Barmouth was the major intermediate station on the Cambrian Coast line. The photos on this page were all taken on the 5th June 1977, when a special train, the Cambrian Coast Express, was run from Crewe and Chester to Barmouth, hauled by 24133 and 24082, in aid of the NSPCC. Not that remarkable in itself, especially as Crewe had turned out two passenger locos, it was the other workings that day that provided the interest.
24133 (with 24082 behind) stands in the up platform at Barmouth after the special had arrived. Barmouth had recently been resignalled following the closure of Barmouth North signal box, and the up loop was now signalled in both directions. The connection to the goods yard (still in use), and the up siding, is seen to the left.
In the up siding was a rake of 11 Mk I coaches, with 25131 at the north end, seen here squeezed up to the buffer stops. This was 1J65, the 08:45 from Birmingham New Street, making its first run of the year. 25101 and 25253 worked this train to Shrewsbury. 25131 and 25143 then worked on to Machynlleth, where 25143 had been detached with an oil leak, leaving 25131 to work up the coast alone.
As 24133 and 24082 ran on to the single line at the north end of Barmouth loop as they ran round their train, they were greeted with the remarkable sight of 25101 and 25253 stabled on the Harlech line. These locos (after working the Birmingham train to Shrewsbury) had worked in on a 12 coach excursion from York, and had been shunted out of the way to allow the 24s use of the loop. When the 24s had run round, this train worked wrong line into the down platform.
But even more remarkably, behind the York excursion were 25120 and 25254 on a 10 coach excursion from Stroud. Only because the line beyond Barmouth was not open on a Sunday was it possible to handle all this traffic at Barmouth.
The first two trains stand ready to leave Barmouth, the train to York (25101 and 25253) on the left and the train to Crewe (24082 and 24133) on the right. On that Sunday, Barmouth handled 4 trains with 7 engines and 45 coaches with just a loop and a siding. Some rearrangement meant that 25120 and 25253 returned on the service train to Birmingham as far as Shrewsbury (where 25101 and 25253 were waiting again), leaving 25131 to work the last train to Stroud - apparently on its own!
A close-up of the headboard and flags on 24082.
Many thanks to Alan Baylis for his help in correcting the information about the other workings. Alan travelled on the trains from and to Birmingham, and now has some pages on his website about his day out in Barmouth at www.class25.info
For yet another alternative view of the day at Barmouth with pictures and text, visit David Hills' website and his page on 24081, 24082 and 24083 at www.derbysulzers.com, and scroll down the page