Ex-LMS Black-5 pairing of 44871 and 45407 ease through Fisherman's Crossing in the Limpley-Stoke Valley with the 'Railway Touring Company'
operated tour from Poole (06:50 off) to Bristol-Temple Meads.Most passengers alighting at Bath Spa for the Christmas market there.Another dire day lighting wise but at least there continuous rain has now abated after several long wet days.------------------24 november 2016----
Steam was booked today on '1Z46' the 08:14 from Paddington to Minehead on the West Somerset railway and amazinglyit actually happened! Here is the ex-LMS 4-6-2 6201 'Princess Elizabeth' approaching Clink Road Junction in readiness for a booked water stop in the Brunelian Station there. As usual the bridge here was crammed with 'beards-n-sandels' and children.There was even one lady frantically waving a Union Jack flag.Not that anybody would be able to see it given the amount of exhaust in the air. Again due to crap lighting exposure required 1600-iso to make the shot.
..22 october 2016..
Classic LMS Pacific 6201 'Princess Elizebeth' powers through Clink having just restarted '1Z88' the 15:31 from Exeter St Davids to London Victoria away from Frome Station after a water-stop.Dullness is again the order of the day so 800-iso was necessary for this shot.Bonus being it was possible to do it on the non-sun side because there wasn't any!
..20 september 2016..
After viewing this tour hauled by 46201 'Princess Elizebeth' passing the doomed Cement Works Chimney at Westbury a quiet drive down to Castle-Cary was undertaken to try and record this railtour '1Z82' the 08:44 from Victoria to Exeter-St-Davids at somewhat closer quarters! Naturally the sunshine betrayed us as the now 55 minute late train passed the junction at Castle-Cary.The line to the right goes to Yeovil.WC-Rly's maroon type-4 47746 was on the rear.On the distant local station there must have been at least 40 people milling around waiting to see this loco!
..17 september 2016..
It is with great sadness that this will be my final picture of a train passing the famous chimney at the now derelict Cement Works nr Westbury-Wilts.Tomorrow morning at 06:45 it will be demolished and this landmark will be no more.I cannot even bring myself to witness the event---A very sad day!The working depicted is '1Z82' the 08:44 from London-Victoria to Exeter St Davids being hauled by LMS-built 46201 'Princess Elizebeth'.No smoke was coming from the locomotive, possibly as a tribute to the dying giant it is about to pass!
..17 september 2016..
60163 'Tornado' approaches Frome at Blatchbridge Junction on '1Z28' the returning 'Torbay Express' from Kingswear to Bristol-TM.This is the final steam excursion from Bristol for the 2016 season.The working passed here right on the cusp of sunset requiring 1600-iso and a desperate 500:f4.
..11 september 2016..
'Tornado' 60163 sweeps through Trowbridge with '1Z93' the returning Belmond Pullman from Bristol-TM (16:39 off) back to London-Victoria. This evening the skies were kind and a decent rendition of this iconic repro was managed.Nice to have the 'blood-n-custard' support coach behind the loco to add a splash of colour to the scene!
..07 september 2016..
Replica LNER-A1 Pacific 60163 'Tornado' drops down the incline from Trowbridge at Ladydown with '1Z91' the 08:44 from London-Victoria to Bristol-TM.This luxury 'high-end' train being operated by Belmond Pullman.Despite the sky-high ticket prices this working appeared to have every seat occupied. It just goes to show that 'Recession' is a very personal experience that obviously nobody on this train have ever had a taste of!
..07 september 2016..
In the gathering gloom that required the use of 1600iso camera setting LMS- Pacific 6201 speeds through Berkley Marsh nr Frome with the returning '1Z48' the16:15 from Minehead to London-Victoria.Class-47 47580 was still on the rear as it was this morning.A nice 'LMS' style liveried set of stock nicely matching the locomotive.Apparantly it only got as far as Clapham-Jn before the service was caped due to 'A problem with the train'--So says RTT. More taxis and buses then,or perhaps just a Unit from there?
..23 august 2016..
'Princess Elizebeth' 6201 wasn't hanging about as it sped past Master's Farm Crossing at Fairwood nr Westbury.'1Z84' the 08:42 from London-Victoria was bound for Minehead.This William Stanier Masterpiece was in reality a 'pacific' adaptation of a GWR-King! Stanier being Work Manager there until he went to the LMS in 1931.I actually saw this loco in BR service at Perth in Scotland way back in 1963.Then it was green and numbered 46201.
..23 august 2016..
45699 'Galatea' gathers speed having just crossed over onto the mainline at Blatchbridge Junction-Frome after a stop in the station there for a water top- up.Train is '1Z48' the 0806 from Paddington to Minehead.By the time this got here it was raining and use of 1600iso was needed to get sufficient exposure to a 1/2 decent picture.This shot off the bridge here at Blatchbridge is now so overgrown you cannot even see the trains coming off the junction from the station.Another year or so and even this view will be totally obscured!
..13 august 2016..
45699 'Galatea' that for years was considered 'Mission Impossible' as regards any chance of returning to operational status after years of neglect and abandonment firstly at Barry Island Scrapyard where it suffered the trauma of having its centre driving wheels torched off due to it becoming derailed (much easier than re-railing it) and then languising for many years at various places as a pile of rusty scrap.However it eventually ended up at Carnforth and to the owner of West Coast Railways credit has turned it into a superbly restored piece of LMS history. Here it is passing Clink Road nr Frome working '1Z48' the 0806 from Paddington going to Minehead on the West Somerset Rly.This is one of preservations finer achievements getting this loco back to the condition you see here.
..13 august 2016..
'Galatea' a famous former 'Barry' wreck draws close to Clink Road Junction in Frome working '1Z46' the 08:06 from Paddington to Minehead.It stopped in Frome Station for a water refill before proceeding onward to the WSR at Bishops Lydeard.-------------------------------13 august 2016-------
'New Build' 60163 plus support coach passes Stanlake Lane in Tywford returning to Stewarts Lane in London fron Bristol-SFM as '5Z46'.This is my first chance to see one of the new masts for electrification and I have to say what a complete overscale over the top over engineered piece of ugly scrap it looks.To think all it has to support is a couple of cables 1/4'' thick for about 100 yards it is just plain stupid.No wonder the project is so over-budget.The french and swiss must be having a right laugh at our clumsy efforts at OHLE!
..09 august 2016..
No apologies for a 2nd shot of 60163 here in Sonning Cutting.What a superb piece of engineering this engine is.I do recall seeing most of this class in service and I actually pictured a few myself back in the 1960's. I hope the recreated 2-8-2 Gresley P2 is as good a job as this.That too will be a sight to behold. Today 60163 was moving from Stewarts Lane in London to Bristol as '5Z30' in readiness to work a railtour on the 7th.
..06 august 2016..
60163 'Tornado' the magnificent replica A1 Pacific cruises through Sonning Cutting at Butts Hill Road along with its Mk 1-21249 support coach going to Bristol's Saint Philips Marsh Depot from Stewarts Lane in London. It ran as 5Z30'.Hopes were high it would have a rack of stock in tow but as can be seen this didn't happen.Note the Torbo 165110 scuttling along to slow-line just avoiding clashing with the steamer.
..06 august 20016..
Coronation Pacific 46233 along with its support coach ambles down through Sonning Cutting moving from Southall- WCR (09:23 off) to Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway in readiness for working a railtour tomorrow from Taunton heading west.This worked as '5Z46'.Note how the loco is in the tradition WCRly style,looking rather workstained/grubby! Viewed from Butts Hill Road in Sonning.
..06 august 2016..
Despite it being nearly 20:20 in the evening with no assistance from the low sun whatsoever grabbing a 2nd shot today of 46115 'Scots Guardsman' was a given seeing as this is the return working '1Z48' of the 17:15 away from Minehead to Paddington.The loco and train plus 37685 on the rear were in typical WC-Rly's condition------filthy.All very authentic actually! Location is Berkley Marsh nr Frome.
..16 july 2016..
Unbelievably the last time I saw this loco on BR-duty was in 1964 when I noted it on a freight nr Carlisle Kingmoor.Where have the intervening 52 years gone! Anyway here is 46115 'Scots Guardsman' approaching Frome with '1Z46' named as 'The West Somerset Steam Express'.It departed Paddington at 08:06 this morning with a destination of Minehead.It was looking pretty authentic with maroon mk-1 coaches and a light coating of grime.All very impressive.No actual water vapour (white smoke) due to the humid conditions even though it was chuffing quite hard!
..16 july 2016..
The 2016 season for Sunday Steam Excursions from Bristol-TM to Kingswear kicked off today with BR liveried 46100 'Royal Scot' working '1Z27' which departed at 08:00.Bonus for me was it came via Westbury so I only had to travel less than a mile for this albeit rather dull effort. Location was the Frome Avoiding Line because I knew it wasn't booked to stop for water in Frome Station.In fact it did that operation in Taunton,50 miles further on.
..03 july 2016..
The National Icon 60103 'Flying Scotsman' repeated the trip it did last weekend on the 21st.Here it is speeding through Wylye having just passed under the A303 main road working as '1Z60' the 08:34 from Paddington going to Salisbury via the B&H.In all the excitement of actually nailing this train in full sun I completely forgot about 47580 that was hanging on the rear for emergency purposes.Superb and well worth the 60 mile round trip for just a single shot! Interestingly there was no other 'serious ' photographers at this prime spot,just a couple of locals with basic-compact digi's!
..28 may 2016..
Dear old 60103 'Flying Scotsman' in its final early-1960's guise complete with a Kylchap-double blastpipe and german-type deflectors lifts '1Z60' the 08:37 from Paddington to Salisbury up over the initial summit of Upton-Scudamore Incline between Westbury and Warminster.This train was given the 'Hush-Hush' treatment in a pathetic effort to deter people from coming out to view its passing from positions that the Network-Rail Storm-Troopers considered dangerous,such as level-crossings and footpaths! Indeed several crossings in the Wylye-Valley had a couple of their personnel monitoring the few people that ventured out in the appalling weather conditions to see its passing.Thankfully the clouds were so low it precluded the Luftwaffe Spy Helicopter from flying ahead of this working trying to catch anybody possibly trespassing as it has done lately whenever this locomotive is being used.
..21 may 2016..
The only steam locomotive present at the St Philips Marsh Open-Day was this one 46100 'Royal Scot' wearing the colours it ran in during BR service in the 50'&60's.LMS-Red livery would not be appropriate as it never ran prior to 1948 in its rebuilt form.This engine was originally saved back in 1962 by Billy Butlin as a playground centre-piece at his Skegness Holiday Camp.Thanks to that idea it is still with us and is currently passed for mainline working....
..02 may 2016..
Clouds everywhere,even coming out of the locomotive! This is my first sighting ever of 46100 on the mainline and looking particulary nice in BR-Green.Here seen (just) passing Strap Lane nr Upton Noble with '1Z82' the 08:44 from London-Victoria to Plymouth.It is operating the first leg of the this years nationwide rail tour 'The Great Britain IX'.Booked 2nd loco Black-5 44871 was failed at the last minute and diesel 57316 is deputising,thankfully well hidden on the rear.To see how it looked in 2009 when first restored in LMS-Red Click- HERE & HERE
..26 april 2016..
After standing around for 20 minutes in full bling,naturally when this working was due the curtains came down.Never mind life goes on.Anyway here is the famous Ex-LMS 4-6-0 46100 'Royal Scot' slowing for Clink Road-Junc in readiness for a water stop at Frome Station.The train is '1Z82' the 08:44 from London-Victoria going to Plymouth on the first leg/day of this years 'The Great Britian IX'.On a distant rear of the train is WC-Rlys bodysnatcher 57316 acting as a backup just in case.The booked 2nd loco 44871 turned out to be unfit to run so was replaced with the '57'.
..26 april 2016..
Here we see the reason I isolated myself down here on the old Southern route to Exeter from Salisbury. Modern day A1 Pacific replica masterpiece 60163 'Tornado' was working 'The Devon Belle' from London's Waterloo (08:00 off) down to Exeter St Davids as '1Z63'.Confidence in this loco must be pretty high as the load was 13 carriages and no 'assisting'diesel was included in the train make-up.The livery is now back to how it was when originally introduced except that now it wears a lipped chimney instead of a stovepipe type.Note the curious headcode 'M8Y',I think this is a 'text' shorthand for MATEY.This is borne out by yet another small headboard 'MATEY' just above the bufferbeam! Apparantly this pair of front-end adornments are to honour 'Ray Towell' who as an NRM engineer and member of 60163's support crew who passed away last week.Another point of interest,the last two times I have been here to this location for special workings,70013 'Oliver Cromwell' and later D1015 this location was packed with about 10 photographers.Today ?? Just myself and one other...Weird ?
..02 april 2016..
The nicely work-stained LMS built Black-5 45407 'The Lancashire Fusilier' powers up the gradient through Grateley with 'The Cathedrals Express' that today was running between Southend-East (departed at 0909) and Salisbury as '1Z21'.This train was originally going to go to Winchester but destination was altered a few day ago,as was the traction which was supposed to be 34067 which was unfortunately unavailable. Just visible on the rear is Blue Brush Type-4 47580 along for the ride as well for the shunting necessary at the destination to prep the stock for the return journey and also as a back-up (Just in case!).....
..19 december 2015..
After the difficulties that dogged '1Z30' yesterday from London-Victoria to Minehead that resulted in a 2-hour late arrival at its destination there was insufficient time to turn and service the hauling locomotive Class B1-61306 so regretfully the return journey was hauled by Class 47-47746 instead which was along for the ride anyway for ETH purposes and precisely that scenario. So 61306 returned to Southall next day with its support coach running as '5Z31'.This departed Bishops Lydeard at 11:20.Here it is seen travelling at a fair rate of knots passing Bratton Old Station Yard on the B&H.
..27 november 2015..
Considering I had to resort to 1600asa and an exposure of 640th@F4 on my Canon 7D this shot is pretty impressive! Back in the days of Kodachrome-64 and Fuji-Sensia-100 film stock this shot would have been quite simply, impossible! Just 25minutes had elapsed since I viewed 61306 with 47746 hauling '1Z30' passing Berkley-Marsh on the approach to Frome and its booked stop for a water refill.The train the 08:43 from Victoria to Minehead only consisted of just eight coaches since one had to be removed at Reading due to (I believe) dragging brakes.
..26 november 2015..
Considering I had to resort to 1600asa and an exposure of 640th@F4 on my Canon 7D this shot is pretty impressive! Back in the days of Kodachrome-64 and Fuji Sensia-100 film stock this shot would have been quite simply, impossible!
Just 25minutes had elapsed since I viewed 61306 with 47746 hauling '1Z30' passing Berkley-Marsh on the approach to Frome and its booked stop for a water refill.The train the 08:43 from Victoria to Minehead only consisted of just eight coaches since one had to be removed at Reading due to (I believe) dragging brakes. ----------26 november 2015----------
Todays 'Cathedrals Express' the 08:43 from London-Victoria '1Z30' going nominally to Minehead ran into difficulties at Reading where the working was delayed by nearly 2-hours whilst a spare locomotive was sent for from Southall to remove a defective coach from the train-set.The Steam Loco this time being completely blameless! Anyway it eventually passed Berkley-Marsh nr Frome still about 110 minutes down on booked schedule.The engine is of coarse 61306 in BR style LNER-Green with 47746 tucked inside for ETH purposes.Because it arrived very late at Bishop-Lydeard there was not time to service the Steam so a revised later departure time was arranged using the Class-47only. The Thompson-B1 returned to Southall next day as a light engine.
..26 november 2015..
34067 'Tangmere' after successfully getting to Worcester this morning on '1Z24' made a brave attempt to get back to Paddington as '1Z26' which departed there at 16:09.All seemed well as it passed a very backlit Compton Beauchamp running pretty much to time.However upon reaching reading actually a couple of minutes early a fault was discovered which meant the remainer to the journey into London was cancelled! Regretfully the sun wasn't sufficiently low to produce a golden-glint type shot but the shot seems effective enough?
..26 september 2015..
Unlike many of the 'Beards-n-Sandals' that scuttled off in search of further shots after this working had passed Culham about a hour earlier my reason for going to Oxford was purely for a couple of southbound freightliners in some sunshine.To see this waiting for time just south of the station was a bit of a bonus.So here is Bullied 34067 on '1Z24' again the 07:05 from Paddington going to Worcester commencing its journey north passing under the Osney Lane footbridge just south of Oxford Station.
..26 september 2015..
The steady exhaust partially obscures the doomed Didcot-'A' Power Station as 34067 'Tangmere' steams northwards on '1Z24' the 07:05 from Paddington going to Worcester-Shrub Hill.The train made it to Worcester without any problems but regretfully it was deemed a failure at Reading on the return leg and the train cancelled there.
..26 september 2015..
The 21st Century replica of a Peppercorn-A2 60163 'Tornado' passes the loop at Oldfield Park shortly after its departure from Bath-Spa on '1Z91' the 08:45 Belmond British Pullman trip from London-Victoria going to Bristol-Temple Meads. Now returned to the mainline after a fairly comprehensive overhaul it is now sporting early British Railways apple-green styling similar to when it originally took to the rails in 2008 but now with a lipped chimney instead of the stovepipe type.
..23 september 2015..
70000 'Britannia' picks up speed again here at West-Woodlands having regained the mainline at Blatchbridge-Junction after its booked stop at Frome for a water top-up.The train is '1Z70' the 08:06 from Paddington to Minehead. Fifteen Britannia's were allocated to the WR so were not an uncommon sight in this area although this particular one was allocated to East Anglia and later the Midlands so probably never came this way in BR service.
..08 august 2015..
BR-7P 70000 'Britannia' today hauled '1Z70' the 08:06 off London-Paddington going down to Minehead on the WSRly.Here on the approach to Frome at Clink it is viewed running without the aid of a West Coast-Rly Class-47 diesel safety-net! The first time I saw this locomotive was about 58 years ago when I was a small boy having just arrived at Liverpool Street Station in a Taxi.It was stood against the stop-blocks next to the now long gone 'Great Eastern Hotel' having just arrived on an Express from Norwich.It was immaculate then and certainly created a lasting impression.------Brilliant!
..08 august 2015..
Knowing that this Tour was having a short break in Frome Station for about 20 minutes I was able to get ahead of the working to grab a second shot.The chosen location is Blatchbridge-Junction where much to my surprise considerable vegetation clearance has taken place,hence this much more open aspect of the junction than has been possible for many years.Thanks to my new extending 8.5ft ladder I was able to eliminate the droves of numpty steamheads that were literally everywhere waving mobile phones and entry-level camcorders! So here is 70000 'Britannia laddering over onto the down main at Blatchbridge-Junction--Frome with '1Z62' from Victoria (08:44 off) going to Exeter. A fine sight!
..28 april 2015..
This years 'The Great Britain-8' nationwide railtour has somehow managed to operate despite the West Coast-Rly Fiasco.Here is 70000 'Britannia' now fit and well after its wheelset problems last year accelerating away from Fairwood-Junction shortly after departing from Westbury.This tour segment '1Z62' departed London-Victoria and its destination is Exeter.Ironically the coaching stock is owned by West-Coast.I suppose it is only the Company that is currently banned and not its rolling stock!
..28 april 2015..
Yesterday I missed 70000 'Britannia' in the sun by seconds,similarly this loco also as it was slowing for its Frome Water-Stop about 45 minutes earlier so it was gratefully received when 61306 finally passed me at Strap Lane Upton-Noble in a nice bright blue patch of sky .Seconds later the clouds covered the sun and did not appear again for the rest of the morning! So here is the 'pull-back' shot of B1 4-6-0 61306 on '1Z30' the 08:24 from Oxford going to Kingswear.In fact it was removed at Paignton where a Class-24 Diesel took over for the final few miles down to Kingswear.Apparantly it was in need of a bit of welding-type repair work.However all was well as it was ok for the return working '1Z31' later.
..01 april 2015..
'1Z30' the 08:24 from Oxford going to Kingswear (For Dartmouth) blasts past Strap Lane in Upton-Noble a few miles east of Castle-Cary.The locomotive being a new type to grace this stretch of line in preservation. LNER B1 in BR apple-green colours 61306 carrying the name 'Mayflower' although in BR service was always an un-named member of the class.
..01 april 2015..
I well remember the impact that first seeing this engine 70000 'Britannia' way back in the late Nineteen-Fifties when I was barely 10 years old.It was sitting looking positively immaculate against the stop-blocks in Liverpool Street next to the Great Eastern Hotel having brought in an express from Norwich. So fast forward well over 50 years and this loco is still looking as good as ever.Here it is on '5Z70',a transfer move from Bishops Lydeard (10:00 off) going to Swanage.Along for the ride is its support coach nicely liveried in fifties 'Carmine&Cream'.It is viewed passing a regretfully sunless Norton-Bavant.Naturally seconds later the whole area was bathed in bright sunlight!
..31 march 2015..
Shortly before this Steam Excursion '1Z21' passed the gathered group of photographers numbering about 12 to 15 persons a high proportion of the local population suddenly appeared pushing the crowd up to about 30 at least---Such is the popularity of a bit of smoke and steam! Anyway here is 34067 'Tangmere' making a fine sight with '1Z21' which originated from Southend-on-Sea at 07:22.61306 was used as far as Southall.This loco took over from there for the final leg to Bristol-TM. It is seen passing Ruscombe nr Twyford at 10:30.By then the lineside shadows had receeded considerably.
..07 march 2015..
LNER-B1 61306 in early BR style apple-green livery passes Shrivenham with '1Z51' the 08:58 from Paddington heading for Cardiff.As it was built in 1948 technically it was never an LNER locomotive and it certainly never carried the name 'Mayflower' in service.Although the name is genuine enough it was allocated to B1-61379 which was actually scrapped back in the August-1962 after a working life of just 11-years.Note the omipresent OHLE pile-driven mast base.Once those are installed the shots along here won't be occasional shots from the Steam-Age but will force this line back into the Stone-Age!!!!
..01 march 2015..
Thompson B1-61306 gallops its train of maroon West Coast Railway coaching stock (Thankfully without one of the WCR liveried 47's tagged on the rear) through Shrivenham at a fair rate of knots with '1Z51' from Paddington going to Cardiff via Gloucester.Amazingly the sun was out and the steam didn't curl down over the loco and train in the strong northerly wind. A 100 mile round trip for effectively this one shot but well worth the effort!--------01 march 2015-------
After its boiler certificate had expired and it was in need of an expensive repair GWR Manor Class 4-6-0 7819 Hinton Manor' was sent to the Swindon Designer Outlet Centre for display to replace GWR Hall Class 4930 'Hagley Hall' in 2008.This was supposed to be a loan period of just 4 years.However in 2015 seven years later it is still here.Better here in the warm and dry looking very smart and not suffering from damp and corrosion than forgotten and open to the elements in a siding at its home base in Bridgenorth.
..14 january 2015..
This shot shows you can't win whatever the conditions! A full blue sky and seemingly very little wind gave hope of a really nice steamy shot showing the whole train trailing into the distance.........Errrrrrrrr No chance! Anyway what you see is what you get. BR liveried Black-5 pairing 44871/45407 is seen at full gallop passing Woodborough on the B&H.The train '1Z31' had originated from Newington (Nr Rainham in Kent) at 08:16 this morning and was going to Bristol-TM.Anyway it was nice to see it passing!
..16 december 2014..
Today a 'Cathedrals Express' ran from West-Brompton (07:39 depart) going to Bristol-Temple Meads.It ran as '1Z89' with the motive power consisting of a nice pair of LMS Black-5's. 44871 was leading with 45407 inside.Here it is seen accelerating through Oldfield Park in the western suburbs of Bath.
..02 december 2014..
Gresley-A4 Pacific 60009 'Union of South Africa' gets away from Didcot-Parkway at North-Junction with '1Z24' from Paddington (07:29 off) going to Worcester-Shrub Hill.Note the new footbridge in the background that has been recently rebuilt to give sufficient height to allow the OHLE to be erected.This like most of the other classic locations in this area will then be history as far as photography is concerned.
..29 november 2014..
Today a Christmas Market Steam Special was run from Poole to Bristol-TM dropping some passengers off in Bath as well.Its departure from Poole was delayed by nearly 30 minutes due to the stock turning up at Poole late.'1Z87' the 06:50 from Poole to Bristol was still late by this margin all the way to Bristol.A pity really because had it been on time this shot would have almost certainly been more brightly lit!.45407 a Black-5 4-6-0 was in charge of the quite heavy load of eleven coaches plus the weight of diesel 47746 tagged on the rear for insurance/shunt-release purposes.The train is seen at Dundas in the Limpley Stoke Valley.
..27 november 2014..
Here is 46229 'Duchess of Hamilton' as it has been 'Unrebuilt' to look as it did when it was originally manufactured in 1938.The quality of the work in this reconstruction is amazing including the paint finish.Not a single ripple or dent to be seen. Its hard to believe this engine spent many years in the open-air plinthed at Butlins in Minehead as a childrens climbing frame slowly rusting away in the sea-air.However this engine, as has 'Flying Scotsman' have both finally been obtained by the NRM and safe for the future.
..23 september 2014..
Number-66 'Aerolite' is a somewhat obscure odd-ball of a locomotive.Even its wheel arrangement is a rather unique 2-2-4.This NE machine was used to haul the Directors-Saloon around as required.With just one driving wheel-set that was probably all it was capable of anyway! The steaming hot cups of tea in the adjacent cafe is the closest this engine will ever get to working again!
..23 september 2014..
This strange looking locomotive here in the National Railway Museum in York is Bullied's version of how an Austerity War Engine should look.Nothing was fitted if it wasn't needed.The 0-6-0 used the signature Bullied style wheels and was very successful until superceded by diesel power in the early 1960's.It's Southern number was 'C1' but in BR service ran as 33001.It is the only one of the entire class to survive.Click HERE to see another member of the Class regretfully on its way to South-Wales for scrapping in 1964 (I took this shot myself 50 years ago).
..23 september 2014..
National Icon 4468 'Mallard' sits in the NRM at York.Since the excitement of the 'Six A4 Pacifics Gathering' has passed only this one remains in the Museum now.As the other three UK based streamliners are all operational it is increasingly unlikely that this one will ever steam again.
..23 september 2014..
'Bittern' 4464 nee 60019 gallops the 'Torbay Express' running as '1Z27' from Bristol-TM (08:00 off) down to Kingswear through a now heavily overgrown Blatchbridge in Frome.The loco was going and sounding very well.Terrible lighting requiring use of 1000ASA and an F1.8 lens to ensure the action was stopped! Despite the crud conditions this working passed within 200 yds of my House so it was hard to ignore!
..14 september 2014..
60163 'Tornado' with '1Z63' The Devon-Belle,which left at 07:19 from Paddington going to Exeter-St-Davids via Castle-Cary and Yeovil-Junction is viewed in pretty dire dull and drizzly conditions shortly before arriving at Westbury passing Fairwood Foot-Xing. A 400th/sec@F5.6 using 800-asa just about stopping the action! This is 60163's final duty before being stopped of an overhaul.I believe the boiler is going back to Germany for some serious reworking.
..25 august 2014..
A superbly turned out 5029 'Nunney Castle' is seen accelerating away from Castle-Cary at Cockhill with '1Z82', the first of this seasons 'Weymouth Seaside Expresses' from Bristol-TM. A complete maroon set of coaching stock except for the locomotice support coach in Choc/Cream.Note the complete absence of exhaust-water vapour/steam due to the very hot conditions that have been around now for over 2 weeks.
..27 july 2014..
70013 'Oliver Cromwell' the Nations Britannia-Pacific runs through Heytesbury with '1Z66' the 17:36 from Bristol-TM returning the Cathedrals-Express to London's Victoria.This West Coast Rly operated service had 47237 along for the ride (Just in case!).
..24 july 2014..
Rebuilt Bullied 'Braunton' 34046 works '1Z28' the returning Torbay Express from Kingswear in Devon to Bristol Temple Meads.Today this train was unusually routed via the Limpley-Stoke Valley and Westbury,It also returned via the same route.Here the train is seen in somewhat backlit but still superb evening light as it passes Berkley Marsh nr Frome.Only a couple of people here this evening to record its passing.No doubt everybody was at home glued to their TV's watching the World Cup Final.Oh yes the Krauts beat the Argies 1-0. A very hard fought game!
..13 july 2014..
One of GWR's finest 5029 'Nunney Castle' powers down the Frome Avoiding-Line with '1Z44' from Westbury going to Plymouth.The headcode displayed on the loco is not correct. Note how now the spring green growth has taken hold just how overgrown this once prime location has become.
..09 may 2014..
Preserved 4-cylinder Castle-Class 5029 'Nunney Castle' stands parked up adjacent to Westbury Signal-Box ready to take over '1Z44' from Stafford hauled to Westbury by a pair of DRS-47's.The onward journey to Plymouth will be listed as '1Z45'.Happily the coaching stock on this train was all Choc&Cream so the support coach for the 'Castle' blended in nicely.
..09 may 2014..
Rebuilt Bullied Pacific 34046 'Braunton' runs tender-first+support coach through Starcross whilst travelling between Exeter St Davids and St Blazey.The Loco is down here in the West-Country in connection with the operation of the 'Great Britain VII' Railtour.Its reporting number is '5Z83'----------Just a second ? -----------Is that a passenger in the coach looking out of the window? In that case according to a certain person this must be a Class-1 because it has a human on board!!!!!!!!
..26 april 2014..
Superbly restored GWR Castle-Class 5043 'Earl of Mount Edgecombe' running in its early 60's BR guise including a double chimney and Hawksworth straight sided tender purrs past Great-Cheverell on the B&H with '1Z36' the 07:05 from Solihull taking the long way round via Didcot and Reading going to Bristol-TM.This is yet another loco that was saved from the famous Woodhams Scrapyard in Barry S-Wales and I believe this is its first visit to this route since before it was withdrawn in 1963,over 50 years ago.
..12 april 2014..
The Cathedrals Express from Woking to Kingswear was headed by the celebrated A4 Gresley-Pacific 60007 'Sir Nigel Gresley' from Westbury onwards.Hopes for a reasonable show here with a spot of sunshine was completely dashed,naturally it came out a minute or so later! Anyhow here is '1Z32' getting under way at Fairwood just a minute or so into its journey from Westbury. Nice to have a complete train set in matching colour throughout for a change!
..10 april 2014..
GWR 5029 'Nunney Castle' hauling a nice rake of Chocolate & Cream Coaches steams steadily past Frome with '1Z45' from Westbury going all the way to Plymouth without any Diesel back-up on the rear.Happily it made it without any problems over the Devon banks.------09 may 2014-------
In dull December light a pair of LMS Black-5s made an interesting change on this 'Cathedrals Express' from London-Victoria (08:45 off) going to Bath.Today running as '1Z44' 44871 was leading with 45407 inside.Insurance being provided by 57313 tagged on the rear.Here the working is seen passing Arn-Hill south of Warminster running about 15 minutes late.About right for a steam operated working!
..05 december 2013..
'The Cotswold Explorer' Railtour running as'1Z53' departed from Tyseley Steam Trust at 07:40 heading for Oxford.Its route was via Gloucester and Swindon.Here is 5043 'Earl of Mount Edgecombe' going well passing Challow on the main.The engine is set up as it was towards the end of its career fitted with a double chimney and hawksworth straight sided tender wearing BR livery (GWR style would not be appropriate in this condition).Note also the bogie-GUV running on B4 bogies directly behind the locomotive.This has been converted into an additional water tank to avoid having to refill the tender with fresh water too many times during each mainline trip.
..19 october 2013..
2-8-0 S&D stalwart '88' seen wearing the old companies livery of prussian-blue stands in the loco road at Minehead in a nice 'rods down' pose.This ex-woodhams loco has been a resident here for for many decades and is currently a regular performer most weeks.
..09 october 2013..
The final '1Z27' of the season from Bristol to Kingswear was today diverted via the Limpley Stoke Valley and Westbury.Hence 34046 'Braunton' is seen running at speed past Clink nr Frome.No stop was needed at Frome Station so it went non-stop down the avoider.
..15 september 2013..
So there I was at Bradford-on-Avon all set up ready to picture D1015 coming from the Bath direction knowing full well that 60163 was approaching for the opposite direction and set to pass BoA about 5 minutes or so before the 'Western' was due to arrive.Seeing as there is virtually nowhere between Westbury and Bath where a satisfactory shot could be had of both workings this platform shot was settled upon as I considered the 'Wizzo' shot the one to really have.Anyway here is 60163 the famous 'Airfix-Kit' heading 'The Cathedrals Express' from Waterloo (07:17 off) going to Cardiff.Luckily all the steam-neds were on the opposite platform getting their backlit dark shots whilst I luckily had a completely empty sunlit platform all too myself.The A1-Pacific was not hanging about doing over 60 mph as it sped through the platforms.All in all a pretty pleasing shot for a compromise. ..07 september 2013..
National Collection Standard 7P Pacific 70013 powers at speed (but no water vapour exhaust due to the very warm conditions) past Millbrook Freightliner Terminal with '1Z67' the 08:44 from London-Victoria going down to a very sunny Weymouth.The Excursion was organised by West Coast Rly's so naturally one of their 47's 47245 was tacked onto the rear as a drawback/helper if necessary.At least they can supply a crew as well as the train unlike D B Schenker lately!
..04 september 2013.
The Weymouth Seaside Express '1Z83' operated this weekend by 70013 'Oliver Cromwell'.Here it accelerates through Berkley Marsh after its Station stop at Frome on the evening return journey from the coast to Bristol.
..18 august 2013..
Rebuilt 'WC' Class 34046 'Braunton' passes Norton-Bavant as it travels from Southall going to Bristol '5Z81' in readiness to haul this weekends Steam Special 'Torbay Express' from Bristol down to the Kingswear.This is the first time I have seen a Rebuilt Light-Pacific Bullied in the Wylye-Valley since 1967---46 years ago! Back then it was 34010 going to South-Wales for scrap! It is worth noting this is only Braunton's second duty since returning to the mainline after being withdrawn way back in Oct-1965, 48 years ago--------------------------------------a long time coming---welcome back!
..16 august 2013..
This year the 'Weymouth Seaside Express' has run sparodically due to low bookings.However today it operated and 5029 'Nunney Castle' handled the working single handed without an assisting Diesel. Here it is seen passing along the Frome Avoider complete with GWR style headboard and reporting number indicator bracket.Interestingly it will pass the actual Nunney Castle a few minutes later,albeit a mile or so to the right of the line. The working ran as '1Z82' and departed at 08:20 from Bristol-Temple-Meads heading for the Dorset Coast.
..11 august 2013..
Here is the return working '1Z83' from Weymouth to Bristol-TM.It was a 17:00 departure from Weymouth but took a break in Frome Station to enable the Black-5 44932 to replenish its tender with a few thousand gallons of water.It is seen passing Berkley-Marsh making plenty of noise from the partially lifted safety-valves but little else as there was a 20mph temporary speed restriction in operation about 300 yards ahead of the train.
..30 june 2013..
Black-5 44932 was a late substitute for the failed 70013 on this working.It is '1Z82' from Bristol-TM (08:20 off) going to Weymouth.Here the train is seen passing the now extreemly badly overgrown Bunns Lane at Witham-Friary a few miles west of Frome.Because of all the palisade fencing that is now in evidence here there is no way of getting to the bushes and saplings to give then even a light trim.Another location going or gone forever.The view the other way was also very good but that is now also a total write-off. Thanks Network-Fail!
..30 june 2013..
Its amazing how deft use of a zoom-lens can produce two shots of the same subject taken less than a second apart that composition wise can look so different! So here is the 2nd 'pullback' shot of 'Tangmere' 34067 now seen from a slightly wider point of view on '1Z85' from Bristol-TM returning to Three-Bridges in West-Sussex.The engine was working well with just a hint of firebox exhaust but very little if any steam.
..29 june 2013..
Southern-Railway Thoroughbred 34067 'Tangmere' an unrebuilt BB-Class Pacific gathers speed shortly after cresting the top of the Upton-Scudamore Incline,seen here at Arn-Hill on tha approach to Warminster.The working is a returning railtour from Bristol-TM back to Three-Bridges that was running as '1Z85'.Unusually there was just three of us on this particular overbridge vantage point for this fairly shadowless shot whereas two bridges north there was about a dozen steam-buffs viewing what must have been a very shadowed steep cutting! Probably all video-types hoping for a bit of noise and smoke!
..29 june 2013..
The ultra-reliable Rebuilt Bullied Pacific 35028 'Clan Line' passes Ladydown nr Trowbridge returning to its home base Stewarts- Lane in London from Bristol-East Depot.In tow was its support coach in WR ??? livery.
..10 may 2013..
A nicely work-stained pair of engines doing a passable impression of something that might have been seen south of Bath going to Bournemouth in the late 1950's. Here is 45407 piloting 34067 on 'The Mayflower' Railtour that started out from London-Euston running as '1Z46'. The Black-5 came on at Taunton for the run down to Plymouth.The train is seen at the junction nr Norton Fitzwarren where the WSRly diverges.A superb sight and sound probably helped (at this location anyway) by a complete lack of brightness from the overcast conditions. The camera settings tell the story. 70-200L @ full zoom.800th @f4 at 650asa.Also the picture seen here is quite a severe crop from the original framing!
..23 march 2013..
Bullied Pacific 35028 steams effortlessly past Bradford-on-Avon with '1Z91' from London-Victoria going to Bath & Bristol.Note the new 'SR' style headboard similar to the type once used on the 'Atlantic Coast Express.The train-set is of coarse the VSOE-Pullmans.
..13 march 2013..
The BR-Blue A1 Pacific 60163 'Tornado' today ran from Paddington going to Plymouth reporting as '6Z60'.Here seen passing an incredibly dull Bunns Lane nr Frome heading west.
..09 march 2013..
The original reason for going all the way to this location near Small-Heath in the middle of Birmingham was two-fold.Firstly to capture a shot of this working '1Z49' from Tyseley going to Leicester on a Christmas Luncheon Junket and also to record the final 'Boat-Train' from Southampton going to Scotland.However due to the desperate light when that was due the less said the better! Interestingly this is the first time I have seen this loco since it was in the Barry Scrapyard way back in 1968.At that time it was assumed to be 4983 'Albert Hall' but now is known by its true identity 4965 'Rood Ashton Hall' To see her as she was in Woodhams Scrapyard in 1968 click HERE.
..15 december 2012..
34067 'Tangmere' makes plenty of smoke and steam as it passes Bapton in the Wylye-Valley with 'The Bath Christmas Market' running as '1Z84' from Three-Bridges to Bath (obviously) and Bristol.Although rather indistinct 47500 was running on the rear albiet not actually doing any work (At least not here).
..08 december 2012..
The newly repainted into BR-Express-Blue 60163 runs at full power past Shrivemham with the 'Cathedrals Express'.Working as '1Z31' all the way from Ipswich in East-Anglia to Bristol-TM.Drifting steam completely obscured the entire train as it passed a high speed.Perhaps it was just as well it was incredibly dull as the shot would have been a wipe-out anyway.Still nice to see though...This Colour-Scheme completes the set of post nationisation possible liveries (4) and will be quite short lived.It is to revert to BR Apple-Green again next year.
..01 december 2012..
The famous 'new-build' A1 60163 now in the experimental Blue livery as carried by some members of the original class back in the early 50's passes Woodborough on the B&H with '1Z96' from London-Victoria going to Bristol-TM.A mixed set of Mk-1 coaches,13 in total so quite a heavy load.
..29 november 2012..
The Remarkable Reconstructed Replica 60163 'Tornado' viewed passing Frome on '1Z31' from Maidenhead going to Kingswear.Due to engineering works its original departure point Paddington had to be revised.
..30 september 2012..
This locomotive has been one of the mainstays of the local steam scene this summer due to its superb reliability.The paradox with steam is the more they get used the more reliable they are! Anyway here is Bullied 34067 speeding down the Frome-Avoider with '1Z27' from Euston going to Plymouth,running under the name of 'The Mayflower'.Tangmere was booked only as far as Taunton where the mighty pairing of A4-4464 and Britannia-70000 would take over for the remainer of the journey.This spot is virtually the only place between Westbury and East-Somerset-Junction where a sufficiently large break in the endless bushes and trackside hedgerows allows a half decent shot of the train given the early running time and the lateness of the time of year.
..14 september 2012..
After a break of about a month due to the expected congestion caused by the additional Olympic traffic at Weymouth the 'WSE' has restarted for a few more weekends.Here is todays power in the form of 34067 'Tangmere' easing into Frome at Berkley for its usual waterstop.Report number is still '1Z92' as before the Olympic break.
..19 august 2012..
National Collection Treasure BR 4-6-2 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' was working efficiently as it sped past Upton Noble heading for Minehead from Paddington on '1Z44'.Although headboardless this was nominally billed as 'The West Somerset Steam Express'.
..18 august 2012..
I suppose one of the golden rules in dire lighting conditions is to try and obtain a 'looking down' type shot thus preventing any flare from the overbright skies.Also it helps if, as in this case the ejected smoke and steam do a pretty comprehensive job of blotting out the sky anyway! Here is LNER A4 No 4464 or 60019 in BR days accelerating away from Bath-Spa with '1Z74' from London-Victoria going to Bristol-TM. Picture recorded at Oldfield Park about 3/4 of a mile west of the Spa Station.A fairly successful attempt considering the dull conditions and the sheeting rain! ..13 august 2012..
The returning 'Weymouth Seaside Express' rolls up the single line on the approach to the Frome stop.The lengthening shadows and the yellow light show that it is now the late evening (20:00).Again 70013 appears to be virtually steamless as it approaches the station with the regulator closed.
..22 july 2012..
With its safety valves lifting 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' accelerates hard albeit without any visible exhaust away from Castle-Cary having just entered the single line section down to Yeovil Pen-Mill.Note the all new track here with the older bullhead type rail track panels still piled up ready for removal. This is to be the last 'Weymouth Seaside Express' for a few weeks whilst the Olympics are on.Weymouth is expected to be very busy due to all the Sailing events so siding space for stock down there is at a premium.
..22 july 2012..
The easy scheduling of '1Z92' meant that I had a hour to travel the 15 miles (as the crow flies) from Bradford-on-Avon to Clink at Frome in readiness for the next shot of this working.Here 70013 ambles slowly up to Clink-Junction without a hint of steam anywhere.Upon arrival at Frome Station water will be taken to allow the loco to continue on down to Weymouth.Again this 40 minute stop allows plenty of time to drive on ahead to obtain just one more shot before it carries on down south.
..22 july 2012..
Sunday dawned bright and clear and with the added incentive of 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' operating the 'Weymouth Seaside Express' instead of 34067 a trip over to Bradford-on-Avon was taken to record its non-stop passage through that Station.Here with its whistle chiming well giving just a hint of steam from its smokebox mounted position '1Z92' gallops up the straight out of the 'Avenue' there.
..22 july 2012..
Rebuilt Bullied Merchant Navy' 35028 'Clan Line' was todays ever reliable choice to power the VSOE from London-Victoria to Bristol and return.Here is the return-leg '1Z93' getting into its stride on the B&H passing the site of the long removed station at Bratton.A close-in telephoto type shot required due to the abject lighting compounded by being somewhat back lit to at least give the picture a bit of impact!
..18 july 2012..
Such is the unpredictable nature of the current weather situation that prospects of even a shot not in the rain is pretty remote.However somehow the sun shone through a seemingly large area of cloud to produce this pretty well lit shot of the 'Weymouth Seaside Express' agian hauled by 34067 'Tangmere' approaching Clink-Junction in Frome..Musn't complain as first action for 4 days and only 150 yards from my front door as well! No incentive to chase further south after the prolonged waterstop in Frome as the south looked flat-grey. ..15 july 2012..
Amazingly the sun made an appearance for '1Z93'.This was the re-routed 'Weymouth Seaside Express' that was diverted after Yeovil Pen-Mill due to the line being closed south of that Town due to flood damage.Its destination for the day became Salisbury meaning their arrival back in Bristol would be about 2 hours earlier than originally planned.34067 being the motive power so was well at home between Yeovil and Salisbury earlier today.Here it is seen at the top of Upton-Scudamore Bank with Warminster's Arn-Hill in the background with that return working.
..08 july 2012..
A whole week has elapsed since I have bothered to even pick up my camera, such has been the dire weather for the last 7 days.Anyway as it time for Steam to Weymouth again I though I might as well make an effort. Here is 34067 coming off the Frome Station single-line at Blatchbridge-Junction nominally booked to go to Weymouth with '1Z92'.However as the line beyond Yeovil Pen-Mill was shut due to a bridge problem at Yetminster caused by the torrential rains of late it was diverted to Yeovil-Junction where 'Tangmere' was turned on the Table there and its destination was revised to Salisbury.At least it wasn't cancelled which would have been the soft option! So the passengers got a day out in Salisbury (Whether they wanted it or not).Far more interesting than Yeovil-Junction for wive's and pushchairs! ..08 july 2012..
60019 'Bittern' restored to its pre-war LNER condition as 4464 exits Bath-Spa going to Bristol with '1Z74' from London-Victoria.-------------13 august 2012------
Whilst waiting around for this 'bonus', the '5Z55' from Southall going to Bristol-Barton Hill in readiness for this years steam excursions down to Devon so many locals asked the universal question 'Is there a steam train coming'.When I confirmed it but in 15 minutes time they all wandered off! Obviously far to busy, so why did they ask?????? Anyway here is Standard 7P 'Britannia' 70000 thankfully now back in green livery with its support coach for the duties that lie ahead passing through Bath at a fair rate on Knots.
..30 june 2012..
Class-A4 60019 is now running as 4464 'Bittern' minus the 2nd tender and stainless trimmings on the valances etc.Here the superb looking 'Streak' speeds past Frome going to Minehead from London-Victoria with '1Z80'.Not a good day to go to the seaside.It was pouring down when this shot was taken and I understand it was just as bad at Minehead.
..21 june 2012..
70000 'Britannia' now running in BR-Green (Thank Goodness) made a superb sight and sound as it pounded up the Upton-Scudamore Incine on '1Z89' from Bristol-TM back up to Victoria in the Capital.Quite a lot of excitement here this evening with a full blown argument when 'as usual' some steam-nerd tried to push in and set up his kit about 200 yards in front of the assembled gallery.After much argument and a few 'Connected series of statements intending to establish propositions' he packed up and left---Well he couldn't just stand with the rest of us could he? could he?. There is always one---Isn't there? For a slightly more 'Tele' shot click HERE ..12 april 2012..
Big-Bullied 35028 'Clan Line' passes White-Horse Business Park in Trowbridge with the returning 'VSOE' from Bristol-TM heading for London-Victoria '1Z96' via the B&H for a change.Unfortunately the sun was playing hard to get but just enough brightness was available to make a semi-reasonable shot as it thundered past copiously whistling for the Foot-Xing we were stood next too.There was several 'steam nerds' there demanding total silence whilst videoing.One had set his camera going when it whistled-up for Bradford-Junction about 2 miles away!!! Unbelievable?
..11 april 2012..
The reason for our visit today to the superbly sunlit Limpley-Stoke Valley was to picture the passing of this Railtour from Three Bridges going to Bristol-Temple Meads. Stanier Black-5 44932 doing a sterling job as a stand-in for an unavailable 34067.Here seen with just a wisp of steam from the safety valves only, even though the loco could be heard working quite hard!Fairly authentic coach liveries as well.This could almost be a 'Pines-Express' either north on the Midland or south on the S&D of Bath-Green Park.That station incidentally is only about 3 miles from this location at Claverton in the L-S Valley. ..24 march 2012..
The King is Dead! Long Live the King!----6024 having its last mainline outing before being withdrawn for major work. Here it is throttling through Frome with '1Z24' from Shrewsbury going to Kingswear in Devon.The abysmal weather sunwise continued today but as it was the loco's final fling for a while a shot had to be done.For an engine about to be 'Out of Ticket' it certainly looked and sounded good! ..17 march 2012..
BR liveried Black-5 44932 speeds through Bradford-on Avon with '1Z96' from London-Waterloo to Bristol via Salisbury.This was a 'Railway Touring Company'Charter and it passed this location spot on time.
..11 march 2012..
A good start to a very local day today.National Icon 60163 'Tornado' now in BR-Green and fitted with a 'lipped' chimney passes Frome with '1Z29' from Paddington going all the way to Plymouth.Regretfully for the photographers beyond Exeter the very bright 66152 in Schenker-Red was placed behind the A1 to assist over the Devon-Banks.I bet they were pleased!
..10 march 2012..
Quite suddenly about 25 minutes before this working was due this location at Compton Beauchamp was invaded by the 'Steam Brigade'.All huffing and puffing and pacing up and down looking at the sky and their watches etc etc.I used to get wound up if the sun went-in or even never came out but these steam-types really fret about it! Anyway nothing to worry about today as a nice big blue patch appeared on cue and all was well!. Here is 6024 the venerable Ex-Barry King going well and looking good in BR livery.The working was listed as 'The Bristolian' from Bristol-TM to Paddington '1Z26' looking well at ease on its home territory.-------Nice-------- To see a shot of this loco languishing in Woodhams-Scrap at Barry in 1968 pictured by myself 44 years ago click HERE.
..03 march 2012..
The 40 minute pause at Frome so 34067 could take on fresh supplies of H2O enabled me to get well ahead of the 'Weymouth Seaside Express' from Bristol so a 2nd shot could be had. No change in the terrible lighting conditions though! Here the Unrebuilt Bullied Pacific is seen getting into its stride on the single line section from Castle-Cary to Yeovil-Pen-Mill at a place known as Cockhill.Note this section of single-line has recently been upgraded from bullhead-rail and wooden sleepers to something much more modern,not to mention not worn out! Interestingly 'Tangmere' has acquired a Headboard.Obviously it was fitted during the Frome waterstop.
..01 july 2012..
The first 'Weymouth Seaside Express' for the 2012 season slows for the Frome booked water-stop.Viewed from the bypass-bridge there with 34067 'Tangmere' having one last handfull of regulator before Clink-Junction.This working started from Bristol-TM at 08:51 and was running as '1Z92'
..01 july 2012..
The reproduction Class-A1 60163 'Tornado' in BR-Green speeds through Thingley-Junction just west of Chippenham with '1Z86' from Ashford in Kent going to Bristol.Just managed a faint glimpse of sunlight to lift the scene,however the crisp air did its usual job of sucking the steam and smoke back down and firmly obscuring the majority of the coaching stock.I suppose I should be happy as 5 minutes earlier it was slashing down with rain and exposure was about 3 stops worse!
..17 december 2011..
Iconic A4 Pacific 60019 'Bittern' running as 4492 'Dominion of New Zealand' eases slowly into its booked Bath stop.Hauling a superb rake of 'fifties' style blood&custard coaches this working '1Z87' departed Poole in Dorset at 08:57 and was only a few minutes down upon arrival here.Nice to see it working without its 2nd tender watercart! This high vantage point is in Alexandra-Park overlooking the entire City.
..07 december 2011..
Unrebuilt Bullied Light-Pacific 34067 'Tangmere',a member of the 'Battle of Britain' Class runs non-stop through Westbury with '1Z87' from Poole going to Bath & Bristol.Lavishly named 'The Bath & Bristol Christmas Express' it was operated by 'West Coast Railway Co'. There was a Brush type-4 47760 on the rear,Eleven coaches plus a dead-duff! Quite a load!
..24 november 2011..
Un-rebuilt Bullied 34067 'Tangmere' accelerates along the Wylye-Valley at Norton-Bavant with '1Z86' from Bristol returning to London-Victoria.A pleasingly smoky engine this 'IF' the stuff is blowing in the right direction!.
..06 october 2011..
'5Z70' from Eastleigh T&RSMD up to Southall passed Worting at quite high speed with much whistle blowing from the distinctive 'Brit' chime whistle.I know black is historically correct for this engine 70000 because it carried it for a few weeks back in the early 50's but enough is enough.Lets have the superb BR-green again and the sight of that famous brass nameplate 'Britannia' once more.It looks more like an old freight engine rather than the BR Standard Flagship! .................nuf-said.................. ..06 october 2011..
Air-Smoothed Bullied 34067 powers by Worting-Junction as it did many times during its active working life.Today though as a preserved machine it is hauling '1Z95' from London-Victoria going to Bristol via Eastleigh.
..06 october 2011..
Big Black Britannia 70000 runs non-stop through Westbury producing plenty of steam and crud.That combined with the timely arrival of 59203 on '7C31' produced a rather different shot. The 'Bath Spa Express' running as '1Z87' from Poole to Bristol was a few minutes late,lets hope Britannia makes it all the way this time!
..05 october 2011..
Coming from London-Euston and going to Plymouth is '1Z37' billed as the 'Mayflower'.At this point still solo as 5029 is yet to be added at Taunton for the run over the banks to Plymouth.Forecast was not promising but upon arrival here at Upton-Noble nr Bruton a huge clear patch appeared.What could go wrong? Well for the first time in about six viewings of this superb re-incarnation of an LNER-Streak in Blue, 4492 (60019) was actually producing an exhaust,well too much actually as most of the train (maroon mk-1's) is efficiently obscured.Grrrrrrrrrrrrr Who said this railway photography was an easy and satifying hobby! Not me--that's for sure................... ..17 september 2011..
Garter Blue 'Streak' 4492 Dominion of New Zealand or if you prefer its true identity 60019 Bittern powers its seemingly steamless way towards Warminster at Arn-Hill with 'The Bath Spa Express' from Bristol returning to Poole.Working listed as '1Z88'.This is the first time I have managed a shot of this loco in the sunshine and luckily it had left its 2nd tender-watercart behind.The journey to Bristol in the morning was marred by having to have assistance from Westbury to Bristol by 67020 due to the A4 running short of coal because the lorry failed to turn up in the early morning to fully refuel it! Good job tour was DBS operated so no cost incurred there! ..14 september 2011..
Today Black-Britannia 70000 got a chance to redeem itself on Upton-Scudamore Incline after its failure through lack of water on the 17th of August on the Bath-Spa Express.Happily all went well today and the 'Pompey Pacific' tour made it all the way to Portsmouth-Harbour from Taunton without incident.Running as '1Z34' the working seen at full throttle climbing through Dilton-Marsh hauling a complete rake of Choc/Cream mainly Mk-1 coaches. ..10 september 2011..
Due to a last minute failure of the booked locomotive (30777) a major revamp of this Tour '1Z92' from London-Waterloo to Newquay was quickly organised.Instead of coming 'on' at Westbury for the run down to Cornwall via Castle-Cary 34067/70000 were arranged to haul it all the way from Waterloo going via Bristol to avoid the reversal problems at Westbury. Here is the 'Atlantic Coast Express' passing Arn-Hill nr Warminster in a lucky splash of sun running well,Tangmere leading with the Black-Brit 'inside'. ..04 september 2011..
Footnote------Just a few hours later 34067 suffered an inside-cylinder problem and was substituted at Taunton by 47500. The Black-Brit continued albeit 'inside' the Diesel about 2 hours late!......................
Taken barely a second after the shot below but giving a slightly different perspective. It is still 4492/60019.Though there was no exhaust loco was working quite hard,a sign of good teamwork on the footplate.
..31 august 2011..
No joy with the light again but what the hell! It is a superb sight running as 4492 'Dominion of New Zealand' complete with pre-war valances and livery.Loco is really 60019 'Bittern'.I actually window-hung from the first window behind the then,non-corrodor tender all the way from Aberdeen down to Glasgow on one of the famed '3-hour' Expresses that were the swansong for the A4's way back in 1965 (46 years ago!) Train is the returning '1Z88' from Bristol to Poole seen at Arn-Hill nr Warminster. ..31 august 2011..
Hope were high that the sun just might shine for this working.However it was not to be.Here is 60019 'Bittern' disguised as LNER 4492 'Dominion of New Zealand in all its pre-war glory passing Ladydown nr Trowbridge going to Bristol from Poole in Dorset on '1Z87' and named as 'The Bath-Spa Express'.Note the 2nd ex-A4 tender converted to a watercart to enable longer distance running without having to resort to water replenishment at an intermediate stop somewhere. ..31 august 2011..
'1Z87' from Poole to Bath & Bristol was today hauled by 70000 after frantic overnight work to rectify an engine fault.At one stage 60019 was to deputise but work was completed before the off.Ironically after it failed on the return journey at Warminster due to a water shortage problem caused by the ashpan sprinkler being inadvertantly left turned on! I bet the support team wished they hadn't bothered! Anyway here is the Black-Britannia swinging past Ladydown nr Trowbridge running well and on time with steam to spare. ..17 august 2011.. For an addition shot taken moments before clickHERE.
'Nunney Castle' 5029 today sporting a traditional-type headboard gathers speed at Witham-Friary heading '1Z92' from Bristol-TM to the Dorset Coast at Weymouth.Running almost exactly to time,it passed me under an impressively large patch of blue-sky.Incidentally this location here is about as close as the loco gets to its namesake,the ruin of Nunney Castle proper just about 2 miles away! ..07 august 2011..
For a more 'Tele' type shot moments before click HERE.
When I was a lad in the early sixties this is how I remember A1 Pacifics.Spotting at Kings-Cross,York,Edinburgh and Perth.Indeed 'Saint Johnstoun' 60162 (final example of the original build) stands out in the memory as it was stored at Perth in 1963 looking immaculate though it never actually worked again and only 14 yrs old. However now 48 years later a BR-Green A1 is again to be seen in action in the form of this re-incarnation 60163.A truly amazing piece of 21st century replication. Here is 'Tornado' heading '1Z66' from Ely going to Bristol-TM running as 'The Cathedrals Express'.Recorded passing Thingley nr Chippenham heading westwards. ..04 august 2011..
Looking just about as clean as it possible could be MN-Class 'Clan Line' 35028 slowly brings the Bath to London-Victoria VSOE '1Z93' round the curve on the approach to Hawkeridge-Junction nr Westbury.Here the train takes the west-curve avoiding the station to head east up the B&H.
..03 august 2011..
Black-Britannia powers up the Incline from Westbury to Warminster with a superb set of matching early 50's liveried stock on '1Z88',the returning 'Bath-Spa Express' from Bristol going to Poole.Due to the warmth of the evening the steam failed to turn to water vapour hence virtually no exhaust.A shovel full of coal would have at least produced some kind of smoke effect!.Location was Arn-Hill on the approach to Warminster. ..03 august 2011..
For those you prefer the more 'Tele' type shot click HERE.
'1Z87' from Poole going to Bristol-Temple Meads running as 'The Bath-Spa Express' emerges from under an overbridge on the approach to Hawkeridge-Junction at Westbury.70000 looking rather drab in 'as-built' prior to naming black.Talking of black,the clouds did their usual thorough job of masking the sun moments before this working appeared after standing there for over 20 minutes in back-burning sun! Such is life! ..03 august 2011..
34067 'Tangmere' seen on a Loco+Support-Coach move from Bristol-Barton Hill down to Yeovil-Junction.Running as '5Z93' it departed at 10:00 from Bristol and here at Frome was running exactly to time. ..01 august 2011..
By 20:20 the light was getting pretty weak,not helped by a bank of cloud on the horizon.However some sort of shot had to be attempted.Camera settings were 500th at f4.5 640asa at 160mm (35mm-equiv) focal length.Not too bad considering! Anyway here is 34067 returning from Weymouth to Bristol-TM running past Clink nr Frome with '1Z93'.Lighting almost gives loco the appearance of an early sixties clean but well used front line example! ..31 july 2011..
'1Z92' from Bristol-TM to Weymouth advertised as the 'Weymouth-Seaside-Express' seen going well after pausing as scheduled in Frome for a water top-up.First time this year 34067 had done the duty.I hear next week it is back to the usual traction 5029.Working seen at Upton-Noble a few miles west of Frome passing a lovely bed of rosebay-willow herb. ..31 july 2011..
For a more 'wider' view of this speeding Unrebuilt-Bullied clickHERE.
34067 'Tangmere' a Battle of Britain Class Bullied Light Pacific slows for Clink-Junction with '1Z92' from Bristol going to Weymouth.Loco will halt at Frome Station for a while to take on water supplies.Such a pleasant change to be able to record this working in something approaching 'full-sun' instead of the usual dire light! ..31 july 2011..
For the more 'tele' view of the approach to Frome click HERE.
Thanks BBC,a day forecast to be super-sunny turned out like most of the rest,a very brief blue sky that faded by 09:00 to the usual cloud! So the days photography was cancelled,only venturing out for this,the returning steam special from Weymouth to Bristol '1Z93'.Castle-Class 5029 named after the local Monumental-Ruin 'Nunney Castle' being in charge.Pictured through the hole in the hedge at Clink shortly after it departed from Frome. ..24 july 2011..
Going quite well as it passes a nice bed of Willow-Herb at Upton-Noble is 5029 Nunney Castle with '1Z92' from Bristol down to Weymouth.This sunday special is to run for several weeks again this year due to the success it had last year with extreemly good passenger loadings. ..17 july 2011..
To see my shot of this Locomotive as a wreck in Barry Woodhams Scrapyard in 1974 click HERE.
Today see's the start of a short season of Steam Specials from Bristol to Weymouth.Running as 'The Weymouth Seaside Express' under report number '1Z92' GWR Castle-Class 5029 'Nunney Castle' is seen slowing for Clink-Junction prior to a halt there for a water stop.Due to the blustery wind conditions all other shots taken as the train drew closer were largely obscured by the thick drifting water-vapour.Such is the problems with picturing external cumbustion engines. ..17 july 2011..
Sporting a '53A' Hull (Dairycoates) shedplate Black-5 45305 plus support coach drops down Upton-Scudamore Incline past Dilton-Marsh on a movement from the Swanage-Railway going to the Crewe Heritage Centre running as '5Z35'.A good solid piece of kit this,seemingly far more reliable than some of the 'Pacific' types that regularly fail on the mainline! ..27 june 2011..
This Loco still owned by Albert Drapers and Sons Ltd of Hull The scrap merchants that originally bought it for scrap.Hence the shedcode!
Britannia Pacific 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' was working really hard when this shot was taken,regretfully not much evidence out of the chimney due to it being a warm day and the fireman being economical with the shovelling! Here seen on the Upton-Scudamore Bank between Westbury and Warminster at Old-Dilton.Not my normal shot here but a couple of 'steam-clowns' were hogging the entire field further up for a wide landscape type shot!.......Back in the late 50's/early 60's Brits were a regular sight here usually on the Cardiff-Brighton service as far as Salisbury.Never this loco though as it was a GE based machine at Norwich.Western region Brits were 70015-70029 Working is '1Z89' returning from Bristol going back London-Victoria running as the Cathedrals Express. ..23 june 2011..
Quite difficult lighting here at Arn-Hill nr Warminster but being a 'Steam' light on the nose is not quite so important.Plenty of work in photoshop though to produce a reasonable picture!. Here is 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' running a few minutes down on booked time with '1Z88',the 09:44 from London-Victoria going to Bath and Bristol.Nominally a 'Catherdrals Express'.The 'Brit' was a late replacement for an un-available Bittern/Dominion of New-Zealand Gresley A4. Pity really as a shot of that superb Cameo still eludes me! ..23 june 2011..
This movement from Southall to Bishops Lydeard in readiness for Monday's 'Pompey Pacific' Pathfinder Tour from Bishops Lydeard to Portsmouth Harbour.Working today listed as '5Z29' seen taking it steady down the Frome avoiding-line as a precaution due to the wheel bearings seemingly being a liitle warm after the run down the B&H! Not a very nice livery,although original,to me it looks like a re-wheeled 9F.Glad when it is redone in the only decent colour it ever carried---BR Green. .. 28 may 2011..
Footnote..Upon arrival on the WSR loco declared a failure due to a 'hot bearing'.Consequently the Tour on the 30th (Monday) has been posponed until a later date to be announced...................
This years 'Great Britain 1V' mega railtour finale was this run from Bristol to Paddington '1Z68' hauled by a solo 5029 'Nunney Castle' on the 9th and final day. Here it is seen rounding the curve at Great-Cheverell on the B&H.Running to time and looking good but sounding a little 'off-beat' as if the 4-cylinder Castle valve-timing was not quite set right? ..24 april 2011..
See this same Engine 37 years earlier as a derelict at Barry HERE
'VSOE' today ran from London-Victoria (08:44 off) to Bath then on to Bristol for turning.Here seen getting away from Hawkeridge-Junction nr Westbury having just negotiated the chord off the B&H.Running as '1Z91' and pretty much on time.Nice to see 35028 'Clan Line' again1 Its been a while! ..13 april 2011..
Iconic 'Duke of Gloucester' 71000 with 67002 'inside' passes Great-Cheverell with the VSOE '1Z82' going to Bath from Victoria. ..27 october 2010..
Check out this Locomotive 43 years ago in Woodhams Yard at Barry in August-1968 as a derelict Hulk HERE Photographed by Me as a Teenager!
King-Class 6024 speeds through Corsham heading '1Z29' from Bristol-TM (09:34 off) heading for London-Paddington.This location is barely 1/2 a mile from the eastern less-grand portal of the famous Brunel-Built Box-Tunnel.A full set of Chocolate & Cream Coaches creates an almost timeless illusion of the real thing.In reality the 'Bristolian' was pretty much exclusively a 'Castle' duty.Strangely I was the only person here at this excellent location to record its passing on this lovely summers day! ..28 august 2010..
6024 'King Edward 1' speeds past Clink nr Frome with '1Z28' from Minehead to Paddington.The King came on at Allerford-Junction on the WSRly.Name of the working was 'The Great Western 175' to celebrate the years since the GWR was founded. ..19 june 2010..
National Collection owned 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' heads the returning 'The Welshman' from Cardiff (Departed at 15:55) returning to Poole in Dorset.Running as '1Z73' it is seen hammering up the incline at Upton-Scudamore between Westbury and Warminster.I well remember Cardiff based 'Brits' on this line but '13' was not one of them! Notice all the steamy 'beards and sandals' on the previous bridge.Much nicer where I was with just one other cameraman to jostle with! ..01 may 2010..
Black-5 44871 in harness with 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' speeds past Badgeworth between Gloucester and Cheltenham with 'The Great Britain 3' Tour around the country.This leg being '1Z86' from Bristol-TM going to Preston.Note the superbly matched maroon stock to depict an early 60's train,albeit with a few Mk-2 coaches in the rake. Nice........
..08 april 2010..
The final BR steam engine was built at Swindon in March-1960. 9F 92220 is now permanantly on exhibition in the 'Steam' Museam located on part of the old Swindon-Works site.Here it is in a mock station platform set there.Its future looks set to be a static exhibit now forever as Railtrack will not allow it to operate on the mainline anymore as it has flangeless wheels amongst its 10 driving wheels.This loco having a 2-10-0 wheel arrangement.Now in 2015 it is 55 years old but only operated for a short period of just 4 years (Apart from a while in preservation after 1968).
..18 february 2010..
New Build 60163 runs round the reverse curves at Sherrington in the Wylye Valley with '1Z92' The Valentine's Day Special running from Paddington to Paddington via Westbury and Salisbury.
..14 february 2010..
The superb re-creation of an A1 Peppercorn Pacific 60163 'Tornado' in its first livery (LNER Apple Green) applied to it after commissioning for mainline use.Note also the stovepipe chimney which it no longer carries either.Here it is passing Sherrington in the Wylye-Valley with a 'Steam Dreams' operated working named 'The Valentines Day Special' coming from Paddington and going to Salisbury via Westbury.Its reporting number was'1Z92'.--------14 february 2010------
60019 'Bittern' running as itself passes Shrivenham nr Swindon going to Worcester from London-Victoria running as '1Z85'.Today the steam and gusting wind played ball and all the exhaust was swept away well clear of the train (For a Change!) ..28 november 2009..
The Royal Dutchy '1Z52' from Paddington going as far as Par passes Frome with 5029 'Nunney Castle' leading 70013 'Oliver Cromwell'. ..20 may 2009..
A fairly unique combination of Black-5 44871 and 'Arthur' 30777 on the 'Royal Wessex' Railtour '1Z27' from Paddington going to Weymouth. Yet another sunny day,this time back in 2009 when summer used to mean several days together when the sun remained out and the temperature was above 20 degrees C,unlike the last few years (2011/2012) when we have had to suffer endless days of dullness,low temperatures and often heavy rain!
.. 08 april 2009..
The Royal Dutchy '1Z52' from Paddington going as far as Par passes Frome with 5029 'Nunney Castle' leading 70013 'Oliver Cromwell------05 april 2009--------
SR Merchant Navy Class 'Clan Line' 35028 has just crossed Canute Road in Southampton after going to the Eastern Docks with the 'Union Castle Express'.The train (VSOE) was being dragged back to Eastleigh by a '67' so engines could reverse for the return journey back to London-Victoria.Inward working was '1Z82'. ..17 january 2009..
Looking superb in BR-Green King Arther class 'Sir Lamiel' 30777,part of the National Collection runs down the relief line at Denchworth with The Cathedrals Express '1Z82' from Waterloo via Slough to Gloucester. ..11 october 2008..
The distinctive front-end of 71000 'Duke of Gloucester' runs slowly over Merehead Quarry-Junction with a 'Cathedral Express' operated by Steam-Dreams.This ran as '1Z70' the 09:34 off London-Victoria going to the seldom used destination of Cranmore on the East Somerset Railway.I think to date this is the last steam railtour to visit this destination,now over eight years ago.A Diesel Tour went there in early 2012 and Network-Rail had to to an amazing amount of line clearance before that could run!
..30 july 2007..
An everyday scene at Bristol-Barton Hill! Restored GWR 5029 'Nunney Castle' stands steamless in between railtour duties whilst 47197 (then still operated by Freightliner) prepares to head north with a failed Voyager going off to the Midlands for a repair to its failed brake system. 47197 lasted until the end of the year and by January 2008 was consigned to scrap at T.J.Thompson's of Stockton.
..31 july 2005..
In 2004 this was the centrepiece exhibit in the Shopping Outlet Centre that was constructed inside the shell of part of the old GWR Swindon Works.This locomotive 4930 'Hagley Hall 'remained there until 2008 when it was returned to its homebase at Bridgenorth on the Severn Valley Railway.Its replacement from that date was 7819' Hinton Manor'. Click HERE to see that replacement.
..31 may 2004..
Mogul 76079 prepares to depart Merehead after running round its train.This would now be listed as '1Z32'. By now it was running over 2 hours late.The final part of the Tour down the branch to Portbury was completed in darkness!
..13 september 2003..
Standard Class-4 Mogul 76079 stands on its stock with the 'Mendip Branch Explorer' right in as far as trains can go in the loading area at Whatley-Quarry.This is the last time (Probably for ever) that a passenger train has made it literally to the end of the Whatley-branch!
..13 september 2003..
With all the works buildings in the background still wearing the colours of the former owners of Whatley-Quarry (ARC) 76079 stands in the bright sunlight showing off its Headboard 'The Mendip Branch Explorer' also adorned by its sponsors 'The Evening Post' & 'The Western Daily Press' though it was actually operated by Pathfinder-Tours.
..13 september 2003..
76079 eases back past the 'Loader' in Whatley-quarry to take on some water from a waiting water tanker.It had just arrived with '1Z31' from Bristol with a Tour taking in both Mendip-Quarries and later would go to Portbury as well.
..13 september 2003..
As I was a member of a small party of photographers invited to actually be in the Quarry at Whatley when this Tour '1Z31' finally arrived from Bristol I had access to this nice panoramic view of the work area as 76079 with its set of 'Choc&Cream' stock arrived.This never to be repeated experience happily took place on a blue-blue day------nice----------
..13 september 2003..
Ex S&D 53809 sits in the yard at Andover preparing to take a train that has arrived from Basingstoke hauled by D200 for a trip up to Ludgershall.These shuttles were organised as 'add-ons' for people visiting the Basingstoke Rail Day held in the Railways yards there.The Special ran as the 'Ludgershall Limited'.My particular trains were '2Z18/2Z19'.The power from Basingstoke to Andover and return was 40122/D200.
..27 september 1987..
LNER A3 Pacific 4472 Flying Scotsman gets away from Salisbury heading for Yeovil with a 'Blackmore Vale Express'.
Number-4 'Loch' stands in Douglas Station in readiness for a departure for Port-Erin in the south of the Isle of Man.After 1968 this was the only mainline left operating and at this time the Company was in dire straits with the prospect of complete closure but was saved with nationalisation in 1978.However now in 2013 (35 years later) the line is thriving and its future is secure.
This is 'Prince of Wales' number-9.One of the three ex-BR steam locomotives to actually survive the nominal end of steam in the UK in 1968 and went on to wear the ubiquitous BR-Blue livery.Here it is at the top terminus of the Vale of Rheidol named Devils Bridge.As can be seen it will form the 15:30 departure back down to Aberystwyth on the coast.Business was brisk that day with all three of the lines loco's 7,8 and 9 at Devils Bridge together!
Whilst in the Isle of Man pursuing my other Hobby of motorcycle riding (Visiting there for the TT races) I had a look around the then extreemly quiet Douglas Station and Shed area of the IOM-Steam Railway.This is the scene inside the running shed with 'Hutchinson' number 12 have a sleep along with another classmate.This loco in 2012 remains very active and is one of the most used locomotives on the current 21st-Century roster.