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North Wales Coast Steam Tours


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. (geoffpoole@outlook.com)

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.

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COMPILED AND EDITED BY GEOFF POOLE
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November 8th 2019.

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 original engine.

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.







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November 4th 2019.

Roger Carvell sent in this nice shot of 34092 "City of Wells" at Rawtenstall today on the East Lancs Railway.

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 steam running.
 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 CARVELL






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October 20th 2019.

The little “Jinty” was taking a short rake of coaches from the depot down to the station during the GCR Autumn Gala earlier this month.
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 Central







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October 13th 2019.

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 railway.


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 workers.
 Always hauled by a Class 31, loco and coaches in grubby rail blue. Some say that on summer Saturdays the ‘square-enders’ would
 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 those jobs.

 ‘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 stands.
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 yesterday afternoon.







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October 6th 2019.

Star Guests at the Great Central Autumn Gala

  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 at
 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.






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September 28th 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 Castle".







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 amazing coincidence)



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September 28th 2019.

The Statesman, which was an unusual diesel tour today, starting from Holyhead,  going to Appleby over the Settle to Carlisle route.
The train is seen double-headed below, with the outward journey, approaching Tan y Bryn bridge, Mochdre, pulled by 47810 and 47614.






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August 31st 2019.

 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 ‘Bongos’.






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August 22nd 2019.

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 (26/08/2019)

 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.

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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 Crewe in
 September 1978, 40106 was repainted into standard BR Blue, but shortly afterwards, it was decided to revert to Dark Brunswick green with full yellow
 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 Flint.

The entries were 44766 - D306 - D227 - 44843 - 90351 - 48329. The WD 2-8-0 was from Wakefield and rare down the coast by
 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 below.

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!






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August 16th 2019.


West Coast Railways ran the Northern Belle tour today (1Z50) from Dumfries to Llandudno Junction and return.

A full train of passengers disembarked at 6G to board buses to either Llandudno, Conwy or Bodnant Gardens.

The two Class 57's, 57314 and 57601, took the ECS to Holyhead to await returning to 6G for the homeward leg to Dumfries.



The first shot below shows the train arriving at 6G 35 minutes late.





These next two shots by Jack Poole show the drivers position on 57601 and also the drivers view from the same engine
 awaiting the right away for the homeward leg.





 




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August 16th 2019.

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 ending in
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 Bangor (6H).
 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.






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August 8th 2019.

ANOTHER RARE FIND BY ROGER CARVELL.


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 Bangor.
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 never further
reallocated to depots west of Mold Junction by 1955. Llandudno Junction (7A) at nationalisation in 1948, had two Stanier Moguls on
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 holidaymakers
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 Moguls for
 similar-looking Black Fives, but the horizontal cylinders (Swindon practice) and the awful, narrow Midland Railway-designed Fowler
 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 locospotters!






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August 4th 2019.

The Conwy Valley line is back in business after the prolonged closure due to flooding damage.

Transport for Wales and Railtrack ran a celebratory tour to mark the reopening yesterday, hauled by a double - headed treat.

Locomotives 8F 48151 and Jubilee class 45690 "Leander" were the two involved pulling the special from Chester to Blaenau Ffestiniog and return.



The usual crowds of enthusiasts were present to greet the arrival of the tour at Llandudno Junction as seen in this shot below by Jack Poole.

The two loco's are waiting to run around the train before heading for Blaenau Ffestiniog.








The train is shown below powering towards Roman Bridge station en route to Blaenau Ffestiniog.





Both drivers are shown here watching the road ahead as the train approaches Roman Bridge station.









The train is shown below leaving 6G for Chester with the home leg.






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July 29th 2019.

Two shots of yesterday's two steam engines working the Llangollen railway passenger stock.

This first shot by Jack Poole shows GWR 5101 Class, 2-6-2T No. 5199 leaving Llangollen with the last train of the day to Carrog.






GWR 6400 Class 0-6-0 PT No. 6430 takes the ECS into the shed for the night.





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July 22nd 2019.

NORTH WALES COAST EXPRESS

Liverpool - Holyhead July 21st 2019.
Jubilee class 45690 "Leander"

Dave Wood took this early shot of 45690 on the Halton Curve with the outward leg of the tour.







45690 speeds through Colwyn Bay station en route to Holyhead.








The following two shots show the train approaching Llanfair PG signal box.









This shot shows the train leaving 6G with the homeward leg.






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July 20th 2019.


Dave Wood was out early this morning to catch this shot of "Lizzie" 46201 with 1Z24 Cumbrian Mountain Express (Crewe - Carlisle) at Eccleston Park.







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July 7th 2019.


THE YNYS MON EXPRESS

Saturday May 28th 2016

LMS Royal Scot Class 46100 ' Royal Scot' leaves 6G with the homeward leg of the tour from Holyhead to Crewe.






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July 7th 2019.


  THE WELSH MOUNTAINEER  

Tuesday July 26th 2016.

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.






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June 30th 2019.

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 return.

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 Carnforth
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!


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June 18th 2019.

Below photo at Clitheroe station as 70000 'Britannia' makes a booked stop en route Crewe to Carlisle with The Fellsman, sell out charter.
Here she is, ready to go,  on May 29th 2019.






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May 12th 2019.
A1 Class 60163 'Tornado' visited Chester yesterday with the "Mad Hatter". A gruelling five and a half hour tour from
 North Road Darlington to Chester.

A few shots are shown below of the train at Chester.



The train arrives 'right time' at Chester.






Tornado is shown here returning to the station after turning and heading for the sidings for coal and water.





Filling up with coal.






The station was full of admiring photographers, as usual, for the A1's visit.





As Tornado prepares to leave for Darlington a wedding party took advantage of the scene to add some photos to their album.





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May 5th 2019.

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 Holyhead
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 Llandudno
for her passengers to enjoy the afternoon at the Victorian Extravaganza which is
held over the bank holiday weekend.



 




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April 23rd 2019.

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.





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April 17th 2019.

Dave Wood caught the 8F 48151, at Red Bank - Wigan, tonight with the Salopian Express
II  (Dumfries - Shrewsbury) tour.

 




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March 10th 2019.



Railway Touring Club

   THE YORKSHIREMAN   

Saturday March 9th 2019
LMS Coronation Class 8P 4-6-2 no. 46233 (6233) 'Duchess of Sutherland'.



Roger Carvell caught the "Duchess" at Flitwick, just south of Bedford, with yesterday's Ealing Broadway to York tour on the Midland Main Line.
Roger tells me that the sun came out in the nick of time.







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March 6th 2019.

Ieuan Wood caught this shot of LNER B1 Class 61306 'Mayflower' with a Carnforth - Southall movement
on Monday March 4th 2019, at Winwick.
 33207 was at the rear.






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   THE CHESTER CHUFFER   

December 15th 2018.

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 Crewe.






This shot by Jack Poole shows the engine and diesel about to uncouple from the train to take coal and water earlier in the day.






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December 8th 2018.

THE PENNINE MOORS EXPLORER

Jack Poole took this shot at Warrington Bank Quay today showing No.70000 'Britannia' now back in full swing on the main line, with
this afternoon's return leg of the Pennine Moors Explorer Crewe - Burnley - Crewe.








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November 17th 2018.

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 to match.








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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!









He 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.









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THE NORTH WALES COAST FORTY


Saphos Trains ran this special train on Saturday October 13th 2018.
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 19.30.

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.







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   THE YNYS MON EXPRESS   



Saturday 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 signalbox.






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.









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Railway Touring Club

  THE WELSH MOUNTAINEER  


Tuesday July 24th 2018.

LMS Class 8F 2-8-0  No. 48151.
Steam hauled : Preston - Blaenau Ffestiniog - Preston.
Diesel assisted due to fire risk (37669).



This shot by Jack Poole opens this new page showing the 8F leaving 6G with the evening leg.







The next three shots by Dave Wood show the train first preparing to leave North Llanrwst on the outward leg then on the homeward leg at
 Abergele and finally at Helsby.












Signalman Alan Roberts (now recently retired after 42 years service) took these four shots of the train arriving at
 6G and preparing to leave for Bleanau Ffestiniog.













Photographer Jack Poole 'cabbing' the diesel  37669 at 6G.







The Mountaineer leaves 6G, on the homeward leg, passing the Blaenau Ffestiniog branch line.






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NORTH WALES COAST EXPRESS

Sunday July 22nd 2018.

LMS Jubilee Class 6P 4-6-0 No. 45690 'Leander'.




The 'Jub' with the outward leg at Tan y Bryn footbridge Mochdre.








Passing one of the four limestone lion sentinels, as the train runs over the Britannia bridge, crossing the Menai Straits en route to Holyhead.








After turning at Valley 'Leander' prepares to enter the main line, to reverse to Holyhead, to join up with her train.







45690 joins the main line after turning at Valley.








Approaching Llanfair P.G station with the homeward leg.








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