Coal Traffic

One of the staple traffics handled in Bangor Goods Yard was domestic coal.

Goods Yard 22/04/76 (s0492.jpg)

The coal sidings curved round more than 90 from the mainline to end in buffer stops alongside and above Euston Road, almost mile from the yard entrance points. Here the coal sidings are seen on 22nd April 1976, with 10 16-ton coal wagons present. Behind then is the derelict Permanent Way department building, and behind that the Railway Institute. Both have now been demolished, the Railway Institute as recently as 2016.

24081 at Bangor 30/08/77 (s1295.jpg)

On 30th August 1977, 24081 is seen propelling loaded coal wagons into the coal yard sidings, with the Bangor shunter standing on the driver's door steps. This is 8T46, the second Amlwch trip working of the day, allowed 1 hour and 20 minutes for shunting at Bangor. The two wagons visible are actually destined for Gaerwen Yard, so will re-emerge and be reattached to the rest of the train which was in one of the sidings alonside the old Platform 4. However, the fact that the front wagon is unfitted means that the whole train would have to run as class 9 to Gaerwen at least.

24063 at Bangor 02/09/77 (s1309.jpg)

24063 leaves Bangor heading 7T30, the (late) returning trip working from Valley and Holyhead on 2nd September 1977. As with the previous train, the presence of the two leading MCO 16-ton coal wagons means that the train will be running as Class 9 at this point.

40106 at Bangor 08/07/80 (s2224.jpg)

Despite its apparent unsuitability for such a task on the grounds of weight and length, 40106 has just been shunting the sharply curved coal yard sidings. Again we have unbraked MCOs, so although the Octel chemical tanks forming the reminder of this train were, by this time, air-braked, they will be working unbraked to Gaerwen. These coal empties will be conveyed to Gaerwen and left in the sidings there to be collected later by the Valley trip. Note also that the headshunt at Bangor was often not used for shunting between the yard and main sidings, the loco shunting out into the tunnel instead.

40171 at Bangor 09/09/81 (s2535.jpg)

In this final shot, taken on 9th September 1981, we see 40171 making up its train. The first two wagons are both vacuum-braked - a 16-ton MCV and a 21-ton MDV. Coal traffic ended at Bangor and Gaerwen in March 1984, the same year that the fleet of unfitted 16-ton coal wagons, once numbering almost million, stopped being used for commercial traffic.