Bangor - Views from the Mountain
The location of Bangor station between two steeply sided hills gave many varied locations for photographs. On the eastern side, the hill is called 'Bangor Mountain', although it patently isn't a mountain. Above the tunnel entrance was a seat which has given generations a spot to sit and watch the trains - until uncontained foliage growth since the end of steam blocked the view - and many photographs have been published showing this location. Less well known are the views from further along the hill, and the shots that could be obtained with a telephoto lens.
A busy late afternoon scene on 22nd July 1976. On the left, a class 47 arrives with the 1D59, the 13:00 Euston to Holyhead, running a few minutes late. In the centre, 25152 creeps up to the starting signal with the exceptionally late running Trip 30 from Holyhead and Valley. In the consist are an empty fuel tank from Holyhead, a nuclear flask and barrier wagons from Valley and 13 petroleum coke wagons from Anglesey Aluminium. The presence of these is a bit of a mystery as they should have returned to Immingham on the previous Monday (22nd July was a Thursday). Finally, in the bay is 24087 with the 4K53 17:55 Bangor-Crewe parcels, having spent the day working Trip 28 for the D.C.E.
At the time a very rare visitor indeed, 46001 is seen waiting to leave with the 19:30 Bangor to Manchester Victoria on 17th August 1979, halfway through its second visit of the day to North Wales. In the foreground, the small bay platform once used by Bethesda branch trains is seen in a very poor state of repair. Just next to it is a solitary tail lamp - probably taken of the train now in Platform 2. To the left, the trolley is sitting on the concrete cap covering the old subway that once linked the two platforms.
A full set! In the 70s, services along the North Wales coast were almost entirely hauled by locos from one of these four classes. From left to right, 40120 runs round the stock of the 0747 from Manchester Victoria, 25192 is on a late running Trip 46 from Amlwch to Llandudno Junction, 47536 is in Platform 1 having failed on an earlier working, and 24081 has come to retrieve 47536 amd take it away. 3rd September 1979.
On the 4th September 1979, 40106 is seen emerging from Belmont Tunnel as it shunts the stock of the 1130 to Manchester Victoria across to Platform 2. The track layout at the west end of the yard is seen, including the double headshunt which allowed access to the PW sidings. In the old Platform 4 are the wagons of the second trip of the day to Amlwch. The wagons of the first trip were also in the station, having been earlier shunted into Platform 1 - possibly so that the loco could assist another train.
As I mentioned, there were several unusual viewpoints of the station - here we see 47440 heading out of the station towards Holyhead, but only to shunt the stock into the sidings. This is the 0900 London Euston to Bangor, due Bangor at 1316, and which will form the 1436 to Euston. It had 9½ minutes to unload and shunt clear of the mainline, before the 1045 Manchester Victoria-Holyhead arrived. The "tube" wagons are present for the Butterley Brick traffic, brought by road from Caernarfon. In summer 1982, 9 passenger and 2 parcel trains terminated at Bangor on weekdays, 7 of which were loco hauled. With the introduction of the regular interval timetables by ATW, there are no longer any trains terminating at Bangor on weekdays.