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?