© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 "Coast and Peak" was a rail-rover ticket available in the 1980s, similar in some respects to the "Rove-a-way" ticket I had used six years previously. Instead of the routes to the north of Manchester, however, this ticket gave access to the lines further east -  to Manchester, Glossop, Buxton and Stoke. Once again, its southernmost point of access was Shrewsbury - so I decided to "have a go". 47 575 at Shrewsbury 86 212 arrives at Piccadilly with the Manchester Pullman 304 016 at Manchester Piccadilly 3 August: Llandudno. My son, then aged 4½, decided to accompany me... So we went for a ride on the Great Orme Tramway - a wonderful 3'6" gauge cable-hauled system which starts in the streets of Llandudno and terminates high on the headland which overlooks the town. There are two sections to the line, and two cars on each section, effectively counter- balancing each other. My son thought the Great Arm (as he called it) Tramway was Great Fun... Cl 108 DMU, Llandudno station Great Orme car no 5 arrives at Llandudno Victoria Great Orme car no 6 waits at the summit A pair of 08s head the "Abbey tanks" Cl 85 arrives at Crewe with a southbound passenger Cl 120 DMU arrives at Stoke 5th August: Liverpool, Manchester, Stoke and Crewe. (I had a day off on the 4th...) I decided I needed to explore some lines I had not previously travelled, so I took the former Cheshire Lines route from Liverpool to Manchester, via Warrington, then from Manchester I took a direct train (via Macclesfield) to Stoke, returning thence to Crewe and home again. Illustrated are (left): 47 474 on a Euston train at Shrewsbury; (right) a pair of 08s on the "Abbey tanks" - the oil train to the sidings on the site of the former "Potts" terminus; a class 120 DMU at Stoke, on a Crewe - Derby working; a class 85 arrives at Crewe from the north; 86 248 leaves Crewe, northbound. The latter were taken very shortly after the 1985 remodelling of the layout - shiny new ballast everywhere! 47 474 at Shrewsbury with a Euston train 86 248 "Sir Clwyd - County of Clwyd" leaves Crewe 47445 and FR "Earl of Meirioneth" at Blaenau Ffestiniog Hunslet 2207 of 1941 at Blaenau Ffestiniog 2 August: Manchester. A fairly gentle day, taking a ride to Manchester and back (I wanted to explore some of the photographic shops there). Illustrated are: 47 575 at Shrewsbury, having arrived on a Euston train; 86 212 "Preston Guild" arriving at Manchester Piccadilly with the "Manchester Pullman" and 304 016 on the through lines at Piccadilly, having worked in from Altrincham (this was the post-MSJA, pre-Metro era). 6th August: Blaenau Ffestiniog and Holyhead. Since my previous visit to Blaenau, the layout had been remodelled here too, the new joint station having been opened a little to the south of the former LNWR station. Expecting a DMU, I was amazed when 47 445 rolled in with a lengthy rake of MkI stock. It was quite well filled too.  This was, as a result, a most comfortable trip, with substantial sound effects as the gradients steepened above Bettws-y-Coed. Returning to Llandudno Junction, I then took a ride to Holyhead. The weather here was pretty dismal - the photos are not fit for display!. I returned to Chester on the afternoon boat train, feeling as though I was the only non-Irish person on the train - until a small far-eastern gentleman sat beside me. He turned out to be Korean, and was intrigued by the dual-language station signs along the coast route. He was surprised to learn that I didn't speak Welsh! 7th August: Dinting. Once again accompanied by my son, I thought Dinting might make a suitable destination. In the 80s, the South Wales - Manchester or Liverpool trains were worked by class 33s, and on this occasion we had 33 023 (illustrated) to haul us through from Shrewsbury to Piccadilly. We took a bite of lunch here, before heading for Dinting on one of the class 303 units which had been drafted in - a former Glasgow "Blue Train". In steam at Dinting was "Warrington", an RSH-built "Austerity" saddle tank, works no. 7136 of 1944, rebuilt by Hunslet in 1969. This loco operated the standard-gauge passenger service - utilising an ex-SR bogie brake van. We took a ride, of course - and on the miniature railway, which was using a small battery- ppowered locomotive. Resident at Dinting at the time were several significant locomotives, including LNER O1 no 63401, the "Coal Tank" no 1054, LNER pacifics "Blue Peter" and "Bittern", and LMS 4-6-0s "Bahamas" and "Scots Guardsman". None were particularly easy to photograph... 303 unit, Dinting Viaduct 33 023 at Manchester Piccadilly O1 63401 at Dinting Assorted front-ends, Piccadilly "Warrington" and the SR Bogie Brake, Dinting 8th August: Buxton. For my last "Coast and Peak" trip, I decided on a trip to Buxton. I had never travelled on the steeply-graded branch from Manchester, nor had I yet had a look at what the Peak Railway people were doing there. The former Midland site at Buxton is no longer occupied by the preservationists. On the occasion of my visit, however, there was a fair amount of activity. Peckett 2111 of 1949 (ex-Lytham Museum) was in steam, operating a shuttle with a BR MkI brake coach. Among the other locomotives on site were "Vulcan" (VF 3272 of 1918) and a couple of ex-Barry 9Fs. It had become clear that the BR "corporate" livery was about to decline, and at the same time, new trains were imminent. I had seen one or two examples of the new livery during the course of the week - today, on returning to Crewe, I saw my first "new train" - in the form of 150 002, one of the BREL prototype "Sprinters" - shape of things to come... 47 enters Shrewsbury station from the Crewe line Prototype 150 002 at Crewe 45 068, 31 118 and a pair of 20s, Buxton depot "Lytham No 1" P2111 of 1949 at Buxton Vulcan Foundry 3272 of 1918 at Buxton 25 095 and 25 200 on a sand train, Crewe