19th July 2004

Two "Hoovers" or class 50 locomotives were visiting the coast today for what was believed to be TPWS trials. They are seen here entering Llandudno Junction as 47750 languishes amongst the weeds.

The leading locomotive is 50031 "Hood" owned by The Fifty Fund and trailing is 50049 "Defiance" owned by The Class 50 Society. Upon arrival at the Junction the locomotives paused only to drop off a member of the engineering support team before quickly continuing on out of the station.

The pair ran towards Conwy to enter the sidings to the left of the picture. The Deganwy branch, to Llandudno, bears off to the right under the road bridge. The class was built at Crewe to replace the Coronation pacifics on the West Coast Main Line and originally ran as single units. With the approach of electrification the timetable was speeded up and double heading was introduced to cater for the required increase in speed. The locomotives were numbered in the D500 series and unnamed.

 The hoovers quickly left the main line....

 ...to be followed immediately by a service train in the form of a class 175/1.

 After a short pause the engines ran back towards the station with 049 leading. The beautiful Conwy Castle and the town of Conwy nestle below the hills in the background.

 This shot shows just how big these locomotives are. After the class became redundant on the Midland Region of BR, they were transferred to the Western Region where they were named after warships and became known as, well, Warships, the original Warship class of diesel hydraulics having long disappeared from the national network. The class put in good service over the Devon banks before being withdrawn. I believe that there are a least 19 out of the original 50 of these beasts still knocking around in various states of repair.
Thanks to Scott Tansley for pointing this out to me.

 I spent an hour at Conwy Castle waiting for one of the beasts to appear but to no avail, I later spent an hour at Colwyn waiting for both to return with 47750 sandwiched in between but, again, to no avail. Thus my final shot is of 031 at Llandudno Junction waiting for 049 to return.
All historic notes are from memory and therefore accuracy may be challenged at will!!
No responsibility accepted.


Return to July 2