We decided on a trip to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway as it’s the first weekend of their spring steam gala. Unfortunately the weather wasn't any better up on the North Yorkshire Moors, not that I was really expecting it to be, in fact it was worse and we ended up by abandoning the outing before we ended up even more soaked than we were.
When the heritage railway are holding a gala they usually arrange for a “visiting star attraction” a locomotive not normally seen on the railway. This gala is no exception especially as the star attraction in question is the fastest steam locomotive of the heritage era. 4464 Bittern made three 90mph trips along the East Coast Main Line last year to commemorate its sister locomotive Mallard’s world record speed of 126mph set in 1938. Bittern is normally restricted to 75mph operating main line charter trains but was granted special permission to exceed this limit on the national rail network on these three occasions. 4464 Bittern now carries a plaque to mark this event.
4464 Bittern with a fully loaded tender of coal and water weighs in at around 165 tons. You would think it wouldn't be easy to hide something that big but it can also create an enormous amount of steam allowing the locomotive to leave Grosmont station bound for Pickering engulfed in steam and almost hidden from view.
Just as well that we'd managed to capture a few shots of Bittern before it took its place at the front of the train.
By the middle of the afternoon the morning drizzle had turned into heavy rain and we decided to head home before the thoroughly wet weather did some damage to our camera and soaked us to the skin. An hour and a half’s journey in soggy clothes wasn't something we fancied.