A holiday weekend, and it rained. What a surprise. Still, it meant I actually got round to fulfilling a promise from a few weeks ago about firing up the film scanner and digitalizing some of the better ones of my collection of old railway slides. So, if you are not a railway fanatic maybe should stop reading now and find some other technical blog about computers (or play another game of FreeCell). The rest of this post is just pictures of old trains...
By way of some background to my pre-computing geekiness, my trainspotting episode started in around 1965 when steam was in the last stages of giving way to diesel. Most of my memories of steam engines are seeing them passing through Gloucestershire on their sad and final trip to the scrap yard in Barry, South Wales. However, my real passion in those days was for the gleaming new diesel hydraulic Western and Hymek locos that thundered past our house. Though travelling the world and the UK with parents serving the Royal Air Force meant that I lived (and trainspotted) in a variety of locations. Unfortunately, it was only in the late 70's that I owned a good enough camera to start recording what I saw.
Since then, trains have become a minor peripheral part of my life as marriage and work (and growing up) took over. So I can't actually provide a detailed history or record of any one period. Though occasional day trips to preserved railways and (now derelict) railway infrastructure and installations does provide the occasional fix. Still, here's a selection of the resulting digitalized memories:
British Rail Class 9F 92220 "Evening Star". The last steam loco built by BR (in 1960), and now preserved as part of the National Collection.
GWR 7812 "Erlestoke Manor" built at Swindon works around 1938, seen here in 1980 approaching Highley on the Severn Valley Railway.
LMS "Black Five" 5305 leaving York with a steam special in around 1980. Now refurbished and running on the Great Central Railway.
British Railways 73050 "City of Peterborough" built in Derby in 1954 and seen here in 1987 at the Nene Valley Railway.
Class EM1 76007 and 76008 built in 1953 and seen near Woodhead Tunnel on the Manchester-Sheffield route around 1978, shortly before the line was closed.
Diesel Hydraulic "Western" class D1062 "Western Courier", built at Crewe in 1963 and seen here on the Severn Valley Railway in 1980.
An unidentified "Brush" class 47 leaving Peascliffe Tunnel on the East Coast Main Line in 1979 before electrification of the route.
The "Deltic" Class 55, the most powerful of the mainline passenger diesels and my personal favorite of all diesels. This is 55 003 "Meld" built in 1961 at the Vulcan works in Newton-Le-Willows and named after a famous racehorse. Seen here at Doncaster in 1979.
British Rail adapted some of the 08 class shunters to work as tandem units in Tinsley Yard, Sheffield. This is 13 001 seen in 1979 on the yard hump.
An unusual visitor to Doncaster, having just left the BREL works after refurbishment. Originally built in 1968 at the Vulcan works, this is class 50 007 "Hercules" (later renamed "Sir Edward Elgar"). The locos were often known as "Hoovers" due to the sound of the large engine room fans.
And finally, for U.S. readers and tram fans, New York Third Avenue Transit number 674 seen here on a rainy day in June 1990 at Crich Tramway Museum in Derbyshire (just a few miles from where I live).
I also found a selection of slides taken inside the British Railways Engineering (BREL) works at Doncaster in 1979. After I sort them out, I'll post a few of the more unusual ones...