Roving in South Wales
In the valleys
19 August 1986
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I can't remember what the particular incentive for this trip was - suffice it to say that we left Shrewsbury at a very early hour on a fine August morning, 33-hauled to Cardiff. Here, we would take advantage of a "Rover" ticket and explore two of the South Wales valleys, and pay a brief visit to the seaside at Penarth. Our first trip took us to Rhymney, the line which currently sees regular loco-hauled passenger trains. In 1986 the valleys train service was in the hands of the much more mundane class 116 suburban DMU sets. We rode straight up and back again - through Cardiff and on to Penarth. There we took a quick look at the pier (I think perhaps we took on refreshments too...) before
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
returning to Cardiff, there taking a trip to Merthyr and back. We broke the latter journey at Pontypridd, where the station was clearly an important facility in days gone by. Lastly we returned to Cardiff, taking a quick stroll to have a look at ex-GWR pannier tank no. 9629, which at that time was on display outside the local Holiday Inn (or was it, by then, the Marriott?). It's worth looking closely at the picture - the poor loco had no boiler, and the chimney, dome and safety valve cover are not quite right... Back to the station now - just time for a few snaps of one or two passing freights, then home again.
33 003 pauses at Hereford 33 003 at Hereford DMU at Rhymney DMU at Rhymney Penarth DMU departing from Pontypridd Taff Vale ironwork at Pontypridd DMU arrives at Pontypridd Merthyr Tydfil 9629 on display outside the Holiday Inn, Cardiff 37 205 trundles coal wagons through Cardiff Central 37 275 on an engineer's train, Cardiff Central 56 and flower bed, Cardiff Central A pair of 33s, Cardiff Central