Monday, 18 November 2013

LMS Jubilee Class 45699 Galatea with The Cumbrian Jubilee

I've added some video and additional photographs of LMS Jubilee Class 45699 Galatea with The Cumbrian Jubilee on Saturday 9th November 2013 to my web site.

To go to the appropriate web page click here

Friday, 1 November 2013

Galleries for Nene Valley Standards Gala

I've added a couple of picture galleries onto my web page of the Nene Valley Standards Gala held back in September 2013.

The page can be found here

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Too Busy to Blog

I don't seem to have found time to blog about our heritage railway visits in September and October but as the days grow colder and shorter I'll have time to update both blog and web pages.

September saw visits to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Nene Valley Railway autumn steam galas. I've now added  videos of both galas to my web pages and these are linked below.

Our first visit was the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough for their British Railways Standards  gala held over the weekend of 14th and 15th September 2013.

For the last weekend in September we visited the North Yorkshire Moors Railway autumn steam gala which was very good even though there was a distinct lack of visiting locomotives.

October arrived and we decided on a couple of days away to visit the West Somerset Railway's steam gala. Fortunately for us the weather was much better than expected and we had an excellent visit to the county.

As more information is added to my web pages I'll do a blog post listing the updates. In the meantime I hope these three video will keep you entertained as we enter a time of little steam movement on both our heritage lines and mainline charters.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

4468 Mallard Goes to Grantham

Just couldn't resist the opportunity to try to capture some video of the world's fastest steam locomotive on its way from the National Railway Museum at York to Grantham. Unfortunately it wasn't in steam for its journey south.
This is 4468 Mallard pictured between Milford Junction and Knottingley.

4468 Mallard the world's fastest ever steam locomotive was returning to the district where it broke the record on 03 July 1938. That record top speed of 126mph (203km/h) after passing through Grantham, Lincolnshire, on 3 July 1938 still stands. 4468 Mallard will be on display near Grantham station on 7 and 8 September, as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the record being set. The steam locomotive is normally kept at the National Railway Museum in York.

I managed a little bit of video as well as the three locomotives made their way slowly towards Grantham.

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.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Both the Scarborough Spa Express and Scarborough Flyer were operating through Wakefield Kirkgate again this week. Once again they were affected by the Steam ban  in operation nationwide and both had diesel locomotives tucked in behind the steam engine. The diesels were doing most of the work.

This week's pictures taken Wakefield Kirkgate Station,Normanton Station and near to Fairburn Ings.

45699 Galatea at Wakefield Kirkgate
At Normanton Station
Wakefield Kirkgate

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Visit to Foxfield

With the school holidays about to start it's a bit of a mixed blessing. It does mean a lack of galas on the Heritage lines as they rightly aim their market at attracting those on holiday and get some youngsters interested in the heritage scene. 

On the other hand it means the Scarborough Spa Express and Scarborough Flyer seasons are upon us until the end of the summer holidays.

However we did take the opportunity to visit Foxfield Railway's Summer Steam gala and it turned out to be a good day with plenty of steam action. I've added a page about the Foxfield Railway to my web page if you would like to see more click here.
Florence No 2 arrives at Caverswell Road Station on the Foxfield Railway
0-4-0 WT Tank "Willy" with a freight train leaving Foxfield Colliery

Sunday, 23 June 2013

More Visits to Colton Junction

I've been a bit slow at keeping my blog up to date but we've made a couple more trips to Colton Junction to photograph a couple of steam locomotives that we hadn't seen before.

The first of these was 60019 or 4464 Bittern with The Cathedral Express to Scotland. Bittern was in charge of the train from Kings Cross to York where 60009 Union of South Africa would take over for the remainder of the journey to Edinburgh.
Bittern at Colton Junction on 14-06-2013
This weekend 70013 Oliver Cromwell stood in for 60009 Union of South Africa which was unavailable. It was in charge of The White Rose from Kings Cross to York. It was wet and windy as the train arrived 20 minutes down at Colton Junction. Not the best of conditions for good photography.
70013 Oliver Cromwell at Colton Junction 22 June 2013

Sunday, 9 June 2013

LMS Coronation Class 4-6-2 No. 46233 'Duchess of Sutherland'

A short trip out to Colton Junction near York to take some pictures of The Duchess working the "North Eastern" tour to Newcastle.
Leaving her scheduled water stop at Milford around 9 minutes early she was brought to a halt at Colton Junction to allow an East Coast Main Line service the route to York before the North Eastern took the Main line into York itself.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Thursday, 23 May 2013

LMS Jubilee Class 46599 Galatea

I made a quick trip out on Monday afternoon to see if I could get some video of LMS Jubilee Class 46599 Galatea. As far as I could make out it would be passing through Woodlesford station with empty coaching stock on a move from Kings Lynn to Carnforth. 

Surprising 46599 Galatea arrived through the station almost exactly on time. Rather fitting I thought that it should be passing through Woodlesford one of its old stomping grounds in the days of steam with such wonderful express as “The Tames Clyde Express”

All over in a few seconds but never mind she was listed to be in charge of the Fyld Coast Express on Wednesday 22 May 2013 so perhaps a chance to catch up with her somewhere on the Settle to Carlisle Railway as she made her way to Blackpool.

Here’s the video shot at Woodlesford. 

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Monday, 13 May 2013

North Yorkshire Moors 40th Anniversary Gala

A video of our day out to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which we attended so we could travel on the steam trains at their 40 anniversary gala on 10 May 2013.

The footage features not only the locomotives we travelled behind but some of the scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors in late spring.

We start with some shots at Pickering station of NER design class J72 0-6-0T locomotive number 69023 “Joem” bringing in and running around the Great Western Saloon carriage to operate a shuttle service to Levisham.

Meanwhile LNER A4 class Pacific 60007 "Sir Nigel Gresley"  arrives with a service from Grosmont and runs around its train ready to operate the next service to Grosmont. This is the train we catch to Goathland where we break our journey and have lunch. We pass LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 45407 'The Lancashire Fusilier' at Levisham where our train pauses in the station before departing for Grosmont.

At Goathland we get some footage of 60007 "Sir Nigel Gresley” leaving for Grosmont and after lunch we see LNER class B1 4-6-0 61264 renumbered and named as 61002 Impala double heading with  60007 "Sir Nigel Gresley"  arriving at Goathland. We see our train 45407 'The Lancashire Fusilier' arrive at Goathland before we get on board for our journey to Whitby.

At Whitby 45407 'The Lancashire Fusilier' pushes its train out of the station to perform its run around the train before re-entering the station. We decided to catch this train back to Grosmont and spend an hour at this station.

At Goathland our day went pear shaped with the cancellation of a train to Pickering. As the previous train to Pickering had been diesel hauled we decided on an extra hour at Grosmont to take advantage of the next steam hauled train. This was not to be and left us with a further 2 hours wait at Grosmont.

In the end we travelled back to Whitby again with  45407 'The Lancashire Fusilier' very disappointingly this service was then diesel hauled all the way back from Whitby to Pickering. This wasn't the end to the day out we had hoped for.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Friday, 19 April 2013

Success and Failure

Last weekend's failure was on Friday afternoon with an attempt to film Ian Riley's black 5's on a positioning move through Wakefield Kirkgate. This turned out to be  unsuccessful as we heard the Black 5's whistles, as they went through Wakefield one hour early, whilst we were walking towards the station.

Our second visit of the weekend was on Saturday to catch 60163 Tornado hauling the Cathedrals Express from London Kings Cross to York.
60163 Tornado was just a few minutes down as it powered through Ryther in North Yorkshire. We also tried a video using both old and new cameras which I think came out quite well.

Finishing off a busy weekend we made a trip into Derbyshire on Sunday to visit The Peak Line Heritage Railway which was hosting a visit of 34067 Tangmere with The Peak Forester charter train.

Our first view of 34067 Tangmere was at Whatstandwell just outside Matlock still on the National rail network.
After lunch we moved on to Rowsley, the hub of Peak Rail, to see if we could capture some more pictures of 34067 Tangmere. At Rowsley Tangmere got the steam train version of a quick pit stop ready for the return journey to London. The site at Rowsley was packed with enthusiasts all looking for the perfect picture.
We were too late to see the locomotive on the turntable but as you can see we did capture it filling up with fuel, a tender full of coal, before being reunited with its coaches.

There were some good opportunities to watch Tangmere perform a few manoeuvring operations as it moved from the coal yard to the station to head up the train.

As a bonus whilst watching Tangmere take on coal and carry out a little bit of manoeuvering we saw Lord Phil arrive with one of Peak Rail's own services from Matlock.
The video below covers the visit of 34067 Tangmere to Peak Rail on a rather windy and damp Sunday afternoon. I'm sure Peak Rail will be pleased with the numbers of people who turned out to see this tour on their heritage line.

To finish is a short clip of Lord Phil one of Peak Rail's locomotives arriving and departing Rowsley with a Matlock service.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Specials in the North This Weekend

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An early start to some steam locomotives this weekend with Ian Riley's Black 5's 44871 and 45407 making a positional move from Grosmont-Shrewsbury. The provisional timings for this move are given here on the UKsteam website.
44871 and 45407 with The Tin Bath at Stocksmoor station 17 03 2013
On Saturday 60163 Tornado hauls The Cathedrals Express from London to Durham presumably by the East Coast Main Line but no details are on the web site at the moment.
60163 Tornado approaches Sherburn In Elmet with The Cathedrals Express on 30 06 2012
Then for good measure a real rarity as on Sunday 14 April 2013 Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 No 34067 Tangmere is scheduled to bring The Peak Forester from London Kings Cross to Matlock and Rowsley via the Peak Rail heritage railway. It's not very often we have the chance to see  one of these locomotives hauling charter trains on the main line this far north

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Thursday, 4 April 2013


The Yorkshire Coast Express ran from Crewe to Scarborough passing through Milford on its way to York and the coast. The train was hauled by 8F 48151 throughout.  It was our intention to photograph the train just before it arrived at Milford loop for a water stop and then to move on to Sherburn in Elmet to capture it pulling away after taking on water.
On a lovely sunny, but bitterly cold, day 48151 cruises into its stop at Milford Loop. Disappointingly no smoke but I suppose as it was going to stop for water a mile or so up the line this was to be expected. It was a nice change to be taking pictures in sunshine rather than the dull gloomy weather of our last few excursions.
Once the train was out of sight at this location we quickly packed up cameras and tripods and headed for the station at Sherburn in Elmet. It's only a few minutes up the road giving us plenty of time to set up on the station platform to capture 48151 pulling away from its water stop.
In the end we had plenty of time to get set up before The Yorkshire Coast Express came through on its way to Scarborough. The pictures were a little more difficult to shoot due to a group of photographers standing at the end of the platform and blocking everybody else's view of the approaching express. Some people are just not very thoughtful.

I travelled to Woodlesford Station on Wednesday evening as 48151 was due to pass through on the return journey to Crewe at around 18:20. However, by 18:30 48151 hadn't shown up and on Realtime Trains it still appeared to be in York. I decided I might as well head home. I later found out that 48151 had been failed at York suspected of causing lineside fires on its run from Scarborough to York so no pictures at Woodlesford.

Our video at these two locations is shown below.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Tin Bath - video

I did manage to get some video of The Railway Touring Company's Tin Bath charter passing through Stocksmoor station on 17 March 2013. In charge were Ian Riley's Black 5 locomotives 44871 and 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Tin Bath

The Tin Bath ran from Preston and Manchester over the steeply graded routes to West Yorkshire and passed through areas renowned for Lancashire cotton mills and Yorkshire woollen mills. The train was hauled by two steam locomotives ‘Black 5’ 4-6-0’s Nos. 44871 and 45407, facing face some of the fiercest gradients in the country.

The Tin Bath at Stocksmoor Station
It was yet another bitterly cold March day as the two locomotives hauled the The Railway Touring Company’s charter train through Stocksmoor station. A good number of photographers had turned out to capture a rare journey by steam train alone this line.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Monday, 4 March 2013

A Tale of Two Viaducts

On Saturday 02 March 2013 we visited the Settle to Carlisle Railway in the Yorkshire Dales to photograph The Cumbrian Guardsman and The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express.

The weather was generally good but unfortunately at the important times the sun managed to disappear behind the clouds making photography of moving objects a bit of a lottery. Our first location was Dandry Mire Viaduct which is just north of Garsdale station.

Dandry Mire Viaduct

The construction of Dandry Mire Viaduct was completed in 1875. It is 227 yds (208m) long and stands 50 ft (15m) high. Originally planned as an embankment difficult ground conditions resulted in the construction of the viaduct.

Dandry Mire Viaduct construction date

70000 Britannia was hauling Vintage Trains Limited “The Cumbrian Guardsman” steam hauled from Hellifield to Carlisle over the Settle to Carlisle Line returning to Carnforth via Shap.

70000 Britannia crosses Dandry Mire Viaduct

Britannia heads onto Dandry Mire Viaduct

After this our second visit of the day was to Dent Head Viaduct. The intention was to photograph 60009 Union of South Africa with The Railway Touring Company’s  “Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express”

Dent Head Viaduct

Dent Head Viaduct is a 10 arch viaduct with a combined length of 199 yds (182m) long standing 100ft (30m) high.

As we arrived it was a sunny afternoon and would have made a spectacular photograph with the train crossing over the viaduct. Unfortunately the train was running a few minutes late so by then,  the sun had dipped behind the hills lighting up only the distant fells as Union of South Africa crossed the viaduct.

60009 Union of South Africa crosses Dent Head Viaduct

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Sunday, 10 February 2013

It was a cold cloudy misty day in the Dales but with the possibility of photographing two  different steam locomotives we decided to make the trip.

Our first location was a little north of Settle Junction to photograph The West Coast Railway Companies “The  Lancastrian” steam hauled over the following section of route - Preston-Carnforth-Helifield-Blackburn-Preston.
48151 heading for Settle Junction

48151 heading for Settle Junction
The Ex London Midland and Scottish Railway's 8F class 2-8-0 No 48151 was in charge of the train seen here heading towards Settle Junction.
48151 heading for Settle Junction
Fortunately for us The Lancastrian was more or less on time giving us plenty of time to find somewhere for lunch before heading on to the station at Horton In Ribblesdale to take some photos before making our way to Helwith Bridge to wait for 60009 Union of South Africa with The Railway Touring Companies “The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express”.

Due at Helwith Bridge by 16:27 I thought the light would just about hold out for some pictures. On a good day that might have been correct but with a dull cloudy day to start off with and 60009 over 30 minutes late before steaming through Helwith Bridge the light had just about disappeared.
60009 Union of South Africa with The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express
The result a rather grainy picture of Union of South Africa crossing the viaduct over the River Ribble. 

And to finish off with here's our video of the days events.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Thursday, 31 January 2013

I saw the notifications concerning the support move for 60009 Union of South Africa from The National Railway Museum to Carnforth. This move was in order for UoSA to work this Saturday's Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express for The Railway Touring Company. The steam hauled section is planned from Carnforth to Carlisle over Shap summit with the return leg via the famous Settle to Carlisle line. The tour starts and ends at Euston station (London) but is hauled up and down to Carnforth by an electric locomotive.

I supposed this would be an opportunity to get our first main line steam photographs of the year. We made our way to a spot near Colton Junction just South of York where UoSA should have made an appearance at about 14:15 if all had gone to plan.
Of course you're seeing this picture because everything didn't go to plan. After an hours wait there wasn't any hint of steam just lots of diesels. It was blowing a gale and quite difficult to stand up at times so in the end we decided to give it up as a bad job and head for home.

It turned out that UoSA's support coach had been derailed in York so I suppose its none appearance will have to be forgiven.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Welsh Railways on TV

I saw the programmes on TV over the last couple of nights about the restoration of the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.
Ffestiniog Railway at Blaenau Ffestiniog
We visited both railways on a holiday in North Wales in September 2011 and I never realised that the full length of the Welsh Highland Railway had only been open for a few months following 15 years of work by many volunteers.

So if you missed spotting these video I posted back then of these two Welsh mountain railways  I've posted them again below.

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Wait is Nearly Over

Just a couple of weeks to go now before the 2013 mainline steam action gets underway. That's not forgetting that the first steam gala of the year takes place on the East Lancashire Railway next Saturday and Sunday. The following weekend sees The Great Central Railway's steam gala held over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday 26 January 2013 steam should once again be running over the famous Settle to Carlisle route with the Railway Touring Company's Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express. This should be double headed by 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier and 44871 making the trip from Manchester to Carlisle via Shap returning over the Settle to Carlisle.

I've no photographs of either of these locomotive so I've added a picture of 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Kirby Stephen  on 17 November 2012 with The Cumbrian Mountaineer.
Camera and video fully charged and ready to go!

Copyright: Original post from M Garrett