First running of loco hauled services

TfW have for the first time today operated the long promised loco hauled services from Cardiff to Manchester.

These sets were seen on two trains to Manchester and two returning to Cardiff. These are timetabled for numerous daily services, and CASPA welcomes this role out.

These services are similar to Gerald Cardiff to Holyhead services that have operated for some years.

The coaches seen today are in dark blue livery. These were intended for the Grand Central service to (London to Blackpool) since abandoned. We can expect to see coaches in various liveries.

The loco hauls the train to Manchester and pushes it back to Cardiff (with the driver sitting in the front so called ‘driver trailer’).

More about these here

But these do not directly help those of us wanting local services, because few will stop at the intermediate stations. An exception is the weekday 07.17 ex Nantwich which does stop and goes on to Cardiff. The good news is that any additional trains mean that TfW will have less need to use the old Class 150 and 153 units on long distance services to Cardiff and West Wales. If you have had the pleasure of a long distance journey on these old bone shakers, then you will understand.

We have yet to see any on the new Class 197 trains in service on our line, but they are operating in limited numbers out of Chester. It is only a matter of time before they will appear. They occasionally run through on training routes.


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