Branch Line Britain - celebrating Britain's minor railways

Blog - 1970s

1970's - Introduction

Chester "General" railway station as it is today in the 21st century

Apart from the last few years - 2007 onwards -  the early 1970's was the busiest time of my life for travelling by train. In September 1969 I started going to school in Birkenhead by train, catching the 7.55 am train from Upton-by-Chester to Birkenhead Central, changing at Rock Ferry. I then returned on the 4.30 pm train from Rock Ferry if I was lucky. If I missed that it was a 3/4 hour wait until the next train at 5.15pm. Nine times out of ten the unit would be a Metro Cammel DMU. I would do this journey six days a week, including Saturdays, though usually we finished at lunchtime on a Saturday. This lasted until 1976 when I finally left school, so you could say I was a schoolboy commuter. The early 70's also saw me as a keen train spotter, travelling frequently all over the north west of England, with occasional train trips to London, Birmingham, Derby, Sheffield and North Wales. There were also holidays in Kent, Hampshire and in the West Country, which led to the Western Region of British Rail becoming my favourite BR region.

Over the next few years of my railway blog, I have tried to included details of train times as well as depots visited and any special events that took place. Luckily I kept a diary during these early years of the 1970's.  It would be interesting to hear from anyone whoever vsited the same places as me around those times, or even if you were a train spotting companion of mine........      


1970

21/3/70 - Chester to Crewe and return

6/4/70  - Chester to Shrewsbury and return

7/4/70 - Chester to Llandudno and return

8/4/70 - Chester to Shrewsbury and return

9/4/70 - Chester to Shrewsbury and return. Chester to Llandudno Junction and return

10/4/70 - Chester to Shrewsbury and return, Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton and return, Wolverhampton to Birmingham New Street and return

14/4/70 - Upton-by-Chester to Rock Ferry and return. Rock Ferry to Liverpool Central and return. (Train Spotting at Liverpool Lime Street and Exchange Stations)

19/4/70 - Chester to Crewe and return - (Crewe Works Open Day)

20/4/70 - Upton-by-Chester to Rock Ferry and return. Rock Ferry to Liverpool Central and return. (Train Spotting at Liverpool Lime Street and Exchange Stations)

4/7/70 - Chester to Crewe and return

24/7/70 - Newquay to Par and return (pulled by D808 Centaur)

13/12/70 - Chester to Crewe and return - went round diesel depot, but not the works on this occasion


1971

This has got to be my busiest ever year for railways in my whole life. Apart from travelling daily between Upton-by-Chester and Birkenhead Central during term-times I went on the following journeys:- 

1/1/71 - 16.40 Chester to Upton-by-Chester

31/3/71 - Visited Birkenhead shed on my way home from school

9/4/71 (Good Friday) - Went up to Preston by car from Chester to visit my Aunty Joan. Whilst there I visited Lostock Hall shed.

18/4/71 - 10.15 Chester to Crewe. 16.40 Crewe to Chester. Train spotting at Crewe for the day, including visits to the diesel depot and the works.

9/5/71 - Drove to Welshpool and went for a trip on the Welshpool and Llanfair railway

30/5/71 - train spotting at Chester railway station

2/7/71 -  Visited Birkenhead shed on my way home from school

8/7/71 - Visited Birkenhead shed on my way home from school

11/7/71 - 17/7/71 Went away for the week to stay at my Aunty Joans in Preston. Each day I would go and walk round Lostock Hall, as well as wlking across the fields to train spot on a cutting next to the West Coast Main Line.   


1972


1973


1974-1979

Chester to Crewe. Crewe to Birmingham. Birmingham to Oxford.

Oxford to Reading. Reading to Basingstoke. Basingstoke to Bournemouth (and return)

Oxford to Didcot and return. Didcot to Swansea and return.

Oxford to Didcot and return. Didcot to Swindon and return.

Oxford to London Paddington and return. London Kings Cross to Cambridge and return.