The Highland main line at Crubenmore and there’s still snow on them thar hills, which certainly weren’t alive with the sounds of music. No.44871, with the GB IX tour, is picking up speed following the stop at Dalwhinnie, a couple of miles back. The line here is on a falling gradient and apart from a little hump around Kincraig, it’s down hill all the way to Aviemore. After the climb of Druimuachdar this must have been time for the fireman, take a breather and get ready for the next slog – Slochd.
The northbound climb of Slochd is a slog, but the southbound climb, from a standing start at Inverness, is a monster. About a mile from the end of the platform you hit almost 3 miles of 1:60 and 3 more of 1:70 a tiny dip, less than a mile, and another 6 miles of 1:60 which is followed by 6 miles of undulations between Level, 1:75, though mostly 1:200ish and then, yes, and then, nearly 4 more miles of 1:60. In steam days, the guys who worked out of Inverness or Perth over this route really earned their corn. What it must have been like, at night, in mid-winter, with a howling North Easterly can only be guessed at. ‘Wooden engines and Iron men’ !!
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”
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
‘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’
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