A Welsh English Electric Afternoon

Friday October 8th 1999 was to see the first ever visit of a Deltic to the North Wales Coast Line so I rescheduled my work to witness the event. It was such a dull day that action photography was out of the question, so I decided to go to the end of the line at Holyhead.

I don't like the idea of chasing trains by car but today it was the only sensible option, so I could pick up Rowan from College on Anglesey, where he finishes early on Friday, as he didn't want to miss out on the action. We called in first at Valley, in the hope that the nuclear flask train was running. When it runs, this train usually leaves soon after 15:00 on Tuesdays and Fridays. We were in luck and 20 302 and 20 305 were sitting with their short load on the turning triangle all ready to go.

The two English Electric veterans backed out onto the main line and departed at 15:15

We travelled the short distance to Holyhead where 37 426, a coast regular, was stabled with its engines shut down and detached from its rake of four Regional Railways liveried coaches. 426 had worked the short diagram of the 06:34 to Birmingham New Street and immediate return to arrive back at lunchtime. Normally it would wait here until the following day. But later we learned it had worked a Saturday morning rugby special leaving Manchester at 07:25 having swapped with 401.

The Deltic Arrives