Tag Archives: GB IX Rail Tour

Slogging up Slochd

44871carrpassThe GB IX tour has been something of a Curate’s egg, good in parts. Saturday, when this shot was taken, was a lovely day with everything  on time and good photographic conditions, for much of the route through Perthshire and on into the Highlands. Things on the footplate look good too, the driver sits, arm on the window sill and looking relaxed. Across the fireman’s side things seem equally relaxed, as No.44871 has her safety valves open, despite being on the climb to Slochd summit – 5 miles of climbing with some pretty stiff gradients – including 2 miles at 1:60 and another 2 at 1:70.

However, just how much effort No.44871 was actually putting in on this climb is open to some debate.  Unseen, but not unheard, was the Class 47 diesel on the rear of the train which did seem to be ‘helping’ – just a bit.  All of which brings me to Tuesday’s run and an extended stop over in Perth due to an issue with the brake, which, sadly for me, resulted in a 100 mile round trip and no photo!! The train was more than an hour late away from Perth – I had a previous appointment and couldn’t wait to see if she made it or not – she did, but alas too late!!

Hope you enjoy the passing shot on Slochd which is in lieu of the one at Forteviot, I didn’t get!!

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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Boat of Garten bonus

46512bog2On Saturday I went chasing the GB IX tour up the Highland main line, as far as Slochd, and found the time to stop by the Strathspey Railway. By way of a bonus, I arrived there just in time to see No.46512 roll into the station at Boat of Garten, but not quite soon enough to be on the right side for the sun – can’t have everything.

This Northern outpost of preservation has, besides No.46512 which was built to an LMS design, after Nationalisation, in 1952, the sole surviving McIntosh 812 class 0-6-0 No.828 which emerged from Saint Rollox works in 1899. They are also in the process of returning Black 5 No. 5025 to steam, for a second time. The original plan would have seen No. 5025 back at work in 2015, but the work was more extensive than anticipated and No. 5025 is now expected back in traffic for 2017.

Another huge project being undertaken by the Strathspey volunteers is the return of the line into Grantown – on – Spey. The major obstacle in this project has been the replacement of the bridge over the river Dulnain, which was demolished when the line closed in October 1965. We can only wish them well in their endeavours.

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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Black 5 – Blackford

44871BlackfordThis year’s GB IX tour has not been without its trials and tribulations, the engine in the photograph, No.44871, set off to work her turn and promptly broke a radius rod. It was little short of miraculous that the organisers, support crew, and others, managed to repair the damaged rod and get her back in action, to take any part in the tour, let alone work from Bristol to Grange – over – Sands and then tackle the very demanding route from Edinburgh to Inverness via Perth and the Highland mainline, with its daunting climbs of Druimuachdar  and Slochd.

No.45407 was, originally, booked to double head with No.44871,  however, No.44871 was not alone in her efforts, the exhaust, somewhat fortuitously, is obscuring the diesel assistance in the rear.  In this photograph No.44871 has just passed Blackford, and rather less fortuitously, the signal box is also obscured by the exhaust – you win some, you lose some. Speaking of winning some and losing some, the locos which were booked, at one stage or other, to work the GB IX tour and didn’t make it include, Nos. 34046 Braunton, 34067 Tangmere, 45407, 46115 Scots Guardsman, 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, 70000 Britannia, and 70013 Oliver Cromwell, which is quite a list.

No.44871 as well as hauling the Bristol to Grange – over – Sands leg is also working the Inverness – Thurso and Inverness – Kyle of Loch Alsh trips before working back over the Highland main line and on to  Mossend, where she will be replaced by No.45699 Galatea for the journey to Oxenhome.  Presumably No.44871 will then head off to Fort William, where she is rostered to work her share of the Jacobite services from Fort William to Mallaig and back. Phew!

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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“Right Away”

103exbury

‘Right away’ though, sadly, despite appearances not main line.  Many of you will know already that No.60103 Flying Scotsman failed to make her main line debut on Saturday, brake and paperwork problems, so I’m led to believe. Flying Scotsman’s non-appearance is probably the least of the worries about main line steam workings right now, as the Sword of Damocles hangs over West Coast Railway Co.,  because of the signals passed at danger incident, at Wootton Bassett, and several instances of ‘unauthorised’ interference with the TWPS equipment.

If WCRC do loose their operators licence, which, it would seem, is a real possibility, the main line steam programme would be decimated. The regular Jacobite services are a major part of the tourist / rural economy in the North West Highlands of Scotland and rail tour operators, as well as locomotive owners, would be facing ruin, unable to run tours or operate their locomotives. WCRC are the would be operators for much of Flying Scotsman’s main line programme, the Cumbrian Mountain services, the Waverly, the Fellsman, the Cathedrals Express, the GB IX tour and much of No.46100 Royal Scot’s itinerary, are all WCRC jobs and all of them would be halted if WCRC cannot operate.

The motive power pool affected is a pretty awesome array and would make a fine compliment for any ‘main line’ passenger shed. I’ve already mentioned 60103 and 46100, but to that list can be added,   4936, 4965, 5043, (30)777, 34067, 44871, 45212, 45305, 45407,  45690, 45699, 46115, 46201, 46233, 60009, 60163,  61306, 61994, 62005, 70000, 70013, and probably a few more besides. We’ll need to keep our fingers crossed, or 2016 could be a very bleak year for main line steam.

If you’ve enjoyed my photographs and blog, why not try my book “Gricing: The Real story of the Railway Children”. This is the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gricing-Real-story-Railway-Children/dp/1514885751

Here are some  totally unsolicited comments from people who have read  Gricing:  ‘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’. – and from another ‘satisfied’ reader’ – ‘ 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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