RAIL CAMERAMAN TREVOR ERMEL


'LIFE AFTER BR STEAM'


Whilst many rail cameramen gave up the chase at the end of BR steam days, Trevor Ermel's photographic reconnaissances continued unabated and I am delighted to feature the places he visited on this page.
We begin with 'D' IS FOR DIESEL' featuring mainly green diesels during the late 1960s. This is followed by 'MORE TRAINS ON TYNESIDE' - a superb photo gallery of colour pictures from the 1970s with locations including Newcastle, Gateshead and the Tyne Bridges. Next he takes us on a five-day visit to West Germany in 1974, with some splendid action shots of one of the last steam-worked main lines in Europe, the Rheine to Emden main line; all can be found in his 'TO GERMANY FOR STEAM' section. 
Then in the mid-1970s he headed south to photograph the Rail Blue era in the 'WEST OF ENGLAND' - an evocative photographic record of mainly 'Westerns' and Class 50s in Devon and Cornwall. Back on home ground, Trevor was at the 'RAIL 150' celebrations in 1975 to give us this behind the scenes view of the exhibition and 'Grand Cavalcade of Steam' at Shildon.
The 'EAST COAST MAIN LINE' beckoned next; featuring a journey along the route from Kings Cross to Berwick in the 1970s, with lots of colour photos of 'Deltics'. His next overseas visit takes us to 'SOUTH AFRICA 1976' where steam was still very much in evidence; his photo gallery will reawaken many happy memories of BR steam sheds in the 1960s - a superb collection of both colour and monochrome pictures of South Africa's steam giants...plus there is so much more.

                                                          'D' IS FOR DIESEL

Although this page covers the 1970s it would be remiss of me not to backtrack a little to the end of the 1960s, when diesels were mostly green and the likes of the 'Class 55' and 'Class 47' were still known as 'Deltics' and 'Brush Type 4s' - and most numbers began with 'D'.
Many of us on the East Coast main line blamed the Deltics for sounding the death knell of our beloved Pacifics but there is no doubt that, for a diesel, they were extremely impressive. Their two-tone green livery suited them very well, particularly when set off by the red-backed nameplates mounted amidships. I do remember several of them before their plates were fitted and the difference was quite noticeable. On the other hand I have no memories of them (or of any other diesel, for that matter), before they acquired the small yellow warning panels at each end, and judging by pictures of them 'as built' I do think that this addition certainly improved their looks. No doubt those who grew up with the all-green (or even the 1970s all-blue) versions will have a different view! Which just goes to show just how subjective is the matter of locomotive aesthetics!
The first picture (below) appropriately shows the first Deltic (happily still with us today) D9000 Royal Scots Grey at Newcastle in 1964, in the condition I remember them best. The young lad on the left of the group is Peter Long, the next-door neighbour who originally prompted my interest in trains the previous year - thank you, Peter, wherever you are these days! (Canada, I believe?)





From the first to the last - this is D9021 Argyll and Sutherland Highlander just north of Low Fell (above) in 1967, with a train of mixed coaching stock and liveries typical of the time. Down below to the left is Low Fell Yard, which closed in the 1980s and is now the location of the Tyneside Royal Mail Centre. The view north from the road bridge at Low Fell (below) sees D9011 The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers getting to grips with another train of mixed liveries on 9th March 1968, passing the scene of a derailment. The northbound goods train had been crossing from the slow to the fast lines when it came to grief earlier that day. The Gateshead breakdown crane is busy re-railing the 'troublesome trucks' in full view of passengers on the East Coast main line who are hopefully not of a nervous disposition! The Deltic is in the interim livery of original green with the addition of full yellow ends, which however much it improves its visibility for the benefit of track workers, does nothing for its good looks!





The final Deltic shot was taken at Newcaste Central in December 1968 (above) showing D9015 Tulyar alongside a relic of the steam age. Like D9011 above, the locomotive is in green with the hideous full yellow ends prior to repainting into the new corporate BR blue livery. I remember my sense of disbelief when one of the Low Fell 'spotters' reported seeing the first blue Deltic repaint in 1966! Back to Low Fell (below) and a named EE Type 4 D229 Saxonia with a northbound freight on 6th July 1968. I imagine that this was a bit of a 'grab shot' which I took once I realised that this was a 'namer' approaching - I usually managed to include the whole train. Never mind, it gives a good side view of the old station building (now demolished, of course).





This picture (above) in August 1968 from Low Fell road bridge shows a Brush Type 4 as I prefer them - another attractive two-tone green livery. On the right an EE Type 3 approaches with a northbound freight, still in green but with full yellow ends. Unfortunately the identities of both locos were not recorded. Next, another view of a Brush Type 4 in original green at Newcastle (below), although this one looks due for a repaint. I managed to get the number - D1730 - from the other end, as the nearest cab's number is barely legible. I was tempted into taking this picture because of the 'steam-age' headlamps, as the indicator blinds were out of use.





Now here's something you don't see every day - a diesel brake tender with express passenger headlamps! Despite scouring my notebooks no details have come to light, but a Type 2 assisting an ailing Brush Type 4 on the Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier shouldn't be too hard to trace, should it? This would be 1967 or 1968 and the location is Low Fell, of course.
The Clayton Type 1 was an attractive and distinctive design, although a 'complete disaster' as described in several works of reference. Gateshead and Thornaby sheds had several on their books in the 1960s and they were often seen at Low Fell. Here are two on 5th March 1969 (below) - D8593 and D8598 with the sort of light loads with which they could be trusted.





D8588 has just left Lamesley Yard with a short freight (above) on 10th February 1969 and is passing under the bridge carrying the cable-worked NCB line from Ravensworth mine over the East Coast main line. This closed in 1973, two years after the last Clayton was withdrawn. Next, two final 1960s views at Low Fell. The first (below) shows a pair of Type 2s, D5107 in blue livery and D5102 still in green, climbing from Low Fell Yard with an iron ore train from Tyne Dock to Consett in August 1968. Not quite the same spectacle as a 9F, of course, but still worth a picture!





Finally, D171 raises the snow with an up express on 5th February 1969. One of Gateshead's 'Peaks', this was an early repaint into BR blue and was a taste of things to come.
Further afield now, at the southern end of the East Coast main line, sees a typical line up at Kings Cross on 7th January 1966. Left to right are D5606, D6750 and D1502 - all still in green livery, of course. The two nearest have had tail lamps attached prior to leaving the platform 'light-engine'.





On 31st August 1969, during another stay with relatives in the London area, I was at Wood Green station waiting to photograph No 4472 Flying Scotsman on its last run before heading off on its USA tour. Whilst waiting I took this view (above) of a Brush Type 4 heading north past the old wooden signal box and semaphore signals which have now disappeared. While we are in London here's a picture of D1068 Western Reliance in maroon livery. This was taken on 23rd April 1965 at Paddington - a change from endless streams of Bulleid Pacifics at Waterloo!





In the early hours of 29th July 1968 I alighted at Preston at the start of a final week chasing steam in the Carnforth/Preston area. Filling in time before the Youth Hostel at Arnside opened, I travelled just for the ride to Wigan behind D5040 on the 05.40(!) train to Crewe (returning by DMU) and photographed Type 2 D7546 at Wigan with its rear wheels off the road. Presumably the driver is aware of the situation, although he appears very casual in the cab, apparently just waiting for the signal to clear! Next, a couple of views at Preston. Seen from the top of the car park just north of the station is D1950 pulling away past the impressive LNWR signal box on 11th August 1967 (below). D3580 is the station pilot in the foreground.





D1846 is another Brush Type 4, this time heading south from the station (above) past 'Black Five' No 45212 and Type 2 diesel D7577 on 18th July 1968. The indicator blinds on D1846 are obviously out of action as stand-in figures have been stuck on. Like D1950 in the previous view, the loco has the interim green plus large yellow ends livery. The footbridge south of Carnforth station was a good vantage point, from where I photographed D1739 (still in original livery) leaving the station with an up express from Barrow (below). The train is about to pass D402 (in blue livery, as built) heading a northbound Freightliner train on 19th July 1968.





Just as 'D' was for diesels in the 1960s, by a similar logic 'E' was for electrics. On 1st June 1968 I joined the incongruously-named 'Grand Scottish Tour No 5' at Carlisle, which actually covered much of northern England behind steam (70013 Oliver Cromwell), diesel (D1733) and electric (E26052 Nestor). Nestor is seen (above) at Sheffield Victoria on the Guide Bridge to Sheffield and return leg of the trip, my only run behind one of these Class EM1 locos. Back on home ground for a final 1960s view (below) of the Brush/Hawker Siddeley 4000hp prototype Kestrel, photographed from the train about to cross the King Edward Bridge into Newcastle on 1st November 1969. This loco had been on trials on the East Coast main line for a while and I took the opportunity of travelling behind it from Durham that day. A beautiful design in an attractive yellow and brown livery, it was hoped by the manufacturers to be the next stage of diesel development - more powerful, of course, than a 3300hp Deltic. But alas! BR did not regard the locomotive as a success and it finished its days in the USSR and was reported as having been scrapped in 1993.



I started taking colour slides in 1973 shortly after joining Whickham Camera Club. After trying various makes of film and heeding the advice of experienced photographers, I settled on Kodachrome. This turned out to be a sound decision in the long term, as today my colour pictures still seem as bright and crisp as when I took them nearly 40 years ago. (Strangely enough, I never did win any photographic competitions with pictures of trains. Trees, sunsets and semi-clad young ladies seemed more popular with the judges!)
Now in my early twenties and armed with a new Pentax camera, I took a renewed interest in recording the changing railway scene, this time in colour as well as black and white. And where better to start than on my own doorstep...

                                           MORE TRAINS ON TYNESIDE

This is the classic view (below) of the 'Five Bridges' (as there were in the 1970s), looking east from the Gateshead riverside near Redheugh. Nearest is the Redheugh Bridge (eventually demolished in 1984 and replaced with a new concrete structure); beyond is the King Edward Bridge of 1906 with a Class 47 heading an up express out of Newcastle; then the other railway (and road) bridge, the famous High Level (designed by Robert Stephenson and opened in 1849); next is the low level Swing Bridge of 1876; and finally the iconic Tyne Bridge of 1928. The problem with including the whole scene, of course, meant that the trains were usually too far away to identify the locomotives! I always had the impression that the locals took this dramatic panorama for granted.





This view (above) shows trains on both railway bridges - or rather a light engine, in the case of the Class 47 on the King Edward, with No 4472 Flying Scotsman in the background crossing the High Level with a 'Special' to Newcastle in September 1975. Another 47 in action is No 47523 (below) coming off the Newcastle end of the High Level on 4th May 1975.





Work on a new railway bridge for the forthcoming Metro system began in 1977, and by June the following year the two parts of the deck were getting close together, as seen in this shot (above) of a Class 37 heading north with coal empties on the King Edward.
'Deltic' No 55015 Tulyar has just crossed the King Edward Bridge and is entering the west end of Newcastle Central Station with a down express in August 1975 (below), passing No 40147 at the head of a southbound parcels train on the station avoiding lines.





No 55002 The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry has just come to rest under a fortuitous shaft of light with a terminating train from Kings Cross on 5th August 1975 (above). At the time this was the most southerly of the three through platforms at Newcastle; as part of the redevelopments in connection with electrification work a new island platform has since been constructed on the left. Another terminating train on the same day (below), this time from Liverpool headed by No 45032, stands alongside No 55005 The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire (blimey, what a mouthful - it doesn't trip off the tongue as easily as Nimbus or Ballymoss, does it?!) waiting for the 'off' with the down 'Flying Scotsman'.





The new order, on 31st May 1978! A newly-introduced 'InterCity 125' HST is approaching with an up express from Edinburgh, about to pass No 47524 heading in the opposite direction.
The first station out of Newcastle was Manors. (At the time there were actually two - Manors North, on the suburban loop to the coast via Jesmond, which closed when the Metro system rendered it redundant; and Manors East on the main line which is still open today.) The first of two views at the latter station (below) sees No 31418 heading towards Newcastle with empty stock from Heaton carriage sidings in 1976, also giving a good view of the station infrastructure which has now disappeared.





Also heading for Newcastle is No 40048 (above). Although the locomotive has the 'express passenger' headcode already set up, the lack of heads at the carriage windows would suggest that this is another empty stock train from Heaton. And here's a view of Manors North in its final years of operation (below), looking south towards the junction at Manors East. A DMU is about to leave for the short hop back to Central Station on the final leg of its circular out-and-back journey via the coast on 27th June 1976.





Just beyond Manors East was a nice open viewpoint, where I photographed No 55006 The Fife & Forfar Yeomanry (above) getting to grips with an Anglo-Scottish express on 6th July 1975. You can almost hear the 'Deltic roar' (and smell the fumes!)
Shortly after passing Manors, trains would cross the Ouseburn Viaduct. I was drawn to this viewpoint showing the viaduct in the background (below) by the opening credits for the 1970s TV comedy programme 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?' which featured the same scene. What appears to be a light engine heading towards Heaton is actually a Class 40 with a train of low wagons, or perhaps a ballast train.





A close-up (above) from the adjacent road bridge (Byker Bridge) shows No 45029 making for Newcastle with a parcels train. The builder's plate on the ironwork directly below the locomotive shows details of the new viaduct which replaced the original wooden structure of 1839. Summer clothes, some destined for the beach, perhaps, seem the order of the day as passengers board a coast-bound DMU at Heaton in June 1976. This was another station which has since closed, the replacement rail service now provided by the nearby Metro station at Byker.





Passing the station in the opposite direction (above) is No 47404 with an up express the following month.
Back to the bridges again for some pictures south of the Tyne. I found the area bounded by the triangle of lines at the Gateshead end of the King Edward Bridge a fascinating place and relatively undiscovered by photographers. The remains of the old Redheugh Incline, (built in 1839 on a gradient of 1 in 23 to connect the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway at Redheugh with the Brandling Junction Railway in the heart of Gateshead, and which closed in 1907), are still clearly visible in the foreground of this 1976 picture (below), as No 47013 comes off the bridge with a southbound express.





Turning to the right sees No 45030 above the pigeon lofts as it heads light engine towards nearby Gateshead depot. Below the arch lie the contents of countless thousands of locomotive smokeboxes and ashpans in the area known locally as 'the ash heaps'. No doubt over the years countless thousands of young boys would have gained access to the back of Gateshead sheds by this route which involved a steep climb but avoided the watchful eye of authority! Immediately after crossing the bridge main line trains would turn right, as shown in this view (below) of No 55018 Ballymoss at King Edward Bridge Junction.





Accelerating south is 9001 St. Paddy (above). One of my earliest colour slides, it was taken on 30th July 1973 when the locomotive had lost the 'D' from its original number but before the TOPS system was introduced, when it became 55001. With major road construction work in progress in the background No 55017 The Durham Light Infantry heads south through the Gateshead suburbs in July 1975 (below).





By the end of November that year a new retaining wall was in place prior to a road bridge being built at this point, where I managed to capture a 'glint' shot of No 47526 (above) slowing in readiness for the curve over the King Edward Bridge with a down express.
No pictures of trains on Tyneside would be complete without some examples at Low Fell, the next location to the south, where it all began for me back in 1963. By June 1975 the exchange sidings for the Team Valley Trading Estate had fallen into disuse, as shown in this view of No 47544 passing the weeds with an Anglo-Scottish express (below).





The redundant loading gauge for the sidings was still hanging (just) to provide a frame for this shot (above) of No 47517 with a southbound Royal Mail train. 1975 was the final year for the familiar crossover at Low Fell, seen in this view (below) of No 55010 The King's Own Scottish Borderer with an up express passing a northbound train during diversions onto the slow lines. Earlier that year there had been another freight train derailment at the junction - the second one here, to my knowledge. (The previous incident had been in 1968.) Perhaps this was the final straw, because that summer the crossing was removed and replaced with a new one a hundred yards or so south of the road bridge.





This view (above) shows the same spot at the end of August as No 40150 works a ballast train past the site. Work on the new junction was in full swing in June as No 47141 passed the pw gang with an up express (below). Low Fell bridge in the background was replaced when electrification work on the ECML reached here in 1990, and yet another link with the past was gone.





A final view at Low Fell that year sees No 47457 leaning to the curve on the approach from the south, with the floodlighting towers of Tyne Yard in the background.
Occasionally engineering work (usually at weekends) would necessitate diversions away from the main lines, providing opportunities for photography in different locations. Deltic No 55020 Nimbus is turning left at the southern end of the King Edward Bridge on 2nd November 1975 (below) and will be heading east through Gateshead to take the Leamside diversionary route at Pelaw, to rejoin the ECML further south.





On a similar working No 47522 has just crossed the bridge (above) and is passing Gateshead depot with an up express on 27th July 1975. With only one engine apparently in action, No 55001 St. Paddy accelerates through the eastern outskirts of Gateshead with a diverted up express on 9th March 1975 (below). Across the river the skyline is dominated by Newcastle Civic Centre, still there today, unlike the coal merchant's sidings on the left which have long-since disappeared.





The scene at Pelaw (above) of No 47432 taking the Leamside line has changed dramatically since this picture was taken in 1976 - the flyover carrying the Metro trains to South Shields and Sunderland now blocks the view completely, and the Leamside line itself has been closed and is currently 'mothballed' for possible use in the future.


The following chapter features a selection of shots I took during a five-day visit to the Rheine to Emden line in West Germany in 1974. As a way of thanking our genial West German hosts all these years later the photo captions have been translated into German, courtesy of Google Translation - here - is this a first, I wonder?


                                                     TO GERMANY FOR STEAM

                                                 NACH DEUTSCHLAND FÜR STEAM


In June 1974
I saw an advert in one of the monthly railway magazines announcing a five-day trip in August to visit the Rheine to Emden line in West Germany. This was one of the last steam-worked main lines in Europe, with many of the passenger trains hauled by oil-fired 3-cylinder 012 4-6-2s; iron ore trains worked south from the port at Emden by big 3-cylinder 043 (oil-fired) and 044 (coal-fired) 2-10-0s; and virtually everything else handled by oil-fired 042 2-8-2s.
I duly sent off my payment of £38.30 and spent the next few weeks looking forward to my first visit abroad, encouraged by photographs taken by a friend of mine who had been to the area the previous year. After travelling down from Newcastle to Kings Cross behind 47408 (an additional return fare of £10.64) I joined the 'To Europe For Steam' party at Liverpool Street station where we boarded the boat train for Harwich hauled by 31272, for the overnight ferry crossing to Hook of Holland.
The next morning we travelled by train across to Germany behind two different NS (Netherlands Railway) electric locos and one DB (German Federal Railway) diesel, reaching Rheine around midday, for a visit to the steam depot about two miles away by coach. This was the first working steam shed I had been to since the final days of BR steam in August 1968 - the atmosphere, the smell, the sheer scale of it all! It embraced all the things which the preservation scene back home could not hope to emulate. As a trade-off the locomotives we saw were mostly 'well-used' (as to be expected in a normal working environment), unlike the sparkling examples normally to be seen on most of Britain's 'heritage railways' (to use a modern term.) Examples of all four of the Classes we expected to see were 'at home' that day, although the 'stars of the show', three of the 012 Pacifics, were not in very photogenic positions.
This is the view (below) across the turntable at Rheine shed - what a pity that the engines were not facing the other way round! Never mind, unlike on BR the DB tenders helpfully displayed the number of the loco attached to them. (Second and fourth from the left are Pacifics.)

In Juni 1974 sah ich eine Anzeige in einer der monatlichen Eisenbahn Zeitschriften Ankündigung einer fünftägigen Reise im August auf die Rheine besuchen, um Linie in West Deutschland Emden. Dies war einer der letzten Dampf-Hauptleitungen arbeitete in Europa, mit vielen der Personenzüge von Öl-3-Zylinder '012 '2C1s gezogen, Eisenerz Züge südlich vom Hafen Emden gezogen von großen 3-Zylinder '043 '(Öl-) und '044' (Kohle-) 1ES, und praktisch alles, was sonst durch Öl befeuerten '042 '1D1S behandelt. Ich schickte meine Zahlung von £ 38,30 und verbrachte ein paar Wochen gespannt auf meinen ersten Besuch im Ausland, durch Fotografien von einem Freund von mir, der in der Gegend gewesen war im Vorjahr gemacht gefördert. Nach der Fahrt mit dem Zug von Newcastle nach London (eine zusätzliche Hin-und Rückfahrt von £ 10,64) trat ich die anderen Mitglieder der Gruppe an der Liverpool Street Station, wo wir an Bord des Bootes Zug nach Harwich, für die Überfahrt mit der Fähre über Nacht nach Hoek van Holland. Am nächsten Morgen fuhren wir mit dem Zug in die Bundesrepublik Deutschland hinter zwei verschiedenen NS (Niederlande Railway) elektrische Lokomotiven und eine DB (Deutsche Bundesbahn) diesel, Rheine erreichte um die Mittagszeit für einen Besuch in der Dampf-Depot ca. 3 km entfernt von Coach. Dies war der erste Arbeitstag Dampf Depot ich seit den letzten Tagen des British Railways Dampf im August 1968 war - die Atmosphäre, der Geruch, das schiere Ausmaß des Ganzen waren die Dinge, die die Erhaltung Bewegung wieder zu Hause in Großbritannien nicht hoffen konnte, zu emulieren. Als Folge waren die Lokomotiven sahen wir meist "gut genutzt" (was in einem normalen Arbeitsumfeld erwarten), im Gegensatz zu den sehr sauber Beispiele normalerweise auf den meisten der britischen 'Museumsbahnen' gesehen werden (auf einem modernen Gebrauch Begriff.) Wir haben gesehen, Beispiele für alle Arten von Lokomotiven wir erwartet hatten, obwohl die "Stars der Show", drei der '012 'Lokomotiven, waren nicht in sehr fotogen Positionen. Dies ist die Ansicht (unten) auf der Drehscheibe im Bw Rheine - schade, dass die Motoren wurden nicht vor den anderen Weg!





A couple of the 2-8-2s pose for the camera (above), whilst (below) is one of my few shots of one of the coal-burning 2-10-0s. Behind it are two tenders with painted inscriptions, no doubt indicating 'for scrap' in German. In fact, the whole siding has the air of withdrawn locos - shades of Carnforth 1968!

Ein paar der 1D1S für die Kamera (oben) stellen, ist, während (unten) einer meiner paar Fotos von einem der Kohle-Verbrennung 1ES. Dahinter sind zwei Angebote mit gemalten Inschriften, wahrscheinlich Angabe 'für Schrott' in deutscher Sprache. In der Tat hat die ganze Abstellgleis der Atmosphäre entzogen Loks - sehr ähnlich Carnforth, einer der letzten BR Dampf Depots, im Jahre 1968!





Here's a rear view of an 043 (above), the oil-burning version of the 2-10-0, together with another 042 2-8-2. Back at Rheine station we had a few hours before we had to catch the train to our hotel at Lingen, about 20 miles to the north, which enabled us to explore the surrounding area. The station was 'under the wires' and was a changeover point for most of the passenger trains which arrived from the south behind electric locomotives. Although the main focus was on steam I couldn't resist this shot (below) of an elderly electric No 104 020-3, which was waiting to restart a southbound express after relieving a Pacific.

Hier ist eine Rückansicht einer '043 '(oben), das Öl-brennende Version des 1E, zusammen mit einem anderen '042' 1D1. Nachdem wir nach Rheine Station zurückgegeben hatten wir ein paar Stunden zu warten, bevor der Zug zu unserem Hotel in Lingen, ca. 30 km im Norden, die uns um die Umgebung zu erkunden aktiviert. Die Station war "unter den Drähten 'und war ein Umschlagpunkt für die meisten Personenzüge, die aus dem Süden hinter Elektrolokomotiven angekommen. Obwohl das Hauptinteresse war auf Dampf Ich konnte nicht widerstehen dieses Foto (unten) von einem älteren elektrische Lokomotive Nr. 104 020-3, die darauf warten, eine nach Süden express neu starten, nachdem Linderung einer Dampflokomotive wurde.





A level crossing just north of the station was a good spot to see this 043 with a heavy goods train (above). A short walk further on saw the end of the overhead wires where I photographed a tender-first 042 (below) with another freight.

Ein Bahnübergang eine kurze Strecke nördlich des Bahnhofs war ein guter Ort, um diese '043 'mit einem schweren Güterzug (oben) zu sehen. Nach einem kurzen Spaziergang weiter erreichte ich das Ende der Oberleitungen, wo ich einen zart-first '042 '(unten) fotografiert mit einem anderen Güterzug





Although not all of the passenger trains north from Rheine were steam-hauled, we were pleased to find this 012 (above) was in charge of ours. The next view (below) shows it after arrival at Lingen - unfortunately the cast DB plate on the cabside has disappeared. The lady with the shopping is no doubt unaware that these locomotives were living on borrowed time, and steam passenger workings would cease the following year

Obwohl nicht alle der Personenzüge nördlich von Rheine wurden von Dampflokomotiven gezogen, waren wir erfreut zu sehen, diese '012 '(oben) war für uns. Die nächste Ansicht (unten) zeigt sie nach der Ankunft in Lingen - leider ist der markante DB Platte auf der Seite der Kabine verschwunden ist. Die Dame mit den Einkaufstüten ist wahrscheinlich nicht bewusst, dass diese Lokomotiven wurden für das geliehene Zeit leben, und Dampf Personenzüge würde zu einem Ende kommen im folgenden Jahr
.





And here's the view from the hotel (above), just across the road from Lingen station! An 012 is arriving with a northbound express, passing a preserved 0-8-0T loco on the station forecourt, together with a nice selection of German cars. The following day was a 'free day', so several members of our party opted to travel the 12 miles or so further north to Meppen. In the event our train was diesel-hauled, and by an accident of bad-timing we passed a double-headed ore train on the way there. After we arrived at Meppen here's a shot of 012 061-8 again, pulling away south from the station (below) - this was the loco which had hauled our train from Rheine to Lingen the previous day.

Und hier ist der Blick aus dem Hotel (oben), nur durch eine Straße vom Bahnhof Lingen! AN '012 'Lokomotive ist mit einem nach Norden express anreisen, vorbei an einem erhaltene Lokomotive auf dem Bahnhofsvorplatz, zusammen mit einer schönen Auswahl an deutschen Autos. Der folgende Tag war ein "freier Tag", so einige Mitglieder unserer Partei beschlossen, die 20 km weiter nördlich nach Meppen reisen. Wir waren enttäuscht, dass unser Zug von einer Diesellok gezogen wurde, und durch einen Unfall von bad-Timing passierten wir eine Eisenerz-Zug mit zwei Dampflokomotiven auf dem Weg dorthin zog. Nachdem wir in Meppen angekommen nahm ich dieses Foto (unten) von No 012 061-8, Abfahrt südlich vom Bahnhof - das war die Lokomotive, die unser Zug von Rheine nach Lingen war am Vortag.






Passing Meppen non-stop is 012 100-4 with a northbound express (above). South of the station the line crossed a tributary of the River Ems, which was a pleasant place to wait between trains, where I captured this 043 (below) heading north with iron ore empties for Emden.

Vorbei Meppen ist keine 012 100-4 mit einem nach Norden express (oben). Südlich der Station die Linie überquerte ein Nebenfluss der Ems, die ein angenehmer Ort, um zwischen den Zügen, wo ich fotografierte diese '043 '(unten) nach Norden in Richtung Emden mit einer leeren Eisenerz Zug warten war






Heading in the opposite direction (above) is this 012 with a southbound express. After a successful session photographing by the lineside we returned to Lingen behind another Pacific No 012 075-8, although it was late in the day and I wasn't able to successfully photograph it. That evening there was a terrific thunderstorm after dark. Standing on the footbridge at the north end of Lingen station, with iron ore trains headed by big 2-10-0s passing below to the accompaniment of lightning flashes was quite a memorable experience! The next day was our final one in Germany, with a free morning to ourselves. Here's a shot (below) of an 043 passing under the footbridge with iron ore empties heading north.

Unterwegs in die entgegengesetzte Richtung (oben) ist dies '012 'mit einem nach Süden express. Nach einer erfolgreichen Sitzung Fotografieren kehrten wir nach Lingen hinter anderen '012 'Lok Nr. 012 075-8, obwohl es spät am Tag und ich war nicht in der Lage, es zu fotografieren. An diesem Abend gab es ein furchtbares Gewitter nach Einbruch der Dunkelheit. Stehend auf dem Steg am nördlichen Ende von Lingen entfernt, mit Eisenerz Züge von großen 1ES vorbei unten, begleitet von Blitzen geleitet, war ein unvergessliches Erlebnis! Der nächste Tag war unsere letzte einer in dem Land, und wir hatten einen freien Morgen. Hier ist ein Foto (unten) einer '043 'Durchfahrt unter der Fußgängerbrücke mit einer leeren Eisenerz Zug in Richtung Norden






A bit of exploration got me to a quiet spot alongside a small water channel to the north of Lingen station, where I photographed 012 080-8 accelerating away from the station stop (above) with a northbound express. The oil-burning locos had a distinctive smell which lingered in the air as the sound of the exhaust faded into the distance! Our journey back to Rheine that afternoon was by DMU, which was a bit disappointing, although we were able to witness more Pacific action before we had to head for home. 012 082-4 was captured just north of Rheine station (below), ready to back down onto a northbound train. This had arrived behind electric loco 104 022-9 which is just appearing on the right of the picture to make way for it.

Ich entdeckte einen ruhigen Ort neben einem kleinen Kanal im Norden von Lingen, wo ich fotografiert No 012 080-8 beschleunigt vom Bahnhof entfernt (oben) mit einem nach Norden express. Die Öl-brennende Lokomotiven hatten einen unverwechselbaren Geruch, der in der Luft hing, als der Klang der Auspuffanlage in die Ferne verblasst! Unsere Reise zurück zu jenem Nachmittag Rheine war von Diesel-Zug, die wir dachten, war ein bisschen enttäuschend, obwohl wir in der Lage, mehr Dampflokomotiven in Aktion zu sehen, bevor wir in das Vereinigte Königreich zurückkehren musste waren. Keine 012 082-4 fotografiert wurde nördlich von Rheine Bahnhof (unten), bereit, einen Zug in Richtung Norden ziehen. Dieser hatte sich hinter elektrische Lokomotive Nr. 104 022-9, die gerade sichtbar auf der rechten Seite des Bildes ist angekommen






The last shot (above) shows the Pacific leaving the station, with several members of our party on the platform also taking their final pictures of the tour. Overall, it had been a fantastic five days, although I was slightly disappointed in not being able to photograph a double-headed ore train - but hey, that's just a minor gripe! A bonus on the journey home was our train being pulled from Utrecht to Hook of Holland by NS electric loco No 1501 - which turned out to be ex-BR Class EM2 No E27003 Diana.Just for the record, the locos back in England were 37264 from Harwich to Liverpool Street, and 47407 from Kings Cross to Newcastle
.

Das letzte Foto (oben) zeigt die Dampflok den Bahnhof verlassen, mit einigen Mitgliedern unserer Partei auf der Plattform auch unter ihrem letzten Bilder von der Tour. Insgesamt war es eine fantastische 5 Tage, obwohl ich etwas enttäuscht war ich nicht in der Lage gewesen, ein Eisenerz Zug von zwei Lokomotiven gezogen fotografieren. Ein Bonus auf der Heimreise war unser Zug ist von Utrecht nach Hoek van Holland nach NS-elektrische Lokomotive Nr. 1501 gezogen - was sich als ein ehemaliger British Railways Class EM2 Lokomotive Nr. E27003 Diana sein


                                                 WEST OF ENGLAND

I first reached the West Country in 1970, with the aim of travelling over new ground behind as many different locomotives as possible, using a West of England Railrover ticket. The few photographs I took were mainly record shots at station platforms, such as the view (below) at Exeter St Davids on 8th July, with 828 Magnificent alongside D1037 Western Empress. I had just travelled behind D1037 from Taunton (one of ten runs with 'Westerns' that week) and the 'Warship' was waiting to head for London (Waterloo) via Salisbury.





By the time of my 1974 visit, this time as part of an All-Line Railrover, I was more photographically-minded, although my pictures were still all black & white. One of the more interesting of them, perhaps, shows D1030 Western Musketeer coupled to 50044 at Dawlish on 29th May (above). By this date the Class 50s were being reallocated to the Western Region, displaced from the West Coast Main Line by electrification north of Crewe earlier that month.
Sunny days beside the seaside really deserve colour photography, so I returned to the West of England twice more in the 1970s with Kodachrome film in my trusty Pentax; the pictures which follow were taken on these visits in May 1975 and June 1977. The 'Westerns' were still going strong in 1975, although Class 50s were beginning to take charge of many of the top-link workings. By 1977 the last of them had bowed out, bringing to an end nearly twenty years of the various diesel-hydraulic classes on the Western Region.
I always regarded Exeter as the gateway to the West of England, and the first of the colour pictures (below) shows D1026 Western Centurion about to leave St Davids station for London Paddington as 45025 arrives with a West of England express from the north.





A similar inter-regional working has arrived at Exeter behind 46013 (above) as D1013 Western Ranger stands in the centre road. Back to the London end of the station (below) as the driver of a sparkling clean D1036 Western Emperor chats to fellow railwaymen as he waits for the road with a train for Paddington.





Western Campaigner has just got the signal to proceed near Exeter St Thomas station (above) with a train of china clay wagons. This is another loco which appears to have had a recent repaint, including the distinctive cast numberplate where the 'D' has been painted out (although I still entered it in my notebook as D1010). South of Exeter the railway skirts the wide estuary of the River Exe past Starcross then hugs the coast round to Teignmouth via Dawlish, a beautiful stretch of line much-photographed over the years. At Starcross a building originally constructed to house one of the pumping stations for Brunel's original 'atmospheric railway' still stands, seen on the left (below) as 47030 passes the station with a westbound express. (I understand that the building is now open as a museum, with various items from the atmospheric line - not one of Brunel's successes, it must be said).





At Dawlish (above) I photographed 47212 and 47377 double-heading a train for the north past a fine selection of 1970s cars. I found the line at Teignmouth the most photogenic on the coastal section. East of the station the railway runs alongside the seawall, where 45030 is approaching from the north (below).





Heading in the opposite direction comes 50026 with the Penzance to Paddington up 'Cornish Riviera Ltd' (above). I thought the Class 50s would have had the top-link duties such as this express all to themselves by this date, but I saw the same train still headed by a 'Western' on other occasions that week. A telephoto shot gives a good view of the coast (below) as D1043 Western Duke skirts the water's edge on the approach to Teignmouth station from the east.





Looking the other way at ground level towards the station (above) gives us this view of another 'Peak' No 46035 with a special working, if the headcode is showing correctly. I found the line immediately west of Teignmouth station, alongside the estuary of the River Teign, another very pictorial location for photography, as exemplified in this view (below) of D1065 Western Consort approaching the station with an up express.




 
The road bridge in the background of the previous picture provided a convenient frame in which to photograph 45059 Royal Engineer (above) heading west. Turning left under the same arch gives this view of D1046 Western Marquis slowing for the station stop (below).





Climbing up to the road above me provided this scene of D1001 Western Pathfinder (above) with another up express. The next station to the west is Newton Abbot, where I photographed D1005 Western Venturer with a stone train (below) passing through the station. I entered this in my notebook as a china clay train, but surely the wagons would have been covered if that had been the case?




 
Just beyond Newton Abbot the line branches off to Paignton (and originally on to Kingswear, now a 'heritage line'). Seen entering Paignton station is D1046 Western Marquis with a through train from London (above)
. Next, a couple of pictures taken at Plymouth. First, a china clay train heading east waiting for the road behind D1022 Western Sentinel (below).





The second picture (above) dates from 1977, after the 'Westerns' had disappeared. Super-power for the up 'Cornish Riviera Ltd' is provided by two Class 50s, 50018 (leading) and 50002 on 7th June. Just west of Plymouth, of course, is Brunel's 'Royal Albert Bridge', linking Devon and Cornwall and dating from 1859. A telephoto shot (below) sees D1070 Western Gauntlet crossing into Devon with a train of empty wagons.

 



The final five pictures were taken during my June 1977 visit. Taken from a Penzance to Paddington express hauled by 50008 is this view (above) of the bridge from the western end. Earlier in the day at Liskeard in Cornwall the same train is seen approaching the station (below), passing china clay wagons in the siding on the right, before I boarded for the journey to Plymouth.

 



The following day I was at Liskeard again, this time photographing 50034 arriving at the station (above) before repeating the journey and travelling on the train to Plymouth. The end of the line - Penzance (below). 46010 is approaching the terminus with an inter-regional train from the north, passing a fine array of lower quadrant semaphore signals, similar to many I saw all over the West of England in the 1970s.



The final view shows 50038 waiting for the off with a train for London (below), with a couple more Class 50s in the background. In the 1980s these locomotives, eventually named after British warships, became something of a cult among railway enthusiasts, just as the 'Westerns' had done before them - but that's another story
...



                                                         RAIL 150

                         Celebrating the S&D Railway's 150th Anniversary - August 1975

1975 marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway. As any schoolboy (from my era, anyway) knows, this is generally acknowledged as the first public railway to use steam locomotives. It was not the first railway, per se, by any means; nor was it the first railway to use steam locomotives, by more than 20 years. Nevertheless the combination of these factors on the scale of the S&D is seen as the starting point from which railways as we know them, evolved.
BR had its own take on the significance of the anniversary, as seen on the poster (right) which was photographed in May that year at Newcastle.
To celebrate this event, four years of planning by BR, numerous companies, public bodies, groups and individuals resulted in the staging of an Exhibition of over 30 steam locomotives which were gathered together from all over the country. This was held in the Shildon Works of British Rail Engineering Ltd, at that time a major centre for the construction and repair of railway wagons, on the site of the original locomotive works of the S&DR.
The culmination of the week-long Exhibition was a 'Grand Cavalcade' of most of the locomotives on Sunday 31st August. This took place along part of the route of the S&DR from Shildon to Heighington, before an estimated crowd of over 300,000 people.

In the days leading up to the Exhibition locomotives began to gather at Darlington, before heading west along the Bishop Auckland branch to Shildon - on 16th August an up express headed by No 47542 (below) entered Darlington station passing A4 No 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley, 'Jubilee' No 5690 Leander and B1 No 1306 Mayflower.





Locomotives entered the exhibition area over a level crossing at the eastern end of the Works site, as exemplified by the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group's two engines, beautifully restored to NER condition as Class P3 No 2392 and T2 No 2238 (above). Fittingly, this was the spot where George Stephenson's 'Locomotion No 1' had been attached to its train of coal wagons for the run to Stockton on the opening of the line in 1825. Another NELPG loco present was K1 No 2005, looking superb in LNER livery....with a bit of 'artistic licence', as it had entered service with BR in 1949 as No 62005. It is seen here (below) in the wagon repair shop alongside LNWR No 790 Hardwicke.





As a member of NELPG I was at the Exhibition for most of the week, helping ro raise money for 'the fund' at their sales stand, and I was able to photograph activities on a daily basis. Out in the open air it was possible to photograph engines in various unusual combinations. On the other hand this pairing of an A3 (No 4472 Flying Scotsman) and an A4 (No 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley) would have been common on the East Coast Main Line up until the early 1960s (above). The fourth loco with NELPG connections (actually owned by the Group's Chairman, Ian Storey, and restored with NELPG expertise) was 'Black 5' No 4767 (below). In a ceremony at the opening of the Exhibition it had been named George Stephenson by the Rt. Hon. William Whitelaw MP, grandson of the Chairman of the LNER with the same name who had been in office at the time of the S&DR Centenary in 1925.





A view from the other direction (above) shows Ivatt 4MT No 43106, 'Terrier' No 72 Fenchurch and the working replica of 'Locomotion No 1', built by engineering apprentices from a number of North East establishments over a two year period. From the oldest design to the newest: the prototype High Speed Train (below). This was intended by BR as a 'stop-gap' until the Advanced Passenger Train could enter regular service. Well, that was the idea, but it didn't turn out that way, of course, and the production HSTs themselves were undoubtedly one of the highlights of the BR era. In the foreground is a 'dandy cart'. These was attached to the rear of horse-drawn coal trains in the S&DR's early days, to enable the animals to have a rest and feed on the downhill sections.





Another BR milestone, No 92220 Evening Star, rather embarrassed itself by derailing in the Works yard (above). The rear coupled wheels were eventually put back on the track using some wooden packing, some choice words, and as far as I remember the help of the resident 03 diesel shunter. One of the locomotives which stood out because of its livery was the former Longmoor Military Railway 'WD' 2-10-0 No 600 Gordon (below). In the foreground a volunteer is giving the finishing touches to cleaning the tender of 'Merchant Navy' Pacific No 35028 Clan Line.





The 'Merchant Navy' was one of several locomotives offering visitors the chance to view inside their cabs, and attracted a queue of interested spectators waiting to board (above). A contrast in 0-4-0 tank locos (below): NER No 1310 (which worked until the 1960s at Watergate Colliery, near my primary school in Gateshead) and 'Pug' saddletank No 51218.





More tank locos (above): another view of the 'Terrier', with Ivatt 2-6-2T No 41241 in the red livery of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. To enable visitors to enjoy a ride behind steam, a train ran daily along a short distance of track outside the Exhibition site. This needed two locos in steam, one at each end. On this occasion (below) the 'Black 5' and GWR pannier tank No 7752 were preparing to leave the yard to work that day's train. No 4767 makes an interesting comparison with the HST.

  

Next, a few shots of the train in action. The 'Black 5' is heading the three-coach train away from the Exhibition site (below), passing Shildon station on the branch which curves away north towards Bishop Auckland.




 
The pannier tank is now leading (above) as the train returns to the boarding point near the level crossing, passing Shildon signal box. On another occasion a different GWR loco was in use: 4-6-0 No 6960 Raveningham Hall was at the head of the train, seen waiting at the temporary platform (below) with a rather garish headboard.





Fenchurch was at the other end and its diminutive size is apparent in this view (above) as the train returns under a footbridge groaning under the weight of spectators. The 'Grand Cavalcade' on the last day in August began with locos raising steam in the Works yard. Locos visible at the head of each row in this picture (below) are (left to right) No 6969 Raveningham Hall, Ivatt Atlantic No 990, A4 No 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley and V2 No 4771 Green Arrow.





Getting closer to the action reveals George Stephenson, D49 No 246 Morayshire and pannier tank No 7752 (above), while finishing touches are applied to Fenchurch, No 51218 and Raveningham Hall (below).






The locos eventually assembled just past the crossing in their correct order for the Cavalcade and this view from the footbridge (above) is one of my favourites from the week.
As far as I can make out, 33 steam locomotives (including the replica 'Locomotion No 1', which had pride of place at the head of the procession), one electric loco and the HST took part in the Cavalcade along the four miles from Shildon to Heighington. I had a place in the standing area on the south side of the line, on the approximate spot where the recently-built 'Locomotion' museum building now stands. However, I do not propose to illustrate everything that passed slowly by on that sunny afternoon (to the chagrin of the photographers in the expensive seating area on the opposite side of the tracks, who were shooting against the light!) but here are some examples which have not featured so far.
For example, a locomotive with a unique claim to fame was the NER Fletcher 2-4-0 No 910, from the National Collection. This has the distinction of appearing in all three of the events held to celebrate the S&D's anniversaries - in 1875 (the 50th), 1925 (the centenary) and 1975 (the 150th) - although unable to travel under its own steam it was hauled on this occasion by A3 No 4472 Flying Scotsman (below).





Another loco needing a helping hand was the GNR 'Single' No 1, also from the National Collection, coupled behind A4 No 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley (above). LMS express locomotives were represented by two fine examples: first up was the immaculate 'Jubilee' No 5690 Leander (below), a far cry from its state in Barry scrapyard prior to restoration.





'Princess Royal' Pacific No 6201 Princess Elizabeth (above) was also a sight for sore eyes. Representing the BR Standard range of locomotives, in addition to Evening Star which appeared near the end, was Class 4MT No 75029, one of the engines fitted with a double chimney and now named The Green Knight. (The first of the Standards, No 70000 Britannia, had been expected to participate but in the event was not able make it to the Exhibition.)





One of the two non-steam exhibits in the procession was the third-rail electric loco, No 12 Sarah Siddons. This was built for the Metropolitan Railway and was then in departmental use by London Transport. Providing the motive power was No 600 Gordon (above). The Cavalcade ended with the prototype High Speed Train, travelling at a snail's pace 5mph at a respectful distance behind the last steam loco built by BR, Class 9F No 92220 Evening Star. And then it was all over, with the thousands of enthusiasts and others in the crowd gradually dispersing, many no doubt wanting to tell their friends 'I was there!' None of us knew, of course, that Shildon Wagon Works would close in 1984, or that an off-shoot of the National Railway Museum, to be named 'Locomotion', would be built adjacent to the line which had staged the 'Grand Cavalcade'.
To finish off a summer of steam in the area a number of Specials ran along the East Coast Main Line as far as Newcastle on each of the following four weekends. On 14th September, for example, Flying Scotsman headed 'The Bristolian', seen climbing through Low Fell (below) on its return south.





On 28th September the A3 was in action once again, photographed crossing the King Edward Bridge (above) on its way out of Newcastle. It was difficult to choose a photo to finish off with, but perhaps this shot is the most fitting end to my story of a memorable period of railway nostagia in North East England nearly forty years ago
...

                                                 EAST COAST MAIN LINE
                                                   'DELTICS' GALORE!

During the 1970s the ECML out of Kings Cross bore many of the hallmarks of the steam railway which had preceded it. Semaphore signals and wooden signal boxes could still be found and I made a point of noting their locations when travelling by train, with a view to including them in photographs if they were within walking distance of stations. Like the Pacifics of the previous era the 'Deltic' diesels were big, impressive and carried nameplates (some of them even followed tradition and were named after racehorses, of course), so the attraction was obvious. Most of the photographs in this section were taken in 1975 using Rail Rover tickets along the length and breadth of the ECML (but only as far north as Berwick - the tickets did not penetrate north of the border), occasionally staying in B&Bs near the action or with relatives in Hertfordshire at the southern end of the line.
Sadly I have no photographs of A4s and the like lined up in the classic position at the buffer stops at Kings Cross (although I have vague childhood memories of such scenes), but here is a similar attempt to start with, of a couple of 'Deltics' (below): 55005 The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire (on the left) and 55001 St. Paddy on 1st August 1975.





A few minutes earlier I had photographed 55005 entering the station (above), passing a DMU at the York Road platform. Awaiting departure from Kings Cross with a train on which I travelled as far as Peterborough is 55013 The Black Watch (below) on 31st July 1975. The young enthusiast on the platform is having a few words with the driver, no doubt hoping for an invitation to 'come aboard'.





Setting out for Edinburgh past the old Kings Cross signal box (which was demolished the following year) is 55014 The Duke of Wellington's Regiment on 3rd August 1975. Photographed from a road above Gasworks Tunnel this picture also shows part of the loco stabling and refueling point on the right, with a 'Peak' just visible. Passing under the North London line and climbing towards Copenhagen Tunnel, shortly after leaving Kings Cross, is 55021 Argyll and Sutherland Highlander with the down 'Flying Scotsman' (below) on 1st August 1975. I had recently seen the film 'The Ladykillers' and was trying to find the spot above the tunnel where the old lady's house had stood, not realising that it had been an elaborate 'prop' in the film!





We are now five miles out from the terminus and 55017 The Durham Light Infantry is getting nicely to grips with an Anglo-Scottish express at Wood Green (above) on 1st August 1975; the wooden signal box appears rather out of place amidst the new modernised railway being built around it. I had previously spotted an array of semaphore signals at Sandy, 44 miles out of London, not far from the station. The short trek to this spot (below), enabled me to capture 55021 heading north on 31st July 1975. The abandoned trackbed on the left is the remains of the old LNWR Oxford to Cambridge line which crossed the ECML behind me.





The same day saw me 16 miles further north at Huntingdon (above) where a southbound 55001 and another signal box were captured for posterity. Our next stop further down the line is Peterborough (below), where 55012 Crepello is heading the down 'Flying Scotsman' past a Class 31 and a Class 40, just north of the station on 31st July 1975.





Looking the other way from the same bridge (above) sees 55011 The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers heading north past Eastfield signal box on 31st July 1975. (In case the name of the 'box should confuse anyone as to the location, I made sure the word 'Peterborough' on the side of a lineside factory was included in the picture!) Newark is the next setting (below) as 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier heads an up express through the station on 30th July 1975. The platform faces on the main line have been cut back and stopping trains have to use the other tracks behind the wall on the right.





Photographed from the road bridge visible in the background of the previous picture, 55017 is just about to pass the signal box at the north end of the station with a down express (above) on 2nd August 1975. My main reason for alighting at Newark was to photograph the semaphore signals just south of the junction with the line to Cleethorpes. 47457 has just joined the main line at this spot (below) with a Cleethorpes to Kings Cross train on 30th July 1975. (Incidentally, according to my notes I spent a couple of nights on my travels in a B&B in Cleethorpes, but I have no recollection at all of the station, the town or my 'digs'. Sorry, Cleethorpes! (Well, it was nearly 40 years ago!)





The same semaphores are in this view (above) with 55018 Ballymoss heading south up the main line, passing a northbound train pulled by sister loco 55001 on 1st August 1975. I returned to Newark the following day and continued on foot further north to a spot alongside the River Trent (below) where I captured 55004 Queen's Own Highlander on the down 'Flying Scotsman' on 2nd August.





The next location at Retford appealed to me because of the signals near Babworth signal box, a short walk north of the station. On my way to this spot I paused at a footbridge over the tracks to photograph 47519 heading for London with the 'Yorkshire Pullman' (above) on 29th July 1975. The signal box is seen in this view (below) as 55006 The Fife And Forfar Yeomanry heads past on a down express, with Retford station in the distance on 28th July 1975.





Just behind my last vantage point stood this tall signal post (above) with 47431 completing the picture with a southbound express on 29th July 1975. Four pictures now at Doncaster, starting with 55002 The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry arriving from the south on 2nd August 1975 (below) when it was still part of the 22-strong 'Deltic' fleet, before being officially preserved as part of today's National Collection.





55006 is leaving the station on 2nd August 1975 with an up express (above), passing a freshly painted Class 37 outside Doncaster Works, where many of the predecessors to today's diesels were built. Next, a nice portrait of 55020 Nimbus at the platform (below) waiting to head north on 29th July 1975. The blackened station canopy appears to bear witness to the exhausts of countless locos starting away from this spot!





The final view at Doncaster sees 55002 again (above), this time leaving the station with a down express on 29th July 1975. Next, a couple of views taken on 30th July 1977 at Selby, which is no longer part of the ECML since the opening of the diversionary route in 1983. 31316 is crossing the swing bridge over the River Ouse with an up train (below).




 
Seen from the opposite bank of the river (above), 55009 Alycidon heads a northbound express, with the Abbey just visible on the right. Back to 1975 at York now (below), as 46037 and 55002 stand at the south end of the station with trains for Liverpool and Kings Cross respectively on 28th June. I had just travelled behind the 'Deltic' from Newcastle.





A 'Deltic' in a classic pose (above): 55013 pauses at York on 28th June 1975 with an Anglo-Scottish express. The next two pictures were taken in 1978 after the introduction of the first phase of scheduled Inter-City 125 services on the ECML, although 55018 is still in charge of this southbound express (below) on 31st May.





A first look at the new order (above) as an HST leaves the north end of York station on 1st June 1978. No doubt any spotters would be in two minds whether to record the number of the power car (E43068) or the set number on each end of the train (in this case 254 007). Looking back it is difficult not to get nostalgic about the eye-catching blue and yellow livery as originally carried by the HSTs. Further north to Darlington (below) and two lads anticipate the departure of 55012 with the up 'Silver Jubilee', complete with headboard, on 29th July 1977. The 07.45 Kings Cross to Edinburgh and 15.00 return were named to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the accession of HM Queen Elizabeth.





Back to 1975 at the north end of Darlington station and passengers are leaving a DMU which has just arrived from Bishop Auckland (above), as 55017 departs with a down express on 16th August. Viewed from the footbridge which spanned all the tracks (below), 55018 is about to bypass the station with the up 'Flying Scotsman', non-stop from Newcastle to Kings Cross on 5th August 1975.





Next stop Durham and 55002 crosses the viaduct into the station heading north (above) on 15th March 1975. Away from the standard viewpoint, but still with the traditional backdrop of Castle and Cathedral (below), 47420 waits for the 'off' with an Anglo-Scottish express on 9th August 1975. The shirt-sleeved driver would no doubt make quite a contrast with his steam age counterpart.





Halfway between Durham and Newcastle is Chester-le-Street, amazingly still with a station today, where 55002 was photographed crossing the viaduct (above) with the up 'Tees-Tyne Pullman' on 6th August 1975.
(Below) 266 miles from London and we are now on the outskirts of Gateshead at Low Fell - my own 'home patch'. Heading south 47408 is passing a stack of redundant trackwork which has been removed from the slow lines during pw work to install a new crossover at this spot on 3rd May 1975.





On 27th July 1975, 55007 Pinza is making for London through the Gateshead suburbs (above), where locos were usually 'opened up' after clearing the pointwork at King Edward Bridge Junction. Two years later on 20th July 1977 I photographed 55015 Tulyar crossing the King Edward Bridge over the Tyne towards Newcastle (below), from the adjacent Redheugh Bridge (demolished in 1984).





Entering Newcastle Central Station, its only stop between London and Edinburgh, comes 55005 with the down 'Flying Scotsman' on 5th August 1975. Engine crews needed to be changed here, necessitating the stop, as 'Deltics' were not fitted with corridor tenders! The following day 55005 is seen on a different occasion passing Manors (below), the first station heading north out of Newcastle.





Heaton station, on the outskirts of Newcastle (and no longer there, since the opening of the Metro station at Byker in 1982) sees 47542 heading north (above) on 27th June 1976. Four miles out from Newcastle, and now in open country at Little Benton, comes 55012 Crepello with another down express (below) on 7th August 1975.





A short distance north of the previous picture the main line passes under the tracks of the suburban lines between Newcastle and the coast just east of Benton station, where we glimpse 55007 heading for Edinburgh (above) on a misty 29th December 1975. A gap of 63 miles now to the River Tweed at Berwick, where I photographed a northbound 'Peak' crossing the Royal Border Bridge (below) on 7th August 1975.





This reconnaissances with a camera on the East Coast Main Line began with a shot of 55001 St. Paddy at Kings Cross, so it would have been nicely rounded off with 55022 Royal Scots Grey at Berwick, 334 miles away. Unfortunately, searching through my slides I find that 55022 (the original D9000) was quite camera shy during the 1970s, so 55001 St. Paddy will have to end the story.
55001 is seen coming to a stop in the station on 4th August 1975 with an Anglo-Scottish express before crossing the border just north of Berwick on its last leg to Edinburgh.
The East Coast Main Line has changed in many ways since my journeys in the 1970s chasing 'Deltics' and the like. At the time I regretted not doing the same thing in steam days, but looking back I'm glad I made the effort when I did...

                                                  SOUTH AFRICA 1976

With memories of steam in West Germany fresh in my mind (see earlier article), I was keen to venture further afield in the search for more. So, prompted by some fabulous pictures of steam in action in South Africa by fellow NELPG member and friend John Hunt I took the plunge and joined a party flying out to that country in August 1976. Being part of an organised group meant that all travel, shed visits, accommodation and meals were provided, the downside being that we did not have complete freedom of choice of time and place for lineside photography.
We landed in Johannesburg, in the middle of electrified territory, but the following day we travelled out to steam sheds in Germiston and Pretoria. Germiston immediately brought back happy memories of BR steam sheds in the 1960s with shafts of light penetrating the smokey interior (below), where most of the locomotives were of the unfamiliar (to British eyes) 4-8-2 type.





Although there was not much activity during our visit, two engines posing together outside (above) made an interesting comparison in front ends. The one on the right with the smoke deflectors is one of the Class 15F 4-8-2s, the most numerous class on South African Railways. Numberplates were not normally fitted to the front ends of locos, but a different picture identifies it as No 3045, one of the batch built by North British in Glasgow.
The appropriately-named Capital Park shed in Pretoria (the country's administrative capital) housed yet more 4-8-2 locos, including this Class 15CA (below) in the queue to take water. At Pretoria station we saw one of these amongst the electric multiple units working a passenger train bound for Cullinan, a duty they apparently operated until 1983.





The following day we boarded the Trans-Karoo Express for the full day's journey to Kimberley. The train was double-headed by electric locos Nos E1472 and E1349, seen from our reserved coach (above) as we headed south through the outskirts of Johannesburg.
Kimberley is famous for its diamond mines. Of more interest to us the following day was the big loco depot at Beaconsfield which housed many of the locos we had all come to see: the fabulous Class 25 4-8-4s. Bearing in mind that the 'standard' gauge on SAR is only 3ft 6in, these engines really were impressive and comprised two varieties: the 50 original Class 25 condensing locomotives, with their huge tenders containing the equipment to convert the exhaust steam back into water, for operation over the arid Karoo region; and the 90 Class 25NC built as the non-condensing version with conventional tenders. 100 of the total were built by North British in 1953/54. As the areas where the Class 25s operated have succumbed to dieselisation and electrification many of them had been converted to the NC variety by 1976 - and indeed the programme was still continuing during our visit. A nice touch was the fitting of nameplates to the smokebox doors of many of the Class 25NCs in particular. Here (below) No 3433 'Heather' takes water from the overhead supply pipe which was a feature of many of the loco sheds we visited in South Africa. I gather these nameplates were fitted unofficially by shed staff and had to be removed before the locos went to works for repair!





This view from inside the shed building (above) includes a couple of Class 25NCs with the inevitable coal, oil and water on the ground - lovely!
Outside again, two Class 25s are being prepared for the road (below), the mighty condensing tender on the left being particularly noticeable. Very few of the of these condensers carried names, which meant that identification was not obvious unless the cabside numberplate was visible.





The dirty aspect of servicing steam locos is often overlooked - especially by enthusiasts! Here two of the shed staff are busy clearing ash in front of No 3502 'Elize' (above). Kimberley was the changeover point between steam and electric traction in 1976 and Beaconsfield shed also housed electric locos, as seen (below) in this portrait of Class 25NC No 3423 'Victoria'.





A few hours later No 3433 'Heather' was speeding south on the celebrated steam route to De Aar at the head of a freight train. I managed this shot (above) from our minibus in hot pursuit as far as Modder River, where we paused for a picnic lunch and lineside photography. Powering through the station to take a run at the bank just to the north is this Class 25NC (below), with several members of our party in the foreground getting a similar shot. Unfortunately the engine was not carrying a nameplate or front numberplate so its identity is not known - unless one of my fellow enthusiasts from the trip should be reading this and can supply the information!





A short walk provided this viewpoint (above), which sees No 3523 'Gillian' starting the climb away from the station alongside a nicely-positioned signal post, although providing a mildy disappointing exhaust. Not so the next train shortly afterwards, with No 3425 'Trixie' blasting up the gradient with a heavy freight train (below).





The final example from that afternoon (above) illustrates clearly the distinctive tender of a Class 25NC rebuilt from an original Class 25 condenser - apparently these were nicknamed 'worshonde' (sausage dogs) by the locomen! Back at Kimberley several of us visited the station platforms to see steam locos by night - always an exciting prospect. Class 25NC No 3440 was the subject of this shot (below), waiting for the road with a freight. The time exposure has rendered one of the station staff on the platform as a ghostly figure, with his handlamp being swung up onto the footplate recording as a white blur.





The following morning No 3447, another nameless Class 25NC, was caught (above) leaving the station with a southbound passenger train.
Later that day we travelled east by bus to one of the largest steam depots in the country at Bloemfontein, pausing at Petrusburg (below) to see this 15F speeding west through the station with the 'Orange Express', complete with headboard.





At Bloemfontein station we saw another 15F at the head of a named train, the 'Drakensburg' (above), although the weather had turned cold and dull by now. The loco sheds were impressive enough, filled mainly with more 15Fs, but the lack of strong sunlight meant that the pictures were disappointing and a couple of b&w shots will serve as a record of the visit. The lineup (below) shows 15F and 19D 4-8-2s in attendance. The white structures at rail level are to deflect steam ejected at high pressure when blowing down the boilers.





The Class 19D - one of which is reflected in water in the ash disposal pits (above) - was another loco built in large numbers, with North British, Glasgow and Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns, Darlington each supplying 50.
The next day we were on the move again, this time travelling from Kimberley to De Aar, another major steam centre. Prior to boarding our reserved coach on the train we had time to photograph this Class 24 shunting at the station. All 100 of these engines with the unusual 2-8-4 wheel arrangement were built by North British, which was evidently responsible for most of the engines we saw during our two weeks in South Africa!





I suspect that the organisers of our trip may have pulled a few strings and arranged for our train to be pulled by a Class 25 condenser, as it was the only time we saw one on a passenger turn. No 3474 was the engine concerned (another of Glasgow's finest!) seen (above) waiting to set out on the 145 mile run south. On the way we passed a number of steam-hauled trains on the double track main line, including this 25NC leading another of the same class on a double-headed freight (below). On the right members of a track maintenance gang are taking a break by the lineside.





The most lengthy stop en route was at Orange River, where locos travelling in each direction took water and had their fires cleaned if necessary. This view (above) shows Class 25 No 3489 on the left and Class 25NC No 3455 'Kerry Anne' on northbound freights. The difference in front ends is apparent, the condenser's 'pear-shaped' smokebox housing a fan at the bottom to induce a draught up the chimney. The rear of our train can be seen at the platform in the distance on the left. Our own loco was being serviced at the same time and presumably I had allowed enough leeway to return to my seat before it left without me!

At this juncture I must digress from the South African tour for a brief moment to talk about Kerry Anne from South Africa, who recently left a message on the Guest Book page concerning the above photograph...
Kerry Anne writes - 'Hi there, one train you mention during your trip to South Africa was actually named after me by my grandfather Oscar McQueen who was the Chairman of the Historical Transport Society.
The locomotive is the Class 25NC No 3455…I have a picture of the brass plate and will send it to you if you'd like to include it on this site…'
Well, David and I wasted no time in making contact with one another…it's not every day that someone has a steam locomotive named after her! I immediately emailed a much larger image of No 3455 at Orange River (inset right) which shows a clearer picture of the nameplate on the smokebox door. However, when Kerry Anne sent her picture (below left) we realised that she was referring to one of the locomotive's original brass cabside number-works plates.
It should be explained that when the locos were rebuilt from Class 25 to Class 25NC the existing cabside plates became obsolete since they still showed the old '25' classification beneath the number. Some locomotives had their plates replaced completely, as was obviously the case with No 3455 (Kerry-Anne's redundant plate shows the old '25' designation). However some locos had their plates altered to suit. This was done by adding 'NC' after the '25', but as this involved squeezing-in the capital letters it resulted in an 'off-centre' effect - a sure-fire way of identifying the rebuilds from the original Class 25NCs which had equally-spaced lettering.
Of course, an easier way of telling them apart was by noting the type of tender attached…
Meanwhile David requested any background details from Kerry Anne, who kindly replied - 'My grandmother has given me some details on how exactly my grandpa managed to get the locomotive named after me. Two of the plates were presented to him to pass on to me when No 3455 was re-classified as 25NC…I was then his only grandchild, just four years-old. The plate in my picture (left) now hangs on the wall in the entrance hall at home. My grandpa went down to De Aar and was given the honour of naming one of the re-vamped locomotives. All throughout his life trains were his passion and he had built a beautiful model railway layout that literally took up the entire double garage. Also, he was on the maiden trip of the New Blue Train down to the Cape around 1972'sh...my mother accompanied him…'
My thanks to Kerry Anne for making contact…
had I known that nearly 40 years later the girl after whom the locomotive had been named would get in touch I'd have taken more photographs!

The subject of South African steam would not be complete without mention of the NBL Preservation Group which was formed in 1990 by a small band of NBL Society members who decided to preserve some additional North British steam locomotives outside of the Society's framework. However, when the NBL Society became part of the Bucks Railway Centre at Quainton Road, it was agreed to open the Group to Associate Members and to raise funds for future locomotives by share issues. At the present time, the NBL Preservation Group is trying to repatriate Dubs A Class 4-8-2 Tank No 196 and NBL Class 24 2-8-4 No. 3647 from South Africa and is assisting Glasgow Transport Museum with its North British 15F 4-8-2 project.
The aim of the NBL Preservation Group is to promote interest in the North British Locomotive Company and to catalogue and illustrate what has been preserved in the UK. The Group is also setting its sights on repatriating surviving North British steam locomotives from around the world, and is actively involved in assisting the preservation of North British locomotives and artefacts by other groups and private individuals. Membership is open to all…if you wish to help the Group's praiseworthy aims you will find an application form on the Group's website HERE - or check out the Group's Facebook page HERE.



(Above) In October 1991 South African Railways Class 25NC 4-8-4 No.3405 'Bethlehem' became the first locomotive to be saved by the newly formed North British Locomotive Society
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(Below) Returning to the South African tour again
, we reached De Aar later that day, where this sparkling Class 15A 4-8-2 No 1970 'Milly' (below) was the station pilot. Checking the records, I see that this was another British-built loco, coming from Beyer-Peacock as far back as 1921!





Now here's a sight for sore eyes at De Aar depot! - four Class 25NC in one shot (above). Left to right are Nos 3487 'Karolyn' (in the background); 3437 'Trudie'; 3494 'Sadie'; and 3432 'Lady Jane'. No 3502 'Elize' is the Class 25NC under the coaling stage ramp in this view (below). An immaculately turned-out Class 14R 4-8-2 No 1911 has just pushed loaded coal wagons to the top.





Another view of ash shovelling (above) the following morning sees two Class 25NC rebuilds in the background preparing for the day ahead, the nearer one taking water from the overhead supply. We saw the first Beyer-Garratt locomotive of our trip at De Aar (below). This stored example was being returned under cover after the 14R we saw earlier on the coaling stage ramp had dragged it out specially for our party to view. On the right No 3528 'Valerie' is ready for action.





Our second day in De Aar included some free time by the lineside before we set off on the next leg of our tour. No 3512 'Ann Marie' was pictured leaving the goods yard just north of the station (above) with a train in the Kimberley direction. As with a lot of the pictures on this trip, the contrasty lighting conditions under a clear blue sky were not always the best for photography
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Our train to Cape Town that afternoon was diesel-hauled over the first 160-mile stretch to Beaufort West, once the stronghold of the Class 25 condensers. From here electric traction took over in the form of locos E428 and E434 for the final 335 miles. This was covered overnight and we reached Cape Town the following morning. An unexpected bonus was a single track line past the side of our hotel where we found this Class 14CRB in action (below).





Presumably the line led down to the extensive docks network, which seemed to be the only chance of work for the extensive allocation of steam locos at Paarden Eiland shed, with the fabulous backdrop of Table Mountain (above). The interior of the shed building provided the opportunity for more atmospheric pictures, such as this view (below) of yet another 4-8-2...





...or this row of Class 15Fs (above). The Class 19D 4-8-2, which we had encountered almost everywhere on our travels so far, was conspicuous by its absence in Cape Town; the earlier Class 19C with poppet valves instead of the more common piston valves and Walschaerts valve gear was the preferred option. One poses for its picture (below) in front of the mountain which several of us managed to climb (by cable-car!) during our three day stay in the city.





Salt River Works was adjacent to the running shed and was responsible for most of the Class 25 conversions. During our visit No 3488 was in the process of rebuilding into a conventional Class 25NC (above). It was at this point that my 35mm SLR came to grief when my tripod collapsed (shades of Lostock Hall shed in 1968!) and my fingers were crossed whenever I took any more colour pictures on the trip, hoping that the dent in the pentaprism and the suspect viewfinder would not mean disaster!

After a relaxing day on a tour of the area, including a visit to the Cape of Good Hope, 'where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean', (they both looked the same to me, frankly!), we boarded the train to our next base, Port Elizabeth. We left Cape Town on the Sunday and reached our destination 673 miles away the following Tuesday after a mammoth journey involving two nights on the train and six different locomotives, four of them Beyer-Garratts. E246 was our loco for the first stretch on the 109 mile electrified section to Worcester, at which point the first Garratt took charge. These mighty Class GMAM 4-8-2+2-8-4 monsters were all built in the 1950s by various manufacturers. This first one, No 4109, (a North British example) hauled us overnight as far as Riversdale where No 4094 (from Beyer Peacock) took over while we were still asleep. The seats in our coach transformed into beds and it was very satisfying before nodding off to hear the loco up ahead working hard, feel the coach rounding some curves which only the 3ft 6in gauge could accommodate and wonder which engine would be in charge when we woke up! This loco continued as the motive power on Monday as far as Hartenbos, where engines were changed again. The new Garratt, on the left of this picture (below) was No 4128 (another Beyer Peacock machine) which had just replaced No 4094 on the right.




 
The train was now climbing into the mountains as it turned inland from the coast, heading for the Montagu Pass (the Shap Summit of South Africa, perhaps?) At this point four or five of us decided to alight at George, the station before the summit, and head by car to that spot to photograph our train going over the top. I can't recall now whether this had been pre-arranged by the tour organisers or if we played it by ear and hired a taxi at the station; the outcome was this picture (above) of No 4128 climbing steadily over the last few yards to Montagu Summit before the next downhill stretch. It was a sobering thought as we watched the train pass by below us to realise that not only was our luggage still aboard, but our passports were too! We drove to the next stop and were reunited with the rest of our group without further incident, fortunately! Later that day the weather improved considerably and I managed this telephoto shot from the rear of the train (below) of No 4128 making for Oudtshoorn, the next loco changeover point, which we reached during the hours of darkness. I stayed awake long enough to trek along the platform and note that the Garratt had been replaced by a 'mere' Class 19D 4-8-2 No 3327, which was in charge for the rest of the night.





We awoke on Tuesday to find that a fourth Garratt had taken over at Klipplaat, the final changeover point. This was No 4066 (this one built by Henschel) and it would be up front for the rest of the way. We were now approaching Port Elizabeth, eagerly anticipated because of the extensive steam-worked suburban passenger service. Leaving our luggage in the hands of the rest of our party (for the second time!) several of us alighted at Perseverance station to take advantage of this attraction, photographing our Beyer-Barratt pulling away on the final leg of its journey in the early morning light (above). The suburban trains were handled by a fleet of delightful Class 15AR 4-8-2s dating from the WWI era, most of them from North British, with quite a few kept in beautiful condition by their crews. We had runs behind three of them that day, including No 1814 seen arriving at Swartzkops (below). Not the best turned-out of the bunch, but it would have put many a 'Black 5' from the end of steam on BR to shame!





That afternoon we joined the rest of our group for a tour of Sydenham loco shed. In the foreground of this shot (above) is No 1968, one of the better-kept Class 15ARs, while the next view (below) shows some contrasting examples.





The best one appeared to be No 2095 (above) which sparkled in the sun, although some might find the white wheel rims a bit garish! The following day a group of us travelled out to Despatch for some photography in the area. In this shot (below) an early morning train for Port Elizabeth is leaving the station with a very British-looking coach on view.





Here's a picture on the station platform (above) showing a nicely-groomed No 2017, complete with smokebox door embellishments, heading for Port Elizabeth and passing another Class 15AR going in the opposite direction. Next is my favourite, No 2095 (bearing a helpful front numberplate!) at the head of a freight near the station (below).





Back at the station we joined our train for Port Elizabeth, seen arriving behind No 1798 (above), the fifth Class 15AR we travelled behind during our two-day spell in the area. A flight later that afternoon took us to Durban, the final base for our trip. In truth the last two days in South Africa turned out to be an anti-climax. Visits to several steam depots revealed mostly withdrawn engines and not much action. This last shot at Mason's Mill shed, near Pietermaritzburg (below), of a line of out-of-use Class GF 4-6-2+2-6-4 Garratts, sums it up.



Despite this it had all been a marvellous experience. I had visited numerous loco sheds and seen plenty of steam action (and indeed had travelled behind eleven different steam locos) and my damaged camera delivered the pictures after all! Although sadly I wasn't able to join some of my fellow trip members and return the following year, I have the photographs to remind me of the two tremendous weeks I spent in South Africa in 1976
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