The Railways of North Wales - Changing trains: Page 10

Point of Ayr Colliery, 1887 - 1996

Point of Ayr colliery, the last one in North Wales, closed in 1996.  At one time coal was exported by sea using the colliery's own fleet of ships.  In its final years it supplied power station coal to Fiddlers Ferry power station near Warrington.  The coal seams were worked under the Dee estuary and, despite extensive reserves, it closed as a result of the reduced demand for coal due to the use of gas in electricity generation.

20154 and 186 are shown backing a loaded MGR out of the colliery, 8th May 1991.

20140 and 057 are seen backing out another loaded train with the North
Wales coast line on the left - 20th March 1991.

The original track layout at Talacre is seen in this view taken in 1988.  This was relaid and a facing crossover installed in 1990 to cater for anticipated extra tonnage from a drift mine.  The main colliery is on the left and the new drift mine on the right.

The new track layout is seen here as 20104 and 190 on the Llandudno - Derby train pass 20154 and 186 backing a newly painted rake of empty hoppers into the colliery on the 9th July 1991.  A new roadbridge leading to the gas terminal obscures this view now.  The LNWR built Talacre signalbox remains in use today.

20154 and 186 back empties in, past the signalbox, 9th July 1991.

47500  "Great Western" passes Talacre with a Holyhead - Euston train as 20154 and 186 wait with a loaded coal train in the colliery headshunt. The platforms are still intact at Talacre although passenger trains last called in 1966!  9th July 1991

47190 heads an evening coal train past Ffynnongroew on 2nd July 1985.  The colliery can be seen in the distance.

47350 is seen passing the now demolished Courtaulds plant at Greenfield with a Fiddlers Ferry bound coal train - 18th March 1987.

Coal trains were normally worked by Class 60's in the last few years of the pit's existence.  60071 is seen here passing Bagillt on November 26th 1991.  The grassy mound above the loco marks the site of Bettisfield Colliery.

20059 and 20195 pass the derelict Connahs Quay power station on July 4th 1991.  It was originally built to be supplied by Point of Ayr but closed in 1982 and was demolished in 1994.  A site nearby is now occupied by a gas fired power station.

The only passenger train known to have visited the colliery was a special train organised by the Institution of Mining Engineers (South Staffs and South Midlands Branch) on March 27th 1993.  The train was topped and tailed by 47300 and 47821. This tour also went to Coventry Colliery, halfway up the Littleton Colliery line, Runcorn Folly Lane, and Gladstone and Seaforth Docks. The train is seen here passing onto the colliery headshunt.

47821 "Royal Worcester" makes its way towards the colliery.

The train is shown here at the colliery with the MGR loading bunker in the background.  On the right is the other track to allow trains to run round and to its right, beyond the bridge, is a short siding for crippled wagons.  The entire site has now been cleared apart from the railway lines.  To the left of the colliery site there is now a terminal which receives gas from a platform in the Irish Sea.

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