PROGRESS IN THE MARCHES

Having analysed steam locomotive performance on the Welsh Marches line last month, Keith Farr puts diesel locomotives and DMUs in the spotlight on this testing North & West route.

PROGRESS IN THE MARCHES
Hauling the Welsh Assembly Government-sponsored Cardiff Central to Holyhead express on June 30, 2015 is Class 67 No. 67002. It is passing Llanellen, Abergavenny. JAMIE SQUIBBS
When I first rode the ‘North & West’, along the Welsh Marches, changes were already imminent that August in 1962.

True, my Cardiff to Manchester train was worked by 4-6-0 No. 5091 Cleeve Abbey, in tip-top condition, and scenery and weather were sublime.

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All the clichés were in place: “copper and brass a-glitter”, “stentorian exhaust”, “white feather from the safety valves…”. But the diesel invasion had begun.

‘Warship’ class diesel-hydraulics were already hauling trains between Plymouth and the North West, and cross-country DMUs worked semi-fasts from Cardiff to Birmingham via Hereford and between Hereford and Shrewsbury.

Read more in June’s edition of The RM

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