Passengers through Coalbrookdale
The Shropshire Union
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© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2015
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
10 January 2015
An early start to the year’s amusement: “There’s a railtour down Coalbrookdale next Saturday - I might go and see it”, my friend announced on the phone. Plenty of others had the same idea (though curiously my friend was conspicuous by his absence*). But for that phone call, I probably would have let this one slip past. It’s only a mile or so down the road, and the weather looked promising (even if the sun struggled to make up its mind), so I thought I’d better go and have a look.  “The Shropshire Union” would be coming up from Euston behind a class 67 diesel, picking up a class 60 “tail” at Bescot, before heading for Madeley Junction and the branch to Ironbridge power station (now in its last year of operation). It would have to go back up the dale the way it had come - two shots for the price of one. And there’s a bonus - a late-running fuel train had delayed the special, but provided an extra subject for the camera. Later in the day, after following a circuitous route via Crewe, it
66713 "Forest City" on fuel train 67026 "Diamond Jubilee" descends... ...tailed by 60079 60079 at Coalbrookdale Return of 60079... ...tailed by 67026
would be visiting the reinstated Donnington branch - the last remnant of the line from Wellington to Stafford (hence the “Shropshire Union”). In the meantime, after lunch, we’d be taking a walk on Haughmond hill, near Shrewsbury. The special was due through Shrewsbury around 3pm - might we see it from the hill? We did! (good timing or what?) *He assures me he was there...
We did! The special heads east from Shrewsbury