Tag Archives: Peter Smith

Not Midsomer or summer

45305-pinesThe Pines Express began life, without title, in 1910; it ran from Manchester to Bournemouth and was launched, by the LNWR & the MR to compete with a service from Birkenhead to Bournemouth, which was operated by the LSWR & the GWR. The first ‘named’ Pines Express ran in September 1927, the last one to run over the Somerset & Dorset Joint, was in September 1962. The engine on the right, No.92220 Evening Star, hauled that train. (The engine in the photo is actually No.92214 mocked up as No.92220 Evening Star.)

The route and train were, perhaps, more well known than they might have been thanks to the photography of Ivo Peters and the writings of footplatemen Donald Beale and Peter Smith. The S&DJR also had a unique class of locos. Designed and built in Derby, (the Midland Railway was responsible for the motive power of the S&DJR),  the S&D 2-8-0 7Fs, apart from a brief interregnum when they were tried out on coal trains in the Midlands, spent their entire working lives on the S&D. 11 of these engines were built, in two phases, the first in 1914 and the second in 1925. They remained in service until 1959 when withdrawals began; the final engines were withdrawn in 1964. Remarkably for such a small, and ‘dedicated’ class of locomotives, 2 of them survived into preservation, Nos. 53808 and 53809 – both engines are, currently, operational.

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:


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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