The Conwy valley line - Lein Dyffryn Conwy

Betws y Coed and Pont y Pant

A Class 153 in First NorthWestern livery crosses the River Conwy in September 2002.  The right hand bank marks the boundary of the Snowdonia National Park.

101683 in the woods north of Betws y Coed in June 1994.

These rare pictures by Phil Shaw show prototype Leyland National Railbus LEV 1 (a.k.a. RDB 975874) seen at Betws-y-Coed in August 1981 while being tested on the Conwy Valley line.  The design was basically a forced marriage between a Leyland National bus and a long-wheelbase wagon underframe; the ancestor of the 2-car Class 142s which still run today.  This vehicle (LEV - Leyland Experimental Vehicle 1) still exists, and is currently on the North Norfolk Railway on long term loan from the National Railway Museum. It has recently been returned to running order.

Class 47 No. 47786 "Roy Castle" enters a crowded Betws y Coed station on 24th June 1995.  The train was a day excursion from the East Midlands to Blaenau and the Ffestiniog Railway.  In the background can be seen the Conwy Valley railway museum which has an exhibition on the line as well as miniature railway rides and other interesting displays.  Betws is an important tourist destination on the line and is an interchange with the Snowdon Sherpa bus network.

One of a number of railtours marking the end of regular Class 50 operation was this train organised by the Class 40 appeal.  The Festive Fifties farewell railtour of December 5th 1992 passes through a wet Betws y Coed behind  D400 and 50033.   There was formerly a crossing loop and goods yard here.

31163 and 201 pass Betws y Coed on 1st of July 1994.

37377 and 098 on an excursion returning from Trawsfynydd, 18-04-1998.

47854 on "The Lancastrian" railtour returning to Carnforth on 25th June 2005.  On the left hand side is the only electrified railway line in Wales, a 400 metre tramway at the Betws y Coed Railway Museum!

150282 in now extinct Valley Lines livery at Betws in 2004.

The 5th of August 2009 was the day that things went very wrong for a steam excursion to Blaenau.  The train was hauling seven carriages although previous experience had shown that five was the maximum for that class of loco.  The train predictably stalled near Pont y Pant and then had to reverse down to Betws.  Two carriages were left just north of the station and the train then reached Blaenau without further problems.  The loco then returned to Betws for the two vehicles.  Here 45231 is returning for the rest of its train which is located where the orange jacketed figure is in the distance.

45231 hauls its two carriage train between Betws and Pont y Pant, 5th August 2009.

In 1994 there was a determined attempt to market the line and a range of initiatives were drawn up.  These included appointment of a Rail Officer and upgrading of the stations.  Highlight of the campaign was the decision to dedicate two trains to the line.  Two Class 101 DMU's were made up to three car sets and one - 101685 - repainted in original green livery.  The other unit involved was 101683.  During the winter the centre cars were removed and stored in Chester depot.  This continued for a couple of years after which the units were no longer dedicated to the line but became part of the normal pool and the centre cars were scrapped.  Shortly after repainting 101685 is near Pont y Pant heading for Blaenau.  The causeway in the background once carried a narrow gauge tramway which passed under the line by a now removed bridge.   1st July 1994.

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