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North Wales Coast freight and passenger operations 1980s


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Posted (edited)

I am currently researching some potential lines/areas to model. I've always liked the North Wales coast line and am thinking about modelling something based on the area if not 100% totally prototypical. Time can be fluid and it was obviously a period where a lot of things changed and not everything ran at the same time.

 

I've been looking at various websites with photos from the line in the 1980s as well as drawing on my own memories and the line undergoes a lot of changes in terms of rolling stock operations etc between 1980 and 1990. Class 40s, 20s, 25s, 31s, 45s, 47s and 1st gen DMUs in the early 1980s, to 33s, 37s, 47s, HSTs and second generation DMUs later on.

 

I've been trying to work out what the freight flows were. I think they are:

 

Coal from Point of Ayr

Ballast from Penmaenmawr

Freightliners from/to Holyhead

Flasks from/to Valley and Trawsfynydd

Ethylene Dibromide and Liquid Chlorine from Amlwch

 

 

Sulphur to Amlwch

Petroleum Coke to Holyhead

 

Speedlink:

Cement and Bricks from Bangor

Slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog (until 1984) (?)

 

There are some that I am not clear on and I was wondering if anyone knows.

 

It is mentioned that Cookes explosives were transported from Blaenau Ffestiniog after locos were banned from the Cambrian Coast. I've seen that freight traffic was withdrawn from BF in 1984. What would the Cookes traffic have been transported in?

 

I am struggling to find any photos of freight on the Conway Valley line except flasks.

 

What traffic went in and out from Anglesey Aluminium?

 

A couple of other questions. I am struggling to identify what wagons are used in the Sulphur, Chemical and Stone traffic. With the Sulphur traffic it is not just the hoppers I am struggling to ID but also the van used to transport the covers when the train ran empty.

 

http://www.penmorfa.com/Archive/47335 Llangefni.jpg  - Chemical Traffic. Vans at both ends as well :)

http://www.penmorfa.com/Archive/47325 Prestatyn - sulphur train.jpg   - Sulphur train and van

http://www.penmorfa.com/Archive/37676 Mostyn - roadstone.jpg  

http://www.penmorfa.com/Archive/37681 + 685 Towyn - roadstone.jpg  - Roadstone - I don't recognise these wagons in either

 

 

For passenger traffic: This I am not sure about as a basic framework to work from.

 

25s - locals + Manchester traffic

47s - Euston - Holyhead

40s - Euston - Holyhead, Manchester traffic until withdrawal

45s - Manchester and Trans Pennine

33s - Cardiff - Holyhead

DMUs the majority of local traffic including stoppers to Manchester Vic etc. Sprinters and Pacers replacing by mid 1980s.

37s - not until 1990s

31s - ???

 

Mail and Newspaper traffic - when was this lost from the line? There was a Holyhead - Bangor - Chester mail of a single BG (sometimes upto four vans) in this period but that seems to be it. When were parcels and newspaper traffic lost on the line?

 

Is there anything I've missed?

Edited by Morello Cherry
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Thanks. I'd had a long look at it and always find something new.

 

It appears there was also an LPG train to Anglesey Aluminum as well as the petroleum coke.

 

I've also found a photo of the Cooke's traffic (when it was picked up from Maentwrog Rd) which answers my question. What with flasks, chemical and explosives traffic it must be one of the last places with a lot of brake van use.

 

http://www.penmorfa.com/Conwy/47234 Blaenau explosives.jpg

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Morello Cherry said:

A couple of other questions. I am struggling to identify what wagons are used in the Sulphur, Chemical and Stone traffic. With the Sulphur traffic it is not just the hoppers I am struggling to ID but also the van used to transport the covers when the train ran empty

On the sulphur train, I think the photo is confusing because of the extreme foreshortening. The single van on the first photo linked looks very much like a standard BR 12T van (VVV), and the hoppers could be one of the heavier-built HJV/HKV iron ore types or possibly standard 21T coal hoppers (HTV).

A photo on flickr here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lickeybanker/16970701904

has a caption which reads "... at Mostyn in May 1983, where Class 40 40131 was about to collect a train of HKV and HJV wagons loaded with raw sulphur for transfer to Associated Octel at Amlwch..."

Edited by eastwestdivide
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Many thanks to @keefer for advertising this site of wonderful photographs of a beautiful area of the British Isles, not seen by me before.  There is a clearer photo of the sulphur hoppers ("UYV"?) here:

 

Sulphur wagons

 

Note the descending bars at the end of the wagons to the corners of the buffer-beams.  I mention this only because I am playing around with an old Mainline Ore-hopper wagon and tarpaulin as an 'unusual wagon' to model (and not very successfully).  Do see Trevor Mann's 'British Railways unfitted and vacuum-braked wagons in colour', Hersham : Ian Allan Publishing, 2013, for more photos of these.

 

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Fair enough, @eastwestdivide .  I will have a rummage through my library this evening.  I expect I am thinking of another train.  Will keep you posted.  Thanks and best wishes.

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Hi

 

For freight traffic, Freight Only Volume 3: Wales and Scotland by Michael Rhodes and Paul Shannon has several pages on the north wales coast. 

 

The 1988 timetable quoted in the book also includes chemical traffic from Ellesmere Port to Llandudno Junc.

 

There is also a picture at Anglesey Aluminium with the local trip working picking up a single bogie ferryvan. There was also a weekly coke train from Immingham to the Aluminium plant in covered hopper wagons. 

 

Hope this helps

 

Nick

 

 

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3 minutes ago, stivesnick said:

There is an excellent model in the layout thread on Maentwrog Road.

 

The explosives traffic was in VAA wagons with barrier wagons.

 

Nick 

 

 

 

Explosives traffic was indeed in VAA vans. Only lasted about 2 years from Maentwrog Road.The track, siding and old goods shed is still there.And my model depicting it as it was in 1987.   

MR-11-12-19A.jpg

image008.jpg

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There were also MGR trains of flyash to Llandudno Junction in connection with improving the A55

scan0002.jpg.a60e08fa153e5d485dd2ce4b3becc3af.jpg

Here is 56070 discharging a train at Llandudno Junction, 7/6/83,

 

cheers  

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I am sure I read somewhere that the vans in the Sulphur traffic to Amlwch were used to convey the tarpaulins on the return empty journey back to Mostyn Docks.

 

Bogie ferryvans were used as noted in a previous reply to take aluminium ingots from the AA plant onwards to Europe I believe. Cement in PCAs was for a short time unloaded at a temporary termimal established near Conwy Morfa when that part of the A55 road was being constructed. Both these were collected using a Speedlink trip working iirc too - I'm sure there is a photo in a book somewhere showing this.

 

HTH Paul

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Posted (edited)

The Crewe works test train (or locos on test on service trains) gives you an excuse to run some unusual locos too. How about a ScotRail 47/7 coupled to a Class 33….

 

47706 + 33022, Prestatyn, 18-06-1986


Dave Sallery’s picture on Flickr 

Edited by The Pilotman
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I made a few visits to North Wales and the North West,

Here is the Llandudno Junction to Warrington service passing Chester, I think the ferry vans are loaded ingots from Anglesey Aluminium.

1916776724_Chester25322.jpg.40e4ef8cdee7533ffeb74e23340de663.jpg

Departing Chester is 25322 with 9F10 Llandudno Junction to Warrington Walton Old Junction, I think there are PCAs from Bangor behind the ferry vans,  8/6/83.

 

cheers

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49 minutes ago, pharrc20 said:

I am sure I read somewhere that the vans in the Sulphur traffic to Amlwch were used to convey the tarpaulins on the return empty journey back to Mostyn Docks.

 

Correct Paul the van carried the tarpaulins back.

 

49 minutes ago, pharrc20 said:

Bogie ferryvans were used as noted in a previous reply to take aluminium ingots from the AA plant onwards to Europe I believe. Cement in PCAs was for a short time unloaded at a temporary termimal established near Conwy Morfa when that part of the A55 road was being constructed. Both these were collected using a Speedlink trip working iirc too - I'm sure there is a photo in a book somewhere showing this.

 

HTH Paul

 

Also steel and sand was delivered to the temporary sidings at Conwy Morfa for the building of the A55.

 

http://www.nwrail.org.uk/PH880916-20040-20078-47605-conwy-morfa-1.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Some interesting photos from the Trawsfynydd branch here by Ken Robinson.

Click on photo...

 

The Trawsfynydd Branch

 

Edited by Nick G
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Just to clarify my previous mis-remembered vignette: the photo of which I was thinking was p. 72 of Colin Marsden's 'B.R. and private owner wagons' (Rolling stock recognition v.2), 1984.  This is indeed a train of sheeted Anhydrite hoppers, coded UYV.

 

Trevor Mann's book (2013) has photographs of the Diag. 1/166 Ironstone hopper wagon, 25.5/24T (HJV?) on pp. 51-53.  Wizard (used to?) do a model of it, thus:

 

https://staging.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/wagons/brd1_166/

 

Sorry again for the confusion.  Back to more interesting postings...

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38 minutes ago, C126 said:

Just to clarify my previous mis-remembered vignette: the photo of which I was thinking was p. 72 of Colin Marsden's 'B.R. and private owner wagons' (Rolling stock recognition v.2), 1984.  This is indeed a train of sheeted Anhydrite hoppers, coded UYV.

They ended up in North Wales?

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30 minutes ago, Reorte said:

They ended up in North Wales?

 

No, sorry.  The sulphur wagons were North Wales.  The UYVs (Anhydrite) were on the Settle-Carlisle I think.  It was my confusion over pictures of trains of sheeted hoppers that led to all this.

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15 hours ago, Nick G said:

Some interesting photos from the Trawsfynydd branch here by Ken Robinson.

Click on photo...

 

The Trawsfynydd Branch

 

 

Excellent photos. I always thought  Blaenau Ffestiniog in either pre-1946 or post-1982  form would be interesting to model but probably impossible.  I am not sure how you could capture Blaenau in all its atmospheric grey and drizzly glory.

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16 minutes ago, C126 said:

 

No, sorry.  The sulphur wagons were North Wales.  The UYVs (Anhydrite) were on the Settle-Carlisle I think.  It was my confusion over pictures of trains of sheeted hoppers that led to all this.

That makes sense, that's where I expected to see them; they were built for Long Meg to Widnes (although there seem to be very few pictures of them off the Settle-Carlisle - only ever seen a couple), but I vaguely recall seeing that they were used for something else when the traffic they were built for stopped.

 

Sorry for the digression, they're just of a bit of interest for me, being the subject of my first kit / scratch-built piece of stock (kit chassis, scratchbuilt body).

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25 minutes ago, Reorte said:

That makes sense, that's where I expected to see them; they were built for Long Meg to Widnes (although there seem to be very few pictures of them off the Settle-Carlisle - only ever seen a couple), but I vaguely recall seeing that they were used for something else when the traffic they were built for stopped.

 

Sorry for the digression, they're just of a bit of interest for me, being the subject of my first kit / scratch-built piece of stock (kit chassis, scratchbuilt body).

 

Glad the digression was of interest/use.  Do, please, show us if possible how the wagon construction goes.  My attempt at a 'sheeted hopper' has not turned out very convincingly, and the Wizard Models kit looks rather beyond my abilities, so I have not pursued it.

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On 18/05/2022 at 11:50, Morello Cherry said:

 

The hoppers are TOPS code JGA - an earlier type than that modelled by Bachmann/Farish. The N Gauge Society make a kit in 1:148, not sure about the larger scales.

 

Later on in the decade you'll also find ARC branded POA (Bachmann/Farish/NGS) used for the remodelling of Manchester Piccadilly.

 

LWB air-braked vans were used on the Amlwch chemical traffic, usually VAA, VBA or VDA but VIX ferry vans were also seen.

 

In the very early eighties you might also have seen static caravans:

https://www.2d53.co.uk/llanfairpg/caravan.htm

Prior to the road bridge section of the rebuild Britannia bridge being open, it was impossible to get wide loads onto Angelsey via road as the Menai Suspension Bridge carriageway was too narrow.

 

The North Wales coast has so much railway modelling potential. Bangor is a personal favourite - tunnels at either end with a decent sized station, goods yard, carriage sidings and an engine shed.

 

Steven B.

 

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