Welcome visitors

They’re always welcome when they’re visitors to the Severn Valley Railway. The railway held its autumn gala this weekend, and during four most enjoyable hours (it certainly didn’t seem that long) at Highley, I met them all. More photos and (fairly) full details in due course, on Geoff’s Rail Diaries – in the meantime, here are the celebrities…

Single track…

…takes on a different meaning at Nantmawr, close to Shropshire’s border with Wales. When we visited last September, the collection of monorail equipment was newly-arrived. They’ve had a chance to sort things out since then – today we were greeted by a sizeable circuit of track, complete with (the only) working locomotive and couple of “passenger vehicles”. We’d better take a ride…

More photos and video will appear on “Geoff’s Rail Diaries” in a day or two; meanwhile, here’s locomotive 20091 “Partington” about to perform a test run round the single track…

Beside the Severn to Hampton Loade

An easy stroll this afternoon – Hampton Loade and back – out by the riverside path, back past Chelmarsh reservoir. It’s a fine, sunny and warm afternoon, with puffy little cumulus clouds putting some detail in the sky. We can sit at Hampton Loade station, where we can watch the trains go by and perhaps have an ice cream. Perhaps not – the shop’s shut, but the trains are running and there’s (a very small amount of) chocolate in the camera bag. That’s what they’re for, isn’t it?

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=373755&Y=287526&A=Y&Z=120

The Duchess in Shropshire

46233 “Duchess of Sutherland”, that is, hauling the return “Cathedrals Express” from Crewe, via Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton, back to London. There haven’t been many Duchess pacifics in Shropshire recently. Sister locomotive 46229 “Duchess of Hamilton” was active in the area perhaps 30 or more years ago, and 46233 has been to the Severn Valley, but I don’t think there can have many occasions – ever – when one of these Stanier locomotives has pulled a train along this line. Shame about the weather… and the exhaust. The train was heavy enough – eleven and a diesel at the back – but the Duchess had shut off steam when it passed us, already running a minute or two early.