“Come in No.6”

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I do like Industrial locomotives, they come in such a variety of shapes and sizes, not to mention a fine array of liveries. However, the sight of former industrial locomotives dragging a few old BR MKI coaches, or even pre-grouping stock, doesn’t seem quite right. One of the reasons I so enjoy the atmosphere at the Tanfield and Middleton Railways, is they’ve come up with a rolling stock solution which matches their motive power, in scale. Tanfield’s attempt to re-create a colliery railway is particularly pleasing and the old wooden bodied Ex-NER coaches, whilst being main line stock – still seem ‘in scale’.

The preservation of our ‘industrial’ heritage has been a fantastic effort, both in scope and ambition, from narrow gauge slate railways or quarry lines to standard gauge mine and colliery railways; and that’s not to mention the many items of goods and non-passenger rolling stock which survive, along with goods dock cranes, water towers and columns – there’s even a preserved cast iron Gents urinal.

I know that many a heritage line, which now boasts a fine selection of former BR motive power, began with little more than an old Hunslet or Barclay as the mainstay of the MPD, this is only to be expected. What is less expected, is that 50 years into railway preservation, and with quite a number of ‘Ex-Barry’ locomotives still in that condition, some lines are still using Ex-Industrials as their regular motive power. I’m sure they all have their reasons, and I doubt the general public even notice, but it does seem sad that so many former BR locos are still ‘hors de combat’ – 50+ years on.

 

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Shadowy past.

No20kinneil

Built in 1863 by Sharp & Stewart of Manchester No.20 was supplied new to the Furness Railway, which opened for business in 1846. One of a batch of eight similar engines, supplied by Sharp Stewart, No.20’s time on the FR was short and by 1870 she was sold to the Barrow Heamatite Steel Co., where No.20 became BHS No.7. BHS removed the tender and added a saddle tank, drastically altering No.20 / 7 in the process. However, the swap must have worked for BHS No.7remained in operation until 1960, at the steel works.

After 97 years of railway and industrial service No.20 / BHS No.7, still in her altered state as an 0-4-0ST, was put ‘out to grass’ – a static exhibit in a nearby school. This might have been then end, it was not to be, however, and No.20 was, in 1983, purchased and moved to Carnforth Steamtown, where she remained for some years, essentially because one of her owners died. In 1990 the Furness Railway Trust purchased the dismantled, mortal remains, to safeguard them. Then, in 1996 the FRT successfully applied for lottery funding to rebuild No.20, to ‘as supplied’ by Sharp Stewart- this is what we see today, here at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway Gala.

The shadowy bit – well that’s me – the chap taking the photos!

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 2Gricing” 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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The last of Morayshire

62712kenneilb&cedit2On the weekend the clocks went back it was time to put No.62712 Morayshire back in the box, her ten year ticket has run its course and now she’s ‘in the queue’.  For a variety of reasons, mostly associated with the lottery of which engines ended up in which scrapyards, locomotives of the former LNER and it constituent companies fared rather badly in terms of surviving classes and numbers. No. 62712 Morayshire, the only member of the  D49 class, survived, because she was sold to Slateford Laundry, in Edinburgh, for use as a stationary boiler.

For me the D49s will always be associated with Burley Park and the Leeds – Harrogate services, of the period 1955 – 60. In 1960 Starbeck had 10 on the books and Neville Hill, (Leeds), had 6 – all of them were ‘Hunts’. They were, in the main, responsible for the local passenger workings in the late 1950s, but they also saw turns on the Harrogate Sunday Pullman and the Queen of Scots, on occasion.

Trains, north bound from Leeds, are on a gradient of 1 in 100 as they pass the park and can be heard well before they can be seen.  More than enough time to get from the swings and roundabouts to the railings track-side, or the footbridge which crossed the line, giving local residents access to the park, to watch and record the passing.  Strangely, when I took the photo I was thinking, here I am 60 years on still standing by the railings track-side, watching and recording the passing.

I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing: Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

 

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Bo’ness passing

80105&246sadd

It’s Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway’s gala this weekend and it’s also the last outing, before her ticket expires, of Ex-LNER Class D49 4-4-0 No.246 Morayshire, which is why I chose the ‘passing’ shot. The pilot engine BR Std Class 4MTT 2-6-4 No.80105 is already in the overhaul queue.  The workshops at Bo’ness must be getting pretty full now, as along with No. 80105 and No.246 Morayshire, there are the longer term absentees the ‘Caley Tank’ No. 419 and the old battler Ex-North British Railway 0-6-0 No.65243 Maude.

Another engine which will be keeping the workshop crew busy, at some point, is the recently repatriated, (2014), Glasgow built 8F, Ex Turkish State Railways No.45170. No.45170 was built by the North British Locomotive Co., in 1942, and then allocated to the War Department, who sent her out on loan to the LMS for a few months, before she was shipped out to Turkey in 1943. The current estimate for putting No.45170 back in action is a cool £250,000. One can only wish them well with their fund raising.

The gala begins with a couple of fish trains on  Friday night – sorry, fish and chip trains –  and they come complete with a groan inducing banner – ‘The Frying Scotsman’ – sadly Flying Scotsman will not be on the premises!! Later maybe?

 For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Slough of despond

sloughest3

Looking at this photograph you would, perhaps, have some difficulty in recognising the scene as a site of genuinely historic significance. A clutter of used rails and sleepers, an assortment of old wagons, grass growing through the ballast, the sombre light and autumnal colour lend an almost melancholic air to the scene. Can you imagine the Czar of Russia visiting this spot, or George Stephenson coming here, before he ever built an engine of his own, to watch a steam locomotive hauling trains of around 90 tons – and what locomotives they were.

I began to wonder what the passengers might think as they trundled along past the wagons, piles of sleepers, and traveling cranes, because this is the first 1/4 of a mile of their journey, followed, almost immediately, by a plunge into tunnel under a 6 lane motorway, emerging behind an industrial estate before climbing steadily to the edge of a nearby public park. I wondered if they made the connections with those historic antecedents, did they know that Luddites were suspected of trying to sabotage the line, back in 1811. Did they know the Czar was so entranced by the steam locomotives, he saw on his visit, that he had Timothy Hackworth build one for him. Hackworth sent his son, with the Locomotive, to Russia, to assemble it and show the locals and, according to legend, the Czar, how to drive it – I’m not so sure they do.

Top marks though to the saviours and volunteers of the Middleton Railway, for keeping it going; despite the almost rank indifference of the City council to the historic gem in their own back yard. And this is not to mention the city’s many other historic connections to locomotive manufacturing, Hunslet, Fowler, the Round Foundry, etc.. The Slough of despond bit, well the locomotive is Slough Estates No.3, shunting the stock before services stared for the day, and the despond bit is the lack of real encouragement for the Middleton Railway by the city council, over many, many, years.

 For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Seems like only yesterday

1054gdsblkwht

Victorian England meets modern Britain, hot oil and sulphur cheek by jowl with flash cards and memory sticks. 0-6-2T No 1054, a.k.a. ‘the coal tank’ was, when new, the property of the London & North Western Railway; and at a time when the L&NWR was practically the largest company on the planet – the Microsoft / Amazon / Google of the 1880s. When No. 1054 was new, rivalry between railway companies for trade and traffic was intense – speed was an important factor in the competition equation. Not that I’m suggesting No.1054 is a speed machine, especially as she is a tank version of Webb’s 17″ Standard Goods engine.

However, in the year No.1054 was built a race, of sorts took place, between the companies operating the rival routes from London to Scotland – the East and West coast routes with the L&NWR and Caledonian Railway on the west coast and the Great Northern Railway, the North Eastern Railway and the North British Railway on the east coast. In the summer of 1888 the east and west coast routes began a series of tit-for-tat accelerations to their principal Scottish Express service – a quite definite precursor to the famous ‘Race to the North’ conducted by the same companies in 1895.

So that’s five companies, all kind of collaborating, to ‘race’ their trains against each other – seems like technology isn’t the only thing to have changed since 1888.

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Seems like only Yesterday

1054gdsblkwhtVictorian England meets modern Britain, hot oil and sulphur cheek by jowl with flash cards and memory sticks. 0-6-2T No 1054, a.k.a. ‘the coal tank’ was, when new, the property of the London & North Western Railway; and at a time when the L&NWR was practically the largest company on the planet – the Microsoft / Amazon / Google of the 1880s. When No. 1054 was new, rivalry between railway companies for trade and traffic was intense – speed was an important factor in the competition equation. Not that I’m suggesting No.1054 is a speed machine, especially as she is a tank version of Webb’s 17″ Standard Goods engine.

However, in the year No.1054 was built a race, of sorts took place, between the companies operating the rival routes from London to Scotland – the East and West coast routes with the L&NWR and Caledonian Railway on the west coast and the Great Northern Railway, the North Eastern Railway and the North British Railway on the east coast. In the summer of 1888 the east and west coast routes began a series of tit-for-tat accelerations to their principal Scottish Express service – a quite definite precursor to the famous ‘Race to the North’ conducted by the same companies in 1895.

So that’s five companies, all kind of collaborating, to ‘race’ their trains against each other – seems like technology isn’t the only thing to have changed since 1888.

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Austerity Measures

90711lteng

Made to look like yesteryear, given a new number, and sent out to play. No.90711 backs down into Keighley Station prior to working the 09.35 Oxenhope Goods. Specially ‘weathered’ for the occasion, I’ll let you decide if the treatment was a success. Some of you will already be aware that I have ‘history’ with these engines, from my days as a fireman at Wakefield (Belle Vue) – I even have a little history with this engine.

When 90711, a.k.a. 90733 and before that Swedish State Railways No.1931, was repatriated I was writing articles and news items for the now defunct, ‘Steam Railway News’.  I wrote one about 90733 to raise her profile, and some money, to see her back in steam, I might even have coughed up a few quid too.  If I remember it was  Tim and David Hanson who were involved in putting 90711 back on the rails, at the time. I have vague memories of something about a tender from Scunthorpe, or maybe it was just the tender frames and wheel sets – no matter.

No.90711 /90733 has now been in service since 2007 and by July 2017 will be out of ticket. I was thinking, when I took the photograph, if they hadn’t kept her all clean and shiny, she would, by now, have looked exactly like the grimy, clanking, beasts I worked over the Pennines with train loads of coal from Healy Mills yard to Rose Grove, back with the empties. A job these austere machines performed with aplomb.

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Nuts, screws, washers, and bolts

45407cowdenbeath1Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s ‘Fife Circle’ rail tour, in the capable hands of Ex-LMSR Class 5MT 4-6-0 No.45407, is about to run through Cowdenbeath station, in September of this year. No.45407 was built by Armstrong Whitworth, of Newcastle, in 1937 and worked until the last days of steam on British Railways, when she was allocated to Lostock Hall MPD, her first posting was at Kettering.

Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Whitworth, have, as they say, ‘some form’. Mr. Whitworth is your standard screw thread man, he was also a Fellow of the Royal Society and produced a ‘sharp shooter rifle’. Mr. Armstrong was also something of an armaments type and his breach loading gun was used to re-equip the British artillery after the Crimean war. Mr. Armstrong had built,  for himself, a house at the very forefront of the technology of the day. ‘Cragside’, in the village of Rothbury, had hot a cold running water, central heating, and electric lighting utilising a water powered  generator, hydroelectricity was a very novel idea for 1878.

Not content with hydro electrics and building locomotives and guns, Armstrong Whitworth, built ships, they are credited with the first ‘ice breaker’ and another which was involved in the opening and operation of the Trans-Siberian Railway. And if that’s not enough they built some rather handsome motor cars too – the Armstrong Siddley Sapphire was one such – bank managers loved them!!

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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‘And now for something completely different’

dmuboddinedit

I don’t normally do modern traction and that’s part of the amazing synchronicity about this little tale. It was a nice sunny day so I thought I’d take a drive along the scenic route to Montrose, take a photo at Boddin Point, along the way, and then photograph the signal box and semaphore signals at Montrose station, which I did.

When I arrived at Boddin Point, I had barely enough time to get my camera out of my bag, when No.170406 hove into view.  Her approach caused the flock of seagulls, which had been following the tractor, ploughing in the field, to take flight, which, I think, adds a nice touch. However, this isn’t the real reason for this diversion into modern traction.

The following day I thought I’d go and take a couple of shots around Dunkeld, but somehow or other ended up in Blair Atholl. Sadly, the bright sunshine had all but disappeared by the time I arrived in Blair Atholl, but what the heck, there’s a nice little signal box and a semaphore on a lovely lattice post I’ll take a shot, now I’m here.

Cut to Sunday morning and I’m looking at the pictures from my trip to Montrose and Blair Atholl when I notice that the unit from Boddin Point, is precisely the same unit, the following day, at Blair Atholl. Something I very rarely do, I do on consecutive days, in very different locations, and yet the unit is the same in both cases – weird or what.

dmubatholl

For any of you wanting to know more, or enjoy reading my blogs and the photographs, in them why not buy yourselves a copy of my book. 30,000+  words and more than 100 photographs.

The following are totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing: ‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’ – ‘ I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ I was given what I believe to be your book called Gricing the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!’

This is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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