Roodee

The lines from Chester to North Wales pass Chester Racecourse at Roodee on the outskirts of the city, and then cross the River Dee on a viaduct. Immediately after this, the line is itself crossed by a high road bridge in Curzon Park, which leads to Chester Golf Club. This proved an interesting vantage point to see trains leaving Chester for Wrexham or the coast.

D1023 at Roodee 29/01/77 (s0889.jpg)

A photograph that has to be captioned "Western Sunset". D1023 Western Fusilier heads west into the setting sun, as it returns the Western Memorial railtour back to London Paddington on the 29th January 1977. At this time there were 4 tracks here - two towards Wrexham and two towards the North Wales coast.

6000 at Roodee 23/04/77 (s1052.jpg)

Ex-GWR "King" No 6000 King George V heads the M&GNJRS "Cathedrals Express" railtour out of Chester on the 23rd April 1977, bound for Hereford. This train had worked in from Chester along the same route behind 6201 "Princess Elizabeth". The train is passing over the Roodee viaduct, on the Wrexham lines. Until the closure of Saltney Junction signal box, these had also been available for north wales coast traffic.

401xx at Roodee 08/10/77 (s1401.jpg)

An unidentifed Class 40 hauls 4D59, the 1125 SO Trafford Park to Holyhead freightliner on Saturday 8th October 1977 across the Dee viaduct. This bridge had an interesting history; designed by Robert Stephenson for the Chester and Holyhead Railway, it was opened in 1846 for use by the Shrewsbury and Chester railway before the Holyhead line was ready. It collapsed on 24th May 1847 whilst a train was crossing. It was repaired and strengthened by July 1847, but was rebuilt in 1871 with the structure seen here. In the early 1900s, it was widened from two tracks to four, using similar construction.

4930 5000 47436 at Roodee 22/09/79 (s2048.jpg)

As 47436 heads a train from the coast towards Chester, GWR No 4930 "Hagley Hall" and LMS Black 5 No 5000 appear at the head of the Severn Valley Railway Association's "Inter City" returning to Birmingham New Street via Hereford. Just noticeable in the foreground, some of the bridge structure has been repainted. This was in preparation for reducing the layout to two tracks only and reinstating Saltney Junction. 22nd September 1979.

4930 5000 at Roodee 22/09/79 (s2051.jpg)

As the train heads west, the four tracks glisten in the sunlight. To the left of the train is the new signal ready to control the reinstated junction at Saltney. Also visible in the distance is the diverging slow line which ran from the site of Saltney Junction to provide an arrival line for freight trains for Mold Junction. This was to be removed as part of the track rationalisation here. 22nd September 1979.