NORTH WALES COAST RAILWAY THE TRAINS

Rheilffordd arfordir Gogledd Cymru Trenau

To the North Wales Coast Railway home page

Updated December 2018


Train types:

Class 150

Class 153

Class 158

Class 175

Class 221 'Super Voyager'

Class 67 locomotive & coaches


Introduction

The aim of these pages is to inform railfans and passengers about the types of train to be found running in North Wales.  Two operators work passenger trains along the North Wales Coast route: trains to and from London Euston (occasionally Birmingham) are currently the responsibility of Virgin Trains, whilst all other scheduled passenger trains are worked by Transport for Wales  (TfW), a franchise currently held by KeolisAmey since October 2018.

The Chester - Shrewsbury (via Wrexham) line sees Transport for Wales units on the basic service.

TfW also operate the branch lines to Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, and the 'Borderlands' line from Wrexham to Bidston which crosses over the Coast line at Shotton.  Class 150 units normally work those services. The old Cambrian Railways routes west of Shrewsbury are exclusively Class 158-worked except for the occasional charter or special.

The Alstom-built Class 175 units work on the North Wales Coast line including the Llandudno branch, to and from Crewe, Manchester and South Wales; they also work the 'Marches' route from Manchester via Crewe to South Wales, but are not normally used on trains taking the Shrewsbury - Telford - Wolverhampton route.

Once a day, Mondays - Fridays (except Bank Holidays), an Arriva Trains Wales express, known as 'Y Gerallt Gymru', 'Gerald' or the' Premier Express' runs from Holyhead to Cardiff and return, hauled by a Class 67 locomotive and including a restaurant car. There are also some loco-hauled trains on the Manchester - North Wales route.

Charter trains and excursions run to North Wales, particularly in the summer; sometimes there is more than one on the same day. Steam locomotives appear several times a year, whilst diesels of Classes 47, 57 and 67 are the most common on other trains, often one each end of the train -  'top-n-tail' working - to save shunting and have a reserve in case one locomotive fails. The Class 47s are usually provided by West Coast Railway Company.

Rail freight traffic is rather sparse on the lines covered by our site; we have not included details of freight locos here, as there are many sites with this information.  Direct Rail Services (DRS) haul the fuel flasks to and from Valley for Wylfa power station, which has now ceased genereating but in 2018 is still in the de-fuelling phase but in ; these very short trains can also produce a variety of power, from Class 20s through 37s to 68s, always in pairs as insurance against failure.

Penmaenmawr Quarry, which once supplied ballast stone to the railway, is currently 'mothballed'.

On the Wexham route, trains run through Wrexham to and from the steel coating plant at Shotton, usually with Class 66 traction, and from Carlisle (and sometimes other locations) with logs for the Kronospan plant at Chirk which produces chipboard.


Compiled by Charlie Hulme.