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I’ve been busy these past few days scanning more old slides. It feels like a never-ending job as – despite how many I get done – the pile never seems to decline much! There’s still thousands to do, but here’s a look at the latest batch.

Back in May 2000 I left London for a few days to spend time on the North Wales Coast and Anglesey exploring the region taking travel pictures as that was my main focus in those days, the railway stuff was just incidental. Now, looking back I realise just how much has changed since 2000. The irony? The railways were on the cusp of a major change then, as some of the first new trains following privatisation were being introduced in the area. 27 Class 175 DMU’s were being built by Alstom for First North-Western whilst Class 170s were being supplied by Bombardier to Central Trains. Meanwhile, the ‘old guard’ in the form of Class 37s and Metro-Cammell Class 101 DMUs soldiered on operating services along the coast. Now, in 2019 even the trains introduced in 2000 are going to be replaced! The new Transport for Wales franchise will be saying goodbye to the Class 175s in the next couple of years, just over 20 years since they were introduced! Gone are the days when steam locomotives were still in service 100 years after introduction, although in another irony, the Class 37/4s have been reintroduced into Wales as a stopgap, this time into the Welsh valleys once more.

Here’s a small selection of the photographs I took on the trip.

DRS class 20s at Chester whilst working 7C40, the Valley-Kingmoor nuclear flasks.
A First North-Western Class 158 working a service to Holyhead passes Conwy Castle. This is one of the classic photographic locations on the North Wales Coast.
37415 approaches Conwy castle whilst working 1D60, the 08.17 Crewe – Holyhead.
37429 passes Conwy castle with 1D62, the 08.08 Birmingham New St – Holyhead.
A seagull uses a Class 101 DMU as a perch at Llandudno Junction. Unit 101678 was made up of vehicles 51210 and 53746. These Metro-Cammell units stayed in service until 2003.
New Class 175 number 175003 is seen sitting on the Down Main next to Abergele and Pensarn signalbox whilst on test runs along the coast.
37429 powers away from Abergele and Pensarn whilst working 1K67, the 12.51 Holyhead – Crewe.
Also seen at Abergele and Pensarn is this classic shot from a nearby footbridge showing the unusual semaphore arrangement on the Down line as 150133 passes on the 12.16 Manchester Piccadilly – Llandudno. These signals lasted until Easter 2018 when they were replaced as part of the £50m resignalling scheme that saw the traditional signalboxes between Colwyn Bay and Shotton abolished.

37415 runs round its train at Holyhead before heading back into England as 1D99, the 18.22 to Birmingham.
37415 rolls past Holyhead signalbox whilst working 1D99.
The North Wales featured a fine array of signalboxes. This is the one at Mold Junction which lasted until 2005.
Class 101s stabled at Chester station. From left to right is 53746, 51210 and 53256.
Virgin trains Class 47 number 47818 stands at Chester whilst working the 17.30 Euston to Holyhead.
Brand new Bombardier built Class 170 number 170635 is seen at Chester whilst on test.
Waterman Railways Class 47 number 47705 named ‘Guy Fawkes’ stabled at Chester. In 2003 the locomotive was rebuilt as part of the Virgin Trains ‘Thunderbird’ programme and become 57303.