Tag Archives: locomotive

Industrial Power!

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The pilot engine bears the name Sir Berkeley – I’d hazard a guess that Sir Berleley isn’t related to Bishop Berkeley, an 18th century cleric with some rather quirky notions about the existence of matter, or not, in his case.

The Sir Berkeley in the photograph was built by Manning Wardle, in Leeds, in 1890, and is photographed here, in Leeds, having just passed under the M1 motorway. The railway Sir Berkeley is running on first saw steam locomotion in 1809, and it was in commercial use by 1811 moving loads of up to 90 tons, a huge amount 203 years before this photo was taken. The train engine is named Matthew Murray, who, along with John Blenkinsop, was responsible for putting steam locomotives to work on the line 205 years ago. The line was Charles Brandling’s Colliery Railway, it conveyed coal from his mine to wharves on the river Aire, and the locomotives used a crude / early form of rack and pinion. Matthew Murray was a flax machinery engineer and Blenkinsop was the colliery manager and between them they cooked up something which was seen by the Czar of Russia and George Stephenson, the latter whilst in the process of constructing his first engine ‘Blucher’.

Leeds had quite a tradition of locomotive building from the very earliest days of the railway age and locomotives built in Leeds by the likes of Manning Wardle, and, of course, Hunslet were exported world wide.

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Trains of thought

Trains of thought.

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The Banker

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This isn’t the kind of shot you see everyday, like most bankers these engines shun the limelight and don’t always put in as much effort as they should / could. The BR Std Class 4MTT were excellent little engines to work on and, sadly, No.80002, pictured here approaching Ingrow, on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, is now ‘pending’ overhaul – lets hope she’s not gone for too long.

The use of a banker isn’t operationally required, it’s just one of the little things they do at the KWVR galas to be a little different, they’re like that in Yorkshire. I can say that because I’m from Yorkshire and have been going to the KWVR for more than 40 years now.

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Trains of thought

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Some of the figures in this photo appear to be engrossed in thought, ‘trains of thought’.  Strangely, even now, in the 21st century, our everyday language is littered with railway references, from the steam age of the 19th and mid 20th century. There’s the approbation of the, ‘wrong side of the tracks’,  the expectation of, ‘building up a head of steam’, the threat of being, railroaded, the connotations of greed and corruption inherent in ‘the gravy train’, and ‘hitting the buffers’ when caught out riding the gravy train, or  letting off steam, and I’m sure you can add more of your own tales to that one!

Trains of thought has an almost philosophical turn, metaphysical musings on the everyday nature of consensual reality, you might say. Of course they could also be as mundane as, ‘what will we have for dinner’, or ‘did I turn the gas off’! I thought it was an interesting mix of figures, both railwaymen and travelers; a wet morning with puddles still on the edge of the platform and the damp air causing the steam to cling to the side of the engine, which had been slipping, badly, as it tried to pull its train clear of the siding at Oakworth.

Oakworth, the Railway Children’s station, an icon of British cinema and railway movies.  Gas lit and with a waiting room which boasts a coal fire in the winter months, Oakworth is still in the last decade of the 19th century / 1st decade of the 20th, a Star Trek time-warp to another life-style.

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Everyone on the station, apart from the young boy in the foreground, is watching the approaching train. I thought how different a picture this was from my own boyhood when the boy would have been watching the train and the adults looking elsewhere. The train end of the platform is lit by the late evening sun – a rose tinted view, whilst the crossing end of the platform, where the young boy stands, is already falling into shadow. The younger generation, who will emerge from our shadows, have their eyes on other things – the steam locomotives of our boyhood are low on the list of their enjoyable pastimes.

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The clag monster

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Sometimes being ready early gets you a bonus. I heard the guard blow his whistle and the driver gave a whistle back, and then this happened, the most almighty cloud of clag erupted from the chimney of Ex-GWR 2-8-0 No.2807. Fortunately I was already looking through the viewfinder with my finger over the shutter release – and ‘hey presto!’

The location is at Goathland, the mythical village Aidenfield, in the Heartbeat TV series, and the event is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s autumn steam gala. No 2807 was one of a number of Ex-GWR engines which were making guest appearances at the event.

There are lots more of my photos and 37000 words, all about railways, in my ebook, now available on Amazon.

Follow the link for more information:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ML0QYK2

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Steam Age Daydreams in the Valley

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Over the three days of 10th to 12th of October it was the Autumn Gala at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Steam Age Daydreams was there with his camera to capture this image of WD ‘Austerity’ 2-8-0 No.90733, banked by Ex-LMS 4F 0-6-0 No43924 heading the afternoon freight up the valley to Oxenhope. There’s no real need for the banker, it’s all part of the K&WVR ‘show’, which included the use of ‘vintage’ carriages, Express trains and double-heading on some services.

 

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Steam Age Daydreams at the galas II

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One of the last steam locomotives to be built by British Railways class 9F 2-10-0 No. 92214, currently, in Brunswick Green livery heads for Rothley Brook sidings with a freight from Loughborough, at the recent Great Central Railway gala.

These powerful and well regarded locos had scandalously short working lives. I discuss a whole raft of railway scandals and gravy trains in my ebook, Gricing: The real story of the Railway Children. There are 100 of my photos too.

Here’s a link to my ebook:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ML0QYK2

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Steam Age Daydreams at the galas

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Star attraction, for me anyway, at the Great Central Railway gala was the Ex-LNER class D49 4-4-0 No.62712 Morayshire. Growing up, in Leeds, in the 1950s, these engines were a common sight on the lines around my home. No.62712 is seen here pulling away from Loughborough Central Station with a train for Quorn & Woodhouse, Rothley and Leicester North.

If you like the photograph you can see more of them and around 37,000 words in my ebook; Gricing The real story of the Railway Children.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ML0QYK2

 

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Steam Age Daydreams III

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The Tanfield Railway – a line with a rail claim to being the oldest line in preservation. The nice thing about this line is that they have tried to keep the colliery railway atmosphere. No dragging old BR MkI stock up and down. Coaches in style and size with the undertaking. Some of the large collieries had quite extensive railway networks which carried miners and their families not only to work but on excursions too.

For anyone who hasn’t visited Tanfield it has, besides the excellent rolling stock, a fine 1855 engine shed and a belt driven workshop attached. At Causey Arch station you can alight and have a look at Causey Arch, it carried the original Tanfield wagonway back in 1726 and is the oldest known arched railway bridge in the world.

If you are looking for railway images / photographs please check out my Steam Age Daydreams page on Facebook.  All images are available in hi-resolution format for print or digital reproduction, subject to fees and copyright. For further information leave a message on Steam Age Daydreams’ Facebook page.

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Steam Age Daydreams II

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Beatties ‘well tank’ No.30585 – with a recreation of a China Clay train, is pictured here leaving Boscarne Jct. and heading towards Bodmin General. If you would like a hi-resolution copy of this image, either for print or digital reproduction, subject to copyright and fees,  please visit Steam Age Daydreams Facebook page and leave a message. You can also find many other railway images on the Steam Age Daydreams Facebook page, all of which can be made available for reproduction.

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