Macarthur and LMS Jubilee

Class 37 - Return to Rhymney

The Class 37 was once a staple of South Wales Valleys freight workings. They were used to haul coal from the mines to power stations and steelworks. Long after it had vanished from the main line, many mines had their own steam shunters (unlimited free fuel had a lot to do with it) which marshalled the endless lines of 16 Ton coal trucks.

These trucks were in turn superseded by Class 37 hauled HAA 'Merry Go Round" trains which delivered coal into power stations such as Aberthaw near Barry on the South Wales Coast. After the national strike in 1984, the writing was on the wall for the UK mining industry and one-by-one, the mines were closed.

However all was not lost and the 37s made a surprise comeback hauling passenger services between Rhymney and Cardiff Central up to 2005. These comprised rakes of four Mk2 coaches and proved highly popular with commuters due to their smooth and quiet ride. They returned for a brief swansong between Summer 2019 and Spring 2020.

 

37421

A warm June evening in 2019 and Colas 37421 has just run round its train at Rhymney, South Wales.
Two of the (soon to be) late and largely unlamented 'Pacers', 142081 and 143625 sit in the sidings next to a rake of MkII coaches.

37418

Still at Rhymney but this evening it's 37418 running around its train for an appreciative audience. Can't beat a well-placed footpath!

37418

August 2020 and it's 37418 again, this time ready for Thunderbird (rescue) duty with recently introduced 769002 waiting to head back to Canton on a training run.

37025

June 2020 and this time it's 37025 at Rhymney on standby for rescue duties


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