Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Special One

On Thursday, we set out to capture some images of the world famous steam locomotive, The Flying Scotsman. I suspected there might be a few more enthusiasts turn up than for your average steam locomotives. In no way did I anticipate the large number of people who would be there.
It's usually busy at Colton Junction which is another one of our reasonably local spots and I thought we would be better off heading to somewhere else where it might be a little bit quieter. It turned out that everywhere along the East Coast Main Line was crowded with enthusiasts trying to catch a glimpse of the world famous locomotive.

We've visited Moor Lane several times over the last few years. Usually, there will be maybe two or three other cars parked up, but on Thursday, there were no parking spaces left by the time Flying Scotsman was due to arrive.

This was the scene last December when 46233 Duchess of Sutherland headed by Moor Lane with a steam special.

However, things hadn't gone according to plan for The Inaugural Run and the train was delayed because of people trespassing on the railway in an effort to get the best photo. So the train had a helicopter checking that the line ahead was clear.

The train was stopped north of Doncaster before it reached our spot at Moor Road. We were buzzed a couple of times by helicopters and each time we thought this signalled the train's arrival only to be disappointed. Eventually, smoke was sighted in the distance at last heralding the train's arrival.

At leas,t we'd managed a decent view of the newly restored locomotive the cost of which is estimated at £4.2 million. She's now on display at the National Railway museum in York. Then she will be touring the country on both mainline trips and visits to Heritage Railways.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Mixed Weekend

It should have been a good weekend for photographing and getting some video of steam train specials. It didn't quite turn out that way due to the rather wayward timing of Sunday's Tin Bath Special. 

Saturday's trip out was to see The Valentine White Rose running from London Kings Cross to York.
I'd got the timing from Real Time Trains just about spot on for our 45 minute trip out to Colton Junction near York. There were a good number of enthusiasts already in their chosen spots as we arrived. I think 34067 Tangmere was third choice locomotive for this tour behind 70000 Britannia and 60009 Union of South Africa. Actually it's a bit of a treat to see an Ex Southern Region locomotive working in this part of the country. 
 Tangmere sped by running a few minutes early but with a rather disappointing amount of smoke.

Sunday's plan was to capture The Tin Bath in Wakefield our local station. I've blogged before about the special charter steam train called the Tin Bath named after the Last of the Summer Wine television programme. On Sunday it was due to travel through Wakefield. This was too good an opportunity to miss so my plan was to pop down to the station to grab a quick video clip as it passed through. I knew from the Internet the train was running almost an hour late and so tried to judge our arrival time accordingly. Then at the last minute I decided more of an action packed video would be better rather than the train passing slowly through the station and decided on a spot out towards Horbury Junction. The trouble was I got the timing all wrong and we arrived just as smoke billowed over the bridge parapets. So as you've probably guessed there are no photographs of The Tin Bath.

To finish off this post the video of Tangmere heading The Valentine White Rose is included below.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

60103 Class A3 4-6-2 Flying Scotsman

The forecast for Saturday didn’t look too bad - well the morning looked dry with the possibility of some rain in the afternoon. As it turned out the forecast was wrong - very wrong. I’d decided it was my last chance to get some photos as videos of the world famous steam locomotive 60103 Flying Scotsman. After some test runs in the week it was scheduled to haul the Cumbrian Mountain Express to Carlisle on Saturday.
Our trip up the A1 to Scotch Corner wasn't too bad although it was a little bit misty in places. By the time we’d stopped for coffee at a farm shop near Scotch Corner not only was it misty but it had started to rain too.

By the time we reached the Cumbrian border it was cold and rainy which I suppose is only to be expected in early February.
Our Sat Nav managed to find some of the narrow Cumbrian roads to get to our chosen vantage point and at least on this occasion we avoided any closed bridges. 
As I had suspected we wouldn't be the only ones out trying to get some photos of Flying Scotsman and by the time we arrived at Lowgill, other enthusiasts had already arrived. Need I confirm that it was pouring down with rain. After a bit of a discussion we decided our best option was to use an umbrella to protect both us and our cameras from the rain. It’s not that simple to take video and photos sheltering under a small umbrella. We’ll have to lash out and buy a bigger one for future rain affected photo opportunities. 
So this is the best still image we managed grabbed off some video. Neither video or photography went according to plan due to sheltering under the umbrella.

After an excellent lunch in Hawes we set off to Garsdale to try our luck at some photos as Flying Scotsman headed up the Settle and Carlisle line. By now the roads were rather wet with some very large puddles in places. 
My camera was already playing up which I think was due to it getting damp in the morning although it was certainly sheltered from the rain. In the end we took the comfortable option of trying to photograph and video the train from the comfort of the car with the windscreen wipers working hard to keep the windscreen clear. It might have been the comfortable option but it didn't work very well at all. 
The Flying Scotsman’s next public outing will be its inaugural run from London Kings Cross to York on 25 February 2016 when it will have been repainted in its BR green livery.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Winter Visit to the Great Central Railway

On a typically cold January morning we decided to head off and spend the afternoon at the Great Central Railway winter steam gala. As we arrived I was very surprised by the numbers of enthusiasts who had decided to visit as well as us. The allotted field for parking was very wet and some areas were too wet for parking on.
As usual I expected there would be plenty of action with the railway making full use of the fact that it has up and down lines so trains come and go all the time. One of the special guest locomotives was 34053 Sir Keith Park. As we wandered towards the railway Sir Keith Park was on its way with a demonstration goods train. We hardly had time to get our cameras set up ready to capture the moment. 

Of course despite a couple of guest locomotives the Great Central Railway’s home fleet was out in full force with 777 Sir Lamiel soon arriving at Quorn and Woodhouse station.

Newly restored home fleet Locomotive 6990 Witherslack Hall was also in steam and captured getting away from Quorn & Woodhouse with a Leicester bound passenger train. We spent the afternoon wandering around the station premises photographing and videoing as many passing locomotives as we could. This was in between visits to the cafe for some warming cups of coffee.
The highlight of the afternoon was 34053 Sir Keith Park working the demonstration mail train at top speed. It’s always a good spectacle to watch the mail train running through Quorn & Woodhouse. The mail train is allowed to run much faster than the other passenger and freight trains and whilst not full out express speed it looks pretty fast compared with all the slow trains which stop at the station.
Here's a video of the express mail drop run.

A link to my HD quality YouTube video is here

By the time we’d had a coffee it was starting to get a little late in the afternoon and as it had become rather dull so, as the light was starting to fade, we decided to head off home. As we were leaving we just managed to catch 34053 Sir Keith Park returning with the mail train to Loughborough.
A video of the whole afternoon is included below.

A link to my HD quality YouTube video is here

60103 Flying Scotsman

Having missed 60103 Flying Scotsman on its return to steam on the East Lancashire Railway last month I see it's due for a test run today.
I'm assuming if all goes well it will be in charge of the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express on Saturday heading over Shap to Carlisle on the West Coast Main Line and returning over the Settle and Carlisle.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Elusive Flying Scotsman

It's been quite a while since I last posted on my blog. The start of a new year gives me the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Nowadays through the summer there is almost no steam on the main line in Yorkshire. A few years ago through the summer months there were four trains each week heading to Scarborough but now following troubles with line side fires we're lucky to get a couple all summer.

There's some newly restored locomotives to look out for, including 46100 Royal Scot and of course the world famous 60103 Flying Scotsman.
I contemplated making the trip over the Pennines to see Flying Scotsman undergoing trials on the East Lancashire Railway but never made it unlike hundreds of other enthusiasts. I did have a plan to see Flying Scotsman hauling its inaugural main line tour over the Settle and Carlisle to Carlisle returning via Shap. Unfortunately, due to braking issues with 60103, Ian Riley's two Black Fives 44871 & 45407 stood in.
We'd decided on one of our more favoured photographic locations but with time running short before the first Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express was due we came across a small masonry arch bridge  that was closed due to flood damage. This blocked our way and so we had to very quickly find a alternayove location and make the most of it.
That was it , just a few seconds and the train was in and out of view. Time to check out my video and see if I'd got any usable footage.

I've noticed that the next Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express scheduled to be hauled by Flying Scotsman is now the 06 February, replacing 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, assuming suitable repairs and a main line test run has been completed. However, should Flying Scotsman not be available then the Duchess will be on standby to take charge of the train.

For me that first photo of the newly restored 60103 Flying Scotsman remains elusive.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Steaming to The Lindum Fayre

The Christmas Lindum Fayre is an annual event in Lincoln and usually attracts a couple of steam hauled charter trains to the city. Saturday 06 December 2014 was a day not to be missed for the steam enthusiast with not one but two locomotives heading for the city.

The first charter heading into Lincoln was Vintage Trains Limited Christmas Lindum Fayre from Tyseley Warwick Road in Birmingham hauled by GWR Hall Class no 4965 Rood Ashton Hall. Our plan was to head to Swinderby Road for our first video and photo location spot.
We arrived at Swinderby Road in good time but the ground was still white over with frost. All was going well as 4965 Rood Ashton Hall needed to be on time or at best only a few minutes late if we were to make our second location of Metheringhan station.
It was now a case of heading off to Metheringham station to catch the second charter train of the day this time The Railway Touring Company's charter hauled by LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60009 Union of South Africa. We arrived at the station earlier than anticipated and had a few minutes to wait in the still freezing conditions.
As it turned out we had even more time than we thought as by the time 60009 Union of South Africa arrive it was running a few minutes late.

Our extra time in the cold was rewarded with an excellent chime as she speed through the station.