Autumnal Hall

Everything’s gone to seed and the leaves are turning – the season of mellow fruitfulness has descended and the autumn gala season is in full swing. This is the scene on Sunday last, at the Great Central Railway’s Autumn Gala, as No.6990 Witherslack Hall romps along the Quorn straight with a train for Leicester North.

The gala was also a celebration of the 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials in which, No.6990 Witherslack Hall was not only a participant, she worked trains over this very line during the trials. On 24th June she worked from Marylebone to Manchester Central with the North Eastern Railway Dynamometer Car added to the train. She worked back to London on the 25th; again with the NER dynamometer car in the train.

Just as there are those who see the trials as little more than a publicity stunt for the newly formed British Railways, there are no shortages of those who see the closure of the Great Central as not only folly but, as the result  little more than  political skullduggery.  When 35005 Canadian Pacific returned to steam on the GCR; I had lunch with the MD of CP Europe – who, as a company, had just spent £2 million on a study into the feasability of reopening the GCR between Rugby and London – it wasn’t.

Still musn’t grumble we wouldn’t have the joys of main line steam on a heritage line!!

Above is the link to Part I of my memories of footplate life in the 1960s. The book about my lifetime of involvement with matters railway is still  available on Amazon – Below, is the link to that work.

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.

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