Not so sacred cows

Given the lexical legerdemain practiced by advertisers and politicians alike, the railway preservation movement missed a trick when it comes to ‘ environmental considerations’ – they should have claimed to be water powered. Lots of pictures of fluffy clouds of white exhaust – and, just as ‘Basil’ wasn’t to, ‘mention the war’, say nothing of the oxides of Nitrogen, Sulphur, and Carbon, nor the fine particles of ash.

The fireman on No.76079 had just been putting a few rounds on when I took this shot – he was definitely hitting the right spots. The location is Esk Valley about half a mile into the 15 minute slog up to Goathland  from Grosmont.  The most testing section is the almost three miles at 1:49, which  they are already on, it eases slightly as you enter Goathland station which is on a gradient of 1:138 and the summit is a further 2 miles with sections of 1:90, and 1:100 and a tiny stretch at 1:171. The line twists and snakes its way up the valley and this only makes the climb harder. It is a real test of engine and crew and if you chuck in a wet rail when the weather’s bad and you have a really demanding piece of work for both driver and fireman.

The cows – well they, apparently, couldn’t care less, but don’t mention burgers!!

Some of you might be interested to know that my book, Railway Tales, about my own footplate work during the last years of BR steam, is now available as an ebook here’s the link:

Steam Age Daydreams began in 2014 and since then over 600 blogs have appeared on all manner of railway topics.  They are all still available to read in the ‘Archive’ section. I am writing this to let you all know that when the existing webhosting contract expires in December there are, currently, no plans to renew it – Steam Age Daydreams will cease.

The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway will still be available on Amazon – Below, is the link to it.

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