Thursday, 22 August 2013

Some Steam Action Would be Good

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.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Some You Win

A mixed end to the week as far as the local steam train photography goes. 45699 Galatea failed on the Scarborough Spa Express with a class 47 diesel taking over. Not what I wanted to see arriving in Woodlesford station on Thursday evening.
At least the Scarborough Spa Express was on time unlike Friday night when I popped down to Horbury to photograph 46233 Duchess of Sutherland with the Scarborough Flyer which was running almost 20 minutes late at this location.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

46115 Scots Guardsman with the Scarborough Spa Express

Went down to the station in Wakefield to get some footage of the Scarborough Spa Express. I'm going to have to try somewhere else as just too many "enthusiasts" now visit the station and provided they get the shot they want they're quite prepared to walk straight in front of someone else’s shot. Perhaps they don't do it on a purpose but just don't think what they're doing. Either way it makes getting a good video impossible.

Here’s my footage of The Scarborough Spa Express with 46115 Scots Guardsman once again in charge. The train was running around 20 minutes late at Wakefield Westgate and still rather frustratingly timed its arrival to coincide with a Northern Rail DMU stopping train in the station at the same time.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Busy Day on the Settle to Carlisle railway

Sunday promised to be a busy day on the Settle to Carlisle railway. Two special charter trains and four different steam locomotives to be seen all in the same day. Our first stop was at Helwith Bridge to see 46115 Scots Guardsman with the Waverley.

It was a little disappointing to see a class 47 diesel tucked in behind the steam locomotive as line side fire protection.

We then travelled up to Ribblehead Viaduct to photograph 70013 Oliver Cromwell crossing this spectacular viaduct. Unfortunately for us the weather did its best to make photography difficult. In the pouring rain Oliver Cromwell arrived at the viaduct hauling the 1T 57 Fifteen Guinea Fellsman.

We had intended to photograph both trains returning over Ribblehead Viaduct but as the rain persisted into the afternoon we had second thoughts. We decided to go to Settle station even though we haven't visited this spot before. It’s always a risky move making a first time visit, would there be anywhere to park, would we be able to get any good photographs. Hopefully the weather would be better in Settle.

It turned out to be a good choice with plenty of parking and Spots on the station for good photographs. 46115 Scots Guardsman with the returning Waverley was the first train through the station. By the time it arrived there were plenty of other photographers lining the platforms all trying for the best photograph.

After this there was about 30 minutes to wait for the returning 1T 57 Fifteen Guinea Fellsman. On this part of the journey the Fellsman was hauled by two black fives 44932 and 45231.

This Charter train recreated the last steam hauled service by British railways on 11 August 1968. Two black fives hauled this train over this part of the route. One of those locomotives 45231 was in charge of the train again today having survived into preservation.

The two black fives made a great sight speeding through the station. Our video of the day out is below.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Didn't Quite Work Out

I started the week full of good intentions to get some pictures of this weeks Scarborough Express steam hauled trains. The week started well enough and I got some pictures and video of 46115 Scots Guardsmen returning through Wakefield Kirkgate with the Scarborough Spa Express.

Luckily this week no one dashed out in front of my camera at the last moment.

Wednesday was a wet day with rain on and off all day so I decided not to bother with any filming as I don't think my best pictures are taken in dull and rainy conditions. Thursday was an absolute scorcher of a day with the temperature nudging into the thirties centigrade and as I was on the allotment in the afternoon I decided to see if I could film 60009 Union of South Africa on a light engine move from the National Railway Museum to Crewe in preparation for hauling Friday's Scarborough Flyer.

I didn't manage a particularly good bit of video but it was interesting to note that 60009 made its move without diesel assistance so I'm assuming the steam ban due to fire risk has been lifted due to the recent heavy rainfall.

On Friday morning  I made the short trip to Horbury to film 60009 Union of South Africa on the Scarborough Flyer. I made it just in time and got a nice chime from the locomotive as she headed for Wakefield Kirkgate.

In the evening I intended to try a new location but hadn't done enough investigation work and failed completely to capture any video. I did manage a pretty good picture of a thunderstorm forming over Castleford.

Ah well there's always another week.