The Welsh Central liner tour, March 84

The Welsh Central Liner, Sat. March 3rd 1984

Gloucester on a grey drizzly March morning after a particularly rancid Crewe overnight saw me and the “Buzzard” aka “Smudger Smith” not in the best of moods. The fine spectacle of 40035 “Apapa” rounding the curve with 10 Mk i’s lifted spirits. The train was now full and a good atmosphere was instantly picked up on. The train was “nb” we were told though there was still residual heat from 50001 which had worked the tour in from Plymouth.

At Severn Tunnel Jn there was a special stop as 45064 was attached as a steaming pilot. Also at Severn Tunnel was 40009. With the weather improving as we headed deeper into South Wales the heat and atmosphere picked up even more. At Port Talbot 45064 was detached leaving “Apapa” for the main event as shown in the tour itinerary below..

40009 at Severn Tunnel Jn. the sole vi 40 had been requested and positioned for the tour but BR management refused her due no heat. 40035’s boiler was demic anyway!                    

 Tour Itinerary

About 30 down “Apapa” curved left off the main line at Court Sart Jn, rare power for the Swansea District Line. The rare Hendy curve, a crew change at Pontarddulais then the long slog up the scenic Central Wales Jn line followed. Few loco hauled tours had done the line of late as the ban on loco hauled trains had recently been lifted.


The tour at Llanwrtyd Wells

 40035 at Craven Arms before returning to Newport via the Marches

A photo stop at Llanwrtyd Wells saw us cross the Swansea bound Met Cam DMU. At  Craven Arms more phots in now sunny weather followed during the run round. 40035 then stormed South through the Marches it was wonderfull stuff. There was still snow on the Black Mountains West of Abergaveny, whilst more rare track in the Maindee Loop before rejoining the South Wales main line.

What helped keep the tour upbeat into the late afternoon was what nb Syphons we would get for the Sudbrook branch.

 37266 at Severn Tunnel prior to touur action, 40035 in distance

37300 was well received, less so boilered 37266 for the short run literally over the top of the Severn Tunnel. With dusk descending a now cold train benefitted from 40035 and steaming 37266 for the run back to Gloucester. A great tour for us was over….  

Pre/Post tour moves

020384 Fr

87022  0630 Euston-Liverpool                                   L.Buzzard-New St (via Nor)

1F00 was booked loco hauled, an 87 off Leighton was always welcome

50002  0820 Liverpool-Padd (50L)                            New St – Bir Int’l

47575  0805 Portsmouth-Manchester                         Bir Int’l – New St

50031  1133 Manchester-Plymouth                            New St – T.Meads

33009  1610 Bristol-Portsmouth                                 T.Meads – Bath                      

33030  1510 Portsmouth-Cardiff                               Bath – Oldfield Park

First ever leap at Oldfield Pk as needed to get back for 33007, TTI welcome on DMU!

DMU   1700 W.S.Mare-Westbury                              Oldfield Park – Bath

33007  1610 Portsmouth-Cardiff                               Bath – T.Meads

33021  1915 Bristol-Portsmouth                                 T.Meads – Bath

253030 1915 Padd-W.S.Mare                                                Bath – T.Meads

45106  2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin                                   T.Meads – New St

37306}            banking                                                           Bromsgrove – Barnt Green     


the Lickey bankers that night were loud, very loud!

86241  2124 Bristol-Glas/Edin                                   New St – Crewe

3/3/84 Sa

86248  2314 Edin/Glas-Bristol                                   Crewe – New St (via BS)

not the best of night for “roarers”

43035}            0516 Leeds-Bristol                                         New St – Cheltenham


45116  0845 Cheltenham-Cardiff                               Cheltenham – Gloucester

then the tour….

45116  1747 Cardiff-Derby                                        Gloucester – New St

Stormed up the Lickey!

86206  1620 Holyhead-Euston                                   New St – Coventry

092      2021 Birmingham-Euston                               Coventry – L.Buzzard

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