Bont-Y-Bermo

Arriva Trains Wales class 158 bound for Pwllheli crossing Barmouth BridgeOnce under threat of closure because it was being eaten by worms, Barmouth Bridge is still here 35 years later.

Here’s a Birmingham to Pwllheli train crossing the bridge back in March. Travelling up and down the Cambrian lines in the days following HRH Prog bought back a flood of memories. First from family holidays the mid-70s when the trains were in the hands of a motley assortment of class 101, 103 and 108 DMUs, with the Chester-based 103 Park Royal sets signature trains of the line. There was still a daily freight working up the coast in those days too; a diminutive Sulzer engined class 24 with an assortment of 16-ton coal wagons, vanfits, and the distinctive gunpowder vans carrying explosives from the Nobel factory at Penrhyndeudraeth.

Then there was another visit in 1990, when there were still locomotive-hauled trains on Summer Saturdays, and I travelled from Porthmadog to Shrewsbury on one of the last loco-hauled trains of the season. The sound of the class 37 struggling up Tareddig bank on a dirty night with nine coaches in tow and reduced to walking pace by the summit won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Even that was a quarter of a century ago now. Where has the time gone?

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2 Responses to Bont-Y-Bermo

  1. “Once under threat of closure because it was being eaten by worms…”

    I would love to read more about that if there’s a reference!