Only this week and next to go for this season’s Spa Express to Scarborough. The season has been very disappointing and the next couple of weeks are unlikely to change my opinion.
On Tuesday the first round trip of the week saw 48151 been pushed around by a class 47 diesel. Most enthusiasts have now realised that steam action will be very limited with the “fire risk” diesel tucked in behind the steam locomotive.
Our first location was Hillam Lane near Burton Salmon to pick up the morning run on the outward loop from York. It’s the first time I've done any photography at Hillam Lane with no other enthusiasts somewhere along the lane. There was no dramatic action as I suspect once again the class 47 was putting in the effort.
We had a morning walk around RSPB Fairburn Ings capturing the returning Spa Express just outside the reserve crossing the river Aire. There was plenty of action on the river with pleasure craft making their way up and downstream.
In the evening we headed to Woodlesford station as this is a good place to get some close up shots of the locomotive as the train stops in the station to drop off passengers. This wasn't the case as the carriages at the end of the train were positioned on the short platform with the locomotives up the track and out of view. Once again only a couple of other enthusiasts had bothered to turn up.
Last year we had several steam hauled trips from Leeds or Wakefield but I wouldn't consider it this year as if I’m booking a steam trip to the coast that’s what I expect and this season that wouldn't be the case. I’m also wondering if one of the companies might try something different with a steam hauled charter to somewhere other than Scarborough or Carlisle. Give or take the odd cancellation there will have been 30 trains to Scarborough (Scarborough Spa Express and Scarborough Flyer) and 6 charters to Carlisle. Personally I’d like a change.
Enough of me having a rant here's a video of The Scarborough Spa Express on 20 August 2013 with a few extras both on rails and water.
If you would like to see 48151 putting in some real effort check out the video below with 48151 working The Lancastrian in February 2013.