Rail traffic in action at various dock locations
Pictured in front of Target 7, East End Sidings are, left to right, Shunters Paul Dermody, Leslie Voyle and Viv Brooks
Class 08 shunter in Swansea Docks East End Yard, 1987.
Swansea King's Dock coal chute and wagon hoist,1987. A line of five 21tonne end and side door MDO coal wagons sit on the spur up to the coal drop on the quayside. This view of the coal chute and wagon hoist at the western end of Swansea King's Dock was the last working example in the dock area by 1987. It once shared this quayside with four other such towers. Within a few months of this photo being taken it was all out of use as the coal traffic to Ireland went over to containerised loading at the pits and was shipped to Ireland through Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey. The line beneath the tower was the southerly line from King's Dock Junction to Swansea Prince of Wales Dock avoiding Swansea Tin Yard.
Swansea King's Docks coal chute and wagon hoist, 1987. A close up view of the wagon hoist and chute on the last remaining at the time coal drop in Swansea King's Dock. Note the unusual rail arrangement. Wagons would arrive on the right hand track and after emptying would return by gravity on the left hand track towards the yard. In 1987 this was the last useable wagon tipper chute where coal was tipped into boats for export to Ireland. Later the same year the Ireland traffic was mostly containerised and moved to Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey
08 400 in Swansea Docks Tin Yard, 1987. In the distance can be seen the large King's Dock Junction signal box operated by ABP (Associated British Ports). Swansea Docks Tin Yard had a very elaborate track layout to deal with unfitted coal wagons. The arriving loaded wagons were shunted by one of two resident class 08's up to the hoists and chutes on the King's Dock quayside (lines in the foreground). After the coal had been tipped into waiting boats the empties were gravity worked back to the yard and made up into empty trains for destinations in the Western Valleys of the South Wales coalfield. Just a few months after this photo was taken the whole coal operation using unfitted 21 tonne end door wagons was over and the vast majority of the MDO wagons were cut up on site here.
A view of a Class 37 stabled in Swansea Docks Tin Yard alongside some lengthy rakes of unfitted MDO 21 tonne end door coal wagons. The line on the extreme left is one of the abandoned inclines up to a coal chute. The one in the centre was then (1987) the last operational incline up to the westerly most hoist and chute.
1987 - British Rail shunter 08 769 is seen propelling covered steel wagons along No.1 Quay at Swansea King's Dock. The steel coils were being loaded onto a Greek registered vessel. Associated British Ports relied upon British Rail to carry out shunting duties in the docks and at the start of 1987 there was a requirement for four shunting locomotives in the docks area. With the loss of the coal export traffic to Ireland this dwindled to just the pilot booked to shunt Swansea Burrows Yard which would do the docks trip as required.
37 308 at King's Dock Junction,1987, hauling 21tonne end door coal wagons past Associated British Ports owned King's Dock Junction signal box. This photo was taken in the final year before export coal traffic to Ireland was containerised and concentrated on new facilities at Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey. The train seen here would be returning empty to one of the many pits in the western Welsh Valleys. 37 308 was the last of the class built in 1965 and spent much of its life allocated to nearby Swansea Landore Depot. To avoid a clash of number sequence when the regeared CP7 bogie fitted class 37s appeared on the scene 37 308 was renumbered to 37 274 in 02/1989. This cleared the 37 3xx number range for the modified CP7 bogie fitted locos. It was therefore somewhat unusual in 2000 when it was renumbered back to 37 308 and for a while became part of the EWS Heritage traction fleet caption: 37 308 gradually eases its lengthy train of unfitted MDO.
1987 - Having collected covered coil wagons from no.1 quay at Swansea King's Dock 08 769 has to propel its train across the swing bridge that links the Prince of Wales Dock and King's Dock. Having cleared the bridge the train will run round in ABP Prince of Wales Dock Yard before proceeding with the empty wagons to BR Swansea Burrows Yard. The Shunter is seen running alongside the wagons trying to release a dragging brake by pulling the brake release chords.
1987 - 08 769 is seen in Swansea Docks Prince of Wales Sidings having just run round its train formed of a raft of S.U.W. covered coil wagons. The empty steel wagons having come from nearby Swansea Kings Dock no.1 quay will then be tripped to Swansea Burrows Yard on the BR network. At this time all shunting within the ABP Swansea docks was carried out by two class 08's manned by BR crews. A third class 08 was allocated to shunting and trip duties in Swansea Burrows Yard. The Docks allocated Shunter tended to be the last vacuum only examples based at Landore while the Burrows Yard pilot would generally be dual braked.
1987 - Swansea Landore allocated and vacuum only fitted 08 769 is seen negotiating the tight curves within the Swansea Docks complex. The loco having run from Swansea Burrows Yard to collect empty steel wagons in King's Dock.
08 895 in Swansea Burrows Yard, 1987. Of three class 08's allocated to the Swansea Docks area in 1987 two, generally vacuum braked examples were used in the ABP owned docks area while a third generally a dual braked example was employed by BR itself to shunt Swansea Burrows Yard and perform local trip jobs to various terminals and private sidings in the immediate area. Locations served behind Swansea Eastern Coal Depot, Port Tennant Wagon Works, Swansea Ford Motor Co. Works and Gower Chemicals at Danygraig.
The sidings at Swansea Burrows were fairly busy at this time with a mixture of block and wagonload trains. The view here shows Grain wagons destined for repairs at Port Tennant behind the loco and H.E.A. house coal hoppers from the Eastern Coal Depot plus some engineers vehicles. To the extreme far right of the shot can be seen the saw tooth roof outline of what was once Danygraig Steam Depot. This facility closed to steam in January 1960 and finally to diesel traction in March 1964 When Landore depot took over as the main depot in Swansea. The extensive building which also included a wagon repair works was retained and leased to Gower Chemicals as a warehouse well into the 1990's.
As for 08 895 it had been a Western Region machine for all its life moving from Laira, Plymouth to Landore, Swansea in November 1984. It moved again to Cardiff Canton in September 1993 on paper but in reality remained at Margam Depot near Port Talbot stored out of use. It was offically withdrawn on 10.09.1993 and never left its last resting place being shunted across to Margam Wagon Works in November 1993 and cut up on site by Raxstar Metals in July 2000.
37 308 at King's Dock Junction,1987. 21tonne end door coal wagons past Associated British Ports owned King's Dock Junction signal box. This photo was taken in the final year before export coal traffic to Ireland was containerised and concentrated on new facilities at Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey. The train seen here would be returning empty to one of the many pits in the western Welsh Valleys. 37 308 was the last of the class built in 1965 and spent much of its life allocated to nearby Swansea Landore Depot. To avoid a clash of number sequence when the regeared CP7 bogie fitted class 37s appeared on the scene 37 308 was renumbered to 37 274 in 02/1989. This cleared the 37 3xx number range for the modified CP7 bogie fitted locos. It was therefore somewhat unusual in 2000 when it was renumbered back to 37 308 and for a while became part of the EWS Heritage traction fleet caption: 37 308 gradually eases its lengthy train of unfitted MDO.
Docks pilot 08367 propelling loaded coal onto the docks, 19/9/86
08367 propelling MDOs loaded with export coal onto the docks, 19/9/86
Holding Sidings Swansea Docks - 21t minerals of export coal are held awaiting shipment, 19/09/86
MDOs of coal for export stand in Violet sidings in Swansea Docks, in the distance are the 2 08s
08259 draws loaded MDOs of coal for shipment at Swansea Docks out of the holding sidings East End Sidings, 9/11/83
Swansea Docks pilot 08259 passes King's Dock Junction with loaded MDOs of export coal, 9/11/83