Published at 10:32 on Thursday 27th January 2022
Tags: National Network, Barmouth, Cambrian Coast, Pathfinder Tours, Charters, Class 97/3s

Class 97/3s Nos. 97303 and 97304 John Tiley crossing Barmouth Bridge with the return leg of Pathfinder Tours 'The Cambrian Coast Express' on 20th August 2021. Andrew Barrett

Pathfinder Tours has confirmed the development of a new series of trains, that will bring charters back to the former Cambrian route through to Pwllheli during the summer.

Excursions over the Cambrian Coast route have been minimal since the route was converted to become the test bed for ERTMS cab-signalling, meaning that only services hauled by one of the dedicated Class 97/3s could traverse the route, and also bringing an end of steam-operation on the line. However, the charter company has confirmed it is to develop the ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ series with an initial run of four trains from various starting points to Porthmadog and Pwllheli.

The first train is booked to run on 13th May from Oxford and stations via Birmingham New Street to Shrewsbury. Like all of the workings, it will change to Class 97/3 haulage at Shrewsbury and run via Talerddig to Machynlleth and over the north leg of the route to set down at Minffordd, Porthmadog and Pwllheli. Motive power over the first leg to Shrewsbury and the last leg back to the starting point, for all of the workings, will be a DB Cargo UK Class 67.

Subsequent workings are on 20th May from Bristol Temple Meads and stations, via Cheltenham, to Birmingham New Street and Shrewsbury, 12th August from Cardiff along the Welsh Marches line, and 9th September from Oxford and the Cotswold Line through Evesham. Standard Class tickets start from £129.

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