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!
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 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…
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.