Chester Diesel Depot
Chester Diesel Depot, coded CH, was a major DMU maintenance site, supplying trains for most of the services along the North Wales coast line (as now), but also for the lines from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and the Cambrian Coast. Additionally, it was a stabling point for many of the locomotives working trip freights along the coast.
Park Royal DMU M56153 is seen outside the depot on 25th June 1976. This vehicle had hit a tree during a storm on the Conwy Valley Line on 2nd January 1976 and had subsequently been withdrawn. It was noted 9 days earlier, largely intact and on a different shed road, whereas now the windows and internal fittings seem to have been removed - probably for use as spares. The Park Royal DMUs were unique to Chester by this time (2 pairs had already been preserved on the West Somerset Railway). Their internal décor was rather different to the norm, with leatherette wallcoverings instead of the usual laminate. I believe the white buffers were a legacy of a WRC railtour from Chester to Appleby in December 1975.
On Friday 13th May 1977, 24023 is seen stabled in the freight sidings at the back of the diesel depot. Alongside is 40022, parked alongside some bridge girders which had been left here for some time, and which probably had come from where the line into Chester Northgate had crossed to North Wales Coast line.
One of the most noticeable changes of the last 30 years is the tremendous growth of tree foliage. This shot of 24082, 24087 and 25107 on Chester Depot fuelling point on 15th July 1977 was taking from a train heading to North Wales, across the expanse of derelict land in the centre of the triangle at the west end of Chester station. Nowadays, large trees fill the site, obscuring such a view.
24091 is seen moving out of the holding sidings at Chester on the 29th July 1977, passing Chester No 5 signal box, which controlled both the exit from the depot and the junction at the north end of the Chester triangle. Various types of DMU, and a class 25 are seen.
Surely some mistake! Having titled the page Chester Diesel Depot, I then have to add this definitely non-diesel loco. 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley sits on Chester shed on the 8th October 1977 having worked Silver Jubilee excursions to and from Shrewsbury for the second Saturday running.