Images of 2019

IMG_4243As another year draws to a close, this seems like the ideal opportunity to take a look back at 2019 on our railways, as captured on my travels around Great Britain over the past year, and a chance to reflect on the rapidly changing face of our network in some of my favourite images of the past 12 months.

2019 was an historic year that has seen the end of long-distance HSTs on both GWR and LNER and their replacement with the new Hitachi 80x series units. It was a year, too, in which new short HST sets began appearing on both GWR and ScotRail services, while the popular Class 37s finally disappeared from East Anglia, but made a re-appearance in the Rhymney Valley. Continue reading “Images of 2019”

Wayside semaphores in The Malverns

 

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Travel on one of the newly-accelerated GWR Cotswold Line services from London Paddington to Hereford and in the 44¼ miles from Moreton-in-Marsh to Ledbury you will pass no less than seven signal boxes controlling semaphore signals.

Having previously featured Moreton-in-Marsh, and the wonderful array of semaphore signals at Worcester’s two stations, it is time to head west over the River Severn for a visit to two lesser known outposts of mechanical signalling. Continue reading “Wayside semaphores in The Malverns”

Scuds scrambled

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Over the past three years of visiting the Wherry Lines to photograph its loco-hauled services and its semaphore signalling, one consistent feature has been the sight of Class 153 one-coach units, usually operating singly, but occasionally in pairs.

As the quintet of “Scuds” has now departed East Anglia to join some of their classmates in South Wales, this seems like the right moment to share a short selection of my favourite images of Class 153 action on the Wherry Lines. Continue reading “Scuds scrambled”

Wherry new trains, Wherry old signals

IMG_0301Less than two months from now and the Wherry Lines transformation will reach its final stage, with a three-week shutdown to complete and commission long-delayed re-signalling of the lines from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Already this year we have seen the end of loco-hauled Class 37 services and, more recently, the rather less-lamented exit of the single car Class 153 “Scuds”, as the new Class 755 units make their delayed appearance.

Having written many articles about the line’s signalling attractions over the past three years, I was delighted to be invited by Network Rail to pay visits on Tuesday, 3 December to the five splendid signal boxes that will close early next year.

Continue reading “Wherry new trains, Wherry old signals”

Steaming to Sroda

IMG_9948On my first ever visit to Poland 30 years ago (October 1989) I paid a visit to the country’s last steam-worked narrow gauge railway, a charmingly rural line that ran 14 kms westwards from a town called Sroda to the south of Poznan.

In those far off days there were six round trips a day, conveying a mixture of workers, shoppers and schoolchildren in a pair of ancient wooden coaches each heated by a coal-fired boiler mounted beneath the coach floor. A single fare to the terminus at Zaniemysl (pictured above) cost the princely sum of 170 [old] Zloties (less than 2p). Continue reading “Steaming to Sroda”