX - Weight 41 Tons 6 Cwt/Max. Axle Load 13Ton 18 Cwt and 15 ft 6 inch wheelbase/ 5ft 2 inch Dia.
 Driving Wheels - GWR Route Restriction Colour Code 'Unclassed'

57XX - 49 Tons / Max. Axle Load 17 Tons and 15 ft 6 inch wheelbase/4ft 7 & 1/2 inch Dia.
 Driving Wheels - GWR Route Restriction Colour Code 'Yellow'.

'2251' - Weight 43 Tons 8 Cwt / Max. Axle Load 15 Tons 15 Cwt and 15ft 6 inch wheelbase/5ft 2 inch Dia.
 Driving Wheels and - GWR Route Restriction Colour Code 'Yellow'.

The military traffic to Trawsfynydd had been worked by 43XX 2-6-0's, their statistics were :-

43XX - Weight 65 tons 6 Cwt / Max. Axle Load 19 Ton 9 Cwt and 14 ft 9 inch wheelbase/5 ft 8 inch Dia
 Driving Wheels - GWR Route Restriction Colour Code 'Blue'.

Following construction of the through connection to the LMSR line at Blaenau Ffestiniog the question of what traction
to work the line must have been raised.
 4F's were maintained at Llandudno Junction for freight traffic but their reign was coming to an end however they were
 also used for snowplough duties as being an 0-6-0 there was no danger of the more lightly loaded pony truck or
 trailing truck, derailing when charging drifts or working through snow.

 To assist with these arduous duties in the mountains some Bangor and Llandudno Junction 4F's were fitted with tender cabs.

The 4F's statistics were:-

Weight 48 Tons 15 Cwt/Max. Axle Load 18 Ton and 16 ft 6 inch wheelbase/ 5ft 3 inch Dia Driving Wheel but
 LNER later British Railways RA 5.

They have a longer wheelbase and weighed more than other locomotives permitted under Western Region route availability;
 applicable to the line now coming under LM control a rethink would have been required as to the Classes
 of locomotive permitted, as the 14XX/74XX and 43XX locomotives had all been withdrawn but there were
 56XX 0-6-2T, until May 1966, 57XX 0-6-0PT's, until November 1966 and 2251 Class 0-6-0's still in traffic in North Wales until early 1965, at
 former GWR depots.

There is a photograph of 44389 at Trawsfynydd , on the 3rd November 1964, which may have worked there, at slow speed, before
 the line was re-opened for commercial traffic, under an Engineered possession;
 this may not have been a success when the greater weight and wheel base of a 4F is considered.

 The line was opened to traffic on the 20th April 1964 but it would appear that there was no traffic at this time because
 there was no need to remove fuel form the Power Station until some years after it had opened.

Another plan would now have had to be considered for regular operations of snow ploughs etc.
 Special regulations had formerly been if force between Bala and Blaenau Ffestiniog where the Station Masters had
 to phone control to advise them that weather conditions were deteriorating and required the use
 of a snow plough which was provided by Croes Newydd (Wrexham).

The branch to Trawsfynydd was now within the sphere of Llandudno Junction, the shed now needed a plough engine
 which could go everywhere in North Wales.
 The only engines which could go to Trawsfynydd, with a plough, were the GWR 2251's they were Western Region
 Colour Code 'Yellow', so the only engine which could go everywhere was a 2251, otherwise they would need
 two plough engines, probably not an option at this time although 44478 was still at Bangor( although withdrawn).
 The allocation of a 2251 would be unusual as the allocation of ex GWR ( Western Region) locomotives to other
 Regions even LMR depots was rare.

It is apparent that at least one train with an Inspection Saloon worked over the line, on the 21st July 1964, a BR
 Standard Class 4, 4-6-0 75012 operated on the line and a picture of this near Blaenau Ffestiniog exists.

In addition there is a photo of this engine, with an inspection train at Prestatyn, in my article of January 19th 2013 on
the "MORE STEAM MEMORIES (5)" page on this website.
 Interestingly these locomotives were RA7 but were unsuitable for snow plough operations.
 At this time the first independent snow ploughs had been built on the chassis of former V2 Class steam locomotive tenders;
 these were suitable to be used with diesel locomotives. However none were located in North Wales.

BR Standard Class 4 4-6-0 Statistics:-
Weight 67 Tons 18 Cwt/Max. Axle Load 17 Ton 5 Cwt and 15 ft wheelbase/ 5ft 8inch Dia Driving Wheel but
 LNER later British Railways RA 7. 4 Chain curves permitted "Dead Slow" otherwise 6 chains.

The 2251's had led a charmed life on the 'Cambrian Coast' Lines as they had been operating on
 freight duties, the freight being powered by ex GWR locomotives of the "Manor" Class which of course
 operated at a vacuum of 25 inches ( of mercury ) , as opposed to 21 inches on ex LMS engines;
 the use of GWR engines on these trains resulted in a less complicated procedure for working the trains.

 If other LMS/BR locomotives had been used the trains vehicles would have required the "Strings" of all the 'Fitted' wagons
 to be pulled and the wagon reservoirs thereby equalised, when the locomotive was changed from a GWR to
 an LM/BR type locomotive (This also applied to BR(WR) allocated diesel locomotives until 1969/70 when the standard
 21 inch vacuum was applied across the country).
 The freight could thereby be dispatched quicker as this problem was avoided.

 However the mixing of GWR types and LMS/BR types on passenger trains indiscriminately must have caused
 problems at times; the desire to remove ex GWR engines from what were ex GWR lines must have been strong.

3208 was certainly still working passenger trains in November 1964 as illustrated and 2236 was in traffic as well, as can be seen in this photograph.
  They are understood to have continued such work until 16th January when most Cambrian local traffic went over to DMU operation.

GWR 0-6-0 3208 leaves Morfa Mawddach, on the 21st November 1964, 10.25 Pwllheli to Dovey Junction. 2236 lurks in the distance!

3208 - GWR Collett 0-6-0 on shed at 6G on March 19th 1965.

 In the mean time 4Fs were still working on other parts of the LM region and 44462 is illustrated below at Hellifield on
 February 13th 1965; so its not as if 4F's suddenly became unavailable.

LMS Class 4F No.44462 - 0-6-0, shunting at Hellifield on 13th February 1965.

44478 - Withdrawn by now, at Bangor, Class 4F 0-6-0 at Bangor on 30th January 1965.

In the mean time 3208 arrived at Llandudno Junction for the snow plough work, in early 1965, and the Llandudno Junction 4F's
 had been transferred away in December. Perhaps it was thought that unseasonable weather would no longer be a problem in North Wales.

 The footplate conditions on these locomotives in inclement weather must have been tough; working tender first
 back after ploughing would have been terrible even with the simple GWR " Cab Sheet" deployed; such operations
 can be seen in the BTF film "SNOW" which features 3208 ploughing on the island of Anglesey.

 GWR footplate men were provided with very heavy coats for footplate work in addition GWR lamps would be
 required ( the locating brackets are different) and consumables on the engine would also be different for GWR locomotives.
 So all these items would need to move with the locomotive as well.

The normal freight engine for freight from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog in the early/mid sixties were Ivatt
 Class 2, 2-6-2T's, or BR Standard Class 2, 2-6-2T's, which were similar.

These locomotives statistics were :-

Ivatt/BR Std. Class2 2-6-2T - Weight 66 Tons 5 Cwt/Max axle load 14 tons and 13 ft 9 inch / Driving Wheels 5ft - Route Availability RA3.

It would seem that the fixed wheel base of these locomotives at 14ft 9 inches and the ability to pass through 4
 chain curves, made them more suitable for the Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd line than the former GWR locomotives previously used.

In later years ( 1966/67) the weight restrictions would have been relaxed so eventually LMS Class 5's (RA7) could go
 to Trawsfynydd with perhaps a speed restriction.

 Again Black 5's had a smaller fixed wheelbase than all the former GWR traction used, as well as the 4F, at 15 ft! However
 no plough engine was allocated after 1965.
 The weather got better anyway - global warming!

Interestingly Croes Newydd (Wrexham) also had a 2251 as a snowplough engine in the winter of 64/65 and 2268 is
 pictured standing at Croes Newydd on 22nd March 1965 below.

GWR Collett 0-6-0 2268 at Croes Newydd on 22nd March 1965.

 It would appear that in the Chester (6) area the GWR locomotives were the standard snowplough engine;
 complete with GWR style snowplough.

Eventually diesel traction appeared and there were no problems for any of these machines in reaching
 Trawsfynydd, having a very small fixed wheel base in a bogie, so it would seem the major obstacle
 to reaching this location was the wheel base rather than axle load.
 In addition one can presume that despatch of flasks could be postponed until the weather improved.

An unidentified Class 24 Diesel, with flasks from Trawsfynydd for Sellafield on the 7th July 1975.

GWR 0-6-2T 6604

At the same time as 3208 was in use as Snow Plough engine 6604 appeared at Llandudno Junction; the main Driving wheels
 were removed for attention; just why it was felt necessary to send such an
 engine to Llandudno Junction for repairs is a mystery.

 One would imagine that all the necessary parts would have been available
 at the workshop at Wrexham, or Oswestry or even at Chester.

Visits of GWR engines were limited to workings of the circular tour trains from Pwllheli, which featured 2251 Class
 0-6-0's and on at least one occasion a "Dukedog"; on another occasion a Hall did make it to Llandudno but this was not repeated.

 Otherwise surprisingly, it was 1994 before ex GWR locomotives appeared on the North Wales Coast Railway
 as part of the preservation scene.

 Today ex GWR locomotives are not allowed between Chester and Shrewsbury via Wrexham  ( how strange! ).
6604 continued in traffic for some time and a view of it working at Croes Newydd - South Fork on August 5th 1965 is shown here.

GWR 0-6-2T 6604 shunts at Croes Newydd - South Fork on 5th August 1965.

6604 with missing driving wheel at Llandudno Junction on March 19th 1965.

This was however an interesting period in North Wales Coast Motive Power supply,  just as the conversion to diesel operation was taking place.


British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives by E.S.Cox
British Railways Standard Steam Locomotives by the RCTS
Locomotives of the GWR - Part Four by the RCTS
Lost Lines Wales by Nigel Welbourne
British Railways Locomotives Winter 62/63 by Ian Allen
British Locomotive Types by The Railway Publishing Co.
British Railways Sectional Appendix




This article by John gives his personal recollections of a neglected area of our railway history - the movement of livestock.

John remembers the horse and cattle trucks that were used daily on the North Wales Coast main line and illustrates
some of the examples with a selection of his usual classic black and white photographs.


Horse boxes, a throw back to the earliest days of the railway; from these early years of the railways the "Gentry" wished to convey their
carriages and horses by the new fangled transport system.

Therefore carriage trucks, originally flat wagons on which horse drawn carriages could be placed featured on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
 These eventually became covered and were known as "covered carriage trucks" (CCT), to keep the dirt from
 the locomotives off the upholstery on the horse drawn carriages.

 Eventually these vehicles had end loading doors and ramps at each end; the horse drawn vehicles carried could be driven through
 several of them and on to end loading docks which were provided at most stations.

 Later builds of these CCT's lasted until the end of smalls delivery traffic on the railways as they also had side doors and
 that made them very versatile vehicles. New CCT's were being built as late as 1960 but they were all withdrawn by 1988.

Similarly Horse Boxes were vehicles which developed in the early years of the railways and unlike their contemporary
 passenger vehicles changed very little; they usually had a place for the groom to ride with horse a store for
 fodder and a place to store saddles.

 The BR Standard Horse boxes could accommodate three horses as well as a toilet for the groom and the other facilities mentioned.

 Horse boxes to LNER design standards were built at Earlestown as late as 1954; while 115 BR Standard Horse boxes
 were also built there from 1958; some were allocated to the Southern Region and carried SR green livery and
 the well known branding "NOT TO WORK BETWEEN TONBRIDGE & BATTLE".

 Most stations had a goods loading dock associated with the end loading dock and horse were loaded and unloaded through the wide side doors.
 Finally horse traffic ceased during the late sixties due to road competition and the vehicles went for scrap.
 "Hornby-Dublo" produced a splendid model of a British Railways standard Horse box in both maroon and
 green livery, it also had opening doors and a horse; earlier versions of the vehicles had been made in tin plate.

Horse Boxes had a long wheelbase and could be worked at express speeds and were branded "XP", though this usually limited speed to 80 mph.
 The North Wales Coast saw a constant stream of these vehicles working to Holyhead.
 This was for race horses and at the times of "Classic" races vehicles could be seen at the front of passenger trains, as they
 came on with the locomotive and received priority treatment even above that afforded to cattle trains as
 some "Blood Stock" horses were obviously very valuable.

 On occasion whole trains of horse boxes could be seen and these ran at express speeds to and from Holyhead.

In addition to the horse boxes there also Special Cattle Vans (SCV) for carrying prize cattle, they had three axles and
 I presume they could also carry horses but I do not know for certain, one of these and a Horse Box is preserved at the
 National Railway Museum, several preserved railways also have horse boxes on there stock lists.

Strangely I only ever saw horse boxes going to Holyhead on passenger trains in the reverse direction they were usually in
 the formation of the afternoon Holyhead to Crewe/Manchester/Broad Street non passenger carrying stock train.

The pilot engines at Chester were always busy shunting horse boxes about the station adding and detaching them from trains and
 the images which follow illustrate this past operating practice.

GWR 0-6-2T 6611, on pilot duty at Chester on 25th May 1964. At this time a GWR 0-6-2T spent the day on pilot duty at Chester(General); it is
playing with an LNER style Horse Box in the sidings adjacent to the Wagon Works.

LMS Class 4 2-6-4T 42242 shunts a pair of Horse Boxes through the centre of Chester General on the 25th March 1964.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45466 heads a Horse Box Special through Prestatyn on Monday 27th July 1964, heading for Holyhead and travelling
at speed, regrettably not the best photograph I ever took but the only time I managed to capture one of these elusive trains.
The train is led by a Brake Composite Coach for the grooms, or perhaps the owners and there are at least three designs of Horse Box in the consist.
45466 (12A) was a rare engine in North Wales and was the last "copped" Black 5 for me in North Wales although I was to see other needed engines elsewhere.

LMS "Princess Coronation" 4-6-2 46254 City of Stoke on Trent leaves Prestatyn with the 11.20 London (Euston) to Holyhead on
23rd June 1964; the train is conveying three Horse Boxes and perhaps it is a Duchess because it could provide steam heating
to the horse boxes in the train; by this time this train was usually an EE Type 4.

LMS Class 3F 0-6-0 47371 Shunts a Special Cattle Van (SCV) at Chester on 25th March 1964; what mighty and valuable beast may it contain?
Note the three axles and the "XP" branding, a similar vehicle can be seen on the NRM web site.

BR Standard Class 5 4-6-0 73131 heads "Down" the coast into Prestatyn with the what I think is the 5.10pm Liverpool Lime Street to
Holyhead; the first vehicle is a Special Cattle Van(SCV), 24th April 1964.

  The four photos below were taken at the NRM Outstation at Shildon this year; they feature the preserved BR Standard Horse Box and the SCV which were
both located in Shildon at the time of the "Great Goodbye" of A4's in January 2014.

The beautifully restored BR Standard Horse Box S96369 is displayed in the Shildon NRM outstation, on the 19th February 2014.
Some of these vehicles were also painted maroon when in traffic depending on the Region to which they were allocated;
Eastern and Midland Region vehicles being Maroon and Southern region green.

The iconic legend "NOT TO WORK BETWEEN TONBRIDGE AND BATTLE" displayed on the preserved Horse Box in Shildon.
The question in one's child hood days of course was where on earth are Tonbridge & Battle and why could they not work there?
The answer was of course that BR Standard vehicles, built to the C1 loading gauge, were not permitted on that route due to
a tunnel with restricted clearances.

The grooms compartment of S96369 which looks like quite a pleasant environment; I bet it was a bit "Horsey" in its day though.
It is an interesting throw back to older passenger vehicles, which often had half compartments for use by staff in service i.e. maids, man servants etc.
The Horse Box itself being an interesting throw back to early four wheel passenger vehicles, and before the advent of "Pacers", all such
vehicles had been swept from the scene.

Also at Shildon, on the same date, the Special Cattle Van an "SCV" No S37335 which is also in beautiful condition, workaday
examples of these can be seen in the "60's" era photographs in the remainder of this section.
More pictures and details of these vehicles can be seen on the NRM website.



By John Hobbs.

The water trough system for replenishing water supply on steam locomotives was invented by John Ramsbottom, Chief
Mechanical Enginer to the LNWR;

The first practical application was opened at Mochdre & Pabo some time around June to November 1860.
(the exact date is shrouded in mystery);

 their purpose was to assist in the timely operation of the important mail contract and the consequent operation
of the “Irish Mail” service between Holyhead and London(Euston); it was then decided that further installations would be of use.

The troughs from Mochdre were moved to Aber, possibly in 1871, and additional troughs were installed
at Chrisleton (Chester); at an unknown date, Pentre Sidings (Flint) in 1895 and Prestatyn;
in 1885. The troughs at Prestatyn were sited west of the station beyond Sandy Lane Level
crossing, and were provided on all four running lines when the layout was changed to four tracks in 1897, they
were of different lengths but were  just over 500 yards long.

The header tanks were formed of old Lancashire type boiler barrels, which must have had a previous
 use some where on the LNWR.

 These were mounted on brick plinths on the south side of the line.
 Ditches were provided to carry away the access water and these flowed into a brook which led to the Prestatyn cut;
 which had been a waterway 500 years ago, other ditches were provided either side of the railway
 all the way to Bodnant Bridge; to ensure all the excess water was carried away when spilt by the
 locomotives taking water; which it inevitably was.

The water was supplied from the pond in Gronant Road, Prestatyn, known locally as “The Duck Pond”! Now the
 original hamlet in the locality was “Nant” which is why we have “Nant Hall” and Nant Hall Signalbox.
 This pond is an ancient piece of industrial archaeology, it was used for retting, this is a process in the
 manufacture of flax; the linen industry thrived in North Wales in the fifteenth century when flax growing
 was made to move to Ireland by Royal Decree, hence Irish Linen; but originally this industry also
occurred in the Vale of Clwyd and around Prestatyn.

 The flax was laid on the base of the pond and steeped in the water to allow it to go rotten, then cattle
 were driven through the pond, and the fibres of the flax were pushed out by the hooves of the cattle.
 The fibres were then collected and the process of linen manufacture using these fibres enabled the
 cloth to be made. Later a water mill was also created by the pond but technology also overtook that.

The LNWR had therefore a ready supply of water, from “The Duck Pond”, for the Water troughs;
 it was piped down to header tanks alongside the troughs;
 There was only one problem, the water is very hard and contains dissolved lime which forms scale in locomotive boilers.
 The LMSR needed to tackle this problem and installed water softening plants;
 the one at Prestatyn was west of the station half way between the station over bridge, Bridge Road, and the Signalbox.
 There was a pump and dosing equipment together with a large water tank, the precipitated sludge was
 dumped behind the plant in the small marsh area behind and to the south of it, where Prestatyn market now operates.

Sadly with the reduced traffic implicit upon the Beeching cuts and the removal of steam locomotives from
 the railway network the troughs were removed in 1966; having closed in September 1965.

 There were eighteen sets of troughs on the LMSR and three of these were on the North Wales coast main line.
 The troughs at Pentre Sidings and Prestatyn were certainly close together; the next set was
 at Christeton on the Crewe line out of Chester, so there were three sets
 in 28 miles, which just shows the importance of keeping the trains on the busy line
 on time, by reducing delays due to the locomotives stopping to take water out of course.

Water was also available on the platform ends at Prestatyn, at the down end of the down platforms and up
 end of the up platforms; it was usually freight traffic which stopped for water.
 Usually, because these trains had received a signal check they would then be unable to gain enough
 speed to pick up water; a speed of 20 mph being required to pick up any volume of water.

 Freight trains generally being heavier than passenger trains accelerated more slowly.
 This of course, led to some spectacular starts by down passenger trains as they tried to attain a velocity
 sufficient to take water at the troughs, which began less than ¼ mile from the station.
 Conversely trains needed to be running at a maximum of 50 mph to take water which
 precluded fast running through Prestatyn.

 If trains had been running from signal to signal down the coast; as was normal at peak times, the locomotives
 would have used a lot of water and the chance for a top up would have been taken by most drivers, even
 though they were possibly only going to Rhyl or Llandudno.

Generally enthusiast forget that water is heavy stuff at about 5 tons for a 1000 gallons, or so 25 tons of water
 in a 5000 gallon tender plus the weight of  coal and the structure to hold it all up and distribute
 this across three axles and six wheels will weight in the order of 50 tons.
 The tender may weigh as much as two coached when fully loaded.
 The benefit of not carrying so much water around is colossal.

German locomotives often had 8500 gallons of water in their tenders but no water troughs were available
 to them, they were therefore usually carried on four axles.

Water troughs were in use throughout British railways except on the Southern Region, which had none
 and consequently the locomotives had bigger tenders, they were also used in France and
 North America where they were called track pans.

 Today the “The Duck Pond“remains,  to supply another age with some where to feed the ducks.
 A plan for it be removed to make Gronant road wider and smooth out the corner, which exists
 at this point; however local residents, led by my Mother, opposed the plan;
 So the historic monument remains available to the public for the innocent recreation of feeding the ducks, which
 people have been able to do here for 500 years.

Info from :-
Railway Magazine July/August 1949 Vol.95 page 262.
British Railways Illustrated Vol.8 March/May 1999.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mech Engineers for 1861 Page 43 etc.
The Dumpy Book of Railways of the World.


The ten photos below illustrate the importance of the troughs during the "Glorious Years".

On the Up Slow line LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45348 comes off Prestatyn Water troughs with the Sunday morning containerised
meat train to London (Broad Street) 4A18 09.00 from Holyhead on 20th October 1963.

On the Down Fast "Britannia" 4-6-2 70045 "Lord Rowallen" leaves Prestatyn with the 12 noon Manchester(Exchange) to Holyhead
on 1st February 1964, the rear of the illuminated box which shows an "X" which indicates the commencement of the troughs is located
by the level crossing and the Fireman is watching for it so he knows when to lower the scoop into the water.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45024 runs off the troughs on the Down Slow with 1D48, a relief
on Maundy Thursday the 26th March 1964.

On the 8th April 1964, "Princess Coronation" 4-6-2 46256 "Sir William A. Stanier FRS ", catches the light and runs along the Up Fast
with the 14.45 Holyhead to Crewe as it approaches Prestatyn station.

The water softening plant and the water tower which serviced the troughs, at Prestatyn, are evident in the background as a
scruffy "Jubilee" 45567 "South Australia" leaves with 17.35 Manchester(Exchange) To Llandudno on 15th May 1964.

The "X" sign which marks the commencement of the water troughs on the down lines is clearly visible to the left of the view
as "Britannia" 70021 "Morning Star" comes off the troughs on the Up Fast with a rake of Empty Coaching
Stock, on the Saturday of Whit Weekend 16th May 1964.

A famous "Jubilee" 4-6-0 45657 "Tyrwhitt", a rare beast in North Wales; on the Down Slow, approaches the photographer
when the water tank overflowed, a huge column of water shot up out of the tender and descended
on the writer who was left soaked through on this Bank Holiday Whit Sunday the 17th May 1964, with 1D21 a relief
from Manchester(Exchange), which proved to be the last Bank Holiday weekend when steam
predominated on North Wales Coast services.

The sky darkens above LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45316 as she heads off the troughs, on the down fast with 1T51, also on the 17th May 1964.

The old egg ended Boilers which formed header tanks to feed the water troughs are visible, mounted on plinths, to the left
of this pair of LMS Black 5's 44914 & 44766, the latter with a double chimney, as they run along the troughs on the Up slow
with a return excursion 1Z91 on the evening of the 17th May 1964.

"Royal Scot" 4-6-0 46166 "London Rifle Brigade", which made two visits to North Wales over the Whit weekend, leaves
a Spray with an excursion from the Manchester area with head code 1T50 on Whit Sunday 17th May 1964.


61051: LNER B1 Class 4-6-0 61051 leaves Prestatyn, on the slow line, on Saturday 20th June 1964, with 1M65 the 10.37 am

Saturdays Only - Sheffield Midland to Llandudno, which ran via Cheadle and Lymm to Arpley and Chester

BR Standard Class 2-6-2T 84003; approaching Gaerwen with the Push & Pull train the 12.32 SX Bangor to Gaerwen; before
taking up its next turn the 1.08 pm SX Gaerwen to Amlwch on 3rd July 1964.

Patriot class No. 45531 "Sir Frederick Harrison" leaving Holyhead on 28th August 1965 with the 16-39 (Saturday Only)- Holyhead to
London (Broad Street) container train of meat from Eire.
The cloud of steam at the back is 47266 banking the train up the hill.


BR Std Class 5 4-6-0 73053 with the 1D14 08.30 Manchester(Exchange) to Llanduduno, approaching Llysfaen, where the A55 now
crosses the line, on 24th September 1966.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45044 leaves Penmaenrhos Tunnel with the 11.40 Llandudno Manchester(Exchange) on 24th September 1966.

BR Britannia Class 4-6-2 70004 "William Shakespeare" runs through Llysfaen whistling for Penmaenrhos tunnel with 1Z36 the
LCGB "Conway Valley Railtour" at about 12.15 pm on 24th September 1966; en route to Llandudno Junction before
the train reversed; to travel over the Blaenau Ffestiniog Branch.

LMS Class 5 No. 44759, one of a batch fitted with "Timken" roller bearings leaves Rhyl with the 10.45 Manchester Exchange
to Llandudno on 23rd September 1966.

LMS "Crab" 2-6-0 42942 near Llanerch, once an MOD siding, south of St.Asaph; heading for Denbigh, with
1Z36 the "Conway Valley Railtour" on the 24th September 1966 at about 4.30 pm.

BR Class 25 Bo-Bo 25323 at Flint Pentre Sidings with the afternoon Holywell Junction to Mold Junction
freight trip, conveying mostly traffic from Coutaulds Factory at Greenfield; on 14th April 1977.

"Castle" Class 4-6-0 7011 Barry Castle arrives at Chester with the 11.10 Paddington to Birkenhead - Woodside on 1st September 1963.

Hughes "Crab" 2-6-0 42753 bowls through Prestatyn with an ECS 3Z32 on 31st March 1964.

"Royal Scot" Class 4-6-0 46148 The Manchester Regiment in steam at 6G on 26th March 1964.

Midland Railway, 3F, 43618 at Ffordisa road bridge dropping me off near my house in South Avenue 1960.
What a treat! a ride in the brake van and a lift nearly to the door!

"Western" Class diesel  D1036 Western Emperor leaves Chester crossing over the canal and under the City walls
with the 16.30 Birkenhead (Woodside) to London (Paddington) on 8th September 1963.
Two "Chocolate and Cream" livery coaches head the formation.

Long term Rhyl resident L&Y 0-6-0 52438 rides Rhyl turntable in 1961.

Midland Railway, 3F 43618 at Dyserth in 1960, the train stopped within 50 yards my house to drop me off, I was 13 at the time.

A general view of Rhyl shed in 1961 with 44367 and L&Y 0-6-0 on view.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45025, an early build of the class with combined dome and top feed,  passes
Nant Hall signalbox, between Talacre and Prestatyn,  with a Sunday  excursion from Stoke to the seaside, on 9th September 1963;
  interestingly this box only controlled the Down Line; the box was usually in use on a Saturday, in the summer,  to split the
section between Talacre and Prestatyn however this being a Sunday it is switched out, the distant arms are controlled by Prestatyn.
The second vehicle is in the Western Region "Chocolate and Cream" livery a little off course.

Class B1, No.61004 "Oryx" at Llandudno Junction shed on 4th August 1963.

Class B1, No.61104 leaves Prestatyn with the 1M64 Sheffield to Llandudno 29th June 1963.

"Royal Scot" -4-6-0 46152 leaves Prestatyn with the 12 noon Manchester Exchange to Holyhead on 8th April 1964.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45403 having used the turntable at the former Rhyl depot, the locomotive heads off
to take up its next duty towards Chester on the 27th December 1963.

"Royal Scot" Class 4-6-0 46155 The Lancer waits to leave Llandudno Junction with the 9.20 Crewe to Holyhead on 26th March 1964.

45237 leads 1054 (58926) through Prestatyn on 23rd December 1963 en route to its new home at Penrhyn Castle Museum at Bangor.

44595 heads the afternoon Menai Bridge to Rugby off Prestatyn troughs in fine style probably
the last time a 4F headed this train off the coast, usually it was something larger
than a 4F; 8F's were the usual power, 6th September 1963.

70047 leaves Prestatyn and heads past Nant Hall 8.10 Saturdays Only Holyhead to Crewe on the 8th February 1964.

"Britannia" 4-6-2 70029 Shooting Star on Prestatyn water troughs with the return excursion 1Z33 on the 3rd August 1964.

"Coronation" 46251 City of Nottingham at Chester with the 12.10 Holyhead to Willesden stock train on
8th August 1964.

"Coronation" 4-6-2  46245 City of London passes Prestatyn with the up relief "Irish Mail"
at about 17.10 on the 10th August 1964.

2251 0-6-0 3208 at Llandudno Junction following its use during the winter as a snow plough engine;  in this view
  it is not fitted with a snow plough but has a tail lamp, what did they use her for; any ideas? 19th March 1965.

56XX 0-6-2T 6604 a most unusual visitor to Llandudno Junction during attention on the wheel drop at 6G. 19th March.1965.

Llandudno Junction - Mystery picture! 6604 & 3208 amongst the Black 5's at Llandudno Junction.
Looks more like a GWR depot. 19th March 1965.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 No.45348 approaches the Fforddisa Bridge, Prestatyn on the 1 in 45 gradient
with the daily goods to Dyserth on 26th March 1964.

48246 passes Abergele with an east bound ballast 26th March 1964. The renowned Abergele rake of Camping Coaches
rest in the background during their winter rest.

"Royal Scot" 46152 King's Dragoon Guardsman passes Connahs Quay station with the evening Holyhead to Rugby Goods 28th April 1964;
this was one of the last two Scots allocated to Holyhead and the start of her last summer of working from Holyhead.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 45156 Ayrshire Yeomanry shunts at Dyserth, a rare event a namer at Dyserth, 14th September 1963.
The engine is propelling wagons on the sharply curved quarry siding, Moel Hiraddug; the source of the limestone looms in the background.

BR Standard "Caprotti" valve gear Class 5 4-6-0  73130 passes Rockcliffe Hall signal box with an afternoon freight
from Mold Junction to Menai Bridge 30th April 1964.

LMS Class 5 4-6-0 No. 45285 approaches Ffordisa Bridge,  Prestatyn working the morning Dyserth
Goods, on 2nd May 1964, interestingly conveying inbound coal traffic on what was the last day that
wagon load traffic could be dispatched to Dyserth.

"Coronation" 46235 City of Birmingham leaves Prestatyn with the 2-50pm Holyhead to Crewe 29th June 1964.

"Coronation" 4-6-2 46256 Sir William A Stanier F.R.S. on Llandudno Junction 24th July 1964 about the time
she was trialed for use on the Llandudno to Manchester "Club" train on 24th July 1964.

"Coronation" 46238 City of Carlisle leaves Prestatyn with the 2-50pm Holyhead to Crewe 10th August 1964.