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European Railroad Discussion > April in South Wales

Date: 04/17/17 11:53
April in South Wales
Author: 86235

Been in our new place now for four weeks, and so far there are no regrets, quite the contrary. By and large it's been pretty dry, although quite cold at times, but then we do live at or around the 350m contour line (1000' plus) so I guess that is to be expected. And as I'm not working anymore I've had more latitude in picture taking, although there are plenty of things to keep me occupied at home - taming our rather large garden for one. So here's a selection of what I've seen so far in April

1: On Sunday 2nd I ventured down to Newport, which is something of a railway hot-spot for both passenger and freight. 60091 Barry Needham on the morning Margam to Llanwern, bringing steel from the steel works at Port Talbot to the rolling mill at Llanwern. The shot was taken at Dyffryn, just west of Newport

2: Crossing the River Usk at Maindee the 10:12 Birmingham to Cardiff approaches Newport station.

3: Summerhill Tunnel is just west of Newport station, this is the 4V38 Daventry to Wentloog 'Tesco Express' operated by hauliers Stobarts on behalf of UK supermarket chain Tesco. Wentloog is the intermodal terminal just east of Cardiff. DRS provide the haulage power.

Date: 04/17/17 11:59
Re: April in South Wales
Author: 86235

4: On my way home I stopped at Llanellen, just south of Abergavenny on the towpath of the Mon & Brec Canal. The 13:40 Cardiff to Manchester Piccadilly speeds north

5: The following day, April 3rd, I was down at Llanvihangel for the 1V91 05:33 Holyhead to Cardiff, 67010 is the motive power(as it has been since we arrived)

6: On April 4th, a 175 speeds south past Llanvihangel on the 15:30 Manchester to Carmarthen

Date: 04/17/17 12:23
Re: April in South Wales
Author: 86235

7: A rarity on weekdays since we moved has been a southbound empty steel from Dee Marsh to Margam in daylight. But on April 10th 6V75 ran, here passing the site of Llanvihangel station.

8: Deep mined coal as we have known it in Britain for a couple of hundred years is no more, however there are still some open cast operations such as this at Ffos y Fran near Merthyr Tydfil. Rather bizarrely this mine goes by the name of the Ffos y Fran Land Reclamation Scheme, from which some 10 million tonnes of coal will be extracted over a 15 year period. The reclamation bit is related to the fact that the land was / is toxic, and has been since the days of heavy industry around Dowlais and Merthyr. Once the coal has been extracted the land will be cleansed and returned to a state to be used for residential, commercial or leisure use. At present there are around six or seven trains a week carrying coal from the Cwmbargoed washery (pictured here) to either the cement works at Earles in the English Peak District or to Port Talbot steel works, near Swansea. Go back 100 years and this was the site of Fochriw colliery, which at one time employed almost 2000 miners. It closed in the mid 1920s as the Welsh mining industry started its slow decline. On April 11th 66197 approaches Cwmbargoed on the 4C94 coal empties from Margam Yard

9: On Easter Saturday a re-timed Southampton to Wentloog intermodal passing Gaer Junction, just west of Newport's Summerhill Tunnel. First Freightliner 66 I've seen since we moved!

Date: 04/17/17 12:31
Re: April in South Wales
Author: 86235

10: On Saturday there were two very important Rugby matches at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, consequently Arriva Trains Wales were running a few extra trains. Here the 13:00 Abergavenny to Cardiff, formed by a class 142 'Pacer' railbus, passes the 11:09 Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly at the site of the station at Caerleon upon Usk, just outside Newport

11: The railbus was followed by the Saturday 6V75 Dee Marsh to Margam, 60020 was in charge of a pretty puny train

12: Easter Sunday; rather unsportingly DBS ran the 6M30 Margam to Dee Marsh loaded steel train between 95 and 113 minutes EARLY between Llanwern and Hereford, where it recessed for almost two hours. I had planned a shot near Abergavenny, in the event I missed it by a few minutes having scrambled to get line-side. So I decided to follow,on the assumption it would wait for time at Hereford. It did and I was rewarded by a shot approaching Dinmore Tunnels between Hereford and Leominster (strictly not South Wales). But firstly a Holyhead to Cardiff class 175 emerging from Dinmore Tunnel

Date: 04/17/17 12:37
Re: April in South Wales
Author: 86235

13: Here's the steel train, it was a few minutes early having sat in Hereford for 115 minutes leaving five minutes early

14: On my way home I stopped off at Pontrilas, between Hereford and Abergavenny for the the 13:30 Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff which turned out to be a pair of class 158s.

15: And so to today and another crack at Ffos y Fran. This is the arrival of the empty coal train from Hope Cement works at Earles Sidings. This doesn't look like it was once a hive of industrial activity, but 100 years ago it certainly was.

Link to more pictures: https://nick86235.smugmug.com/Trains/2017/Spring-arrives-March-April-May-2017/i-ZSPTFWf

Date: 04/17/17 20:05
Re: April in South Wales
Author: gaspeamtrak

Excellent pictures !!! Thank you for sharing....:):):)

Date: 04/17/17 20:24
Re: April in South Wales
Author: TCnR

Great photos, great colors. All the best in your new location.
Thanks for posting.

Date: 04/18/17 12:44
Re: April in South Wales
Author: 86235

Thanks, glad you like 'em

Date: 04/20/17 02:09
Re: April in South Wales
Author: 55002

Looks like you're settling in very well, Nik. Good to see these shots from an area not really close to me. I enjoyed some sessions years ago when 37s were working the Cwm Bargoed trains, and it's nice to know these coal trains are still running. Looking forward to more photos. Chris uk.

Date: 05/03/17 16:46
Re: April in South Wales
Author: Peak45068

142006, what a beast!

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