Monday, May 30, 2016

Hidden Euston

At the weekend i went on another Hidden London tour of the Underground's secrets, unlike Aldwych in January this new tour was of an operating (and busy) tube station and included obligatory wearing of hi-viz! The tour was of Euston underground station and involved exploring parts of the station now restricted normally to the general public. The tour was wonderful and included walking along a ventilation tunnel where you could see the platforms (and some passengers) through the grills below! You can see my photos here.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Leamington stop

After a week of railway photography, and hanging about on platforms waiting for something to happen, where better to end it than at Leamington Spa which is probably my favourite station to visit for a number of reasons. One of the main ones being that there is a seat at the end of platform 2 where you are far enough away from the tannoy that you can't hear the endless announcements about unattended baggage and light refreshments! You can see my photos here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Festival

The highlight of my calendar for the last few years has been the Diesel Gala on the Severn Valley Railway, this year they have moved it to May (its usually been in early October) and called it a Spring Festival. The reason they moved the date, they say, is because it is more difficult to get guest locos in October compared to the (late) Spring...

They certainly pulled out all the stops this year, there was a huge line-up of guest locos. I spent most of my time at Kidderminster yesterday and at times i didn't know where to look! On one side you had a Class 31 idling, going past at a Class 46 Peak and the other side a Network Rail Class 73. I haven't seen this variety of diesel locomotive all operating in the same place since the 1980s. The SVR must be congratulated for the amazing event they have pulled off (and continues until Saturday), moving it to May certainly has worked. You can see my photographs from Day 1 of the festival here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Derby ultrasonic

I did plan to go on a canal walk today but the rain put paid to that, no instead i needed to do something outdoors but under shelter so went to Derby instead to take some photographs. Derby is the home of the railway's research and test division so i saw 2 test trains, both ultrasonic test trains though nothing else out of the ordinary. The lighting wasn't that good but some of the photos arn't bad. You can see my photos here and judge for yourself!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Stafford spotting

Well lets start a week off with a bout of trainspotting at Stafford, though strictly speaking i don't "trainspot" as i don't write down the numbers but i do photograph the trains of course (and this proves handy to elderly spotters who ask me if i saw the number of the train that just passed and i can look it up on the camera!)

I've been to Stafford twice before but not on a week day until now. I was especially keen to come on a week day as i wanted to see one of the Royal Mail liveried units and also the new Gatwick Express units on test and these are generally only to be seen on a week day (the latter only on Mondays along this line apparently). Happily i was able to see both as well as a lot of freight (something else much more common on a weekday). You can see my photos here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Multiple Memories

Yesterday I had a very enjoyable visit to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway again for their "Multiple Memories" event though this was not my original intention for Saturday. I had gone to Matlock to travel on the Peak Rail Line though their services were all cancelled due to a locomotive failure (seems a bit odd they couldn't organise alternatives and instead lose 50% of an entire week's running but hey ho!)

Luckily i was able to head back down the line to Duffield and go on the EVR instead which is always worth a visit anyway and as i have said before probably my favourite preserved line these days. You can see my photos here.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Taking the CEP

The Class 411 4-CEP was one of many electric multiple units that were the backbone of British Rail services in the South until the early 2000s. I don't think i ever travelled on one, well until yesterday. A preserved set is on the Chinnor & Prince Risborough Railway and yesterday a special Blue Electric Day was held with the EMU running services up and down the small preserved line.

The EMU was hauled by a diesel locomotive of course as the line didn't have electrified third rail but that did not matter as it was great to finally see and ride on a 4-CEP which i've always had a soft spot for and indeed when i started my N gauge BR model railway layout a 4-CEP was the first model i bought! You can see my photos here.