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European Railroad Discussion > Variety on the Marches Line

Date: 06/22/20 04:50
Variety on the Marches Line
Author: 86235

Our Lock-down in Wales is slated to come to an end on Monday 6th July, after which we'll be able to travel at will (within the UK) subject to appropriate social distancing and, on public transport, the wearing of face coverings. Thankfully the last three and a bit months have provided enough variety on the Welsh Marches Line to keep me entertained.

1: Back on April 24th Network Rail's New Measurement Train passing Pontrilas, a location which has recently benefited from Network Rail's vegetation management activities . Last year this shot wasn't on, too many trees but the entire area above the tunnel portal on both sides has been cleared. The old station building (on the left) offered bed & breakfast accommodation before Lock-down, hopefully they will be able to restart their business although social distancing may mean fewer guests. 
2: During the first week of May Transport for Wales started running a series of crew training runs with one of their soon to be discarded Mk 3 loco hauled sets. TfW withdrew their two loco hauled trains when the Covid-19 timetable came into force on March 20th, and work on the three Mk 4 sets, which are due to replace the older stock came to a halt, so I'm not sure what this was all about. It certainly provided variety for a few days, this is the Crewe to Cardiff Canton run which returned from Canton to Crewe in the afternoon.
3: May 17th and my first sight of what has become a Sunday evening staple these last few weeks, the 6V41 Penyffordd to Avonmouth loaded cement. Penyffordd is a cement works in North East Wales, its been rail connected for many years but until this year everything went out by road, the last rail movement was inbound coal and that was quite a few years ago now. The train runs three times a week, but only uses the Marches Line (in one direction only) on Sunday afternoon / evening. The empties and the other two loaded trains run via the West Midlands and Gloucester. GBRf 66722 Sir Edward Watkin is the power.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/20 07:56 by 86235.

Date: 06/22/20 05:01
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: 86235

4: On May 22nd the Network Rail test train was the loco hauled set, the HST had derailed a day or two earlier on the Asfordby test track in the East Midlands. It was quite a windy day as I recall, here it is reaching Llanvihangel summit. 67027 in the lead, 67023 on the rear.
5: The only day light freight train for most of Lock-down has been the afternoon steel from the steelworks of South Wales to Shotton on Deeside in North Wales. It has on average run about four times a week, as opposed to seven or eight times before Lock-down. 66044 is passing Abergavenny on June 12th.
6: Here's another shot of the steel taken on June 17th when it ran 99 minutes EARLY! by missing out the stop at the Llanwern steelworks where it usually picks up some of its load. 66117 is the power. The picture is taken from St Michael's churchyard in Llanvihangel, the embankment the train is crossing has recently had attention from Network rail's vegetation management gang.

Date: 06/22/20 05:06
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: 86235

7: Yesterday we were treated to an extra, 56113 hauling an empty train of cwr which had been dropped at a worksite around Abergavenny the previous evening.
8: Although dull and occasionally damp to begin with, as the day went on the weather started to improve and by late afternoon it was really quite nice. Here's the 6M39 Port Talbot to Crewe stone train, which is becoming a Sunday afternoon fixture, it's on the approach to Abergavenny
9: And for those looking for a face covering how about this class 50 front end?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/20 07:47 by 86235.

Date: 06/22/20 10:26
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: exhaustED

Nice selection of shots - I love the facemask... I guess if you've got a big nose a class 40 one would be available...?!

Date: 06/22/20 11:17
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: dwatry

Nice photos.  Love the mask!  I haven't seen any similar around here.

Date: 06/23/20 19:31
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: krm152

An excellent scenic series.  Especially apprecaite the scenes with a Class 66.
Thanks for another excellent posting of your photos on TO.

Date: 06/25/20 19:21
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: gaspeamtrak

Great stuff ! Hope fully the aweful thing will be finished and we can all start to travel again...
Thank you for sharing :):):)

Date: 06/26/20 08:25
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: railstiesballast

Fine photos indeed.
I like seeing the freight traffic that you and exhaustED post.

Date: 06/27/20 06:01
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: 55002

Excellent series along here, Nick. Much more variety than I imagined.  chris uk

Date: 06/29/20 13:46
Re: Variety on the Marches Line
Author: PasadenaSub

Great series of photos.


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