Tidal Sidings / Allied Steel & Wire

The Allied Steel & Wire complex is located on two sites, Castle Works and Tremorfa Works, located two and three miles respectively south east of Cardiff on the A4232 Ring Road. Both sites are served by rail from Cardiff Tidal Sidings and directly linked to each other for internal movements of steel. Cardiff Tidal sidings also services Fuel & Marine at Alexandra Dock together with steel exports from Castle Works and Tremorfa Works. The track layout of Tidal Sidings, Docks, Castle Works and Tremorfa Works is geographically shown here for clarity. From the map, Castle Works is the works complex just to the right of Atlantic Wharf and Tremorfa Works is marked Steelworks. The Rail Operation Centre at Tremora Works, located behind the steel fencing in Rover Way controls all rail movements within Tremorfa Works, Tidal Sidings, Alexandra Dock and Castle Works. EWS locomotives also come within this juristriction.

Tremorfa Works comprises of Tremorfa Steelworks, Castle Nails, Contistretch and the Medium Section Mill. Tremorfa Steelworks's two 120Tonne Electric Arc Furnces consume 24,000 Tonne of steel scrap per week of which 15,000 Tonne is supplied by rail from Sims and European Metals Recycling at Hamworthy, Kingsbury and Beeston, and Midlands Shreaders at Saltley in JNA, JXA, POA and SSA wagons, with the remaining balance of 9,000 Tonne per week being delivered by road transport. 23,000 Tonne of billet and slab is produced from the Electric Arc Furnaces and is moved internally by rail to either the Medium Section Mill or Castle Works. The Medium Section Mill re rolls 8,000 Tonne of billet and slab per week into channel, angle and flat sections of which 3,000Tonne per week is despatched by rail to Cobra at Wakefield, Purfleet Thames Terminal and P D Stirling at Mossend, 400Tonne per week for export through Alexandra Dock and the remaining balance of 4600 Tonne per week is being moved by road transport.

Castle Works is more commonly known as The Cardiff Rod Mill re rolls 15,000 Tonne of billet per week from Tremorfa Steelworks into constructional grade reinforcing bar and coil, of which 7000 Tonne per week is despatched by rail to Cobra Wakefield, Masborough, P D Stirling at Mossend, Barking and Burton on Trent, 2500 Tonne to Castle Nails and Contistretch within Tremorfa Works and the remaining balance of 5500 Tonne per week for export through Alexandra Dock. Very little is moved by road transport.


  Cardiff Tidal Sidings Arrivals and Departures  
  6B24 WO 1533 Didcot Power Station - Tidal Sidings  
  6V24 MWO 1345 Saltley - Tidal Sidings  
  6V97 TTHO 1431 Beeston - Tidal Sidings  
  6V06 TO 1530 Handsworth - Tidal Sidings  
  6V99 FO 1243 Hamworthy - Tidal Sidings  
  6M74 MWO 1930 Tidal Sidings - Beeston  
  6M21 TFO 1930 Tidal Sidings - Saltley  
  6V66 THO-Q 1422 St Helens - Tidal Sidings  
  6L68 TTHO 2004 Tidal Sidings- Didcot  
  6V18 THO-Q 1843 Kingsbury - Tidal Sidings  
  6O15 THO 2333 Tidal Sidings- Hamworthy  
  6V59 TTHSO 1815 Purfleet - Tidal Sidings  
  6V67   1526 Wakefield - Tidal Sidings  
  6E58   0125 Tidal Sidings- Wakefield  
  6M98 TO 0220 Tidal Sidings - Hamworthy  
  6C14 SO-Q 0220 Tidal Sidings - Exeter  
  6M50 THO-Q 0235 Tidal Sidings- St Helens  
  6A21 WO 0334 Tidal - Didcot Power Station  
  6V71   0102 Warrington - Tidal Sidings  
  6M21   1540 Tidal Sidings- Washwood Heath  
  6V24   1345 Saltley Tidal Sidings  
  6B19 Q 1433 Exeter - Tidal Sidings  
  6V97 Q 1447 Beeston - Tidal Sidings  
  6B89 MFO-Q 1110 Tidal Sidings- Aberthaw Power Station  
  6B32 TFO-Q 1255 Cardiff Docks - Burrows Sidings  
  6B27 TFO-Q 0301 Onllwyn - Cardiff Docks  

Mike Whitmarsh is the Operations Support Manager and is overall responsible for rail Infrastructure, Information Technology, Contracts and Estates in Cardiff and, the Permanent Way and locomotive in Sheerness. Mike started with the company thirty years ago as a Shunter / Driver and has progressed to his current position, which he has held for the past three years, through being a supervisor, Foreman and Operations Manager.

Mike told me that one of his most successful achievements was to see the dispensation of his internal fleet of Yorkshire Engine Locomotives and the hiring of Class 08 locomotives from EWS in 1994. Class 08's are very popular with the thirty three trained crew at Allied Steel & Wire who shunt, drive and carry out daily checks on them. The forty year old fleet have not been without their problems, but continuous improvement through a two monthly contract review / performance meeting with EWS has ensured that six are normally available on a daily basis, from a pool of eight locomotives. It is quite noticeable the mutual respect that Tony Jameson, EWS Regional Manager and David Mathew, ASW Manager Ditribution and Mike Whitmarsh have for each other and this relationship has developed into Allied Steel & Wire temporarily housing five class thirty seven locomotives at Castle Works. Mike also reminds me of the day when the furnace went down at Sheerness and EWS at very short notice moved vast quantites of billet through their bulk and enterprise services to ensure that their was continuity of production. One of the few concerns Mike does have with the contract, is the frequent change of locomotives within the pool and he is hoping that this will stabilise shortly, enabling him to enjoy a mix of locomotives which includes those fresh from overhaul. When we spoke of the names being applied to the fleet, Mike said he liked the idea, hoped that the font size would be standardised and looked forward to EWS replacing them with plates of cast construction. I asked Mike if he had a favourite Gronk and he said, "Yes, 08466 Brillo, it's the most reliable one we have and we keep it at Castle Works". However, he did say that 08856 Lenny was rather noisy, but I'm just wondering if the graffitti gang left a pot and brush in the engine room. <g>

EWS have allocated pool code WSAW for the fleet of eight Class 08's  hired to Allied Steel & Wire at Cardiff and this is how the fleet looks at the moment:


Click on the thumbnail to view the large image and click on ← to return to this page.


08466 Brillo Remote Control Fitted
08480 Ray  
08653 Vernon  
08752 Brian Remote Control Fitted
08770 Benny  
08854 Bradshaw Remote Control Fitted
08856 Lenny  
08951 Fred / Bugle Nose Remote Control Fitted

The duties for the fleet of eight Class 08's are as follows,

Tremorfa Works - 2 x Class 08, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

Castle Works - 1 x Class 08 Remote Control Fitted, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

Tidal Sidings - 1 x Class 08, 16 hours per day, 6 days per week

Alexandra Dock - 1 x Class 08 Remote Control fitted, 16 hours per day, 6 days per week.

Spare - 1 x Class 08

Maintenance - 2 x Class 08

When there is a shortage of locomotives available for traffic, EWS allocate Class 08 / 09 locomotives from the Great Western Pool code WSGW.

Midday is the optimum time to photograph the locomotives working in the vicinity of the stabling area on Rover Way as there is a shift change at 1300 hours.

I would like to thank Mike Whitmarsh for assisting me in writing this article.


Last Updated 24/09/18