Cardiff, Severn Tunnel and beyond, Jan 77

 

Friday Jan 28th 1977

 

Leaving the rigours of a another week at College it was the long walk in the booked drizzle along St Helens Road to Swansea High St station. Here i bought the freedom of South Wales the "South Wales Weekend Explorer" ticket for £3.90. 37176 was steaming away nicely on the 1810 Carmarthen, my power was a dull 47530 on coffins forming the 1805 Swansea - Padd. A 47 was much better than an "HST" or "flying banana, zing, tram" as then nicknamed. 

 

swalesexplr.jpg The freedom of South Waes and beyond for £3.90!

 

 

 

A 4 hour session at Cardiff General then followed, non stop loco action. Highlights included still green 47195 on the Baglan Bay salts and 21 different 37's with 3 of them  triple headed on a loaded Port Talbot - Llanwern iron ore train.

 

Cardiff G, 280177

25063    Down Pass Cardiff-Crewe                                 1914

37175    Up Parcels                                                             1915

08188    Up light                                                                  1917

47494    Up parcels                                                             1927

08580    N Pilot                                                                    1928

08581    S Pilot                                                                     1929

31294    Up Light                                                                1931

253013  Down Pass Padd-Swansea                                 1932

253014  Down pass Padd-Swansea                                 1937

37280    Up Coal st                                                             1939

47250    Up Parcels                                                             1942

37210    Down Steel                                                            1945

46055    Up Pass/Parcels                                                    1947

37142    Up Light                                                                1952

37220    Up Mixed freight                                                 1955

37243    Up Cement (Prestflo)                                          1958

47056    U Light                                                                   2000

47186    Up Light                                                                2001

253010  Up Pass Swansea-Padd                                      2002

47125    Down Coal St                                                       2006

37277    Up parcels                                                             2012

47454    Down Pass Padd-Swansea                                 2015

37131    Up Light                                                                2019

08850    D Light                                                                   2020

45033    D Pass Newcastle-Cardiff                                  2025

37277    D Light                                                                   2027

45071    U Light                                                                   2032

46013    U Stone Covhops                                                                2040

37288    D Coal St                                                               2042

37289    D Coal st                                                               2046

37244    D MGR                                                                  2048

37256    D Parcels                                                               2050

47108    D Pass Padd-Swansea                                        2054

253008  U Pass Swansea-Padd                                        2057

25211    U Light                                                                   2110

253017  D Pass Padd-Swansea                                        2114

37254    D Light                                                                   2116

37256    U Light                                                                   2119

45054    D Pass Leeds-Swansea (to Cardiff)                 2120

47076    (1669) D Pass Leeds-Swansea (ex Cardiff)    2129

47024    D Pass Plymouth-Cardiff                                   2135

37255    D Light                                                                   2140

37251    D Mixed freight                                                    2145

45054    U Light                                                                   2146

47197    D Oil                                                                       2146

37308}

37302}  U Iron Ore                                                             2148

37303}                                                                                                

37272    U Coal St                                                               2155

47512    U Parcels                                                               2200

46010    U Palvans                                                              2208

31190    Down Parcels (to Cardiff)                                  2209

47494    Down parcels (ex Cardiff)                                 2216

37220    Down Mixed Freight                                           2225

37227    U Coal H/S                                                           2231

47532    Down Pass Padd-Cardiff                                   2232

46030    D Light E                                                               2236

47100    D Freightliner                                                        2239

45042    Up Light                                                                2241

45054    D Bolsters                                                              2241

37185    Up Pass Swansea-Bristol                                    2242

47195(gr) D Salt                                                                  2244

47244    U Royal Mail                                                        2254

47147    U Light                                                                   2259

47072    U Railfreight                                                         2306

37213    D Coal H                                                               2307

45032    D Pass                                                                    2308

47147    2125 Swansea-Bristol H                                    2310

 

 

My hopes of  37185 for loud haulage to Bristol TM on the 2125 ex Swansea (2310 ex Cardiff) were thwarted when 47147 arrived from Canton to replace the "South Wales steamer".

The police escort on the train left the train at Newport where most of the drunks got off and  it was just a few of us enthusiasts on board to arrive at Temple Meads not long after midnight.

 

Saturday Jan 29th 1977

 

Visible in the darkness on Bath Road shed were:

08149, 08800, 37208, 50001, 50039 and 1048 having earlier arrived on 4B19 Plymouth -

Bristol vans.

I then camped out in the warm waiting room which i think was on platform 4. It remained quite here, the attractive policewoman remarking my ticket was a "posh one" on checking for non bona fide travellers. The 5 and a half hours overnight at Temple Meads recorded this little lot, but i did doze a little and the many van trains being loaded/unloaded would have blocked other passing traffic.

 

50024 U Royal mail, 50042l, 47042p,31236l, 50021pa, 45074fr, 37208pa,

47492v, 47050, 08149, 47145p, 31208, 50012, 33005, 37073/45027fr,47341,

50005pa,45131l,46007rm,50019l,31208p-0510 Bristol - Weymouth,25294pa,

1048l-to work1B81 0800Bristol-Penzance, 31242l, 46025o,

 

The Eastern 37073 having presumably rescued a failed 45027 on its freight. 1048 on passing raised a smile too. A 0610 Bristol - Cardiff was joined and i slept all the way!  47159 was wagged on the 0720 Cardiff - Taunton,  for 46055 forward from Newport to Severn Tunnel on the 0800 Cardiff - Plymouth.

  

The 3 hours at Severn Tunnel Jn were to produce:

 

 

Severn Tunnel Jn, 290177

 

08349    Pilot 1     0832

47498    D Pass    0833

37228    D Light   0835

253014  U Pass    0836

08122    Pilot 2     0845

31144    D Light   0847

08657    U Light   0848

31242    D Chems 0908

47031    U Pass    0910

253011/015 U Pass 0914

08654    Pilot 3    0918

52092/59820/52097-D stop pass 0920

50030   U Light    0934

47448   U Pass     0938

253002  D Pass    0940

45030    D Pass    0942

37281    U Freight 0944

46008    D Pass    0958

50030    U Freight 1010

31116    U Light   1012

47178    D Mixed Freight  1031

253007  U Pass    1039                      

47532    U Pass    1045

47099    U parcels 1048

253012   D Pass   1054

47341}   D Pass-ECS - 1110

47512(d)}                            

1023       Western Memorial Excursion- 1112

                Padd-Newport-Salop-

47048    U Mixed freight - 1120

37294}  D Pass Severn T-Newport Addit H 1125a 1140d }       0915 Padd-Cardiff (term Newport) ST-NP

47512(d)}

253009 D Pass     1137

 

The main event was 1023 "Western Fusebox" absolutely storming through with the "Western Memorial" railtour, but even this was overshadowed by what happened next. Earlier 47341 dragging a dead 47512 had arrived in the sidings alongside the station with what was probably the ECS of a failed 0910 Padd - Cardiff. The station supervisor on seeing a good 40 enthusiasts now waiting for the Cardiff bound DMU then did us all a good favour...With the DMU a little late he instructed that the ECS should now become a Control Relief to Cardiff  and even better 37294 was now up front.

One of those memories that will forever stick in my mind was the stock being reversed into Severn Tunnels's down platform and us happy enthusiasts and a few normals piling aboard!

37294 growled away atmospherically,  overtaking 37208 near Llanwern, but at Newport Control decided the fun was over and the relief was caped!

A DMU took us forward to Cardiff where i did the Rhymney and Treherbert valley branches in a DMU. At Caerphilly works then a preservation site was steamer 41312. PWM 651 at Radyr was much more interesting!

More DMU mileage to Bristol where 50034 provided the power to Bath on the 1935 Bristol - Padd to Bath. Bristol RE thrash to my grandparents in Midsomer Norton ended an enjoyable day.  

 

 

29017731144webr.jpg 31144 alongside the large water tank at Severn Tunnel Jn on 290177

 

29017747341n512webr.jpg 47341 dragging a failed 47512 on a caped Padd - Cardiff at Severn Tunnel Jn on 290177

 

29017750030bwebr.jpg 50030 on an up freight with a Swindon built DMU alongside at Severn Tunnel jn on 290177

 

2901771023stjwebr.jpg 1023 powers through Severn tunnel on the tour, 290177

 

29017737294n47512webr.jpg 37294 having replaced 47341 on the failure, 290177

 

29017737208webr.jpg Whilst enjoying 37294 for haulage we overtook 37208 near Llanwern

 

 

 

 

Sunday Jan 30th 1977

 

After a good doss and monumental breakfast i was soon back at a chilly, frosty Bristol Temple Meads. In the sidings close to the depot box was 1041 this decidedly scruffy, very popular Western having arrived off 1B86 0050 Padd - Bristol Papers in the wee, small hours.

My power was a more mundane but noisy Leyland National on a bus vice train service to Cardiff. A goldie gripped us as we piled on, desperate or what.

Meeting up with a mate we then did a DMU to first do the beach, etc before touring Barry Scrapyards. It too your breath away to see the rusting hulks of lines of steamers but obviously it was the 2 historic diesels we wanted to cop, cab and phot. D601 and D6122 duly obliged!

 

Barry Scrapyard, 300177

 

7927,42765,9682,5668,21888?,7200,4270,34028,3817,5193,30830,45491,2807,34070,2861,34046,

D6122-Cabbed, D601, 5967,2873,45699,35009,3862,73156,92085,4156,4277,34058,47279,3845,

7802,5526,44123,45293,7821,92212,9629,6695,92245,3612,76079,80072,76080,35018,35022,34101,

34027,31628,92219,3850,92214,80097,35010,5952,34010,7229,4979,5227,4253,46428,4978,44901,

45337,3406,48173,45337,45163,7812,4121,5552,44422,35025,76084,80150,34105,34059,35006,

48518,80078,73096,92207,7903,80136,92134,92240,4247,31625,3814,30825,5622,5927,5199,2885,

30828,35011,76077,35027,6989,4936,42859,4612,34072,80104,47324,34053,47406,34073,3859,

6023,6634,78059,78018,5539,5532,6984,5553,48624,5538,7820,2874,5224,4953,30499,30847,

48305,2859,5686,80080,80100

 

 

Back at Cardiff with the next loco hauled Swansea train still some hours away we joined "flying banana" 253015  for the run back to Swansea, our Explorer session over.

 

30017746008webr.jpg 46008 draws the stock of the overnight from Glasgow/Edinburgh at a frosty Temple Meads, 300177

 

300177601webr.jpg 601 at Barry Scrapyard, 300177

 

3001776122webr.jpg 6122 at Barry Scrapyard with your webmaster in the cab!

 

30017748173webr.jpg Kettle 48173 at Barry Scrapyard. Unlike 601 and 6122 she survived into preservation

 

 

Apologies for quality of the photos but Kodak Instamatics had their limitations!

 

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