This page is a photographic collection of past and present
steam tours along the North Wales coast main line and the
Conwy Valley branch to Bleanau Ffestiniog.
Some national tours are also featured,
especially if they show engines that we don't normally see on
the coast, so please send in your
submissions for consideration.
Photographic submissions should be sent in
jpg form to the email address on the HOMEPAGE.
All files received will be considered for
publication so please include the engine and train details,
location, date and name of photographer.
All files will be welcomed on the
understanding that digital improvements, cropping and
resizing, to fit in with page design, may be carried out.
IMPORTANT : Only
photographs taken from legal positions i.e. outside Network
Rail land or trespass areas will be considered.
All submissions will be accepted on the understanding that
these rules have been adhered to.
AND EDITED BY GEOFF POOLE *****************************************************************************
May 4th 2020.
Two glorious monochrome shots taken at the Great Central
Railway, from the summer of 2013, sent in by Martin Hearne are
GNR Class N2 0-6-2T Condensing Engine No. 1744 at Quorn and
Woodhouse, ready to proceed south with a passenger train.
I believe the locomotive is now with the North Norfolk
This photo below of Stanier 8F 2-8-0 48624 was taken on the same
day as photo above, at Quorn and Woodhouse.
They were fine engines!.
Here’s one from the files: 1946-built 44770 passes under
the castle walls at Conway with a Holyhead-bound train, composed
of ex-LNER Gresley stock,
while a 4F stands in the yard opposite. 44770 was a
Holyhead engine at the time, allocated there three times in its
career, having started it new, at Perth,
before moving south to Carlisle and Crewe. It finished its
life at Carlisle Kingmoor in late 1967. This is one of the
engines whose boiler is fitted with the top
feed forward of the dome, an Ivatt feature, following
Stanier’s move on elsewhere in 1944 but Ivatt continuing his
predecessor’s designs with improvements, good or bad!
The scanned print is undated or credited. A nice view,
many taken here at this spot. ROGER CARVELL
Britannia No.70000 is shown below with the return leg of
Saturday's White Rose, Shrewsbury - York - Shrewsbury tour by
Saphos Trains, (07/03/20).
Preparing to leave Warrington Bank Quay for Shrewsbury. JACK POOLE
March 10th 2020.
This was a fine sight on a sunny March morning. The A4 Pacific
looked resplendent at the head of a Railway Touring Company
special from Ealing Broadway to York.
Approaching Sileby under power, she sounded as good as she
Today’s excursion (07/03/2020) was to be the last journey
on the rail network for this fine locomotive. MARTIN HEARNE
A blast from the past below
from Roger Carvell as he finds another gem on Ebay.
And also provides his usual comprehensive detail of the
Just bought off eBay is this nice pic of Britannia Pacific 70025
Western Star, on a down parcels near Abergele during 1963.
70025 was a Crewe South engine at this time, having moved to the
LMR from the Western Region at Cardiff Canton (88A) where the
new, acquitted itself well, unlike other die-hard ex-GWR sheds
where the Pacifics were not welcomed so enthusiastically.
I ran the microscope over the picture; the engine is still pure
Western Region! The WR handlamps seen, fit to the side-facing
GWR-design bracket rather than fitting the back of the standard
BR/LMS lamp onto a forward-facing bracket design. The GWR just
had to be different.
The engine displays the Swindon modifications to the smoke
deflectors, brass-edged (what else) handhold slots. This
was done after a serious
accident where the driver complained that the deflector handrail
blocked his view of the signals.
Not all Britannia Pacifics had this modification, and
those done at Crewe had simple holes cut in, with a cup facing
behind, similar to the Stanier pacifics.
Model makers love all this, as do rivet-counters, but it
is a useful aid for identifying a specific loco.
70025 came to Llandudno Junction in February 1966 but had moved
back to Crewe South (5B) in late April.
From there it moved north to Carlisle Kingmoor (12A).
On December 23rd, 1967 it was withdrawn and by the end of
January 1968, 70025 had been cut up by Campbells at
Airdrie, the scrapyard on the eastern side of Glasgow.
RIP 70025 Western Star. Built Crewe 1951, Scrapped Airdrie
Black Five 45231 "Sherwood Forrester" pulled the NWCE from Crewe
to Holyhead on February 1st 2020.
There were major problems after the train reached Holyhead as
the points at the Valley triangle had seized up and after trying
for over an hour the footplate crew from Saphos Trains
decided to return the engine to Holyhead and await the Network
Rail engineers to arrive and ease the points. Unfortunately this
took too long so 45231 eventually returned to Crewe with
support coach after the train and passengers had left
Holyhead pulled by the support diesel.
One of the footplate crew told me that the points needed some
oiled lubrication and it was hoped that this would be sorted out
for future rail tours this year.
Some photos are shown below of the tour before the problems with
the points became apparent.
Two phots showing 45231 crossing the River Clwyd, at Rhyl, with
the outward leg.
Waiting at Valley unable to enter the triangle, for turning,
before returning to Holyhead.
45231 waits at Holyhead for the support diesel to pull the train
and passengers with the homeward leg.
Roger Carvell made a nice find at the Peterborough Model
Railway Show yesterday.
Black Five 4-6-0 45046 heads past the golf course near
Deganwy in June 1966, with a return ‘dayex’ to Lancashire,
comprised of Stanier coaches, most of
which, like 45046, vanish from the LMR network by 1968 and
Yesterday's Christmas Cheshireman tour from Bristol Temple Meads
to Chester and return was originally scheduled for A4 60009
Union of South Africa but
as the A4 was still undergoing repairs two Black Fives took over
44871 and 45407 are seen below approaching Chester, platform 4,
with the train only a few minutes late.
This shot below shows the interest attracted by the unusual
double - headed train.
In the failing November light the Black Fives prepare to start
the journey home to Bristol.
60103 was originally advertised for today's NWCE but most
websites claimed that Jubilee 45690 Leander was taking over the
duty but when the tour arrived on the Coast
everyone was surprised to see that Scotsman was indeed still the
Flying Scotsman is shown below approaching Tan y Bryn Bridge,
Mochdre en route to Holyhead, only three minutes late after
making up time as
the train was eight minutes late at Chester.
This shot by Alan Roberts shows the train passing the Blaenau
Ffestiniog branch and approaching Llandudno Junction station.
Roger Carvell sent in this nice shot of
34092 "City of Wells" at Rawtenstall today on the East Lancs
Surprised to see a Southern engine turn up from Bury!
Here’s 34092 ‘City of Wells’ at Rawtenstall, northern terminus,
before the heavens opened.
34092 is stalwart from the earlier days of main line preserved
The KWVR sold her to the East Lancs as a Pacific does not
take kindly to the curvature of the Worth Valley.; flange wear
can be costly. ROGER
The little “Jinty” was taking a short rake of coaches from the
depot down to the station during the GCR Autumn Gala earlier
This is also on black-and-white film, fortunately with no modern
distractions in the frame.
Fowler "Jinty" 0-6-0T No. 47406 at Loughborough Great
Ex - GWR 4-6-0 Foxcote Manor No.7822 returned to the Llangollen
Railway yesterday for the winter timetable.
The Autumn Steam Gala, originally scheduled for four days, was
cancelled due to unavailability of advertised locomotives so
Foxcote Manor stepped in with
an extensive timetable to mark the Manor's return to the
The "Manor" arrives at Llangollen with an afternoon train.
Roger Carvell noticed the interesting
coaching stock being pulled by Foxcote Manor and supplied
the following interesting detail.
I see it is coupled to one of the
ex-King’s Cross ‘square-enders’, a Mk1 suburban brake. When I
first started work in London, 1975, there were a
large number of these coaches still in use, Mon to Fri
on local trains to King’s Cross or down to Moorgate, for City
Always hauled by a Class 31, loco and coaches in grubby
rail blue. Some say that on summer Saturdays the
rattle north to either Skegness or Cleethorpes on
seaside excursions but they lacked toilets so think it
unlikely. The Eastern would have used newer Cravens dmus for
‘square enders’ is a phrase I picked up from railwaymen
at Hitchin. It may go back generations. Another term was
‘block-enders’, also heard at Hitchin.
The term ‘bang road’, wrong line working, also seems to
be an Eastern Region saying. Another nickname, ‘parly’, still
It means an all station stopper, harking back to the earliest
days of railways when a ‘parliamentary train’ called at all
stations (for the benefit of the poorest-Gladstone’s law).
It stuck, and I still hear staff refer to a ‘Peterborough
parly’ meaning a train that will call at all stations (well,
from Hitchin, northwards) from King’s Cross to Peterborough.
Railways eh? What history!
Foxcote Manor is shown below moving up to take water before
coupling up to it's carriages for a return trip to Carrog
Stunning monochrome shots by
Martin Hearne are shown below.
LSWR Drummond T9 4-4-0 30120 and SR Schools Class “Repton”
4-4-0 926 have just taken refreshments at the water tower
Loughborough Great Central on Friday the 4th of October.
They eased through the passing loop at the station and then set
back on to a passenger train heading south for Quorn and
Woodhouse, Rothley and Leicester North.
Both engines were in immaculate condition, and appeared to
be steaming well.
Here is SR Schools Class 4-4-0 No. 926 “Repton” looking very
imposing at the head of a south-bound passenger train at Quorn
and Woodhouse during the GCR Autumn Gala October 4th 2019.
This one is on black-and-white film (Ilford XP2).
The LSWR Drummond T9 30120 has just had her tender tank topped
up at the water tower, Loughborough Great Central. Waiting
behind is the SR Schools Class 4-4-0 No. 926 “Repton”.
Both engines were rostered to double-head a passenger train to
Quorn and Woodhouse, Rothley and Leicester North during the GCR
Autumn Gala last Friday, 4th October 2019.
The Northern Belle diesel tour started from Gloucester to
Llandudno Junction and return today.
The train is seen below arriving at 6G, to unload the
passengers, before moving on to Holyhead to await it's return
later in the
day to pull the return to Gloucester. The lead engine seen
here is 57313 and the diesel on the rear is 57601 "Windsor
This shot below shows the cab interior of 57313.
This shot below shows the two West Coast Railway drivers who
handled today's tour.
This shot shows Driver John Rogers (on the left) who drove the
outward leg today and Driver Ray Poole (on the right) with me
Geoff Poole, in the
middle, in front of the lead engine 57313 at 6G, before
they moved it to Holyhead. (Ray Poole is no relation to me just an
The Statesman, which was an unusual diesel tour today, starting
from Holyhead, going to Appleby over the Settle to
The train is seen double-headed below, with the outward journey,
approaching Tan y Bryn bridge, Mochdre, pulled by 47810 and
61306 Mayflower storms through Letchworth Garden City with
a King’s Cross to Norwich and Lowestoft charter, ‘right time’ at
the first garden city this morning.
47245 was ticking over on the rear for the shunt moves at
Norwich, which is, of course, a terminus.
61306 was a Hull Dairycotes engine for much if its short
BR working life, so even in the 1950s this B1 would have been a
rare cop at
Letchworth, Hitchin shed had a useful batch of its own
Below are a few recent shots, from the Severn Valley Railway, of
engines with a local link.
The first shot shows 4-6-0 "Modified Hall" 6960 'Raveningham
Hall' at Bewdley station on Monday August 19th 2019.
Behind, partly hidden, is 0-6-0 PT 1501 and left of these
engines is Black Five 45110 which was a Holyhead (6J) stalwart
and regular visitor to the coast.
This engine also became famous for pulling the Fifteen
Guinea Special which was the last
passenger train pulled by steam on August 11th 1968.
This next shot shows another view of the Black Five at Bewdley
station, on Monday August 19th 2019, described above.
REPORT BY ROGER CARVELL
The Great Dorset Steam Fair
featured 45110 on a low loader yesterday (25/08/2019). I expect that is why it was seen resting at
Bewdley station above. Not sure if it is going elsewhere to be
overhauled or simply as an exhibit.
This shot below shows the "Modified Hall" 6960 'Raveningham
Hall' waiting to take water at Kidderminster after pulling the
last train of
the day from Bridgenorth on Sunday August 18th 2019.
Alongside, arriving with a footplate experience train, is 'Class
40' 40106 previously D306 which was another regular visitor
along the North Wales Coast main line.
40106 is one of
twenty class 40's built at Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns
factory in Darlington. The loco features the original four
disc headcode system along
with interconnecting gangway doors seen on various
classes of BR diesels but ultimately under used.
Entering traffic as
D306 and later becoming 40106 under the TOPS system in the
1970s, legend has it that, during her last works overhaul at
September 1978, 40106 was
repainted into standard BR Blue, but shortly afterwards, it
was decided to revert to Dark Brunswick green with full
ends, the repaint apparently being
carried out before she left works.
Roger Carvell has
special memories of this engine and tells me that he found
D306 in his spotting master log book from July 12th 1966 at
The entries were 44766 - D306 - D227 - 44843 - 90351 -
48329. The WD 2-8-0 was from Wakefield and rare down the coast
then (1966) - "A great year AND we won the World Cup.
D306 must have travelled down the coast thousands of times.
It was the last Class 40 to remain in green and got so shabby
it became a celebrity!
"whistle while you work"
Another memory, of the Class 40, that Roger remembers is related
The Irish Mail’ 02.00 hrs, mailbags being
thrown on at Chester, steam issuing out from underneath and
that whistling, as the driver awaited the ‘peg’.
Going the other way, down the coast, Chester, Plat 4, Class 40
whistling away on a cold, frosty night, steam heating escaping
everywhere, and a
BG being loaded with mailbags. GPO staff slinging them
in, but a bit late on departure.
A passenger leans out and says ‘we’re late, never mind
the bloody mail, let’s go!’. Remember that incident well!
Roger Carvell spent the day on the
Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on August 10th 2019. Some of his interesting shots are shown below with the
added bonus of some 6G links.
Recently overhauled 78022 at Keighley, now in BR green, which
some of the Cambrian lines were so repainted at Swindon.
Despite ‘Machynlleth’ on the buffer plank 78022 was always
a north country engine, starting new at Sheffield Millhouses and
1966 at Lostock Hall (as per shedplate).
The other engine on roster was 41241, the KWVR’s flagship
loco in 1968 when it reopened the line is shown below.
Happy to report that 41241 was a 6G loco between June and
August 1965! The previous year, in the same period, was at
41241 finished with BR at Skipton (10G) in 1967. 41241
coaling up for its afternoon roster at Haworth.
Nicely-kept 25059 at Oxenhope, with 41241. 25059 has a Crewe
allocation sticker, recalling the 1970s.
25059 had done the morning roster with 78022 and would
‘book off’ at Haworth en route back to Keighley.
Here is a neat -and cleaned- Stanier 2-6-0, 2948, later to be BR
42948, emerging from Conway Tunnel with a stopping train from
The first LMS coach, leaning nicely, is a non-corridor but it
does have a toilet!
The picture is undated and uncredited but must have been taken
after August 1940 when 2948 and two others of this small class
of 40 engines
were allocated to Bangor (7B),2948 staying until 1949. In BR
days, it was nomadic, moving on quite quickly through a series
of main line
sheds on the former LNW lines of the LMS. As 42948, its last
shed was Heaton Mersey, (9F) where it was withdrawn after a
useful working life
of 31 years, in late 1965.
Mold Junction (6B) had a large allocation of Stanier 2-6-0s
throughout the LMS/BR era, 18 in total, but Stanier Moguls were
reallocated to depots west of Mold Junction by 1955. Llandudno
Junction (7A) at nationalisation in 1948, had two Stanier Moguls
its books but they had gone by 1955 if not earlier.
That said, the 'maid of all work' Stanier moguls were busy on
summer Saturday holiday excursions, bringing in thousands of
from the North West and Midlands to the North Wales resorts.
On 'handover Saturday' they would return and take the
happy souls home again!
My recollection of these engines, standing close to the tracks,
looking up and head on, was that it was easy to mistake the
similar-looking Black Fives, but the horizontal cylinders
(Swindon practice) and the awful, narrow Midland
tender, (a Derby design insistence, over Crewe, who built
the class) were recognition features.
You had to be alert to spot the cabside number, mostly
grimy, as the locomotive quickly passed; the front numberplate
was often covered by a
train reporting number headboard- the bane of all
LMS Royal Scot Class 4-6-0 No. 46115 'Scots Guardsman'
approaches Glan Conwy station with the Welsh Mountaineer en route to Blaenau Ffestiniog with the
outward leg of the Preston - Blaenau - Preston tour.
West Coast Railway ran a secret private charter from Carnforth
Steam Town to Holyhead today.
The train was pulled on the outward journey by Princess Class
6201 "Princess Elizabeth" but resorted to a Class 57 for the
The Charter was a private run for the Rolex watch makers (5Z64).
The two shots below show the 'Princess' in the evening with the
support carriage taking water at 6G and then leaving for
on an unusually quiet platform 1 due to the secretive publicity
by the tour operator.
This shot by John Smith shows the engine and support coach after
coming through the castle 'tube' en route to Llandudno Junction.
The photo was taken from the RSPB footbridge.
REPORT BY ROGER CARVELL
RTT for Sunday shows that the main train,
Pullmans and 57, worked back to Crewe as '1Z63' earlier in the
afternoon, wasting little
time at Crewe before heading down the WCML to Carnforth,
where West Coast now operate the Northern Belle from.
This left 6201 to later canter along in its own time, with its
support coach, (see above photos) and enjoy the seaside
views and no doubt take
many promenaders by surprise. What a pleasant one!
Yesterday we had the unusual sight of four tours on the north
Wales coast main line.
There were two diesel tours and two steam.
The first diesel tour was the Norwich to Holyhead "Welsh &
Victorian Highlander" pulled by two Class 68s, which is shown
below, and the later West Coast Railway Company "Llandudno
Day Pullman" which comprised of a class 47 and a 57 from
Peterborough to Llandudno.
The two steam tours were the "Ynys Mon Express" Leicester to
Holyhead pulled by A1 60163 'Tornado' and the
"Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza" pulled by 7029 'Clun Castle'.
Several shots of these tours are shown below.
The first visitor to our coast was 60163 'Tornado', which is
shown below, after turning at Valley before reversing back into
to pull her train back home along the coast.
Tornado earlier in the day passing under Tan y Bryn
footbridge at Mochdre, en route to Holyhead.
Another view of 60163 after turning on the Valley triangle.
These next two shots show 'Clun Castle' arriving at Llandudno
Junction station before taking the train along the branch to
for her passengers to enjoy the afternoon at the Victorian
Extravaganza which is held over the bank holiday weekend.
Roger Carvell supplied these two
shots of the immaculate 7029 'Clun Castle' with a South
Midlands tour on April 6th 2019.
Clun Castle! It was at Oxford the day I visited Didcot GWS
on April 6th 2019. This was a roundabout tour of the south
Midlands, oddly via Didcot but didn’t stop there!
7029 is part of Vintage Trains at Tyseley. Hopefully 7029
will turn up at 6G this summer. Grand loco and the standard of
restoration is top class.
Ready for the return to Birmingham after a five hour layover in
the university city.
Southern Region Rebuilt Light Pacific 4-6-2 No. 34046
"Braunton", still masquerading as 34052 " Lord Dowding",
shakes platform 3 at Chester station, with a
thunderous departure, as it leaves with the evening return
leg to Bescot UDGL. The support diesel 67018 would then return
the passengers to
Salisbury while Braunton, as Lord Dowding, returns to
This shot by Jack Poole shows the engine and diesel about to
uncouple from the train to take coal and water earlier in the
Jack Poole took this shot at Warrington Bank Quay today showing
No.70000 'Britannia' now back in full swing on the main line,
this afternoon's return leg of the Pennine Moors Explorer Crewe
- Burnley - Crewe.
Martin Hearne supplied this shot of 6233, at Sileby, with the
today's York Yule Tide Express.
Stanier Pacific 6233 “Duchess of
Sutherland” came storming through Sileby this morning at the
head of a special excursion from Ealing to York.
Quite an image of power and poetry, with glorious sounds
Jack Poole visited the Severn Valley Railway on October 27th
2018, and took the following shots.
West Country Class No. 34027 Taw Valley pulls into Bewdley with
the morning train from Bridgnorth.
This guy has been waiting a lifetime for the Ghost Train and he
looks a little miffed!
shouldn't have too long to wait now as this Class 52, No. 1062
Western Courier, built at Crewe May 6th 1963 and withdrawn
August 22nd 1974 waits
at Kidderminster with the evening "Ghost Train" on
October 27th 2018.
Jack Poole has certainly caught the mood with this
tricky night shot.
Taw Valley waits, after coaling at Kidderminster, to take one
of the evening Ghost trains, on October 27th 2018.
Saphos Trains ran this special train on Saturday October 13th
Locomotives - D213 "Andania" plus LSL 47 (T&T).
This tour special was scheduled to run, on
a very wet Saturday, from Crewe to Bleanau Ffestiniog - then
returning to Llandudno Junction and on to Holyhead, before
returning to Crewe.
Unfortunately the Conwy Valley branch line was closed due to
adverse weather conditions so the tour diverted from 6G to
Llandudno for several hours before
reversing into 6G and proceeding on to Holyhead. The train
left Holyhead with the return leg at 15.15 arriving at Crewe
There were many enthusiasts present to record this historic
return to the North Wales Coast line for D213.
Possibly some thought they would never see the class return to
the coast again.
The first shot shows the train powering through Colwyn Bay
station taken by Jack Poole.
This shot shows the train waiting to leave for Holyhead at 6G.
This shot by Roger Carvell shows another shot of the train about
to leave 6G for Holyhead.
This delightful night shot by, Roger Carvell, shows the engine
after arriving at Crewe.
September 22nd 2018.
LNER A3 Class 4-6-2 No. 60103 "Flying Scotsman"
This first shot by Alan Roberts shows the A3 at Mochdre.
Jack Poole caught the train as it approaches Llanfair PG
This shot shows the interest aroused by the famous engine as
there are so many enthusiasts at Valley to watch the engine turn
on the triangle that the
British Transport Police were present to ensure safety.