I’m posting this picture here today to illustrate the effort that is put into restoration work on rolling stock at heritage railways around the country, mostly by volunteers. Hundreds of man hours will go into the restoration of just one coach. The work will involve metalworkers, woodworkers, mechanics, electricians, painters, and more. This coach here will one day be serviceable and look beautiful. Remember that when you visit a heritage railway and buy tickets, you are supporting a piece of this country’s history. Thank you.It's kind to share!
Back to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway again this week, for the Diesel weekend! Here, the Class 31 31206 prepares to ‘run round’ the train to be coupled to the other end, ready for the return journey from Duffield to Wirksworth.It's kind to share!
I found this extremely rare Lea Francis P-type tourer yesterday (Saturday) at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway’s classic vehicle weekend. Only 1,093 P-types were built, and only 97 remain in roadworthy condition! This one has not been ‘restored’ but simply maintained in good condition – I think it is all the better for that. In the vintage and classic vehicle fraternity, vehicles like this are termed ‘oily rags’!It's kind to share!
Today’s photo is once again from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. The loco you see here has just hauled a train from Duffield to Wirksworth; not only does she need to be replenished with coal, but also with water, which is happening here. Standing still, the boiler pressure climbs quickly, even with the firebox draught cut back, so here, a spectacular blow-off of steam was imminent!It's kind to share!
This year, the Ecclesbourne Valley Rallway is 150 years old. I thought this scene was somehow poignant and symbolic, because sleeper changing has to go on all the time. It made me think about those platelayers of the 19th century, who worked so skillfully (for derisory wages) to literally lay the foundations of a railway. Those iron mountings for the rails, known as chairs, would have been cast at a foundry somewhere not too far away. How many working iron foundries have we got left in Britain, now? Not that I would wish the return of the ‘Bedlam’ furnaces…
Amazing, how the random sight of a stack of worn-out railway sleepers evokes personal debate of the socio-economic history of England, eh? But history, too, is an ever-advancing thing; time moves from the future to history, a second at a time.
Yesterday evening, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway ran a special service – a steam-hauled trip from Wirksworth to Duffield and back, with a jazz trio on board, and the newly-restored bar coach fully operational! Here, the Henry Ellison prepares to pull the train back to Wirksworth. I always find there’s something rather charismatic about trains at dusk, especially when there’s a steam loco involved!It's kind to share!
Yesterday was, for me, the day of the teddy-bear. This has nothing to do with soft toys, or Chinese New Year, or anything like that. Let me explain:
‘Double heading’, where two locomotives pull the same train, isn’t uncommon. What is uncommon, here, is the almost laughable difference between the two locos. The rear one is powerful but nothing very unusual, but I’d never seen anything like the front one before. You’ll notice how much like a small steam loco it looks! Their diesel engine growl earned these small locos the name ‘teddy bears’. The idea was that they would replace many ageing saddle tank steamers, enabling branch lines to continue to operate.
A certain Mr B. had other ideas. Don’t get me started…
And so we have another topic dear to my heart, as some of you know. This picture was taken at a special event at The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Here are two fine examples of road transport vehicles from, well… not all that long ago. At least, not to my way of thinking…!It's kind to share!
If you take a picture using a wide-angle lens (or a zoom lens set at a short focal length) objects close to the camera will appear much larger than those further away. This gives a great sense of perspective – the perceived arrangement of objects in three dimensions, even though the viewed image is simply on a flat surface. This effect has, I think, worked quite well in this shot of the interior of a beautifully preserved diesel railcar, kept at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth, Derbyshire.
You can often see this technique used on published pictures of landscapes, where objects in the foreground give powerful interest and punch to what might otherwise be a much less interesting shot.
Once again, this shot is from a visit to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirkworth, Derbyshire. The unusual perspective here was only possible to obtain because a) the loco was coupled to the coach by its front (smoke-box) end, and b) the coach in use had a glazed door at the end. you’ll notice there is very little smoke; this is because this shot was taken while travelling down a steep incline, so very little power is required. Just an hour earlier, I had the experience of riding on the footplate of this same loco!It's kind to share!