English Electric Traction Chester to Holyhead. Volume 1. 1959 to 1983
ISBN: 978-0-9552354-5-0

English Traction Front English Traction Back

This is the first of two volumes celebrating over fifty years continuous service for English Electric built Diesel locomotives on the route between Chester and Holyhead. This publication covers the period between the first sighting of “EE” traction on the route in 1959, through to 1983. I have made the decision to include only those mainline locomotive classes produced by English Electric. This means classes 20, 37, 40 and 50, although class 55’s will also feature in volume two. The print run will be limited to only 750 copies for each volume.
It was as early as 8th August 1959 when brand new class 40 D222 (40022) worked from Crewe to Llandudno and back, probably the first Diesel hauled service in North Wales. D233 (40033) was allocated to Holyhead for driver training in October of the same year which subsequently led to the Dieselisation of “Irish Mail” and “Emerald Isle Express” duties to and from London Euston on April 25th 1960. This heralded the start of continuous use of “EE” built locomotives in North Wales, something that remains over 50 years later!

The book is broken down into a number of parts, each representing a section of the line between Chester and Holyhead including the routes between Llandudno and Trawsfynydd, Menai Bridge and Caernarfon and Gaerwen and Amlwch. A number of exceptionally rare workings are covered such as the first class 20 to visit the route in 1961, the experimental gas turbine locomotive GT3 during the same year plus early class 37 duties and some class 40/50 combinations! Finally, there are of course numerous images included of class 40’s, the most popular “EE” motive power to work the route during the period in question. Hardback and A4 in size, this volume contains over 200 images, the majority in colour and a number dating back to the 1960’s which have never been published before. It will act as an invaluable reference document to any railway enthusiast and a reminder of a time when British Built Diesel locomotives reigned supreme in North Wales.

As mentioned above, the book is split into several sections, some sample pages can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

  • Introduction and Part 1, Chester to Rhyl
  • Part 2, Rhyl to Llandudno Junction
  • Part 3, Llandudno to Trawsfynydd
  • Part 3, Llandudno Junction to Bangor
  • Part 5, Caernarfon branch
  • Part 6, Bangor to Holyhead
  • Part 7, Amlwch branch
  • Part 8, Holyhead

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