Almost the whole 12 cars can be seen as it heads through Trehafod.
The buildings in the distance are the recently closed Lewis Merthyr Collier which has now become" The Rhondda Heritage park".
The next station was Porth where the freight only branch to Meardy began. It was a case of getting through Porth as quicly as possible as the roads were fairly poor, then it was foot down all the way to Wattstown where we we caught up with the rear of
Seen passing Wattstown is the rear of 1032. Sadly this shot can never be reproduced again as the factories behind are closed and on the trackbed there is now a road. Thats progress for you !
Incidentally the streets behind is where the Sky1 sitcom Stella is filmed.
We then had clear roads and overtook it on the climb to Ferndale, so we stopped on a decent vantage point to see it pass
The entire 12 car set can be seen in this shot as the Hastings Unit catches up with a local motorcyclist.
It was then foot down for the last couple of miles to Meardy. We got there just as it was heading into the final curve before the end of the line.
The cab stopped just within the boundaries of the old station, but it couldn't go any further as it would then have been on NCB Metals
There was only enough time to get a few quick photos as it was decided to head back down the valley, this time at a more leisurely pace to Porth where the branch rejoined the main.
There was a small signal box there which controlled both branches as they were singled from Porth and as luck had it, the signalman was a chap who lived locally to us, so we were able to wait in the box where it was nice and warm
The last I saw of the unit as it pulls away from Porth on its way back to Pontypridd.
From Pontypridd it reversed again and headed up through Abercynon and Aberdare to Tower Colliery at Hirwain where it headed back to Cardiff, diverting over the fright only line from Radyr which has since been bought back into passenger service. After Cardiff it retraced its path back to Watford.
For many this was just another one of the final tours for the Hastings units but for me it was an introduction to the world of Thumpers.
|Watford Junction||07.20d||07/30½ [DFL]|
|Watford North Jn||DIV||07.32½ ~ 07.32½ [UFL]|
|Wembley Central||07.30a ~ 07.31d [LL GL]||07.43½ ~ 07.44½||21.23a ~ 21.24d||21.56½ ~ 22.06½|
|Willesden WL Jn||07/34||07/51||21/17 [LL GL]||21/46|
|Mitre Bridge Jn||07/36||07/52||21/13||21.40½ ~ 21.41|
|North Pole Jn||07/38||07/53||21/08||21/36|
|Clapham Junction||07.51a ~ 07.52d||08.02 ~ 08.03½||20.55a ~ 20.56d||21.22 ~ 21.25½|
|Staines||08.18a ~ 08.23d||08.23 ~ 08.24||20.26a ~ 20.27d||20.59 ~ 20.59½|
|Ascot||08/35||08/39 [UL] [P1]||20/06||20/48½|
|Reading Spur Jn||08/54||08/57||19/47||20/27½|
|Reading||08.56a ~ 08.58d||08.58 ~ 09.01 [P4]||19.43a ~ 19.45d||20.19½ ~ 20.24½|
|Didcot Parkway||09.18a ~ 09.20d||09.20 ~ 09.22||19.20a ~ 19.22d||19/53 ~ 19.56|
|Swindon||09.47a ~ 09.51d||09.48 ~ 09.52||18.45a ~ 18.53d||18.45½ ~ 19.27|
|Bristol Parkway||10.27a ~ 10.29d||10.27 ~ 10.29||18.01a ~ 18.03d||18.04½ ~ 18.07|
|Severn Tunnel West||10/40||10/40||17/49||?|
|Severn Tunnel Junction||10/41||10/41||17/48||17/45½|
|Cardiff Central||11.06a ~ 11.10d||11.04 ~ 11.09 [P4]||17.00a ~ 17.02d||17.08 ~ 17.12|
|Penarth Curve Jn||11/14||11/13|
|Llantrisant||11c30 ~ 11c32||11.28 ~ 11.31|
|Cwm||11.48a ~ 11.58d||11.47 ~ 11.59|
|Llantrisant||12c14 ~ 12c16||12.15 ~ 12.20|
|Cardiff West||12*32 ~ 12*36||12.34½ ~ 12.37 [UML]|
|Cardiff Central||12c38 ~ 12c40||12.39½ ~ 12.40 [P6]|
|Radyr||12c52 ~ 12c54||12.52 ~ 12.58|
|Porth||13t17 ~ 13t18||13.18 ~ 13.19|
|Maerdy||13.44a ~ 13.54d||13.44 ~ 13.58|
|Porth||14t20 ~ 14t21||14.18 ~ 14.25|
|Pontypridd||14.28 ~ 14.33||14.33 ~ 14.40|
|Abercynon||14t41 ~ 14t42||14/48½|
|Abercwmboi||14t57 ~ 14t58||15.05½ ~ 15.06|
|Aberdare||15p09a ~ 15p19d||15.15 ~ 15.22½|
|Robertstown Crossing||15.21 ~ 15.25||15.26 ~ 15.28|
|Hirwaun||15.33a ~ 15.45d||15.36 ~ 15.48|
|Robertstown Crossing||15.53 ~ 15.57||15.56 ~ 16.00|
|Aberdare||15t59 ~ 16t01||16.02 ~ 16.04|
|Abercynon||16t21 ~ 16t22||16.26 ~ 16.31½|
|Radyr||16/42||16.54 ~ 16.56|
|Penarth Curve North||16/52||17.05|
This was my first encounter with DEMU's or anything Thumper related.
Coming from South Wales I grew up watching Class 116 DMU's and 37's on coal trains, which we thought were quite drab compared to what else was out there.
My memories of anything interesting is just down to the Westerns in the final days and I can vaguely remember seeing Falcon on a dirty coal train coming through Cardiff.
So when we heard about the Hastings unit coming up the valley, it was a big thing indeed.
The Cymru DEMU tour ran on 5th January 1985 and consisted of two 6 car Hastings units No's 1017 & 1032.
The tour started off at Watford at 07:30 and headed down through London via Olympia to Clapham Jcn.
From there it headed down the Southern main line through Staines and Wokingham to join up with the Great Western main line at Reading before heading down to Cardiff, where it arrived at 11:09 on platform 4.
After Cardiff the main tour then started.
Initially it headed towards Llantrisant for the freight only line to the colliery at Cwm and after a short turn around headed back to Cardiff.
It's next destination was the Rhondda Valley, so it departed Cardiff and headed up the bank towards Queen St Station and from there took the route to Pontypridd.
At Pontypridd there is another junction and it was routed towards the Rhondda.
A few miles up the road is Trehafod where I first saw the tour and we managed to get a couple of shots of it passing through; then the race was on to get some more shots.
The first shot we got of it as it passed through Trehafod with 1017 leading (top)