Tag Archives: 60103 Flying Scotsman

2017 A personal review

A year of firsts and farewells, though for me 2017 was the year of the ‘End of Southern Steam’; an event celebrated, if that’s the right word, at quite a few heritage lines; and I very much enjoyed seeing Nos. 34081 92 Squadron and 34053 Sir Keith Park, at the Great Central Railway’s offering.  There was even a brief glimpse of No.73156 running as No.73084 Tintagel, like Nos. 34081 and 34053, another engine I’d worked on back in the 60s.

No.73156 / 73084 was one of the firsts too, as she was making her debut appearance after being rescued from Dai Woodhams yard in Barry and restored to operational condition at Loughborough. Sadly, teething problems with the brakes curtailed her official workings, to just one passenger turn on the first day of the gala.

Earlier, in February, there was a bold experiment on the Settle & Carlisle line with No.60163 Tornado hauling regular service trains, for a 3 day spell, between Skipton and Appleby. There were two runs each day and I managed to photograph the first return working, at Selside, on Valentine’s Day. No.60163 also set a first, being given a trial run at 100mph on the ECML, a thrill for all concerned, I’m sure. The data being gathered was intended to support the case for raising the speed limit for steam, on the main line, from 75mph to 90mph.

Sticking with the main line theme, 2017 saw the S&C officially re-opened, after major repairs, with a run behind No.60103 Flying Scotsman, to Carlisle and the S&C also saw main line stalwart, No.46115 Scots Guardsman, bow out when her boiler ticket expired in August – she is pictured at the top of the article, at Kirkby Stephen station , on her last run over the S&C.

No.60103 Flying Scotsman, crossing Lunds viaduct, on the S&C.

Being a Leeds lad I’m rather fond of the Scots which, for many years, were the principal express engines on the former LMS / MR /LNWR routes in and out of the City. In line to replace her, out on the main line, is another engine steaming for the first time since being saved from the scrap yard, No.35018 British India Line, and again one of the engines I have fired on passenger services, out of Waterloo, in the 60s.

Continuing the Southern theme, I never worked on the Schools, though there were several in store at 70A when I started there. 2017 saw Schools Class, No.926 Repton, return to traffic on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, following her ten year overhaul. She is pictured above, slogging up the last half mile of the steep climb from Grosmont to Goathland during the NYMR gala.

On a personal note, I made my first ever visit to the narrow gauge system at Threlkeld Quarry, a little gem in the midst of some wonderful scenery. The locomotive in the photograph is, Sir Tom, a Bagnall 0-4-0ST of 1926 vintage. Sir Tom was employed at BICC in Kent until 1968 and moved to Threlkeld in 2001. Sir Tom was overhauled and rebuilt at Threlkeld and re-entered traffic in 2010.

As the year drew to a close it was farewell to Black 5 No.44806 at the NYMR and No.7812 Erlestoke Manor at the Severn Valley. No.61994 The Great Marquess, and shortly No.60009 Union of South Africa, are to become museum exhibits, no longer gracing the main lines and flying a flag for the LNER, which is sad, especially as the locomotives, of constituents of the LNER, are few in number when compared with the other members of the Big Four.

Not to end on sour note No.7812 Erlestoke Manor, pictured above approaching Bewdley tunnel with a Bridgnorth – Kidderminster service, is to have a fast track overhaul and is expected back by 2020. Good progress is being made with the new build No.82045, a project of which I’m a keen supporter. The 82xxxs were great fun to work on and the ideal engine for a heritage railway operation. I’m very much looking forward to seeing and photographing the finished item.

All of you, I’m sure, have your own highlights from 2017 and I could have added a few more of my own, seeing the Steam Elephant in operation at Beamish was a treat, as was having the Tanfield Railway just 15 minutes drive away, and I leave you with one of my favourite shots from Tanfield in 2017.

Keighley Gasworks No.2, with Bobgins cabin in the background, is heading for Andrews House with a train from East Tanfield.

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:

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

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A brief review of my 2017 in words and pictures.

A year of firsts and farewells, though for me 2017 was the year of the ‘End of Southern Steam’; an event celebrated, if that’s the right word, at quite a few heritage lines; and I very much enjoyed seeing Nos. 34081 92 Squadron and 34053 Sir Keith Park, at the Great Central Railway’s offering.  There was even a brief glimpse of No.73156 running as No.73084 Tintagel, like Nos. 34081 and 34053, another engine I’d worked on back in the 60s.

No.73156 / 73084 was one of the firsts too, as she was making her debut appearance after being rescued from Dai Woodhams yard in Barry and restored to operational condition at Loughborough. Sadly, teething problems with the brakes curtailed her official workings, to just one passenger turn on the first day of the gala.

Earlier, in February, there was a bold experiment on the Settle & Carlisle line with No.60163 Tornado hauling regular service trains, for a 3 day spell, between Skipton and Appleby. There were two runs each day and I managed to photograph the first return working, at Selside, on Valentine’s Day. No.60163 also set a first, being given a trial run at 100mph on the ECML, a thrill for all concerned, I’m sure. The data being gathered was intended to support the case for raising the speed limit for steam, on the main line, from 75mph to 90mph.

Sticking with the main line theme, 2017 saw the S&C officially re-opened, after major repairs, with a run behind No.60103 Flying Scotsman, to Carlisle and the S&C also saw main line stalwart, No.46115 Scots Guardsman, bow out when her boiler ticket expired in August – she is pictured at the top of the article, at Kirkby Stephen station , on her last run over the S&C.

No.60103 Flying Scotsman, crossing Lunds viaduct, on the S&C.

Being a Leeds lad I’m rather fond of the Scots which, for many years, were the principal express engines on the former LMS / MR /LNWR routes in and out of the City. In line to replace her, out on the main line, is another engine steaming for the first time since being saved from the scrap yard, No.35018 British India Line, and again one of the engines I have fired on passenger services, out of Waterloo, in the 60s.

Continuing the Southern theme, I never worked on the Schools, though there were several in store at 70A when I started there. 2017 saw Schools Class, No.926 Repton, return to traffic on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, following her ten year overhaul. She is pictured above, slogging up the last half mile of the steep climb from Grosmont to Goathland during the NYMR gala.

On a personal note, I made my first ever visit to the narrow gauge system at Threlkeld Quarry, a little gem in the midst of some wonderful scenery. The locomotive in the photograph is, Sir Tom, a Bagnall 0-4-0ST of 1926 vintage. Sir Tom was employed at BICC in Kent until 1968 and moved to Threlkeld in 2001. Sir Tom was overhauled and rebuilt at Threlkeld and re-entered traffic in 2010.

As the year drew to a close it was farewell to Black 5 No.44806 at the NYMR and No.7812 Erlestoke Manor at the Severn Valley. No.61994 The Great Marquess, and shortly No.60009 Union of South Africa, are to become museum exhibits, no longer gracing the main lines and flying a flag for the LNER, which is sad, especially as the locomotives, of constituents of the LNER, are few in number when compared with the other members of the Big Four.

Not to end on sour note No.7812 Erlestoke Manor, pictured above approaching Bewdley tunnel with a Bridgnorth – Kidderminster service, is to have a fast track overhaul and is expected back by 2020. Good progress is being made with the new build No.82045, a project of which I’m a keen supporter. The 82xxxs were great fun to work on and the ideal engine for a heritage railway operation. I’m very much looking forward to seeing and photographing the finished item.

All of you, I’m sure, have your own highlights from 2017 and I could have added a few more of my own, seeing the Steam Elephant in operation at Beamish was a treat, as was having the Tanfield Railway just 15 minutes drive away, and I leave you with one of my favourite shots from Tanfield in 2017.

Keighley Gasworks No.2, with Bobgins cabin in the background, is heading for Andrews House with a train from East Tanfield.

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:

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

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Steam Age Daydreams 2018 Calendar

This years calendar, featuring  engines great and small, including; No.6990 Witherslack Hall – 60 years after she was one of the engines in the 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials, the fresh from overhaul, Schools Class 4-4-0 No.926 Repton, the tiny ‘Sir Tom’ at Threlkeld Quarry and ‘Ugly’ at Tanfield, to name but a few, is now available via eBay. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/302485587635?ul_noapp=true

One satisfied customer had this to say,  “2018 Calendar arrived this morning  – superb and worth every penny. Thanks for the fast response”

Now less than a dozen left, so don’t miss out – order yours now.

 

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Aaah – ‘the goode olde days’

There’s something about old black and white photographs, particularly  the pre-Nationalisation ones. No.2507 Singapore, became No.42 Singapore in 1946 and 60042 Singapore in 1948, she was built, at Doncaster, in December 1934, and withdrawn, from St. Margarets, (Edinburgh),  in July 1964. During her first month in service she ran from Newcastle to Kings Cross at an average speed of 72.5mph – not too shabby for 1934.

I know everybody has there own tastes in these matters but, I do like the A3s in this form, single chimney, no smoke deflectors and they look very tidy at the front of a train of teak coaches. From the ‘shade of grey’, in the photo, I’m guessing No.2507 Singapore is Apple Green, which is even better. From the look of the exhaust the fireman is putting a few rounds on and ‘making smoke’. It is a generally rising gradient for much of the way from Darlington to Bradbury, which is a few miles beyond Aycliffe on the down road, so No.2507 Singapore will have been working fairly hard at this point.

The subject of A3s tends to be dominated by ‘Flying Scotsman’. However, if you go beyond the hullabaloo and celebrity status the A3s were solid and relablie performers with the last one, No.60052 Prince Palatine, remaining in service until 1966, ‘they think it’s all over’ it was then!!

According to the details on the back, this is ‘working a down express near Aycliffe’; the print is by Photomatic, the photographer isn’t named and there’s no date.

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:

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

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Close to the border

Love it, loathe it, or somewhere inbetween, wherever she goes No.60103 Flying Scotsman seems to raise opinions. Like it or not, few engines have had the kind of working life Flying Scotsman has had. There’s the confusion, amongst the general public, and elements of the press, between No.60103 Flying Scotsman the locomotive and the 10:00 departure from Kings Cross to Edinburgh – The Flying Scotsman. And the press and the publicity Dept. of the LNER have helped to create ‘the legend’ of both the train and the locomotive. It sold newspapers, magazines, and helped to put bums on seats, why wouldn’t they.

Crossing the border between the Flying Scotsman in the national pschye and her status in the world of preservation brings us to a very different view of No.60103 Flying Scotsman’s place in the ‘grand scheme’ of things. In this realm she is the wrong colour, with the wrong chimney, shouldn’t have ‘German’ smoke deflectors or the opposite, possibly a combination.  Better engines could have been kept from the same class, she cost too much to fix, she took too long to get fixed, some all or none of which may be true, ‘you pays your money and makes your choice’.

Do I have a preference? I quite liked them in BR green with a double-chimney, no blinkers but, I also like the Apple Green, single chimney, especially when combined with a set of teak coaches.

In this photo, she is passing over Lunds Viaduct just about to cross the border between Yorkshire and Cumbria with Sunday’s ‘Waverley’

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:

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

 

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The hordes on Aisgill

Hordes is, perhaps, a slight over statement but, there were probably 50+ in the immediate vicinity, here at Mallerstang common, and earlier in the day, when I drove past Ribblehead, there must have been well over a hundred, judging by the number of parked cars and folk milling about – there was even a burger van.

A few A3s were transferred to Holbeck, when they were displaced from the ECML, and ended their days working over this former Midland Railway route between Leeds and Carlisle. Quite what the Holbeck men thought of them, after working with the Scots and the Jubilees, for most of their time, would be interesting to know.  This is one area in which the fireman on today’s main line runs have to be credited. Getting to grips with the quirks of different firing methods and patterns, on an A3 one trip an 8F or Castle on the next, isn’t easy; especially if you are only out firing main line steam on a few trips a month.

During my time as a fireman with BR I fired on over 20 different classes of locomotives, from all regions except the Western and from Jinties to Merchant Navies. Some, like the B1, Fairburn tank, and 9F, I only worked on one or two trips – on others, like the Bulleid Pacifics, Standard Class 4 & 5s or WDs I worked on countless times and over hundreds of miles, so I know just how tricky it can be working on different engines out on the main lines.

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:

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

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Later that day

After running over the S&C, and through the bleak moorland of the high Pennines, (see my previous post for the photo: http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/?p=3886 ), The North Briton made a stop over in Carlisle, before heading for Newcastle via the Tyne valley route. No.60163 Tornado, is seen here passing  Gilsland, en-route to Tyne yard where she will leave the train. After spending the night in Newcastle No.60163 Tornado was booked to work the Heart of Midlothian, on Monday, from Newcastle to Edinburgh and then back to York.

Gilsland is in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall country and there’s a local petition to re-instate the station at Gilsland to give greater access to the wall and the footpaths around and along it, which are popular with walkers and hikers. Currently feasibility studies are being conducted, with money from Local Government and the National Lottery footing the bills.  I didn’t see any plans to use No.60163 Tornado in a series of Plandamps,  but I’m sure a few runs between Newcastle and Carlisle would draw the punters in raising the profile and possibly some funds too. There were a couple of runs over the route last year using No.60103 Flying Scotsman, which will be making the run again on the 29th July but, there don’t seem to be any other runs scheduled this year.

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:

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

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Another passing year

The Santa specials are almost run, Flying Scotsman’s return to active service is now just a fading memory; 2016 is about to become history. 2017 will, amongst other things, see the 50th anniversary of the ending of Steam on the Southern, taking a little bit of my own history with it. The commemorative events and publications are all in the pipe line from the Nene Valley event, with the return to steam of 34081 92 Squadron, to the Swanage Railway’s Bulleid homage at the end of March. Later in the year a new book is due to be published revealing, in detail, some of the highlights of those last few years of main line steam power on the Southern.

For three fantastic years, (1963/4/5), I was very much a part of the daily operations of the former LSWR routes out of Waterloo – working on all types of services  expresses to Bournemouth, ECS to Clapham carriage sidings, milk trains, banana trains and ballast jobs on engines great and small – ‘those were the days’.

The photo shows Ex-LBSCR 0-6-0 No. 662 (Martello) shortly after leaving Winchcombe on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway.

A further selection of my photos can be seen here: http://steamagedaydreams.co.uk/?page_id=3378

If you enjoy my photographs why not have a look at my 2017 Calendar, which, for the first time, is being published by calendar company Calvendo and sold on line or by order at your local bookshop using this ISBN number: Steam Age Daydreams (Wall Calendar 2017 DIN A4 Landscape) / 978-1-325-22545-3

Here are the online links to it.:

http://www.bookdepository.com/Steam-Age-Daydreams-2017-Dave-Wilson/9781325225453?ref=grid-view

and on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steam-Daydreams-2017-Wilson-Dave/dp/1325225452/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479291987&sr=8-1&keywords=steam+age+daydreams+calendar

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:

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

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Flying Scotsmen?

60103stoksnightFlying Scotsman should, perhaps, be Flying Scotsmen. Why? Well there’s the ‘famous’ Flying Scotsman, the locomotive in the photograph, which everyone knows and loves and, a little confusingly, there’s the 10.00a.m departure from Kings Cross to Edinburgh, which was also the famous Flying Scotsman – the train. So far so railway, however, there’s another Flying Scotsman, also famous and one about whom films have been made recording his deeds and exploits.

This Flying Scotsman is, like the locomotive, a world record setter and  breaker on the track and a revolutionary stylist and innovator off it. So who is this other famous Flying Scotsman? His name is Graeme Obree and in the 1990s he built himself a bicycle incorporating parts from a washing machine and set world records on it. The bicycle was christened ‘Old Faithfull’ and it can now be seen in the Glasgow Museum of Transport.

I mention all this because yesterday the cycle race, the Tour of Britain, departed from Glasgow and I was out taking pictures of Flying Scotsman on the Newcastle Carlisle line and not the as the headboard suggest the Waverley route –  which I did travel over back in the 60s. I have fond memories of that journey and the delights of stopping, just beyond the famous Riccarton Junction at Shankend and Stobs.

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:

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

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing:  Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

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Tickets please

60103hexamIn this photo, No.60103 Flying Scotsman, has just passed through Hexham en route to Carlisle; on what was the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway.  The line between Newcastle and Carlisle, proposed as early as 1825, first opened between Blaydon and Hexham in 1834 for mineral traffic and to passengers the following year. By 1837 the line was open from Gateshead to Carlisle, though entry into Newcastle itself did not take place until 1839 and only in 1851 did it reach Newcastle Central.

In railway terms the N&CR was never one of the ‘glamour’ routes but it does, however, have a very special place in railway history, for it was an employee of the N&CR who introduced a ticketing system which was to become, in time, the industry standard.  In 1837 Thomas Edmondson,   the station master at Milton, introduced the printed paste board ticketing system, still in general use on almost all the ‘preserved’ railways.

Speaking of preserved railways, the N&CR, in 1846, opened a branch line between Haltwhistle and Alston a section of which is now laid on a two foot gauge and operated by the South Tynedale Railway. The South Tynedale Railway currently operates between Alston and Lintley, with an extension into Slaggyford planned for 2017.  Slaggyford was the first stop for services between Alston  and Haltwhistle, when the line was part of the national network.

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:

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

These are some totally unsolicited comments from people who have already read  Gricing:  Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2016 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase:  “Brilliant and interesting book”

By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

“Not a murder mystery, but one that I found hard to put down. One of the best additions to my collection of books about railways.”

‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’

‘I’m enjoying your book. It’s a real page-turner, thought provoking and great photos, to boot’

‘I bought and enjoyed “Gricing” etc and would heartily recommend it to readers’. 

‘I was given what I believe to be your book called “Gricing” the other night.  Very much enjoyed the book if it is yours!

Please like & share:
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