A little tank engine and a single coach, the epitome of a rural backwater, in some bygone era when summer skies were always sunny. The line was worked by the same little engine, the same crews, and all housed in a handsome little two road engine shed, the entire operation the railway equivalent of being put out to grass. Truly the slow train of poetic fame and chocolate box lid.
The little slice of life that was the rural railway station, the parcels office and the goods agent, probably a coal merchant too. On the platform mail bags for the village post office, a few churns of milk, maybe a basket of hens / chickens. School kids, farmers wives on market days, the bread and butter of its passenger trade. It wasn’t just the steam that went, it was the entire way of life that went with it, literally.
The bucolic bliss of the rural branch line idyll is captured in 1000 piece puzzles – copies of paintings by Breckon, Hawkins, or Cuneo. In real life things are rarely like this, which is, I’m guessing, the reason for the popularity of such images. In the real world, there are leaves on the line, late for the office, stuck at a signal, with a view of the gasometer railways. Gasometers, now there’s something you don’t see everyday, but would you want to.
The photos show No.5526 with the auto train in ‘pound field’ at the Llangollen Railway and SECR 0-6-0 No.178 at Andrews House station on the Tanfield Railway.
If you have enjoyed my blogs – 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: