The 08:46 Manchester to Milford Haven class 175 train took me as far as Crewe, to connect with the 09:23 class 158 service to Chester. I had a bit of a wait there (until 10:24) for the Cardiff to Holyhead train, another of the comfortable and smooth-riding class 175 units which sped along the North wales coast and onto Anglesey, arriving at Holyhead at 12:14. All these trains were moderately loaded (the Crewe - Chester one being very much so).
Chester Racecourse, seen as we leave Chester for Holyhead
Crossing the Conway estuary
Running under the walls of Conway castle
First view of Anglesey on the left, Puffin Island in the centre
RAF Hawk trainer turning final in the Valley circuit
The sea near Maltraeth, with 'The Rivals' mountains beyond
Holyhead signal box
On reaching Holyhead, and knowing there was nothing in the town I wished to see, I returned on the same train I'd arrived on. It left at 12:39 forming the Holyhead to Maesteg service. This was quite full on leaving Holyhead, and on picking up along the coast was almost completely full by the time it reached Chester, many passengers boarding at Bangor.
Crossing the Menai Straight from Anglesea to the mainland. Telford's superbly graceful suspension bridge, which was at one time the only road connection to the island, seen from the much-modified Stephenson Bridge which carries a roadway above the singled railway line.
I remember this bridge from family holidays decades ago, when it was in its original form as a double-track railway tubular bridge (a longer and higher version of the tubular bridge at Conway). Vandals set fire to it in the 1970s, following which it was re-built in its present form. At least the stone lions, two each side at each end of the bridge, still exist and give an impression of the structure's original double-track width.
Heading east along the coast of North Wales; Beaumaris is seen across the straights on the Anglesea shore
Conway Castle again
Looking back to Colwyn Bay
The ex-car ferry on the Dee estuary
Approaching Chester, we pass the threshold of runway 22 at Hawarden where the Airbus wings are built and then shipped to Toulouse
The train that took me from Chester to Holyhead and back. It will continue from here via Shrewsbury and Cardiff to Maesteg in South Wales.
It was a nice sunny day today, ideal for appreciating the gardens on Chester station
Two styles of Class 150 at Chester, each bound for Manchester. The far unit will route via the Mid Cheshire line through Delamere and Knutsford, the near unit will go via Frodsham and Warrington.
My next train, a 158 Pacer, which will take me from Chester to Crewe, arrives at Chester from Crewe. It will leave for Crewe at 14:55 and arrive at its destination at 15:18.
Speeding past Beeston Castle atop its distinctive mound
Approaching Crewe we pass the Crewe Heritage Centre. LMS 6100 'Royal Scot is seen, minus its boiler and under tarpaulins.
It was noticeable how much quieter and smoother-riding are the 175s compared to the 158. And the 158, with its high-backed seats had a claustrophobic feel.
The high-backed seats in the older and noisier class 158 give a claustrophobic feel
The 15:29 Carmarthen to Manchester class 175 whisked me back non stop from Crewe to Wilmslow, getting me back to my home station by 15:47