An old favourite of mine and the first chance I’ve had, since she was returned to steam, to photograph her in action. There were a number of duties, at Nine Elms, which regularly utilised these engines, the ’54s’, (they were trains which left Waterloo for Basingstoke at 54 minutes to the hour), ‘Banana trains’ from Southampton Docks to Nine Elms goods, and the 04.40 Salisbury, which was another regular turn for them, and one which I enjoyed more than my fair share of.
The 04.40 Salisbury, for which the crew signed on at 03.43, wasn’t the most popular turn, but I enjoyed it. It was a regular turn in link 3, my link, and when I did the job with my regular mate I would often get a go on the regulator – always a real treat. The return working was the opposite of our journey down, which called at practically every station from Woking onwards. The ‘Up’ train called at Andover and then next stop Waterloo, on an almost mile a minute timing, one of the fastest trains of the day. A regular loco on this train, during late 1964 and early 1965, was No.35013 Blue Funnel, sadly no longer with us, but for my money the freest steaming of all the Merchants – and that’s saying something for a class renowned for their steam raising capabilities.
No. 75078 is photographed passing Damems Loop Box on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, with a train for all stations to Oxenhope.
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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‘treated myself to a copy of “Gricing” for Christmas, excellent reading.’
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