|The surroundings were becoming less salubrious
as we approached the industrial end of Deeside. Most of the heavy industry,
principally coal mining and steel, has closed down and this is a depressed
Only the overgrown platforms remain of Bagillt station, just a couple of miles east, dating from January 1849, shortly after the line opened. Like the other closed stations we saw, it closed on Valentine's Day in 1966.
We took a quick look at Flint as we passed, arriving just in time to see 37 422 flash past on its way back to Holyhead but too late for a photograph.
These terraces were built for the workers at the adjacent Mold Junction motive power depot, closed in 1966.
Forty years ago the air would have been scented with the characteristic blend of oil, smoke and steam unique to the steam locomotive. The presence of a car in the street would have provoked interest, as the precursor to an entry in the births, marriages and deaths column of the local newspaper, while the rows of steam engines would go unnoticed. There was a station here too but we could see no sign of it.
||Little remains now, only the distance of the signalbox
from the lines and the redundant arches of the bridge we're standing on
give clues that this was once an extensive rail complex.
We'd have liked to have stayed to photograph the return of the Virgin train to London but this would seriously have compromised our chances of catching the 15:47 at Chester. We had to cross the city centre to reach the station, which is to the north-east. As is the case everywhere, the road signs assumed all traffic is motor traffic and directed it around the ring road - no help to cyclists who need a direct route and avoid hostile ring roads.
|But why pay good money to travel on plastic rubbish
when you can enjoy a train like this for the same fare?
The throng of passsengers at Chester showed that the coast line is still flourishing despite the decaying scenes from the past that we visited. It was standing room only on the four-coach train as far as Bangor, though there were a lot of comings and goings at intermediate stations, and there were so many people in the brake van we had trouble unloading our bikes at Bangor. 37 420 The Scottish Hosteller stands under the footbridge at Bangor waiting to depart for Holyhead.
The North Wales Coast Railway by Peter E Baughan (pub.
Martin Bairstow, ISBN 0 9510302 9 9)
for dates of openings and closings and general information.
Charlie Hulme's The North Wales Coast railway web site for news of events on the coast.
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