Britannia – main line steam

We saw no 70000 “Britannia” on test in October. Today (a gloomy and intermittently wet one) she was in revenue-earning service – on the “Welsh Borders Explorer”, the circular route from Crewe, via Chester, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton. We’re at Preston Boats, not far out of Shrewsbury, and she’s going well – we could hear the exhaust when the train was leaving Shrewsbury, more than a mile away and out of sight.

Kirkham Abbey

Saturday 20 October: we’re in Yorkshire, exploring after lunch. The ruinous remains of Kirkham Priory stand beside the river Derwent, between York and Malton, and are worth exploring. The York – Scarborough railway passes through the valley on the other side of the river, crossing the minor road by means of a level crossing. It’s controlled by a mechanical signal box, “Kirkham Abbey”: the crossing gates swing out across the road when a train is coming. Kirkham Abbey is a now-rare survivor of a once-common scene.

Photo note: today’s outing wasn’t expected to have photographic opportunities. I took the photos using the smartphone – not the best tool for the job, especially considering the railway is in deep shade, mid-afternoon in late October. We’ll have to revisit…

View OS map on Streetmap

A full day: Glasgow

Wednesday 26 Sept: Up at 6am! We’re catching the 9.09 Pendolino from Crewe; at Carlisle, we’ll join the 11.12 for Glasgow Central – via Dumfries and Kilmarnock (our choice – slow but scenic). We then have a whisker over 3 hours, into which we’ll squeeze
– St Enoch Square – for a look at the old Subway station
– the riverside walk to the Riverside Museum
– a subway ride to Buchanan Street, for a look at Queen Street station
– a walk back to Central station, and
– an expensive (£4.75!) pint…
before heading for home on the 16.40 to Euston. It’s not going to call at Crewe, so we’ll have to change at Lancaster – onto a train that decides to stop at Preston for almost an hour. We’ve no driver – signals problems away down south mean he’s late. So we’re on a later-than-planned train from Crewe back to the car, and at about 10.45pm, I’m home again. Did all of that happen in just one day?

That’s enough for now – a few photos below; more to follow.

Not flying…

Flying Scotsman certainly could fly, metaphorically, in his youth. Today we’re visiting a couple of Scotsmen whose top speed is barely into double figures – definitely not flyers – at the Telford Steam Railway. One of them, built by Grant, Richie of Kilmarnock in 1894, is just visiting for his summer holidays, which are almost over – we’d better go and see him. Take a look at “Scotsmen, not flying” on Geoff’s Rail Diaries – now!