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Anthonys Valley Lines day explorer day out 10/04/2012

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Established Member
19 Aug 2008
South Wales
Right I decided to get out of my parents house today as I was getting bored.

After getting out of bed at 06:55 I decided to have a shower and get changed before grabbing breakfast and eventually leaving my house at 07:50 before walking to Pyle station arriving at 08:15.

I filmed the Roberston - Westerleigh tanks pass through Pyle station at 08:29 using my mobile photne as I wanted to conserve the battery life on my digital camera as I had forgot to charge up the batteries and couldn't remeber how much life was left in them.

I then got the 08:38 Shrewsbury train which was worked by a class 153 to Port Talbot Parkway which eventually arrived at 08:39 and arrived into Port Talbot Parkway @ 08:46.
The class 153's always seems to struggle with this particular service and if the London - Swansea service was so closly in front I would suggest retiming the service to leave Cardiff four minutes earlier at 08:05 and avoid the delays departing Swansea for Shrewsbury via the heart of wales line.

It would be much better if the 05:27 London Paddington - Swansea servie could run direct via Bristol Parkway instead of via Bath as it would provide a peak time arrival into Swansea at 08:30 and relieve some of the overcrowding on the ATW services whcih arrive into Swansea at 07:45 and 08:50.

A quick sprint across the platform and I got onboard the 08:48 departure to London Paddington which I traveled on arriving into Bridgend at 09:00.

I then made my way to the local WH Smith where I purchased 2 railway magazines and got a free issue of the telegraph.

I then made my way back to Bridgend station and took in sight of the new footbridge which does actually look very good and purchased my rover ticket which cost me £10.

I made my way to platform 2 intending to travel on the 09:25 Manchester service to Cardiff by what do you know it is packed and very little room so I let it go and awaited the 09:38 Cheltenham train.

175116 arrived at 09:25 with a service to Carmarthen and 150260 eventually arrived into the station at 09:38 which I then boarded and arrived into Cardiff Central at 10:08. I must admit Bridgend - Pencoed is timed to take 7 minutes yet the 150 did it in just under 5 minutes so I would like to see how an emu performs on this service.

As my freind was running a little late I decided a trip to Coryton on a unidentified class 143 ( it was the 10:21 train if anyone can identify which unit was working please) the train departed 2 late but was back on time at Cardiff Queen street and early at Heath Low Level.

So after a uneventful run to Coryton and back I made it to Cardiff central where myself and my freind caught the 11:16 Rhymney service formed of 143602 where we arrived into Rhymney at 12:14.

We did note a FGW hst passing non stop through Cardiff Central ECS heading towards Bristol at 11:05.

After photograpghing the Harris Coaches Optare solo which was working route 20 to Tredeger which connect with the trains I made my way back to the platform almost getting hit by stupid children on bicycles who had appaling language. What a pity I couldnt give them a good smack.

I then got the 12:30 service to Bargoed where a break was had for chips in a local chip shop and a bit of bus spotting. I must admit I didnt know there was a bus from Bargoed to Newport.

We arrived back into Bargoed station for the 13:17 Cardiff service which was very busy. I must admit the train we came up to Rhymney on was very quiet although I can see why they tend to leave the pacers doubled up off peak.

Passing Gilfach Bargoed we noticed new waiting shelters have been installed and we arrived into Cardiff Central at 13:59. I noted 142280 on the 14:06 Cardiff - Treherbert service.

Noted that with the exception of the Coryton - Radyr services and any services worked by 150's all the trains were doubled up pacers.

66194 & 66168 passed Cardiff Central haulinga steel train to Margam and a stone train towards the Newport direction.

143616 was spotted next working a service to Radyr and I noted the former fastline class 56 sitting in the sidings at Cardiff Central.

Also arriving into Platform 4 was 158821 with a service from Maesteg which would be terminating at Central and working the 14:18 Cardiff - Maesteg service.

Eventually we had 150231 on the 14:41 Cardiff - Barry - Bridgend service and enjoyed a good trip via the Vale Of Glamorgan line. I noted at least 3 class 175's and a few class 150's on Canton depot with the class 121 inside the shed

I noted New Adventure Travels MCV Evolution bodied MAN 14.220 waiting to take passengers to the airport at Rhoose station. We passed 66100 at the Aberthaw reception sidings and arrived into Bridgend at 15:35.

We noted the 14:35 Manchester train departing Bridgend about 9 minutes late with the Fishguard train formed of 2 class 150's and very packed being held outside Bridgend station before following behind the Manchester service.

Eventually we got on 158821 which was working the 15:20 Maesteg - Cardiff service which arrived into Cardiff Central (platform 2 at 16:10). I noted 67002 working the 16:15 WAG express service to Holyhead which was very well loaded.

Afterwards I went outside to photograph some buses in the Bus station and got to see a rare sight of one of Cardiff Bus's scannia bendybuses running through the bus station and a lot of double deckers including one owned by New Adventure travel.

I eventually said goodbye to my freind and made my way to platform 3 to await my train home.

The amount of passengers tanding on platform 3 & 4 was crazy and I felt sorry for the members of staff trying to deal with everyones questions including a lot who were trying to board the class 158 that had just come in from Portsmouth before asking if it was the Swansea service.

Praise must be given to the staff including those helping customers and the majority of the lifts were out of order meaning staff were helping carry pushchairs and other stuff up & down the steps to/from the platforms.

The 16:50 FGW service to Swansea despite being an 8 carriage hst all the standard class carriages were full and standing by the time the train departed 2 minutes late. My train from of a 3 carriage class 175 arrived at 16:56 reading to form the 17:04 Tenby service (please can someone identify this unit)

Passengers all cramed onto the unit making it very overcrowded upon departure and I wouldnt like to think what the 17:39 Milford Haven service would have been like although I have been on it once when it was formed of a 3 carriage class 175 and too be honest the situation was a bit dangerous.
Ideally staff should have forced some customer traveling to Bridgend to get off and wait the FGW service that was due shortly.

Arrival time into Pyle was ontime at 17:32 and I arrived home at 18:00 before having a hot meal and getting on the computer.

Some other observations from today was the class 153's being used on the Maesteg - Cheltenham route and the new overbridge which has been contructed near the Port Talbot steelworks for the new dual carriageway. I also noted the new overbridge carrying the road over the railway at Bargoed station this would have been great if it had been around when the class 37's were running to Rhymney.

So overall a very good day out and no phonecall asking me to get home so I can give my brother a lift somewhere now that he has passed his driving test although he has a way to go before he catches up to me.


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