6th June 1999

Cardiff Railway Company
Barry Transport Festival Specials

Locos Used 37796, 37802, 50031 & D444
Stock Used 5275+5365+5378+17086+5373+5307+17077

Route (morning excursion) :
1Z01 :
Rhymney to Barry Town
1Z02 : Barry Town to Cwm Bargoed
1Z03 : Cwm Bargoed - Barry Town

Locos Route
37796 + 37802 (1) Rhymney - Caerphilly - Heath Jn - Cardiff Queen St - Cardiff Central - Barry Town
50031 + D444 (2) Barry Town - Cardiff Central - Cardiff Queen St - Caerphilly - Ystrad Mynach South - Cwmbargoed
37796 + 37802 (1) Cwmbargoed - Ystrad Mynach South - Caerphilly - Cardiff Queen St - Cardiff Central - Radyr Branch Jn - Penarth Curve North Jn - Ninian Park
50031 + D444 (2) Ninian Park - Penarth Curve North Jn - Penarth Curve South Jn - Barry Town

Route (afternoon excursion) :
1Z04 : Barry Town to Cwm Bargoed
1Z05 : Cwm Bargoed - Barry Town
1Z06 : Barry Town to Rhymney

Locos Route
37796 + 37802 (1) Barry Town - Cardiff Central - Cardiff Queen St - Caerphilly - Ystrad Mynach South - Cwmbargoed
50031 + D444 (2) Cwmbargoed - Ystrad Mynach South - Caerphilly - Cardiff Queen St - Cardiff Central - Barry Town
37796 + 37802 (1) Barry Town - Cardiff Central - Cardiff Queen St - Caerphilly - Rhymney

Notes :
(1) 50031 + D444 on rear.
(2) 37796 + 37802 on rear.

Source : Gary Thornton.
(travelled on morning excursion throughout)

Tour Review
(by Gary Thornton)

As a shareholder in the "The Fifty Fund" I was very pleased when, some 18 months ago, one of our three locomotives (50031 "Hood") gained certification for operating on the mainline. Now, all this time later and it is the turn of another of the fleet, D444, to begin its second mainline career. Unlike many "first passenger runs", 44's was a quiet affair on Friday 4th June when it double-headed with 50031 on a Cardiff to Rhymney commuter train. Two days later however and D444 shared the honours in hauling a special train operated by The Cardiff Railway Company. The train, originating at Rhymney, ran to Barry (where there was the annual bus-fest, sorry - Barry Island Festival of Transport) then up the steeply graded freight line to Cwm Bargoed. On returning to Barry another run to Cwm Bargoed was scheduled before returning to Rhymney (via Barry again). The train was rostered for 50031 & D444 at one end and a Class 37 at the other...

To make Rymney for the 09.20 departure entailed me getting up at 05.15 for the drive to a friends where I dumped my car and became a passenger in his (good job too as I was quite tired!). We made Rhymney in plenty of time and were pleased to find the Welsh valleys bathed in brilliant early morning sunshine. Just as we arrived so did the 37....no, wait, pair of 37's. 37796 and 37802 appeared and coupled onto the south end of the seven coach rake. By the time a "nodding donkey" (class 143) had cleared the section and our train was shunted across to the platform (dense clouds of white exhaust smoke from the 50's, though mostly it looked to be from 31) we managed to leave about 10 minutes down with the tractors leading. The run to Cardiff was quite swift and though we had a booked eight minute stop here we still left eight late. Passing Canton depot several 37's (including 710 and 242) and four 66's (009, 071 & 078 plus one other) were noted.

Barry was reached at 10.35 and just a few minutes to view 66062/091 & 105 before we departed back towards Cardiff, now with the hoovers in charge. Another smoke screen was put up as we headed away from Barry, more in keeping with a Deltic departure than one from a Class 50! No change at Canton depot and with more passengers collected at Cardiff Central we headed off towards Cwm Bargoed. Our route as far as Ystrad Mynach South Junction was the reverse of our first run from Rhymney but from the junction we curved off onto the freight line. I last did this 10 mile branch in 1995 with a pair of Class 33's at the head - and it was simply superb with the 33's having to work very hard on the rising grade all the way to Cwm Bargoed itself. This ascent was just as memorable with both 50's working together noisily to get us up the hill. The vegetation however seemed to have taken over a bit and there was much scraping of branches against the coaches at various times. We stopped at Cwm Bargoed crossing then once the gates were opened we passed it to reach the same point as my previous visit in 1995. On that occasion a rake of wagons prevented us going further. This time an un-clipped facing point was preventing us progressing right to the buffers but, once clipped, we rolled on until D444 was just about touching the buffers.

Departure was a minute before time and the run back to Ystrad Mynach was made with the 37's on the brakes most of the way. Our path was retraced to Cardiff Central but then we ran along the suburban line route to Ninian Park, just to the east of Canton depot. At Ninian Park we reversed and took the freight curve (Penarth Curve North to South Junction) to get to Barry. This was a booked move to put the 37's at the front of the train for visit two to Cwm Bargoed. Arrival at Barry was about on time. A look at the coach sides showed the very prominent scrape marks from the vegetation along the freight branch. I can only imagine the comments of the owner of the coaches about this!

My colleague and myself had elected to leave the train at Barry and get back to Rhymney by service train (use of Valley Line services on our 11 special train ticket was also permitted). We got back by way of 150278 to Barry Island for a brief look at the "Vale of Glamorgan" steam railway, 143603 to Cardiff Central for a visit to Burger King and finally 143606 to Rymney. As we approached Ystrad Mynach on the nodding donkey we were passed by D444/50031 (working hard!) + 37802/786 on their way back to Barry.

Verdict : Yet another worthwhile day out. Requiring both 37's for haulage was an additional reason to enjoy the day.

Route, Distances and Timing's (Booked and Actual)

1Z01 : 37802 + 37796 leading

M C Location Booked Actual
0 00 Rhymney 09.20d 09.32
5 61 Bargoed 09.30a 09.43
- -- - 09.32d 09.43
10 04 Ystrad Mynach 09.39a 09.51
-- -- - 09.40d 09.52
15 43 Caerphilly 09.49a 10.00
-- -- - 09.50d 10.02
20 32 Heath Junction 09/58 10/07
22 51 Cardiff Queen Street 10/02 10/10
23 27 Cardiff Central 10.05a 10.13
-- -- - 10.08d 10.16
25 72 Cogan Junction 10/14 10/23
31 55 Barry Town 10r28 10.35

1Z02 : D444 & 50031 leading

M C Location Booked Actual
0 00 Barry Town 10r46d 10.48
5 63 Cogan Junction 10/57 10/59
8 28 Cardiff Central 11.03a 11.06
- -- - 11.15d 11.15
9 04 Cardiff Queen Street 11/20 11/18
11 23 Heath Junction 11/24 11/21
16 12 Caerphilly 11.32a 11.28
-- -- - 11.34d 11.35
16 60 Aber 11/36 11/37
21 32 Ystrad Mynach South Jn 11t44a 11.45
-- -- - 11t45d 11.45
31 26 Cwm Bargoed 12r19a 12.18

1Z03 : 37802 + 37796 leading to Ninian Park,
D444 & 50031 from Ninian Park

M C Location Booked Actual
0 00 Cwm Bargoed 12r27d 12.26
9 74 Ystrad Mynach South Jn 13t01a 13.07
-- -- - 13t02d 13.07
14 46 Aber 13/09 13/14
15 14 Caerphilly 13.10a 13.15
-- -- - 13.12d 13.17
20 03 Heath Junction 13/19 13/23
22 22 Cardiff Queen Street 13.24a 13.26
-- -- - 13.25d 13.28
22 78 Cardiff Central 13.32a 13.32
-- -- - 13.35d 13.35
23 39 Radyr Branch Junction 13/37 13/38
23 61 Penarth Curve North Junction 13/38 13/39
23 77 Ninian Park 13r39a 13.40
-- -- - 13r47d 13.45
24 13 Penarth Curve North Junction 13/48 13/46
24 38 Penarth Curve South Junction 13/54 13/47
26 20 Cogan Junction 13/57 13/51
32 03 Barry Town 14r07a 14.06

1Z04 : 37802 & 37796 leading

M C Location Booked
0 00 Barry Town 14r14d
5 63 Cogan Junction 14/24
8 28 Cardiff Central 14.32a
- -- - 14.38d
9 04 Cardiff Queen Street 14c39a
- -- - 14c40d
11 23 Heath Junction 14/44
16 12 Caerphilly 14.51a
-- -- - 14.53d
16 60 Aber 14/55
21 32 Ystrad Mynach South Jn 15t04a
-- -- - 15t06d
31 26 Cwm Bargoed 15r40a

1Z05 : D444 & 50031 leading

M C Location Booked
0 00 Cwm Bargoed 15r51d
9 74 Ystrad Mynach South Jn 16t25a
-- -- - 16t26d
14 46 Aber 16/33
15 14 Caerphilly 16.34a
-- -- - 16.38d
20 03 Heath Junction 16/42
22 22 Cardiff Queen Street 16/45
22 78 Cardiff Central 16.49a
-- -- - 16.52d
25 43 Cogan Junction 16/58
31 26 Barry Town 17r09a

1Z06 : 37802 & 37796 leading

M C Location Booked
0 00 Barry Town 17r17d
5 63 Cogan Junction 17/28
8 28 Cardiff Central 17.34a
- -- - 17.37d
9 04 Cardiff Queen Street 17/40
11 23 Heath Junction 17/44
16 12 Caerphilly 17.52a
-- -- - 17.53d
21 51 Ystrad Mynach 18.03a
-- -- - 18.04d
25 74 Bargoed (via up goods loop) 18t13a
-- -- - 18t14d
31 55 Rhymney 18.25a

Key;
a : arrival time
c : crew change
d : departure time
r : reversal of direction
t : stop to collect/return token
/ : passing time

All distances, in miles and chains (M & C), are taken from the timing sheet given out on the train. No attempt has been made to verify the mileages given.

Gary Thornton.

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