Sunday, November 06, 2011

Caledonian 828

Caledonian Smoke

Last week I went on my first railtour. It was a bit of an accident as I'd been asked along to chat to someone who wanted a loco built. Since he was running the tour, it seemed like a good idea. Initially I thought it was just a quick chat on Bewdly Station on the Severn Valley Railway while we looked at a real engine. So it was that I arrived at 8am to find a nice blue loco standing under the water crane. Gradually, people turned up and suddenly the chat included a train ride and I was also fitted up with an ornage hi-viz tabard.

We boarded the 4 coach train and headed up the line. In the middle of nowhere, the train stopped and we clambered down to the lineside. The train drew back and then went forward so the crowd, who had assembledinto a neat line so as not to block each others shots, took photos. It then went back and we repeated this. 3 times. Then we moved along the line a few metres and repeated the exercise.

After half an hour we climbed aboard again and headed to the Kidderminster. The loco was turned while we watched. Most of us filled up with hot drinks as well. Then we returned to Bewdley.

At this point most of the party left to take up vantage points on the platform or lineside. I stayed on board with Trevor and looked through Geoff Silcox amazing collection of industrial railway photos. He managed to spend a great chunk of time in the Wlesh coalfields during the last days of steam and captured images that won't be seen ever again. As well as taking f ine railway enthusiast snap, he also managed to get some atmosphere into the pictures. This might not make them helpful for modellers fascinated by the number of rivets, but to those who will never experience such lines, they are invaluable. To be honest, most of them should be hanging in galleries in place of some of the thing that pass for "art". In fact if there were of a gritty inner city rather than gritty coalfield.

While we enjoyed the photos, our train had travelled back and forth through the station about half a dozen times (I lost count if I'm honest). At this point the party got back on board and decided to break for lunch. Sadly, I had to attend a meeting in the late afternoon so had to leave to get back to it so left them to fill thier camera cards. Next time though, I'll make sure the day is clear.

I did manage to bag a few photos I'm proud off, 2 of which are shown here. Click for bigger versions and let me know what you think. There are some useful detail shots to come later in the week too, so watch this space.

Caledonian Autumn

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