Tag Archives: North Yorkshire Moors

Stanier’s 5

Now in LMS livery and looking very smart, Class 5 4-6-0 No.5428 is about to cross over the Goathland – Pickering road at Moorgates, close to the summit of the climb from Grosmont. With any locomotive engineer there is, understandably, a tendency to concentrate attention on their express engine designs. In Stanier’s case this is his Cornonation Class Pacifics and to a lesser extent his Princess Class. However, for my money his most succesfull locomotive was the one pictured here.

The Black 5 proved to be robust, reliable, a good steamer and loved by the crews who worked on them, myself included. They are well proportioned and uncluttered in their outline and, when called upon, had a fair turn of speed too.  I have seen timing logs of them deputising for A4s on the ‘Saint Mungo’ from Glasgow to Aberdeen and, to within seconds, keeping time. Their performances on some of the last steam services in the North West were the stuff of legend – the Belfast Boat Express became their star turn, in its latter days.

I can’t speak for others but, I’m looking forward to seeing a pair of them double-heading the ‘Citadel’ from Manchester to Carlisle and back on the 8th & 10th of next month.  I did work on the 5s between Leeds and Manchester and Leeds to Morecambe and you can read about my time on them in part 1 of my memories of  being a fireman in the last years of steam – here’s the link.

One happy customer commented – ‘Just read part 1 Enjoyed it – a lot.’

Here’s the link to Part I : https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_gOoNjfwj3yip64&asin=B07HMKTWMT&tag=kpembed-20&amazonDeviceType=A2CLFWBIMVSE9N&from=Bookcard&preview=inline

 

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A hill to climb

Friday morning at the North Yorksire Moors Railway’s Gala, and the 10:24 departure from Grosmont climbs towards Goathland summit. Visiting Bulleid ‘Light’ Pacific No.34081 92 Squadron, decorated with RAF flags, really does look the part with the blood and custards.

Not quite the same as being the fireman on one thrashing up to MP31 with 12 on but, probably the next best thing. Speaking of ‘thrashing up to MP31’, the first instalment of my footplate memories is out now. Part II will be available before Christmas; it  tells the story of my first year at Nine Elms as a fireman on  these magnificent beasts, on the metals of the former LSWR main lines to the West of England and the Dorset coast, in  1963.

Here’s the link to Part I : https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_gOoNjfwj3yip64&asin=B07HMKTWMT&tag=kpembed-20&amazonDeviceType=A2CLFWBIMVSE9N&from=Bookcard&preview=inline

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Smoke signals

Battle of Britain Class Pacific, No.34081 92 Squadron, after starring in last autumn’s Great Central Railway Gala, will be gracing the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Gala this year and I’m looking forward to hearing  that wonderful exhaust note as she is put to the test on the 1:49. Even when it was me who was doing the firing I loved to hear them when the rockets were flying at 35% cut-off and full regulator.

There were, and for all I know there still are, some drivers who consider this to be ‘thrashing’ the engine – I beg to differ. You can really feel the power when they are being ‘driven’ along and often, if you’ve got your fire and firing right, they would sit on the red line mile after mile and the minute they were eased the safety valves would lift – with a roar! I worked with drivers who wouldn’t even attempt to make up time lost on a temporary p-way slack, even when they had all the power and steam to do so with ease. ‘You start rushing about and they’ll have you rushing around all the time’ was a common refrain. There may have been some truth in that; as when bonus workings were introduced this was exactly what happened – I just caught the very back end of bonus working at Wakefield – but that’s a tale for another day.

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

 

 

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Hammer & sickle?

The chaps in the hi-viz may look like a couple of photographers who lost a lens cap; they had, however, been making a new ramshakle fence to repair and add to the old ramshakle fence and were in the business of packing up their kit.  I’m no expert in these matters but, the dry stone walls have been in place for decades, if not centuries, surely it would, in the long run, be better to properly repair the dry stone walls and be rid of the ramshakle bits of timber nailed together.

Things like this always remind me  of a silent film I watched some years ago. The whole thing was filmed from the window of an apartment block in St. Petersburg, Russia, outside was a hole in the road which workmen came and patched up, badly. They repeatedly kept doing the same thing, each time the hole / patch was a little larger; no one ever checked to see why this was continuing to happen. Then, one fine morning the hole erupted sending steam and boiling water high into the air. The cause of the hole was a leaking steam pipe; the local power station provided the flats with central heating and the supply pipe burst. The road was now impassable and no one had any heating – I’m sure there’s a moral in there somewhere.

I know a hole in the road in St.Petersburg is a long way from Moorgates on the North Yorkshire moors but I’m sure you get my drift – and ‘steam’ was involved – !!!

PS Back in the first decade of the 19th Century the Tsar of Russia travelled from St. Petersburg, to Britain and visited the Brandlings Colliery Railway, in Leeds, where he saw, and ‘marvelled at’, Murray & Blenkinsops ‘steam locomotives’ at work on the railway. Some years later, in the 1830s, the Russians bought an engine from Timothy Hackworth’s engine works in Shildon. It was shipped to Russia accompanyed by John Wesley Hackworth, Hackworth’s son, who, it is alleged, taught the Tsar himself how to drive the locomotive.

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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Teak Five

Take 5 was a big hit for Dave Brubeck and there’s a wondereful reggae version too, by Val Bennet . I’m quite a fan of Jamaican music and there are a couple a ‘train songs’ I really, really, like one is ‘Draw Your Brakes’ by Scotty and another is ‘Stop that train’ by Keith & Tex both the same rythmn but quite different. There’s also a wonderful instrumental version by the legendary guitar player Ernest Ranglin.

There are, of course, lots of songs and tunes with a railway theme or title from work songs of the American railroads, like, ‘Drill ye tarriers drill’ to jail house ballards such as Johnny Cash’s ‘Orange Blossom Special’. Blues, skiffle, rock ‘n’ roll, they’ve all got their railway numbers. And speaking of Blossom didn’t they name 46521 ‘Blossom’ for some dreary TV sitcom – nasty. Anyway, moving along, it’s just over a week away from the NYMR gala which will have engines from each of the Big Four and BR in action – looking forward to seeing No.34081 92 Squadron on this same stretch of 1:49 – and that will be a tune to savour. I do enjoy the sound of a Bulleid being worked hard – reminds me of my own time on their footplates!!

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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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100 not out

Fresh from overhaul, and 100 years old in November, Ex-NER T2, later LNER Q6, No.63395 is waiting for the road before making a run up the line, light engine, to Darnholme and back. This was just the second day moving under her own steam since the completion of her 10 year overhaul. In a few days time she will be heading to the Severn Valley Railway to be a part of their Autumn gala, returning in time to star in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s own autumn gala at the end of this month. Where she will be joined by the Severn Valley Railway ‘heavy goods engine’ 2-8-0 No. 2857, also 100 years old.

No.63395 is a Vincent Raven development of a design by Wilson Worsdell, the designer of the original T class 0-8-0 for the North Eastern Railway. One hundred and twenty of the T2 / Q6s were built between 1913 and 1921 and they survived more or less unaltered until the very end of BR steam, No.63395 was withdrawn in September 1967. When so few locomotives of the former LNER companies survived the end of steam it is a near miracle that one of them was an 0-8-0 goods engine with its origins in World War 1.

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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Coal and water

Looking very smart in her LMS livery No.5428 sits under the coal hopper at Grosmont; the fireman is just making his way up to the hopper controls. The blower is on and the lamp is already on the top bracket; after coaling up No.5428 will back down to the water column and take water before going off-shed for her turn of duty – the 12:30 service from Grosmont to Pickering. Just another day at the office, you might say.

I did all this countless time during my own footplate career, and, quite possibly on No.5428, or 45428  as she was then. No.45428 had spells at Holbeck & Farnley Jct. but, if I did do a turn on her footplate it was most likely at Holbeck in early 1966, after Farnley had already closed. I’m not 100% certain but, I believe it was on No.45428 that I worked a tea-time departure from Leeds to Morecambe, which if memory serves stopped at Keighley, Skipton, and then most of the stations on the ‘Little North Western’. I have a vague memory of being relived at Green Ayre and  travelling home on the cushions. It is a long time ago so don’t quote me on that.

Whilst I was at Grosmont, I saw the Q6 moving under her own steam and being readied for her trip to the Severn Valley Gala. Also there was B-o-B No.34081 92 Squadron, not in steam and engine facing Whitby – you can see her tender to the left of No.5428. I do hope they turn her before the gala at the end of the month.

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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

 

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Bongo Mayflower

The naming of the B1 class 4-6-0s was something of a hit and miss affair. The first 41 members of the class were all named after Antelope / Deer; thereafter it becomes a lottery – the only ones with names were Nos 61189, 61215, 61221, 61237 and 8 along with Nos. 61240 to 61251 were all named after the great and the good. And all on its own was No. 61379 Mayflower, named, in 1951, in honour of the puritan settlers who sailed from Plymouth, in 1620, and went on to become part of the foundation myths of the USA; and to celebrate the links between Boston UK and Boston Mass.

No.61379 was fresh out of the workshops of the North British Locomotive Co., in Glasgow, on 14th June 1951 – she was chosen to be named simply because she was new at the time of the impending ceremonials, in July, when a pilgrimage was being made from the USA to Boston Lincs. C’est la vie; didn’t do her much good though she withdrawn from service just 11 years later, in 1962, and cut up. The engine in the photo, No.61306, survived until late 1967 and was then sold privately. No.61306 was built in April 1948, she never carried a name during BR service.

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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Railway-Tales-C-D-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07H38XV1V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536155603&sr=1-2&keywords=railway+tales+ebook

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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Coach window

The East Coast Main Line, well sort of. All the ingredients are there Ex-NER fixtures and fittings, an Ex-LNER A4, 1950s rolling stock and it does go to the coast. It could almost be the Elizabethan streaking south through Northumberland. This isn’t the only fantasy though, as this particular location is to be found in Harry Potter movies and TV series, Heartbeat. It is the view from the window of a poll winning bus service too; The four times daily, route 840 from Leeds to Whitby, which won the title of Britain’s most scenic route earlier this year.

The idea that a line from Leeds to Whitby via York and Malton might provide a scenic attraction for visitors from around the world seemed strangely absent when the section of line from Rillington Jct to Whitby was closed.  Like the other East Coast line; the one that ran through Staithes, Sandsend, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay and on to Scarborough which closed in 1965. This route was unquestionably a tricky one in winter when sea mist made visibility poor and the rails wet – but from Easter to October – well that’s a different kettle of fish.

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

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